Well nobody ever said it was going to be easy. UK faces one heck of a schedule for the 2016 season, and the toughest portion of the schedule doesn’t even include road trips to Bama or Florida. Good lord.
ESPN writer Greg Ostendorf pinpointed the troubling schedule ahead for the Cats, and the unfortunate stretch of SEC games they have to get through before they even face a probable preseason top-25 team from Louisville two weeks later.
The first two games (vs. Mississippi St., @ Missouri) won’t be easy for Mark Stoops and his team, but they’re nothing compared to the back half of this four-game stretch.
Georgia comes to town the first weekend in November, and the last time the Bulldogs played at Kentucky, a freshman running back by the name of Nick Chubb went off for 170 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries. Chubb is expected to be healthy again this year, and with a new coach (Kirby Smart) and possibly a new quarterback (Jacob Eason), the Bulldogs are a team that could hit their stride down the stretch.
And last, but certainly not least, is a road trip to Tennessee. Any time you play four conference games in four weeks, the last game is going to be brutal. But it’s especially brutal when you have to play on the road against a team that’s ranked No. 5 in the FPI. The Volunteers, who have won 30 of the last 31 meetings against Kentucky, might be the most talented team in the SEC.
Cherry on top, anyone? UK has won one game past October 15th in the last two seasons combined, with that win coming against the Charlotte 49ers at home last season. I’m not saying get down on your Cats, but gauging expectations might be a good idea after last season’s debacle.
Kentucky does have the good fortune of coming off a bye week right before the Mississippi St. game, as well as facing a largely rebuilding Muschamp’s Gamecock unit in Lexington for the possibility of a third win in three straight seasons. Beating Muschamp would be like a mini bowl-win, right?