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November 27th, 2015

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: State High School Football Semifinals Tonight!

(Photo by Mike DeZarn,

(Photo by Mike DeZarn,

Wow, what a week of high school football last Friday.  Just a rundown of what happened:

-Two Top 50 teams nationally played a classic in Louisville, with 6-A #1 Male coming up with a 20-19 win over #2 Trinity thanks to a late extra point miss.

-The four 6-A quarterfinals were decided by 1, 1, 3, and 6 points respectively.

-5-A #1 Bowling Green went into Owensboro and crushed the #2 Red Devils, solidifying their status as heavy favorite in that class.

-Despite being unranked coming into the playoffs, Highlands has played it’s way into the semifinals once again in their first year in 5-A.

-Danville became the only team in the state to win each of it’s 3 playoff games by more than 40 points.

-In a quirk of classification, we are now guaranteed at least 3 new champions in the 5 classes, but 5 of 6 champions from last year still remain.  Highlands and Mayfield moved up in class.

Tonight’s schedule below, with defending champions in bold.

Class 6-A
#1 Male at Central Hardin
#7 Lafayette at #3 Simon Kenton

Class 5-A
#4 Fern Creek at #1 Bowling Green
#3 Pulaski County at Highlands

Class 4-A (defending champ Highlands moved to 5-A)
#3 Shelby County at #1 South Warren
#4 Johnson Central at #8 Wayne County

Class 3-A
#6 Lexington Catholic at #2 Elizabethtown
Corbin at #1 Belfry

Class 2-A
#4 Desales at #1 Mayfield
#2 Danville at #10 Newport Central Catholic

Class 1-A (defending champion Mayfield moved to 2-A)
#2 Beechwood at #7 Russellville
#4 Pikeville at #1 Paintsville

November 26th, 2015

Ranking Thanksgiving Side Dishes, from worst to best


Today, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a truly American holiday because yeah, the historical stuff, but also because people are encouraged to eat as much as they can. Only on days like today are you encouraged to stuff your face, get drunk, put on stretchy pants, watch football and nap, all before 5 p.m. (In some cultures, we also call this “Sunday Funday.”)

To get you ready for the busy day ahead, I ranked every Thanksgiving side dish I could think of from worst to best:

16. Creamed onions

Look, I love onions as much as the next person, but what is that?! The internet tells me creamed onions are pearl onions that are cooked slowly over time until they’re sweet. Apparently it’s a New England thing, and that’s fine by me. They can keep their mushy little onions while we slather butter and cheese over carbs like normal fat Southerners.

15. Cranberry sauce (canned)

Cranberry sauce is the dish you think you have to have on your Thanksgiving table but is rarely ever touched; that’s especially true of canned cranberry sauce, which is why you put the least responsible person in your family in charge of it because there’s no messing that up.

Mmm…you know what goes great with this delicious turkey we spent hours slaving over? This gelatinous cranberry substance in the shape of an aluminum can that Derek didn’t even bother to cut up. 


14. Carrots

No matter how hard you try to dress them up — balsamic reductions, roasted, truffle butter, etc. — they’re just carrots. The only reason they belong on the Thanksgiving table is so you can guilt your kids into eating something healthy before the second helping of pie.

13. Squash

You know what sucks? Serving yourself what you think is sweet potatoes only to find out it’s squash.

12. Cranberry sauce (fresh)

The only reason this is higher on the list than the canned variety is it takes actual effort to make, meaning whoever is in charge of making it will guilt you into eating at least a spoonful.

11. Brussels Sprout

As an adult, I have mostly gotten over my childhood distaste for brussels sprout; however, I think it says something about them that they are only acceptable as a Thanksgiving side dish when they’re cooked with bacon and onions.

10. Green bean casserole

The real stars of this dish are the fried onions on top. One of the things I love most about Thanksgiving is that it’s perfectly acceptable — encouraged, even — to make foods that are supposed to be healthy — green beans, brussels sprout, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc. — totally unhealthy.

I guess we should have something green on the table…hmm…just put these beans in a dish, put some Cream of Mushroom soup, butter, and cheese on them and stick it in the oven for a while. …Wait, still too much green. Throw those fried onions on it. 

9. Broccoli casserole

See above.

8. Sweet potato casserole

See above, just make it even better by putting brown sugar, butter, and pecans on top. Or marshmallows. I personally prefer the former, but hey, neither is healthy and both give you an excuse to eat something sweet before dessert.

7. Baked apples

And no, not like whole baked apples like some people make. I’m talking about sliced up apples cooked in brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon served piping hot, Cracker Barrel style. The ultimate example of healthy gone bad and by bad I mean awesome.

6. Dinner rolls

The dark horse of any holiday meal. I personally prefer rolls to be slightly sweet and just soft enough to soak up leftovers on the plate. If you’re in the Danville area, Burke’s Bakery has THE BEST dinner rolls around. Tell ’em I sent you.

5. Corn pudding

Not a huge fan of corn by itself, but who isn’t a fan of corn cooked in butter, milk, sugar, and eggs? This is a staple dish on any southern Thanksgiving table.

4. Gravy

Some people may consider gravy a condiment, but not this blogger. Gravy is the Tyler Ulis of the Thanksgiving table; it makes everything around it better. Mashed potatoes a little bland? Gravy. Turkey too dry? Gravy. Little brother won’t shut up? Gravy. (Although that last one might get you in trouble.)

3. Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese on any day is amazing. Fancy it up by popping it in the oven and you’ve got a Thanksgiving classic. Even if all of the other side dishes fail, you can never go wrong with mac and cheese.

2. Mashed potatoes

I mean, just look at that. I went back and forth over mashed potatoes and stuffing for the #1 spot, and even though mashed potatoes didn’t come out on top, everyone wins. Lumpy or smooth, with gravy, sour cream, or butter, there is nothing better than overloading on this delicious carbohydrate. Some things are just worth being fat for.

1. Stuffing

Other than Thanksgiving and Christmas, when do you eat stuffing? Exactly. That’s why it’s the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish, no matter how you prepare it. My mother makes stuffing balls with spicy sausage, taking the dish to an entirely different level. (My sister and I fight over who gets to be the taste tester.) Since we don’t put our stuffing inside of the bird, technically I guess it should be called dressing, but whatever. That just sounds odd. Stuffing balls FTW.

I’m sure some of you disagree on the rankings, which is why I came up with this handy little ranking tool for you to weigh in yourselves:

Happy eating.

Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Thanksgiving Tweets of the Day


Only Wendy’s ®makes a deal feel like a meal. Introducing the new Four for Four! Four bucks for the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger with Applewood smoked bacon, crispy nuggets, small natural cut sea salt fries, and drink. Get more for four, now at Wendy’s®.

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 Big Blue Nation

Best family anyone can have.



#9 zel




#8 Jay Lawless




#7 Jamie Stogsdill

Only way Tennessee can sell tickets is through Cyber Monday sales.



#6 Drake Jackson

Can’t wait to see this guy on the field.



#5 Bam Adebayo

We are thankful that you are a Wildcat as well!



#4 Willows at Citation

Can’t wait to roast the Cardinals on Saturday.



#3 Kentucky Wildcats

#Blessed because of Tyler Ullis



#2 CeeCee

Definitely the first choice.



#1 Rob Pedigo

Can’t wait to see what our Christmas present is.




Thanksgiving Night Notes

I emerged from my food coma to put a few words on the internet this evening, because the blogging life never takes a day off. I hope all of you who do have the day off are enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family and the relatives you don’t really like but pretend to like because you’re related. You know who I’m talking about.

Enjoy today’s turkey and tomorrow’s leftovers and then get fired up for the Louisville game on Saturday. We’ve got a basketball game between now and then, too. Big couple of days here.


Pat Riley spoke to the Cats.

The former UK great stopped by the team’s practice yesterday at the Miami Heat’s practice facility. He delivered an inspiring speech, according to the Kentucky basketball Twitter account.

Sacha Killeya-Jones enjoyed his time in Lexington.

He’ll be back next summer as a member of the 2016-17 squad.

Jahlil Okafor punched a guy last night.

While Karl-Anthony Towns is busy averaging a double-double in Minnesota, Jahlil Okafor is punching people outside night clubs. The former Duke star landed a right to the face of a man in Boston last night as he was leaving a club.

Okafor told him, “We got money you broke ass *****.”

What a d-bag thing to say. It’s the ultimate d-bag thing to say.

Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine messed around and got another triple-double.

Valentine had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Spartans’ win over Boston College. He now has more triple-doubles in the last 10 days than Kentucky has in the entire history of the program.

He’s good.

Cheick Diallo is cleared to play at Kansas.

He can began playing for the Jayhawks on December 1 after serving a five-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits. We’ll get a look at him on January 30 when the Cats head to the Phog for a rare January non-conference game.

Limited number of tickets still available for the Louisville game.

The game is very close to being a sellout, so hurry up and buy your tickets if you plan to go. There is a very limited selection still available on Ticketmaster and the team needs you there. Get there. Get loud. Beat Louisville.


Happy Thanksgiving!

How to Deal: Thanksgiving Edition

Norman-Rockwell_Freedom-from-Want (3)

Hello, friends. You’re looking well. That’s a very interesting costume. You’re a pilgrim, I take it? I love how you fashioned a pilgrim hat out of a bucket and your own belt. Maybe let’s not drink anymore, okay?

Friends, today we celebrate all we have for which we’re thankful. It’s a day of connecting with loved ones, being grateful and enjoying the company of those around us. I hope that’s precisely what you’re doing, but just in case yours is a family where drama sets in upon dinner, your pal Tomlin is happy to help with a troubleshooting guide for the Thanksgiving holiday. Hope this helps. I’m thankful for all of you guys today. Happy Thanksgiving, gang. Just put a bunch of that food in a bag to go for me will you? I’m not staying to eat here. No offense.


THE SITUATION: You want to watch the Wildcats play the South Florida Bulls at the Hoophall Miami Invitational but your family wants to raise Christmas decorations and a tree at your home.

HOW TO DEAL: Don’t make waves. DVR the game on ESPN, stay off social media, and relax later with the game after a great day of spending time with your loved ones in the Christmas spirit. It’s just South Florida. Our chances are good that it won’t be too much of a barnburner.


THE SITUATION: Your Cardinal-loving in-laws are talking some friendly smack about the impending game on Saturday.

HOW TO DEAL: Oh, this classic dilemma; while it’s terribly rude of them to antagonize a UK-loving son-in-law on the holidays, it’s important to remember that drinking a 1.75 of Hennessy and hotboxing a blunt in their 2012 Hyundai Accent will cloud the mind of your aged sixty-something mother- and father-in-law, leading to unfounded and cocksure claims. Laugh it off; there’s no reason to storm out of the tanning salon they own – that’s only going to exacerbate the situation. If you must retaliate, choose rather to just laugh, kiss their daughter on the cheek and remind her parents that you’ve been doing to her for several years what Bobby Petrino is doing now to the sanctity of the Louisville Program. Then pull up a chair to their Thanksgiving party sub, pour yourself a Crown Royal and orange soda and try to make the best of the holiday.


THE SITUATION: Your nephew Miles has chosen, against your advice, to attend a college closer to home rather than branch out and expand his horizons out-of-state.

HOW TO DEAL: Be supportive. Remind him that although winters can be cold in East Lansing, and if he’s cool slumming it against cakewalks like Rutgers and Nebraska, that’s fine by you and you’ll support his decision. Then give him a hug, a handshake, and tell him he’s dead to you. It’s tough love but someday he’ll respect you for it. For added emphasis, pull out a copy of your will (make sure it’s just a copy!) and burn it in the yard as you tell him he’s throwing his future away for a Final Four appearance at best.


THE SITUATION: Everyone is badmouthing your cousin Aaron, who didn’t bother to show up to Thanksgiving dinner.

HOW TO DEAL: Defend your cousin in his absence. It’s not right for your family to speak ill about someone who isn’t present – and besides, it’s not like the Packers play every Thanksgiving. Turn the tables on the perpetrators by pointing out the platinum silver table you’re eating on, the diamond encrusted utensils everyone is using, the rare jade-sculpted chairs everyone is sitting on and the house made of solid gold he bought for your aunt and uncle. Also, remind them that Olivia Munn will be around at Christmas and she’s totally hot.


THE SITUATION: Your uncle insists on inviting his friend and her family to Thanksgiving dinner.

HOW TO DEAL: Try your best to get along with your uncle Andre’s friends – a mother and her two friendly daughters – as if they were part of your own family. Smile and clap along as they sexy-dance on a load-bearing column in the finished basement and tell stories of some of their favorite basketball players. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DRINK AFTER THEM. Remember, strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet and who will sometimes have sex with you for money!


THE SITUATION: While everyone was out playing football in the yard, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings climbed up on the kitchen counter and ate all the Thanksgiving dinner.

HOW TO DEAL: Be firm with Coach Stallings by pointing his face at the mess and telling him he’s been bad. Then make him go out in the yard. He won’t learn anything if you don’t discipline him right away.


THE SITUATION: While attending the UK-Louisville football game on Saturday, your Louisville fan brother-in-law gets drunk and, while shouting expletive-laden Louisville chants and urinating into a large, open sewer grate, teeters on the edge for a moment with no one around to see it.

HOW TO DEAL: No one will ever know what happened. If you can live with it, you know what you have to do. Can you live with it? Okay. We will take this to our grave, do you hear me? OUR GRAVE. This is going to be our secret now. Don’t fall apart on me. You can’t fall apart on me. It’s now or never. We’re bonded together. If you I go down, you go down. This is our thing for life; you got that? Now let’s do this on three.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Happy Thanksgiving, Cats Approaching Win Streak!

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Got an email from a reader earlier this week asking a question that is perfectly built for my research.  Despite losing a game last season, UK hasn’t lost a REGULAR SEASON game since the season finale at home against Florida in 2014.  Since then, UK has reeled off 31 consecutive wins in 2014-15 and 5 more this season, for a total of 36 consecutive wins in the regular season.  Pretty impressive, eh?

Well, it is in fact the 2nd longest regular season winning streak in school history.  The Cats, maybe unfortunately, will need 14 more wins in a row to surpass the record set over 3 season in the mid-1950’s.  Even more impressive, UK has had just 4 streaks of 20 wins or more in the regular season in modern school history:

1952-54: 49 straight (3 seasons)
2014-15: 36 straight (2 seasons)
2002-03: 27 straight (2 seasons)
1995-96: 25 straight (1 season)

So, what is it going to take?  Here are UK’s next 14 opponents:

at South Florida
Illinois State
Eastern Kentucky
Arizona State
Ohio State (in Brooklyn)
Ole Miss
at LSU
at Alabama
Mississippi State
at Auburn
at Arkansas

There might be more loseable games in that group than there are games that are a lock.  That SEC slate is pretty difficult to start the conference season.  And I still think at UCLA is going to be a tricky game, even with last year’s result.

So, what do you think?  Is the regular season win streak in jeopardy?  Which of those 14 games scares you the most?


November 25th, 2015

Governor’s Cup Positional Analysis

In a seemingly quiet Governor’s Cup game week, the Cats and Cards are preparing for Saturday’s showdown. Louisville is favored; but after digging in on statistics, schedules, and other factors, I wouldn’t be comfortable declaring either a prohibitive favorite.

Here’s an interpretation of position group analysis:


Quarterback: Louisville

Lamar Jackson or Kyle Bolin? Most likely both based upon situation, weather, down-distance, and momentum. True freshman Lamar Jackson has, at times, put on a freakish athletic show and, on other occasions, reminded Cardinal fans that he is just one year removed from high school. Jackson is most dangerous with his legs; however, he’s shown improvement as a passer. Lexington’s Kyle Bolin was forced into action last year and with the help of DeVante Parker, beat the Cats 44-40. Bolin is a pure pocket-passing quarterback. Within the U of L offense, it all starts and finishes with the quarterback position.

Drew Barker will be making his second start in the biggest game of the year. While I don’t feel Barker is easy to rattle, the moment is going to be awfully big for the redshirt freshman. His first start was efficient as he managed the elements and explosive run game for a 58-10 win over Charlotte. Drew will be helped by a trio of capable running backs.

Running back: Kentucky

Both Boom Williams and JoJo Kemp went over the 100-yard mark against Charlotte. Sihiem King added 5 carries for 90 yards as Mikel Horton remains at the ready. A new wrinkle in a jumbo/short yardage package was the addition of 336-pound fullback, Jacob Hyde. Kentucky is coming off of 415 yards against Charlotte and 225 against a Vanderbilt defense that was only allowing 113 per game.

Louisville’s leading rusher is quarterback,Lamar Jackson. RB Brandon Radcliff has gained 569 yards and scored 5 touchdowns.

Offensive line: Even

Against Charlotte, the Cats had something going on the right side with Cole Mosier and George Asafo-Adjei. It became obvious that part of the Wildcat OL struggles correlated with Asafo-Adjei’s absence due to injury. Left tackle Jordan Swindle will have his hands full on Saturday and will require RB/TE assistance versus Louisville edge rushers. Kentucky has allowed 27 QB sacks and 74 tackles for loss (TFL). UK is averaging 379 yards and 25.3 points per game.

The Cardinals have given up 43 QB sacks and 86 TFLs. Starting three freshmen has been a trial by fire for the U of L front five. Even with the overabundance of lost yardage plays, Louisville is averaging 398 yards per game and 28 points.

Receiver/TE: Louisville

Cards average 253 passing yards per game as it spreads catches throughout a young yet effective receiving corps. Replacing DeVante Parker has proven to be as challenging as Kentucky finding its next Bud Dupree. James Staples and James Quick lead with catches, yards, and touchdowns. TE Mickey Crum has developed into a chain moving target.

Kentucky’s passing yardage has declined as the season progressed. It’s now averaging 210 yards per game. Dorian Baker leads the team in catches as Garrett Johnson tops the receiving corps in yardage. CJ Conrad and Darryl Long have not been targeted nor thrown to; however both are potential first down producing pass catchers.


Defensive line: Even

This advantage or lack thereof may surprise. But, following research, Kentucky and Louisville have two defensive linemen in its Top 10 tacklers. For Kentucky, Cory Johnson is third and Farrington Huguennin is sixth.

Sheldin Rankins leads the Cardinal defensive front with 48 tackles, 5 QB sacks, and 10 TFLs. Rankins will be the best defensive lineman in the game and is assured to play on Sundays. DeAngelo Brown has 6.5 TFLs and 2 QB sacks.

Linebackers: Louisville

The Cards are deep and talented at this position. In the preseason, UofL LBs were considered potentially the best in the ACC. Keith Kelsey, James Burgess, DeVante Fields, Keith Brown, and Trevon Young are active, disruptive, and aggressive. An extremely high number of TFLs and QB sacks/hurries statistically supports: 30 QB sacks and 80 Tackles for Loss.

Secondary: Louisville

Louisville has intercepted 15 passes. Its secondary is not as dynamic as 2014, but still a solid group led by former Georgia Bulldog Josh Harvey-Clemons. He’s joined at safety by Charles Williams. Corners are fellow former Dawg Shaq Wiggins and Trumaine Washington.

Kentucky’s true freshmen cornerbacks are gaining momentum and confidence with each snap. Chris Westry and Derrick Baity will be challenged on Saturday. The Wildcat safeties are its only true, SEC two deep at the position. AJ Stamps and freshman Mike Edwards are this week’s starters with Darius West and Marcus McWilson in the rotation. Given the Cats’ 8 interceptions compared to 15 for the Cardinals, this analysis was close. Louisville has played poor offenses in the closing portion of its schedule.


Kicker Austin MacGinnis’ health is again under the microscope. Miles Butler has ably filled in for the All-SEC performer. Landon Foster has somewhat returned to 2014 form. Governor’s Cup field position battle will be critical.

Louisville’s Traveon Samuel returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, but other than that, the two teams are a wash.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • Louisville best position group: Linebacker
  • Kentucky best position group: Safety
  • If it rains: Advantage Kentucky
  • Kentucky wins at home if it plays like it did vs: Missouri (When Maty Mauk existed)
  • Louisville wins if it plays like it did on the road vs: Perhaps NC State. Louisville has not played well on the road in 2015.

What does this mean?

Numbers give the Cardinals a slight edge. The game could come down to which freshman quarterback makes the least mistakes (Lamar Jackson or Drew Barker) and which struggling offensive line plays the best; however, in a rivalry game, the unexpected is expected. Last year’s game broke the trend of the winner goes to the team with the highest rushing totals. If the game comes down to the ground game, Kentucky would have the advantage.

For the Cats to win, it must stay out of certain passing situations. Louisville’s pass rushers are just too good for Kentucky’s offensive line to sustain. Conversely, UK’s pass rushers have to produce QB sacks and TFLs as field position will play a critical role.

As for who wins? Vegas says Louisville. BBN says UK. Card Nation says UofL. As for me, Saturday is a toss-up dependent upon situational execution, field position, and turnovers. For the Wildcats, 1st down offensive plays cannot continue to lead to 2nd and 10 plus. Passes have to be caught. Tackles cannot be missed.

Sit back and enjoy, this one may go down to the wire. 

Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day


Only Wendy’s ®makes a deal feel like a meal. Introducing the new Four for Four! Four bucks for the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger with Applewood smoked bacon, crispy nuggets, small natural cut sea salt fries, and drink. Get more for four, now at Wendy’s®.

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. Rich Greenwell

9. Scott Charlton


8. Jeremy Cobb

7. Prez Schmeli

6. Coach Derrick Ansley

5. Cash Gilliam

4. Jared Lorenzen

3. John Engle


2. Kentucky Josh


1.  Jewelielou (and it isn’t just because she agreed with me)

By the looks of that casserole, I’m not going to regret getting that white chili recipe from you, Ms. Jewelielou.

Five Things I Learned Covering My First Game from the Rupp Arena Floor


You Notice so Much More Next to the Court

I’d been in the Erruption Zone once, the lower bowl one other time, but never have I ever been like Jay-Z, “so close I can trip a referee.”  The nuances of the game become so much clearer, helping me remember why basketball was my first love.

It’s hard to understand how good Tyler Ulis is at being the “floor general” until you watch him effortlessly control the ball and communicate with his teammates.  Skal Labissiere’s arms are longer than Michael Jordan’s in Space Jam.  UK’s aggressiveness on the offensive glass is impossible to ignore when you’re sitting next to the goal.  There are 2-3 players’ heads above the rim, going for the ball after damn near every shot.

You also see all of the calls refs miss.  Sometimes they just can’t get there in time.  To watch the coaches rightfully lose their minds only makes it more entertaining.

The BBN Never Ceases to Amaze Me

Once the doors were open, fans flooded Rupp Arena immediately.  I couldn’t find an empty spot in the entire Arena before the National Anthem.

Yeah, those were kind of a given, but what happened afterward threw me a curveball.  Hundreds brought basketballs courtside for Calipari to sign during his postgame comments (he didn’t stop signing the entire time).  A fraction of them dispersed to take pictures with Sacha Killeya-Jones, with another fraction of young female fans sticking around to take pictures with the UK Dance Team.

It’s easy to take the little things for granted on a daily basis, but to see the enthusiasm from the kids truly did warm my heart.

Everything Happens So Much Faster

To everybody complaining about not having a LIVE Blog, you should commend Drew and Tyler for keeping up with it for as long as they did.  If we ever bring it back, I will not be involved because there is already WAY TOO MUCH going on to keep up.  Basketball is simply too up-and-down.  It can work for football, but not basketball.  Even though I tried to keep my eyes away from the computer screen, I still was upset when I missed a put-back dunk right in front of my face in the first half.  Simply put, it’s hard enough to watch the game as is, and impossible (I’d imagine) with a LIVE Blog to maintain too.

When Drew Franklin Gives an Endorsement, Listen

Drew provided me plenty of guidance beforehand, but the best advice was, “get the City BBQ nachos.”  Criticize him all you want, but the man knows his food and drink.  It not only helped me savor the flavor, but it gave me the energy to kickass through the rest of the night.  Drew, you’re the man.

There is No Better Feeling than Walking Out of the Tunnel for the First Time

I knew it was coming and it still hit me like a freight train.

As a kid I dreamed of running out the tunnel onto the hallowed floor.  Even through high school, I wanted to play on that court in the Sweet 16.  I thought the magical feelings would change when I never reached that goal, but when I saw the hardwood for the first time, I was overwhelmed with a nervous nostalgia, all the while experiencing serenity.  I was almost ashamed that a grown ass man could turn into such a giddy child so quickly, then I remembered that I’m a Kentucky Basketball fan.  When Coach Cal says, “You people are crazy,” he’s talking to me too.

KSR Preps Previews High School Football’s Final Four



6A: Lafayette (11-2) vs Simon Kenton (13-0)

Lafayette picked up an impressive win over Scott County last week in the regional final. Walker Wood had 350 yards of total offense and Mason Alstatt had two touchdowns in a 36-30 win. The Generals survived early scares from Henry Clay and Dunbar in the postseason, but proved their worth with last week’s win.

Simon Kenton won their regional title with a 13-12 victory over Cooper. Dillion Powell ran for 152 yards and Cameron Racke added 163 in the win. Simon Kenton had not won a game by less than 16 points. The scare might have been just what the Pioneers needed late in the season. Simon Kenton has rolled through Ryle twice, Highlands, CAL, and Conner this season. Lafayette is a different kind of beast. With a D1 o-line, Lafayette puts up huge amounts of points. Wood is a quarterback who can attack on the ground and the air. Cameron Racke is the same way. Both Alstatt and Powell have potential to run for 200+ yards in this game. Look for there to be a lot of points scored in this semifinal.

Trey’s Pick- I’ve been a big believer in Lafayette all season. That won’t stop here as I’m taking the Generals once again.

Nick’s Pick-  Lafayette will find a way to get a win.  I don’t know how, but the Generals have been so persistent this postseason, they’ll get it done once again to make it to the State Championship.

5A: Pulaski County (12-1) vs Highlands (8-5)

Highlands started 1-5 this season before rolling out a seven-game winning streak. After getting rolled through by the powerhouses in the state, Highlands hit the back end of their schedule and found success. Nick Kendall has 582 yards and nine touchdowns in the playoffs for the Bluebirds. This will be the top offense that Highlands has faced since late September. Riley Hall is an underrated Mr. Football candidate at QB. One of the most prolific quarterbacks in state history, Hall has thrown 111 career touchdowns and 9,721 yards in the air. The Maroons have been in the last two state titles and are the defending state champs, largely in part to Hall. Highlands will look to put an end to that streak by running through Pulaski. Kendall and QB Austin Hergott are a nice one-two for the Bluebirds and could lead them to an upset.

Trey’s Pick- Riley Hall is a KHSAA legend. He will continue to build on his legacy with another trip to Bowling Green.

Nick’s Pick-  I normally don’t agree with Jared Lorenzen on the KSR Podcast, but we can both agree that the Bluebirds are too tough to beat at home.

4A: Shelby County (12-1) vs South Warren (13-0)

South Warren’s defense has allowed 77 points all season as they rolled to a 13-0 start. The Spartans have allowed double figures twice, and only once to in-state opponents. With a defense that forces plenty of turnovers and keeps the Spartans in great field position, their offense has had an opportunity to score. Their defense has saved them in big games this season. Against Central Hardin, South Warren recovered five fumbles and Kayron Namvong ran for 95 yards in the win. The top defense in 4A will have their hands full with Michael Perry and Malik Manica. The two backs combined for 278 yards and four touchdowns in the regional title game. The Spartans have stopped strong rushing attacks all season, but Shelby County brings in a different breed. Manica is a strong, powerful back who will give South Warren all they want on Friday.

Trey’s Pick- More than likely, I will be at this game and the BG game due to Thanksgiving break. I’m taking South Warren to continue on to the state title.

Nick’s Pick-  Even though I’m partial to South Warren’s defense, Shelby County has surprised all season.  They’ll continue that trend Friday night.

3A: Lexington Catholic (10-3) vs Elizabethtown (13-0)

It seems that every guy that plays QB for LexCath has found success this season. Andy Thompson has been the next man up for the Knights in the postseason after Kirk Fagot went down. Thompson scored both of the team’s touchdowns last week and went 10/11 for 317 yards and six touchdowns the week before. E-Town had a cake walk through the regular season, but proved their meddle with wins over Paducah Tilghman and Caldwell County in the postseason. On the back of Jack Wilson’s hail mary last week, E-Town advanced to the semifinals. The one worry from that game for E-Town would be pass defense. The Panthers allowed 318 yards in the air versus Caldwell County. Even if E-Town contains Thompson, Jaylen Jones is a terrific running back to watch for LexCath.

Trey’s Pick- E-Town got through the regional championship on a miracle pass. J.J. Ogbogu will have a huge game for LexCath and the Knights continue on to the state title.

Nick’s Pick-  Lex Cath gets the win on Friday before getting on in Bowling Green next weekend.

2A: DeSales (11-2) vs Mayfield (12-1)

In a matchup of defending state champs, DeSales travels to Mayfield to take on Landon Arnett and the Cardinals. DeSales got revenge over CAL last week in the regional final with a 37-18 win. The Colts got the “Good Austin Johnson” last week. Johnson was 11/14 for 138 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Johnson has been impressive in the playoffs after several bad starts in the regular season. The Colts will need a big day from Johnson in the air and on the ground against a sharp Mayfield front line. The Cardinals forced four turnovers last week against Owensboro Catholic in a 24-13 win. Johnson and the Colts will need to keep possession and not allow Arnett and the Cardinals to get good field position. DeSales’ defense allows an average of less than ten points a game, so Mayfield will need Arnett and Trajon Bright to have big games this Friday.

Trey’s Pick- I still like Mayfield to win the 2A title despite how they struggled to stop the pass last week. I think they will make Johnson uncomfortable this week and beat DeSales at home.

Nick’s Pick-  If it wasn’t 345345345 miles away I’d be giving color commentary for this game.  DeSales is hitting their stride at the right time, but those miles  in a hostile environment could be what stops the two-time defending State Champs in their tracks.  Luckily they have an aggressive defense that can keep them in the game.  It’s the best game in the state, I’m nervous, but I’m All Colts Everything.

1A: Pikeville (11-2) vs Paintsville (13-0)

The game of the year in the mountains will have a part two. Paintsville won 23-22 in overtime earlier this season. That was the closest the Tigers have come to losing this season. Kash Daniel led Paintsville to the regional title last week with five total touchdowns. Kent Phelps added two more in the 48-28 win over previously undefeated Paris. Daric Pugh and Pikeville have rolled out the most points in all of 1A with 624. I could lay out every stat in the world on this game, but it wouldn’t do any good. This game is going to be a battle. This will be football in its truest sense. Daniel and Pugh are both extremely powerful in the backfield and Phelps gives Paintsville speed on the outside. If you are anywhere in eastern Kentucky, I suggest you get to Paintsville on Friday.

Trey’s Pick- Paintsville has too much coming at you on offense. Daniel, Phelps, and Luke Trimble is a dangerous attack. The Tigers move to 14-0.

Nick’s Pick-  Even though I want to see Kash pull off the incredible undefeated season, Pikeville’s hate from the early season overtime loss will light enough fire under them to move on to the State Championship.

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving from KSR Preps. We will really ramp up the coverage for the state finals in the coming week, so get hype.

Introducing the KSR Road Trip

Kentucky Sports Radio is hitting the road for a cross-country drive to sunny Los Angeles. That’s right, we’re piling up in a Dodge Caravan and heading west for next week’s basketball game at UCLA. Wheels up! Er, wheels round and round!

Now, most of you are probably sitting there, saying to yourself, “Why the f*** would anyone drive to LA?” It’s a very good question. I asked the exact same thing. I asked it many times.

You see, I had a round trip flight booked long ago because, you know, it’s two-thousand and fifteen and we have a pretty reliable form of transportation called airplanes. It’s a pretty remarkable thing, really. You just sit there and it takes you from point A to point B in a rather timely manner. It was going to take me about five hours to get from Lexington to LAX. That’s like two Forrest Gumps. But then Matt came up with this genius idea of driving an automobile, so instead of five hours, we’re taking five days. That’s like four thousand Conway Twitty songs.

Here’s our plan of attack:


Of course, that route can easily get derailed, and likely will. We could end up in any of those U.S. states, and in some of the northern parts of Mexico. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility.

Here’s our most probable attack:


Who up Los Mochis!

Of the many things we will see and do on this journey, only two are set in stone:

Bills @ Chiefs (Kansas City, Sunday)

For Matt, Ryan and Shannon, this will be their first trip to Arrowhead Stadium. Me, this will be my fourth or fifth, although it’ll be my first since Elvis Grbac retired. I’m really looking forward to getting back in Arrowhead because it is a great place to watch football, and that game will be one of the 12 best games in the league on Sunday.

Andre Rison throwback coming in hot.

8 pm dinner reservation (Las Vegas, Wednesday)

How we get to Vegas is anyone’s guess, but we will be there for our 8 pm dinner reservation, one way or another. The Vegas stop was the ultimate selling point for me and I plan to give’r hell for the limited time we are there.

Must-see SnapChat story Wednesday night. Er, Thursday morning.


Aside from those two things, we’re pretty open. We’re planning to spend nights in Wichita, Tulsa and Santa Fe, but that could easily become Denver, Seattle and prison. I’m counting on at least one of the following hypothetical scenarios:

Ryan’s wife chases us down somewhere outside St. Louis.

Honestly, if Ryan makes it to L.A. without flying home from somewhere along the way, I will be quite surprised.

Amanda, if you’re reading this, I will take good care of your husband. No fried foods, no hotel porn, and lights out at 9 pm every night. No funny business.

Shannon The Dude finds Oklahoma booty shaking contest, never leaves.

This is our first trip with Shannon and I have no idea what to expect. I assume he’s like radio Shannon and will be judging booties in random cities every night.

I also assume he will pack nothing but rock t-shirts and Hex Head art.

I jump out of the car at 80 mph after the fourth straight hour of Travis Tritt.

Matt claims we will each get one hour of music, but I’ve been on several road trips with Matt and you have a better chance of seeing Big Foot playing checkers with a unicorn outside a Cracker Barrel than you do touching the radio. I’ve developed a tolerance for his song selection, but one can only take so much. Don’t be surprised if I’m scattered across I-40. Tell my mother I held on as long as I could.

Matt leaves Ryan for dead in New Mexico desert for doing something dumb.

Maybe he gets bitten by another rabid dog outside a fast food restaurant or fights someone outside a Roosters. Ryan’s got at least one good Ryan moment in him, and if it’s dumb enough, Matt will leave him.



At this time I would like to thank our sponsors: Sternberg Automotive, for providing the car; Pie Five Pizza, for providing all of the Pie Five Pizza we will eat; and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, for the highways and the safety.

If you have any suggestions for our voyage, or if you would like to follow along, we will be very active on the You can also expect several Periscopes from inside the car and from the various places we end up.

We hit the road immediately after the football game Saturday.


The Most Amazing Thing Happened at Last Week’s Lexington City Council Meeting

A view from inside the chambers during the minimum wage debate, from WEKU-FM.

A view from inside the chambers during the minimum wage debate, from WEKU-FM.

In my final weeks as a UK Student News reporter, for the first time I took my talents to the Lexington City Council.  A new minimum wage ordinance is simple to understand, and it’s easy to cover because it invokes intense emotions from those on both sides of the issue.

I was hoping to see something from a scene of “Parks and Rec,” but I was let down.  My partner in crime, Rudy Salazar, was luckier than me.

Before the final vote last Thursday (which would go in favor for raising the wage), citizens took the chamber floors, speaking their piece for almost two hours.  About 30 minutes in, something magical happened.

I’ve watched it nearly a dozen times and I enjoy something different each time.  I’ll let you find them for yourself.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for public meetings, because no matter how boring they may be, they will not let you down.  Hopefully this lady is having a much better week and a Happy Thanksgiving.

Football Practice Notes Before Thanksgiving

I have a feeling Ryan Flannigan will be having plenty of turkey legs over the next two days.

I have a feeling Ryan Flannigan will be having plenty of turkey legs over the next two days.

How the Team Celebrates Thanksgiving

Tomorrow the Cats will follow a morning practice with a Thanksgiving feast for the entire team.  Tonight the position coaches have the tall task of feeding college football players when they host their units for dinner.  I don’t know who has a more difficult job, Jimmy Brumbaugh (DLine) or Jon Schlarman (OLine)?

Stoops Doesn’t Want to Think About a 5-7 Bowl Appearance

Although he couldn’t turn down the extra practice, he’s focused on winning the sixth game to accomplish that goal.  Even though they could get there with only five, “I don’t want to think about that,” Stoops said.

Nutter TV Motivation

Throughout the week, the TV’s that normally played early season highlights had something new to watch: the 2014 Governor’s Cup.  It was a bitter reminder, one Stoops could no longer bear to watch.

“I told them to turn it off today.  I got tired of looking at it.  It shouldn’t be on anymore.”

Stoops Appreciates the Fight from this Senior Class

They’ve never had it easy, but they’ve persisted through thick and thin.  The fans remember the bad times, but they didn’t have to continue to play through it each and every day.  Stoops is impressed with their mindset, continuing to believe that they can make a change, right down to their last day.

“These guys are fighting all the way through till this last game, with an opportunity to get a sixth victory and go to a bowl game.  I know it’s very important to them and I’m proud of them.  I’m proud of the way they’ve led.”

Jimmy Butler wants “Mister Dukie” Mason Plumlee to pay his fine

Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports

The only thing worse than Dukies? Plumlees. That’s why I’m applauding Bulls guard Jimmy Butler for demanding that Mason Plumlee pay the $2,500 fine Butler received for a technical foul involving an incident between the two.

While Butler was trying to set a pick, Plumlee lowered his shoulder and knocked him over, prompting Butler to trip him. From there, the two exchanged words and Butler got a technical, while Plumlee only got a flagrant 1 foul.

After the game, Butler told reporters he’s going to have his agent email Plumlee, aka “ or something,” about it. From the Chicago Sun Times:

“Yeah, he cost me $2,500. I’m going to ask him to pay me back, and I’m not playing. I’m going to ask, nicely. Yeah, I’m going to get that.”

So will it be in letter form?

“I’m going to tell my agent to e-mail or something,” Butler added, before taking one last shot at Plumlee, who attended college at Duke. “I know it’s like or something.”

Jimmy Butler is now

Watch the Cats give back today in Miami

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 4.22.11 PM

Earlier, we saw the pictures from UK’s afternoon at Alonzo Mourning’s Overtown Youth Center in Miami, and now, KyWildcatsTV has some video for us. Check out the team giving back to the Miami community, including a little kid asking Isaiah Briscoe for his mouthpiece:

Freaking adorable.