I did not get to see or hear a minute of Saturday's game as Mrs. Tru and I were out at Churchill Downs enjoying a beautiful day of racing, and yesterday I was again away from the blog due to other commitments.
As many of you know, the Big Blue Daily Mail has been less and less "daily" lately, something I am not too happy with. So in an effort to streamline it and make it easier for me to publish each morning, I will be including fewer stories in the BBDM and losing the categorization. From now on, the BBDM will be something in the neighborhood of 10-20 news/blog stories.
The big news from last Saturday is a) Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke both sat the EKU game out and b) Morgan Newton and a fairly quiet UK receiving corps had a big day against a team that they should have a big day against. The question now becomes, with Kentucky sitting on the bubble at 5-3, can the 'Cats win one more to get bowl eligible, and even if they do, does it actually mean they will be playing in a bowl?
Right now, there are 6 SEC teams that are bowl-eligible at 6+ wins, and the only team that is out of bowl striking distance is Vanderbilt at 2-7. The way I count it, there are a total of nine bowl tie-ins for the SEC, and it looks as if there could be 10 bowl-eligible teams from the SEC.
So at this point, I'm going to suggest that six wins will not get UK into a bowl game this year all by itself. Seven probably will, and eight definitely will, but the Mississippi State loss two games ago could well cost Rich Brooks his much-ballyhooed fourth bowl in a row. An alert reader reminded me that the SEC has 2 likely BCS teams, so that would mean 11 spots rather than 9. So it looks like unless MSU wins out, all UK needs is to win six games to make a low-level bowl.
Here's how the league looks for the rest of the season:
|Team||cWL||W-L||bWL||SoS||Polls||Left on schedule|
|Florida||7-0||9-0||7-0||47.41||1,[1!]||@USC, FIU, FSU, Alabama|
|Alabama||6-0||9-0||7-0||52.62||3,[2!]||@MSU, UT Chat., @Auburn, @Florida|
|LSU||4-2||7-2||5-2||50.74||11,8||LaTech, @Ole Miss, Arkansas|
|South Carolina||3-4||6-4||4-4||44.86||42||Florida, Clemson|
|Tennessee||2-3||5-4||2-4||46.43||37,35||@Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, @UK|
|Arkansas||2-4||5-4||3-4||49.70||Troy, MSU, @LSU|
|Georgia||3-3||5-4||4-4||48.67||Auburn, UK, @Ga Tech|
|Kentucky||1-4||5-4||2-4||48.83||@Vandy, @UGA, UT|
|Mississippi State||2-3||4-5||2-4||55.59||Alabama, @Arkansas, Ole Miss|
|Mississippi||2-3||6-3||2-3||38.54||39,38||Tennessee, LSU, @MSU|
Looking at that schedule, you'd have to say that MSU has the toughest row to hoe to get to bow eligibility, having to pull off two major upsets to get there. Arkansas has the easiest path remaining to six wins with Troy coming in next week, then MSU. UK has a fairly manageable path to six wins, but the seventh is going to require an upset, although not a major one.
Obviously, if UK winds up with six wins and 2-6 in conference, bowls are going to be dropping either UK or somebody like Arkansas, assuming they only win one more, or Georgia, assuming they only get six. Georgia has a very tough road to seven wins, and would have to beat Auburn and UK back to back, or upset highly ranked Georgia Tech.
In the end, UK could be in a real tough spot if it winds up with only six wins and is competing against the likes of Tennessee or Georgia for the final bowl spot. UK might get picked over Arkansas (and might not), but I think the 'Cats lose out if they are sitting on six wins with Georgia and/or Tennessee as their competitor for the final bowl spot. The 'Cats have only one big win on their entire schedule right now, versus rising Auburn on the Plains.
Now, for the news:
College basketball: Top story lines before tip-off
Regardless of experience, first-year coach John Calipari has enough talent - forward Patrick Patterson and guard John Wall are All-America candidates - to get the Wildcats back where many think they belong.
The Final Four.
I love what I see so far.
Kentucky basketball men's preview | Freshmen are key | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
John Calipari knows exactly how he wants University of Kentucky basketball to feel, because he has felt it himself.
He's been the coach on the visitors' bench in Rupp Arena. He's been the guy on the recruiting trail who figured if UK wanted a player, his staff shouldn't bother.
I love that attitude.
Cal working to restore UK swagger - 2009-10 College Basketball Preview - Kentucky.com
In less than eight months, he secured the nation's No. 1 recruiting class and used his irresistible can-do spirit to restore the belief that Kentucky will be Kentucky again.
"Back to the rightful place atop the mountain," Calipari said in his inspiring Big Blue Madness address.
Three Pointers: Your comprehensive college basketball preview - Mike DeCourcy - College Basketball - Sporting News
1. Is Kentucky back? We're not talking back from the NIT. We mean, is Kentucky fearsome again? The combination of young talent, solid veterans and coach John Calipari's intensity appears ideally suited to returning the Wildcats to prominence.
Reserve backs keep Kentucky football in the running | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
UK coach Rich Brooks was forced to call on his reserves, and Allen, Smith and Russell each responded with a touchdown. Allen had 62 yards on a career-high 14 carries. The junior got the game's first TD on a 1-yard run.
That's nice to see.
- Newton strong while Kentucky's Hartline sits | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
That old familiar feeling in the SEC | KentuckySports.com
For the second straight year, and the seventh year since division play began in 1992, the Gators and the Crimson Tide will meet in the SEC Championship game.
The more things change, the more the stay the same.
Yeah, that's right. It sure is getting monotonous.
UNC still the 1? - College Basketball - Rivals.com
The hiring of John Calipari at Kentucky was arguably the biggest news of the spring and summer – especially after he signed what could end up being the best recruiting class in the sport’s history. At Kansas, the Jayhawks are the overwhelming favorite to win their second national title in three years thanks to the return of center Cole Aldrich and point guard Sherron Collins, each of whom could’ve turned pro.
As good as those teams will be, though, the Tar Heels won’t be far behind. Or at least they shouldn’t be by the end of the season.
Kentucky football injury list is ‘longest' of season | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
The Cats had at least 15 significant players miss Sunday's practice with various injuries. They included wide receiver Randall Cobb (thumb) and tailback Derrick Locke (knee), both of whom missed Saturday's 37-12 win against Eastern Kentucky University.
Can the 'Cats limp across the goal line to a bowl? It's going to be hard.
- Ballin' is a Habit: No. 2: 2009-2010 Team Preview: Kentucky Wildcats
The Physics Of Basketball Free Throws
Just in case we aren't arcane enough around here.
What’s going on with Liggins? | Vaught's Views
Interesting commentary. I have no idea what this means.
Rush The Court " Blog Archive " Morning Five: Opening Night Edition
Seth Davis writes about one of our biggest pet peeves about the start of the college hoops season: no opening day. Yeah, we have a de facto opening day (i.e., today), but there’s hardly any hype about it and nobody but people who would already visit this site have a clue about it. Hopefully his article will start the momentum for getting something done.
This is not really something that has ever bothered me. How about you? Do you think there should be an "opening day" for college basketball with lots of games?
Improving Cobb part of ‘extensive’ injury list at UK | Vaught's Views
Having your best receiver playing with a splint on his thumb is not a good thing, IMO. But if anyone can make it work, Randall Cobb is that guy.
- In college basketball, keep an eye on Kentucky's Calipari, talented Jayhawks - The Denver Post
- No. 11 UK Turns Back Bulldogs In Lexington - Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletic Site - mstateathletics.com
" BBL: Tobias Harris liked West Virginia visit John Clay’s Sidelines
John Clay's Big Blue Links