Kentucky defensive back Zion Childress (11) celebrates after getting a stop against Northern Illinois during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

Kentucky and Tennessee make Top-10 appearances

For the first time since 1965, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers are ranked in the AP Top-10 at the same time. Kentucky moved up to No. 7 from No. 8 after a 31-23 victory at home over Northern Illinois, while Tennessee jumped from No. 11 to No. 8 after a 38-33 win over then-No. 20 Florida.

This is also the first time since 1939 that both teams began the season 4-0. Kentucky began that season 5-0 before finishing 6-2-1. Meanwhile, Tennessee went 10-o, ranking as high as No. 1, before losing in the Rose Bowl to end the season.

No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats (4-0, 1-0 SEC) in Top-10 for third-straight week

The Kentucky Wildcats enter Week 5 as the No. 7 team in the AP Poll, their highest ranking since they were ranked No. 6 to finish the 1977 season. The AP Poll previously ranked the Wildcats as high as No. 8 three times: last week and twice during the 2007 season. Before its No. 8 ranking in 2007, Kentucky’s most-recent Top-10 ranking was during that 1977 season.

Kentucky began the season ranked No. 20 before jumping to No. 9 following their 26-16 upset over Florida. Additionally, this jump to the Top-10 was Mark Stoops’ first appearance in the Top-10 during his coaching tenure at Kentucky.

Stoops’ previous-high before being No. 8 this season was when Kentucky was ranked No. 11 once in 2018 and once in 2016. The Wildcats won 10 games both of those seasons as Stoops became the first Kentucky head coach to win 10 games in a season twice.

With a win on Saturday against No. 14 Ole Miss, the Wildcats will have their second 5-0 start. It will also be Kentucky’s second victory over a Top-15 opponent. This would give it a compelling case to move into the Top-5. If that’s the case, it would be its first Top-5 appearance since 1964.

The Wildcats and the Rebels kickoff from Oxford at noon with television coverage on ESPN.

No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers (4-0, 1-0 SEC) in top-10 for first time in six seasons

The Volunteers enter the Top-10 for the first time under Josh Heupel. This is the school’s the first appearance in the Top-10 since 2016, when it was ranked No. 9 during Week 7.

Similar to Kentucky, Tennessee boasts two wins over ranked teams. The Volunteers defeated then-No. 17 Pitt on the road in Week 2 34-27 before beating then-No. 20 Florida on Saturday.

From Week 11 of the 2006 season to the end of the 2015 season, Tennessee wasn’t ranked in the Top-10.

After a bye week, Tennessee looks to continue its strong start against unranked LSU at noon on Oct. 8.

SEC teams ranked

In addition to Kentucky and Tennessee, the SEC boasts seven total teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Additionally, the league holds the top two rankings in the country. Georgia continues to hold the No. 1 spot for the third-straight week, while Alabama sits at No. 2.

No. 14 Ole Miss holds the final SEC spot in the Top-15, while No. 17 Texas A&M is not far behind. No. 20 Arkansas dropped 10 spots in the poll after its loss to the Aggies on Saturday.

After being ranked the last three weeks, Florida (56 votes) dropped to the others receiving votes category. LSU (7 votes) joins the Gators in the category after a 38-0 win over New Mexico State.

About Cam Parker

Cam is a fourth-year broadcast journalism sports and media major at the University of Florida. In addition to writing and recording radio trendings for WRUF, Cam covers North Florida HS football for The Prep Zone and Mainstreet Daily News and UF football and basketball for Inside the Gators.

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