Big Blue Nation Linkapalooza: Jacksonville St. Gamecocks Edition

Tomorrow, the Kentucky Wildcats football team comes back out onto the field to face off against FCS Jacksonville St. Gamecocks.  Don't let the FCS part fool you, this team is very tough and capable.  How capable?  Former Georgia running back Washaun Ealey plays for them, and is having a big year.

  • Year 2 at Team Speed Kills fields the All-Attrition team.
    Kentucky is well represented.

  • Matt Jones writes for Grantland giving his argument for UK winning the national championship in 2012.

    This, of course, is all nostalgic jabberwocky. In what other realm besides college basketball would anyone legitimately argue that the best method to success is not to assemble the best talent for your enterprise? The reality is that even in college basketball, superior talent usually wins out, and that level of talent is not destined for long periods of free labor on a college campus. By my count, four teams have attempted to win a national championship by recruiting and playing three elite freshmen (defined by players ranked in the top 15 by a scouting service) among their top six rotation players. The 2009 Kentucky team lost in the Elite Eight, the 2010 Kentucky team fell in the Final Four, and the 1992 Michigan and 2007 Ohio State teams both fell in the NCAA title game. After four attempts at building a championship run around elite freshman talent, the worst finish is a no. 1 overall seed and a loss in the Elite Eight. I will take those odds. Combine that with the fact that two other national champions (2003 Syracuse and 2011 UConn) had teams with three of their top six rotation players in the freshman class — even if not all were considered elite — and it is clear that the idea that freshman-centric teams cannot win is a myth.

    This is a very good point that the mainstream media seems bent on ignoring.

  • Preseason candidates for Tisdale Award announced - CBSSports.com
    No Quincy Miller? No Tony Wroten? No James McAdoo? Not buying.

  • SI.com's midseason All-America list.
  • Diamond Leung analyzes the SEC non-conference basketball schedules.
    It's interesting that Florida grades out tougher than UK this year. Kudos to Billy Donovan for taking the bull by the horns.

  • Avinash Kunnath, writing for SBNation, says Shabazz "intrigued" by Kentucky.

    It's clear that Kentucky is going to be right there until the end. John Calipari has openings left in his class, and I'm sure he wants to see the number one recruit end up in his program. Can the Bruins (the rumored favorite for Shabazz) hang tight and weather any recruiting assaults for their main man? It remains to be seen.
  • Kevin at Saturday Down South is bummed by the SEC this year.

    I realize Alabama is a better team than Tennessee, but they are a 30 point favorite this week. That is ridiculous and hardly a good thing for SEC football. LSU prior to the announcement of suspensions was favored by 23.5 against Auburn. While upsets can happen and have in the past, it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen this year. Alabama and LSU will both be undefeated on November 5th. Both teams barring a mental collapse will likely win out after that game leaving one loss between the two teams at the conclusion of the regular season.
  • Some LSUFreek craziness at EDSBS.
  • Vanderbilt Basketball: Best Wings In The Country? - Anchor Of Gold
    Uhh ... No. But they are very good.

  • West Virginia looms as next Big 12 target - The Boston Globe College Sports Blog - Boston.com
    Oooh, more conference realignment intrigue. How nice.

  • Which Coach Voted UK Number One?
    Oh, a mystery!

  • Eric Lindsey brings us another practice report from the Joe Craft Center

    There’s a reason Coach Cal calls Marquis Teague a "pit bull" and a "bulldog." His play is brutally physical. Even the most talented freshmen need half a season to get on par with the bodies of the rest of college basketball, but that’s not the case with this kid. He uses every ounce of the weight he put on this summer to power his way to the basket. On back-to-back possessions against Ryan Harrow, Teague lowered his shoulder and went straight to the bucket for an easy layup. On one of the baskets, Teague sent Harrow sliding to the floor.
  • Sam Amick at SI.com talks about DeMarcus Cousins' workout.

    In an interview with SI.com, trainer Keith Williams -- who is based in Washington D.C. and trains Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Orlando's Gilbert Arenas, Minnesota's Michael Beasley, and Denver's Ty Lawson, among others -- discussed Cousins' offseason regimen and the challenges that come with convincing the 21-year-old that he has hardly reached his physical potential. Williams said he has spent "65 to 70 percent" of Cousins' offseason with him in various locations.
  • John Clay reports that UK is making up ground with 2012 recruit Amile Jefferson.

    "They’re interested enough to have him for an official visit," Philadelphia Friends Central coach Jason Polykoff told SNY.tv Friday. "They also brought the entire coaching staff to campus a few weeks when they were allowed to come up and talk with Amile. I believe they had a home visit later that night as well."
  • UK offers social media options to follow the Wildcats.

    With the launching of the new UKathletics.com website, UK Athletics has made it easier than ever to find out all the ways to find Kentucky athletics in the social media world. Fans can simply go to the Social Media tab at the top of the page where they will be able to click on any of the various sport-specific Facebook and Twitter pages that UK Athletics offers.
  • UK is one of three schools in the SEC not to have picked up a top 150 recruit.
    This isn't surprising. We rarely get Top 150 guys at UK.

  • John Clay: Q&A with Tom Leach in the LHL.

    Question: With the football team struggling, are there any tricks of the trade for keeping the listener interested?

    Answer: You probably work more on making sure to keep the energy level up. In a game like the last one (at South Carolina), with such a lopsided score, you want to stay focused and try to keep that energy level up.

    Cawood (Ledford) and Ralph (Hacker) talked about having stories ready for those days. You hope they don't come very often and I've been fortunate that they haven't come that often for me, but having stories ready just in case. The South Carolina game we referenced a couple of big performances that had happened there, like Moe Williams' big game and the Thursday night game that turned around the 1993 season. We talked about some longer-range things in college football and the big games that night.

    But I've been more fortunate in that regard than Cawood and Ralph.

    Heh.
  • Senior Darius Miller wants to pilot Kentucky starship – USATODAY.com

    This isn't going to be like 2009-10, when he submerged his ego — just stuffed it in his back pocket — and watched John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe play with the ball.

    "I'm going to play my game, be aggressive," Miller said.

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