Matt Murschel of the College Gridiron 365 Blog and the Orlando Sentinel is ranking every team at the Football Bowl Subdivision level from 120 down to 1. Matt is basing his rankings on several factors including: returning letterwinners, returning starters, 2010 performance, coaching staff changes, strength of schedule and strength of the conference. Today, Matt reviews #63 on his list, the Kentucky Wildcats.
Here are a few of the positive moments for the Cats in his article…
Look back: The Wildcats advanced to their fifth consecutive bowl game thanks to All-SEC standout Randall Cobb. The receiver played multiple positions, leading the conference in all-purpose yards per game with 184.3. He helped UK to a 3-0 start and wins in two of its last three regular-season games and upset then-No. 10 South Carolina. Included in the Wildcats’ 10 losses were three SEC games by a touchdown or less – to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and national champion Auburn.
Strengths: Against the pass, the Wildcats were one of the best in the conference last year and they return all their starters from a secondary that gave up 177.1 yards per game (fourth in the SEC). Their strength will come from the defensive side of the ball this year, where senior linebacker Danny Trevathan should lead the Wildcats after earning first-team All-SEC honors last season and leading the conference in tackles per game (11.1).
Outlook: The Wildcats pulled some upsets last year, thanks in part to Cobb. With a favorable SEC schedule, they could do the same this year if the defense is as good as expected and questions are answered early on offense.
Here are a few notable teams ranked even lower than the Cats on Matt’s list…
No. 65 Ole Miss
No. 87 Louisville
No. 98 Indiana
No. 100 Vanderbilt
103 Central Michigan
No. 115 Western Kentucky
Kentucky’s other non-conference opponent, Jacksonville State, has not y yet appeared on the list. Meaning, Matt is picking Jacksonville State to beat UK. At least, that is what I am guessing.