Earlier today, the above picture was tweeted out by a UK football player and it showcases a truth that we have all known for some time, the relative awesomeness of UK’s football Coach Rich Brooks. Papaw Brooks has restarted the UK program from the co-cellar dweller of the SEC to a legitimate middle of the pack contender in the roughest league in the country. UK can go into nearly every game thinking it has a legitimate chance to win and the credit for that goes to Brooks and the improved talent that has come to Lexington during his tenure. Many still have questions as to whether the Music City Bowl on Sunday could be his last game in the Blue and White. As of now, Brooks hasnt given an answer and if anyone knows for certain, they arent saying. If it is however, I hope UK fans take a minute this week to enjoy what has happened at UK under his watch. He has won victories on the field, in the recruiting trenches and with national college football respect…all the while staying awesome in a “I will wear a Snuggie and be allowed to have my picture taken” kind of way. If you are gone, we will miss you Papaw.
To the news…
(1): The big story of the day around these KSR parts was our report about the Jemele Hill apology given to the University of Kentucky due to some comments she made on ESPN First Take last Friday. Since that story, I spoke with Josh Krulewitz, a spokesman for ESPN and asked if he would confirm the story. He gave me this statement in response to the earlier story: “Jemele Hill realized it was an inappropriate comment and volunteered to call Kentucky.” So with Hill’s apology, where does that leave us? It is clear that there is a definite strain in ESPN-UK relations and I will have more on the specifics of some of those strains later Monday afternoon. But for now we do know that for the first time in recent memory, a personality from the Worldwide Leader has apologized to the University for a statement made on its airwaves.
(2): The Cats will go for Win #2000 tonight against Drexel in a game that will be televised and marks the culmination of a long chase to be the first program to reach the milestone. While there will be no ceremony during the game due to the obvious “Chickens before they hatch” potential, if the Cats win, there will be a special presentation after the game. Make sure if you are in attendance for the game that you stick around and dont leave if the Cats get a large lead. From what I understand, there will be a ceremony afterwards and potentially even a little something for fans to remember the occasion with as well. IF you are going, you dont want to miss it.
(3): A strange topic all day around the internet was the notion that players believe Kentucky could potentially go undefeated. After the game on Saturday, both Patrick Patterson and Demarcus Cousins (whose appearance on the John Calipari Show on Sunday was priceless) both expressed the belief that the team could pull off the feat. While I admire the confidence and swagger (and as Calipari made clear in his postgame press conference, there is a big difference between swagger and arrogance), I think the chance of such a feat is almost nil. Even the greatest teams in the modern era have not gone undefeated. As good as this Kentucky team is, it is not yet in the vicinity of the 91 UNLV, 92 Duke, 96 Kentucky type teams that had a legitimate shot at going undefeated. But you do have to love the team has its goals set high. However in so doing, lets hope they keep pace on the small steps along the way.
(4): There was good news and bad news on the football front tonight. The bad news comes from the decision by Eric Adeyemi to transfer from Kentucky. The Wide Receiver has never really found his footing at Kentucky and even though he has made plays during his Sophomore season, he hasnt yet found his niche in the offensive scheme. He will leave before the Bowl game and according to his Facebook post, UAB is a likely destination for him.
(5): On the good side, UK got some positive recruiting news in the evening. Jeff Drummond reports that Kenarious Gates, a 3 star Offensive Lineman out of Georgia has picked UK over Mississippi State, NC State and Vanderbilt in the Class of 2010. He was a big target for UK and a guy I know they really wanted. In addition, Mike Fields of the Herald Leader reported that 3 star Bryan Station junior offensive tackle Darrian Miller commited to Kentucky over a host of schools, including Alabama. Miller is in the Class of 2011 and is considered one of the best players in the state in what is looking to be a relatively packed class of high school players in that class. He gives some good bulk in the offensive line and helps Joker Phillips lock up part of the state in what is sure to be an increasing recruiting battle with Charlie Strong at Louisville.
So there you go, a relatively news-packed Sunday night. Later today we will have more on the ESPN deal, preview Win #2000 and get ready for the Christmas week and the Clemson game. Below is Episode #7 of the Podcast, which if you havent checked out, please do. Until later….