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Football wants Friday Night Notes

Today was the calm before the storm in the sports world of autumn. Football is back in Commonwealth Stadium — for better or worse — the NFL and its replacement referees jump into full swing on Sunday, and so does Fantasy Football. The Cowboys vs. Giants teaser in the middle of the week helped get me going, but I only had two players for my freebie league in play; so my interest was low. Sunday I will be glued to the television and ESPN’s Fantasy Tracker app. This will be a good weekend.


— Tomorrow is Kent State day. A fair assessment of the fan base is about one quarter are genuinely excited and ready to root for the team. Half the fans are completely disinterested and waiting for a real tipping point, either positively or negatively, to totally jump off board or get back on. And the other quarter despises Joker Phillips, Mitch Barnhart, footballs, the brand of Joker’s underwear and his favorite color.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30, but will not be televised on cable in Lexington. You’ll need Dish, DirecTV, or an internet connection to stream on

— If you’re going to the game, I want to hear about the experience. How are the tailgaters? Are they as amped up as normal? What is the pre-game in the stadium? What is the emotion and vibe surrounding the Blue Lot? How is the atmosphere at kickoff? Tweet me @StuartHammerKSR and fill me as a fan… What the rest of the fans are doing?

— Remember the last time Kent State played Kentucky? You don’t? Ask baseball fans that question and they wont hesitate. If Kentucky football is seeking any extra motivation tomorrow, they need to look no further than Gary Henderson and the UK baseball team. The Golden Flashes ended the Wildcats season, beating them twice in the regionals of the NCAA Tournament in June. You may remember the 21-inning marathon that was decided after 6 and a half hours, with the Cats falling by a run. Kentucky battled though the double-elimination bracket but was bounced again by Kent State with a spot in the Super Regional on the line. How about a little revenge?

— To basketball now: Drew Franklin posted an uncomfortable but interesting “blast from the past” earlier, an ESPN feature going all-access on Kentucky basketball in 2009. The tail end of that season was a disastrous collapse which saw the Wildcats lose four straight games and six of their last eight, all but sealing a postseason appearance in the NIT.

— A quote that really stuck out to me, and something that should have been just another warning sign of the kind of person Billy Gillispie was, came during a shoot around in the Craft Center as the team prepared for LSU. Gillispie stopped the workout and criticized the team saying, “That’s a very very typical play for us all year long. I can’t coach you to make a play, all I can do it put you in a position to make play. That’s on you. That’s where it’s been, that’s where it is.” It started off true enough, but in typical Billy Clyde fashion, he shoves the blame off of his own coaching ability, and now it’s solely player’s fault. I really can’t believe we put up with that a-hole.

— Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Holcutt will certainly be meeting with Gillispie sooner rather than later. Gillispie was released from the University Medical Center in Lubbock after being admitted last Friday and treated for high blood pressure. The end is nigh, Clyde.

— Shifting gears back to better and happier news, did you see that new Wildcat Coal Lodge? Holy smokes that is a nice place. When do we up the ante and talk about Kentucky being the Platinum Standard of college basketball?

— UK women’s soccer defeated No. 12 Louisville tonight on the road.

— Savannah State is the biggest underdog in the history of college football. Last week they were demolished by Oklahoma State 84-0 after being given +65.5 points in Stillwater (which was the record for a week). This week Las Vegas is spotting them +70.5 points against No. 6 Florida State. SEVENTY AND A HALF. The Tigers will walk away at the end of the day with a monumental loss, but not all is lost. The team will take a paycheck worth about $500,000 back to their athletic department. Will you bet the spread on this one? The line went down a point on Friday night to 69.5, so betters are picking the Tigers.

— Speaking of point spreads, Kentucky is a seven-point favorite over Kent State. A Mid-American Conference team. At home. Yeesh…

Have a good one, Big Blue Nation. We’ll see you back here tomorrow morning; gearing up for a win over the Golden Flashes. Max Smith is gonna go off. Mark it down.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

13 Comments for Football wants Friday Night Notes

  1. Skip
    10:33 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Duke player buys 100k worth of jewelry his senior season, which happens to be when duke won the championship, and there is no national coverage of this? If Davis had done this Thamel would be wetting himself.

  2. Fruity Smell
    10:35 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    BCG is toast!

  3. Owen
    11:15 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Hey, we go hard in the MAC! … but UK won’t have a problem with Kent St. They would with Ohio, though.

  4. BlueTexan
    11:54 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry that BCG has screwed up yet again…however, BCG’s bus ticket outa Lexington should have included that idiot Barnfart. Barnfart should have vetted BCG before he gave him the ‘keys to the kingdom’. He didn’t…the rest is history – until, he gave Joker the next key!

  5. BAdams
    3:03 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    4, why do people like you insist on thinking Barnhart sucks? He kicked BCG out quickly and brought in Calipari. And now the athletics department as a whole has several programs that are competing for championships, ranked, and constantly improving. Basketball and football are not the only sports at UK.

  6. barn
    6:22 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    barnhart has raised the level of most UK sports–except football. admittedly the bcg hire was a negative on his list of achievements. here’s a thought: maybe bcg’s lunacy was triggered by his time in the pressure cooker that is UK Basketball. maybe he was normal before mitch hired him. just a thought.

  7. Danny
    7:26 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know what channel on DirecTV? I looked and could not find it.

  8. Beavis
    7:35 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    The officials at Texas A & M were less than forthcoming about Billy Clyde’s shortcoming when our naive AD inquired about him. Perhaps something more than a one man coaching search would have turned up more info. BCG was making our AD look bad and the program was obviously headed in the wrong direction. Sounds like our current football program.

  9. stan
    8:41 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    No Barnhart fan here, but I don’t think anyone saw the monster BCG really was.That being said, Barnhart did hold on to long,should have layed down the law to him,he violates,out! No second chance. He rubbed Mitch’s face in crap many times before he pulled the trigger.

  10. CATandMONKEY
    9:17 am September 8, 2012 Permalink


    If IIRC, UK hired a national search firm to disover and (initially) vet coaches for BCG’s former job. Most of us, myself included, were reasonably optimistic when BCG first arrived. At first, BCG acted very excited and humbled (I know…), had an impressive list of recent coaching awards and appeared to be a tireless recruiter; one area where Tubby could have used some assistance.

    When BCG needed to go, Mitch did the right thing. Cannot fault him for that.

    Go Cats!

  11. Some Guy in Kentucky
    9:53 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    Dish network is going to have to UK football game on channel 435.

  12. Papaw
    10:01 am September 8, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t understand why everyone is a Barnhart hater. I think he’s doing a tremendous job as AD. He’s made a gaff or two, but he’s always tried to fix them. Also, I think it is an honorable and fair thing to give folks like BCG and Joker some latitude to turn things around. Plus, if they don’t it makes his decision easier and less likely to be criticized. Keep it up, Mitch!

  13. Just Sayin
    12:03 pm September 8, 2012 Permalink

    I am not a fan of Gillespie and the majority of his coaching tactics, but this is your most incriminating quote – “That’s a very very typical play for us all year long. I can’t coach you to make a play, all I can do it put you in a position to make play. That’s on you. That’s where it’s been, that’s where it is.”

    That is a pretty harmless quote and to be honest a very positive message. It is called taking accountability as players, and it is the coach’s responsibility to put the players in the right positions in order to make a play for themselves. It’s unfortunate to see how far he has fallen and lost in connection with the game, but there is a reason he landed at UK in the first place.