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July 28th, 2015

Sleep Outfitters’ Tuesday Recruiting Roundup

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 In case you missed it earlier today, 2017 3-star ATH Russ Yeast committed to Kentucky, another huge get from the staff. Russ is, of course, the son of Craig Yeast, and friends with QB Mac Jones, who committed to UK yesterday. Mac is hyped about Russ’ commitment, tweeting that fans should get used to hearing “Jones to Yeast,” along with this picture:

Works for me.

 Three players to keep an eye on, all 2017 running backs: Mike Warren; Mohamed Ibrahim, who will visit Kentucky on Friday; and Kurt Taylor. I’m not an emoji expert, but this tweet from Ibrahim after Mac Jones’ commitment yesterday seems pretty promising:

We’re hearing one of those players may commit THIS AFTERNOON, so stay tuned…

 Harry Giles calls John Calipari a “great dude”

Giles broke down the five schools on his list (Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Kansas) recently to SNY.tv, and called John Calipari a “great dude”:

 “Coach Cal, great dude, man. I have a great relationship with him. I’ve known him since my freshman year. He developed a lot of players at Memphis and Kentucky, so I can relate to that. Kentucky’s a great place, a great program, so you can never go wrong going there.”

It’s never wise to put too much stock into these types of comments, but based on how Giles waxes on about Duke, calling Coach K and his program “legendary” and saying how “you can never go wrong staying at home,” I think it’s safe to say the Blue Devils are still his leader.

[ZagsBlog]

 Jeff Goodman calls Giles the best player in the past twelve years besides Anthony Davis

How important is Giles? Jeff Goodman says he’s the best player in the past dozen years besides Anthony Davis:

“I’ll take Giles over every top-ranked player in the past dozen years — except for Anthony Davis. Giles has the entire package. He has size, athleticism, speed, power, skill and also all of the intangibles.”

Ugh. Please don’t go to Duke.

[ESPN Insider]

 Dennis Smith, Jr. says he was “shocked” by UK’s offer

Calipari watched Smith A LOT last weekend, and if Kobi Simmons doesn’t commit soon, Smith may beat him to it. In his latest blog for USA Today’s High School Sports site, the top point guard admitted he was “shocked” when John Calipari offered him a scholarship:

The latest offer was from Kentucky and, I’ll be honest, it was surprising. I was shocked by it because Coach Cal had watched me a couple of times before then; he watched me with my man John Wall in Atlanta at adidas and had another coach watch me at Myrtle Beach and the offer came.

I was definitely excited to get the offer for sure. It doesn’t matter that they’re just offering me now; they’re a team I’m considering as much as anyone.

Coach Cal mostly talks with me and my dad on three-way and we’re building our relationship pretty fast. It’s been cool.

Smith is down to six schools: Kentucky, Duke, Louisville, NC State, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. He says there’s still a “great chance” of a package deal with him, Jayson Tatum, and Harry Giles, which means all three would be Dukies, and no one wants that.

[USATodayHSS]

 Speaking of Simmons and Smith…

247 Sports’ Jerry Meyer flipped his Crystal Ball pick for Simmons from Kentucky to Ohio State Sunday night. Read into that what you will.


2017 QB commit Mac Jones: Freddie’s Take

Shannon Dawson’s recent quarterback selections have distinct commonalities. Both Gunnar Hoak and Mac Jones are technically proficient passers with advanced fundamentals. Neither will drop your jaw with arm strength or freakish athletic ability, both of which are vastly overrated traits for a quarterback. In an earlier post, I differentiated between a thrower and a passer. Hoak and Jones are passers. That’s a good thing.

Mac Jones’ sophomore film showed an extremely quick release. At 6’2″ 178 pounds, physical maturation will occur over time. With two more years of high school football remaining, Jones will report to Lexington at or around 200 pounds. Mac’s advanced footwork and technique showed definite signs of prior and proper fundamental instruction. Also, his tape highlighted efficient production against elite Florida competition. In the passing game, Mac compensated for his lack of developed strength with anticipation and accuracy. Much like Gunnar Hoak, he maturely threw his receivers open. This means that he saw an opening in the defensive coverage and threw the football to the exact location where his receivers could make the catch.

Shannon Dawson has made an evaluation statement with Gunnar Hoak and Mac Jones. Kentucky’s offensive coordinator’s preference lies in passers with progressive technique, anticipation, and accuracy. Add all those assets together, and the often misused “it” factor is defined. As I posted earlier, having a cannon for an arm is highly overrated. That is, unless you’re participating in a Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. As I drove to work yesterday morning, I heard former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy rate arm strength as his fifth most important quarterback attribute. McElroy is a brilliant football analyst. When he talks, I listen. I strongly agreed. Furthermore, both Jones and Hoak have an advanced sense or understanding of the quarterback position, a trait that can only be displayed on the football field in a live, 11-on-11 scenario. I can’t properly evaluate QBs during 7-on-7 games. The element of contact and pass rush can significantly alter the process.

As I predicted with Gunnar Hoak, Mac Jones’ offer sheet will significantly grow. In the Class of 16, Hoak is the glue that holds the offensive skill position players intact. In that nature, Jones could possibly mimic Hoak and become the catalyst for a monstrous 2017 class. With one year of separation between the two, timing sets up perfectly for each to have their own turn running the Dawson Air Raid. Mac Jones is a solid, and recently typical Kentucky commit. I’ll explain. We’ve seen Marrow and company offer other positional players before the major powers do so. Following a commitment to UK, select prospect’s recruiting status seems to blossom. Kentucky’s staff is being credited for its recruiting prowess. I say evaluation is actually its strength. Shannon Dawson has brought his own evaluation perspective to Lexington. He knows exactly what he’s looking for in his quarterbacks of the future. I think he’s found two perfect fits for his system.


Lloyd Tubman headed to Junior College

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Many of you have been asking what the situation is with Lloyd Tubman, the former UK defensive end who was suspended from the team indefinitely after a rape accusation last October. In February, a grand jury decided not to indict Tubman on the charge after hearing evidence and he will face no further chargers, but his future at Kentucky remained uncertain.

Now, 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards is reporting that Tubman will play at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas this fall. He told Edwards he’s open to returning to UK next year, and thanked fans for their support.

“The fans were very supportive. The BBN was very great and very supportive through that and I appreciate that. When things came out, the public takes it the wrong way based on what it says on TV and just takes it and tumbles out of proportion. It’s growing a personal image. When the case was going on, I didn’t get any negative response from anybody or anything so I really do appreciate that.”

Best of luck to Lloyd at Trinity Valley.

[247 Sports]


Seth Davis’ Rex Chapman profile is now online

@AnalyzedSports

Last week, Seth Davis’ profile of Rex Chapman for Sports Illustrated hit the newsstands, and now, it’s finally online. Davis profiles Chapman’s 15-year addiction to prescription pain killers and how that led him on a shoplifting spree which ended in his arrest in September.

Rex has since entered rehab and is opening up about his struggles, first to Matt and the KSR audience back at the Final Four in April, and now to Davis. Interestingly, Chapman admits that a lot of his problems began when people criticized him for dating an African American girl while he was at UK.

Chapman was also troubled by the backlash he endured for spending so much time with his high school girlfriend, an African-American woman who was enrolled at Kentucky. Chapman recalls coming back to his car after a game to find “n—– lover” keyed into his door. Even worse were the meetings Chapman says he had with members of the Kentucky coaching staff and athletic administration, who tried to dissuade him from interracial dating. “It wore on me,” he says. “It was hateful.” Eddie Sutton, the Wildcats’ coach then, says, “I don’t remember that happening. It was a long time ago, but I just don’t remember that.”

What about “the tweet”? It’s only referenced once as a side note when Davis mentions how Rex did the teamcast for UK this past April. (If you remember, Chapman apologized for the tweet on KSR the day of the Wisconsin game.)

For now, it’s just nice to hear that Rex is healthy and doing well. Check out the entire piece at SI.com.


YAHTZEE! Russ Yeast commits to Kentucky!

We knew good news was coming, but this Yahtzee is extra special. Russ Yeast, son of UK legend Craig Yeast, just committed to Kentucky. The 2017 three-star athlete from Fremont, Ohio had offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Washington State, and others, but decided to follow in his father’s footsteps at Kentucky.

Russ is considered the 33rd best wide receiver in the 2017 class and the 11th best player from the state of Ohio by 247 Sports, making him a huge, huge get for Mark Stoops and staff. He’s considered a four-star prospect by ESPN.

Here’s his tweet announcing his commitment:

This is Kentucky 2nd commitment in less than 24 hours, and we’re hearing more is on the way this week. Until then, enjoy Russ Yeast’s highlights:


Za’Darius Smith named one of Sports Illustrated’s 12 underrated NFL rookies

NFL training camps start this week, and while Bud Dupree is groomed as a starter in Pittsburgh, his fellow former Cat Za’Darius Smith is impressing people down in Baltimore as well. Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar named Big Z one of twelve underrated rookies that could surprise people during training camp over the next month:

The Ravens lost Pernell McPhee to the Bears in free agency, which robbed them of their best backup edge rusher and multi-gap disruptor. McPhee would rush the passer from just about everywhere, and John Harbaugh was clear that Smith is slotted in as McPhee’s replacement.

“He had the physicality, the heavy hands, the high motor,” Harbaugh said in May. ” He has pass rush ability even maybe more so than we saw from Pernell coming out. He has hips, and he can get around blocks. If he develops like Pernell did, we’re going to have something.”

Get ’em, Big Z.

[SI.com]


Former Cats Tom Jomby and Eric Quigley play in the Kentucky Bank Championships tonight

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Got plans tonight? Former UK tennis players Eric Quigley and Tom Jomby are both playing in the Kentucky Bank Challenge at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on UK’s campus. Starting at 7 p.m. ET, Quigley will play France’s Enzo Couacaud, and after that, Jomby will play Brazil’s Guilherme Clezar. Both matches are on court one.

If you just can’t wait until tonight, Jomby and Mark Ein will play doubles against Russian duo Dean O’Brien and Ruan Roelofse around 11:30 p.m. this morning. Not only is Jomby an excellent tennis player and former Wildcat, he’s also a former KSR student intern, so put on your KSR gear and go out and support him. Yes, yelling “BTI sucks” is appropriate.


Good news coming at noon?

…so says Justin Rowland. We’re also hearing that another commitment, potentially in the 2017 class, is imminent.

Who is it? 2016 defensive tackle Kobe Smith is set to announce his decision tomorrow night, so unless he’s jumping the gun, I doubt it’s him.

Leave your guesses in the comments. And get those dice ready.


Jerry Meyer would be “shocked” if Markelle Fultz doesn’t end up at Kentucky

It’s clear that John Calipari has changed his recruiting strategy. Cal is handing out more offers than ever before in the 2016 and 2017 classes, including three this past weekend (De’Aaron Fox, Edrice Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel). 2016 guard Markelle Fultz got his offer from Kentucky earlier this month and has quickly become the favorite in his recruitment, with recruiting guru Jerry Meyer going as far to say he would be “shocked” if Fultz didn’t commit to the Cats.

“I feel pretty strong,” Meyer told the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts. “From what I hear and what I know, I would kind of be shocked if he doesn’t end up at Kentucky.”

At 6’4″ 170 lbs., Fultz exploded onto the scene during the July evaluation period, and although he’s already considered the third best shooting guard and seventh overall prospect in a stacked 2016 class by 247 Sports, that ranking could go even higher.

Fultz also has a YouTube series about his recruitment entitled “This is My Life.” Here’s the latest episode if you’ve got 38 minutes to spare:


KSR is at the Don Moore GM Center in Owensboro (Tuesday Show Thread)

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Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from the Don Moore GM Center (3232 Villa Point) in Owensboro. If you’re in the area, come on out to hear the show and to register to win tickets to a UK basketball or football game from GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

Here’s an updated list of tour stops:

July 29: Benton – Kennedy’s Fan Shop
July 30: Paducah – Buffalo Wild Wings and IMAC Regeneration of Paducah
July 31: Fancy Farm

August 3: Bowling Green – Chaney’s Dairy Barn
August 4: McKee – Old Courthouse Community Room
August 5: Glasgow – Papa John’s
August 6: Jamestown – Lawless-Smith True Value and Appliance Center (Russell Springs)
August 7: Monticello – Conley Bottom Resort

August 10: Frankfort – Governor’s Mansion
August 11: Maysville – Laurel Oaks Golf Course
August 12: Danville – Sun Tropic Outdoors
August 13: Lexington – All Sports at Fayette Mall
August 14: Louisville

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GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com is giving away UK basketball and football tickets at every tour stop this summer. That’s 33 chances to win, and all you have to do is come out to listen to your favorite radio show. That’s so easy even Ryan Lemond could do it!


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Just How Close Has UK Been?

Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Let’s face it, Kentucky has been going through a long process since Mark Stoops was hired.  Revamping the talent to the level that Stoops wants it has meant that UK has fielded some seriously young teams in 2013 and 2014.  And part of being a young team is those guys often haven’t learned yet what it takes to win the close games.  Despite UK’s 7-17 record in the Stoops tenure, the following games show you that UK is not that really far away.

Kentucky has been in SEVEN games in the last 2 years that they have entered the 4th quarter or at some point in the 4th quarter been within 1 touchdown of the opponent.  The seven games:

2014
at Florida
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 20-17
FINAL: Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (3ot)

South Carolina
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 31-24
FINAL: Kentucky 45, South Carolina 38

Mississippi State
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 31-24
FINAL: Mississippi State 45, Kentucky 31

at Louisville
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 28-23
FINAL: Louisville 44, Kentucky 40
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2013
at South Carolina
In 4th Quarter: Trailed 27-21
FINAL: South Carolina 35, Kentucky 28

at Mississippi State
In 4th Quarter: Trailed 28-22
FINAL: Mississippi State 28, Kentucky 22

at Vanderbilt
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 9-6
FINAL: Vanderbilt 22, Kentucky 6

UK is just 1-6 in these close games.  Flip those games around and be 6-1 in those games and the Stoops tenure is 12-12.  But frankly, these guys just haven’t been ready to win those games.  You’ve seen key drops in the Florida game last year.  The onside kick debacle against Mississippi State.  A dropped interception against Louisville.  Inability to get the big play when needed.  It’s everything that a young team is supposed to do, and Kentucky has done it.

Well, 2015 isn’t that team anymore.  A bunch of guys in the lineup have a bunch of experience.  Those kinds of losses above will no longer be tolerable.  If we don’t see better results in the 4th quarter this year, we are looking at another bowl-less season.


Amy’s Tuesday Morning Wakeup

On Sunday, my husband and I saw “Amy,” a new documentary about the late Amy Winehouse. Since Amy died in 2011, there have been several documentaries and shows about her, but this one was different in that it was told in her own words through unseen videos of Amy throughout her life. Award-winning director Asif Kapadia, known primarily for his 2010 documentary “Senna,” directed the film, and carefully crafted a stirring and sad portrait of Amy’s life using home videos and TV clips of Amy through time, along with interviews with her closest friends and unheard tracks.

We all know Amy’s story and the tragic ending, but, as only a casual Amy Winehouse fan, I don’t think I anticipated how moved I’d be by seeing it told on screen four years after her death. Seeing Amy’s inevitable demise unfold is especially troubling in retrospect when you realize how much of an impact fame and the media had on her fall. Kapadia includes clips from TV comedians making jokes about Amy’s addictions, including a particularly cringe-worthy one from George Lopez. (As with everything, probably unfair to judge him now on that, but still.) And don’t even get me started on Blake.

The film isn’t exactly a happy-go-lucky pick me up, but I’m glad I saw it for the simple fact that it reminded me just how much I loved her music. I’ll kick things off this morning with my favorite, her cover of The Zutons’ “Valerie”:

That’ll be in your head the rest of the day. You’re welcome. Speaking of that day, here’s what to expect:

Football momentum continues to build

Yesterday, 2017 three-star quarterback Mac Jones committed to Kentucky, getting the ball rolling on what could be a big week for the football program. Tomorrow night, three-star defensive tackle Kobe Smith will decide between Miami and Kentucky, and we’re hearing VERY good things about Kentucky’s chances. Like “get your dice ready” things. In addition, we’re also hearing there may be another 2017 commitment in the works.

After a slow end to the 2015 class, recruiting has picked up major momentum and is now full steam ahead. Speaking of…

Jamar “Boogie” Watson will announce his decision on August 6th

The football “Boogie” tweeted out that his finalists are Kentucky, Virginia, and Old Dominion, and he plans to announce his decision on August 6th. The 6’2″ 220 lbs. outside linebacker visited UK on July 18th and we’re hearing the staff is very, very high on him. Although he hasn’t played football that long, his athleticism is off the charts, and this staff has a knack for discovering talent early on.

Kent Bulle tees off in the Kentucky Open

Bulle and his caddy Aaron Flener are KSR family, so if you have nothing better to do, go on out to Keene Trace in Lexington to cheer him on. Drew will be following them around all day as well, so remind him to put on sunscreen from time to time. Nobody wants a sunburnt blogger.

You’ll vote for Kendra Harrison for the Bowerman Award again

The senior hurdles star is the first Bowerman finalist in UK Track & Field history, with two NCAA individual championships and 15 All-American selections. She’s the third-fastest collegian ever in the 100M and 400M hurdles, and you can help her win the prestigious award by clicking here. Voting continues through August 11 and you can vote as many times as you want. We got this, Kendra.

Congrats to the KSR-sponsored South Lexington Blue All-Stars on their third-place finish at the Bluegrass State Games

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The South Lexington Blue All-Stars won third place, beating The Sluggers (Berea, KY), 11-10, with a walk-off triple in the last at bat. The South Lexington Red All-Stars won first place, beating Southeastern, 11-4, in the championship game. Pizza’s on Matt the next time you see him, kids.

KSR is at the Don Moore GM Center in Owensboro

You ready, Western Kentucky?


July 27th, 2015

8 Leftovers from the UK Football Women’s Clinic

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It’s been a football-heavy few days on the site, but after Matt, Drew, and I all got to be around the coaches and players at different functions this weekend, can you blame us? The excitement around the program is contagious right now, and forty days away from the opener, the start of the season is finally in sight.

I already gave you some quick hitters from the Women’s Clinic on Saturday, but here are some notes that are still floating around my head…

DJ Eliot is now an entertainer

When he first arrived at Kentucky, Eliot came off as kind of a shy guy who didn’t seem very comfortable talking in front of big groups. What a difference two years makes. We’ve noticed how good Eliot has been on KSR in various guest hosting duties, and he was a total ham at the Women’s Clinic, keeping the women laughing and engaged the entire time. He also had the second best line of the day when he said “God gave us 10 rules, the NCAA gave us 500 pages.” (The best line goes to Chad Scott, who said “Ladies, we’re going bowling,” and dropped the mic.)

He’ll be here all season, folks.

Shannon Dawson has never run the Wildcat offense

The South Carolina win was a popular topic at the clinic, and when a fan asked if we can expect to see the Wildcat package with JoJo more this season, Shannon Dawson admitted he’s never run the Wildcat before.

“I’ve never ran the Wildcat, don’t know much about it to be honest with you,” Dawson said to the crowd’s panicked disbelief. “It’s not something I’m against running, I just don’t know much about it. I’ll do anything for a first down.”

There you go. Much better. Cheers all around.

Fullback Will Thomas Collins’ nickname is “Taco Meat”

Vince Marrow said a little bit about each of the tight ends and fullbacks he coaches, and shared the story behind junior fullback Will Collins’ nickname, “Taco Meat.” At last year’s Bourbon and Cigars event, Collins’ uncle came up to Marrow and told him how Will ate an entire fridge full of ground beef, like several pounds, in one day, ruining his uncle’s plans to make spaghetti sauce. Hence, he is now “Taco Meat.”

Marrow says he’s expecting big things from Taco Meat, along with defensive tackle Jacob Hyde, who will moonlight as fullback at times this season. “Wait ’til you see this joker line up in the back field at fullback,” Marrow laughed. “6’2″ 330 lbs. and he clears guys out.”

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Walking out onto the field for the first time will take your breath away

We’ve all seen the new press box and suite levels in pictures, but seeing them in person for the first time is remarkable. We got to go through the players’ old tunnel onto the field and the transformation is stunning, the new press box towering over the field in imposing fashion. The structure gives Commonwealth a much more intimidating feel, especially since it faces the visitor’s sideline. Commonwealth Stadium has never been a very striking stadium, but this is a striking feature that finally puts it it on the same level as other stadiums in the SEC. The structure’s height and side panels will also help keep crowd noise inside, so hopefully we’ll not only see a difference this fall, we’ll hear it too.

Rene Cornette’s got speed

I was looking at the videos on my phone this afternoon and noticed Rene Cornette — of “Succeed and Proceed” fame — blazing by in this drill:

While the rest of the ladies jogged by, Rene was out there trying to get a scholarship. 

Chantel Stoops says LSU fans threw beer and spat on her and fellow coaches’ wives

A fan asked which program’s fans are the most hostile to the wives and families when they travel, and although Chantel Stoops said she and her fellow wives haven’t encountered any bad behavior from opposing fans during their time at UK, when her husband was an assistant at another school, LSU fans threw beer on them, spit on them, and screamed obscenities at them throughout the game. Chantel didn’t say which school Mark was working for at the time, but considering she said they got clobbered by the Tigers, I’m going to guess it was Arizona, who lost to LSU 45-3 in Baton Rouge in 2006, when Stoops served as the Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach. Stay classy, Tiger fans.

Matt Elam is a frequent guest at the Stoops’ house

On Friday, Mark Stoops told a story about how he and Matt Elam hung out until 1:30 a.m. one night watching an MMA fight, and when asked for additional anecdotes about players hanging out at the Stoops’ house, Chantel Stoops said Matt Elam comes over pretty often to hang out in the pool with them and the kids. “He just gets a little lonely,” Chantel said. “We’re always very open to that.”

This video is my favorite from the event

Rene’s sprint was great, but this tackle by Beth is a classic:

Can someone make sure all the linebackers see this?

Coming up on Wednesday: An in-depth feature on Erik Korem and the new training facility. I got to speak to Korem at the Clinic and was blown away by what he had to say about the facility and the impact his high-performance program is having on the players. Stay tuned…


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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This summer enjoy Wendy’s® new Baconator Fries. Applewood-smoked bacon cooked fresh in our kitchens every day, and melty cheddar cheese, on top of our signature natural-cut fries. Now at a Wendy’s near you.
For a limited time only. Price and participation may vary.


You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

Honorable Mention: Chris Hudson


Happy late birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10 UNC Tar Heels


What in the heck did I just watch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Tweets by Beth


Seriously, though. Who needs therapy when this is an option?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Harrison Spires


They really know how to just go straight for the heart, don’t they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Danny Trevathan


This creeps me out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 Kelli McDowell


Let this be a good lesson. KSR is always a good subject to talk about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Hagan Fee


Burn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Matt Thomas


This might be the biggest problem Big Blue Nation has to deal with these days. Just ask yourself WWBD (What would Billy do).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Janman


I thought Andrew Cassady had explained the WIFI thing well, but this guy might have the most honest answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Derek Willis


Annnnddd then the door opens revealing 5 screaming kids. I think that might be Matt’s worst nightmare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Bweet Da Dee™


Rupp’s Ice Cream is sacred. I dare anyone to mess with it.

 

@Hessler_KSR


Syracuse.com Ranks Kentucky the 65th Best Team in the Country

Via Fansided

The folks over at Syracuse.com have been putting together a ranking of every college football team in the nation and over the weekend the Cats made their appearance, coming in at number 66 out of 129. While the ranking seems pretty low and it could be easy to dismiss someone writing for Syracuse as a random outsider, the author Patrick Stevens does seem to have a pretty solid grasp on Kentucky. He writes:

Mark Stoops and Kentucky have reached the awkward phase of any rebuilding project — where the on-field results might not reflect the improvements in a program or keep pace with expectations.

[…]

The improvements suggest a breakthrough will come eventually. But it might not be this year. Kentucky has reasonable hopes of reaching a bowl game, yet no one should be surprised if a better team can only match last year’s record.

His “number of note” tidbit is also pretty sobering. Kentucky has lost 20 consecutive road games dating back to a 2009 win at Georgia. That was six years ago when Rich Brooks was still on the sidelines. That would put a win on September 12 at South Carolina or even the November 14th game at Vandy as a major major milestone for Coach Stoops. One step at a time when you’re rebuilding a program.

Syracuse.com’s ranking is also in line with some others from around the net. Athlon Sports has the Cats ranked 55th and The Power Rank uses advanced statistics to place them 64th. There is still nowhere to go but up this season for Stoops and his team but I have to admit it hurts to see WKU come in just ahead at number 60.

At least we will have the element of surprise on our side when we shock some teams around the conference. Keep sleeping on em.