The Kentucky Wildcats started off the 2019 football season on the right note, beating the Toledo Rockets 38-24 in the season opener.
Prior to the season, USA Today ranked all 130 teams in college football. You may remember that the preseason rankings had the Rockets ranked No. 48, while the Cats sat at No. 52.
That quickly changed this week after Saturday’s win. Kentucky made a significant jump in the new rankings, moving up 15 spots to No. 37 overall. They probably should’ve been close to there to begin with, and should be even higher now, but it’s a big move nonetheless.
As for the rest of the Cats’ opponents this season, some moved in the right direction, while others dropped considerably.
- Toledo: 55 (-7)
- Eastern Michigan: 73 (+1)
- Florida: 15 (+13)
- Mississippi State: 43 (-3)
- South Carolina: 61 (-5)
- Arkansas: 103 (-8)
- Georgia: 3 (0)
- Missouri: 76 (-35)
- Tennessee: 100 (-39)
- Vanderbilt: 87 (-2)
- TN-Martin: —
- Louisville: 104 (0)
The Florida Gators made a big jump despite a less-than-impressive performance. However, the biggest movers were the Missouri Tigers and Tennessee Volunteers, who both fell big time.
I think the Tigers are better than their ranking here, and the drop was a bit much, but the Vols are right where they belong. It could be a long season for Jeremy Pruitt and Co.
Elsewhere, Pro Football Focus remains high on the Cats, who checked in at No. 18 in PFF’s latest power rankings, thanks in large part to a monster game from sophomore linebacker DeAndre Square.
Kentucky took care of Toledo on Saturday, covering the -10.5 spread and giving Greenline writeup picks another victory. Terry Wilson had an erratic performance and gets one more tune-up game before a matchup with Florida followed by the full slate of SEC games. DeAndre Square absolutely balled out in coverage and is looking like the prototypical next-generation coverage linebacker.
Back in the preseason, PFF ranked Kentucky No. 18 overall. That’s by far the highest any national outlets has been on Kentucky. Hopefully, the Cats continue to play well and show they’re a team worthy of top-25 status from every major outlet.