John Clay: College football powers not exciting their students

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistOctober 1, 2013 

UKFBvsLouisville

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops, left, led his team onto the Commonwealth Stadium field before Saturday's game against Louisville. Players like the new color scheme more than some fans.

DAVID STEPHENSON — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Random notes:

■ According to a Birmingham News analysis, college football attendance over the first month of the season among FBS schools was down 3 percent from last year and 6 percent from 2011.

■ A Wall Street Journal story last week reported that over the last four seasons Georgia students left empty 39 percent of their designated seats. That's Georgia we're talking about.

At Alabama, 32 percent of the student tickets went unused over the last four years. Bama won three national titles during that time.

■ Meanwhile, Louisville Coach Charlie Strong said Monday he wants Louisville to enclose Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

■ At his press conference Tuesday, Steve Spurrier thanked his fans for buying tickets and making Saturday's game with Kentucky a sellout.

"You look at these stadiums all around the country, they're not packed like ours."

■ Speaking of Spurrier, he is 19-1 vs. Kentucky. According to South Carolina, no current college football coach has 20 wins against a single school in Division I.

■ Games left on SEC football schedules: Alabama vs. Georgia State, Auburn vs. Western Carolina, Florida vs. Georgia Southern, Kentucky vs. Alabama State, LSU vs. Furman.

■ For all the controversy over Joey Votto not driving in enough runs, five of the top 11 — there was a tie for 10th — RBI producers in Major League Baseball played on teams that didn't make the playoffs.

■ Lane Kiffin could not do with Pat Haden in 2013 what Bill Curry did with C.M. Newton in 1994, i.e. talk his athletic director out of firing him.

■ Graffiti that Tennessee fans wrote on "The Rock" at UT: "Hey Kiffin ... Karma is a Butch."

■ One of the biggest misconceptions in college athletics is that schools do what the fans want. Schools do what the donors want.

■ How come professors never get fired one month into the semester?

■ Did you see where Ole Miss fans are upset because ESPN showed a former staffer in the Alabama coaches box with binoculars during last Saturday's game. Yeah, that's how the Tide shut out the Rebels 25-0.

■ You know there are Kentucky fans out there who hope Tom Jurich goes to Texas and Charlie Strong goes to USC.

■ After four games, Kentucky has converted just three of eight third-and-1 situations. Opponents have converted eight of nine third-and-1 situations.

■ South Carolina has rushed for at least 200 yards in each of its first four games.

■ Loved that Cleveland Manager Terry Francona said the reason the Indians earned an American League wild-card spot was that players "stayed away from chicken and beer" in the clubhouse.

■ Kentucky's 47 offensive plays last Saturday was its fewest since it ran just 45 against Louisville in 2006.

■ Skip Holtz's former team, South Florida, is 0-4 and has been outscored 151-58. Skip Holtz's current team, Louisiana Tech, is 1-4 after going 9-3 last season under ex-UK assistant Sonny Dykes.

■ We are of course heading toward the day when news is made by a college football team when it wears its traditional uniform.

■ Have you seen Arizona State's new fiery helmets which feature images of flames? As has been mentioned on Twitter, they look like bowling balls.

■ In case you missed it, Rutgers transfer Eli Carter, who averaged 14.9 points per game for the Scarlet Knights last season, is eligible immediately at Florida.

■ Michigan State was set to cancel its annual campout for students to get tickets for the Izzone, then 3,000 showed up for Friday night's campout.

■ For Pittsburgh basketball's Morning Madness, head coach Jamie Dixon dressed up as Duck Dynasty's "Uncle Si."

John Calipari, ball's in your court.

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com.

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