Sleeper in the SEC: Kentucky
Kentucky is one of those teams that usually defies expectations. If you expect them to be down, they will surprise you. If you expect them to be good, they will disappoint you.
Last year, people were high on Kentucky because so many pro scouts were high on Will Levis. This year they aren’t getting quite as much hype, but the pieces are there for Mark Stoops to put together a solid team.
NC State transfer Devin Leary is stepping into the starting quarterback role. Last season, Leary was the preseason pick for ACC Player of the Year. His short season didn’t live up to that hype before he was injured, but he is generally undervalued now.
Another move that went beneath the radar for most was the return of offensive coordinator Liam Coen, who led the offense in 2021 before spending a year in the NFL. Coen helped direct the Wildcats to a 10-win season two years ago.
The offensive line wasn’t good last year, but they return four starters who have a year of experience under their belt now. Two receiver starters return as well.
I’m not saying the Wildcats could beat out Georgia for the SEC East, but I am saying they could sneak up on a few teams this year that might not be giving them as much respect as they should.