When Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow first arrived in Lexington, they had to sell recruits →
Football Season Coverage
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 04th, 2017 @ 2:55pm
Congratulations to Benny Snell and Josh Allen, who were named All-SEC by the Associated Press this afternoon. Snell made the First Team, while Allen made the Second Team.
WR — A.J. Brown, Ole Miss, 6-1, 225, So.
WR — Calvin Ridley, Alabama, 6-1, 190. Jr.
T — Jonah Williams, Alabama, 6-5, 301, So.
T — Isaiah Wynn, Georgia, 6-2, 302, Sr.
G — Braden Smith, Auburn, 6-6, 303, Sr.
G — Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama, 6-4, 303, Jr.
C — Bradley Bozeman, Alabama, 6-5, 314, Sr.
C — Will Clapp, LSU, 6-5, 309, Jr.
TE — Hayden Hurst, South Carolina, 6-5, 250, Jr.
QB — Drew Lock, Missouri, 6-4, 225, Jr.
RB — Kerryon Johnson, Auburn, 6-0, 212, Jr.
RB — Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky, 5-11, 223, So.
PK — Daniel Carlson, Auburn, 6-4, 223, Sr.
All-Purpose — Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, 5-11, 200, Jr.
DE — Jeff Holland, Auburn, 6-2, 249, Jr.
DE — Montez Sweat, Mississippi State, 6-6, 241, Jr.
DT — Da’Ron Payne, Alabama, 6-2, 308, Jr.
DT — Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State, 6-4, 307, So.
LB — Roquan Smith, Georgia, 6-1, 225, Jr.
LB — Devin White, LSU, 6-1, 255, So.
LB — Rashaan Evans, Alabama, 6-3, 234, Sr.
LB — Arden Key, LSU, 6-6, 255, Jr.
CB — Andraez Williams, LSU, 6-2, 175, Fr.
CB — Armani Watts, Texas A&M, 5-11, 200, Sr.
S — Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, 6-1, 202, Jr.
S — Ronnie Harrison, Alabama, 6-3, 214, Jr.
P — Johnny Townsend, Florida, 6-1, 211, Sr.
WR — J’Mon Moore, Missouri, 6-3, 205, Sr.
WR — Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, 5-11, 200, Jr.
T — Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State, 6-5, 305, Sr.
T — Martez Ivey, Florida, 6-5, 305, Jr.
G — Trey Smith, Tennessee, 6-6, 320, Fr.
G — Greg Little, Ole Miss, 6-6, 325, So.
C — Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, 6-5, 317, Sr.
TE — Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri, 6-5, 260, Fr.
QB — Jarrett Stidham, Auburn, 6-3, 214, So.
RB — Nick Chubb, Georgia, 5-10, 225, Sr.
RB — Derrius Guice, LSU, 5-11, 212, Jr.
PK — Eddy Pineiro, Florida, 6-0, 173, Jr.
All-Purpose — Mecole Hardman, Georgia, 5-11, 183, So.
All-Purpose — D.J. Chark, LSU, 6-3, 187, Sr.
DE — Marcell Frazier, Missouri, 6-5, 265, Sr.
DE — Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss, 6-3, 230, Sr.
DE — Dante Sawyer, South Carolina, 6-3, 275, Sr.
DT — Taven Bryan, Florida,
DT — Raekwon Davis, Alabama, 6-7, 306, So.
DT — Breeland Speaks, Ole Miss, 6-3, 285, Jr.
LB — Josh Allen, Kentucky, 6-5, 230, Jr.
LB — Lorenzo Carter, Georgia, 6-6, 243, Sr.
LB — De’Jon Harris, Arkansas, 6-0, 242, So.
LB — Skai Moore, South Carolina, 6-2 218, Sr.
LB — Charles Wright, Vanderbilt, 6-3, 240, Jr.
CB — Duke Dawson, Florida, 5-10, 208, Sr.
CB — Levi Wallace, Alabama, 6-0, 183, Sr.
CB — Carlton Davis, Auburn, 6-1, 203, Jr.
CB — CJ Henderson, Florida, 6-1, 182, Fr.
S — J.R. Reed, Georgia, 6-1, 194, So.
P — JK Scott, Alabama, 6-6, 204, Sr.
Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and Georgia’s Roquan Smith Defensive Player of the Year. Georgia’s Kirby Smart won Coach of the Year, while the Bulldogs’ Jake Fromm and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham split Newcomers of the Year honors.
Allen had 58 total tackles this season, 9.5 for loss, and seven sacks. Snell finished the season with 1,318 yards and 18 touchdowns on 256 attempts, bringing his career rushing total at UK to 2,409 yards and 31 touchdowns, a school record. Now, he’s First Team All-SEC. Not bad for a player who didn’t even make ESPN’s list of the top five running backs in the SEC coming into the season.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 04th, 2017 @ 2:30pm
Vegas has spoken, and the Northwestern Wildcats are the early favorite over the Kentucky Wildcats in the Music City Bowl. The line was just released and Northwestern is a 6.5-point favorite. Considering they’re ranked 21st and have a 9-3 record, that sounds about right.
Other early lines for bowl season:
- Missouri (-2) vs. Texas
- Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest (-3)
- Louisville (-5) vs. Mississippi State
- South Carolina vs. Michigan (-8.5)
- Auburn (-10) vs. Central Florida
- LSU (-2.5) vs. Notre Dame
- Georgia vs. Oklahoma (-1)
- Alabama (-1.5) vs. Clemson
As always, gamble responsibly.
Coming to Nashville for the Music City Bowl? There will be plenty of events throughout the week leading up to the game, so come down early to party with the BBN. Here’s the schedule of fan events:
Tuesday, December 26
3 – 4 p.m.: Teams arrive at Opryland
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, 2800 Opryland Drive
Kentucky rolls into town on Tuesday, so if you’re already in the area, come to Opryland to greet them. Make a day of it by checking out the hotel’s famous Christmas decorations and lights or taking the kids to the ICE attraction. This year’s theme is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
7 – 10 p.m.: Bowl Welcome Party, Songwriting Contest, and Hot Chicken Eating Contest
Wildhorse Saloon, 120 2nd Avenue North; Invitation only
Once the teams get settled in the hotel, it’s off to downtown for the official welcome party. Five players from each team will participate in a songwriting contest AND a hot chicken eating contest. I nominate Matt Elam. There will also be a round of Coaches Karaoke. Maybe Mark Stoops can get some singing tips from Toby Keith?
Wednesday, December 27
8 – 9 p.m.: Global Force Wrestling Event (Players Party)
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, 2800 Opryland Drive
As Drew mentioned last week, the players are invited to a Global Force Wrestling event Wednesday night, although whether or not this event happens is still uncertain because the company may no longer exist. The event is still listed on the Music City Bowl website, so stay tuned.
Thursday, December 28
10:15 – 11:15 a.m.: Coaches press conference
Gaylord Opryland Hotel – Ryman Ballroom, 2800 Opryland Drive
Stoops and Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald will hold a joint press conference at the team hotel Thursday morning.
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Coaches Luncheon
Gaylord Opryland Hotel – Tennessee Ballroom, 2800 Opryland Drive
Fans can purchase tickets to the coaches luncheon, which will feature comments from Stoops and Fitzgerald. The pep band, cheerleaders, and mascot will also be in attendance.
12 – 9 p.m.: Fan Zone opens on Broadway
Broadway will be shut down on Thursday and Friday for a block party, which includes concerts, activities for kids, and a live-fire cooking area featuring some of Nashville’s best chefs. I’m all in on that.
4 p.m.: World Hot Chicken Eating Championships
1st and Broadway
How much hot chicken can you eat in eight minutes?
5 – 8 p.m.: Battle of the Bands featuring Champagne Dynamite
If you can only attend one event, make it the Battle of the Bands Thursday night. Kentucky and Northwestern’s bands and cheerleaders will square off on Broadway, playing four or five songs each. Afterwards, a band called Champagne Dynamite will perform (Google tells me they’re a very popular wedding band).
Here’s the event back in 2009:
Friday, December 29
10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.: Fan Zone opens on Broadway
Grab a mimosa and brace yourself for a busy day.
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Kentucky Pep Rally
Cheer the team on as they head to the stadium before the game.
1 – 2:30 p.m.: Pregame Concert featuring Two Story Road
Mitch Barnhart said that’s he’s working on a way for UK fans to be able to watch the Louisville game in Nashville, which hopefully means they’ll set up some big TVs in the Fan Zone on Broadway. No offense, Two Story Road, I’m sure you’re a nice band and all, but all Kentucky fans will care about from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday is basketball.
8 – 9:30 p.m.: Postgame Concert featuring Resurrection
One way or the other, Broadway will be wild Friday night. The Fan Zone will still be open and Journey tribute band Resurrection takes the stage at 8 p.m.:
Yacht rock lovers rejoice!
Northwestern University will represent the Big Ten in the Music City Bowl. The Wildcats are extremely well coached and finished 2017 with a 9-3 record. It is ranked 21st in the nation. The Wildcats are riding a seven game winning streak and is listed amongst the best in several conference statistical categories.
First let’s take a look at the schedule. Northwestern started the season 2-3 but recovered to finish strong. Its nine wins were against opponents that averaged 5.4 victories on the season. The Wildcats played seven home games and won three road contests against two, four-win teams: Maryland and Nebraska as well as two-win Illinois. Northwestern beat Iowa, Michigan State, and Nebraska in overtime. By doing so, it became the first FBS team to win three consecutive overtime football games.
Conversely, the average losing opponent vs. Kentucky averaged 5.8 wins on the season. The Cats recorded road wins against two, eight-win teams: Southern Miss and South Carolina as well as five-win Vanderbilt. Northwestern won two more games than UK. But, Kentucky’s wins came against opponents with slightly better winning records; but significantly grander on the road.
|Opponent (Record)||Final Score|
|Nevada (3-9)||W 31-20|
|@Duke (6-6)||L 17-41|
|Bowling Green (2-10)||W 49-7|
|@Wisconsin (12-1)||L 24-33|
|Penn State (10-2)||L 7-31|
|@Maryland (4-8)||W 37-21|
|Iowa (7-5)||W 17-10 (OT)|
|Michigan State (9-3)||W 39-31 (3 OT)|
|@Nebraska (4-8)||W 31-24 (OT)|
|Purdue (6-6)||W 23-13|
|Minnesota (5-7)||W 39-0|
|@Illinois (2-10)||W 42-7|
|Statistical Category||Result||Big 10 Rank|
|Red-Zone||90.74 (39 TD’s)||2nd, 21st nationally|
|Long Scrimmage Plays||180, 10+yds||4th|
|QB Sacks Allowed||29||9th|
|1st Downs||23.1 per game||2nd|
|Tackles for Loss Allowed||68||7th|
|Passing||QB Clayton Thorson||2809-yards, 60.6%, 15 TD, 12 INT|
|Rushing||RB Justin Jackson||1154 yards, 9 TD’s|
|Receiving||Bennett Skowronek||42 rec, 619-yds, 5 TD’s|
The Wildcats are led by 2nd Team All-Big Ten RB Justin Jackson. Incredibly, Jackson has been named to the league’s 2nd team in four consecutive years. He also surpassed 1000-yards in four straight seasons. Jackson’s rushed for 1154-yards and scored 9 touchdowns. Kentucky has faced an extraordinarily high number of historically significant running backs: Southern Miss’s Ito Smith, Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb. Add Northwestern’s Jackson to the list as the senior is the program’s all-time leading rusher.
Northwestern’s passing attack is led by 3rd team all-conference Quarterback Clayton Thorson who finished 2017 by completing 60% of his passes for 2809-yards. After a slow start to the season, Thorson significantly improved throughout conference play. His performances in the Wildcat’s final three regular season games were highly efficient. The junior displayed next-level traits. 6’4, 300-pound guard Tommy Doles was named 3rd Team All-Big Ten and is the leader of the Wildcat’s offense line.
Much like the outstanding running backs that Kentucky has faced in 2017; Thorson is yet another upper-level passer that will put a tremendous amount of stress on a UK secondary that has struggled throughout the season. Thorson is not a runner and is in the mold of South Carolina’s Jake Bentley, Eastern Michigan signal caller Brogan Roback, and Missouri’s Drew Lock.
The Wildcats average 23.1 first downs per game and has executed 921 plays. Comparatively, Louisville’s play total for the season was 889. Missouri ran 848 plays; Ole Miss 804.
Mark Stoops’ run on bowl opponents has been enormously more challenging than the last Wildcat teams that made back-to-back postseason appearances. Bowl opposition can be random, friendly, or cruel like that. Rich Brooks’ first bowl opponent was Clemson in the Music City. The Tigers were preseason favorites to win the ACC but faltered down the stretch by losing four of its last five games. The next Music City Bowl featured Florida State that was minus double digit players due to suspension and lost three of its last four games of the season.
Contrariwise; Stoops’ first bowl team was against Georgia Tech in the Taxslayer. The Yellow Jackets was 6-1 down the stretch including wins over Georgia and 18th ranked Virginia Tech. That triple option nightmare is now followed by the 21st ranked Northwestern Wildcats. The Big Ten representative is one of the hottest teams in the nation and riding a seven game winning streak.
Northwestern is not the complete matchup nightmare that the Yellow Jackets provided a year ago but it will present a significant challenge especially when Northwestern possesses the football.
We’ll have much, much more on Northwestern in the days leading up to the Music City Bowl.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 04th, 2017 @ 11:22am
There are plenty of fun events planned around the Music City Bowl, but by far the best will be the Hot Chicken Eating World Championships.
On Thursday, December 28 at 4 p.m., Kentucky and Northwestern fans are invited to put their taste buds to the test at the Hot Chicken Eating World Championships on Broadway. Participants will be challenged to eat Hattie B’s hottest hot chicken, the appropriately named “Shut the Cluck Up!”. If you finish yours first, you’ll not only get the World Hot Chicken Championship title, you’ll get $750, which is almost enough to pay for two nights at a hotel downtown. Second place gets $500 and third place $250.
The contest is part of the All Pro Eating circuit, and has picked up popularity among competitive eaters (yes, there is such a thing). Molly Schuyler holds the current hot chicken eating world record after downing 4.75 lbs. of hot chicken in eight minutes back in 2014.
I can only think of one person to represent KSR. Chris Tomlin, you got this:
Go ahead and put the toilet paper in the freezer.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 04th, 2017 @ 9:00am
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We’re going to the Music City Bowl!
In case you missed the big news yesterday, Kentucky will play Northwestern in the Music City Bowl. With the Louisville game tipping off at 1 p.m. ET and the bowl game kicking off at 4:30 p.m. ET, December 29 will be an epic day for the BBN in Nashville, and bars on Broadway are already flying their Kentucky flags in anticipation.
Freddie Maggard will be by with a quick look at the Northwestern Wildcats later this morning. Mark Stoops and select players will discuss the matchup tomorrow at noon.
If you want to join the party in Nashville, UK is accepting bowl ticket requests at UKFootballTix.com. As has become the norm, hotels downtown are outrageously expensive (once all the new ones they’re building open, prices should come down a little bit), so I recommend getting an AirBnB or staying outside of downtown and taking a Lyft or Uber in.
Here’s the SEC Bowl schedule
- Rose Bowl: #3 Georgia vs. #2 Oklahoma (Jan. 1, 5 p.m.)
- Sugar Bowl: #4 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m.)
- Texas Bowl: Missouri vs. Texas (Dec. 27, 9 p.m.)
- Belk Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest (Dec. 29, 1 p.m.)
- Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. #21 Northwestern (Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m.)
- Tax Slayer Bowl: #23 Mississippi State vs. Louisville (Dec. 30, Noon)
- Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Michigan (Jan. 1, Noon)
- Peach Bowl: #7 Auburn vs. #12 UCF (Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m.)
- Citrus Bowl: #17 LSU vs. #14 Notre Dame (Jan. 1, 1 p.m.)
To the Georgia fan who posted Baker Mayfield’s cell number: way to poke the bear.
To whoever posted my cell #, bravo. But I got it changed! And to the Georgia fans that had the kind words of encouragement… I applaude your creativity
— Baker Mayfield (@baker_mayfield6) December 4, 2017
UK Volleyball is going to the Sweet 16
The other big news of the weekend is the UK Volleyball’s dramatic comeback win over Western Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The ladies are now headed to the Sweet 16, which will take place at Memorial Coliseum this weekend. UK will play BYU Friday at noon, and if they win, they’ll play the winner of Nebraska and Colorado Saturday at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at UKathletics.com/NCAATickets.
Picture of the Day: Mark Stoops, Shocky Jacques-Louis, and a Bentley Take 2
By now you’ve seen the pic of Mark Stoops and Shocky Jacques-Louis in front of the Bentley he took on his recruiting visit yesterday, but did you see take two, as shared by Benny Snell?
Nice pose, Coach.
Video of the Day: Silverdome implosion doesn’t work
The Silverdome in Detroit was supposed to implode yesterday, so imagine everyone’s surprise when it was still standing after the charges went off:
— Breaking News (@newnewspage) December 3, 2017
Apparently, the charges on the building’s main columns failed to detonate, why is why it’s still standing. The blasts did break the stadium’s steel beams, so the structure will collapse…eventually.
The gang is on Duke’s campus this morning
The KSR Road trip stopped in Raleigh/Durham yesterday. Today, the gang will be live from Duke’s football stadium for today’s show (which won’t be open to the public), so tune in to see what the gang’s been up to.
This afternoon, Kentucky was officially invited to the Music City Bowl to compete against No. 20 Northwestern on December 29 at 4:30 p.m.
The all-Wildcat matchup will be UK’s first Music City Bowl in eight years, and it’ll certainly be a tough one.
Let’s look at Kentucky’s bowl opponent:
Northwestern is on a seven-game win streak
After falling to Penn State 31-7 back in October and starting the season 2-3, the Wildcats have won seven straight games, including three consecutive overtime victories. In their last two outings, they have outscored opponents by a total score of 81-7.
Needless to say, they’re cooking.
That being said, just two of Northwestern’s opponents in that span had a winning record and three were .500 or above.
Two of those were overtime victories, and the third was by just 10 points. They were also demolished by Duke on the road in the second game of the season, proving they’re not immune to bad games.
They’ve been beating the teams they should be, but they’ve had to fight for the solid wins.
They have a stellar defense
According to some of the stats released by Corey Price of UK Athletics’ Cat Scratches, the Northwestern Wildcats are absolute studs on the defensive side of the ball.
Here are just a few statistics:
- Tied for 10th in the FBS in running plays from scrimmage allowed of at least 20 yards (10)
Tied for 7th in the FBS in opponents’ red zone scoring (71.05%)
- Tied for 9th in the FBS in opponents’ 4th down conversions (33.33%)
9th in the FBS in rushing defense (111.25 yards per game
19th in the FBS in scoring defense (19.8 points per game)
Northwestern is tied for 5th in the FBS in fumbles forced per game (1.33)
Yeah, that’s pretty impressive.
Northwestern is the 37th-best total defense in America, compared to UK listed at No. 89.
Benny Snell has been a superstar for Kentucky, rushing for 31 touchdowns and over 2500 yards from scrimmage in his young career, but he has his work cut out for him against this stout Wildcat defense.
The Wildcats outrank Kentucky on offense too
Their defense is scary good, but Northwestern’s offensive attack is just as impressive. They maintain the No. 60 offense in the nation compared to Kentucky’s No. 100.
In the passing department, they are ranked 54th in the country compared to UK coming in at 101st in the country. Kentucky’s rushing attack is better at 54th in America, compared to Northwestern at No. 71, though they still have an 1100-yard rusher in Justin Jackson.
Junior quarterback Clayton Thorson has thrown for 2,809 yards and 15 touchdowns along with 12 interceptions, showing both good and bad this season.
Northwestern is tied for 126th in college football in offensive plays from scrimmage of at least 30 yards at just 14, meaning they will attempt to dink-and-dunk Kentucky all day long. They score touchdowns on 72% attempts in the red zone, good for 18th in the nation.
They inch their way down the field, milk the clock, and score touchdowns. That’s a recipe for success if I’ve ever seen one.
They are coached by a former All-American
From 1993-1996, Pat Fitzgerald dominated the linebacker position for Northwestern. He is a two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (1995, 1996), two-time winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award (1995, 1996), two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1996), and two-time Consensus All-American (1995, 1996).
Oh, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
In 2006, he was named head coach of his alma mater, and has accumulated a total record of 86–65 and seven bowl-eligible seasons for the Wildcats.
Needless to say, he’s well-respected in Evanston, Illinois.
The Wildcats are 2-5 in bowl games under Fitzgerald, but don’t let that fool you. Kentucky is going heads up with an incredible football mind on December 29.
They almost got snowed-out in early November
Northwestern hosted Purdue in their first November night game in program history, and it almost got snowed out.
Just a few days before the game, the stadium was blanketed in snow, and the field crew had their work cut out for them to get it prepared.
Take a look:
There’s supposed to be a Purdue-Northwestern football game played here in 30 hours… pic.twitter.com/r1JUgeiA82
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 10, 2017
Let’s hope we don’t see similar weather in Nashville in a few weeks.
They have a brand new facility
Northwestern is currently finishing construction on a 500,000 square-foot, $260-million athletics facility for the football team that is set to open this Spring.
Here’s what it looks like:
The inside look of the facility is pretty ridiculous…
Good thing they haven’t been able to utilize that just yet.
I love the Joe Craft Football Training Facility as much as the next guy, but color me jealous of this lakeside beauty.
Similar to last year, Kentucky got matched up with a darn good football team in their bowl game.
By Alex Holder on ©December 03rd, 2017 @ 10:00pm
Kentucky found out today they will be headed down to Nashville to play the Northwestern Wildcats in the Music City Bowl, but let’s talk about how crazy this last week and a half has been from around the SEC.
- Ole Miss upset in-state rival Mississippi State on Thanksgiving Day, giving Matt Luke the head coaching job of the Rebels
- Bret Bielema dismissed at Arkansas
- Kevin Sumlin out at Texas A&M
- Jimbo Fisher becomes an Aggie
- Dan Mullen accepts job at Florida, Joe Moorhead heads to MSU
- Ole Miss sanctions released
- Georgia wins SEC Championship
- CFP final rankings and 9 SEC teams go bowling
- And, of course, the craziness in Knoxville
Let’s break it down.
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A 5-6 Ole Miss team headed down to Starkville and defeated Mississippi State on Thanksgiving Day. After the Egg Bowl upset over the Bulldogs, the University of Mississippi named former Ole Miss offensive linemen and current interim coach Matt Luke, head coach. Unfortunately, Luke and the Ole Miss program found out that they will take on some hefty NCAA sanctions following scandals under former coach Hugh Freeze. Here are the sanctions according to SB Nation.
- An additional bowl-ban year (2018).
- Because of that total two-year bowl ban, NCAA rules give Ole Miss seniors the freedom to transfer elsewhere without sitting out a season.
- Probation running concurrently with current probation for a total of four years.
- Financial penalties, added to self-imposed sanctions, totaling $179,000.
- A total scholarship reduction of 13 over a period of years. That’s in addition to the 11 over four years that Ole Miss self-imposed, which already meant three or four fewer scholarship players per year.
- Every coach named in the NCAA’s investigation has received a show-cause (essentially an NCAA blackball for a period of time) of varying lengths. That doesn’t include new head coach Matt Luke, who wasn’t named. Former head coach Hugh Freeze would receive a two-game suspension, if hired elsewhere. Former assistant David Saunders’ show-cause runs for eight years. Former staffer Barney Farrar faces five.
A post shared by Florida Gators Football (@gatorsfb) on
A post shared by Florida Gators Football (@gatorsfb) on
A few days After the Mississippi State loss, Dan Mullen decided it was time to head in a different direction and took the head coaching job at Florida. The Gators knocked this hire out of the park. Mullen is a proven winner in the SEC and also knows how important winning is in Gainesville, as being a part of the Gators’ national championship teams as offensive coordinator/ QB’s coach in 2006 and 2008. He is also just an all-around great guy and it will be hard to hate him in Florida.
A post shared by Mississippi State Athletics (@hailstate) on
Joe Moorhead, former Penn State offensive coordinator, will take over the program at Mississippi State. Moorhead has had one coaching job at his alma mater Fordham, where he had a record of 38-13.
Next up, the firing of Bret Bielema at Arkansas following their 48-45 loss to Missouri on Friday. Bielema was the head coach of the Razorbacks for five seasons from 2013 to 2017 with a total record of 29-34. Bielema and company looked like they were starting to turn the corner in Razorback country, but just never could finish the job. Who do I think would be the best fit in Fayetteville going forward? I would have to say Mike Leach of Washington State.
Leach has turned both programs around at Texas Tech and Washington State. Leach also knows recruiting in Texas, which would certainly make him a great hire for the program. Most people, as well as myself, thought former Razorback and current Auburn Tiger Gus Malzhan would take the job, but as of tonight, he has taken a new deal to stay at Auburn.
Kevin Sumlin was also released from Texas A&M after their 45-21 loss to LSU. Sumlin went 51-26 over the course of 6 years in College Station but never could live up to the expectations in Aggieland and couldn’t get over the SEC West hump. Friday we found out that Jimbo Fisher would leave Tallahassee and take the head coaching job at A&M, pulling in $75 million over 10 years. (That’s a lot of money.) Yet another great hire for the SEC.
A post shared by Georgia Football (@georgiafootball) on
A post shared by Georgia Football (@georgiafootball) on
In the midst of this wild coaching carousel, there was a very important football game yesterday that decided which team from the SEC would get the automatic bid to the CFP. Auburn and Georgia played for the SEC Championship, and it ended up being a flip-flop of what happened in Auburn just 3 weeks ago. Auburn handled the Dawgs 40-17 in early November, but yesterday was the exact opposite. Georgia dominated in the second half and was crowned champions of the SEC after their 28-7 victory for the first time since 2005.
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We also learned today that with Ohio State beating Wisconsin yesterday, the Alabama Crimson Tide would get that last spot in the CFP, a decision that shocked a lot of people. Despite Buckeye fans’ complaints, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama are the four best teams in college football, and those are the teams that deserve to play for a National Championship in January. Get back to me when Alabama loses by 31 to an unranked team.
Vote who you think will win the College Football Playoff in my Twitter poll:
Who wins the college football playoff?
— Alex Holder (@Alex_Holder_KSR) December 4, 2017
|DATE||GAME / LOC.||TIME / TV||TEAMS|
|Jan. 1||Peach Bowl
|No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 12 UCF|
|Michigan vs. South Carolina|
|Notre Dame vs. LSU|
|Louisville vs. Mississippi State|
|Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M|
|Dec. 29||Music City
|Kentucky vs. Northwestern|
|Texas vs. Missouri|
How could I forget Tennessee? If you have turned ESPN on in the last week, you know exactly what’s been going on in Rocky Top land. Former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer took the Athletic Director position in Knoxville on Friday following the firing of former AD John Currie and the crazy situation with Greg Schiano and the entire coaching search.
21 days after the firing of Butch Jones, Tennessee is still looking for a head coach. After what seems to be about 30 coaches turning down the job offer, I’m done guessing who the next Volunteer head coach will be. Your guess is just as good as mine.
Tennessee rn… pic.twitter.com/oRWpfIrRuJ
— Alex Holder (@Alex_Holder_KSR) November 27, 2017
It’s bowl time! The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded want to help you get ready to cheer on the UK football team in the Music City Bowl.
Head to ShopKSR.com to get your officially licensed apparel now! We have s/l sleeve tees and sweatshirts available. These items will make great holiday gifts as well. Get game day ready to cheer on the ‘Cats as they take on Northwestern in the Music City Bowl.
Following Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart’s press conference, three of Kentucky’s seniors took to the podium to discuss the bowl game.
Stephen Johnson talked about the differences between last year’s bowl game and this year’s bowl game and his recent performance (plus he shows off a new ‘do):
Courtney Love discussed his prior experience with the Nebraska football team, which young guys he sees stepping up and how much Lexington means to him:
Charles Walker talked about how beneficial these extra practices are to the team and the urgency of a bowl game win:
By Maggie Davis on ©December 03rd, 2017 @ 8:30pm
Following this afternoon’s exciting announcement that Kentucky will play in this year’s Music City Bowl, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart met with the media to talk the bowl game, the players’ actions in the Louisville game, and the conflict with the Music City Bowl and the UK vs. UofL basketball game.
He began by expressing his excitement surrounding the selection, citing the fun atmosphere and close-proximity of Nashville for Kentucky fans.
“It’s our fifth appearance in the [Music City] bowl game, and we have incredible friends in Nashville,” Barnhart said. “It’s a place that’s sort of become a second home to the University of Kentucky, and it’s a place our fans love to go to.”
Despite this excitement, Barnhart recognizes the potential conflict for fans due to a Kentucky-Louisville 1 p.m. basketball tip-off that same afternoon.
“I’m asking our fans to respond and join us in Nashville,” Barnhart said. “That’s a place we have had unbelievable support, and it’s a unique day in our program.”
He added that he’s working out a way for fans to enjoy both games. Plus, as Barnhart says, it’s the BIG Blue Nation for a reason: “there are plenty of fans to go around.”
“I hope the fans will be in Rupp Arena cheering on our basketball program that day, and I hope there will be another 25- 30,000 fans down in Nashville cheering our football program on. And if they can find that helicopter or that jet to get down the highway right after the game – perfect. That’s awesome. If they can’t, we just hope that they’ll be cheering for the Cats from wherever they happen to be that day.”
Another vital point Barnhart addressed was the behavior during the Louisville football game. From penalties to thrown trash cans, Barnhart was repetitive in expressing a singular idea: that behavior is not Kentucky football.
“What we saw last Saturday is not who we are, and it never has been. That’s not who we will be,” Barnhart said. “I will assure you that their focus will be on re-establishing the way that they have played on the field and the way they have represented this program on and off the field.”
When asked if he discussed the incidents with Mark Stoops, Barnhart confirmed he talked with the head coach about the off-field behavior.
“We talked about it. We lost our composure and I don’t think there’s any mystery in that. We got frustrated and we lost our composure,” Barnhart said. “Over the last two or three years, we’re one of the fewer penalized teams in the league. And frankly, most of those penalties have generally been holding or pass interference or things like that. That is not who we’ve been.”
He added the team will continue to deal with these issues internally.
“I think we’ll continue to manage most of those things internally. Mark did a good job of that – he addressed it. And I think we can work our way through that. But that’s not who we are.”
Watch the entirety of Barnhart’s press conference here:
By Nick Roush on ©December 03rd, 2017 @ 7:00pm
Kentucky can’t escape nerds.
Last year the Cats were forced to play Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl, a team that runs an outdated offense for fans who know how to code better than they know how to communicate with other humans. This year Kentucky is facing the Ivy League of the Big 10 from the Northside of Chicago.
Northwestern is known for many great things, all of which pale in comparison to their journalism program. A minor league system for sports journalists, most of the faces you see on ESPN went to Northwestern. How can you tell if they were Northwestern Wildcats? Just wait, they’ll let you know.
The leader of the Northwestern Nerds is Greeny, formerly the Mike’s Mike to Mike and Mike, he absolutely lost his mind when the Wildcats made the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time in 787 years. Not only was he sitting front row for all of the games, Mike grabbed the mic and led a pregame pep rally.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 18, 2017
Hopefully we will get to see another riveting “Win one for the Gipper” from Greeny in Nashville. If we can’t have that, I’ll gladly trade that to watch Northwestern alum Darren “D-Money” Rovell play basketball. The ESPN business reporter is best known for his niche Twitter game and his terrible basketball skills.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 2, 2016
“I am good at some sports, including running and tennis.”
Watching Darren Rovell play basketball (or do anything, really) is so awkward it legit makes me uncomfortable pic.twitter.com/FEcISSRh8N
— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) September 7, 2016
I could watch Rovell be awful at basketball all day and not stop laughing, but there are more Northwestern fish to fry, like Michael Wilbon. I don’t know what turned him into a Kentucky hater, but it’s almost as despicable as his affinity for the humblebrag.
And the list goes on and on, from Zach Braff and Zooey Deschanel to that one kid from the NCAA Tournament, Northwestern has every nerd demographic covered.
There’s only one way to keep the nerdy purple people away from Music City: fill it to the brim with blue. You know the drill. Buy your tickets and prepare for a bowl celebration the Big Blue Nation hasn’t seen in almost a decade.
By Nick Roush on ©December 03rd, 2017 @ 5:15pm
For the second consecutive year, Kentucky is playing an unfamiliar opponent in the postseason. The Cats had an SEC past with the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, but that’s not the case with Northwestern.
The two Wildcats have only met once on the football field. Northwestern defeated Kentucky 7-0 on October 20, 1928. Corey Price dug up The Courier-Journal article from 89 years ago.
Even though I have yet to extensively research UK’s bowl opponent, I can say with 100 percent confidence there will be more offense in the 2017 matchup than the 1928 game.
With more than 30,000 spectators in Evanston, Illinois, the young Wildcats gained just 71 yards to Northwestern’s 173. The home team picked up 15 first downs compared to Kentucky’s three. However, one electric first down came from old Baldy Gilb. Poor old Baldy had an unfortunate nickname and a 27-yard gain, the Cats’ biggest play of the game.
Ahead of the times, Northwestern aired it out against Kentucky. The “Purples” completed 9-of-18 passes for 116 yards, including a 20-yarder for a touchdown that was the game’s sole score.
Despite their lack of success against the pass, author Gerald Griffin blamed UK’s downfall on youth and poor punting. Kentucky averaged just 25 yards per punt and failed to ever flip the field. Surely Kentucky’s Australian kicker could do that with his eyes closed on Decebmer 29.
Even though the 89-year old matchup means nothing to this month’s game, it’s always fun to look back and see phrases like “oval,” “eleven,” “linesmen” and “bosom” used to describe a football game. Read the article in its entirety after the jump.
It’s official. For the first time in eight years, Kentucky will finish the season in the Music City Bowl.
Mark Stoops’ 7-5 Wildcats will take on Northwestern at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The December 29 matchup with the Wildcats kicks off at 4:30 ET on ESPN, three-and-a-half hours after Coach Cal’s Cats tip off against Louisville at Rupp Arena on CBS.
Mark Stoops and Mitch Barnhart issues statements following the official announcement.
“We’re very excited to have earned another bowl bid and honored to receive an invitation from the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl,” UK Coach Mark Stoops said. “Kentucky has a long history with this game and fans love going to Nashville. Taking on Northwestern will be a great challenge and we look forward to an exciting game.”
“We are proud to participate in the 20th Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and thankful to Scott Ramsey and the Nashville Sports Council for the invitation,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Congratulations to Coach Stoops and our team for reaching a bowl game for a second season in a row. The Big Blue Nation has made Nashville a second home for us and fan support is going to be so important as our team works for its eighth win. Dec. 29 is going to be a big day for the University of Kentucky.”
Following a five-year postseason drought, Stoops has led Kentucky to consecutive bowl berths. After falling to Georgia Tech in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, the Cats return to their postseason home away from home. Rich Brooks brought UK to the Music City Bowl three times from 2006-09. Kentucky’s 28-20 win over Clemson in 2006 was the Cats’ first postseason victory in 22 years. The following year UK defeated Florida State 35-28 in Andre Woodson’s final game.
Paint Nashville Blue. Tickets start at just $22 and can be purchased here. Get the good ones before they’re gone.
Kentucky football may be taking a break for a few weeks, but we saw one of the biggest college football weekends we’ve seen in quite some time.
We touched on some of the last night’s wild results this morning, including Clemson’s demolition of Miami, Oklahoma dominating against TCU, Georgia’s revenge blowout against Auburn, and Ohio State squeaking out a victory against undefeated Wisconsin.
As a result, the College Football Playoff committee announced today the final four teams are Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama.
It will be Clemson vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma vs. Georgia in the Rose Bowl.
So far, the public opinion has been interesting…
I'm no Ohio State fan. BUT THE BUCKEYES JUST GOT ALL-TIME ROBBED OF THE FOURTH SPOT IN THE PLAYOFFS. OHIO STATE IS BETTER THAN ALABAMA, WHICH GOT DOMINATED BY AUBURN AND WHOSE DEFENSE GAVE UP 150+ RUSHING THE LAST THREE GAMES.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 3, 2017
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) December 3, 2017
Alabama gets in at No. 4, and the committee got it right. Good for them.
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) December 3, 2017
— KentuckyDude (@JHNNsports) December 3, 2017
Yeah, I mean, Ohio State has nothing to complain about. Don’t lose by 31 to Iowa.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) December 3, 2017
Soooo don’t book tough out of conference games anymore folks. #CFBplayoffs
— Hello Jerry (@JerryScherwin) December 3, 2017
Dang…Bama got in over us.
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 3, 2017
Kirby Hocutt: Alabama was clearly the No. 4 team ranked team in the country even as a non-conference champion.
— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) December 3, 2017
What do you guys think?