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JOE COX: One More Week of SEC Predictions & Will Kentucky Surprise Rival U of L Saturday?


By Joe Cox

Contributing Editor

One more shot for the football Wildcats at bowl eligibility, at a winning season, and at making a statement on Mark Stoops’s tenure.

Unfortunately, the Cats travel to Louisville on Saturday to face off with a resurgent Cardinal team that just won at Notre Dame. In late September, popular consensus was that UK might be a slim favorite over U of L. Two months later, the Cats are a 14-point underdog. Let’s check it out and do one last week of SEC predictions.

WHERE ARE WE—SEC POWER RANKINGS

1. Alabama (10-1) Hold serve and advance.

2. Mississippi State (10-1) Relatively easy matchup against floundering Ole Miss to earn a spot in the Final Four.

3. Georgia (9-2) Could go 10-2, not win the division, and drastically underachieve in final analysis. Or could upset ‘Bama in SEC title game and create chaos.

4. Auburn (8-3) Looking to play spoiler.

5. Ole Miss (8-3) Ditto.

6. Missouri (9-2) Weirdest 9-2 team ever. They just win.

7. LSU (7-4) About to play SEC 7th place game. Yawn.

8. Texas A&M (7-4) Could have some real momentum with a final win here.

9. Arkansas (6-5) Finally showing their quality. They deserve a few good breaks and might well get another on Saturday.

10. Tennessee (5-6) Surely they handle Vandy?

11. South Carolina (6-5) Yuck.

12. Florida (6-4) Dabo Swiney as new coach? Got to be kidding me.

13. Kentucky (5-6) All the marbles are on the line.

14. Vanderbilt (3-8) Could awaken and knock UT out of bowl game. Won’t.

WHERE ARE WE GOING

Forget everything you thought you knew about Bobby Petrino. This is a defense- oriented Cardinal squad. Mediocre QB Will Gardner is gone for the season due to injury, but U of L beat Notre Dame with freshman Reggie Bonnafon completing less than ten passes. The Cards average 3.8 yards per carry, which is not a brilliant total. However, they give up just 2.9 yards per carry.

U of L’s QBs have been game managers. They’re not breathtaking, but have eclipsed 2,500 yards passing with only five interceptions. Meanwhile, the Cards have picked off 23 passes. Gerald Holliman has nabbed 13 interceptions himself. U of L rushes the passer well, allowing 36 sacks on the season.