Fans of the Kentucky Wildcats are very excited about the 2013 season and new head coach Mark Stoops. The Big Blue Nation is hoping that Stoops is the man to make Kentucky football competitive once again, after a few down years under former coach Joker Phillips.
Stoops has had an outstanding four months in the Bluegrass. He has signed the best class in the history of the school, and he got the fans so excited that more than 50,000 turned out for the Blue-White game on Saturday.
Kentucky finished just 2-10 last season, and it’s hard to see them not improving on that record. However, one look at the schedule will tell you that it could be another long season in Lexington.
As the preseason publications come out, it will be no surprise if Kentucky’s schedule is rated as the toughest in the nation. The Wildcats will probably face five Top 10 teams during 2013, including four games in a row. Kentucky hosts the Louisville Cardinals on September 14. After a week off, the Big Blue welcomes the Florida Gators. The following week, Kentucky must visit the South Carolina Gamecocks, followed by a home contest with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
In the season’s next-to-last game, Kentucky visits the Georgia Bulldogs. Kentucky also faces road games against the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Vanderbilt Commodores, two teams that went to bowls last season.
Kentucky does get home games against Miami (Ohio) and Alabama State, which should be wins. The Big Blue opens the season in Nashville against Bobby Petrino and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Kentucky also hosts the Missouri Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers.
While Stoops will likely put a better product on the field than Phillips did in 2012, the record probably won’t show great improvement because of the difficulty of the schedule.