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Why Kentucky Will Not Sell 40,000 Season Tickets

UK Athletics is making a final push to sell more than Kentucky football 40,000 season tickets, a mark last surpassed in Mark Stoops’ first season that will be extremely difficult to reach.

The athletic department launched a Yahtzee! campaign in July to help get to 40,000.  If enough tickets are sold, one section of fans will play Yahtzee! at each home game for a chance to win two free 2018 season tickets.  As of today, there have only been 33,553 season tickets sold according to Joe Mussato.

There’s still more than two and a half weeks until UK opens Kroger Field against Eastern Kentucky, but there are two reasons why UK will not sell 40,000 season tickets in 2017.

Better, Cheaper Options

Season ticket sales have dipped nationwide over the last five years, thanks to expansive TV deals that make almost every game available in HD.  That’s not the better option I’m talking about.

Launched last year, UK now offers a “Pocket Pass.”  Instead of spending $310 for upper level season tickets, you can by a virtual pocket pass for all seven home games for just $205.  The only catch: your seats change before every game.  Some may see that as a negative, but at times you can get lucky enough to sit in the lower level.  The Pocket Pass does not count toward UK’s season ticket sales total.

The best deal is the flex pack.  You can have lower level tickets for three games at just $174.  The three games aren’t bad, and you have options.

Fans can get good seats for big games, then buy tickets for the rest on the day of the game.  Choosing either of these packages over an expensive season ticket commitment is a no-brainer.

The Move

My family had season tickets for UK football games every of Commonwealth Stadium’s existence, until last year.  One reason why that’s no longer the case: my parents now spend most of their Saturdays watching my brother play at WKU.  Still, through his first two years of college football, my parents held onto their seats, attended a few games each year and gave the rest away to friends.  Why get rid of them now?  The seats.

Our seats were not great seats.  They were halfway up the upper deck on the 40-yard line.  In the move, they were actually able to move to a better location closer to the field.  That doesn’t mean the seats were better.

My parents were moved away from people they had befriended and set next to for decades.  Those people were replaced by obnoxious jerks.  It was so bad, one guy in the row in front of them wore a UofL jersey to every game.  Why pay to be annoyed the entire game?

That person is an exception to the rule, but my family’s story is a microcosm of the larger problem created when fans were forced to move their seats.  Fans liked where they were and who they were with at Commonwealth Stadium.  While the upper class received luxurious benefits, the lower class of fans received no benefit and were forced away from the place they used to call home seven Saturdays a year.


When changes happen, you can’t please everybody.  Unfortunately, this change displeased enough people for the common fan to discard their season tickets to pursue other, more affordable options.

More wins and postseason play have inspired fans to purchase more season tickets, but less than you’d expect.  UK is still 125 season tickets short of surpassing last year’s total and 6,467 short of its ultimate goal.  Yahtzee! has helped brought more talent to campus, but it will not bring in more than 40,000 season-ticket holders.

If you’d like to prove me wrong, you can buy season, single game, Pocket Pass or the three-game Flex Pack tickets here.  


Why the South Carolina game is the most important of Kentucky’s season

Why the South Carolina game is the most important of Kentucky’s season

Last season, Kentucky made some noise with an upset over No. 11 Louisville and its first bowl game since 2010. This season, a favorable schedule gives the Cats a chance to take the next step; however, that all hinges on the September 16 showdown with South Carolina in Columbia.

The Cats have beaten the Gamecocks three years in a row, but with one of the most promising quarterbacks in the league in Jake Bentley, Will Muschamp has started to turn things around in his second season. Every game on the schedule is important, but here’s why Kentucky’s trip to Columbia could make or break a breakthrough season for Mark Stoops.

A win would further establish Kentucky’s position in the East

Not only has Kentucky beaten South Carolina three years straight, they’ve finished ahead of them in the SEC East standings two years in a row. The end of the Steve Spurrier era and start of the Will Muschamp era made for rocky times in Columbia, which Kentucky was able to capitalize on to get its first taste of SEC success. The Cats’ win over the Gamecocks in 2014 was the first defining victory of the Mark Stoops era, and the win in Columbia in 2015 was Stoops’ first on the road. Last year’s seven-point win in Commonwealth Stadium had some scary moments, but the Cats survived thanks to a crucial tackle by Denzil Ware on 4th down of the Gamecocks’ last drive. After a disastrous season-opening loss to Southern Miss, the win over South Carolina helped Kentucky steady the ship.

Conditions won’t be as favorable this go around. Not only will the game take place under the lights at a blacked-out Williams-Brice Stadium, the Gamecocks have sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley, considered one of the best young quarterbacks in the conference. Bentley didn’t play vs. Kentucky last year, but after winning the starting job midseason, he helped the Gamecocks finish strong and go to a bowl. Did I mention the part about South Carolina fans losing their minds to “Sandstorm”?

The last time UK beat an SEC opponent four years in a row other than Vandy? Florida back in 1948, 49, 50, and 51. For the Cats to continue to push forward in the SEC East, they need to continue their dominance of the Gamecocks.

A win could mean a 3-0 record heading into the Florida game

Say Kentucky wins its first two games over Southern Miss and Eastern Kentucky. A win over South Carolina would not only get them halfway to bowl eligibility, it would give them a serious boost of momentum heading into a home game vs. Florida. I don’t need to remind you that the Gators’ winning streak over the Cats now sits at 30. Kentucky has come close to knocking off Florida in recent years (damn you, 2014 play clock!), but last year’s blowout in Gainesville proves that the streak is definitely in Kentucky’s head. Beat South Carolina and you roll into the game on a freight train of momentum; lose to South Carolina, and any fear or doubts are that much easier to reach for.

A win could be the secret to 8-4

When looking at the schedule, I break it down into “Should win,” “Should lose,” and “Toss Up” games:

September 2 at Southern Miss Should win
September 9 EASTERN KENTUCKY Should win
September 16 at South Carolina Toss Up
September 23 FLORIDA Should lose
September 30 EASTERN MICHIGAN Should win
October 7 MISSOURI Should win
October 21 at Mississippi State Should lose
October 28 TENNESSEE Toss Up
November 4 MISSISSIPPI Should win
November 11 at Vanderbilt Should win
November 18 at Georgia Should lose
November 25 LOUISVILLE Toss Up

Per that line of thinking, Kentucky has three “Toss Up” games this season: at South Carolina, vs. Tennessee, and vs. Louisville. (Louisville’s probably more of a “Should Lose” game, but after last season, I couldn’t help but put it into the “Toss Up” category, especially since it’s at home.) Win at South Carolina and you allow yourself a slip up in the other Toss Up games to get to 8-4. Lose and you have to beat both Tennessee and Louisville (or one of the two and Florida), which seems like a daunting task.

It can be a scary thought as a Kentucky fan, but the Cats have a chance to do something really special this season. In order for that to happen, they have to beat South Carolina in Columbia on September 16.


Six Wildcats named All-SEC by league coaches

Six Wildcats named All-SEC by league coaches

Six of Mark Stoops’ Kentucky Wildcats have been named Preseason All-SEC by the coaches of the Southeastern Conference.

Leading the way for the Cats, defensive end/linebacker Denzil Ware and linebacker Jordan Jones earned second-team defense selections. Jones led the SEC in solo tackles in 2016, while Ware ranked second on the team in sacks and tackles for a loss.

Tight end C.J. Conrad and running back Benny Snell were named to the third team, as well as safety Mike Edwards for his defense and kicker Austin MacGinnis on special teams.

Check out the complete All-SEC teams:


First Team Preseason All-SEC

OFFENSE

TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

OL Braden Smith, Auburn
OLMartez Ivey, Florida
OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
OL Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama

C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas

WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama

QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama

RB Derrius Guice, LSU
RB Nick Chubb, Georgia

AP Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

DEFENSE

DL Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
DL Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
DL Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss
DL Trenton Thompson, Georgia

LB Arden Key, LSU
LB Skai Moore, South Carolina
LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
DBArmani Watts, Texas A&M
DB Duke Dawson, Florida
DB Ronnie Harrison, Alabama

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Daniel Carlson, Auburn

P JK Scott, Alabama

RS Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

Second Team Preseason All-SEC

OFFENSE

TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia

OL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
OL K.J. Malone, LSU
OL Koda Martin, Texas A&M
OL Paul Adams, Missouri*
OL Greg Little, Ole Miss
OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia*

C Will Clapp, LSU

WR J’Mon Moore, Missouri
WR Antonio Callaway, Florida

QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

RB Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama

AP Derrius Guice, LSU

DEFENSE

DL Cece Jefferson, Florida
DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn
DL Jabari Zuniga, Florida
DL Denzil Ware, Kentucky*
DL Dontavius Russell, Auburn*

LB Jordan Jones, Kentucky
LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
LB Tre’ Williams, Auburn

DB Donte Jackson, LSU
DB Dominick Sanders, Georgia
DB Carlton Davis, Auburn
DB Tray Matthews, Auburn

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Gary Wunderlich, Ole Miss

P Johnny Townsend, Florida

RS Evan Berry, Tennessee

Third Team Preseason All-SEC

OFFENSE

TE C.J. Conrad, Kentucky*
TE DeAndre Goolsby, Florida*

OL Jashon Robertson, Tennessee
OL Jawaan Taylor, Florida
OL Zack Bailey, South Carolina
OL Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas

C Bradley Bozeman, Alabama

WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee

QB Austin Allen, Arkansas

RB Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
RB Benny Snell, Kentucky

AP Brandon Powell, Florida*
AP Deebo Samuel, South Carolina*
AP Kerryon Johnson, Auburn*
AP Trevon Diggs, Alabama*

DEFENSE

DL Terry Beckner, Jr., Missouri
DL Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
DL Christian LaCouture, LSU
DL Marcell Frazier, Missouri

LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt
LB Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama
LB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia

DB Anthony Averett, Alabama
DB Mike Edwards, Kentucky
DB Chauncey Gardner, Florida
DB Ryan Pulley, Arkansas

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK Austin MacGinnis, Kentucky*
PK Eddy Piniero, Florida*

P Trevor Daniel, Tennessee

RS Antonio Callaway, Florida

(* – denotes ties)


Go Cats.


NCAA coaches crush Pitino in anonymous poll about UofL, UNC

CBSSports.com is back with its “Candid Coaches” summer series in which it polls over one hundred college basketball coaches about a variety of basketball-related topics, anonymously.

In today’s “Candid Coaches” feature, the website asked the coaches, “Will the NCAA take titles away from UNC or Louisville?”

58 percent of them said, yes, Louisville will lose its 2013 national championship; while only 21 percent said they believe UNC will be stripped of any of its titles.

CBS then shared some of the best quotes, which include:

— “Trust me, we know everything that goes on our with our program. And so did Rick Pitino.” 

“We know what our guys are doing on and off campus. You going to tell me you have a stripper party, people going in and out of that building, and nobody knows about it?” 

“I don’t see how Louisville keeps that title. They played ineligible players in the tournament.”

It’s a pretty interesting read from a very interesting poll of the coaches — job well done to you, CBS college basketball crew.

Click here to read what more coaches had to say about the scandal.


2017 Kentucky Football Position Previews: Offensive Line

KSR’s preseason position previews series continues with John Schlarman’s offensive line.  Don’t miss earlier previews of the Wide ReceiversRunning Backs and Quarterbacks.

The Personnel 

The Leader: Following the loss of Cole Mosier, there’s no denying the leader in the offensive line’s meeting room is Nick Haynes.  A consummate professional, Haynes has played every position on UK’s offensive line.  That experience gives him credibility to provide praise and critique to underclassmen across the entire line.  When Haynes speaks, everybody listens.  Now in his fifth year as a redshirt senior, where he will play remains a mystery, but the most likely destination for an All-SEC performer is right guard.

Mobile Interior Linemen:  Each player knows a variety of positions on the offensive line, so it’s easier to group them together than by each specific position.  The interior linemen are the most versatile.  It starts in the middle with three centers that can also play guard: Bunchy Stallings, Drake Jackson and Haynes.  Stallings will be tasked to replace Jon Toth.  More powerful and athletic than his predecessor, I do not foresee Bunchy rotating out of his position often to ensure a clean, comfortable and consistent exchange between quarterback and center.

The guy you need to keep an eye on is Logan Stenberg.  The trash-talking, nasty “big dude with a ponytail” is always prepared to pop somebody in the mouth.  An All-SEC freshman in 2016, the mauler will make a few pancakes this year you can’t miss from any corner of Kroger Field.  Stenberg will play Haynes’ former position at left guard, while Haynes commands the right guard position.

The Tackles: Following Cole Mosier’s injury, former five-star high school All-American Landon Young has been thrust into the role as Kentucky’s primary left tackle.  The 6’7″ 305-pounder was thrown into the fire a year ago and excelled; he actually received more reps at left tackle than Mosier did by the season’s end.

As the line currently stands, if Young needs a break, senior Kyle Meadows will be bumped from the right side to the left.  In Meadows’ stead will be “Big” George Asafo-Adjei.  Big George is one of the rare instances where a lineman plays tackle and guard, but the junior has received significant snaps at both spots on the right side of the line.

Rising NewcomersThe most talked about young offensive lineman at training camp was Mason Wolfe.  The Henderson, Kentucky native spent his redshirt season learning offensive tackle.  This year they pumped him down to guard and center.  Following Mosier’s injury, Wolfe’s received more reps at tackle, making him arguably the most versatile man on the line behind Haynes.

Luke Fortner, Tate Leavitt and Drake Jackson all received shout outs from Schlarman at one point during camp, but the name that might shock you is true freshman Naasir Watkins.  The 6’5″ 300 pound left tackle from Laurel, Maryland has received rave reviews from the entire offensive coaching staff, who like to compare Watkins to where Landon Young was a year ago.  There’s usually a rule against playing true freshmen, but Watkins might be an exception to that rule.

The Storylines 

ColeMosier71 | IG

Who will replace Mosier? — Obviously, it’s Landon Young.  The bigger question is who will become the No. 2 left tackle and can they be trusted as much as Young was trusted last year?  Just from watching Watkins practice, it’s possible, but it might be wise to give him a redshirt, putting two years between the two left tackles instead of just one.

If the Cats opt to use Meadows as UK’s second left tackle option, Big George will play more tackle than guard, putting him out of position.  He can do it, but his best fit is at guard.  Regardless, of what Schlarman decides, there will be a lot of moving parts.

How Deep is UK’s Rotation? — As of right now, Schlarman trusts eight guys.  That’s a solid rotation, but that doesn’t replicate the nine-man platoon system Kentucky operated in 2016.  He wants to have ten reliable bodies on the travel squad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all ten have to play regularly.  Young and Stallings will play the majority of the snaps while the other three positions rotate more frequently.

Nick Haynes has Diabetes — People are wasting their time talking about this.  If you think it’s a big deal, I’m willing to throw fisticuffs.

Haynes has had Type I Diabetes for three years.  Throughout that time he’s played the best football of his career.  Now people are wondering if he can maintain his weight because they found out he has a health issue.

STOP IT!

He played at 260 last year in the bowl game and was the highest-graded offensive lineman on one of the best offensive lines in the country.  This is an issue he’s always dealt with and handled appropriately.  Just because we know about it now will not change how he handles it during his senior season.

On a personal note, Haynes is a great guy.  A respectful young man from a military family who’s bowled multiple 300 games, he’s much more than an offensive lineman.  Kentucky fans should be proud to have Haynes represent their team.

The Prediction 

John Schlarman can’t remember the last time there was a fumble on a snap, thanks to Jon Toth’s four years of service.  That will change in 2017.  That’s not a knock on Bunchy Stallings.  In fact, Stallings is a superior athlete to Toth and has a year of full-time experience bullying SEC opponents at guard.  However, he’s new and mistakes happen.  They didn’t happen under Toth, but there will be at least one timely bad snap that will frustrate fans this year.

The player behind Bunchy on the depth chart, Drake Jackson, will not see much action in his redshirt season.  Stenberg, Stallings and Haynes are arguably the best on the offensive linemen and he is behind them on the depth chart.

Landon Young will receive all of the left tackle reps to start the season, but midway through the season Watkins’ name will be called.  Injuries and fatigue will force the Cats from saving him from using a redshirt, unless Mason Wolfe exceeds expectations.

Overall, it will be difficult to replicate last season’s success in the trenches.  The Cats lost experience at the two most important positions: center (Toth) and left tackle (Mosier).  The line’s play will not be a problem for fans to worry about, but I’ll be surprised if Schlarman’s group dominates like they did in the final nine games of the 2016 season.


KSR’s 3rd Annual Restaurant/Fast Food Bracket

KSR’s 3rd Annual Restaurant/Fast Food Bracket

For the third year in a row, KSR is tackling the biggest debate of our generation: What is the best fast food/chain restaurant in America?

Two years ago, Qdoba beat out Subway for the title, and last year, Outback upset Cracker Barrel in a debate that went all the way to the Republican National Convention. This year, we’re doing it all again. Behold the bracket below in all its glory below (click to enlarge):

Let’s take a closer look at each region. On this morning’s show, the guys did round one in the East.

The East Region:

The West Region:

The South Region:

The Midwest Region:

Hear the East Region debate on today’s show, which included former UK football coach Rich Brooks breaking a tie between Cane’s and O’Charley’s.

The entire bracket including the East Region Round 1 results:


College seniors to play 3-on-3 for $100K at Final Four

College seniors to play 3-on-3 for $100K at Final Four

3-on-3 is coming to college basketball.

A company called Intersport announced it has created the 3-on-3 College Hoops Invitational, a 3-on-3 tournament that will be played at the 2018 Final Four in San Antonio. The competing teams will consist only of college seniors and they will be playing for a $100,000 grand prize.

“All participating players must be seniors that have exhausted their collegiate eligibility,” the release from Intersport read.

The new tournament coincides with the recent explosion of 3-on-3 basketball over the last year. Ice Cube’s Big 3 league has seen much success in its inaugural season, and the Olympics announced 3-on-3 will be added to the 2020 games.

As for the rosters for the 3-on-3 College Hoops Invitational, those will be decided at a later date.

The format for the games is as follows:

— Played in the halfcourt on one basket

— Two teams of four total players

— 12-second shot clock

— One point per basket inside the arc, two points per basket behind the arc

— First team to reach 21 points or best score after 10 minutes wins

Click here for more details.

Kentucky won’t be participating because it does not have any seniors this season, and we may never see the Cats involved with the way Calipari turns them over.


UofL could learn a thing or two from a German high school

A Berlin school is making changes to its campus and the University of Louisville should take notes.

Französisches Gymnasium Berlin, a high school in Germany’s capital city, is building an anti-prostitute fence to separate its students from the hookers that parade the surrounding area. The school saw a collection of discarded condoms on its grounds before the administration decided to build the wall.

The district school inspector said that, similar to the troubles at UofL, “There were always complaints about unscrupulous characters including prostitutes walking shamelessly and illegally into school grounds.”

The only difference between the two schools, as far as I can tell, is: the German prostitutes were not provided to the students by a school employee, as they were at Louisville; the German prostitutes wandered onto campus on their own from the city’s street prostitution scene. It’s also very unlikely the prostitution will have an effect on Französisches Gymnasium’s basketball records.

Berlin school installs anti-prostitute fence


Alex Poythress’ two-way deal with the Pacers, explained

Alex Poythress’ two-way deal with the Pacers, explained

The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement created two new roster spots for each of the league’s 30 organizations, extending rosters from 15 to 17 players this upcoming season. The new rule will add 60 players to the NBA, including Alex Poythress, who signed a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers this week.

So what’s a two-way contract, you ask?

Good question.

A two-way contract is the new player option that will make up the final two roster spots on each team. Two-way players will spend most of their time in the G-League; however, they can spend up to 45 days with the NBA team that signed them. In Poythress’ case, he will be allocated to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ G-League affiliate, but he can be called up to the Pacers at anytime for up to 45 days.

Financially, the two-way contract pays more than other G-League deals. Two-way players will make up to $75,000 per season, which is much higher than the $26,000 maximum salary for one-way G-League players. If called up to the NBA, two-way players will make the rookie minimum while in the league, which is $815,615 annually for 2017-18. If the player is called up for the maximum 45 days, he will earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 during that time, on top of the G-League salary.

There is a kicker, though: two-way players can only be called up by the NBA team that signed them. While one-way G-League players have the freedom to go to any of the 30 league teams, two-way players are tied to only one, until the contract is up. Many agents have been critical of the contract for this reason as it limits opportunities to move up.

That being said, the new rule was put in place to create a better minor league system for the NBA. There are pros and there are cons, and every situation is unique. For Poythress, I would argue it’s a good deal as it shows a commitment from the Pacers, and pays him a little more than his fellow G-Leaguers while he develops within the Pacers organization, rather than going overseas.


Yahoo!: Mitchell Robinson not expected to play college basketball

Yahoo!: Mitchell Robinson not expected to play college basketball

Mitchell Robinson is not expected to play college basketball this upcoming season, according to a report from Pat Forde over at Yahoo! Sports.

The one-time Western Kentucky Hilltopper, if only for a moment, will instead focus his efforts on preparing for the 2018 NBA draft, per Forde’s sources.

Robinson had been considering Kansas and the University of New Orleans as potential options for college, but the sources say Robinson, a five-star center in the 2017 class, hasn’t maintained contact with the two schools and he will not play college basketball this fall. He would likely have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to transfer rules anyway.

Robinson was the No. 9 overall player and top-ranked center in last year’s high school class. He enrolled at WKU early in the summer, only to leave campus shortly after.

His recruitment and the couple of months since he signed with Western have been very bizarre, to say the least.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: What If We Have Players Kneel During Anthem?

The expansion of players kneeling during the national anthem in protest during the NFL preseason has been a story worth following.  There is certainly a wave of athlete activism since Colin Kaepernick began his silent protest last season and while he has basically been blackballed from the NFL, the league will have to start recognizing that they can’t remove all of the players who now are protesting various social issues while wearing NFL uniforms.  Point being, this is going to be a consistent “issue” during the NFL season and maybe moving forward.

That brings us back to a local spin.  No matter what you actually think of the issues of police relations with African-Americans, Donald Trump, or any other social issue the players have been protesting, we are now in a sports culture where public protesting is a thing.  And college athletes, no matter how much you want to call them “kids” are actually adults and largely African-American.  Point being, if you think the protests are going to be limited to professional athletics, you are being quite naive.  As far as I know, I haven’t heard of any publicly known protests from UK athletes but you have to know there are a bunch of players on the football team (or other teams) who disagree with Trump and his policies, have negative opinions towards police, and are opinionated.

So what will you, as fans, do if any UK players choose to protest before games this year by kneeling/praying during the anthem?  Would it make you angry?  Would you consider not coming to games, dropping support for the program if this allowed?  And should Mark Stoops mandate that it can’t happen?  Does he even have that power?

My thoughts would be two fold.  First, this is America.  You as fans can absolutely hate protests during the national anthem.  And you can respond by not renewing season tickets, not attending games, calling for Stoops to be fired, whatever.  But the players, as Americans, have every right to protest as well.  These protests are the absolute definition of peaceful.  A word is never said, a punch is never thrown.  Just a very simple message.  Personally I agree with the protests and the attention it has brought to some concerning issues in this country, but even if I didn’t I think EVERYBODY should support the players rights to do it, even at the college level.  What would disappoint me the most is if Mark Stoops attempted to bar or ban the players from protesting if they so choose.  Once the anthem is over, it’s game time and the players should get back in gear.

Again, this is not a question of whether you agree with the opinion of the players protesting or not.  The argument is what will your reaction be if a player or players choose to do it.  Would it have any impact on your fanhood for the program, whether football or another sports team?  I haven’t heard of any player say they were going to protest in any way but you have to know it is in the minds of some and I wonder if Stoops has addressed it with his team or not.


Today on KSR: Going mobile, picking restaurants, and more

Today on KSR: Going mobile, picking restaurants, and more

Good morning, Kentucky-Sports-Radio-dot-com readers. We have some big news this morning regarding how you read your KSR on the go, plus we kick off the KSR restaurant bracket and more.

 

We’ve gone mobile!

It took us about five years longer than it should have, but we’ve finally upgraded our mobile website. The switch went live last night and the reviews have been positive, so we’re pleased with the finished product. For those of you who don’t know what this means, we changed the way the KSR site reads and looks when you access it via your phone’s web browser (probably Safari). For those of you who had seen how it looked before the upgrade, you know that it was horrible and damn near impossible to read. Finally, we made the necessary improvements and we hope you’ll check us out even more while you’re on the go.

It’s time for one of the biggest events of the year: KSR Restaurant Madness!

Who will be this year’s Outback? We’ll begin shrinking the field on today’s show.

See the bracket:

KSR 3rd ANNUAL RESTAURANT/FAST FOOD BRACKET is HERE

(I still don’t understand how Outback won last year.)

School starts today at UK.

Today marks the first day of classes for students at the University of Kentucky.

In related news, John Calipari’s basketball team is back on campus after a couple weeks off to rest up for the big year ahead. Let’s. Go.

No football updates today.

With the start of classes, there will be no updates out of football camp today. Maybe Nick or Freddie will be kind enough to produce some in-depth analysis for you to hold you over until the football facility’s doors are open to the media for questions again.

There’s a new KSR Football Podcast available. 

Forgive us if it’s a little dated because we recorded last week, but there is a new podcast available from the KSR Football Podcast crew.

End UK Football Training Camp with The KSR Football Podcast

It was recorded before this past Saturday’s scrimmage, so it’s pre-Dorian Baker injury and other recent news.

Want Keith Bogans’ autograph? What about Jamaal Magloire’s?

You can get both at All Sports in Fayette Mall this Thursday:

The KSR Summer Tour is in Northern Kentucky.

The summer tour hits Dickmann’s in Northern Kentucky for what is always one of our favorite stops across the state. And to reward Dickmann’s and the great people of Northern Kentucky for their continued support, Matt and Ryan will be giving away tickets to the UK-UofL basketball game to one lucky winner in attendance. I encourage you to get out there.


KSR 3rd ANNUAL RESTAURANT/FAST FOOD BRACKET is HERE

KSR 3rd ANNUAL RESTAURANT/FAST FOOD BRACKET is HERE

Tomorrow on the radio show, we begin our 3rd Annual Quest for Greatness. A simple question teases us all…What is the best Fast Food/Chain Restaurant in America?. The last two years we have approached this contest on KSR Radio and we have reached vastly different (and controversial results). From the amazing QDoba defeat over rogue entry Subway to last year’s Outback/Cracker Barrel debate that went all the way to the Republican Convention, the KSR Restaurant Bracket never ceases to add excitement. Tomorrow Drew will have the below match ups in bracket form but for now, here it is….the four finalists from the past are #1 seeds and the rest are ready for an August to remember. Get your picks in now:

EAST BRACKET

Subway
Krispy Kreme

Hardees
Ruby Tuesday

Canes
O Charleys

Red Lobster
Little Caesers

Chipotle
Quiznos

KFC
Dennys

Firehouse
Longhorn Steakhouse

Bob Evans
Cheesecake Factory

WEST

Outback
Shoneys

Sonic
Chilis

Olive Garden
Sbarro

Wendys
Dairy Queen

Papa Johns
Dunkin Donuts

Chik-Fil-A
Captain D’s

Hooters
Moes

McDonalds
Big Boy

SOUTH

Qdoba
Golden Corral

Arbys
Dominos

Burger King
Texas Roadhouse

Roosters
PF Changs

Applebees
Waffle House

Pizza Hut
IHOP

Zaxbys
Steak N Shake

Taco Bell
Long Johns

MIDWEST

Cracker Barrell
Chuck E Cheese

Jimmy Johns
Five Guys

Bojangles
TGI Fridays

Cheddars
Rallys

Popeyes
Fazolis

Buffalo Wild Wings
Panda Express

California Pizza Kitchen
Skyline

Panera
White Castle


Five Observations from an Open Kentucky Football Practice

On the final day of preseason training camp, the Kentucky football team opened its doors to the media.  I was only able to see the first 30-45 minutes that primarily featured drills in individual groups, but there were still a few enlightening moments worth sharing.

1. Tons of Teaching on the Defensive Line

The individual portion of practice is focused on fundamentals.  It’s usually not as entertaining as the scheme you see in group/team period.  Working on fundamentals is detail-oriented.  That can be mundane for a veteran or an observer, but not for young players.

To help bring along his young defensive line faster, Derrick LeBlanc split up every defensive line position during individuals.  LeBlanc worked with the nose guards, while the tackles and ends each had their own graduate assistant.  Instead of working in a large group and waiting around to receive individual attention, there were no more than five players per coach.  The players received more reps and more feedback (especially freshman nose Quinton Bohanna).

Things move fast on the D-line.  If your hands and feet aren’t where they need to be, you’ll get crushed.  These extremely small group sessions will reward Kentucky’s young players with improvements throughout the season.

2. A Completed Hitch

I’ve seen the Kentucky offense make big plays.  They’re exciting.  I love that s*it as much as Stephen Johnson.  Unfortunately, you can’t throw a deep post on every down (unless you’re a ten-year old playing Madden).

In order to grow, the Kentucky offense must prove they can consistently make routine plays.  UK has jokingly been “2nd and 10 U” because they drop easy, short passes that would normally get them 5-7 yards.  They aren’t third down highlight-makers, but they play an integral role in expanding the offense.  Today I saw that when Johnson completed a hitch to Tavin Richardson who was defended tightly by Derrick Baity.

“Keep it simple stupid,” is an idiom for a reason: it works.

3. Naasir Watkins is an Incredible Athlete

The freshman left tackle is fits the role “offensive lineman of the future.”  The best offensive linemen aren’t built like traditional offensive lineman.  It’s difficult to describe, so I’ll make a comparison.  Charles Barkley’s do not play in the NBA.  Now when players quit growing, they bulk up and become offensive linemen.

Watkins has the traits of basketball players I used to gawk at on the AAU circuit.  He has incredibly long arms, broad shoulders and a thick trunk.  Even though he tips the scale at 300-pounds, he doesn’t look that heavy because of his explosiveness and lateral mobility.  A player that’s drawn comparisons to Landon Young, Watkins is an elite athlete that’s going to be an absolute stud.

4. The Cats Didn’t Lose all Their Leaders

While many dwell on the recent injuries to senior leaders, there’s still plenty of veterans keeping the underclassmen in check.  Nick Haynes can be heard giving praise and criticism, almost as much as a coach.  Juice is the man all of the receivers look to for advice.  On defense Courtney Love is there for the linebackers to lean on, while Derrick Baity provides similar aid to the defensive backs.  The injuries stink, but Mark Stoops has enough weapons and leaders in his arsenal to continue moving forward.

5. Wildcat Quarterback

Benny Snell is happy to add some new trickery to the Wildcat package, but that could not be revealed to the public, just like I’m not supposed to reveal who else received reps as the Wildcat quarterback.  I have a feeling you know who it is.  I can neither confirm nor deny.


Benny Snell is “Ready to be Unleashed”

Benny Snell is “Ready to be Unleashed”

Benny Snell believes he made the most out of his time at UK’s 2017 preseason training camp. “I feel like I got better everyday,” he told KSR.

“Better” than his freshman campaign will be awfully difficult to top.  He shattered just about every UK freshman rushing record with 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He accumulated those impressive numbers in just ten games.  One of the opponents he didn’t get to play against was Southern Miss.  He’s prepared to show the Golden Eagles what they were lucky enough to miss last year.

 

“I definitely got a chip on my shoulder about this one (against Southern Miss), only because the team took a loss and I had nothing to do.  Nothing to contribute.  None.  I definitely got some making up to do for my team.  I got a job to do.”

His job: unleash fury on Southern Miss and every opponent on Kentucky’s schedule.

“I’m ready to be unleashed.  I dream about it every night.  I watch extra film.  It’s all I live.  I’m ready to go all out.”