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I’m way too confident about tomorrow’s game

You know the feeling when you’re so confident that you begin to worry because you shouldn’t be so confident? That’s me right now. I think Kentucky bludgeons Vanderbilt tomorrow to officially earn bowl eligibility and take one more step forward toward SEC East glory. I know Matt said on the show today he’ll be surprised if it’s not close in the second half, but I’ll be shocked if it is. I have the Cats winning, 34-6.

The reason behind my optimism is Vanderbilt can’t stop the run and Kentucky can run, run, run. Derek Mason knows his team’s weakness plays right into the Cats’ hands, too. Earlier this week he said, “Everything starts with stopping the run. We have had a hard time with that… if we allow this team to run on us, they will bleed the clock on us.”

And bleed the clock, they will. Kentucky has its starting center and left tackle back from injury, and everyone in home team blue will have fresh legs after the bye week. Throw in the fact Benny Snell has some ground to make up after a quiet game at Texas A&M and I think it’s going to be a very long day for the Vanderbilt defense, which ranks 95th in America in stopping the run. It’s also a defense that is exhausted after consecutive games against Georgia and Florida the last two weeks; the Dawgs and Gators combined for 1,136 total yards in those two contests.

Defensively, Kentucky’s will be the best Vanderbilt has seen all season, and again, they’re well-rested. Kentucky has only allowed 14 points per game and Vanderbilt’s offense isn’t anything special to give us a reason to think they’ll put up points. With the exception of one wide receiver (Lipscomb), a reliable tight end (Pinkney) and one running back (Vaughn) that can occasionally break off a big play, there isn’t much happening. Kyle Shurmur isn’t any better in his 11th season than he was in his first.

So outside of Kentucky beating Kentucky (which could happen, I guess), I don’t see any reason to think Vanderbilt will be in this game. If the Cats can avoid a sluggish, post-bye week start, they’ll be fine.

Tell me I’m wrong.

Go Cats.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Fake Tom Leach


It was pretty funny.

#9 Tyler Cox


Yikes!

#8 KevMiller


Lolololol I get it.

#7 Felicia Spencer


Anything is, right?

#6 Adam Tubbs


Sounds like he’s in need of one of his 5,000 comp days.

#5 Jason Oaks


PREACH!

#4 Daniel Farnham


Thanks for coming out!

#3 W Stumbo


I’m outraged!

#2 jon


Sad…?

#1 Michael Leonard


I don’t see a problem with this!


Mitch Barnhart not worried about other schools calling for Mark Stoops

If there’s one downside to building a program from the ground up and inching toward historic success, it’s the vultures that come looking to pluck your coach away at the end of the season.

With Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, there were whispers of opposing schools looking to bring him in for an interview following his first seven-win season in 2016. Now that his team is sitting at 5-1 with a chance to win nine or ten games and compete for an SEC Championship bid, it may be time to start worrying about that again.

Florida State is struggling under new coach Willie Taggert, and though it’d be expensive, they could opt for a buy-out and look elsewhere. And that’s just one of several elite programs that could make coaching changes this offseason. If there is a surprise coaching termination from now until the end of the season, you better believe Stoops will be on the short list of potential candidates.

For Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, he’s been preparing for this day since the day he brought Stoops in as head coach in 2012. He’s restructured Stoops’ contract with built-in bonuses and extensions in case he ever had to fend off any elite programs. In his eyes, it’s a good problem to have.

“We’ve got a great relationship with this staff,” Barnhart said in an interview with Jen Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader. “It’s a friendship more than it is anything else. I appreciate that. I think that you’ve gotta be honest with one another. I think we’ve built in a contract that I think gives him a chance to succeed and grow. It’s built for that. We built that a couple of years back. It wasn’t a mystery how we did that.”

According to the Herald-Leader and official Kentucky contract records, the deal Stoops signed in March of 2017 has built-in extensions of one additional year for each seven (or more)-win season and two additional years with 10 (or more)-win seasons. With his most recent seven-win season, he extended his contract through 2023.

He also earns bonuses of $100,000 for making the SEC Championship, and that’s doubled if Kentucky wins it. Participating in a New Year’s Six bowl game will earn him an additional $200,000, and going to the national championship would give him a $400,000 bonus. Winning it all would give him a smooth half-million-dollar bonus.

“We were hoping that we’d have to have these conversations, we could build into those conversations,” said Barnhart. “That makes those conversations a lot easier when you do that on the front end rather than trying to fix it on the back end.”

Barnhart says the Kentucky head coach knows this is his program now. Following numerous elite recruiting classes and bowl appearances, he has earned the athletic director’s trust.

Mark has realized that this is his place,” Kentucky’s top athletics administrator said Friday afternoon following the university Board of Trustees meeting at Kroger Field. “This is his program. He’s building it and done a unique job of just growing it steadily. In the world of what we’ve got going on in college athletics.”

For more of Smith’s article on the Herald-Leader, take a look here.


ESPN snubs Kentucky from list of best one-loss teams in the nation

John Glaser/USA TODAY Sports

Sitting pretty at 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the SEC, Kentucky is listed as AP’s No. 14 team in college football. If the Cats can execute over the next two weeks, there’s a solid chance they’ll be competing for a spot in the SEC title game in their matchup with Georgia on November 3.

But ESPN isn’t buying the hype.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports released a list of the best one-loss teams in the nation, and the Wildcats didn’t make the cut,

The list? Michigan (No. 6), Georgia (No. 8), Oklahoma (No. 9), Florida (No. 11), LSU (No. 5), Texas (No. 7), Iowa (No. 19), and Oregon (No. 12).

Schools like LSU, Michigan, Texas, and Georgia are elite and I don’t take too much offense to them being listed ahead of the Cats.

As for Florida, Oregon, and especially Oregon? Get out of here.

Here is ESPN’s reasoning for each of the questionable rankings:

Florida (No. 4 on their list):

Florida needs 5-1 Kentucky, which beat the Gators in Week 2, to lose again in order for it to win the SEC East — and Kentucky still has to play Georgia (Nov. 3). For Florida, which has won five straight, it all boils down to its game against Georgia. FPI gives the Gators a 30.2 percent chance to beat the Bulldogs; it’s the only remaining game on Florida’s schedule that it is not favored to win. Any team that has a chance to win the SEC has a shot at the top four.

Iowa (No. 7 on the list):

When Wisconsin lost to Michigan last week, it opened the door for Iowa to win the West division. (Iowa’s only loss this season is to Wisconsin.) Iowa still needs the Badgers to lose again, and it’s possible they will, with three difficult road trips — to Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue — still remaining. Iowa also has to survive back-to-back road games against Penn State (Oct. 27) and Purdue (Nov. 3). It’s a tall task, but if the Hawkeyes can win out and upset the East division winner in the Big Ten title game, there could be a big surprise in the final top four.

Oregon (No. 8):

Oregon would need to win out and hope other Power 5 conferences produce two-loss champions, a similar situation that helped Washington into the semifinals in 2016 in spite of a lousy nonconference lineup. Oregon doesn’t have any nonconference wins against Power 5 opponents (Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State were slated), and that portion of its schedule ranks last in FBS. Should Oregon get into a résumé battle with another one-loss Power 5 champion, the nonconference strength of schedule could be the difference.

So Kentucky taking down two ranked teams in Florida and Mississippi State doesn’t mean anything? Or the fact that they have one of the best defenses in college football, arguably the top pass-rusher in the SEC, and a Heisman candidate? And losing to a ranked Texas A&M team at Kyle Field in overtime is just too bad of a loss?

Florida’s one loss is to Kentucky, and that’s all I need to know. Check.

Iowa’s one loss was to Wisconsin, their only ranked opponent on the schedule up to this point. All of their other games have been against scrubs. Kentucky is better by a country mile.

As for Oregon, their victories have come against juggernauts such as Bowling Green, Portland State, San Jose State, California, and an underwhelming Stanford team in overtime. Their one ranked victory came against No. 15 Washington in overtime last week, making them the media darling of the week. I don’t buy it in the slightest.

In fact, I’d argue Kentucky deserves to be side-by-side with the elite crop at the top of the list rather than at the bottom, let alone being snubbed entirely. The schedule and overall success speaks for itself.

Haters gonna hate, and the Cats are just going to have to prove the national media wrong yet again.

If you want to see the whole list with their (horrible) justification for each, take a look here.


Ranking The Best Shoes From Big Blue Madness

Ranking The Best Shoes From Big Blue Madness

Big Blue Madness was a success once again in 2018. The BBN got a chance to watch this year’s team at Rupp Arena for the first time. One of the best parts about BBM is that fans get a chance to see the personalities of the players as they dance and have fun at the first big public event of the year. For a player, there is no better way to show your personality than by the shoes on your feet. Kentucky’s players wore a variety of different, and sometimes strange shoes for BBM. Let’s take a look at the top five shoes of this year’s Big Blue Madness.

#5 Tyler Herro: Custom KD 10

Herro could potentially have the best footwear choices for UK this season. The freshman guard wore customized Nike Hyperdunks for picture day before wearing a customized KD 10 for Big Blue Madness. Herro’s custom kicks featured a UK logo on the heel and several other designs on the toe and heel of the shoe.

#4 Quade Green: Air Jordan Retro 3

Quade Green kept it consistent from the Blue Carpet to the scrimmage. The sophomore rocked the Air Jordan Retro Three on the floor and Air Jordan Retro 4 “Cactus Jack” on the Blue Carpet. The sophomore point guard had some of the freshest kicks last year and he kept it going to open the 2018 slate. Michael Jordan won the dunk contest in 1988 wearing a white and cement pair of the Jordan III, so it was only fitting that Green was used as a prop wearing the Retro Three last Friday.

#3 Immanuel Quickley: Custom Kyrie 2

UK Athletics

At first glance, I thought Quickley had gone with a basic Kyrie 2 for Madness. After the show, I looked closer and saw that Quickley’s shoes had a custom “Power K” on the sides. I’m a sucker for anything throwback and the “Power K” is one of my favorite retro designs. Major points for Quickley’s decision to please the BBN with the logo.

#2 Nick Richards: Kobe 1 “Protro” 

UK Athletics

I really, really like what the sophomore big man did for Madness. Richards wore the Kobe 1 “Proto” for his second BBM, a purple and gold model of Kobe Bryant’s signature shoe. I’m not a big fan of later Kobe shoes, but I love the early designs. Good choice by Richards.

#1 Keldon Johnson: Custom Air Jordan Why Not Zer0 1

UK Athletics

The high-flying freshman mixed it up on and off the court on Friday. Johnson rocked Vans Old Skools on the Blue Carpet before switching into KD Tens for his intro. The most interesting part of Johnson’s ensemble was his Purge mask and his custom Jordan Why Not? Zer0 1 model. True Blue Customs did an amazing job creating Johnson’s shoes for the event. Johnson picked a good shoe to customize and a good theme to go with on the shoes.

 

Honorable Mention: Jonny David: Kyrie 4 “80s Pack”

If this was a list of my personal favorites, I would have gone with David’s shoe selections. David matched Quade Green prior to the begin of BBM with the Retro 3 before switching to one of my favorite Kyrie colorways.

@TreyHuntsmanKSR


There will be Benny Snell towels in the Student Section tomorrow

There will be Benny Snell towels in the Student Section tomorrow

Are you a student at the University of Kentucky? If not, do you have kids at UK you can “borrow” from when they come home for break?

If so, be prepared for a special surprise when you get to Kroger Field tomorrow.

The University of Kentucky is handing out “Snell Yeah” towels in the Student Section as part of their awards campaign for star running back Benny Snell.

Snell showed off the specialized towel in a video released on Twitter:

I’ll be in the press box tomorrow, but if any of you all get your hands on an extra, let me know. We can be best friends.

Go Cats.


“Top Chef Kentucky” looks like something you should watch

The popular TV show “Top Chef” released its first look at its 16th season, which was shot right here in the Bluegrass. The show spent time in places like Lexington, Louisville and on Lake Cumberland earlier this spring, and will feature celebrity guest judges, including John Calipari, in its competitions.

Get a sneak peek at what’s ahead in the trailer that was released today:

The season premieres Thursday, December 6, at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.


Please fix Isaiah Briscoe’s bio on OrlandoMagic.com

Please fix Isaiah Briscoe’s bio on OrlandoMagic.com

If any of you have a connection to someone within the Orlando Magic organization, please let them know their new point guard, Isaiah Briscoe, did not go to UNLV.

He went to Kentucky and he has one of only three triple-double’s in the program’s storied history.

OrlandoMagic.com | Isaiah Briscoe

Briscoe did not play in the Magic’s season opener but they’re back in action tonight at home against the Charlotte Hornets. You can see that one with an NBA League Pass free trial.


May I make a Kroger Field song request?

A couple of weeks ago I played a song on Kentucky Sports Radio radio that I thought would be a great addition to the playlist in Kroger Field. It’s by a lovely band out of the Memphis area called Three 6 Mafia. I’ve been a big fan of their work for a long time, especially their earlier stuff. (R.I.P. Lord Infamous)

Anyway, I got some good feedback from listeners that day so I thought I’d move it on over here to the website for more to hear. I know there’s nothing a DJ hates more than song requests, but I think this one is worth considering.

It’s the instrumental to “I Got” by Three 6 Mafia and its beat is the popular “Zombie Nation” (which we already do) plus the Three 6 hip-hop touch.

Give it a listen (stick to the instrumental, not the real version unless you want to hear bad words) below:


(Twitter/@Big_harris22)

Louisville’s new commit must work out

(Twitter/@Big_harris22)

The University of Louisville picked up a new basketball commit today, which is nice. His name is Aidan Igiehon and he’s a four-star prospect, ranked 44th overall in the entire 2019 class. He picked the Cards over three other finalists — Oregon, Kentucky and St. John’s — although, Kentucky didn’t offer him so including the Cats in his final group is very misleading. Whatever, though. Good for him.

So what is Chris Mack getting in his new big man? I don’t know because I haven’t seen him play. I can’t even pronounce his name. But I do know he is JACKED.

(Twitter/@JKachEdits)

It’s a great pickup for Mack and the Louisville program given the black cloud it has been living under recently. They’ll still lose to Kentucky every year but this new guy might win a weight lifting contest.