CATS open Saturday as Toledo comes to Kroger
August 26, 2019 – Bradley Charles – Bluegrass Sports Nation
This year’s Kentucky football team is positioned to have another successful season. Coming off a 10-win season with victories over Florida, Louisville, and Penn State to name a few, the Cats have established momentum and high expectations for the upcoming season.
Kentucky did lose several key pieces from last year’s team, including four players who were taken in the NFL Draft and several others who signed with a team after the draft, as undrafted free agents. Despite this, Mark Stoops isn’t shy about setting the bar high. When asked about his high confidence level at UK media day, Stoops replied, “We’re not interested in going back. We’re not here to take steps back… We’re here to improve the program.” This quote perfectly encapsulates Stoops’ general demeanor and approach to the game.
Kentucky’s schedule (listed below) is setup to where the most pivotal stretch of games comes early in the season. The stretch starting with Florida at home, followed by road games against Mississippi State and South Carolina is the most crucial three-game stretch of the season and will be henceforth referred to as the three-game stretch.
VS Toledo, August 31st
VS Eastern Michigan, September 7th
VS Florida, September 14th
AT Mississippi State, September 21st
AT South Carolina, September 28th
VS Arkansas, October 12th
AT Georgia, October 19th
VS Missouri, October 26th
VS Tennessee, November 9th
AT Vanderbilt, November 16th
VS Tennessee Martin, November 23rd
VS Louisville, November 30th
Throughout the bluegrass state, those three games are in general, viewed as games that could go either way. There are those, including myself, who feel as though Kentucky should be the odds-on favorite in at least seven of the twelve games, being underdogs at Georgia and in relatively evenly matched games with Florida, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and a slight favorite against Missouri.
That is why the three-game stretch is so critical, if the Cats are able to leave Columbia, South Carolina with a 4-1 record, a 10-win regular season is not out of the realm of possibility. However, if Kentucky starts the year 2-3 or 3-2, a seven or eight win season then becomes realistic. Granted, there would be nothing wrong with a seven or eight win season, but the Cats have a lot of momentum and are starting to reach new heights in recruiting and it would be great to post another 10-win season.
When you step back and look at it, the Kentucky Football program is in a great place. It wasn’t that long ago that the fan base would have been happy to see a six-win season with an appearance in a bowl game. When you analyze Kentucky’s roster and schedule, the Cats can realistically do no worse than seven wins this season. It should be an exciting season for the Cats!