In the 107 seasons of Kentucky football, only four times have the Kentucky Wildcats been ranked in the preseason AP Top 25. The last time it happened was over 40 years ago as the Wildcats were ranked 15th prior to the 1978 season, but ultimately finished a disappointing 4-6-1 on the season.
In fact, Kentucky football hasn’t had a successful season after being ranked in the preseason Top 25 since 1951. Take a closer look:
- 1978: 15th, 4-6-1 (2-4 SEC), Not Bowl Eligible
- 1957: 20th, 3-7 (1-7 SEC), Not Bowl Eligible
- 1951: 6th, 8-1 (3-3 SEC), Won the Cotton Bowl 20-7 over TCU Horned Frogs
- 1950: 13th, 11-1 (5-1 SEC), Won the Sugar Bowl 13-7 over Oklahoma Sooners, Claimed National Championship
Via Sports Reference
This season, Kentucky football will look to change that. On Monday afternoon they were ranked 20th in the first AP Top 25 Poll of the 2022 season. This comes after the Wildcats were ranked 21st in the Coaches Poll last week.
Of course, with the preseason rankings and being selected to finish second in the SEC East, Mark Stoops and Co. are in unfamiliar territory, now being expected to win big.
Coming off last season’s 10-win season and Citrus Bowl victory, Kentucky lost four players to the NFL Draft and four more were signed as free agents headed into training camp.
While many playmakers such as Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Paschal will be missed, the Wildcats still bring back a lot of experience to go with Will Levis, the best quarterback in the Stoops era.
At the moment, only two of Kentucky’s scheduled opponents are ranked - Georgia Bulldogs (No. 3) and Ole Miss Rebels (No. 21) - but several are listed in the others receiving votes category: Tennessee Volunteers (180), Florida Gators (14), Mississippi State Bulldogs (15), South Carolina Gamecocks (2). The poor Louisville Cardinals had zero.
Less than three weeks until kickoff against Miami (OH)!