Kentucky Wildcats Headlines: Where in the world was John Calipari?

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So … this really happened.

Living in Florida as I do, I find all the uproar over Jojo Kemp’s comments absolutely hilarious and a bit confusing.  It speaks a ton about the mentality of the Florida coaching staff that they had to go and create a poster for bulletin board material.  Since when is Florida concerned with what a Kentucky football player has to say?  It’s amusing because both Louisville and Florida fans feel theat their programs are way superior to Kentucky yet in recent years both coaching staffs have gone out of their way to “punch down” at the Wildcats.

And of course, the “punching down” has carried over to the Gator blogs.

For the record, Kemp has never “predicted” that Kentucky would beat Florida.  As with everything these days, the above quote was part of a longer spiel about Kemp facing some HS team mates but yes, Jojo did actually utter those words.  And in today’s soundbite grabbing culture, the quote is apparently all JoJo said.  Taken out of context or not, it was uttered and some Gator sites seem to welcome the talk.  

"Kemp’s confidence is to be lauded: The games we call sports are better with the color and seasoning of exuberance, even if it is tinged with irrationality. Florida hasn’t just beaten Kentucky 27 straight times, the longest active streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision, after all: The Gators have pounded Kentucky, winning just six of those 27 games by single digits, and never winning by fewer than seven points at home. Under Will Muschamp, whose program has been criticized at times for failing to powder overmatched foes, Florida’s still won its three games with Kentucky by an average of 31 points per contest. And in Florida’s last five home games against Kentucky, spanning the tenurse of Ron Zook, Urban Meyer, and Muschamp, the Gators have won by 35.2 points per contest. Plainly, it has not been close. And Kemp predicting a victory is close to lunacy, even if Kentucky again appears to be on the rise — as it was, briefly, under Rich Brooks, and then under Joker Phillips. I enjoy this sort of boastfulness in sports, because it adds color."

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

In the end, I’m not going out on a limb to predict a Kentucky win. The talent disparity between Kentucky and Florida is still large, although Kentucky is closing the gap. I do think that this game may be a big one for the recruitment of Damien Harris. I think Kentucky needs to give a good solid effort and go down fighting in this one. Kentucky can not afford to be “the same old Kentucky” in this one. And if Kentucky can give an admirable effort, it has to count as a win in MR. Harris’ eyes.

Here is a bit more on Damien’s recruiting plans and visits.

"At the end of the story, Harris says that he will take an unofficial visit to Alabama next weekend (Sept. 20) and is planning an official visit to Florida for Oct. 11, the day after Madison Southern’s nationally televised game against Pulaski County. Alabama will be hosting the Gators while Harris is in town. Florida hosts Louisiana State on Oct. 11. Harris is also considering Texas A&M. The five-star running back told Eleven Warriors that he wasn’t sure if he’ll take an official visit to Kentucky. He’s already been in Lexington for several unofficial visits — including UK’s season opener against UT-Martin — and will likely return for more games this season."