There has been a lot of newsworthy events over the past few days, but it is time to put the focus squarely back on the Thursday night game in the New Commonwealth Stadium. Both teams come into the game needed the victory badly, but for reasons on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Auburn needs a win to get back on any kind of winning track. The Tigers are struggling mightily to win games this season and only have wins over a struggling Louisville, FCS Jacksonville State, and San Jose State. The average score of those three games was 31-22 so they did not exactly impress in those wins either.
I think, for Auburn, it is much less about winning the game and more about not losing to Kentucky. A loss on national TV to a traditional door mat that has gone 1-11 vs. the SEC West in its last 12 games that you circled in ink as a win would not be a good look for the program.
On the other hand, Kentucky also needs the win for several reasons. The biggest reason is for Coach Mark Stoops to take another step forward as a program. Beating a traditional power with the nation looking on would move the 'Cats up another level in the perception of their place in the SEC.
Kentucky has made it clear they are now a competitor in the conference and will be for the foreseeable future, a win Thursday could thrust UK into Contender status vs. competitor.
Another reason is it would give life to a potential SEC east path to Atlanta. I may be crazy for even thinking it, but did we ever think Missouri would get to Atlanta in back-to-back years? The SEC seems to be heading for a very strange year and if the 'Cats beat Auburn, you likely only need to go 3-1 against Miss St, UT, Georgia, and Vanderbilt to have a legitimate chance. Going 2-2 against those guys (if we beat Auburn) could land us in 2nd place in the East.
TWEET OF THE DAY
There's something strange in the neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/sjfIpDh0dc— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) October 13, 2015
YOUR UK QUICKIES
- The UK Basketball posters for this season have been unveiled. The Big Blue Madness attendees will receive them first, then will be available at all Kentucky Kroger locations the next day. My favorite of the three:
- Chatting with ESPN Radio Lexington's The Sports Huddle. We chatted about the Head Ball Coach resigning, 'Cats vs. Auburn, and Skal's eligibility.
- Regarding Skal Labissierre's eligibility, personally I am not worried about it only because the folks within the program are not. Skal has also made it crystal clear he believes he will be eligible.
- Alex Poythress and Tyler Ulis have made their way onto a couple of national watch lists. Alex is on the Julius Erving watch list (best forward) and Ulis on the Bob Cousy watch list (best point guard).
- Alex Montgomery had a span of exactly 700 days between collegiate catches. The Wide Receiver is still recovering from an ACL tear and his story of being at a crossroads is a good one.
- Kentucky Men's Soccer will be holding a "Blackout" against Ohio State this evening.
YOUR RANDOM QUICKIES
- Terrence Williams does not really realize what he was saying, right?
"I am not a part of that. To Louisville I am ... Elvis Presley, so why would I pay anybody for anything?" Williams told TMZ. "(People) pay me for pictures and handshakes. And that's not being cocky because I don't play around with my blessing. I'm very honored to be in that position in Louisville. Louisville is the greatest city, the fans are great, Rick Pitino is great."
- Former Wildcat Championship Coach Tubby Smith will be honored by receiving John Wooden's Legends of Coaching Award. The award will come in 2016 and very few are more deserving than Orlando Tubby Smith.
- CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!. The Cubs have eliminated the St. Louis Cardinals and are moving on to the National League Championship Series against the Mets or the Dodgers. Apparently, the contract that the Cardinals had with the Devil has expired.
Schwarbo killed an astronaut tonight https://t.co/0nXYR8VglP— carl (@barstoolcarl) October 14, 2015
- Travis Haney of ESPN thinks our very own Mark Stoops should be a candidate to follow the Head Ball Coach at South Carolina. It is nice to know that our guy is going to be named in a lot of coach openings, but it still does not make it any more fun for BBN. For what it's worth, I do not think we have to worry about him leaving for 2-3 more years minimum. Stoops has something special working and he knows it.
- Former Texas A&M Wide Receiver Thomas Johnson attacked and killed a jogger for no apparent reason. He had been kicked out of his home and was unstable.
- Saturday has a great slate of games. Hopefully we are all happy about our Thursday night win and can enjoy the headliners.
- The NFL got Deadspin and our very own SB NationGif twitter sites shut down this weekend for a brief time. The NFL loves using a heavy hand on all licensing issues. We are talking about the same organization that would not allow DeAngelo Williams to honor is dead mother by wearing pink all season.
- You wanna have nightmares, here you go, can you imagine wondering into a part of the desert and coming upon an actual rattlesnake pit? I am not scared of much, flying and snakes is about it for me, but this is absolutely terrifying.
- This week's Darwin award goes to Whitney Beall of Lakeland Florida. Beall got drunk, "F***ing Drunk" in her words and then decided to do two completely insane things. A) get behind the wheel of her car and B) Periscope the whole thing, leading to her arrest. IF you do not know, Periscope is an app that allows you to broadcast your phone's camera to anyone that wants to tune in. Yeah, what an outstanding citizen.
"I really hope I don't get a DUI," she says seconds before she hits a sign in the median, which was also caught on video.
- Lamar Odom was in Las Vegas visiting Dennis Hof's Love Ranch (not kidding) and apparently collapsed. He was found unconscious with a mucus type liquid coming out of his mouth and nose. Odom is said to be fighting for his life what appears to be a very serious situation.
- It has been 15 years in the making, but Dr. Robert Gallo may have found a HIV/AIDS vaccine. Gallo is the same Dr. who pioneered the blood test that detects the disease, now he may be on the verge of a cure.
- HOMELAND! After two episodes it has just got real, spoiler alert but it is a heck of a dynamic to have the CIA putting a hit on Carrie and the man she had a "fling-ish" with be the one assigned to it.
- Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen... Queen of the Dragons) has been deemed the sexiest woman alive by Esquire Magazine.