BOZICH | Monday Muse: Johnny Football pursues Lamar -- and the Lamar Look
Johnny Manziel has been out of the spotlight, but tried to enjoy some of Lamar Jackson's reflected glory. Want to dress like Lamar? You can. Time for the Monday Muse.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The coaching carousel has stopped. The Heisman Trophy has been awarded. The college basketball calendar has entered the quiet zone of final exams.
Sounds like a slow week for the Monday Muse.
Wrong. There is never a slow week for the Monday Muse.
Jump in. Experience. Enjoy.
1. Run Lamar, Run
We’re nearly 14 minutes and 58 seconds into Johnny Manziel’s 15 minutes of fame. I’m not sure what Johnny Football’s next move will be, but I don’t believe Bill Belichick sees him as Tom Brady’s replacement. Canton won’t be calling. Some will argue Manziel has taken his final NFL snap.
Just when I’d almost forgotten Manziel, he roared back into the national spotlight over the weekend by showing up at the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City with nearly two dozen other former winners.
Manziel was not finished. According to multiple media reports, such as stalk-arazzi sites like TMZ and the New York Post, Manziel brought his camera and his ability to make friends. Johnny Football built a connection with University of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson for more publicity after the ESPN telecast. One photo appeared to show Manziel visiting Jackson's hotel room.
Run Lamar, run.
If Manziel shows up at the Louisville-Kentucky basketball game a week from Wednesday, it will be time to sound the alarms and create another layer of protection for Jackson.
Until then, let’s hope Jackson gets more time with Marcus Mariota, Tim Tebow and Charles Woodson and less with Johnny Football.
2. Dressing Lamar
Lamar Jackson’s velvet red and black sport coat has overtaken Rick Pitino’s white Saturday Night Fever suit as the most iconic piece of fashion in Louisville sports.
And Jackson did not go Armani or Brioni on everybody. He really did dress for success with a trip to Macy’s.
I hope he got the current deal. A check of the department store’s web site showed the jacket that Jackson wore has been marked down to $85.99 from its original price of $295. That’s a markdown of more than 70 percent — without any coupons.
It’s the signature Bar III line that WDRB sportscaster Mike Lacett touts to anybody who will listen.
Sorry, Mike. Sorry, Lamar.
The jacket only runs to 44 regular. No can do
3. Hearns, Famurewa Out for LSU?
Not much information has been filled in about the unfortunate shooting incident at The Retreat apartment complex near the U of L campus early Sunday morning that reportedly resulted in injuries to three U of L students, including football players James Hearns and linebacker Henry Famurewa.
I’ll add two things: Any time shots are fired, it’s a blessing that nobody was killed.
The word that I’ve gotten is neither Hearns or Famurewa will be healed in time to play in the Cardinals’ Citrus Bowl game against Louisiana State Dec. 31.
As was reported Sunday, Hearns suffered an injury to an elbow. Not clear on the injuries to Famurewa.
4. More Love For Jeff Brohm
With the Oregon, South Florida and Houston jobs filled, the coaching carousel has closed until further notice. There is good news for former Louisville quarterback and Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm.
Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com loves Brohm to West Lafayette.
He loves it more than Willie Taggart to Oregon. He loves it more than Tom Herman to Texas.
Actually, Fornelli ranks Jeff Brohm to Purdue as the Best Hire in College Football during this off season.
This is part of what Fornelli said:
“Every time I watched the Western Kentucky offense I just felt bad for the defensive coordinators who had spent a week trying to figure out what to do with it. It just felt like an impossible task, because if you took one thing away, Brohm just played with something else.”
But as I said, that was only part of what Fornelli said. To read the rest of his analysis, you can read the entire story at this link.
5. From 3-Stars To Heisman Stage
I’m not certain who delivers the college football recruiting analysis for ESPN, but they’ve got remedial work to do.
That means they were closer to 2-star prospects than 5-star catches.
That list includes the winner. ESPN ranked Jackson the 80th best player in the state of Florida as well as a 79 on a scale of 100 points.
ESPN also whiffed on Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Sooners’ receiver Dede Westbrook. They were 3-star guys
They did better with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, giving him four stars as well as Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, who earned five.
Not a Heisman worthy performance, fellas.
6. Black Violin Scouting Report
After Lamar Jackson, I believe the star of the Heisman ceremony was the musical production.
A confession: I’d never heard the work of Black Violin, a pair of classically trained string musicians who have created an uplifting hip-hop jazz fusion. Good and distinct from the mainstream stuff.
If you’re a fan, or you became a fan after the show from Times Square Saturday night, there is good news:
Black Violin will perform in the Kentuckiana area soon.
Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste are scheduled to perform in Louisville Feb. 22, Bowling Green, Ky., Feb. 21 and Jasper, Ind., Feb. 18.
7. North Carolina Vulnerable Against Kentucky?
The North Carolina-Kentucky game Saturday is a game the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will remember when it’s time to settle on national seeds and bracket assignments in March.
Ken Pomeroy lists the Wildcats as a one-point favorite. Jeff Sagarin’s computer numbers call the game a toss-up.
Beware. North Carolina has played its last two games without injured point guard Joel Berry II — and the Tar Heels don’t have Ty Lawson or Phil Ford as their backup point guard.
UNC labored to beat Davidson by nine without Berry. They struggled even more Sunday against Tennessee, trailing by 15 before rallying for a 73-71 victory.
UNC coach Roy Williams was not pleased. “I approach it like we stunk it up, and we made a couple of plays at the end,'' he said.
Berry has a sprained left ankle. Will he play Saturday against the Wildcats in Las Vegas?
Too soon to say. But if he can’t go, Kentucky rolls.
8. Latest Ken Pomeroy Conference Projections:
Consider this my monthly reminder that you should spend the $19.99 for the annual subscription to Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball analytics web site. I find hours of entertaining stuff there nearly every day.
I’ll share a few nuggets from today, specifically the latest ACC, SEC and Big Ten projections from Pomeroy’s formula.
He’s got Rick Pitino’s Louisville team finishing fourth in the league at 12-6, behind Duke (14-4), North Carolina (13-5) and Virginia (13-5). Pitino might not take that today, but 12-6 in the ACC would be a solid winter.
The SEC remains Kentucky and 13 bags of donuts. The Wildcats will finish 16-2, three games ahead of Florida and four ahead of South Carolina which is currently unbeaten.
Indiana will be locked in a three-team dogfight with Wisconsin and Purdue. The bad news for the Hoosiers is the Pomeroy has the Badgers and Boilermakers finishing 13-5, one game ahead of Tom Crean’s team.
9. The Magnificent Seven
This is the list that I am forwarding to Kent Benson, Bobby Wilkerson, Quinn Buckner, Scott May, Tom Abernethy as well as the other members of Indiana’s 1976 NCAA champs, the last team to complete an entire college basketball season without a defeat.
It is a list of the seven remaining unbeatens in college hoops. Pomeroy’s power formula calculated the probability of each team becoming the next Indiana — at least through the regular season.
I’ll list them from extremely and highly unlikely to stay unbeaten to simply unlikely:
South Carolina — 0.00 percent of getting to 31-0, with a 49 percent chance to lose to Seton Hall Monday night.
Southern Cal — 0.00 percent, with a 71 percent chance to lose at Oregon Dec. 30.
Baylor — 0.01 percent, with a 66 percent chance to lose at West Virginia Jan. 10.
Creighton — 0.01 percent, with a 62 percent chance to lose at Xavier on Jan. 16.
UCLA — 0.5 percent, with a 54 percent chance to lose at Oregon Dec. 28.
Villanova — 1.0 percent, with a 42 percent chance to lose at Creighton Dec. 31.
Gonzaga — 3.9 percent, with a 34 percent chance to lose at St. Mary’s Jan. 14.
10. Poll Results
What is your Number One thing to do on New Year’s Eve?
Watch U of L in the Citrus Bowl — 60.7 percent.
Watch U of L-IU basketball — 20.5 percent
None of your business — 9.7 percent
Watch UK in TaxSlayer Bowl — 9.1 percent
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