Kentucky, although much improved, is not yet sexy enough for experts to pick it as a divisional dark horse. Even I'm not crazy enough to say something like: Kentucky will win the SEC East. But. Kentucky will finish third in the SEC East. And that isn't an indictment of the East, but rather a nod to Mark Stoops' quickly-improving ‘Cats.
After almost beating UF last season, I remember telling friends the '14 ‘Cats would wind up beating someone they probably weren't supposed to. That team ended up being South Carolina. In 2015, the ‘Cats will beat several teams they're probably not ‘sposed to. Let's list them:
- Kentucky last beat Louisville in 2010. The ‘Cats will upend the cards in 2015.
- In my lifetime, the school from which I earned my degree, UF, has never lost to Kentucky. Kentucky will — finally — beat Florida in 2015.
- Kentucky will beat South Carolina, again.
- Kentucky will beat Tennessee.
- Kentucky will beat Missouri.
So actually, as it turns out, Kentucky will beat a whole lot of teams it is maybe, probably, not supposed to.
Every surprise team needs a breakout star, and UK's will be wide out Ryan Timmons, who will undoubtedly finish on the All-SEC First Team. Patrick Towles will also have a nice year, but his honors will be more of the All-SEC 2nd Team variety.
Stoops will narrowly miss out on Coach of the Year honors to Bret Bielema, but as a consolation prize will get to face off against — and beat — his brother Bob in the Liberty Bowl.
Kentucky will be divisional dark horse in 2016.