Kentucky Has 99 Problems, But Its Schedule Ain't One // SEC 2011

This is an overview. Predictions come later. Home games in CAPS.

SEPTEMBER

9/1: WESTERN KENTUCKY

9/10: CENTRAL MICHIGAN

9/17: LOUISVILLE

9/24: FLORIDA

When talking about a Kentucky schedule in recent years, the non-conference slate is invariably Louisville and three cupcakes. Thanks to Steve Kragthorpe, even facing the Cardinals wasn't all that bad (and he arguably saved the Wildcats' bowl streak in 2008). This year is no exception, with two patsies and Louisville beginning the season. Thanks to rotations UK plays the entirety of its opening month at home, but coming away 4-0 with a Charlie Strong-led UL and Florida in there would be a great achievement.

OCTOBER

10/1: at LSU

10/8: at South Carolina

10/15: BYE

10/22: JACKSONVILLE STATE

10/29: MISSISSIPPI STATE

Kentucky gets a little payback here with road games after a month at home, but not much as the 'Cats only have four road games on the season. LSU and South Carolina on the road back-to-back is really tough, but they get a bye and I-AA Jacksonville State to follow. The month caps off with designated rival Mississippi State at home. Overall a 1-3 result is more likely than not, but you're always going to have a tough month in the SEC.

NOVEMBER

11/5: OLE MISS

11/12: at Vanderbilt

11/19: at Georgia

11/26: TENNESSEE

When it comes down to it, you really can't find much to complain about with Kentucky's draw from the West. Playing at LSU is never pleasant, but the Wildcats also get the Mississippi schools and play both at home. Going to Vanderbilt is as easy a road trip as there is in the SEC, though traveling to Athens the week after might hurt. As always, they get to try to crack the big orange nut at the end of the schedule.

OVERALL

Kentucky might have some issues trying to get to a bowl this year, but the schedule won't be one of them. UK is starting the year with three wins against Jacksonville State, Western Kentucky, and Central Michigan. Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Louisville are winnable games, and streak aside, so is the Tennessee game. They might even surprise South Carolina again what with the Gamecocks coming off a game against last year's nemesis Auburn. This is about as attractive as an SEC schedule gets.

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