Ken-YUCKY Wildcats Blues – All Hype, little substance

kentucky wildcat max playersFor the past five years the Kentucky Wildcats have been the toast of college basketball hogging all of the top talent with Lexington serving as a pit stop for one-and-done lottery bound players destined to shake the of the NBA commissioner.

The Wildcats embarrassment of riches has led to 2 Final Four appearances, 1 National Championship, 13 first round picks, and 5 franchise player. The Wildcats have produced one top recruiting class after the other, but the current 2013 class has been called the greatest recruiting class of all time, surpassing Michigan’s infamous Fab Five.

kentucky 2013 freshman classSo far this season the Wildcats have been far from fabulous, failing to live up to the fan fare of being Preseason #1. The mere utterance of an undefeated 40-0 season during the summer has been replaced with many wondering if another first round loss in the NIT awaits.

Coach John Calipari has been fortunate to uncover stars in his past recruiting classes, however, recently he has stumbled on more fools gold than gems; few stars and more players great in reputation only.

There slide from #1 has already began and not even Calipari knows when the fall willkentucky loses to robert morris stop. Although you need talent to win, the Wildcats continue to remind us that talent alone does not assure that you will make the field of 65 teams with aspirations of cutting down the nets and winning the National Championship.

A lot can happen between now and selection Sunday but if prayers of Big Blue Nation are not answered and freshman phenoms fail to live up to expectation this year may mark the end of the Calipari era and spur his return to the NBA. What will the Kentucky Wildcats do next? Stay tuned..I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

Texas Longhorns Reality Check

elite football coachesWhen big time college jobs become available a who’s who’s list of coaching royalty is assembled. Names like Nick Saban, Jon Gruden, Les Miles, Urban Meyer and Chip Kelly find themselves mentioned very every coaching vacancy that comes available at so called elite programs. However, the elite coaches are always missing when the school has their press conference to announce their next coach.

These coaching vacancies provide a harsh reality check to programs, boosters, and fans, letting them know that they are not as glamorous or as appealing as they had been led to believe. USC Athletic Director Pat Haden was dealt a similar reality check when their A-list of texas fightprospective hires all said no despite Haden’s promise to pay $6 Million annually. Now, don’t get me wrong Steve Sarkistan may turn out to be a home run hire but initial impressions certainly left more to be desired.

Now as the coaching carousel makes a pit stop in Austin the usual list of elite caliber coaches are mentioned to fill the vacancy. Everyone claims to have well placed sources connecting coaches like Mike McCarthy, Jim Mora, Jim Harbaugh, and even Mike Tomlin to the vacancy at the so-called most premiere college football program in the country.

hookem hornsHowever, just like small town beauty who realizes they are not the dime that they had been lead to believe, the Texas Longhorn football program is due to experience a similar fate. Despite Forbes Magazine declaring them as the highest grossing sports program in the nation, they will not be exempt from hearing the harsh two letter word N-O !!!

Once the dust has settled and the dream hires decline or uses the vacancy to get another raise or extension a la Saban, a real candidate will be welcomed with little fan fare and a few shades of disappointment.

longhorns winThe next coach of the Longhorns will likely not have won a conference championship, a National Championship, or even appeared in a BCS Bowl game.

Who fits the bill? Vanderbilt HC James Franklin? Clemson OC Chad Morris? Fresno State HC Tim Deruyter? Only time will tell. Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast


Kobe Bryant quest for 6 – Eric Bledsoe, not Melo is the answer

Kobe Bryant NBA Title dreamsKobe Bryant‘s highly anticipated return was met with both uncertainty and excitement. Although no one expected Bryant to go off for 81 points again against the Toronto Raptors, eight turnovers certainly was not expected.

At the ripe age of 35 years old the Black Mamba has continued to defy the odds, using pundits who doubt him as fuel to push even harder toward that elusive sixth NBA Championship.

However, unlike in seasons’ his first week back put us all on notice that the days of the kobe mike and carmeloBlack Mamba taking over games and defending the opposing teams best player is long gone.

Bryant may be a viable first option for short stretches but if the Lakers are to be serious title threats additional assets must be added. Since making the playoffs this season would be considered a tremendous accomplishment, the blueprint for the Lakers winning the title starts now.

Too those projecting Carmelo Anthony bolting to Lakerland I kindly remind you that the D’Antoni-Melo experiment has already failed once before, so there is no need for a sequel.

eric bledsoeIn my opinion the Lakers would be best served targeting Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Bledsoe is a dynamic athlete who has only scraped the surface of his potential and lure of playing with Bryant on the big stage may be just enough to make him a Staple Center favorite for a second time.

Bryant’s quest for six will begin or end with finding a partner who can score, defend, and leave their ego at the door. The Lakers 2014 free agent class will serve as the  building blocks for life after Bryant. Could Bledsoe’s pave the way for the Lakers revival? Stay tuned…I know I will?

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

Kevin Sumlin – Elite Coach or Weis 2.0

kevin sumlin and aggielandkevin sumlin and aggielandWhen Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference many did not expect them to be able to hang with the so called big boys of the SEC. Thanks largely to the once in a lifetime talent in Johnny Manziel and three elite offensive lineman (Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews, and Cedric Ogbuechi) the A&M football program has outshined that team in Austin and is now the face of Texas football.

The Heisman winner and his stalwarts have reinvigorated gigem nation and Coach Kevin Sumlin‘s six year extension is a token of appreciation for rescuing the once proud program from the depths of mediocrity and irrelevance.

But did A&M jump the gun in offering Sumlin a six year extension? Haven’t we manziel magicseen this tale before, where an offensive mastermind starts with a bang but ends with a sizzle and the school is left holding the bill wondering what happened?

No one will contest Sumlin’s proven track record of success as a quarterback whisper that has been the mastermind of explosive offenses at Houston and as the quarterback coach for Heisman winner Josh Huepel and the 2000 BCS National Champion Oklahoma Sooners.

But didn’t the disgraced but now humbled Coach Charlie Weis have a resume that was just as impressive? Notre Dame awarded Weis with a jaw dropping 10 year extension because they thought Weis was the answer to their prayers after the infamous Bush push. But after abysmal showing in consecutive BCS Bowl games; folks charlie  not so weisrealized that they had jumped the gun in awarding an extension after only two years on the job.

Weis’s success was largely tied to quarterback Brady Quinn just like Sumlin and the reigning Heisman winner Mr. Football. May Sumlin be headed toward a similar fall from grace? Sumlin got his contract extension based largely on the performance and play of Manziel. Since his star quarterback is not included in his latest deal should folks in gigem nation have reason to be nervous?

manziel vs lsuIf the offensive struggles against LSU and Missouri are any indicators of things to come, the days of explosive offenses in Aggieland may already be over.

Life after Manziel will be mired in uncertainty, but then and only then will we know if A&M is here to stay or if Sumlin is merely Weis 2.0, a coach whose success had more to do with his quarterback and not with his play calling? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark


Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast