Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
November 30th, 2015

UK will not go to a bowl game

Breaking news: the NCAA just announced it will fill extra bowl games with teams with 5-7 records based on Academic Progress Rate (APR). This means Kentucky is out. The highest APRs of the 5-7 teams remaining are in, in order, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas State, Minnesota, San Jose State, Illinois, and Rice. Kentucky’s score, 945, falls well below the scores from those programs.

The extra practices would have been nice, but this is probably for the best. Time to take this season around the shed and put it to bed.

Where the Increase in Scoring is Coming From


Have fun with this. I’m a complete nerd when it comes to advanced stats in basketball. I love them. I think they tell a lot about the game. Well, last week I talked about how through the first week in college basketball the rule changes were playing a role in the game.

Well, now over at KPI Sports I found even more indepth details about where the scoring is coming from. Here are the quick hitters. Scoring is up 5.46 points per team (about eight percent) but only 2.5% points per possession. 68 percent of the scoring increase is due to the increased pace of play, while the remaining 32 percent is increased offensive efficiency. 83 percent of the increased scoring is coming from made field goals, while a shockingly low number of 17 percent is from free throws.

Defensively blocks, steals and turnovers are all down, which says the freedom of movement campaign is actually working.

I know that’s a lot of numbers, but overall it shows college basketball is doing what it’s set out to do, which is clean the game up. Sure, it can seem annoying with the free throws, but really it’s more just playing the game that has bumped the scoring up.

The KSR Pregame Show is live from Dorothy’s house from “The Wizard of Oz”

KSR has done some radio shows in some odd places over the years, but today’s may take the cake. The gang is in Liberal, Kansas at Dorothy’s house from “The Wizard of Oz” to preview Kentucky vs. Illinois State. The show starts at 4:30 p.m. and will stream live on

Stick around for the Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Tip-Off Pregame Show on the UK Sports Network.  A list of affiliates around the state can be found here or you can listen online here.

Feel free to comment below.

ESPN still projects Kentucky to the Independence Bowl

Earlier today, I outlined the possible scenario in which Kentucky could still go to a bowl despite their 5-7 record. The NCAA is expected to decide in the coming days how to pick which 5-7 teams get to go bowling, and if they decide to go by APR scores, the Cats are out; however, that’s not stopping ESPN’s Mark Schlabach from putting Kentucky in his latest bowl projections. Schlabach has Kentucky playing NC State in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 26, the same day as the UK vs. Louisville basketball game.

If that does happen (a huge “if” right now), the two games won’t conflict. UK/Louisville is at noon, while the Independence Bowl kicks off at 5:45 p.m. ET on ESPN. Previously, we had heard the SEC wouldn’t allow UK to go to that bowl because of that conflict, but now, who knows. All I know is I’m ready for some resolution on the matter.


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Kentucky #1 in both polls again

© Mark Zerof | Getty

© Mark Zerof | Getty

After taking over the #1 spot in both the AP and Coaches’ Polls last week, the Cats are still on top. Kentucky received 59 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll and 29 of 32 in the Coaches’ Poll.

Here’s the AP Top 25 in full:

1. Kentucky (59)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami (FL)
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

Others receiving votes: Connecticut 153, Utah 72, Butler 62, George Washington 45, Indiana 26, Northern Iowa 25, Notre Dame 22, California 19, Pittsburgh 11, Dayton 8, South Carolina 5, San Diego State 5, Georgetown 4, UTEP 3, Iowa 2, Northwestern 2, LSU 2, Arkansas-Little Rock 2, Davidson 1, Colorado State 1, Northeastern 1, Louisiana Tech 1, Monmouth 1

Dropped from rankings: Indiana 13, California 14, Notre Dame 17, Connecticut 18, Wichita St 20, LSU 22

And both polls for comparison:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 1.00.22 PM

Big jumps by Vandy, Texas A&M, and Louisville, the latter of which was unranked last week, which Rick Pitino blamed on the sex scandal. Now what will he whine about?

KSR Does America Roadtrip update: They’re in Kansas

Shoutout to @broncofan4life for making these awesome graphics

If you missed today’s show, the guys were live from the Pie Five Pizza in Wichita, Kansas as they continue their roadtrip across America. Right now, they’re somewhere west of that with plans to stop wherever they are at 4:30 p.m. ET for the KSR Pregame Show. Will it be Liberal, Kansas, the site of Dorthy’s house from “The Wizard of Oz”? Tune in to 630 WLAP at 4:30 p.m. to find out.

Until then, I thought I’d share some pictures of their trip so far. Here’s the gang and four UK fans that showed up to the Pie Five in Wichita for the show:

Each fan signed the giant Pie Five Pizza sign the boys are taking with them across the country:

Here they are at the Chiefs/Bills game:

Look how thrilled Shannon is!

Listening to music in the car while Matt checks his phone while driving:

If you missed today’s show, be sure to check out the podcast:

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Maxwell Smith injured again on Saturday

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

If things weren’t bad enough around UK football right now, there’s some more unfortunate news to pass along. Former Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith injured his left knee in the first half of San Diego State’s win over Nevada on Saturday. The injury is thought to be a torn MCL and will keep him from playing in San Diego State’s showdown with Air Force in the Mountain West Championship next week.

Smith transferred to San Diego State in January after struggling to regain momentum after shoulder and ankle injuries at Kentucky. As a graduate transfer, he was able to play immediately and quickly earned the starting job. This season, he’s thrown for 1,529 yards, 13 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions, leading the Aztecs to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Mountain West Championship. Although this was his last year of eligibility, he has filed an injury appeal with the NCAA in hopes of getting one more year.

Given all the injuries he’s gone through, the fact that Maxwell’s still staying positive is amazing. He posted this on Twitter last night:

Get well soon.

Malik Monk scored 46 points on Saturday

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.27.03 AM

Let’s take a break from football talk, shall we? Over the weekend, future Cat Malik Monk scored 46 points, four off his career-high, in Betonville’s 84-79 win over defending Oklahoma state champion Mustang. The mixtape came out this morning and it’s ridiculous. Watch Monk do it all, from dunking to driving to dishing to swishing from the outside:

It’s going to be hard to top the backcourt Kentucky currently has, but De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk might do it. Insane athleticism.

Will Kentucky be one of the 5-7 teams to go to a bowl?

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

With everything going on around the program, it’s hard to believe there’s still a chance this team could go to a bowl game. This year, there are 40 bowl games, so 80 teams are needed to fill those spots. Currently, only 75 teams are bowl eligible (a record of 6-6 or better). There are three teams with 5-6 records with one game left to play: Kansas State, South Alabama, and Georgia State. That means that right now, TWO 5-7 teams are going to a bowl game, possibly FIVE. There could be up to 17 5-7 teams. Does Kentucky have a chance?

In 2012, the NCAA came up with a plan to choose which 5-7 teams go to a bowl by ranking them by their APR (Academic Progress Rate). Kentucky football’s most recent 4-year APR composite is 945, which would put them well below other teams in contention, such as:

  • Nebraska (985)
  • Missouri (976)
  • Kansas State (976)
  • Minnesota (975)
  • San Jose State (975)
  • Illinois (973)
  • Rice (973)

However, ESPN is reporting that the NCAA Football Oversight Committee may decide to use a different criteria to select teams or do away with the APR requirement all together. They’re expected to figure all of that out in the coming days. Mark Stoops has already said if his team is offered a bowl game, they’ll take it. For now, we wait.


Tickets to UK @ LSU are on sale now

One of the biggest games on Kentucky’s schedule this year is the showdown against LSU in Baton Rouge on January 5th. It’s the Cats’ first road game of the conference schedule and they’ll take on a rejuvenated LSU team that includes Ben Simmons, arguably the best player in the league, and fellow talented freshman/former UK recruit Antonio Blakeney. LSU always plays Kentucky close in Baton Rouge, and if you’re looking at games the Cats could potentially drop, this is near the top of the list.

Want to give the Cats a hand? Tickets for UK/LSU in Baton Rouge just went on sale this morning on LSU’s website. Tickets range from $18-$36. Make sure blue gets in by getting yours before they sell out.

The KSR Tour Across America rolls into Wichita (Monday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from the Pie Five Pizza (334 South Ridge Road) in Wichita, Kansas.

Matt, Ryan, Shannon, and Drew are a day and a half in to the KSR Tour Across America and after watching the Chiefs/Bills game at Arrowhead Stadium yesterday, are ready to talk C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS in Wichita.

If you’re in the area, go say hello, or join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WCBL (1290am): Benton
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WTCO (1450am): Campbellsville
WAIN (1270am): Columbia
WCYN (102.3fm) Cynthiana
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WTHX (101.5fm) Elizabethtown
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WTUK (105.1fm): Harlan
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
WFTG (1400am): London
WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
WWXL (1450am): Manchester
WFTM (1240am): Maysville
WKYM (101.7fm): Monticello
WMSK (1550am): Morganfield
WLME (102.7fm):Owensboro
WPAD (1560am): Paducah
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City
WBTH (1400am): Williamson
PRTC TV Channels 209 & 409: Jackson & Owlsey Counties (Replayed at 1 and 6)


WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WWTF (1580am): Lexington, 4-6pm

Patrick Towles’ Monday Morning Wakeup

Photo: Mark Zerof

Yesterday’s news that Patrick Towles will transfer hit me like Kentucky’s loss to Louisville: sad, but expected. Patrick’s career at Kentucky had its highs — wins over South Carolina and Missouri — and its lows — 14 interceptions to only 9 touchdowns this season; however, if we learned one thing on Saturday, it’s that the junior from Fort Thomas was not to blame for the offense’s woes this year. Patrick’s inconsistency certainly didn’t help UK move the ball this season, but without Boom Williams, Drew Barker was faced with the same problems in the second half against Louisville. Few quarterbacks could overcome receiver drops, questionable play calling, and little protection from their line. Things got so bad late in the game that the staff went back to Patrick, but it was too little too late. His final play in Commonwealth Stadium — an interception on Louisville’s 4-yard line — felt like a cruel twist of the knife.

It’s not worth debating whether Patrick or Drew Barker deserved to be Kentucky’s starting quarterback next season. It’s the Drew Barker show from now on and Drew showed a lot of promise (albeit inexperience) in the past few games. The shift to Barker reflects the cold reality of sports; someone always gets left behind. And it really hurts that that someone is a kid who has done nothing but love Kentucky football his entire life.

Patrick committed to Kentucky back in April 2011 as a four-star recruit from Fort Thomas, a huge coup for Randy Sanders and Joker Phillips. At the time, the grandson of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and US Senator Jim Bunning was billed as Kentucky’s “quarterback of the future.” He planned to redshirt his freshman year but was forced into action due to injuries only to injure his own ankle after leading the Cats to a touchdown on his first possession. He redshirted the next season, after which many speculated he would transfer. Instead, he went to California to work with renowned quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. and transformed his game. That fall, he won the starting quarterback spot and he won it again this season, only to lose it with two games left.

Some in the fan base are accusing Patrick of quitting. Those people need to shut up. For four years, Patrick has given his all to the Kentucky football program. With the staff headed in a different direction, it was time for Patrick to decide whether or not he really wanted to pursue playing football at the next level. Earlier this season, he was touted as an NFL prospect. He has the size, but if he stayed at Kentucky, he probably wouldn’t have the stage. With his degree in hand, Patrick can transfer to another program — Duke is being mentioned, but don’t rule out Hogwarts — as a fifth-year senior and play immediately. What happens from there is up to him, but at least he’s going for it. Personally, I’ll be rooting like hell for him to succeed.

In a time of uncertainty around the program, one thing is certain: Patrick Towles deserves a better ending. I really hope he gets it.

With that rant over, it’s time to go over the plan for a very busy day…

There’s a basketball game tonight

Amid all the negativity around the football program, has there been a more welcome time for a basketball game? The Cats take on Illinois State tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Tyler Ulis will play. Ulis hyperextended his elbow against South Florida on Friday and is listed as day-to-day. While we’re hearing the injury is not serious, I wouldn’t be surprised if Calipari held Tyler out tonight to ensure he’s ready to roll against UCLA on Thursday.

Kentucky opened as a 19-point favorite

Illinois State is 3-4 with one of those losses coming to #2 Maryland. The Redbirds actually led the Terrapins by two with under six minutes left before Maryland went on a 21-8 run to win the game 77-66. I’ll have more on Illinois State later today, but a quick glance tells me they’ve got a talented point guard in Paris Lee and an impressive scorer in DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell. I’m not expecting an upset or anything, but Kentucky will need to play with more energy than it has the past three games, especially if they’re without Ulis.

What will happen next with the football program?

Aside from Ulis, this is probably the other biggest question weighing on my mind. At 5-7, will Kentucky still go to a bowl? If so, when will they find out? Will there be any big staffing changes? KSR is hearing two could be on the way. Who will be the sacrificial lamb? Will there be any more transfers? What about recruiting??

Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

I saw “Mockingjay, Part 2” and it sucked.

If watching UK football lose to Louisville wasn’t torture enough, my husband and I decided to go see “Mockingjay Part 2” yesterday when we got back to Nashville. I’ve read the entire Hunger Games series, enjoyed the movies thus far and was looking for a nice escape from reality. Unfortunately, the movie sucked. “Mockingjay” was by far my least favorite of the books, a brutal battle story with little levity, so I wasn’t surprised, but man. Not even Jennifer Lawrence could save it. Save yourself the pain and go see “Creed,” like I should have.

Kobe Bryant’s goodbye letter to basketball was amazing

I’ve never been a huge Kobe Bryant fan, but even I teared up a little bit when I read the poem he wrote announcing his retirement from basketball after this season. If you missed it, click on over to The Players Tribune to read it. Regardless of how you feel about Kobe, it’s a beautiful love letter to the game from one of its best:

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.


Are you in Wichita, Kansas? Go see the guys at Pie Five Pizza

The KSR Road Trip Across America Sponsored By Sternberg Automotive and Pie Five Pizza rolls on, and after watching Chiefs/Bills in the rain at Arrowhead Stadium, the guys are in Wichita to hang out, eat some more pizza, and talk Cats. If you’re in the area (334 South Ridge Road), come on out and say hello. And tell Ryan to call his wife.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Monday Morning Playcalling Breakdown (Louisville)

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Well, that was a depressing end to the season, wasn’t it?  It many ways that game was completely symbolic of the entire season.  You can still see the talent out there.  There are these flashes where you see the QB’s throw a pretty ball, the receivers make a great play or the running backs make an SEC-caliber move.  But the overall inconsistency from this team all year is beyond infuriating.  This season was basically a wasted season.  The league, and especially the eastern division, was WEAK.  And UK went 2-4 against that group of teams.  UL is as weak as they have been since Kragthorpe, and they beat us by 2 touchdowns in Lexington.

All season, you have seen the offensive numbers on the decline.  So for the final time this season, thankfully, are the offensive numbers broken down into situations, with the season total in italics.  What stands out for you?

Run: 20 rushes for 70 yards (3.5 ypc)
Pass: 1-5, 8 yards, 1 INT

Combined Season Statistics
Run: 189 rushes for 1,000 yards (5.3 ypc), 5 TD
Pass: 84-149, 960 yards, 6 TD, 7 INT, 8 sacks for -50 yards

RECAP: Pretty pathetic all around here.  Completed one pass the entire game on first down.  Ran the ball 4 out of every 5 1st down plays, but only for 3.5 yards per carry.  Just bad.  For the year, the running game was pretty decent overall.  The passing game was bad, no other way to say it.

2ND DOWN AND LONG (6 yards or more)
Run: 7 rushes for 15 yards (2.1 ypc)
Pass: 3-9, 19 yards

Combined Season Statistics
Run: 86 rushes for 563 yards (6.5 ypc), 3 TD
Pass: 51-98, 478 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 5 sacks for -30 yards

RECAP: The numbers for the UL game need no explanation.  For the season, the running game got a very good 6.5 yards per carry but the passing game was anemic, completing just over 50% of their passes for less than 10 yards per completion.  Just no threat most of the year.

2ND DOWN AND SHORT (5 yards or less)
Run: 5 rushes for 22 yards (4.4 ypc), 1 TD
Pass: NONE

Combined Season Statistics
Run: 44 rushes for 160 yards (3.6 ypc), 7 TD
Pass: 16-22, 123 yards, 1 INT

RECAP: Rightfully so, the Cats had no trust to try and throw the ball here, as they really didn’t most of the year.  Interestingly, UK ran 66 plays in 2nd and short this season, while running 189 plays in 2nd and long.  1st down was really not the Cats strength most of the season.

3RD DOWN AND LONG (6 yards or more)
Pass: 4-10, 119 yards, 3 sacks for -21 yards (converted 4 of 13)

Combined Season Statistics
Run: 16 rushes for 169 yards (10.6 ypc), 1 TD (converted 9 of 16)
Pass: 49-87, 733 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 11 sacks for -74 yards (converted 30 of 98)

RECAP: UK went 4 for 4 through the air in the 1st half on 3rd and long, an incredible number considering how bad they had been all year.  Then in the 2nd half, they went 0 for 7, not completing a single pass.  For the season, horrible on the passing side of things, not converting even 30% of their chances.  That goes back to QB play and wildly inconsistent receivers.

3RD DOWN AND SHORT (5 yards or less)
Run: 2 rushes for 7 yards (3.5 ypc), 1 TD (converted 2 of 2)
Pass: 1-2, 53 yards (converted 1 of 2)

Combined Season Statistics
Run: 30 rushes for 166 yards, 1 TD (5.7 ypc) (converted 19 of 30)
Pass: 10-26, 151 yards, 4 sacks for -33 yards (converted 9 of 30)

RECAP: Same story as much of the season.  Look at those passing numbers for the season.  Just beyond poor and teams knew that UK couldn’t convert through the air on 3rd down.  They keyed on our weak offensive line and inconsistent QB play and ate us alive.

November 29th, 2015

Governor’s Cup stayed true to trend: a second half disaster

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Kentucky jumped out to a 21-point lead.

I didn’t think UK would win the football game.

The first half ended with the Wildcats leading 24-7.

I didn’t think UK would win the football game.

It’s been one of those seasons. After 30 minutes of score board dominance, where did the doubt come from? Guilt crept in by having little hope for a Kentucky win when all signs pointed to the Governor’s Cup taking up residence in the Nutter Center.

Following a 12-game body of work for observation, the following are engrained preconceptions that led to final score reservations:

— There was a complete lack of on-field leadership and team chemistry. For certain underclassmen, there was a comprehensive failure in followship. This imbalanced combination equaled a 5-7 record. Once Melvin Lewis was lost to an unfortunate injury, not a resemblance of on-field management existed. However, the offense is where the intolerable — and at times, unwatchable — leadership meltdown occurred.

In the second half and even before Louisville began to score at will, several offensive players showed the body language of an ailing patient moments prior to a root canal. There is a difference between the false bravado coming out of the tunnel and the gut-check realization when plays must be made. Unfortunately, this team was better exiting the locker room in a cloud of smoke than making a catch on 3rd and 7. It danced better before the game and between plays than it tackled opposing running quarterbacks.

— Immaturity. During critical game junctures, the Cats played and acted like adolescents in a man’s league. Hanging heads, not finishing plays, complaining about quarterbacks or playing time, catches/carries, and so forth. By the end of Saturday’s game, a disturbing internal question resonated: “Is this team likable?” I can’t honestly answer that inquiry. Not generalizing the entire 100-man roster, but a handful of counted-upon characters displayed appalling selfish actions.

— After starting 4-1 and somewhere on the schedule between EKU and Auburn, this team misplaced its fortitude. Courage to fight back and resiliency to counter adversity disappeared; in their absence surfaced erroneous and misguided self-importance. Again, mostly on offense.

— Other than the opening drive, Kentucky’s inept offense was manhandled by an above average defense that wasn’t as good as its performance indicated. Virginia scored 31 on it. Pitt ran up 42 in the first half for goodness sake. Following the disheartening loss of Boom Williams and JoJo Kemp, UK’s offensive compass lost its true North, South, East, and West. The identity-less unit wandered like a rudderless ship sailing along with dropped passes, errant throws, questionable play calls, missed blocks and penalties of the undisciplined nature.

Patrick Towles was not Kentucky’s offensive problem. Pat was merely the fall guy. Offensive woes ran much deeper than quarterback play. Up front, the offensive line was overwhelmed. An overabundance of holding calls prevented the second half from becoming a quarterback sack parade. The OL has been a point of concern from Louisiana to Louisville with brief flashes of positivity against South Carolina and Missouri. Its flaws were embarrassingly exposed in the 3rd and 4th quarter. In addition to the front five, UK’s receivers lacked. Its talent was evident in September, but it conspicuously lost its way somewhere on the road between EKU and Auburn.

Locker room divide: Older players vs. younger ones. Patrick Towles supporters against those that wanted Drew Barker. These unconfirmed rumors and leaked murmurings became nauseating and devastatingly tiresome. I’d argue that this team was divided into two categories: 1. Likable. 2. Unlikable. Typing those words hurts me to the core. While understanding ramifications, it had to be said. There were not enough battlers like Josh Forrest, Farrington Huguennin, Chris Westry, Jon Toth, Khalid Henderson and unnamed others that played their absolute guts out on every snap throughout the disappointing season regardless of score or situation.

The BBN doesn’t expect to win every game; however, it does demand indisputable high effort, passion, and a give-a-darn mentality from its participants. Instead of embracing the underdog role in the second half of the season, this team shrunk in moments against superiority.

— Halftime adjustments were made by Louisville. Kentucky grossly failed in this venture. Louisville’s true freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson can be used as an example. On a wet and soggy day, one would imagine that the opponent’s top rusher (Jackson) would be the offensive feature in the second half. The read option would be the prominent play call. Following intermission, he ran it and ran it well. The Cardinal quarterback finished the game with 17 rushing attempts for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The closest Cardinal in rushing statistics was RB Brandon Radcliff with 66 yards on 14 carries. I’m not a coach nor do I pretend to understand the game on a professional level, but I would assume that Petrino made the decision to win or lose the game with Lamar Jackson running the football.

— After halftime, Kentucky’s offense exited the locker room lacking urgency and a plan. Inexplicably, defeated body language became commonplace after the first series of the third quarter. It didn’t improve, nor did production. The Cats lacked tempo, execution, or a strategy to answer the Cardinals’ 31-point onslaught. One scoring drive may have been enough of a deterrent to force Louisville into certain passing scenarios. On UK’s last offensive series, Patrick Towles finally led the Cats to the red zone with a little over two minutes left in the game. An interception followed. Game over. Cup travelled back west on I-64.

SEC football teams should be prepared for attrition, especially at an injury-prone position like running back. Understandably, losing both Boom Williams and JoJo Kemp lessened UK’s explosiveness; however, UK commenced a three-and-out procession that repeatedly and quickly gave the football back to Louisville and Lamar Jackson. It was a recipe for disaster. Catastrophe came in the form of 31 unanswered second half points.

What’s Next?

Mark Stoops must evaluate his football program in its entirety. From coordinators to assistant coaches, practice schedules to calisthenics, the Kentucky Football program is in need of an overhaul; what that looks like lies within the mind of Mark Stoops.

At no point in 40 years of fandom have I witnessed a team worsen more so than the 2015 Wildcats. From a 4-1 start to a 5-7 finish, week by week, Kentucky lessened its on-field prowess while facing the friendliest schedule in decades. College football is unforgiving. While the Cats are home for the holidays, its opponents will enjoy 15 additional days of bowl practice as well as an extra game. While UK is Christmas vacationing, future foes are strengthening. For returning players, that should sting. I’m not convinced that it does. I hope I’m wrong.

From now until National Signing Day, Stoops and staff will be in living rooms convincing teenager prospects that progress is being made. 2015 was stagnant at best.

In closing, thank you for reading. I honestly am honored and surprised you do so. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible, but disappointment and frustration led to hard truths and realities being discussed. This post was incredibly hard to write. Uncomfortable and disappointing would be more descriptive. Objectivity and fandom mix like oil and water. As a lifelong UK fan, nothing would please more than for Mark Stoops and this football program to succeed.

It’s been a blast, and we’ll continue through National Signing Day and beyond. I’d like to thank Matt Jones and the entire KSR organization for the privilege to write and talk about football.