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How Close Is Kentucky to the Rest of the SEC?

Yesterday on the site we posted SaturdayDownSouth’s rankings of the SEC and the  blog wasn’t too high on the Cats. Kentucky’s expectation level is on the rise but those expectations still have them coming in just ahead of Vandy for a thirteenth place finish. So despite a better outlook the Cats are still expected to be treading the same water. Just how close are we getting to breaking through? First we will take a look at closing the gap on recruiting:


While the Cats have been recruiting better than they have EVER done before they are still in that 13th place when compared to the rest of the league. An important distinction is that 13th isn’t in the 46th nationally ranked class anymore and is now trending towards the top 30. Here’s how the complete order shakes out:

1. Alabama 1

2. LSU 6.75

3. Georgia 8.5

4. Auburn 9.25

5. Florida 9.25

6. Texas A&M 10.25

7. Tennessee 13.25

8. South Carolina 18.75

9. Mississippi 21.5

10. Mississippi State 25

11. Arkansas 25.75

12. Missouri 34.5

13. Kentucky 35.75

14. Vanderbilt 41.25

While we’ve been circling the Florida game as being prime time to end the streak but by looking at these numbers it’s clear the Gators are still talents. Despite a slide in recruiting and defections these past four seasons the Gators are still very talented, especially on the defensive side of the ball. On offense they are very young with unknowns at QB and the line but new coach Jim McElwain has had success everywhere with his style of play. Catching them early in the year could be a double-edged sword as we won’t have much tape on the way their offense is going to work.

More likely to mark down as a W is the game against Missouri. Yes, the Tigers have been the surprise of the east the last two seasons but that hasn’t done much on the recruiting trail. After losing 21 seniors to end last year, I can’t imagine they will hit the trifecta and beat Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky as they have these past two seasons. That has been the biggest factor in their rise to the top.

Bottom line, Kentucky is closer than ever in talent to our SEC brethren. If you look at just the past three seasons that Stoops has been here the Cats pass Missouri to move to 12th. They also inch closer and closer to perennial opponents South Carolina and Mississippi State, both of whom we will have at home next season. Then factor in that the Cats currently hold the 19th spot for the class of 2016 with the future looking brighter all the time.

As a caller on radio today said, first you sleep, then you creep, and finally you leap. This year is looking like the year we creep and shock some guys. Next year could very well be the year the Cats take the leap to battle for the east.

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

13 Comments for How Close Is Kentucky to the Rest of the SEC?

  1. Pakistan Cat
    10:19 pm August 4, 2015 Permalink

    As the president of Pakistani UK Alumni Association, I would like to wish Coach Stoops and the team a very successful football campaign

  2. Reality
    10:28 pm August 4, 2015 Permalink

    Depends on who you ask. KSR and homers think we are nipping on the heels of the SEC championship game and the rest of the civilized world thinks we are a division 1 program with a 3 million dollar coach, just a notch below Western.

    • Dude
      10:55 pm August 4, 2015 Permalink

      Uh, no. You’re the only idiot that believes that. Off you go!

    • theSkinny81
      11:12 pm August 4, 2015 Permalink

      Reality – provide links, please.

      I’ll wait……..

    • Billy Hill
      8:22 am August 5, 2015 Permalink

      Skinny, this article is all the link you need. Every major publication that follows the SEC says UK will be 12-13 in the SEC. KSR spins all the news to make people think we are out recruiting and out coaching everyone.

    • J-Dub421
      10:06 am August 5, 2015 Permalink

      Billy Hill, these same major publications picked Mississippi State to finish waaaayyy back in the SEC the last 2 years, and they were in contention for the SEC title both years. Journalists are just guessing.

    • theSkinny81
      1:15 pm August 5, 2015 Permalink

    • scorpiocard
      1:30 pm August 5, 2015 Permalink

      @ the Skinny81

      We already started it, but decided “why just the ACC”? …and took it national.

    • theSkinny81
      1:42 pm August 5, 2015 Permalink

      Aww. That’s great. You should hang a banner for some ranking system that CBS came up with. LOL

      Still haven’t won your conference in ANY sport. So slow down.

      Q: is Louisville considered a destination school when it comes to coaching?

    • scorpiocard
      3:40 pm August 5, 2015 Permalink

      Baseball won the regular season championship and set an all time record for wins in a season for the ACC while doing so.

      Is Louisville considered a destination job when it comes to coaching?

      What sport? In most sports yes of course it is. In football I am not sure. I think Bobby will retire here, but I don’t know, and I’m not worried about it. In football it may be getting close, but if Florida and LSU can lose football coaches, then can’t anybody?

    • Oh! It's a Baseball school now? LOL
      5:52 pm August 5, 2015 Permalink

      scorpiocard says:
      December 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm
      No one! turns down Texas? How ridiculous. Cracks me up how simple minded folks always think they know what someones else’s career priorities are.

      Jim Tom you know what else comes with the Texas job? CRAZY fan base expectations. If a new coach had one bad season their life would become a living hell. Charlie Strong is also a devoted family man with two daughters in their final years of high school. He’s not going to move them for ANY job. He may leave after they graduate. Sure its possible. Before they do? No way.

      Your idiotic response makes me laugh.

  3. Catfan66
    11:01 pm August 4, 2015 Permalink

    Been following the Cats since the Peach Bowl many years ago. Coach Stoops has made big strides, definately a shot at a winning season. SDS is very biased in there predictions – there focus is not the SEC – but the few select teams that do win year in and out in the SEC.

  4. sckysportsink
    7:50 am August 5, 2015 Permalink

    I’m not convinced that W/L record will be the best tool for judging improvement under Coach Stoops. I think margin of victories and losses against SEC level competition will be a better indicator. If we get blown out by average teams, that would indicate problems. If we play strong teams close,but still lose, that could indicate progress. I believe blowouts by highly ranked opponents will be few and far between.