New editorial staff begins at Bluecoastlive

University of Kentucky graduationCall them “OnFleek” —  the new group of students who are taking over this blog site for Spring semester say.

University of Kentucky School of Journalism multimedia students — with eyes on both broadcast and “print” do the budgeting, assigning, reporting and Web production for JOU 498 Multimedia Storytelling through this site.

They’ve chosen a group name after an Internet viral meme: “On Fleek” and are preparing their first stories for the site.

Be It Resolved of the (Big Blue) Nation: Citizens Shall Wear “22” to EVERY Game (EDITORIAL/CONTEST)

EDITORIAL

Everything stopped for the Kentucky fanbase yesterday morning when it was announced that Junior Alex Poythress, No. 22 and the anchor of the Blue Platoon in Coach John Calipari’s 2-troop system, was out for the season.

Heartbroken for Alex, who has played in every game that the Kentucky Wildcats played since he arrived as Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball in his freshman year, and who was certain to have a breakout season.  Anxious, on edge, afraid if wondering about it out loud would make it worse.

The Lexington Herald-Leader this morning ran the “Mood Blue as Battle of the Blues Shapes Up” headline, summing it up for the team and the fan base.

Poythress, who was a Top 10 recruit,  is beloved not just for his basketball skill and his unique personality but for his dedication to working hard to play at the highest level for the Kentucky Wildcats. The Herald-Leader’s Jerry Tipton interviewed his high school coach in October, reporting that the coach said Poythress shot 600-700 pull-up jumpers a day over the summer working to improve his game.

Alex is out for the season.

We, as the students, faculty and fans of the University of Kentucky, need to show Alex Poythress we are IN for the season with him.

Bluecoastlive suggests that every UK fan wear Poythress’ No. 22 to every game in some fashion, to show this young man our support for him, his recovery, his contribution and his future NBA career the whole way, game by game, PT session by PT session.

And, we’d like to encourage you, in a real tangible way that allows us to show the world the BBN support for No. 22.

CONTEST: From half-time of the UNC game (the “light” blue team) to the end of the regular season, Bluecoastlive will run a “Show Your 2-2″ contest. Participating is simple and shows support. Just wear “22” to a UK game, take a selfie showing it and post it to your Twitter feed with an @bluecoastlive to enter. We will retweet and create galleries to tweet to @AlexTheGreat22.

At the end of the regular season, the most creative use of the “22” posted to the Bluecoastlive account will win an iPad with a Big Blue cover — or $500 cash.

So start shooting and @ hailing.  Alex has 600-700 shots on you already.

All hail, Alex Poythress, No. 22.

How to Survive Graduation

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With December graduation a week away, finals and last minute errands may seem to take over. However, this last week of school is meant for so much more. Read the tips below and make your last week at UK the best one yet:

1. Go ahead and have one last ho-burger at Tolly Ho. This is the last opportunity to change your order name and embarrass your friends. Whether it is three in the morning or an afternoon lunch, go pig out on the delicious greasy food.

2. Return any and all textbooks. Although we do not get near as much money as we hope, a little cash can go a long way. Take the money and watch the new Hunger Games. Spend your money like your time…wisely.

3. Do not take your ancient house for granted. Yes, the floors are disgusting and the dishwasher breaks every week. However, this is the last time you are going to live in a trashy college house with your best friends. Enjoy the creaky wood floors and cherish your last days here.
4. Spend time with the people you are leaving. We have papers and finals but we do not have them alone. If you have to type a ten page paper, why not do it with the ones who make you laugh? There is no reason to be miserable alone.

5. Finish strong and don’t look back. After that last final, do not think about it ever again. What is done is done and you cannot go back. There are no regrets, only a positive future waiting ahead.

Alex Poythress Out For The Season

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University of Kentucky announced today that Alex Poythress will, unfortunately, be unable to play for the rest of the season. During Thursday’s practice he tore his ACL.

UK students seem to have similar emotions about the situation. Senior, Laken Mitchell says, “The platoon system is going to go out the window because they are going to keep switching out players.”

UK Senior, Joel Southall, is from Poythress’s hometown. Joel has followed Poythress’s success since he signed with UK. He says, “It is not as sure handed. We will not be as stable as we were because he was the spark and the leader of the team.”

Other students agree that the team’s chemistry could be off because of this injury. Although a surgery date has not yet been set, recovery could take up to eight months.

Students stage “Die In” protest at Willy T. library

William T. Young Library
University of Kentucky

A second “Die In” took place last night on the University of Kentucky campus, with about 100 students lying down in the rotunda of the library to protest the death of New Yorker Eric Garner at the hands of police who were arresting him for selling loose cigarettes.

Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by the coroner in New York, and a banned choke hold was applied to the man on the street corner in Staten Island. In a video, he is shown telling police “I can’t breathe,” 11 times before he died.

With signs reading “I can’t breathe,” on top of them, the students lay on the marble floor for 30 minutes.

Most of the students in the protest themselves were African-American and the protest was organized by several black student organizations on campus. But about 15 percent of the protesters were white. After the protest, the students went to the downstairs collaboration area of the library to discuss their experience and the reasons for the protest.

For coverage of the first “Die-In,” which was held Wednesday at Patterson Office Tower lobby, read the Kentucky Kernel story.

The College Football Playoff: What If It Had Been Eight?

The first ever College Football Playoff bracket is set. There was so much potential for a shake-up going into the weekend, but in the end there was little surprise when the dust settled.

Ok, But it’s Thursday. Most of the debates over whether the right decision was made have faded away. However, there are still other questions that can be asked. Many of them center around who will come out on top and who will fall early, but there are also some questions already centering around the future of the College Football Playoffs.

Currently, it is a four-team bracket. There are those, however, who believe that the ideal format would be double that. There are many who feel the ideal setup would be a total of eight teams going into the postseason tournament. While this idea has been argued and hashed out before the College Football Playoff even became official,  now that the teams have been set, the debate has resurfaced.

The articles on the practicality of this system have begun to pop up all over. There are arguments for both side; some feel it should stay in its current form while others feel this is only a stepping stone to an eventual eight-team bracket. But what if they had jumped straight to the eight-team format? What if the selection committee had called four more names Sunday night? Who would those teams be and who would still be sitting on the sideline?

Obviously, there is no need to name the first for teams. This writer, along with many others, believes the selection committee got the teams right. So the question now lies with the next four in. Who would benefit from an expansion in the bracket?

The Big 12 would get some love

Baylor and TCU fans would love such an expansion. Both teams would easily make the final eight teams. Not only are these the two remaining top 25 teams with only one on the season, but Baylor won their conference championship and TCU’s lone blemish was a three-point loss to the Bears in October. These are also two of the most exciting offenses in the country; both can put up 50-plus points any given night.

With these two teams in, each major conference would be represented by their conference champion. It seems a little too simple, but it safe to say this wouldn’t be annual thing. If there had been an eight-team bracket made last year, the Pac 12 would not have even been represented. It is a rare occurrence that the top five teams in the nation each also be the top team in their conference.

So with this in mind, Baylor would receive the fifth seed, and TCU would take the sixth. Based on strength of schedule, there could be some arguments made for TCU jumping their conference opponent in for that fifth spot. But considering Baylor won their head-to-head matchup and  won their conference championship, the Bears would deserve that fifth spot.

It would follow the rankings…almost

Almost assuredly, the final two spots would be filled by following the current rankings with No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 8 Michigan State filling out the bracket. Not only are these teams two of the three remaining two-loss teams in the Top 25, they also have a resume that stands out above the rest of the field.

Mississippi State plays in, debatably, the best conference in football with one of their losses coming to the top team in the nation. Their loan blemish came in their last game of the season with a loss to Ole Miss. Without that loss, they would have easily made an argument for the five or six seed –maybe even a trip to the College Football Playoff– but with that loss they just barely make the final cut for this pool of eight.

While Michigan State’s slate of wins may be less impressive than the SEC-hardened Bulldogs, they’re two losses both came to teams that are now currently in the CFP (Ohio State and Oregon). The loss to Oregon came in their second game of season at Oregon; the Ohio State loss may have been the loss that kept them out of the Playoff. That being said, it would not keep the Spartans out of this fictional eight-team.

While the bottom two teams of the top eight would be the same as they are in the rankings, this writer believes Michigan State would actually claim the No. 7 seed. They’re resume is just simply stronger than Mississippi State and their loan losses came to the top four teams in the nation. The Bulldogs can’t claim that.

How it would look

So here is how it would look:

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For the first matchup, we would have an SEC rematch. This might be the sole reason why Mississippi State would actually get the 7 seed if this were to actually take place, but for the sake of this article, it would be one interesting matchup to watch. The other three matchups would not only be out of conference opponents, but it would also be the first time any of these teams have met all season.

It would be interesting for sure. Whether or not this will actually happen some day is a whole other question. Whether or not this is a realistic list to make could be debated for days. But one thing is certain: if this had somehow happened this year, it would have made for one exciting postseason. There is an opportunity for an upset in every game. Some games offer redemption, while others could an opportunity for a new rivalry to be born. There would be plenty of offense and even some defense too. It would be one beautiful slate of college football action.

Man, I wish this was actually a thing.

Top 14 Christmas Song Countdown

Folks, it’s that time of year again. Christmas is nearing and that means holiday tunes to listen to all month long.

From Frank Sinatra to the Vince Guaraldi Trio, there are all different types of sounds to get you in the holiday spirit.

So if you enjoy the happiness of holiday music, and you’re not a grinch about others enjoying the sounds of Christmas, here are my top 14 songs of the season. These are songs that I have listened to my entire life and still enjoy to this day.

Hopefully, you enjoy these songs as much as I do and you enjoy your holiday, whichever one you celebrate.

14. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Frank Sinatra

13. Silver Bells, Bing Crosby

12. Jingle Bells, Frank Sinatra

11. O Holy Night, Nat King Cole

10. Last Christmas, Wham!

9. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Andy Williams

8. Marshmallow World, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra

7. Winter Wonderland , Michael Bublé

6. O Tannenbaum, Vince Guaraldi Trio

5. Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley

4. Silver and Gold, Burl Ives

3. Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Dean Martin

2. White Christmas, Bing Crosby

1. Christmas Song, Nat King Cole