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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
October 13th, 2015

Steve Spurrier’s Tuesday Morning Wakeup

Yesterday was one of the most bizarre days in sports in quite some time, highlighted by the surprising news out of Columbia: Steve Spurrier is done.

The Head ‘Ball Coach is hanging it up at South Carolina, leaving the Gamecocks six games into the 2015 season. He told his players and staff he will retire, effective immediately. An interim head coach is expected to be named today, rumored to be G.A. Mangus, Spurrier’s quarterbacks coach since 2009.

Spurrier leaves college football as the SEC’s second most winningest coach, with 228 wins over the course of his 25-year career. A nine-time SEC Coach of the Year, he made Florida the program it is today and took South Carolina to a level it had never seen, leading the team to 86 wins, the most in school history. He never had a losing season at any of his stops on the college level, including his brief stint at Duke to begin his career.

The HBC’s retirement was predicted by many, but no one expected an abrupt ending at the halfway point in his season. The Week 2 loss to Kentucky, the first of four consecutive SEC losses, is likely a major factor in that decision. The loss, his second to UK in two years, marked the end of Spurrier’s dominance over the Wildcats and a downward spiral in 2015.

Let’s say goodbye and celebrate his career this morning with our Great Moments In Steve Spurrier History.

And then on to the other stuff…


UK is shutting down the media availability until the Auburn game.

Everyone’s schedules are all out of whack this week with Kentucky’s Thursday night football game throwing everything off. We heard from Mark Stoops at his Monday press conference and then from the entire staff after yesterday’s practice, but that’s it for the week. There will be no practice reports today or tomorrow, only brief comments from Stoops on tomorrow’s mandatory SEC Coaches Teleconference.

Auburn to name its starting quarterback today.

We should learn who Gus Malzahn will send out to QB his football team Thursday night after today’s practice at Auburn.

“We’re going to make a decision after practice, more than likely, just to let our guys know,” said Malzahn on his radio show last night.

Freddie Maggard wonders if Auburn’s quarterback controversy is reality or gamesmanship.

It’s not crazy to think Kentucky can contend in the SEC East.

I am in no way, shape or form predicting a trip to Atlanta, but it’s not crazy to think Kentucky has a shot at the SEC East, after what happened Saturday and yesterday’s news out of Gainesville. Unbeaten Florida is still the favorite, although it will play LSU and Georgia in its first two games without Will Grier. Then there’s Tennessee and Georgia with two losses apiece, leaving Kentucky in control of its own destiny against those two teams.

Again, I am not making the absurd prediction UK will win out and take the SEC East, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility after what we’ve seen from around the league these past couple of days. That’s all I’m saying, and none of it matters without a win over Auburn.

So, let’s beat Auburn.

Bud Dupree danced in the end zone on Monday Night Football and it was awesome.

Dupree showed off his moves following a Steelers interception return for a score.

I don’t know what that is, but I’m for it.

John Calipari will visit a 2017 big man today.

Cal is expected to be in New Jersey to watch Nick Richards at St. Patrick, the former home of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dakari Johnson. Richards is 6-foot-10 center, ranked fifteenth overall and second at his position. UK assistant Tony Barbee was in to see him just last week, according to Adam Zagoria.

Playboy is ditching nudity.

Beginning next March, Playboy will no longer show full nudity in its magazines. In related news, Roush will no longer have to hide the magazines under his bed, so that’s good. This may also save him from going blind.

UK Sports Network will air a pre-Big Blue Madness special.

Dave Baker and Christi Thomas will host a 90-minute special for UK Athletics leading up to Friday night’s Big Blue Madness. The show will begin at 5:30 pm and it will feature exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content from the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Baseball season is almost over!

With each new win in the MLB Playoffs, we are one step closer to the end of baseball season. Go Cubs and Mets!


That’ll do it for now. Listen to KSR in an hour and I’ll be back around 10 am or so with a photo of KSR’s new billboard in Lexington.

Listicuffs Episode 2: Jared Lorenzen vs Nick Roush

Episode 2 Cover

Today on Listicuffs, we have a KSR Football Podcast edition of the show, as UK Hall of Famer Jared Lorenzen takes on Nick Roush.  This was a ridiculously competitive episode of the show, and I would imagine the trash-talk will carry over to the Football Podcast on Wednesday.  The winner of today’s episode will advance to take on Drew Franklin in the Semi-Finals of the Listicuffs Tournament.  Who will take it today – Jared or Nick?

Note:  Unsurprisingly, Roush had some technical difficulties in the beginning of the episode, which spread to all three video feeds.  It does get cleared up after the first couple of minutes.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Pitino Officially Toast With UK Fans?

219 Wins
3 Final Fours
1 National Championship

Those are the major lasting points of the Rick Pitino era at the University of Kentucky.  Many or most UK fans couldn’t care less about those stats after Pitino took the UL job.  But there has always been a silent majority (minority?) of UK fans that would still appreciate what Pitino did here at UK, especially after saving UK from the depths of probation as quickly as he did.  Unfortunately, those people are often shouted down by those who will never forgive Pitino for taking the job of the rival.  Both sides have strong arguments on how to feel about Pitino.  That’s not the argument here.

And then Pitino’s sex scandal occurred with Karen Sypher and many UK fans took joy and humor in that.  Some Cats fans argued that was a personal problem for Rick and it was none of their business.  Others took delight in their hated rival’s coach embarrassing himself at a public establishment and a public trial.  But UK fans were certainly not in any kind of agreement of where to stand with Pitino.  Especially with Calipari taking off at UK and the Cats finally back to national prominence, I think the opportunity was there for UK fans to lighten up on Pitino.  Some will never, but many had moved on.

But this latest scandal to strike Pitino, whether directly involved or not, has to make any UK fan strongly question whether they can have positive feelings about Pitino ever again.  I personally don’t think Pitino knew what was going on with these prostitutes and what they were being hired to do, but at the same time, this is his program and culture around it is created by Pitino.  He does have to take some of the blame, if not much of the blame.  The scandal is so disgusting, even if only part of it is true, that any goodwill that had not already been built up with UK fans is basically gone.  Hell, you are hearing a TON of Louisville fans who are expressing fatigue in dealing with these issues every few years and are calling for a resignation.

The reason I bring this up is because there has always been this assumption that whenever Pitino retired from UL that UK fans would begin to lighten up on their hatred.  There was even talk about him being welcomed back into Rupp Arena someday, maybe with reunions of the 1992, 93, or 96 teams.  Who knows?  Only time would have told.  But I think the gigantic majority of hatred towards Pitino was simply about his UL connections, and if those were no longer there, UK could accept him once again.  For some, that was never going to happen.  But a more reasonable fan was willing to respect what Pitino did and accept him back into the group.

Now he has 2 sex-related scandals tagged to him, one that directly involved him.  Luckily for us, none of those occurred when he was at Kentucky.  But Pitino will always be linked to Kentucky.  In much the same way that problems at UMASS and Memphis for Calipari have stuck to Kentucky even though Cal has had no issues while here.  So the question is this: ARE WE AS A FANBASE COMPLETELY DONE FOREVER WITH RICK PITINO?  Even after Pitino leaves UL, will he ever be welcomed back into the UK family?  And if you were a supporter of Pitino before this latest scandal broke, was this the final straw in continuing that support?

October 12th, 2015

Big Blue Madness 2015 Guest List


Kentucky basketball’s biggest recruiting event is only days away and some of the nation’s top high school talent will be in attendance to take it all in Friday night. This year’s confirmed guest list features the top rated point guard, shooting guard, power forward and center, as well as others, including one of John Calipari’s two commitments from the class.

Get to know them below as we await their highly-anticipated arrivals later this week…



Sacha Killeya-Jones (COMMITTED)
Power Forward

6’10”, 207 lbs.
Lynchburg, Virginia (Virginia Episcopal School)

Top247: No. 16 | 4 PF
247 Composite: No. 26 | 8 PF
Rivals: No. 26 |  8 PF
ESPN: No. 31 | 7 PF
Scout: No. 29 | 7 PF

Kentucky’s first commitment in the 2016 class, Sacha Killeya-Jones will take his official visit to his future school for Big Blue Madness. A five-star power forward, Killey-Jones committed to the Cats back in August. He received his scholarship offer while on an unofficial visit in Lexington in June.

Killeya-Jones named Calipari as one of the key factors in luring him to UK. He said at the time of his commitment, “I look at what Coach Calipari has done with players like myself, and I see the way he prepares them for the next level and it’s impressive. “He is a really genuine person who is a demanding coach. I felt very comfortable with him and trust him.”


Marques Bolden

6’10”, 254 lbs.
DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)

Top247: No. 34 | 3 C
247 Composite: No. 20 | 1 C
Rivals: No. 16 | 1 C
ESPN: No. 2 | 2 C
Scout: No. 12 | 1 C

The No. 1 center in the 2016 class, Marques Bolden will attend Madness, his second trip to Lexington in a little over a month. Bolden took his official visit back in early September, but he will take another look at the program on Friday.

Bolden is very high on the Cats at the moment and he could very well become the final piece to Calipari’s frontcourt in 2016-17. With Killeya-Jones and Wenyen Gabriel committed, plus Tai Wynyard, Isaac Humphries and Marcus Lee’s potential return, Cal is looking to add one last body to his group of skilled big men. Bolden, as well as “Bam” Adebayo, Jarrett Allen and Harry Giles, is on the short list of players to join that bunch. Duke is Kentucky’s toughest competition in his recruitment.


De’Aaron Fox
Point Guard

6’3″, 185 lbs.
Katy, Texas (Cypress Lakes)

Top247: No. 2 | 1 PG
247 Composite: No. 3 | 1 PG
Rivals: No. 5| 2 PG
ESPN: No. 7 | 2 PG
Scout: No. 4 | 1 PG

If things go as expected, De’Aaron Fox will be the next great point guard to play for Calipari at the University of Kentucky. Fox is Cal’s favorite point guard in the class and the feeling is mutual. The Cats currently lead by a wide margin, and we may see a commitment shortly after his official visit to Lexington this weekend. It helps that Fox recently canceled his official visit to Arizona, which was set for November. All signs point to him joining Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class, sooner than later.


Harry Giles
Power Forward

6’10”, 210 lbs.
High Point, North Carolina (Oak Hill Academy)

Top247: No. 2| 1 PF
247 Composite: No. 3 | 1 PF
Rivals: No. 2| 1 PF
ESPN: No. 1 | 1 PF
Scout: No. 1| 1 PF

Harry Giles, arguably the best overall player in the class, will take his official visit to Big Blue Madness. Giles is somewhat of a pipe dream for Kentucky fans, but as we’ve seen in years past, anything can happen once John Calipari gets someone on campus, especially during the greatest spectacle in this history of college basketball practice.

Duke is the presumed favorite for the five-star power forward, considering his close relationship with Blue Devil commit Jayson Tatum and he is from nearby High Point, NC. He is also considering UNC and Wake Forrest, as well as UK, but Duke is the likely pick.

Giles is the No. 1 overall pick in’s 2017 NBA Mock Draft.


Malik Monk
Shooting Guard

6’4″, 187 lbs.
Lepanto, Arkansas (Bentonville)

Top247: No. 5 | 1 CG
247 Composite: No. 5 | 1 CG
Rivals: No. 6 | 2 SG
ESPN: No. 5 | 1 SG
Scout: No. 6 | 1 SG

Malik Monk is a name we’ve followed closely ever since he blew up in last year’s Nike Peach Jam. It has long been believed Kentucky is the only program that can pull him out of Arkansas, and that mindset is still the same, although Kansas is attempting to make a run. Monk visited Kansas over the weekend for Late Night In The Phog, along with the aforementioned Bolden, Fox and Giles.

For Kentucky, assuming Fox joins the class, the key will be convincing Monk to play off the ball with Fox. Monk is a combo guard and can play the two as well as anyone, but he wants to go somewhere that will give him the ball. His relationship with Fox could be the ultimate deciding factor in whether he stays home at Arkansas or makes it to Lexington.

This weekend will be Monk’s official visit to UK. He will follow it with his official visit to Arkansas next week.



Kris Wilkes (2017)
Small Forward

6’7″, 190 lbs.
Indianapolis, Indiana (North Central)

Top247: No. 21 | 4 SF
247 Composite: No. 17 | 5 SF
Rivals: No. 10 | 2 SF
ESPN: No. 26 | 5 SF
Scout: No. 12 | 3 SF

One of the two high school juniors attending this year’s Madness, Kris Wilkes is a product of Indianapolis and one of the Hoosiers’ top priorities in 2017. He does not hold a scholarship offer from the Cats but he has already visited Lexington once before and hopes to one day obtain that coveted offer. He does have offers from Kansas, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Illinois, Purdue and IU, among a few others.


Trae Young (2017)
Point Guard

6’1″, 170 lbs.
Norman, Oklahoma (Norman North)

Top247: No. 31 | 5 PG
247 Composite: No. 28 | 4 PG
Rivals: No. 26| 5 PG
ESPN: No. 25 | 4 PG
Scout: No. 32 | 6 PG

Unlike Wilkes, Trae Young, the other confirmed guest from the 2017 class, does have a scholarship offer from the Cats. Young is a high school teammate of Michael Porter Jr., the top rated small forward in the class, and the two would make a very nice package deal in college. While Young is good in his own right, his friendship with Porter Jr. makes him an even more attractive candidate at point guard. But that’s not to take away from his own game.



Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.59.58 AM


Toronto, Canada (OVO)

Will he be back?

Wendy’s KSR top 10 tweets of the weekend


Wendy’s® BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and Pulled Pork Cheese Fries feature premium pork shoulder smoked for hours with real hickory chips and topped with your choice of smoky, spicy or sweet barbecue sauce. Try it today on a brioche bun with crunchy slaw or atop our natural-cut cheese fries.

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:

#10 Jamie DeWitt

Someone please get this for Shannon and mail it to the studio, ASAP.


#9 Jamie DeWitt

It’s like when you think your ex girlfriend is crazy until you get more exes.




#8 Levi Vandygriff ‏

How salty are Louisville fans?



#7 Isaac Humphries

I think BBN and this guy will get along just fine.



#6 Bweet Da Dee

That sounds about right.



#5 Ellie Williams

Good luck in your quest, Ellie.



#4 J in(Orlando)the Bay

No comment.



#3 Regina Lexi Rickert

Hey, Jared….where are the ‘In Sandy we trust’ shirts?



#2 Darrell

I find it helps if you just let it happen. Turn the song on full blast and let it go.



#1 Corey J

If we could all just be so lucky.


Bill Simmons wants Colin Cowherd to Back Off John Wall

The Big Lead

The Big Lead

Colin Cowherd has a vendetta with John Wall that he just can’t seem to drop.  After doing the Dougie during his first game, Cowherd’s criticism has been unjustifiably relentless. Wall has since embraced his role as a public figure, performing so many good deeds in the community that I don’t think I could fit them all into one post. 

Most of the sports world knows Cowherd’s playing a shtick, but we’re kind of getting sick of it.  Bill Simmons hopes to be the bearer of the olive branch. Simmons returned to the sports world on October 1st with “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” and in the second week he’s already brought up the issue.

“I like Cowherd,” Simmons said. “I think he did a good job for ESPN. I think it’s really hard to do radio three hours a day. I like him personally. I get, you know, some of what he does is schtick. You’re not gonna bat a thousand. Not everyone’s gonna agree with every opinion you made. The biggest mistake he’s made, other than what he said about Dominican Republic players this summer, which wasn’t great … was not just what he said about John Wall a couple times, but not retracting it.”

Simmons didn’t get into details, but his podcast partner for the day, D.C.-based Joe House, was not shy.

“All of [Cowherd’s] assignations, his problems with Wall at the outset and what he was describing, it emanated from this thing where Wall was doing the Dougie early on. Not a good look, but all of the criticisms that Colin then put on him were classic racial coding kind of stuff,” House said. “It was loathsome, and he doubled down on it.”

Simmons said he will bring the issue back up with Cowherd when joins his podcast in the next few weeks.

[The Washington Post]

Hope For Revenge With The Latest Bowl Projections


While the Cats may have had the weekend off to rest up the rest of college football didn’t. That means updated win and loss records and a change in the bowl opponents the Cats could face if they win two more games. Without further ado, here are your updated bowl games from the national media:

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Liberty Bowl Vs Kansas State (Saturday, January 2, 3:30 p.m, ESPN, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis,TN)

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy: Belk Bowl vs. Duke (Wednesday, December 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: Belk Bowl Vs. Virginia Tech (Wednesday, December 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)

SB Nation’s Jason Kirk: TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Penn State (Saturday, January 2, 12:00 p.m., EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL) Music City Bowl Vs. Wisconsin (Wednesday, December 30, 7:00 p.m., Nissan Stadium, Nashville,TN)

Thoughts? As fun as a trip to Jacksonville in early January would be, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a match-up with the Badgers in Music City. First, its a chance to end the year with some revenge for the Final Four loss. Second, its Nashville on the day before New Years Eve. Please football Gods make this happen!

Another SEC Shakeup: Spurrier to Retire?

For the Win | USA Today

For the Win | USA Today

The early departure of Florida’s Will Grier for the remained of the season really turned the SEC upside down this morning.  But, that’s nothing compared to the bomb Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans just dropped: the Head Ball Coach is hanging up his visor. 

The “R” word has been hanging over Spurrier’s head for a while.  Before the season began, he tried to silence the haters with an impromptu press conference, where he said:

“I got some enemies out there, I got some guys talking and writing and it’s all part of the game,” the coach said Wednesday. “Some of our enemies out there want to make you think, ‘Spurrier’s getting old, he can’t do it anymore.'”

Apparently his enemies were correct.  After losing to the Cats in back-to-back seasons and failing to keep a quarterback healthy, the hole South Carolina has dug in the SEC is too deep to survive.

If Evans’ sources are correct, it is indeed a sad day in the SEC.  Stay tuned for more.


ESPN “and multiple media reports” say that the retirement is effective immediately and South Carolina will name an interim coach tomorrow morning.  Here’s to hoping that a TV career is in Spurrier’s future.

Russ Yeast is Done for the Season

Russ Yeast II’s junior year is ending early.  The son of UK’s all-time leading receiver and class of 2017 commit announced on Twitter earlier today that his high school season is over.  He told Scout’s Patrick Loney that a nagging high ankle sprain and ligament issue is the cause of the shutdown.

Playing quarterback and cornerback for his Dad, Fremont’s head football coach, Russ threw for 1171 yards, and 10 Tds.  On defense, he forced 2 forced fumbles, picked off a pass and had 19 tackles in only 5.5 games.

Best of Luck to Russ.  We’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

Monday Night Football Practice Notes

monty closeup

“No matter who the QB is, we’re going to try to take him out.”

  • C.J. Johnson has had his fair share of hits on the QB the last two weeks, and doesn’t plan on making an exception this week, if his ankle permits it.  Who knows exactly who Malzahn will throw out there first, but you better believe the defense will have their ears pinned back to ensure they fail to find a rhythm.
  • If you’re worried about his ankle (you probably should be), it’s up in the air.  The coaches seem confident, but he was uncertain.  It was wrapped up and he seemed pretty laid back, but he always seems pretty laid back.  Just sit back and stay tuned in because we won’t know anymore until game time.

—  We should all aspire to be Alex Montgomery (the guy pictured above).  Maybe that’s hyperbole, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea.  A testament to perseverance and mental fortitude, Montgomery has fought his way back into the rotation.  “Fighting” would be a proper term, along with “grinding” and “working hard.” It was tough to crack into the deep rotation, but after taking some time to get his body right and staying mentally focused, Alex’s size will be an asset in blocking and catching at inside receiver this week.

His quarterback provided him some praise, “We need more guys like him.” 

“Obviously, we want him to use two hands at all times.”

  • WR coach Tommy Mainord on Dorian Baker, even though he doesn’t mind seeing spectacular one-handed grabs every now and then.

—  A perfectly timed Bye Week.  I’ve talked about it before, but now I mean this in a different way.  It isn’t just because the schedule was strenuous, it’s because of how this week works.  Instead of having three or four days to unwind and lose focus, the Thursday Night game gave them only one day to truly be away.  Stoops said on his radio show that he liked the format of the week because it was a break, but it wasn’t a huge one.

The ying and yang balancing this Bye Week is essential when dealing with injuries.  Jordan Swindle is back to 100%.  C.J. Johnson probably wouldn’t have been able to play last Saturday after rolling his ankle, but could be fine by Thursday.  Luckily, his running mate, Regie Meant, will be back in time to provide much-needed depth.  Patrick Towles had enough time to get a little cold out of his system.  And, if there’s another unfortunate injury on Thursday, they’ll have an extra two days to get healthy before visiting Mississippi State.

“They’re going to be hyped too.”

  • Jason Hatcher knows that this game could define the second half of the season.  He’s also well-aware that Auburn is in a similar situation.  The environment should play into the Wildcats favor, but you better believe Auburn will be bringing their big guns as well.

“When I walk across that white line, it’s business.”

  • Jimmy Brumbaugh will be friendly with his former coaches, colleagues and acquaintances at his alma mater until the rubber meets the road.  Football is supposed to be fun, but it’s also an occupation.  The goal is to win games.  He’s played his alma mater four times and doesn’t have a problem taking it to the Tigers.

KSR’s SEC Power Rankings, Week 7


It’s Monday, and even though the Cats didn’t play, I watched a LOT of college football this past weekend. Here are my thoughts on the SEC after Week 6:

1.  LSU (5-0)

Last weekend: Beat South Carolina 45-24; This week: vs. #8 Florida

The Leonard Fournette Show rolled on, with Fournette putting up 158 yards rushing and his teammate Derrius Guice (which is a real name) putting up 161 of his own. Even more impressive was quarterback Brandon Harris, who threw for 228 yards, a career high. Uh oh, y’all. LSU’s got balance.

2.  Alabama (5-1)

That’s Saban’s happy face

Last weekend: Beat Arkansas 27-14; This week: @ #9 Texas A&M

Arkansas gave it their best, but Alabama was too much for the Razorbacks. The bigger story is Bret Bielema’s pathetic sideline antics, which came to light this morning. Check out Bielema hopping in front of Alabama lineman Cam Robinson and attempting to “break up” a scuffle that didn’t exist, and when Robinson made a slight movement in his direction, stagger backwards dramatically to draw a flag.


3.  Texas A&M (5-0)

Last weekend: Off; This week: vs. #10 Alabama

I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched a single second of Texas A&M football this season, but they’re 5-0, so I guess that’s good. I will be watching when the Aggies host Alabama on Saturday. HUGE game for the SEC West.

4.  Ole Miss (5-1)

Last weekend: Beat New Mexico State 52-3; This week: @ Memphis

Ole Miss rebounded from their loss to Florida by routing New Mexico State, but Carlos Davis’ fumble on a punt return was still pretty embarrassing. 

5.  Mississippi State (4-2)

Last weekend: Beat Troy 45-17; This weekend: vs. Louisiana Tech

Dak Prescott was sick and played lass than a quarter, but that didn’t stop the Bulldogs from taking care of business against Neal Brown and Troy.

6.  Florida (6-0)

Last weekend: Beat Missouri 21-3; This week: @ #6 LSU

Well, I had Florida a lot higher on this list when I started it this morning, but after the news broke that starting QB Will Grier is suspended the rest of the season for taking performance-enhancing drugs, it’s time to reevaluate the Gators. Treon Harris will presumably get the nod, but will Florida be able to keep up their impressive momentum without Grier? Doubtful.

7.  Tennessee (3-3)

Last weekend: Beat Georgia 38-31; This week: Off

It pains me to say it, but the Vols got a huge, huge win over Georgia this past weekend. Fortunately, that puts Kentucky in second place in the SEC East, and with Florida having to regroup after losing Will Grier, the Cats could make some noise. Unfortunately, the Tennessee game looks tougher now that the Vols proved they can finish a game.

8.  Georgia (4-2)

Last weekend: Lost to Tennessee 38-31; This week: vs. Missouri

The low point of the weekend by far was Nick Chubb’s injury. Georgia’s star running back suffered a horrific injury to his knee on his first play against Tennessee, and it was so bad CBS refused to show the replay again; however, they did show a lot of pictures of sad Chubb on the sideline, being helped to the locker room, on the injury cart, etc. I could have done without all of that. Understandably, Georgia was rattled the rest of the game. Will they rebound vs. Missouri this week?

9.  Kentucky (4-1)


Last weekend: Off; This week: vs. Auburn

This is a big week for the Cats. Beat Auburn and we could be talking about Atlanta (if Florida slips off). Lose to Auburn and we’ll be back to debating which low to mid-tier bowl is better. Hopefully the team learned a lesson from the Florida game and won’t let the hype affect them this week.


Cory Johnson practiced today, should be fine for Thursday

Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America

Good news! According to defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, senior DT Cory Johnson practiced today and should be good to go Thursday night vs. Auburn.

This morning, Mark Stoops gave us all a scare when he listed Johnson as questionable after a minor injury in practice last week. After two career games vs. Missouri and Eastern Kentucky, Johnson is an anchor on the line and having him back is a HUGE relief to UK’s defense.

Say it with me: PHEW. Knowing Cory, he probably just really needed to poop.

In a Must-Win Game, is the Auburn QB Competition Reality or Gamesmanship?

Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson

Expectation has not met result. The Auburn Tigers were voted to represent the SEC West in Atlanta. Through five games, it hasn’t played up to billing. Football experts confused sports and voted QB Jeremy Johnson onto preseason All-SEC Teams as well as naming him to Heisman Trophy watch lists. In regard to preseason accolades, football and basketball are vastly different. In football, proven result trumps potential. Given Johnson’s starting career entailed all of two games, 2015 has not produced the Cam Newton comparison that was prominently thrown around during SEC Media Days. Disclosure, I fell into that same Johnson hype trap.

The Tigers are 3-2 and like UK, will be coming off a much-needed bye week. Word from the Plains is that Gus Malzahn had opened up competition at quarterback as well as every other position on the team. Common from an underachieving, youthful team. As for the QB race, some think it’s real, others indicate it’s merely motivation for its current starter. Candidates are: Jeremy Johnson, Sean White, and former WR Jason Smith. Let’s take a deeper look into Auburn’s signal callers:

Jeremy Johnson 6’5″, 240 lbs. junior, 3 starts

In week one, the nation waited to be wowed. Johnson disappointed in the Tigers win over Louisville. Even with Auburn opening a sizable lead and holding on for the victory, fans and media left the game perplexed. 11-21 for 137 yards were accompanied by three interceptions and one touchdown. Of his ten incompletions, some were baffling and led to more questions than preseason affirmations.

Next week, Auburn faced Jacksonville State. An overtime win led to more reservation. In AU’s victory, Johnson was 21-32 236 yards, 2 INTs and 2 TDs. Numbers weren’t all that bad, but misreads and inexplicably errant throws continued from week one. Hesitancy was common. For an athlete of his stature, Johnson pocket discomfort was troubling and hard to watch.

Johnson’s final start came against LSU. 11-19 for 100 yards led to 2 TDs, one more INT, as he endured 5 QB sacks. For many Plainsmen, a QB change was inevitable. LSU and Leonard Fournette beat AU 45-21.

For the year, Jeremy Johnson’s numbers are as follows: 43-72 for 473 yards, 6 INTs, and 5 TDs. He’s also run for two scores.

Sean White 6’0″, 200 lbs. freshman, 2 starts

Not a typical Gus Malzahn quarterback, White is more of a pocket passer. He came to Auburn highly recruited. His first start was statistically better than his predecessor by going 20-28 for 188 yards and 1 INT. White also showed flashes of being able to effectively run the football. However, Auburn dropped another conference game to Miss. State 17-9. The projected West champions were 0-2 in league games.

The next week, Auburn got back on the winning track by beating San Jose State 35-21. However, the final score was misleading. The Spartans had critical turnovers and Auburn scored late. White attempted just 10 passes, completing 6 for 108 yards. In his two starts, White has yet to throw a touchdown pass.

Jason Smith 6’1″ 180 lbs. sophomore, zero starts

Smith is the wild card. The former Mobile Register Player of the Year signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Smith played quarterback and led his team to an 8-2 record and 7th national ranking. He passed for 1566 yards and 18 TDs. He also rushed for 10 scores. Smith is believed to be more of a Malzahn QB than Johnson or White. His expertise is the read option.

On the current Auburn roster, the 6’1″ 180 lbs. Jason Smith is listed as a WR. Season totals: 3 catches for 17 yards. Former Tiger QB Nick Marshall was a cornerback at Georgia prior to transferring to Auburn and eventually led it to a national championship loss to Florida State. Could we be seeing a similar trend in Smith? Would Auburn start a WR at QB on the road in a must win situation?


Plenty of Kentucky in Top 100 College Basketball Players

skalmurray came out with their top 101 players in college basketball this season and to the surprise of no one Kentucky is well represented on the list. They explain the list isn’t made for MVP’s, overall value to a team or how one might look at All-Americans, but rather you’re playing a game of pickup and want to pick the best players.

Jamal Murray led the way for the Wildcats at No. 5 as Skal was right behind him at No. 6. In an ironic fashion Kyle Wiltjer came in at No. 4, just goes to show you how good Cal is at finding talent. Also on the list were Tyler Ulis at No. 33 and Alex Poythress at No. 87. North Carolina, Kansas, Maryland and Duke also had four players on the list.

Kris Dunn was voted No. 1 by the staff. Now, I know he’s not on the list now but at the end of the season don’t be surprised to see Isaiah Briscoe on this list. Thoughts? Complaints? Let me hear them.

Auburn WR says Tigers “have a point to prove”

To say things haven’t gone as expected this season for Auburn would be a major understatement. The preseason top 10 Tigers are 3-2 so far this season, making Thursday’s game against the Cats a must-win situation. Senior wide receiver Melvin Ray says they’re ready to make a statement.

“It’s big for us,” Ray told reporters today. “This is SEC play. Kentucky is a good team, and we still have a point to prove. It’s going to be a big point.”

Ray has nine catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns so far this season, and his production will likely increase with star wide receiver Duke Williams off the team. Who will throw him the ball? Good question. Today, Gus Malzahn said the competition for the starting quarterback spot is still ongoing.

“I really feel like Jeremy (Johnson)’s done a solid job,” Malzahn said. “He’s back in the mix. I think it’s been good for both of them. We’ll make a call on that later in the week.”

In the preseason, many considered Johnson a Heisman candidate, but he was benched after throwing six interceptions (and five touchdowns) in his first three starts. Redshirt freshman Sean White started the last two games and hasn’t thrown a touchdown yet. There’s even been talk of adding JuCo QB/WR Jason Smith into the mix.

“I could see why there’s a battle between those two now because it could go either way,” Ray said. “It’s just all about whoever can give us the best chance.”

Stay tuned…

[Ledger-Enquirer, AP]