BOZICH | Monday Muse: Pharoah or Spieth the leader for Top Sport - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Monday Muse: Pharoah or Spieth the leader for Top Sportsman?

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Welcome August. Football pads are about to collide. Pitchers are throwing high and tight. The basketball keeps bouncing.

Perfect time for a Monday Muse.

1. Seven months into the 2015 sports calendar, we have a firm clubhouse leader for Sportsman of the Year.

It’s American Pharoah, currently cruising 31 lengths ahead of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and a nose in front of Jordan Spieth, the latest Must See golfer.

The colt has become a happening, stirring bidding wars between competing tracks to host his next race. American Pharoah was so relentlessly overpowering while winning the Haskell Invitational Sunday that he made you wonder how he’d fare running against other Triple Crown winners like Secretariat and Seattle Slew.

I expect Spieth to be Pharoah’s primary competition, but Spieth dropped one stroke back at the British Open. He can make up the difference at the PGA Championship this month.

Stephen Curry deserves a look. Mike Trout could make a move. Serena Williams makes the discussion. Mike Krzyzewski did win his fifth NCAA title at Duke, but Sports Illustrated just honored him in 2010.

For the record, a horse has never won the honor. In 1973, Sports Illustrated picked Formula One driver Jackie Stewart over Secretariat.

Horse racing’s only winner was jockey Steve Cauthen, honored in 1977, the year before he won the Triple Crown on Affirmed.

2. Sources say one or two Louisville football fans were amused by my Friday prediction that Kentucky would defeat the Cardinals in Commonwealth Stadium this season.

I’m amused that they’re so eager to dismiss Mark Stoops’ third UK team.

It’s a road game. The Wildcats nearly won at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium last season. UK has a solid, veteran team returning. At least one college football analytics/handicapping site, AgainstTheNumber.com, puts UK’s win probability at 53 percent.

U of L has won four straight in the series. No program has won five in a row since the teams began playing again in 1994.

It’s not as if I picked the Cards to lose to, say, Virginia.

3. John Calipari says that his 2016 recruiting class is shaping up to be his best group of players yet.

Next question: Are any of these guys good enough to be recruited by Wisconsin?

4. Indiana sent three players – Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and freshman center Thomas Bryant– to work as counselors at the adidas Nations camp in California over the weekend.

Word is that Williams was terrific. If he can reduce his turnovers, defend and make more perimeter shots, Williams appears primed to make a Victor Oladipo jump from his sophomore to junior seasons.

Especially if he (and the rest of the IU team) get the defend part fixed.

5. Does anybody relieve believe that Reggie Bonnafon (Louisville) and Patrick Towles (Kentucky) will not be the starting quarterbacks when U of L and UK begin their seasons?

If you don’t, please explain to me in 250 words or less with an email to rbozich@wdrb.com

6.  Nobody has done a better job of convincing people that his football team is ready to win than Arkansas coach Bret Bielama. The Razorbacks won seven games last season, but people are talking about them as if they were 10-3. They’re ranked in the Top 25 everywhere I look.

Credit Bielama, only in year three.

7. Not a monstrous amount of movement in the opening weekend point spreads for the local teams:

Western Kentucky sits as a 2 ½ point underdog for its Thursday night (Sept. 3) visit to Vanderbilt.

Louisville can play the No Respect card against Auburn. VegasInsiders.com says Tigers by 10 ½.

Kentucky has moved from a 14-point favorite to a 15 1/2 –point pick against Louisiana Lafayette.

Indiana opens against FCS visitor Southern Illinois. AgainstTheNumber.com says Hoosiers by 18.

8. No college football team has the experts more perplexed than Stanford.

Phil Steele ranks the Cardinal seventh, a possible playoff contender.

The Sporting News and Athlon put Stanford 24th. Coach David Shaw’s team shows up 21st in the coaches’ poll and 17th in ESPN’s college football preview magazine.

Make up your minds, people.

9. Coaches howl about the love the media gives Southeastern Conference football.

My turn.

I looked at the Coaches pre-season Top 25 poll and noticed A) three SEC teams in the Top 10; B) five in the Top 15; C) eight in the Top 25 and D) every program except mighty Vanderbilt received at least one vote.

10. I’m sorry about the sleepless nights this will cause, but I’m posting my college football preseason Top 25 on Tuesday at WDRB.com.

Spoiler alert: There won’t be eight SEC teams in my Top 25.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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