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CBS Sports ranks UK’s strength of schedule 10th in the SEC

Two top contenders in the East have an easier path than the Cats.

Central Michigan v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The college football season is still scheduled to begin on time and players are beginning to return to campus.

We have already seen preseason rankings start being released and national media analyzing teams for the upcoming season.

On Wednesday, CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli released a ranking of the strength of schedule for the entre SEC. According to the system that Fornelli used, the Arkansas Razorbacks have the toughest schedule in the SEC with it being 25.47% tougher than the national average and 14.12% tougher than the rest of the SEC.

The Kentucky Wildcats’ 2020 schedule came in at No. 10 in the SEC. Kentucky’s schedule is only 8.42% tougher than the national average and 5.52% easier than the other teams in the SEC.

“The toughest noncon game Kentucky plays is its regular-season finale at Louisville. The rest of it (Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Eastern Illinois) almost feels like a Big Ten nonconference schedule. The draw from the West features a road game against Auburn and Mississippi State. Auburn’s tough, obviously, but it could have been worse.

“In the division, the Cats get Florida, Mizzou, and Tennessee on the road, but outside of Georgia, the home slate is quite manageable. Overall: 8.42% | SEC: -5.52%”

When you look at the list, you will see that Kentucky isn’t the only team that makes their non-conference as manageable as they can. Georgia, Texas A&M, Missouri, and Florida are the teams that are ranked behind the Cats, and the Gators are the only team in the SEC with a SOS easier than the national average (-0.85%).

So, Kentucky’s schedule is most likely a lot easier than the current state of the program, but they don’t control their conference opponents, and they are still scheduling tougher opponents than Florida, whose program is in a better state than Kentucky’s currently, although that gap is getting closer.