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New S&P+ ratings say Kentucky can win 11 games

College football writer Bill Connelly released his S&P+ rankings through four weeks of the college football season and the numbers present some crazy optimism for your University of Kentucky Wildcats.

But before we get to the Cat-specific numbers, let’s catch you up on what the S&P+ rankings are and how they’re calculated.

The short version: Connelly uses the Five Factors of college football — efficiency, explosiveness, field position, finishing drives and turnovers — from the play-by-play and drive data from every single game, adjusted for opponent difficulty. (It’s like thousands and thousands and thousands of plays that go into this.) He then mixes it all up with a bunch of math and produces one of the most trusted ratings systems in the game.

OK now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about Kentucky.

According to the updated S&P+ ratings, Kentucky has an 18 percent chance of going 11-1 or better this year. ELEVEN GAMES PEOPLE!!!!

Like Bill said, “Hold your loved ones tight while you can, friends.”

You can see Kentucky’s advanced statistics profile here.

ELEVEN AND ONE????

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

57 Comments for New S&P+ ratings say Kentucky can win 11 games



  1. mgwolfe
    11:23 am September 25, 2018 Permalink

    Win all there remaining road games and maybe. Big if.



    • UK Big Board Update
      2:46 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      their*



  2. 3Goggles
    11:26 am September 25, 2018 Permalink

    (eggplant emoji)



  3. Kat4Life
    11:31 am September 25, 2018 Permalink

    I’d say 9-3 is more probable…… and that would be incredible



    • tree_gardener
      11:53 am September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah… if you look at the table that’s what it says lol



    • kah6987
      12:11 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      30%>15%…..so you’re are correct….that is more probable. Even the article states this



    • Snapper42
      2:30 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t you just love smart a$$ replies?



    • Kat4Life
      3:54 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Frequently there are posters who celebrate correcting grammar, highlighting statistical errors, or other acts of “picking the fly shit out of the pepper”…..I attribute this to insecurity on their part, low self esteem.



    • satcheluk
      6:41 am September 27, 2018 Permalink

      And there are posters who state the obvious and who’s thin skin can’t handle a little sarcasm.



  4. CatstopWontstop
    11:49 am September 25, 2018 Permalink

    Wow we all need to CALM DOWN. The win over Florida was sweet given the history, but I was still skeptical of what that meant for this season because we don’t know how good Florida is. The win Saturday over Miss St. was more impressive, especially defensively.

    Terry is going to have to step up, however, as the season goes on. He has made some good plays with his legs and has a couple good throws (I would argue the win Saturday was more impressive because it was IN SPITE of Wilson who took some huge sacks, threw a potentially momentum swinging INT, etc.) mostly the two against Florida, but he has been prone to TO’s and taking sacks (see above).

    I’m definitely more hopeful than I’ve been about UK football in a while, but pump the breaks a bit people.



    • Iamheasyouarehe
      12:04 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Did you see the big plays Terry made or you just going to focus on his mistakes?



    • bailey000
      12:10 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Wilson didn’t take sacks Mississippi st got sacks. That is the best d-line u will see this year. Obviously he has to improve moving forward, but he is on a defensive led team that runs the football. That is exactly how you win championships. Take the logo off our helmets and everyone in the country would be sold on this team.

      U are a poor fan and because u have a lot to write doesn’t mean u know what you’re talking about.

      Look I can space put spaces between paragraphs as well. All the while forgetting to indent the first line.

      Don’t pump the brakes Big Blue. Sell out right now because your team needs u to!!!



    • bailey000
      12:16 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      We play football one game at a time I never think we don’t win.



    • 4everUKblue
      12:15 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      ^^^ Yes! He obviously has no clue what he’s talking about. Seems no matter what Terry does he’s always going to have haters.



    • J-Dub421
      12:17 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      ^^^ Found the wet blanket.



    • 4everUKblue
      12:20 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Just to be clear my comment was aimed at catswont not bailey.



    • CatstopWontstop
      1:41 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      bailey000:

      I don’t remember claiming that fans shouldn’t go to games, and that people shouldn’t support the team. I’m simply saying that “OMG WE ARE GOING TO WIN 11 GAMES” is an attitude that will set you up for disappointment. I’ve been a Kentucky fan my whole life and I’ve learned that, for whatever reason, Kentucky football is cursed, but occasionally the unexpected happens.

      I like Terry, I want him to succeed, but he’s going to need to be more polished as the season goes along or he is going to make a big mistake that costs Kentucky a game they should win. His ability to keep a play alive, and some of the first down runs he had Saturday and in previous games are impressive.

      I’m sorry if I caused you to lose your mind, we’re on the same side! Look I even indented the paragraphs for you this time 🙂



    • CatstopWontstop
      1:42 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Ok it doesn’t show it, but I promise I indented those paragraphs…



    • bailey000
      6:31 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

      Having fun with a person who thinks a football team is cursed doesn’t really constitute as “ losing your mind.” I’m just wondering why we should pump the brakes? Our team is playing great football and every game on the schedule is winnable. Why would a fan base sit around and wait for there team to fall apart. I say go ahead and lose your minds because u just beat the second best team on your schedule handily. We have until nov to play Georgia so there is time for Terry to improve. If the defense prepares the same way all season we will not be beaten by anyone other than Georgia. If the offense plays to their potential on top of that we will not be beaten by Georgia. So, I’m having a lot of trouble understanding why to pump the brakes. If you don’t agree with me, then you might not understand football so well.



    • runningunnin.454
      8:10 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

      CatcalmdownWontcalmdown.



  5. CATandMONKEY
    11:51 am September 25, 2018 Permalink

    I have become one of those horrible people that will not be satisfied with anything less than 9-3.

    SEC Football problems.



  6. BluKudzu
    12:18 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    I have been begging for a defense such as this forever. This is the difference this year, and it is still a work in progress.

    Kudo’s to Stoops for the hiring and finding the right guys. Matt House and his Staff have been phenomenal, and the week by week progress is stunning.

    20 ( not all those were on the D), 16, 10, 7. Holding SEC top 25 teams to 11.5 points per game. I do not know about anybody else, but that statistic is the most impressive statistic I have seen in many, many years.

    If you think for one minute this defense has not had a dramatic improvement in one year……look at every other team in the SEC vs teams in the SEC on scores. You will be impressed to see that UK is among the leaders in SEC scoring defense.

    Defense wins championships. Based on this one statistic, and I know it is a reach, but this could be an 10-11 win team, and yes it is ok to dream….12-0?

    Go Cats.



  7. BBNBRIAN
    12:33 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    Remember when Stoops was 5 – 0 and got the midseason contract extension? I also remember the second half of that season. This team is great and our players are proving people wrong. I hope, at the end of the season, I can eat crow and say the same for Stoops and his in game coaching. Until then I can only be cautiously optimistic about us winning more than 7. I truly hope I’m proven wrong.



    • Shively1978
      12:50 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Yes but the schedule was harder the second half of the season. Other than Georgia and Missouri the last 6 are pretty weak. Vanderbilt Tennessee Mid Tenn st and Louisville should be wind for sure.



    • Booby Petrino
      12:56 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      He has never been 5-0 yet, this season could be the first. I think you’re thinking of 2015 when we were 5-1 for the first half of the season, and then lost the rest of the games. FL was the 3rd game that year and we obviously lost, so we were 2-1 at that point, 5-1 halfway.



    • katmandue2you
      1:43 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      What if we had Josh Paschal rushing on the other corner?????? Just sayin!



    • BluKudzu
      1:06 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      I understand how you feel about things, But prior to this year, Stoops has never had a team with a defense like Matt House has brought in and worked.
      Defense is a huge difference for the Cats this year, and previous to this season UK has never averaged giving up 11.5 points per game against SEC nationally rated competition.
      I get the wait and see, but, there is no penalties for enjoying the here and now.
      Go Cats.

    • No kidding katmandue, and not to mention Ware. I hope and pray Josh’s treatments are going well.

    • And Landon Young for depth on the OL.



  8. JD
    12:38 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    12-0!



  9. secrick
    12:51 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    It’s time to drink the kool aide people.



  10. Wade
    12:52 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    Ga and a&m that’s it this yr and we may get 1 or both.



    • highway119
      1:06 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      Given that GA plays LSU and AU (I believe), we could lose to GA, win the others, and still win the East. At the very least, I would almost be positive we could go into the GA game with one loss and be playing for the East.



    • bailey000
      1:23 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      No not if ga wins all of the east games then they should still win I believe. Plus the head to head. If we want to get to Atlanta we need to win every game.



    • CatsfaninFL
      1:37 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      No bailey… first condition of winning east is overall sec record. If we go 7-1 losing to UGA but they go 6-2 (losing to AU and LSU), we still win the east. Now if we have same win/loss record, then H2H would come into play.



    • katmandue2you
      2:55 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      We be “Joshing” with our opponents…..



    • E11Q
      8:56 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

      Bailey…weren’t you just making fun of a guy earlier by telling him that “he may not know football as well as he thinks he does”? Then you come out with something completely incorrect? Yea, maybe sit out the rest of this discussion. It’s clear you don’t understand how the SEC standings work, so maybe don’t make fun of other people when you’re general understand of football seems to be lacking as well.



  11. RealCatsFan
    2:25 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    The thing that stands out to me about all this is that they are predicting that the Cats have a 76% chance of winning AT LEAST 8 games, if I am reading it correctly. That, my friends, is some pretty tasty Kool Aid. 🙂 But as some other folks said, let’s enjoy the ride and take it one game at a time. And as Bill said, hold your loved ones tight while you can – there has never been more sage advice than this!



  12. Aar
    2:31 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    A 15% chance to win 11 games is what it is. If I read this correctly, there is a 78% likelihood that the Cats will win 9 or more games and a 48% chance of winning 10 or more games this season. Those sound like really good odds to me. Go Big Blue!



    • Dusten
      4:59 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

      There’s a 3 percent chance that we go 12-0, thus the 18% chance we go 11-1 OR BETTER.



  13. gasman01
    6:28 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    It would not bother me if Ga. goes 12-0 and Alabama goes 12-0 if the only game we lose is Georgia. That would get us in New Orleans!!!



  14. zoupman
    7:06 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    8 regular season wins and I’m estatic.



  15. wyatts1
    7:30 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    10-2 or 11-1, is a sure thing, but we have Georgia at home and have a chance for sure, we are by no means gonna roll over and show our belly’s. This is our year.



  16. beauleonard
    11:25 pm September 25, 2018 Permalink

    This team still has a lot to overcome, folks. With 3/4 of the season still ahead of them, much can change. Let us appreciate where we are right now and trust the Coach Stoops and the gang can keep these kids focused. One game at a time is my approach. Being a die hard fan for the last thirty eight years certainly has me hopeful, and while it is nice to prognosticate about the seasons end, I hope this team can keep the focus on the next game. I’m going to enjoy ride.



  17. Trevathan
    12:22 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

    Can we all just agree that no one has the right to cautiously say, “I’ve been a fan for 30+ years and I’ve seen this movie before.” No you haven’t. Not this movie. Not in this SEC. Not in this era of national coverage. Not that Mississippi State beatdown. You havent seen this movie. So please just enjoy this first-watch with all of us.



  18. KYjellyRoll
    8:01 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

    This team has a good chance against Georgia, at the first of the year the GA game was written off as an automatic loss. Not now, this team can play with anybody. Bet



  19. runningunnin.454
    8:41 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

    I see some 12-0’s on here; and, I think I was the first to throw that out there. This was based on the fact that we don’t play Bama, and Georgia is not Bama. The Dawgs only beat Mizzou by 2 TD’s, and gave up 29 points to the Tigers…their run defense is suspect. Michel and Chubbs are gone; they scored 41 against Missouri; but, the Tigers gave up 37 to Purdue, a team that started the year 0-3.
    My hopes came with a caveat, albeit a big one…IF our defense can sustain the intensity I saw last Saturday…anything is possible; but, we have to respect every opponent.



    • E11Q
      8:52 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

      Correct, they did only beat Mizzou by 14ish, but their defense gave Locke a nightmare. Their defense is legit and will be the most athletic defense we play all year. I don’t see us beating UGA unless Wilson gives us a performance similar to what Johnson gave us his junior year against UofL. It’s going to take a perfect storm of offensive big plays and multiple turnovers created by the defense. Texas A&M is going to be very tough in College Station as well. I think 9 wins at this point is a very reasonable expectation and I think you would be perfectly logical to believe 10 wins could happen if you get a few bounces. Also, at Tennessee worries me. I mean I know they’re BAD this year, but in Knoxville is always a tough environment to play in. I don’t want that game to be our 07 game against Mississippi St game (even though that one was at home).



    • runningunnin.454
      9:24 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, good points…this is the SEC, nothing is easy.
      And, when I originally threw 12-0 out there, I admitted it was a hot take.
      One of my favorite songs,
      To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe.



    • E11Q
      9:30 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

      That being said, IF we go 12-0, I’m probably never going to watch another UK season of football because idk if we’ll ever replicate that in my life time and I can’t switch to rump roast after I’ve been exposed to filet mignon! Haha



  20. E11Q
    8:48 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

    9 wins sounds very reasonable for this team. I don’t think they’re a ten win team unless we get more consistent play in the passing game. Terry has been magic with his legs and hit a couple big throws, but we are going to need more of it going forward. Mississippi State was a good win, but I do think they’re a bit one-dimensional of a football team. In fact, they’re a lot like us right now, dependent upon the QB and RB running the ball well. I think we saw that Fitz isn’t ever going to sit in the pocket and kill anyone.

    Defense looked really good pressuring the QB. I’d like to start forcing a few more turnovers so we get some shorter fields for our offense to work with. But, turnovers are usually weird in that they kinda just happen by chance in most cases. Did better against State putting ourselves into position for them though which was definitely encouraging.

    My biggest fear (other than a let down against SCar this weekend) are the two road games at A&M and Mizzou. Fortunately, defense and a run game generally travel well so I think it’s a reasonable expectation to go 1-1 in those games. We are still going to need Terry to be more consistent throwing the ball, however his legs have given UK the ability to regularly convert on 3rd and medium situations, which historically have given us trouble.



  21. BluKudzu
    9:58 am September 26, 2018 Permalink

    Again, can anyone remember the last time UK played back to back nationally rated SEC teams, beat them, and held them to an average of 11 1/2 points?
    I can’t. This is unprecedented. If you are concerned about winning 10-12 games, it will be the defense that will do it.
    I am not worried about an offense with one of the best lines in the country with the best stable of running backs we have ever had, which does include a Heisman candidate, by the way.
    We have enough to win, and we will win a lot of games.