John Clay

The Big 12 is having fun at Kansas basketball’s expense

Random notes:

I’m sure they kid because they care.

Iowa State fans are selling T-shirts trolling Big 12 rival Kansas over the official notice of allegations the school’s basketball program received from the NCAA based on information obtained during the FBI’s recent investigation into college hoops corruption.

The T-shirt features a tournament bracket with Kansas on the top line, the FBI on the bottom line, and the FBI as the winner moving on to the next round.

The shirt is available in either Cardinal or gold.

Agree with the take of Ryen Russillo on the Fair Pay for Play Act. Russillo, who now does a podcast for The Ringer, tweeted, “If the fair play act actually happens it’s going to be a (lot) more like patches on NBA jerseys than the end of the NCAA. People will freak out. Some kids will make some side money. Every state will pass it so they don’t lose recruits and then we will all collectively shrug.”

By the way, I highly recommend Russillo’s Monday podcast with former NFL defensive end Chris Long breaking down the weekend NFL action.

Anthony Gonzalez, the former Ohio State receiver and U.S. Representative from Ohio, is considering proposing a federal law that would allow players to profit off their name and likeness.

Meanwhile, Ohio State AD Gene Smith said he’s against the Fair Pay for Play Act because it would create an uneven playing field. Look at facilities, coaching salaries, academic requirements, etc., and tell me the playing field is level right now. Don’t think so.

What does Kentucky football need to fix over the off week? Well, the Cats are 13th in the SEC in scoring offense, 12th in total offense, 12th in touchdowns scored, 14th in offensive yards per play, 14th in pass efficiency and 12th in third-down conversion percentage. I think you know the answer.

Stat: Kentucky is 33-27 under Mark Stoops when it runs the ball at least 50 percent of the time. It is 5-15 under Stoops when it throws the ball more than 50 percent of the time.

So the Cincinnati Reds ended up 75-87, their most victories since 2014 and eight more than a season ago. I thought David Bell had a fine first year, especially for a manager with a different approach to the game from what the Reds had previously. The starting rotation sets up nicely for next year. The key is to improve the offense. Hitting coach Turner Ward was let go Tuesday. And the front office says it is willing to spend free agent money on a bat or two. We’ll see.

Kentucky Derby watchers should pay special attention to the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity on Saturday at Keeneland. Team Valor International and WinStar Farm’s Gouverneur Morris is the likely favorite in the race for 2-year-olds with the winner punching a ticket for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 1. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Gouverneur Morris won his debut by 9 lengths in the slop at Saratoga on Sept. 2.

Sneaky game this week for LSU. The fifth-ranked Tigers play Utah State, who boasts future NFL quarterback Jordan Love. The senior is completing 64.8 percent of his passes on the season. He has thrown for six touchdowns with five interceptions. LSU can’t get caught looking ahead to next week’s matchup with Florida.

The Bengals are 0-4 and quarterback Andy Dalton looked pretty disgusted during Monday’s 27-3 loss to the Steelers at Pittsburgh on Monday night. Being sacked eight times would put any quarterback in a sour mood.

Sunday, it’s the winless Bengals (0-4) against the winless Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1) at Paul Brown Stadium. Get your tickets early.

As for the NFL suspending former Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the season after the Oakland Raider made helmet-to-helmet contact with current Colts and former Western Kentucky tight end Jack Doyle last Sunday: What took the league so long?

Prediction: Louisville football will snap its nine-game ACC losing streak by beating Boston College at Cardinal Stadium on Saturday.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
Support my work with a digital subscription