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Kentucky makes top 20 in athletics power rankings

Pat Forde has Kentucky in the top 20 of all Power 5 schools. Too low or just right?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Davidson vs Kentucky Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As the dead period of college athletics continues, we have more unusual college rankings to discuss.

Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde released a ranking of all 65 Power 5 schools based on overall athletic success, and Kentucky ranked 17th.

Top 2017-18 sport: rifle (national champion). Trajectory: Down. America’s rifle powerhouse slipped from last year’s all-time high of 10th to 17th, taking a sizable step back in fall sports scoring (down from 181 points to 98). Still, the Wildcats continued their upward mobility in several women’s sports: volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, softball and track.

Forde’s insight provides the less obvious information as to why Kentucky is ranked where it is. Obviously, Kentucky’s basketball team, baseball team, etc. are a huge part of the reason why they’re ranked in the top 20. But increasing success in volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, softball and track are contributing factors.

Kentucky is the No. 4 team in the SEC in these rankings. The Florida Gators are at the top with the No. 2 overall ranking. The Stanford Cardinal are the No. 1 program in the country on Forde’s rankings.

While it’s nice to see Kentucky crack the top 20, it’s pretty evident that in order to go a lot higher, the football team needs to take big steps forward under Mark Stoops going forward.

That, or Kentucky just needs to win it all in basketball next season. I think Kentucky fans will be thrilled with either one of these scenarios.

You can check out the full rankings list here.