It’s not what I typically do on one of my last free weekends of the summer, but →
By Drew Franklin on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 11:00pm
It’s not what I typically do on one of my last free weekends of the summer, but this past Saturday I attended the Fancy Farm Picnic, one of Kentucky’s biggest and most important political events.
Now, me and politics go together like Rick Pitino and fidelity, but this year I made the drive to the far southwest corner of the state to support Matt Jones, who served as emcee of the event. (It was also an excuse to go to Patti’s.)
I had no idea what to expect, and I’m still not entirely sure what I watched, but it was a very interesting and eye-opening weekend, to say the least.
So tonight I’d like to share my takeaways from Fancy Farm 2015, my first exploration into Kentucky politics.
Fancy Farm is in the middle of nowhere.
Some would say it’s in BFE.
I’m a Western Kentuckian through and through; been all over the best side of the state in my lifetime. But this was my first trip to the pint-sized community that is Fancy Farm in Graves County, the former record-holder of the “World’s Largest Picnic.”
Outside of the picnic area, you’ll find a post office, church, bank, school, barber shop and fire department. That’s about all I remember seeing on my drives in and out of town.
Definitely no Taco Bell. I double-checked.
It’s full of crazy people.
Listen, I get it: There are several Kentuckians who really get into local and statewide politics. Good for them. That’s their right. Do you. But it takes a certain kind of human being to scream obscenities and other nonsense at the politicians on stage. I don’t have that in me. That takes too much effort. In no scenario will I ever feel the need to scream SCREW YOU! toward someone at a podium inside a barn on scalding hot Saturday afternoon. That takes next level crazy.
And don’t even get me started on the nutcases dressed in full-body chicken and corn on the cob costumes. That’s savage life. No regard for their own well-being. It was 10,000 degrees outside and you could boil water in my underwear, and those overachievers were out there battling hyperthermia like the San Diego Padres mascot during a July doubleheader.
I couldn’t stop laughing at Ryan in that stupid hat.
As soon as we found the Uncle Sam hat on RunSwitch PR’s tour bus, we knew Ryan had to wear it while sitting behind the governor on stage.
And because he’s Ryan, all it took was a simple: “Hey Ryan, wear this hat on stage.”
Ryan is going viral today. pic.twitter.com/DT2Qq5xtyO
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) August 1, 2015
It wasn’t a tough sell.
Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin looked like they wanted to kill Matt Jones.
Matt did an excellent job emceeing the event, turning his allotted five-minute introduction into ten minutes of roasting each side of the stage. Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin seemed to get the worst of Matt’s onslaught, and if looks could kill, the two Republicans would be wanted for the murder of your favorite radio host.
The only person who hated the jabs worse than those two was Bevin’s wife. I thought for sure she would hop up and RKO the next person who talked bad about her husband off the front of the stage. She didn’t bother faking a smile at any point. She was too busy counting how many steps were between her and the podium for her attack. I’m shocked we didn’t see a folded chair to the back of one of the speakers, at the very least. Mrs. Bevin showed incredible restraint to go along with her side-eye.
Shout-out to the couple with the KSR sign.
Jamie Comer isn’t #TeamBevin.
Comer fell 83 votes shy of Bevin in the Republican primary and it’s clear he’s not over the gubernatorial defeat, nor is he on board with Bevin as his party’s nominee. Comer failed to mention Bevin once in his speech and then took home the award for Best McKayla Maroney Not Impressed Face.
Cell service is nonexistent.
A potentially historic SnapChat story was limited to a few photos.
Friday night’s Democratic Bean Dinner was the single worst event I’ve ever attended in my life.
And I’ve been to several funerals, my little sister’s piano recitals, an Indiana-Nebraska basketball game and two country music concerts.
With all due respect to the Marshall County Democrats and the entire Democratic party, I would rather Pete Rose slide naked down a gravel road covered in broken glass than sit through that dinner again. Very nice people, but way too much talking on a Friday night. Trim it down a couple hours next year, guys.
Those beans and cornbread though. *Insert flame emoji*
Mitch McConnell’s sock game is weak.
Solid green with a solid green shirt? I expected better from one of the most powerful people in America.
I sat two seats behind the governor and I still have no idea why that was a thing that was allowed.
Six or seven years ago, if you told a younger Drew Franklin that he would be sitting behind the governor and across the aisle from the Majority Leader of the Senate on one of the biggest stages in politics, he would wonder what turn he took in life that led him there.
But that’s what happened on Saturday when I walked all the way down the third row to the seat with my name on it. I sat there for over two hours, pretending to care, wondering if the people watching on TV at home could tell if I was playing on my phone the whole time.
I never in a million years thought I’d enjoy something like the Fancy Farm Picnic, but I had a blast listening to the candidates go at each other’s throats all day. The delicious Fancy Farm barbecue didn’t hurt, either.
Everyone should check out the picnic at least once.
By Courtney Hessler on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 10:30pm
You know you’re thinking of a Wendy’s ® Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The spicy goodness of the all white meat chicken lightly breaded with a unique blend of eight peppers and spices, topped with crisp lettuce, delicious fresh tomato and creamy mayonnaise, all on a soft toasted bun. The only way to get it out of your head is to get it in your hands.
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:
— Billy (@OneSideDone) August 3, 2015
I’m so disappointed this wasn’t his wife’s wedding dress.
#9 Tommy Mainord
Javess Blue with the catch of the day. pic.twitter.com/5Ik9wU1BN8
— Kyle Engman (@KyleEngmanNFL) July 31, 2015
— Tommy Mainord (@CoachMainordUK) August 3, 2015
Who needs the Heisman when you’ve got this pose?
#8 Eric Stitt
— Eric Stitt (@etstit2) August 1, 2015
I have a feeling that wasn’t the first time someone has looked at Matt like that.
#7 Twillie Stein
— Twillie Stein (@TwillieStein) August 3, 2015
The best phone background ever.
#6 Patrick Towles
"You don't play The Price is Right for sportsmanship, you play to win!" – Ben Horn
— Patrick Towles (@patty_ice14) August 3, 2015
Everyone knows that.
#5 Chris from Paducah
— Chris from Paducah (@univerky) August 2, 2015
Ask Richie Farmer.
#4 Kevin Faris
— Kevin Faris (@KevinWFaris) August 3, 2015
Dear God, Rick. That’s bad.
#3 Kentucky Josh
@KySportsRadio any chance we see a kangaroo at madness?
— Kentucky Josh (@joshnwhithayes) August 3, 2015
I feel like this is a necessity now.
#2 Patrick Butcher
@KySportsRadio To be fair, it's hard for Pitino to stay in touch with the players who have left Lousiville because there's so many of them.
— Patrick Butcher (@plbutcher99) August 3, 2015
To be fair, Kentucky has had just as many players leave…..except they’ve all gone to the NBA.
— Will (@WilliamThe2nd) August 3, 2015
Let’s be honest. This is how most of BBN looks when Stoops gets a Yahtzee.
By Andrew Cassady on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 9:45pm
The third place game at the Adidas Nations games just wrapped up and it was a stellar night for guys that could one day be Wildcats.
Gary Trent Jr scored 24 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and racked up 2 steals.
Xavier Tillman finished with 6 points, 7 boards.
Jason LeDee had 8 points, 4 rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
And Wenyen Gabriel was good for 16 points, 13 rebounds to help Team Africa to the win and a third place finish. All of these guys hold offers from UK and could one day being playing in Lexington.
We should keep an eye on those Diallo brothers too. They combined for 56 points on 20-37 shooting.
Currently underway on ESPNU is Team Wall V. Team Rose in a game that features Kobi Simmons, Rawle Alkins, Markelle Fultz and more. Throw it on if you’ve got nothing else going on.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 8:15pm
I did a lot of dumb stuff in college, but I’m proud to say I never snuck into the basement of a popular bar to attempt to burn it down to the ground.
Richard Johnstone, however, cannot say the same. He was arrested over the weekend after firefighters caught him in the basement of Henry Clay’s Public House, trying to torch the place. The report from WKYT says he was “igniting flammable materials” and was spotted hiding behind a cooler before attempting to flee the scene.
Police arrested Johnstone after helping out the firefighters and they found 19 credit cards in his possession. So he picked up another charge, receiving stolen credit cards, to go along with arson.
What a dumbass. Some people clearly can’t handle their Natty Light.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 7:44pm
Jamar “Boogie” Watson announced his commitment to Kentucky on Twitter tonight. The outside linebacker out of Maryland is ranked as the 35th best football prospect in the state.
Listed at 6-2, 220, Watson also had offers from Virginia, Rutgers and Miami OH, among others. He is the 22nd commit in Mark Stoops’ 2016 recruiting class.
— Boogie (@JamarW01) August 3, 2015
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 7:00pm
Mike Hartline became the starting quarterback at GlenOak High School in Canton, Ohio as a sophomore. Hartline’s starting role gained him a lot of attention from college scouts including Ohio State and Wisconsin. However, Hartline decided to take his football talents to Lexington where he signed with Kentucky in 2006.
Hartline redshirted his first season at Kentucky and saw little action in his redshirt freshman season as a backup behind Andre Woodson. Hartline won the starting quarterback position in 2008 following Woodson’s graduation. Hartline was chosen as SEC Offensive Player of the Week following Kentucky’s 20-14 win over Middle Tennessee. Hartline threw for 354 yards (28-47) and two touchdowns with no interceptions. However, late in the season Hartline shared the starting quarterback spot with freshman Randall Cobb. Hartline finished his sophomore season leading Kentucky to a 25-19 victory over East Carolina in the 2009 Liberty Bowl.
Hartline opened his junior season as the starting quarterback after Randall Cobb moved to the wide receiver position. In the fifth game of the season against No. 25 South Carolina Hartline tore his MCL, which sidelined him for most of the season except for a brief appearance in the Vanderbilt game. Hartline underwent surgery following the Vandy game that officially ended his junior season. Hartline began his senior season again as the starting quarterback. Hartline brought his team back from a 28-10 halftime deficit by throwing for a career best of 349 yards, four touchdowns and no interception in a 31-28 upset over South Carolina. Hartline’s efforts earned him the National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week. His career at Kentucky ended early after being suspended from the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl.
The Indianapolis Colts signed Hartline as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft on July 26. However, the Colts waived Hartline on Aug. 28 after attempting only two preseason passes. The New England Patriots signed Hartline to a futures contract on Jan. 12, 2012. Hartline was fourth in the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart and was released on May 15.
Following his short professional football career, Hartline worked a short stint as a sales and marketing consultant Vantage Point Consulting, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. From 2012 to 2015 Hartline worked for the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. Hartline worked as an account executive and member service representative. Hartline worked for the Miami Dolphin organization while his brother, Brian Hartline, played wide receiver for the team.
This past February Hartline was hired as a quarterback intern coach at Ohio State University. Hartline will get the pleasure of coaching the reigning national champions and two of the best quarterbacks in college football, Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. Mike Hartline made headlines this past week by dressing up as a mannequin in Ohio State’s pro combat uniforms and scaring various football players. Cardale Jones has the best reaction.
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) July 27, 2015
This video gave me chills. Cannot wait for the atmosphere at CWS to be like this again.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 6:30pm
Former Cat Chris Matthews was the breakout star of the Super Bowl, making his first four NFL catches for a game-high 109 yards and game-tying touchdown late in the first half. Matthews’ story is pretty incredible. He went undrafted in 2011 and after a short stint on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad, played a year in the arena football league in Iowa and another year in the Canadian football league. Last summer, he was working at a Foot Locker until he got an invitation to try out for the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad. Had the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, Matthews probably would have been MVP.
That being said, Matthews is facing heavy competition in a very deep Seattle receiving corps. NFL.com’s Steve Wyche wrote today that despite the depth at wide receiver, Matthews is already getting a big share of the reps in training camp:
“The Seahawks have more depth at receiver than they’ve had in years. In fact, a long-perceived area of weakness is suddenly one of legitimacy. Super Bowlstar Chris Matthews is getting more run with the top-end rotation of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, and the 6-foot-5, 218-pounder looks like he’s building on his breakout performance on the game’s biggest stage.”
Excellent news. Keep it up, Chris.
By Bobby Reagan on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 6:00pm
Karl-Anthony Towns will be featured on ESPN’s ‘Face to Face with Hannah Storm’ Thursday at 7 p.m. Storm takes a visit to the family’s home in New Jersey to sit down and talk with KAT about what it’s like playing at Kentucky and making the jump to the NBA.
Face to Face with Hannah Storm started back in 2012, with the idea of giving viewers a look into big-name athletes that they might not know about. The press release on ESPNmediazone.com says the following about the program:
“In each special we look to bring something new to viewers, whether that’s insight into a sports figure they think they already know or introducing a new face that is about to break through,” said Storm. “This special is no different as we talk to a diverse lineup of intriguing newsmakers across the sports landscape who have made a meaningful impact on their sport or society and those who are still making their imprint. These people will continue to be big stories in sports in the years ahead.”
Guests this time around include DeMarco Murray, Adam Jones, Missy Franklin, Mo’ne Davis, Pat Haden and Michele Roberts.
More importantly, we get to see how this golf swing looks. More Happy Gilmore or more Jordan Spieth?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 5:30pm
UKAthletics.com debuted a new design for their site today and it’s beautiful. Very fancy, modern, user-friendly, etc. However, as BTI noted on Twitter, there are a few wrinkles left to iron out, namely the listing of Patrick Towles as a freshman quarterback. Unless Patrick, a junior, somehow regained a few more years of eligibility, in which case, PARTY ON!
In all seriousness, check out the new design. It’s pretty cool.
By Bobby Reagan on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 5:00pm
Saturday Down South, an extremely popular SEC football blog came out with the first version of their power rankings today. It wasn’t a glowing review for UK as the Wildcats are slotted in at the No. 13 position – ahead of only Vanderbilt.
While expectations continue to grow in Lexington – and for good reason – it’s hard to be mad at a site like SDS for ranking the Cats at No. 13 to start the season. This, the ability to change the perception of the program as a whole, is arguably the biggest challenge for Stoops and company.
There were only three SEC East teams in the top 10 with Georgia leading the way at No. 3 followed by Missouri at No. 7 and Tennessee at No. 8. Just over a month to football season, you guys.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Andrew Harrison was one of several former UK players back on campus this weekend to help out with the John Calipari ProCamps and yesterday morning, he had a very special assistant at the Cincinnati camp: 11-year-old Toby Foster. Toby suffers from mitochondrial disease, a progressive, incurable metabolic disorder which causes a deficit in life sustaining energy. We’ve mentioned Toby before; you probably remember him as the sweet kid who wrote John Calipari a letter to make sure his mother, Amy, had a good time at the UK Basketball women’s clinic. He’s also Jared Lorenzen’s cousin and a huge Kentucky fan.
Toby’s had a rough go of it lately. A dangerous new blood clot has formed and gone to his brain, making life very, very difficult. He has a lot of restrictions, especially concerning travel, but luckily, the ProCamp he was registered for was close enough to his hospital in Cincinnati that the doctors gave him permission to attend.
This was originally supposed to be Toby’s first ever sports camp. With a lot of rest breaks and accommodations, Toby was going to get to play basketball with the other kids, but because of the blood clot and medications he’s on, that was no longer an option; however, the folks at ProCamps found him a new role as Andrew Harrison’s assistant for the day. The looks on Toby and Andrew’s face say it all.
I spoke with Toby’s mother Amy, who said that although the summer has been very hard on her son and the family, UK-related moments like yesterday’s give Toby a lot of joy. Earlier this summer, Tom Leach came to Toby’s 5th grade graduation party/mitochondrial disease awareness event with the Lexington Legends and spoke to the crowd about Toby’s battle. Amy said Toby was awestruck. Three days later, he was admitted to the hospital. Since then, Amy says “he has been fighting for his life.”
Thanks to his cousin Jared Lorenzen, Toby will have another Big Blue-related event to look forward to in September. When Jared found out he was being inducted, he called Toby and Amy to invite them. “There’s just nothing like the hearts of those who bleed blue,” Amy said.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 3:30pm
Over two hundred people came out to today’s show at Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green, a record crowd so far on this summer tour. Most of them stuck around afterwards to see Ryan and Shannon compete in a milking contest with KSR listener Jessica, who absolutely smoked them. Jessica exposed Shannon and Ryan for the cow milking rookies they are and won the crown, but Shannon had the line of the day when he told Matt, “I’ve milked a few cougars in my time, but never a cow.”
Enjoy the video on Matt’s Periscope, which you can view by clicking here.
While you’re at it, enjoy today’s podcast, which featured stories from Fancy Farm, Matt’s breakdown of Aussie big man Isaac Humphries, and much, much more.
Tomorrow, the KSR Summer Tour rolls into McKee, where the guys will broadcast live from the Old Courthouse Community Room.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 2:30pm
What are you doing tonight? I know I mentioned it earlier, but don’t bother watching the replay of “Ballers.” It sucked. If you love high school basketball and consider yourself something of a scout, you should watch the adidas Nations games on ESPNU starting at 7 p.m. ET. Eleven players with offers from Kentucky will be playing in the two games.
At 7 p.m. ET, Team Lillard, featuring Gary Trent Jr. (2017), Xavier Tillman (2017), Jason LeDee (2018) will take on Team Africa, featuring Wenyen Gabriel. Gabriel is one of the hottest players on the circuit right now, and in turn, picked up an offer from John Calipari on July 26. He’s been on fire in the adidas Nations event so far.
The 9 p.m. game features two teams named after former Calipari point guards. Team Wall includes Udoka Azubuike, Markelle Fultz, and Dennis Smith, Jr. They’ll face Team Rose, which includes Edrice Adebayo, Jarrett Allen, Rawle Alkins, and Kobi Simmons.
So, watch that and then report back here tomorrow morning with a complete scouting report, okay?
Until then, enjoy Wenyen Gabriel showing out in front of Cal and others in Vegas last weekend:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 1:30pm
Karl Towns is joining a new family today: the Nike family. Nike Basketball just announced that Towns and D’Angelo Russell, the number two pick in the Draft, have signed on to the Nike roster. Nike sent out a press release with this very Karl-like Karl Towns quote about the addition:
“For me, the biggest thing is going to be making the playoffs with Minnesota after an 11-year drought. If I was blessed to be able to take them to the playoffs, that would be a big step in my career,” said Towns.
No word on if Karlito also received a contract, but he is enjoying some time with an old friend:
— Karlito Towns (@Karlito_Towns) August 3, 2015
By Freddie Maggard on ©August 03rd, 2015 @ 12:30pm
By year three, media types (me included) have declared numerous “most critical” scenarios for Mark Stoops. On three or four separate occasions we’ve proclaimed a game as “most critical”. I can also throw in four or five “most critical” recruits. In 2015, the latest development is the month of September. I won’t label it the most critical thirty days of the Stoops era, but the month’s four football Saturdays are darn important.
September 5th, Louisiana Lafayette
After stating that the Wildcats would be on week one upset alert, I’m now backing off such warnings. A little bit. I’m confident that the Ragin Cajuns would have waxed the Cats in 2013. Last year, the game would have been closer but I would have given ULL the slight edge. However, after diligently analyzing both teams while paying particularly close attention to returning personnel, I’ve concluded that ULL’s 2015 weaknesses are UK strengths.
During the new Commonwealth Stadium’s unveiling, ULL will sport seven new defensive starters. As customary, veteran Head Coach Mark Hudspeth will replenish his defense with experienced backups and JUCO reinforcements. But after losing both of its most effective pass rushers; two cornerbacks and linebackers, opening the season with a road SEC win is unlikely. Louisiana will also have to replace all-conference quarterback Terrance Broadway. Brooks Haack is the new starter and will be lined up behind a depth deficient offensive line. However, elite running back Elijah McGuire returns. He alone gives Hudspeth a constant touchdown threat. McGuire will be the most versatile running back that Kentucky will face. Coming off four consecutive 9-4 records and four bowl wins are impressive accomplishments regardless of conference.
In addition to the W/L column’s initial pencil mark, the Wildcats will need to excite an enthusiastic yet unconvinced fan base. For Kentucky, its opening performance must catapult the Wildcats into three difficult yet winnable SEC games. How UK plays in week one will provide a peek into how successfully it travels to Columbia.
September 12th, at South Carolina
Coming off a 2014 Lexington loss and an unaccustomed onslaught of doubters, Steve Spurrier will be eyeing revenge. Columbia is an extremely difficult venue, especially for Kentucky. The Gamecocks will be coming off a semi-rivalry game against North Carolina in Charlotte. If Spurrier loses to the Tar Heels, the UK game will then transition into a season saving, must-win affair. Carolina’s quarterback situation is undecided and fluid. That same unknown can also be applied to its defense that’s now led by veteran defensive coordinator Jon Hoke. Spurrier’s chips are all in on Hoke salvaging a defense that gave up several 2014 late leads and was absolutely embarrassed by Texas A&M. The Gamecock defense is talented, but not quite at the elite category we’ve grown accustomed to. Linebacker Skai Moore and defensive end Marquavious Lewis will lead a unit that will get a talent boost from the additions of junior college defensive linemen and Kansas safety transfer, Isiah Johnson. Schematically and personnel wise, South Carolina is a team lacking an identity. Offensively, tackle Brandon Shell and versatile athlete Pharoh Cooper will lead a group that now ironically relies on clock management and the power run game. The Head Ball Coach is far removed from his Florida Fun-n-Gun glory days. Two factors will give the Gamecocks a slight edge. First is the game’s geographical location. Second is the Legend of Steve Spurrier. Last year’s contest proved that the two team’s talent gap has closed. Once obviously favoring South Carolina, talent disparity is now a thing of the past.
September 19th, Florida
Quoting the great American lyricist Ryan Lemond, “everybody’s poo-poo’ing Florida.” The Gators will arguably bring the SEC’s best defensive secondary into Commonwealth Stadium. UF linebackers are also elite but both are coming off knee surgery. Oddly, the front four are considered the unit’s weakness. Cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III and Jalen Tabor have lockdown ability. Hargreaves is considered the top CB in the country. Offense is where the mess lies. The Gators have quarterback uncertainty with questionable skill player support. Running back Kelvin Taylor returns as does 2014 Cat Killer WR DeMarcus Robinson. Florida desperately lacks offensive line depth and will rely on true freshmen at key positions. This game all of a sudden appears winnable. UF will have momentum. Its first two games are at home against putrid New Mexico State and a bowl game rematch vs. East Carolina. On a personal note, I’ve never liked Florida, at all. After more than my share of trips to the Swamp, if any SEC team deserves a dose of humility, it’s the Florida Gators. Opportunities like the one UK will have on September 19th don’t come around very often.
September 26th, Missouri
The habitually disrespected Missouri Tigers are well known for developing NFL defensive linemen. Last year, defensive ends Shane Ray and Marcus Golden wreaked havoc in opposing backfields. Both are now professionals. Pre-season sophomore All SEC defensive tackle Harold Brantley was unfortunately injured in an offseason car accident and is lost for the season. The incredibly talented defender will return in 16. In addition to Brantley, and following spring practice, promising sophomore defensive end Marcus Loud was dismissed from the team. The Mizzou defensive line will still be solid, but minus the aforementioned four, it is now less daunting. Offensively, Missouri returns its maverick quarterback, Maty Mauk. Statistically, Mauk won’t wow. However with a 14-4 record as a starter, all he seems to do is win. Dangerous running back, Russell Hansbrough, will join Mauk in the backfield. Missouri won’t scare easily. Even through personnel losses, the back to back SEC East Champions are formidable, but not unbeatable. Upon its Commonwealth Stadium visit, the Tigers will be 3-0.
I wanted to provide a brief overview of UK’s September opponents. Prior to each game, I’ll post a detailed yet understandable scouting report. The KSR crew will make their season predictions on a later date. But as you’ve read, I can confidently see Kentucky starting 3-1 or possibly even 4-0. Other than South Carolina, UK’s first four games will be categorized as a “pick’em” or at worst, slight underdogs vs. Florida and Missouri. Realistically I can also envision 1-3. History tells me that 2-2 is the month’s best case scenario.
Therefore, in my humble opinion, September is the most critical month of the 2015 season. Start hot, Cats are going bowling. Come out of the gate slow, the pressure to win six becomes burdensome. Due to its new offensive coordinator and rookie players filling key roles, Kentucky seasonal prognostications are virtually impossible. This especially applies to the junior college defensive linemen Alvonte Bell and Courtney Miggins situation. As of today, neither have reported to campus. That makes me incredibly uneasy. Ryan Flannigan showed us that late arriving JUCO players struggle in SEC adaptation. That’s why I’ve said that 2015 must be evaluated game by game. I’d rather prolong my Missouri guess but that wouldn’t be fun Kentucky goes 3-1 in September.