Coming off an ugly win (which is still a win!) over Vanderbilt last week, Kentucky’s toughest work is still ahead of them. Now in a position to control their own destiny in the SEC East, Kentucky has back-to-back dangerous opponents that stand in their way.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), the odds are not great that Kentucky will be able to win the division. Let’s look at the outlook for the rest of the season.
Missouri Tigers (4-3) - October 27th
The Missouri Tigers are winless in the SEC (0-3) thus far, but have shown impressive offensive fire power this season. The only common opponent that they share with Kentucky has been the South Carolina Gamecocks, where they lost 37-35 in a shoot out. Kentucky defeated South Carolina 24-10 in a dominant performance.
This will be a classic game of strength on strength, with the Tigers offense competing with Kentucky’s stingy defense. It is hard to believe that the Wildcats can hold Drew Lock completely at bay. So the real question is whether or not Kentucky’s offense can keep up.
ESPN Match-Predictor: Missouri 64.5% chance to win
Georgia Bulldogs (6-1) - November 3rd
The preseason SEC East favorite Bulldogs are coming off their first loss of the season at the hands of the LSU Tigers. Georgia looked dominant in every game leading up to their match-up in Baton Rouge, but certainly looked vulnerable in their 36-16 loss.
The Bulldogs take on the Florida Gators this week, and that game has enormous implications for Kentucky. If Georgia can get the win, that sets up the match-up with Kentucky for the SEC East crown.
If Florida wins, however, the Gators control their own destiny and Georgia will be angry coming into Lexington the first Saturday in November.
ESPN Match-Predictor: Georgia 78.4% chance to win
Tennessee Volunteers (3-4) - November 10th
Before going to Jordan–Hare Stadium and taking down the Auburn Tigers, Tennessee looked dead in the water. But it seems like there is some life in their locker room, and a likely win for Kentucky could potentially become a trap game.
This game is difficult to analyze before Kentucky’s fate with Georgia is sealed. If Kentucky is still in the driver’s seat for the SEC East when they roll into Knoxville, it becomes a historic match-up between the rivals. If Tennessee is able to beat South Carolina next week, their bowl eligibility will be on the line against the Wildcats.
Once looked at as a throw-away rivalry game, this one could have large implications for both programs.
ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 66.6% chance to win
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (4-3) - November 17th
In most seasons, Kentucky fans hope games against the likes of MTSU are easy wins. This season, it will be viewed as an opportunity to rest and get guys healthy going into the Louisville game.
Barring a barrage of injuries, Kentucky should handle this one fairly easily and coast into Louisville unharmed.
ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 92% chance to win
Louisville Cardinals (2-5) - November 24th
The Cardinals are absolutely reeling right now. They have lost four games in a row in very ugly fashion. The offense is a mess, and the defense cannot seem to stop anyone.
And if you believe any of the rumors surrounding the program right now, things may be getting worse at any time. Will this be the year that Kentucky pours in on Louisville in their home stadium? Or will Louisville be looking to play spoiler against the Wildcats for once?
ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 83.2% chance to win
So if you have faith in ESPN’s power index, Kentucky will go 3-2 in the remaining games and finish with a record of 9-3. How does that sound to you?