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We’re doing it like Wisconsin

When you’re the University of Kentucky football program, it’s not easy to recruit with the other schools in the SEC. It’s not easy at all. That’s why Joker Phillips uses a unique tactic to try to keep up with the perennial powerhouses in the south: “We’re doing what we did at Minnesota.” (He was an assistant there.) “We’re following Wisconsin’s model of recruiting lean athletes and developing them.”

I get the recruiting model; it brought guys like Wesley Woodyard, Danny Trevathan and Randall Cobb to Kentucky. But I don’t know if calling it “Wisconsin’s model” really sells it to those outside the program. Wisconsin had the 63rd best recruiting class in 2012.

Maybe call it “Kentucky’s recruiting model” that put guys with very few college offers in the NFL.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

32 Comments for We’re doing it like Wisconsin

  1. The ghost of John Ray
    1:43 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Did he really say that? Pretty much sums it up – first team I think of when it comes to succesful football programs is Wisconsin!! Gawd, and people on this site want to know why UK football keeps getting bashed. Only 81 days to BBM.

  2. Love Doctor
    1:43 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    The point you’re missing about Wisconsins reruiting ranking is that they’ve always recruited in that ranking area and have yet been very competitive in a league where OSU and Michigan are always in the top five or so in recruting rankings with PSU, MSU etc always in the top 25 as well.

  3. Marvin
    1:44 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Harder than it sounds. Few fellas in Wisconsin are what you could consider “lean”.

  4. Quedorious R. Pugwhipple
    2:00 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Yep, I’m really excited to be the Wisconsin of the SEC….Can this program do anything right? We’re doing what Minnesota is doing? What the hell has Minnesota ever done that people are just breathlessly trying to emulate? Please, for the sake of the program, just leave the SEC meeting now & swear an impostor was there…claim it really wasn’t Joker, just some random guy that walked in off the street. What a disaster & the season hasn’t even started…..just kill me now.

  5. badgerstyle
    2:01 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Wisconsin closed their borders and got the in state kids to play for them first and foremost. The way joker is steering this ship we are not even the best program in the state so good luck with that. I loved spurriers speech yesterday. He actually berated SC fans for cheering the team after they lost a close game to Georgia. Now the fans at that program expect to actually win SEC games and get pissed when they lose. And that is how Spurrier likes it. Until we get a coach with that mentality we are screwed. Here if we get upset about a brutal performance like the Vandy game you are not “true blue”…

  6. JBR
    2:01 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    But what Joker forgot is after they get here, then you actually have to develop them…something Brooks could do well…and something Joker has no clue about. So, we have a bunch of lean, undeveloped guys. And while we can count a few guys whose names are repeated every time this is brought up…Wisconsin is a solid program. I’d take their record and their bowls every year.

  7. Judge Smails
    2:03 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s follw a new model called the “successful model” the one where you win football games and go to BCS bowls. You know, the model that the other sec programs use other than the gar of the league. First step, you fire Joker Phillips– a worthless do-nothing that couldn’t win a khsaa title. Second, you fire the rest of his pathetic staff that belongs at O’Shea Chevrolet selling Silverados. Third, you hire a guy that knows what he’s doing. Fourth, you give this new coach carte blanche. Fifth, you watch as your program starts winning.

  8. Common Sense
    2:05 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Wisconsin had a Heisman candidate last season and are consistently ranked. I guess that’s not successful football. Man I guess we need to go for it all and ask Bama, USC, OSU, etc. how they do it. Why don’t we just go for gold and ask the Cowboys or 49ers how they did it in their glory days. If a team is getting the 63rd best recruiting class and is ranked every season, I would be glad to follow that model. You sound like a fool.

  9. Andrew Johnson
    2:08 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    5. Is absolutely correct, especially about the fans who think a performance like last year’s Vandy game should be able to escape complete ridicule. The definitionof “true blue” is watered down by sites like this, who constantly fight the inevitably unvarnished awareness of the classic cat fan in order to please outsiders in the mainstream.

  10. FloydsScissors
    2:09 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    I would recruit that Wisconsin girl’s lean body anytime!

  11. hahaha
    2:11 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry Joker, but the closest you are gonna get to Wisconsin Football, is buying a beach house next to their coach.

    Not only is Joker a bad football coach, poor talent evaluator, poor in player development – he is absolutely clueless. Our program will NEVER look anything like Wisconsin.

  12. Common Sense
    2:13 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    You sound like you have more issues than just this football team. You need to go see a doctor? You better get there before I make your mind explode by saying Joker deserves 4 years.
    Joker can’t develope? How many classes has he had to develope? You think Brooks was the ONLY guy involved in developing his players while Joker was OC? You must blame the President for high gas prices too?
    First step is you give Joker time to build a program. Second, his staff is damn good. Third, what is Joker doing wrong? What else do you want from the guy? Fourth, you want a new coach? Well if we get a new coach then THIS SAME PROCESS STARTS OVER IN 3 YEARS because idiots like you think this is a damn NFL team that can be turned around in a season.

  13. Common Sense
    2:16 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    “Joker a bad football coach” -Where did he prove this to be true?
    “poor talent evaluator” -You must of been one of the thousands of fans that refused to watch a game after the UofL loss. Did you watch the end of the season?
    “poor in player development” -hahahahahaha, probably the dumbest statement all night. Who did he not develope correctly?
    “clueless” -I think you are clueless sir.

  14. The ghost of John Ray
    2:21 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    8 Yep, one or two years is great tradition. Wisconsin’s all-time Big 10 record: 329-360
    All-time bowl record: 12-13
    Perfect program to emulate!

  15. Yankee Doodle
    2:26 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    12. Time to build a program? that’s what the whole coach in waiting system was designed to avoid. He was supposed to seamlessly take over and pick up where Broks Left off. He shouldn’t need any time. His staff is excellent? then why on earth are they at Kentucky, why on earth are they not developing better players, why on earth are they not attracting better players, why on earth do fans have zero confidence in them? What is Joker doing wrong? Did you watch last season.. did you watch the embarrassment that was WKU, Louisville, South Carolina, Vandy, Florida, LSU.. he started Morgan Newton for goodness sake.

  16. mores
    2:27 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Drew- “But I don’t know if calling it “Wisconsin’s model” really sells it to those outside the program.”

    Who said Joker was pitching the recruits that way? He almost assuredly doesn’t. You think Saban sells his prospects on the fact that 1/3 will transfer or kicked off and be given a medical redshirt? Of course not. Joker sells the high points, like every other coach that has always been and will always be. How stupid do you think he is?

    The Wisconsin model is not a bad idea for choosing how to build a program…if he can pull it off.

    #7- “Let’s follw a new model called the “successful model” the one where you win football games and go to BCS bowls. You know, the model that the other sec programs use other than the gar of the league.”

    How instructive? Gee, why didn’t anyone else think of that? This is the KSR commenter equivalent of the drunk moron at football games yelling “CATCH THE BALL” and “TACKLE THE PLAYER YA DUMMY,” only dumber because it provides even less meaningful instruction.

    Every program needs a level of specificity and identity in the recruits it targets. Joker selected a model that, on balance, actually seems pretty good. Can he execute on it? So far no, and if I were to guess, I don’t think he’ll succeed in it because I don’t think he’ll be back next year. But that doesn’t mean the model is flawed.

  17. BillDozer
    2:34 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    John Ray…you’re an idiot along with your other Wisconsin bashing buddies. You are really trying to bash Wisconsin’s program??? You like an uneducated ass.

    We aren’t Michigan, USC, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, etc. and we will never be them. Wisconsin seems to fit the mold as a program like us when it comes to recruiting.

    BTW…you liked to conveniently mention the stats to support your argument. Try this one for me and tell me if you would like this model at UK…

    In the past 20 season Wisconsin has:

    – won 68% of its games (177 wins)
    – been to 17 bowl games
    – 5 BCS bowl games
    – 11 New Years Day bowl games total
    – been ranked in the top 25 11 of those 20 seasons
    – ranked in the top 10 6 of those 11 seasons
    – won 5 conference championships

    …..your move….

  18. Carl
    2:35 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll follow the Wisconsin model too. Where’s she going?

  19. BillDozer
    2:36 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Now..what you probably have a good argument on is our coaching compared to theirs…Alvarez and Bielema are better than what we had/have.

  20. Judge Smails
    2:38 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    16. “if I were to guess, I don’t think he’ll succeed in it because I don’t think he’ll be back next year. But that doesn’t mean the model is flawed.” Way to go out on a limb there. At least I laid out a formula to implement my “drunk moron” plan. I didn’t hear a suggestion from you on how the Joker can pull the Wisconsin model off. Sure it take more than “selling the high points” and redshirting 1/3 of the class. And to answer your question, Joker is extremely stupid.

  21. Chicago Chris
    2:46 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    State by state obesity levels, 2011:

    6. Kentucky (31.5%)
    25. Wisconsin (27.4%)

    Sorry, but you can make fun of: 1. Mississippi (34.4%), 2. Alabama (32.3%), 3. West Virginia (32.2%), 4. Tennessee (31.9%) and 5. Louisiana (31.6%)

  22. Dumbledore
    2:53 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Wisconsin girls are gorgeous. But the chick is the picture is a tramp.

  23. Common Sense
    2:59 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker was an OC basically his whole career, give him a couple years to learn how to be a HC. And yes I watched every second of those games and I stayed until the clock hit 0 at every home game. Let me ask you. Did you see Randall Cobb leave for the NFL? Did you see Darryl Collins and Josh Clemons blow their ACL’s? Did you see players like Raymond Sanders, Morgan Newton, and Max Smith remain <100% for the majority of the season? What did you really expect from that offense when ALL the playmakers were unavailable? BTW, UofL was an embarassment (granted it is UofL)? We lost by 1 TD and were 10 yards away from tying up the ball game (yet half the stadium had left before then). And don't act like you wouldn't have started Newton to begin the season, because that would be a LIE!!!!!!

  24. alskdjfhg
    3:02 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    You people are freaking clueless morons. We literally have the dumbest football fans in the country.

  25. Devastation INC
    3:10 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    This is what I have been saying all along. Every other chic pic from other schools are hotter than any we post for uk. Drew please have a contest for UK hot chic pics and lets see if they exist. I know there are some out there somewhere, but I have not seen any in years!

  26. yall funny
    3:46 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Common Sense – Is that you Joker? I love how much you talk up Joker. Let’s not blame Joker for the POOR job that has been done the last 2 years. Let’s blame the fans. Why does Joker need time to get things right? Weren’t things pretty good under Brooks? We were comming off 4 straight bowl games when Joker took over.

    Name one player that Joker has coached up. I’ll name 2 players that fall under ‘poor talent evaluator’ and ‘poor development’ – Moss and Newton. There is NO excuse for 2 highly rated QBs to come here and 1 has transfered and the other is an upper classman that doesn’t know if he’s gonna be 2nd or 3rd string yet.

    How many years do you think Joker needs to have to be the ‘success’ you think he can become? Honest? And what kind of sustained record can we expect – 8-4, 9-3, 7-5?

    PS, you are as clueless as Joker.

  27. Kenny H
    4:32 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    She needs a tan.

  28. Common Sense
    4:42 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    It depends on what you claim Joker should have coached up. If you want to throw players like Mossakowski and Newton in there, then you have to throw players like Danny Trevathan, Winston Guy, and La’Rod King in there, possibly even Hartline, Cobb, or Locke. Or do you consider those Brooks’ players? Well if thats the case, then we can only consider last years freshmen as Joker’s players and how much time have you had to evaluate them?
    And I don’t think Joker has done a poor job. What do you expect from an team the esscentially lost its entire offense throughout the season?
    Were you also one of those people yelling to “Ditch Rich” during his 3rd season? How stupid does that look now.
    All I’m saying is give Joker time to prove he’s not the right guy for the job (if he’s not the right guy).

  29. CatGrad7072
    5:29 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker has, in two years, proven he is not the right guy for the job.
    In any major corporation, two years of Joker-like performance evaluations (read ‘two losing seasons’) would get you fired.
    If Joker goes 4-8 this year and still has a job, Mitch should be the one on the street.

  30. Common Sense
    5:49 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    You are comparing a college football job to a major corporation? Really? Thats like comparing that job to an NFL HC job. A job where you recruit players vs. a job where you buy players. Sounds similar to me.
    Joker deserves to stay after this year regardless of outcome. I hope Mitch stays for a long time as he is one hell of an AD. If you disagree then you are utterly blind to the facts and reality.

  31. uhhhh
    5:59 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Common – You did NOT answer my question. How many years does Joker get? How many years till he gets his players and and UK’s success or failure is ON HIM? And for bonus points, answer my question about what level of continued success you foresee from Joker (just so we know it when we see it) – continued 7-5, 8-4, or 9-3 seasons???

  32. Common Sense
    11:34 pm July 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker deserves at least 4 years, if in 2 years we go 4-8 or worse then can him. I do believe Joker can consistently get us to 6-6 each year, good years being better than that and the best we will be is 9-3.
    If it counts for anything, I talked to Jared Lorenzen on monday (I kid you not, he let me hold his super bowl ring!) and one thing I remember him saying to me is “this team will be damn good in 2 years” and I completely agree. Now let Joker prove he is worthy.