After more than a decade away, Kentucky finds itself back in the national polls on Sunday.
The undefeated Cats, with wins over two top-25 teams already this season, were ranked No. 17 in both the Associated Press poll and USA Today/Amway coaches’ polls.
It’s the first time Kentucky has been ranked in a national poll since Nov. 11, 2007, when the Cats were No. 22. That season their highest national ranking was No. 8.
The last time UK was ranked in the coaches’ poll was at the same time in November 2007 when the Cats were No. 20.
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Coming off a 28-7 thumping of former No. 14 Mississippi State on Saturday night at Kroger Field, UK is 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 2008. The Cats are just the seventh team since 1950 to open a season with that record.
“Arguably one of the most complete games since I’ve been here,” Coach Mark Stoops said after the win, UK’s first time beating a top-15 team at home since upsetting top-ranked Louisiana State in three overtimes in 2007.
“There’s nothing cocky about this team, but they absolutely expected to play like this and that’s the way they prepared and that’s the way they’re going about their business and that’s what I love about this team.”
The 2-0 start in Southeastern Conference play is a first for Kentucky since the 1977 went unbeaten in league play.
The Cats are just two victories away from bowl eligibility with one game still to go in the month of September: Saturday’s game against South Carolina at Kroger Field.
Other SEC teams ranked in the Associated Press top 25 this week include No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 10 Auburn and No. 23 Mississippi State.
UK’s next two opponents, South Carolina and Texas A&M, both are receiving votes in the latest poll, as are Florida and Missouri.
South Carolina at No. 17 Kentucky
7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)