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Matt’s Journal: The Christian McCaffrey Show and Other Notes



This has arguably been the worst Bowl season in recent memory and it seems to be only getting worse. As I sit in the WLAP Radio studio and get ready for tonight’s “How many ridiculous threes will Stefan Moody hit today” games versus Ole Miss, the Georgia-Penn State snoozefest plays on the television, furthering the trend of awful games. The combination of blowouts, poor scheduling (putting the playoff games on New Year’s Eve was a dreadful decision) and lack of Kentucky participation (which unfortunately has been consistent for a half decade) has made this the worst Bowl year in quite some time. But there has been one exception to the sleepy Battlefrog Bowl Championship and that was the amazing show put on by Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

I will freely admit to being a complete McCaffrey truther prior to his unbelievable performance last night versus Iowa in the Rose Bowl. I had heard of McCaffrey and vaguely knew that he was the son of that Wide Receiver that played for the Broncos, but due in part to the rash of Kentucky night games and my general aversion to all things Pac 10, I had yet to see him play. Having no actual knowledge of his game, I instead was relying on lazy stereotype. Simply put, I took the view of “seriously, how good could a white Stanford Running Back really be?” Yeah, I remember the guy a few years ago who became Adrian Peterson’s backup in Minnesota, but when I heard people say that McCaffrey was the real deal, I rolled my eyes and incorrectly thought, “yeah right.” Well I was wrong…way wrong. McCaffrey may be the most exciting college Running Back since Reggie Bush and his absolute decimation of Iowa was a sight to behold. Everything he did was spectacular, his moves were eye-popping and his breakaway speed was impressive. Often times when you assume, especially based on stereotypes, you completely miss the boat. Maybe you don’t make any such assumptions ever…good for you (I don’t believe you by the way), but I did with McCaffrey and missed what has to be the most exciting player in college football. I won’t make the same mistake again and the Sophomore’s games next season will be must-watch TV for me.

Some other thoughts for the day:

— I can’t get over the Rick Pitino press conference yesterday, which was yet another bizarre incident in the neverending series of mind-blowing moments of the UL Basketball scandal saga. I will probably write a longer post about all the strange comments Rick made later, but suffice to say he likely should have taken his earlier advice and acted like a man who was not 63 and shut up. He took an innocuous question about whether he flipped UK fans the bird (he did, although he said he didn’t…sort of) and turned his false answer into a 15 minute diatribe about the Katina Powell saga. What followed was verbal diarrhea the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite some time. Pitino blamed the media for reporting false stories that he says he has never read (how does he know they are false?)…he said it was time he took up for the school against a book, the contents of which he says he doesn’t know and he without irony claimed he couldn’t have known anything about the entire matter because he controls the program with such an iron fist. It was truly bizarre and unless you are a homer for whom facts are irrelevant, it looked like the last ramblings of a man on his way out. Maybe there is some good PR strategy that comes from acknowledging for the first time publicly that “scurrilous” things happened and wrapping his plight with that of Joe Paterno, but for the life of me I can’t understand what they would be. If it weren’t for bad decisions, Pitino would make no decisions at all and yesterday’s is just the latest in a long line of odd ones during his prolonged fall.

— I was glad to see the Eddie Gran hire get completed early this week. Whether Gran is the right hire is ultimately irrelevant in my opinion. We can debate it until the cows come home but at the end of the day, if Stoops is going to succeed here then he needed a guy like Gran in the position. It is beyond clear to me that Stoops did not trust his two previous Offensive Coordinators…I think he liked them, they got along and there were some positive moments. But at the end of the day, he didn’t trust their system and in both the case of Neal Brown and Shannon Dawson, that lack of trust made the entire offense inefficient. If Stoops is going to work at Kentucky, he needs a guy who he believes in 100%…I think he believed in Brown about 80% and Dawson about 50%. That doesn’t work for a team. Total trust is not only needed, it is required. I believe he will have that with Gran. The combination of his playcalling and Drew Barker’s Quarterbacking ability will decide if Mark Stoops can be successful at Kentucky. Only time will tell the outcome.

— UK’s game tonight with Ole Miss should be a good start to SEC play. The win over Louisville was crucial and I think Calipari now finally knows how he wants this team to play. He has rotation (9 guys, with Willis playing if and when he rebounds) and he now knows that unlike his past teams, he must put guys in for offensive reasons and live with the defensive result. Not enough guys can make shots to keep out those who can and that mindset will probably continue to prevail during early conference play. My hope is that over the next five games, we see some development from Skal. Without him becoming a productive player, I think Kentucky’s cap is limited. But I am not ready to give up…he is too talented to just assume he can’t contribute. What is even more important is that Jamal Murray becomes a consistent star. For Kentucky to have beaten the Cards with Murray playing out of control and ineffectively (outside of his threes) was a blessing. Now he has to become the elite player I know he can be and help form the best backcourt in America with Tyler Ulis. I still like Kentucky’s upside and the schedule to start conference play (Ole Miss, LSU, Bama, Auburn and Miss State) gives the team the chance to gain some traction and hit their stride before tougher opposition awaits. There is one important caveat however…because this team has no shutdown weapon like past teams, the Cats could lose some games that they have no business losing…that may be part of the “process” with this group and something we just have to get used to for this bunch.

OK time to head towards Rupp…see you folks on the Pregame at 4:30

Article written by Matt Jones

23 Comments for Matt’s Journal: The Christian McCaffrey Show and Other Notes

  1. BluesyCat
    3:18 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    Matt, it seems to me that you are spending too much time on poor ‘ole Rick. It continues to be unbecoming of you as it seems that you are “punching down”. Sure, he does it to himself more often than not but you are sincerely the only media source that harps on every little thing he does. We have now beaten him so many times that we should just let the record speak for itself. I for one am tired of your pettiness towards him and I do not believe I am the only one. He is a self destructing old fool and it is tiresome, often humorous, but also sad. Sad because he is and will Always be a part of UK lore and tradition. Some of us will not/have not forgotten the way he made us feel when he took us on a magical ride so many years ago. Thank you.

    • Amen
      5:26 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      As soon as I saw Matt’s name on the post, I knew there would be something written about Rick. I think Matt needs to seek help.

    • Pat Riley
      6:42 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      One thing is for sure, If Rick survives this or God forbid wins another title, Matt will need some mental help.

  2. Matt Jones
    3:24 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    The NY Post, USA Today and every local newspaper did a story on that press conference so I don’t think I am the “only one.” But if I were, it wouldn’t change what I write. Pitino is the coach of one of the best programs in College BB…to talk about him is not to “punch down”…I might suggest he has a more important position than blog writer.

    If you are tired of reading about his transgressions and would prefer to dream of the days when he liked UK and didn’t flip our fans off, that is your right. I prefer to live in reality. Had Pitino not brought up the scandal yesterday, there would be nothing to say. He did…so I write about it. If you prefer not to read, his name was in bold and you can feel free to skip the paragraph. The reality is Many people, as showcased by our traffic and listeners when the scandal is a topic do what to hear/read about it and since I believe it’s a legitimate story, I will deal with it when it is in the news

    • Sarah White
      6:36 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      Absolutely. I agree with Matt. The reporters didn’t bring it up; Pitino did. Once he did, and jumped on everyone he could think of – the author, a reporter, the Katina Powell, he was open game.

      It is certainly interesting to me – just trying to figure out what the heck Pitino is talking about. As soon as you see Matt’s name, or even if you don’t want to read KSR, it is simple – just don’t.

    • dave
      10:43 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      wow. deleting comments of those that disagree with you, or give you a taste of you own medicine. you’re like tom jurich…MUST “CONTROL” THE MESSAGE

      thats really sad. no one said anything “sensational” or exaggerated, much like 99% of your UL coverage, yet you delete posts. another low for a pitiful little coward

  3. Bobbum Man
    3:34 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah, they’re also our biggest rival and you know coming to this site that that’s going to be one of the main topics, I personally want to hear everything I can about it. He’s already gone from it being totally false to now him thinking something did happen. I can’t wait for the hammer to drop on UL. As far as him being out coach in the past, obviously he did great things for our university, and if he continued to act like he respected us and appreciated the opportunities that were given to him because of the time he spent at UK then it wouldn’t be much of an issue, however flipping the bird to our fans on the way out of yet another loss and dodging the press conference following isn’t gonna earn you much respect. He’s got baggage going all the way back to his start at Hawaii. I’m just tired of people standing up for him and acting like he’s something he’s not. Maybe it’s the old age that’s made it worse, maybe it was the first sex scandal, maybe it was the second one, maybe it’s facing losing his title and lots of wins at UL, but I think we’re now seeing the true Ricky p. I too will always appreciate what he did for our university, I attended 4 of his father son basketball camps when I was young and will never forget those memories. That, however, does not mean I have to like him and respect him as a person

  4. ikle757
    3:38 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    on the topic of football want to see if Gran is going to have to stick w/ Drew as his QB or will he have a open competition for the spot. i am a Stoops supporter but i think it was wrong to just turn over the reins to him. but we will have to see.

    • inside info2
      4:35 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      Don’t be surprised if we get a JUCO or 5th year transfer to come in and start. Especially if Drew has any more off the field issues this winter.

      I’m hoping the Freshman that comes in can develop quickly. We may need him.

  5. Yes
    3:56 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    Thanks for the post Matt! Glad you, Drew, and TT are going strong on the site. Awesome content from you guys.

  6. Syrin
    4:16 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    Matt Jones, another racist liberal. What a shock.

    4:35 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    Let me get this straight? A white sports journalist writing a blog about white Coach is racist? Good to know. Jackass.

  8. j4stone
    4:36 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t understand the UK fans who are attacking this site for reporting the Pitino press confreence. Pitino contridicted himself throughout and made absolutely no sense. How can he say in one sentence that nothing happened, and then later admit that there were “scurrilous acts committed”? This site is just reporting what Pitino said. It is relevant and it is news.

    • Blue Maroon
      7:40 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      No one is objecting to the conference being covered. The objection is that the coverage is so bizarrely slanted and delusional, just like your comment. Pitino never said “nothing happened.” He said over and over again that based on what he knows now, he thinks some silly crap happened, that it involved one bad apple, and he just can’t understand why. He said that fifty different ways, and still you and others are so blinded by your hate that you keep making up claims that are not true — when you apparently never even watched the presser.

      And he made a very, very convincing argument that IF something did happen, he certainly knew nothing about it. None of that was reported here on KSR. Just a bunch of the usual name calling for the man who led us out of the darkness of losing seasons and probation and scandal and to the highest heights this program has ever seen. You people make me sick to my stomach. I am just so glad that you speak for only a very small percentage of the fan base.

  9. inside info2
    4:38 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    “I was glad to see the Eddie Gran hire get completed early this week. Whether Gran is the right hire is ultimately irrelevant in my opinion. We can debate it until the cows come home but at the end of the day, if Stoops is going to succeed here then he needed a guy like Gran in the position.”

    Am I the only one that thought these sentences didn’t make any sense? Not sure what you are trying to say here Matt. Sometimes I think you outsmart yourself by trying to live up to your Duke pedigree.

  10. BluKudzu
    4:53 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    I have a nickel’s worth of free advise for those that hold Rick Pitino in the highest regard; This may not be the best place to visit, with expectations of people to offer praise for him or forgive his multiple indiscretions.

    Just saying.

    He is neither worthy or deserving. He has brought this unfavorable position upon himself and his program, without regard to those he has stepped on along the way. Ask his family.

    None of us are without something we have regretted. There comes a time though, when it is better to just stay quiet, after admitting the transgressions, perhaps gaining some sort of forgiveness or acceptance for being human and imperfect.

    Rick will have none of that. The finger, to the fans that once loved him, and showered him with praise, who cheered when his banner was raised in the very arena that launched him into wealth and fame, was the final straw. Then listening to him and his children lying about it.

    He did essentially the same thing when he left for the Celtics, and he did the same thing when he failed there, and went to the one place that would humiliate UK the most; Louisville.

    If you think he has feelings, or emotions, for anyone but Rick Pitino. You will be sadly mistaken, when you wake up, and discover the world.

    Just do not expect anyone to abide by your wishes on giving Rick a break. Not here, anyway.
    No charge for the nickel’s worth of free advise.

    • jaws2
      6:13 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      ^^^^^^ This +1000 !

      I hope the guy stays at uofsmell to eternity. I have come to enjoy the person he has become and watching him lose to UK. The guy could have had any job in America but chose to come the ONE place I could never respect. As my grandma used to always say “you made that bed, now lay in it!”

    • BluKudzu
      8:10 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      If you read the comment, it was not about Louisville, nor was it non appreciative for what he had done while at Kentucky. It is about Pitino the person, specifically after he left UK.
      I am sure your concept of Rick Pitino is far different from normal people, say the non “37%” of your quoted amount.
      Either way, bow to Rick if you wish, you likely deserve one another, along with the other “37%.”
      Just one more thing, if you hate this blog and the people’s opinion shared here, do not read the blog.
      I think the 37% you refer to, must be the percentage of Louisville fans in Jefferson County.
      Please stop embarrassing yourself, you are just like Rick.
      Wait……..Are you Rick? Lying about things again? Pathetic.

  11. Computer Blue
    6:32 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    Count me amongst those who thought that Pitino couldn’t have had knowledge about the hookers mostly for the fact that I can’t believe he’s that stupid. But after seeing him lie about pretty minor things such as flipping off the crowd (which he most definitely did) and deciding beforehand that he was skipping the press conference (which appears highly unlikely) the only thing I’m certain of now is that you certainly won’t get the truth from him.

    • Michael Jacobs
      7:47 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      Just for you information, two reporters have already confirmed that he told them 36 hours in advance that he wasn’t going to attend the press conference, and if you listened to yesterday’s conference, there would be no doubt left in your mind that he was definitely NOT going. Pretty easy to understand if you listened to his comments.
      The photoshopped pic of Rick throwing the bird did not affect me — but I still think he did it. And couldn’t care less. It was funny, it suggested that we got his goat, but to dwell on that is just absurd. Move on. Bored already.

    • Computer Blue
      10:55 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

      The 2 reporters was Pitino’s claim and the whole point of my post is you can’t believe a word he says.
      And we would move on if he just went to his conference and said no comment. Instead he holds a special press conference and gives us new material.
      Please keep continuing to hold Pitino unaccountable and he will continue to embarrass your program while we laugh.

    • Dumbass Alert!!
      2:10 am January 3, 2016 Permalink

      Hahahahaha, Photoshopped.

  12. pb jr
    6:42 pm January 2, 2016 Permalink

    I, like Matt, was riveted by Rick’s newser/confessional. A confidant should pull him aside & inform him how ridiculous he looked & to keep his mouth shut. Given compliant behavior of local press re Ville, I can’t help but think this was a hamfisted attempt at silencing the dissent, as evidenced by Rick Bozich’s article critical of Rick. The guy seems to be in a tailspin w no one offering good advice or more likely scenario of Rick not taking it..