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The SEC Recruiting Pitch

Why send players to the NFL when we can bring the NFL to them? In the annual reminder of Kentucky’s futility in the SEC that is the NFL Draft, Wildcat football fans are afforded the opportunity to relive the season – usually in the form of highlight reel plays against them. It’s hard to see a player selected from the SEC whose highlight reel doesn’t include a few spectacular plays against Kentucky to be broken down by draft analysts in front of a nationwide audience and it’s hard to see a player taken in the draft who isn’t from the SEC. Once again, the Southeastern Conference leads all conferences in draft choices through the first three rounds with 16 players. Alabama accounts for five of those players alone and are one of seven SEC teams to have a player chosen thus far. The ones without? Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and our Cats.

I don’t know if there is a precedent for this in any sport, but the SEC’s current domination of all things college football is almost comical at this point. The last six BCS champions, a constant parade of top talent to the NFL and a reputation for strong and fast play has set the league apart from all competitors. Now with the four team playoff likely to come into effect, we could see a new level of domination. I couldn’t imagine any less than two SEC teams making it to the top four in the foreseeable future. Alabama – LSU could become an annual thing. It’s scary to consider.

While the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M means that there are two more football programs better than UK now in the SEC, it also means that we might be able to avoid the Alabama’s and LSU’s on a more regular basis. At this point, without MASSIVE overhauls and a lot of time, it doesn’t seem plausible that UK could become a top team in the SEC. I love UK football and want to see the team do well but seeing the kind of talent showcase the SEC puts on during the draft is so disheartening. I wish there was a surefire answer for how we can turn it around, but coaching changes, recruiting steals and the like all seem irrelevant when compared to the juggernauts of the league.

The ceiling for this team may be what we saw with Andre Woodson and company and honestly, I’m fine with that. Those teams were a lot of fun. The Louisville game, the LSU game and the first Music City Bowl were some of my best memories associated with Kentucky football. Let’s get back there through some real honest recruiting. Say it with me, Joker: ‘I can’t promise you’ll be the best, but you’ll certainly get to see the best. Welcome to the SEC.’


Article written by Matthew Hays

35 Comments for The SEC Recruiting Pitch

  1. Bigbluecalizone
    1:11 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Our defense has created more offensive highlights than the 92 dream team.

  2. JohnBlinkylightGuy
    1:11 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Go SEC!

  3. UpperSectionStudent
    1:25 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    “I can’t promise that you’ll see asses in the seats at Commonwealth, or that you’ll get drafted, hell, I can’t even say that you’ll win 15 games in your 4 years here, granted you don’t transfer, but I can promise you’ll get to play against greats like Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Tim Tebow.” -Joker to recruits.

  4. ukblue22
    1:31 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Without an elite coach the Wildcats will be relegated to being a bottom tier team in the SEC. This coach is so busy trying to be tricky in critical game situations he forgets about the players that got him to that critical juncture of the games. At UGA,UF, Bama or LSU, Trevathon and Guy would already be wearing their NFL teams jersey and hat. I would not send my son to Joker because he will not develop him to advance to the next level.

  5. SCCat
    1:37 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    There are a dozen ways for the football team to get better, and Joker has an uphill road if he can make it through this season with his job.

    Towles is a starting point – big in state recruit to run the team. (I know, not this year)
    A diamond in the rough that we don’t know yet is the second part – one of these unheralded 2/3/4 stars has to turn into Stevie, or Randall…i’m looking at you JOsh Clemons
    New playmakers on D – we have a couple guys but they have to step into big shoes to follow Travathan’s motor
    A gimmick – this is where i worry about the coaching staff. Last year we talked about Minter’s “blitzing”, but i didn’t see us do much more man coverage and try like hell to get to the QB. And we were the farthest thing from interesting on O. To win without supreme talent, you have to act like Houston Nutt and pretend it’s always 4th down and 10.

    I will watch every game this year with high enthusiasm – it’s what i do to support the Cats. There could be some cool Saturdays, and there will certainly be some excruciatingly long ones.

  6. SadBlue
    1:40 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    We go from Rich Brooks to Joker. Why?

  7. buzzard
    1:58 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    We could beat Duke in football….so suck on that all you negative non-fans. Go Big Blue! Give ’em hell Joker!

  8. CajunBBN
    2:06 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    The truth is that the biggest problem Joker faces is the prep atmosphere in the state of KY. It’s difficult enough to recruit against the other SEC teams, but when your own state doesn’t provide any top recruits that makes it very difficult. Even if you dominate the state your getting 2 or 3 star athletes. This is the reason that KY, NC, etc… are not very good football states, the best athletes all play other sports. That’s also the reason that over the past 10 years you’re seeing the opposite happen in Louisiana, ALL the best athletes have gotten away from basketball to play football.

  9. WKY Dude
    2:11 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    LOL, just read this post and while doing so, they showed Malik Jackson (TN). First highlight? The KY game.

  10. Mudcreekmark
    2:14 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    4) There is a reason these schools didn’t sign Trevathon and Guy, they weren’t good enough. If either would have gone to Alabama, Georgia, LSU or any other big time program, they may have never gotten a chance to start a game. If they are good enough pro prospects, they would have already been drafted. Fact is, because they went to UK they got to get in there and run their numbers up because they were on the field 65% of the game.Tim Couch played at UK and was the number one pick. You cannot tell me that the only reason the these two haven’t been drafted is because they played at UK.

  11. Manbearpig
    2:16 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    #7 The Little Sisters of the Poor could beat Duke football….hell we could get a KSR who’s who of commenters and probably beat them, with Sexin at QB, and Azubuike’s Bicep at WR, and Ridge Runner on the D-line

  12. Slonedogg
    2:19 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    The answer just got fired. Bobby Petrino.

  13. Ghostofbearbryant
    2:25 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    8) explain how UL and UC get better talent than Uk??? Face it, the school does not support winning football and anyone who buys a ticket is a chump.

  14. CajunBBN
    2:33 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    13)Do they have better talent or just play in a vastly inferior league?? Come on!

  15. barn
    2:39 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    damn, it’s rainy and cold here, and now this post about UK fball only makes it gloomier.

  16. Sammydog
    2:52 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    They play in a vastly inferior league, don’t get beat up week after week by superior players on teams that are 4 deep at vital positions. Kentucky could compete in the BE or the ACC. Even tho they have been posted numerous times on this board and others and columns have been in the paper about how UK has little control over facilities funding in football and the private donors flock to basketball, our fans either can’t read or don’t want to be fully informed. They prefer to stick to their beliefs that UK doesn’t care, we should hire a big name coach, or catch lightening in a bottle with a hot coach. The later, Mumme, left us on probation and we have been turned down by numerous high profile coaches in the past. UK’s best bet is a coach who loves UK as much as Joker and will stick it out. A hot young coach would stay at UK until an Alabama or LSU come calling.

  17. Ridge Runner
    2:55 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    1) I had to chuckle at that. Then, I sobbed.

  18. CajunBBN
    3:01 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Sammydog,LSU just hired Johnnie Jones from UNT to be the Basketball coach. Not a big name at all but bleeds purple and gold. The ‘big name’ coaches in football aren’t coming to UK, the big names in basketball aren’t coming to LSU. That’s just the way it is! I agree Joker loves the school and that means a lot to everyone, especially the parents of the kids he recruits.

  19. buzzard
    3:08 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    #11… and UK could beat Little Sisters of the Poor….bring ’em on
    Go Big Blue!

  20. ononuk
    3:14 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Maxwell Smith will pick it up this year. This years team will be better than a lot of the BBN expect. I saw a lot of positives at the blue/white game.

  21. nolablue
    3:24 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    What we need is a coach with a Shabazz Muhammed attitude; not to “return” us to glory, but to
    come to Kentucky, and say for the long run until it’s right. Someone who loves Kentucky.
    Someone who won’t be lured away by money, for love of the school. I vote Steve Zahn.

  22. CajunBBN
    3:38 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    I really thought with 3 picks in the 5th round, and needing a safety, that the Bengals might give Winston Guy a shot!! But alas, through 5 rounds UK is the only SEC team not on the board. And that includes the new additions for 12-13 season.

  23. Mike
    3:53 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    You almost have to feel a little sorry for Joker, but I am not going to go there.He is in so far over his head that he should be looking up. He looks very happy and content…quite unlike someone trying to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. He is the Captain of the weakest link in all of UK athletics and am not sure that he has a clue.

  24. To#18
    4:02 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    #18 You are wrong. Lexington offers a unique opportunity to get the high profile football coach. We almost had Bill Parcels before the Dallas job opened up. It was right before we hired Brooks. Parcels loved horses.

  25. CajunBBN
    4:07 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    #24, Drink some more of the Lexington Kool-Aid! I love the town, would love to be raising my family there, but almost having a coach and luring one to actually come is a different story. It’s not a big time football environment, not just UK but the state as a whole!

  26. CajunBBN
    4:08 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Winston to Seattle! Glad he get’s a chance.

  27. BigBlue
    4:30 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    UK CAN have a good football time and compete in the SEC..and with some break out years..but it WILL NOT be with Joker and co. at the helm.
    If they can get a PROVEN in proven to be successful in one of the top four conferences, along with a PROVEN staff…it can happen. But to think we can compete in the SEC with the level of coaching staff we have now is ludicrous.

  28. CajunBBN
    4:34 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    You get a proven coordinator from one of the top SEC schools that is experienced in recruiting the south. That is where you start! A proven head coach IS NOT COMING!

  29. BigBlue
    4:40 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sure if UK decided they wanted to invest in a winning football program and pay accordingly, they could get a proven head coach. A top coordinator would be great as well of course. The problem is UK does not seem to care about having a winning football program. They expect the fans to support a program that has no chance of being decent.

  30. CajunBBN
    4:43 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    To get an experienced HC they would need to spend about 1.5-2 million more than they are with Joker. A good OC or DC you’er looking at 3-500,000, with built in incentives of course.

  31. CajunBBN
    5:24 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    The other side of this is that it’s hard to spend that kind of money on a team that is 11th in the SEC in football attendance of the future 14 SEC schools. But all of them spend more money (I’m not sure about Vandy honestly) on there football staff than UK! So maybe you’re right, but what comes first is the question I guess. The fan support or the money to hope you get a better product and the fans come?

  32. UK Homer
    8:37 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Who thinks we’d have 8-9 win seasons and 8-9 draft picks if we simply played in the Big East?

  33. MtnCat
    9:08 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    SEC football is beyond UK, too many economic and cultural issues. Once in a blue moon we might knock off a contender, that is what UK is selling.

  34. STEVE!
    9:11 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    There’s no reason to think we will ever be in the top 6 of the SEC, but why can’t we hope to be in the 7-8-9 range, instead of 12-13-14 every year? That would be 4-4 in the SEC. A coach that could do that would probably be as popular as Cal.

  35. BNClay
    10:17 pm April 28, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky is a basketball school. No top football coach is going to come to Kentucky and play second fiddle to round ball. Out of all of the top NCAA Bball schools I can’t think of any that have did much in football. Kentucky, UNC, Duke, Kansas, Indiana, UConn. None very good at football. I think UNC might have made some mid level bowls a few times, but that is about it. OSU and Florida have had good teams in both sports, but both of those are really football schools, that care more about spring football practice than NCAA final four. Point is not much hope of UK doing anything in the SEC as it is now. Maybe when all this conference switching is finished there will be SEC(A) with LSU, Bama, Florida, Auburn… all the real power houses, and then SEC(B)UK, Ole Miss, Vandy.. teams that are atleast closer talent wise.