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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: A Plea to see In-State Schools on the Schedule EVERY Year

Often times, the second tier games on a basketball schedule are what make or break the difficulty of that schedule.  UK will always have the Champions Classic and Louisville’s of the world on the schedule.  Tonight, we take on Eastern Kentucky, the 2nd consecutive year we have played the Colonels.  The Cats played Northern Kentucky 2 years ago.  But I have to wonder: why not give a little more love to the in-state schools like Murray State and Western Kentucky? 

Do you realize that Kentucky has NEVER played Murray State in basketball.  Never.  That is stunning to me.  Western Kentucky is not much better, having played UK only 6 times in it’s history and 3 of those were during the NCAA Tournament when UK had no choice.  The last time UK actually scheduled WKU was 2001, and WKU won that game in Rupp. Now, the answer is actually not that difficult to figure out and I am sure will be mentioned many times in the comments section: both WKU and Murray want true home or semi-home games as part of their deal.  And let me be clear: UK should not agree to any deal that forces them to play in Murray or Bowling Green.  Not my argument.

What I am arguing is that I would like to see agreements in place for UK to get 2 home games and 1 neutral game in Nashville/Saint Louis to play these teams on a yearly basis.  WHY?  Because if UK is willing to play a true road game against South Florida this year, a team that is below Murray and WKU, then wouldn’t it benefit the RPI of the team, as well as the interest of the fanbase more to play an in-state game closer to Lexington.  Let’s be honest, even if those neutral site games were played, UK would still have the majority of the crowd.  Win-win-win.

I think UK can work out a deal where we see NKU, EKU, Murray, Morehead, WKU, and Louisville on the schedule every year.  Morehead, EKU, and NKU would never ask for any kind of home game.  Great.  Special deals would have to be worked out with WKU and Murray.  So what.  When we have played true road games against South Florida, I think we can work out a Nashville game with Western every 3 years.

And if you’re argument is that you are scared these teams might actually beat the Cats, then what does that say about you?  That you are scared of mid-major programs in the state?  That is no way to approach a schedule.  I see no negatives to scheduling these teams.  They wouldn’t try and make you play in their gyms, big interest in the state, small chance of losing.  If Murray or WKU is trying to secure a home game, then I get it.  But if not, I don’t see any reason not to seriously consider this.  Don’t tell me UK has nothing to gain by scheduling these games.  If that is the case, what gain do they have in scheduling Wofford or Siena?  At least Murray and WKU would get more interest.

I just wonder what you all think.  Do you want to see more in-state schools on the schedule on a yearly basis?  Or is that an unimportant factor in the schedule for you?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

18 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: A Plea to see In-State Schools on the Schedule EVERY Year

  1. reedwizard
    8:12 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    The problem is you’re using South Florida as a barometer. Cal doesn’t schedule teams like South Florida…so why did he do it? To help out Antigua of course!! It’s like playing Barnhart’s alma mater and other AD officials, to give back now that they are on top and it is a big benefit to those schools.

    The in-state schools that want to have home and home are too high on themselves and until that changes I could care less if we play them.

  2. ukjaybrat
    8:16 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    It’s like Matt always says… what do we get by using (wasting) a road or neutral site game by playing western. UK doesn’t benefit from it. we are already getting all the top talent from this state, if we want it. So if we put a neutral site game with western o nthe schedule, that’s one less game we can play aqainst ohio state, ucla, north carolina, or whoever else. because we are not going to give up a home game for that. i don’t think the revenue generated in nashville (against western) would compensate the loss of revenue for a missed home game.

  3. Basteballer
    8:23 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    I went to Murray State but, as a UK fan, it doesn’t make sense for UK to play them. They are, from time to time, a legitimately good basketball team. It’s a potential loss (they are usually a veteran team and UK is brand new every year) with no real upside. We see how that’s worked out by playing Western in football. Why go down that road? It’s a huge plus for Murray and has no benefit for UK.

    • Great American
      8:39 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

      I’m a Murray grad and as much as i would love to see the Cats play the Racers you’re exactly right, there’s absolutely nothing in it for Kentucky. A neutral court game wouldn’t make as much money as a game in Rupp, UK loses a neutral court game with somebody better, if they beat Murray they were supposed to, if they loose to Murray – “REALLY, UK LOST TO MURRAY STATE!”. There’s no good reason for the cats to play the racers. We can only hope that Murray gets a 9 seed and wins the 1st round and plays the # 1 seed Cats in the second round of the tournament.

    • danzigman
      10:18 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

      As a fellow Murray grad I agree fully with what you and great said. There is no benefit for the Cats to play the Racers. They are supposed to win, and if by some fluke they don’t it will be embarrassing to the program. There is no gain here for UK.

  4. BlueDeuce
    8:26 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    I could look at it from another angle…other than it doesn’t pay to play state schools…it could certainly improve the talent at the state schools to have an annual game with UK. That’s a pretty good recruiting tool to be able to say “we play UK every year and there are always scouts there.” Not to mention the revenue generated for the state school.

    The truth is though, it only benefits the state school, not UK. Now, WKU would be a good game but again, no way to do a home and home as the revenue lost by going to WKU is too great. Not sure a neutral site game is the answer either but I’d say play it in Louisville over Nashville (renew that annual game played there like years past).

  5. secrick
    8:59 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    Yes all schools with the exception of Louisville. I don’t like to play schools with 2 coaches with the rep. that those 2 guys have. The only problem is i love all the in state schools , not counting the cards, and hate to yell against them.

  6. deltasig41
    9:21 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    “I think UK can work out a deal where we see NKU, EKU, Murray, Morehead, WKU, and Louisville on the schedule every year.”

    So, let me get this straight…You would rather play SIX games against in-state schools every year than play the type of schedule we have now? Because if you play six in-state schools just for the sake of playing them, something would have to give. It comes down to schedule strength and RPI when Selection Sunday rolls around, and scheduling games like that as a favor to the little guy wouldn’t do any good for Kentucky.

    There may be the random year where, aside from UofL, two of those teams make the tournament. But it’s rare. Most of the time, at best, one of them is of any quality at all and the rest are garbage. If we’re going to play 5 or 6 mid-majors anyway, we may as well do like we have been and play quality teams that are legit conference contenders than the likes of Morehead State just because they’re located in Kentucky. The OVC is a bad conference overall…You’d really want to see Kentucky play three teams from it? Come on.

  7. Long Dong Silver
    9:22 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    I see only negatives in playing the local schools. Nothing to gain and everything to lose. If you win, big deal. Doesn’t help your rpi, or revenue. Lose that game…and you never hear the end of it.

  8. Willis talkin bout....
    9:27 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    I’ve always wished we could have a pre-season in-state tournament instead of exhibition games. Host the first rounds in Rupp and Yum. Then alternate years for the final rounds. No state loves basketball more than Ky, the games would sellout, and every fanbase in the state would explode with pre-season excitement every season. And hell the games wouldn’t even count.

  9. SoCalCat
    9:29 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    No, let’s dont.

  10. J-Dub421
    9:56 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    No, playing in state teams is a bad idea. UK takes on all the risk and gets none of the reward, while the other in state teams get all the reward with no risk.

  11. Jiminy Crickets
    10:39 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    A Democrats view of basketball. I mean the point here is to give them the game, so that we can give them the money,. Give to the poor because they’re poor, don’t make them build a program and be worth us playing. I got a better idea, let’s just give them a check and we dont have to play at all.

  12. TonyMontana
    10:58 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    Looks like the overwhelming consensus is no. Lets not.

  13. kvltclassic
    11:16 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    I want to say that Murray wouldn’t do it unless we did home and home and there isn’t a chance in hell that happens.

  14. ukatsfan
    11:55 am December 9, 2015 Permalink

    Why not bring back the annual game in Freedom Hall — against a state school. Do the open shoot arounds for the fans on game day. Would be great for basketball in the Commonwealth.

  15. sylvar
    12:34 pm December 9, 2015 Permalink

    I’m going to set aside that you didn’t get your facts right and just say this: Louisville every year and one home game where rotate all the little guys over the years. That is pretty much how it is now, except the biggest of the little guys don’t want that….so screw them.

  16. Paducah UK fan
    4:36 pm December 9, 2015 Permalink

    Amazes me that most of us>>as TRUE UK Fans are scared to play in state schools. What is the difference in losing to Western vs some of the crap teams we plan now? If we lose to So Fla, do they not get a lot of hype from beating us? I think perfectly ok to play a couple at Rupp, and only Rupp every year. It would be a heck of a lot more fun to drive from Paducah to Lexington to see UK play Murray/Western than some of the “never heard of schools” we play now. I do not think we need to play them at their house, or even on a neutral court. Let them make some money, recruit and beat Little brother. That would be even more fun to watch. UK should never be worried about losing>>>to anyone…period!!!