For a team that has gone 4-20 over the past two seasons and who have a 16 game SEC losing streak, there SEEMS to be a bit of bowl buzz surrounding this Kentucky Wildcats Football team. I will admit, I have seen a lot of articles that quickly dismiss Kentucky’s chances and then throw a #WhyNot in at the end.
Such is the case with this article from AL.Com in which they discuss the biggest tests for each SEC East team and it points to the last couple of games for UK becoming bowl eligible.
Given that the Wildcats’ schedule includes three winnable non-conference games, Mark Stoops’ team may very well be in line to become bowl eligible with victories in their final two contests. Those games are at Tennessee (Nov. 22), which could also be battling for bowl eligibility on that day, and in-state and ACC newbie Louisville a week later. For that game against the Vols to matter, Kentucky will have had to snap an SEC losing streak that currently sits at 16 games.
I know that Kentucky’s out of conference schedule gets a lot of slack, but this year is going to be similar to the Rich Brooks scheduling philosophy of “3-4 non conference wins and steal a few SEC games”. I admit that it’s not the path to becoming even middle of the road for the SEC … we learned that under Brooks, but for this team, it is what is needed.
I’ve said it a few times, but Kentucky should start out 2-0 and the schedule allows for a 4-2 start. In my opinion, the biggest game for Kentucky is September 27th versus Vanderbilt. If that happens, Kentucky should have their four wins headed into the final two games versus Tennessee and Louisville.
Keep in mind, Vanderbilt has owned UK the last couple of years, but if we are going to talk bowl, it has to include that win over Vanderbilt.
I’ve said before, I don’t expect a bowl big and I think that five wins is a respectable progression for Mark Stoops and company. However, every year, there is a team that comes from out of nowhere and makes the big jump. And once again, with the talent on this team, we have to ask Why not?