As many of you have been asking for a few weeks due to the basketball teams struggles, "When does the football season start?" Well, while you still shouldn't completely bail on this basketball season, you now have an idea of when that long-lost football season actually begins.
Wednesday afternoon the 2020-21 UK football schedule was released, and Kentucky will open up Kroger Field for their first game of the season on September 4th.
September 4th: vs Louisiana-Monroe
September 11th: vs Missouri
September 18th: vs Chattanooga
September 25th: at South Carolina
October 2nd: vs Florida
October 9th: vs LSU
October 16th: at Georgia
October 23rd: Bye Week
October 30th: at Mississippi State
November 6th: vs Tennessee
November 13th: at Vanderbilt
November 20th: vs New Mexico State
November 27th: at Louisville
Immediate reactions to seeing this schedule, grabs your eyes on the tough mid-season stretch that Kentucky will have to go through during weeks 5-7, where the Cats will face Florida, LSU (both at home), then at Georgia all in a three week span. Flashbacks of the 2020 All-SEC schedule without a doubt, but, Coach Marrow is telling us not to be worried about it.
Breaking down the schedule, I'm going to give you my win-loss outcome of the entire season. I believe Kentucky could easily win their first four games versus Louisiana-Monroe, Missouri, Chattanooga, and at South Carolina to start the season off 4-0. That would make fans excited again, and hopefully the season momentum will begin rolling into the other games. That Missouri game could potentially be tough, but if Kentucky manages to win it with the support of their home crowd, their bar could be set higher for the rest of the season.
Then Kentucky gets deep into the heart of their tough SEC schedule, for the hardest part of the schedule, vs Florida, vs LSU, and at Georgia. Kentucky is not going to win all three of those obviously, but if Kentucky could pull off one win that's all they would need. I think people would be happy coming out with one of those wins against a power conference school of the SEC. I'm leaning on it being Florida or LSU, as we've proven we can be Florida (2018) and if not can hang close with them as they have in about 5 of the last 7 years. LSU is coming off a down year after losing the players from their national title team to the NFL. LSU is looking to bounce back this season but if we can catch them while they're still down, it would be huge. Now Georgia- I don't believe we have a chance to beat them, although Kentucky has played great in at least one half of the last two matchups with the Bulldogs. I'm going on record saying that will be a L in the W/L column, but used as more of a 'test with the best' to see how we hold up as an up-and-coming SEC East team. I think the Cats will go 1-2 in that three game stretch.
That puts Kentucky at 5-2 entering their bye week, with five games left on their schedule.
That leaves us at Mississippi State, vs Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, vs New Mexico State and to finish off the season in the dirty city of Louisville. I'm confident in saying Kentucky beats Vanderbilt and New Mexico State, but I feel like they will lose to Tennessee. This is definitely the year to hit back-to-back on the Volunteers, as they're losing their entire recruiting class and just hired a new Head Coach and AD due to recruiting violations, and I wouldn't be shocked if Kentucky did pull it off, but you know how it goes where Kentucky can lose to Tennessee in any given year no matter how much of a better we are than them. That game can go either way. That leaves Mississippi State and Louisville left to predict. If Kentucky was to win both of those, that would cap off the season at 9-3 by my predictions. Now that would be a great season, there's always a game that doesn't go the way as planned. I'm going to say Kentucky goes 1-1 in those two, and finish 8-4 on the season. With that being said, I could easily see a 10-2 season heading into the bowl game as well, if you find a way to win all three of the Louisville, Tennessee and Mississippi State trio.
I'm excited about this season, and at the worst case scenario Kentucky would have a 7 game win season, and best case scenario at 10+ wins of the twelve game season heading into a bowl game.
How many games do you think Kentucky will win this season? Vote in the poll below. Kentucky has 12 regular season games, with a potential thirteenth game coming in a bowl game.
My final prediction: Kentucky will go 8-4 on the 2020-21 season. That's being conservative.