By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky football fans have not been overly thrilled with the lack of confidence Las Vegas oddsmakers — along with many national college football analysts — have shown in the Wildcats.
It didn’t help when Kentucky was picked to finish SIXTH in the SEC Eastern Division by media members last week at SEC Media Days even though the Cats won 10 games last year and have been second in the SEC East the last two years.
I have a friend (I hope the photo at right will show my friend’s belief in UK football) who was at a Biloxi, Miss., casino recently and bet $5 at 200-1 odds on Kentucky winning the national championship. Not the SEC East. Not the SEC Championship. BUT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
Not being a big gambler, I was a bit surprised when I came across this from BetAmerica.com during its post on how many games it thought SEC teams would win. The over/under on Kentucky is 6.5 wins, which is a big higher than some have.
Florida is the “sexy” pick to make a huge rise this year under second-year coach Dan Mullen. The Gators are a preseason top 10 teams with an over/under of 9 wins.
But here’s what BetAmerica.com posted about Florida’s chances that might be of interest to UK fans:
“Many think this is a program on the rise again, as the Gators seem to have things headed in a positive direction with Dan Mullen leading the way. But the play here is the Under. Despite a lifetime of dominance against Kentucky, Mark Stoops is improving things in Lexington. Tennessee is also getting better, and Georgia is already well ahead of Florida in terms of overall talent level. Miami, Auburn and LSU are all tough, and South Carolina on the road is never an easy game for the Gators.
“After all that they get to end their brutal SEC season with a road game at Missouri and then get rival Florida State. This schedule almost guarantees an elite team two losses, and for a slightly above-average one it seems four or five is inevitable.”
Two things — respect for Mark Stops and Kentucky and not nearly as much love for the Gators as many others are giving.