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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How to save this season

I honestly don’t know what the mindset of the coaching staff and players is right now in the UK locker room.  I am sure they are discouraged by the Louisville loss, and a tad bit nervous about their upcoming slate of games.  But I am not sure if they realize how much the fanbase considers this a LOST season.  I can not remember the last time the fans were this low on the program.  I don’t even think in Rich Brooks’ worst moments the fans were this bored and uninterested.  But, the great thing is this season is still relatively young.  The Cats still have 9 games, maybe 10, to go this season, which gives them plenty of opportunity to bounce back, both on the field and off. 

So, how exactly could Kentucky save this season?  Below are things that could be done that would get the fans back on board, and hopefully get the program rolling back in the right direction (in no particular order):

1) MAKE A BOWL

-I know the fans are tired of going to mid-major bowls, but this season I think fans would call going to a bowl an overachievement.  This team just doesn’t have the big-time players of the past.  There is no Woodson, Locke, Burton, Johnson, Cobb, Lindley, Woodyard, or Little.  Maybe Trevathanis at that level, but really nobody else on the roster is there yet.  The depth may be all that and a bag of chips, or so we have been told, but the playmakers are just not there.  Hence why, a bowl may be a good result for this year.  Especially now that the fans don’t expect it.

2) DO SOMETHING CREATIVE

-This is where Joker comes in.  Running smashes up the middle and QB sweeps is not creative.  The Wildcat is creative.  Halfback passes are creative.  Fake punts are creative.  There is no need to go crazy in creativity, but give something that makes fans always unsure of what is coming next.  I honestly don’t remember a single “deep” pass against Louisville.  A deep pass would be a pass that travels 25+ yards in the air.  Something has to change, and that something needs to be outside the box.  Surprise onside kicks.  Going for it more on 4th down.  I don’t care.  But I do not want to be able to predict the plays 75% of the time. 

3) PULL AN UPSET

-Say what you want about the 6 and 7 win seasons, Kentucky has a knack for pulling upsets over the last couple years.  Georgia in 2006, Louisville and LSU in 2007, Auburn and Georgia in 2009, SouthCarolina in 2010.  The Cats will have several options this season, starting with Florida this weekend.  South Carolina, LSU, and Georgia would also be considered large upsets if the Cats can pull one out.  It is amazing how one upset can re-energize a fanbase.  Think about the 2006 team that was floating along then beat Georgia for the first time in 13 years.  The pretty much got the fanbase on board for the rest of the season.  This team could potentially do that if it can pull a big win out that the fans don’t expect.

4) BEAT TENNESSEE

-I firmly believe that fans will get off Joker’s back, no matter what the final record is, if he can beat Tennessee this year.  The fans so badly want that win, and Tennessee is down enough, that it is reasonable to expect UK to be competitive in that game.  I said before the year that for 1 season, I would take a 1-11 record if that 1 win was Tennessee.  And since this season is not looking promising, maybe a UT win would save the year.  It would leave a good taste in the fans mouth coming into the offseason.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

41 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How to save this season



  1. Rocket20
    9:08 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s ask Cal to lend Gilchrist, Lamb, Teague and Miller to our receiver corps. That should help out Morgan immensely.



  2. Jimmy Buffett
    9:11 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    This season was never in play for me. I’ve been following UK since 1965 as a student, fan and, for a few years, as a season ticket holder.
    The air went out of the ball for me after last year’s UT game and the Pitt bowl game.
    Nothing can save this season, or any other, as long as CJP is at the helm. Maybe I’ll tune in again win Joker is coaching somewhere else.



  3. Z.Rex
    9:18 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    I like the optimism, but I just can’t see it. When we had 4th-and-goal on our first drive and could have grabbed that game by the jugular had we gone for it and scored the TD but chose the FG, that spoke volumes to me. When is the last time we faked a punt? That is a serious question, because I honestly can’t remember.

    I don’t enjoy being negative and have never turned on a coach in his second season…. but the fact remains that we tried to lose to UofL last year after a big lead, and have been playing it safe – and regressing – ever since.

    What does it say to the fans when the coaches aren’t willing to leave it all out on the field?



  4. HackRichards
    9:26 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Why so serious about UK Football? Who gives a big rat’s arsewhole anyways?



  5. Cash Money
    9:28 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    UK should move to the ACC, we could compete better in football. And could have some great basketball games.



  6. mocha
    9:35 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    meh.



  7. moch
    9:35 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    meh.



  8. disgruntled
    9:35 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    @5. What makes you think this coach could have us competing in the ACC. There is not a single team in that conference that UK could beat at this point.



  9. Ben
    9:36 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    As long as Joker takes the stance that the (boring) plan will work and we just need to try harder! Brooks taught him not to listen to the fans!

    There is no hope for your scenario to be implemented this year! Joker will stick to his plan for the next two years and when he does finally see the light, it will be to late for Joker and Company.

    This is why Joker has lost the fan base just three games into the year and anything short of a miracle will not save this season. We struggled with three of the worst teams on our schedule and joker is not overly concerned. He just needs to tweak a few things!

    Wait and see what kind of team we have left after the next three games! Florida, LSU and South Carolina will destroy us and we may not have enough team left to win the two winnable games left.



  10. ukupay1
    9:37 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Screw the ACC- we need to make a committment to Football if we are to move forward. We have the fanbase to support both sports and make Football a big cash cow..but as long as we settle for 11th best ..thats what we will get.



  11. TheTruth
    9:46 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    10. WE have the fan base to support both sports? We couldn’t sell out our rivalry game. Even in the good years, we get 3,000 fans for a spring practice. We are one of the worst travelling teams in the SEC. (I’m not counting a bowl game once a year). Throwing money into a program doesn’t mean success. Ask Louisville. They had one BCS Bowl to show for the milllions they’ve spent and that only happened because they played in a horrible league. Plus, their “investments” came at a time where borrowing money was still plausible because the economy wasn’t what it was. The money UK has left over after funding non-revenue sports isn’t enough to do what people want (new stadium or completely renovated stadium, facilities, $4million coach).

    I love this team. I’m a season ticket holder. But, I’m a realist. Papaw Brooks is right, we need to invest some money. However, we don’t have the money or the fan base to generate the money to compete with the upper crust of our league. Go Cats.



  12. Al's IndiCats
    9:46 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, on the creative “thing” you spoke about…
    (A) in order to throw the ball 25 years down the field, there has to be someone there to catch it besides the CB or safties.
    (B) A fake punt? You’re kidding, right? What would we do, run it up the middle, or throw it to a stoned handed reciever?
    (C) What I feel this team to do is throw it more to Clemens in the back field and let him do his thing. Give him a fullback as a blocker as well as a tight end. That could open a little more for the WR down the field with hopes they could or would catch the ball.
    (D) Finally, quit being so damn predictable on EVERY play.



  13. tdr76
    9:49 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    What happened to ‘RISE’? What happened to ‘OPERATION WIN!’? This team may lose the majority of their remaining games, but if I was the coach I would not be predictable.



  14. chestbeard
    9:49 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    10) And the sad thing is that 11th best is generous. all i know is that i don’t think we could beat any SEC team. hell Vandy even looked good this weekend.



  15. Mr Schwump
    10:00 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Last fake punt was vs Clemson in that Nashville bowl game.



  16. NashBlue
    10:02 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    If Joker and company don’t do something exciting or win a couple more games before we play UT, there won’t even be any fans there to see or care if the Cats finally manage to beat the Vols.



  17. Jim_Rome
    10:07 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    When you’re UK, with little or no football tradition, you don’t hire Joker Phillips if you want to win. What you do is take some money from basketball and throw it at a guy named Mike Leach.

    Right now, Joker and his offense is a joke.



  18. doofus
    10:11 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    season done. who cares, midnight madness is six weeks away. and no, they aren’t beating tenn, flor, georgia, usc, or lsu. that is just delusional thinking.



  19. douggercats
    10:17 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    We faked a coupla punts against Florida last year. Oh wait….never mind.



  20. warrior
    10:18 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Jimmy- Are we ever gonna be able to run the football?



  21. DollyPartonsTaTa's
    10:20 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    99.5% of every football game that has ever been played, by any team anywhere has been won or lost by line play! Barry Sanders is that 5/10ths of 1 percentage point! Sure there have been a few crazy turnover/special team dominated exceptions. In the 10s of thousands of contest at every level from PeeWee to the NFL. But by and large I feel my statement is quite accurate. When ur QB is running for his life in a 3 step drop, offensive line play or scheme is to blame, it has to be the scheme or the execution of the scheme. It cannot be anything else! When the opposing team drops no one into pass coverage, because they know you will not beat them with the pass, same problem. When this occurs and ur opponent stacks the line with 9,10,11 defenders it is not possible to execute a successful running play. Therefore it has to be either the scheme or execution of the scheme. Folks this is PeeWee football 101, 7 or 8 players cannot block 10 or 11 men. Who schemes the plays? Who teaches execution of the scheme? I’ll leave you to decide! This “is not” about having or not having “playmakers” this is the most basic a,b,c,s of the game of football! And, yes I played football for 7 yrs (at a high level)…I’m not pointing fingers at anyone…just a refresher course on basic fundamentals!



  22. Carl
    10:42 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    #21: In the immortal words of Billy Bo Bob Brain: “Nature has been inordinately kind to you.”
    I for one do not have grandiose visions of dominating in the SEC, but I do expect to win games at home when we are favored. I expect the team to be mentally prepared at the start of the game. I expect the coach to know enough about his opponent to challenge and exploit their weaknesses. I expect play calling on both sides of the ball to provide evidence that the coaches know what they are doing and are putting are players in a position to be successful. I haven’t seen much evidence of any of this the last 5 games.



  23. UK FAN
    10:44 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Bowl an underachievement?????

    Lets see WKU (TERRIBLE) CMU (TERRIBLE) UL (BAD) JACK ST. (TERRIBLE) VANDY (BAD) Ole Miss (TERRIBLE) thats 6 bad/terrible teams so no a bowl wouldn’t be an underachievement. UK should have easily won 6 games and this goes back on Joker. Everyone keeps talking about how great of a recruiting class Joker gets but last year it couldn’t make rivals top 50. This is the result of bad coaching+recruiting 0-3* kids with terrible offer’s= bad team. We have been lucky the last few year’s and some of the 0-3* kids turned out to be good football players. Well this group of 0-3* kids are playing like 0-3* kids and we suck.



  24. UK FAN
    10:45 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    #23 —OVER ACHIEVEMENT



  25. Don
    10:58 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    #4 I agree! Start basketball now. Anyone who thinks UK will ever have a good football team also thinks the Clippers will win an NBA championship and the Bengals a Superbowl.



  26. john4uk
    11:06 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    The only thing we fans can base the future of this current team on is their performance to date,and we all know it has been horrid.Looking ahead,it’s realistically hard to imagine things will improve as the competition gets better each week.
    Big question,can this staff make chicken salad out of chicken shit? I doubt it.



  27. Lou eaton
    11:26 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    This sorry situation (thanks to coach in waiting) isn’t about spending more money but more about coaching which is sadly lacking. “creative” will be winning one more game this year and that will be a challenge!



  28. KING REX #3
    11:35 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    UK football + Toejam = Canker Sour!!!! Until we hire a Calipari type for football…we will be a zit on the SEC’s ass!!!



  29. DollyPartonsTaTa's
    11:45 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    22)…Gee Carl! Why the personal attack? I would think a man ur innate brilliance and obviously a member of high esteem in MENSA would be able to see through my tongue in cheek “Slam” at the total ineptitude of the UK coaching staff! To say this team is ill prepared would be a fail of epic proportions! Perhaps if you’d prefer we could debate String Theory Physics, Black Hole Thermodynamics, or Quantum Chromodynamics. I’m certain you sir are on Susskind and Hawkings christmas card list! Tell your friends at JPL I said hello and if you have a moment I’d love to get you thoughts on the Hadron Collider and it’s relevance to Quarks, Gluons and the unaccountable remaining mass? Thank you in advance! 🙂



  30. brad
    11:46 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    One of the most disheartening things about Joker this year is his apparent lack of concern on the sideline. I know he said that “he cares more than anybody”, but Papaw Brooks ACTED like he cared. When his line was giving up sacks on every down, he got in their faces and let them know about it. When his QB was throwing stupid picks, he got cursed out on the sideline. Rolling over when your team needs a kick in the ass doesn’t make you a “player’s coach”…it makes you weak.

    Oh yeah, and that dumb QB run for negative yards EVERY 1ST DOWN agains U of L is really disheartening too. It may not be “grown up” as Buzz Baker pointed out, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Rnady Sanders pack his bags. That playcalling was atrocious. Go no huddle all next week and see if the offense can move the football.



  31. STEVE!
    11:54 am September 20, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t think UT is down far enough for us to break the streak. We’re 111th in the country in Total Offense after playing arguably the worst three teams on our schedule. Ten SEC teams received votes in this week’s AP Poll. (Sorry, Coach, we weren’t one of them.) Where will be after going through that meat grinder?



  32. john
    12:03 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    BTI- Your delusional about our chances against Tennessee. They may be down by their standards, the problem is, we are down BIG TIME by our own standards. Tennessee will destroy Kentucky this year.



  33. Newton's bruised backside
    1:19 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t recall a deep pass of 25 yards or more either probably because the receivers did not have time to run 25 yards down the field before newton got hit. Kinda hard to chuck it deep when there is no time to throw.



  34. Kyle
    1:29 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    A win over UT is the only thing that can save this season. If we make a bowl, it’ll be another crappy bowl that nobody will care about. And when it is played pre-Christmas, most UK fans (including me) will be thinking about our undefeated and No. 1-ranked basketball team and not an average football team.

    Had we beat UofL, our arch rival, we would be okay (even though we are not very good).



  35. Aint No Joker
    2:18 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Our O-Line is the biggest problem from what I saw. They were supposed to be our biggest strength, and they’ve turned into one of the biggest weaknesses. The biggest weakness being horrid play calling. You have to be able to see when something’s not working and adjust accordingly. Running Josh Clemons on third and goal on that first drive was completely stupid. Poor kid was breathing so hard he looked like he should be on the sideline, not running a dive up the middle. Randy or Joker one needs to see that change is a good thing. Switch to the spread while we have Newton, he’s way better in the shotgun, and at least he’s got time to throw then. Well, sometimes anyway…..



  36. TeeMartinsBlackAss
    2:39 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Who decided in the first place to hire joker. He got demoted and promoted at the same time. Oh you’re not going to call plays anymore because you suck, but you can be the assistant head coach in charge of the offense, until Brooks leaves so you can be a really shitty coach. Not even a cool black guy, he is vanilla boring going nowhere cant build a program not worth a shit. For the record Vandy is good, miss st. is NOT a should win, and there is no way UK is going to be within 4 tds of UT. Fire Joker or fan support will go out the window fast, hire an up and comer. Write a blank check to Mark Stoops.



  37. ribin
    2:41 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Spread it out -no huddle – toss it around, make the defense cover the entire field — that will make it somewhat easier for the offensive line — make the defense work —



  38. ribin
    2:42 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Spread it out -no huddle – toss it around, make the defense cover the entire field — that will make it somewhat easier for the offensive line — make the defense work — if we lose, at least we’ll have something to cheer about – be excited about.



  39. gobgblu37
    2:46 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    You must not have been around after the Ohio U loss in I think Brooks second year. Talk about the wanting to eat your own, the fan base was totally up in arms! GBB!!!



  40. SweetTeaMob til I DIE
    3:10 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    Throw the ball to E.J. Fields.



  41. 34
    5:37 pm September 20, 2011 Permalink

    The first play from scrimmage was a pass longer than 25 yards. The reciever dropped after it hit him in the hands.