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What a difference 3 years can make…

Three years ago, three college football teams in the state of Kentucky were embarking upon new eras. Kentucky, Louisville and Western Kentucky each handed over their programs to new head coaches. Each of the programs took a different path to find their new leader. Kentucky went with the “coach in waiting” label a few years earlier, easing Joker Phillips into the role as Rich Brooks’ right hand man and lead recruiter. The combination of a sense of fluidity in the program, along with the fact that Phillips is a Kentucky boy through and through (raised in Kentucky, played for Kentucky), left many hoping Phillips could keep the ball rolling. Louisville went to one of the best programs in the country (Florida) and hired away one of their top assistants, Charlie Strong– a defensive expert, considered to be one of the potential next big names in the world of college football. And Western Kentucky went with a very young (in fact the youngest coach in NCAA Div. I football), former star WKU player, not saddled with much coaching experience, but full of passion and love for the program.

Three years ago the three programs were in very different places. Kentucky was coming off of the Rich Brooks era, which started off rough but ended with 4 straight bowl appearances. Brooks led Kentucky to 3 straight bowl victories as well. During the last 4 years of Brooks’ tenure with the Wildcats, Kentucky managed to pull off some of the program’s biggest wins over SEC conference foes such as Auburn, Georgia and a #1-ranked LSU. Although Kentucky still hadn’t managed a winning SEC record, the expectation of reaching a bowl at the conclusion of a season had become attainable in the eyes of most fans. Louisville was coming off a very low point, known to some as the “Kragthorpe era.” Louisville had missed on a bowl appearance in each of Kragthorpe’s 3 seasons at the helm. Even worse, the season before Kragthorpe’s arrival, Louisville was coming off of an Orange Bowl victory. Louisville fans were in a downward spiral, as Kragthorpe had been consuming a yearly dosage of Rich Brooks’ a** (sorry for the language, old KSR joke). Western Kentucky’s football program was without question in the worst shape of the three before Taggart’s arrival. Western Kentucky was still in the adjustment stages of transitioning into a full Division I football program. The Hilltoppers were sporting college football’s longest losing streak (26 games).

Three years ago Kentucky was the best team in the state, with fans aching for movement into the middle of the pack in the SEC. And it didn’t feel like such a pipe dream at the time. Three years ago Louisville football was the definition of mediocrity, struggling to make waves in the weakest BCS conference. Western Kentucky was fighting for the title of worst team in Division I college football. The pecking order following the 2009 season in the state of Kentucky was as follows:

1) Kentucky

2) Louisville

3) Western Kentucky

Fast forward 3 years, and everything has changed.

Kentucky football is dangling at a low point. Kentucky missed a bowl last year. Missing a bowl wasn’t necessarily the biggest issue though. The biggest cause for concern had more to do with the fact that the Wildcats struggled to even keep the score competitive in way too many SEC games. Losing to in-state rival Louisville certainly didn’t do anything to help the cause either. Sometimes a victory over Louisville can soften the blow of a mediocre season. Now Kentucky is 3 games into the 2012 season and they are sitting with a 1-2 record, with a crushing loss at the hands of a much better Louisville team and an unfathomable loss to a Sun Belt team. The fact that the Sun Belt team is a smaller in-state school makes the loss even worse. The pressure on Joker Phillips is only increasing by the day.

Louisville football fans are legitimately talking about the possibility of an undefeated season. The buzz quieted momentarily when they blew a huge first half lead to North Carolina, barely escaping with a win–but they still sit at 3-0 and find themselves climbing rapidly in most national top 25 polls. Louisville’s schedule leaves the window open for a very successful season. Teddy Bridgewater is a rising star in college football, whether you feel comfortable admitting it or not. I’ll admit it for you. Charlie Strong is doing so well that his name gets thrown into the conversation anytime a team in the SEC loses a game, or even fumbles a football. Louisville football fans are nothing short of giddy. As much as it pains me to say it, they have reason to feel that way (at least until the Arkansas job opens up…)

Western Kentucky football won’t be winning a national championship anytime soon, but ask the fans who danced and celebrated on the field last night an hour after the game concluded if that matters to them. Willie Taggart is as confident as they come. He teeters on being too confident, maybe at times toeing the line of saying too much. But to his credit, at least last night– he backed it up. His players are clearly buying into what he’s selling them. His confidence is oozing from him and his players are following suit. Western Kentucky just scored a huge win over an opponent from the SEC. WKU picked up 3 votes in the USA Today’s Top 25 coaches poll. Taggart is the hottest young name in college football right now and his gutsy call to use a trick play to finish off Kentucky in OT last night only increased the number of text messages and missed calls for whoever his agent is. WKU has a legitimate chance to make a bowl game this season and the fans are proudly puffing out their chests this week.

3 years later and the biggest issue for Kentucky football isn’t even that they are behind Louisville in the pecking order…

1) Louisville

2) Western Kentucky

3) Kentucky


What a difference 3 years can make… 

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

60 Comments for What a difference 3 years can make…

  1. Really?
    7:39 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Too late to do anything about past three years, not too early to do something about next three. Time to hire a big time coach and renovate Commonwealth Stadium. Alternatively, shut down the program and put us long-suffering fans out of our misery.

  2. mike d
    7:43 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    When a one win Kentucky team plays Sanford in November, the Cats wont be able to sellout Lexington Henry Clay’s football stadium..

  3. dave
    7:44 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    brent pease
    butch jones
    bryan harsin
    mark hudspeth
    tom herman
    kirby smart
    luke fickell

  4. mike d
    7:45 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Once more, are we sure Kentucky is the third best team in the state? Thank God they dont play Eastern and Murray this year.

  5. DB11
    7:46 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Hire taggert? He clearly already knows which school is better academically.

  6. Ukfan32
    7:47 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    All we need is another set back. What we need to do instead of putting all the blame on Joker, is to start blaming barnhardt! Could we show a little commitment to the football team. Spend a little money on them! Every one is jumping on joker. Uk could be the hardest job in the country! You get what you pay for!

  7. Future Outlook
    7:51 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Three Years From Today:

    1) WKU
    2) Kentucky
    3) Louisville

  8. Homestead Fred
    7:51 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    I’m thinking about calling in for the first time tomorrow. Matt, Ryan and Drew were totally wrong going into this and they disrespected WKU and their fans (many being UK fans). Please quit talking about Western in the same breath as Murray, Eastern and Morehead. They actually have about the same undergrad enrollment that UofL has.

  9. Homestead Fred
    7:53 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Why in the hell would Taggart want to go to UK. Just like when we beat you in basketball. You had to have Patrick Sparks. How did that work for you?

  10. jj
    7:59 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    i would prolly put trinity at no 3

  11. BBN
    8:00 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Well, obviously, we hired the dud of the bunch. Wku and uofl have been going upward ever since, while UK has gone downhill. UK is a dumpster fire, at this point.

    Looks like UK needs to hire an AD for big boy sports (football and mens basketball) and let mitch handle all the other sports – you know – the ones that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the big boy sports.

  12. letsextendjoker
    8:03 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Great observation #6-

  13. LeX
    8:08 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch, you need to go out an make a homerun hire. Bobby Petrino has a lot of baggage but you can use it to get him to take a smaller deal. It would chap Louisville’s ass something fierce and we all know he’s an incredible coach. Joker lost his job last night, we all know that. Who do we want to replace him if not Petrino?

  14. Katdaddy
    8:10 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    You guys are spoiled on those mediocre brooks years! T he highest point of this program. Pitiful!

  15. LeX
    8:12 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Also, you guys bagging on Mitch for hiring Joker in the first place are worthless idiots. Im pretty sure we were all om board with Joker becoming head coach. I find it absolutely hilarious that you guys can praise the hell out of Mitch for getting Calipari and essentially delivering us a National Title in the sport we love and care about the most, and then several months later want him fired for something that the entire fan-base was behind.

  16. Yabba Do
    8:13 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not convinced that UofL is better than Western.

  17. Linda Taylor
    8:25 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    8, 9 – Look, you may not have listened to Matt for very long, I don’t know, but as long as I’ve been listening (since WLAP started carrying the show), Matt has always been respectful and supportive of Western. When it comes to football though, you have to admit, you haven’t even been Div. IA for very long and you are not in a power conference. If Alabama had not treated their game with WKU as anything but a glorified scrimmage, you would have lost by 60+ points. It wasn’t very long ago you had a 26 game losing streak. Right now you have a great young coach who has done a tremendous job and kudos to him and WKU, I hope you will be able to keep him and continue to do well. However, that is unlikely and you will probably be looking for a new coach in the near future. I wish you well whatever happens. For UK to lose to ANY Sunbelt Conference team is completely unacceptable and can’t be tolerated. As for basketball, are you really going there? Really? How did the 2012 NCAA Tournament treat you? Win it, did you? Ever? By the way, please don’t disrespect Murray, Eastern and Morehead. I like to cheer for ALL the KY schools and wish them well with the exception of UL.

  18. Dave in Bangkok
    8:28 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Not everyone was sold on the Joker promotion to HC. Many people questioned that decision.

    Joker is Kentucky’s Kragthorpe.

  19. Hey 15%
    8:30 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    The majority of us were never on board with hiring joker. Nice guy but oVC level coach at best. The program is a train wreck. Nothing wrong with Mitch admitting he made a bad hire much like Gillespie Grow some balls Mitch. Hire Petrino and show us if KY football can ever improve beyond 3-5 in this league. If not, pay a PE teacher 200k a year to continue the mediocrity.

  20. Rixter
    8:33 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Hmmmm..Arkansas’ last 3 coaches: Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith, Charlie Strong?
    If Strong doesn’t work out, I wonder where Bob Weber is?

  21. 13th. Grade
    8:36 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    #9 you should call yourself Brain-dead Fred. Why would Taggart come to UK? He’d leave for the same reason Darrin Horn left Western, even though he was a WKU former player and was successful there as a coach-to go to a better conference. One win over a dismal SEC bottom feeder doesn’t make Western a destination school. Also, we did fine by Patrick Sparks. Just ask UofL about the 3 free throws he sank with .6 seconds left. Wake up, or better yet, go back to sleep.

  22. Rixter
    8:37 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Lex, I was NEVER on board with hiring Joker, but for some reason they didn’t ask me.

  23. Lolz
    8:39 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    1. Louisville
    2. WKU
    3. Trinity
    4. UK

  24. UKBlue
    8:41 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Joker will be fired soon, Charlie Strong will be off to a different school without his recruiter Clint Hurrt who will have a show cause from the NCAA, Taggart will get hired away to where ever.

    When it comes to football, UK always screws up, and hire coaches that are completely horrible. Mitch better not play it safe, he better find the balls he did when he hired Cal & take the chance on a coach.

  25. wildcat502
    8:46 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    I`ve been a Wildcat fan since the 60`s. If you ever think we will compete in the SEC your only kidding yourselves. It isnt the current AD`s fault either. We have had several before him and will have several afterwards and it will continue to be the same until the Administration attitudes are changed.
    Look at every football coach we have had over the years and all have had 500 or sub records. We showed, in the fifties, where we stand on sports. When Rupp was given his Cadlilac and The Bear was given a watch. When Rupp said this town isnt big enough for you and me and I`m not going anywhere.
    Put 10 million into the football facilities, give football a recruiting room, an updated locker room, new practice facilities. Then gauge the recruiting.
    We should have hired Howard in the 80`s but the admin was afraid of him. Afraid he would upset the basketball “people”, turn the page on football. So we didnt hire him, U of L did and look what we did for them. Turned the page.

  26. Rixter
    8:47 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    This beats all I’ve ever seen.. WKU fans talking trash.

    A LOT of teams are going to beat UK, so don’t feel too special. Enjoy your win over a pitiful SEC team, then get fired up for Arkansas State, Troy, Louisiana – Monroe, FIU, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana – Lafayette, and North Texas. Yawn.

  27. Jim
    9:01 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Joker Phillips is without question UK’s number one fan. Ky born, former player and a heart of blue. It’s sad that he is not successful as the head coach of Ky’s football program. But there is still hope that he can be part of restoring respect to Ky football.

    Ky needs to bring a new exciting style of football to the bluegrass. Think on the days of the air raid and make the right choice. One of the key pieces is already on hand in Pat Towles. He could be a monster under the right man with the right offence. It won’t be easy but it can be done. Can Barnhart see that. (not)

    But Barnhart could give Joker a new position. Put him in charge of upgrading Commonwealth Stadium and all football facilities. Support him with the finances to get the job done and just maybe Joker could move up to asst. AD in charge of football. But first please hire the right coach.

  28. Homestead Fred
    9:02 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Rixter, teams only talk trash BEFORE a game. It ain’t braggin’if you do it. Louisiana-Monroe also beat an SEC team last week.

    Also, those of you who want Petrino are DUMBASSES!

  29. been there done that
    9:42 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    As a life long UofL fan, I can readily empathize with most of the comments on this site since last night’s game.
    There is nothing worse than watching a football program, after years of futility and then years of very hard work, raise itself beyond its history, then be handed off to a coach incapable of maintaining the success. Even worse, the new coach dramatically reducing the performance to the point of absurdity. It happened to us under Kragthorpe and now its happening at UK. Both Kragthorpe and Phillips are inherently likable people, but neither is capable of being a head coach.
    The fans dilemma is to bail on the team or not. I had friends cancel season tickets – voting with their wallets hoping to force UofL’s hand in firing Kragthorpe. I had other friends attend games, but boo constantly. And I had friend that enthusiastically supported the players despite their coaches failings.
    There is no easy answer. But what happened at UofL was unfair to the players. They weren’t prepared, they were not put in a position to succeed. Their coaches failed them. And they had to play in front of empty seats and hostile fans. This is unfair to the players despite the justified vitriol due to the coaches.
    It got better at UofL. I hope it gets better at UK. The rivalry is at its best when both schools teams are at their best (regardless of the sport).

  30. wildcat502
    9:53 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    I believe not going to games, booing the coaches, bad mouthing the university, etc. only hurts the kids. These are 17 to 21 year old kids and should be supported 100 %. Let the win/loss column gauge wether the coaches are fired or not.
    Just remember, at Kentucky, football is an after thought, as long as we win in basketball.

  31. 13th. Grade
    10:12 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    29. Most intelligent post I’ve seen in a long time.

  32. BlueTexan
    10:14 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    FIRE Barnfart, now. He’s the one who acquiesced to his mentor’s (Brooks) wishes to hire an inexperienced head coach. (Of course, when he hired on his ‘own’ coach…he didn’t research candidates and jumped to hire BCG.)
    Hire a ‘real’/professional AD and let him evaluate the football head coach. If he decides that a change should be made…leave him alone, give him an adequate budget and let him recruit one. SOMEONE has to be held accountable for the sorry state of affairs in Commonwealth…
    Barnfart cannot judge talent…he’s proven it! (Forget the rifle team.)

  33. Bob
    10:17 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    is Fran Curci still living? if so, bring him back od a walker !

  34. FedUp
    10:28 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Did UL or Western take $7 million and spend it on soccer when they do not have a recruiting room for football? For the people that say Mitch hired Cal, remember he picked BillyG first, and gave him a $6 million buyout.

  35. JBR
    10:32 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Excellent post 29

  36. BlueTexan
    10:32 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    #15- Get back on your meds…Barnfart did NOT recruit Coach Cal when he hired BCG (without doing ANY due diligence). Coach Cal recruited US (as has been reported) when the BCG fiasco crashed and burned. Barnfart is and has been over his head when Clueless Lee Todd hired him.

  37. BlueTexan
    10:35 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    #34- Amen! And, that was WITHOUT a BCG signed contract!

  38. JDMedia
    10:43 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    Since Blanton Collier in 1961…. No UK football coach has had a WINNING career record.

    Flip side: UK Basketball never had a losing coach.

    Do the math.

  39. STEVE!
    10:48 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    I remember Barnhart was going to try to get Donovan AGAIN after Gillispie was fired, allowing UK to be publicly humiliated a second time in public when he said he wasn’t interested. Only after that did UK begin discussions with Cal.

    15 – Lex, you and I must hang out with different parts of the fan base. I did not know anyone who wanted Joked as the HCIW. We thought the parts of the team he led were among the weakest in the program.

  40. Bob
    10:54 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    UK should go ahead and hire the PE teacher that #19 suggested. UK football hasn’t been competitive in decades and likely won’t be for decades to come. Fran Curci (probation aside) is the only coach to have success since the Bear left. How many years has it been since UK had a 500 record in the SEC? So many folks got excited about the bowl teams that Brooks and Joker had. I keep hearing how UK was competitive during those years. Come On! If you can’t reach 500 in conference play you are not competitive. I will illustrate….let’s assume that Ole Miss wins 15 games in basketball this season, 10 games against puds and 5 SEC games. Under the same standard that NCAA football is judged, then Ole Miss would be bowl elgible, although they had 5 wins and 14 losses in conference. Could any knowledgeable fan in good faith claim Ole Miss to be a competitive team under the aforementioned scenario? I think not! This stuff about UK having been competitive in football is nothing more than wishful thinking. Let’s face it, we have sucked in football for years, and will for years tom come!

  41. just saying
    11:07 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    for all you “he bleeds for UK” Joker supporters, Ill make a bet with you. Ill bet you Joker is on ULs sideline next year as Offensive Coordinator. Anyone wanna think different??

  42. really
    11:13 pm September 16, 2012 Permalink

    why 3rd we beat louisville more and we beat wku alot more then they have us just because they beat us one year dont make them #2

  43. Really?
    12:02 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    43- I think we’re third on the list because we are the worst team out of those teams. If you want to look at it in a positive way, we’re the third best team on that list. Two teams on that list are moving forward. The other is like the player for Kent State running in the wrong direction. UK is the latter. Hope this makes it more sense than your comment.

  44. Really?
    12:06 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Dang, I did good until the last sentence. Take out “it”. Knew I should have proof read first.

  45. KyCat
    1:24 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    The football program does not need more money, it does not need a new stadium renovation. What it needs are coaches who teach the game of football SEC-style: hard-hitting, smash-mouth football every play. Brooks lit into the players for being soft, and they responded with wins. Joker says he rejects the notion that the players are soft, “we have a lot of tough guys in that locker room.” Yeah, Joker? I am tough player in the locker room, too…what we need are TOUGH PLAYERS ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD.

  46. Raazoul
    5:55 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    At least 75% of you people are morons. Fire Barnhart? Why? Because EVERY sport is better now than it was before he came? Including football by the way. You idiots act like Mitch chose Joker over Saban, Miles and Kiffin. Who would coach here?
    – Idiot fanbase who expects you to be great in 2 years.
    – ZERO in state recruiting.
    – ZERO donors to the program.
    – No state funding or loan approval.
    – Compete against the best conference.
    The list goes on and on. We can’t pay a coach anymore than any other school, only at those other schools you can win. We have always and will always suck, get over it already.

  47. UKBlue
    6:28 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I really have to question if any of our past AD’s & Board of Directors have really taken football seriously even thought it’s the biggest revenue generator. If we have been trying & getting these results for the past 50 years, then I would hate to imagine what things would look like if we weren’t trying. We do the absolute minimum to say we have a football team, just enough to make sure that SEC TV contract check still comes in. Why can’t we land a coach like Vandy, WKU, how the hell is UL landing coaches, Boise State? Our history is so bad & we are consistently so lucky, it has to make one think if this isn’t intentional. I mean even a broken clock is right twice a day, we aren’t even as consistent as a broken clock. UK politics points towards basketball, projecting itself in this delusional image of See Blue, but unless we put at least 50% of our energy towards fixing football, then status quo or worse is the way we go.

    #27 Why in the world would UK hire Joker to raise money? The fan base hates him, and the only money he could raise is people paying him to go away.

  48. BigBlueFever
    7:04 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    @47…People are saying fire Barnhart because he has made mistakes with the two most important sports. He is solely responsible for hiring the train wreck called Billy Clyde…He didn’t want to hire Cal, he was basically forced to do so. You add to the BCG fiasco the mess that is Joker and you have the reason people think Mitch needs to go. He refuses to see that Joker is not going to work out. People called for a change last season and he refused so this season is all on him. Joker is a nice guy but so is my 80yr old neighbor but he shouldn’t be the UK football coach either. Yes the other sports are doing well and that is nice but the chess team and the pinball team are not really the sports that drive the sports department…it will always be Football and Mens’ Basketball and Mitch has made mistakes with both of those programs. Thank God we now have Cal but I do not give Mitch credit for that. That is why so many people think that Mitch should go. I have heard the same old tired excuses about why we will never be good at football and I think that is a crock of sh*t. We will never be good until we get the right person in the AD office that will make a commitment to better facilites and better coaches. We can do better but only if we change what we have been doing. Also Raazoul, it is counter productive to call fellow fans morons for expressing their opinions. They might think you are a dumba$$ for expressing your opinion but name calling will not improve anything.

  49. Tim
    7:23 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    As a U of L fan, I really feel it is a long shot that Bobby Petrino would come to UK, but it has nothing to do with the state of the program. Petrino was NOT happy at U of L and I think it was because, despite his success, he still had to play second fiddle to Basketball and Rick Pitino. I think Petrino desires to be “Top Dog”. I just don’t see him ever being “Top Dog” as long as their is UK Basketball and Coach Calipari at the helm.
    But on the other hand, Petrino has been completely humiliated and may be willing to put his pride aside to coach in the SEC. Anyway you look at the next few months should be interesting for UK fans. Good Luck!!

  50. wildcat502
    7:47 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why would any U of K fan want Petrino??? Look at what he did at Louisville, the Falcons, then at Arkansas.

  51. markp
    8:21 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Bobby Petrino would turn things around quicker than any of the other mentioned people. None of the others have done it in the SEC. He has. I could care less who he has burned in the past. Even if he stays 3-4 years and leaves we will be better off like all the college teams he has been with. He just wasn’t built to be a pro coach. Kind of like Pitino. He is the answer.

  52. hillbillie
    8:40 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Heck ya, hire anybody!! It’s ashame we have to endure this b.s. of a coach. Joker is a good guy and good guys finish last. You have to have a little fire under your belt to do any good.
    We are the laughing stock of the SEC, the bitch boy. If something don’t happen soon, like a firing of the Coach, I say we burn mich the rich with hundred doller bills stuck in his mouth.
    I’ve never heard of a program, slipping to this level. You better hope I don’t see mitch walking around, he might get the shit beat out of him. What a punk ass, who’s the bitch boy now..

  53. paducahfan
    8:58 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    If you take Petrino (and I think we can make it happen if we want to because he’ll be “rehabbed” and everyone loves to forgive), you do so with your eyes open:
    1. You can’t trust him to stay
    2. He will fill the program with thugs but he has enforcers who can control them
    3. He’ll score points and win games
    4. You won’t be proud of the program and the kids who play in it
    5. When he leaves (and he will) the next coach won’t be able to control the kids and there will be turmoil

    So – What’s your decision?

  54. Just the Facts Ma'am
    8:59 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    —>#51. Oh, he just took both Arkansas and UofL when they were at their lowest point in history and turned them into Top 5 schools within 3 years. UofL was a field goal away from the National Championship game. And before Petrino, Arkansas was one of the schools that even UK could count as mostly likely a win.

  55. Mike
    9:05 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe Jim Tressel’s name will be thrown into the discussion as a possible coaching candidate. Between his time at Youngstown State and Ohio State and with his ability to produce NFL prospects I think he could be a pretty good fit for a pretty good price. He would definitely change the atmosphere around the program and I guarantee he would love any chance to rebuild the reputation he once had. Plus that sweater vest would be a hit with the old timers.

  56. Mike
    9:25 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Bud Foster, the DC at Virginia Tech, would be my number one choice if I was in the AD’s shoes. Talk about someone who will change the culture of a program and bring intensity to both sides of the ball and knows lunch-pale style defense and develops players. He wants the chance to be a head coach and just needs the right opportunity. I think he could bring a change to UK football similar to that of Vandy’s head coach which would bring some positive energy to a fanbase hungry for competitiveness. It would also open up some major recruiting pipelines in Virginia which has a hotbed of talent coming out of Virginia Beach, Hampton, Norfolk, etc. Tajh Boyd (Clemson, QB), EJ Manual (Florida State, QB), Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech, QB), Philip Sims (Alabama/UVA, QB), David Wilson (Virginia Tech, RB), Percy Harvin (Florida, WR), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia tech, QB) the list goes on and on for players coming out of those areas that Bud could steal a few prospects from. I just want to see someone who brings a fire for the game to this program. I love Joker but it’s hard to watch your coach play bass guitar in a country music video. You don’t see the great ones doing things like that.

  57. Fred
    11:47 am September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Found the coach: Sonny Dykes…look up his resume…very impressive at texas tech and arizona…has improved on dooley at LA Tech…book it he will be the guy.

    Got his Masters at UK…coached under mumme…boom.

  58. Robert
    3:01 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Rich Brooks never got the credit that he deserved. He knew he couldn’t recruit the same talent as an LSU, Georgia or Auburn yet he still found a way to slow them down and make most teams play 4 quarters of competitive football. For ANY coach to win in the SEC is extremely difficult, that being said Joker had never been a head coach anywhere. To be an offensive coordinator is one thing but to be in charge is quite another. Joker should have started off in the Sun Belt or Ohio Valley, not the SEC which is heads and shoulders better than any other conference in football. He needs to resign now honorably because if the team gets used to losing now they will lose from here on regardless who is hired and won’t compete because everyone is looking down on them. Possible coaching candidates; Bill Cowher, John Gruden and Bobby Petrino. All are proven winners and will be able to produce on the recruiting trail and the football field.

  59. Bob
    8:58 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire a first year high school coach from a 1A team with a bad record.
    He will do about as well as a high dollar guy at UK.
    Our football is bad, real bad, has been for decades and will likely continue to be for decades.