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Kentucky Football ranked in the SP+ top 25

The Cats’ defense is expected to be electric this upcoming season.

Mark Stoops Dylan Ballard - A Sea Of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats football program has grown so much under Mark Stoops that his team is now routinely getting preseason top-25 love from at least one major outlet.

While second-round pick Will Levis helped captain the ship over the last two seasons, the Cats were a disappointing 7-6 last year, so a new face behind center is welcome.

Insert Devin Leary, former NC State standout. Leary and Liam Coen will lead the offense, and a formidable defense will also aid the team’s success.

The Wildcats are in a difficult conference and a challenging division within the SEC. However, Bill Connelly’s SP + formula (via ESPN), which is a tempo-adjusted algorithm used to rank college football teams, has Stoops’ program among the 25 best teams in the country.

Kentucky came in at No. 24, right before North Carolina and right after Florida.

Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, and LSU sit as the respective top five. Other SEC teams in the top 25 include No. 8 Tennessee, No. 16 Texas A&M, and No. 18 Ole Miss.

It also breaks the team down by each side of the ball and strength of schedule. The Cats have the No. 13 strength of schedule, the No. 61 offense, and the No. 6 defense. Defensive coordinator Brad White is expected to have the Cats' defense clicking on all cylinders.

The Cats' schedule is far from easy, so they will be tested early and often. That said, Kentucky may be able to be among the top SEC programs this upcoming season, at least per SP+.