Big Blue Links for Monday:
Kentucky will play Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on December. It’s an 11 a.m. game on ESPN. Coincidentally, Mark Stoops final game as defensive coordinator at Florida State was against Georgia Tech in the 2012 ACC Championship game. Now, in his first bowl game as Kentucky’s head coach, Stoops faces Georgia Tech again. It brings him full circle. Georgia Tech has a pipeline of players from the Jacksonville area, however.
On the heels of the Taxslayer Bowl announcement, Kentucky picked up a commitment from a three-star defensive end from Hollywood, Florida who had originally committed to Central Florida.
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Also at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, Louisville will play LSU in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Losses to Houston and Kentucky at season’s end knocked Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals out of the Orange Bowl. Given all that’s happened in Baton Rouge this season, LSU is pretty happy to be in the Citrus Bowl. In more important news, LSU has signed defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to a contract extension.
After beating Louisiana Tech in the C-USA Championship game, Western Kentucky will play Memphis in the Boca Raton Bowl. That game is Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Western played in the Miami Beach Bowl last season.
The 17th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team lost at No. 7 Louisville 69-67 in overtime on Sunday at the KFC Yum Center. Myisha Hines-Allen led the Cardinals with 26 points. It was a tough loss for Kentucky’s Makayla Epps, who missed a 10-footer in regulation that would have won it for the Cats.
They are still talking about UCLA’s 97-92 win over No. 1-ranked Kentucky on Saturday. Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal wrote that selfish play hurt Kentucky. College Basketball Talk listed five things it learned from the Bruins win over the Wildcats. Kentucky hopes the loss is more alarm clock than alarm bell.
Draft Express broke down how the De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball showdown went Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena. Ball overcame a sub-par first half to make some key plays in the second as the Bruins made their first trip to Rupp Arena a victorious one.
Gary Parrish’s Top 25 (and one)
A return to simplicity helped Louisville pull out a 79-70 win at Grand Canyon on Saturday night. Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden made their collegiate debuts for Duke on Saturday night in the Blue Devils’ romp over Maine. Harry Giles is the freshman who has yet to suit up for Duke. Giles underwent knee surgery, his third, just before practice began.
Indiana rolled over SEMO 83-55 on Sunday, but the victory overshadowed some issues for the Hoosiers.
As for the other bowl games, Alabama will play Washington in the Peach Bowl and Ohio State plays Clemson in the ---- as part of the College Football Playoff. Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News is expecting an Alabama-Clemson rematch. Ohio State may be better, but Penn State was more deserving of the CFP bid.
An 8-4 Auburn will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers say they don’t need a detailed scouting report to know about Oklahoma’s “big-time offense.” SEC East champ Florida is headed to the Outback Bowl to play Iowa. The Gators were trounced 54-16 by Alabama in the SEC Championship game on Saturday.
After a disappointing 8-4 season, Tennessee will play Nebraska in the Music City Bowl. If the Vols aren’t excited about the trip, Music City bowl officials are happy to have UT in Nashville. But John Adams says this is a matchup for the 1990s. Georgia is headed to the Liberty Bowl to play TCU. How engaged will the Bulldogs be to play in Memphis?
Texas A&M will play Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. The Aggies couldn’t stop the run at year’s end. South Carolina will play South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl. Arkansas is headed to Charlotte to play ACC Coastal Division champ Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
Vanderbilt will play North Carolina State in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. Mississippi State, which finished 5-7, will play Miami of Ohio in the St. Petersburg Bowl. MSU and North Texas were the two 5-7 teams that received bids thanks to their APR scores.
Tommy Tuberville is stepping down after four seasons at Cincinnati. So far, anyway, the name of current UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, formerly the OC at Cincinnati, hasn’t surfaced as a leading contenders. Reports say that Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm and former U of L and Texas coach Charlie Strong are on Cincinnati’s list.
Staying in Cincinnati, the Bengals dominated the Philadelphia Eagles 32-14 on Sunday to run their record to 4-7-1. Pittsburgh and Baltimore both won Sunday, however, with both teams improving to 7-5. Randall Cobb’s Sunday included a snow angel and a Lambeau leap as the Green Bay Packers beat the Houston Texans 21-13.
If you missed it from Saturday, UK was bounced from the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament. The Cats were swept by Washington in Seattle.