BTI's Rants and Ramblings: UK in the Toss-Up Games Recently

Bryan the Internabout 5 years


Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
Sep 26, 2015; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats cornerback J.D. Harmon (11) and cornerback Mike Edwards (27) celebrate during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Commonwealth Stadium. Kentucky defeated Missouri Tigers 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports Every season, no matter how good or bad the team is, will have several games that going into the year can be considered toss-up games.  These usually turn out to be the games that determine just how successful a season will be.  For UK, this year it looks like South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and at Missouri would be those games with Southern Miss and Mississippi State potentially in that mix too.  Those 3-5 games will likely determine whether this is a 4 win season or an 8 win season.  It feels like historically UK has done very poor in these games but do the facts actually bare that out?  Below are the last 5 seasons and games where the spread was 7 points either way before the game began.  Those games in bold are ones that UK won: 2015 at South Carolina (+7): WON 26-22 Florida (+3): LOST 14-9 Missouri (-3): WON 21-13 Auburn (+1): LOST 30-27 at Vanderbilt (+3): LOST 21-17 Louisville (+5): LOST 38-24 2014 South Carolina (+4): WON 45-38 2013 Western Kentucky (-4): LOST 35-26 Tennessee (+3): LOST 27-14 2012 Kent St (-6): WON 47-14 Western Kentucky (-6): LOST 32-31 Vanderbilt (+7): LOST 40-0 2011 Louisville (-5): LOST 24-17 Ole Miss (+2): WON 30-13 Tennessee (+6): WON 10-7 All total, 15 games over the last 5 years where the spread was a touchdown or less coming into game.  UK went 6-9 in those games straight up and the same 6-9 record against the spread.  For comparisons sake, Vanderbilt has gone 14-8 in games where the spread was 7 points or less in the last 5 years.  That is a big reason why they have went to 3 bowls in that span and UK has went to NONE.   UK is likely to have a good number of these games this season, maybe starting with the season opener.  If Mark Stoops wants his team headed to a bowl, they are going to have to improve upon the 2-4 mark from last season.  If they follow the trend of most UK teams though, it's back to no December football.

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