Kentucky Wildcats: Morning Quickies -- Football Edition

Morning Quickies

This past week, Joker Phillips ignored the fact that UK football ticket sales are down, and made a passionate pitch to Kentucky fans. "Expect to win," he said at one point. I don't know many fans who are willing to raise their expectations above low levels for this year. That can be a good thing, though, because frankly, UK has a fairly low bar to clear this year to be considered surprisingly successful.

Tweet of the Morning:

The takeaway? Calipari needs to follow Wiggins like a Deadhead.

Your quickies follow the jump.

Kentucky Sports Radio // UK Football Makes Women Happy

This clinic taught me something that stretches so much further than defensive plays and field goal kicking. If you do not trust in the BBN, then the BBN will not treat you well. Consider this my formal pledge to avoid and extinguish all bad mouthing of the Football team for any reason for the rest of my days. If you don’t will a team to win, they won’t. Nothing like watching a woman who could be my grandmother hug Joker or Andre Woodson to remind you how blue your blood really runs. [My emphasis]

Good advice to us all. Let's get behind these guys.

Tom Leach // Monday links

Matt Smith says Newton took criticism resulting from line play, Phillips says even coaches can put too much pressure on players // vaughtsviews

"He takes a lot of the criticism but that criticism is also a reflection of us. We take it as an offensive line if he is not completing his passes and doing things he needs to, then that is our fault. We need to block better in the run and pass game," Smith said. "It is something that he gets criticized for and we don’t want him to get criticized. We would rather take the criticism and let him keep the praise just because we are the guys in the middle that are in there hitting every play.

There is way more truth in this than many of us are willing to admit. No doubt Newton did not have an acceptable season last year, and most of that was on him. But a good bit was also on the offensive line.

UK Football: Philips said Newton not showing signs that adversity is bothering him //

The senior quarterback is only one course short — it was not offered during the summer — of graduating and plans to eventually enroll in law school.

"I don’t know worry about Morgan. He is a mentally tough kid.¿He gets it. He is a smart kid. He is one of those guys on our team that made a 4.0 (grade-point average last semester)," Phillips said. "He understands the game. His dad played college football. He has been around great players his dad played with. All that helps him understand how to deal with these type situations."(sic)

Newton is going to try to win back the job from Smith. It will be interesting to see how the BBN reacts if he does so. Hat tip: Bleed Blue Kentucky

Kentucky Sports Radio // "Lexington is For the Birds" Billboard Damaged

Offered without comment.

John Calipari’s latest scheduling pipe dream // John Clay's Sidelines

What's interesting here is Calipari indicating he wants the games to be home-and-home series. This comes from the same coach who just a month or so ago said the future was neutral-site games that help prepare his team for the NCAA Tournament. That, said Cal, was the reason he liked UK playing Maryland in Brooklyn and Duke in Atlanta this coming season and then playing Baylor in Arlington, Texas in 2013-14.

I think Calipari is feeling the heat from some of his scheduling decisions, and this is his reaction to it -- lip service. If it works, good for him, but my feeling is he will have to assuage some hurt feelings next year with scheduling, all his bravado notwithstanding.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

N&O: UNC-CH athletic advisers steered players to no-show classes // StateFans Nation

The N&O’s Dan Kane is at it again this evening, this time highlighting the fact that athletes not only made up a disproportionate number of enrollments, but that there was a systematic and accepted practice of steering athletes to no-show classes. So important was this mission that it took 115 employees and a cushy multi-million dollar workspace…..

The plot continues to thicken ... Hat tip: CollegeBasketballTalk

Andre Woodson says Morgan Newton has done great job handling adversity on, off field // vaughtsviews

If anyone can be sympathetic to Newton’s plight, it is Woodson. Remember he started his sophomore year and then appeared to lose his starting job to Curtis Pulley in spring practice. However, Pulley had some off-field issues that vaulted Woodson back to No. 1 and he flourished his last two years at UK and led the Cats to bowl wins both seasons.

Summer Shootaround: SEC // ESPN

Worst-case scenario: Regardless of personnel, Calipari teams are always tough on the defensive end, so there's a baseline level of expectation baked in no matter what form -- dribble drive? downscreen sets? secondary breaks? -- the offense takes. Still, some tempering of expectations is probably warranted. Nerlens Noel is not the transcendent, once-in-a-generation freak show Anthony Davis was, and Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin are not Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Terrence Jones. The learning curve for this team will be higher, but when your worst-case scenario is not making the Final Four, you're in pretty good shape.

Heh. Yeah, that's not a bad thing, as far as downsides go. Hat tip: KSR

Anthony Davis scores, gets first block in Olympic play // John Clay's Sidelines

Probably one of several.

Ex-Cat Randall Cobb fills many roles with Packers //

Coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers must decide exactly how much they can add to Cobb's job description — and how much they can feature him within the offense. This training camp, Cobb is trying to find a niche.

I'm sure they will find something for him to do.

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