You are looking at the last team that was ranked in Kentucky football. Yes, that is the 2007 team that was ranked as high as #8 for Kentucky vs. Florida on October 20th, 2007. The actual date that Kentucky was last ranked was November 17th, 2007. That was the day the 22nd ranked Cats played the 8th ranked Georgia Bulldogs, where they would lose and fall out of the rankings the next day.
Now that Kentucky is 2-0 (1-0) after beating Florida, the ranking discussion is alive and well. What are the most likely ways Kentucky gets ranked you ask? Well, let’s take a look.
1. Beating Mississippi State and South Carolina
The best and most likely way for UK to be ranked is if they beat Mississippi State and South Carolina. If this happens, Kentucky would be 5-0 (3-0) which would be the same record the 2007 team above had.
I include South Carolina because as of right now, Kentucky has 8 teams in front of them and jumping that many teams after one win would be tough, especially for Kentucky. You beat South Carolina, you’re ranked. If not, then rankings shouldn’t exist.
2. You’re 6-1 (3-1) after Texas A&M
If Kentucky is 6-1 (3-1) after Texas A&M, for the purpose of this post, that means you lost to Mississippi State but beat South Carolina at home and beat Texas A&M on the road. Losing to Mississippi State at home next weekend wouldn’t be a bad loss, but losing to South Carolina the next weekend would be a bad loss after their performance against Georgia. Beating South Carolina would be great and beating a team on the road, especially Texas A&M (after their game against Clemson) would be huge.
They don’t penalize you too much for losing to Mississippi State, you gain the points back for beating South Carolina, then you’re ranked if you beat A&M.
3. You’re 6-3 (4-3) after Georgia
This one is ranked 3 for multiple reasons. 1) beating Georgia is unlikely and 2) it would be hard for them to be ranked with this record, but beating Georgia is the reason you would be ranked.
This happens with wins against Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and the big one in Georgia. The Bulldogs will likely be a top five team all year (unless hell freezes over) and a win against a top five team would definitely get you ranked. But, a win over Georgia is very unlikely.
4. You’re 8-4 going into bowl season
Finishing the season with an 8-4 record could get you ranked, but, some big wins have to happen in order for it to get you ranked.
For this to happen, you have to beat Texas A&M, Missouri, and Georgia. This also includes some bad losses and (most likely) an up and down season, which us Kentucky fans are used to by now.
Getting ranked with an 8-4 record will be unlikely because the “experts” most likely will not give you too many looks, but if you get those big wins above, it could.
If this season is as good as it should be, Kentucky will be ranked in the top 25 at some point. The window is small, but there are some opportunities
I personally believe a top 25 ranking will happen at some point this season. Let’s go!