Kentucky Needs To Take The Next Step In 2022

Michael Clubb / Associated Press

Kentucky Needs To Take The Next Step In 2022

Football

Kentucky Needs To Take The Next Step In 2022

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Michael Clubb / Associated Press

Mark Stoops has built one of the most consistent programs in the country. This is the most successful Kentucky football has been in a long time. In 2021, Stoops’ troops won 10 games and a Citrus Bowl for the second time in four seasons. The Wildcats have also won four consecutive bowl games which ties them for third amongst longest active win streaks behind Alabama with seven and Minnesota with five. However, that was all in the past. What will constitute a successful season for the Wildcats in 2022? 

Mark Stoops is back for his 10th season as the head man in Lexington, Kentucky. With five straight winning seasons, not counting the Covid-19 season, Stoops aims for another run at an SEC East crown. Unsuccessful in that feat so far, they have been close. Kentucky finished second behind the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs last season. 

Kentucky has been looking up at teams like Florida and Georgia for as long as I have been alive. It is time they finally take the next step under Mark Stoops and win the SEC East for the first time since the SEC split into two divisions in 1992. 

 

Under Stoops, we have seen them progress from being excited about wins against South Carolina and Missouri to expecting victories against rivals Tennessee, Florida, and Louisville. Georgia, on the other hand, has always been miles ahead of where Kentucky’s program has been. Kentucky has played Georgia multiple times in recent years with a chance to gain the upper hand in the SEC East and possibly head to Atlanta, Georgia for the SEC Championship Game. Neither of those games were very competitive. Kentucky played a good first half in Athens, Georgia last season before the wheels fell off, but they were never truly in control of that game. In 2022, the Bulldogs come to Kentucky. On November 19, Kentucky hosts the Georgia Bulldogs and there is a very real chance that the winner of this game heads to Atlanta. 

For the first time in my lifetime, Kentucky has really closed the talent gap on the top teams in the country. They should be able to compete with everyone. I firmly believe that Kentucky vs. Georgia on November 19, 2022, will decide the SEC East and Kentucky should win. The Big Blue Nation has patiently waited and now it is time for Kentucky to take the next step under Mark Stoops and become a top-tier SEC football program. 

 

The Wildcats open the 2022 season on September 3 at Kroger Field against Miami (Ohio). 

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