Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Ranking Kentucky football’s 2021 schedule by difficulty

Kentucky football’s schedule for the upcoming 2021 season has officially been released, and it’s one that should have the Big Blue Nation dreaming big. With seven home games and only two games against teams who finished above .500 on the year in 2020, the opportunities to rack up victories is certainly there.

Where will those wins come from?

KSR has compiled the entire list of games on Kentucky’s schedule and ranked them from most difficult (No. 1) to least difficult (No. 12), featuring the opponent’s previous record from the 2020 season, how they fared against Kentucky last year (if applicable), and a brief analysis of each team.


1. at Georgia (Oct. 16)

2020 record: 8-2

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: UGA def. UK 14-13

Analysis: Georgia is currently sitting on an 11-game winning streak over Kentucky, with the Wildcats last defeating the Bulldogs in 2009. UGA boasts the No. 3 recruiting class in 2021 after finishing No. 1 in 2020, with the Bulldogs widely projected to finish No. 1 in the SEC East next season.

2. vs. Florida (Oct. 2)

2020 record: 8-4

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: UF def. UK 34-10

Analysis: The Gators are losing quite a bit on offense – namely QB Kyle Trask, TE Kyle Pitts, WR Kadarius Toney and WR Trevon Grimes – but are still loaded across the board, with the team expected to make yet another run at the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.

3. vs. LSU (Oct. 9)

2020 record: 5-5

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: N/A

Analysis: LSU was one of the biggest underachievers of the college football season last year, but are still just one year removed from a national title. After several coaching changes and a year of growth for a relatively inexperienced group, the Tigers are expected to see a solid jump in 2021.

4. vs. Missouri (Sept. 11)

2020 record: 5-5

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: Mizzou def. UK 20-10

Analysis: Missouri earned some national respect following several gritty victories in 2020 under new head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, but are still seen as a middle-of-the-pack program in the SEC East. UK went into last year’s matchup with a five-game winning streak in the series.

5. at Mississippi State (Oct. 30)

2020 record: 4-7

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: UK def. MSU 24-2

Analysis: The Mike Leach era in Starkville got off to a hot start, but failed to find any semblance of consistency by the end of the season. One of UK’s signature wins of the year came with the Bulldogs in town in a 24-2 blowout. MSU is also losing several key pieces on both sides, specifically in star running back Kylin Hill.

6. vs. Tennessee (Nov. 6)

2020 record: 3-7

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: UK def. UT 34-7

Analysis: With a brand new coaching staff and a ridiculous number of outgoing transfers, the Tennessee football program is an absolute mess. The only reason they’re listed this high on the list is Kentucky’s long history of (somehow, some way) losing in this series. From a talent and coaching perspective, this is a very winnable game for Stoops and the UK football program.

7. at Louisville (Nov. 27)

2020 record: 4-7

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: N/A

Analysis: Louisville has had quite the offseason under head coach Scott Satterfield, who seemingly wants to be anywhere but Louisville right now. The Cardinals showed promise at times, but mostly underachieved and looked like the rebuilding program many expected following the departure of Bobby Petrino in 2018. Fans were robbed of the rivalry battle in 2020, but it’s back and better than ever in 2021.

8. at South Carolina (Sept. 25)

2020 record: 2-8

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: UK def. USC 41-18

Analysis: UK has beaten USC in six of its last seven matchups, including an absolute beatdown in Lexington this past season. With a brand new coaching staff and numerous key departures heading into 2021, it doesn’t appear the Gamecocks are ready to close the gap anytime soon.

9. at Vanderbilt (Nov. 13)

2020 record: 0-9

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: UK def. Vandy 38-35

Analysis: As bad as South Carolina was in 2020, Vanderbilt was worse, failing to win a single game in nine tries. The team fired head coach Derek Mason and replaced him with Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea back in December.

10. vs. New Mexico State (Nov. 20)

2020 record: N/A (postponed fall schedule to spring, season resumes February 20)

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: N/A

Analysis: We don’t know what New Mexico State will look like until its spring season begins next month, but back in 2016, the Wildcats and Aggies participated in quite the shootout, with the former coming out on top 62-42.

11. vs. UT-Chattanooga (Sept. 18)

2020 record: 0-1 (postponed fall schedule to spring, season resumes February 20)

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: N/A

Analysis: Like New Mexico State, Chattanooga’s fall schedule was postponed following a 13-10 loss at Western Kentucky to open the season.

12. vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Sept. 4)

2020 record: 0-10

Head-to-head matchup with Kentucky in 2020: N/A

Analysis: The Warhawks of ULM weren’t competitive in the slightest this past season, and don’t appear to post a threat to Kentucky in 2021.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

4 Comments for Ranking Kentucky football’s 2021 schedule by difficulty



  1. BBNBRIAN
    9:25 pm January 27, 2021 Permalink

    Stoops will find a way to squeak out a .500 season – maybe…



  2. highway119
    9:55 pm January 27, 2021 Permalink

    10+ wins= Lifetime contract for Stoops
    9 wins= Awesome season
    8 wins= Great, but let a chance or two get away from us (My prediction)
    7 wins= Acceptable, but somewhat of a letdown
    6 or less wins= Disappointing or something horrible happened (Cohen is a bust, no clear QB emerges or major attrition at several key positions)

    Remember when we just wanted to be bowl eligible? Thank you Coach Stoops!



  3. satcheluk
    4:47 am January 28, 2021 Permalink

    Agreed, though I’m leaning 9 wins.



  4. csnailnrun
    8:15 am January 28, 2021 Permalink

    Loserville overachieved by 4 wins