▪ With the ACC going to a 20-game conference basketball schedule in 2019-20 to help the league’s new television cable channel, North Carolina Coach Roy Williams told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Katz’s podcast the annual Kentucky-North Carolina series may be a thing of the past.
“My feeling right now is to play our conference schedule, play one exempt event where you have really good teams and other than that play home games to help out your revenue, help out your budget.”
Katz asked if that means the UK-UNC game would go away.
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“Oh yeah, the way I’m looking at it now,” Williams answered. “Why do I need to do that?”
Of course, Kentucky and North Carolina are also part of the CBS Sports Classic, which also includes Ohio State and UCLA. In fact, Kentucky plays the Tar Heels this year in Las Vegas.
▪ The excellent Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports has Kentucky’s Mark Stoops included (at No. 7) on his coaches’ “hot seat” list for 2016. It’s a common misconception. Even if UK wanted to pink-slip Stoops after this season, it would cost a cool $12 million. Besides, I think Mitch Barnhart wants to afford Stoops at least five years — and he should.
▪ Usually not one given to overstatement (cough, cough), Louisville Coach Rick Pitino told a radio station on Wednesday that this year’s Duke team has the opportunity to be one of the best college basketball teams in modern history.
▪ Ex-Kentucky football commit Russ Yeast, son of Craig, will make an official visit to Auburn on Sept. 3 for the Tigers’ clash with 2015 College Football Playoff runner-up Clemson.
▪ Athlon ranks Boston College’s Patrick Towles at No. 60 and Drew Barker at No. 76 in its list of college football quarterbacks. By season’s end, I’m predicting that order will be flipped.
▪ Our weekly Joey Votto “en fuego” update notes the Reds’ first baseman took a .438 August batting average into Wednesday’s game against Texas. On June 27, Votto was batting .242. He finished Monday night at .312.
▪ Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze created a video of his own funeral scene to get his team to focus on life goals and eternity. Freeze said the video was “motivational.” OK.
▪ Former UK running backs coach Chad Scott is now tight ends coach at North Carolina, where he reportedly wears a mouthpiece during practice. Chad still thinks he’s a player.
▪ After watching Kentucky’s punters during the Fan Day practice and Monday’s open-to-the-media practice, I would say it’s an area of concern.
▪ Did you see where Tampa Bay Bucs fans have been booing struggling rookie place-kicker Roberto Aguayo, the team’s second-round pick, during training camp? That’ll help him get his confidence back.
▪ Off to a 1-1-1 start, the Kentucky women’s soccer opens its home season with a pair of games against ranked opponents. No. 23 South Florida visits on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. match. Then Sunday, UK plays No. 25 Northwestern at 1 p.m. Thursday’s match includes free pizza for all UK students in attendance. Can’t beat that deal.
▪ Surely NBC has one more Ryan Lochte interview left.
▪ Pitcher Dan Straily, claimed off waivers from San Diego just before the start of the year, is surely the Reds’ pickup of the year. Straily is 10-6 with a 3.57 ERA. He has won his last six decisions.
▪ Michigan commit Aubrey Solomon revoked his pledge to the Wolverines after he received a thank-you note for attending a Michigan BBQ with his mother. One problem. Solomon and his mother did not attend the BBQ.
“It was just a little heartbreaking, for me to supposedly be so high on their list, for them to confuse me with someone else,” Solomon told 247 Sports.
▪ There will be one good result to the recent flap over whether or not Rick Pitino was the reason UK did not honor the 1996 national title team last season. (UK awarded rings to the ’96 team in 2013). The school says it is working on a protocol for future team reunions and celebrations.
▪ I just hope one those new luxury chalets for UK football tailgating doesn’t become the new press box one day.