There’s really too much to say about the BCS Championship Game than would fit in this tiny space. The stars played like stars, though there were far too many turnovers. The non-stars (Michael Dyer) played like stars. The coach that was ridiculed at the airport two years ago found redemption. The kicker who chomped the Gators at The Swamp as a freshman finished his career with a title-winning kick. The confetti on Cam Newton’s head was enormous. Basically, it was the second-finest BCS Championship game I’ve ever seen (2005 Rose Bowl better) and it ended with another SEC team being crowned as the king of college football. In the thirteenth edition, an SEC team won the game for the seventh time and for the fifth consecutive year. Yes, I am thinking it too. CATS IN 2012!!!!!!!!
Now onto some UK notes (and good morning too)…
– Despite the ruling on Friday that he was permanently ineligible finally seeming to put some closure on the Enes Kanter situation, the case of UK’s sidelined freshmen was again the biggest story of the day as John Calipari spent two sessions with the media airing his issues with the decision. Calipari revealed that Enes Kanter had no intentions of entering the NBA Draft this season, even if he had been declared eligible and played for the Cats. He also took shots at NCAA President Mark Emmert for his assertions that it was a clear-cut case despite it taking eight months for a ruling and for what Cal deemed unnecessary comments on the situation. No matter what Calipari says at this point, the case is closed and Enes will not be free. But, by not going quietly, Calipari is keeping at least a little heat on the NCAA and adding more frustration to a building notion that the organization is running itself on the fly and case-by-case. But, more importantly, he’s again proving to those with their ears and eyes tuned in that he’s the best player’s coach in the country. To potential players, that doesn’t go unnoticed.
– One of the other interesting comments of the day came when Cal was extensively talking about how his team is playing “content, not committed” and that there were guys on his team that did not deserve to start and were only getting a lot of minutes because of roster attrition. The players Calipari appeared to have been talking about in the latter half of that statement are juniors DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller. Both players have had their issues at UK, though Liggins had seemed to turn a corner lately. But, as has been the case all year, Kentucky knows what they’ll get from Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones and, now, Josh Harrellson. For the team to remain consistent, they’ll need the two junior wings to carry the weight that they’re expected to handle. This team can go without them, it just can’t go as far as everyone hopes.
– Coming off of a loss in Georgia, Kentucky seems primed for a bounce back game against an Auburn team that might be the worst BCS basketball team in America. The Tigers already sport losses to UNC-Asheville, Samford, Campbell, Presbyrterian and Jacksonville and are coming off a game where they scored six first-half points at home against LSU. They are 296th in the nation in points per game against a schedule that ranks 328th in the nation and have had a player score 20 points one time all season. That’s basically a long way of saying that unless Billy Clyde comes all crooked tied to coach the game tomorrow, the Cats probably have this one wrapped up already.
– What will make this complete and utter beat-down a little tough on Coach Cal, though, is the close relationship between UK’s head coach and new Auburn head man Tony Barbee. Barbee was a graduate assistant for Cal at UMass and later an assistant at Memphis before taking the UTEP job and called Calipari the most influential male figure in his life besides his father. And, as we said earlier, he can expect one of those whoopins that only Daddy could hand out when he comes to Rupp tomorrow.
– With football now over and the sour taste of the Compass Bowl left to linger all spring and summer, Kentucky fans can now concern themselves with whether or not Randall Cobb will go pro. Nothing new to report, but the deadline to declare for the NFL Draft is Friday. I don’t know if we’ve put that on here yet. But now we have. So there you go. I still think Cobb leaves.
– As mentioned in the post below, Joker Phillips’ recruiting class took a hit Monday when offensive lineman Nick Martin switched his verbal to Notre Dame. Kentucky is not in a position to lose recruits, especially after laying a fat egg in Birmingham Saturday, and Martin’s change in allegiance is one that stings. He was a guy who had big-time offers and Kentucky blood lines, including his father being a teammate of Joker Phillips. I can’t begrudge a kid for doing what he thinks is best, but there’s no question that this one has to sting for the staff and frustrated fans.
– And, as I’m writing this, there seems to be the potential for more bad news as it’s being reported that UK’s insistence that committed three-star tight end Josh Forrest grey shirt has him wavering his allegiance as well. Forrest will visit UCF with Lamar Dawson next weekend and said that, as of now, he’s 50-50 between the Cats and the Black Knights. So you’re saying there’s a chance we keep him?!?! Space Mountain isn’t that cool.
– With a loss against Arkansas already running the Vols record without Bruce Pearl to 0-1, the Vols and Gators play Tuesday nightin a game that was seen at one time as a battle of potential SEC championship contenders. Instead, all I can think about is how badly I’d love for Bruce Pearl to UStream himself while he watches from home. I’d even contribute some money to see that one play out.
– Sometimes, life hands you lemons and you have to make lemonade. That’s exactly the case here. Enes is ineligible and this Kentucky man left Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Diamond Dallas Page stranded. Those are the lemons. The lemonade? A new Kentucky Barnstorming Tour. Make it happen, Matt Jones. Kanter and Jorts vs. DDP and The Anvil. Better than a Bruce Pearl UStream.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we get you all set for a big day against the awkward little brother of your BCS Champs. As usual, it gets started with Kentucky Sports Radio at 10am and then continues with (gasp!) a couple of new faces. In the meantime, try to see how long it takes you to realize this is a picture of a barefoot Lee Corso in a pool with a duck head on. Dirtbag.
See you in a few…