By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer
So here’s an interesting snippet from Chris Wright, a writer for Saturday Down South, concerning Kentucky’s upcoming football season. This article, discussing teams in the SEC that could lose two more games in 2020 than they lost in 2019 lists Kentucky as one of his top 3 candidates.
Here’s his logic:
“Why the Wildcats could finish 6-7:This has as much to do with where games are played as it does the Wildcats and Terry Wilson’s health.
I’m not entirely sold that Kentucky will finish 6-7, but I certainly can see 6 potential regular-season losses and a bowl setback.
The road schedule is brutal: at Florida, at Auburn, at Mizzou, at Tennessee, at Louisville. Kentucky gets Georgia at home, but the Dawgs have won the past 10 in the series.
Mississippi State is the wild-card. K.J. Costello will be in Game 10 of Mike Leach’s Air Raid system. He could go off for 400+ yards against a defense that performed well statistically in 2019 but also faced the 2nd-fewest passes in the league.
Here’s the thing to remember: A 6-7 finish still would mean a 5th consecutive bowl game — a feat that has only been accomplished once in program history.”
With the way Kentucky has played during the Mark Stoops era — physical football that dominates both lines of scrimmage — it’s interesting that they still get no respect from virtually every football media writer outside the Commonwealth. This is a Kentucky program that, over the last four years, has won more games than in any other stretch in UK history, other than the Bear Bryant era, but is still being talked about as a team that might finish 6-7.
This is a team that finished 8-5 last season after losing their entire quarterback depth chart to injuries and transfers, had a defense that finished the year giving up only 168 passing yards per game for second best pass defense in the country while only surrendering 19 points per game, had an offensive line that led the SEC in yards rushing and returns four of the top seven offensive linemen in the SEC to go along with a trio of great running backs in AJ Rose, Kavoisey Smoke and Chris Rodriguez. Oh, did I mention that the Wildcats are also returning 15 starters from last year’s 8-5 team not including former starters Terry Wilson at quarterback and safety Davonte Robinson along with defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, all back from season ending injuries last year.
I realize that writers everywhere are looking for things to write about in the off-season for college football fans but let’s be realistic. Does Kentucky really look like a team that should lose seven of their 12 or 13 games next season? Yes, their 2020 schedule is tough with only seven home games (one of them being Georgia) but that would mean the Wildcats would have to lose all five road games plus the Georgia game plus a bowl game to finish the season 6-7. That doesn’t seem realistic to me.
I do believe the writer is correct in that there will be several weak teams in the SEC next year and I believe that some of them could lose two games more than they lost in 2019, I just don’t believe that Kentucky will be one of them.