Updated: Kentucky football’s history vs. No. 1 teams


This is an update from a post two years ago:

Kentucky carries a 3-10 record against AP No. 1 teams into Saturday night’s matchup with top-ranked Alabama at Commonwealth Stadium.

The most recent of those three victories was in 2007 when Kentucky rallied from a 27-14 deficit to send the game into overtime and beat Les Miles and his Miracles 43-37.

Since Bear Bryant, only three UK head coaches avoided facing a No. 1 team during their tenure in Lexington. One was Jerry Caliborne (1982-89). One was John Ray (1969-72). The third was Guy Morris (2001-02) who was only head coach two years.

As for the others:

Bear Bryant (1-1): Had the biggest win by a UK coach against a No. 1 team when his 1950 squad snapped Oklahoma’s 31-game win streak. The next season, UK lost to No. 1 ranked Tennessee in Knoxville.

Blanton Collier (0-3): The last UK coach to have a winning record in his tenure failed to beat a No. 1 team on three attempts. The closest he came was an 8-0 loss to visiting Auburn in 1958.

Charlie Bradshaw (1-0): Hard Charles played just one No. 1 team, but made it count when the Cats upset top-ranked Ole Miss 27-21 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Fran Curci (0-1): His 1980 team was blitzed 45-0 by Bear Bryant’s Alabama team in Birmingham. Curci’s 10-1 team in 1977 did beat fourth-ranked Penn State in University Park.

Bill Curry (0-1): Curry’s final UK team, the 1996 edition, was embarrassed 65-0 by Steve Spurrier and top-ranked Florida. This came two years after the then second-ranked Gators overwhelmed Curry’s Cats 73-0 in Gainesville.

Hal Mumme (0-2): Air Raid at least scored some points against No. 1 teams. Mumme’s 1997 Cats lost 55-28 to top-ranked Florida at home. His 1998 team lost 59-21 to No. 1 Tennessee in Knoxville, but that came days after the program was rocked by tragic automobile accident that involved team’s center, Jason Watts.

Rich Brooks (1-1): The 2007 team rallied from a 13-point deficit to shock LSU in Commonwealth, the biggest win of the Brooks Era. The 2009 team did not fare as well, losing to Tim Tebow and No. 1 Florida 41-7 in Lexington.

Joker Phillips (0-1): Phillips remains the only UK head coach to beat Steve Spurrier and he snapped a 26-game losing streak to Tennessee, but he could not beat No. 1-ranked LSU at Tiger Stadium in 2011.



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