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Kentucky’s 5-1 Start is a bit Misleading

Kentucky should be 6-0, but they don’t look all that great.

Mississippi State v Kentucky Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats are 5-1 on the year. They’re a team that, for some MSU fans, is one that is worthy of being worried about. Earlier today, I wrote an article about Mississippi State being favored over the Wildcats by 10 points. That led to the following facebook comments:

Sure, Mississippi State looked sloppy last week. Six dropped passes in the first half, two interceptions, and giving up a touchdown to BYU are all valid reasons to be frustrated with Saturday’s performance. But it’s important to keep perspective on exactly who the Bulldogs face this weekend.

As I mentioned, Kentucky is 5-1, and realistically, they should be 6-0. However, it’s not like their start has really been all that noteworthy of one. And Kentucky looks very vulnerable.

Kentucky’s game results:

UK has had some, well, interesting games. In just about every game, the Wildcats have looked mediocre at best against mediocre at best competition.

Let’s take a look at their schedule, courtesy of a screenshot from google:

So far, they have:

  • 24-17 win over 4-2 Southern Miss
  • 27-16 win over 1-5 Eastern Kentucky
  • 23-13 win over 5-2 South Carolina
  • 28-27 loss to 3-3 Florida
  • 24-20 win over 2-4 Eastern Michigan
  • 40-34 win over 1-5 Mizzou

Combined, their opponents have a 16-21 overall record. The opponents that they’ve beaten have a 13-18 overall combined record. Their average margin of victory against these teams? 7.2 points.

Let’s look at more than just overall combined records and points.

Bill Connelly, a genius statistician and guy that loves math, isn’t too high on the Kentucky Wildcats. Connelly keeps a tab on every play that happens in college football every week, and crunches some numbers for a weekly telling of where each team stacks up.

His S&P+ rankings haven’t been that fond of Kentucky all season, and the Cats are coming in at 77 this week. Which teams are around them? Western Kentucky, Duke, Nebraska, Eastern Michigan, Tulane, Miami-OH, and New Mexico State.

For what it’s worth, Mississippi State is coming in at 21 this week. Ranked right in there with Washington State and Michigan State.

I’m not guaranteeing that Mississippi State will win this Saturday.

That would be foolish. Kentucky could very well come in to Davis Wade Stadium and beat the Bulldogs. But I do expect MSU to win.

State, so far through the season based off of what we’ve seen so far, is the better team. Should Kentucky win, then clearly they’re the better team. But as of right now, let’s slow down with punching the panic button, facebook.