The SEC is rightly expected to make a lot of noise in 2022, and Kentucky football will be a big reason why.
The Southeastern Conference is not a league for the weak, as it has owned the last three national champions, as well as an astonishing 13 bowl teams in 2021.
Some of the biggest names in this group from last season include Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and…Kentucky?
No, you read that right. The Kentucky football team was one of the biggest powerhouses in the conference last year, winning nine games in the Wildcats regular season before claiming its 10th victory thanks to a battle with Iowa in the Citrus Bowl.
For a program that has always been unspectacular, this is no small feat. However, as the years go by, a 10-game winning streak might start to make less and less sense.
Surprisingly, Kentucky football is getting used to stellar performances because last season’s quality didn’t come completely out of nowhere.
Success is nothing new for Kentucky football
The Wildcats have seen a bowling game every year for six straight years (winning the last four of them), the last time they didn’t in 2015. Over that span, they’ve amassed eight or more wins three times.
And that’s despite sharing a division with the Tennessee Volunteers, Florida Gators, and Georgia Bulldogs, none of which should even have to sweat against the likes of Kentucky.
And while we’re at it, the UK’s out-of-conference opposition is generally no cakewalk either.
In recent memory, the Wildcats have prioritized competition at the group of 5 or higher level, with one of their headlining matchups being an annual battle with in-state rival Louisville of the ACC. .
However, anything outside of league play shouldn’t be too much of a hassle these days, as the talent of Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops and his staff has proven to be immeasurable (especially with his team being 5th in SEC recruiting in 2022).
Combining that with the fact that Kentucky Football has suffered just one non-conference loss since the start of the 2017-18 season, only the exclusive group of SEC programs that are visibly superiority as the real threats.
Said exclusive group includes the aforementioned names: Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas. And of those four, how many will the Cats face in the 2022 regular season? Two – Ole Miss and Georgia – the toughest having to get to Lexington.
It’s not like the Kentucky Wildcats are fighting for a playoff spot, or even the SEC crown, anytime soon, but they’re surely looking to make some noise for the foreseeable future. And based on what we’ve seen of them so far, I wouldn’t recommend doubting their ability to do so.