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Phil Steele projects final SEC standings; calls UK a bonafide contender in East

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Steele has UK ranked in his preseason top 25.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Despite posting a combined 18-8 record the past two seasons’ with bowl victories over national powerhouses in Penn State and Virginia Tech, the national media continues to sleep on the Kentucky Wildcats.

While Phil Steele is one of few national media members that placed Kentucky in his Preseason Top 25 (21st), he does not see the Cats faring all that well in the SEC East standings.

Steele projects the Wildcats will finish fourth in the SEC East placing behind Tennessee, Florid and Georgia.

While he projects the Cats to finish fourth, his analysis of the Cats was positive. “They go from No. 105 on my experience chart to No. 39, and while they lose the electrifying Lynn Bowden, they have more talent back and look even stronger as a bonafide contender in the SEC East,” Steele wrote.

While Kentucky on paper likely has a better roster than Tennessee, it is hard to pick the Cats to finish ahead of the Vols given UK has beaten them just twice since 1985 and haven’t won in Knoxville where the two teams’ will meet in 2020 since 1984.

Here’s a look at Steele’s projected SEC standings for both divisions.

SEC East:

  1. Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Florida Gators
  3. Tennessee Volunteers
  4. Kentucky Wildcats
  5. South Carolina Gamecocks
  6. Missouri Tigers
  7. Vanderbilt Commodores

SEC West:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Texas A&M Aggies
  3. LSU Tigers
  4. Auburn Tigers
  5. Ole Miss Rebels
  6. Mississippi State Bulldogs
  7. Arkansas Razorbacks