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Joker gets a different kind of #1 ranking

After a disappointing loss to Louisville on Sunday, Joker Phillips has been given a different type of #1 ranking by Athlon Sports: #1 coach on the hot seat.

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week’s Rank: 2
Record at Kentucky: 11-15 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Losing handily to a rival is enough for Phillips to claim the top spot after Week 1. The Wildcats showed some signs of life on offense, but the defense had no answer for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Kentucky should get into the win column against Kent State this Saturday, but Phillips needs to pickup a few wins in SEC play this year.

For comparison’s sake, Derek Dooley is #16, a thirteen-spot jump in the right direction after his team beat NC State.

Time to start winning…

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

41 Comments for Joker gets a different kind of #1 ranking

  1. Behind Enemy Lines
    3:37 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Can someone clarify the number of years left on Joker’s contract?

  2. Pappy Brooks
    3:38 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    If that isn’t a telling statement, I don’t know what is. You seeing this Mitch?

  3. Hal Mumme
    3:39 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Pick up a few wins in SEC play this year? Ain’t happening…

  4. woody's barber
    3:40 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Can we please put 2 names in the hat? Petrino and Jim Tressel. Petrino would be the most obvious choice but Tressel is a proven coach as well. Either coach and the NCAA would put their headquarters on campus.

  5. BBN
    3:42 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch, just get it over with already. EVERYONE knows Joker is NOT the man for this job. Everyone know Joker wasn’t the man for the job when you named him HC. Things are only going to get worse – halfway through the season, you will be lucky to have 10,000 fans in Commonwealth.

    Mitch, do your F’ing job!

  6. Jeremiah Poindexter
    3:43 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    What number will he be ranked of we were to lose to Clark Kent state?

  7. TheDefenseIsBad
    3:54 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    When you are going to start playing true Freshmen on defense you know it is a desperation move.

  8. Powerlifter165
    3:55 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I agree that Joker isn’t the guy, but what proven coach that isn’t somehow tainted would want this job?

    UK doesn’t want to pay SEC football coach money to hire someone.

  9. reality check
    3:57 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Barring us going 0-12, 1-11, or 2-10, no way will Joker not be given at least 1 more season as head coach.

  10. What is going on
    3:57 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Okay… are the facts Mary.
    Athlon Sports, big cool name huh? guy goes to school.
    Article written by Steven Larson… who is he…I will tell you.
    He goes to school at Columbia State Community College in Columbia “TENNESSEE”, I for sure know he loves everything in Kentucky huh?
    Steven is pursuing a degree in Mass Communications and he balances his time going to class, doing homework, running a website, and he also has a part time job.
    Nice article…..what a true shame that you went down this road on Coach Phillips!!!!!

  11. Reply to number 9
    4:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Number 9.. So what your saying is…
    Is we are getting a new coach next year. Cause we win 2 at BEST

  12. Jared1985
    4:10 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    See what great hires Mitch has made. Joker Phillips and Billy Clyde, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to hire Cal. But what do you expect from a Tennessee Alum

    Joker should be fired at the end of the season, and Mitch right along with him for keeping him after last year.

  13. Matt in Franklin
    4:13 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    It sure looks like a desperation move playing true freshmen, but in the case of #10 on our “d” a freshman that is not afraid of contact is definitely an upgrade. I will also say if we are desparate enough to hire Petrino (UK wont) I WILL stop watching UK football…when pro football players say he is the sleaziest dude the’ve been around, he must be sleazy to the nth degree! GO CATS!!!

  14. john4uk
    4:30 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    The only number one ranking Joker will ever get.

  15. areyouserious
    4:38 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Most UK football fans truely wish Joker to turn things around, but lets face the facts here.
    1. Team always comes out flat, no fire
    2. Coach’s/team cannot make IN GAME adjustments, you just hear about it on Tuesday after they watch the film.
    3. Players always look lost
    4. Finished LAST in SEC recruiting, again.
    5. Piss poor clock managment, not just in UL game.

    The list can go on and on. Mitch has only two choices, he can extend Jokers contract and lose up to 50% attendance or he can fire him at the end of the season.

  16. UKBlue1!
    4:40 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    There are 3 built in wins, KState,WKu,and Samford. I can see no SEC wins. There will have to be tremendous improvements defensively to upset anyone. Spurrier will put 10 touchdowns on us. IF the offense runs the criss cross patterns there won’t be any receivers by the Samford game. The SEC defenses will kill our receivers.

  17. UKBlue
    4:49 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Joker going to get fired because the fans are demanding it !! If Mitch tries to keep him, fans will totally boycott the program. We need to get the wheels in motion now.

    Petrino isn’t going to be on the list but I would add Tressel, the Bowden boys (I would sign all of them up to be on the coaching staff), go look in the NFL, it probably wouldn’t work but I would at least try pitching Jon Gruden & defiantly talk to Jay Gruden, pretty much any rising star in the world of coaching. Mitch better make a big move or the fans won’t spend their money on season tickets.

  18. Shelbyracecat
    4:49 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    From his first year team to this one we started slowly going down hill. When his first team started scoring less points every week I new that we were in trouble and our defense would at least hit you. When your Ky. Playing in the SEC you can go backwards in a hurry. Going forward is painfully slow and you don’t get far.

  19. UKBlue1!
    4:56 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    #17 and anyone else that thinks Barnhart is putting a list together. You are giving him way to much credit. He didn’t have a list when Tubby left. His whole plan was to hire Billy Donavan and Donavan turned him down because Pitino told him. Then we ended up with Billy Clyde the Drunk from Texas. Barnhart is a idiot, he hired a basketball coach from Texas. Thats like hiring a football coach from Kansas.

  20. Earl Anthony
    4:59 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Joker celebrated the great performance against Louisville by taking the entire team bowling on Monday.

  21. CatGrad7072
    5:05 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    20: That must mean the swimming pool has closed for the season.

  22. BBN
    5:09 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    #20 – You aren’t serious, ARE YOU?

    If that IS true, Joker should be fired right F’n now. This isn’t pee-wee football – its FRIGGIN SEC football.

  23. Bigbluecalizone
    5:17 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    It takes a pretty special coach to win here. Special in the sense that since we don’t get a bounty of top recruits like the SEC Elite get, you have to have a coach who demands sound fundamentals, and the good fortune of having or allowing his players to Over Achieve. Papaw B. was a good example of that. Joker is not that person. I believe the writing is on the wall. A 3 win season(or worse)and it’s over.

  24. Sans Justification
    5:18 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t believe there’s a debate left. Even Joker knows Joker’s gotta go. Let’s get Petrino. The T-Shirt value alone would be priceless. We get a bunch of those “Got Pitino” shirts those morons in loserville printed up, “X” out a couple of letters, insert a few and laugh our asses off. 😉

  25. Beavis
    5:57 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    We hire Petrino and those people in Louisville will be laughing their asses off at us. After all,,,he did not treat the U of L well while he was there. He wins games,,,but not worth the price. Maybe he has turned over a new leaf ??? Yep,,,so has Billy Clyde.

  26. STEVE!
    6:11 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    19 – I agree. I will be nervous as long as we have the current AD to select and hire a football coach.

  27. Alex
    7:00 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Wku is defenaility not a built in win. They will lose that game too. Guarantee it

  28. Hot Seat
    7:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Who is Joker Phillips?

  29. Rick Minter
    7:08 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Blitz? What’s that?

  30. UK Football
    7:11 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Whats a hot seat?

  31. Mitch B.
    7:13 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, what’s a hot seat???

  32. Rich Madky
    7:14 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    This is the only thing to happens when you bring a coach back for another year when you should’ve fired him. Over 10,000 fewer season tickets, incessant bad press all summer, a ridiculous QB controversy at the end of which the staff admits one of the candidates was never physically ready to play in the first place, a blowout loss to UL where their QB is taken out in the 3rd quarter because YOU ARE NO THREAT, and even more incessant bad press like this. It’s all so senseless because YOU SHOULD’VE FIRED HIM LAST YEAR AND AT LEAST THE FIRST 3 THINGS I LISTED NEVER WOULD’VE HAPPENED!!!!!! I swear Mitch Barnhart has committed one of the greatest frauds on the UK fanbase that’s ever been committed.

  33. Bobby Petrino
    7:16 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Hot seat = The back seat of my motorcycle!

  34. Duke Sucks
    7:36 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    David Cutcliff will be our coach next season. We missed on Leach and Patrino is to hot to touch. Catcliff can win at a basketball school,has a high powered off. and already has a history with Barnhart. mark it down he will be the next coach. Surely we are a better job the Duke.

  35. Rich Madky
    8:00 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    34-I would hope not, but let’s be honest, he’d be better than Joker. At least Cutcliffe has won somewhere (Ole Miss) and they’ve unsuccessfully tried to match his success there ever since. As a side note, he has two coaches on his Duke Staff (Kurt Roper & Rick Petri) where were at UK under Brooks. Cutcliffe was 44-29 at Ole Miss and they fired him after his only losing season (and only a season removed from going 10-3). I’m not advocating for him, but like I said, he’s better than Joker.

    Ron Zook is actually better than Joker and I consider him a clown. At least he can recruit.

  36. Mike Leach
    8:23 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I sat by my phone after last season wishing and hoping Mitch Barnhart would call me. I would’ve INCREASED ticket sales by at least 27% and created much excitement among the fan base. I truly feel sorry for all the long suffering UK football fans who must face another horrible season of Joker-ball and are stuck with a mountain climber as athletic director.

  37. Steve Back
    10:18 am September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I keep setting my DVR to record “Americas Biggest Loser” but all I get are Yew Kay Football games!

  38. Steve Back
    10:35 am September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Follow us at Become a fan at the Facebook Page
    Times have changed, and that is why Kentucky cannot afford to keep Joker Phillips.

    The apocryphal tale – which considering the personality of the Baron could be gospel truth – is that Adolph Rupp was so bothered by the immense football successes and popularity of Paul Bryant that he maneuvered behind the scenes to make the Bear flee to then hapless Texas A&M. From that time, UK football fans have taken solace in little, save that they are not Vandy fans and that Louisville is irrelevant.

    Times have changed, and that is why Kentucky cannot afford to keep Joker Phillips. There is excitement around the Commodores football program that has not been felt since Whit Taylor quarterbacked the team to eight wins. Perhaps worse, a very young Louisville Cardinals team is ranked and could play in another BCS Bowl this year. The football future in Louisville looks brighter than the basketball future.

    Unless UK fans are content to play at the bottom of the SEC and become the state’s number two gridiron program – and number two in a small state that plays poor high school football is a lowly position indeed – a change must be made.

    Defenders of Joker Phillips will note that only a handful of Wildcats head coaches have won a higher percentage of their games the first two years than Phillips. But they tend to ignore the fact that no other UK coach inherited a program that had come off four consecutive bowl teams.

    In judging whether a coach should be retained, two things must always be taken into account: the school’s football history and what the previous coach accomplished, especially his final two to four years at the school. Considering UK’s football history, Joker Phillips’ record after two seasons (11-14) would be acceptable; good enough to warrant a fourth season unless the bottom were to fall out this year. But considering the state of the program that Phillips inherited from Rich Brooks – which is the second healthiest it has ever been – 11-14 is a poor record.

    Many years ago, I came to the conclusion that virtually all coaches demonstrate within three years whether they can top or at least equal the accomplishments of their predecessor. If at least one of a coach’s first three seasons at a school is not clearly a good season for that school based on its history the four or five seasons prior to the new coach, the odds are extremely slim that new coach will ever pan out at that school.

    The clock is ticking on Joker Phillips. Getting manhandled by Louisville should signal UK football boosters that unless there is some kind of major turn around miracle this year, they either make the change or resign themselves to expect their Wildcats to sink to what we used to denominate as Vanderbilt status, flailing hopelessly at the bottom of the conference.

    The ghost of Adolph Rupp would prefer that UK be happy with John Calipari’s one and done recruiting empire of basketball dominance, but will the UK athletics department once again settle for the bottom of SEC football as long as its basketball is nationally prominent?

    There is an easy answer should the UK brass choose to compete seriously in football: as soon as this Wildcats team has six losses, announce that Phillips will not be retained and his replacement will be Bobby Petrino.

    Considering Petrino’s history, many schools will pass on him for at least one more year. But UK already has Calipari, and apparently is the antithesis of shamefaced about that. Feeling too righteous to hire Petrino would be the most absurd moral stance in the history of the SEC.

    Football is simply bigger than basketball, and considerably so. That ought to matter even to Kentucky people.

    Derek Dooley seems finally to be turning the corner from the mess he inherited at Tennessee. Georgia keeps reloading under Richt. Florida will not remain down for long. Steve Spurrier has built a program at South Carolina far better than anything the school has ever seen. As noted above, Vandy seems to be on the rise. Missouri is positioned to be competitive in the SEC.

    The longer UK waits to hire a football coach the caliber of Bobby Petrino, the deeper the hole it digs for itself. And now, both Vandy and Louisville fans are laughing down at UK football fans.


  39. bluecoat
    11:03 am September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Joker took the team bowling on Monday and it’s the closest to anything resembling a bowl this team will experience. Wonder if the bowled in full pads?

  40. Chuck
    12:14 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    When is everybody going to quit throwing names like Bobby Petrino out there? He has too much dirty baggage. If UK really wants to improve it’s program and compete in the SEC they need to seriously go after Kirby Smart the defensive coordinator at Alabama. He’s considered one the best in the country, is young and look at that ‘Bama defense!!! Throw some big bucks at him and see what happens.

  41. Jared1985
    12:55 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Here are the best coaching options (IMO)

    Mike Belloti (even though his age could be a factor at 61), Chad Morris (OC at Clemson, Gus Malzahn protege’) Todd Monken (Oklahoma Sate OC and former Nick Saban assistant) Mark Helfrich (Oregon OC and former assistant at Boise State)