The Kentucky Wildcats made waves after their hot start to the 2021 season and subsequent rise into the top 15. Kentucky eventually lost to Georgia and saw its undefeated record erased.
With a similar coach staff and a team still led by star quarterback Will Levis, the Cats will have the experience to make a run in the SEC, a conference that’s typically been dominated by Alabama and Georgia.
The return of Levis who is expected to be a top-ten pick has been the main factor in the Cats rise in rankings. With the season inching closer, big-name media outlets are letting their voices be heard.
The AP, Coaches, ESPN and Sports Illustrated preseason rankings have the Cats as a top-25 side.
The AP placed Kentucky at 20 (16 points behind No. 19 Arkansas and 8 points ahead of Ole Miss) with the Coaches poll ranking them No. 21 which is the first time in school history they’ve been within the top 25 of both. As for ESPN and SI, they both agreed, putting Kentucky at No. 22.
The Wildcats were typically the fourth or five SEC team in the rankings which is to be expected. Alabama tops almost every chart with its absurd accumulation of talent. Georgia comes in at No. 3 with Ohio State slammed in between the two SEC powerhouses.
That said, Mark Stoops recent success, having won four straight bowl games (playing in 6 straight), will come with added pressure. This could be one of the best teams in Kentucky history, so expectations will be sky high for the program.
Levis will be expected to have improved his accuracy, and with weapons at his disposal, the team’s (and his) future will rest on the senior.