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Kentucky is No. 25 in ESPN's SP+ preseason rankings

Adam Luckettby:Adam Luckett05/21/24

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Kentucky has finished in the top 25 in ESPN‘s SP+ rankings three times in the last six seasons. The analytics ranking is again calling for the Wildcats to be a top-25 team in 2024. In the final preseason ranking of 2024, the Wildcats are the 10th SEC team to make an appearance in the top 25.

Kentucky checks in at No. 25 overall, No. 31 on offense, No. 31 on defense, and No. 39 on special teams.

SP+ is “a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. It is a predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football, not a résumé ranking, and along those lines, these projections aren’t intended to be a guess at what the AP Top 25 will look like at the end of the season.”

SP+ uses a three factors model in the preseason: returning production, recent recruiting, and recent history. Those three factors are given a numerical value and thrown into a calculator. The computer believes that Mark Stoops will have another quality football team in 2024. In a recent update that included final transfer portal additions, Kentucky jumped to No. 14 overall in returning production and that led the SEC. The Wildcats are hoping that experience will lead to good things on the field this fall.

SP+ Top 25

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Oregon
  4. Texas
  5. Alabama
  6. Michigan
  7. Penn State
  8. Ole Miss
  9. LSU
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Missouri
  12. Florida State
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Clemson
  15. Oklahoma
  16. Tennessee
  17. Kansas State
  18. Utah
  19. Miami
  20. Oklahoma State
  21. USC
  22. Iowa
  23. SMU
  24. Arizona
  25. Kentucky

Where Kentucky’s opponents rank in SP+

Kentucky’s first SEC scheduled outside of a division structure since 1991 will not be easy. Kentucky faces three top-10 teams with two away from home. There’s another road trip to a top-20 team plus the No. 1 overall team coming to Kroger Field in Week 3.

The Wildcats have a very difficult schedule on paper entering the season. Let’s see where each Kentucky foe ranks in the final preseason SP+ ranking.

  • Southern Miss (Aug. 31) | No. 123 overall
  • South Carolina (Sept. 7) | No. 43 overall
  • Georgia (Sept. 14) | No. 1 overall
  • Ohio (Sept. 21) | No. 102 overall
  • at Ole Miss (Sept. 28) | No. 8 overall
  • Vanderbilt (Oct. 12) | No. 97 overall
  • at Florida (Oct. 19) | No. 33 overall
  • Auburn (Oct. 26) | No. 31 overall
  • at Tennessee (Nov. 2) | No. 16 overall
  • Murray State (Nov. 16) | Not ranked
  • at Texas (Nov. 23) | No. 4 overall
  • Louisville (Nov. 30) | No. 28 overall

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2024-06-20