The Kentucky WIldcats football team, Lead by Coach Mark Stoops and Brad Whites goal line standing defense have scratched their way to a 5-0(3-0) start to the 2021 season. The Wildcats have not overwhelmed any team since the opening game vs ULM. They managed to outscore Missouri, held off a feisty Chattanooga team and did just enough to take out South Carolina on the road. The jewel in the Wildcats crown so far is a home win vs the #10 Florida Gators last Saturday at a rocking, louder than ever Kroger Field. The Cats were on the bad side of almost every statistical category, but with the help of that home crowd they won a key stat, and that was penalties. Florida racked up eight false start penalties alone, maybe none bigger than on the final drive of the game.
The Wildcats find themselves in unusual territory. They come into this weeks matchup with LSU favored by -3.5 and the Cats have numbers by their name and LSU does not. 16/14 respectively in the AP/Coaches polls. Is this a classic trap game? LSU stands between the Cats and an undefeated showdown with Georgia and a chance to change the programs history forever. Are these Cats ready to take that step? Coach Mark Stoops says they are. Quoted as saying "We can play with anybody." Strong words from the Cats top man. I think he may just be right defensively. Although I am not convinced the Cats offense as it stands so far can muster a single point against the Georgia defense. Lets back up a minute though.
LSU is the opponent at hand. The Tigers have limped out to a 3-2(1-1) start. Disappointing to the bayou fans and to Coach Orgeron. The Tigers took one on the chin in the season opener when they traveled to the land of sun and surf to take on the equally unimpressive UCLA Bruins. A second loss came last week vs the somewhat surprising Auburn Tigers. Their three wins are not impressive either, with a win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs being the highlight. This writer thinks this matchup with LSU and the Cats is going to be a battle. The Tigers have nothing to lose at this point and they are going to see those numbers beside UK's name and come to play. Historically the Cats have not been the hunted, they have been the hunter. It is going to be critical to the ultimate success of this years squad how they handle LSU this Saturday. For this to be the special season that some of us believe it can be, the Cats have to stand tall and take care of business. I truly believe this year this Wildcat team is better than LSU, but they have to prove it. The over/under for the game as of this writing is 50.5, and I am going to take the over in this one. I think the Wildcats offense is going to wake up and put points on the board and I expect at least one defensive score. I am taking the Cats, 35-24 over the Tigers.
That would set up one the most important matchups in the history of Kentucky Football. An undefeated Kentucky team probably ranked just outside or hovering around the top ten vs the Georgia juggernaut! ESPN's matchup predictor gives Kentucky a 4.2% chance of winning that game. SERIOUSLY? If we make it to that game undefeated and I am Mark Stoops I have a huge signs printed with 4.2% and hang them everywhere so the team sees them everyday. I am talking in the cafeteria, dorms, practice facility, along the walkways, in the players girlfriends rooms. What other undefeated SEC team would be given such a lopsided chance of winning a game? All contests between two teams have a single percentage chance and that is 50%, it we are being literal. You are either going to win or lose. We all know the percentage is sometimes less, but 4.2% for and undefeated SEC opponent? That's some BS. I have no idea if this Wildcats team is ready for the challenge that Georgia presents but I would give them more around 25-35% going in. So use the disrespect as fuel. Like the Cats should really need any extra fuel.
The remainder of the Wildcats schedule in my opinion is winnable. Coming out the Georgia game a few years ago where the Cats had a chance to win the SEC East, the Cats broke down a bit. I hope their is no such let down this year. Them tool bags at ESPN never cease to amaze me with their predictors. They have Tennessee favored over the Cats. That gets another SERIOUSLY? What has UT done to make anyone think that. Maybe if it was a road game for the Cats? I am not buying that one. ESPN also has Mississippi State and them Dirty Birds down the road favored over the Cats. The Louisville game is about a toss up when you take the rivalry into account. In fairness the ESPN predictor is like 49.1/50.9 which is evident of a toss up.
I said going into this season I thought the Cats would win nine games. I am amending that to ten wins now. This of course is if we don't sustain any more injuries and have a full roster. Even though I don't agree with the crazy 4.2% number, I do not think the Cats are quite where they need to be yet to beat Georgia. If Mark Stoops and Co. continue to recruit and develop the way they have till now, then I think Kentucky will close that gap even more in the future. I think the Cats, even though they have a bye week, will come out flat in that next game and lose on the road to Mississippi State, and then re-group and win out to finish with ten wins. Go to a big time Bowl game and win it.
So what do you think? Am I crazy? Am I wearing the big blue glasses? Only seeing what I want to see? Chime in and let me know.
"The reason women don't play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public." -Phyllis Diller