Kentucky Football: Wildcats big win vaults them into Top 25 both polls

Will Levis of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Will Levis of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

With Saturday’s massive 20-13 win over Florida, the Kentucky football team has caught the attention of both writers and coaches surging up into the rankings of both polls.

In the AP Poll Kentucky debuts this week at No. 16 and in the Coaches Poll they leap from No. 23 way up to No. 14.

It’s safe to say some respect is finally coming the Wildcats way with an undefeated 5-0 start to the 2021 season.

While the wins haven’t always been pretty it doesn’t matter. A W is a W plain and simple.

Kentucky football comes in at No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in Coaches Poll

Taking a look at the AP poll there are 7 ranked Southeastern Conference teams with UK the fourth highest. Alabama (1), Georgia (2), Arkansas (13), Kentucky (16), Ole Miss (17), Auburn (18), and Florida fell to No. 20.

Last week the Cats were among the others receiving votes with just 26 landing them at No. 31.  This week they received 662. Writers across the country have taken notice of the team tied with Georgia on top of the SEC East.

Over in the Coaches Poll, the Big Blue is tabbed as the third highest-ranked SEC school garnering more votes than Arkansas.

The 3rd BEST of the SEC teams is an incredible accomplishment by Mark Stoops but they clearly want more.

Alabama and Georgia are at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively are head and shoulders better than anyone else trying to give chase.

Arkansas leads a pack of SEC teams at No. 16, followed by Ole Miss (17), Auburn (18), and Florida (19).

While the credit for wins on the field goes to the players it’s Stoops who deserves the accolades building a program from the basement of the SEC along with Vanderbilt to winning five straight bowl games. They only need 1 more to become bowl eligible.

Stoops’ in his ninth season is now 54-50 at Kentucky, just six wins from matching the leader in one Paul “Bear” Bryant.

As the 2nd longest-tenured coach in the SEC behind Nick Saban at Alabama, Stoops has patiently and methodically shaped, molded, and philosophically built the UK program from a doormat to a contender.

When the final horn sounded Saturday sending Florida down to defeat it was the 8th time Stoops has taken down an AP Top 25 foe, 1 game behind the totals of Bryant and Fran Curci.

Stoops also holds UK’s record for most home wins (37), most SEC wins (27), and most games coached (104).

Next up this week the Wildcats welcome LSU to Lexington. This game probably would have been ESPN’s Game Day except No. 3 Iowa and No. 4 Penn State are squaring off.

Instead, SEC Network’s Marty and McGee will be here for the SEC Network talking all good things about the Wildcats.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron is sitting on a volcanic hot seat right now. Watching that dejected and angry Tiger crowd in Deaf Valley file out Saturday night after losing to Auburn for the first time since 1999 was quite a sight.

With a win on Saturday against LSU, it would mean UK will win their first 5 home games of a season for the sixth time 1973, 1977, 1987, 2007, 2014, and 2018.

With the game set to kickoff at 7:30 pm under the lights, Kentucky is 12-2 in their last 14 home night games.

A win would send them undefeated and heading to Athens next week to tangle with Georgia. Can you imagine what that would mean for the Kentucky program? But let’s not look past the Tigers first.

Relish the win, enjoy the moment, and get set for a rocking stadium Saturday night.

Go Big Blue!

Next. Kentucky stuns Florida setting off frenzy. dark