John Clay's notes: Strong's aversion to media not best fit at Texas

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistDecember 17, 2013 

Louisville Kentucky Football

Louisville Coach Charlie Strong is the subject of job speculation after leading the Cards to an 11-1 record this season.

TIMOTHY D. EASLEY — AP

Random notes:

■ Las Vegas oddsmakers have Charlie Strong favored to succeed Mack Brown at Texas. Can't see it. That job demands much media attention, which Strong resists. Guess here is Strong waits to see what happens with Will Muschamp at Florida in 2014.

■ Yes, UK will have transfer Braylon Heard eligible next season, and hopefully Josh Clemons is ready to return from his knee injury, but losing running back Dyshawn Mobley to a transfer has to be a blow. Kentucky needs all the good football players it can find.

■ My Heisman Trophy ballot: 1. Jameis Winston, Florida State; 2. Tre Mason, Auburn; 3. AJ McCarron, Alabama.

■ It is true that John Calipari did not predict his team would go 40-0. It is also true he didn't do much to squelch that talk.

■ Not that long ago the Bengals appeared a cinch for the playoffs. No more. If Baltimore can beat New England on Sunday, then win at Cincinnati the next Sunday, the Ravens win the division and Cincinnati is left scrambling for a wild-card spot.

■ Who knew that Miami's 22-20 overtime win, decided on a safety, could prove so important at the end of the season? The Bengals are 9-5. The Dolphins are 8-6.

■ In case you missed it, Ohio State beat out Alabama for the nation's top-rated inside linebacker, who happens to be from Georgia.

■ Looks like the Reds are going to keep Brandon Phillips, which will make for an interesting clubhouse this season.

■ Great line from Eagles Coach Chip Kelly on his non-interest in the Texas job. "Eight times this year I've felt like an NFL coach, six times I haven't," he said. The Eagles are 8-6.

■ The worst part about Saturday's UK-North Carolina game was that for long stretches it appeared as though both teams just decided to drive to the basket and hope for a foul call. There was very little offense run, no medium-range jumpers, no sets. Just a lot of whistles.

■ North Carolina shot 45 free throws, the most by a UK opponent since Louisville shot 46 way back on Jan. 5, 2008.

■ Lots of feedback from last week's column about the reasons behind the falling UK basketball attendance at Rupp Arena. Consensus concerning the No. 1 reason: The home schedule is just not very good.

■ In that feedback over attendance, received a fair amount of concern about the Commonwealth Stadium renovation. Fans don't seem to have a problem with the reduction in seats. They are worried that the improvements are targeted toward the big donor types and not the average fan.

■ I wrote Sunday that North Carolina is not a great basketball team this season. Then I was reminded that the Heels have beaten the pre-season No. 1 Kentucky, No. 2 Michigan State and No. 3 Louisville. All without P.J. Hairston.

■ Speaking of Hairston, did you see where a couple of North Carolina fans were holding up a "Free PJ" sign at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night? Duke students sneaked up behind the Heels supporters and stole the sign during the Blue Devils' win over Gardner-Webb.

■ An old-timers note: Defensive end Michael Sam is Missouri's first consensus All-America defensive player since Roger Wehrli in 1968. And Wehrli, a safety, could really play.

■ Did you see where Rick Pitino photobombed a fan at the Justin Timberlake concert in Louisville the other night?

■ Apple's CEO took a shot at Alabama in his speech after accepting a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater — Auburn.

■ The halftime ceremony Saturday honoring former North Carolina coach Dean Smith for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom was memorable. That Smith, who is battling Alzheimer's, was not able to attend is heartbreaking.

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

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service