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If Kentucky football is the new Oregon, do Commonwealth/Nutter need to look like this?


The Oregon Ducks have been sort of the model for Kentucky’s surging football program, which has seen arguably its best offseason ever.  The increased emphasis on recruiting, together with the exciting and enthusiastic coaching staff, have garnered a lot of attention in just a few months.  But in the same way that Oregon has “no reason” to be successful (small city, little in-state talent, scarce tradition, etc.), Kentucky has an uphill battle in becoming a contender in the SEC.  The one thing that Oregon has in abundance, though, is flair And with the Wildcats embracing black (and possibly gray) jerseys and new matte helmets in the years to come, there’s no reason that Kentucky couldn’t do what Oregon has already done, provided they’re willing to embrace what they are, and what they can do.  They’ve got to be new, exciting, and different.  Oh, and they might have to have this:


The Ducks have released video and images of their new football facility, and my official opinion is, “What the crap.”  It’s seriously unreal.  Check out the full video, and try not to get Oregon-green with envy.

We already know that we can do something like this for basketball.  The Craft Center is the “gold standard” for hoops conditioning, and Rupp has lavish locker rooms and ample amenities.  But that’s basketball, and this is Kentucky.  Of course we have a ridiculous facility.  The question now is, if we want to have a football program like Oregon, which went to a national championship game just a few years ago, do we have to put the cart before the horse?  Is this a Field of Dreams situation, where if we build it, the recruits will come?  With the funding for New Rupp already hotly debated, how can the University afford an upgrade of this magnitude?

There are a lot of questions, and maybe a little jealousy (we know Alabama has to have ridiculous stuff, but Oregon, too; it’s not fair), but if UK football strives to be successful, we can’t do it the same way that traditional powerhouses do.  We can’t be Alabama or Ohio State.  We have to be different, new, and innovative.  Maybe we do that by modeling Oregon, or maybe Stoops and Co. will find their own way.  Whatever the case, we can still look at the pictures and drool.

Ultimately, an Oregon guy said it best: “It’s not Alabama, or LSU, or Texas. The purpose of this is to sell the future.”

Can we sell this future, too?  Pretty please?

Article written by Corey Nichols

17 Comments for If Kentucky football is the new Oregon, do Commonwealth/Nutter need to look like this?

  1. jaxcats8503
    6:05 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    We can’t be Oregon because we don’t have a billionaire willing to invest that kind of money in our football program. The Phil Knight caveat should’ve been mentioned in your post.

  2. classof68
    6:08 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Amen, No. 1.

  3. SoCal Will
    6:23 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Still, it is nice to see a humble hard working state and its flagship university reach for the stars….

  4. jpgott2
    6:24 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Supposedly that only cost them $68 million….That is a work of art!

  5. UKSupporter76
    6:25 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    The one thing Oregon has in abundance is Phil Knight.

  6. Oregon State
    6:57 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Hey Phil, what about us? Show the Beaver(s) some love too!

  7. Blue To The Bone..
    6:57 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    1-5…Phil Knight is it…The $68 million he probably wrote a ck for… our entire booster support combined for athletics , especially for fb, probably doesn’t have the money Knight has..

  8. Kelkat
    7:05 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    That is pretty awesome…and unfortunately…UK is a lonnngggg way from ever having that…

  9. paintsville'sdairyqueen
    7:18 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Anybody else see that little shout out to Rich Brooks?

  10. Tosis
    7:33 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    9 – Yeah I did, and I’m surprised no one else mentioned it or it wasn’t in the post.

  11. Knows better
    7:44 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    #1 don’t be so sure about that.

  12. Blue To The Bone...
    7:55 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    11…I agree with #1 in the facilities are when dealing with Oregon..PK probably paid for most, or all, of that facility and we just don’t have anybody or a group of boosters who could or would do that..

  13. aja
    9:30 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    we got joe craft

  14. acd
    11:04 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Just for comparisons sake, Joe Craft donated $6 million for the Joe Craft Center and reportedly $2 million for the Rupp Arena locker room renovation. Phil Knight has donated an estimated $300 million to the University of Oregon, $105 million to Stanford’s business school and $100 million to Oregon Health & Sciences University, among other things.

    I think we all appreciate what Joe Craft has done, but Phil Knight is a completely different story.

    12:50 am August 1, 2013 Permalink

    #14- You took the words out of my mouth. Knight is on a different level from EVERYONE! Not just Craft but every other bigtime booster that most BCS schools have to donate to the school. Most big BCS schools have at least 1 major booster but Phil Knight is in a class by himself. I want that for our basketball program! Can you imagine the recruiting pull that those types of buildings would possess? Man, elite recruits would be lining at the door. The fact is that those type of buildings are a pipe dream to everyone EXCEPT Oregon. Unless Bill Gates starts caring about his alma mater’s sports programs, Oregon is in a class all by itself when it comes to having money for things this absurdly amazing!

  16. Bigkathead
    8:10 am August 1, 2013 Permalink

    We don’t have a snow-balls chance in Hades of replicating Oregon’s success due to 1) the aforementioned Mr. Knight (silly to compare Mr. Craft-only Pickens at OSU is in the same league); and 2) the freakin’ SEC is a beast!! We should look to other similarly situated schools as our standard-the other USC comes to mind (great game day environment, improved facilities)-this comparison was nothing more than a headline about a pipe dream!

  17. Zack
    8:38 am August 1, 2013 Permalink

    Oregon’s facilities and recent success is certainly impressive and enviable, I think we can all agree on that.

    This post however, is rediculous. Saying that Oregon has “no reason” to be successful based on town size, football tradition, in-state talent, et al. is completely irrelevant compared to the Nike/Phil Knight influence on their program and university. (As mentioned at length in the above posts…)

    Kentucky can NEVER match this “flair” because we do not have Phil Knight. What WOULD be interesting is if Kentucky had Kevin Plank – CEO/Founder of Under Armour. (Or if Maryland was an SEC school, but I digress.) Plank is no Knight, but Under Armour is an up-and-coming “it” brand with the youth today. Combine that, Plank’s checkbook, and the SEC selling points and you might just have a “Oregon Southeast” combination.