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ESPN Ranks UK’s Non-Conference Schedule as One of the Weakest in America

Kentucky’s 2019 football schedule is setting the Wildcats up for success. Even though Mark Stoops must replace the record-breaking Benny Snell and Josh Allen, finding wins will not be so difficult thanks to a favorable schedule.

Kentucky plays eight home games in 2019, four of which are against unranked non-conference foes — Toledo, Eastern Michigan, UT-Martin and Louisville. According to ESPN’s Chris Low, it’s the fifth easiest non-conference slate in the country.

Mark Stoops has done an outstanding job in Lexington. The Wildcats won 10 games a year ago, the first time they’ve won 10 or more games since 1977. But they’re losing several key players from the 2018 team and a ton of experience, so having a cushy nonconference schedule in 2019 won’t be all bad. The Wildcats will play all four games at home, and the only Power 5 opponent is the annual rivalry game against a Louisville team that’s starting over after going 2-10 a year ago.

It’s not just who UK is playing, it’s when they’re playing weak teams too. Low penned a piece on schedule superlatives, and he believes the Cats have the “Cushiest close to a season.”

Kentucky closes the season with a November that has a distinct Volunteer State flavor to it, and three of the four games are at home. Tennessee on Nov. 9, UT-Martin on Nov. 23 and Louisville on Nov. 30 will all come to Kroger Field. The only away game is against Vanderbilt on Nov. 16. None of UK’s four November foes finished with a winning record a year ago.

What does this mean? If Kentucky can upset Florida at home in week three, they can lose at South Carolina and at Mississippi State and still finish the regular season with nine wins. Obviously, there’s a lot of “ifs” that play into that scenario (like taking care of business at The Kroge vs. Tennessee and Mizzou), but it’s not out of reach.

It also means that Louisville sucks. When Louisville is bad at football, being a Kentucky football fan is much easier. Thanks Petrino!


Article written by Nick Roush

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

10 Comments for ESPN Ranks UK’s Non-Conference Schedule as One of the Weakest in America

  1. Realme
    5:50 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

    Good. Conference schedule is hard enough. Let us get some wins that aren’t wars, thanks.

  2. krautdog
    6:14 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

    It’s how you win 6 games & guarantee a “Toilet Bowl” invite!

    • runningunnin.454
      8:15 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

      Like the Citrus Bowl and the TaxSlayer Bowl? Playing in the SEC is brutal enough.

  3. cats646
    6:19 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

    You wanna see a week schedule? Look at Notre Dame’s. Every. Single. Year. Lol we’re in the SEC!!
    There’s no easy schedule in the SEC.

    • bbn606
      9:38 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

      A lot of that is because UL is so weak. Most everybody plays 3 cupcakes and one decent team. That’s just the way it is.

  4. KyZoneBlitz
    6:36 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

    That’s funny, isn’t Bama’s non-con. Even worse? I highly doubt it’s bottom 5, but as usual, the national media loves to try and kick UK Football…. they love the vols, South Carolina, and hate us. Never changes… Death, taxes, and UK picked to finish behind tennessee and South carolina….. I think we beat both AND Florida this year….

    • RAGE
      7:57 am June 26, 2019 Permalink

      No they were on that list.. I can’t remember where exactly but Bama was there

  5. Smyrna_Cat
    6:42 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

    I’m okay with that.

  6. mashburnfan1
    7:01 pm June 25, 2019 Permalink

    With U6 down it is weak but same can be said for most of the SEC teams. Makes little sense to play tough non-con teams when you have to play SEC teams. And really is not just the SEC, very few teams play tough non-con schedules anymore unless it is their rival.

  7. notFromhere
    12:56 pm June 26, 2019 Permalink

    Whatever they have to do to distract from Notre Dame’s yearly schedule… So funny how “the gloves come off” against everyone except the people that need to answer the tough questions.

    [email protected]$%ing ESPN and the rest of them cant decide what’s what these days…

    Do we have the weakest schedule, or are we barely going to be bowl eligible? Is Wilson the worst QB in the SEC or was he a “great get” “4 Star” for Oregon? Does our schedule suck, or is it the ACC overall or in general that is down these days?

    Keep hatin, pricks! We’ll just put it up on the board and make y’all choke on 11 wins. UK needs their own side network for coverage.