ESPN has released its college football power rankings for week one, and it’s good news for the Wildcats. The Kentucky football team checks in at No. 17 on the list using the Football Power Index. The FBI is a computer-based ranking system that is designed to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. The computer hasn’t typically been kind to the Wildcats (remember when it predicted UK would win five games in 2018?), but this year, things are different.
That’s due in part to this year’s unique set of circumstances. These power rankings only include teams that are playing this fall, which means no Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, USC or any other team from any conference that has postponed or canceled its fall season. That’s different from this AP poll, which encouraged voters to include all FBS teams, even the teams not scheduled to play football this fall.
Here’s what the worldwide leader had to say about the Cats:
The Wildcats have finished .500 or better three of the past four years in SEC play, a testament to the job Mark Stoops has done in Lexington. Their 2020 defense has a chance to be one of his best, led by linebackers DeAndre Square and Jamar “Boogie” Watson and massive nose guard Quinton Bohanna (6-foot-4, 357 pounds).
This may be Stoops’ deepest team, with 20 starters returning. Much of Kentucky’s success will hinge on generating a more productive passing game. Quarterback Terry Wilson is back from a season-ending knee injury that he suffered in the second game a year ago.
The list covers eight SEC teams, including Kentucky, and the Cats will play five of the country’s top-ranked teams. Kentucky will play No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Florida, No. 10 Auburn and No. 14 Tennessee. The Louisville Cardinals are listed a few spots behind the Wildcats, coming in at No. 22.
For the complete list of teams and rationales, head over to ESPN-dot-com by clicking here.