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First Down Kentucky: Texas isn't ready for... Vanderbilt?

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush06/20/24

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Good evening, Big Blue Nation. We’re closing in on July 1, the official day that Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC. The two storied programs bring rich traditions and a lot of wins to the SEC.

Kentucky has just one win over the two programs in four games. The Wildcats’ historic 13-7 victory over Oklahoma in the 1951 Sugar Bowl snapped the Sooners’ 31-game win streak. Bear Bryant opened the following season in Austin with a 7-6 loss to the Longhorns.

Texas is not Back™ but they do enter the SEC with winning records over 13 of the other teams. None of their new conference foes have dominated them quite like SEC powerhouse Vanderbilt, who is 8-3 all-time against Texas. It’s true, and even more stunning when you see it laid out like this.

The two programs met 11 times between 1899 and 1923. A hundred years later, the Longhorns are joining the SEC to get revenge. Buckle up, Nashville.

Kentucky WR Recruiting Development

Kentucky will likely lose its top three pass-catchers following the 2024 season. The Wildcats must reload in the high school ranks and they’re well ahead of schedule.

Quintin Simmons and Ja’Kayden Ferguson are already in the fold. There was a time when it looked like Shaun Terry might join them. Kentucky was in the mix after he decommitted from Notre Dame, but there was a missed connection between the two parties. Tonight he announced a commitment to Missouri.

The Drinkwitz addition does not faze Kentucky’s efforts at wide receiver. Andrew Marsh OV’d earlier this week, Preston Bowman is on campus now and there are two more talented pass-catchers arriving tomorrow.

Kentucky Team Bonding Continues

At least once a week, you’ll find Dean Hood organizing friendly competitions between the Cats following a hearty meal. It looked like the Cats were grilling out with Bowman on Thursday night. Here’s a look at the shenanigans from earlier this week.

New Jugs Technology is Impressive

You’ve seen a jugs machine before. It’s been a few decades since a wise tinkerer adapted a baseball pitching machine for football. There haven’t been many technological advances until now.

Ole Miss showed off its new Monarc jugs system. Instead of catching stationary passes, or spending tedious time clumsily changing the trajectory of the jugs machine, the Monarc allows players to pick a route from the route tree, select the distance, and the Monarc will deliver it on target.

Creating chemistry between wide receivers and quarterbacks is invaluable, but it’s not always available. This is an impressive piece of equipment, one I hope Daikiel Shorts is lobbying for at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility.

This is what an American Hero looks like

I’m in awe of Rev. Greason. Thanks to Fox and Major League Baseball for bringing this man’s amazing story, and the stories of so many others, to light.

Kenny Chesney is Actually Relatable

Even though I grew up in the birthplace of bluegrass, country music wasn’t a part of my life until my late high school years. Kenny Chesney was my gateway drug to the genre. His catalog features a bunch of catchy hits, but later in his career, it sounded more like island music and less like country. We all love a Buffett tune every once in a while, but how relatable is it to just have another beer in Mexico?

The Tennessee Vol fell down my personal pecking order and never fully recovered. Today he did something that actually is relatable. Pat MacAfee played one of his songs back to him, and like every other person I know who talks into a microphone, he immediately cringed. Chesney hates the sound of his own voice, particularly from earlier in his career, a trait that seems to be universal.

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2024-07-25