I was out of pocket yesterday, so I thought we would play catch-up this morning in the Big Blue Daily Mail.
Of course, the big topic will be reviews of the UK victory over Auburn, 21-14, at Jordan-Hare Stadium. UK managed to pull off a big upset there of a
4 5-1 football team [oops, stole a win from Auburn there. -- ed.] that has the rest of the SEC talking. We'll have more about what they are saying in the news.
Also, in case you have been living in a cave in Afghanistan somewhere for the last few days, Big Blue Madness came and went with much fanfare on Friday, and we will of course catch up with the basketball team.
Now, for the news.
Brooks sees progress, not perfection | KentuckySports.com
Defensively, UK stuffed what had been the SEC's most potent offense, holding Auburn to nearly 175 yards below its season average.
And that without our all-American candidate cornerback. I was impressed by so many -- Maxwell, Micah, Paul Warford, Randall Burden. Just great D.
Cats' offensive line saved the season | KentuckySports.com
No praise is too great for our O-line. And when you look down the depth chart, you see much, much better depth and higher quality than in previous years. This is one of Brooks' most dramatic success stories, and one of his least heralded.
Highs, lows at Big Blue Madness — Jerry Tipton on UK basketball
– Three-point shooting. Aside from Harrellson, the players struggled with perimeter shooting. I counted three airballs. Calipari salvaged the night by grabbing the microphone and candidlly telling the crowd that the players had plenty of improvement to make.
I think it's safe to say that when a 6'10" guy (Josh Harrellson) makes most of the threes and has the only truly reliable stroke from the perimeter, the team has issues.
UK Basketball News
Wildcat Blue In a Sea of Orange: Kyrie Irving, Tobias Harris talking about attending UK together?
Kentucky/Duke virtually even for Irving : This as a story that is gaining momentum more and more. Remember, Irving was widely expected to have committed on 9/27 and not to take any more visits after his Duke visit. That commit never happened and each day that Irving does not commit is better for all the other schools.
As If There Wasn
JOHN WALL. JOHN WALL. JOHN WALL. I'm kind of elated to see the marriage of John Wall and John Calipari begin in Lexington. Who isn't excited about this? (Well, who isn't outside of the SEC, I should say.)
John Calipari officially started his reign as Kentucky basketball coach - ESPN
Like saviors dropped from heaven -- and let's face it, that's what they are here -- the players, including the ballyhooed freshman class, were introduced on curtain-covered lifts suspended a good 25 feet above the stage. Eric Bledsoe came first, earning a decent ovation; John Wall garnered a crazed reaction; and Patrick Patterson was last, greeted with riotous excitement.
Almost a great piece by Dana O'Neil ... almost. A couple of stumbles turned a really excellent article into just a good one, but it is definitely worth a read.
Calipari: Make UK the gold standard in college athletics | KentuckySports.com
One hopes the possible secondary NCAA rules violations committed by the crowd when it chanted prospects' names were a misstep to be written off to runaway zeal. That happened four times, each an apparent violation of NCAA rule 13.11.4 which forbids the chanting of prospects' names at an event open to the public.
Oh, my God. If that's a violation, report it with a smile. The very idea that the NCAA can control a crowd's chant of a prospect's name is a laughably absurd concept.
Sometimes, reality simply must intrude.
Krebs family aims to stay strong together | KentuckySports.com
Kentucky basketball means a lot of things to a lot of people. For senior guard Mark Krebs, it is an escape.
It's a respite from thinking about his mother's ongoing battle with cancer.
Our prayers go out to Mark's mother, and their family.
Rupp Arena becomes a Big Blue Mad house | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
It was a night for spectacle, a night when the University of Kentucky men’s basketball program took center stage — quite literally — with a show surely as splashy as any in the history of Big Blue Madness.
Kentucky, Calipari Raise Stakes With Over-the-Top Midnight Madness - Andy Hutchins - The Sporting Blog - Sporting News
It's those other off-court problems that might derail this renaissance. The Big Blue faithful should only hope that Coach Cal makes good on his promises before everything comes crashing down. Again.
Well, here it is. You knew it would be here. You knew that they couldn't get past BBM without suggesting that UK is headed straight into the NCAA crapper under Calipari. Embrace the hate.
UK Notebook: Cal says this is Patterson's last year | KentuckySports.com
Speaking to the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches, Calipari said his first UK team's experience consisted of "three seniors and Patrick Patterson, who will leave this year. Hopefully he'll be a top-10 pick."
That Patterson might leave after his junior season comes as no surprise. But it was interesting that Calipari gave himself no wiggle room.
I think we make too much of this. Later in the season, Calipari will likely say something different, and cause a media stir. Patterson should move to the NBA but nobody, probably not even him at this point, knows if he will for certain.
ZAGSBLOG " Tobias and Kyrie, Together in College?; Vander Blue to Marquette
If so, it would be at UK, at least right now. But there is a long way to go.
Kentucky Sports Radio " Blog Archive " Torrel Harris Talks With Us About His Son’s Visit to UK’s Big Blue Madness
DR: Anything else that just really stood out to guys during the visit?
Torrel Harris: The fans stood out. I mean, they were just UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE. And then just the teaching techniques of the staff, of Coach Cal and of just his whole staff. For me, that stood out. That stood out for Tobias too. You can tell the fans are unbelievable. I videotaped the whole thing and you can tell man, they LOVE their UK basketball. 24,000 fans up there for Madness, man that is unbelievable. So, I mean, it was great man, it was great.
Good stuff from Dustin Rumbaugh on Tobias Harris' visit to UK over Big Blue Madness.
UK Football News
Where’s the respect for Brooks’ Cats? | Vaught's Views
Well, to be fair, UK must do more. If we win three more SEC games, it will come, make no mistake. But when you are 1-3 in the SEC, I would submit that is not the best time to demand respect.
courier-journal.com | Eric Crawford | The Courier-Journal
You can say that Auburn wasn't ranked, that it has been slowed by injury, that it is losing steam. You can say, and some are, that the SEC is down (for folks who do, I'll take Florida and Alabama and give you any two teams from one league in the country, and we'll see who winds up on top.)
Indeed, it probably was. Isn't it interesting that we can beat good teams in the West, but cant seem to beat any of the good ones in the East? You can say all that, but it doesn't matter. When UK came from behind to beat Auburn 21-14 Saturday night, it was the second-biggest win in Rich Brooks' tenure.
- Brooks happy with both quarterbacks | Vaught's Views
Sanders impresses in marquee matchup - ESPN
DECATUR, Ga. -- Kentucky running back commit Raymond Sanders (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) showed why he could be one of the more underrated recruits heading to the Southeastern Conference next season.
Looks like Brooks & Co. have found another hidden jewel.
UK scores two late TDs to shock Auburn | KentuckySports.com
"I just get more hungry in the fourth quarter, and I want to do whatever I have to do to get us in the lead or keep the lead," Cobb said. "I just love playing the game, and the fourth quarter is when you've got to dig deep."
The legend of Randall Cobb continues to grow, and he is only in his second year as a Wildcat.
What we learned in the SEC: Week 7 - SEC - ESPN
5. Kentucky follows its leader: The Rich Brooks legacy at Kentucky will be closely tied to the Wildcats’ three straight bowl victories the last three seasons and how he’s elevated the program to respectability at a school where basketball is king. But Brooks’ legacy goes even deeper than that. He’s brought a sense of toughness to Kentucky football, a sense of class to Kentucky football and a no-excuses resolve that should serve this program well long after he’s retired and back home fishing in Oregon.
Read the rest. It's short, but worth it.
SEC helmet stickers: Week 7 - SEC - ESPN
Kentucky coach Rich Brooks: Boy, did he deserve this one. His Kentucky team deserved this one. This is a program that would have faded into oblivion in the past after losing three straight games and having so many key players go down with injuries. But Brooks kept his guys focused and kept them believing, and the Wildcats went to the Plains and took out Auburn 21-14 on Saturday. It’s a win that very much keeps alive the Wildcats’ bowl chances, as they evened their record at 3-3.
This has already been linked, but if you didn't read it, you should.
" Video: Rich Brooks after win over Auburn John Clay’s Sidelines
So. Papa Brooks did not tell the whole tale after all. Like Mr. Spock, he didn't lie, he exaggerated. :-)
UK’s football season looks a lot better now | Vaught's Views
At 3-3 going into a relatively easier stretch, UK is well-positioned for more than six wins this season.
Eyes on Auburn: 14-21 Loss to Kentucky (as I vomit in my mouth) Review
-Offensive pass interference is no longer in the rule book (I guess). UK's first scoring drive was kept alive by a third down conversion in which Kentucky's receiver obviously pushed off on Demond Washington creating the separation necessary to make the catch. It was a pitiful no call and would have been flagged 100% of the time if roles were reversed. Maybe I'm sensitive to this as a former defensive back. And while we're on the topic of penalties, how Kentucky played an entire SEC game on the road without a single penalty called against them is comical as well.
I thought there were two or three obvious penalties that UK got away with -- Offsides on the first kickoff, the push of mentioned above, and a hold I saw on one of the pass plays. Plus, we have been flagged for not having enough men on the line of scrimmage all year, and I thought that could have been called at least once.
Other UK Sports News
UK snags commitment
Jennifer O'Neill, a 5-foot-6 point guard from St. Michael Academy in New York, is ranked No. 30 nationally by Hoopgurlz.com and picked UK over Georgia and California.
Congrats to coach Mitchell! Great job.
NCAA Sports News
UK's Brooks: SEC runner-up may belong in BCS title game - al.com
"It's going to be a great SEC championship game," said Kentucky coach Rich Brooks, whose team has played both the Crimson Tide and Gators this season. "I'm assuming - and I think I'll be correct in this, unless somebody gets upset here along the way - that they're probably both going to go undefeated into the SEC Championship game.
"And I'm not so sure the loser of that game shouldn't play in the national championship game, too."
I think I just heard the heads of a million Pac-10 and Big Televen fans explode at the same time.
Pilgrim-age could improve Pokes | NewsOK.com
"Matt brings us something we didn’t necessarily have," Ford said. "He’s the strongest player on our team. He’s the most athletic player on our team.
Matt Pilgrim is making a splash at Oklahoma State.
Kansas eager to leave off-court events behind - CBK News - FOX Sports on MSN
"This group had a hall pass, but they've lost that right," he said. "We've put a lot harsher rules in place.
"I think we've got really good kids. But we made a series of poor decisions, and it's shed a negative light on us."
We'll see. We'll see.
Other News of Interest
AFP: Hurricane Rick weakens as it nears Mexico coast
This is a a really scary hurricane.
UConn Football Player Jasper Howard Stabbed To Death On Campus -- Courant.com
About nine hours after his Huskies walked off Rentschler Field with a victory over Louisville, after a press conference filled with smiles and platitudes, UConn football coach Randy Edsall 's phone rang. When the phone rings at that hour, Edsall said, it's never good.
Our prayers go out to the family. What a horrible thing to happen.
Greg Page Foundation honors a child champion - WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY |
Does anybody besides me remember Greg Page? Glad to see his legacy is doing good work.
The Daily Schadenfreude
Duke Basketball Report - The unofficial home of Duke basketball fans and the Cameron Crazies
If you live inside the borders of the state of Kentucky, odds are you think the sun rises and sets on Kentucky basketball. If you don’t, you likely have a more jaundiced view of the program. Like us, for example.
Aww, isn't that just precious? The Dookies feel like they have to take shots at us again.
That's a cute little program you guys have there, Dookies. Too bad it's about to become rather less prominent. I have a feeling it is Calipari we will be seeing on the TV much more than Coach K in the coming years, and I will enjoy that very much, as well as subjecting the Indigo Diablos to the depredations of some serious schadenfruede.
Maybe somebody should start a website dedicated to exposing the truth about Duke's empire of condescending little Kentucky wanna-bes. Oh, wait ...
Low key, high hopes for Pitino and U of L | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
The Cardinals have been ranked in the top 20 by most preseason publications, and they're being picked in various spots in the upper half of the Big East Conference. Perhaps because of the splash made by John Calipari at the University of Kentucky, perhaps because of the loss of Williams and Clark, this is an under-the-radar group at the moment.
Does anyone else see the unseriousness in claiming a Rick Pitino team is "under the radar?"
A Wise move: Relieving pressure on point guard | "Tell them … tell the team to bear down"
Did anybody else think Kentucky’s introduction of John Calipari was over the top? Spotlight in a darkened arena. Confetti everywhere. We will take Miller’s low-key style in such an event over Calipari’s approach any day, especially considering the young team Miller has toHigh-profile recruit Adreian Payne of Dayton (Ohio) Jefferson attended West Virginia’s Midnight Madness and one report indicated that Payne has narrowed his choices to West Virginia and Kentucky. Payne visited the UA campus last weekend. The report by Bob Hertzel of the Times West Virginian does not cite any sources.
More love from jealous rivals.