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Kentucky football continues to make noise recruiting, especially with in-state players.
Dominique Yates, Louisville Courier Journal

It’s going to take much more than a 10-win season for the University of Kentucky to begin receiving respect in college football circles.

The Wildcats, coming off their best football season in more than 40 years, can obviously be expected to take a dip in 2019 while moving on without departed game-changers like NFL draft picks Josh Allen and Benny Snell

But preseason odds and projections still amazingly — yet typically — are quite bearish on Kentucky, a program with three consecutive winning seasons.

Athlon Sports has Kentucky going 6-6 overall and 2-6 in the SEC, finishing tied with Vanderbilt behind Missouri and South Carolina in the SEC East.

Kentucky has beaten Missouri four seasons in a row. 

Kentucky has beaten South Carolina five seasons in a row.

Yet the following Vegas odds from earlier this year had Missouri and South Carolina as more likely to win the football playoff than Kentucky, which — again, as is usually the case in the preseason — was forecast at the bottom of the division with Vanderbilt.

Bovada’s current national futures odds have Kentucky at 750-1 to win the playoff. Yes, it’s a bit far-fetched to believe Kentucky is far enough along as a program to seriously contend for a national championship while playing in the SEC.

But here are some of the teams (with 2018 records) that Bovada’s odds have as more likely than Kentucky to do it in 2019:

  • Kansas (3-9)
  • Louisville (2-10)
  • New Mexico (3-9)
  • Northern Illinois (8-6)
  • Tulsa (3-9)

Really? 

More: Could the 2020 Kentucky football recruiting class be Mark Stoops’ highest-rated?

Such projections are actually going to be helpful for Kentucky. So much of the Wildcats’ success last season, based on what the players kept saying at the time, was built on disrespect. It appeared to be an angry team looking to prove people wrong.

Given how things are shaping up heading into 2019, there should be plenty of motivation again in Lexington.

Social Hour

A late happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.

The College World Series was in fashion this weekend.

Maximum Security took an ‘L’ at Monmouth Park on Sunday. This one actually on the racetrack.

The USWNT continues to make it look easy at the World Cup — and you’ve got to love the sarcastic golf clap to criticism about celebrations during an the opening rout of Thailand.

Crafty.

You may have heard who joined Twitter in the past few days.

Yes, the Lakers traded LaVar Ball’s son.

And interesting tweet for what professional tennis players are up against financially.

What We’re Reading

Cameron Teague Robinson reported from Omaha on Louisville’s opening defeat in the College World Series.

Big congrats to Male’s softball team for a perfect 39-0 season.

It was a big recruiting weekend for Scott Satterfield’s Louisville football program.

Many see horse slaughter as an existential threat to racing, wrote Tim Sullivan.

Danielle Lerner’s latest fan mailbag covered a bunch of different Louisville basketball topics.

The New York Daily News takes a fascinating look at the mystery surrounding the shooting of former MLB star David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury admitted to creating fake social media accounts to spy on his Texas Tech players. (Well, that’s not cool.)

And a high school valedictorian in California certainly made her graduation speech memorable.

Gentry Estes: 502-582-4205; gestes@courierjournal.com; Twitter: @Gentry_Estes. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/gentrye.