Football Season Coverage
Kentucky finished third in the SEC East last year, but in the eyes of the oddsmakers, they have the worst chance of winning the conference next season.
Online sportsbook BetOnline.ag released their odds to win the SEC and Kentucky is tied with Vandy at 100/1:
Ouch. As always, Kentucky’s schedule isn’t easy, but they do have one of the conference’s best running backs in Benny Snell, a weapon in CJ Conrad, an experienced offensive line, and some legit NFL prospects. Yet, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Missouri all have better chances to win the conference? It’s pretty telling when Barry Odom is the only coach out of those four programs I can remember off the top of my head.
Can someone please show this to Benny?
A post shared by UK Videos #BBN (@ukvideos) on
By TJ Walker on ©May 24th, 2018 @ 8:00pm
Ready for some good news and bad news? Let’s start with the good- Kentucky has opened as a one-point favorite in its November 10th game at Tennessee according to Covers.com.
UK defeated Tennessee last season but it wasn’t an upset. The Cats opened as a four-point favorite over the Vols last year before defeating Tennessee in dramatic fashion. Obviously much will change between now and kickoff between the Cats and Vols, which is just within six months, but it’s not a bad thing to be favored against your rival.
Which brings me to the bad news.
Covers.com says Louisville is a nine-point favorite over Kentucky. The Cats and Cards will end the 2018 regular season on November 24th, but hey, maybe it’s not all bad news. The last time UK went to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium the Cats were a 27.5 point underdog. Then Lamar fumbled and then Kentucky pulled off an amazing upset.
I wouldn’t get too worked up over football lines. Spring football just ended and it’s technically not even summer, but that’s also why it’s a perfect time to make a post about spreads six month out. Hurry up football. We miss you. We need you.
By TJ Walker on ©May 24th, 2018 @ 7:00pm
Mark Stoops joined Matt Jones, who’s hosting The Paul Finebaum Show, on Thursday to talk a variety of topics.
With an SEC audience and not the usual UK specific crowd Matt didn’t get into the weeds of UK football position-by-position, but instead gave Stoops an opportunity to give a broad outlook of the program and the upcoming season. Matt also asked the UK head coach about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA, which will allow states to legalize sports gambling.
Stoops said he hadn’t thought much about it.
“That’s a difficult question,” Stoops said. “I haven’t really put much thought into that. I haven’t prepared myself for an answer here. I don’t want to be a target on that. Generally speaking I control the things I can control. I go try to play the very best we can. There’s no way if gambling is legal or illegal can I worry about covering, not covering… you know what I mean?
“We go out there to play the very best we can each and every week. I’m not stupid. I know that factors into people’s reactions to wins and losses because they may be betting on it illegally or legally in certain places. I don’t know. I can’t control that. That’s something I have to put some thought into and see, but that’s above my pay grade.”
Stoops seemed somewhat unprepared to answer that question, but that wasn’t the case when talking about the support he’s received from UK fans over the years.
Stoops wasn’t shy to say the success of the program is dependent upon fans, but it was his job to make sure fans were watching winning football. He said if he does his job fans should show up to Kroger Field.
“Without a doubt (UK fans) stack up (to other programs),” Stoops said. “Our fans are passionate, loyal, hungry fans. Just like any other place I’ve been, and like you said, I’ve been at the top of the food chain. Our fans stack up with the very, very best. They’re very passionate. They care.
“It’s our job. I’ve never shied away from that. I’ve said that from day one. I understood the job I took. I understood the history. I understood where we’ve been. We have to overcome a lot, but that’s my job, that’s our job to put a product on the field, to build an exciting team, to win football games so they come and support. But, like I’ve also said Matt, both here at home and I’ll say it nationally- it takes that. The SEC, those schools have been good because they’ve been supporting them for 100 years through thick and thin. We need the same kind of support and we’ve gotten that. So, it’s mutual. Myself, the staff and the players, we need to play very good football, exciting brand of football where people come to support us and the fans need to be there because without that it’s very hard to build an SEC team. Everywhere we go those stadiums are loud and they’re rocking and certainly our place is as well.”
Stoops also talked about UK’s roster. He admitted that UK’s defense hasn’t been up to his standards but there have been flashes and he hopes this season is more consistent.
Matt asked Stoops about the QB and kicker positions and while Stoops didn’t go into great detail he did say he felt good about his options.
You can listen to the interview here. It was the start of Hour Four on The Paul Finebaum Show.
This morning, we shared the news that Kentucky backup safety Marcus Walker was arrested on drug trafficking charges. Details of that arrest continue to trickle out.
According to Tanner Hesterberg of WKYT, police were called to a residence on Unity Drive for reports of disorderly conduct. Through the course of their investigation, they obtained a search warrant which led to Walker’s arrest. Photos from the scene, which include a broken window:
This is the home on Unity Drive where Lexington Police say they arrested UK football player Marcus Walker on drug charges. Broken window, glass on ground. @WKYT https://t.co/nGKmhJM3aw pic.twitter.com/GgmNQPODiR
— Tanner Hesterberg (@TannerWKYT) May 24, 2018
According to Walker’s arrest citation, he was in possession of over five pounds of marijuana, four or more grams of cocaine, and drug paraphernalia. Police also found a large amount of cash and a cash counter during their search. He pleaded not guilty in Fayette District Court this afternoon and is being held at the Fayette County Detention Center on a $1,000 surety bond.
Walker’s attorney, Abe Mashni, had this to say to KSR: “Marcus Walker is presumed innocent. What we saw today was the court acknowledging that fact and setting an appropriate bond. Marcus will be home soon and ready to aggressively fight these charges.”
By Drew Franklin on ©May 24th, 2018 @ 10:46am
I’ve never sold drugs before so I don’t know a lot about building a drug-dealing brand to increase a client base while maintaining anonymity and staying out of the watchful eye of law enforcement. I have a marketing degree from the prestigious Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, but the next drug I sell will be the first drug I sell.
With that being said, I am fairly confident this is a tweet one should not send if participating in drug trafficking-related activities. I think it’s an even worse idea if said person is a student-athlete on a student-athlete budget.
Marcus Walker, though: he wanted his 2,500+ Twitter followers to know that he’s two-stepping counting paper; it’s his money dance, he says.
Two-stepping counting paper that's my money dance?? pic.twitter.com/zsreW61vjJ
— Marcus Walker (@prim3tim3jr4) March 13, 2017
In my opinion, the photo was a pretty poor PR move by the young man who likely saw his college football career come to an end with a Thursday morning arrest for trafficking more than five pounds of marijuana and four grams of cocaine.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 24th, 2018 @ 8:51am
Kentucky football’s Marcus Walker was arrested early Thursday morning in Lexington on drug trafficking charges. Those charges include drug paraphernalia, trafficking marijuana (over five pounds) and trafficking a controlled substance (four or more grams of cocaine):
#1 DRUG PARAPHERNALIA – BUY/POSSESS
#2 TRAF IN MARIJUANA ( > 5 LBS.) 1ST OFF
#3 TRAFF IN CONT SUB, 1ST DEGREE, 1ST OFF – (> OR = 4 GMS COCAINE)
Walker was set to be a part of UK’s defensive back rotation in 2018 as a junior safety. He signed with Kentucky in 2015 as a four-star recruit out of Florida, and played in 12 of 13 games last year as a sophomore with five total tackles.
He was really expected to provide depth and see even more playing time this fall, but it’s safe to say that has changed with his arrest.
See the report here.
By Nick Roush on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 7:00pm
As the summer heats up, so do the college football takes.
The latest on the Kentucky football team comes from Tony Barnhart, the self-proclaimed “Mr. College Football.” An SEC Network analyst, he carries the title proudly, but this week he proved that title was not earned.
Now writing for an outlet called “TMG Sports,” Barnhart released his SEC East predictions after touring each school during the spring season. It’s no surprise Barnhart believes Kentucky can only beat Missouri and Vanderbilt in SEC play — Kentucky rarely gets preseason respect, if any — but his reasoning is shocking.
With running back Benny Snell (a two-time 1,000-yard rusher) returning and some potentially good quarterback play from JUCO transfer Terry Miller and redshirt sophomore Gunnar Hoak, the Wildcats might upset Mississippi State or South Carolina at home and improve on this record.
Uncertainty at the quarterback position strikes fear in the hearts of preseason prognosticators, and understandably so. The position will make or break a team, even though UK has had consecutive seven-win seasons with quarterback play that’s average at best. To doubt UK because of quarterback play makes, but you can’t condemn the quarterback when you don’t even know the person’s name.
Tony Barnhart is supposed to be Mr. College Football. Shouldn’t Mr. College Football of the SEC Network know Terry Wilson’s name? Barnhart watched Wilson throw passes on UK’s campus, but he couldn’t even take the time to double-check UK’s roster before writing this prediction?
People make mistakes. It happens every single day in this business. However, you can’t proclaim yourself Mr. College Football, then crush a team based on a quarterback that doesn’t exist. Mr. College Football should consider changing his name to Mr. Miller.
We haven’t made it to Memorial Day, but there’s already one preseason college football magazine on newsstands.
This week Athlon Sports released their college football preview, along with magazines for each major conference. In the SEC edition, six Kentucky Wildcats are all-conference selections.
- Benny Snell, First Team Running Back
- Mike Edwards, First Team Safety
- C.J. Conrad, Second Team Tight End
- Lynn Bowden, Third Team All-Purpose Back
- Bunchy Stallings, Third Team Offensive Guard
- Josh Allen, Third Team Linebacker
Usually Kentucky gets no respect. That’s not the case in Athlon, but there are a few people who might have a bone to pick.
Josh Allen is a third team selection, but he’s projected by ESPN as the No. 1 outside linebacker in next year’s NFL Draft. The SEC produced plenty of elite edge rushers, but I find it hard to believe there are six guys better than Allen. Another linebacker who could have made the cut was omitted, Jordan Jones. Injuries sidelined him for much of the 2017 season, but he was an All-SEC selection in 2016 as the conference’s third-leading tackler.
By Nick Roush on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 1:30pm
There are just a little more than 14 weeks until the college football season begins. That may sound a long way away, but it’s close enough for Las Vegas to produce some opening week lines.
To no surprise, your Kentucky Football Wildcats are favored in the first game of the season. The Cats are 20-point favorites over Central Michigan at Kroger Field, according to OddShark. They don’t have the lines from every game, but they’ve got ’em for the most intriguing match-ups.
- Alabama – 28.5 vs. Louisville
- West Virginia -7 vs. Tennessee
- Auburn -3 vs. Washington
- Ole Miss -1.5 vs. Texas Tech
- Vanderbilt -7.5 vs. Middle Tennessee
- Miami -3 vs. LSU
Only 101 more football days until the college football season officially begins when Northwestern travels to Purdue (4.5-point favorites) on Thursday August 31.
By Eli Mitchell on ©May 20th, 2018 @ 10:45pm
Christopher Oats, the third highest ranked commit in Kentucky’s 2018 class, had an impressive offer sheet including big schools like Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, and Ohio State.
Ohio State was seen as the favorite to land Oats services as the school is just 106 miles away from his hometown. Vince Marrow believed otherwise.
“Everybody thought Chris was going to Ohio State,” Marrow said at the time. “But I kind of knew where he was going. I just kept it to myself. But until he signed the papers, I was nervous all the way until last night.”
Joe Mussatto of SEC Country recently visited with Oats at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati to discuss his decision to play at Kentucky over Ohio State.
Persistence played a big role in Kentucky’s success, “They came to see me almost every week, stayed in touch, texted me every day and every night,” Oats said. “It got annoying, but that’s how I knew they really wanted me. Other colleges weren’t really doing that.”
At the end of the day Oats relationship with Marrow sealed the deal, “He keeps it real with you, he just wants the best out of us. You can tell that his loyalty is real. He’s never gonna give up on you.”
Oats, an outside linebacker in high school, is expected to play middle linebacker at the next level. The 6’5 230 pound athlete will certainly have a chance to earn playing time on special teams this year while competing with Jamin Davis for the backup middle linebacker spot.
Read the full story from Mussatto here.
A few weeks back a story that is worth your attention occurred during the University of Kentucky’s graduation ceremony as former Kentucky tight end Oliver White (1981-84) received his degree in community leadership and development.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) May 4, 2018
Drafted in the 10th round of the 1985 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, White only lasted a year in the NFL. After working for years in manufacturing as a supervisor and plant manager White knew he could do more.
“It was something I always wanted to finish,” he said last week. “It was always in the back of my mind.”
White is one of more than 150 Ex-Cats who have returned to UK to finish their degrees in what UK calls “The Post-Eligibility Program”. The program allows any former athlete to return to school to finish their degree with their tuition and books paid for.
The program was originally implemented by Athletic Director C.M. Newton in 1989, Mitch Barnhart has continued the practice as well.
Congrats to Mr. White!
By Nick Roush on ©May 19th, 2018 @ 8:45pm
The Kentucky football team’s annual mission trip to Ethiopia continues to produce heart-warming moments.
Three offensive linemen are representing Mark Stoops’ team in Ethiopia — offensive tackle “Big” George Asafo-Adjei, offensive guard Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings and long-snapper Tristan Yeomans. They’ve accomplished quite a lot in the last week.
The trio started the week by delivering blankets to more than 40 widowed women to warm them during the rainy season. I wonder how many blankets Big George, arguably the strongest guy on the football team, can benchpress?
There were quite a few cute Kodak moments when they visited a local school.
Today they built wooden shoe-shine boxes that will provide a means of income for 35 men.
The trio of Wildcats will return from the life-changing experience on Monday with plenty of stories to share.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 18th, 2018 @ 11:00pm
2019 three-star DE Shawnkel Knight-Goff is going to have to switch out that red prom suit for Kentucky blue…
This afternoon, the No. 5 prospect in the state of Kentucky (Louisville Doss High School) announced his commitment to KENTUCKY!
Knight-Goff, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound DE/OLB, received an offer from the Cats back in July of 2016.
— Shawnkel Knight-Goff (@itskeltime1) July 27, 2016
Almost two years later, he made it official.
Kentucky assistant coach Vince Marrow called the Yahtzee, and Rivals’ Justin Rowland later confirmed it was indeed Knight-Goff.
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) May 18, 2018
Knight-Goff becomes the fifth commitment to Kentucky over the last two weeks, joining West Jessamine OL Eli Cox, South Carolina DB Jalen Geiger, Florida quarterback Nik Scalzo, and Florida OL Jake Pope.
According to Justin Rowland, Knight-Goff, who was on an unofficial visit to Kentucky today, is expected to play outside linebacker for the Cats in 2019.
I watched Doss play safety at a 7v7 passing tournament at Commonwealth last summer. He's listed as a defensive end. THAT kind of versatility. I'm told he's most likely an OLB at Kentucky.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) May 18, 2018
The newest commitment chose the Cats over offers from Louisville, Purdue, Cincinnati, and Indiana.
Speaking of Louisville, the Cards held 57% of Knight-Goff’s Crystal Ball predictions, including two submissions over the last three days:
What a beautiful sight.
Watch our newest Cat go to work:
By Nick Roush on ©May 18th, 2018 @ 12:00pm
Former Kentucky wide receiver Kayaune Ross has signed his first NFL contract. Ross earned the roster spot with an impressive performance at the Colts’ rookie mini-camp.
A junior college transfer, Ross came into his own in 2017 after an injury-plagued first season in Lexington. The 6’6″ wide receiver caught 16 passes for 219 yards last year. The Kentucky coaching staff expected him to use that momentum for an outstanding 2018 season, but his college eligibility ended prematurely.
Instead of preparing to play for UK next season, he’s making money with the Colts and hanging out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a bucket-hat. Not too shabby.
By Nick Roush on ©May 16th, 2018 @ 2:00pm
Bowling season is here, and no, I’m not talking about the KSR bowling league.
Yesterday football fanatics got their fancies tickled when the 2018-19 bowl schedule was released. The following bowls all have ties to the SEC.
- Birmingham Bowl, December 22
- Independence Bowl, December 27
- Texas Bowl, December 27
- Music City Bowl, December 28
- Belk Bowl, December 29
- CFB Playoff, December 29
- Liberty Bowl, December 31
- TaxSlayer Bowl, December 31
- Outback, January 1
- Citrus, January 1
- Sugar Bowl, January 1
- National Championship, January 7
When college football nerds get a schedule, the next step is obvious: fill it in with teams. That’s exactly what the Sporting News did. However, they did not slate Kentucky in any of the bowl games with SEC tie-ins.
The Sporting News predicts Kentucky will play Army in the Military Bowl. This year’s game will be December 31 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. The Military Bowl has conference tie-ins to the ACC and American, but the Sporting News does not care about those silly conference tie-ins.
If this were to come to fruition, Freddie Maggard would be the happiest person on Earth…until he has to decide who he’s going to cheer for, Army or Kentucky?