Saturday, January 2, 2021

Gator Bowl

The HP CFB desk is not paying attention to this game, but the suddenly out-of-work 1974 desk is going to take a look.

Comments flow ... 

98 comments:

  1. I have a 3 p.m. Central Zoom call to play Catan, so this thing better wrap before then.

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  2. This football game in Jacksonville, Florida, pits the 4-6 University of Kentucky Wildcats against the 8-3 North Carolina State University Wolfpack.

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  3. "This is my old life and my new life meeting on the field," observes Bride, from the other end of the couch. "They're playing in Jacksonville? What is this, some kind of tournament thing?"

    Thank you, God, for marriage, Bride and this happy morning together.

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    1. I think UK and NCSU should play each other more often in every thing -- football, basketball, baseball -- basically, every time UK thinks about scheduling UNC they should schedule NCSU instead.

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  4. UK got the ball first and face third-and-5 from the North Carolina State 31 ...

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  5. Successful slant pass from Terry Wilson to a wide receiver named Epps--bet that dude's from Kentucky--delivers a first down.

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  6. No, junior wide receiver Isaiah Epps hails from Jenks (Okla.) High School. Senior quarterback Terry Wilson is also from Oklahoma—Del City High. He’s a transfer from Oregon, and he’s been UK’s primary starting quarterback since 2018. He’s OK—hot and cold.

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  7. An exactly nine-minute possession ends with a short field goal by senior kicker Matt Ruffolo from Archibishop Alter High School in Centerville, Ohio. Wildcats lead, 3-0.

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  8. ESPN appears to be in charge of all the big schools' websites, and they are all about as satisfying to my sports-fan desires as was ESPN The Magazine.

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    1. Great comment. Sometime in the early 2000's, the folks at ESPN stopped knowing what sports fans want. I would love to sit down with someone like Charlie Steiner and have him explain what happened. I suspect that bad customer research was involved.

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  9. The Wolfpack also is quarterbacked by a transfer, junior Bailey Hockman of McEachern High in Powder Springs (Ga.) and, then, for a while, Florida State.

    Hockman’s third or fourth pass is INTERCEPTED, and Kentucky will be getting the ball back at about midfield.

    I would like to know how the CFB desk chooses when to go all-CAPS on a word. It's very effective.

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  10. Kentucky has had a slew of good running backs since we moved back here in 2008, and sophomore Kavosiey Smoke of Wetumpka, Ala., is the most promising of the current batch. His name is fun to say—sort of like “kuh-VAH-see-ay."

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  11. Another prettty good one is sophomore Chris Rodriguez Jr. of Ola High in McDonough, Georgia. But he’s stuffed on a fourth-and-one, and back onto the field comes ex-Seminole Hockman and the N.C. State offense ...

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  12. Well, I walked away, and now UK has the ball back. Not sure how that happened. Anyway, it's still 3-0, Kentucky, at the end of the first quarter.

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  13. Here were the Wildcats' 10 CFB20 results--all within the SEC, of course:

    -- Beat Tennessee, 34-7
    -- Beat South Carolina, 41-18
    -- Beat Mississippi State, 24-2
    -- Beat Vanderbilt, 38-35
    -- Lost to Ole Miss, 41-42
    -- Lost to Missouri, 10-20
    -- Lost to Georgia 3-14
    -- Lost to Auburn, 13-29
    -- Lost to Florida, 10-34
    -- Lost to Alabama, 3-63

    Those are ordered not by calendar but by scoring margin, and, having watched this team pretty closely for the last decade, I think these pandemic/lab results accurately indicate where the program actually feels to me to be. The Wildcats play in the best country's best football conference, and they have risen into the middle of that excellent pack. They are more at the top end of the SEC's lower tier than the bottom of the upper. They don't stink, and they are nowhere close to Alabama.

    Per the Linus/Great Pumpkin sincerity scale that is so particularly prevalent in this sport, I'm getting pretty much exactly the college-football experience I deserve.

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  14. More good Smoke and Rodriguez runs, and now it's UK, 10-0, with 6:23 to go in the first half.

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  15. Duke's Mayonnaise is one of the things we brought back from North Carolina when we returned to Kentucky, and now you can purchase it at Kroger.

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  16. Over on the Deuce, Kansas men's basketball is losing at home to Texas. Shaka Smart's men are up 68-47 with 7 minutes left. So far KU has 8 wins and UK has 1 win, for a gap of 7. Once that gap gets to 17, KU will have the all-time lead in wins. So it would be good for UT to win this one.

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  17. Meanwhile, on XM Radio, the 80's on 8 channel is doing a top 300 of the decade countdown. I don't know where they are, but they're playing "Wanna Be Startin' Something" by Michael Jackson.

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  18. Alan Hunter comes on to the countdown and tells us that Michael Jackson has more hits in the top 300 of the 80's than anyone else. That was number 163. Number 162 is "Rock You Like a Hurricane."

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  19. "Like a Prayer" comes in at number 161, which is beyond absurd. It should be in the 10, if not the top 5.

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  20. Kansas will not gain on the Big Blue today -- the Jayhawks are crushed at home by Texas. The Longhorns roll by a score of 84-59, which is a stunning result.

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  21. Next up on the Deuce: Rutgers v. Iowa. KenPom says this is the best game of the day, which his number 19 team (Rutgers) hosting his number 5 team (Iowa).

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  22. Number 159: Roseanne," by Toto. If you were really alive in the early 1980's, you will know that this song was written about Rosanna Arquette.

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    1. I was really alive in the early 1980s, and that song should've been a lot higher.

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  23. Number 158: "Steppin' Out" I was, and am, a huge fan of this song.

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  24. Number 157: "Easy Lover," by Phil Collins.

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  25. I don't know why NCSU thinks that this cartoon wolf head on their helmets -- I think it's also on their basketball court -- is a good look. It makes them look like an XFL franchise. They should go back to the plain "S."

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  26. Mark Goodman comes on and introduces number 156: "It's Still Rock 'N' Roll To Me."

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  27. Number 155: Howard Jones, "Things Can Only Get Better."

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  28. Number 153: "Only the Lonely." You may have noticed by now that these songs are overwhelmingly from the first half of the 1980's. From a pop culture perspective, the "1980's" basically lasted from around the birth of MTV to the time when most people stopped watching "Moonlighting."

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    1. Actually, the pop culture version of the 1980's probably ends on November 10, 1986, when Springsteen released his first live album. Or you could go with May 9, 1986, when Season Two of Miami Vice ended.

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    2. By any measure, it only lasted for 5-6 years. But they were a very intense 5-6 years.

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    3. "Only the Lonely" is a GREAT SONG.

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  29. I've tried several times to check in on the Gator Bowl, and every time I check they've stopped the game to deal with an injured player.

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    1. You've missed several unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties and overthrown passes.

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  30. Number 151: "Stand Back," by Stevie Nicks.

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  31. Nina Blackwood comes on, and announces Number 150: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." I never liked Wham!, but both SmartWife and SmartGirl are big fans of that "Music and Lyrics" movie starring Hugh Grant (born 1960) and Drew Barrymore (born 1975).

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    1. There was a girl in the class between you and me at Heath who was a huge, huge fan of this song. She was probably the most stridently New Wave kid at Heath. She came into the cafeteria one day talking about how much she loved it, and I remember feeling like I was already out of step with kids basically my own age.

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  32. Number 149: Level 42, "Something About You"

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  33. Number 148: Hall & Oates, "You Make My Dreams."

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  34. Number 147: Hall & Oates, "I Can't Go For That." I really hope that Super 70's Sports is listening to this part of the countdown.

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  35. Number 146: "Manic Monday." If Prince had kept writing songs for them, the Bangles could have been really big.

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  36. UK leads 13-7 with 9 minutes left, facing 3d and 2 at the NCSU 42. Everyone thinks they are going to run. Instead, they throw a long pass which isn't close to anyone and lands well out of bounds. Then they punt. I have no idea what they were thinking there.

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  37. Number 145: "Raspberry Beret." It's probably good that Prince decided to focus on writing songs for himself. Prince is the only act from the 1980's that my kids genuinely like.

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  38. On first down, however, NCSU throws an interception, and UK has a first and 10 at the NCSU 42. So it all worked out.

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  39. UK had a first and goal at the NCSU 3. They tried a run into the line for no gain. Then they threw a fade route, and the ball went way out of bounds again. Then they ran into the line for no gain. So they kicked a field goal, and now lead 16-7 with just under 6 minutes to go.

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  40. There's about five minutes to go in Jacksonville, and UK is leading, 16-7. The big question is now is whether the clock can run out quickly enough for the Wildcats to not give away the win with unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.

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    1. UK has been called for 10 penalties for 103 yards.

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  41. Number 141: "Electric Avenue" I legitimately hated this song in the 1980's, and I hate it now.

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  42. Meanwhile, NCSU zips down the field in less than a minute. With about 6 minutes to go, UK was on the NCSU 2 with a great chance to go up 20-7. Now there are 4 minutes and 45 seconds left, and the Cats lead by only 16 to 14.

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  43. Number 140: "Safety Dance," and the folks at XM go with the long version that starts "S-S-S-S-A-A-A-A-F-F-F-F." Good for them!

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    1. The fervent evangelical church for this song tried very, very earnestly to convert me to being a fan of this song, and, indeed, I attended and enjoyed the snacks at a few of their youth-group mixers. But it still didn't take.

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  44. Cats go three and out. They had an open receiver on 2d and 9, and threw the ball about six feet over his head. I've seen more accurate passing on Allen Lane than UK has shown in this game.

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  45. But with the game seemingly in hand, the Wolfpack throw ANOTHER INTERCEPTION!!! UK takes over at the NCSU 26 with 3:02 left.

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  46. Number 139: "Let's Dance," by David Bowie.

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    1. For a long time, I thought I would be about 74 percent cooler if I could be more of a David Bowie fan. And I did try, but it never worked out. It was very similar to when I tried to feather my hair. I wasn't meant to have good hair, and I wasn't meant to be a David Bowie fan.

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    2. I understand. I really love a handful of his songs, and I do love how he just kept following his muse. But a lot of what he did didn't appeal to me. Of course, my guess is that David Bowie didn't get much past the 70th or 80th of my comments on some of my #freakinweekend posts.

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  47. The Cats call their last timeout, and one first down Chris Rodriguez dashes 26 yards through the Wolfpack for a Kentucky touchdown. Cats make the extra point, and they now lead 23-14 with 2:55 left.

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  48. Nine-point lead with 2:56 to play against an inept offense ... one would think that would be enough, but one better plan for N.C. State starting the next possession at UK's 35 after two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties against the Wildcats on the kickoff.

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  49. Number 138, Survivor, "High On You."

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    1. I've liked this one more and more over the years.

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  50. 2:30 Central, 2:07, five injuries and eight penalties to go ... my Catan date will not wait.

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  51. Number 137: "Rock of Ages." After all of these years, I have decided that it is not, in fact, better to burn out than to fade away.

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  52. So NCSU zips down the field again and scores with 1:10 left. UK now leads 23-21. NCSU has two timeouts left.

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  53. Number 136: Chicago, "Hard to Say I'm Sorry."

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    1. On the Chicago 16 album, this song blends directly into "Get Away," which Feather and I loved.

      I painted the Chicago 16 album cover on glass in Mrs. Bittner's art class.

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  54. Final:

    Kentucky 23
    North Carolina State 21

    #StoopsTroops!

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  55. So for a long time, it looked like folks were about to start fighting in the middle of the field and the referees were talking to everyone. But apparently it all worked about because UK went into victory formation and ran out the clock. THE CATS WIN THE GATOR BOWL, 23 to 21!

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  56. If the NCSU athletic department were run by UNC fans for their own amusement, could anyone tell the difference?

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  57. Number 135: "Rock the Casbah." After I failed at being a David Bowie fan, I tried to become a fan of the Clash. That didn't take either.

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  58. NCSU's last four possessions were interception/touchdown/interception/touchdown.

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  59. Number 134: "Video Killed the Radio Star." Last semester, NumberThreeSon took a college class on "Reagan's America." As part of the class, he had to watch this video.

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  60. Number 133: "True Colors." Cyndi Lauper later wrote a musical called "Kinky Boots," which has some very fun tunes.

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  61. Number 132, Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over." This song came out in 1987, when I was trying to decide between being an Anglophile hipster and being an REM alternative type. I ended up falling between two stools on that one.

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  62. Number 131: "Walk Like an Egyptian." Was any female singer in the 1980's more popular with guys than Susannah Hoffs? I don't think so.

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    1. No, and this is the fun song I love instead of "Safety Dance."

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  63. Meanwhile, Iowa and Rutgers have been playing a barnburner. All tied at 68 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

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  64. Number 129: "Don't You Want Me." I have rarely felt cooler than I did when I used to listen to this song.

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  65. Ole Miss beats Indiana 26-20 in the Outback Bowl. So two SEC teams with losing records -- UK and Ole Miss -- beat two ranked teams in NCSU and IU.

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  66. Iowa beats Rutgers 77-75. What a game!

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