Hope for Kentucky to Beat the Gators, Resides in this One Picture

steve@realliferadio.com

Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

September 13, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

LEXINGTON –Let’s hope the Gators are just as organized today as evidenced in this single ‘actual game’ snapshot in a rare home loss to, of all teams, Georgia Southern last year. Georgia Southern scored on three out of five possessions during one key stretch and beat Florida 26-20 and leaving them without post-season play for the first time since 1990.

After losing to the Georgia Southern Eagles in Game 11 last season the Gators fell to (4-7) on the season and its losing streak extended to six games in a row. That was the longest losing streak for the Gators since the win-less 1979 Florida team.

After losing to the Georgia Southern Eagles in Game 11 last season the Gators fell to (4-7) on the season and its losing streak extended to six games in a row. That was the longest losing streak for the Gators since the win-less 1979 Florida team.

Kentucky wins today 27-23!

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Kentucky Can Beat Florida if they Win one Particular Battle…

steve@realliferadio.com

Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

September 9, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

LEXINGTON – Duh, right? Yes, the mental battle. In coach speak, you’ll hear ‘it’s not always the X’s and O’s but the Jimmy’s and Joe’s that win games.’ But sometimes coaches can out-coach each other. I’m betting on Saturday night, on a big stage, in the ‘Swamp’ and on the SEC Network at 7:30 pm, the Cats will beat the Gators.

Let’s be honest here, Kentucky’s chances of beating Florida are as good as they’ve ever been. In 5 of the last ten years, and especially last year, the Wildcats have had a team good enough to beat the Gators. So what’s the problem? Why haven’t they beaten Florida since 1986?  27 years and counting, ouch!

As a starter for Kentucky at QB, Ramsey was 2-0 vs Florida. Winning in Lexington 28-9, and in Gainesville 14-7. Ramsey is currently the Athletic Director for Coppin State in Baltimore.

As a starter for Kentucky at QB, Ramsey was 2-0 vs Florida. Winning in Lexington 28-9, and in Gainesville 14-7. Ramsey is currently the Athletic Director for Coppin State in Baltimore.

 

According to Derrick Ramsey, the former all-SEC Kentucky QB, “it’s in their heads.”  “They can beat Florida this year, but Coach Stoops and his crew have to convince them (the players) that this is a game they have to win, not just can win.

“They need to be convinced of that before they run out of the tunnel” continued Ramsey. When he said that it hit this fan like nothing before. It’s truly the mindset of a winning team vs a losing team. Being capable of winning vs having to win.

It’s been said before, “Well done, is always better, than well said.”

Kentucky must win is my attitude. But it doesn’t matter if I’m convinced they’re going to win, they need to be convinced as well.

If they’re convinced they’ll win, the score will be:

   Kentucky   27

   Florida 23

If they’re not:  Florida 41

                       Kentucky 17

Are you convinced? And what’s your score?

Until then enjoy this flashback from 1974 of the Cats upsetting the #9 Gators 41-24.

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Video: Congrats to you Stanley “BOOM!” Williams…..the 1st of Many We Hope

 

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

September 6,, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

#18 Stanley “BOOM” Williams 1st CFB TD. UK Football 2014

The Wildcats join freshman Stanley "Boom" Williams in the endzone after his first collegiete touchdown! Photo by Steve Tressler

The Wildcats join freshman Stanley “Boom” Williams in the endzone after his first collegiete touchdown! Photo by Steve Tressler

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Towles Talk and Name That Cat Game

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

August 19, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

Story by: Steve Tressler

On Monday Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops announced on Twitter that Patrick Towles would be the starting quarterback to begin the 2014 season for the Wildcats.

As a senior at Highlands HS Towles completed 171 of 279 passes (61.3 percent) for 3,820 yards with 42 touchdowns and only one interception.  Photo by Kentucky.com

As a senior at Highlands HS Towles completed 171 of 279 passes (61.3 percent) for 3,820 yards with 42 touchdowns and only one interception. Photo by Kentucky.com

Towles chose Kentucky over offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati and Louisville to name a few and appeared in five games as a true freshman in 2012. He did not play for Kentucky last season with a redshirt.  The 2012 Mr. Football in the state of Kentucky was known for his strong throwing arm and big body. The 6-5, 240 lb’er won three state titles at Highlands and was coached at QB by none other than Chris Collinsworth, the former Cincinnati Bengal and current NFL broadcaster.  As a starter at Highlands he was 38-1 and his athleticism and mobility is so well known that ESPN rated his college position as “athlete” instead of just quarterback.

Stoops was especially proud of his mental growth. Saying his maturity is what they were watching as much as anything else when making their final decision.

Patrick Towles will be wearing jersey number 14 this year for the Wildcats.

Kentucky will opens 2014 season at home against UT Martin on Saturday, August 30 and the game will be televised live on the SEC network.

Quiz for you: Identify all four former UK football players shown below:

Name these former UK football players from L to R and win nothing! Good luck!

Name these former UK football players from L to R and win nothing! Good luck!

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Stoops’ Second Team will Surprise Us All, Maybe Even Stoops

 

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

August 18, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

Story by: Steve Tressler

  Here is the AQ’s Kentucky gridiron predictions for 2014 by game………..

Steve Tressler, the Armchair Quarterback blogger for Kentucky.com, makes his prediction for Kentucky's 2014 football season. He thinks the Cats will finish 6-6 on the season and receive a bowl berth.

Steve Tressler, the Armchair Quarterback blogger for Kentucky.com, makes his prediction for Kentucky’s 2014 football season. He thinks the Cats will finish 6-6 on the season and receive a bowl berth.

 

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The #1 and #2 Greatest Kentucky Recruiting Classes Ever?

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

July 25, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

Story by: Steve Tressler  

If you want to win football games in the mighty SEC, then you better win the recruiting battle as well. (see: Franklin, James Vanderbilt.)  No gridiron coach in UK’s history has had as much success in his first two years of recruiting as Mark Stoops.

We’ve had a few big names pulled in by other coaches. Tim Couch did sign on with Bill Curry. Dennis Johnson did sign on with Hal Mumme. Micah Johnson was a huge get for Rich Brooks. But these were all in-state guys to begin with. Few big names came to Kentucky from outside the commonwealth.

Stoops and company have changed all that.  And just in time to, let’s hope. Over the last 3 years and just 170 miles south, Tennessee has been brought in some impressive recruiting classes by selling the hope of more playing time for freshman.

Stoops has done the same here and the fans are riding a tidal wave of hope because of it. Yours truly is one of them. As proof, when he received a contract extension keeping him here at Kentucky through 2018 season even after winning only two games in his first season fans were relieved he got it.

Such is the state of an SEC football program and fan base desperate to be considered relevant.

Kentucky Wildcats Head Football Coach Mark Stoops has brought in  the #1 and #2 best recruiting classes in the history of Kentucky football.

Kentucky Wildcats Head Football Coach Mark Stoops has brought in the #1 and #2 best recruiting classes in the history of Kentucky football.

Rivals announced that this years’ Kentucky football recruiting class ranked #17 in the nation. Better than traditional powers like Texas (#20), Michigan (#31) and Georgia Tech (#47)  It’s also 13 spots better than Kentucky did last year. The first two recruiting classes for Mark Stoops and his staff are now the #1 and #2 all-time best recruiting classes  in the history of Kentucky football. For Rivals full 2014 list go here: http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/teamrank/2014/all/all

The hope now is that all of  the off-season hard work of getting better talent will turn into wins. It’s a slow process but for now most fans will give Stoops and Co. breathing room.

If  the Cats wins 5 games this year it would be a great year by most fans standards.  Is that what you think?

Now tell me how many games you think Kentucky will win this year?

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Posted in Kentucky Wildcat Football | 2 Comments

Tony Neely’s “Words” to Stoops about the Luncheon Were Exactly Right

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

July 22, 2014

@SteveTressler on Twitter

Story by: Steve Tressler  

Kentucky and Louisville first played on the gridiron in 1912. The rivalry was renewed in 1994 with the announcement of an annual game to be played each year for the “Governor’s Cup.” Kentucky leads the all-time series.

With that I say, sorry to calm everyone down here but Tony Neely, Mark Stoops and Kentucky’s football program didn’t snub the University of Louisville for the annual luncheon.  They gave the Cards’ side of the luncheon and its planning committee more than 2 months notice that they would not attend.

That’s your girlfriend breaking up with you on Valentine’s Day and somehow you’re shocked when she didn’t meet you at the prom.

Besides the game with the Cards is more than 4 months away. Why don’t we wait until the week of the game and then get fired up about it?

I also took issue with people throwing darts at Football Director Tony Neely at Kentucky.

If you’re going to take issue with any athletic staff member at Kentucky, Tony Neely wouldn’t and shouldn’t, make your list. I, and many others, call him behind his back, the nicest guy in college sports.

Plus, the real ‘snub’ award at Kentucky would be a toss-up between Hal Mumme and Billy Gillispie. The two of them snubbed more UK fans than any 3 Louisville coaches combined.

Tony Neely Football Director for the Kentucky Wildcats. Photo courtesy of UK Athletics

Tony Neely Football Director for the Kentucky Wildcats. Photo courtesy of UK Athletics

However, snubs amongst rivals are not uncommon, especially these two . Had this actually been one it would’ve ranked well below many others.

Their were the ‘little brother’ references, the missed calls, the verbal confrontations, etc…

However my favorite rivalry snub here would definitely belong to Coach Joe B. Hall and the decade long snub of never giving Coach Denny Crum’s Cards a game. Which he did, most likely, because of the position that the legendary Adolph Rupp had on the rivalry. Rupp called a game between the Cats and Cards a lose-lose proposition for the Cats.

Once bitter rivals, Denny Crum and Joe B. Hall, now host a call-in show together and are fishing buddies.

Once bitter rivals, Denny Crum and Joe B. Hall, now host a call-in show together and are fishing buddies.

What you want to believe:  Saturday November 29th, bowl game or no bowl game, Kentucky has something to play for.

The reality: The luncheon thing wasn’t a snub and it’s not even a story really. Besides we have plenty to be bitter about when playing Louisville already.

What is your all-time favorite snub?

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These Cats Turned the ‘Unfair Wichita State Bracket’ into a Final Four Trip

 

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

February 28, 2014


Twitter: @SteveTressler

 

Story by: Steve Tressler      

Admit it to yourself. You were sure the 2014 edition of Kentucky Wildcats would be filed away in the same cognitive folder as the 2013 edition; under: Big Hype, Unfulfilled Promise.

After all, the fan and media buzz was this recruiting class could go 40-0 and win a national title. Ten losses later you were sweating they would even make the NCAA tournament.

What a difference 4 games can make. The Kitty Cats have scratched their way into the Final Four and in doing so filled the fans with an excitement they haven’t felt since the 1998 team beat Duke en route to the 1998 National Title and exercised the demons that were created by Laettner and Co.

The 2012 edition of the Cats was supposed to win the title. That whole year was fun watching them beat up the rest of the country. It would have been dissapointing had they not won the national title.

These Cats however, for some fans, were an utter dissapointment. No 40 wins, no SEC title, regular season or tournament, ten losses and an #8 seed in the NCAA tournament. Pass the Tums please.

Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison (2) hit the game winning three pointer with 3.0 seconds left, as Kentucky defeated Michigan 75-72 in the Elite 8 on Sunday March 30, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff HERALD-LEADER

Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison (2) hit the game winning three pointer with 3.0 seconds left, as Kentucky defeated Michigan 75-72 in the Elite 8 on Sunday March 30, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff HERALD-LEADER

To be fair though, the expectations put on this group from day one were completely unreasonable, and it started with Coach Cal.

The tweak? Who knows what that was. The guess here is the ‘tweak’ was Cal just letting the players play and not getting on them for making freshman mistakes, after all, they are freshman, right?

In doing so, the Cats responded by playing selfless team basketball that was heavy on old-school defense and rebounding but with just the right mix of high-flying dunks and razzle-dazzle that was sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

The bracket that was so ‘unfair’ to Wichita State was a springboard for these Cats to reach the Final Four. They systematically and in exciting fashion took down the #9 seed, then the #1 seed, then their in-state rival and the #4 seed, and finally the #2 seed on their way to an improbable trip to the to the 2014 Final Four. The 3rd Final Four for Kentucky in 4 years.

The SEC was supposed to be having a down year in men’s basketball? After all only 3 teams made the NCAA tournament. Those 3 teams however all made it to the Sweet 16, and 2 are in the Final Four. Not bad for a weak basketball conference, huh ESPN?

Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison (2) was mobbed by his teammates after hitting the game winning three pointer as Kentucky defeated Michigan 75-72 in the Elite 8 on Sunday March 30, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff HERALD-LEADER

Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison (2) was mobbed by his teammates after hitting the game winning three pointer as Kentucky defeated Michigan 75-72 in the Elite 8 on Sunday March 30, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff HERALD-LEADER

The really exciting part about this team though, is you get the feeling they’re not done just yet.

It’s also nice to see them smile for once, they’ve earned it.

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Remember Big Blue Faithful, It Ain’t Over, Till It’s Over

steve@realliferadio.com   Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

February 28, 2014

@SteveTressler

 

Story by: Steve Tressler      

Yogi Berra famously quipped once, “it ain’t over, till it’s over.”

Certainly this batch of UK players needs to understand that. Almost all the things being said about this team were said about the 2011 Final Four team.

After all, the 2011 team got into the NCAA tournament with a 25-8 record, but did win the SEC tournament championship.  The difference with this year’s team is that they have no major contributions from a senior at center (Josh Harrellson), or perimeter help from experienced outstanding juniors (see Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins).

Coach Calipari commented before his teams match-up this year with Florida that, he had ‘18-year-old kids playing against 22 and 23-year-old men.’

Yeah coach, that’s what you get when your team is full of one-and-done’s.

And there’s the rub.

There is not another program in the nation whose fans are as knowledgeable or fanatical as the University of the Kentucky. And don’t forget, as demanding.

They Cats have 3 regular season games remaining before heading south to the Georgia Dome for the 2014 the SEC tournament. The guess here is, they win out. Yes, I think they’ll beat Florida in Gainesville.

My hope is that Florida is still #1 when they do. The last time Florida was #1 Kentucky blasted them right out of the top spot with a 70-55 beat-down at Rupp. It sure would be sweet to do it again, and this time in Gainesville.

After all, it ain’t over till it’s over.

FYI – No one rushed the court after UK beat No. 1 Florida.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcat Basketball | 2 Comments

Kentucky Pounces on Tennessee at the Border Bowl!

 

steve@realliferadio.com Real Life Radio 1380am/94.9 fm

January 28, 2014

Story by: Steve Tressler

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. -  Seven years ago a couple of eastern Kentucky natives began talking about how they could get more attention from colleges for the student-athletes in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and Tennessee.  After all, it seemed like Knoxville and Lexington had no trouble garnering attention for their prep athletes. So they picked a sport that had the most athletes that could compete at once, and would also draw a crowd of fans and college coaches alike.

They settled on high school football.

So former UK Quarterback Freddie Maggard got a call from Scottie Sloan (now the Recruiting and Retention CSM for the Ky. Natl Guard) to go to Williamsburg, Ky. and check out this high school game being played called the Border Bowl, which got its start thanks to another eastern Kentucky gentleman who got it all started with a little help from his neighbors, Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley.

They settled on re-inventing the HS all-star game between Tennessee and Kentucky and called it the Border Bowl.  After the first year they knew they couldn’t continue going at it alone. So they took on sponsors, most importantly the Kentucky National Guard. As it turned out, the National Guard would also have something to offer the players as well, money for college.

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So the second year the game was played it was called the National Guard Border Bowl. Now the game had Soldiers working the event with military precision…see SFC Bobby Jones, a Soldier and co-founder of Mountain Preps radio and press.

http://www.mountainpreps.com/

After 7 years the National Guard Border Bowl has helped to produce over 3.5 million dollars in scholarship money for these young men. And for the National Guard’s investment they have gotten several outstanding Soldiers that played in the game at one time.

Now in its seventh year, the National Guard Border Bowl continues to grow thanks to the efforts of people like MSG Brad Harlan, the marketing NCO for the KANG, and Kierre Brown, a Soldier and Director of Marketing for the KANG and the always stellar efforts of Mackenzie Hanes, also a major cog in the Kentucky National Guard marketing wheel.

The game itself has even began to flaunt a little star power of its own. From hardly any media coverage in year one, to local coverage by year three, to regional coverage by year four, to this year’s game being nationally televised on Fox College Sports by former Tennessee Coach and 1998 National Champion Phillip Fulmer, former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Wally Williams. Also staying true to its title as the National Guard Border Bowl, a Soldier served as the play-by-play commentator on the broadcast.

Andy Croley, the Chair for the Border Bowl committee, defers all the credit of the Border Bowl’s success to Freddie Maggard and his help, and Freddie Maggard says it’s all Andy Croley and the people of Williamsburg. The truth is the Border Bowl and its success is the result of a lot of people working hard at making the event a success for the players, the community and the sponsors.

“It’s all about making these kids feel great and treating them like stars the whole time they’re here.” “We want them all to go to college and get an education, whether they play football or not” says Croley.

Lexington athletes represented themselves well, as did Paducah Tilghman whose linebackers carried the Kentucky defense, to a 37-13 win. The largest margin of victory in the series to date.

It has become a larger event every year and draws some of the finest military personnel, media and sports personalities to date.

Former US Navy Seal Howard Wasdin, State CSM Thomas Chumley (Kentucky), former NFL QB Chad Pennington, former NFL RB Marc Logan, whose son Marcelis played in this years game and runs a 4.2 40-yard-dash, and many more, Larry Glover, Dick Gabriel, Jennifer Nime Palumbo, Larry Vaught….etc.

Border Bowl hype video:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7575sorjTE

Lexington Catholic was represented well also with DE Marty Brown, the sure hands of WR David Bouvier, the speed of Marcelis Logan, and the power running of Noah Mitchell.

Tennessee leads the new series 4-3.

The following notes from Mike Fields on local athletes:

Scott Daniel, a Mr. Football finalist who helped Scott County win the Class 6A title, was the MVP of the seventh annual National Guard Border Bowl last weekend. Daniel had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and caught a TD pass to lead the Kentucky all-stars past Tennessee 37-13. Elijah Bell of Henry Clay and Noah Mitchell of Lexington Catholic each ran for a TD. Wayne County’s Tyler Guffey had 81 yards rushing and passing. Casey Dionne of Madison Southern had a 33-yard fumble return for a score. Bryan Station’s Ora “Bo” Johnson and Lexington Catholic’s Marty Brown were among the leading tacklers.

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