Big Blue Links for Tuesday:
▪ The ACC is closing in on a deal with ESPN that would create its own cable channel by the year 2019. Of course, the SEC and the Big Ten already have their own networks.
▪ Kentucky basketball announced its non-conference basketball schedule on Monday. The Cats open the season Nov. 11 against Stephen F. Austin. Good news for season ticket holders. UCLA and Kansas both visit Rupp Arena.
▪ Kentucky’s schedule has highlights but lacks depth, says Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk. “We criticized Duke’s schedule, but if we’re being honest here, the only real difference between Duke’s schedule and Kentucky’s schedule is that the Blue Devils had the bad luck of drawing Florida as they’re reloading in the post-Billy Donovan years and scheduling UNLV one year after that program self-destructed.”
▪ SEC Country has ranked the 14 SEC cities on the basis of craft beer. Kentucky ranks pretty high, which it should, of course.
▪ Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated has an interesting piece on up-transfers and who is winning and losing the battle. He defines up-transfers as players who move from a low- or mid-major school to a Power 5 school or a school that has won the national title in the last 10 years.
▪ Former UK men’s basketball player Josh Carrier has joined the women’s basketball staff at Northern Kentucky University. NKU’s first-year head coach is former UK women’s assistant Camryn Whitaker.
▪ Three-star wide receiver Clevan Thomas committed to Kentucky on Monday. Thomas is from Miami, which just so happens to be where UK wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas played his college football.
▪ Kentucky football’s single-game tickets go on sale Tuesday at 9 a.m. Tickets for seven home games and five road games are still available.
▪ Two Florida football players were arrested for shooting a BB gun at a school dorm. The two are freshmen wide receivers.
▪ Five-star power forward Wendell Carter cut his list of schools down to eight. Kentucky is on the list, but Duke remains the prohibitive favorite for the Georgia native.
▪ Louisville football released its pre-season depth chart on Monday. The Cardinals open their season on Sept. 1 against Charlotte at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
▪ Alabama coach Nick Saban suspended starting offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor after the player’s DUI arrest over the weekend. Taylor was a second-team All-SEC selection.
▪ There are plenty of quarterback questions around the SEC. Ole Miss is set with Chad Kelly. Tennessee has Josh Dobbs. Kentucky has Drew Barker. Most everywhere else around the league there will be quarterback competitions.
▪ Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says Baylor has “sullied” the conference. The league’s football media days opened on Monday.
▪ Deebo Samuel is ready to take over Pharoh Cooper’s playmaker role at South Carolina. New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, a former UK assistant, will be counting on the sophomore wide receiver.
▪ A four-star defensive lineman has committed to Alabama. The interesting note is that Akial Byers is from Fayetteville, Arkansas, the home of the Razorbacks.
▪ Les Miles strikes the right tone after the Baton Rouge tragedy, says Scott Rabalais of The Advocate in Baton Rouge. The LSU football coach canceled his trip to ESPN on Monday because of the shootings that left three officers dead.
Kentucky football 2016 schedule
New Mexico St