UK One of the Nationís Most Improved Teams
Based on victory totals from 2005 to 2006, Kentucky tied for the nationís sixth-most improved football team in the nation.
Having gone from three wins in 2005 to eight victories in 2006, the Wildcats were +5 for the season. Wake Forest had the biggest improvement, moving from a 4-7 record in 2005 to 11-3 during the 2006 season. Here is a chart of the nationís most improved teams, based on increased victories:
Team 2005 2006 Increase in wins
Wake Forest 4-7 11-3 +7
Arkansas 4-7 10-4 +6
Hawaii 5-7 11-3 +6
Rice 1-10 7-6 +6
San Jose St. 3-8 9-4 +6
Kentucky 3-8 8-5 +5
Brigham Young 6-6 11-2 +5
Kent State 1-10 6-6 +5
Ohio 4-7 9-5 +5
Oregon State 5-6 10-4 +5
Improvement Came Against Tough Schedule: Kentuckyís improvement in 2006 came against a schedule that was ranked as the nationís 13th most difficult in the Sagarin Computer Ratings published in USA Today. All five teams that defeated Kentucky finished in the Sagarin Ratings top 25.
The five teams that defeated Kentucky Ė Louisville (12-1), Florida (13-1), South Carolina (8-5), LSU (11-2), and Tennessee (9-4) Ė had a combined record of 53-13. When you subtract the five games those teams played against each other, the opponents that defeated Kentucky had a combined record of 48-8 (.857).
Kentucky Played Eight Bowl Teams in 2006: Another indication of the strength of UKís 2006 schedule was the fact that the Wildcats played eight teams that were in bowl games at the end of the season Ė Louisville, Florida, Central Michigan, South Carolina, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, and Clemson. Six of those eight teams won their bowl games, all but Tennessee and Clemson.
The Wildcats tied for 10th nationally for the most bowl teams played. Incredibly, national champion Florida survived a schedule that also saw them lead the nation with 11 opponents that advanced to bowl games. In addition, Boston College, Florida State, Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, Southern California, Stanford, and Texas had nine bowl opponents on their schedules.
Kentucky Finished No. 28 in Computer Ratings: Kentuckyís win over Clemson in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl helped the Wildcats jump to No. 28 in the final Sagarin Computer Ratings published by USA Today.
Kentucky did not make any of the final top-25 poll rankings, but the Wildcats did get one vote in both The Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches polls.