There are a wide range of potential outcomes to this upcoming UK football season. I think a reasonable person could argue a 3-7 season as possible as well as an 8-2 season. It wouldn’t be that hard to argue either considering the schedule and some of the questions coming into the year, especially about Terry Wilson. But I go through each and every record possibility, what it likely meant happened, and what it would mean for the future of the program:
0-10: I’m not saying Mark Stoops would be fired after an 0-10 season but that seat would get hot real quick. While obviously not a realistic outcome, if this did happen, some very odd things would likely have occurred. I’m sure Terry Wilson got hurt again. I’m sure other injuries, COVID or not, wrecked this season too. I know this season is weird and all and basically anything could happen, including not playing 10 games, but this result would likely be considered one of the worst, if not the worst, season in UK football history.
1-9: See everything written above and apply it here except that we beat Vanderbilt likely.
2-8: I think this is the first record that you could almost reason out in your head. It still has a less than 1% chance of happening but let’s say Wilson isn’t himself anymore, the linebackers never develop, leaving UK open to lots of rushing yards. The receivers continue to underwhelm. And the momentum from losing to Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State to open the season leads to a spiral. This would greatly stunt the growth of the program and lots of questions would be asked but we’d all probably just have to explain it as 2020 and move on.
3-7: I would almost bet you anything if UK ends up with this record it means they blew some close games. They are very unlikely to get blown out in any game except Alabama and maybe Florida. That means in the other 8 games, they would go 3-5 and almost certainly lost several tight ballgames. It would almost be seen as “Kentucky as Usual” and the thoughts of Stoops getting us over the threshold of SEC East relevance likely falls away. Fans would certainly be highly disappointed.
4-6: I personally think this is the floor for this team. This record likely means the league spaced out as haves (Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia) and have nots. And Kentucky landed in the nots category. Even if they lost to the 4 HAVES, they still would have went 4-2 in the other games, meaning potentially a win against Tennessee or South Carolina or Mississippi State. So there might be some bright spots but this season would be considered a loss.
5-5: This is where the scenarios get tricky. Because Kentucky could be a pretty damn good team and finish 5-5. And how this fanbase responds after a 5-5 season will be very interesting. Are the 5 losses Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee? Very possible. But does UK pull off one of those upsets and then trips up against a lesser opponent? What are the scores of these games? Is Kentucky competitive in all 10 games? There would be so many questions and a real split in the fanbase I bet.
6-4: This would be considered a very good season by UK standards. They would almost certainly win a game they are underdogs in. And I think at a minimum you could say UK is continuing the progress forward. If Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow and they team want to be considered a legitimate football “power”, they need to win 6 games this year in my opinion.
7-3: I think this would be as good a finish as the 10-3 squad 2 years ago. This record likely has them finishing in the top 15 nationally and likely in a very good bowl game. The pieces are there for this record but UK would need some things to go their way too. Winning close games would be a must.
8-2: This record would put UK in the conversation for SEC East champs, likely depending on how Georgia does. Obviously this would be a monumental season and one that nobody could complain about unless the two losses were Ole Miss and Vandy and we’d view it as a collossal missed chance. But that would be a very unlikely scenario. Instead, we’d probably be talking about how to keep Mark Stoops around for life.
9-1: This probably puts us in the SEC Title Game with a chance to make the playoff. Certainly the greatest season in UK history. Probably means Terry Wilson is the best quarterback in the league and some new stars emerge. The future would be so bright with this finish. How much money would Mark Stoops want then?
10-0: I think we could accept this.