(There are only so many Matt Jones’ out there to dedicate the news and views to…)
For reasons I cannot explain, my parents would not let my sister and I watch a certain part of “Dances with Wolves” as children. First of all, I’m not entirely sure why that movie was on our television enough for me to remember MULTIPLE times when my parents would literally stand in front of the tv set in order to shield us from seeing whatever happened during one particular part (never watched it as an adult to find out). For reasons I really cannot explain, my parents didn’t see it fit for us to watch “Dances with Wolves” but did not see any issue with us watching Beverly Hills 90210. I still claim to this day that my Mom just really wanted to watch it herself, and knew that the only way to have peace and quiet during the show was to have my sister and I both invested as well. Anyone who has seen 90210 knows that sex, partying, lots of denim, high teen drama, hair gel, the weird guy who worked in the Peach Pit, etc. were all the glue that held the show together. I should have asked for regular Barbies as a young child for Christmas, but instead I had 90210 Barbies. And let’s just say that my Donna Martin Barbie doll might not have held herself to the same standards as the Donna Martin from the actual show… Too far? Blame it on my parents.
Jason Priestley was my 2nd favorite guy on the popular teen drama, right behind Dylan McKay (who had no business being with a girl like Brenda, smh). Priestley was the “guy next door” who just happened to wear his jeans a little too tight. Today, Priestley celebrates his 43rd birthday. Somewhere in the hands of a lucky garage sale recipient, I hope my old
Jason Brandon Walsh Barbie Doll is celebrating too. Hopefully with the Kelly doll, and not Brenda.
And now on to the news of the day…
– Who’s excited about college football? Apparently not the state of Kentucky…
– The Governor’s Cup is now 5 sleeps away (5 no sleeps for Doron). The tension between Louisville and Kentucky fans seems to be noticeably flaring up over the last 24 hours. Maybe it’s the fact that Louisville Hate Day is drawing near, or maybe it’s the fact that we’ve exhausted the conversation leading up to it. The depth charts have been released, the level of contact in practice is going down, the line beards are being sharpened and the predictions are rolling in…
– Speaking of predictions, former Illinois coach Ron Zook (now a member of the Inside College Football team) made a bold prediction this evening. In a last minute decision, Zook switched his upset pick of the weekend to Kentucky over Louisville. Someone get Cal to get him a national championship ring. Just kidding. Seriously. I’m kidding.
– Joker Phillips and his staff are in the final stages of preparation leading up to the game on Sunday. Even though at this point in the week heading into a game the drills are usually less physical, the coaching staff has allowed more physical contact than usual in order to keep the players sharp. The positive tones continue to come in from the practice reports and Max Smith is one of the main recipients of the positivity. Phillips claims that Smith is further along than Andre’ Woodson or Mike Hartline at this point in time. Randy Sanders even went as far as to say that Smith is “a million miles ahead” of where he was last year.
– Kentucky and Louisville both seem to be very confident in their options at the running back position. Joker Phillips has mentioned 5-6 guys as all having the opportunity to be major contributors to the offense. Louisville likes their options as well. In what has become customary from the Louisville end of things, Charlie Strong is keeping his cards close to his chest (which by the way, is frighteningly big). Louisville has yet to name a starting running back. The running back situation at Louisville has been described by coaches as “almost seamless.” The race is close by all accounts and the two teams seem to be in eerily similar positions with a number of talented players ready to take some of the snaps.
– Strong may not be saying much, but one of his players had a quote that has been making the rounds on Twitter among the Louisville fans in between questionable uses of “your” and “you’re.” UL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater caught wind of the statement made by Avery Williamson yesterday about how he’d love to get a hit on Teddy (in fairness, the quote was pulled pretty hard from Williamson). Bridgewater had the following reaction: “Yeah, I’m aware of it. But it’s all about U of L so we pay no attention to it.” (h/t Jody Demling)
– One final thought on football before moving on to some basketball notes: I know that it’s been said before, but I love Kentucky’s underdog role in the game Sunday. Without question, a contingent of fans and media certainly believe the margin between the two teams is slim. With that said, the spread is still nearly 2 touchdowns and Louisville heads into the game as the unquestioned favorites. Kentucky has to feel good about the mentality they can take into the game. Louisville has a schedule that many are looking at and asking, “could they possibly be the favorite in every game they play, and maybe go undefeated?” Kentucky has the opportunity to play a role they played when Brian Brohm was the guy throwing the ball around in red…the role of the spoiler. The first game of the season by no means determines the success or failure of a season, but Kentucky has a chance to pull off a nice upset and put a huge damper on any hope the Cards have of an undefeated season. Of course, on the flip side– Kentucky doesn’t enter the game pressure-free as many consider this season to be make-or-break for Joker Phillips. Regardless, I repeat, I really like Kentucky’s role heading into this game. Don’t ruin this for us, Ron Zook.
– Before we go any further, I want to be sure that all of you have sweet dreams tonight/a pleasant morning…
– In case you missed it earlier, Julius Randle took over the #1 spot in the latest Rivals rankings. Jabari Parker, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Gordon round out the rest of the top 5. For those keeping track at home, at least 4 of those 5 top players are seriously considering Kentucky.
– Julius Randle has coincidentally set up an in-home visit with Kentucky
– The name Dez Wells popped onto the scene this week when we learned that Xavier expelled him due to sexual assault allegations. In what many Xavier fans have referred to as a possible knee-jerk reaction based on the recent drama surrounding Xavier following the Cincinnati brawl, Wells seemed like a potential steal for whatever program could snatch him. Originally it had been discussed that at least a small level of interest existed between Kentucky and Wells but as the week has progressed– the interest seems to be non-existent. While on the topic of non-existent, Louisville miraculously might be able to find a scholarship for Wells. Wells told CBSSports that he is looking at Memphis, Maryland and Louisville. Wells will visit all 3 next week and then make a decision. Back to Andrew Wiggins.
– In related news, Tim Henderson is giving his ACL a pep talk tonight. “Stay strong, bud.”
– John Calipari got bored today and performed a little experiment to showcase just how much length might be on display if his two big men play on the court at the same time next year. Calipari had Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein see how high they could reach on a 12-foot ceiling.
– Don’t forget, #LouisvilleHateDay starts on Thursday. This is Drew Franklin’s Super Bowl. Stop by KSR early and often for a healthy does of hate and probably an unhealthy dose of photo-shopping.
– P.s. Thank you to Makayla Epps for her early participation in #LouisvilleHateDay. If you missed it, Epps, the daughter of former Kentucky men’s basketball player Anthony Epps, changed her commitment from Louisville to Kentucky.
– And last but not least, happy birthday to UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart. Barnhart recently turned 53 years old. If Kentucky wins on Sunday, Barnhart will remain 53 years-old. If Kentucky loses on Sunday, Barnhart might suddenly feel about 5 birthdays deeper. In all seriousness though, Barnhart has done an unbelievable job in his tenure while at Kentucky. The non-football/basketball sports have excelled beyond anyone’s wildest expectations under his leadership. The coaches across the athletic department speak glowingly of his commitment to their sports and their student athletes. Barnhart corrected a mistake in the best fashion possible when he helped hire John Calipari to head the men’s basketball program a few years ago. Barnhart is a hard-working guy who we will look back on in 30 years and call his time at Kentucky a “golden age” for every sport that never got nearly the attention in the years before.