After being off this Saturday, Kentucky was not able to improve or worsen their chances of making a bowl game. So it was expected that when national media from around the country made their bowl projections this week, the Wildcats’ would not make much of a move.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy once again slotted the Wildcats to the Birmingham Bowl on December 29. However, this week he projects the Wildcats to face off against the 4-3 Temple Owls of the American Athletic Conference. The Owls picked up a victory on a last-second touchdown pass against the University of Central Florida this past week.
Easily the most interesting bowl prediction comes from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has Kentucky traveling to Memphis to play in the Autozone Liberty Bowl. The Wildcats’ opponent? None other than the 3-3 Texas Longhorns, led by former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong.
Strong has faced his share of struggles at the helm of the Longhorns program and many fans in and around Austin are uncertain if he is the guy to lead their program back to national prominence. A trip to the Liberty Bowl likely wouldn’t be appealing to the Longhorns fan base.
SEC Country maintained their same projection for the Wildcats, keeping them slotted in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC. taking on Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons sit at 5-2 following a 17-6 loss to Florida State last weekend.
Kentucky could do a lot for their bowl chances with a win this Saturday against Mississippi State. In my opinion, Kentucky has four games left in the season that I consider winnable games. Three of those four (Mississippi State, Georgia, and Austin Peay) are at Commonwealth Stadium, while the fourth (Missouri) is on the road.
To reach a bowl game for the first time under Mark Stoops, Kentucky has to win three of those four games. The Wildcats will have a chance in all of those games, but that’s why results are decided on the field. The road to a bowl game starts this Saturday when the Wildcats take on Mississippi State. Win there, and things look a lot more manageable down the stretch.
In case you’re interested, the popular bet for the National Championship game is Alabama vs. Ohio State. Clemson, Washington, and Michigan are also popular choices to be included in this year’s College Football Playoff.