Athlon & Lindy's Yearbooks Predicting Another Struggling Season At UK
By Jamie H. Vaught
Two of my favorite pre-season college football yearbooks -- Athlon Sports and Lindy's Sports -- have arrived.
As usual, they are loaded with colorful analysis, articles and predictions on the upcoming season. One of the more interesting pieces of Lindy's Southeastern edition is the four-year SEC standings.
And, if you know Kentucky's recent history, it obviously would mean that it didn't fare very well, finishing last in the East Division and winning only four conference games and 15 games overall in the past four years.
Athlon Sports' SEC edition features a Top 31 ranking of the new coaches of 2013 with Kentucky's Mark Stoops placed in the middle, not bad considering UK's 2-10 record. Both publications also have thoughts about the current coaches on the hot seat during the fall campaign.
The Wildcats, not surprisingly, didn't have many players chosen to the yearbooks' pre-season All-SEC teams. The UK players chosen were senior defensive end Alvin Dupree, senior offensive lineman Darrian Miller, senior defensive lineman Za'Darius Smith and junior punter Landon Foster.
Speaking of Dupree, he is a two-time All-SEC performer who finished at No. 6 in the SEC in sacks last season. He posted a career-high 13 tackles against Mississippi State with one sack and two tackles for loss.
In addition, the 13 tackles were the most by a UK defensive lineman since game-by-game records were available back to 1993.
Both publications are predicting banner years for South Carolina and Georgia, and the Wildcats face both East Division rivals at home this fall.
And the rebuilding Cats are expected to struggle again as Athlon and Lindy's have them at last place in the division behind No. 5 Tennessee and No. 6 Vanderbilt.
But Dupree says Kentucky is a much better team now.
"You know from last year to this year we made a big jump," he said after the annual Blue-White game in April.
Sophomore running back Jojo Kemp, who was the team's leading rusher as a freshman, agreed.
"It’s much better, like I said before, everybody has the mindset to compete and we don’t want to lose like we did last year," he said. "Everybody has that different mindset and everybody just wants to compete. Go out there and play their best game so we can win. We’re trying to change the program around so that's just what we have to do."
Athon Sports and Lindy's Sports are available at newsstands and online (www.AthlonSports.com and www.LindysSports.com). In addition to their regional editions, both outlets also published their national college football yearbook.