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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

JOE COX: Can Kentucky Handle Prosperity? They'd Better.

Be careful what you wish for. One week, you’re a touchdown underdog at home against a top 10 team that has beaten you 33 of the last 34 years. The next, you’re a college football darling, a team in the top 20 of both major polls, and now you’re a three-point favorite against a hungry and dangerous LSU Tigers team. It’s a great problem to have, but if 5-0 Kentucky wants to continue its season to remember, it’ll start by being able to deal with success.

Fifth-year senior wide receiver Josh Ali of Kentucky (SEC Photo)

The Wildcats have doubtlessly enjoyed a week of hearing about how wonderful and talented they are. Columns mentioning the Wildcats as a CFP possibility have been written, doubtlessly numerous NIL endorsement deals have been struck, and Kentucky has gone from ignored to in the SEC spotlight. But LSU won’t give a wooden nickel for any of that on Saturday evening. Kentucky has to find the chip that has rest on its shoulder and get it back on nice and snug before kickoff. Because LSU is dangerous.

Yes, the Tigers are 3-2. That’s a season-opening loss at UCLA and a tough home loss to a ranked Auburn team. But LSU is averaging over 31 points per game and standout QB Max Johnson is one of the SEC’s leading passers. LSU receiver Kayshon Boutte might be the best receiver in the conference (if it isn’t UK’s Wan’Dale Robinson). Defensively, LSU is down a couple key starters in the secondary, but they have the size, depth, and talent to contend with anyone.

Kentucky, meanwhile, has three offensive touchdowns in its last two games. The Wildcats have done it with defense, but really could stand to break through, particularly in the passing game, where the Tigers aren't matching up terribly well. The Wildcats could also use a quick start.

On paper, Kentucky is in fairly good shape. But LSU is lean and hungry after a loss, and UK will have to match that hunger. Before the season, a 2-2 mark in October would have been optimistic for Kentucky. But now, 3-1 could be in the realm of possibility.

LSU’s offense will give Kentucky some issues. Johnson is probably the best QB the ‘Cats have seen thus far. This one will probably require some significant help from Levis, Rodriguez, and Robinson, among other offensive standouts. But given what Kentucky’s done so far, they’ve come too far to lose this game off a lack of focus.

UK 31, LSU 28

My weekly guesstimates of the rest of the SEC:

Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 27

Florida 52, Vanderbilt 6

Tennessee 24, South Carolina 23

Georgia 38, Auburn 21

Missouri 49, North Texas 7

Alabama 45, Texas A&M 17

Joe Cox is contributing editor for Magazine. He grew up in Letcher County and Bell County and has written or co-written nine books. His most recent, "A Fine Team Man: Jackie Robinson and the Lives He Changed," was released in February 2019 and can be ordered on Amazon or at many local bookstores. Joe is an attorney and lives in Logan County with his wife and children. You can reach him at


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