The NCAA Football preseason rankings is one of the most untrustworthy things in sports. Outside the top 5, the rest of the top 25 is populated with historical powerhouses and SEC teams with way too much hype around them. These rankings, though, influence season long projections and ultimate respect for the rest of the season. An unranked team at the start of the season that finishes with 3 losses may land them in an unimportant bowl game, but teams that begin in the top 10 can lose the same amount of games and still make a New Year’s 6 Bowl, like LSU. Here is how the preseason polls ended up:
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Penn State
- Washington State
- Virginia Tech
No Kentucky to be found. Shocker. I am not saying that Kentucky should be in the top 25. They lost a lot of good players especially on the defensive side of the ball. All I am saying is that Kentucky has a better case to be ranked than a lot of these teams. Nebraska, Iowa, Tennessee? The offense and recruiting class of Kentucky shows much more promise than a team that lost most of their offense to the draft and two schools that didn’t even make bowl games.
It doesn’t stop there though. According to several sports betting sites, Kentucky’s projected win total is set at 6. Give me a break. They made this prediction with full knowledge that they play Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, UT Martin and Louisville. The UK homer in me wants to say that they can hit 9-3 again, but realistically 7 or 8 wins is what will probably happen.
Bottom line is that Kentucky, yet again, has been given no respect. Sure, it’s frustrating, but the cats thrive in the underdog role. At least, the last couple of years. Mark Stoops has proven time and time again that BBN is not something to mess with. He has shown that he can make something out of nothing putting 2-star recruits in the NFL. It will be interesting to see what he can do with one of the best recruiting class in UK history.