Ivan Rabb will have Kentucky Wildcats Basketball in his Top 5

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Jul 17, 2014; Hoover, AL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops talks to the media during the SEC football media days at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The folks over at SBN Nation have featured Mark Stoops among six coaches in a series on coaches who have a blueprint to rebuild a program. It’s a great read and it delves way back into the Bear Bryant/Adolph Rupp saga (of course) and they bring up the Calipari/Stoops dynamic as well.  

"“I think basketball has done nothing but help us,” says Stoops. “I get asked that question often. We’ve embraced basketball and their success. Where it would hurt you is if people didn’t care as much [about football], but that’s not the case here. That’s evident by the overwhelming support that we’ve been given since we’ve been here. That’s given me more and more optimism. People are showing up. We’ve had overwhelming numbers at the spring games.” He is referring most specifically to the 51,000 or so in attendance in April 2013. He’s also referring to the 60,418 average attendance during UK’s six home games against FBS opponents. The Wildcats won only one of those, but results don’t matter yet. They will, but they don’t yet. “Donations are up. We’ve got $120 million of stadium renovations going on. We’re building a football-only building with private donations. We’re designing it right now. More than half the money’s raised already.”"

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The football season starts next week and while I know there are plenty of other more relevant stories I can link here, you will not find a better read than this ESPN The Magazine Story on Jared Lorenzen. It seems that with former Detroit Lion and Dolphin Scott Mitchell appearing on “The Biggest Loser”, the focus will be on obesity and it is a rare case when it involves athletes. Lorenzen was alway big and performed at a big level at UK but it has been a lifelong struggle.

"So many people love Jared Lorenzen, and so many people worry about him. His weight throws a shadow over everything else in his life, the same way it does in mine. We see the world as an obstacle course. We’ve broken countless plastic chairs. We’ve squeezed through thickets of tables at restaurants, trying to keep our rear ends out of people’s faces. We’ve waited at airport gates knowing everyone else is thinking, God, I hope I don’t have to sit next to him. Part of being an adult is taking care of your body. He and I agree that we can’t be grown men until we are not such overgrown men. But it’s like football. You can’t just know the plays. You have to execute. “At first it was like, once I come back from this, once I can run again and feel better about my ankle, I gotta do something,” he says. “And then it was, man, it’s cold now, and I can’t really do much on it. I can walk, but it’s like whoop, it inflates right away. But it’s a double-edged sword. Yeah, it inflates because I probably have more weight on it than I should, and I need to lose the weight. Well, in order to lose the weight, I have to be able to work out. Which is, you know, what you’re constantly fighting.” When you’re fat, every day is a prompt to start your life over. Lorenzen has a new office, a new apartment, a new life after football. He’s a Super Bowl champion, a cult hero, a father of two. Now he has to try to be a man."