The offseason love for Kentucky Football does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Every year, ESPN releases the numbers behind its Football Power Index statistic, which predicts offensive, defensive, and special teams value and then puts it all into one tidy category. For the upcoming 2021 season, the World Wide Leader has high hopes for Mark Stoops, Terry Wilson, and company. According to the FPI, Kentucky is projected to post a 7-5 record once football comes back.
Here’s a full look at each game ESPN graded.
According to the FPI, Kentucky is expected to beat Eastern Illinois (99.5 percent chance), Eastern Michigan (93.1), Kent State (92.2), Vanderbilt (89.4), Mississippi State (80.5), South Carolina, and Missouri (58.7). On the flip side, ESPN says Kentucky will lose to Auburn (only a 13.3 percent chance that UK wins), Florida (15.2), Georgia (17.4), Louisville (29.2), and Tennessee (49.0).
And for all you extreme optimists out there, Kentucky was given a 0.3 percent chance to win the entire conference. So you’re telling me there’s a chance!
Last season, ESPN’s FPI projected UK would go 5-7 on the year (they went 8-5, FYI). They did the same thing in 2018 before watching Kentucky win 10 games en route to a Citrus Bowl win. So, by this logic, Kentucky should expect to win about eight or nine regular-season games, right?
For the most part, I think Kentucky fans would find these projections fair outside of one noticeable misuse. Giving Louisville an over 70 percent chance to beat the ‘Cats feels way too high, and not just because of the lopsided results from the last two matchups.
But 8-4 is a more than attainable record for the upcoming team, let alone 7-5. What do you think?