Kentucky beat Tennessee 29-26 Saturday night at Kroger Field, and although the win came against the downtrodden Volunteers, it was good enough to move the Cats up a spot in the latest SEC Country Power Poll.
Kentucky (6-2, 3-2 SEC) checked in at No. 8 in the rankings. Coach Mark Stoops’ squad was ranked No. 9 last week. The Wildcats have been ranked as high as No. 6 this season, a mark they reached in Week 5.
Kentucky beat Tennessee for just the second time since 1984. Rich Brooks’ bowl winning teams from 2006-08 were honored at halftime. But despite Brooks’ success, he was 0-7 against the Volunteers. Stoops notched his first win over UK’s southern rival on Saturday.
“It means a lot to me personally because I care about our fan base and what they’re feeling and some of their frustration over the years and so it is important, I never denied that,” Stoops said. “I care and I want to win and I want people to be proud of what we’re doing and proud of the product that’s on the field and there’s been a lot of frustration, a lot of years there that we weren’t able to get those guys, so it’s important to us.”
The loss dropped Tennessee (3-5, 0-5 SEC) to 12th in the SEC Country Power Poll, ahead of only Vanderbilt and Missouri. Jim McElwain and Florida parted ways on Sunday, and reports out of Knoxville indicate that the future of Tennessee coach Butch Jones is being discussed.
Meanwhile, Stoops and Kentucky just clinched their second consecutive bowl bid on Saturday night, and the Cats could be favored in their next two games. Up next for Kentucky is a 4 p.m. ET matchup with Ole Miss on Saturday at Kroger Field. Ole Miss squandered a 31-7 lead against Arkansas over the weekend to lose 38-37. The Rebels are ranked 11th in the SEC Country Power Poll.
It’ll be the first meeting between Kentucky and Ole Miss since 2011 — a game the Cats won 30-13 in Lexington. Ole Miss leads the all-time series 27-14-1.
Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 9 Power Poll rankingsResults are below:
|1||Alabama (13 - 1)||334||22||1||1||2|
|2||Georgia (13 - 2)||316||4||2||1||2|
|3||Auburn (10 - 4)||280||0||3||3||4|
|4||LSU (9 - 4)||250||0||4||3||6|
|5||Mississippi State (9 - 4)||247||0||6||4||6|
|6||Texas A&M (7 - 6)||198||0||5||5||8|
|7||South Carolina (9 - 4)||175||0||8||5||9|
|8||Kentucky (7 - 6)||162||0||9||6||10|
|9||Florida (4 - 7)||127||0||7||7||11|
|10||Arkansas (4 - 8)||98||0||12||7||13|
|11||Ole Miss (6 - 6)||63||0||11||10||14|
|12||Tennessee (4 - 8)||54||0||10||10||14|
|13||Vanderbilt (5 - 7)||38||0||13||9||14|
|14||Missouri (7 - 6)||24||0||14||9||14|
This week's voters:
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Hale McGranahan (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)