PredictionMachine.com has already delivered their projections for the 2012 college football season, suggesting Kentucky will go 4-8. Now we’re back with a second opinion from the WhatIfSports.com prediction engine. After simulating thousands of games to complete the SEC Preview, WIS provided a full spread on what is the most likely outcome for the SEC teams this coming season. The outlook for the Cats isn’t pretty.
In conference, WIS predicts Kentucky to go 1-7, tied for last in the conference with Ole Miss. Tennessee finishes one spot ahead in the East, going 3-5. Georgia wins the East with a 6-2 conference record and a 10-2 overall record. In the West, Alabama and LSU tie for first with 7-1 records and 10-2 overall records.
Breaking the Cats season down game by game, WIS gives its win percentages for each matchup and an average score. The four wins on the season are Kent State, Western Kentucky, Samford, and the lone SEC win comes from Mississippi State.
Note: WIS says that because of possible rounding errors during the simulations, absolute record predictions are more accurate than individual game predictions. This usually happens when teams are so evenly matched the prediction engine has a hard time distinguishing which way the game could go. WIS does predict Kentucky to beat Mississippi State, even though the probability given is only 42 percent.
A continuing theme in these games is the low point totals on both sides of the ball. According to the WIS prediction, the Kentucky offense will average 17.6 points per game. Though better than the 15.8 average from last season, not a significant improvement that translates to more wins. On the other side, the defense is predicted to surrender 19.4 points per game, way down from last season’s 24.7 points allowed.
Where these differences in points are most noticeable is on the road at Florida, a 23-15 loss; on the road at Missouri, a 21-15 loss; at home against Vanderbilt, a 23-17 loss; and on the road at Tennessee, a 24-17 loss. All four of these games are a difference of one possession. If just a few things change for the better, the WIS prediction of a 4-8 overall record could improve significantly. Though the outlook is grim, the way it looks is Kentucky is very close to pulling off a surprise season.