Hello there, Big Blue Nation. National Signing Day did not produce as many fireworks as we hoped, but it was still a big week for the Kentucky football program.
Mark Stoops wrapped up National Signing Day by rolling the dice to keep Matt House at Kentucky. The defensive coordinator helped transform UK’s defense into one of the nation’s best in just two years. Consume the spin from Kansas City’s side as you wish.
Regardless of the specific circumstances, this offseason Stoops has convinced his offensive coordinator from joining Georgia’s staff to potentially play for a CFB Playoff Championship, and his defensive coordinator from teaming up with the reigning NFL MVP who was one play away from a Super Bowl last season.
Keeping continuity is always important. Offensively, Terry Wilson’s development will not be stalled by learning a new system. Defensively, the bridge for the rising starters is much shorter with a coach they’re already comfortable with, who has seen them practice for at least two seasons and knows what they’re good at and where they must improve.
With Stoops, Gran and House, Kentucky has become the SEC East’s beacon of consistency. Stoops is the division’s longest tenured head coach. Missouri is the only other school in the SEC East who isn’t replacing at least one coordinator (but it won’t help them get into the postseason). Kentucky’s experienced leadership is rare in this league. It should pay dividends in Stoops’ seventh season.
The Spring Game is on the SEC Network
As is tradition, the Blue-White Spring Game will be broadcast on the SEC Network. Set for Friday, April 12 at 6:00 pm, if you Keeneland too hard to make it to Kroger Field, the SEC Network will have you covered.
Spring football does not begin for a few more weeks. Before it all kicks off, we’ll hear from UK’s early enrollees over the next week to give you a chance to get to know the newest Wildcats.
If you can’t live without a weekend of football, the Alliance of American Football gave you life. Like the XFL’s opener almost two decades ago, it drew huge ratings on opening night, actually out-rating the NBA on ABC. It was a fun enough debut to tune in from time to time.
Unfortunately, we did not get to see any official big plays from Kentucky’s lone Wildcat in the Alliance. Kayaune Ross caught a 39-yard touchdown on a trick play, but a penalty overturned the wide receiver’s biggest highlight from opening day.
— Asim Rose Sr. (@rose_asim) February 10, 2019
Memphis and Ross were shut out by Birmingham in the opener. Ross will return to action for a home game Saturday night at 7:00 against the Arizona Hotshots.
The ACC Stinks
Is The AAF > The ACC? Maybe.
The numbers nerds are spending the week compiling forecasting metrics for the next college football season. My personal favorite (primarily for gambling purposes), The S&P+ system, has Kentucky projected at No. 38 after finishing the 2018 season at No. 25. The analytics rank UK sixth in the SEC East, with five in the division cracking the Top 25. Miss. State is the sixth Top 25 team on UK’s 2019 schedule.
Down I-64 West, Louisville is near the very bottom, ranked 87th overall by S&P+. The rest of the ACC isn’t too far ahead. After Clemson, the league doesn’t have much going for it.
28.) Florida State
30.) Virginia Tech
47.) NC State
61.) North Carolina
62.) Wake Forest
72.) Boston College
89.) Georgia Tech
If you think the ACC looks bad now, wait till you see ESPN’s FPI. Not released until Thursday, Finebaum already gave us a little tease: ten SEC teams will make the Top 20, all of which are ranked higher than the ACC’s second-best team.
What a Fantastic Forecastle Lineup
The Commonwealth’s largest summer music festival revealed its lineup this morning and let me tell you, I’m a big fan.
Forecastle’s timing is impeccable. While preparing for Saturday’s game with The Avett Brothers’ Tiny Desk Concert, I thought to myself, “It’s been a while, Nick. You’re due for an Avett show this year.” And just like that, Forecastle delivered, all while checking Anderson Paak off my watch list.
If Avett floats your boat, I have a feeling Tyler Childers will too. If you prefer rock, The Killers and my favorite band, Moon Taxi, should do the trick. Judah and the Lion, Portugal the Man and Dawes will put on a great show too. Even Nelly is going to be stomping in his Air Force Ones on The Great Lawn. It’s set to be a great weekend. If you want to hate on the lineup, fine. Your heart don’t stand a chance, anyway.
Ignore the bad words and enjoy the groovy tunes.