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Preseason predictions are rolling in, SI says Stoops will get four wins

UK Football Media Day
Photo by Regina Rickert for KSR

With football hovering on the horizon, it’s time for the national media to post their preseason predictions. So far, analysts seem pretty cynical (or realistic?) about Kentucky’s first season under Mark Stoops. Yesterday, Athlon Sports’ staff posted their predictions for UK, ranging from two wins to three, and Sports Illustrated’s Zac Ellis has a slightly more optimistic take, predicting the Cats to win four games:

– Mark Stoops, Kentucky: The youngest brother in the Stoops family coaching tree lured more than 50,000 fans to Kentucky’s spring game in April, invigorating a program that’s traditionally been an SEC bottom feeder. Yet while enthusiasm is at an all-time high, the program will likely take on a rebuilding theme in Stoops’ first campaign. The Wildcats finished near the bottom of the SEC in every major offensive and defensive category in 2012, and they don’t have a ton of experience coming back. Stoops rebuilt defenses before as a coordinator, but with schematic changes, limited offensive talent and a fairly brutal schedule, the first year of his Kentucky tenure could be a struggle. Predicted 2013 record: 4-8

I’m also picking the Cats to get four wins (five after I watch KYWildcatsTV videos), which is actually pretty darn good if you look at the schedule and the state of Kentucky’s roster.

Your turn.

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.

36 Comments for Preseason predictions are rolling in, SI says Stoops will get four wins

  1. miggles
    11:20 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Four seems reasonable. Anything better than two is gravy.

  2. CatFanInChattanooga
    11:21 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I think we have a good shot at 5 wins. I think we beat Missouri and Vandy.

  3. asdf
    11:23 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Four makes sense to me. As tough as last year was, we will reap some benefits from having a lot of young guys with veteran-level experience this year. Coupled with the new schemes and energy level, we will surprise at least one good team this year.

  4. Just the Facts
    11:23 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    My turn, What exactly do you mean the state of Kentucky’s roster. For the 105 guys busting tail, I hope not what I think it means.
    I think the media can name individuals involved in the QB battle since it is written on over and over, but not much else at any other position, and it is interesting to here the state of Kentucky’s roster.

  5. KickOff
    11:23 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Four is double last year, so that can’t be all bad! Two SEC wins would sure be nice.

  6. Madison Wildcat
    11:25 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I remain stuck on six wins. Cats will be better prepared every game and win a couple of games they would not have won in the past.

  7. Oh Chewie
    11:26 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think we could be anything other than pleased with four wins at this point in the rebuilding process. I’ll root like crazy each and every game and be disappointed with each loss, but if you told me we’d have four wins at the end of this season, I’d take it.

  8. Look Out Fireworks!
    11:31 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll take 4 wins. Better than last year!

  9. football school
    11:33 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I’m saying 7 wins is pretty much a lock. Showed flashes of really good football last year, but the staff couldn’t keep anything going or make any adjustments when needed. I think the 180 degree turn around by the new staff plus the hungry fan base pushes these guys beyond what they thought was possible ten months ago. Coaching is a MAJOR factor in college football. Music City Bowl. Get your tickets.

  10. Open ur eyes
    11:38 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    See above in the SI paragraph where it says “the program will likely take on a rebuilding theme in Stoops’ first campaign”? Remind yourselves of Pitino’s first year at UK, installing his system, and plowing ahead with it despite a major shortage of talent. Remember the 150-95 loss to Kansas while refusing to call off the press.
    Now transpose that to Stoops, Brown, and the Air Raid. We have zero depth at skill positions, NO returning receivers that have caught a TD pass. We are going to spread it out to give a glimpse of an exciting offense to future recruits. But it ain’t gonna be pretty if even a couple experienced receivers sprain an ankle.
    3 wins, 4 is a miracle and a prayer vs. Mizzou or Vandy. All bets off if Petrino does his Petrino thing and pulls off a win in game 1. Then we will be in for a tough one vs. Miami and Bama St. could be the only W.

  11. Open ur eyes
    11:42 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    #9 you should alter your name to “football school in 2015”. 7 wins? Just got back from Vegas…over/under for UK is 3.5 I believe. Vegas odds are NEVER off by 3.5 games. Appreciate the optimism, but in this case your prediction is a delusion.

  12. Hector Florez
    11:49 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    1-11 this year with lots of three and outs, but I expect over 60,000 for the next Spring Game

  13. Simon say
    11:50 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    We have the receivers, we need our QB coming in next season.

  14. Craig
    11:58 am August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I’m going with 5. We were horribly coached last season, pretty much gave up by halfway through the year, were decimated by injury, and were playing a bunch of freshmen on defense. Even then, we were in a few games, showed some potential at times, and with a little improvement I could see us winning games against teams like Missouri, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, or Mississippi State. Split those, beat Western, and we can get to 5. It’s not unprecedented to go from the cellar to halfway respectable.

  15. UKfanNKY
    12:00 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I will be happy with 4 wins but I say we suprise and get 6 beat Western, Miami, Ala. St. Missouri and go out on a limb and beat UofL and Tenn. I will throw in “maybe” Vandy. that would be 7!! WOW wouldn’t that be sweet!!! GO CATS!!!

  16. Al/in/Indy
    12:05 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Love the optimism 9…..I think we could sneak up on another to make it 5. GO CATS!

  17. Dr. Fran
    12:07 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    @15. Sweet yes…Delusional definitely

  18. TylerH
    12:10 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    In my opinion, not having a lot of experience coming back is a GOOD thing. I don’t see much positives of players coming back from a 2-win season. We need new players, plain and simple. I am very optimistic about the incoming freshmen making a contribution this year.

  19. TylerH
    12:13 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    We have three games on the schedule that SHOULD be automatic wins (WKU, Miami, Alabama State)…to think that this team could not spring ONE upset the rest of the season with the current momentum and fan support, plus newly instilled confidence in the players by the coaching staff, it’s crazy to think they are not capable of at least getting four wins.

  20. True Blue
    12:21 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    12-0 baby!!! I expect the players and coaches to have the same mentality. I never go into a UK game and write it off as a loss. Just something in my blood that doesn’t allow me to go against the Cats or say we will lose. Guess that’s the same reason I have UK winning the championship every year in my bracket.

  21. UKfanNKY
    12:39 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you 20 GREAT POSITIVE outlook! #17 Dr. Fran feeling “delusional” take another pill. GO CATS!!!

  22. Jeffrey
    12:49 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    4 is a rational pick, 5 is doable, 6 (or more) is a Cinderella story.

  23. Jeffrey
    12:51 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    WKU, Miami (Oh), ASU, MSST, Mizzou, UTENN

    Two are pretty much givens, WKU should be a battle. MSST, Mizzou, and UTENN can be pulled off upsets (Some people predict Mizzou to finish at the bottom, below UK so it may not be an upset, they stink too.)

    12:54 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    We’re going 6-6. Winning all nonconference games, crushing the little birds’ dreams, and we steal 2 from Miss State and Missouri. Back the the Compass Bowl!

  25. SevenT
    12:56 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Nobody would have predicted Ole Miss winning 7 games at the beginning of last season.

    Ole Miss brought in a new coach with energy and a high tempo system and they won some big games last season.

    Kentucky could very easily have the same type of season. I don’t understand all the same negativity about Kentucky’s Football program?

  26. Skaggs
    1:01 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Sure glad Mitch got Stoops instead of Butch
    Cats will win at least 8 games and go to a solid bowl
    Next year 9 to 10 wins and in year three 11 to 12 wins

  27. asdf
    1:12 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    The optimistic predictions sound nice, but we do have perhaps the toughest CFB schedule of the last ten years facing us (including schedules of all CFB teams). We need to keep some perspective.

    1:29 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Everyone keeps talking about our schedule and that’s the reason we can’t do well. We play 5 top 10 teams this year. The other 7 aren’t top 10. In fact, a lot of them are scraping the bottom as well. Kentucky plays 5 top 25 teams every year, surely to God, as Kentucky fans, we’re used to that by now? So there is no perspective to have. It is what it is. I’m not saying we’re beating Florida and Alabama this year. What I am saying is that we have a legitimate shot against teams like Missouri, ALABAMA STATE, Miami(Ohio), Miss State, Western Kentucky, and even Tennessee and Vandy (Tenn is also rebuilding, and even though Vandy is getting pretty good these days, they will still always be Vandy).

    Is it likely we go to a bowl game? No. But it it completely fathomable and completely doable? Absolutely.

  29. Zed
    1:37 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops can win eight games by using this one old trick

  30. Georgia Blue
    2:11 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Georgia lost a lot on Defense and Kentucky always play UGA tough. South Carolina lost alot on Defense and they lozt Lattimore and Ace Sanders. Florida Offense is Mediocre and they lost some good players on Defense. I was brought up to go into a game or anything thinking positive.i am not going to give into anything no matter what the media say. Anything possible with this team. I go into every game playing to WIN. I can careless about who’s in the top 10. UK will surprise a lot of teams this year. Mark My Word

  31. tom
    2:16 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Think the experts are right this time. 3 wins likely. 4 would be about as good as this year gets. Possible low hanging SEC opponent late in the season if they are pretty beat up and we have miraculously remained healthy.

  32. Tom in the Neighbor hood
    2:31 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    Limited offensive talent. You writing about the QBs that you have written 25 stories about in the last month?

  33. HackRichards
    3:40 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    My predictions were:

    Before Stoops – 0 Wins 10 years Losses

    At Stoops Hiring 3 Wins 9 Losses

    After Stoops Recruiting excitement 5-6 Wins

    2014 7 Wins

    2015 8-9 Wins

    2016 Stoops will be coaching elsewhere where the money is

  34. Earache
    3:53 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    I like 4 wins this year. Even 3 would be ok.

  35. UKBlue1!
    3:55 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    4 sounds good. Al st, Miami, oh, and 2 from WKU, Mizzu, UT and a possible slip by Vandy or MSU.

  36. Tampa Satchel
    8:35 pm August 6, 2013 Permalink

    3 wins is likely and 4 would be great and 5 would be outstanding with the latter being given a 10% chance. To everyone marking WKY as a gimmie, I believe you are too optimistic. They beat us in Lex last year, and now we have to play in their backyard. They were not just the winner last year, they were the most talented too.

    I’d probably take the Cats on a pick ’em, but I don’t think I’d give any points. We’ve got a lot of recruiting momentum, but let’s not confuse recruiting in football to basketball recruiting. Football takes years to recruit better teams on the field. I am excited as hell, but not delusional. Those with the most inflated expectations are the quickest to jump ship and start complaining because of the disconnect between expectations and reality.

    If you are bi-polar, do us all a favor and take your medication.