Kentucky Continues Rise in AP Poll; jumps one spot to #7 – Kentucky Kernel

Kentucky football continued its steady rise in the AP Poll rankings on Sunday, moving up one spot to No. 7 after their 31-23 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday.

The placement at No. 7 marks the highest level Kentucky has achieved since 1977, which it held for six weeks under Fran Curci, who held the record for longest-serving British soccer coach before the current head coach Mark Stoops.

Since 1977, the UK had not topped No.8, which was accomplished twice in 2007 under Rich Brooks.

The UK currently sits 4-0 on the young 2022 season which is heading towards the bulk of its SEC schedule, earning wins over Miami Ohio, Florida, Youngstown State and Northern Illinois. .

Rankings talk started early for this Kentucky team, earning the No. 21 ranking in the preseason AP poll, marking the first time since 1978, the year after the aforementioned ’97 campaign under Curci.

The Cats stayed at No. 21 after a less-than-convincing win over Miami Ohio in Week 1, but catapulted themselves into the top 10 at No. 9 after traveling to Gainesville, Fla. and beating No. 12 in Florida 26-16, marking the first time since 1976 the Wildcats had defeated the Gators in back-to-back matchups.

The following week, after taking Youngstown State 31-0, Stoops’ first shutout of the term, Kentucky moved up one spot to No. 8, skipping Oklahoma State.

This week, despite the Cats’ defensive issues against Northern Illinois, the former Oklahoma No. 6 was beaten at home by then-unranked Kansas State, a mistake the Sooners blamed. been punished by dropping 12 places to No. 18.

Signs pointed to a possibility that the No. 11 Tennessee could skip Kentucky and take the No. 7 instead, but the Vols allowed Florida to come back in a last-second touchdown of the victory, which led the ‘UT to jump only three spots to No. 8. and Kentucky jumping to No. 7.

Only six teams stand ahead of Kentucky heading into its Week 5 game, including No. 6 USC, No. 5 Clemson, No. 4 Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 2 Alabama and No. 1 Georgia, which Kentucky faces later this season.

Now heading to Oxford, Mississippi, for the No. 14 Ole Miss matchup, Kentucky may have a chance to move further up the standings, especially as two teams above them could be on upset alert.

No. 5 Clemson hosts No. 10 NC State in a game in which he is favored by less than a touchdown after the Tigers took two overtimes to overcome No. 21 Wake Forest.

Alternatively, though less likely, No. 2 Alabama travels to Fayetteville to fight No. 20 Arkansas, after struggling to beat unranked Texas by a single point. The Razorbacks were in the top 10 a week ago before losing on the road to No. 23 Texas A&M, which was itself a top-10 team before being stunned by Appalachian State.

Either way, the prospect of continuing to climb the rankings is very real for this Kentucky team as they hit the road for a game considered by many to be the top three in terms of importance this season for the Cats as they look for their first win. in Oxford since 1978.

This match is currently set to kick off at 12:00 noon EST inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday, October 1 and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

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