After throwing a game-winning landing cross in his remaining sport as a Kentucky Wildcat, Lynn Bowden issued a warning to the remainder of the school soccer world.
“Cease disrespecting us as a result of we like that, you hear?”
SPOILER ALERT: not everybody listened. Many school soccer prognosticators nonetheless peg the Wildcats as a 7-5 staff within the center to the underside of the SEC East coming into the 2020 season. Nevertheless, one choose group of people would slightly not come see about it.
The three analysts behind CBS Sports activities’ school soccer podcast, the Cover 3 Podcast, not too long ago had a prolonged dialogue on the underrated storylines coming into this faculty soccer season. Barton Simmons ranked the Wildcats because the fourth-most intriguing “beneath the radar” story to comply with this fall.
“Kentucky is about to enter a 12 months the place everyone is speaking about Georgia and Florida — understandably,” Simmons stated. “Tennessee is the recent staff — everyone seems to be speaking about Tennessee. South Carolina — they’ve obtained their OC lastly, perhaps they lastly have their run this 12 months.
“Right here’s Kentucky. The staff everyone seems to be counting out. Nobody has circled them on their schedule. Nobody has picked them because the darkish horse. They don’t have the quarterback who’s a Heisman Trophy contender. All they’ve is only a sick offensive line. Just a few totally different working backs that may get you yards. Impulsively they’ve some depth at quarterback and a few choices at quarterback. Their protection goes to be nice. And so they obtained a head coach that’s going to have the ability to proceed to say ‘Everyone seems to be counting us out, boys.’”
Simmons broke down the Kentucky’s schedule and he likes the way it may doubtlessly play out, warning Florida and Georgia that they should be able to play after they’re lined up towards the Cats.
“Once you have a look at their schedule, we’ve got talked about how Florida has such a easy path,” Simmons stated. “Auburn is on there and Auburn — that is only a 12 months the place Gus Malzahn has a type of sizzling seat seasons as a result of have a look at all of the groups from the west they need to beat. Tennessee — can they get by Georgia or Florida this 12 months lastly? Once you break down everybody’s schedule, all Kentucky is ‘oh, that’s only a scrappy staff that may get you.’ Nobody’s obtained that sport as one of many actual challenges. I believe that’s a mistake. I believe this could possibly be a 12 months the place Kentucky is among the higher groups within the [SEC] East.”
Simmons was not the one one handing out kudos. Chip Patterson tipped his cap to offensive coordinator Eddie Gran for placing collectively an unbelievable sport plan midway via the 2019 season.
“I’ll all the time have on the tip of my tongue, optimistic phrases to say about 30-year school teaching veteran Eddie Gran for what that offense did final 12 months,” stated Patterson. “He has been round school soccer for an extended, very long time and he has labored with loads of the sport’s extra well-known coaches and typically I believe that while you’re on profitable staffs, you just do sort of mix into the background behind the top coach. However man, that was some actual work of ingenuity with what Kentucky did offensively final season. I’m now taking the method with Kentucky that after we rely up their win totals, I’m going to rely their 50-50 video games and I’m going to present them 50% of these simply because.”
It sort of appears like a back-handed praise, however you’re seeing a shift within the nationwide narrative on how folks view Kentucky’s program with Mark Stoops main the way in which. When beforehand predicting toss-up video games, it was all the time a good suggestion to wager towards Kentucky. The Wildcats are lastly beginning to get the good thing about the doubt from the school soccer intelligentsia.
It’s a small step in the fitting course. No person on the podcast was able to proclaim the Cats as their darkish horse option to win the SEC East. They’re nonetheless perceived as second-place contenders behind both Georgia or Florida. Even so, Mark Stoops is in a way more snug setting than Jeremy Pruitt or Will Muschamp because the perennial “breakthrough” groups of the SEC East that perennially fail to fulfill expectations.