Kentucky went into Saturday night needing a win in order to help their bowl season chances with four games left in the season.
Getting a win against Missouri was crucial as both Tennessee and Louisville have both improved as their seasons have progressed, which makes neither game a certainty for the Wildcats. Since the Wildcats handled their business against the Tigers with a 29-7 victory, their bowl chances look a lot better now that they only need two wins to earn bowl eligibility.
With the postseason coming around the corner, the national media has begun their bowl predictions in 2019. With a few weeks left in the Wildcat’s season, multiple top outlets have included UK in their bowl projections.
- 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford: Liberty Bowl: TCU vs. Kentucky (Dec 31, 3:45 p.m., Memphis)
- CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: Liberty Bowl vs. TCU (Dec. 31, 3:45 p.m., Memphis)
- ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: Music City Bowl vs. Louisville (Dec. 30, 4 p.m., Nashville)
- ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Belk Bowl vs. Virginia Tech (Dec. 31, noon, Charlotte)
- Brett McMurphy: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl vs. Iowa (Jan. 2, 7 p.m., Jacksonville)
- The Sporting News’ Bill Bender: Belk Bowl vs. Florida State (Dec. 31, noon, Charlotte)
All of these projections present some intriguing matchups to end the season. The Belk Bowl and Liberty Bowl both appear twice on the list with three very solid teams paired against the Wildcats. TCU earned a big win against Texas last weekend, Virginia Tech is 5-2, albeit against a weaker schedule, and a Florida State program that’s experienced a fall from grace over the last three seasons. A matchup with the 6-2 Iowa Hawkeyes would present a tough, yet exciting challenge as well.
The best matchup, though, would have to go to a potential rematch between Kentucky and Louisville in the Music City Bowl...except that’s not happening. The Cardinals will come to Kroger Field to end the season on November 30th, so a rematch a month later won’t happen.
After a three-game losing streak, Kentucky’s postseason chances were on the ropes with a tough schedule ahead. A 2-1 stretch, with the only loss coming on the road against a talented Georgia team, has helped change that narrative. If Kentucky locks in these next five weeks and finish the year strong, they’ll be set for a fourth consecutive bowl appearance.