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Anyone Can Have a Bad 26 Years


hartline

Neyland Stadium, aka the Garbage Truck Worker Convention, was the site today of the 26th loss in a row for the Kentucky Wildcats to the dreaded Tennessee Volunteers. There were specific reasons as to why the Cats lost yet another heartbreaker in Knoxville, and we will of course get to those, but in reality the story was the same this year as in year’s past. The Cats were outworked, outcoached, outplayed and generally outclassed to a team that for one of the few years of the Streak, they could compare favorably against from a talent perspective. Kentucky came into the game talking all the right talk. The number “517” was supposed to showcase that the team understood what had happened in the past and how it was to be different this year. But in the end, this game was just like all the others. The Cats lost, UK fans were left with excuses and Tennessee celebrated its utter and complete domination of a program, the likes of which have only happened a few times in college football history.

There are many reasons why the game ended the way it did, but as we look back, five stand out:

The Fumble:

Kentucky kicked the ball off to start the game and looked set to make noise in Knoxville after a quick three and out and a long drive down the field leading to a 7-0 lead. Another quick stop and the Cats had the ball with a chance to put a crippling blow on the home team and potentially erase the demons that have haunted the Big Blue since the Reagan era. But then with Kentucky on the precipice of a touchdown, Hartline fumbled the exchange to Derrick Locke and the Cats fumbled into the end zone to lose all of the game’s momentum. The battle was never the same. Tennessee quickly drove down the field and scored, and any semblance of control that the Cats had over the Vols was lost, never to be regained. You dont lose games based on one play…but you might lose the chance to put a vice grip on a game in one play. And the Hartline/Cobb fumble will always be remembered as the moment the game began to slip away.

The Secondary

The Defense for Kentucky has struggled all season and most of the time the reason has been obvious. With little pressure from the front four, Kentucky has rarely gotten to the QB and has seen teams run all over it throughout the SEC campaign. Today however was different. The front four actually played quite well and Ronnie Sneed had his best game as a Cat at LB, causing some pressure on Tyler Bray and generally slowing the UT running attack. But what was gained by the big uglies was lost by the dreadlocked Secondary who found themselves torched on play after play. Three huge 40 yard plus passes in the first half and a number of beaten routes in the second, caused the Vols to throw all over the UK back four and essentially dominate an area where UK had previously shown promise. Winston Guy and Mychal Bailey both had Interceptions that were important, but the routes they lost more than surpassed these shining moments of glory with a general overall day of gloom.

The Missed Opportunities

Mike Hartline has played much better this season than his critics will ever give him credit for, and has generally been a bright spot for the Big Blue, regardless of what the message boards might say. But today was not one of his crowning achievements. He had 5-7 passes that all were just a bit off and in so doing, missed opportunities to pull off the big upset. Larod King twice broke open for long pass plays, only to have Hartline miss him by a step (although one did wonder how one of the plays did not lead to a King dive for the reception). Hartline threw it behind Randall Cobb twice, Derrick Locke once and missed Chris Matthews on a deep ball that could have been seven. It wasnt that Hartline played poorly…but he didnt play good enough to overcome the other deficiencies. When you are trying to break a 25 year streak, the QB has to give you more than that.

The Turnovers

Both teams turned the ball over a number of times and gave the other team a chance to capitalize on its mistakes. But for Kentucky, those turnovers came at times where UK needed a big run. The Randall Cobb fumble, the Mike Hartline interception and the Craig McIntosh missed field goal (which I count as a turnover), all came during drives where UK needed points on the board in the worst way. None of the turnovers broke the team’s back, but all added up to missed opportunites that helped seal the Cats’ fate.

The Playcall

I can complain about Joker Phillips’ game management all day and at times I have done that for both he and his coordinators. But even with the lack of blitzing from Steve Brown or the downfield passing from Randy Sanders, the differences were ones of philosophy and ultimately defendable. But I will have a hard time forgiving the decision by Joker Phillips to punt on the Tennessee 38 yard line in the 4th quarter. Facing 4th and 2 and a chance to go in for the tying touchdown, Joker looked at his offense and essentially said he didnt believe in them by punting to a UT team that got the ball after only an 18 yard field position change. With four of your five best players on the offensive side of the ball (Cobb, Locke, Matthews and Hartline…as opposed to Trevathan on defense), your offense is the strength of your team. To not give them the chance to win the game…well it showcases a Coach playing not to lose and not giving the aggression needed fo the big upset. It happened last year when Randall Cobb didnt touch the ball on First and Goal and again today on a weak decision to punt. That is not an easy one to forget.

So now the Cats are left with disappointment once again and questions as to what is next. They will know their Bowl game soon enough and likely will see a destination in either Birmingham or Atlanta. A game versus South Florida at Legion Field may not be sexy, but is probably appropriate for a team that left a lot of wins on the field. One can be upset or angry, but for me it is unfortunately a worse emotion….one of resignation. Its Tennessee vs Kentucky again and for the 26th time in a row, the team in Orange won. Some say it was once different.

Article written by Matt Jones

136 responses to “Anyone Can Have a Bad 26 Years”

  1. UKBigDaddy

    I’m still pissed off….

  2. Gavin S.

    Ugh. That’s about all I can say.

  3. GMo

    that was Locke/Hartline fumble at the goaline. Cobb’s was big too. I still believe the biggest play of the game was the fake punt from the 25 by Tenn. That stuck us in the a$$. SUCKED again for the 26th straight time.

  4. mike

    And we all will continue to wonder why King did lay out for that pass that very possibly should have been caught. He has had some big catches for us this year but also many misses.

  5. Atticus

    What about the fake punt? The ‘Cats were never the same after they made that play and went down and scored.

  6. ShagOnSports

    I was OK with Papaw Brooks ‘building’ for a few years during and after probation but three of the last four years (this year counts as one) UK has underachieved PERIOD and someone needs to be held accountable!!! If that is the product UK is going to put on the field year in and year out (since the 1960’s I might add) than just disband football and all the non-revenue sports it supports and just be a basketball school period (men’s and women’s)…

    UK is 11 & 29 against the SEC in the last five years in football and 8 and 27 when you throw out Vandy (3 and 2 against Vandy is also PATHETIC)… That would get any other coach in the SEC or any other conference fired, PERIOD!!! WTF!!! Bunch of Bullshit!!! If that is the best you can do than YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE IN THE SEC IN FOOTBALL!!!

    Spend some damn money on getting the facilities upgraded and then bring in an experienced head coach or DISBAND the damn program!!! Does not have to be high paid coach but a coach with experience as a head coach at a lower level like Dooley at The Orange Team down south would work (that guy is going to do a good job at UT)… Gotta go into it telling the fans to COMPETE IN THE SEC IT IS GOING TO COST MORE MONEY FROM THE FANS because it IS so they need to understand!!!

    No way UK or any 6 and 6 teams deserves a bowl game!!! Very pitiful year for the Operation Win crew whatever that BS was Joker tried to sale the fan base…

    Prove me wrong Joker, Prove me wrong!!! I dare you to prove me wrong!!!

  7. bankshot

    If we do go to a bowl, I think the best thing to do is to let the underclassmen play and leave the seniors home – they had their chance.

  8. KY12

    I really question the teams ability to breakdown game film and design a functional game plan. Whether it’s the coaches or the players, who knows, but we looked lost in most every first half. Second half’s alone, we are probably 10-2. This tells me we can make adjustments and become productive after we see what their doing, why does it take so long?

  9. BIG BLUE BARBER

    Were are….who we hoped we weren’t. I have to face it…we just weren’t that good…or just under coached and underachieved….or all the above. What a major dissapointment. We MUST win the bowl game, and even that won’t make up for the mess.

  10. 3 fan

    I hope Joker stopped the bus on the way home and got him some Summer’s Eve. I HATE being a UK football fan.

  11. FumbledExchangeAtGoalLine

    Who really wants to see this product in a bowl game?

    I’m not willing to shell out the cash to watch us phuk up again, no matter the opponent.

    It’s not worth it. The extra practice is useless with this staff. Call it a season, Barnhart, while we’re still .500.

  12. Alan Cutler's fart

    I knew the game was lost as soon as they fumbled into the endzone. Can’tbe disappointed with the usul result. I’ve always been a fan of rational expectations

  13. Cousins Fake Teeth

    7 minutes left, down 2 scores, 4th and 2…what do you do? YOU SURE AS HELL DONT PUNT THE BALL

  14. lousyvilleCat

    i dont give up on anything, but this football program i give up on. 12 games, spring practice, summer practice… a garbage bowl for a 6-6 team. the “month of extra practice” bs , someone tell me what good it does? we didnt climb the ladder, we free fell and it isnt going to change. moss, newton, transfer…….. you probably deserve better than you’re going to get.

  15. bcat

    The only reason we’ve suddenly started going to bowls in recent years is the 12th game. Period. We gamed the system. Our program needs new leadership.

  16. Evan

    I sat just in front of Drew Franklin today at the game and heard him rile up the garbage truck workers. The UT band had just finished playing Rocky Top for the 800th time, and we were about to punch in our second TD. He yelled “Play Rocky Top!” at some UT idiots who didn’t respond. We then fumbled, lost all momentum, and had to listen to those idiots and that horrible song being played 800 more times. I blame you Drew.

  17. The Big Cat

    Hire Phillip Fulmer!

  18. Munk

    What are the chances we don’t get in a bowl? If Georgia wins we are 10th in the SEC. With 8 guaranteed spots and likely only one BCS team. That leaves us the odd team out. Right???

  19. droppedpasses

    I predict 5 wins next year, followed by 4 wins in 2012. With our patsy non-conference schedule, 4 wins is officially rock bottom. At that point, a coaching change is necessary. The poor b@stard that inherits the mess will have their work cut out for them…losing program, subpar facilities, etc. The only positive is a fan base that desperately wants what our administration fails to deliver.

  20. rockymtncat

    I get the disappointment, but c’mon. We beat Louisville (again). We beat Spurrier (finally). We will go to a bowl game. May win it. We have the best recruiting class in 15 years or better coming in, which will be a Top 25 class once that RB commits. We have two quarterbacks for next year that were Top 15 in their class. The O-Line that started today is all back next year. The Defense loses at most two starters and must improve. We have three-star or four-star kids at nearly every position, but 2nd-string now. The program is steadily climbing and remains light years ahead of where we’ve been in the last decade. An 8-4 season is just around the bend. Wanna talk about streaks? Our hoops team has signed the top recruiting class for the last three years in a row, something that has never been done before. The sky ain’t fallin.

  21. BigCAT

    No #18, we will get in a “we want your money” bowl like always. The UK fans will still go in droves like idiots, and Mitch Barnhart again will say, “Why pay for a good coach? We are racking up money even if we suck!” it’s funny how people wanna reject a bowl game, why? We are Kentucky football, we suck and are lucky to get any bowl bid! What do u want, Rose bowl?

  22. hidin my head in  the sand fan

    It’s time to realize that Kentucky cannot play football in the SEC. I was tired of hearing how fast Locke was….gain 2yds / lose 3, gain 1 yd lose 2. Speed doesn’t get you down field if you can’t get past the line of scrimmage. Give the ball to Cobb, throw the ball down the field like Tenn. did against us all game. We are finally about to see the end of the Hartline era too. Good riddance. Lets move on. And while we’re getting rid of people take that defensive coordinator with you. Thank God basketball season is here.

  23. 2020

    Can’t blame the secondary for sporting dreadlocks. I’d be embarrassed too if I were them and would do anything to hide my last name.

  24. southeastUKfan1

    To sum it all up, to get to where we as Kentucky fans want to go, which is to win the SEC and compete for a national championship, we need a complete change in philosophy in how we conduct our business. Facilities is first, we need a new stadium or stadium renovations that can attract the dollars of major corporations and the eyes of recruits. We need to keep our practice facilities and weight rooms up with the rest of the SEC. We may want to invest in a Wildcat Lodge type facility for football, which would be another advantage. We need to invest in coaches, particularly defensive coaches, that can attract the best talent in the south. Our DB’s were outrun by one of the most unathletic teams in UT history today. We’ve always been able to put up enough points, but we can’t hang defensively with the historic champions of this league. Until we think BIG as an athletic department, the best we can hope for is we occasionally back our way into an 8-4 record as our peak, average 6-6. Kentucky fans can fill a new or expanded/renovated stadium if the quality product is on the field. Kentucky fans, at least this one, are starving to follow a national contender. You can’t blame the fans here.

  25. 26 is a Joke

    My son said after the game, “I just want them to beat Tennessee once before I die.”. He is 9 years old.

  26. bankshot

    18- Assuming Auburn goes to the Championship game then the next best team goes to sugar. So, we will probably still go to a bowl. Even though we don’t deserve to go.

  27. joncal

    hey 6, i have been tryin to divert some of the money we pay our players to the football team but i would have to buy all 62 positions and davis said he wasnt coming off the cash i got him

  28. Guest

    25. Please tell your son that I just want to beat Tennessee once before I die too. I turned 25 last weekend.

  29. CATNTN

    I started to post earlier, but didn’t. Now, I cannot help it. Matt, why must we look at advertisements for University of Tennessee shirts for sale in the banner on this site, on THIS day, much less, ANY day? @%$&)!#^&@*

  30. Drew Franklin - Crest Spokesperson
  31. Matt

    Barnhart is as responsible for this as Joker. Barnhart refuses to go get a proven coach and refuses to bring us on par with the rest of the SEC in terms of football. He has proven time and time again he will not ressurect this program so get someone else in there. As for Joker if he sees what we the fans see he will fire Steve Brown tomorrow morning. You cannot let one receiver light you up for 200 yards,and not stop him. If Cobb leaves I dont blame him, I’d leave too because the coaches clearly arent doing their job, which is giving your team the tools to win this was evident in my oppinion when Hartline was the starter after the Ole Miss game. Whatever bowl game we go to the starter should be Newton. And Joker please stop throwing 25 yards once a game and let your QB throw it! Cant wait till next year when we will be Hartlineless.

  32. rocketcat

    #18…Arkansas is gonna get a BCS spot as well so there are 10 SEC spots open (8 bowl spots and two teams in BCS).

  33. The Truth

    Accept it Matt. Hartline did play poorly. U can’t list the horrendous mistakes he made and say ‘he didn’t play poorly.’ He couldn’t make the throws . Tennessee’s Freshman quarterback did. Freshman.

    Stop making excuses KSR. You all look like morons defending this guy all year. Mike Hartline is one of the main reasons we r 6-6 and not 8-4 or better.

  34. rocketcat

    Hire Randy Shannon!!!

  35. SeoulCat

    I can’t believe people aren’t talking about the playcalling that resulted in the first fumble. First down and about 12 inches from payday, Joker opts to hand the ball off to a RB. Why?! Try a QB dive up the middle once, or maybe twice, and there is no way you do not score. On first and 12 freakin’ INCHES from the goal, the only way you do not score is to fumble the ball. How do you fumble the ball? Too many hands get involved. Why Joker?! WHY? Why take the unnecessary risk? Why not have Hartline tuck the ball in his belly and just simply fall into the endzone? I knew at that point that we were doomed to #26.

  36. Gilly

    At least boone’s meat is cut and packaged fresh daily. ;)

  37. southeastUKfan1

    I’m clueless. I don’t know what the magic bullet is to this problem of the UT game. I was there, and lets just say I expected more fire from Kentucky. If I’m Joker, I depart all niceness, all media courtesies, all gentlemanly behavior for one week in an effort to light an angry fire under my team for this game. Its not his nature, but I’d become a different human being the week of Tennessee. I’d be an evil son of a gun for a week in an effort to change a passive, submissive mindset into an angry one.

  38. mike

    Bray has shown that he is already better than Hartline is and Dooley shows the same at the HC level. He has gotten more out of mediocre talent with steady improvement while Joker shows he can’t handle the talent that he inherited and went in reverse for the season.

  39. giv'em hell cats

    What game were you watching, that red zone fumble was 100% on locke, not hartline.

  40. Art Vandalay

    I’m 38 yrs old and there’s no telling how much money I’ve shelled out to the football program over the years.

    Not another dime from me until it at least LOOKS like they are making an effort to clean this mess up.

    Just don’t tell me I should be happy to pay thousands of dollars a year for a product like this.

  41. Art Vandalay

    Hire Mike Leach.

  42. Matt

    38: Are you blaming Hartline or Joker?

  43. Chris

    I’m 27, can’t say I remember that win when I was one! It would be very nice to see one without drool on my face and sh*t in my diaper, but it’s looking like I may be to that point again in my life before we win one of these. The sad part is I knew we were going to lose before we even played and I feel the same way every year with Florida. The real shame is I can tell the players do too and aparently so do the coaches. If someone beats me 25 times in a row at anything I’m going to come out with a ton of emotion, a fearless attitude and something that resembles a gameplan. I would think one of these years they will get tired of being looked at as a joke by the rest of that league, I just hope I get to see that day because I sure havent yet.

  44. Pee Wee

    UGA won, bowl???

  45. LansingCat

    I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about. I like UK football. But, then again, I have to put up with the NFL Lions as my other team that sucks day in and day out like an old reliable leather shoe.

  46. MikeInLex

    All the Hartline haters are going to really miss him next year and Locke and Matthews….we are in trouble in ’11. Good thing our bball team will be preseason #1. Like Jones I resigned to the fact we will never be an SEC power, since our state produces little talent and we are the coldest state in the conference….I just began expecting it 20 years ago, today was typical UK foootball.

  47. cats4life

    Just a quick question…. we mark down the field in the air however it seems like whenever we need some yard or start a drive after the TD we run the ball.. nothing against locke, but they had his number today. why does cobb not get more touches? during a call in show in Knoxville a question was asked by”what sounded like a 6 yr old” How are you going to stop cobb. The answer by the radio personal ” well i hope it is like last year were cobb will get them to the 20 and then not get another touch” in my personal opinion what we r doing isnt working, and i know you dont want to ruin our greatest asset however i would give the ball to cobb everytime until they stopped him… he is not the greatest WR, nor greatest QB, nor greatest PR, nor greatest KR, but he is a play maker that has enough will to get 1st downs… give the man the ball and let him do what he does best, get first downs and score TD’s.

  48. Smoker Billups

    Kentucky Football 2011: Operation There Is Always Next Year

  49. Wes

    Randy Shannon out at Miami..clean out Steve Browns office and go get him tonight!! Would give us a great D coach and great recruiter for the state of Florida!!

  50. cats4life

    45. hey now i like my leather shoe… at least it can still kick some ass every now and again…. thats why the toe has a darker tint to it

  51. broseiden

    hire randy shannon and mike leach. but seriously, can we not afford a high profile coach?

  52. Hal Mumme

    49 No black coach or player should ever come to this redneck ass state.

  53. mike

    Would it be a mistake to fire Brown NOW?? A lot of folks would say that it would be wrong timing but I say…..why postpone the inevitable.

  54. Big Dog

    Coaching is what it all comes down to. Petrino was up 21-20 in the 4th quarter and had 4th and 3 on the 39 yard line. Almost the exact same situation as us (but in a bigger game, as it may have had BCS implications). Petrino calls a long pass play and the result was a 39 yard TD pass. Goes up 28-20 and wins the game. B*lls and coaching. That is what it is about. After the game Petrino said “we didn’t come here to paint. We came here to win the game”. Joker has coached under Holtz and Brooks and will never be agressive in his approach.

  55. JohnW

    #45- Same here. Being a Lions fan/UK fan makes Thanksgiving a tough sports weekend year end and year out. Charlie Strong to the Hurricanes

  56. Adam

    Hey, we still have a bowl to play. Go Cats.

  57. matts mom

    We are what they thought we were, a mediocre team that schedules just enough cupcakes to go to five straight toilet bowls.

  58. BTI

    I told you we could when 9 games this year, oh wait,,,nevermind. Ill just post something about our defense instead of my great predictions,,,

  59. Wes

    52-??

  60. BTI

    Whatsthat you say,i didnt spell win right,,,no worries ill have your post deleted,,,hahhaha

  61. Dead Horse

    Why does everyone keep beating me?

  62. JackNicklaus

    With below average SEC talent across the board (except for a few players), average coaching and passive playcalling (offense and defense), it will be the same thing every year. Does not matter who the QB will be. We will beat up on our 3 schedule victories, hope to beat little brother and pray we beat Vandy and somebody else along the way. Quite frankly, I am way tired w/ this combination. I have loved UK football all my life, but I am simply getting tired and am losing my enthusiasm…which makes me sad. Hell, looks like most of the team has lost their enthusiasm too.
    The above combination will not be successful. We have to try something different….what will it be?

  63. dammit

    Kentucky Football 2011: Operation When?

  64. ToeMater

    Oh, for God’s sake fire Joker’s sorry ass and go save Mike Leach from CBS College Sports purgatory. We might not win any more games but at least they would be fun to watch and you know he would take some shots down field.

  65. ShagOnSports

    I stand corrected… UK is 15 & 25 against the SEC in the last five years in football and 12 and 23 when you throw out Vandy… Still not worth a dama…

  66. Munk

    63. Love it.

  67. Atlcatfan

    Is there anyway Joker fires Brown and hires Randy Shannon? Would be a good recruiter and and D**M good D coordinator!

  68. Munk

    How bout this one. Spurrier wins. That gives the SEC one BCS game. 8 spots. UK out of a bowl.

  69. cash

    at least i won 100 bucks on the game, sorry but ill go with the 25 year win streak. easy money,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  70. BlueMike

    F this team, F the coach. So done with UK football. You will not get another $ from me. So done with it all. Until they hire someone who has a pair, F this team. You can have them, done supporting crap.

  71. uk7

    louisville is getting better and we are looking like a team coached by joker phillips. joker had 2 weeks to prepare for tenn. and we only managed 14 pts against at the time the 3rd worst team in the sec, now that is uk. congrats joker, your play calling sucks and you are in over your head. please do us all a favor and leave, but you will stay b/c we cant fire you b/c you are black. this coaching staff does not represent these great kids, if it did they would try to win. at least the kids suit up and give their all, sorry they have retards for coaches. leave joker leave, you are a embarassment and coward.

  72. lawz

    Matt,

    -Derrick Locke was responsible for the fumble at the goal line. No idea what you were looking at to credit to Hartline, because it was pretty obvious, oming from someone in that endzone in Neyland. It was Locke’s fault.

    -You are right to blame Joker for the horrible call to punt on Tennessee’s 38. Awful, awful call. It’s so bad that, unfortunately, even if we were UP 2 possessions rather than down it’d be a close call (1 possession lead or less it’s an easy call to go for it).

    -You are right about the secondary’s failures.

    -You are horribly wrong about the playcalling, other than the aforementioned punt. It’s telling that you can only point to the punt and the tired refrain of idiot commenaters, “playing not to win.” Fact is Hartline was given the green light to take more downfield shots than he probably should have, particularly toward the end when Tennessee had safety help. But you’re far more wrong on the defensive end. We simply don’t have the personnel to sustain blitzes on defense: our corners are average, our safeties are just horrible in coverage and our defensive line can barely get any sort of pressure even with linebackers flying down the B gap. Brown brought a lot of blitzes today (I’d say “pressure” but there really wasn’t much “pressure” because the blitzes didn’t put much heat on Bray most of the time). It’s important to note that we got burned bad in the first half on plays where we did bring pressure. Actually, I’m going to melodramatically give that last sentence its own line, since the hollerin’ redneck fanbase can’t seem to understand it:

    in the first half, we got burned BECAUSE WE BROUGHT PRESSURE WHEN WE SHOULDN’T HAVE. Not bringing enough pressure has been the bitching point all season among the…less well versed in football strategy. But the problem hasn’t been the naked playcalling, as alleged. It’s that YOU NEED THE RIGHT PERSONNEL TO BRING PRESSURE. We simply don’t have that anywhere on the field on defense: our defensive line isn’t talented enough to push the defensive line back to affect the quarterback, our linebackers aren’t fast enough to threaten the quarterback before he has time to find receivers, and our secondary is too porous to make up for the inherent disadvantage in the defensive backfield caused by a sack.

    Otherwise OK analysis

  73. rockymtncat

    Hartline had the 2nd-most yards and 3rd-most TD’s of SEC QB’s, of which one will be the next H-trophy winner. We had both the #3 and #4 wide receivers in terms of yards. If you can’t support the program now, what did you people do during about 20 of the last 25 years? ‘Cause it has been far, far worse. The O was here this year, the D just wasn’t. We continue to get the 3-star and 4-star kids, and sooner or later we’ll have both sides of the ball covered. At least when the fans griped about Tubby/Clyde, the program really was a great one that was in decline. That made sense. Right now the FB program is in as good of shape as it has ever been in the modern era, and now everybody loses it?

  74. lawz

    That said, the moron contingent will be out quickly if they aren’t already, claiming

    1) Joker got the job (or can’t be fired) because he’s black. There’s no basis for this bullshit, and I say that coming as a very conservative Republican who generally frowns on people crying racism.

    2) We have grossly superior talent. Give me a break. We had 5 starters back on offense, 3 on defense. We actually finished exactly where you should expect us to finish considering our talent back and our starters back. Some folks are under the delusion that we are way more talented than almost all of our opponents. They are dumb enough to neglect the universal opinion of recruiting analysts and coaches, as well as the simple math of whose back and who isn’t. Not much you can do there.

    3) Joker is in over his head. I used to work with folks addicted to drugs and alcohol, and I’ve seen crack cocaine users trade $10,000 stereos for $15 rocks who are less impulsive than many of the posters here. Hell, Beamer had 2 wins his first season, Saban had 6 at Bama, Chizik had 3 at Auburn, etc.

    It’s one thing to be upset and negative after a loss. It’s another to intentionally jettison all reason to be as idiotically negative as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not uncommon among our fanbase.

  75. Ha Ha's Daddy

    C’mon man 26 years:( C’mon man a coach named Joker. As long as Joker remains coach we’ll never beat UT:( Louisville will overtake UK shortly. Those that predict an 8-4 record anytime soon are dreaming. As Matt said “resigned” to the fact that our future prospects are no better. Operation BOYCOTT is the only thing that will change things.

  76. Wes

    South Florida will beat our ass

  77. tdogg4033011

    73) you know some of these UK fans, they tend to go a little over board from time to time.

  78. T

    74) if our talent was so bad, how did we beat the east champ and lose by 3 to the west champ? Some blame has to be placed on horrible preparation. If we can play with and beat elite teams, you have to win against ole miss, UT. Say want you want about recruiting, but we had better personel than we showed today and that goes on the coaches.

  79. Brink

    76 you are not thinking straight. If we would have played UL’s schedule we would be at worst 10-2 this year, if UL played our schedule they would be at best 4-8 this year. And for all of you that keep saying that UL got better this year, THEY BEAT 4 CUPCAKES AND WON EXACTLY 2 CONFERENCE GAMES. Their best win of the season was against SYRACUSE.

  80. Where are My Tickets Stevie Want a BE?

    I can not blame coach Brown completely when UK has a safety who does not have a clue how to cover a pass play. UT was looking to see where Guy was, and threw it at him ALL DAY! I have never seen a safety try to cover a long pass down the middle of the field by standing straight up, and back pedaling with both hands up in the air for 10-15 yards.

  81. Brink

    78 You better stop that, you know most of these posters don’t want any part of rational thinking.

  82. Ben says

    f-n-a man… too many close plays for UK that didnt pan out… too many near sacks, deflections and tackles… freshman quarterbacks should not be able to do whatever they want… I think I have to get a punitive “Bray” tattoo and that sucks bc I haven’t liked glitter since my senior prom where my then cheerleader girlfriend got her glitter all over the inside of my moms lexus… and I didn’t score until I started banging her friend in college… gotta love K-3.

  83. Ben says

    ohh and the D shouldnt be able to look in the mirror until they prove themselves which hopefully starts in a bowl game against Iowa or U of L

  84. tdogg4033011

    OT: UK fans get a chance to watch Stevie Johnson on tv tomorrow at 1:00 …. Buffalo vs Steelers

  85. Will

    With each new year of this rivalry, the idea of this streak going into the 40s or so seems more realistic. Would you have believed it if, after the UT game in 1984, someone told you that would be our last W for at least 26 yrs?

  86. cfountaindew

    Matt you do not know sports. You never played sports in HS, you were a dork. You stalk Hooters girls in Lex. You do not deserve press cred… They at least let people speak… Mr. Cross is more credible then you. Yes we had that talk in Hooters. Check your Twitter.

  87. radtech04

    Why was joker hired in the first place? His play calling absolutely sucked. What did he do to accredit himself to inherit the football program? I am sure there was other “more qualified” coaches out there that I bet we didn’t even consider calling. Now you know what the administration is going to do. They are going to give him 3 or 4 years to prove himself, which is reasonable to a coach who would qualify for the job, before they make any coaching changes. The decision has already been made. He is our head coach. I am not happy with that decision. He should have not been hired in the first place plain and simple. The only hope is we get another Defensive coordinator. Look how long it took them to get rid of Mike Archer. We are in for a long haul my fellow brothers and sister in blue..

  88. KY defense for Heisman

    I’m done…I WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER DOLLAR ON KY FOOTBALL UNTIL THEY BEAT TENNESSEE! Same sh#t every year. My friends and I go to atleast 4 games a year…Never again…make your money off some other sucker, because its not going to be me any more. and for anyone who wants to call me a bad fan…go right ahead , I’ll be a bad fan on the couch next year watching them get their asses smoked. CAN’T WAIT TO GO BOWLING AGAIN..YAY WHO ARE WE PLAYING THIS YEAR , EASTERN?

  89. radtech04

    88.. I said the exact same thing last year when i froze my balls off wathing them get beat. And I still mean it.

  90. KY defense for Heisman

    F*$K KY FOOTBALL! GO DOWN ON IT JOKER!

  91. CATS!!!!

    Point blank our coaching during the game is terrible and our pass coverage is a joke. Quit being scared and play football Joker, you had the season on a silver platter and blew it…….

  92. KY defense for Heisman

    89…Oh I was there to. Miserable! Rainy, freezing, but I went to support them. I’m done shelling out 80 bux a ticket for some crap they tell me to be happy about. My friends all feel the same. They don’t know it but they lost the purchase of about 16 tickets for next year. AND I’LL BE DAMNED IF I SPEND ANOTHER DIME AT GOOD OLE ROCKY TOP. I don’t know how they can cheer either…WTF do they have to be happy about. We’re on the same boat. We’re average-bad every year with our cupcake non-conference pee wee schedule, but they’re on a steady decline.

  93. Talent_Evaluator

    Joker and his whole f*cking crew need to go. Seriously, he isn’t going to get the job done as Head Coach, not in 2 years or 10 years. Time for new leadership or risk losing a large % of season ticket holders.

  94. Kdog

    Punt the ball coach Joke. you f’in Pu$$y. Way to gain 18 yards on that one. Will never forgive you for that, although, I still haven’t forgiven your weak ass for taking Randall Cobb out of the game last season at Commonwealth and settling for a field goal, after Randall was the one to drive it to the ten freaking yard line! Randall goes pro = UK 2-10 next year.

  95. drizzy

    i finally just got the stevie johnson “why so serious?” thing. its for joker. didnt even realize it. wow i suck.

  96. Kdog

    I want to play UL in a bowl, because I want us to lose and “Coach” Joke to get fired. Why. Did. We. Ever. Name. A. Coach-In-Waiting???

  97. Dave the Khan

    Someone want to start FIRETHEJOKE.com

    http://silkroadsandsiamesesmiles.com/2010/11/28/make-it-26/

  98. Out fans are dumb!

    I can’t believe Joker went 6-6. We only lost Micah Johnson, Trevard Lindley, Corey Peters, Sam Maxwell, John Connor, and 4/5 of our O-Line. Those are easy pieces for a program like UK to replace.

  99. SexnNursinHomes

    We ae stuck in a hard place. If we hire an outside coach and he does well. Then he goes off to a more prestigious football school. We will get Memphis’ed(Cal). Plain and Simple, Joker is UK guy, he’ll stay. But thinking a top notch coach would stay here beyond 3 to 4 years is effin nuts.

  100. SexnNursinHomes

    We would be a stepping stone for jobs like Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame. You name it, we are about #50 of the most desirable football coach jobs. If Charlie Strong exceeds at UL, he’ll be gone in 3 years. Give UK 11-2 record with Mike Leach and wham, a school like Notre Dame grabs him. He’ll we couldn’t keep Baylor from talking Guy Morriss.

  101. SexnNursinHomes

    taking- oops

  102. RunningCats

    I am extremely disappointed in the coaching year, especially, special teams, defense, and overall game plan. We appear to have better players than coaches. With the SEC weaker (especially the East), it was our chance to move up the ladder in the conference. We failed miserably. If Joker is a true leader, he will make some tough decisions in his staff.

  103. BigAbes4UK

    I’m telling you all….I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game lost on ONE play in the 1st quarter- but that fumble was it. We score there- we win that game- PERIOD. UT scored 2 straight TDs on the momentum of that fumble. That is a 21 point turnaround. We went from being up 14-0 to down 14-7. ABSOLUTELY SICKENING!!!!!!! That was the ball game right there on that play- because we never recovered

  104. Proofreader

    “After a quick three and out…?” Tennessee drove downfield and attempted a field goal. We didn’t begin the game by getting a 3 and out.

  105. crustycrab

    Who cares how many guys we lost from last year? Did not most all the other teams do the same thing? Big baby excuse. We beat SC and played Auburn close, so that tells me there is/was _some_ talent there. How it was used, how they were coached- that’s the thing. That and we had Hartline, the worst best QB in the history of UK. Matt’s still loving his stats, but all he did was throw a bunch of short passes. Sure some were TDs thankfully and some looked good. How many of those TD passes were long throws? How many? He can’t throw a long ball. And ALL the other teams knew it.

    Hey at least we made a game out of it yesterday. It could have been like the Florida game. God, that would have been AWFUL!

  106. BurnerTurner5

    30 No surprise there. T-will is a thug.

  107. lousyvilleCat

    i miss rob gidel. badly. he could have given us some hope on whether we ever get any changes or not. in the mean time, save your money cat fans. empty seats speak louder than blogs.

  108. NashvilleVolFan

    I love this board. Comedy gold. For those of you familiar with the Cracker Barrel breakfast menu, it’s kind of the “Uncle Herschel’s Favorite” of everything that’s bad about college athletics. A veritable smorgasbord everything that is wrong with college sports: a heavy helping of unrealistic expectations with sumptuous sides of Monday morning quarterbacking and personal attacks on 18-year-old college athletes seasoned with a delicious hint of tooth decay.

    Let’s get a couple of things straight. I’m a Tennessee alum but grew up a die hard Vandy fan so I know the Tennessee fan base and its undeniable warts. I also know that you can’t judge a fan base by its bridge-jumping fan forum attendees. But, guys, this is just unseemly. Ok, so you are frustrated you have lost to Tennessee for 26 straight years. I get it. I was frustrated when Vandy lost in Rupp for something like 20 years straight. I don’t, however, recall witnessing a hilarious meltdown of this proportion. I don’t know what it is – maybe the lack of anything else sports-wise to watch in Kentucky? Maybe the fact that the Cincinnati Bengals can’t fill that void for a little something else like the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators can?

    Yesterday’s game can be summed up as follows: Kentucky was a better team than normal, Tennessee worse than normal. Kentucky’s below average defense got gashed by aggressive play calling and a hot offense. Tennessee’s defense was inspired by a fortuitous fumble – a fumble that seemed to stun what was at first a hot offense. Do you know how many times that same story is told every..single.. weekend?

    My favorite comments regard the “redneckiness” of my Tennessee brethren. Wildcat friends, let’s get serious. Kentucky probably should change its name from the “Bluegrass State” to the “Crystal Meth State.” Or maybe the “I Beat My Wife When My College Team Loses State.” Kentucky calling Tennessee redneck is the collegiate equivalent of Hitler calling Stalin a genocidal maniac. Guys – I would know. I live in Sumner County just south of the Kentucky border and I can smell the halitosis wafting over the border.

    Buck up, buckaroos. Let’s not make this so personal. There is a circle of life – you guys are almost always going to be better than us in basketball. If we only played once a year, you too would probably have a 26 year streak on us. Tennessee is almost always going to be better than Kentucky in football. Just let nature take its course and realize that there is life outside of UK athletics.

    John Calipari is a cheater,

    Your friendly neighborhood Vol fan.

  109. SexnNursinHomes

    108-Cal a cheater- HAHAHA! Bruce Almighty????? boy, you must be dumb. So what? you beat us in football. big deal. can Tennesee say they are the best in football? Hell No. Can UK say they are the best in basketball? Hell Yes. I’d rather be a champion of one sport than NO sport at all.

  110. SexnNursinHomes

    108- UK basketball ———-) UT football. and it isn’t even close

  111. KYStout

    We will show up flat and uninspired for our bowl game in Alabama.

    I would bet a million bucks on it.

  112. Bonkrshr

    The sun doeth rise on my old Kentucky home.

  113. NashvilleVolFan

    Hook, line, and sinker. That John Calipari line gets a good Wildcat riled up every time. That’s the spirit, though. It’s basketball season! Even a Vol like me is excited for that.

    Glad to know that losing to West Virginia in the Sweet 16 constitutes “best” by the way. Or are we still counting all those wins against Owensboro Polytechnic during World War II?

  114. Boggie

    A little late, but I just read where Shannon has been fired at Miami after finishing 7-5….We celebrate six wins.

  115. BravoBigBlue

    Joker put his personal stamp on this game and the program by punting on 4th and 2 and the game hanging in the balance. That is what we have gotten from him as O Coordinator and that is what we’ll get from him as HC. Correction, no more ‘we’. I am done. Operation: Boycott.

  116. BravoBigBlue

    NVFan: Man, you are really a tough guy, aren’t you? Must feel like a big boy sitting behind your computer in your mother’s basement.

  117. RetardedCard

    113-We didn’t lose in the sweet 16, get your facts straight

  118. mike

    lmfao at people saying we will miss hartline next year, the only reason this kid had decent number this year was because of all the yards after catch from cobb and matthews, he rarely ever completes a pass over ten yards without the reciever doing all the work. I will say the recievers dropped about as many good passes as he has thrown uncatchable ones, but look at this last game, those passes were not just “off a little” as matt stated, the reciever could barely get a finger one them. You cant compete in the SEC with a QB like that and a shit defense. We might be slightly worse next year but with the recrits comming in be ready in 2-3 years, and we will all laugh at a time when we had to start Hartline

  119. A.R.'s Cats

    113, UT couldn’t even beat that Owensbvoro Polytechic back in the days of world war 2, and as 109 said UK is the world leader in wins as far as Collegent basketball is concerned.
    And as it was mentioned, Pearl even had an edge in getting a “JUMP” in recruiting and still is labled not only as a lying unethical coach in college basketball today but mediocre college coach at best! Can’t wait until we mop the Vols “AGAIN”

  120. Flyingfishman

    Untill this team gets serious about the defensive side of the ball we will continue to be bottom feeders in the SEC. Joker needs to make the tough decision this next month and get a real defensive coordinator so we don’t constantly hear the terms “3 missed tackles” and “their reciever was WIDE OPEN”. Our players have the physical ability but not the know how. That has to change.

  121. fifthoffive

    #113 – That was a loss in the Elite 8, not the Sweet 16. Still not “the best,” but one year is not the definition of a program. The Elite 8 is the best UT has ever done. It’s an average year for UK.

    Twenty-six losses in a row to one team is a pretty good measure of a program, especially when we can’t even beat a bad UT team.

  122. Just saying

    where are all the people supporting Barnhart now?? This program is a joke. The stadium is falling apart, and we have ANOTHER coach on the sidelines that has no head coaching experience. But for some reason we expect different results. The definition of insanity: continuously doing the same things, and expecting different results.

    Our athletic department is a laughing stock across the country. Our facilities are not being maintained, our coaches (minus Calipari) are among the lowest paid in America, fan support is waivering (esp in football), but NOTHING is going to change. Same ol Same ol!!! UK has only gone to 4 (now 5) straight bowl games because:

    1. They expanded the season to 12 games (used to be 11) now we can finish .500 and go bowling
    2. UL hired Kragthorpe giving UK a win in each of the last 4 seasons
    3. UK schedules 3 Div II teams each year
    4. We know we can beat Vandy
    5. So all we have had to do for the last 5 years is win ONE other game in the SEC

    But, UL is no longer going to be an automatic win, and UK has even struggled to beat Vandy the last two years. Personally, I have had enough. We own the two longest losing streaks in the country UT and UF, and while both of these teams had “down years”, UKs “promising season” couldnt get a win

  123. Sammydog

    #108…and Bruce Pearl is a slimey, lying, unethical, hypocritical fool who should have been fired months ago by an athletic director trying to save his butt. If Cal had behaved the way the Pearl has he would have been hanged.

  124. KY defense for Heisman

    nvfan, you and uncle hershel can stay off our board. F’n low down dirty snitches

  125. NashvilleVolFan

    Wait, 116 – Speaking of Mommy’s basement, did you really just threaten me over a discussion on a football thread. That sure didn’t just prove my point.

    Besides, being 32 years of age, Mommy kicked me out of her basement last year. I actually live in a trailer with about 25 cats. I’m also a serial hoarder. My trailer is crammed with about 3 year’s worth of trash.

    117, apologies for my mistake.

    119, You are correct. While Coach Cal has enough removed Final Four banners to sew a quilt across America, he has never been specifically tied to any violations. Sort of like Pete Carrol at USC. I’m glad though. Since our coach is so crooked, it helps to have a coach like Cal just a hundred miles north of Knoxville, to serve as a moral compass for our wayward program. Whenever I’m wondering what’s the right thing to do, I just look down at my WWJCD bracelet. It keeps me on the straight and narrow.

    By the way, the Bruce Pearl argument doesn’t work with me. He cheated and, as far as I am concerned, he should have already been fired.

  126. johukn

    I’ve read some great ,thought provoking posts here,and you guys are to be commended for your intelligence and insight toward the UK football program.And as many of you have stated in a round-a-bout way,UK plain and simple is not a very good football team right now.There has not been any growth on the players part.Not one player has shown any marked improvement at his position this year,and therein lies the problem.Lack of skills and lack of coaching.

    And UK has undoubtedly two of the worst defensive backs in the college game.

  127. dave

    Joker, you gave UT a great Christmas present. Sad, sad, sad.

  128. reality 101

    Its time for ky fans to stop being tickd off and accept the fact we will never be good in football. This is based on the fact we remain in the sec, where we our unable to compete. We are unable to compete in recruiting, coaching and fundraising. Even in Tennessee’s worst year, we are outmatched. The state does not produce enough in state talent nor does the state produce enough GDP to raise the money to compete. KY is a poor state overall, compiled with little talent. That is what makes us different the Miss, LA and Arkansas. Imagine KY having to recruit in state for basketball and you can relate to football.

  129. reality 101

    well said 122.

  130. swi-cat

    how can anyone lose to the same team 26 years in a row? how frustrating. the one thing i noticed with this team is they did’nt get any better from the first game to the last, i’m a fan not a coach but, sounds like a coaching problem to me.

  131. wtf

    why cant we see all the comments?

  132. J cruse

    The only reason Joker was hired is he would have left if not promised the job because old Brooks couldn’t recruit anybody without him… Only reason.

  133. Mark

    I nearly broke my ankle jumping off the couch in shock punting 4th and 2 thinking your defense is going to stop someone give me a break and then blaming your punter rookie coach rookie mistake without trevathian we were 3 -9 record

  134. Carl

    Every miscue can be blamed on lack of execution, which is a sign of a lack of perparedness, which is a sign of lack of coaching. We had decent talent on this team. Shoulda, coulda won at least 3 more games, maybe shoulda lost the South Carolina game. Still would have been 8-4

  135. Kanter Banter

    UK had chance after chance to make their QB throw on the run (what he can’t do) and all we did was sit back and let him pick our WEAK db’s apart. Steve Brown is horrible and is not a D1 let alone SEC D coordinator. He needs to be shipped out. This team does not deserve a bowl trip. Wins against, UL, WKU, Akron, Charleston, Vandy…are nothing! The only win we have that we can be proud of is USC. 1 win of a legitimate D1 team! Joker gets one more year from me.

  136. FanInNWLex

    #130, I know UT fans who themselves scratch their heads and wonder how we lose to them 26 years in a row. It’s a mystery of the ages.