With the win over Florida, Kentucky is just one victory shy of becoming bowl-eligible for the eighth straight season. If that comes this weekend vs. Georgia, Kentucky’s postseason path takes an exciting new turn, but regardless, the Cats’ bowl projections got a bump after an impressive showing vs. the Gators.
Coming into the weekend, most college football pundits had Kentucky in either the Liberty Bowl or Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The Duke’s Mayo Bowl is still a popular choice, but the Cats are now being mentioned as a contender for a January 1st bowl, the ReliaQuest Bowl, and even a New Year’s Six bowl, the Cotton Bowl. Oh yes, 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford pits the Cats vs. the USC Trojans on Dec. 27 at AT&T Stadium.
“One change to our New Year’s Six projection at least for a week is Kentucky getting an at-large SEC nod over Alabama,” he writes. “Those two teams play later this season in Lexington and as of now, the Wildcats (5-0) may have a slight edge in a contest that’s sure to be won at the line of scrimmage. Kentucky travels to top-ranked Georgia in Week 6 to determine early supremacy at the top of the SEC East. Another trip to AT&T Stadium for USC would be unwanted since it would mean a failed Playoff quest for Lincoln Riley and Co.”
Of course, Kentucky has played in the Cotton Bowl once before, beating TCU 20-7 in 1952 under Bear Bryant. Running that back would be another exciting step forward.
Kentucky Football Bowl Projections (After Week 5)
- ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs. North Carolina (Dec. 27, 5:30 PM, ESPN, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)
- ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: ReliaQuest Bowl vs. Miami (Jan. 1, Noon, ESPN2, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL)
- CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs. Duke (Dec. 27, 5:30 PM, ESPN, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)
- Brett McMurphy: Texas Bowl vs. West Virginia (Dec. 27, 9 p.m. ESPN, NRG Stadium, Houston, TX)
- 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford: Cotton Bowl vs. USC (Dec. 29, 8 p.m., ESPN, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX)
Kentucky rises in national rankings
By now, you probably know that Kentucky cracked the Top 25 of the AP and Coaches Polls. The Cats are now No. 20 in both, their first time being ranked this season. Kentucky made similar jumps in other national rankings. Kentucky rose 12 spots to No. 21 in The Athletic’s ranking of all 133 teams in the FBS and six spots to No. 18 in CBS Sports’ version.
Here’s a rundown of where the Cats and their opponents stand in all the national rankings:
|Team||AP||Coaches||ESPN FPI||The Athletic||CBS Sports|