Kentucky and Louisville will both be represented in Super Bowl XLVIII.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Peyton Manning vs. Richard Sherman. Russell Wilson vs. Champ Bailey. John Fox vs. Pete Carroll. Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks. Denver favored by two.
Just when you're convinced that you know all the story lines for Super Bowl XLVIII, (which will be carried by WDRB on Feb. 2), it's time for the Monday Rewind. I have some local angles to the party that I don't want you to miss.
The recruiting gurus won't like it, but I think it's best to start with this nugget -- four players with backgrounds at Louisville and Kentucky were on the active rosters for Seattle and Denver during the conference championship games Sunday.
All four were rated two-star recruits by Scout.com when they signed with the Wildcats and Cardinals.
No need to look it up. I already did.
Major hat tip to former Kentucky coach Rich Brooks. Three of his former recruits play for Denver: linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan as well as tight end Jacob Tamme.
Tamme signed with UK in 2003, the same class as Andre Woodson and John Logan. Scout gave Tamme two stars at Boyle County High School.
Woodyard arrived a year later. Micah Jones and Rafael Little were two of the more acclaimed players in that class. Woodyard? Two-stars from Scout.
Trevathan came to Kentucky in 2008 with Randall Cobb, another two-star guy as well as four-star receiver Aaron Boyd. How did that turn out?
Louisville actually has two players with Seattle, but defensive tackle Greg Scruggs won't play. He's a reserve on the physically unable to perform list. Steve Kragthorpe signed him in 2008 in the Mario Benavides/Dexter Heyman class. He earned three stars.
But the Cards will have a starter in the game – with connections to Bobby Petrino during his first run at U of L. Breno Giacomini, Seattle's right offensive tackle, signed with Louisville in 2004, arriving in the same class with Brian Brohm, Eric Wood and Mario Urrutia.
He was big, he was a project and he was a two-star recruit. Scout listed him as a defensive end. The Cards used him at tight end for two seasons before moving him to the offensive line. Green Bay drafted him in the fifth round in 2008. He's been with Seattle since 2010. He made some big blocks against San Francisco Sunday.
I'd warn you to remember that as we move toward college football's national signing day on Feb. 5 and players commit, de-commit and generally have a great time making intelligent people hyperventilate over every comment these teenagers post on Twitter.
But I learned long ago that you're not going to listen.
Mark Stoops doesn't need my help with his football recruiting pitch at Kentucky. But if he ever has a day when he needs something different to write on one of those 711 personal notes he sends to top recruits, this might work:
Kentucky will have more players in this Super Bowl than Alabama, Notre Dame, Louisiana State, Auburn or Florida State.
That's correct. I compiled the college ties of the 53-man active rosters of both teams. Only two schools have more guys in the Super Bowl than the Wildcats, who have three.
The leader is Tennessee with five, highlighted by Peyton Manning. The runner-up is Wisconsin with four.
By my count, 11 other schools will also have three players in the game – California, Georgia, Arizona State, San Diego State, Florida, Stanford, Texas, North Carolina State, USC, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
Special recognition to Portland State, which has two guys in the game. Honk if you knew that Portland State had a football program.
KANSAS VS. KENTUCKY
Kansas coach Bill Self has always been one of the few guys who will not retreat when he finds himself in a recruiting battle against Kentucky and John Calipari. He's lost a few. But he's also won several others – Xavier Henry and Andrew Wiggins top that list.
It appears that Self will soon have a new weapon in his push to compete against the Wildcats. According to this story in the Kansas City Star,Kansas announced plans to build a $17.5 million apartment complex that will be constructed near Allen Fieldhouse and serve as home for the Jayhawks' men's and women's teams as well as 34 other "lucky" students.
The newspaper story said that the facility could "trump Kentucky's excess."
And what did Self say?
"Not only can we sell it. But people can't use it against us."
GOOD WIN VS. BAD LOSS
What has more effect on a college basketball team's computer ranking – a good win against a Top 10 opponent or a bad loss against a team that is not ranked in the Top 150?
Ken Pomeroy's college basketball rankings delivered a powerful message to Tom Crean's Indiana basketball team.
On Tuesday, the Hoosiers were ranked No. 60 by Pomeroy when they upset No. 9 Wisconsin. Indiana advanced to 54th in the Pomeroy numbers. Joe Lunardi listed the Hoosiers as one of the last four teams off his 68-team NCAA Tournament bracket.
On Saturday, the Hoosiers couldn't score – and ultimately could not win against lowly Northwestern, a team ranked 169 by Pomeroy when the Wildcats came to Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers tumbled 24 spots in Pomeroy's rankings to No. 78. It will require more than winning the rematch against Northwestern to get back to 54 – and get Lunardi's attention again.
I've posted three polls in the last week. It's time to share the results.
1. Do you agree with ESPN's Dick Vitale that the Kentucky-Indiana basketball rivalry should resume?
YES – 81.2 percent.
DON'T CARE – 11.7 percent
NO – 7.1 percent.
2. Who has been the player of the year during the first half of the college basketball season?
Russ Smith, Louisville, 53.5 percent.
Doug McDermott, Creighton, 14.4 percent.
Julius Randle, Kentucky, 11. 8 percent.
C.J. Fair, Syracuse, 10 percent
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 3 percent.
3. If the NCAA Tournament was announced today, which one of these teams would not be a Number One seed?