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Wide variety of bowl projections after Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt

Kentucky to the prestigious Fiesta Bowl?

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

With their gritty 14-7 win over Vanderbilt, the Kentucky Wildcats are now bowl eligible for the third straight season. Three consecutive bowl trips is quite the accomplishment for this program, but their sights should be set on winning the SEC East.

Kentucky’s defense bailed out a subpar offensive performance once again. Quinton Bohanna forced a fumble midway through the 4th quarter that set up the game winning drive. Benny Snell handled the rest, plowing his way into the end zone to take the lead.

Stoops said after their win that he is “never going to apologize for a victory.”

After two straight games of struggling on offense, changes need to be made on that side of the ball. Kentucky will be facing top offenses next week against Missouri and the following week against Georgia. They can’t expect to keep winning if they’re unable to move the ball.

Even with the win to move to 6-1 and bowl eligibility, the bowl projections from national websites vary widely.

Bowl Projections By Website:

Peach Bowl, December 29th: CBS Sports

- Projected opponent: Texas Longhorns

Citrus Bowl, January 1st: SB Nation, CollegeFootballNews.com, Sporting News, ESPN (Bonagura), 247 Sports

- Projected opponent: Penn State Nittany Lions (CFN)

- Projected opponent: Iowa Hawkeyes (Sporting News, ESPN)

- Projected opponent: Wisconsin Badgers (247)

Belk Bowl, December 29th: Orlando Sentinel

- Projected opponent: North Carolina Tar Heels

Outback Bowl, January 1st: Sports Illustrated, ESPN (Sherman)

- Projected opponent: Michigan State Spartans (SI)

- Projected opponent: Purdue Boilermakers (ESPN)

Fiesta Bowl, January 1st: USA Today

- Projected Opponent: Texas Longhorns

While Kentucky’s last two games may not have instilled much confidence, it would be somewhat surprising if UK didn’t earn a New Year’s Six bowl appearance at this point. This team has the talent to win out and earn a trip to the SEC Championship as well. It’s just about putting everything together on offense.

To earn a spot in a January 1st bowl, though, they cannot overlook Missouri next week. It will be a true test for this defense and the offense needs to score to keep up. They cannot rely on the defense like they have the last two weeks, Missouri’s offense is just too good.

Kentucky controls their own destiny from here on out. It will take a lot, but it’s entirely possible for the Wildcats to win the SEC East and earn a primetime bowl selection.