It was an exciting final game of the NFL Playoffs to end a rather eventful weekend around the UK sports world. Normally I try to have some sort of Universal theme for these Sunday night posts, but with no game we will just roundup a few thoughts:
— Vince Marrow is returning to Kentucky. A source told KSR tonight that a deal has been reached between Marrow and UK for him to remain a part of the UK staff. It has been a fascinating weekend to follow the entire Vince Marrow saga. The internet is a crazy thing and this entire situation has showcased that once again. Michigan blogs (and there are a lot I have discovered) were making Marrow a done deal to the Wolverines on Friday. Then on Saturday, things reversed and everyone had him returning to Lexington. One random Twitter follow later (when Marrow followed a Michigan TE recruit) and the bags were packed once again for UK’s biggest recruiter. What has been interesting from my perspective is to see how off everyone really has been on it. While most have been focusing on these secondary signs, sources tell me the basics of the decision-making never changed much at all. Marrow met with Michigan because…well, who wouldn’t? But after receiving the offer from the Wolverines, he returned to Kentucky and met with Mark Stoops and others, before deciding to remain on the UK staff. This is a huge keep for Kentucky football and the type of thing that will pay major dividends for the program but now and in the future. And it once again demonstrates that these are not the old days of UK football. This is a program committed to winning…and keeping Marrow will help make that happen. Big YAHTZEE
— I am amazed that a Governor in the Giants/Eagles home area is sitting in the owner’s box for the Cowboys. If the Kentucky Governor was sitting on the bench at Duke/Tennessee games…well I think a coup might take place. I guess Christie just thinks, “who cares”…something that seems especially apparent by his choice of that orange sweater (ugh).
— Carlton Bragg is likely not headed to Kentucky. When the announcement is over, we will talk more about why (and maybe a bit tomorrow on the show), but the early announcement tells me he is headed to either Kansas or Illinois. With Kentucky’s uncertainty at the big men positions…depending on who returns and with other targets Calipari is more interested still out there…Bragg’s decision to choose now makes UK an unlikely pick. He is really talented but I think Kentucky will be focused on Caleb Swanigan, Stephen Zimmerman and possibly Ivan Rabb as more pressing targets. I still think UK sits well with Malik Newman, depending on who returns for UK, and Jaylen Brown is the wildcard talent that everyone wants. This offseason is way up in the air in terms of UK has coming back…I think you can pencil in Ulis, Lee, Willis, Hawkins Skal, Briscoe and Matthews but after that lots is still to be determined with guys like Lyles, Dakari, Alex and even Booker (who has planned to return but may see his stock skyrocket even more). This will be a roster in flux for some time and makes predicting on the final class a little difficult.
— I watched “Wolf of Wall Street” for the fourth time this weekend. Margot Robbie is possibly the most beautiful woman ever. Am I wrong about that? If you think so, keep it to yourself. And Jonah Hill’s accent and teeth make the movie for me.
— This week will be tense with all things Damien Harris. My current inclination is that he will pick Kentucky but that isn’t certain. We will certainly hear information that will go in every which direction. I am happy for the kid however no matter what he does as I think he is a great young man who has handled this process and circus about as well as anyone could have. I don’t know that there have been many players whose decision has been more followed in the internet age…maybe Drew Barker, but it is close. If he picks Kentucky over Alabama and Ohio State, it will be (as with Marrow) a huge win for UK football and hopefully a sign of a massive year to come.
— It feels like a month since UK last played and thus I am excited we get back to action on Tuesday against Ole Miss. The Rebels have been one of the more inconsistent teams in America, beating teams like Cincinnati and Creighton and losing to jobbers like Charleston Southern and the Brooklyn Brawler. If they come to play (and their star Jarvis Summers is hot), it might be competitive for awhile. If they don’t, it will be ugly. It was a so-so weekend for the SEC, with South Carolina getting a great win vs Iowa State, but Florida falling at home to UCONN after having a big lead. The SEC is probably a little better than it was last year (not saying a lot), but doesn’t have a second power team like it did last year. Luckily for UK, strength of schedule is likely to be of little to no concern.
— The Bachelor is back tomorrow, which gives me more happiness than it should.
— I am also speaking tomorrow night at the WYMT Scholarship Presentation in Hazard. 103 students from Eastern Kentucky will be given college scholarships due to the generosity of a number of donors and various events the tv station has down there. It has always been a tremendous program and I am honored to get a chance to head back towards home and be a part of it.
It’s about to be a big week….Marrow, Harris and Bragg, OH MY! Should be fun. Radio starts it tomorrow morning at 10 as we welcome our 31st affiliate from Irvine, Ky (WIRV) to the party.