A middling performance in a win over Northern Illinois was enough to move Kentucky football up one spot in the new Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday.
Thanks to Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State, Kentucky rose from No. 8 to No. 7 in the new poll. That is Kentucky’s best ranking by the AP since the final poll of the 1977 season.
Kentucky also moved up one spot from No. 9 to No. 8 in the new USA Today Coaches Poll.
Kentucky is the third highest-ranked Southeastern Conference team in the AP poll behind No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama. No. 8 Tennessee, No. 14 Ole Miss, No. 17 Texas A&M and No. 20 Arkansas are the other SEC teams in the poll. Kentucky plays at Ole Miss Saturday and at Tennessee on Oct. 29. The Wildcats host Georgia on Nov. 19.
While Kentucky’s win over Northern Illinois was not the blowout hoped for, the Wildcats were far from the only top-10 team to struggle at times against an unranked foe Saturday.
Georgia beat Kent State 39-22, Michigan beat Maryland 34-27, Oklahoma lost 41-34 to Kansas State and Southern Cal beat Oregon State 17-14.
UK was ranked sixth in the final 1977 AP poll. Kentucky has now been ranked in the top 10 for more than two weeks in the same season for the first time since 1977. The Wildcats have not been ranked better than sixth since 1964.