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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Shannon Dawson Edition

Links on links on links. Let's talk Shannon Dawson's departure, Tai Wynyard's arrival, and praising Kendra Harrison.

It's Friday December 18th which officially means we are one week away from Christmas.

Those sad souls - myself included - who have yet to finish holiday shopping are now being faced with a stark choice: battle for sparse parking at malls only to then fight the sweaty mob for ever-shrinking goods while also trying not to lose dignity; or shop online and begrudgingly pay extra in shipping and hope the correct presents arrive in time?

Please advise and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

To your Quickies...

Tweet of the Morning:

Will he be able to contribute by March?

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Shannon Dawson will no longer be UK's offensive coordinator (OC), as first reported yesterday by WKYT. As of writing this, I've yet to see if the parting was a mutual or an individual decision. In any case, a more athletic offense went from scoring 29 points per game in 2014 to 25 points per game in 2015. Dawson still has $1.375 million dollars remaining on his contract through 2018. That figure likely drops after he finds new employment.
  • Presumably, you'll hear a lot of the same names floated as last year like Miami OC James Coley and Cincinnati OC Eddie Gran. I'd be very surprised if the next OC is one of them based on the fact they weren't finalist in the last go-round, reportedly. I'd be interested in Kansas State's OC Dan Dimel getting a look from Stoops. KSU's offenses annually have high per-play rates, and they do so with relatively inferior personnel in the Big 12. South Carolina's G.A Mangus is another intriguing name. He has a good track record as a SEC quarterback coach and is a capable recruiter. He called plays after Steve Spurrier stepped down this fall for those that think this is crucial. Western Kentucky's Tyson Helton, and South Alabama's Bryant Vincent are two other interesting names who won't land head coaching gigs this off-season, but are poised for P5 positions in the near-future. In any case, Rivals is reporting an announcement could be as soon as next week so perhaps that means Stoops' has found his man but the contract is getting hammered out?
  • Several players made their feelings known via Twitter. Seem weird to anyone that the players who seem the happiest are the ones who didn't get much playing time in 2015? Patrick Towles later acknowledged Shannon Dawson was a "sacrificial lamb". Social media in 2015, everyone. This isn't unique to Kentucky. It seems increasingly common. All it serves to do is further reinforce public viewpoints, whatever the individual stance may be, while not providing any additional clarity to the truth. Even the media, who publish stories based on sources, sometimes resort to conjecture-peddlers on social media under their official banners confusing the masses. Gasoline, meet fire.
  • A potential rippling effect of Dawson's departure will be the job status of the rest of the offensive staff. Would a top-shelf OC candidate expect to hire his own staff? Is a mid-shelf candidate not only the most realistic possibility, but also the best option to allow retaining some members of the staff (i.e. Vince Marrow and Chad Scott, or the staff's two best recruiters)?
  • Rivals is reporting defensive coordinator DJ Elliot will return next season. I would have been surprised if Elliot was fired. In reality, the defense was solid this season outside of two-and-a-half collapses. In the last month of the season it only played one bad half of football. Unfortunately, it was a really, really bad one against UofL. This team would have won six games if the offense had held up its end of the bargain. UK could have made a bowl game and the criticism would be myriad times less harsh, but UK would still have a lot of the same problems. Funny how our often arbitrary perceptions work.

Kentucky basketball
Other Kentucky sports
College football
  • Texas A&M, set to face Louisville in the Music City Bowl, has lost both of its starting quarterbacks to transfer following the regular season. The Aggies have lost a bunch of assistants since their 2012 season that saw them go 11-2, but maybe Kevin Sumlin isn't a great head coach? I'd enjoy seeing Patrick Towles transfer to College Station, and get to throw to Speedy Noils, Ricky Seals-Jones, Christian Kirk, and Josh Reynolds. That's four former five star receivers if I'm not mistaken.
  • The Holy War is this Saturday and BYU is a "dirty team."
  • Jim Harbaugh awards a janitor a trip to The Citrus Bowl.
  • South Carolina's realistic expectations under Year One of Will Muschamp is 6 wins and a bowl game. That will be tough given their schedule and the roster, especially if Skai Moore and Dante Sawyer depart early along with Pharoh Cooper. That offense doesn't look to be very good next year.
  • Arizona is getting its two best players back for their bowl game. Watch that Vegas line move.
  • David thinks the playoffs should not be expanded to eight teams.
College basketball
Other sports news

Other news
  • A small art film titled "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has opened to universally high reviews. This makes me nervous. I'm old enough to remember positive reviews for The Phantom Menace. If there's one series people would want to like it's this one, especially if it's being judged against the low-bar prequels. Plus, this movie is directed by JJ Abrams who, by all accounts is an amazing human being, keeps falling upwards professionally.
  • Life in Japan, A Continuing Series: Toilet Museum Edition. Previous installments: here, here, and here.
  • The official character posters for the upcoming Ghostbuster film are out. If you're one of those online nerds who are angry the movie was entirely recast with women I have more bad news for you: you're going to die alone.
  • Linux can be broken into. Apparently the Grub2 bootloader may as well be a lightly defended thermal exhaust port leading directly to the primary reactor system [Editor's note: I'm also going to die alone].
  • I'm hard-pressed to imagine the US President getting punched in the face at a campaign event.
  • The best podcasts of 2015. A good podcast is like a healthy smoothie for your ears.
  • Donald Trump has earned the revered Vladamir Putin endorsement. I can't hear Trump speak anymore without thinking of this brilliant Daily Show bit on Trump's unintentional ability to channel African heads of state. Perfect: