On This Date In UK History
Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah
... in 2007, the pollsters advanced your University of Kentucky Wildcats to #8 in the most recent AP and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 rankings. This was the highest ranking for the football Cats in 30 years. The last time Kentucky was in the Top 10 was as the season ended in 1977, occupying the #6 spot. The 5-0, (1-0 SEC) start was the best start since 1984, also a 5-0 start. The Wildcats were 10-1 in the last 11 games dating back to 2006, the best stretch since the 10-1 record in 1977. They were halfway rewarded with a Thursday night ESPN game at #11 South Carolina (4-1). It ended up being a missed opportunity on a national stage as Eric Norwood frustrated Andre Woodson all night. Norwood tied an NCAA mark by returning two fumbles for touchdowns. The win pushed Steve Spurrier’s all-time record to 15-0 against the Cats. Woodson ended with 227 yards passing, while Rafael Little added a fifth 100-yard game in six games, finishing with 135 yards rushing in Columbia.
...in 2000, Kentucky head coach Orlando “Tubby” Smith earned a gold medal as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic basketball team in Sydney, Australia. He was the latest in a long line of Wildcats to earn an Olympic gold. In the gold medal game, Alonzo Mourning and Kevin Garnett keyed the Americans down the stretch to pull away from the French 85-75. For the third straight Olympiad the American’s team was chock full of NBA players. While the U.S. used a mixture of professional and collegiate athletes for the international tournaments and trials leading up to the games in 1998-99, the roster was mostly chosen off performance from the 1999-2000 NBA season. Tubby Smith joined Adolph Rupp as the only Kentucky head coach to win a gold medal.
...in 2000, it was determined by internet voting the University’s new three year-old male bobcat would be named “Blue”. Fans of all ages went to ukathletics.com and voted over 48,000 times. The voters had three names in which to choose: Blue, Tucky, and Champ. “Blue” edged out “Tucky” by just under 1,300 votes. “Blue” lives his life just west of Frankfort at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salato Wildlife Center. He is also available for public viewing. According to Ukathletics.com, “Blue” was not the first official live mascot as the first one was given to the University in 1921. His name was “Tom”. Other names for the live mascot have been: “TNT”, “Whiskers”, “Hot Tamale”, “Colonel”. “Blue” was born and will continue to be raised in captivity. For more information on the Kentucky Wildcat mascot, contact Wildcat or Scratch.
...in 2002, the Wildcats fell just short in The Swamp in a 41-34 loss to the Gators. Kentucky used a 28-point third quarter to take a 28-25 lead late, but it wasn’t meant to be as Florida dodged another bullet in the Kentucky series. Derek Abney led the Cats with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and later added a 49-yard punt return for a touchdown to key the special teams. Even though Kentucky was in the game late, their offense struggled, mustering only 268 total yards. The Gators amassed 509 total yards behind Rex Grossman’s 375 yards passing. Taylor Jacobs added 12 catches for 183 yards and Ernest Graham ran 102 for the balanced Florida attack.
...in 2008, we learned Big Blue Madness sold out in just 40 minutes. While this is no great revelation, it is still very impressive that year after year Big Blue Nation continues its cult-like following of the basketball team’s first official practice. Fans camped outside of Memorial for days in advance to cement their place in Rupp Arena. It gives many fans the chance who might not get a chance to see their squad during the season. With the hiring of John Calipari, the tickets will be all that more difficult to get. Good luck to everyone trying to find a ticket this year. You’ll definitely be ponying up some cash for the chance to see one of college basketball’s top teams. This will be the fifth time Big Blue Madness will be held at Rupp Arena.
...in 1988, with the basketball program in the middle of an NCAA “death penalty” investigation, word came out some uniforms were stolen from a hand full of Kentucky basketball players. Deron Feldhaus, LeRon Ellis, Eric Manual, Sean Sutton, and Mike Scott had their home uniforms taken from the equipment room at Memorial Coliseum. To this day, no one is for sure who did the dirty deed. Wonder if anyone ever questioned Shawn Kemp or Doug Gottlieb?
...in 2008, we learned J.B. Holmes would be a guest of the University during the Kentucky-Western Kentucky football game recognizing him for his impressive performance in the Ryder Cup. Big Blue Nation gave J.B. a rousing ovation as he was recognized on the field. The Campbellsville, KY native not only help put the state on the map of the golfing world, but the University as well. Holmes tallied a 2-0-1 record in his first Ryder Cup and had the marquee moment of NBC’s coverage with his shot within 2 feet on Valhalla’s 17th hole, all but clinching the Ryder Cup for the Americans. Chalk another up for World Domination.
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... in 2007, the pollsters advanced your University of Kentucky Wildcats to...
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