Kentucky drops to No. 13 after first loss of the season at Ole Miss


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello walks off the field after the No. 7 Kentucky vs. No. 14 Ole Miss football game on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Vaught Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss won 22-19. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Cole Parke, Sports Editor

Former No. 7 Kentucky dropped six spots to No. 13 in the week six AP Poll after facing its first loss of the season at former No. 14 Ole Miss on Saturday.

Kentucky entered the matchup in Oxford undefeated (4-0), including a road win over then No. 12 Florida, being ranked No. 7, the highest the program had seen since 1977.

The Wildcats ultimately came up short in Mississippi with 22-19 being the final score line after Kentucky fumbled on back-to-back potential game-winning drives to end the game.

The six-spot drop is tied for largest by any team still ranked in week six with current No. 21 Washington, who was beaten 40-32 at UCLA.

With the win, Ole Miss jumped up to No. 9, a five-spot jump from 14, tied for the second largest jump of any team in the rankings.

Now looking to rebound from the loss Kentucky hosts back-to-back home games, one of which became a ranked matchup assuming the opponent doesn’t drop out of the top 25 next week.

South Carolina defeated FCS South Carolina State 50-10 on Thursday, but with a 3-2 overall record, the Gamecocks did not find itself within the top 25.

Mississippi State, on the other hand, defeated then No. 17 Texas A&M 42-24 in Starkville and was awarded the No. 23 spot in the rankings while the Aggies dropped out entirely, meaning that UK’s week seven matchup against the Bulldogs currently stands as a top 25 showdown.

After a bye week post-MSU, Kentucky hits the road to face Tennessee, who stayed put at No. 8 this week after a bye week, with UK now being the lower ranked of the two.

Looking ahead even further, what would have been a matchup against No. 1 Georgia has turned into a matchup against No. 2 Georgia after the Bulldogs fell one spot in the most recent poll.

While still undefeated, UGA struggled with Missouri on Saturday, not leading until the fourth quarter and only winning 26-22.

The new No. 1, Alabama, earned the spot back after decimating Arkansas, who dropped out of the rankings, 49-26, a reversal of what happened in week two where the Crimson Tide won but struggled, allowing Georgia to take the top spot.

One other SEC school rounds out the rankings, though Kentucky does not face it, as LSU earned the No. 25 spot after defeating Auburn 21-17 in Alabama to remain a one-loss team.

Other notable factors to look at with Kentucky’s No. 13 ranking include the fact that UK is one spot below Oregon, who jumped up one spot to No. 12 after defeating Stanford 45-27, who was infamous for getting decimated 49-3 against Georgia in week one.

Kentucky also finds itself two spots below No. 11 Utah, who moved up one spot after defeating Oregon State 42-16, who is most well-known by SEC fans for losing 29-26 to Florida in week one, permitting the Gators to skyrocket into the No. 12 spot before the Wildcats defeated them in Gainesville.

Beyond those two, every top 10 team in week six stands undefeated at 5-0, with the exceptions of Tennessee and No. 7 Oklahoma State who are 4-0, somewhat justifying UK’s significant drop.

The Wildcats look to begin moving back up the rankings this Saturday, Oct. 8, inside Kroger Field against South Carolina, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST and airing live on the SEC Network.