It is no secret that since Mark Stoops arrival following the 2012-2013 football season, he has done everything in his power to get this program turned around. In fact, it was his opening press conference that he said “I’m highly motivated to build this program to national prominence.” It would appear that he is on the right track so far. The talent upgrade that he has brought in with just two recruiting classes is phenomenal. Combine that with the increased backing from the athletic department, which has resulted in higher salaries and stadium renovations, and it appears that Kentucky football will be relevant in the national picture soon enough. However, there is one question that must be addressed…what are some realistic expectations for the 2014-2015 football season?
Of course, every Wildcat fan knows that this team will be much improved from last year. It will show in their effort and intensity, no doubt. However, will this translate to many more wins this season? Or are we in for another two-win season? Well, this is where the necessity for realistic expectations comes in. Looking at the schedule, these Kentucky Wildcats should have little-to-no trouble starting off 2-0 with wins against UT-Martin and Ohio. From there, SEC play begins and the games get a bit more shaky. A loss @Florida can be expected, but a down Vanderbilt team could provide the first SEC win in three seasons for UK. This starts Stoops second season off at 3-1. After a close game against South Carolina last year, this one could go either way. For realism sakes, let’s count that as a loss. This will be followed up with a win, however, against Louisiana-Monore.
With a 4-2 record at the halfway point, anything could happen. But, seeing on how our talent is young and our depth is minimal, look for the Wildcats to drop some close ones in the second half of the season. In fact, losses @LSU, @Missouri, and against Georgia can all be expected. Games against Mississippi State, @Tennessee, and @Louisville are toss up games that will depend a lot on momentum and injuries. Having looked at the schedule as a whole, some good and realistic expectations to have for the upcoming season would be somewhere between 4-6 wins. I firmly believe that this team could make a bowl game this season, but it will depend a lot on how the ball bounces and how injuries shape up throughout the year. Regardless of what happens this season, it will be the 2015 year that we really see a jump in play. Mark Stoops has us headed in the right direction. Just be sure to keep your expectations realistic.