It’s another offseason for Kentucky Football and the narrative seems to be the same, despite their stellar season last year.
247 Sports just dropped their record predictions for each SEC team next year and they have Kentucky tailing off quite a bit. They’ve predicted the Cats to go 6-6 overall and finish 2-6 in conference play. Ouch.
Now, we shouldn’t be too surprised as Kentucky did encounter some heavy losses this offseason. Essentially, the entire defensive unit, at least the ones that made the biggest impact, are no longer on the team. That includes all-pro Josh Allen, Mike Edwards, Lonnie Johnson, Derrick Baity, to name a few.
They even lost a couple of very key offensive guys in Benny Snell, C.J. Conrad, Bunchy Stallings, and George Asafo-Adjei.
So, it’s no real surprise that this prediction exists. However, it has to be noted that what Mark Stoops has done at Kentucky goes further than any player. He has built a winning culture that deserves respect. While the Cats may not be as good as last year, I think 6-6 is a bit of an undersell for what this coaching staff has been able to accomplish.
As for the other teams, it’s no surprise who is at the top. Here are the rest listed out in order.
- Alabama Crimson Tide: 12-0, 8-0 (SEC Championship Game)
- Georgia Bulldogs: 11-1, 7-1 (SEC Championship Game)
- LSU Tigers: 10-2, 6-2
- Florida Gators: 10-2, 6-2
- Missouri Tigers: 9-3, 5-3
- Texas A&M Aggies: 8-4, 5-3
- Mississippi State Bulldogs: 8-4, 4-4
- Auburn Tigers: 8-4, 4-4
- Tennessee Volunteers: 8-4, 4-4
- South Carolina Gamecocks: 6-6, 3-5
- Kentucky Wildcats: 6-6, 2-6
- Arkansas Razorbacks: 5-7, 1-7
- Ole Miss Rebels: 4-8, 1-7
- Vanderbilt Commodores: 4-8, 1-7
The biggest surprise I see up there is Missouri finishing so high. While their defense was improved last year, they just lost their QB in Drew Lock, and it remains to be seen if grad transfer Kelly Bryan can emulate Lock’s success.
While it will be a rebuilding year for Kentucky, I expect them to beat South Carolina again, whereas 247 thinks the Gamecocks will finally beat Kentucky after five straight losses.
Again, always take these predictions with a grain of salt as we’ve seen Kentucky surpass expectations before.