The weekend was full of news as it seems our pets’ heads are in fact falling off in 2020. Things were looking up when the SEC announced the two additional opponents for each team on Friday night, only for the Big Ten to steal the attention with its attempt to blowup football over the weekend.
We have football worries plus Kenny Payne worries and a whole lot more in this Monday morning’s recap of the weekend and what’s ahead.
Let’s get to it.
College football is in jeopardy. Like for real. We’ve known since March that the 2020 college football season is a big bag of question marks, but now it’s really looking like all those questions might point toward one answer: no football this fall.
The Big Ten is reportedly ready to call the whole thing off. If the Big Ten were in charge of everything, there’d be no football this fall because the Big Ten has already reached out to the other Power 5s to ask if they all want to come together and cancel the season. Lucky for us, the SEC said thanks but no thanks. In the south we’re going to keep trying to play football beginning in September as planned but with a delayed start.
But it’s worth noting the Big Ten was the first to announce a conference-only schedule, and at the time the SEC held its ground and said it would do its own thing. A short time later, the SEC caved and followed the Big Ten’s direction of a conference-only schedule.
Well now the Big Ten is ready to be the first Power 5 to cancel the whole schedule and the SEC is again doing its own thing, but the Big Ten proved to be right the first time around. Hopefully it’s not the case this time or college football won’t be played in 2020.
The Power 5 commissioners are expected to meet again today.
For what it’s worth, the players, at least a large portion of them, want to play. Heisman front-runner Trevor Lawrence is guiding a #WeWantToPlay movement, a group of players from the Power 5 conferences pushing to play football:
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) August 10, 2020
Lawrence also wrote:
“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19.
Not to mention the players coming from situations that are not good for them/ their future and having to go back to that. Football is a safe haven for so many people. We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football. Having a season also incentivizes players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line. Without the season, as we’ve seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions.”
He makes a good point. For some, playing college football through the dangers of COVID is still better than returning home. There is certainly a risk in football, but is it any worse than cutting the college students loose without any restrictions? At least with football they’re still being monitored and have motivation to take extreme measures to dodge the virus.
But there’s still the risk of a player getting very sick or even dying, and no one wants to be the university that sent its student-athletes out to the field knowing that risk.
This is an impossible decision.
Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin — you can get it too.
(If there’s a season, of course.)
We know Kenny Payne’s time at Kentucky is hanging by a thread because he’s the hottest name among college basketball assistants. Each year we deal with rumors of school-X’s interest in Payne, only to see him remain at UK a little longer.
But is it time to worry for real? The answer is yes.
There is serious mutual interest between the New York Knicks and UK’s prized assistant basketball coach, and I’m of the belief it’s more likely he takes the job than doesn’t. As we’ve addressed many times, the Knicks have Leon Rose and World Wide Wes, two people Payne trusts, running the show now as president and vice president of the storied franchise. Plus the Knicks are targeting Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns, a couple of former Wildcats who adore Payne, in free agency this upcoming offseason, yet another reason for the Knicks to want Payne on its staff under new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
If Payne goes, look for Bruiser Flint, a former Coach Cal assistant and his replacement at UMass, to be at the top of Cal’s list to land a spot on the staff.
Bowden’s grandmother passed away due to complications from coronavirus, the former Wildcat announced on Twitter late last night:
This Covid shit real man just lost my grandma to it today y’all hug and love y’all elderly people man and be kareful ?
— Lynn Bowden Jr (@LynnBowden_1) August 10, 2020
Bowden has already reported to the Raiders for the “acclimation period” of the preseason.
Collin Morikawa and his perfect golf swing raised the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday after Morikawa’s final-round 64 pushed him ahead of Paul Casey, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and others in the first major championship of 2020. The 23-year-old secured his third PGA Tour win and first major by driving the par-4 16th green to seven feet from the pin, running in the eagle putt and separating himself from a pack that was on a crash course with a late-night playoff.
The drive on 16 was so clutch that we’ll forgive Morikawa for botching the trophy celebration.
Collin Morikawa found out the Wanamaker Trophy is not one piece the hard way pic.twitter.com/l086nB8DOR
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 10, 2020
Serena Williams in Nicholasville
We have our first Serena Williams sighting as the GOAT is one of many women’s tennis stars in the Bluegrass for the Top Seed Open, a real-life WTA event to be played in Nicholasville this week.
Here’s the tournament draw for everyone interested in Kentucky hosting the first WTA event since the pandemic:
The boys are back on campus after a planned week-off to go home to their families. The team returned to UK’s bubble on Sunday where Olivier Sarr and Isaiah Jackson were waiting to welcome their teammates back home from vacation.
After a one-week break, the Kentucky basketball team returned to Lexington today as planned, sources tell KSR.
“Back on campus getting back to work.”
Olivier Sarr and Isaiah Jackson were the only Wildcats to stay on campus, the rest went home to see their families.
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) August 9, 2020
KSR Radio Show
Ryan Lemond is on vacation in South Carolina (is he trying to catch the virus?) so Matt, Shannon and I will take you through a very newsy two hours of KSR radio, Matt’s first show back from his vacation. You’ll want to tune in because he’ll have plenty to say given the news and his week away.