Kentucky's Randall Cobb takes home a CATSPY

Randall Cobb

Kentucky's Randall Cobb takes home a CATSPY

Kentucky football was nearly shutout in the annual CATSPY Awards, Kentucky’s cheap knock off of the ESPYs. Randall Cobb stepped it up and won the Male Athlete of the Year award. But this story is going to quickly change away from Cobb’s accomplishments and even away from the poorly named CATSPY Awards.

The big winner on CATSPY night, held at the end of the school year, was the men’s rifle team. Since 1994 the Wildcats have finished in the top ten 16 times, but failed to take home a championship. Upon reading that, my first thought was how many rifle teams are there? I knew of four. For some reason Murray State’s rifle team just gets featured on their website a lot. But the answer is 18, although at least one of the Division II schools, Alaska-Fairbanks competes in the big tournament. That is like saying the Georgetown basketball team has finished in the top ten of the Big East 16 times since 1994. Good for them. Way to consistently almost be in the top half.

Alaska-Fairbanks and West Virginia are the usual dominating squads when it comes to men’s rifle. Those two account for most of men’s championships since the inception of the championship in 1980. But 2011 was Kentucky’s year. Poorly placed in the middle of March, when us college sports fans are a little too busy to notice, the Wildcats won their first ever Rifle National Championship.

But here is the kicker in this story. The Citadel, VMI, Army, Navy and the Air Force all have rifle teams. How in the world does a team like Kentucky win it all? Alaska-Fairbanks may have some good hunters on the team and I’ll reserve judgment on the Mountaineers reason for dominance, but shouldn’t Army be pretty good at this? Army’s 2005 win has been the only time a service academy has taken home the national crown.


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