Kentucky Football: Thank you we’ll keep our New Year’s Six Bowl spot

Kentucky cheerleader Amelia Clark ( Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky cheerleader Amelia Clark ( Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Kentucky football team can send out a few thank you messages after Week No. 8 of the season is in the books, and while the Cats were off a few teams helped solidify UK’s New Year’s Six bowl spots.

The Wildcats (6-1, 4-1) rose to No. 12 in both the AP and the Coaches Poll this week after suffering their first defeat of the season 30-13 to No. 1 Georgia two weeks ago.

Big Blue was off on its bye week this past weekend and thanks to Penn State, Coastal Carolina, and Oklahoma State suffering defeats and moving Kentucky ahead of those teams.

Lady luck cruel to some while benefiting the Kentucky football team

The past two weeks lady luck has been cruel to Penn State who lost close games 23-20 to No. 3 Iowas and the biggest blow came Saturday losing 20-18 to an unranked Illinois squad in 9 overtimes.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Nittany Lions this week as travel to play No. 5 Ohio State in the Horseshoe. They still have games against No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State.

Speculation the past few weeks has centered around Kentucky and Penn State meeting up in one of the bowl games. More losses and Penn State could be headed for another destination along with their coach James Franklin who is being courted by other schools.

For Kentucky to secure a top bowl slot it’s a simple win-out scenario. The biggest challenges lie the next two weeks against Mississippi State (4-3, 2-2) in Starkville and on November 6 at Kroger Field against Tennessee (4-4, 2-3).  After that, it’s favorable wins at Vanderbilt (2-6, 0-4) hosting New Mexico State (1-7), and finishing the season at rival Louisville (4-3).

So where do some of the other media sites think Kentucky will end up. Let’s take a look at our weekly bowl predictor.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Thursday, December 30
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

ESPN, 7:00 pm
Bowl Tie-Ins: At-Large vs. At-Large
Projected Teams:

Yahoo Sports and College Football News remain solid Kentucky will here taking on Iowa.

ESPN’s duo of Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura agreed last week Kentucky was here, but only Schlabach says the Cats stay here and now play Michigan State instead of Iowa.

Saturday Down South has added a new opponent to the mix and has the Cats and Wake Forrest doing battle. The two schools have never met on the gridiron.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl
Saturday, January 1
ESPN, 1:00 pm
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Bowl Tie-Ins: At-Large vs. At-Large
Projected Teams:

Jerry Palm over at CBS has Kentucky squaring off against Michigan here which would be the first time Kentucky has ever played in the Fiesta Bowl.

Outback Bowl
Saturday, January 1
ESPN2, 12:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. SEC
Projected Teams:

Athlon Sports is slating the Wildcats to play Wisconsin.

247 Sports thinks it will be Kentucky and Penn State teeing it up.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl
Saturday, January 1
ESPN2, 1:00 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. SEC

ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura has moved his choice for the Cats here.

So what do I think and want Kentucky football to end up?

Positioning among the upper echelon of teams vying for the New Year’s Day and Playoff spot didn’t change much. The SEC could have six playing to usher in 2022.

This Kentucky football team controls its own destiny. They just need to win out against Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, and Louisville then see how the others beat up on each other particularly in the Big 10.

If Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC Championship game both make the FBS semi-finals. Kentucky wins out and Ole Miss drops at least one of their remaining games and the Wildcats assure themselves as the next best team in the SEC between the Tide and Dawgs.

As for me, I am still feeling the Peach Bowl keeping my original pick of the Citrus within reach. If Ole Miss does lose that could send UK to here.

Michigan and Michigan State are both 7-0 and square off this weekend and should shuffle the deck a bit. Iowa should roll into the Big 10 championship with no more losses.

For now, I’ll stick with the Kentucky vs Iowa prediction in the Peach Bowl at least until next week.

Next. Cats looking to finish as SEC elite. dark