Year in Review | The Resurgence of Kentucky football

It had been a while since Kentucky fans had a season like this one to celebrate. In October, the Wildcats were 7-1 and ranked No. 9 in the nation when the first College Football Playoff rankings were released.

Moreover, they were about to get Georgia on their home field, and the winner would earn the SEC Eastern Division title and a berth in the SEC Championship game.

Kentucky wouldn’t really come close, losing to Georgia 34-17. But in a sense, it did come close. By playing for a shot in the SEC title game, the program in 2018 finally showed what is possible under Mark Stoops, who earned several SEC Coach of the Year honors for his work.

That UK went on to lose to Tennessee in the game after that took some luster off of the sparkling season, but Kentucky still finished with a blowout win over Louisville and can post a 10-win season if it wins its Citrus Bowl game against Penn State.

Benny Snell became one of the top running backs in the nation and will turn pro after the bowl game.

Josh Allen was the nation’s top defensive player and probably the most decorated player in UK history. He’ll also turn pro.

But for reaching such lofty heights, Kentucky football was one of the top stories in local sports in Louisville in 2018.