There are 36 days until the season opener against Southern Miss, which means there’s plenty of time to break down UK’s schedule, so that’s what we’re going to do this evening. Below you’ll find my ranking of UK’s most difficult games, and below that, you’ll have a chance to rank all 12 on your own, from most difficult to least difficult. I think we’ll all agree on #1…
Defending national champions in Tuscaloosa. Come on.
Tennessee straight up scares me this season. The Vols return 18 starters and between Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd, I fear this could be a very rough trip to Rocky Top in November.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 29 times in a row, stop getting your hopes up and go in with low expectations, especially at the Swamp.
“But Georgia’s got a new coach–”
“It’s at home–”
After the past two years, there’s nothing I’d love more than to end a season with a win over Louisville. After the past two years, I know better than to count on anything in this series, even a 21-point lead at home.
Kentucky beat itself in Nashville last year, but if you listen to Freddie Maggard, you know Vandy has one of the best defenses in the SEC, and they return seven starters. Don’t get me wrong, this game is at home and is definitely winnable, but it comes one week after a road trip to Alabama. Plus, Ralph Webb is really good.
Dak Prescott is gone and the Bulldogs were voted to finish 7th in the SEC West. Even though Mississippi State has won the past seven matchups, I feel optimistic about this game simply because it’s at home after a bye week.
This could be the pivotal game on Kentucky’s schedule. Mizzou’s defense is good, but their offense is not. If Kentucky can put up enough points to win, it will go a long way to helping them get to a bowl.
9. Southern Miss, September 3
I’ve been drinking Freddie’s Kool-Aid when it comes to this game. Freddie says that on paper, Southern Miss is better than South Carolina and Vandy. If we lose this game…
…I can’t go there yet. I just can’t.
I still don’t understand why the Gamecocks hired Will Muschamp, but hey, I’m not complaining. Combine that with the game being at home and UK winning the past two years and I feel pretty confident about the Cats’ chances.
11. New Mexico State, September 17
New Mexico State ranks 121st out of the 128 teams in ESPN’s 2016 football power rankings. There’s not enough bourbon in the Bluegrass if Kentucky loses this one.
12. Austin Peay, November 19
Austin Peay didn’t win a single game last season and lost to Vanderbilt 47-7. See above.