Even though Kentucky Football has yet to crack a major top 25 preseason poll, they are beginning to garner more and more respect leading into the the 2020 season.
Preseason rankings don’t mean a heck of a lot, but they are good indicator of the perception of a college football program. Historically, the Wildcats received little to no respect in preseason polls, including 2018 when they went on to win 10 games and the Citrus Bowl.
But times are changing, and the Cats are finally getting in the conversation as another team to be respected out of the SEC.
Most recently, ESPN released their Football Power Index (FPI) that ranked the top 130 teams in the country. Mark Stoops’ saw his team check in at No. 33, just barely outside of the top 25. As pleased as this may make UK fans, that still only ranked 8th in the SEC.
In no surprise, nearly every opponent on Kentucky’s schedule next season found themselves ranked somewhere in ESPN’s Power Football Index. This included the Georgia Bulldogs, Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, and somehow even Tennessee Volunteers all in the top 25. The Volunteers saw one of the biggest leaps in their FPI ranking moving up 14 spots.
Kentucky will likely have their trip to Knoxville circled their calendar with revenge in mind. With all of the great success that UK has seen on the football field, the brutal losses to Tennessee have to still weigh heavy on the minds of the upperclassmen.
The Cats will have their opportunities to show what they are about next season when they travel to Florida and Auburn while getting Georgia at home.
If UK can beat the opponents they should beat and find a way to claw out some wins against the powerhouses, then next year could be something special.