NCAAF Kentucky Wildcats

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Kentucky Wildcats Standings

General Information

SEC (1932)

Division 1 

Lexington, Kentucky 

Kroger Field

Championships

  • National Championships: 1 
  • Conference Titles: 2 
  • Divisional Championships:  None

Kentucky Wildcats Standings & Analysis

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All-Time Kentucky Wildcats Stats & Records

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Kentucky Wildcats Footbal History

The Kentucky Wildcats began play in the late 1800s. The Wildcats enjoyed 15 winning NCAAF seasons from 1911-1945. 

Hall of fame coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant was named head coach in 1946. The Wildcats had instant success under Bryant. In his first season with the Wildcats, they went 7-3 and won the Great Lakes Bowl. The Wildcats went 3-1 in college football bowl games under Bryant.

The 1950 season was perhaps the Wildcats’ most impressive one while Bryant was at the helm. They finished with an 11-1 record. They went on to play Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.

Oklahoma came into the game undefeated but would lose to the Wildcats. The Wildcats ranked first in multiple polls, and claimed the National Championship. Bryant finished his career at Kentucky with a 60-23-5 overall record. It took the Wildcats a while to find stability in a coach after Bryant’s departure. 

In 1973, Kentucky hired Fran Curci to be their head coach. The years 1976 and 1977 were successful for the Wildcats. In 1976, they had their first winning season in nearly two decades. In 1977 they finished with a 10-1 record and were undefeated in SEC play.

The Wildcats were sanctioned due to recruiting violations so they weren’t able to participate in the 1977 SEC Championship. 

New Eras From the 80s Onwards

Jerry Claiborne became head coach in 1982. Outside of their 9-3 1984 season, the Wildcats were mostly mediocre. 

The 90s were very underwhelming for the Wildcats. The Wildcats only had one winning season during the entire decade. They did have the pleasure of having elite quarterback Tim Couch on the roster from 1996-1998.

Couch won a host of awards, including First Team All-SEC in 1998, First Team All-American, and Heisman Trophy finalist in 1998. Couch went on to be drafted first overall in the 1999 NFL Draft.

Additionally, quarterback Jared Lorenzen took over after Couch. Lorenzen was a fan favorite, coining the nickname “Hefty Lefty.” Lorenzen has the most passing yards in Kentucky Wildcats football history. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants in 2004. 

Rich Brooks took over in 2003. The Wildcats finished with a losing record in each of his first three seasons. The Wildcats had a 30-22 overall record and a 3-1 bowl record in his last four years. He retired after their 2009 bowl game loss to Clemson.

NFL wide receiver and quarterback Randall Cobb was Brooks’ quarterback from 2008-2009. Cobb was sensational. He made the All-Freshman team in 2008, the All-SEC first team in 2009, and a host of other awards. 

Joker Phillips coached the Wildcats from 2010-2012. They had a losing season in each of his three seasons. 

Mark Stoops took over in 2013 and is currently head coach. The Wildcats finished 2-10 in Stoops’ first season. They then followed that up by going 5-7 in each of the next two seasons.

Since then, the Wildcats have only had one losing season. In 2018, Stoops and the Wildcats finished with 10 wins and tied for second in the SEC East Division. The Wildcats have won a host of big games under Stoops.

In 2018, they beat Florida Gators after losing 31 games in a row against them. Also, it was their first time being ranked in over ten years. 

The Wildcats had another 10-win season in 2021 including wins over LSU Tigers and Florida. The Wildcats are 4-2 in bowl games under Stoops. 

Kentucky Wildcats FAQs

What was the highest win in Kentucky history?

The 1950 Wildcats won 11 games while losing just once. That’s the most games won in Wildcat history and they were crowned National Champions.

What was the worst season in Wildcats history?

1982 and 1994 were nearly equally as bad for the Wildcats. In 1982 the Wildcats finished 0-10-1. It was their first and only time being winless. In 1994, they finished with a 1-10 record.

How many bowl games has Kentucky played in?

The Wildcats have played in 21 total bowl games. They currently have a 12-9 overall bowl record.
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