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"The Mystery Man came over ..."

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...And said, "I'm outta sight!"
He said for a nominal service charge
I could reach Nirvana tonight
If I was ready, willing and able
To pay him his regular fee
He would drop all the rest of
His pressing affairs and devote
His attention to me.
-- Frank Zappa, Cosmik Debris

Comes now ESPN with a sweet offer for UK:  "Tell you what, boys," sez they, "You and Louisville can play on Monday night, Labor day next year.  It's our Prime Real Estate here on the Leader, and we know you can't resist."

But the boys from Bristol reckoned without Mitch Barnhart, who politely asked them to pound sand.  Why?  Well, we will have a pretty green team next year, and it seems that Barnhart doesn't like having a short week:

"We're willing to play that game Thursday through Sunday, and we've communicated that to the people at ESPN," Barnhart said. "We're not going to play that on a Monday night and give ourselves that short turnaround on a Saturday game. We're going to have a young team, and we feel it's in the best interest of our program to guard that prep time and that recovery time."
That's true, but seeing as our game that Saturday is mighty Norfolk State (!), all I can think of to say to Mitch is, "Look here, brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?"

I honestly think that Barnhart is just trying to stick it to the Cardinals any way he can these days.  I really don't think this tempest in a teapot matters all that much, and if Barnhart thinks it's important, I'm fine with it.  But his argument, for my money, is pretty darn weak.  It isn't as if we will be going down to play Alabama in Tuscaloosa or something.

I do think Jurich's publicity-grubbing ways are just a little bit weird.  I can understand why the Cards want to play on Monday night, they want to play anytime in prime time on ESPN, even if it's Thursday.  However, I just don't quite get Barnhart's argument -- why doesn't he just say "Because Louisville wants to do it, I don't".  It may not be politically correct or particularly professional, but quite frankly, the message he is sending is that he wants to make life as hard as he can for the Cards, and if getting in a cheap shot here angers Jurich, he is all about that.  The argument that Kentucky needs an extra 2 days to prepare for an FBS team is just transparent nonsense.  If it's not, Kentucky is in a world of hurt.

But hey, these are rival schools and the rivalry isn't all that friendly, and Barnhart seems bound and determined to make sure the relations between the two athletic programs are as frosty as possible.  That doesn't necessarily bother me, but one must wonder what the driving force behind that is.  It could just be a competitive nature -- if there is bad blood between Jurich and Barnhart, I am blissfully unaware of it.

But the bottom line is, I could care less either way.  On the other hand, maybe you do and if so, let's hear about it.