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Kentucky Versus Tennessee Fan Reality

On Thursday Aug 17, national football media podcaster Josh Pate, created quite the storm with a tweet saying some of his “best intel I'm hearing from any camp is coming out of Kentucky. They'll be a problem.” Tennessee fans in the hundreds bombarded his tweet with negative statements. His show, The Late Kick with Josh Pate, on 24/7 Sports YouTube channel is one of the most popular and trusted insiders shows for college football over the last few years.

As more and more negative buzz swirled through social media, I began to take a look and deep dive into stats over the last 7 years and even further. Many Volunteer fans have a perception that they are far superior over the Wildcats in college football these days, and over the last 15 years that simply is not reality. And I have the stats to back that up.

The Mark Stoops Era

Let me begin since 2016, that is the year head coach Mark Stoops began his resurgence with his Kentucky Wildcats. Stoops began his 4th season at the helm of the Wildcats that season. Since the start of the 2016 season the Kentucky record is 54 wins and 35 losses for a 0.607 winning percentage.

The Tennessee record in the same time span is 47 wins and 39 losses for a for a 0.547 winning percentage. In SEC play the Cats are 28 wins and 30 losses for 0.483 winning percentage, while the Vols are 24 wins with 34 losses for 0.414 winning percentage. The Vols do hold a head-to-head lead of 5-2 W/L record.

Tennessee’s Last East Division Title

The last time Tennessee won the SEC East division was in 2007 in Phillip Fulmer’s second to last season as head coach. We all know and are aware of his great run as coach in the 90’s and early 2000’s. However, two of his last four seasons as coach were losing seasons. Since 2008, UT has eight losing seasons in 15 years. They have only reached eight or more wins four times. Their record versus their two biggest rivals is 1-14 W/L against Alabama and 2-13 W/L versus Florida.

Within the same time frame of 2008, UK has seven losing seasons and three 8-win plus seasons. Most college football fans know of the Wildcats long consecutive losing streaks with both Florida and Tennessee starting in the mid-80’s and running through the first decade of the 2000s. Since 2008 the Cats are at least 3-12 W/L records with both rivals. While not good, it is better than the Vols against their top foes.

The Reality Of It All

While Tennessee certainly has the history to have the vast advantage over Kentucky in football, the recent stats over the last decade and a half don’t show a great advantage. The head-to-head advantage that Tennessee fans enjoy certainly doesn’t overshadow the success Mark Stoops has had in building Kentucky to a respectable level. After all Kentucky has had two 10-plus win seasons in the last five years, the Tennessee run last season is their only 10-plus win season in the last 15 years.

Let the storm begin…


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1 comentario

19 ago 2023

You compared Tennessee’s record against rivals to Kentucky’s “rival record” during their recent down period. A clearer comparison would be Kentucky’s record against the same rivals (FL and AL).

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