The Kentucky Wildcats enter 2017 as a rather interesting team.

Several have mentioned Kentucky as a surprise or sleeper team in the SEC East this season, and that shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, the East is up for grabs for anyone, and Kentucky’s emergence last year was impressive, especially capping the regular season off with a win over Louisville.

But this year, teams will take UK seriously. The talent is there. Starting QB Stephen Johnson returns. The SEC’s best kept secret in Benny Snell is ready to have a huge season. It’s time the program, if it’s going to, takes that next step.

So, how do SEC Network analysts feel about the Wildcats this season? Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik and former LSU DL Booger McFarland predicted the Cats’ schedule game by game.

Chizik predicted something that will make Kentucky fans very happy. He says “it’s time” for Kentucky to beat Tennessee this year. With wins over Southern Miss, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, Chizik says Kentucky finishes 7-5, with a loss to rival Louisville.

McFarland, like Chizik, thinks Kentucky finishes 7-5, but he has a different path. McFarland, also agreeing with Chizik, says Kentucky will beat Tennessee to prove it is the third best team in the SEC East. However, he thinks Kentucky will lose to Ole Miss but beat rival Louisville to close the season.

A 7-5 regular season finish would put Kentucky with the same record as last season, but unlike last year, the Cats could hopefully get the bowl win.