Kentucky football fans know a thing or two about being disrespected.
For decades, the Cats failed to garner much, if any, respect in the Southeastern Conference. But anybody that follows college football realizes that there is a major culture shift underway in Lexington.
After some early speed bumps Mark Stoops has his program rolling full steam ahead with sights set on a trip to Atlanta.
Not long ago, you would have been laughed at for suggesting that UK had a legitimate chance at winning a share of the SEC football title, now, not so much.
All that being said, UK doesn’t have a long reign of success to hang their hats on like other schools in the conference. So the experts, yet again, are skeptical about Kentucky’s upcoming 10 game SEC schedule.
On Thursday, ESPN released its updated Football Power Index reflecting the new schedule and how it thinks the Cats will handle their brutal conference-only schedule this fall. The FPI essentially analyzes teams and uses a formula to predict single-game and season results.
Like in years past, the FPI isn’t as optimistic about Kentucky’s chances as the folks in the Commonwealth. Despite over-achieving in comparison to ESPN’s previous preseason FPI’s the index is only expecting the Cats to finish the season with a 5-5. While some merit can be applied to the definitively tough road that the Cats have, it still would be a disappointing year in the eyes of most should Kentucky not break the .500 mark.
To state the obvious, UK won’t be playing a wide-receiver at quarterback this season. Terry Wilson is poised to lead an offense full of explosive play-makers in the back-field and one of the best offensive lines in the nation. A more diverse offense coupled with a defense that should, yet again, be an elite squad and it becomes easy to poke holes through ESPN’s 5-5 prediction.
Here is a game by game breakdown of how ESPN’s FPI projects the Cats’ chances against their SEC opponents in 2020.
- Game 1: Auburn 13% chance of winning
- Game 2: Ole Miss 62% chance of winning
- Game 3: Mississippi State 80% chance of winning
- Game 4: Tennessee 45% chance of winning (blah)
- Game 5: Georgia 17% chance of winning
- Game 6: Missouri 58% chance of winning
- Game 7: Vanderbilt 90% chance of winning
- Game 8: Alabama 5% chance of winning
- Game 9: Florida 15% chance of winning
- Game 10: South Carolina 62% chance of winning
Again, the FPI wasn’t on the UK hype train in 2018 or 2019 either, picking Kentucky to go just 9-15 over the span those two seasons.