Among the many highlights of my night at Madness on Friday (which I will go into in some more detail tomorrow), was my chance to meet the Rupp Dancing Guy who danced for fans all night. Only at UK do characters like this have such wide appeal…I love it. A few thoughts:
— I know I am in the minority on this, but once again I wasnt too depressed about the Cats’ performance today. In fact, I actually thought Kentucky played fairly well for the vast majority of the game. They ran the football well, played decent defense and were strong in the kicking game throughout. Ultimately they were done in by some big errors (the Locke fumble, Hartline 2nd half interception, etc) that put the game out of reach. But if you take away those plays, they had a chance to win. I think that is all you can ask for.
— The big talk from the fans after the game was the play of Mike Hartline. Without getting into how he played in detail (it was his worst game of the year I believe), what is clear is that a change is not in the cards. After the game, Brooks said, “Mike Hartline didnt play as well as I would like but he is our best option and we will go forward with that”. That isnt exactly a stirring vote of confidence, but it is a reality of the situation. Bottom line is this…they need Cobb at WR, Fidler is the backup (something people forget) and would struggle more than Hartline and Newton is WAYYYYY behind where they had hoped he would be. It is what it is.
— And at least the Cats dont have Jonathan Crompton
— Another good gambling week (10th straight winning week), going 6-1 with wins by Auburn, LSU, Stanford, USC, Ohio State and Penn State…the only loss comes from those commies at Maryland.
— Got a chance to talk some to Qua Huzzie today. Wait till he gets to be a regular player in the rotation…fans are ggoing to love him.
— Alabama brought the most, and best, fans to Lexington of any SEC school I have seen. The parallels often made between the UK basketball and Alabama football fan base ring true to me…and their girls look good in those hats.
— I once again got to talk a bit to Eli Gold, who is one of the last of the old school, “SEC Legends” radio announcers. Cats fans know Cawood, but he was once part of a group that included John Ward at Tennessee and others at all the conference schools that were legendary for their voices and fan following. Eli is the last of the group and talking to him is a real treat.
— Also a real treat….seeing just how desheveled Alan Cutler can look at each football home game. It continues to get better every week.
— Big congrats to Mr. Emo, Lones Seiber who is the new all-time leading scoring leader for UK football. I like Lones a lot and he is an interesting, thoughtful kid. I am also glad he got it on a long-range one, his career-long…good way to break the record.
— Randall Cobb is a beast
— Derrick Locke is back.
— Nick Saban made a mistake with the fake field goal call. I understand why you dont call a field goal there (putting up meaningless points really is running up the score), but you dont have to call a fake in that spot…give it to your second string if you have to, but a fake is a bit much. For his part, Rich Brooks didnt seem to mind, saying that they thought a fake was coming. Still, as Saban walked out, a small group of UK fans stood at the entrance and booed him loudly…not sure if I have seen that before in Commonwealth.
A great, but exhausting, weekend. Hope you got your BBM tickets. We shift gears tomorrow into more in-depth basketball recruiting info…it is that time of year folks and it will be good. Stay tuned tomorrow to hear about the antics from Friday night and more….
Also dont forget to listen to Sunday Sports Buzz radio with Dave Ragone and me, on 970 AM in Louisville or streaming here on Louisvillesportsbuzz.com from 11 am to 1 pm.