Bowl possibilities, projections for UK


Kentucky defeats Louisville, 41-38, and wins the Governor’s Cup for the first time since 2010 on Saturday, November 26, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

By Chris Angolia

Heading into Saturday’s game against No. 11 Louisville, it was looking more and more likely that UK football was going to finish the regular season at 6-6. However, a 41-38 upset of the Cardinals brought UK’s record to 7-5 and boosted the team’s resume tremendously heading into the bowl season.

With a record of 7-5 as opposed to 6-6, sitting a game over .500 means a lot when it comes to the bowl game that the Cats will be sent to for the first time since 2010.

Here are some projections for where UK will be headed according to multiple sites:

CBS Sports: Independence Bowl, Dec. 26 vs. N.C. State

CBS Sports’ latest projections would send the Cats to Shreveport, La. for the Independence bowl against the 6-6 N.C. State Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack became bowl eligible on Friday with a win over North Carolina and had a difficult schedule in 2016. Four of the Wolfpack’s six losses came against Clemson, Louisville, Florida State and Miami (FL) in conference play.  

NBC Sports: Belk Bowl, Dec. 29 vs. Georgia Tech

According to NBC Sports’ latest projections, the Cats would be matched up with another ACC team, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Charlotte, NC. The Jackets capped off their 8-4 season with a victory over in-state rival Georgia, who beat the Cats this season.

This matchup would be one that took place mainly on the ground with the Jackets’ triple-option attack and the Cats’ potent run game. If this prediction were to come true, it would be an interesting matchup because of the challenges that a triple-option offense poses.

SB Nation: Liberty Bowl, Dec. 30 vs. TCU

This projection by SB Nation is perhaps the most intriguing of all current bowl projections for UK, as they would head to Memphis to face off against traditional Big 12 power TCU. The Horned Frogs had a down year in 2016 and sit at 6-5 with one game left.

With their prototypical spread offense, the Frogs are your usual Big 12 team that will try to spread out UK’s defense, but they are also very susceptible to allowing a lot of points.

College Football News: Belk Bowl, Dec. 29 vs. North Carolina

Just as NBC Sports projects, College Football News would also send UK to Charlotte for the Belk Bowl, but this time it would be against a different ACC opponent. The 8-4 Tar Heels fell just short of reaching the ACC title game, but with wins over Florida State and Miami (FL), they are still a dangerous and talented team.

Most likely landing spot: TaxSlayer Bowl, Dec. 31

Wednesday afternoon, the TaxSlayer Bowl’s twitter page tweeted an image detailing the eight teams in the running for the game that is to be played on New Year’s Eve in Jacksonville.

Four SEC teams (UK, Auburn, Arkansas and Florida) and four ACC teams (Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami(FL) and Virginia Tech) were shown in the graphic.

It is looking more and more likely that the Cats will be headed to Jacksonville as the SEC also will send its higher-ranked teams to the Sugar and Outback Bowls.

Follow @cangolia3, @a_craw_ and @KYKernelsports on Twitter for continued updates on UK’s bowl situation.