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College Football: Brooks: Kentucky's respect lags behind success

Kentucky coach Rich Brooks usually doesn't check national rankings or point spreads, but he admits taking a peek after the Wildcats knocked off top-ranked LSU in triple overtime Saturday.

What he found was not only does LSU have a higher national ranking (No. 5) than his Wildcats (No. 8), but Kentucky's next opponent -- Florida -- is an early touchdown favorite for Saturday's game in Lexington.

"Those guys in Las Vegas, I guess they don't get fooled very often," Brooks said Monday. "Florida's a seven-point favorite, and we just beat the No. 1 team in the nation? How does that equate? It's pretty interesting stuff."

Brooks isn't necessarily complaining. He says it takes more than one colossal upset, or even one or two breakout seasons, for a team long regarded as a bottom feeder in the Southeastern Conference to be considered among the big boys.

"It is very hard any time you're trying to make a transition from a cellar dweller to a contender and trying to go for a championship," Brooks said. "There is always going to be lag time. For the programs everybody thinks are great teams, they think they're great teams a lot longer than they are great teams.

"That's just human nature."

QUICK HITTERS -- Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson was fired two days after the school's once-mighty football team was rocked with its worst home loss in nearly a half century. Pederson and football coach Bill Callahan have come under fire after a disappointing string of performances this season. The heat intensified following back-to-back losses to Missouri and Oklahoma State by a combined 86-20, leaving the Cornhuskers with a 4-3 record. ...

Teammates of tailback Mike Hart expect him to play Saturday night.

Michigan defensive end Tim Jamison said Hart, who hurt his right ankle in the first half last Saturday against Purdue, would be on the field for the 24th-ranked Wolverines when they play at Illinois.

Offensive tackle Jake Long agreed. "There's no doubt in my mind he'll play," Long said.

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