Next week hundreds of media members from throughout the southeast will make the annual pilgrimage to Hoover for SEC Media Days.
SEC Media Days is filled with timeless traditions. You’ll always find Alabama fans in the lobby screaming, “ROLL TIDE!” Copious amounts of Sunkist and Dr. Pepper will be consumed. Just like the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the media will pick Kentucky to finish near the bottom of the SEC East.
If you’re looking for proof of media bias, it’s not hard to find. CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee compared preseason predictions to final regular season standings. In 27 years the media has only correctly predicted the champion seven times. Since expansion to 14 teams in 2012, Kentucky has consistently outperformed the media’s predictions.
Over the last seven years, only Mississippi State has done a better job of debunking the preseason media poll. On average, UK finishes one spot higher than predicted for a total of +7 over the last seven years.
The media has either been right or has undervalued the Wildcats every year since expansion. The real jump came over the last two years. They out-preformed their preseason pick by two games in 2017 and three in 2018 — when they won 10 games and the Citrus Bowl.
When you’re picked at the bottom, there’s really only one direction you can go, up. Despite last season’s success, the SEC Media will still likely select UK to finish at best fourth in the East.
You will be shocked to learn which two programs are overhyped more than any other: Tennessee and South Carolina. Visit CBS Sports to see where each team finished compared to their preseason projection.