We’re inching closer to football season, and of course, the Kentucky Wildcats are yet again being slept on.
Vegas currently has the Cats at a 6.5 over-under win total for the 2019 college football season. It’s a pretty big dropoff from last year’s 10-win breakthrough, but it is reasonable to project a step back, as the Cats lost their best defensive and offensive players from last season.
However, there is something that should be said for the program that Mark Stoops has built. While Benny Snell Jr. and Josh Allen are amazing talents, they were both developed within Stoops’ system. The big question that Kentucky has to answer this upcoming year is can they develop enough talent to make up for their departures and continue moving this program in a positive direction?
Kirk Herbstreit seems to think so. In a Tuesday appearance on ESPN, Herbstreit picked Kentucky as the college football team with the best chance to exceed its Las Vegas projected win total for 2019.
“They’re sitting there at 6.5 (over/under), and Mark Stoops has got to be thanking the folks and good friends out in Las Vegas, because here is a typical program that, despite 10 wins last year, everybody is like, ‘well Benny Snell and Josh Allen (are gone).’ I just think the grit and disrespect and you look at the schedule, there’s seven or eight winnable games of their 12. I would say Kentucky is a virtual lock just knowing Mark and the way he’s going to get his team mad at the world with the disrespect.”
While Kentucky did lose a majority of their key players last year, there’s still a lot of room for growth this year, especially on offense with most of the offensive line and skill players returning to go with the continued development of junior quarterback Terry Wilson, who certainly showed flashes of becoming a high-level SEC player.
The Cats have talent on both sides of the ball, and Stoops’ system has proven to work. It should be a fun year!