If Kentucky were to do the improbable Saturday in Gainesville, could the Cats earn their first college football poll ranking since 2007?
UK dropped out of the “others receiving votes” list in the AP poll this week after a convincing, but, at times, listless 35-20 home win over Central Michigan. But the coaches’ poll thought better of UK, as the Cats bumped up from 8 to 13 points in the USA Today rankings, still out of the top 25, but at least on the radar.
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Meanwhile, Florida, UK’s Week 2 opponent, landed at No. 25 in both polls after being unranked in the preseason. The Gators sat just outside both preseason polls in the unofficial 27th spot before spanking FCS opponent Charleston Southern 53-6 in their home opener.
Kentucky, famously, hasn’t beaten Florida for 31 years, and Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson said this week he doesn’t see the streak ending on Saturday.
“It’s 31, right?” he asked in a recent interview. “It’ll be 32 after Saturday.”
Kentucky hasn’t been ranked in either poll since the Rich Brooks era in 2007 and, before that, hadn’t been ranked in an AP poll since 1985 and a coaches poll since 1998, so odds are long that they might crack the list next week even with a road win over a ranked opponent.
Regardless of whether a win over Florida pushes UK into the rankings, it would mark the most significant win yet in Coach Mark Stoops’ tenure.
Kentucky’s game at No. 25 Florida is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on the SEC Network.