John Clay

John Clay: Cats won't get Blazing start in 2016

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops and new Troy Coach Neal Brown
Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops and new Troy Coach Neal Brown

Random notes:

Kentucky was scheduled to open its 2016 football season against UAB, which officially announced Tuesday that it is dropping football.

That means the Cats are already 1-0 in 2016.

Just kidding.

■  Already UK fans on Twitter were clamoring for a Kentucky vs. Troy/Neal Brown game to start the 2016 season.

■  Is Louisville's DeVante Parker the best receiver this state has ever produced? I can't think of a better one.

■  It's all about expectations. Nebraska fires Bo Pelini after he won 66 games in seven years. Michigan fires Brady Hoke after he won 31 games in four years.

■  What a coincidence that on the same day Michigan fires Brady Hoke, the man he replaced, Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, is named Pac-12 Coach of the Year.

■  Hope the next Michigan coach refers to Ohio State as "Ohio State" not "Ohio." These guys are supposed to be adults.

■  The matter that hurt UK quarterback Patrick Towles at the end of the season is the same thing that kept him from winning the quarterback job last year. The junior-to-be must be more accurate with his shorter throws.

■  No matter who Mark Stoops hires as his offensive coordinator, expect another quarterback competition in the spring, this time with redshirt freshman Drew Barker heavily involved.

■  Were I on the College Football Playoff Committee, I would not penalize Ohio State for losing quarterback J.T. Barrett to a broken ankle. Let's see what the Buckeyes do in the Big 10 title game against Wisconsin.

■  Contrary to popular belief, I think Missouri can give Alabama problems in the SEC Championship Game. Bama will win, but it will be closer than expected.

■  One of the cooler images of the college football season will be Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin signaling touchdown after wide receiver Amari Cooper got past his Auburn defender at the line of scrimmage.

Kiffin raised his arms long before Blake Sims even released what was the TD pass to Cooper.

■ Prediction: With the Power 5 conferences assuming more power, UAB won't be the last FBS school to drop its football program.

■  Don't feel too sorry for fired Florida coach Will Muschamp. There are a lot of defensive coordinator positions open and he is one of the best around.

■ By the way, Jim McElwain would be a good hire at Florida.

■  If former Boise State coach Chris Petersen had not jumped to Washington this year, bet he would be first on Florida's list.

■  If you see the glass as half empty, Kentucky forced four turnovers, scored two defensive touchdowns, blocked a punt and knocked out Louisville's starting quarterback, forcing Bobby Petrino to play the quarterback who had been third-string much of the season, and the Cats still lost.

■ Only John Calipari would say that "society" should root for a program with eight national championships and a team with all the best players. Cal has come a long way from his UMass days when he wanted everyone to root for the underdog.

■  Through seven games, Andrew Harrison has 24 assists and just 10 turnovers.

■  Aaron Harrison has made just eight of his 32 three-point attempts so far. He's obviously saving them for the NCAA Tournament.

■  Under new coach Bruce Pearl, Auburn scored a school-record 105 points in a win over UL-Lafayette, then three nights later scored 35 points in an 18-point loss to Tulsa.

■  Best news for SEC sportswriters this week: Steve Spurrier said he will return as South Carolina's coach in 2015.