If you have been following me over the summer, you will see that I have taken a look at the upcoming games for Kentucky football and made my humble prediction.
Now that the dust has cleared, I have been reminded on Twitter and other social media that I picked Kentucky to have a 9-3 record. This has not happened since the 1983 season.
When I made my picks, I did it as a quasi Kentucky-homer. I obviously gave all toss-ups and all breaks to the Wildcats and in my opinion, 9-3 would be a best case scenario.
Was I on track? Or was this something that I need to revise? Let's take a look at some other predictions in the Big Blue universe.
Mark Story of the Lexington Herald Leader did not share my unbridled optimism and he has Kentucky finishing with a 6-6 record. That is good enough for a bowl and Kentucky could still duplicate their 7-6 mark last year with winning the bowl. but he has Kentucky losing all of their "big games".
Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal sees Kentucky beating Florida and ending that streak but finishing with an 8-4 mark. He also has Kentucky losing to Louisville at home but beating Mississippi State, which I did not pick.
Kyle Tucker and Joe Mussatto of SEC Country both have Kentucky going 7-5 this year, but it is the best possible 7-5 season that I have seen thus far. Both guys have Kentucky beating Florida and Tennessee in the friendly confines of Kroger Field, but dropping the game versus Louisville. While it would suck to lose to the Cardinals, I think the Florida and Tennessee tradeoff would be worth it.
Finally, SEC analysts Gene Chizik and Booger McFarland took a stab at picking the Wildcat's season and both came out with 7-5 marks. Both have Kentucky knocking off Tennessee but losing to Florida. Booger also picks a win over Louisville while Chizik did not.
After all of that, we have a cumulative 7-5 Kentucky season record. Granted, Kentucky can still get to an eight win season with a bowl victory, but was I wrong in picking nine wins?
If I did misjudge a game, it appears to be the South Carolina one. None of the predictions I posted had the Wildcats beating the Gamecocks on the road. I get the South Carolina is much improved from last year, but I am buying into the hype that the Wildcats are too. I look at this as more of a tossup, but I still like Kentucky's chances to make it four in a row over South Carolina. Even on the road.
If I had to go back on a prediction, it would probably be Florida. I think that Kentucky has a very real shot to beat Florida, but something seems to always go wrong when the Wildcats see that Gator orange.
I am pretty confident in most of my picks, but I was probably a little overly optimistic. My three losses were to Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi State. In looking at all of the other predictions I listed, one thing seems to be certain: Kentucky is not beating Georgia this year.
That said, the chances of beating Tennessee and Mississippi State seem to be from average to pretty good, even with the Mississippi State game on the road, At least that is what the other pundits seem to think. It's possible that Kentucky loses to Florida and the Cats can win one of the games that I had tagged as a loss. And of course, Louisville will always be a tossup. I just like Kentucky as it is at home.
I do not think I have seen anyone that is picking to see Kentucky not make a bowl, so it is a good thing to see that the needle has been moved a bit at Kentucky. It is not "if" the Wildcats make a bowl, but it is which bowl and how many games they will win.
There have been some key injuries to Kentucky since I started looking at the season so I think I may need to adjust my picks a little. 9-3 was a best case scenario for me but I still think that eight wins is a very real possibility for this team, so let's go with 8-4.