Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
SEC Media Days are finally here for the 2018 football season, and in honor of that, we’ll be talking about football a bit today, and some goals I would like to see us achieve this season, along with a hopefully-rational view of how realistic they are.
Number one on any list of Kentucky goals for the season should be to defeat the Florida Gators. As we all know too well, the last time Kentucky defeated Florida was in 1986 in Commonwealth Stadium. This season Kentucky plays in Gainesville, a place where the Wildcats have not won since Fran Curci stalked the sidelines in 1979.
I place the chance of Kentucky pulling this off at about 25%. Kentucky should have a good enough team to be competitive, and Florida has a new coach. Will it be enough? Odds are against it, but hope springs eternal and lightning’s bound to strike sometime.
Another bowl game
At Kentucky’s level, reaching bowl eligibility must be a goal every year. This would be UK’s third in a row if that happens, and that’s not insignificant. Three in a row would be an apparent return to the success of the early part of the last decade.
I place the chances of this happening at 75%. UK has more than enough winnable games, and a couple of unlikely but not impossible upset chances.
Beat Tennessee for the second straight season
The Vols are rebuilding, and Kentucky needs to take advantage of that. Beating Tennessee has been historically hard, and we need to make this former rivalry competitive again. Two wins in a row would go a long way toward getting that in motion.
I place the odds of accomplishing this at 60%. Tennessee’s rebuilding and Kentucky’s relative experience should be able to overcome the checkerboards.
Winning record in the SEC
Kentucky has at least eight and arguably nine winnable games on the schedule, and gets most of its softer foes at home. To accomplish a winning SEC season, the Wildcats would have to win at least two road games. There are two winnable road games out there, and an upset could happen at Florida or Texas A&M.
I place the odds of this goal at 20%. The Wildcats’ history argues against it.
No more Lamar Jackson means UK has a solid chance to go into Cardinal Stadium and pull off the win.
I place the odds of this at around 50%.
Win their bowl game
Assuming UK achieves bowl eligibility, which looks likely going in, winning becomes important. “Just happy to be here” probably was worthwhile for the first couple of years, but now actual success becomes much more important.
I place the odds of this around 50%, and that’s just from my nether regions. We have no idea what kind of game, if any, we’ll be in post-season, or what the relative conditions of the teams will be.
So that’s what I have on that score. I am looking forward to this football season, I think Kentucky has a chance to be pretty good, and maybe even a little better than that if they can stay healthy.
Tweets of the Morning
Another tidbit from Part 3 of “Conversations With Oscar Combs” Podcast (Podcasts will be released at Tuesday for next 3 weeks) was Gov. Brown’s favorite basketball Wildcat of all time: The kid from Owensboro, Rex Chapman (@rex_rexchapman). Never been anyone like him, says John Y. pic.twitter.com/4X2joXZtnj— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) July 14, 2018
Interesting stuff. I remember I had never seen anything like Rex Chapman at the time, either. He was a sensation.
Oh, the halcyon days of yore.
- Kentucky’s tight ends are healthy after many surgeries and injuries, and that could mean a lot this season.
- Lots of walk-on talent on the football team this season.
- Mark Stoops says Kentucky is “tired of being close.” Kentucky fans are tired of it, too.
- Maybe there should be, though.
Targeting fouls went up last year, coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said. There have been no changes to any of the targeting rules.— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) July 17, 2018
- Kentucky won’t be getting much pre-season love at SEC Media Days. But should they be?
- Benny Snell is not shy. Just sayin’.
- 2019 recruit Jaden McDaniels has played his way into a lot of buzz, and when UK called, he was over the moon.
- Dontae Allen is now getting a lot of buzz from Kentucky sportswriters, and those who desperately want to see more Kentucky players on the Wildcats roster.
- Saving stories: The Frank Ramsey few fans really knew.
Other Kentucky sports
- Greg Sankey can silence SEC’s schedule critics for good with just one tweak. I say leave well enough alone.
Other sports news
- Wow, now this is some interesting outside-the-box thinking from former NFL player Josh Rosen. Even though it’s Pat Forde bringing us the news, it has real potential to revolutionize NCAA sports. This should whet your appetite:
Under this plan, athletes can profit from various revenue opportunities that arise during their college careers – after they graduate. No diploma, no money. For players who aren’t guaranteed professional millions, pocketing several thousand dollars on their way into the working world could be a considerable incentive to earn a degree. [my emphasis]
Read the whole thing.
- Scientists have found a quadrillion tons of diamonds deep beneath the surface. Well, that’s where they’re supposed to be, isn’t it?
- Google doodle honors the founder of the Big Bang Theory. Not the show, silly, the actual theory.
- Scientists prove relativity works even in high-energy neutrinos.