Apparently ESPN is set to release the “ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia” here pretty soon (think we’ll hear about that during broadcasts this season?). The book is billed as “The Complete History of the Men’s Game” and has an introduction from former US Senator and former NCAA Player of the year Bill Bradley. It could be a sports boner-inducing gift for any sports fan. But, for the Kentucky fan, there could be an extra incentive.
The Worldwide Leader employed Jeff Sagarin, he of the ratings formula fame, to rank every college basketball program from top to bottom and Sagarin’s computation ranks Kentucky as the #1 program of all-time. Not only does he give the Cats top billing, but he does so in a strong fashion, making the distance between UK and #2 UCLA greater than any other two teams on the list. This is either great holiday marketing by the folks at ESPN or it’s a testament of decades of high-quality basketball continued from Adolph Rupp through Joe B. Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, Billy Gillispie and, hopefully, John Calipari.
But, as they say, every rose has it’s thorn…and every UK story has its Pat Forde angle. Forde would like to politely tenaciously disagree with UK’s ranking.