I don't have to tell you that the national media, and in this case the conference media, do not respect Kentucky even close to the way that they should be on a yearly basis, so this article shouldn't be anything suprising to you. Although, it has gotten a little less worse in recent years to what it once was when the football program first started finding some success, but after last year's 7-6 record from a banged-up team, the SEC media is back at it in full force.
This week the SEC Media Days annual event was held in Nashville and coverage from all 14 teams were present. Representatives from each program were selected to predict who they expect to finish where on each side of the conference. As we only care about the East, here's who they chose as a collective to finish in order.
Georgia (265 first place votes)
Tennessee (14 first place votes)
South Carolina (3 first place votes)
Kentucky (1 first place vote)
Florida (0 first place votes)
Missouri (0 first place votes)
Vanderbilt (8 first place votes) - Yes, that is not a typo.
For some odd reason, Vanderbilt got a spike in votes and I really can't explain as to why that was. But what we really need to be discussing in the audacity for South Carolina to be projected higher than Kentucky. Yeah, they beat UK in Lexington last season but many of them tend to forget that Will Levis was sidelined to an injury (DNP) and that Kentucky fumbled on the very first kick of the game, which resulted in a Gamecock touchdown and immediately set the tone for a miserable, cold night. But if we really want to start pulling up statistics (because facts matter don't they?), Kentucky has won 7 of the last 9 matchups against South Carolina dating back to 2014, when Kentucky wasn't even good yet. The conference refuses to believe that Kentucky is a superior program over USC in today's world and almost every season they have to prove them wrong. I guess it's time to do it again.
The Tennessee placement, I don't like it but I do understand it. They waxed us last year and it's always a battle against them every season, usually resulting in a frustrating loss. I'm okay with their position, just don't let Vol fans know that I said that.
And Georgia... do I even need to go on? Didn't think so.
If you ask me where I'd put Kentucky, I think they need to switch spots with South Carolina and then a really successful year would have them taking home that second spot. Trying to take out Georgia seems damn near impossible so I won't go on record saying that I expect that will happen.
Kentucky's first conference opponent will be Vanderbilt on the road in late September, on the 23rd. It will be their fourth game on the schedule and they will likely be looking to move to 4-0 with a win.