Pushin' the Pigskin

In our determined efforts to fairly focus on football (try saying that 3 times fast) and not just on basketball, which is the wont of most UK fans including us, there were a couple of interesting football stories out there this weekend.

For those of you who don't already know this, Scout.com is making all their premium content available to the public until Wednesday, July 4th (now, I don't know if that is inclusive or not, so refer to Scout or just wait and see).  One of the premium-content articles was this one by Lonny Demaree, which purports to provide us with "The rest of the story" regarding Kentucky's decision to move the Louisville game to the third game of the season.

There has been a lot of caterwauling from many U of L fans, as well as some UK fans, because the game might not be picked up for television, and certainly won't be carried on a flagship national carrier.  Various arguments have been put forth about why this is bad, including:

  1. UK has a great chance at an upset this year;
  2. It's bad for UK recruiting if they don't get on TV;
  3. It's always been on Labor day;
  4. UK has a better chance to win because U of L has a new coach, and getting him earlier is better;
  5. It hurts UK more than U of L, because if they win, and ESPN doesn't show it, it didn't happen.
Demaree counters those arguments with the following::
  1. Not televising a lopsided defeat is not necessarily bad;
  2. UK will get plenty of buzz if they win, televised or not;
  3. The wealth of talent on U of L's team makes up for any coaching change benefit;
  4. UK will get a chance to analyze the new coach only if we play him later;
  5. U of L thinks an earlier game is better, from their perspective, because it will help sell tickets later;
  6. U of L doesn't have a schedule as tough as ours, so it's beneficial for them to be seen in a big game early;
  7. If we had moved it from the third game back to the first game after a U of L coaching change, U of L would be calling UK cowardly.
I think Demaree makes some strong arguments, from Kentucky's standpoint.  That isn't to say that U of L's arguments are meritless, there are certainly some disadvantages to U of L in this case.  But there are also advantages -- Kraigthorpe getting a few games under his belt will be a benefit, and UK's movement of the game gives them a talking point to further excite their fan base.

Bottom line, I still think moving the game was in Kentucky's interest.  I still think Louisville will be favored to win.  And I still think Kentucky has its best shot in years to pull the upset.

The second Scout article on football was little more than a UK media release, but none the less interesting for that.  It seems the football team is finally upgrading its locker rooms at a cost of approximately $590,000.

I believe our football facilities need serious attention, and I am glad they are getting some.  One of the ways that U of L upgraded their program to its currently lofty level is by getting its facilities up to state-of-the-art.  A commitment by the athletic administration is certainly needed if we are ever going to get our program to a competitive level with the top programs in the SEC.

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