Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bracketology 2014

Bracketology after all games with teams in blue as conference automatic qualifiers.  Check us out on the Bracket Project Blog and the 2014 Bracket Matrix

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bracketology



Last Four in:  La Salle, Saint Mary's, Tennessee, Boise State
Last Four out:  Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland
Next Four out:  Massachusetts, Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Charlotte

Bracketology after all games with teams in blue as conference automatic qualifiers.  Check us out on the Bracket Project Blog and the 2013 Bracket Matrix

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kentucky vs. Mississippi St. Crowd Attendance


Breaking Down Kentucky vs. Mississippi St.



Coach: Dan Mullen is 21-17 after three seasons as the head coach in Starkville. His Bulldogs went 7-6 last year, including 2-6 in the SEC. MSU beat Wake Forest 23-17 in the Music City Bowl for Mullen’s second straight bowl win.
Offense: Five starters return, including quarterback Tyler Russell. He’ll have a pair of returning targets in Arceto Clark and Chad Bumphis. So Mullen has hinted that he will tweak his spread scheme to help Russell, who is more of a pocket passer. Now State just has to find a replacement for running back Vick Ballad.
Defense: Seven starters return, including linebacker Cameron Lawrence. State allowed just 19.7 points per game last year, which was 16th best in the country. Tackle Josh Boyd anchors a formidable defensive line.
Overall: The key should be a young offensive line and how quickly Mullen can transition from his spread option to a scheme more conducive to passing. State’s biggest problem remains the same — it’s in the loaded SEC West, which now welcomes Texas A&M to the fold.
Series: Mississippi State has beaten Kentucky three straight and four of the last five years. Because of SEC expansion, one quirk in the schedule is that State returns to Lexington for the second straight year. Mullen is 2-0 against Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Breaking Down Kentucky vs. South Carolina


Coach: Steve Spurrier is 55-35 after seven seasons at South Carolina. He is 197-75-2 overall as a college head coach. He won a national championship at Florida in 1996. His teams have gone 20-7 over the last two years at South Carolina.

Offense: Seven starters return, but the most important is running back Marcus Lattimore, who is coming off knee surgery. After topping 1,000 yards as a freshman, Lattimore rushed for 818 yards last year before being hurt. Quarterback Connor Shaw took over after Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the team last year and did well running the football. He must improve his passing. His relatively inexperienced offensive line is also a concern.
Defense: Sophomore end Jadeveon Clowney leads a unit that should be stout this season. The highly coveted Clowney registered eight sacks last year as a true freshman. Defensive end Devin Taylor, safety D.J. Swearinger and linebacker DeVonte Holloman are also key returnees to a unit that allowed just 268 yards per game last year, third best in the nation.
Overall: Coming off an 11-2 campaign, South Carolina is again poised to fight it out with Georgia for the SEC East title. Lattimore's return should be key for Spurrier, who relied on defense last year as the Gamecocks won seven of their last eight games.
Series: In 2010, Kentucky beat South Carolina 31-28 in Commonwealth Stadium for its first win ever over Spurrier after 17 straight losses. But the Cats were crushed 54-3 last year in Columbia. UK is just 6-14 against South Carolina since the Gamecocks came into the league in 1992.
Schedule: Key stretch is Oct. 6 through Oct. 20 when South Carolina plays host to Georgia, then travels to LSU and Florida.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/08/07/2151498/uk-football-2012-opponent-preview.html#storylink=rss#storylink=cpy

ESPN Reviews Joker Phillips

ESPN takes a look at BCS coaches in their third year and has the following to say about Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong


Joker Phillips, Kentucky

The past: Phillips, who was former Kentucky coach Rich Brooks' handpicked successor, hasn't enjoyed the same success as his predecessor. After Brooks guided the Wildcats to four consecutive bowl games from 2006 to 2009 (winning three of them), Phillips' first team finished 6-7 and lost to Pittsburgh 27-10 in the BBVA Compass Bowl. The Wildcats went 5-7 last season but finished with a 10-7 victory over Tennessee, which ended their 26-game losing streak to UT.
The present: The Wildcats are off to a terrible start, losing to rival Louisville 32-14 in their opener and then falling to Western Kentucky 32-31 in overtime on Sept. 15. Florida blasted UK 38-0 in Saturday's SEC opener.
The future: Kentucky fans, who cherish basketball over everything else, don't expect much from their football program, which hasn't had a winning record in the SEC since 1977. They want to beat Louisville, be somewhat competitive in the SEC and go to bowl games, even with a 6-6 record. Phillips, one of the most likable coaches in the business, is 4-13 against SEC foes, and interest in his program is dwindling.

Charlie Strong, Louisville

[+] EnlargeStrong/Bridgewater
John Sommers II/Icon SMILouisville is 4-0 heading into Big East play.
The past: Strong, a former defensive coordinator at South Carolina and Florida, waited nearly a quarter century for his chance to become a head coach. His early results suggest he should have been hired much sooner. After inheriting a program that won only 15 games during the three seasons before he was hired, Strong guided the Cardinals to consecutive 7-6 seasons and a share of a Big East title in 2011.
The present: The Cardinals are ranked No. 19 nationally after starting 4-0 for the first time since their Orange Bowl season in 2006. After impressive victories over rival Kentucky and FCS foe Missouri State to start the season, Louisville nearly blew a big lead in a 39-34 win over North Carolina and struggled to put away Florida International 28-21 on the road on Saturday.
The future: If Louisville wins the Big East and gets to a BCS bowl game -- and some are already suggesting it might finish the regular season unbeaten -- Strong will be among the hottest coaching candidates in the country. Strong, a native of Batesville, Ark., already has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Arkansas' vacancy.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Patrick Towles Transferring?


“We are not looking into anything like that at this point at all,” Terry Towles told The Courier-Journal on Sunday morning. “Patrick dearly wants to contribute to the University of Kentucky and he wants to do it now, but as far as transferring, we’ve not made any decisions on that.”

Patrick Towles was a four-star recruit rated among the nation’s top 10 quarterback prospects in the Class of 2012. Wildcats coach Joker Phillips said repeatedly he planned to play Towles right away, but after the second game of the season announced that he planned to redshirt Towles.



“Patrick has always been about one thing, and that’s winning – winning now,” his father said. “He’s not concerned about playing part of one year taking about a year of eligibility. He’s not concerned about that at all. He wants to play now. Right now.
But what if he doesn’t?
“We’ll make determinations later in the year, but I know he wants nothing more than to be at the University of Kentucky,” Terry Towles said. “We’ll see how this season continues to play out. If we feel this program is headed in the right direction, then Patrick I know certainly wants to be a part of it.

@patty_ice14: I dont want to play for anyone but The University of Kentucky... #BBN  
It seems like a vote of confidence for the program but not for Joker Phillips.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Breaking Down Kentucky vs. Florida



Series: Florida leads 45-17
Last meeting: Florida won 48-10 on Sept. 24, 2011, in Commonwealth Stadium and has beaten UK 25 straight times.
Line: Florida by 24 points.
THE KEYS
1. Start fast
Kentucky is coming off a dispiriting defeat to Western Kentucky. In Florida, the Cats face a team they have not beaten since 1986 and have not beaten in Gainesville since 1979. Florida has outscored Kentucky a combined 200-36 in the last four seasons. For UK, a positive beginning to the game would be a massive step toward building some positive belief.
2. Foil the Gators' running game
Through three games in 2012, the UK run defense (allowing 188 yards a game) is 13th out of 14 SEC schools. A year ago, Florida ran for a whopping 405 yards against Kentucky. Last week in a victory over Tennessee, the Gators ran for 336 yards. Florida's Mike Gillislee leads the SEC in rushing (115.3 yards a game). Cat-killer Trey Burton (six TDs vs. UK in The Swamp in 2010) ran the ball three times against UT last week but scored two touchdowns on runs of 14 and 80 yards.
3. Find some balance
Kentucky sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith leads the SEC in passing yards (322 a game) but UK is last in time of possession (23:53 a game) and next to last in rushing yards (106.3 yards). Establishing more of a running threat would help keep elite SEC pass rushers off of Smith and keep the struggling Kentucky defense off the field.
THE MOOD
Is grim. After the Cats lost at home to WKU of the Sun Belt Conference on a two-point conversion trick play in overtime, most of the week has been filled with speculation on the future of Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips. It's probably too much to ask of UK to end its 25-game losing streak to Florida this year, but playing the Gators competitively for the first time since 2007 could provide Kentucky with a needed confidence boost going forward.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/09/21/2345438/kentucky-at-florida-keys-to-saturdays.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kentucky Season Ticket Trends



FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS
2012 – 34,833 public        3,115 students        37,948 total
2011 – 42,512 public        5,880 students        48,392 total
2010 – 45,009 public        6,979 students        51,988 total
2009 – 48,996 public        6,196 students        55,192 total
2008 – 48,216 public        5,909 students        54,125 total
2007 – 46,701 public        5,568 students         52,269 total
2006 – 38,291 public        3,124 students         41,415 total
2005 – 44,508 public        3,343 students        47,851 total
2004 – 44,528 public        3,482 students        48,010 total
2003 – 46,964 public        2,378 students        49,342 total
MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON TICKETS
*No student season tickets are available.
2012-13 – The deadline for season ticket renewals isn’t until late Sept.
2011-12 – 18,025
2010-11 – 18,071
2009-10 – 18,184
2008-09 – 17,901
2007-08 – 18,046
2006-07 – 18,068
2005-06 – 18,108
2004-05 – 17,783
2003-04 – 17,826
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON TICKETS
* Students admitted free with university ID.
2012-13 – The deadline for season ticket renewals isn’t until late Sept.
2011-12 – 3,586
2010-11 – 5,055
2009-10 – 5,022
2008-09 – 3,264
2007-08 – 3,947
2006-07 – 4,724
2005-06 – 4,808
2004-05 – 4,220
2003-04 – 2,503

Breaking down Kentucky vs. WKU



Coach: Former WKU hero Willie Taggart has returned to rebuild the program and is off to an encouraging start. After a 2-10 debut in 2010 — a step up from an 0-12 mark under his predecessor in 2010 — Taggart guided the Hilltoppers to a 7-5 record last year with all of their wins in their last eight games. The lone loss was to BCS runner-up LSU. Western finished 7-1 in the Sun Belt but was jobbed out of its first bowl appearance since 1963.
Offense: Nine starters return, but not star running back Bobby Rainey, who averaged a stellar 181.5 yards per game rushing last season. He was a two-time Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year selection. The school's all-time leading rusher won't be easy to replace. Starting quarterback Kawaun Jakes returns, as does offensive line veterans Sean Conway and Adam Smith. Brandon Doughty, who had taken over the starting job before being injured last season, will try to win back the No. 1 quarterback spot.
Defense: Six starters return, including linebacker Andrew Jackson, who averaged 1.42 tackles for a loss per game last year, good enough to rank 13th nationally. Lance Guidry returns for his second year as defensive coordinator after coming to Bowling Green from Miami of Ohio. WKU cut its points allowed from an average of 33.2 in 2010 to 24.8 last season.
Overall: After an 0-4 start last year, Western finished strong and hopes to build on that this season. Overcoming the loss of running back Bobby Rainey will be tough, but WKU expects to be better on defense. Replicating last year's second-place finish in the Sun Belt could be tough. It might depend on the quarterback play of either Kawuan Jakes or Brandon Doughty.
Series: UK is 3-0 against Western Kentucky since 2008. The Cats won 41-3 in 2008, 63-28 in 2010 and 14-3 last year. The two teams will meet again in 2013 back in Nashville.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/07/24/2268735/uk-football-opponent-preview-wku.html#storylink=cpy