Spurned by the AP and Coaches’ Poll, at least one outlet is wise enough to put Kentucky in the top ten.
In ESPN’s final power rankings of the 2018-19 college football season, the Wildcats came in at No. 10. Unlike the other pollers, the Wildcats are where they belong, ahead of UCF and Washington State.
“A 10-win season and bowl victory over Penn State to cap a season that featured a takedown of Florida as the signature win in a 7-1 start is cause for celebration in Lexington. Benny Snell Jr., a generational player for the Wildcats, ran for 144 yards in his final game and kept the ball away from the rallying Nittany Lions to secure Kentucky’s first win on New Year’s Day since 1952.”
Seven SEC teams and four Kentucky opponents made ESPN’s final top 25. Kentucky’s place in the power rankings wasn’t the only postseason honor bestowed upon the Wildcats.
The numerous college football All-American teams are based purely on a player’s regular season performance. The ESPN All-Bowl Team is reserved exclusively for players who shined in the postseason. As expected, Josh Allen made an appearance.
“Following Kentucky’s win over Penn State in the VRBO Citrus Bowl, Allen proclaimed himself the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. He sure looked the part against the Nittany Lions, with three quarterback sacks and a blocked kick. Allen set Kentucky’s single-season record with 17 sacks this year.”
Unfortunately, Benny Snell was spurned. Instead of adding Snell to the All-Bowl Team, UK’s running game was honored by the addition of Bunchy Stallings. I don’t recall another player returning a kick or a punt for a touchdown, but Lynn Bowden was passed over by Fresno State’s Ronnie Rivers.