EXPO Chicago: A KMAC Donors’ Field Trip Monday, Sep 29 2014
Art and Art Collecting and Art Fair and art museum and Artist and Contemporary Art and Events and Kentucky and Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and Louisville and Museum and Museum Donors and Visual art 1:52 pm
Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentucky’s 17-7 win over Vandy Saturday, Sep 27 2014
Kentucky 3:39 pm
It wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky got a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon in Lexington. The win ends their ridiculous 17-game SEC losing streak. Here are my six takeaways from the game.
Defensive Pressure – The story of the game was Kentucky’s ability to get pressure. True freshman Wade Freebeck was on his heels the entire game, as he completed just 8 of his 25 passes for 85 yards and three interceptions. Those three picks all came when Freebeck was pressured. Put into perspective that UK had just one pick all year last year. That’s crazy. Overall, their offense was just never able to get into a flow, as they managed just 139 yards and zero points.
I know this is Vanderbilt, but I’m prepared to say that this Kentucky defense is pretty damn good. If they can get that kind of pressure, they will have a chance against anyone in the SEC.
Third Down – For the last three years, one reason why Kentucky has struggled is because of their inability to pick up third downs, as well as their inability to get off of the field on third down. On third down, the defense pinned their ears back the entire game and gave Vanderbilt no chance whatsoever to convert. They finished just 2-for-12 on third down. Kentucky’s offense started the game converting on thirds. But, they finished just 6-for-15 on third. They were just 1-for-7 on third downs in the second half.
Inability to put it away – Much like the Ohio game, in which Kentucky dominated, they were unable to simply put the game out of reach. Miscue after miscue. Failed third down attempt after third down attempt. The offense simply did nothing in the second half to put this game out of reach. And Vanderbilt did nothing with the opportunities they were given because Kentucky’s defense refused.
The improvement of this team is obvious. They are now competitive and obviously more talented that at least one team in the SEC. The next step will be getting that killer instinct and putting teams away. They lack that on O’s for some reason right now.
Plethora of weapons – I know they did nothing in the second half. I know they only put up 17 points. But, the amount of weapons that Kentucky continues to use on offense is amazing to me. Four running backs had at least five carries. 11 guys caught balls and none of those guys caught more than four balls. I thought they maybe would shorten their rotation by now, but maybe not. And most of these guys are freshmen. Not a bad way to recruit. Look, if you’re good, we’re going to find spots to play you.
Towles – Towles started off the game completing his first 11 passes and finished 23-for-30 for 201 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. Still, I didn’t think it was his best game. He missed some open guys and Andre Ware made that quite evident during the broadcast. Ware often sounded like the guy that watches you play football over your shoulder on the sticks. “Duuuude, Triangle was wide open on that play. How did you miss him?” Shut up dude! Towles also threw a pick six and put the ball on the ground a few times, one that Vandy scooped up and gave them a chance to get back in it. And then the UK defense came up with another big stop. I’m not that mad at the pick six. That’s just a great read by Darius Sims, a really good player. Still, to beat South Carolina, Towles will have to play a more complete game. He’ll have to be good for 60 minutes.
Kentucky Wildcat – I’ve never seen a team run out the clock by utilizing the Wildcat like Kentucky did against Vanderbilt. UK ended the game with eight straight Wildcat plays. JoJo Kemp kept it on seven of those and handed it to Ryan Timmons for one. Vandy look gassed and they couldn’t stop it. On those seven attempts, Kemp picked up 60 yards, including a 30-yard scamper that was their biggest play of the game. Oddly enough, Kemp had just one carry before he became the show in the final minutes. Still, if I’m Patrick Towles, I’m pissed. You’re gonna make me split wide left eight straight times to end the game and I do nothing?
Extra Point – I’m not sure what Vandy is doing. They didn’t get creative on offense. They refused to realize that Kentucky was going to bring pressure. Especially on third down. They refused to run a screen play that could have dashed UK’s overzealous defense. And then they just quit with two timeouts and down ten with a little under two minutes to play. I don’t care how much you can’t move the football. Never should you go to the locker room with two timeouts in your pocket in a ten point game. Force UK to get a first down and knee it. You never know what is going to happen. Heck, maybe you force a fumble and take it to the house. If I was the AD I would be in Mason’s ear after the game.
Quick Look at the Vanderbilt Commodores Friday, Sep 26 2014
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After losing to Temple 37-7 to start the season and then nearly falling to UMass, Vanderbilt looked like the Vanderbilt of old and James Franklin looked like he must be the best coach in the history of earth. Then last week, they gave South Carolina a run for their money, eventually falling 48-34. Two of their touchdowns did come via kick returns, but they still managed 379 yards of total offense against the Gamecocks.
With the close loss against USC, the ‘Dores have some momentum. And Kentucky is looking to maintain the momentum that they have built up by taking care of the ‘Dores. A team that has beat UK each of the last three years. The combined score in those three games, a stupid 100-14. 100-14!!!!
Despite that crazy differential the last three seasons, this is a must-win game for the Cats. The first of the Mark Stoops era.
At 1-3 now, Vanderbilt is feeling better about themselves. They feel like they are coming together. They finally scored some points. They feel like they are finally gelling.
They are likely to run two quarterbacks at the Wildcats. The first is sophomore Patton Robinette. Robinette is a bit banged up and there is a chance he may not play. If he does play, he is the most experienced of their QBs. He has led this team to big wins in the past, including a come-from-behind win against Georgia last year. He is a run threat, so if he’s in there look for QB draws and read options.
The other QB is true freshman Wade Freeback. Freeback is more of a deep ball threat with a really strong arm. But, he’s a freshman and is still learning how to make the right reads. If he has to go, they will really lack the leadership that Robinette provides.
Freshman Ralph Webb is probably their most talented player on offense. He is an undersized running back, but he makes great decisions, and he doesn’t hesitate to make those decisions. He is quick to hit holes and does so at 100-percent. He is a speedy back that once he gets free is tough to catch. He finishes funs and falls forward in an attempt to get that extra yard.
On the young season, he has 77 carries for 378 yards and a touchdown and fans are calling for him to get even more touches. That could be the case against UK. Look for them to run the ball a lot against UK in an attempt to possess the football and keep Patrick Towles off of the field.
They have a new-look defense and like Louisville they are running a 3-4 this season. They blitzed more against South Carolina than they had the previous three games, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues. They have a young secondary and blitzing could open up opportunities for them to be exposed.
Overall, this Vanderbilt staff knew they were going to take a step backwards. But, I’m not sure they expected to get crushed by Temple and then nearly lose to UMass. They lost Jordan Rodgers. They lost Wesley Johnson. And they lost their entire secondary. They are playing 31 freshmen. So a learning curve was expected. But, this team has committed way too many penalties and not moved the ball enough in the first four games to win. They hope that last week’s effort against the South Carolina was proof that the learning curve is trending upwards.
Oh, and don’t kick it to Darius Sims. He’s the guy that had two kickoff return touchdowns last week.
The fact that this game is up to a 17 point spread is a little too much for me. I think Kentucky will win. I think they need to win. But, there is no way in hell I am taking 17 points.
Kentucky 27, Vanderbilt 14
Report: Kentucky ranks 7th in income inequality Wednesday, Sep 24 2014
When it comes to income inequality, Kentucky ranks 7th in the nation, according to a report generated by Movoto Real Estate Blog. Kentucky was beat out by Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Connecticut, West Virginia and Massachusetts, in that respective order.
The analysis factored in four separate pieces of criteria from the 2010 U.S. Census:
Median income for women compared to median income for men (the greater the difference, the more unequal)Kentucky was more competitive, not a good thing in this context, when it came to "non-earning households," where we ranked 3rd.
Percent of earning households compared to non-earning households (the higher the non-earning, the more unequal)
Annual income greater than $100,000 versus annual income less than $25,000 (the smaller the middle class, the more unequal)
State income Gini index (the closer to one, the more unequal
Photo: “At the Time of the Louisville Flood,” Kentucky 1937, by Margaret Bourke-White, Cea/Flickr
(Thanks to Sandy Woodward for bringing the documentary to my attention.)
Children Of The Mountains: http://t.co/rFMLnURnIP || Mike Duncan former RNC Chair lives in Inez,KY in a Mansion a hill @Curtisky @Wary12
— Sandra F Woodward (@KySandy) September 24, 2014
Who might a ‘President Rand Paul’ pardon in bribery scandal? Sunday, Sep 21 2014
|Sen. Rand Paul. (Facebook)|
Wenzel's analysis triggers rational minds to formulate questions like: If the subjects were cooperating with the investigation, why would the FBI need to issue subpoenas? How are Benton, Kesari, and Paul going to get out of this? Why has Kesari chosen counsel from within the Paul circle of influence? Is it in the best interest of Kesari to play along?
Recap: Both Benton and Kesari appear to be subjects of a FBI bribery scandal investigation involving former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson's endorsement of former Congressman Ron Paul's 2012 bid for president. Since Sorenson has accepted a plea deal, we know at least one Paul campaign operative, if not a plethora, will face indictment in time. It takes at least two to tango.
Paul, Benton, and Kesari were already hoping on a victory for Senator Rand Paul 's 2016 bid for the U.S. presidency. But I postulate, the three are also counting on the victory to enable a "President Rand Paul" to conveniently relieve them of their potential convictions, as well as commute their potential sentences.
The President of the United States has the power to pardon or commute sentences. From Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution:
"...he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."Would Rand Paul go through with it? It would be reasonable for him to pardon his father, and if he wants peace with his sister, he would surely pardon his niece's husband, Benton. But Kesari? Why bother?
Remember Susan McDougal? She was the only person prosecuted for the Arkansas Whitewater scandal that threatened the presidential aspirations of former President Bill Clinton. For her refusal to answer three questions about Bill Clinton's knowledge, she 'took one for the team' as they say.
McDougal was not related to Clinton, like Kesari is not related to the Rand Paul. Clinton waited to pardon McDougal until his last day as president, and by that time she had already served her full 18-month sentence (6 months of that sentence was spent in solitary confinement.)
Does Kesari actually believe that Rand Paul's election is a sure thing? If so, is he delusional enough to believe Rand Paul will show more compassion than Bill Clinton? Or is he both as loyal and disinterested in justice as McDougal?
@SenRandPaul If Benton, Kesari, &/or your father convicted of felonies & you're elected #POTUS, who would you pardon? #kysen
— curtis morrison (@curtisky) September 21, 2014
@Team_Mitch You counting on a president Rand Paul to pardon you, your operatives for bribery scandal? http://t.co/Kj1jyveSjk #KYSEN
— curtis morrison (@curtisky) September 21, 2014
How'd I miss this? Apparently Rand Paul has no problem with the pardons. From Christopher Weber in Politics Daily in 2010:
Rand wrote a newspaper opinion piece four [now eight] years ago, when then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher was under investigation for allegedly violating state hiring laws, The Associated Press reported. Paul, then a Bowling Green eye doctor, wrote in the now-defunct Kentucky Post that if he were Fletcher, he would simply pardon himself.
"What would I do if I were governor? First, I'd have pardoned myself and everyone included nearly a year ago," Paul, a Republican, wrote in the Aug. 23, 2006 article. "Without a pardon the case goes on and on."
C-J takes shot at Cal, backlash ensues. Friday, Sep 19 2014
If you are a subscriber to the Courier-Journal then you probably woke up to a sports front-page with a photoshop of UK basketball coach, John Calipari, being depicted as a crying baby. The picture was put in to go with C-J sports columnist, Tim Sullivan’s, piece on the Coach Cal’s comments about Duke head coach, Mike Krzyzewski, using his gig as the Team USA basketball coach to help on the recruiting trail. Syracuse head coach and assistant coach for Team USA, Jim Boeheim, fired back for his counterpart.
The main story here is the picture. The Courier-Journal has been long accused by UK media that they have a bias toward Kentucky’s bitter rival, the University of Louisville.
Really, this whole situation seems to be something blown out of proportion. I wouldn’t consider it news that one coach thinks another coach has an ‘unfair’ advantage, but considering the magnitude and level of the coaches involved it becomes news, especially here in the Bluegrass State. Calipari really doesn’t have the right to complain about coaches having advantages. He has all the advantages in the competitive world of college basketball. He lands the top recruits each and every year, major contracts with big time sponsors and major networks like ESPN, and just recently it was announced he is hosting the first ‘Pro Day’ in college basketball history. All of this means, his team gets much more national exposure than any other program in the nation.
Now back to the picture. Personally I think whoever did the photoshop for the picture did a really awesome job. It’s actually a pretty good picture but it’s meant for the Internet, say the world of Reddit or posted to Twitter. Not a newspaper. The sports page is one of the first places people look when their paper arrives at their doorstep every morning. Also, the city of Louisville is fairly split between Louisville and Kentucky fans, and I’m sure half of the C-J’s circulation goes out to UK fans. The question now becomes: Do you really want to piss off a great portion of your subscribers and risk losing the revenue? I don’t think so, because you’re a newspaper, and since 2008 newspapers have struggled. Many across the country have had to close their doors because they were no longer profitable in their cities and towns.
Advertisers could want to pull-out, too. The big money for newspapers comes from their advertisers and businesses in the Louisville area help out. These businesses could want to pull their ads because of the choices the C-J editors made to run the picture.
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again. I don’t think the C-J is biased toward Louisville, but I do think they tend to avoid negative stories about U of L. We would never see a picture of U of L men’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino, or football coach, Bobby Petrino, depicted in that light. In fact, if it had been Pitino that was upset instead of Coach Cal, I think the column from Sullivan has a completely different tone. It probably sticks up for Pitino, because the C-J won’t right negative stories about U of L.
Sullivan said on Twitter that he had nothing to do with the picture being run. That decision falls on the editor and he had no information of the image that was going to be used. Sullivan also tweeted that the image was out of line with what he wrote, and would like to negotiate veto power to keep this kind of thing from happening again. Kyle Tucker, UK beat writer for the Courier-Journal, apologized on Twitter to his followers for the judgment of his editors. He tweeted, “We messed up with that illustration today, guys. I’m not happy about it. I know you aren’t. We will do better.”
Cats send message in triple OT loss Sunday, Sep 14 2014
What a game, Cat fans. Kentucky fell to the Gators for the 28th straight season, and while the end result may seem like the same old song and dance, the Cats showed more than just a glimpse of where the program is headed.
Kentucky lost the game 36-30 after three overtimes to a team they haven’t beaten since 1986. Mark Stoops and his troops aren’t about moral victories. Kentucky fans feel deflated after this heart-wrenching loss, and we are still puzzled by Florida not being called for a delay-of-game penalty in the first overtime.
Cats’ fans will come to terms with those things, as they always do, and here’s a more positive spin on the heartbreaking loss and what we can hang our hats on as members of the Big Blue Nation.
Kentucky matured right in front of the SEC nation tonight. They went into a hostile environment called The Swamp and nearly pulled out a victory, surprising any realist. They were nearly three touchdown underdogs going into the game, and lost by one score.
Quarterback Patrick Towles showed everyone he has the poise to compete in the SEC. After tossing the games’ first touchdown to Garrett Johnson in the second half, Florida came right back with their own answer to take the lead back at 13-10, but Towles never seemed rattled. Towles would find Johnson again on his next drive for Johnson’s second score of the game and regain the lead from the Gators 17-13.
At this point, Florida fans are in complete awe. Gators everywhere are beginning to realize that they could, in fact, lose this game because they are not the same Florida, and this was not the same Kentucky they have seen for almost three decades.
Florida and star receiver Demarcus Robinson would come back to regain the lead 20-17 late in the third quarter. Robinson showed why he may be the best receiver in the SEC with his 15 receptions for 216 yards and two scores on the night.
His performance was not enough to deter the Cats, after they rallied in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime on Austin MacGinnis’ 51-yard field goal that was going wide-right, cut back in and bounced off the post to go through the uprights. It looked as if fate and luck were on Kentucky’s side tonight.
Stanley ‘Boom’ Williams and Kentucky scored on their first play in OT on a reception and score only possible in the video games. Going all the way to the right side of the field and cutting back to the left, to take it in and potentially win the game for Kentucky, 27-20.
However, the Cats would run out of steam and inevitably lose to the Gators, 36-30, but not before they took Florida to their first triple-overtime game.
Towles passed for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns, compared to Florida’s quarterback, Jeff Driskol, throwing for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns. Towles outplayed Driskol, a fourth-year quarterback. Towles completed more than 50 percent of his passes. But the best things from his play won’t go down in the stat column. Towles showed no fear to make any throw at any time, which may be a reason he had three interceptions in the game, two that came off of bobbled passes from UK. He never hesitated to challenge UF’s secondary and truly kept Kentucky in the game late.
Towles could’ve hung his head after Florida scored right after UK did to regain the lead, but he didn’t he came back out and hit his favorite target on the night for another score to keep the Cats in it. Fans should see huge promise in this developing quarterback under Stoops’ air-raid offense.
Kentucky’s depth at running back helped keep the offense fresh at times as well. While Braylon Heard finished with most carries, Kentucky’s backs ended up 64 yards on 22 carries and no touchdowns. Against Florida’s strong frontline they helped Kentucky try to open up the field and throw the ball deep.
For the first time since 2007, Kentucky competed with one of the powerhouse programs in the SEC, and while this isn’t the same Florida program we’ve seen the past decade, it’s also not the same Kentucky team. Stars are emerging under Stoops, and this may have been a statement to the SEC and other programs: Do not sleep on Kentucky.
Quick Look at the Florida Gators Friday, Sep 12 2014
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Last year Kentucky played the Gators before everyone figured out that they just weren’t that good. And that may be putting it nicely as they won just one more game before losing their final eight en route to finishing 4-8. Florida won the game 24-7, but if the Cats could have figured out a way to move the ball they would have had a chance. To put into perspective how bad their offense was, think about this. Their biggest play of the game was a 25-yard touchdown run by their kicker Joe Mansour on a fake field goal. Mansour’s five seconds running towards pay dirt were the only time that UK would spend in the Florida red zone. It’s hard to win like that.
Kentucky’s O’s are better this year. And so are Florida’s. But, neither team has really played anyone to provide a real test. Saturday will be a great test for both.
The main reason why Florida was so bad on offense last year is because quarterback Jeff Driskel was lost for the season with a broken fibula. No one is saying that Driskel is Heisman candidate, but their is no denying that losing him was a huge setback to the offense.
Now Driskel is back and the Gators are excited. There’s a new offensive coordinator in town and many believe that he better fits that system. He’s a two-way guy and this system allows him to do just that. In their opener against Eastern Michigan, which the Gators won 65-0, he looked more comfortable. He went through his progressions. And he looked to throw deep. Something he hasn’t looked to do in the past. And he was more vocal. The coaching staff really feels like he is now a totally different quarterback.
One reason why Driskel and the offense had such a good game against Ohio is because the offensive line played so well. Still, this is a big question mark for the Gators and some guys have already gotten hurt. They don’t have a lot of depth on their line and you already are going to see guys switching from guard to tackle, something they were hoping they could avoid. The Wildcats could have some success getting to the quarterback, which would be vital to a potential upset.
One thing this team really lacked last year is solid play at the skill positions, which was something we have never seen before in the history of Florida. At least I haven’t. But, those young guys that struggled, they really feel that they are starting to figure it out. One of those guys is sophomore wideout DeMarcus Robinson, who had six catches for 123 yards in their opener after catching just five balls as a freshman because of a suspension. They really feel like he is one of the most talented wideouts in the country.
Defensively, we know this is a good football team. Heck, even when they went 4-8 they still had a top ten defense in the country. Their front seven is the strength of their D. They have a veteran core of linebackers and a ton of depth on their defensive line. They may even shuffle eight to 10 guys on that line. Their biggest question mark is their secondary because they are so young. Sophomore Vernon Hargreaves will look to anchor the unit.
Expect the Gators to rely on their talent and speed at all positions and not blitz a lot. They are at their best when they maintain their gaps and do not overpursue. They will rush four or five guys and if they execute properly they expect to get plenty of push up front.
Can the Cats win? Yes. Will they? Nothing in my lifetime has proven that it is even a possibility.
But, one huge positive from Kentucky’s first two games is the fact that they have turned it over zero times. If they can do that on Saturday in Gainesville, they will have a chance.
I don’t think they’ll win, but we will continue to see marked improvement from this program. I mean, somebody will find the red zone other than the kicker. That’s a plus.
Florida 27, Kentucky 14 (I think that is the score I picked on the podcast earlier this week)
Pros and Cons; Analyzing Coach Cal’s Combine Tuesday, Sep 9 2014
Kentucky 10:11 pm
Big news dropped earlier Tuesday about an unprecedented event that University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach, John Calipari, was in the works of finalizing an NBA combine for UK players only. The event would be the first of its kind in the college basketball landscape. We’ve seen this done by colleges before, but in the football realm of things.
We’ve never seen the type of talent on one college basketball team that Kentucky will have on their 2014-2015 roster. Draft Express ranks nine Kentucky players in their Top 50 NBA prospects.
The soon-to-be event will be one of the most talked about in college basketball news, probably, until the beginning of season. Here in StraitPinkie fashion, we’re going to weigh both the positive and negative aspects of this unprecedented showcase of talent, and because I prefer bad news first that’s where we will begin.
- Calipari’s combine is likely to T-off many coaches around college basketball, meaning we could start seeing copycats at some of the bigger named schools such as Duke or Kansas. However, the likelihood of it happening this season is slim. With the news coming out just today and we are a little more than a month away from first practices it won’t give schools enough time to do this sort of thing. Other schools also won”t have the amount of talent UK does this season. At most, other programs will have three or four NBA-ready players on their squads.
- There are many Calipari detractors and this is something that will surely add fuel to the fire. People from UK’s fan base and rival fan bases aren’t terribly happy about the whole ordeal, mainly because of the sudden changes in the roster. Since Coach Cal arrived in Lexington his talent has rotated in-and-out and it’s been a bit of a revolving door which can get tiresome from fans because they don’t get to know the players but for a year and then they’re shipped off across the country. The one-and-done is a hot-button issue in college basketball and that will not change anytime soon with the product Calipari will be introducing now.
- We are also hearing a lot of people barking about where the loyalty lies. These kids are coming in and thinking about numero uno, instead of the name on the front of the jersey. It’s believed these kids are out there playing for themselves instead of for the team. We’ve seen it happen before at Kentucky. The 2012-2013 team was preseason No. 4 in the nation, and had every bit of talent to compete in the NCAA Tournament. However, the squad never pulled themselves together and we watched them crumble in the first round of the NIT. We even saw it last year when the team got off to a slow start after the lofty expectations of an undefeated season were placed on their heads. The young players were not ready to come out and compete at the start of the season played for ‘me’ instead of ‘we’. They stumbled at points throughout the season, until the magical run to the NCAA Final as a No. 8 seed.
- The event is supposed to be scheduled for Oct. 11-12, and Big Blue Madness will take place less than a week later on Oct. 16. The combine is expected to have representatives from all 30 NBA franchises in attendance, and after that, they will be shutout for the foreseeable future. In past years, Coach Cal has had to deal with a different revolving door than his players, but with the scouts coming in-and-out of the practice facilities to watch his players and get the scoop on them. But that will not happen this year. With as much talent and hype that will be around this team Calipari wants to limit the distractions to a minimum. Shutting the NBA scouts out of practice after the combine will allow him to focus on coaching and developing his players as a team, something he needs after the team last year got off to a slow start.
- Since Cal arrived in Lexington he has be upfront and honest with the Big Blue Nation. He has said it from Day 1. This is a players-first program. At the end of the day it’s not about wins and losses for him, it’s about whether his players succeed and fulfill their dreams. He has done that for 19 kids in his time at UK. Nineteen of his players have been drafted out of Kentucky since he arrived in 2009, and that number will go up next June. While he does want to please the BBN with wins and championships, he would much rather send players to the NBA and put them on a road to success.
- If you can’t see this a benefit for the program then you’re really not thinking about this correctly. Holding your own combine is sure to help with recruiting top talent to the program. We know the amount of players drafted out of Kentucky and under John Calipari has helped him on the recruiting trail, but this is sure to make waves. How many other schools can really offer a set time and date for players to showcase their game in front of all 30 NBA teams. This combine could reverse the roles in recruiting and instead of Cal recruiting players, players will recruit Cal.