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The current state of Kentucky’s remaining opponents

With five games remaining on Kentucky’s schedule, the final path looks a lot different than anyone could’ve imagined before the season began. Leaving Georgia out of the conversation, the Wildcats could be favored in every game as the upcoming opponents aren’t what we expected at the start.

Let’s check in on the current state of each of those five opponents left in Kentucky’s way in 2017…


Lexington, Ky. | Saturday, October 28

Tennessee is in shambles. It’s a dumpster fire down there in Knoxville as the Vols have now gone a full calendar month without scoring an offensive touchdown. Butch Jones still has his job, somehow, but if Kentucky handles its business on Saturday, he gone.

The Vols are so bad.

ESPN FPI Win Probability: 56.2%

Ole Miss
Lexington, Ky. | Saturday, November 4

Ole Miss was a scary team for the Wildcats — until Shea Patterson suffered a torn knee ligament that will keep him out the rest of the season. Patterson is the SEC’s leading passer with 2,259 yards through the air, but he will not be making the trip to Lexington in two weeks. The Cats will now see Jordan Ta’amu, a JUCO transfer with seven career completions, at QB for the Rebels.

While the news of Patterson’s unfortunate injury likely increases Kentucky’s odds in that game, it’s worth noting that Jordan Ta’amu is a running quarterback. So, there’s that.

ESPN FPI Win Probability: 59.6%

Nashville, Tn. | Saturday, November 11

Vanderbilt had a bye this past weekend, so it did not lose a football game for a fifth consecutive Saturday, which is nice. The Commodores will see South Carolina and Western Kentucky to right the ship before hosting the Wildcats in Nashville, where Kentucky hasn’t won since 2009.

ESPN FPI Win Probability: 53.5%

Athens, Ga. | Saturday, November 18

After watching Mississippi State run all over Kentucky for 282 yards this past weekend, there is very little reason to believe in the Cats at Georgia. Georgia’s rushing attack averages 283 yards per game, which ranks 11th in the entire nation, and the defense ranks third with only 253 total yards allowed per game.

ESPN FPI Win Probability: 5.8%

Lexington, Ky. | Saturday, November 25

Lamar Jackson is special. Everyone else on Louisville’s roster, is not.

Maybe he’ll fumble again?

ESPN FPI Win Probability: 31.5%

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

30 responses to “The current state of Kentucky’s remaining opponents”

  1. BobNWeaver

    The odds of winning ALL THREE GAMES games we are favored (Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt) is (56.2% x 59.6% x 53.5%) which is only 17.9%.

    In other words, our ESPN FPI Win Probability for getting to 8 wins this season is only 18%.

    1. Catuary

      This is false. It’s 33.3% because we have more paths than you acknowledge to get there. We could lose to Vandy but beat Louisville, for example. The numbers are:
      5-7 5.3%
      6-6 23.5%
      7-5 37.9%
      8-4 26.2%
      9-3 6.8%
      10-2 0.3%

    2. Catuary

      In reality though, I’m assuming the outcome of each game is independent of all others, which isn’t strictly true. A season-ending injury to a key player would hurt us in multiple games while an injury to an opponent’s key player only helps us in a single game.

  2. BobNWeaver

    And the probability of winning exactly 2 of 3 from Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Vandy is 59.6%. So we have a little better than a coin flip of getting to 7 wins this season.

  3. secrick

    I will take it, years past like 4 years ago we wouldn’t have any chance of winning any of them.

  4. BigBlueFan18

    I don’t think Tennessee’s program being in shambles gives us that much of a leg up on them. It almost seems like we have a long standing mental block when it comes to beating them regardless of how good or bad they are performing that season.

  5. Catcasey1

    Be lucky to win one of those game

  6. Peter Criss

    We were terrible on Saturday, but MSU is a really good team, so it was a beat down. We should be the better team this Saturday, win that game and the rest of the season just got much, much better. Lose that game (and with b-ball starting up), lose the fan base.

    1. callitlikeiseeit

      MSU is also a team we beat last year, great game to be at. Why so much difference this year? Also I seem to remember Bama saying we were the most physical team they had played, where did that go as we have lots of the same guys back?

    2. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      Not so callit. They said it was the most physical OL they played. We lost Toth & Mosier, and since then other O linemen have been getting injured here and there, so it’s been kind of a patchwork. That’s not to mention moving guys around to find someone who wouldn’t snap the ball over SJ’s head. There hasn’t been a lot of cohesiveness.

  7. Catsby80

    With 6 games remaining, I said if we go 3-3 over those 6 then the season would be a very good one. That would put us at 8-4, which would be our highest regular season win total in as long as I can remember. That possibility is still very much alive. Win the games you’re supposed to win, plain and simple. If you win those and can somehow sneak out a W against UofL, you’re looking at a 9 win season.

    Too much negativity floating around after one clunker. Not too long ago we were staring 3 win seasons in the face with regularity. Perspective is key.

    1. ArmyCatFan

      This is my feelings exactly. It is a constant struggle to keep things in perspective but we would be killing to have this win total and current outlook on the second part of the year in season’s past.

  8. 2Dogs

    If Tennessee beats us Saturday can KSR stop using the terms dumpster fire and he gone? They’re building Tennessee down, as opposed to up, and based on the last 30 years I don’t care how bad Tennessee is. We will find a way to hand them the game.

  9. Catuary

    Here are the probabilities for our final regular season record based on the ESPN probabilities cited:

    5-7 5.3%
    6-6 23.5%
    7-5 37.9%
    8-4 26.2%
    9-3 6.8%
    10-2 0.3%

    The bad news is that we only have a 33.3% of getting to 8-4, which in my mind would represent solid progress from last year, especially considering our weaker schedule this year (i.e. playing Ole Miss instead of Alabama).

  10. ClutchCargo

    This team was not deserving of the hype they received earlier, but they are also not as bad as they looked against MSU. Time to turn the page and take care of business in the remaining games. There is still a great opportunity to have the best regular season record in decades.

    1. ArmyCatFan


  11. AGSlater

    6-6. Only w left in tenn.

    1. Eazy

      Ole Miss is about the same. UK will be favored in both. And Louisville is a one man show. UK is the more talented team. I think we will win 8.

  12. trumpetguy

    …don’t think EKU, E. Mich. or Missouri are walking through that door….

  13. Sentient Third Eye

    Hopefully the lackluster effort in Starkville will motivate the team to really show up for each of these remaining games. If they do, three or four more wins are possible. If not…

  14. CatstopWontstop

    Kentucky will lose to Tennessee unless they start Blake Bone at QB. Florida is awful this season too, and the cats managed to lose that in spite of themselves. It’s just the life of a UK football fan!

  15. RackEmWillie

    If the Cats lose to Tennessee, they won’t win another game this season.

    If they beat Tennessee, 8 wins is a very real possibility, which isn’t anything to frown about. That would do a lot for recruiting, and would lead to an additional month worth of practice. At the end of the day, that’s a really good ground gaining season for Kentucky football.

  16. Willis talkin bout....

    Well, at the least, we are not coming off the bye week. So the coaches won’t have extra time to “prepare” or over think things. if they don’t use any timeouts on defense, receivers should be covered, and they may not have time to figure out how to give the game away. I know this sounds like sarcasm.. its not!

    1. CatstopWontstop

      If I could give you the crying laugh emoji here…I would. Just know that is my reaction to the accuracy of your post.

  17. BluKudzu

    I thought the MSU game was the make or break game of the season. I am hoping I am wrong.

  18. My Dixie Wrecked

    We have the worst strength of schedule in the SEC, by a wide margin. A season of cupcakes. If we don’t finish 8-4, this season is a failure.

    1. BobNWeaver

      Totally disagree. UK football has won 8 regular season games only one (1) time in the last 40 YEARS!! Not a “failure” if we don’t get there this year.

    2. BluKudzu

      I think it is a failure every year we do not win at least 8. People that think otherwise have zero expectations. Other teams have done it in less than 6 years.

    3. Eazy

      Missouri played a weaker non conference schedule and a similar conference schedule. Not a huge difference.

  19. BobNWeaver

    Totally disagree. UK football has won 8 regular season games only one (1) time in the last 40 YEARS!! Not a “failure” if we don’t get there this year.