I’ve been lucky enough to co-host Sportstalk84 with Lachlan McLean a few times over the last couple months, and when we talk about UK football, I am amazed at the amount of people who say they have no expectations coming into this season. Many argue because Mark Stoops was left such a mess, and it takes coaches more than a year to get things going, and the recruiting class next year is so good, that they really have no goals or expectations for this season. I heard 1 guy say the team could go 0-12 and he would give it a pass. I call crap on that. I don’t care how bad you might think the team is or how much leeway you are willing to give a 1st year coach, you still have to expect certain things from a team. So, below I give you some of my expectations that if they are not met, will make me an unhappy fan.
1. COMPETE EVERY GAME
-You could argue last season, that team did not even attempt to compete against Florida, Arkansas, or Vanderbilt. The Arkansas and Vanderbilt loses were the lamest excuses for effort I can remember out of a Kentucky team, and that rests directly onto Joker Phillips. I am not as concerned about the losses as much as I am about the effort. Because frankly, there will be losses this season. Last year’s team gave up once they came. Will Mark Stoops be able to continue to motivate after several losses.
2. WIN AN SEC GAME
-I don’t care how bad you think this team is, or how bad you thought last year’s team was, you CAN NOT go 0-8 in the SEC. You have more than winnable games this season against Missouri and Tennessee, and potential wins against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. If you can not find it to win just one of those games, I consider the season a disappointment.
3. SCORE 20 POINTS PER GAME
-You have a stable of good QB’s to choose from, a decent core of running backs, and an unproven group of wide receivers. Nobody thinks you should be the Green Bay Packers, but 20 points per game is not unreasonable, especially considering you bring in a great offensive mind like Neal Brown. I want to see creativity, or certainly more than under Joker, and I want to see more points on the board. The last 2 seasons UK averaged 17.9 and 15.8 ppg. That can not happen under a new staff with a more pass happy offense.
4. NO LOSSES OVER 35 POINTS
-I get Alabama is on the schedule and Georgia is on the road. But arguing an SEC should not lose any game by more than FIVE TOUCHDOWNS is not a ridiculous expectation. But despite that, Kentucky has lost five games, all SEC contests, by more than 35 points in the last 2 years. That’s pathetic. That shows a complete lack of execution, effort, game planning, and passion. I expect better from this team.
So, what are your expectations and are mine too severe?