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First Down Kentucky: Power Ranking the SEC

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush05/20/24

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If recruiting is the lifeblood of a college football program, power rankings are the lifeblood of Talking Season. It’s not the best tool to figure out exactly where your favorite program stands. As the standings shake out near the end of the year, programs will be clumped together in tiers. “Tiering the SEC” doesn’t slap the same as “Power Ranking the SEC,” which is why we’ll save where Kentucky stands in the former until later in Talking Season.

As for today, On3’s Jesse Simonton gave us a snippet of what’s to come later this summer when the league converges upon Dallas for SEC Media Days. Oklahoma and Texas will take up a ton of oxygen in the division-less, 16-team SEC, while Kentucky flies under the radar near the bottom of a group of teams who enter the year with plenty of uncertainties. Simonton ranks Kentucky No. 11, sandwiched in between Florida and Auburn.

“The Wildcats have fully leaned into passing the QB baton to the latest transfer addition, going from Will Levis to Devin Leary and now Brock Vandagriff in as many seasons. Mark Stoops continues to turn over the OC position, too, with Bush Hamdan ideally around for more than just 12 games come the fall. The ‘Cats did pick up a key piece in the secondary this spring (DJ Waller from Michigan) and Vandagriff reportedly meshed quickly with wideouts Dane Key and Barion Brown.”

Jesse Simonton, On3

One could argue easily fair or foul from Kentucky’s standpoint, but one thing is clear when scrolling through the teams, wins will come at a premium in the new-look SEC.

One-Time Kentucky Target to Louisville

Kentucky kicked the tires on a few defensive linemen in the spring transfer portal without producing any dice. Brandon Lane was one of those players. For a time it looked like the FCS product would end up at Michigan State. Instead, Lane made the move from Stephen F. Austin to Louisville. The Cards are big fans of using that portal to pick up players. Time will tell what sort of impact he can make in their defensive line rotation.

Kentucky Transfer to the MAC?

WR Ardell Banks made the move to the MAC this spring when the wide receiver transferred from Kentucky to Kent State. A former foe from the practice fields may join him in the state of Ohio. Former Louisville PRP three-star prospect Elijah Reed entered the portal in December. We had not heard much from the cornerback until Monday morning when he shared that he is officially visiting Akron this week.

NFL OTAs are Underway

There’s no spring practice in the NFL. Instead, they stagger organized team activities (OTAs) through various parts of the calendar to keep the guys in shape. Voluntary workouts began on Monday for 21 different teams and Wan’Dale Robinson looks ready to roll.

More NCAA Settlement Talks

The settlement that will redefine college athletics is far from being settled. As the NCAA negotiates with attorneys on an agreed-upon dollar figure and restructured institution, some of its members are pushing back. A letter from Big East commissioner Val Ackerman was obtained by every newsbreaker in college athletics, essentially stating, “We aren’t paying for the sins of Power Five football.”

In the original proposed settlement, the new Power Four conference members would fit 40% of the settlement bill, while the rest of Division I would handle 60%. She believes it should be flipped, and she has a good point. The Power Four are making the most money and are the primary culprits behind these significant changes to college athletics. Why wouldn’t they take on the brunt of the payments? Ross Dellenger has all of the details.

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2024-06-20