Sports in Kentucky by Bob Watkins

Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

While the national media gnashes its teeth about Kobe Bryant’s come-back, Robinson Cano’s bank roll, and Jameis Winston’s well-being (sniff), let us visit the Department of Amazing: Bowling Green High’s football team won a third straight state championship last weekend. The Purples finished 14-0. Bowling Green has a 44-game win streak.

Last time the Purples didn’t win a game, star running back with a marvelous name, Blue Tisdale, was in seventh grade. Amazing.

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On another track Kentucky’s basketball hodge-podge has one win this season and been schooled twice.

Providence did its duty December first, but Michigan State and Baylor demonstrated John Calipari’s kids “… you ain’t NBA hot just yet.”

Kentucky is a hodge-podge of talented kids who don’t have a clue and their coach hasn’t broken through the fat head either.

A Calipari quote within a quote last week gave us the insight. After Baylor his predictable, “They out-hustled us, they outworked us. They deserved to win,” Calipari said: “Everything is based on how I’m scoring and what I’m doing, and it’s not based on that part of the game, that toughness.”

I and ME must be Julius Randall and his freshmen pals living large on media hype and glancing up to see their faces on the Cowboys largest scoreboard on the planet.

After Baylor had cuffed his team, Calipari was left with one thing to do. Send a Christmas card to the men of Scott Drew at Baylor for the gift. Another game film for Calipari to show his hodge-podge moments of I and ME. Including these:

√ Willie Cauley Stein showed us how a man 7-feet tall can be invisible on national teevee for 33 minutes.

√ Alex Poythress’ Tennessee Waltz into the NBA Draft second round.

√ Julius Randle as a hunk of BBQ beef in a sandwich for 38 minutes and settled for it.

√ Harrison twins? “Hey, we got ours!” A duo fast earning a new title, Whine Twins.

Could be, Kentucky fans will hear a new tune from Calipari soon. Put to rhythms of I’ll Have a Blue, Blue Christmas …

“We’re just sooooo young

“We’re too much about I and ME.

“We just don’t have any leadership.

“We’re just not tough enough.

“We just don’t have any depth.”

Wait for it.

BOWL GAME MENU

Auburn and Florida State in the Rose Bowl playing for the national championship could be “Who Knew?”

Think of all the verbiage Lee Corso, Lou Holtz and television’s talking heads wasted the last four months. The grand title game aside, the bowl season’s menu is packed with intrigue matches and the usual turkeys.

Games worth a look-in …

Cotton Bowl: Missouri-Oklahoma State.

Chick-fil-A: Texas A&M and Duke in Atlanta

Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville and Miami.

Belk Bowl: Cincinnati and North Carolina in Charlotte.

BBVA Compass Bowl: Houston and Vanderbilt in Birmingham.

The turkeys? Too many to mention, but these jump out:

Beef ‘O’ Brady: East Carolina and Ohio (lost 49-7 to Louisville).

Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State and Rice.

Texas Bowl: Minnesota and Syracuse.

GoDaddy Bowl: Arkansas State and Ball State in Mobile.

Better match by a mile here would’ve been Western Kentucky and Ball State.

LOUISVILLE TO ORLANDO

No BCS title attached and both programs must be less than ecstatic with the weight of Russell Athletic Bowl. But Orlando in December is sunny enough for fan travel and so is the marquee: Louisville (11-1) and Miami (9-3).

Despite a conference jumble, Charlie Strong’s team began the season with national title hype and a Heisman Trophy for Teddy Bridgewater. The Cardinals struggled with a glaringly mediocre schedule that turned no heads among bowl game big shots. Central Florida spotted UofL a three touchdown lead then came back to win and that was that.

Miami won its first seven climbed into the Top 10, then lost to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke. That sealed the Hurricanes’ higher hopes.

Still, Louisville and Miami, Saturday after Christmas, ESPN prime time is quite a, uh, consolation.

WKU STOWS GEAR

The “We Wuz Robbed!” refrain lives and breathes fire in Bowling Green this week. Again. Stow the gear, boys, the football Hilltoppers will be home for the holidays.

Western’s bowl bid credentials were solid at 8-4 (one and one in the SEC), included wins over Navy and Army, and a four game win streak momentum to the end, including GoDaddy Bowl-bound Arkansas State.

Go figure.

Consolation? The future. The Hilltoppers are done with the Sun Belt. In 2014 Western will fly the flag of Conference USA. A 17-team, two division league with half dozen bowl ties in sunny climates like New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida.

When Western’s 2014 schedule is released next summer Arkansas State, Texas State, Louisiana Monroe and Lafayette will be replaced by a football delicious menu – Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, two Florida schools, International and Atlantic, and more.

Next for Hilltopper football? Recruiting and keeping its coaches.