The Kentucky-Louisville football game was picked up by a broadcast network for the first time in the history of the series when it was announced earlier this week that ABC Sports would televise the Sept. 4 kickoff at 3:30 p.m.
While that may sound like a prestigious honor on paper, it might not necessarily be the best thing for UK and U of L fans outside the viewing area. ABC will show the game as part of a three-way regional telecast. UK-U of L will be shown in the Southeast, while Big 12 and Pac-10 country will get UCLA-Kansas State and the Big 10 and Northeast viewing areas getting UConn-Michigan.
But out-of-towners who wish to watch the UK-U of L game will still have options. The game is expected to be available on ESPN Gameplan, which includes all regional telecasts on ABC. Also, subscribers to Internet service providers can access ESPN Gameplan for free.
ESPN/ABC officials cited the head coaching debuts of Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong as one of the reasons the game was picked up. Also, if you look at the SEC slate for Sept. 4, UK-Louisville might be the second most competitive game of the weekend. North Carolina and LSU will follow the UK-Louisville game on ABC with a showdown in the Georgia Dome, but the rest of the schedule includes: Northwestern at Vanderbilt, Memphis at Mississippi State, La.-Lafayette at Georgia, Akron at Tennessee, Miami (Ohio) at Florida, San Jose State at Alabama, Arkansas State at Auburn, Tennessee Tech at Arkansas and Jacksonville State at Ole Miss. Not exactly a murderers' row for the first weekend of college football.
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UK recruits in top 100
East St. Louis defensive back Glen Faulkner was listed as the 83rd-best prospect in the country in the Rivals100 ratings for 2011. Faulkner has also been chosen for the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Game, which will be played in San Antonio in December.
Another Kentucky target, Boyle County linebacker Lamar Dawson, was the No. 95 player on the Rivals100 list. Both Faulkner and Dawson were given four stars.
Also, UK commitment Jon Davis was listed as the nation's No. 137 player on the ESPU150 list. Davis and another Wildcat commit, Bryan Station offensive lineman Darrian Miller, are listed as four-star prospects by Scout.com.
SEC Spring Meetings
The SEC Spring Meetings concluded on Friday with expansion being the hottest topic on the table. With the Pac-10 reportedly ready to strike the first expansion blow by inviting six teams from the Big 12, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive seemed content to take a wait-and-see approach and let the dominoes from the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12 fall before he shows his hand.
Other issues that came up were the 'Saban Rule,' named after Alabama Coach Nick Saban, which prevents head coaches from evaluating prospects on site. Despite some opposition (mainly from Alabama), the rule stayed in place.
And in what seems to be an annual rite of passage at the SEC Spring Meetings, the prospect of a December signing period came up but was once again squashed.
The latest logic (or excuse) for not implementing a December signing period was coaches not wanting to take focus away from their teams, many of which would be getting ready for bowl games.
"We can't have a situation where you're hurting the team you're coaching on your campus," LSU Coach Les Miles told the Baton Rouge Advocate. "We're for an early signing period, but it's not an easy thing to hash out. We felt like the signing date in mid-December would change the (recruiting) calendar and disadvantage quality of life, as well as the teams that you have on your campus and the ability to deal with that effectively."
Senior running back Derrick Locke is expected to be ready for the start of fall camp after suffering a broken arm in a moped accident on Thursday night. Locke will be in a splint for about month, which means he won't be able to participate in the weight-lifting portion of the Wildcats' summer conditioning program, which begins Monday. But Locke will still be able to do cardiovascular work and should be ready to go when fall camp opens in early August.
College football magazines
Most of the 2010 college football preview magazines are now out, and here's a summary of how they see Kentucky's season playing out.
Phil Steele's College Football Preview
Overall ranking: 59th
SEC prediction: fifth in the East
All-SEC players: Derrick Locke, first team at RB, third team as KR; Randall Cobb, first team as PR, second team as WR; OL Stuart Hines, second team; DE DeQuin Evans, third team; LB Danny Trevathan, third team; P Ryan Tydlacka, third team.
Top rated recruit: RB Brandon Gainer (No. 32 incoming RB in the nation).
Ranking of 2010 recruiting class: 53rd
Overall ranking: 63rd
SEC prediction: fifth in the East, 11th overall
All-SEC players: Randall Cobb, first team (all-purpose)
Top rated recruit: TE Alex Smith
Ranking of 2010 recruiting class: 50th (according to Rivals.com)
Overall ranking: 51st
SEC prediction: fifth in the East (6-6 overall, 2-6 in SEC, projects a bid to PapaJohns.com Bowl vs. West Virginia)
All-SEC players: Randall Cobb, first-team offense (all-purpose), second-team punt returner; RB Derrick Locke, third team; OL Stuart Hines, third team, DE DeQuin Evans, third team
Top rated recruit: TE Alex Smith
Ranking of 2010 recruiting class: 48th
Johnson clinic at UK
The fourth annual Dennis Johnson Football Clinic will take place June 28-29 at UK's Nutter Training Complex. The clinic is for ages 7-14 and lasts from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost is $100 per camper (25 percent off for multiple family members). To register go to dennisjohnsonfootball.com or call 859-684-1610.