Mark Stoops has a message for critics who focus on the players Kentucky lost from last season: Pick against us at your own peril.

The Kentucky coach, in a video posted by ESPN’s Chris Low, suggested that the predictions for the Wildcats are similar to what they were before last season. This year, though, the media at SEC Media Days picked Kentucky to finish last in the SEC East. Some of the concerns are Kentucky returns just four starters on defense, for example.

“Everybody likes to use the narrative, ‘You’re not going to be as good because you lost these 15, 16 guys from a year ago,'” Stoops said. “As I like to say, not one person talked about those 15, 16 guys. Maybe in passing they mentioned Benny (Snell) or Josh Allen, but nobody gave us a chance last year and they see us the same way this year. That’s fine with me. It didn’t stop us from doing what we did a year ago and we plan on doing the same this year.”

Low added, “keep in mind UK is one of only five SEC teams with a .500 record or better each of the last three seasons vs. SEC foes. Other four are Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M. Translation: Stoops can coach and develop.”