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  • VAUGHT: Barnhart sees FCS Opponents important to Kentucky, college football

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    No general alcohol sales at University of Kentucky sporting events and why UK's non-conference basketball schedule is what it is got most of the attention from Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart's time with the media last week.

    However, he also dropped a nugget of info about why Kentucky's football scheduling philosophy won't change either.

    Barnhart was asked about dropping one of the three FCS games UK plays each season and adding another FBS opponent -- UK does play Louisville along with eight Southeastern Conference games each season. The UK AD made it clear the Cats have no interest in upgrading the schedule and then said it was more about helping FCS teams than adding a tougher opponent that might be more apt to beat UK.

    "I think we're in a good spot. Our scheduling philosophy has worked out pretty well," Barnhart said.

    Now here comes the interesting comments.

    "Last year I said this: The FCS opponents are important. They're important for the game of college football. If those schools began dropping college football, we lose opportunities for young people in high school to go play college football other places. We've got to keep those folks alive. Those folks only can stay alive if they have about a game or two a year on their schedule, they can get some money from an FBS school that allows them to keep their programs rolling. Really important to do that," Barnhart said.

    Not sure I have heard another SEC athletics director talk about how important it was to play FCS opponents to "keep those folks alive" with the money they make by playing a Power-5 opponent with a big-money guarantee.

    "The game of college football is not in trouble, but it needs some help, and we've got to make sure we prop it up in the right way, and propping it up in the right way means scheduling some of these FCS schools and making sure they have a chance to keep their programs viable because that creates opportunity, and that keeps people excited about the game of football," Barnhart.

    Do you buy that as a valid reason for not upgrading the schedule or do you just believe the schedule is what it is to help make sure UK has three FCS opponents each year that it should beat?
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. dan_bgblue's Avatar
      dan_bgblue -
      My humble thought is that it would be great if that Million went to Eastern, Morehead, Murray, and others every year. Troy, Southern Miss, Eastern Mich, Central Mich are nice opponents, but I would like all that money to stay in state every year.
    1. blueboss's Avatar
      blueboss -
      I guess one canít come right and say the reason we play FCS is to help knock the rust off and/or get rid of the early season jitters.

      Basically a tune up for the players where they get to hit someone rather than a team mate, without getting hit back too hard to avoid early season injuries.
      Plus, even though theyíre FCS, often times they can prove to be a formidable opponent, that gives both the players and the staff to get on the same page.

      The mid/late season OOC games offers a chance to heal/rest some guys up to finish out the season and get ready for a bowl game.

      If we played in a lesser conference I could see where the philosophy might change to increase our standings by taking on FBS instead... well like UL. They need to upgrade their OOC games in order to garner votes, of course it helps if you win those games.




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    1. Catfan73's Avatar
      Catfan73 -
      UL isnít going to help our strength of schedule anytime soon.
    1. blueboss's Avatar
      blueboss -
      Quote Originally Posted by Catfan73 View Post
      UL isnít going to help our strength of schedule anytime soon.
      No, weíve always helped theirs, thatís the biggest reason why we really donít need to play them in any sport.... rivalry be damned.

      Weíre n a lose/lose with them, most seasons. On one hand when we beat them itís like, so you should beat them, on the other hand if they get lucky and beat us, we take a hit for losing to a lesser program.


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    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
      Rupp had the right idea. I treat all in state schools the same. I don't play any of them. Every team we play is a rivalry game to me. I want to beat Toledo as much as UK. All games count as 1 win or 1 loss
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      I'd be happy with Rupp's philosophy.
    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
      Toledo, as much as UL