The numbers don’t lie — Kentucky is a top 25 football team.
As national outlets slowly begin to share preseason top 25 rankings for the college football season, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the Kentucky Wildcats. Each offseason there are a handful of teams that become media darlings. Tennessee and Louisville each fall into that category ahead of the 2020 season, while UK will remain an afterthought.
Pro Football Focus does not share that media bias. They watch film and crunch numbers. Using a power ranking analytics system that factors in recruiting rankings, returning players and market information, they have created a ‘way-too-early’ top 25 for the 2020 season. In this system, Mark Stoops’ Wildcats make the cut at No. 20.
“After a really strange season in 2019, the Wildcats return a decent amount of talent in 2020 and should be competitive again in the SEC.”
The numbers add up. Kentucky has PFF’s two highest-graded returning offensive tackles, along with Boogie Watson, the No. 3 returning edge rusher in America, and UK’s defense only lost one player from one of the five best secondaries in America.
Kentucky Opponents in PFF’s Top 25
25. Mississippi State