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ESPN’s FPI does not like Kentucky’s chances this season

Time to prove ‘em wrong again.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Kentucky vs Penn State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2018 football season, ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) predicted the Kentucky would Wildcats finish 4-8 and take a big step back from 2017’s seven-win season.

As we all know by now, that team went on to finish 10-3 on a historic run that ended in a Citrus Bowl victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions.

After Kentucky lost a host of program legends like Josh Allen and Benny Snell, many believe this will be a year that the progress stalls and Mark Stoops gets a reality check in Lexington. ESPN’s FPI agrees once again, picking Kentucky to win just five games, only one of which comes in conference place.

ESPN predicts that Kentucky will pick up wins over Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas, UT Martin, and Louisville. The Wildcats are an overwhelming favorite in all of those matchups, and for good reason. Many believe that while these five wins are the floor for this year’s squad, the ceiling is much higher.

The FPI gives Kentucky a 49.4% chance to defeat Vanderbilt, a 41.3% chance to beat Missouri, and a 38.6% chance to get a win over Tennessee at home. Once you get past those games, Kentucky’s chances drop below 27% for every contest.

That means ESPN predicts almost certain losses vs. Florida, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Georgia.

It would seem that the Georgia game is a monumental challenge. However, picking up victories over any of the other SEC teams is certainly possible.

Will Kentucky go on to win 10 games again?

That’s unlikely. But could the Wildcats pick up two or three more victories from the middle-of-the-pack SEC programs?


What do you make of ESPN’s FPI projections for the Kentucky Wildcats this season?