When I think of Kentucky’s best football teams, I think of Rich Brooks’ 2007 team that knocked off top-ranked LSU, ninth-ranked Louisville, brought college gameday to Lexington, a bowl victory over Bobby Bowden, and a team that produced nine draft picks over the next three years.
Maybe even the 1998 team, led by Hal Mumme, a team that produced a Heisman contender and number one overall draft pick in 1999 in Tim Couch. The team that made “Air Raid” a household phrase in Lexington and beat Penn State in the Outback Bowl (check the record books).
Earlier this week, CBS Sports decided to make their pick for each SEC team’s best team.
CBS dubbed the 1950 National Championship team as Kentucky’s greatest football team. This team produced 14 NFL, and AFL draft picks, and of course, this is the only team at Kentucky to claim a National Championship. This championship claim wouldn’t have come without controversy though.
Bear Bryant coached this team to an 11-1 record and a victory over 10-0 Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, but before the Sugar Bowl Oklahoma was named National Champion by both polls. Then after UK beat the Sooners Bear Bryant and the Wildcats decided to claim the National Championship. Which makes sense in this day and age, where your last lost in the season is way more detrimental to a national championship claim, as opposed to a loss mid-season.
Kentucky finally got validation for their championship from 1990’s research by Jeff Sagarin, who compiles the Sagarin Computer Ratings for USA Today. Even then there were claims for teams like Tennesee, Texas, and Army to claim the title in 1950, but can UK just have one? Thankfully, we have the playoff system to determine an actual champion in 2018 (sorry UCF).
Kentucky’s best team by CBS is the third oldest team, 1904 Vanderbilt, and 1939 Texas A&M being the only teams to date back further. Some other teams on this list include 2011 Alabama, 2014 Mississipi State, and 2012 South Carolina. To see the full list click here.
Do you agree with CBS’s selection?
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