After a 9-3 season that saw Kentucky break their 31-game losing streak to Florida, have two players get Heisman buzz, win nine games for the first time in over 40 years and be ranked for the first time in over a decade, the Wildcats were rewarded with a quality bowl game against one of the most storied programs in college football.
In 2018, the Wildcats saw themselves ranked in the final College Football Playoff rankings for the first time in the CFP era that began in 2014. The Cats came in at 14 in the final rankings.
The Cats remain at No. 16/15 in the final regular-season national polls. It’s the 11th consecutive week Kentucky has been in the AP ranking which set a new program best. #GetUp pic.twitter.com/kFcSEjT90h
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 2, 2018
Kentucky was in the top 25 polls in more weeks (11) than Louisville scored vs. them (10).
— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) December 2, 2018
One could argue Kentucky could be ranked higher, as they defeated a Florida Gators team ranked 10th. They also beat other opponents ranked in the playoffs in No. 18 Mississippi St. Bulldogs and No. 23 Missouri Tigers, as well as taking the No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies to overtime on the road.
Nonetheless, to see themselves ranked in the top 25 at season’s end is a massive accomplishment, and this bowl is a great reward.
As you can imagine, Twitter had a lot to say about what took place today:
Florida has got to be the least impressive top-10 team in CFB history.
Three losses by 11, 19 and 21 points, two of them at home.
In non-conference, beat two FCS teams and two FBS teams that went a combined 8-16.
But hey, they beat LSU and Mississippi State.
— Zach Barnett (@zach_barnett) December 2, 2018
By the committee’s own criteria (SOS, H2H, outcomes vs common opponents etc) there isn’t much rationale for having Kentucky behind Florida. Taking all those criteria into account, bizarre to see that conclusion. Cats are No. 14 in the #CFBPlayoff poll.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 2, 2018
16-team bracket (no byes) based on final @CFBPlayoff:
1 Alabama vs 16 WVU
2 Clemson vs 15 Texas
3 Notre Dame vs 14 Kentucky
4 Oklahoma vs 13 Washington St
5 Georgia vs 12 Penn St
6 Ohio St vs 11 LSU
7 Michigan vs. 10 Florida
8 UCF vs. 9 Washingtonhttps://t.co/lyS9Elfx0c
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) December 2, 2018
The Cats finishing 14th in the country at 9-3 might have been the best early Christmas gift ever #Blessed
— Barstool UK (@BarstoolUK) December 2, 2018
Penn State(9-3) ..0-2 vs current top 25 (33-69)points scored-points allowed….ranked 12
Florida(9-3)….2-3 vs current 25(90-126) …..ranked 10
Kentucky(9-3)… 3-2 vs current 25(101-91)…..ranked 14
— Brayden Berezowitz (@braydenbrez) December 2, 2018
It will be the 20th Anniversary of the last time Kentucky played in a major bowl….vs Penn St in the Outback
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 2, 2018
This would be Kentucky if not for the Tennessee loss. (But Stoops would probably much prefer to play Penn State than Michigan.) https://t.co/NunXMsOYF0
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 2, 2018
— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) December 2, 2018
On defense, Penn State is better at stopping the pass. On the ground, five opponents have recorded over 200 yards rushing. Benny Snell will have an excellent chance at setting the program rushing record.
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettBOS) December 2, 2018
Proud as hell of my Kentucky Football Cats..a chance at 10 wins vs Penn St in the Citrus Bowl is huge and something this fan base has waited on for a long time..major momentum for Stoops and Co #BBN #GOBIGBLUE #KentuckyAcrossTheChest ⚪️
— KentuckyDude (@JHNNsports) December 2, 2018
Also, Penn State v. Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl is going to be fun.
• Benny Snell vs. PSU Defense
• Josh Allen chasing the SEC sack record
• Trace McSorley needs 236 yards to finish Top-5 in total offense in Big Ten history
— John Duffley, Jr. (@theoriginalduff) December 2, 2018
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