Five games in, UK is 4-1. Be truthful, raise your hand if you projected that →
Football Season Coverage
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 11:00pm
First of all, shoutout to the brave and loyal KSR fans who stuck around for this morning’s show despite the pouring rain. You the real MVPs.
It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Despite there being no football game on Saturday, there’s been plenty of news courtesy of the school down the road. In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of the best posts of the week:
How Pitino Can Survive, Jonathan Miller
While I find myself, like much of KSR Nation, instinctively rooting against the Cards at every opportunity, I’ve moved past my hard feelings toward Rick personally, choosing instead to remember his role in restoring our Cats to greatness. In that spirit, I’ve gathered my team of recovering politicians: With crisis management skills forged as former targets of the piercing glare of the national media spotlight, we advise clients on managing and surviving public crises like this. Below, my colleagues share guidance from their own painful experiences, as well as a few of our twelve step mantras to counsel Coach Pitino…
“No, no, no. This does not happen everywhere,” Bomani said. “I assure you because if it happened everywhere, we would know that. This does not happen everywhere if for no other reason than I don’t think there are that many college coaches who are either going to spend their own money or get the money from somebody else for this. Where does the money come from? That’s what I want to know. Is this coming on Andre McGee’s debit card, is this coming from straight from the pocket of a booster? How is this getting paid for because the services being rendered don’t sound like they’re cheap.”
Matt on “Outside the Lines”
Matt went on ESPN to discuss the Louisville scandal, which, as you might imagine, thrilled Cardinal fans.
So Many Questions About This Louisville Scandal, Drew Franklin
So let’s say nightwalkers are your thing. Maybe you prefer a seasoned vet in the sack and the way she smells like USA Gold menthols, knockoff Dolce & Gabbana perfume, and week-old Long John Silver’s. It’s not my style, but who am I to judge someone else’s tastes in women? The heart wants what it wants. I get it. No judgment here. Do you.
But why take them to the dorms? Hookers, bless their hearts, traditionally perform their craft in half-star motels and dark alleys. (So I’ve heard.) You don’t take them out of their element and into a new arena. Not only are they fish out of water; in this case, they took pictures and kept a journal and now it’s all over the place.
“This year’s team, as we speak, we stink,” he admitted. “I said to them two days ago; I said, ‘There’s one really good thing that is happening.’ And they said ‘What’s that, Coach?’ I said, ‘We’re not playing tomorrow, so we’re okay. I’m not going to panic yet.’”
I have the new Sports Illustrated cover, Drew Franklin
A dramatic reading of “Breaking Cardinal Rules”, Tyler Thompson
Even though Terry and Rick are friends, it was not friendly conversation. Terry asked tough questions, and Pitino answered (most of) them firmly. Pitino doesn’t plan on stepping down, and he didn’t sound like he was planning on missing any games. It was a strange interview, but a MUST LISTEN. It’s one of those interviews that will be talked about for years to come.
Seven Things We’ll Miss Seeing On Saturday, Nick Roush
Almost Midseason Grades and Miscellaneous Rankings, Freddie Maggard
Overall, the junior has been an offensive catalyst. Kentucky has scored 16 touchdowns. Patrick Towles has directly contributed for 11 of those. For some, this grade will be too high. But his 68 percent total touchdown contribution rate is too high for a C, and his sporadic play doesn’t warrant an A. Strip the name, read above stats and assign a grade. That may help.
Enjoy your bye weekend, guys.
Kentucky gets a chance to rest up this weekend and prepare for a major showdown with Auburn that could have major implications on the SEC. Why is that? Well this weekend and next are going to go a long way in deciding who is going to represent the East in Atlanta. If Kentucky beats Auburn and can get a little bit of help from their friends then they should be sitting pretty for the back half of the season. While we all enjoy the bye-week let’s take a look at tomorrow’s games and how they can shape the race for the East:
Florida (3-0) @ Missouri (1-1) : 7:30 pm on the SEC Network
The last two meetings between the Tigers and Gators saw Mizzou winning by a combined score of 78-30. Granted, this year’s version of the two teams are very different. The Gators’ defense has looked like one of the best in the nation the past three weeks and their offense has shown that they are capable, if not overly impressive. Florida’s October will decide if they return to the top of the SEC East. They passed the test against Ole Miss but their games @Missouri, @LSU, and in Jacksonville against Georgia will decide their fate.
Missouri on the other hand has been a team trying to find their identity and freshman Drew Lock will be taking the reins for tomorrow’s game. With a win Missouri would insert themselves into the East race once again. Their remaining SEC schedule sends them to Georgia, Vandy, and Arkansas with home games against Mississippi State and Tennessee. If they can beat Florida 6-2 is a real possibility.
Georgia (2-1) @ Tennessee (0-2): 3 p.m. on CBS
This game has quickly become a must-win for the Vols after blowing a 13 or more lead in each of their last three games. Coming into the year UT was touted as a contender for the SEC East but if they drop this one to UGA then that dream is over. Especially when you factor in that their next game is at Alabama. It isn’t crazy to think that the Vols could be 2-5 when they make the trip to Lexington on the 31st. The Bulldogs have won 5 in a row over the team in the throw-up orange, in all likelihood it will be six tomorrow.
Following Tennessee, the Dawgs move on to play Missouri, Florida (neutral), Kentucky, and @Auburn. If Kentucky is going to leapfrog UGA they will probably need to win on the road in Athens. That’s a tall task.
So let’s say Kentucky beats Auburn next Thursday, the SEC standings could look like this at the halfway point of the season:
South Carolina (0-4)
By Freddie Maggard on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 8:00pm
My friend Jeff Piecoro had the unenviable task of covering the Cincinnati Reds on the same day as the EKU-UK football game. I got the call from the bull pen. Mixed emotions ensued: excitement to be in the Big Boy Booth, and pity for Jeff for well, having to cover Reds baseball. The show must go on. The following are lessons learned from a broadcast booth rookie:
Tom Leach is the Picasso of the Press Box
His “charts” are color coded, alphabetized, and best I could tell, encrypted. The manner he described game action had me mesmerized. In the first quarter, I found myself just listening to Tom as if I had my head set on in the stands. A Leach glare was all it took to remind me that I had to eventually talk. Can be best described as being a Peyton Manning receiver. Tom was going to throw me open, just don’t drop the pass.
Don’t drink 4 Diet Cokes prior to entering radio booth
You can figure out why on your own. The first half couldn’t end quickly enough.
Sitting down hindered enthusiasm
Standing and talking is much more natural. With 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, I couldn’t take it anymore. Stood from that point on and throughout overtime. Conversation flow and perspective came much easier while semi-pacing.
Stat folks are everywhere
A spotter sits between Tom and Jeff. In front the spotter is a giant computer screen with updated numbers. Once I warmed up, I started spouting stats that made me sound a whole heck of a lot smarter than reality. Papers also come flying after each quarter. Keeping up with current sheets was a challenge.
There’s a fine line between objectivity and being a complete homer
As the game wore on, the latter won out. During UK’s final touchdown drive to send the game into overtime, I’d broken out pom poms.
No matter how much you prepare, it’s impossible to memorize numbers on opposing teams
By the time I realized who made the tackle or catch and looked down to get a name, the next play had started. I extensively over-used “EKU defender” or “Eastern’s 6’6” receiver.” Rookie mistake.
Staying away from “we” was difficult
I’m five months into a part-time media career. I’m just now understanding the proper use of “it” instead of “them or they.”
When UK faltered, so did I
Not so much in anger, but in maintaining composure. Couldn’t find the mute button, so at times of intense ineptitude, I just shut up. Restraint is a PhD level of broadcasting. Emotion did override common practice. After sustained incompetence, kinda lost my cool. But not too bad.
It’s ok to be quiet to let the radio audience hear the crowd
Small problem, until the end of the fourth, not too many moments for the crowd to roar.
Said, “Have to credit EKU” at least 59 times
Looking back, were the smartest words said all night.
When the play starts, shut up
That’s when Tom works his magic. Again, working with him was an incredible and memorable experience. Even with doing a weekly radio show with Leach, observing him in his element was a whole new reality. When we entered the booth, Tom was like a boxer in the ring. All business. It’s really cool to see in person.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 5:15pm
On Wednesday, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn admitted he doesn’t know who his starting quarterback will be against Kentucky. So far, the quarterback battle has been between Jeremy Johnson, who started the first three games, and Sean White, who started the last two.
Now, it looks like there may be a third contender. Alabama radio host Keith Hill tweeted today that he’s hearing JuCo quarterback Jason Smith could also be thrown in the mix. Hill says Smith reminds the staff of former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall, who led the Tigers to the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. Smith enrolled at Auburn in January, and has only played wide receiver for the Tigers thus far. As a JuCo QB, he threw for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for another 10 touchdowns in 10 games.
While dual-threat quarterbacks are Kentucky’s kryptonite, I’m going by the old adage that if you have three starting quarterbacks, you actually have none.
Here are Smith’s JuCo highlights if you’re curious:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 4:30pm
We’ve talked plenty about the new Commonwealth Stadium, but the progress on the new football training center deserves a mention too. @UKAthletics tweeted out these pictures of the construction yesterday, and it shows you just how massive this new $45 million, 100,000-square foot facility is going to be:
That big flat patch of dirt will be training fields and a good portion of the wall that faces it will be glass garage-style doors the staff can open during good weather. This facility will be HUGE for the future of the program. I’d go as far to argue it will have just as big an impact as the renovations to the stadium.
For more details on the facility, check out my feature from this summer. Here are renderings of what it will look like once complete (July 2016):
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
Earlier this week, we found out that Auburn’s star wide receiver Duke Williams was dismissed from the team for an incident at Skybar, a local nightclub. Turns out Williams did quite a lot in that nightclub.
Witnesses say Williams punched four people in the bar: two security guards, a bartender assistant, and Auburn reserve center Xavier Dampeer, his own teammate.
What ticked Williams off? Apparently, a member of his posse was kicked out of the bar for not removing his sunglasses, which violated the bar’s dress code. After trying to use his celebrity to get his friend back in, Williams was thrown out himself, and that’s when the major drama started. Not surprisingly, witnesses say Williams was intoxicated at the time.
Williams was one of Auburn’s leading receivers, with 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown this season. If those numbers seem low, it’s probably because Auburn’s passing offense is ranked 116th in the country according to cfbstats.com. Now they’re down one more receiver amidst a quarterback battle. After Florida, I don’t want to go there and say the stars are aligning for a UK win, but thing are certainly looking up for the Cats.
Over the past few days, I’ve done something I’ve never done before: listen to UofL talk radio. How could I not? The prostitution scandal has captivated the Commonwealth and while many of his Louisville colleagues are sticking their heads in the sand regarding the story (cough, Jody Demling, cough), Tony Vanetti is standing tall as the voice of reason.
Yesterday on the “Afternoon Underdogs,” Vanetti called out the Pitino apologists and took UofL President James Ramsey to task for his odd handling of the situation, calling for him to be presidential instead of pushing all of the power in Tom Jurich’s hands. As the dominoes continue to fall around Louisville basketball, Tony is calling it like it is, going as far to say that Pitino cannot survive the scandal. No matter how many times his fellow media members say Pitino didn’t know what happened or how heartbroken he is over it all (“It happened in his brother-in-law’s dorm!!”), Vanetti is right when he says none of that matters. This happened under Pitino’s watch and as Tony put it, “Would Rick keep Rick?”.
In fact, the only time I’ve felt bad for the Cards in the past week is when Tony told the story about how excited he was watching Pitino’s plane land in Louisville fifteen years ago and how his boss, a Kentucky fan, warned him that two things would happen during Pitino’s reign: he would win a lot of games and he’d break your heart. That pang of deja vu actually had me feeling sorry for our rivals.
Regardless, Vanetti was great yesterday, so much so that angry Louisville fans questioned whether or not he was working for KSR. He’s not, but Tony, the door’s always open; in fact, you can have the KSR shirt off BTI’s back.
What will happen with UofL today?
A rundown of what happened yesterday in the prostitute scandal:
- “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Dick Cady said on KSR that he expects Katina Powell will speak to the NCAA
- Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle confirmed the escort allegations to the NCAA
- An anonymous former Louisville player confirmed to Eric Crawford that strippers were in the dorm rooms
- UofL President James Ramsey threw his support behind Tom Jurich, but did not mention Rick Pitino
- Rick Pitino gave another bizarre interview, this time to Terry Meiners. Meiners grilled Pitino, who was defiant when asked if he would resign. “I don’t know what resigning would accomplish,” he said. “I think that’s the cowardly way out.” He ain’t leaving on his own, folks. His ego is too big.
What will happen today? I can’t wait to find out.
No one is having more fun with this than the San Diego Strippers Twitter account
SoCal strippers have standards, yo.
In UK land, Edrice “Bam” Adebayo will start his official visit
The third best power forward in the 2016 class will arrive in Lexington soon, and, although most believe NC State is the favorite after snagging his AAU teammate Dennis Smith, John Calipari has been putting on the press recently. Hopefully Bam enjoys campus and seeing what it’s like to have your basketball practice televised nationally. Yes, Bam, we talkin’ bout practice.
A trip to Keeneland can’t hurt, either. Just saying.
UK will wear blue vs. Auburn
The game is less than a week away, but UK wants you to get your outfit ready. Yesterday, they released this poster on Twitter calling for a Blue Out, which includes the players. Does this mean we’ll see the blue chrome helmets too?
I don’t listen to Drake’s music a lot, but that “We rock Kentucky blue” quote is gold. Just fine with that being a slogan.
Rupp Arena’s got one more prize to give away today on Twitter
To promote the Kings/Pelicans exhibition game next Saturday at Rupp, the folks at Rupp Arena have been giving away prize packs all week on Twitter. Today is the final giveaway, and they’ve hinted that it may include SIGNED shoes from DeMarcus Cousins. Whoa. Keep your eye on their Twitter account (@Rupp_Arena) from 8:30-10:30 a.m. ET to participate.
I’m going to see Florence & the Machine tonight
I’ve been a fan for years, and have only seen them live as the opener for U2 a few years back. The forecast looks sucky for an outdoor show, but hopefully Mother Nature will work with me starting at 8 p.m. I also hope she’ll play this song, which is getting a lot of run on my iPhone these days:
It’s a slow build, but when the tempo picks up about 1:45 in, there’s no better running song in this world, I’m convinced.
Matt and Ryan are live at the Red vs. Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru”
Yum! Brands is celebrating its 18th anniversary with a Red vs. Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru” benefitting Dare to Care Food Bank today from 5 am to 5:30 pm. Matt and Ryan will do the show from the Yum! Brands Restaurant Support Center (1441 Gardiner Lane) in Louisville from 10 a.m. to noon. If you bring at least 18 canned goods, you will be entered into a drawing for either UL-Duke or UK-LSU basketball tickets. The winners will be announced at noon. You ready?
By Freddie Maggard on ©October 08th, 2015 @ 11:00pm
Five games in, UK is 4-1. Be truthful, raise your hand if you projected that record. In this week’s ESPN SEC Power Rankings, Kentucky is listed at No. 8. I get it: polls and rankings are subjective, but 4-1 is concrete.
Below are UK Football position grades and various rankings:
For the season, Patrick Towles is 96-of-156 good for 61.5 percent, eight passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and six interceptions.
At times, Towles’ inconsistency has limited UK’s offensive production. 33 percent completion rate against Florida skews season totals, but the Gator defense has proven to be dominant. Other SEC quarterbacks aren’t faring well either.
Overall, the junior has been an offensive catalyst. Kentucky has scored 16 touchdowns. Patrick Towles has directly contributed for 11 of those. For some, this grade will be too high. But his 68 percent total touchdown contribution rate is too high for a C, and his sporadic play doesn’t warrant an A. Strip the name, read above stats and assign a grade. That may help.
Running Back: B-
Through three games, Boom Williams was a top-five SEC running back. His numbers have fallen due to missing the second half against Missouri and not playing against EKU; still, 47 rushes for 351 yards, one touchdown and a 7.3 yards per rush are credible.
JoJo Kemp’s 5.3 yards per rush and two touchdowns have provided situational spark. The power back, Mikel Horton has been effective in screen passes and moving the chains. UK averages 135 yards rushing per game. Take away the 155 lost yards due to sacks, and numbers would be better.
A stat that is not published is blocking efficiency. Blitz pick-up has been improved at times, but lacking at others.
Wide Receiver: A-
Dorian Baker separated himself at the go-to receiver. Other than his 24 catches for an 11.5 average yards per reception and three touchdowns, Baker has punished in downfield blocking.
Garrett Johnson, Blake Bone, and Jeff Badet have also had their flashes of grandeur. Explosion plays are now expected. Combined, the wide receiver corps is deep, fast, and talented. It did have one game (Florida) that it dropped passes at an alarming rate; however, this position’s productivity has only scratched the surface.
Given Mark Stoops’ first-year receiving corps status, talent upgrade alone warrants a passing grade.
Tight End/Fullback: B+ (Blocking); Incomplete (Receiving)
Taco Meat Collins has moved into my upper echelon of UK football player fandom. CJ Conrad has blocked at an SEC senior level and finally had a breakout game against Missouri. Collectively, blocking has been consistent and physical.
But three catches for 55 yards is not what was expected. Simply, tight ends have not been targeted enough to receive a grade.
Offensive Line: C-
Offensive line rotation has been a revolving door of youth. Injuries have also reared their ugly heads. Steady center Jon Toth has anchored and is playing at an All-SEC level. But, the EKU game is too fresh in my mind to grade John Schlarman’s group high.
The Cats are averaging 365 total yards per game. An understandable struggle versus Florida seems more reasonable as the Gators continue to defensively control the conference. Red zone productivity has been excellent. UK is 15-15 inside the 20 and have scored 11 touchdowns in those 15 trips for 73 percent. Allowing 16 sacks for negative 116 yards is a hard statistic to overlook. This group will get better once it settles in on a rotation and heals up during the bye week.
Defensive Line: B
The insertion of CJ Johnson has proven to benefit. Even after missing the Louisiana game due to suspension, Johnson is the team’s second-leading tackler, totaling 37 stops, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.
Farrington Huguennin has been solid with 22 tackles. Expected strength of the defensive line was nose tackle. Melvin Lewis has racked up 17 tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack. Regie Meant was improving by the snap, but an early injury versus Missouri has hampered the group’s overall power. At times, UK has gone with only two down defensive linemen which has diminished Melvin Lewis and Matt Elam’s game snaps. Given its level of talent, other than the EKU game, Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh’s unit has overachieved.
Easily the best 2015 surprise. Josh Forrest is playing at an All-SEC level with 49 tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one interception. His weekly improvement is scary and profitable for his NFL future.
Khalid Henderson effectively filled in for the injured Ryan Flannigan and provided consistency along with 30 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
In only two games, Ryan Flannigan’s speed and ability to close on opposing ball carriers have enhanced defensive diversity. Denzil Ware’s development is a weekly highlight. Ware’s two-point conversion against South Carolina was a game-saver. This position has endured suspension and injury but remained reliable. Collectively, the linebacker corps has played above fan and media expectation.
Another expected liability, UK’s secondary is limiting opposing offenses to 197 passing yards per game. That number won’t lead conferences statistical categories, but it’s been good enough and much better than expected.
Headline story is the emergence of true freshman Chris Westry. The rookie has excelled. Senior Cody Quinn held onto his starting position after being pushed by several freshmen cornerbacks. JD Harmon has been the group’s playmaker with two interceptions and game-altering tackles.
Safeties have not intercepted a pass, but are leading the secondary in tackles: McWilson with 28, Stamps with 25. The safety pair is stable, which allows DJ Eliot the freedom to dial up creative blitz packages. Nickel backs Blake McClain and Kendall Randolph add an edge. Both are pound for pound two of the better football players on the team.
Special Teams: C
An improvement from 2014’s F. Prior to EKU, Wildcat kickoff coverage team ranked second in the SEC.
Landon Foster’s punting has not been as effective as expected. Mark Stoops inserted his backup against the Colonels.
All-SEC Austin MacGinnis uncharacteristically missed a field goal and PAT in the opener, but has rebounded before an injury kept him out against Eastern Kentucky.
Kick returner Sihiem King has been a spark, and been close to breaking a kickoff return for six. Overall, the Wildcat special teams have been okau, but could be better. MacGinnis’ return will help. In coverage teams, better players running down the field to make tackles increases the group’s status. Punt and punt return teams have not met expectation.
Inconsistency has haunted the Cats throughout its first five football games. However, in four out of five contests, Kentucky has resiliently found a way to win. For the first time in program history, UK’s first five games have been decided by eight points or less. More telling, total points scored for the year: Kentucky 130, opponents 109.
In SEC play, margin of winning is 18.6 to 16.3. In non-conference, 37 to 30. This post could have actually been divided into two segments: Grades vs. SEC opponents and Grades vs. Non-Conference Foes. In conference, much higher. Non-conference, could have seen some Ds and Fs. Ebb and Flow.
Top Five Opposing Player Performances
1. DE Noah Spence, EKU
2. DE Alex MaCalister, Florida
3. DE Charles Harris, Missouri
4. ATH Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
5. S Brian Poole, Florida
Five Most Difficult Games Remaining
1. @ Georgia
2. @ Mississippi State
SEC Top Five
2. Texas A&M
5. Ole Miss
With a New Stadium, the new Kentucky football season has brought drama to the BBN. Wildcat fans are used to football drama ending on the losing side. Despite the team’s shortcomings, they aren’t losing that much. Riding high on a 4-1 record, here’s the best parts of the season that I’ll miss the most when the Cats don’t take the field Saturday.
There couldn’t have been a better way to open the stadium. It’s something many of us will never forget. Hopefully he (and we) have forgotten about last week’s personal issues for an exceptional second half of the season.
Josh Forrest’s Hit List
Mikel Horton’s Truck Stick
Unfortunately he slowed down some after getting dinged up at South Carolina, but Mikel will have plenty of fuel in the tank after the Bye Week.
Time for Another Big Badet Catch
C.J. Johnson’s Insurgence
C.J. went from suspended, to reserve, to starter, to SEC defensive lineman of the week. Over the last two games, he’s arguably been the most productive defensive tackle in the country, accounting for 30 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles for loss. All the while, he’s still talking about his poop.
Dorian Baker, The Highlight Maker
I know that’s an extremely cheesy saying, but I just can’t help myself.
Patrick Towles’ Hair
Football’s latest and greatest phenomenon to illustrate the agony of defeat is the Surrender Cobra. It’s a different kind animal, much less deadly than its reptilian cousin but much more humiliating. The Surrender Cobra has a variety of species within its genus. During this Bye Week, I’m hear to educate on the different types of Surrender Cobra you need to be aware of entering the Second Half of the season.
When you realize you’re the only one in the office that wore your Halloween costume to work.
When you don’t have a tissue to wipe away your tears.
When it’s so bad you can only use one hand.
When you still have your swag turned on.
When that dude just can’t take a hint.
When it’s not even halftime.
When it won’t stop and you’re still standing in the rain.
When Mom forgets to buy pizza rolls.
When you regret getting that “Dolphins Super Bowl 50 Champs” tattoo.
When you miss a field goal and lose the Iron Bowl on a 109-yard return.
There are two ways to look at a bye week:
- Pout that your team’s not playing, or
- Seize the opportunity to rest and reconnect with the part of your life that doesn’t involve sports.
Although my immediate reaction is to do the former, I’m making an effort to do the latter this weekend. If you are too, here are
ten eleven recommendations on how to spend your bye weekend and what you’ll need to make them happen:
1. Put on your sweater and go buy some pumpkins and mums
Few things make me happier than “open window weather.” Seriously, just ask my husband. Last weekend, we didn’t get a taste of fall, we got a taste of late November/early December nastiness, followed by a heat wave here in Nashville that forced me to turn on the AC. Where in the hell is fall, y’all? Fortunately, it looks like it arrives Saturday. So, put on your favorite sweater and head to the farmer’s market or the pumpkin patch and get your fall on. Or, open the windows, sit on the couch with some apple cider and live vicariously through the millions of pictures people will upload of themselves and their families at the pumpkin patch.
- Mums: $8-$20 each, depending on size
- Pumpkins: $5-$15 each, depending on size
- Hot apple cider: $1.50 per cup
- Instagram opportunities: priceless
2. Read “Breaking Cardinal Rules”
It’s only 104 pages, and although it can be hard to read at times, the parts about Katina and her girls going to the UofL dorm make it a page-turner.
- E-book: $9.99 on Amazon
- Butter Lovers Microwave Popcorn: $3.98/12-pack
Or, you can listen to KSR’s dramatic reading for all the best parts:
- Video: free
- Paper towels to clean up the drink you’ll spit out when you see Tomlin and Woo’s parts: $0.99/roll
3. Watch Louisville fans meltdown over the prostitute scandal
This morning, Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle confirmed the escort allegations surrounding the Louisville basketball program, the first step towards making this nightmare for Cards fans a reality. Things really got interesting this afternoon when an anonymous former Louisville player confirmed there were strippers in the dorm and Rick Pitino told Terry Meiners he considers resigning “taking the cowardly way out.”
If you want to witness the meltdown, visit Inside The Ville, Card Chronicle, Cardinal Authority, or CardinalSports.com. Don’t worry; if taking joy in this makes you a bad person, we’ll party in hell together.
- Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale: $9.99/6-pack
- More Butter Lovers Microwave Popcorn (good think you got that 12-pack)
4. Go see “The Martian”
I finished the book last night and cannot wait to see it portrayed on film. Like I said earlier this week, I’m not really into sci-fi, but Andy Weir, the author, found a way to balance science with humor. Considering it’s a book about an astronaut fighting for survival on Mars, it’s really, really funny, mainly because we’re treated to Watney’s internal dialogue. It’ll be interesting to see how director Ridley Scott translates this to the big screen.
- Movie ticket: $10-$15 each
- Medium popcorn: $7.50
- Medium Diet Coke: $5.50
- Small candy: $3.00
- The fact that some people think “The Martian” is based on a real story: priceless
5. Rewatch Kentucky’s four wins this season
If you just can’t go without a UK football fix, why not do your own midseason review and watch UK’s four wins this season? There have been a lot of highlights, and, yes, a few lowlights. In fact, you have our permission to skip the second half of the Louisiana Lafayette game and the first half of the Eastern game. Instead, focus on Towles’ growing rapport with his receivers, the balanced rushing attack, and a defense that proved us all wrong.
Try to actually learn the words to “Grove Street Party”
Like many of you, I can only decipher “I GOT A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY” and “It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party.” With another big game coming up and plenty of opportunities to play the song, why don’t we learn the actual wor—YEAAAAH, just kidding. I googled the lyrics. No need to learn them. Let’s just stick with the parts we know, okay? Especially you kiddos out there.
- “Grove Street Party” on iTunes: $1.29
7. Catch up on other college football
The slate of games is kind of meh this week, but I’ll be watching Tennessee vs. Georgia on CBS at 3:30 p.m. to get my first good look at the imploding Volunteers. Other interesting games on the docket:
- #10 Oklahoma vs. Texas, ABC, Noon: This will be a massacre, but I can’t turn away from watching Charlie Strong’s train wreck at Texas
- #13 Northwestern vs. #18 Michigan, BTN, 3:30 p.m.: LOL, just kidding. Go Wildcats though.
- #7 LSU vs. South Carolina, 3:30 p.m.: It was nice of LSU to host the game since Columbia’s under water, but before we praise the magnanimous Tigers too much, people do realize they get a home game out of it, right? Leonard Fournette will roll.
- Arkansas at #8 Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN: I refuse to believe Arkansas is as terrible as they’ve looked and that Alabama is as good as they looked against Georgia. Regardless, Tide will roll.
- #11 Florida at Missouri, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network: No way Florida keeps this up, right?
If you’re watching at home:
- More of that Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale: $9.99/6-pack
- Pizza and/or wings from local chain: $15-$20
- Watching games without putting on real pants: Priceless
If you’re watching at the bar:
- Pitcher of beer: $12-$18
- Dozen wings: $12
- Chance to laugh at sad Tennessee fans: Priceless
8. Watch the NBA Cats ball in exhibition games
If you’re really desperate for some UK sports and have NBATV, you’re in luck. The network will be airing preseason NBA games throughout the weekend and because former Kentucky players are all over the league, there are ample opportunities to check them out. Here’s a schedule of games on NBATV:
- Friday, 7 p.m.: New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards (John Wall, Josh Harrellson)
- Saturday, 8 p.m.: Chicago Bulls @ Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl Towns)
- Sunday, 1:30 a.m.: LA Clippers (Chuck Hayes) @ Charlotte Hornets (MKG–injured, Aaron Harrison)
- Sunday, 9:20 p.m.: Haifa @ Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle)
Cost? NBATV is part of the premiere sports package on most cable/satellite plans, but really, if you look at it reasonably, it’ll practically pay for itself considering the number of former Cats you’ll watch this season.
9. Clean the house
It’s never fun, but think of the brownie points you’ll earn with your spouse or significant other!
- Windex: $3.99
- 409 cleaner: $4.49
- Your spouse or significant other being cool with you tailgating early Thursday instead of picking up the kids from school: Priceless
10. Watch UK’s practice Sunday night on ESPNU
The weekend isn’t totally devoid of UK sports. On Sunday night from 7-9 p.m., ESPNU will air UK’s basketball practice, giving you your first glance of the 2015-2016 Kentucky Wildcats, most notably the newcomers. According to UK, the practice will include drills, 3-on-3, and 5-on-5 scrimmaging, so, plenty of opportunities to see what Skal, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Isaac Humphries, Charles Matthews, and Mychal Mulder can do. Cal claims his team stinks right now, but for at least two hours on Sunday night, we’ll be the judge of that.
- ESPNU: Part of most cable/satellite sports packages or FREE with a friend’s cable sign-in
- Sunday evening beverage: Whatever you’ve got in the house
- Kentucky basketball on national television in October: Priceless
UPDATE: 11. Keeneland, duh
See what happens when you live outside of Kentucky long enough? The best pastimes slip your mind. How could I forget Keeneland?! You should definitely do that. Save some whiskey sours for me, I’ll be there next Saturday.
- Admission: $5
- Burgoo: $5.95
- Keeneland beer (it’s different there!): $4
- Whiskey sour: $6.25
How are you spending your bye weekend?
By Drew Franklin on ©October 08th, 2015 @ 4:12pm
Eric Crawford over at WDRB has more troublesome news for the Louisville basketball program.
You can go ahead and add an unnamed former Cardinal to the growing list of people spilling the beans, along with former recruit Jaquan Lyle. The former player told investigators there were strippers in Billy Minardi Hall on at least one occasion, according to a source. The player did not see any sex take place, but he did see money thrown at the dancers.
While this is only one player talking about a single event in an investigation expected to delve into four years of allegations, it does demonstrate a player acknowledging some of the claims in Powell’s book while taking issue with others. His voice, presumably, would be just one of many in the final report.
This particular player told a university investigator that no sex took place (that he knew of), and that the only money he saw changing hands came in the form of dollar bills thrown at the women in the room, according to the source, who spoke on the condition that the identities of player and source be anonymous. [WDRB]
The door is wide open for more people to come forward.
And they will.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 08th, 2015 @ 3:46pm
Kentucky football announced it will wear its blue unis in next week’s game against Auburn. Many fans wondered if this would be the game we see the all black look, but that will have to wait for another time. Let’s just go ahead and assume it’ll be the Tennessee game.
Big Blue Nation, the program asks you to wear your blue to the game, too. It’ll be a Thursday night Blue-Out on national TV.
“And we rock Kentucky blue…”
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) September 21, 2015
By Drew Franklin on ©October 08th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Kentucky was the feature team on last night’s SEC Film Room on the SEC Network. UK’s head coach and quarterback reviewed the tape from Saturday’s overtime win against Eastern, explaining what went wrong and what changed to escape with a victory.
Watch the clips below:
The episode re-airs today at 2:30 and again at midnight.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 08th, 2015 @ 11:00am
Mel Kiper Jr. and his hair updated the top five underclassmen quarterbacks in college football yesterday and Kentucky’s own Patrick Towles made the list.
Towles ranks fifth among underclassmen, according to Kiper, behind Jared Goff (California), Christian Hackenberg (Penn State), Cardale Jones (Ohio State), and Gunner Kiel (Cincinnati), respectively.
Yet some of you still want him benched.