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ESPN’s FPI only gives Kentucky an 18% chance to beat South Carolina


It seems like everyone expects South Carolina to beat Kentucky tomorrow, but one metric suggests the Cats might as well not even make the trip. According to the ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), Kentucky only has an 18.1% chance of beating South Carolina:

It’s worth noting that the No. 1 team in the FPI right now is Ohio State and they lost to Oklahoma by 15 at home last weekend, so, you know, what does it know? Stupid computer. Also, the FPI said Kentucky only had a 4% chance of beating Louisville last season and we all remember how that turned out:

Other picks from across the interwebs…

ESPN’s Sam Khan Jr. and Alex Scarborough: South Carolina

One game I’ve been eyeing is Kentucky-South Carolina. I’ve been high on the Gamecocks from the season’s start and I’m not changing that now — I think they take this one — but what do you think?

Scarborough: I’ve been more reticent on South Carolina than you — its youth and lack of quality depth still worries me despite the program obviously heading in the right direction — but I’m coming around. Maybe it’s the dark horse to win the East. The combination of Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel is so much fun to watch. I’m going to go with the Gamecocks. Kentucky, to me, just doesn’t have enough firepower on offense.

CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee: South Carolina

Have you paid attention to South Carolina yet? No? Well, you should. The offense is in good hands with second-year starting quarterback Jake Bentley and a plethora of young weapons. The defense hasn’t been great statistically, but has been effective enough in the two wins with a 55.6 percent defensive red zone scoring percentage. The offense will light up Kentucky’s defense, hunker down defensively and win by double digits over the visiting Wildcats. Pick: Gamecocks (-6)

Nola.com’s Ron Higgins: South Carolina

Two teams fortunate to be 2-0, though South Carolina has played better competition. The Gamecocks have shown a knack for big plays on both sides of the ball, and if anything Gamecocks’ coach Will Muschamp would simply like to see some consistency, especially on offense. South Carolina is 13th in the SEC in total offense and 14th in total defense. Kentucky has won three straight games in the series, including last year’s 17-16 win when the Wildcats rushed for 216 yards. But a year ago, current South Carolina starting QB Jake Bentley didn’t play a snap, because he was far down on the depth chart as a true freshman. He’s front and center now. South Carolina covers.

Athlon Sports: South Carolina

Aside from being at home, which is a big advantage on its own, there are a couple of reasons to like the Gamecocks in this matchup. For starters, the gap between Kentucky’s rushing attack and South Carolina’s run defense seems to have narrowed greatly. The Wildcats will probably still find some success on the ground with Benny Snell Jr., but it won’t be as significant as in years past.

Additionally, key players such as Jake Bentley, Deebo Samuel, Skai Moore, Rico Dowdle and Ty’Son Williams were not on the field for the Gamecocks when Kentucky beat them in 2016. The Wildcats will have to contend with all of these major impact players on Saturday night. That should make all the difference as the Gamecocks put an end to a three-game losing streak against the Wildcats.

Prediction: South Carolina 27, Kentucky 17

Guess it’s time to go prove the FPI and all the national media wrong again.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

15 responses to “ESPN’s FPI only gives Kentucky an 1815 chance to beat South Carolina”

  1. Duff86

    Johnson must be comfortable like he showed he can be last weekend. Snell needs a huge game. And throw the ball to Conrad! That guy is so close to breaking out!

    1. runningunnin.454

      For some reason, they seem to forget about Conrad.

    2. maximumscott

      I anticipate Jamin Davis plays and Paschal has a huge night.

  2. AllBall

    If we had Barker, Mosier, J. Jones healthy this yr and had Boom Williams and Badet stuck around then UK would be dangerous.

    1. runningunnin.454

      As far as I know, Barker is healthy….just too slow when the pocket collapses. Valid points on the others…we would have been dangerous.

    2. CatstopWontstop

      If we had Alabama’s players, UK would be dangerous…

      If is a fun word but it doesn’t really amount to much.

  3. Wildcayuut18

    Time for Matt Elam to have an All American Game!!! Blow it up big guy! I’d say your window to the NFL is closing, prove me wrong.

  4. dylangeorge7988

    Maybe I’m being too biased, but I have this feeling in my gut that UK is going to expose S.Carolina’s defense. Carolina wont be able to run the ball against UK’s front, making them a pass only threat where Mike Edwards and Darius West are going to feast.

    Go CATS

    1. runningunnin.454

      We can hope.

    2. UKPROF

      Certainly nothing wrong with being optimistic.

    3. CatstopWontstop

      based on the crazy offensive numbers UK has put up against 2 mediocre-at-best teams, I’d say you’re wrong.

  5. maximumscott

    All of these opinions are based on 2 games. The talent and depth favors UK. SC has so far played closer to its ceiling and played cleaner FB. UK has shown flashes but has played sloppy which has resulted in not expected results. UK will continue to get better as they did last season. The only theme should be that its at SC and its sold out black out crowd. That should be the only difference in between the 2 teams. SC has not really outgained their opponents but have relied on STs points and Defensive TOs. If UK wins STs and TO battle then historical statistic of SCs offense would suggest they wont be able to score enough to win. If what I said happens then SC will score near 14-17 points. If not, then 27-30 points.

    SC is an average team who is playing at home. They are made to be much larger than they really are. I believe this will hurt them in the game. We have seem with UK that emotions of a game can have a negative effect if you dont control them and harnass them properly.(S.Miss last year). UK needs to come composed and stay poised and they have the leaders to do it. SC may have a blind spot bc it is there first home game and their young players may have the same effect as UKs did last year at S.Miss. even our players said publicly that the crowd and energy was there but we didnt harnass and control our emotions properly.

    Bottom line, SC is favored bc its at SC. If UK plays clean and wins STs, then UK will win 24-14(17) if not we lose. What needs to happen is that UK needs a really long successful first drive down the field with a score. Im talking about running 6-7 minutes off the clock and then scoring. If we got ball first and did that I would feel supremely confident in the game. We simply cant have 3 and outs early in the game.

  6. UKfansNKY

    BEAT THOSE COCKS!

  7. UKPROF

    15-18% is about right. If UK is within 20 points at the end, I’d almost call it a victory. Saturday evening is going to be eye-opening for all CATS fans. We are huge underdogs this time…HUGE.

    1. BBNDan7

      We are 7.5 point underdogs so I’m not sure I would call that huge..