BBL: Randy Sanders wears a championship smile

Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Randy Sanders wore a championship smile, as ESPN’s Holly Rowe tweeted a post-game picture last night of the Florida State assistant coach. Good for Randy. The former UK offensive coordinator took far too many knocks when things collapsed here. He’s a good football coach. Proved that this year in helping Jameis Winston mature into a Heisman Trophy winner and now national champ.

Mike Summers, another former UK assistant, has been hired as offensive line coach at Florida. After Joker Phillips was fired, Summers landed briefly on Bobby Petrino’s staff at Western Kentucky before switching to Southern Cal before the 2013 season. Phillips is Florida’s wide receivers coach. And Kurt Roper, who was on Rich Brooks’ UK staff in 2005 along with Phillips, is now Florida’s offensive coordinator.

Louisville’s football job is simply better than the Kentucky football job, says Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.

As for facilities, U of L in the Tom Jurich era has been on a building spree that has left the Cardinals with state-of-the art venues. That includes a posh, modern football stadium and an indoor practice facility. Late last year, Kentucky announced that it will spend $110 million to essentially make Commonwealth Stadium more like Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium — smaller, more modern and nicer. What UK does still have over U of L is a larger fan base, a genuine statewide following. That never has been leveraged into any kind of meaningful football advantage, however.

John Calipari meets the media this afternoon to talk about UK’s SEC opener Wednesday night against Mississippi State. Meanwhile, Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader writes about how the Cats have made the most of their extended break.

Kentucky hasn’t played since beating Louisville on Dec. 28. UK hasn’t gone 10 or more days without a game since a loss to Gardner-Webb on Nov. 7, 2007, meant no advancement in something called the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic and a next game on Nov. 21 against Liberty. Prior to that, you have to go back to the 2000-01 season (Nov. 10 against UCLA and Nov. 21 against Jacksonville State) to find a similarly long break in a Kentucky schedule.

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Kentucky’s women are trying to pick up the pieces from Sunday’s upset home-court loss to Florida. Jennifer Smith of the H-L writes that the Cats don’t have much time to regroup. UK travels to South Carolina on Thursday night, as Matthew Mitchell tries to figure out what went wrong against the Gators.

Without naming names, Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell seemed to question the desire of some in the locker room. “The people that have passion and energy have been trying to have passion and energy all year,” he said. “We have an inconsistency on our team of that. It’s really disheartening for me.”

Rich Brooks chimed in on Randy Sanders.

eRupption Zone tickets are/were available for the UK-Mississippi State game. Classes don’t resume on campus until January 15.

Misssisippi State is pumped to start SEC play, reports Logan Lowery of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal. The Bulldogs are 10-3 under second-year coach Ricky Ray.

“We’re excited to get ready for SEC play,” Ray said. “I think we’ve had a successful non-conference slate. The fact we’ve been able to get to 10 wins as a team already when we didn’t get to 10 wins until March of last season I think speaks well of the progress this team is making. Now we get a chance to test ourselves against the best.”

I’m not spending too much time on the Matt Elam-Nacarius Fant twitter feud. It didn’t make either party look good. Kids will be kids.

Kentucky is sitting 13th in Rivals team football rankings for Class of 2014. Here’s the top 15:

  • 1. Alabama
  • 2. Ohio State
  • 3. Tennessee
  • 4. Florida State
  • 5. Texas A&M
  • 6. LSU
  • 7. Notre Dame
  • 8. Miami
  • 9. Auburn
  • 10. Florida
  • 11. Georgia
  • 12. Texas
  • 13. Kentucky
  • 14. Ole Miss
  • 15. Clemson

Links of interest

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