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Jul 30

SEC Preview: Florida Gators

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 11:00 am | Leave a Comment (3)
Category: SEC

Now that the Tim Tebow era has come and gone (produced 2 National Championships) it is on to the next chapter for coach Urban Meyer and the Gators. If you’re a Gator fan, you may be a little apprehensive as to what this season holds. But, if you are a “Gator Hater” then you will be relieved not to see #15 lined up on the offensive side of the ball. However, Meyer is committed to a certain brand and style of play and that will not change even if he lost nine starters from the 2009 team, including 5 juniors who left early. It is now time to breakdown the Gators and see what the 2010 season may hold for them.

OFFENSE: John Brantley becomes the man under or behind center for the 2010 Gators; of course Brantley has played in several games either due to injury or because they were blowing some helpless team out. Brantley’s strength is a strong and accurate arm, things considered to be weaknesses for Tebow. But what Brantley can’t replicate is the heart, fire or desire Tebow played with. Brantley will have one of the fastest players in the nation lining up in the backfield with him in Jeffery Demps. Demps is a “jitterbug” with lightning speed and big play capabilities. At wide-out, Brantley will mainly be throwing to Deonte Thompson and Frankie Hammonds Jr…….who? Both of these guys have a lot of abilities but they are unproven against high caliber competition. The offensive line should be solid as all five projected starters have been starters at one point and time doing their tenure in the “Swamp”.

DEFENSE: Despite losing Tebow, it actually appears to be the Defense that took the biggest hit with the NFL Draft. Gone are CB Joe Hayden, LB Brandon Spikes, and DE Carlos Dunlap. Their replacements will have the physical skill level but will lack experience and the leadership that the 2009 defense counted on. There are no superstars on this defense but as a group, they will be fast to the ball and they will be hungry to prove themselves. However, these young Gators may also give up their share of big plays and any well balanced offense may give them fits.

SPECIAL TEAMS: This unit will be solid but not spectacular, especially in terms of punting and kicking. Of course the Gators will have speed and quickness at KR and PR but they will not have experience. The place-kicker was 22 of 30 last year and he will probably get more opportunities this year. The Gators will also come after the opposing punters with a heavy rush as another way of trying to score punts.

Schedule: This is where Florida will have an advantage over a lot of other teams, both in and out of conference. Out of 12 regular season games, they only hit the road 4 times. But out of the 4, this is where they will probably get their only two losses of the regular season. On Oct. 2, the Gators will travel to Tuscaloosa to play the defending SEC and National Champions, the Crimson Tide of Alabama. The other probable loss will come on the last game of the year when the Gators travel to Tallahassee to play their arch-rival, the Florida St. Seminoles. Outside of these two games, the Gators may receive minor or early game scares from South Florida (9/11), at Tennessee (9/18), UK (9/25) and then their is a home game against LSU that could be intriguing as well.

Overall, this Gator squad may not be up to par with the squads of the last four years but the schedule is a very favorable one. On top of that, people tend to forget that Urban Meyer is a real good football coach and not just a coach living solely off of the talent that hits the field. One thing to keep an eye on is Coach Meyer’s health and how relaxed or uptight he gets this season. A 10-2 record is very likely with 9-3 or 11-1 being other options depending on an upset either way (the Gators will be underdogs against both the Tide and the Noles while they will be favorites in every other game). Expect the Gators to play for the SEC Championship in December though who their opponent will be is not quite so clear.

Jul 30

Special Teams Ranked 8th In SEC According to ESPN

Posted by: Ryan at 10:30 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

Since Rob has all but abandoned posting the SEC position rankings from ESPN’s, Chris Low, I will pick up the slack. Today Mr. Low covers the Special Teams, a recent love-fest of our G.O.A.T. post…. If only we could be ranked a little higher in this one… Come on Mr. Low………………………..#8?

8. Kentucky – “If the Wildcats had a proven place-kicker, they’d probably be ranked several spots higher. Junior punter Ryan Tydlacka will also do the kicking this season. He tied for ninth in the league in punting last season and has excellent hang time. He hopes to give the Wildcats some consistency on field goals after Lones Seiber’s up-and-down career. Where Kentucky will be outstanding is the return game with Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb, both of whom had touchdowns last season.”

Jul 30

The Newest Cat: Nile Daniel

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 9:14 am | Leave a Comment (9)
Category: Football

As you probably saw in Richardson’s links this morning, Joker picked up his 16th known commitment for 2011. Nile Daniel (could that sound more like a stud receiver?), a 6’0”, 185 lb., Wide receiver from Griffin high School in Georgia verbally committed to the University of Kentucky last night.  At the National Underclassman combine in March, Daniel impressed scouts with his route running and sure hands, but neither are his strongest attribute.  Like most, if not all, of the verbal commits Joker has racked up for 2011, Nile can fly.  He is listed as running a 4.4 40 yard dash on most sites, but some say he has been clocked under that mark.

Nile (I seriously love that name is ranked as the 73rd best wide out in the class of 2011 and is labeled as a 3* level athlete. According to Yahoo, Nile received offers from South Florida, Maryland, and Troy.  Daniel received interest from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Alabama.

As I am sure Nile can attest to this morning, damn it feels good to be a wildcat! Here is Nile in action…

Jul 30

36 Days until Kickoff…

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 9:00 am | Leave a Comment (2)
Category: Football

T.Y.M.I.F!  Thank Your Mama It’s Friday!  It is a week that will live in infamy at least in the Pitino household! 15 seconds and then down your leg? Really Rick? More on that later in my Friday Flatulence, so, stay Derrick Locked!

It’s Friday, so, it is time for a big one gang! I am using an extraordinary amount of exclamation points as you can tell! Last year! Between the bushes in Athens? The dog died the week of the game!  It was a perfect opportunity for the Cats to hike their leg up and mark their spot in Georgia on national television! And…They did!

Jul 30

Friday Morning Links

Posted by: Ryan Richardson at 7:56 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Random Notes

DeMarcus Cousins wishes he would have stayed one more year at Kentucky.

Cousins is all smiles and compares Sacramento to Lexington.

Cousins has a favor to ask all the doubters who questioned his maturity.

Cousins uses all the critics to play hard and excel.

Here is another Cousins article about his missing Kentucky and going to class.

John Clay:  Pitino’s 15 seconds of shame will last a lifetime.

Recruiting next on Rick Pitino’s agenda.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee is going after Calipari’s jugular.

Anthony Davis still considering DePaul.

Junior sensation Perry Ellis can play anywhere you put him.

UK recruit Nick Johnson talks about his meeting with Travis Ford.

Calipari is turning up the heat on Austin Rivers.

Evan Daniels of interviews Tony Wroten.

Former Cat Heshimu Evans leads his team over Hungary.

On this date in 2006…..

Joel Francisco reviews the week out in Vegas.

The Kentucky games played in Canada will air on Big Blue Sports Network.

Maxpreps has a good read on how Ohio States’ recruiting under Thad Matta is thriving.

Nile Daniel, a speedy receiver from Georgia committed to Kentucky last night.

ESPN’s Chris Low ranks the best offensive line in the SEC.

Derrick Locke is the key to Kentucky’s success.

Kentucky still has a long way to go when it comes to recruiting in football.

Jul 29

Pitino Jokes of the Day

Posted by: Ryan at 7:00 pm | Leave a Comment (8)
Category: Random Notes

I have sat in my cubicle rather patiently today collecting Rick Pitino jokes in order to post a compilation tonight. So here you go, feel free to boo, clap, laugh, cry, comment, whatever, just know TGR doesn’t condone Rick’s type of behavior.

I have reached my point of insanity, some of these are awful:

– The abortion was cheaper than his suit
– Ricky “3 stacks” is now Quickie 3 smacks
– Ricks favorite dance is the sticky leg
– Ricky 3 Pumps
– Gone in 15 seconds
– Porcini’s signature dish, aged red snapper with Italian Sausage and a side of special sauce
– Pasta Prematura
– Premature ejaculation is not a choice
– Ricky Sticky Icky
– Rick should have coached the “minutemen” at UMass
– Rick beat the shot clock
– Rick should have ran the zone and not the 15 second dribble
– “I should have worn my white suit”
Jul 29

Cousins Back In Lex

Posted by: Ryan at 5:41 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball

Jul 29

UK’s Tour of Canada Will Be Televised on BBSN

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 3:43 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball

A tid bit of exciting news for the Big Blue nation has just been tweeted out by WKYT’s Dave “Buzz” Baker.  Baker tweeted out the news that all of the games the UK basketball team will be playing in Canada will be seen on the Big Blue Sports Network.  If you are in the Lexington area, that means WKYT and I think WYMT in eastern Kentucky.  If you are anywhere else, check your local listings.

Per UK Athletics, “The Wildcats will kick off the trip on Aug. 15 against the University of Windsor at 7:00 p.m. ET, followed by a 6:00 p.m. ET match-up against the Western Mustangs on Aug. 16. UK will close with an 11:00 a.m. ET rematch against Windsor on Aug. 17, with all three games being played at the St. Denis Centre in Windsor.”

UK basketball in August?  Right before the UK football season starts?  Is this heaven? No, it’s Canada! Go Cats!

Jul 29

Summer School Session #10: College Football Rule Changes – No More Eye Black

Posted by: Samuel Clemens at 2:05 pm | Leave a Comment (18)
Category: Random Notes

As we approach the beginning of the college football season, now seems like as good a time as any to revisit a few of the rule changes that the NCAA’s Football Playing Rules Oversight Panel put into place for the 2010 campaign.

From what I’ve seen throughout my years as a sports enthusiast, it seems that most rule changes fall into one of two distinct categories:

  • To promote fairness/equality/or help level the playing field, or
  • To promote the safety of the competitors

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll take a look at a couple of rule changes for the 2010 football season that fall into one or both of those categories, but for today, we’re going to focus on the one rule change to major college football that simply makes you shake your head and wonder how in the world we ever got to a point where it was necessary to create a rule about this silly stuff in the first place.

Following the lead of the National Football League, the NCAA has banned the use of eye black containing any words, numbers, or symbols, effective at the start of the 2010 season.  The rule also states that there may not be any words, numbers, or symbols on a player’s person or tape (other than game information on a player’s wrist or forearm).

Though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time in which the eye black messages became a major trend, but one would be hard pressed to find anyone more responsible for the boom of the recent fad than former Southern California running back Reggie Bush, who just so happens to be in the news quite a bit these days for some other things that occurred during his playing days in LA.

Bush, if you will recall, famously wore the numbers “619”on both pieces of eye black, representing his hometown of Spring Valley, California.  The electric running back likely had no idea what kind of fashion statement he was making at the time, but in the years that followed, we as college football fans were privvy to a look into the minds and hearts of what motivates some of the game’s most colorful and most talented performers.

Eye black messages have allowed us to see wonderful tributes to young fans from the likes of former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, who wore the name of a 15 year-old California boy who suffered from bone cancer as inspiration.  We’ve also seen some ill-advised advertising from the likes of Jimmy Clausen, who wore the Adidas symbol on his eye black for a period of time.  And, we’ve witnessed plenty of fools make themselves look rather silly with messages such as “Google Me,” “Feel Me,” and even some in support of fallen heroes.

Most recently, of course, we all witnessed Tim Tebow’s spiritual messages via certain Bible verses worn under his eyes during his time as a Florida Gator.  In fact, according to the Florida Times-Union, it very well could have been Tebow’s impact that led the NCAA to enforce the rule on eye black at all.

Tebow wore his first message against LSU in 2008, writing Phil 4:13 (for Philippians 4:13), and did it the rest of his career. He was criticized by opposing fans and some members of the media for it, but there is no doubt that it has had a profound effect on people. He wore John 3:16 for the BCS National Championship game in January 2009, and the verse was the most-searched item on Google the next morning.

But there won’t be any more eye black messages on Saturdays now, either, because the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel voted on Thursday to prohibit words, numbers, logos or symbols on eye black. It will take effect in the 2010 season.

Naturally, it has been dubbed the Tim Tebow Rule.

The NCAA, for it’s part, denies that any one student-athlete in particular caused the rule to take effect; however, what we’re left with now is, unfortunately, an upcoming season full of Saturdays where we won’t quite know which players to Google, which ones to Feel, or which ones support dog fighting.  It’s quite unfortunate if I must say so myself.

So, TGR folks, my question to you is this: If your tailgate association allowed you to wear a message on your eye black, what kind of message would you send?

“Beer Please”?  “Win City”?  “Buffet Monster”?

Let’s hear who you would rep in the comments.

Jul 29

Wall and Cousins Profiled at the Summer League

Posted by: Ryan at 11:00 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball