Ira D. Combs — Tri State Sports Media
October 14, 2013
While covering college football the past weeks, sitting in the comfortable confines of the Commonwealth Stadium press box, I am convinced strongly of two things:
The Associated Press top 25 teams in college football are special ( UK has played four of them now) and there is a sizable separation in pure raw football talent between most of those 25 and the remainder of the Div. 1-A programs. Secondly, I have also found out there is a thing called Bama Football, and there is another rare and sizable separation between them and the rest of those other top 24 college football programs.
Mark Stoops and his band of battered and bruised Wildcats now know much better than I do the separation that exists between Alabama, the rest of the top 25, and UK football. While it was thought that gap was closing in recent weeks with strong efforts by the Cats against Louisville, Florida, and South Carolina, I have readjusted my opinion after The Tide rolled through Lexington last Saturday night.
Let’s just say that several ugly sores were revealed on how far UK has to go to reach top 25, status and I doubt UK football will ever reach Bama Football. Sunday evening, when the Associated Press released their most recent poll, two more SEC teams crawled into the top 25, which gave the nation’s most elite college football conference a grand total of eight in the top 25 this week.
That’s why the SEC is at times affectionately called “Big Boy Football,” and I’m betting a couple of them could give the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars all they want for 60 minutes.
Now Stoops and his Cats get 12 days to lick their wounds and heal up both physically and mentally before the second half stretch run starts down in Starkville, Mississippi on Oct. 24. Thankfully, the Cats’ second half schedule offers several comparable opponents in size, speed, and athleticism that could provide an opportunity for some W’s for Mark Stoops to build on as they push toward finishing off their second recruiting class this coming February. More next week on how I think UK will finish the second half of the season, starting with Mississippi State.
Cal and Mitchell showcase their new hoops thoroughbreds Friday night
The 2013-14 UK basketball season officially hits center stage this Friday when Cal’s Cats and Matthew Mitchell’s women’s Cats are showcased under the bright lights of Rupp Arena.
Those of you who braved the weather elements for three days and nights outside Memorial Coliseum at the annual Wildcat camp-out have been set for well over a week now with your free tickets. The rest of Big Blue Nation will have to rely on in-state TV stations to provide them with an opportunity to witness the activities.
Many national college basketball analysts have been projecting the UK men’s team to be the preseason No. 1 or 2 ranked team, while the women’s team is being projected as a solid top 10 team.
While Friday night will be mostly a plethora of organized fun and games for the fans’ enjoyment, along with a brief slam dunk contest finished off with a short scrimmage, the first real showcase of Cal’s super recruiting class in game type action will be in the annual preseason Blue-White scrimmage for charity on Oct. 29.
NBA and ex-UK players come to Rupp Arena Saturday
John Wall and his Washington Wizards will battle Anthony Davis and his New Orleans Pelicans this Saturday at 7:30 in Rupp Arena in an NBA preseason exhibition game. Darius Miller is also playing for the Pelicans this season, but he is currently recovering from recent off season surgery and will not play in the game. Saturday night’s game makes for another special weekend of hoops for the Commonwealth’s always starved hoop junkies.
Not only will the NBA game serve as a special night for the Commonwealth’s basketball fans, it will also serve for a special experience for some high profile UK recruits who will be in town for the annual Big Blue Madness festivities on Friday night. Basically, the entire weekend’s basketball activities is another brain storm of one John Calipari who is constantly raising the bar to keep UK basketball in the forefront with those coveted one-and-done recruits.