Kentucky football: Give us some loving aren’t we are better than teams 26-34

Kentucky running back Kavosiey Smoke (Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky running back Kavosiey Smoke (Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports) /
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Well now we have the first official USA Today Coaches Poll and the Kentucky football team got a little love but there are some head-scratchers just ahead of the 35th ranked Wildcats.

Kentucky kicks off the 2021 season on September 4 against Louisianna Monroe and while this should get UK off to an easy 1-0 start it appears the best way to sway some of these coaches, more accurately the staff members that vote from them is with some fireworks.

That falls on the shoulders of new offensive coordinator Liam Coen who Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops brought in to balance out the offensive attack. Everyone knows the offense has lacked much in the passing game and that has translated into some weak point showings on the scoreboard.

Time for Kentucky football to light it up for respect

Coen and the Wildcat offense doesn’t have to show all its hand in week 1, but stuffing the stats sheet and racking up points is the easiest and simplest way to earn respect and an upward climb in the polls.

Let’s look at the poll first. First-place votes are in parentheses and final 2020-21 ranking.

  1. Alabama (63)     1621          1
  2. Clemson              1508          3
  3. Oklahoma (2)     1481          6
  4. Ohio State          1435          2
  5. Georgia               1386           7
  6. Texas A&M        1286           4
  7. Notre Dame       1139          5
  8. Iowa State          1131          9
  9. North Carolina    999          17
  10. Cincinnati             979            8
  11. Florida                  870          12
  12. Oregon                 842           NR
  13. LSU                       664           NR
  14. USC                       655           21
  15. Wisconsin           654           NR
  16. Miami (FL)           575          22
  17. Indiana                 573          13
  18. Iowa                      554          15
  19. Texas                     427          20
  20. Penn State           422         NR
  21. Washington         404         NR
  22. Oklahoma State  216         19
  23. Louisiana              153          16
  24. Coastal Carolina   150         14
  25. Ole Miss                 149         NR

Others receiving votes: Utah 145; Northwestern 120; Arizona State 90; Auburn 84; Liberty 68; Brigham Young 53; Texas Christian 48; Michigan 30; Central Florida 29; NC State 27; Boise State 27; Kentucky 20;

Voting members out of the Southeastern Conference this year include Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri; Bryan Harsin, Auburn;  Clark Lea, Vanderbilt; Dan Mullen, Florida; Sam Pittman, Arkansas; Nick Saban, Alabama and Kirby Smart, Georgia.

Oh and Louisville’s Scott Satterfield gets to vote, wonder how much love he gives his in-state rival? Tyson Helton of Western Kentucky also gets to cast a vote, but since he was formerly on the Tennessee coaching staff, I’d say he is willing to toss the Cats some love.

While Kentucky doesn’t yet warrant a pre-season Top 25 ranking there is a case for them being some spots higher just on the edge looking in.

Preseason doesn’t mean much other than some talking points for fans, and coaches who really don’t care.  Still, they do represent the respect some programs get while others are head-scratchers and lots of room for teams to leapfrog over.

Coach Vince Marrow is always there for motivation but you best not disrespect Big Blue Nation.

Don’t anger The Big Dog.

So let’s ponder a few things.

The gap between No.22 ranked Oklahoma State and No. 35 Kentucky is pretty narrow. The Wildcats could match up and beat any of those on any given Saturday.

On the teams in the rankings, multiple coaches are on the proverbial hot seat, some year in and year out like USC’s Clay Helton.  Jim Harbaugh at Michigan has an inferno bonfire under him in Ann Arbor. His seat is hotter than anyone in America.

Who sits ahead of the Wildcats and what do we do to crack the Top 25?