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Don’t Worry Too Much About Strength of Schedule

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Kentucky’s win at Georgia in 2009

Kentucky is projected by many to have the toughest schedule in all of college football next season, but do not let that get you down or temper your enthusiasm for Mark Stoops’ first season on the sidelines. One year ago, Ole Miss was coming off a 2-10 season, had a first-year head coach in Hugh Freeze and also had a schedule that many believed to be as tough as any in the country. When Phil Steele ranked the Rebels’ 2012 schedule as 2nd-toughest in the country last June, he was probably counting on Arkansas and Auburn to be a factor in the SEC.

Arkansas was ranked No. 10 in both preseason polls even after Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident, but they finished 4-8. Auburn was ranked No. 25 in the preseason coaches’ poll, but finished 3-9. Arkansas and Auburn were a pair of games that figured to be losses for Hugh Freeze in his first year at Ole Miss, but he ended up winning both of them. The Rebels went on to win their bowl game in Freeze’s first season and the program has enjoyed continued success with a top-ranked 2013 recruiting class.

 


Familiar storylines, huh?

There’s only one team on Kentucky’s 2013 schedule that I would say with very high confidence is going to be exactly as good as they are projected to be, and that is Alabama. Outside of the Crimson Tide, South Carolina is the only other program on Kentucky’s schedule that has won eight games in each of the last three seasons. You may look at the schedule now and only see four or five wins, but Ole Miss fans probably saw the same going into last season. There could very well be a team, or two, on UK’s schedule that ends up not being nearly as good as expected. In recent history, UK’s wins over four (2006) and five-loss (2009) Georgia teams were ones that come to mind as victories that nobody saw coming at the start of the season.

Louisville, Florida, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Georgia have all had their ups and downs in recent history, and who’s to say that any of these teams couldn’t be victims to a disappointing 2013? Not much is expected out of Missouri, and Tennessee isn’t expected to see too much improvement in Butch Jones’ first season. Who on this year’s schedule, if anyone, could possibly take a step back this season or not live up to expectations?

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on blogredmachine.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

16 Comments for Don’t Worry Too Much About Strength of Schedule



  1. I
    9:38 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    You mom



  2. DLN
    9:41 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I’d give anything for a repeat of UK-Bama ’97.



  3. Tony
    9:41 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky will be 8-5 in 2013



  4. Eddie C
    10:20 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #2 that ship has sailed and it aint never coming back. ever. people dont seem to realize that stoops has never been the top dog before and never been anything near a top dog in the sec. i wish uk good luck but you all should remember this. no plan survives contact with the enemy. stoops is un-proven and it will be fun watching his welcome to the sec. go bama, roll tide!



  5. Jpo
    10:28 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I know Stoops is earning his paycheck when bama football fans come trolling a UK site. Hilarious.



  6. Bama fans are here
    11:00 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    because UK fans are easy targets. This website is known among fans of other SEC teams for the Howard Sternesque style trash talking. The problem is when that trash talking involves football because unlike the other teams in the conference the folks here are clueless as evidenced by this statement here:

    “There’s only one team on Kentucky’s 2013 schedule that I would say with very high confidence is going to be exactly as good as they are projected to be, and that is Alabama. Outside of the Crimson Tide, South Carolina is the only other program on Kentucky’s schedule that has won eight games in each of the last three seasons.”



  7. rising sun
    11:04 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I have no problem with Eddie C’s comments. This year is a transition year. It will realistically take 2 or 3 years before UK is on par with the better SEC teams. If I was a louisville fan, though, I would be worried about coming into Commonwealth Stadium next year. Their boasting of an undefeated season could crash before the leaves begin to fall off the trees. And once that happens, uofl will lose more games. The final records of the two teams (one in the mighty SEC), and (one in the remnants of the big east, a conference swhirling down the drain), may be very similar.



  8. SeaCat
    12:34 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    how did Bear Bryant do in his first year at UK?
    I doubt he faced the worst schedule in football.
    God, please save Stoops!



  9. optimist
    12:40 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Look at it this way….We should have 3 wins easy vs.
    WKU
    Miami Oh
    Alabama St.

    Home games vs.
    Tenn
    Mizzou
    Louisville

    Away games vs.
    Miss St.
    Vandy

    That’s 8 win-able games….



  10. Josh
    7:06 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    #6, Please do not compare this site or KSR Radio to Howard Stern. It’s a huge insult to Stern



  11. UKBlue1!
    8:09 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I am very excited about coach Stoops, the staff and how he is recruiting. If the man wins more than 4 games I will be very impressed. I only see 5 possible wins on the schedule. Miami,OH, Al. St, Mizz, UT and WKU. I am very disappointed at a lot of people in our fan base that thinks we can win 6 or more games. We have Alabama, Miss St, USC, UF, GA, UofL and Vandy. Joker has ruined any progress that Brooks had made. This is a full rebuild job.



  12. Vandy?
    9:55 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Yes, I understand we were under coached last year, and Stoops has elevated optimism. However, why do people call Vandy a winnable game? just because they are Vandy? they are not the Vandy of the past. if they had simply outplayed us last year and we lost by 2 touchdowns, then maybe I’d understand. But they crushed and humiliated us by 40 points and we didn’t score. At home. Too early to even suggest beating them in Nashville. Let’s wait until at least the first two games are under our belt. Better not look past WKU.



  13. Sgt. Jimmy
    10:30 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I believe Coach Stoops will get the program right but it is going to take time. 8-5 is unrealistic. Maybee 3 wins next including one upset. BBN can’t desert the football team this year ike they did last year.



  14. STEVE!
    12:51 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    With the work Stoops and his staff have to do with Joker’s leftovers, if he wins more than four games he should be Coach of the Year.



  15. UofLFan
    2:49 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    UK will surprise at least one team this year. I think they would have won 2 SEC games last year had they not lost their top QBs to injury. And UK was a very young team last year. 4 to 6 wins this year. UofL is not one of those though, sorry Cats.



  16. Cat Fan
    6:23 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with Rising Sun, #7

    card fans talking of an undefeated season is great…but just talk. They always lose at least one game each year where they are the heavy favorite.

    They will be a heavy favorite against UK, probably 20 points. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if UK won. Realistically, UK will probably not win more than 4 games next year unless Lady Luck deals us a perfect hand. But I see UK having huge momentum this year, and every game in CS should be exciting.