I’m getting a little antsy myself with college football not that far away, so while surfing the net and picking the brains of a few special friends I’ve made in the media contingent who cover UK and the SEC, I’ve come up with what I think may be a few interesting tidbits that if nothing else will produce some conversation for the next few weeks.
1 - Thanks to a uniquely favorable schedule, Louisville will make a run deep into the season and come dangerously close to a BCS championship, but somewhere along the way, probably in November, stub their toe. Then Charlie Strong will pole vault out of town right on the heels of his QB who will take an early entry into the NFL, and right before the Cards enter the new more challenging ACC without a proven QB.
2 - Vanderbilt will return to being Vanderbilt. Three of those five SEC wins last year were against the worst teams UK, Auburn, and Tennessee have fielded in their schools’ history, and the Dores did lose their QB who helped them win two other games by two and three points in the last few minutes of the game.
3 - By next Christmas, if not earlier, Tom Jurich will open his arms wide and forgive Bobby Petrino, who will come humbly crawling back to Louisville and tackle the ACC challenge that Charlie Strong feared without a quality QB. That will pole vault Petrino back onto the national scene as early as he could expect.
4 - The BCS champion will come from the south once again, probably Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or Texas A&M, with two solid dark horse candidates being Clemson and Florida State.
5 - There will be a special and very competitive BCS championship game unlike last year’s inept Notre Dame embarrassment, probably something like an Alabama vs. Ohio State or (surprise, surprise) a Georgia vs. Florida State match-up.
6 - The coaching change will not affect the Ducks of Oregon; they will be a solid top 10 team.
7 - If Florida State takes a step backward from the last two years’ major accomplishments, could we look to Lexington and give more slaps on the back to Mark Stoops and D. J. Elliott.
8 - Barring injury, and that’s a big if, it says here Maxwell Smith will be under center against WKU, and either Patrick Towles or Jalen Whitlow will transfer before the WKU game. All three are way too talented to carry a clipboard up and down the sideline, and only one can play.
9 - Kentucky will beat WKU in the season opener. I can’t see Maxwell Smith or whoever the UK QB is throwing four picks like last year and basically handing the historic upset win to the Toppers .
10 - UK fans will return to Commonwealth Stadium with energy and help Stoops steal at least one and maybe two SEC wins late in his initial season, after his young and talented receiving corps have time to get a little game-seasoned. UT and Missouri both look beatable, especially at Commonwealth Stadium if UK is not beat up physically by then.
News from western part of the Commonwealth
I just spent a little time preparing for some early football season columns and noticed on the WKU website two items that jumped out at me:
1 - Our ole friend Bobby Petrino has added a new coaching position to his first staff at WKU. He now has an assistant coaching position listed as a character coach. Imagine that!
2 - On the advanced non-conference WKU football schedules, which was listed through 2016, there was no sign of a game with UK. Can you say nine-game SEC schedule on the horizon?