Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.
Daily randoms for Monday:
ON TAP – Not much on tap today as far as UK sports. We should get John Calipari and the Cats on Tuesday to preview Wednesday night’s game with Notre Dame in Freedom Hall. Arkansas meets Seton Hall in the first game of that SEC/Big East Invitational doubleheader. Don’t expect any updates on Enes Kanter today.
The big game tonight is the Jets-Patriots showdown on Monday Night Football, 8:30, ESPN. Jackie MacMullan on Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan.
Speaking of MNF, a RIP to Dandy Don Meredith, who has died at age 72. With so many games on television now, it’s hard to comprehend what rock stars Meredith, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford were during Monday Night Football’s heyday. Meredith was the irreverent foil to Howard Cosell. One of his best moments came in 1972 when the ABC cameras caught a Houston Oilers’ fan flipping the camerman the bird. Quipped Meredith quickly, “We’re No. 1 in the nation.”
There are no SEC basketball games tonight. Georgia meets Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
ESPN THINKS UK HAS CHANCE ON KANTER – ESPN.com blogger Eamonn Brennan thinks that the Cameron Newton ruling gives UK a much better chance of getting Enes Kanter eligible. Writes Brennan:
The Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement could have decided — and this is just a guess — that Kanter knew about the professional-level benefits he received as an ostensible amateur in Turkey, that his family wasn’t the only entity pulling the purse strings. If that’s not the case, if Kanter didn’t know how much money his family was receiving from Fenerbahce, then the NCAA appears to have backed itself into an intractable corner. That’s the distinction the NCAA has created, and that’s the one it will need to solve almost immediately.
I like Eamonn, but I’m not buying it. There’s no proof (yet) that the Newtons received money. There is proof (apparently) that the Kanters received money. That’s the difference.
CORRECTIONS – Experienced a brain cramp in this morning’s column and said Arkansas was going to the Cotton Bowl, even though I said that two SEC teams were in BCS bowls. Arkansas is going to the Sugar Bowl. Also said Pittsburgh beat Louisville at Papa John’s. The game was at Pittsburgh. I’m blaming it all on Delta, which delayed my Saturday night flight in Atlanta to the point where we didn’t arrive back into Lexington until 1:30 a.m., two-and-a-half hours behind schedule. But then that I guess was better than the C-J’s Rick Bozich, who got stuck in Raleigh, or our own Jerry Tipton, who got stuck in Charlotte.
UK HOOPS HAS A FLAT – Have to admit was surprised by the way Louisville thrashed the UK women 78-52. Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader has the game story from the Yum Center. Meanwhile, Mark Story of the H-L writes that the Kentucky women got a taste of the other side of revenge. Louisville beat Kentucky at its own game, blogs Eric Lindsey of Cat Scratches. As for the U of L side, Eric Crawford says the Lady Cardinals gave people a reason to watch. And Jody Demling has the UK-U of L game story for the C-J.
KENTUCKY’S BOWL – Chip Cosby of the Herald-Leader sets up the Kentucky-Pittsburgh match-up in Birmingham on Jan. 8:
Pitt managed to clinch a share of the Big East championship with a 28-10 win over Cincinnati on Saturday. Its most impressive outing of the season came in a 45-14 win at Syracuse on Oct. 16, and the Panthers also handled Louisville 20-3 on Oct. 30. UConn won the Big East automatic BCS Bowl bid by winning at South Florida on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Brett Dawson reports that Joker Phillips wants more than a bowl game for the Cats next season.
Click here for info on Pittsburgh Panthers football.
LOUISVILLE’S BOWL – The Cards return to bowlville for the first time since 2006. It’s an old C-USA matchup against Southern Miss in the Beef O’Brady Bowl in St. Petersburg. C.L. Brown of the Courier-Journal has the story:
“The Cards spent the past three seasons, as senior Doug Beaumont put it, “bored” at home during bowl play. They were picked last in the Big East preseason media poll and expected to finish a fourth straight season without a bowl appearance. That’s why the bowl trip is particularly rewarding.
“It means more this year just on what all we went through as a team,” (Justin) Burke said. “And as a senior group to have a chance to go to a bowl and get a winning season for this program would be very special for all of us.”
BCS TITLE GAME – This is the fifth straight year that an SEC team has played in the title game. The SEC has won the four previous games. Florida won in 2006, LSU in 2007, Florida in 2008 and Alabama last season.
Auburn is ready for the big stage, reports Jay G. Tate of the Montgomery Advertiser. Auburn-Oregon figures to be a nightmare for defensive coordinators, writes Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News.
SEC BOWL GAMES
- BCS Title: Auburn vs. Oregon
- Sugar: Arkansas vs. Ohio St
- Chick-fil-A: South Carolina vs. Florida St
- Outback: Florida vs. Penn St
- Cotton: LSU vs. Texas A&M
- Capital One: Alabama vs. Michigan St
- Gator: Mississippi St vs. Michigan
- Liberty: Georgia vs. Central Florida
- Music City: Tennessee vs. North Carolina
- BBVA Compass: Kentucky vs. Pittsburgh
BENGALS — Sorry, but it’s time for Marvin Lewis to go. It’s actually time for Mike Brown to go, but he’s not going anywhere.
SETH DAVIS ON UK-NORTH CAROLINA –
- Looks like North Carolina finally figured out its half-court offense should run through junior center Tyler Zeller. He had a career-high 27 points (11-for-12 on free throws) and 11 rebounds in the Heels’ upset of Kentucky. Try not to forget, guys.
- As for Kentucky, Brandon Knight has to learn the difference between a good shot and an open shot, but John Calipari is smart to give Knight the freedom to figure it out.
PROOF WE WERE THERE SATURDAY
Press row at the Dean Dome on Saturday. Back row: 1-Dana O’Neil, espn; 2-Jerry Tipton, Herald-Leader; 3-John Clay, Herald-Leader; 4-Rick Bozich, Courier-Journal; 5-Brett Dawson, Courier-Journal; 6-Matt May, Cats Pause; 7-Aaron Smith, Kentucky Kernel; 8-Nick Craddock, Kentucky Kernel; 9-Jeff Goodman, Fox Sports; 10-Gary Parrish-CBS Sports; 11-Jon Akers, Basketball Times; 12-Jason King, Yahoo Sports.