As Kentucky football fans have their sights set on the longterm future of the program, you don’t have to look far to find reasons to be optimistic about the 2020 season.
We are months away from preseason polls and all-conference teams. To make the wait more bearable for diehard college football fans, ESPN’s Bill Connelly has compiled projections for all 130 FBS teams in the SP+ system. An excellent analytics tool for college football (especially in the world of gambling), its primary function is to predict how a team will perform in the future, instead of judging a team simply by what it’s done in the past.
When compiling the latest numbers, three factors were the primary focus: returning production, recent recruiting and recent history.
Entering his eighth season at Kentucky, Mark Stoops’ team ranks 25th in returning production. Even though Lynn Bowden is on his way to making millions in the NFL, 73% of the Cats’ production from 2019 will be back in 2020. On the recruiting front, the last two classes have been factored into this equation. Rivals ranked those UK classes 30th and 22nd. Recent success makes up the final 10% of the formula. The 8-5 Wildcats finished 35th in the 2019 SP+ rankings.
After crushing the numbers Kentucky is 28th in the 2020 SP+ Rankings, one spot behind… Indiana?Where all of UK’s opponents fall in the rankings:
116. Eastern Michigan
112. Kent State
35. South Carolina
FCS Eastern Illinois
43. Mississippi State
Four top 25 teams are on the schedule, with two road trips to face top 15 opponents.
Expectations will be high for the Kentucky Wildcats in 2020. If they meet them against an incredibly difficult schedule, it will be a season the BBN will not soon forget.