JAMIE VAUGHT: Football Cats Still Not Getting Much Love From Preseason Yearbooks
Several weeks ago, I wrote that a couple of college football yearbooks aren’t showing much love for the Wildcats as Street & Smith’s and Athlon Sports are predicting a fifth-place finish in the seven-team SEC East Division in 2017.
And I recently got a copy of Lindy’s Sports annual yearbook, which isn’t expecting a banner year for Kentucky, either. Lindy’s also has coach Mark Stoops’ Cats at No. 5 in the division despite UK’s second-place finish with a 4-4 mark last season (a three-way tie with Georgia and Tennessee). And the Wildcats played in Jacksonville’s TaxSlayer Bowl where it dropped to Georgia Tech, completing their nice campaign with a 7-6 worksheet.
The Birmingham-based publication ranked two SEC teams in the preseason Top 10 nationally with Alabama at No. 1 and Auburn at No. 10. Louisville is No. 13. Kentucky follows at No. 49, ahead of four other conference teams (Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Missouri).
At the recent SEC Football Media Days, UK was placed at No. 5 in the East as well.
Lindy’s also has a very interesting feature article about Joe Moglia. Have you heard of him? As the story headline indicates, he may be the most interesting man in college football. I certainly agree.
Moglia is a successful businessman who is also the head football coach at Coastal Carolina University where he is beginning his sixth year at the Conway, S.C., school. He has posted a five-year record of 51-15 and his squad is currently in transition from the FCS to the FBS level.
The 68-year-old Moglia is also the chairman of the board for TD Ameritrade, a brokerage firm that provides online services for investors. He was the former CEO at TD Ameritrade for several years before returning to coaching in 2009.
He had begun his career as a college and high school coach for 16 years before moving to the business world.
Moglia is the real-life inspiration for the book, titled “4th & Goal: One Man’s Quest to Recapture His Dream.” That 2012 biography of Moglia was written by Monte Burke of Forbes magazine. Interestingly, Burke also wrote a biography about Alabama coach Nick Saban which was published in 2015.
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It was very sad to hear about the recent passing of UK football great and AFL/NFL standout Babe Parilli, a two-time All-American QB who led Kentucky to three major bowls in the 1949-51 seasons.
My friend from Pittsburgh, Jim O’Brien, recently wrote a column about Parilli, who was from Rochester in Pennsylvania.
O’Brien, now a semi-retired sportswriter who has written numerous books, shared his personal history with Parilli in that column.O’Brien pointed out Parilli was a great storyteller who should be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
And did you know that Parilli, as the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the one who called the play from press box that resulted in “The Immaculate Reception” during a 1972 playoff victory over Oakland at Three Rivers Stadium?Yep, that was him. With the Steelers losing in waning moments, it was Pittsburgh’s Franco Harris who ran for a stunning game-winning, 42-yard TD after picking up a deflected loose ball in a fourth down situation.
“It didn’t work the way Parilli wanted it to work, but it has been called the greatest play in NFL history,” wrote O’Brien.
Parilli, a College Football Hall of Famer who also was Joe Namath’s backup quarterback during the 1968 New York Jets’ Super Bowl campaign before retiring, died in Denver at age of 87.
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How will the Wildcats fare this fall? Look for my annual fearless forecast of UK’s game-by-game schedule in late August.
Jamie H. Vaught, a longtime columnist in Kentucky, is the author of four books about UK basketball. He is the editor of KySportsStyle.com magazine and a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro. You can follow him on Twitter @KySportsStyle or reach him via e-mail at KySportsStyle@gmail.com.