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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Working on Kentucky’s “gimmick”

I’m tired of hearing it, you’re tired of hearing it: Vandy’s James Franklin is killing it lately. They’re pulling in four-star recruits left and right and have stirred up more hype for college football in Nashville since…well, ever. So much so that I can’t really make jokes about Vandy football anymore, which is upsetting because it used to be my favorite pastime.

But, WHY is Franklin succeeding in a position in which so many other have failed? Sure, he’s a smart coach and energetic recruiter, but after seeing the video of him passing out ice cream to Vandy employees on Friday, I’m convinced that reason is marketing. Specifically, YouTube videos. And Kentucky could learn from this.

Since he took over at Vandy, Franklin has put an emphasis on promoting the program via any way possible. A few weeks ago, Franklin gave a walk-on a scholarship (a common practice in college football) and it made national news. Why? There was a YouTube video of the heartfelt moment, which now has over 350,000 views. There are also videos of drills (aka “Anchor Wars”), scrimmages (the “FlyBoyz vs. the RedTails”), and even a dance-off during a team meeting in which an assistant coach does the worm. Suddenly, Vanderbilt football, the joke of the SEC, has become cool. A simple video of Franklin passing out ice cream to Vanderbilt Employees is a study in the art of selling. Franklin competes against his staff to see who can pass out the most ice cream bars, and sells his Nutty Buddies as “nutritious and delicious” treats. At one point in the video, it’s hard not to imagine the employees as recruits and Vanderbilt football as the Nutty Buddy. Is Vanderbilt football the Nutty Buddy of the SEC, clearly not “good for you,” but impossible to resist due to Franklin’s sell?

Kentucky seems to be taking a page out of Franklin’s book, putting out several YouTube videos documenting camp so far. The video of Maxwell Smith wearing the helmet cam has almost 25,000 views so far, as does the video of the team’s day at the pool last week. Both made national football blogs. Know what also did? The photos of Kentucky “new” football uniforms, which the media doesn’t seem to realize are really just the old uniforms mixed and matched together in 18 different combinations. Some of those combinations are hideous, but hey, it worked for Oregon and the kids seem to like it. Even better? You can vote for your favorite combination on Facebook. Instant interaction!

Kentucky will never be Alabama or LSU in football, but Vanderbilt’s success in recruiting proves that they can change the tune themselves with marketing. Laugh at all you want at the notion of Twitter and YouTube having an impact on a football program, but half of the battle in recruiting is image, and right now, James Franklin is selling Nutty Buddies to health nuts.

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.

37 Comments for Working on Kentucky’s “gimmick”

  1. wow
    3:21 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    this site has became vandysportsradio smh

  2. Bubba Earl
    3:24 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Always lead, never follow!

  3. Rockfield, KY
    3:29 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    1. I’m gonna assume that’s sarcasm, even though its a weak attempt. This is literally the only Vandy story on the front page of the site right now.

  4. epps2shep
    3:29 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    between this site and clay travis’, Vandy doesn’t need any help recruiting

  5. UKnowMe
    3:33 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I wish KSR would get off Franklin’s nuts. We get it Franklin is everything you want Joker to be. Please stop with the love fest.

  6. Walter Sobchak
    3:35 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    3) Lately there has been at least one post per week about how awesome Vandy football is. It’s just strange

  7. ebell55
    3:36 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Hate to bash KSR but please get off of Franklin’s Sack. Joker beat a top 10 USCjr and took the eventual National Champs to the wire his 1st season and folks around here treated him like crap! Franklin 1st year had less accomplishments. The negative attitudes have plagued UK football for years and while this post is an observation it along with the 4 to 5 other VU Franklin post are shots at the beloved Wildcats. This is why Joker called Matt a Pessimist!

  8. SexnNursinHomes
    3:37 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    The Franklin video. Yeah, no wonder he is getting recruits. He’s a damn lying, mouthy ass car salesman. After watching that, I guaran-damn-tee ya that Franklin would whore out his own mother if it meant getting a 4* rather than a 2* no name recruit.

  9. Beavis
    3:43 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    The post says it all,,half the battle in recruiting is the image,,,not necessarily of the program but the head coach. Proof is in Nashville for anyone that wants to open their eyes. I know some of you are going to be offended by the posts on KSR but after 9/02/12 some of you may change your minds.

  10. Mrs. Tyler Thompson
    3:43 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    How is this a shot at UK football? If you read the post again, you might see that I’m actually praising Joker and the staff for using some of Vandy’s (whether you like it or not) successful tactics. Vandy and Kentucky have always been in the SEC cellar; I think Franklin’s strategy is one Kentucky should mimic. It’s obviously working. Hopefully it can for us as well.

  11. duhrrr durrr
    3:44 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky fans making fun of Vanderbilt football is like like a syphillis patient bragging they didn’t get gonorrhea.

  12. Walter Sobchak
    3:45 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    9) No matter what happens, I definitely will not change my mind about wanting to read about Kentucky sports and not Vandy sports.

  13. Justin
    3:46 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with above posters, get off of Franklin’s sack! One post, ok, two post, ok, but sh!t we are up to post # 10 on Vandy football in the past 2 weeks. I mean we even dedicated “News and Views” after the man! It is getting a little much.

  14. fairview
    3:52 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    nothing worse than a vandy fan…always an excuse for losing..

  15. Rockfield, KY
    3:55 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    One per week?!? Oh no!!!

    I think its pretty relevant to UK fans, since we constantly debate about what our program is capable of becoming. When using their football team as a comparison, we are traditionally better and have more fan support. So, if they can do something to get it going and get noticed, why can’t we?

  16. Rockfield, KY
    3:56 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I love UK and the fans, but I swear that about half of the fan base isn’t happy unless they can complain about something. If you don’t like the article, don’t read it. Quit bitching so much. This website gives us something to do other than work, so we should be happy.

  17. Pu
    4:16 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Personally I like reading about other teams and what they’re doing to make their program better and more appealing to recruits on this site. You do realize we don’t play against ourselves, right? We play teams like Vandy and UofL, etc.. As Tyler said, she was actually praising Joker in her post. Should other teams not even be mentioned?? It amazes me how many people can get so butt hurt over a site that they don’t have to pay for. But they’re still here reading and posting…

  18. asdf
    4:18 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Remember that Vandy still finished 6-7 last year. Let’s not turn Franklin into Bear Bryant just yet, folks (though we could borrow a few ideas from him, obviously).

  19. Justin
    4:24 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Its also amazing how people complain about people complaining, and then they state that they can just not read KSR, or maybe you can just not read my comment.

    I dont mind reading about other programs, but man oh man, Vandy and their coach has been on this site a lot.
    1) Utube video
    2) Additional commentary on the greatest Uube video
    3) News and Views
    4) Picked up 4 * recruit
    5) Analysis on how he picked up a 4* recruit
    6) Breakdown of Vandy’s recruiting class
    7) Now the current post

    We are talking 7 posts in the matter of 2 weeks on Vandy’s football coach.

  20. wow
    4:37 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    so you all want to praise franklin who had a 6-7 season and act like hes the best thing since slice bread when joker goes 6-7 his first year everybody want to complain cause its not a winning record hmmm

  21. BlueBallin'
    4:43 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Nailed it #19…kiss Joker’s tail at every opportunity to continue to get the killer access to the program this site enjoys, while drooling over the guy most writers for this site want to see replace Joker. Off-putting, to say the least.

  22. Pu
    4:45 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    7 posts in 2 weeks is about 7 posts out of roughly 80 that were about the football team in our conference that we are most comparable to. When Vandy does positive things that we’re not doing, it’s news that I would think UK football fans would be interested in.

  23. ebell55
    5:04 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Ms. Tyler love your writing and most of the items on KSR respect you guys a lot. However if you read my comment you will see that your post combined with the 4 to 5 other post on VU and Franklin give a negative vibe ala “when does BB madness start.” At the end of some stories or comments. Once again I appreciate you guys.

  24. jpgott2
    5:07 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I love the blue goggled fans that do not understand why Franklin is being written about! The reason Franklin is being written about is because he is DOING what Joker should be. He is taking a program who was behind us, and is landing BIG time recruits, along with being COMPETITIVE in the SEC!

    Franklin was not apart of Vandy for 8 SEASONS before becoming the HC. He was given 2 star talent, and took them to 6-6, and made them COMPETITIVE in all but 1 game (Alabama). He already has the 17th ranked class for next year, and is on the up and up (they are not ranked 14th or 13th in every category in the SEC).

    Vandy is not living on hopes and dreams, and Coach TALK that has no substance. They are going out and making their success.

    I wish Mitch would go after Franklin with serious money next year! Fans need to get their bloody goggles off! Get off your high horse, and recognize when someone is just doing better things (smarter) then we are.

  25. Newt
    5:11 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    22, if you’re aspiring to be Vandy academically, great. Aspiring to be Vandy football is the crappiest goal I’ve ever heard of; them landing a few good recruits doesn’t change that.

  26. STEVE!
    5:19 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Franklin reminds me of Bruce Pearl (not sure if he is into barbeques, though). Pearl came into a program with no history or expectations, ran his mouth, brought a lot of attention to himself, and by winning more than UT was accustomed to, developed a perception that he was a better coach than he actually was. After expctations at UT grew, he started recruiting criminals and non-qualifiers, and flamed out. There were a lot of UK fans that thought HE would be great for us, too, but he was 1-3 against Gillispie and 1-4 against Cal. Let’s see how Franklin does for a few years before calling him a great coach.

  27. Pu
    5:28 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    25. I don’t remember ever saying we should aspire to be Vandy. But we sure are a lot closer to Vandy than we are to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, (did I leave anybody out?..) So when the team that has competed with us to be second to last place in the conference for as long as I can remember starts to make moves while we seemingly stand still, it’s worth noting. Sorry you don’t get that

  28. Tyler
    5:39 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Speaking of uniforms we should get some flat black helmets also

  29. Newt
    6:32 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    No, no 27…I get everything you said, but was smart enough to see what you were too scared to say blatantly. You (just like too many in BBN these days) think a few good recruits/YouTube moments/6-7 record in his ONE season should make us all want Franklin for a football coach & that Vandy is doing things our football program should aspire to do. And to that I say…whoopty-dang-doo. We stunk last year, and Vandy was one game better than us. You list all those great programs we have to compete with and how ahead of us they are–so that rules out continuously striving to get to that level? That’s crap, imo. Why can’t we strive to contend for the SEC East each year like Georgia football? It’s not like Hershel Walker is suiting up for them anymore. No national championship game appearances in the lifetime of any current Georgia player. We always seem to play them close, even get wins against them from time to time. Does KY high-school football have the depth that Georgia HS f-ball has? No. But where are the bulk of our playmakers from? Georgia, Florida, Tennessee…just like the Bulldogs. With all that being said, do I want to see KSR give me updates on every Mark Richt-exploit? Heck no, same with Franklin. So if you want to root for Vandy football, have fun with that. Aspire for better is all I’m saying.

  30. JayCee
    7:25 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    29- When UK plays to within 3 points of a top-5 Ark team, almost beats UF in the swamp and then signs a top 15 class, then you can run that mouth about what Vandy hasn’t done. What you need to be worried about is what UK isn’t doing, which is the point of this coverage in Nashville. Right now, Vandy’s doing a whole hell of a lot more than UK is and that’s fact. And they did just lay 30 points on us in a game that was 24-0 at the half. Again, more facts for you. To deny that is just pettiness and jealousy.

    Vandy has decided to try to win football games. UK just wants to sell tickets. Don’t hate on Vandy B/c UK is clueless.

  31. SevenT
    7:56 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Franklin runs his mouth like Lane Kiffin but coaches like Hal Mumme. Not impressed in the least, we have seen his kind before.

  32. Pu
    8:11 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Too scared to say?? you got all that because I said news about a school in our conference that compares to us is news I’m interested in? Wow. I would LOVE to be on top of the SEC, but that is not currently the case. How about you learn a little reading comprehension and don’t tell people what they meant to say. If I meant I wanted to be like Vandy, I would have said it. But I’m not a Vandy fan and would LOVE for UK to leave them in our dust. I aspire to be much better than Vandy. I would, however, like for UK football to try to be a little more inspiring. I know the excitement Cal brings to UK hoops and it seems like Vandy football is taking a page out of that book. Please, Newt, tell me what I mean…

  33. Newt
    8:23 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Amazing….this KSR campaign has created another Vandy football fan. Congrats #30! ‘Vandy’s doing a whole hell of a lot more than UK’…because of what the scoreboard read at the end of certain Vandy losses. Repeat…LOSSES!! You’re bragging about LOSSESS! Maybe you’re a troll of some sort and not a real UK fan. Maybe you’re a UK fan that just hates Joker. Don’t know, don’t care. But you’re an idiot for thinking that after a 6-7 season and getting some kids with multiple stars by their player profile that Vandy is the football program UK should be aspiring to be. I don’t think Joker has the chops to get us where I think we can go. But save your fellatious admiration for Vandy football for a Vandy fan board. Fact–as a football fan, I will never be jealous of Vandy football. Your mediocre aspirations are your own problem. I remember a recent UK team that BEAT a top-10 Loserville team, the #1-ranked & eventual national champ LSU team, and (let me join you in bragging about a LOSS) came within a touchdown of beating Tebow & the Gators. THAT’S the kind of squad I want UK to strive to be or be better than. So why don’t you tell us all about the great things going on at Kansas or Duke football while you’re at it since you enjoy mediocre enemy schools so much.

  34. Newt
    8:34 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    32…you mean Vandy should be some sort of model for current UK football. Say it directly or indirectly, and you can get mad at my analysis of your own words when that’s clearly how you feel. ‘Cause you keep posting that exact point, based on a 6-7 (2-6) season & a recruiting class that hasn’t played one down of college–SEC–football. The love for James Franklin on this site will be around for a while, so I hope you enjoy. And I’ll continue to crap all over the man-crush of this guy and Vandy football as long as its a part of my favorite UK sports site.;)

  35. JayCee
    11:01 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    34- Don’t confuse a simple comparison to bragging. I’m man enough to admit when another team is working harder and getting better results than my team. You might have a problem with that mentality, but, then again, I’m a pretty open-minded guy. You should try objectivity sometime. It’s quite refreshing.

    Again, I think your anger would be better served aimed at the team that continues to fail you and does nothing about it, not at me. I am simply the messenger. The bearer of facts. For instance, the fact that Franklin took the same Vandy team (15 starters) that won all of 2 games in 2010 and won 6 games with them last year and was just a lucky bounce or two away from 8 or 9 wins.

    So, in essence, Joker took a team that experienced some moderate success and ran it into the ground while Franklin took a team with no success and rose to moderate success. The difference, Newton, is that Vandy and Franklin have actually been able to capitalize in recruiting on their moderate success. One might even say that another difference is that Vandy is currently putting the finishing touches on a ~$100 million football facility renovation.

    Keep your head in the sand, bro. Come talk to me with the same vigor again after the Vandy game, won’t you? You reckon another 30-point drubbing in addition to all these other facts will finally be enough to change your mind?

    Yeah, me either.

  36. Newt
    12:26 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    6-7…you’re going through all this to talk about a 6-7 team. You’re not open-minded, you’re a hater…that’s actually the opposite of open-mindedness. My open-mindedness allows me to patiently way for actual football games to be played. Vandy won last year, way to go. Lost to Tennessee, who we beat…does any of that crap actually matter now? Nope. You and Vandy have the first bit of positive buzz I can EVER remember you having…enjoy it. ‘Cause, again, it’s based on your boys going 6-7. That’s a losing record, btw, & your happiness about that says all anyone needs to know about ya. PS…you WERE bragging about losses; it’s why you led off your rant with it.

  37. JayCee
    8:07 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Homer, I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap a better argument. You can belittle Vandy all your little heart desires. It doesn’t change the fact that Vandy has passed UK in football relevancy.

    Now get mad again and fling more insults like the good little primate that you’ve demonstrated to be.