No matter what happens in today's game -- and, by that, we mean that Mississippi State will win -- the Bulldogs will continue to be the least appreciated undefeated team in the SEC
Mississippi St. Bulldogs at Kentucky Wildcats, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Mississippi State might be one of the quietest undefeated teams in the history of the SEC. Part of that is because of who the Bulldogs have played: Auburn, a Sun Belt team, a team transitioning to the FBS and the Sun Belt and an FCS team. But, still, Mississippi State is 4-0.
A trip to Lexington is probably not the best way to prove that you're a true contender. The Wildcats are ranked 11th or worse in the SEC in 10 of the 17 major statistical categories tracked by the NCAA. Among those: Rushing offense, total offense, scoring offense, rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. Passing yardage defense is one of the categories that Kentucky is better than 11th -- but you don't expect to be at the bottom of that list when your average margin of defeat in four games is 19.5 points.
And Kentucky isn't even at what passes for full strength in Lexington. Maxwell Smith is out for surgery, leaving a pair of relatively inexperienced quarterbacks in his place. The Western Division Bulldogs will eventually get their test, either next week against Tennessee or two weeks later in Tuscaloosa. But not this week.
Mississippi State 45, Kentucky 20