ESPN Ranks UK's Non-Conference Schedule as One of the Weakest in America

by:Nick Roush06/25/19


Kentucky’s 2019 football schedule is setting the Wildcats up for success. Even though Mark Stoops must replace the record-breaking Benny Snell and Josh Allen, finding wins will not be so difficult thanks to a favorable schedule.

Kentucky plays eight home games in 2019, four of which are against unranked non-conference foes — Toledo, Eastern Michigan, UT-Martin and Louisville. According to ESPN’s Chris Low, it’s the fifth easiest non-conference slate in the country.

Mark Stoops has done an outstanding job in Lexington. The Wildcats won 10 games a year ago, the first time they’ve won 10 or more games since 1977. But they’re losing several key players from the 2018 team and a ton of experience, so having a cushy nonconference schedule in 2019 won’t be all bad. The Wildcats will play all four games at home, and the only Power 5 opponent is the annual rivalry game against a Louisville team that’s starting over after going 2-10 a year ago.

It’s not just who UK is playing, it’s when they’re playing weak teams too. Low penned a piece on schedule superlatives, and he believes the Cats have the “Cushiest close to a season.”

Kentucky closes the season with a November that has a distinct Volunteer State flavor to it, and three of the four games are at home. Tennessee on Nov. 9, UT-Martin on Nov. 23 and Louisville on Nov. 30 will all come to Kroger Field. The only away game is against Vanderbilt on Nov. 16. None of UK’s four November foes finished with a winning record a year ago.

What does this mean? If Kentucky can upset Florida at home in week three, they can lose at South Carolina and at Mississippi State and still finish the regular season with nine wins. Obviously, there’s a lot of “ifs” that play into that scenario (like taking care of business at The Kroge vs. Tennessee and Mizzou), but it’s not out of reach.

It also means that Louisville sucks. When Louisville is bad at football, being a Kentucky football fan is much easier. Thanks Petrino!


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