The official kickoff of the 2018 season for the Kentucky Wildcats is almost here. Expectations are cautiously high for this group, both in Lexington and across the country.
As predictions roll in for season outcomes, the Wildcats find themselves projected for several different bowl games. Some destinations are certainly more desirable than others, but ultimately you have to earn the right to play in a bowl game first.
So where are the talking heads saying Kentucky could go bowling this winter?
Belk Bowl - December 29 in Charlotte, NC
The Belk Bowl debuted in 2002, and Kentucky has never been included. Multiple predictions have Kentucky slated for the Belk Bowl this year, and they even agree on the opponent.
Both Brad Crawford of 247Sports and Mark Schlabach of ESPN believe Kentucky will take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in Charlotte, which would likely be the most high profile opponent of all of the predictions.
This may be an ideal landing spot for the football team, but that game will take place the same day as the basketball game against Louisville. Splitting up the fan base never feels like the best idea for either team.
Birmingham Bowl - December 22 in Birmingham, AL
Kirk presents an interesting match-up where Kentucky would take on Central Florida, who claims the 2017 national title after going undefeated last season. Parsons believes Memphis is the most likely opponent, which would probably not be as much fun unless John Calipari makes an appearance.
Kentucky played in the Birmingham Bowl after the 2010 season.
Liberty Bowl - December 31 in Memphis, TN
Several prognosticators have Kentucky picked to play in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve. The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel, Steven Lassan from Athlon Sports, and Bill Bender of The Sporting News believe the Wildcats have a good shot of playing in this bowl, which is probably in the best time slot of all of the options.
Potential opponents for the Liberty Bowl come from the Big 12 with Texas, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State being the predicted foes. Kentucky’s last appearance in this bowl was against Eastern Carolina in 2008.
Then, of course, there is a group of journalists that leave Kentucky out of the bowl picture completely. But there is no need to point out names...like Phil Steele.
Where would you like to see the Wildcats land in the postseason?