Mississippi State has beaten cross-divisional rival Kentucky in eight of the last nine years, but despite that history, ESPN personality Paul Finebaum isn’t convinced the Bulldogs will win this season.

During a radio appearance Monday, Finebaum was asked whether he had a gut feeling about this week’s Mississippi State-Kentucky matchup. He declined to give a concrete prediction, but he did sound like he’s leaning towards Kentucky.

“Not yet (on whether he has a gut opinion),” Finebaum said during a radio appearance on WJOX 94.5 in Birmingham. “But you’re right — that’s a very tricky game. I know some may laugh, but these two play each other every year. There is tradition in this game.

“I was up there a couple years ago when Kentucky had to hit a 52 yarder at the end to pretty much save Mark Stoops’ job. So, I think this is a big test. I think (Joe Moorhead) will be measured in the month of September on how he does against Dan Mullen. I know that doesn’t sound like it’s a big deal, but on September 29, it will be a big deal in Starkville. Right now, I might favor Kentucky a little bit in this game.”

Former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen went 8-1 against the Wildcats. Winning eight of the last nine have given Mississippi State a 23-22 edge in the series versus Kentucky.

But Mississippi State has a new coach, and Kentucky knocked off Mullen, who is now coaching at Florida, in Week 2. And Kentucky’s lone victory against Mississippi State this decade came the last time the Bulldogs visited Lexington in 2016.

Kentucky will host Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on Saturday.