Preseason polls have never been a friend of the Kentucky Wildcats. The tool to get college football fans excited about the upcoming college football season has served a different a different purpose for Mark Stoops’ UK teams. The Wildcats were handed their annual bulletin board material on Monday when the AP Poll was released and Kentucky received only 20 votes. In a strange twist, you won’t find that bulletin board material in other places.
Over at Pro Football Focus the film graders have selected their top 25 teams ahead of the 2020 college football season. Unlike the AP, PFF excluded schools from the Big Ten, Pac-12 and other conferences that do not plan on playing football this fall. You don’t have to scroll far to see the Kentucky Wildcats are ranked No. 12 in the preseason poll.
Kentucky looked set for disaster in 2019 before Lynn Bowden Jr. saved the year. Thanks to him, the Wildcats had the second-most efficient rushing attack in the SEC and the 10th-most efficient rushing attack in the Power Five. Bowden is now off to the NFL, but the return of quarterback Terry Wilson could help boost a passing game that slowly slipped away in 2019.
However, last year’s offense generated more expected points added per play than the Wilson-led unit of 2018, and we still have concerns with Wilson’s ability as a passer. His performance under pressure was poor (he ranked 129th in passing grade in 2018), and his downfield passing was inconsistent.
The defense will still be just as strong in 2020 as it was in 2019, though. It returns all the critical cogs from a secondary that combined to form the fourth-best PFF grade in the SEC last year.
Vince Marrow was not pleased with Kentucky’s omission from the AP Poll. One can only imagine his reaction to this news…
Elsewhere in PFF’s preseason top 25, you won’t find the media darlings from Louisville. You will find more than half Kentucky’s 2020 opponents.
15. Mississippi State