Following the best Kentucky football season in 40 years, one of the nation’s top college football prognosticators believes the party is coming to an end in 2019.
Phil Steele’s 2019 College Football Preview magazine is on newsstands this week. The 25th edition of the college football talking season Bible does not give Mark Stoops’ team a glowing review. A predictor who relies on a number of formulas to reach his conclusion, Steele’s personally crafted concoctions conclude the Cats will take a step back this fall.
Steele projects Kentucky to finish sixth in the SEC East, ahead of only Vanderbilt, and ranks the Cats 60th out of 130 FBS teams. After three straight postseason appearances, Steele does not believe Kentucky will go to a bowl game following the 2019 season.
Those pessimistic projections come with a few caveats. First and foremost, he does not predict each game. Even though the schedule is favorable for the Cats, UK returns only ten starters. History also plays a significant factor in Steele’s formula too. If Kentucky regresses to the mean of the pre-Stoops era, 2019 will not be pretty.
The thing about the Mark Stoops era is that it has defined the norms. Since he arrived in Lexington six years ago, UK is the only program in America that has not taken a step back. Each year Kentucky’s record has been the same, or improved, from the previous year. Continuing that trend will obviously be difficult, but over the last three years UK has pulled off ten upsets. That’s why Steele hedged his bet in closing by saying a bowl appearance is “probable.”
The preview of Kentucky from the Phil Steele magazine has a lot more information. What you’ll find isn’t too different from the rest of the bulletin board material that will surface during talking season, which unofficially kicks off at SEC Media Days in less than three weeks.
Phil Steele’s UK Preseason All-SEC Selections
- Drake Jackson, First Team Center
- Lynn Bowden, Third Team Wide Receiver
- Kash Daniel, Third Team Linebacker
- Logan Stenberg, Third Team Offensive Lineman
- Quinton Bohanna, Fourth Team Defensive Lineman
- Boogie Watson, Fourth Team Linebacker