Kentucky Football: Game-by-game predictions for 2015
Celebrating the start of fall practice this week, there’s no better time to begin our SEC game-by-game predictions series breaking down each and every contest during the regular season.
We pride ourselves on knowing college football’s most competitive conference as well as anyone and as one reader pointed out this summer using a weighted point system based on accuracy against other preseason prognosticators, our annual ‘Crystal Ball’ ranks among the nation’s most precise.
We called a couple big-time upsets last fall including Mississippi’s win over Alabama, but whiffed on South Carolina’s abrupt fall from grace in the East along with Mizzou’s second consecutive division title.
We’re ready for another exciting season of SEC football, aren’t you?
2015 CRYSTAL BALL SERIES
THE 2015 BATTLEFIELD
Sept. 5 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (W): Boom Williams gashes the opposition for 100 yards while Patrick Towles and the Kentucky passing game shows out in a big way.
Sept. 12 at South Carolina (L): Beating the Gamecocks in Lexington is one thing, but doing so at Williams-Brice Stadium is another.
Sept. 19 vs. Florida (L): If there’s ever a time to end ‘The Streak’, it’ll be this season at Commonwealth Stadium. For some reason, we still think the Gators have the edge despite this game being a four-quarter struggle.
Sept. 26 vs. Mizzou (L): Will the Tigers stub their toe at some point to squander a third straight division crown? It could happen, but not here. Kentucky has scored just 37 points in three games against Mizzou since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012.
Oct. 3 vs. Eastern Kentucky (W): The Wildcats’ third consecutive home game will snap a three-game skid in convincing fashion.
Oct. 15 vs. Auburn (L): Tempting as an upset special of the year since the game’s on a Thursday night and the home team often wins these matchups, the fact that Auburn is coming off a bye as well neutralizes any advantage from a short week.
Oct. 24 at Mississippi State (L): Five of the last seven games between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less and we don’t see this year’s game being any different. With that being said, the Bulldogs will extend their winning streak in the series to seven.
Oct. 31 vs. Tennessee (L): Sixth SEC contest, sixth loss for Kentucky.
Nov. 7 at Georgia (L): One of the Wildcats’ toughest matchups of the season comes at the hands of the Bulldogs who are smelling blood by this point in their quest toward Atlanta.
Nov. 14 at Vanderbilt (W): Kentucky posts its first SEC win as Derek Mason begins to feel the late-season pressure in Nashville with the Commodores’ 14th consecutive SEC setback.
Nov. 21 vs. Charlotte (W): The 49ers won’t have much of a chance in what could be Kentucky’s highest-scoring game this season.
Nov. 28 vs. Louisville (W): In a toss-up rivalry game, the Wildcats leave it all on the field and pick up their fifth win as a consolation prize.
2015 PROJECTED FINISH: 5-7, 1-7; Sixth in the East
THE LOWDOWN: If the Wildcats can win one of the four games they’re not supposed to this season against Florida, Mizzou, Auburn or Tennessee, this team will go bowling with the necessary win total. It’s an uphill climb for Kentucky whose schedule only takes a breather following a road trip to Georgia in November. Unlike last season when the Wildcats started 5-1, the first half of the year this fall could result in four losses.