For the 2nd year in a row, the entire sports staff at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is going to host a day long event on the day following Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. This year, that falls on March 12th. The event will once again be hosted by the Oxmoor Center on Shelbyville Road, and will encompass a total of 6 hosts and 13 hours of sports programming. Plus, we will host a BRACKET CHALLENGE with a chance to win a super-nice Gorilla Basketball Goal, courtesy of Steepleton's. Below is the entire rundown of events, so feel free to head out to Oxmoor any time in the day and you will get your sports fix headed into tournament time:
7-10AM: The EarlyBirds w/ Drew Deener
10-12PM: KentuckySportsRadio w/Matt Jones
12-1PM: Lachlan Mclean on WKRD
1-2PM: Drew Deener on WKRD
2-3PM: Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM: The Afternoon Underdogs w/Tony and Dave
530-6PM: Terry Meiners
7-9PM: Occupy Lachlan (the entire cast of hosts together on stage at the same time)
WHERE TO LISTEN ON THE AIR
Early Birds with Drew Deener
7-10AM (790AM WKRD)
The Tom Leach Show
9-10AM (1080AM WKJK)
KentuckySportsRadio with Matt Jones
10AM-12PM (1080AM WKJK)
Joe B. and Denny Show
10AM-12PM (790AM WKRD)
The Afternoon Underdogs with Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM (790AM WKRD)
Sportstalk84 with Lachlan McLean
7-9PM (840AM WHAS)
By Daniel Farish
#1 Alabama (2-0) vs. Arkansas (1-1) Alabama leads the all-time series 15-7
Bama won the first 5 meetings between these two teams. They have won the last 5 meetings between these two teams. They are coming off of a National Championship. Oh, here’s something. Guess what Alabama did last week? Beat a Sun Belt team. Guess what Arkansas did last week? You already know.
Arkansas is without CB Tevin Mitchell, a blow to a secondary that gave up 412 passing yards last week. They may be without senior QB Tyler Wilson, which leaves them with freshman Brandon Allen or WR turned QB Brandon Mitchell. But Alabama didn’t get through last weekend unscathed either. Running back Jalston Fowler is scheduled to undergo surgery on his left knee. But the depth in the SEC is unimaginable.
It’s funny how things are circular. Check this out: The Crimson Tide have won 32 straight games against teams outside of the Top 25 dating back to a 21-14 loss to….UL-Monroe on Nov. 17, 2007. Arkansas has won seven of its past 10 matchups with ranked teams, and four of the last five. That loss? Alabama last season. It’s going to be a fun ride between these two. The win? Alabama. And that has nothing to do with last week’s loss. The Razorbacks have too many injuries to contend with Alabama and will fall short.
UL-Monroe (1-0) vs. Auburn (0-2) Auburn leads the all-time series 8-0
Knowing no story lines from this season, this matchup would draw no attention. I mean, look at the numbers. Auburn has won all 8 games against ULM. In the last 4 games against the Tigers, ULM has managed 10 points TOTAL; Auburn scored 190. ULM comes from the lowly Sun Belt, an afterthought to the mid-majors. Auburn comes from the powerful and mighty SEC who may come after me dare I say anything against their majestic presence.
So why would I write about this? Because Gene Chizik, Auburn’s HC, is on his way out. He bought one player for a measly $180,000 ($200,000, depending on which report you read) and won a National Championship. He followed it up with an 8-5 season, finishing 4th in the SEC West and a winner in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. Not horrible…but not quite where expectations were at.
This season is almost do or die for a coach in a conference that is constantly looking for perfection. Plus, it doesn’t help with Alabama winning it all last season. Sound familiar Cards fans? Not that Pitino has anything to worry about; UL basketball is back on top this year.
UL-Monroe is coming off of a HUGE win over then #7 Arkansas, easily destroying their season in one game. Former Louisville coach John L. Smith took the official loss, but it should be placed on the shoulders of Bobby Petrino. He continues to screw over Louisville, even from the comfy seat of his motorcycle. Blondes must be purchased separately. Back to UL-Monroe...they are a strong team inside of their conference, the Arkansas win locks up a bowl game for them, and they have nothing to lose. But it’s still the SEC, and lightning doesn’t strike twice. Auburn gets the win.
FCS Bethune-Cookman (2-0) vs. Miami(FL) (1-1)
Miami comes in sporting one of the worst defenses in the country, 2nd worst among the BCS power conferences. Their only win was revenge against Boston College after the Eagles beat them for the first time in 18 years in the 2011 finale.
Bethune-Cookman comes in sporting the 16th best FCS offense and 30th best defense. This means absolutely nothing. Regardless of numbers, stats, starters or location, an FCS school upsets a MAJOR FBS school roughly once per season. Take a look:
2000: Appalachian St beats Wake Forest 20-16
2002: Villanova beats Rutgers 37-19
2004: Maine beats Mississippi St 9-7
2005: UC-Davis beats Stanford 20-17
2006: New Hampshire beats Northwestern 34-17
2007: Appalachian St beats #5 Michigan 34-32
2009: William & Mary beats Virginia 26-14
2010: James Madison beats #13 Virginia Tech 21-16
2011: Cal St. Sacramento beats Oregon St 29-28
2012: Youngstown St beats Pittsburgh 31-17
So, sorry Wildcats, but it’s already happened this season. Another note? BC comes from one of the weakest FCS conferences, the MEAC. Who else belongs to that conference? Savannah State…and we know how their fate has been against FBS schools this season. Congrats on the win, U-Dub.
#13 Virginia Tech (2-0) vs. Pittsburgh (0-2) VTech leads the series 7-4, haven’t played since 2003
Virginia Tech comes into this game as one of the hottest teams in the ACC. Pittsburgh comes in as one of the most pitiful teams, just a smidge above Miami and Penn St. VTech has beaten then-ranked Boise State and FCS Austin Peay. Albeit, both games at home. Pittsburgh has lost to FCS Youngstown State and 2011 Big East Co-Champion Cincinnati. Seems like a forgone conclusion, right?
Nope. This series was one of the most enjoyable when both teams were in the Big East, before VTech bolted for the ACC in the early 2000’s. It will be renewed next year as Pittsburgh will become a part of the ACC Coastal division, renewing an annual rivalry. Both teams have mad respect for each other, regardless of the issues the Panthers face. “They have always had solid, good football players, but they have had several coaching changes in the past couple years so I think when you go through coaching changes, there are adjustment periods,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. “I think that’s just the way it is.”
Pitt has won the last 3 games in the series, winning by 31, 7 and 3 points respectively. VTech was favored in each game, including the 2003 meeting when they were ranked #5 but lost 31-28. A good game for Pitt would be to not be blown out of the water. Pitt is only a 10 point dog, keeping it within 7 is a moral win. There will be no actual win for the Panthers until next week when they host the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs. They hope.
#25 BYU (2-0) vs. Utah (1-1) Utah leads the all-time series 52-31
BYU comes in having lost 3 of the last 4 in this series, including an embarrassing 54-10 loss last September. At home. They have lost 66% (16-34) of the games AT Utah. The Cougars are in their second year as an independent and Utah is in its second year as a Pac-12 team, but these two teams rivalry dates back to their days in the Mountain West and the WAC.
No one understands football players like football players. They don’t understand the pain, the effort, and sometimes the heartbreak. So all of BYU understands the pain and heartbreak Utah QB Jordan Wynn is feeling right now. Wynn made the decision this week to step away from the game, rather than face a fourth shoulder surgery. Most grown men put off microscopic surgery that would allow them to work, earn a paycheck. This kid had already went through 3 separate shoulder surgeries, just to play college football. Wynn is a baller. But there is life after football, and Wynn has realized that.
“He’s battled and come back, battled and come back, battled and come back,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall told the BYU official website. “It’s hard. I’m sure this is hard for him.”
Sidebar: HOW AWESOME A NAME IS BRONCO?!
Ok, now we’re back. Utah’s options lay in senior John Hays or true freshman Travis Wilson. Both teams come in with formidable defenses, so don’t expect this to be a high scoring game. Don’t expect this game to be played in the air either. Utah has an explosive running back in John White, who blasted off against BYU last season, going for 174 yards and 3 TD’s. The Utes offense will run through him.
BYU committed 7 turnovers in that game, a game in which they have went back and watched over and over again. “In preparation for this game, we’re watching film from last year (against Utah),” senior QB Riley Nelson said. “Guys see it and it leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Not so much as an emotional motivator, but from a learning standpoint. We made these, these and these mistakes, now let’s not make them again. If we can do that, we’ll put ourselves in a good position.”
The Cougars will come out more focused than last year. The newness of an independent schedule has worn off, and they can’t afford to take it easy. Next week they get Boise State, and in a month they have ACC member Notre Dame….so that’s something to look forward to. Betting line is Utah (+4). Take the Utes and the points.
Last Weeks Games
#7 Georgia @ Missouri – Georgia viewed this game as an SEC game. Mizzou was preparing for their FIRST SEC game. It was the anxiousness and newness the propelled the Tigers to a 17-9 lead. But once that wore off, it became football. Georgia outscored Missouri 32-10 in the 2nd half to win 41-20. Welcome to the SEC.
Kent St @ Kentucky – I said UK needed a blowout of epic proportions. They got one. Maxwell Smith threw for 354 yards and 4 TD’s as UK rolled 47-14 in their home opener. Down 0-7 after the first quarter, UK racked up 539 yards on the Golden Flash defense.
Savannah St @ #6 Florida St – When I first saw the score, I was severely disappointed. Only 55 points? Come on Seminoles. But then I heard. The game was called with 8:59 left in the 3RD QUARTER. Mother Nature decided to ruin the game, with torrential downpours and impressive yet dangerous lightning storms. It’s safe to say we probably won’t see Savannah St back in an FBS game anytime soon.
Penn St @ Virginia – This turned out to be one helluva game…if you like Virginia or hate Penn St. Nittany Lion kicker Sam Ficken missed FOUR field goals in the 17-16 loss. If that’s not exciting football…I don’t know what is, ya know? One of the departures from the team following the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal was placekicker Anthony Fera, who was 14 of 17 last season. He is now kicking for Texas. Oh, and Ficken also had an extra point blocked. The road back may be longer than expected.
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati – This game got real ugly, real quick. Cincinnati scored on their first play from scrimmage. Then they forced a fumble, recovered, and scored to make it 14-0 just 5 minutes into the game. The Bearcats would cruise to a 34-10 victory. It should’ve been 27-10, but the Pitt defense gave up on the final UC drive, allowing a garbage time TD. I’m following Pitt until they win. So you may read about them for 12 games.