The nobility of Kentucky football

Mark Stoops has made it abundantly clear that he’s opposed to a nine-game conference schedule, but at least he’s been honest about his motives.  His athletic director, on the other hand, is full of crap.

If UK loses the fight to keep the 8-game schedule, Kentucky could keep the Governor’s Cup alive. However, it would come at a cost, most likely impacting FCS football programs. This year UK will host Stoops’ hometown team, Youngstown State, and pay the Penguins’ athletic department $550,000 for the trip to Lexington.

“It’s important to support FCS football because I want people participating in college football,” Barnhart said. “I think sometimes we forget about thinking about the end game, making sure everybody is still playing. If there’s opportunities that go away and there’s not kids that want to play the game of football, the game of football suffers. We’ve got to make sure we do things that ensure the game of football and people want to play the game. Keeping FCS football alive is very, very important to that end.”

Doing it for the kids can never fail; it can only be failed.  The only thing more laughable than his absurd attempt to cloak cowardice with some sort of allegedly higher calling is the pretense that he can use the threat of cancelling the series with Louisville as some sort of leverage with Greg Sankey.

All of that word salad cannot make the FCS game more significant than the rivalry against Louisville. Still, Barnhart will not take the Governor’s Cup off the negotiation table. After all, it’s one of his greatest pieces of leverage to prevent the SEC from expanding its conference schedule. Even though the game is under contract until 2030, Kentucky’s athletic director will not commit to playing Louisville until after a scheduling decision has been finalized by Southeastern Conference officials.

Of course it can’t.  Just ask Mitch McConnell, a die hard Louisville fan.  Who, by the way isn’t likely to be pleased if Barnhart actually tries to can the series.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

20 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, SEC Football

20 responses to “The nobility of Kentucky football

  1. Ran A

    I love the SEC, but man do these schools have a # of people that are just full of Sh*t

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man would rather pay $500k for a 95% chance of a win (to protect his coach and get bowl money) than have a 50/50 chance and still be guaranteed to make much more money with the Louisville game. Admittedly, a loss puts his coach and bowl money at risk, but with SEC teams being flush with TV money, this is just an absurd business decision to take.

    Like

  3. Going to a 9-game conference schedule doesn’t mean Kentucky can’t keep playing Louisville. It’s not like they’re being backed into some impossible corner. I wish someone at UK would have the bare minimum of honesty to just say “We’d rather use those non-con slots for FCS teams and G5 scrubs than someone who could actually give us a competitive game.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • godawgs1701

      In fact, I’d argue that going to a 9 game SEC schedule virtually assures the FCS teams that they’re going to be getting guarantee games – Kentucky’s going to keep scheduling Louisville but they’re going to be much less likely to go out and schedule anyone else with a pulse if they’ve got to play 9 SEC games.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PTC DAWG

    Since when does KY football carry water in the SEC?

    9+1=10…still two slots for patsies if that’s what they want to do..f em.

    Like

  5. fisheriesdawg

    Unlike the third Saturday in October or the Cocktail Party, I doubt anyone outside the state of Kentucky really cares if that game gets played in a given year in football. Basketball, sure, but that one is overshadowed by any number of rivalries on Thanksgiving weekend. Hard to see how that threat really carries any juice.

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    • godawgs1701

      I care about it as much as I care about the Egg Bowl, which is to say that it’s one of the games I end up enjoying on rivalry weekend. It might have national implications of some sort once every fifteen years or something depending on how well Louisville is doing in the ACC that year, but I don’t need national implications in order to want to watch a college football game, let alone an actual rivalry game.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. godawgs1701

    If the SEC and other major conferences quit subsidizing FCS football, then FCS football would still continue. They might just end up looking more like D-II, NAIA, or possibly even D-III. They might not be able to pay head coaches six figure salaries or even high-five figure salaries. As careers go, they might become akin to a much more lucrative high school coaching career if you stay in FCS for your entire career. But for those of us who work every day for a living I think that’s not exactly the same thing as a death sentence.

    I agree that it’s nice that there’s some trickle down from the mega-deals that the power conferences get from ESPN, but if Mitch is losing sleep over the state of the FCS then he certainly has the option of taking a percentage of Kentucky’s revenues each season and sending them to the FCS conferences free of charge (or game). Given that UK’s money only finds its way to the FCS in the seasons when the FCS takes one for the team and moves them one step closer to bowl eligibility, I’m going to guess that’s not going to happen.

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    • stoopnagle

      I mean, it’s not like an expanded CFP could send some subsidies down to FCS schools. They should do something to encourage schools to actually stay at that level instead of useless moving to FBS.

      Liked by 1 person

      • godawgs1701

        Such a good point. There are a lot of schools in the FBS that should have stayed where they were. But instead of being a cautionary tale, all they are for the FCS schools are competition for guarantee games.

        Like

    • Tony BarnFart

      I wonder how 550k would compare to actually fulfilling the back end of a home and home from both an immediate ticket sales and long term goodwill/interest at some of these FCS schools ?

      It seems like if Mr. Benevolent really was, he would maybe take his team on the road to these smaller schools to help them actually build a fanbase instead of make a budget.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sure his donor base will be over the moon excited if he cancels the Louisville series. This ain’t basketball … you have no leverage regarding scheduling.

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  8. W Cobb Dawg

    I think we’ve found Emmert’s successor.

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  9. stoopnagle

    “Shut up, Squeakfouls School and get back in the corner.”

    Like

  10. archiecreek

    Chickenshit program.
    Chickenshit coach.
    Chickenshit fans.
    Now, a chickenshit athletic director!!
    Lookie here, Ranger Russ!!
    Here’s a math problem we can all get…
    Kentucky=Chickenshit

    Liked by 1 person

    • RangerRuss

      DammitArch! I was told there’d be no math.
      Here’s a biology question for you.
      Do you know what that green stuff is in chickenshit?
      That’s chickenshit too.

      Like

  11. Ran A

    Could be worse. You could be UTjr. that ducked Army and is now ducking BYU.

    Like

  12. CB

    I had this discussion on twitter with @statsowar and @cfbstats last week. They were attempting to argue that doing away with those games would destroy FCS athletics. Then they couldn’t explain to me how Div-II, Div-III, JuCo, and NAIA managed to still exist.

    Like

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