But with South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and maybe Tennessee looming large, the Wildcats will have a hard time moving any higher than fifth place.
Joker Phillips is entering his second season as the head coach, coming off a 6-7 overall, 2-6 finish in the SEC East.
Even with 16 returning starters, it may be hard for the Wildcats to finish any better than 7-6.
The Wildcats return four starters on the offensive line, including Larry Warford and Stuart Hines, but the offense will be without versatile Randall Cobb, running back Derrick Locke and quarterback Mike Hartline.
The quarterback race will be between junior Morgan Newton and true freshman Maxwell Smith.
La’Rod King will be the main threat receiver for the Wildcats along with Brian Adams.
The running game will depend on Danny Trevathan or incoming freshmen Marcus Caffey and Josh Clemons.
The Wildcat defense will led by All-SEC linebacker Danny Trevathan, who led the league in stops with 144.
Taylor Wyndham could see action at defensive end, tackle or outside linebacker.
The secondary will be led by free safety Mychal Bailey and cornerbacks Martavius Neloms.
The Wildcats open the season with Western Kentucky, who finished just 2-10 last year.
Next comes Central Michigan (3-9) before arch-rival Louisville (7-6)visits Commonwealth Stadium on Sept. 17.
After hosting Florida (8-5), the Wildcats have back-to-back road trips to LSU (11-2) and South Carolina (9-5).
The key stretch of the season is three straight home games against Jacksonville State (9-3), Mississippi State (9-4) and Ole Miss (4-8).
It may be difficult for the Wildcats to make it to their sixth straight bowl game if they can’t finish with wins at Vanderbilt (2-10), at Georgia (6-7) or home against Tennessee (6-7).
There may be only four sure wins for the Wildcats and the other two to make them bowl eligible will be considered upsets.
I think Kentucky’s bowl streak ends this season and they remain in fifth place in the SEC East. Next: Tennessee