Kentucky Coach: Mark Stoops, fifth season (19-30, all at Kentucky).
Last year: 7-6 overall, 4-4 in the SEC (T-2nd in the East). Lost to Georgia Tech 33-18 in the TaxSlayer Bowl.
Best case scenario: The great momentum generated in the second half of last season carries over and the Wildcats get off to a hot start, going 3-0 heading into the Sept. 23 home game against Florida. With a potent offense and improving defense, the ‘Cats end their 30-game losing streak against the Gators and set themselves up for a run at the division title. A favorable schedule, with crossover games against the West coming against Mississippi State and Ole Miss, is a huge plus.
<b>Worst case scenario: Looking ahead to their home showdown with Florida, the Wildcats stumble at South Carolina the week before, setting off an early negative trend. The defense continues its recent troubles, UK falls yet again to Florida, and at 0-2 in the SEC it’s a potential early exit from contention in the division.
Quotable: “I’m excited about our football team, excited about our season. It’s nice to come in here in season five with some positive momentum. A year ago, we didn’t start the season the way we wanted to, but we finished strong. It was really nice to finish with that momentum.” — Stoops