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Athlon Sports Predicts 7-5 Kentucky Football Season, Fourth-Place SEC East Finish

The first college football preseason magazine is on newsstands this week. Athlon Sports officially kicked off talking season by releasing its annual publication. As you might expect, the Kentucky Wildcats are not near the top of the SEC East’s pecking order.

While many across the Big Blue Nation believe 2020 could be a breakthrough season, Athlon Sports thinks it will be much of the same. The outlet predicts a 7-5 record with a fourth-place finish in the SEC East, behind Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Let them explain:

After winning 26 games through the first five seasons under Mark Stoops, Kentucky has posted 18 over the last two years. Just finishing 8-5 in 2019 was an accomplishment for Stoops and his staff. Starting quarterback Terry Wilson was lost for the season due to injury in early September, which later prompted the team to move receiver Lynn Bowden to the position in October. Bowden left for the NFL after finishing with 1,871 total yards in 2019, but Wilson is expected to return to the starting lineup.

He’s joined by one of the SEC’s top offensive lines and a backfield that brings back three running backs that accumulated at least 500 rushing yards in 2019. Kentucky’s defense finished fourth in the SEC in fewest points allowed per game (19.3) and allowed 5.3 yards a snap. The line will miss Calvin Taylor and T.J. Carter, and the departure of linebacker Kash Daniel is significant. Despite those personnel departures, this unit should be solid once again in 2020. The Wildcats will be tested right away with a trip to Florida on tap in Week 2.

Athlon is not anxious to go out on a limb for Kentucky, even though they did tip their caps to six different Wildcats on their preseason All-SEC team. Darian Kinnard, Drake Jackson and Max Duffy each earned First Team nods, Landon Young and Boogie Watson appeared on the Second Team and Luke Fortner earned a spot on the Third Team.

You can examine Athlon’s entire All-SEC Team by looking at the fantastic photo below taken by KSR’s Adam Luckett or by purchasing a copy of the magazine here.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

13 Comments for Athlon Sports Predicts 7-5 Kentucky Football Season, Fourth-Place SEC East Finish

  1. BBN4LIFE03
    6:19 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    7-5 would be the Floor

  2. JT55
    6:31 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    I think 8-4. Non conference schedule is weak

  3. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    6:40 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    I’m thinking 8-4 sounds about right. Although, I don’t think we have 8 home games this year. And crazy that we have that many home games every other year. Heard someone on the radio say that we haven’t played a regular season non conference BCS team, outside of Louisville, in 15 years. No idea if that is true or not.

  4. Duuuuuude
    6:56 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    I am going to say 9-3 minimum. Finished 8-4 a year ago with no QB. Gotta consider Terry Wilson returns. Expectation last year was that he would throw 30-40 passes a game. We have the best OL in the SEC to give Terry time to make throws. We have a stable of running backs that are as good as we have ever had. We have a secondary returning that was one of the best in the SEC, and that was with no returning starters on it. I would say we have some of the best linebackers in the SEC but we don’t yet know if Chris Oats will be able to play this fall. We also have some darn good edge rushers. We will be better than last year. To say we will win one more game is not a stretch at all. 10-2 not out of the question.

  5. CatManDo
    7:41 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    They have 4 Cats out of 15 OL on their All SEC teams, that alone should be good for 7 wins.

  6. Southky
    9:21 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    I’d say this is spot on. Kentucky hasn’t been able to top Tennessee with our best teams and some of Tennessee’s worst. Until then and Terry Wilson proves to be able to complete enough passes to keep a defense honest 7-5 is about right in my opinion.

  7. Clyde X
    10:16 pm May 26, 2020 Permalink

    When was the last time they made a correct prediction about UK’s football record?

  8. CahillsCrossingNT
    4:43 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    South Carolina, Mississippi State and Missouri are crucial, so I think the season tips on those games. No chance they beat either Georgia, Florida, Tennessee or Auburn. So I see 8-4 as possible but 7-5 most likely.

    • KyZoneBlitz
      6:12 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      No chance we beat uga tenn. Auburn or florida? We should have a 3 game winning streak against florida, were 2 yards away from beating tenn last season, uga brought in a QB from wake forest, and auburn lost it’s best players to the draft. I think we get atleast 2 of the 4, maybe 3 if the offense clicks early in fall camp (If we have fall camp that is)

    7:59 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

    I really dislike this time of year. 2017 was going to be our year. Nope. Then 2018 was supposed to be a breakout year. Mediocrity. 2019 WILL BE a breakout year, Terry! TERRY! TERRY! Again… Mediocrity. No, seriously, we mean it this time. 2020 WILL ABSOPOSITIVELUTELY be THE breakout! Hey ya’ll… Watch this. Boy who cried wolf or insanity – repeating the same actions over and over expecting different results, right?

    • Corder
      8:07 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      A 10 win season is mediocrity? I guess unless we go undefeated you won’t be happy. I love all these Kentucky fans that have completely forgot where we came from and what we are today.

    • UKBigBlueForever
      8:37 am May 27, 2020 Permalink

      BBNBrian should change his name to BBNKaren

  10. T-Town Cat
    12:20 pm May 27, 2020 Permalink

    We beat only Arkansas, Missouri, and Vanderbilt last year, and Arkansas has been replaced by a much better Auburn team. With the player injury situations we have, 7-5 seems reasonable, but I always hope for an 8-4 year.