Kentucky is one game away from clinching its first bowl berth since 2010 and this →
By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 3:00pm
According to these numbers from Saturday Down South back in August, Mark Stoops jumped up from dead last to sixth in the conference pay scale with his new deal. Only Nick Saban, Kevin Sumlin, Les Miles, Steve Spurrier and Gus Malzahn are paid more, and all five of those guys are former SEC Coaches of the Year.
Stoops now makes an average of $3.225 million per season, just ahead of Bret Bielema and Mark Richt for the sixth biggest paycheck.
Meanwhile, Dan Mullen, head coach of the nation’s No. 1 team, takes over Stoops’ spot at the very bottom. (I hear Florida pays well, Dan.)
By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 2:36pm
Mark Stoops is set to be the head football coach at the University of Kentucky through the 2019 season after signing his second extension in six months earlier today. Mitch Barnhart said the new deal isn’t to reward Stoops for his five wins this season, but because the way things are headed under Stoops’ direction. “This is about the general trajectory and direction of our program,” said Barnhart. “That is what this is about.”
Stoops, who insists he has no interest in leaving Lexington any time soon, told reporters it was a short conversation before signing the new deal and he didn’t think twice about it. He feels the commitment from the university and its athletic department and he is equally committed in return. “We’re committed to each other.”
As for the actual deal, you can find every thing you need to know, short and simple, listed below:
— The deal has no buyout. Barnhart said he doesn’t believe in buyouts. He wants coaches who want to be at Kentucky.
— The compensation for his final season in the contract went from $2.65 million in 2018 to $4.25 million in 2019. The new guaranteed numbers look like this: $3.25 million, 2015; $3.5 million, 2016; $3.75 million, 2017; $4.0 million, 2018; $4.25 million, 2019.
— Stoops will earn a $250,000 bonus for every win past his sixth each season. So when he wins 10 games in 2015, Mrs. Stoops is getting a brand new car!
— He will earn $200,000 if UK wins the SEC Championship or plays in a BCS bowl. I will be getting a brand new car if either of those happen, on my own dime.
— He will earn another $200,000 if UK wins the National Championship. We will burn several cars, new and old, if that happens.
— Coach Cal thinks Mark Stoops is the perfect fit:
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) October 31, 2014
By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 2:14pm
His name is being tossed around as a candidate for other jobs at season’s end, but Mark Stoops didn’t think twice before signing his new contract extension with the University of Kentucky. He met with the media before boarding the plane to Missouri this afternoon and spoke very highly of his relationship with Mitch Barnhart, the university, and his football program.
“We’re committed to each other,” said Stoops, several times. “I have the same commitment back to these kids and the program. It’s a great relationship and I plan on being here for a long time.”
He said the Stoops family was built on loyalty and he feels the loyalty here at Kentucky.
“I’m here, I’m happy to be the head coach and I’m looking forward to many more years,” he added. “I’m not interested in going anywhere.”
Now let’s go out there and clinch this bowl game.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 1:00pm
Get that money, Coach Stoops!
Not even six months after signing a contract extension, Mark Stoops has agreed to another contract extension that will keep him at Kentucky through 2019. Mitch Barnhart had this to say:
Mark is guiding our program in the direction we all want it to go and we are proud to reward that. I was confident Mark was right for this job when I hired him, but he has exceeded my expectations. From leading a group of young men to recruiting to fundraising, Mark has embraced and excelled in all facets of this job. I am excited about the progress our team has shown on the field, but this is as much about the next five years as it is the last 1.5. As I’ve said before, I believe we can compete at the highest level in the toughest conference. Coach Stoops is the coach to take us there.
He’s just getting started, bro.
Update: We will have a live press conference with Mark Stoops streaming on KSR at 2:00 pm. Cats.
Thirty minutes is a long time to sit down and watch a YouTube video, but this one may be worth a half-hour of your life. It features, well, everything. It features literally everything from Calipari’s run at Kentucky, including shots from the haters and his best moments.
Watch it if you have time. If you don’t have time, save it for later, but watch it.
The Associated Press released its Preseason Top 25 for the upcoming college basketball season and the No. 1 squad is none other than your University of Kentucky Wildcats, for the second year in a row. UK received 52 first place votes to earn the top spot over Arizona, Wisconsin, Duke and Kansas, in that order.
Arizona, you mad?
By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 11:04am
Senior defensive lineman Matt Hoch explains why he likes the new Tiger look from Nike in the video below. “Those who win in November will be remembered,” he says. Prepare to be forgotten, sir.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 9:55am
Louisville fans, we know you listen every morning, so tune on in today to hear a fun show that will certainly lift your spirits after last night’s collapse. Matt and Ryan will be teasing you about the loss while looking ahead to Kentucky’s win at Missouri tomorrow. They’ll preview the game and take calls from Big Blue Nation as we head into the weekend.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
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By Drew Franklin on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 9:30am
It was going so well for the home team in Papa John’s Stadium last night, and then reality sank in, producing some of the best fan shots you’ll ever see. Let’s enjoy some of those as we start our Friday on the right foot, the foot that will forever laugh at Louisville’s misery.
And the star of the night: Mr. Two Cut-Offs in 40 degree weather…
By Bryan the Intern on ©October 31st, 2014 @ 9:00am
I think it is WAY TOO EARLY to talk about Patrick Towles NFL abilities and if he will or will not ever play in the league. Let us not forget that midway through the 2007 season Andre Woodson was a 1st round draft pick. He had the size and accuracy. He ended up a 6th round pick and never played a snap in the league. Assuming Towles doesn’t leave after this year, which I think we all can admit in unlikely, he has at minimum a season and half of college football left. With that said, it is not too early to look ahead to the college year next season and just where Towles might rank among potential SEC QB’s.
Below is how I would breakdown the 2015 SEC quarterback race as it stands now. With each team listed, I have also any quarterback recruits they already have committed who are ranked a Top 25 QB by rivals.com.
There are 4 teams in the SEC who will be guaranteed to have a starter next year with no career starts. Those 4 teams are:
Alabama- Jake Coker (Sr.): 0 career starts, Blake Barnett (#1 ranked QB)
Ole Miss- Ryan Buchanan (RS So): 0 career starts
Georgia- Faton Bauta (RS So.): 0 career starts
South Carolina- Connor Mitch (RS So.): 0 career starts, Lorenzo Nunez (#7 ranked QB)
You have to take those 4 teams out of the mix because nobody knows just how good their backup or recruits will be. There are also 2 teams that will be replacing all-star quarterbacks next year with guys who have started because of injury but have fewer than 2 starts:
Auburn- Jeremy Johnson (Jr.): 2 career starts
Mississippi State- Damien Williams (Jr.): 1 career start, Chason Virgil (#17 ranked QB), Nick Tiano (#23 ranked QB)
OK, that is 6 of the 13 SEC schools that have basically no chance of coming into next season with a quarterback with the credentials Patrick Towles will have. I also think there are another 4 teams with quaterbacks coming back who have shown nowhere near the potential or talent that Towles has and can’t be disputed:
Florida- Jeff Driskel (Sr.): 22 career starts OR Treon Harris (So.): o career starts, Sheriron Jones (#10 ranked QB)
LSU- Anthony Jennings (Jr.): 8 career starts
Vanderbilt- Wade Freebeck (So.): 4 career starts OR Johnny McCrary (RS So.): 2 career starts
Tennessee- Joshua Dobbs: 4 career starts, Quentin Dormady (#14 ranked QB)
That leaves us with 4 options for best SEC quarterback coming into next year. Here is how I would rank them based on what we have seen so far:
4. Missouri- Maty Mauk (Jr.): 12 career starts, Drew Lock (#6 ranked QB)
-I barely left Mauk on this list because he has been abysmal many times this season, but he showed flashes last year of being a legit QB. In his 4 SEC starts last year, he threw 10 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. This season in his 4 SEC games, he has 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. It’s all a matter of which Mauk you get, which will likely decide the outcome of this weekend’s game by the way.
3. Texas A&M- Kenny Hill (Jr.): 8 career starts, Kyler Murray (#3 ranked QB)
-Hill might actually drop off this list as Texas A&M has reopened it’s quarterback position. 4 weeks into the season Hill was a top Heisman candidate but the SEC schedule stiffened up and Hill’s game has declined. Even still, he has four different games with 4 touchdown passes this season and when that offense is clicking, might be the best talent of the bunch.
2. Arkansas- Brandon Allen (Sr.): 20 career starts, Ty Storey (#5 ranked QB)
-Allen will be the only 3-year starter next year, assuming Driskel doesn’t hold on to the job at Florida. It will be his 3rd year in the Beilema system and this year he has taken a large jump forward. 15 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this year. Will likely be hindered some by a run-first offense, but I look for him to potentially lead Arkansas to a 7 or 8 win year next season.
1. Kentucky- Patrick Towles (RS Jr.): 9 career starts
-This might seem like a homer pick, but I think Towles has been the most consistent QB of the bunch. Beyond the LSU game, he has been good or very good in every other game. He now has a running capibility and has more pure tools than Allen. Add in the fact that his ceiling seems higher having only started 9 games and I think next year Towles will be the best QB (coming into the season) in the SEC.
Yes, there’s a lot of UofL-centric tweets in this top-ten. FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. We will focus most of our attention on relevant Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as per usual, there are no limits to our madness. You, the KSR fans, can also participate in our top-10 tweet countdown by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTopTen, or by tweeting @KySportsRadio.
#10 Paul Finebaum
The public got what it deserved tonight by cheering for Bob Petrino.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 31, 2014
Shame on the public.
#9 King Tyler D
. @KySportsRadio wow Murray St. and Morehead St. getting some love
— TD (@KingTylerD) October 30, 2014
Congrats to those guys.
#8 Clemson Tom
The look you give when you've been buying her drinks all night and at 2 AM she says she has a boyfriend pic.twitter.com/lZ7npIGwuA
— Clemson Tom (@ClemsonTom) October 31, 2014
#7 Andrew Batson
— Andrew Batson (@A_Batson) October 30, 2014
Rules are rules.
#6 Lost Lettermen
Fun fact: Tonight's game is the 1st – and last – game Bobby Petrino won't be the most hated man on the football field pic.twitter.com/pCRMv9hYvW
— LostLettermen.com (@LostLettermen) October 30, 2014
A high honor.
#5 Jenny Wittenauer
— Jenny Wittenauer (@JLynnWitty) October 31, 2014
#4 Robert Rogers
— Robert Rogers (@robertwrogers83) October 30, 2014
#3 Bomani Jones
well, florida st just rolled a 7. and those two louisville fans are gonna be all over the twitter shortly.
— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) October 31, 2014
Those two are so worked up.
#2 Ryan Nanni
Look, until a prosecutor charges FSU with being down 21-0, I'm withholding judgment.
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) October 31, 2014
We can never know what really happened though, can we?
#1 Corey J
'Bro, what you wearin to the game?' 'My cutoff.' 'Bro, it's 40 degrees out.' 'Ok. I'll wear my other cutoff too.' pic.twitter.com/9f1A8GbqpN
— Corey J (@cjuk33) October 31, 2014
This is #1. Possibly, forevermore.
Happy Hallows’ Eve…Eve, friends. Enjoy the end of that Louisville/Florida State game? Me too. Props to the Cards for giving the ‘Noles a scare, but in the end, the defending National Champs were just too much. A few sad Cards screencaps and then let’s move on…
Just when you thought Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium couldn’t get any smellier.
I’m headed up to Kentucky tomorrow on the rare weekend the Cats are out of town to help my brother-in-law celebrate his birthday, so let’s get this news and views rolling so I can go pack. Ready? Ready.
Stoops acknowledges a sense of urgency within the program
After insisting earlier this week that his team isn’t thinking about bowl eligibility, Mark Stoops admitted today there is some anxiety about getting that sixth win. “I feel there’s a sense of urgency – I do – within our program. I don’t know if that’s the reason or if it’s because we feel like we’ve had a decent season, we’ve improved and there’s still a lot more to go. So we really want to finish strong.” Yesterday, Bud Dupree told reporters how much he’d enjoy being able to celebrate a win on the plane ride home for once, and Stoops said that when that happens, it will be a sight to behold. “Well, I think it would be another milestone if you will, or a goal that we want to do. We don’t hide from that. I’ve talked to them about that. Let’s get on the plane to go there with a strong mindset and let’s be joyous on that return.”
However, first thing’s first. Beat Mizzou.
That’ll require a better running game
Let’s be honest: outside of Patrick Towles, UK’s running game was terrible against Mississippi State. Missouri has given up -5 yards on 75 rushes to quarterbacks this season, so Towles may not be able to bail the running backs out as much this week. Stoops said that for Kentucky to have a chance in Columbia, they must improve the rush attack. “We always want to have that balance. It only helps us with simple things, you know: killing the clock, changing field position, giving the defense a rest,” Stoops said. “We continue to work on the run game and being more physical and having the backs make some big plays for us.”
Boom’s back, but Borden’s out
Thankfully, Boom Williams will be back to help the run game out. Stoops said a week off to recover from his concussion was just the medicine Boom needed. “He’s looked good. Should be pretty fresh. Any time you get some time off and then come back, could help that way.”
Unfortunately, Steven Borden will not play on Saturday. Borden sat out last game’s week, and today, Stoops said that Borden’s injury may be more serious than the staff originally thought. Estimated time of return? “It may be a couple weeks or more. I’m not sure. But certainly not playing this week.”
Before he was into Harry Potter, Patrick Towles was into pirates
If anyone knows where a 6’5″ person can get Quidditch robes, please let Patrick know by tomorrow night. He’s looking.
6 of 7 ESPN experts picked UK to beat Missouri
In defense of his pick, Alex Scarborough writes that UK will win because “Missouri just can’t seem to get it together,” citing the Tigers’ struggles against Vandy last week. “And Kentucky is no Vanderbilt,” Scarborough says. “With a true playmaker at quarterback and a better-than-expected defense, Kentucky will give Missouri fits on both sides of the ball and win on the road.”
I like it.
The Cat Walk in Columbia will start at 1 p.m. Central
For those of you making the trip to Columbia for Saturday’s game, the Cat Walk will take place at approximately 1 p.m. CT outside Gate 6W. Mississippi State had a really impressive showing outside CWS when their team arrived last week, so let’s make the Cat Walk as good on the road as it is at home. Za’Darius Smith’s smile is totally worth it
UK Basketball got some air time on “The McCarthys”
“The McCarthys” is a new CBS sitcom starring Joey McIntyre, and several of you wrote us to say that a clip of an old UK/Indiana game was shown at one point. The show takes place in Boston, so maybe the characters are UK fans because of Rondo and James Young?
Antonio Blakeney is visiting this weekend
One item that’s slipped under the radar amidst all the news is Antonio Blakeney’s official visit to campus this weekend. Blakeney originally planned to visit UK for Big Blue Madness, but had to reschedule. Blakeney will visit LSU next weekend, and is also considering Missouri, North Carolina, and NC State. He’s scheduled to arrive on campus Saturday, and I would assume he’ll stick around for UK’s exhibition game against Pikeville on Sunday. The Cats are currently a 54% favorite in his Crystal Ball.
I need this UK onesie that Tyler Ulis gave Devin Booker
Today was Devin Booker’s birthday, and his roommate Tyler Ulis gave him this amazing UK onesie.
That’ll do it for tonight. I’ll leave you with the Vince Marrow dancing GIF, just because.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 30th, 2014 @ 10:00pm
The new LeBron Soldiers. Last week, UK Equipment unveiled the custom Kevin Durant “KD7″s:
Which do you prefer?
Also, in case you missed it, LeBron’s intro at the Cavaliers game tonight:
And, of course, the chalk toss: