John Clay

ESPN’s Power Index not optimistic about Kentucky football for 2018

Mark Stoops is entering his sixth season as Kentucky’s head coach. The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back winning seasons and are looking to take another step forward.
Mark Stoops is entering his sixth season as Kentucky’s head coach. The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back winning seasons and are looking to take another step forward. TNS

Random notes:

Kentucky is ranked 60th in ESPN’s initial College Football Power Index. That’s 13th out of the 14 SEC teams. The World Wide Leader projects the Cats’ record to be 5.2-6.8. Louisville is 35th in the same index. ESPN has the Cards’ record pegged at 7.0-5.0.

Florida fans will tell you that Urban Meyer has played fast and loose with the truth. After all, he “retired” at Florida citing health reasons and said he would never coach again. Two years later he was the head coach at Ohio State, where now his contention that he did not know about domestic abuse allegations against now former wide receivers coach Zach Smith has been called into question.

Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney, told reporter Brett McMurphy that Meyer’s wife and several others at Ohio State knew about the alleged incidents. If true, that could be enough for the Buckeyes to give Meyer the boot.

I’m guessing Rick Pitino’s “tell-all” memoir, to be released Sept. 4 according to his publisher, won’t quite tell all.

Former UK running back Boom Williams, cut by the Toronto Argonauts before the start of the CFL season, is not in training camp with an NFL team. Williams was cut by first Cincinnati and then Denver last season.

Does anyone really want LeBron James, who opened an elementary school for at-risk students in his hometown of Akron this week, to stick to sports?

Breakdown by home state on the 2018 Kentucky football roster, according to its website: Ohio 29, Kentucky 26, Florida 19, Georgia 12.

Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly called football “the last bastion of hope for toughness in American men.” Seth Emerson of The Athletic tweeted, “Gonna run this by my neighbor, a volunteer fireman.”

Stamp of approval: Reds trade of Adam Duvall. In addition to the pitching prospects acquired from Atlanta, Cincinnati opened the door for Jesse Winker to play every day in 2019. And look for Nick Senzel or Jonathan India to get outfield looks next spring training.

According to Fangraphs, the Reds rank 25th in TV households among MLB’s 32 teams. Yet the Reds rank 10th in local TV ratings.

Crazy stat: Over the past six seasons, Alabama has had 53 players selected in the NFL Draft. Fifteen of those were taken in the first round.

After his team lost to Alabama last season, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron went to his AD with a request. Higher salaries? Better facilities? Bigger recruiting budget? Nope. Orgeron wanted, and got, more analysts.

Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo on reliever Sean Kelley, who was designated for assignment after throwing a tantrum during a 25-4 win on Tuesday: “You’re either in or you’re in the way, and I thought he was in the way.”

Vino Rosso finished third in the Jim Dandy, won by Tenfold at Saratoga last weekend, but we haven’t heard owner Mike Repole ask for an investigation, a la his claim after Rosso ran fourth in the Belmont.

Triple Crown winner Justify arrived at WinStar Farm in Versailles on Wednesday after his retirement from racing last week. David Hanley, general manager at WinStar, says in this video that he sees great potential for Justify's breeding career.

As the retired Justify returned home to WinStar Farm on Wednesday, Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook made Haskell winner Good Magic the 4-1 favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. As you remember, Good Magic won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in April.

According to Pro Football Focus, UK’s Benny Snell led SEC returning running backs by forcing 44 missed tackles last season. Alabama’s Damien Harris, the former Madison Southern star, tied Mississippi State’s Aeris Williams for second with 30.

You have to wonder if the shrinking media access to coaches and players has anything to do with the continued decline in college football attendance.

As Arizona Daily Star columnist Greg Hansen points out, last season Arizona suffered its lowest attendance average since 1997. Yet the Wildcats are not allowing the media to speak to star quarterback Khalil Tate through the first nine days of camp and will have new head coach Kevin Sumlin available only twice. Not a good way to get your message out.

I wonder what Adolph Rupp would have said if you told him one day there would be an 1,800 square foot video board in Memorial Coliseum?

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