▪ Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but Tommy Tuberville’s offense at Cincinnati has suffered since he lost his offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw to Kentucky.
Last year, UC ranked sixth in the nation by averaging 537.8 total yards per game. This year, the Bearcats rank 107th with 359.5 total yards per game. Meanwhile, under Gran, Kentucky is 63rd at 414.4 yards per game.
Cincinnati is also 4-7 on the season and has scored 13 points in its last three games, all losses. That’s turned up the heat on Tuberville, who got in trouble a few weeks back for yelling at a heckling fan while coming off the field.
▪ Here’s a pet peeve: The NCAA should ban all 9 p.m. Sunday college basketball tip-offs such as the one this past Sunday in Rupp, where Kentucky whipped Duquesne 93-59.
The NCAA will do no such thing, of course, not as long as television continues to write the checks and call the shots. But the announced attendance of 21,327 in Rupp on Sunday was the lowest for a home game since the 21,067 for UK-Cleveland State on Nov. 25, 2013.
▪ If not for bad luck, the Cincinnati Bengals would have no luck at all this season. Not only are the Bengals now 3-6-1, they’ve lost two of their top three playmakers on offense in wide receiver A.J. Green (hamstring) and running back Giovani Bernard (torn ACL). Actually, you could say that Green has been their only playmaker. In other words, the Bengals are toast.
▪ Kentucky volleyball closes out its regular season Wednesday night at Tennessee with a shot to win the SEC title. Craig Skinner’s club is 15-2 in league play. Missouri and Florida are tied for second at 14-2. Florida plays host to Auburn on Wednesday before finishing the season at Arkansas on Saturday. Missouri plays at Georgia on Wednesday before returning home to play Tennessee on Saturday.
▪ At 5-6, Boston College needs a win at Wake Forest on Saturday to be bowl-eligible. It’s a position former UK and current BC quarterback Patrick Towles is very familiar with.
▪ Damien Harris update: Through 11 games, the former Madison Southern star has rushed for 853 yards on 114 carries for a 7.5 yards-per-carry average for his sophomore season at No. 1-ranked Alabama.
▪ To listen to Bill Walton do ESPN color commentary at the Maui Invitational this week is to listen to just about every imaginable topic except basketball.
▪ The biggest and most surprising news of the college basketball season happened at Virginia where Coach Tony Bennett booted newcomer Austin Nichols off the team after just one game. Nichols had sat out last season after transferring from Memphis and was expected to be a key player for the Cavaliers.
▪ So the NCAA wants Notre Dame to vacate its 2012 and 2013 football victories thanks to academic fraud issues that caused the Irish to use ineligible players. When will the Indianapolis body learn that “vacate” means absolutely zilch.
▪ Charlie Strong and Texas was never a good fit.
▪ Says here LSU will be making a mistake if it promotes Ed Orgeron from interim to permanent head coach. Those moves rarely turn out well.
▪ In a span of two days, two very successful college basketball coaches reached milestones on their home courts. Last Friday, Kansas Coach Bill Self passed Ted Owens to become the winningest coach in Allen Fieldhouse. On Sunday, Kentucky Coach John Calipari tied Joe B. Hall for the most wins in Rupp Arrena. (Cal has a good chance of passing Joe B. on Wednesday.)