Happy Friday morning. Offering a change-up today. Combining SEC and Big Blue Links:
- Tonight is Big Blue Madness, and Jerry Tipton of the H-L writes that the eyes of the college basketball world will be upon Rupp Arena. Just not my eyes. Not a BBM enthusiast. It’s great for the fans and more power to them. Just not my cup of tea. (Remember Cal’s “I can’t stand this” comment at Madness?) I know, I’m a grump. Have fun.
- Our recruiting guru Ben Roberts writes that UK will put on a show for visiting target Stanley Johnson. It will be the California’s star first visit to Lexington. “I expect the red carpet to be out,” he said back in July. More like a blue carpet.
- Ben also has a terrific list of past Madness visitors and where they are now.
- Which SEC coach holds the most NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament victories? It used to be Adolph Rupp with 30. But Florida’s Billy Donovan passed The Baron last season.
- Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun writes that Florida likes its chances of challenging Kentucky for the top spot in SEC basketball. The Cats and Gators have split the last four regular-season conference titles. Florida has seven players returning.
- The Real Jerry Tipton also writes from Birmingham on the Gators and Patric Young, who said of Kentucky, “They’re going to see it’s not just a walk in the park.”
- Mike DeCourcy talks about Doug Gottlieb parking Kentucky at No. 7 in his pre-season poll.
- Andrew Gribble of the Birmingham News writes from SEC Media Days that Alabama is low on numbers, but high on experience and hoping to get back to the NCAA Tournament. Junior guard Levi Randolph recently injured his knee, but Anthony Grant said it doesn’t look like the injury will require surgery.
- Ryan Black of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer says Auburn has come a long way since that 63-21 shellacking at the hands of Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M a year ago. Both teams are ranked heading into this year’s rematch.
- Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph writes that Georgia’s problems on defense have something to do with the number of rookies being play, but that’s not the only problem. The Dawgs have seen a dropoff in veteran play, as well.
- Jeff Lockridge of the Tennessean reports that Vandy wide receiver Jordan Matthews is on the verge of setting a receiving record.
- Ole Miss has lost defensive end C.J. Johnson for the season after ankle surgery. The Rebels have been hit with a rash of injuries, and play LSU on Saturday.
- Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart thinks UT is making progress with the football program. The Vols take on Steve Spurrier and South Carolina on Saturday.
- Former Tennessee point guard Trae Golden has been declared immediately eligible at Georgia Tech. Golden departed UT in the midst of an academic counseling scandal.
- LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant is ready to embrace his expanded role, writes Randy Rosetta of the Times-Picayune. I’m telling you, watch out for LSU. The Tigers will be much-improved.
SEC football schedule
Saturday, October 19
- Georgia at Vanderbilt 12:00 PM CBS
- South Carolina at Tennessee 12:00 PM ESPN
- Florida at Missouri 12:21 PM SEC TV
- Auburn at Texas A&M 3:30 PM CBS
- Arkansas at Alabama 7:00 PM ESPN
- LSU at Ole Miss 7:00 PM ESPN2 200 112
Thursday, October 24
Kentucky at Mississippi St. 7:30 PM ESPN
Saturday, October 26
- Vanderbilt at Texas A&M 12:21 PM SEC TV
- Tennessee at Alabama 3:30 PM CBS
- South Carolina at Missouri 7:00 PM ESPN/ESPN2
- Furman at LSU 7:00 PM
- Florida Atlantic at Auburn 7:30 PM FSN
- Idaho at Ole Miss 7:30 PM CSS