Music legend Bonnie Raitt celebrates her 63rd birthday today (November 8th). Raitt has won multiple Grammy Awards, written and performed a countless number of songs, placing her among the most well-recognized musical stars of her time. All of those accolades are nice, and are certainly worth noting– but Bonnie Raitt accomplished something with one of her songs that simply hasn’t been matched by any other song for me in my lifetime: she can sing a song that I can only describe as “haunting.” I’m not going to say that her song “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is the best song I’ve ever heard. In fact, that’s not why I’m implying at all, though it is without question a great song. When I hear her version of it though, especially a live version, I can’t help but get chills and for lack of a more appropriate term, feel “haunted.” I’m not sure if it’s the words, the feeling that everyone has probably had at some point in which they realize they can’t make someone else feel the way they want them to feel about them, or the way her voice belts out the words. Whatever it is though, it never fails to have that effect on me– from the first time I heard it, to every single time in between.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” was written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin. Apparently Reid got the idea from a newspaper article in which a man got drunk and shot up his girlfriend’s car. After the judge sentenced him, he asked the man what he had learned. His response? “You can’t make a woman love you if she don’t.”
And now on to the news and views…Let’s give em’ something to talk about…
– When the news broke Sunday afternoon that Joker Phillips would no longer be the head coach of the Kentucky football program, the ever-intriguing “coaching search” took flight. Names were thrown out left and right, some that stuck, others which seemed to be pipe dreams. To be fair, the talk of a potential replacement hire had been gathering steam since the loss to Western Kentucky. But starting on Monday morning of this week, all shackles on the conversation were removed. Call-in shows, blogs, Twitter, etc. became the breeding ground for rumors and suggestions for who the next hire should be. Due to the in-season timing of the firing of Joker, the common thought seemed to be that it might be a while before any significant moves or discussions took place. Then late last night, as the kids like to say, “shit got real.”
– Bobby Petrino’s father let it leak to the press that his son “wants a job; he needs a job.” Petrino’s father continued by confirming that his son had some interest in Kentucky, stating that his life goal was to go to the SEC. Besides the fact that this tidbit of information caused an eruption among the fan base on whether or not Kentucky should consider hiring Petrino, does anyone else think this whole Petrino’s father thing wreaks a little of the, “Maaaaahhhh! The meatloaf!!!?”
– The plot thickened as the day carried on. Multiple sources tonight have started the rumor that Gene Chizek will in fact be out of a job at Auburn, only 2 years after winning the national championship, mind you. The news came just 24 hours after Petrino’s father talked about his son wanting a job in the SEC. Speculation has now started regarding whether or not Petrino Sr’s comments were being made to entice a move from a program like Auburn, if they were in fact interested in hiring Petrino. Again, nothing has come from the Auburn camp about interest in Petrino, but Auburn and Tennessee have been two other SEC schools mentioned for a while now alongside the name Bobby Petrino for next season.
– It almost seems as if there are 3 main perceptions of the Petrino/UK interest right now:
1) The interest is genuine from Petrino
2) Petrino is trying to perhaps entice other (perhaps more desirable) schools to jump quicker knowing that he could look elsewhere
3) Both Petrino and Kentucky are using each other as leverage for other jobs/coaches.
– We may find out sooner than late which of the 3 perceptions is the most accurate. For now though, the focus in the coaching search is squarely on what happens with Bobby Petrino. As with any coaching search drama, that could all change tomorrow. But in the midst of the chatter, which has dominated the bye-week news, one trend has started to take place via social media today: gauging the opinion of Big Blue Nation on how they feel about Mitch Barnhart potentially hiring Bobby Petrino. To no surprise, the reaction was divided. While many agree that with his track record, winning would be likely to follow in the wake of his hire– the risk and the tainted track record he has left each program with in his path is enough to turn many people off.
– One online sportsbook, Bovada, put out some odds today on the SEC Head Coaching vacancies, including a look at the odds for Kentucky to land a number of coaches. Take it for what it’s worth, but here’s what they had to say:
Bobby Petrino– 2/1
David Cutcliffe– 3/1
Sonny Dykes– 4/1
Tommy Tuberville– 9/2
Mike MacIntyre– 5/1
Willie Taggart– 5/1
Guz Malzahn– 8/1
Dirk Koetter– 12/1
– The other big news of the day was almost lost a bit in the Petrino shuffle. Neither Ryan Harrow (illness) or Julius Mays (knee) are guaranteed to play tomorrow night in Kentucky’s opening season game against Maryland in the Barclay Center. In a tough early season game away from home, in which many people already worried this young Kentucky team might struggle– entering the game without the services of either of those two players would be a huge blow to Kentucky. Harrow has been the starting point guard in the exhibition games, while Mays has been a steady veteran hand, first off the bench. Calipari’s current rotation is already thin, and either of these players being unable to go would signify a very short rotation or perhaps a more significant chunk of playing time for guys like Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson. Archie Goodwin would slide into the starting point guard position, but Polson said he would be ready if need be. For those who have been anxiously awaiting the first opportunity to see this team go against a bit more of a challenge in an opponent, let’s hope that both Harrow and Mays are good to go.
– Both John Calipari and Mark Turgeon had plenty to say in their comments about the game tomorrow night. Calipari continued his theme of modesty when talking about his team. “I could start 4 freshmen and you goofballs say we’re in the top 5. Are you crazy?”
– Turgeon wasn’t completely buying Calipari’s humble nature about his team, “Kentucky is still rolling out players that we couldn’t even get involved with.” I wonder if anyone reminded him that next year we will be rolling out two players he did get involved with.
– The NCAA’s decision to allow Dez Wells (former Xavier player who took a visit to Lexington before committing to Maryland) to be cleared to play tomorrow night added a certain level of intrigue to an already enticing early season match-up. Many members of the national media, as well as analysts see Wells as being a huge factor for Maryland, giving them a much better chance to compete with the cream of the crop in college basketball this season. “With Dez being able to play, it will be a really hard game for us,” Calipari admitted.
– Calipari continued, seemingly a bit unsure as to what exactly to expect from his young team in their opener tomorrow night, “We’ll see if we’re ready to beat a basketball team. I’m just not sure. They’re going to have to go show me.”
– “What are we, chopped liver?” – Transy and Northwood
– Since we are almost halfway through the news and views, let’s take a moment to have a quick blast from the past… The UK IMG Network tweeted out a great “throwback Thursday” picture of Adolph Rupp conducting a practice in Memorial Coliseum many years ago…
– And one more blast, while we’re at it… Bill Curry will hang up the whistle on his coaching career following his Georgia State team’s game on Saturday. “It’s really hard to believe. It went by fast,” said Curry as he dabbed tears from his eyes.
– Over on ZagsBlog.com, a few NBA scouts weighed in on the upcoming game between Maryland and Kentucky. When asked who the best NBA prospect in the game would be, one scout admitted that he’s not sure Nerlens Noel is the best prospect on Kentucky’s team right now. The NBA scout said that he believes Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein are both better. “I think Willie might be a better prospect at the end of the day. Longer, more athletic, runs the floor better.” The anonymous scouts continued to preview the game…
“It’s really unfortunate that the game isn’t taking place in later December rather than now because there aren’t going to be many times that [Nerlens] Noel and [Willie] Cauley-Stein go against size. It will be a good test for the big guys. Noel going against that length and size will help. So [Maryland’s 7-foot-1] Alex Len, some people like him, this will be a good test for him. But it’s unfortunate that it’s early.
“My guess going in is that Kentucky will win fairly easily only because I would guess that they’re probably more jelled together than the Maryland guys are now even though they’ve been together longer. I think the talent alone [makes the difference for Kentucky].”
– A number of different college basketball experts came out with articles today on the eve of the tip-off to college basketball season. CBSSports.com picked Kentucky as the #2 team in the country heading into the beginning of the season. Gary Parrish took the lead on previewing the Wildcats, and he had mostly positive things to say.
“Nobody is better at getting young players to buy in and play together than John Calipari. So while it might be reasonable to doubt most coaches with a roster that inexperienced , Calipari has established himself as the exception to the rule. He has a record of taking freshmen and winning big with them immediately and I suspect he’ll do the same this year…Does anyone have more pure talent than these new-look Wildcats? The answer, once again, is probably no.”
With the good comes a little of the bad, when Parrish was asked this team team might disappoint:
“Remember everything I just wrote about Calipari being great at getting young players to buy in and play together? I believe that. But the truth is that he’s never had a team this young, and that does concern me a little. Last season’s roster had a senior named Darius Miller and two sophomores named Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb to help steady things. All three had played major minutes for a Final Four team. They were experienced winners. They (and that) mattered. But this team? This team’s most experienced player — outside of transfers Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays — is sophomore Kyle Wiltjer. He only averaged 11.6 minutes per game last season. So can the freshmen really look to him for guidance? And what happens if everybody’s learning curve is wider than expected? Three of UK’s first seven games are against ranked opponents. So early losses are possible if things don’t click quickly.”
– Good news for a head-to-head match-up of former Kentucky Wildcats and very close friends, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis. Davis, who has been sidelined with a concussion the past few games, looks to be probable to go tomorrow night against the Bobcats. Maybe Kidd-Gilchrist can remind Austin Rivers that he needs to be his brothers keeper and quit giving his teammate Davis concussions.
– And in the Jerry Tipton “Huh?” update of the day:
I guess he hasn’t seen many NBA post-game press conferences lately…
– Now, allow me to leave you with a video of a 9-year old girl dominating in a little football.
– Last but not least, John Calipari and the Kentucky team (representing the larger team of Big Blue Nation) will be presenting a check tomorrow before the game in the Barclay Center representing the incredible outpour of support for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Word has spread that the donation will be “almost 1 million” dollars. That is simply incredible. Thank you to Calipari for using his resources to put together the event, and an even bigger thank you to all of those who made contributions. #BBN
That’s all. See you all tomorrow morning bright and early. Morning will come, and I’ll do what’s right. Just give me til’ then, to give up this fight. And I will give up this fight…
P.S. Shout out to the Tates Creek Girls soccer team for winning the 2012 state championship on Saturday. Go Creek!