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

Your move, Mitch

This morning, John Clay reported that Kentucky’s football attendance is on pace to be the lowest since 1996, which was Bill Curry’s final season as coach. According to UK, 53,980 fans watched Kentucky lose to Western Saturday night, a substantial increase over the 48,346 that witnessed the win over Kent State the week before. However, those numbers will most likely look like gold when compared to the rest of this season’s. A slate of SEC matchups doesn’t have the same draw it once did when your team can’t even beat Western Kentucky. Samford? A merciful cupcake that may bring out those who haven’t completely given up on the team. You know, if the weather is good.

Wondering what Mitch Barnhart’s thinking right now? The athletic director took to Twitter last night to thank the fan base for their “continued support”:

You really want to show your gratitude, Mitch? Swing for the fences on this hire. Don’t settle for the Tommy Tubervilles or the Houston Nutts of the world. Sure, they’d probably accept the job and raise us slightly above mediocrity, but if you want to show you are committed to football, the sport which brings in the most revenue to your department, you have to aim higher. The Kentucky football fan base is at a crossroads; we’ve had darker days than this, yes, but the loss to Western felt crueler than any Bill Curry defeat. Why? Rich Brooks turned the program over to Joker with promise. Bowl games went from being the hallmark of a successful season to something we expected. Now? We’re just the third best team in our own state. What happened?

This situation sucks. It was hard not to root for Joker to succeed. Heck, right now I’m rooting for him to take his team to Florida and prove us wrong. But something just isn’t working. When you watch this team play, it’s either brilliant or abysmal; there is no middle ground. For most of the Western game, the team looked lost. That indicates there are some serious communication problems behind the scenes. Something has to change, and I’m not sure simply firing the defensive coordinator is enough.

Kentucky may never be an Alabama or an LSU in football, but it sure as hell should be able to be the best program in its own state. Yes, we are a basketball school, but the fans still want a successful football team. Kentucky’s problem under Joker hasn’t been the win-loss record; it’s the energy surrounding the program. Being at the bottom of the SEC has never been fun, especially after the small taste of success we had under Rich Brooks. It took him a while, but Papa Brooks finally got this program going in the right direction. Big wins over South Carolina and Tennessee gave us hope for the Joker era, but the utter hopelessness that hangs over the team right now after only three games is telling.

Over the next few weeks, you’re going to hear a lot of names being thrown around as potential candidates. You might as well toss out ones like Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, and John Gruden. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s just not. But the next tier? Jim Tressel, Mike Leach, Gus Malzahn, Bobby Petrino? You have to at least try. If they don’t listen, go after a young gun with passion and proven results that can help change the attitude surrounding the program. Barnhart has said that money is not an issue when it comes to hiring a coach. It’s time for him to prove it.

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.

127 Comments for Your move, Mitch

  1. PutThatOnDeAndrewLiggins
    2:07 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe it’s time for a new athletic director?!

  2. Dee
    2:08 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why the hell is there an Ad for UNC on this website??!!!??

  3. knightynight
    2:09 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky fans are thrilled with 7 wins but furious with 5 – that in itself is ridiculous. Brooks didn’t bring success – he brought about the upper echelon of mediocrity. You get what you pay for… And that is across the board – Facilities, recruiting, coaches…

  4. AaronJ
    2:13 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    1) Really? Mitch has been very good IMO, sure he goofed up letting a hiring agency find Billy but he hit a homerun with John. Maybe he will do the same for the football team?

  5. PR
    2:13 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I hate to see it come to this because Joker is a UK boy. However, sometimes you have to do what’s best for your program and school especially since we’re talking about the money maker for the entire athletic department. I think you have to consider Gus Malzahn, Kirby Smart & Mike Leach. UK needs a shot in the arm.

  6. Steve Fitts
    2:14 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Nothing is to be gained from a mid-season coaching change. Mitch should wait until the season is over and then make his hire. It will be clearer at the end of November who are the top names out there. Any way it goes, the upcoming recruiting season is going to be ruined.

  7. johnwaynelives
    2:15 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I just don’t friggin give a rats ass anymore!!!

  8. SloJoe
    2:16 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I think you go after FitzPatrick from Northwestern… guy always has success with a below average program

  9. UKBlue
    2:17 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    To all the idiots calling for Mitch head: name one other UK AD in the last 50 years that has turned football around? Go ahead I’ll wait

    This problem is a problem created by UK over years & years & years. Someone at UK needs to ask themselves WTF are we doing & how the hell are we going to fix this problem.

  10. sam
    2:18 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    8- It’s fitzgerald and NW is his alma mater

  11. SloJoe
    2:19 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I dont know why I said FitzPatrick… lol… alma mater or not Go after him

  12. Jaime
    2:19 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    There are no fans there because who wants to pay $41.00 a ticket to watch this team lose to the likes of Western Kentucky.My family and I drove from Indianapolis for the Alumni game and we wanted to attend the football game but we just couldn’t imagine paying that high price.I think we made the right decision when we decided to head on back to Indianapolis!! For a moment I thought we were trying to set an SEC record for interceptions and missed tackles 🙁

  13. B-Lord
    2:19 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Can someone please print this out and put in on Mitch’s desk?

  14. Dear IU and UL, We are National Champs; you are not. The end.
    2:20 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Is Joker’s job really in jeopardy? Seems like he is about average for a UK coach.

  15. SteveM
    2:21 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    #1 you called it right. What names could be considered for the new AD? #4…with all due respect, you know not of what you speak. Barnhart and Todd were opposed to bringing Calipari on board until some big boosters pushed them aside and made the hire themselves. Are you aware that Barnhart has no operational control over UK BB? Why do you think that is? Calipari can’t stand Barnhart and the only way he agreed to come to UK was to have full operational control so the idiot Barnhart could not [email protected] it up like he has virtually everything else he has ever put in hands on. Joker is just the symptom of a lack of commitment by Barnhart and the UKAA. Until fans force their hand (boycott, loss of revenue, etc), expect more of the same, No Petrino, Leach, etc…but another cheap, no-name coach to continue the decline.

  16. God's Country
    2:21 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Homerun hire is required. Mitch is going to have to step out and take a chance. Not a huge fan of how he’s handled his last 2 coaching stops, but Petrino would be perfect. I’d be all in for Mike Leach too. Tressel is just too dangerous to trust. What about an Asst Coach at one of the Top10 programs?

  17. Big Blue Fan
    2:21 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Its been almost 2 years from the last time Joker has put an offensive TD in the first quarter.. That should show you all you need to know about Joker as a HC and having his teams ready to play.

  18. WERUK
    2:22 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I will keep my season tickets for Joker as coach before I would if Petrino is hired. We would be the laughing stock of the nation for hiring him with his past.

  19. mores
    2:22 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Tyler- Actually, attendance will probably be higher through the rest of the season because it always does during the SEC portion.

  20. jj in Florida
    2:22 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Gotta go after Petrino and give the dirty cards a little taste of their own medicine!

  21. Crazy possibly dumb but fun idea
    2:24 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Crazy idea but i might try to hire Brett Favre. I’m not sure if he can coach but how much coaching does a head coach actually do? At least it would get some excitement and get uk football back on espn and sportscenter. He couldn’t do worse could he? Well unless we start scheduling Murray…

  22. CAYTS FAN!!
    2:24 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    The WVU game attendance on the UK site is 53,980 not 59,380.

  23. Wendell Smock
    2:25 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Nice filler, John. Took you all of 5 minutes to write! How about something like this…
    #1 — until basketball happy UK gets a President or an Administration that INSISTS on a football coach, we will be bankrupt for another 50 years!
    #2 — One of the most LOYAL fan bases in all of college sports has been getting “kicked in the nuts” for 5 decades by inept UK Administration.
    #3 – Another 80 year old UK fan dies having never seen UK post winning SEC record…unless they were on probation!
    #4 — Joker Phillips grew up a UK fan and played wide receiver at UK… of all the UK hires, Joker knows the tragedy called UK football. And he calls offensive plays like a scared cat, until 5 minutes to go in the game!! No courage or balls!
    #5 – it’s back to the Bill Currys days at Commonwealth! YEEEEHAAAWW!!!

  24. UKBlue
    2:26 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    A guy isn’t going to leave his Alma Mater to come to UK. Mike Leach just got a job after years of not having a job, and he isn’t going to leave it after 1 year to come to UK.

    The problem with UK football mentality is that it’s the same mentality of the Blue Haired UK fans that don’t want to change anything, tell you to sit down, and overall live before they die for the status quo.

  25. Mrs. Tyler Thompson
    2:26 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    22 – Thanks, got my numbers mixed up.

  26. Only Two Names...
    2:27 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    1) Petrino and 2) Leach

    Petrino is as close to a Calipari type of hire you can get in football and I think he would improve recruiting more than any potential candidate. Leach would bring back some swagger and put an entertaining product on the field.

  27. BigBlue
    2:27 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    We do not need an overhaul on our facilities and stadium…there are 50+ teams in major conferences with the same level of facilities that we have that would kick the s*** out of us right now. Let’s quit making excuses for ourselves and hire leadership that play and coach to win.

    South Carolina has a better stadium and facilities than we do??

    Vanderbilt has a better stadium and facilities than we do??

    Louisiana Monroe (they would kick our a**)has a better stadium and facilities than we do??

  28. bigblue4
    2:28 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Coaching is only a part of the issue, and I would argue it’s not even the major issue. Updating facilities, bettering the atmosphere at the stadium and providing current or new coaches with the required resources to succeed in the SEC are the main issues that need to be addressed. We can get rid of Joker (99% chance of this happening) but the only way to have some shot at long term success is to actually make the infrastructure of the program look like it belongs in the SEC, until then we will only be a haven for the recruits that were turned down by the places with the best stadiums and practice facilities. I would love to just bash these coaches, but some of them have actually proven that they can improve the talent they are given. I would love to see what this staff or the next could do with an even playing field.

  29. Taylor
    2:28 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    A coaching change mid-season would accomplish nothing other than giving up on the season. I am also very disturbed that so many people actually want Petrino. UK may not be the most glamorous football program but we are way better than that. Let some FCS school take a chance on The Neckbrace

  30. wildcat502
    2:29 pm September 17, 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.

  31. SteveM
    2:29 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Expect Barnhart to name one of Joker’s assistant’s to be the next UK head coach. Can probably get him for less than $1 million per year. SEC tv money still rolls in and the lack of commitment can continue by Barnhart and the UKAA.

  32. Catlanta
    2:29 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why are we still talking about football this close to basketball season?

  33. bluecoat
    2:30 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    You’ve nailed my anger and frustration on the head, Mrs. Tyler Thompson. I’ll only add that UK is the third best team in the state by default: The other Kentucky schools aren’t on the schedule. Maybe it’s just the recent putridity that’s clouding my memory, but it seems to me that under Joker, UK football teams start sloppy and, if the opponent is a weakling, finish with a flurry to either win or make the game close. Against the big boys…well, we all know that story. Stay away from Petrino and Leach. The former is a smug liar and the second could be another Billy Clyde Gillispie awaiting his room at the Mayo Clinic. I’m lukewarm on Tressel at best because the SEC is a throwing league, and Tressel doesn’t coach that style. I want an up-and-comer who plays an exciting brand of football.

  34. JF
    2:31 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Tressel? Seriously? I have a higher chance of being elected president this November. Show cause makes him untouchable. Even Petrino is more hireable.

  35. Jones Returns
    2:32 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire Rich Rodriguez!!!
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  36. Only Two Names...
    2:32 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    29. What’s so crazy about Petrino? His affair? Leaving ATL? Worse things were said about our HMBC.

  37. Sammydog
    2:33 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Surely you could come up with something better than Tressel, Petrino, or Leach. Hiring any of those three means trouble for the program. They are all so lacking in character do we really want to subject our players to their influence. Petrino didn’t just have an affair. He misused funds to hire his girlfriend. Tressel lied to his bosses. Leach has been accused of abusing players on the level of BCG and has sued the school who fired him. These three are trouble and I don’t think Mitch would touch any of them with a 10 ft. pole. Give us names that are realistic options.

  38. Basketball Season
    2:33 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Did something happen? Why is everyone mad at the football coach? Now he’s gonna be fired? Why? Did I miss something over the weekend?

  39. Linda Taylor
    2:35 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    23 – Pay attention, John Clay did not write this post, Mrs. Tyler Thompson wrote it and was only referring to something John Clay had written earlier for the LHL. By the way she did a MUCH better job than you did.

  40. tltaworl
    2:36 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Leach is not the leach of 1998. I think he would probably come if we gave him enough, but I think he is a bit o crazy. How about one of the NFL guys that will most certainly get fired this year.

    Lets go after a Steve Spagnuolo for defense and bring Tee Martin back as the OC.

  41. Wendell Smock
    2:36 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Get PETRINO! It’s a NJ. Housewives world…no one cares anymore about integrity! Bobby P. will crawl to UK for $1,000,000 per season. He’s desperate to get back in the SEC and we are DESPERATE to win 8 games since 1984. PATHETIC. If Barnfart wants a better Commonwealth stadium with all the fixins’…hire Bobby P. and watch 80,000 UK fans every week on game day! DO IT MITCH, DO IT! OR MAYBE THE POWERS THAT BE SHOULD MAKE MITCH HIRE BOBBY P!!!

  42. derek
    2:36 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Please no Tressel! That is closest thing to Curry you could hire! He is the Tubby of Ohio State.

  43. Reality
    2:36 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Whatever “big name” everyone wants to banter about, he better have a history and strong ties to recruiting within the fertile grounds of the SEC, and particularly Florida. Otherwise, it won’t matter what his name is.

  44. Taylor
    2:37 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    36. Worse things were implied about Calipari but never proven, and that was mostly because of the media. Petrino has screwed over every team that has given him a job all by himself

  45. asfd
    2:37 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    What is Terry Bowden doing these days? Isn’t he back in coaching?

  46. OSU fan
    2:38 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Kerry Coombs. Please call him. He will recruit the best players.

  47. tltaworl
    2:39 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Need to watch this name too Jim Tomsula. I played for this guy at Catawba college and he has risin up the ranks incredibly.

  48. asfd
    2:39 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s hire Taggart away from Western. He’s going to be a HUGE coach in 5 years anyway. Might as well be with us.

  49. SteveM
    2:40 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Make Charlie Strong an offer he can’t refuse…$4 million a year to coach in the SEC. Oops! Arkansas is already doing that.

  50. Bobby Petrino
    2:40 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hey BBN! I’ve learned a few things over the years; most importantly, be careful on a damn motorcycle! (elbows) Am I right? AM I RIGHT?? But all seriousness aside, I’d love to have a crack at coaching again (and by crack, I mean shot, not the butt-cleavage of a sorta hot co-ed). Rest assured, I’m a different man than the one who left the Hotlanta Falcons in a Hot mess, and the Arkansas Razorbacks even worse (I’m just glad they didn’t holler “Whooooo….PIG…Sue me!! Am I right? AM I RIGHT??) By making me your coach, I pledge to drag UK football out of the SEC cellar, fill the seats at Commonwealth, and most importantly, stick it to those line-beard lovin’ dirty birds down I-64! We can do this together BBN! (and by BBN, I mean Big Blue Nation, not Black and Blue Novice Motorcyclist…wait, that would be BBNM. Sorry.) Let’s put the FUN back in UK football! Y’all have sucked for far too long! (and by sucked, I mean SUCKED).


  51. UKGrad04
    2:41 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    This isn’t rocket science. You can’t hire Tressel or Petrino. You just can’t. If you need an explanation why then you might as well stop reading this now. I won’t even address Cowher or Gruden. And while we’re at it Mike Leach isn’t coming (nor should you want him).

    You go after a young guy with coordinating experience and the personality to be the face of the program OR a head coach from a smaller school. Mark Helfrich (Oregon OC). Kirby Smart (Bama DC). Willie Taggart. Gus Malzahn. Todd Monken (OSU OC). Brent Venables (Clemson DC). Mark Stoops (FSU DC). I’d also give long looks to Major Applewhite (Texas OC) and Josh Heupel (OU OC).

  52. I Yell Cartwright
    2:43 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Peterson from Boise St. Look at what he’s done with a program that had no history to speak of, and with recruiting classes that are not consistently ranked high. Dude can coach.

  53. WTH
    2:45 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why in the world would you guys want to hire Leach or Petrino? Does hiring someone with character mean anything to you people?

  54. DayDreamer
    2:46 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    What would it take to get Saban to UK. $7 million a year? We should do it just for the hell of it! Forget about student dorm construction.

  55. Eric K
    2:47 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Tressel can’t coach til 2016. Why would we want him anyway? BBN we are in a mess no matter what happens! GO CATS!!

  56. UK Leadership making bad decisions
    2:49 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I went to UK in the 90’s and I agree with the comments that we have been getting kicked in the groin for years by UK’s Leadership … UK shouldn’t be hiring questionable coaches, they should be hiring coaches with an excellent track record of winning. Period. Mitch should have been fired for hiring Billy G IMO. And it was the pres that stepped in to make sure Cal got hired. I don’t know any fans that liked Joker being hired. NOT ONE. We try to be positive, but we all knew this was going to happen. KNEW IT. Joker needs to go. Mitch needs to go. If you gamble, that’s the price you pay MITCH. Stop gambling with our fanhood UK. Get it right. Make the right hire. Or just get rid of the football programm. It’s ridiculous. Boosters, why do you put up with this? The fans / boosters need to get involved b/c the UK leadership can’t be trusted to make the right hire.

  57. UKGrad04
    2:49 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    53. Peterson has turned down much more prestigious jobs than ours the last two years.

  58. Pragmatist
    2:50 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Drop UK football…dome in Commonwealth and make it the country’s greatest basketball arena with every amenity know to man. Give Cal a big raise and call it a day. Afterall, football is only a 3 week discussion until Big Blue Madness talk begins. Why all this worry about football when no one cares anyway?

  59. Hash
    2:52 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    19-The reason attendance goes up during SEC play is because most of the people attending are the other team’s fans.

  60. UKGrad04
    2:52 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    59. “Pragmatically” how would you pay for this dome and this raise without football’s revenue?

  61. Defense
    2:54 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Regardless of the defense … IMO, the offense has been worse. Most scoring we did last year was when the game was over. I don’t understand how this team can beat legit teams here and there. But then be so AWFUL most of the time. To me, that means they have the talent to compete. I don’t think you beat legit teams in the SEC with just coaching. This leads me to believe that our coaching sucks and is the biggest reason fans of college football unanimously KNOW … KY FOOTBALL IS A JOKE.

  62. Linda Taylor
    2:56 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    41 – We won 8 games in both 2006 and 2007.

  63. Peter Parker Swag
    2:56 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino is scum but he’s a top ten coach. There’s no way he’d screw up again after being given another chance. I think we should go after him.

  64. Hire the best Coach ASAP
    2:57 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    UK … Hire the best coach you can find that will take the damn job … ASAP. Period.

  65. Reality 101
    2:59 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’m tired of hearing the “UK doesn’t have the $$$ in football”! This is a LIE that UK/Barney are trying to get everyone to believe. Go read ESPN the Magazine’s “Franchise” issue. It lists football programs, where they rank in various categories. Look at UK and football revenue…we are #23. It is time to get our money’s worth!!!!

  66. Why care about football?
    3:00 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Those making statements like who cares … if it doesn’t piss you off that UK Football is a joke … you don’t care about the University of Kentucky! Get out of our fanhood.

  67. Yesterdays
    3:00 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    The attendance has not fallen below due to two reasons

    1. Weather- When it is 75 degrees out, people will watch almost anything.

    2. Night Games- Anyone who tailgates can tell you that these are the most fun. Come early, bring the family, friends, cook, eat, drink, watch other FB games on TV.

    Take these two away and you will drop to about 35k or less. The Samford game will maybe draw 20k.

  68. Only Two Names...
    3:03 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino would be the safest hire right now…kind of like flying the day after a plane crash. No way he screws it up a third time.

  69. Tailgater
    3:04 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’d be happy to do the tailgating on a Sunday and watch NFL games on a portable TV our of my van. Why do we need a UK football game to party???

  70. Linda Taylor
    3:06 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    64 – Just a thought, do you think the Texas Tech fans were saying the same thing about Billie Clyde? (Not that he’s a top 10 coach, but about him not screwing up again). Some leopards just can’t change their spots. Whether Petrino is one of them remains to be seen.

  71. Han
    3:06 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Gruden’s got a cushy job at ESPN, but who knows if he has the itch for a challenge? Dungy and Cowher both seem to have left satisfied, even though neither stayed away from football for long. It’s ludicrous to imagine getting them, but it was ludicrous to think of Parcells, and they at least tossed his name around once. If you can even get one of them to come on as a consultant, it’d be huge for attracting a good coach, recruits, media attention, and booster money.

    You probably get laughed at or quoted a stupid number, but it’s more stupid to automatically assume certain people won’t even listen. It can’t hurt to call. What pride do we have to lose?

    But when they all don’t even take our calls, then we should move on to the other names that are big but broken, like Tressel, Petrino, Caroll, Leach. Failing them, go for a rising coordinator like Gruden’s brother at Cincy. Failing that, try to get Taggart or someone like him, and up-and-comer.

  72. DebbieCat
    3:08 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    We need a different athletic director if we are going to have a successful new hire for football. He lost his game of chicken with Guy Morris, then stumbled with an all in bet for the former Pro coach and had to settle for begging Brooks out of retirement. He also has shown that he doesn’t know how to help the coach become better we they falter. He is a no value add. Not a stellar record. I think we need to focus on coaches with big time connections to players from GA, LA, FL and AL.

  73. Han
    3:10 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s another ridiculous name to consider. Right now, the Eagles have started out 2-0. But they’re a Michael Vick injury or inexplicable collapse away from Andy Reid getting fired. If that happens, rent him for a year or 2 before he goes back to the NFL. How huge would that be?

    Or look for another NFL coach with a hot seat. If the Bengals somehow fall apart, Lewis may finally be on the outs, though it’s unlikely. Also, were I him, I would not want to go from one bad franchise to a bad program.

  74. Mattd
    3:10 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Im for an NFL d coordinator hire. Big name with experience who can potentially get recruits and who can make our D less sucky. Ron Ryan anyone?

  75. Capt
    3:10 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Seats would sell out immediately if they hire Chucky. Not going to happen, but I’d love to see it happen.

  76. SP1985
    3:11 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I think it would be nice if we can get the DC from Alabama. However, he might be waiting for UT to open up this season or Arkansas next season. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Tommy T. or Houston Nutt. They are the most experienced SEC coaches out there. They were fired bc 9-3, 8-4 records were not good enough at their respective schools. At UK, that would be considered very successfull season without a doubt.
    On a side note, I don’t understand whats’s wrong with building a million dollar soccer complex from private funds. Mitch has done an excellent job as AD by bringing up so many programs to the national level at Kentucky.

  77. SteveM
    3:12 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Fire Barnhart first and then look for a new coach. Should make it a lot easier to bring in a quality coach that way.

  78. Wildcatlaw
    3:13 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    If we think Tuberville would leave Texas Tech, or Leach would leave Wash. St., or Rich Rod would leave Arizona to coach FOOTBALL at UK … we are all smoking some wacky weed. Not gonna happen. Kirby Smart leave Alabama for UK … not gonna happen. Malzhan wouldn’t take Vandy job, why would he now take UK?

    I love UK, but let’s be realistic with our expectations.

  79. UKStig23
    3:14 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Sonny Dykes. If you love Mike Leach, you’ll love Sonny Dykes.

  80. Linda Taylor
    3:15 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    73 – Do you know where Guy Morris is coaching right now? He is at Texas A & M University-Commerce. He failed at Baylor, then had to go coach high school before this new (since 2009) job at Commerce. Not exactly an SEC-level school.

  81. Day Dreamer
    3:16 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    When is OJ Simpson out on paraole. He was always good at knifing through a defense.

  82. Peterman
    3:28 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I made the trip down to Lexington from Cincinnati on Saturday w/my wife and another couple, sans tickets, with all intention to attend the game. I searched for tickets from scalpers around the stadium for 30 minutes with no luck before finding a cab and heading downtown.

    The only other option was to purchase tickets at the box office for $41/each…..well f**k that.

    While watching the game over dinner we realized how wise of a choice we made. Do people (chumps) really pay that kind of money to go to a stadium that doesn’t even sell beer and watch that debacle?

  83. Get Kliff
    3:38 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire Kliff Kingsbury
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    Hire Kliff Kingsbury
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    Hire Kliff Kingsbury
    Hire Kliff Kingsbury
    Hire Kliff Kingsbury
    Hire Kliff Kingsbury

  84. I was at the game
    3:38 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    no way this attendance number was reflective of the butts in seats. besides, it was definately not reflective of the butts in seats in the 4th qtr.

  85. SP1985
    3:45 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I always bleed blue but Idk why people want Mitch out. That would be the dumbest decesion. Have you looked at his progress in 19 varsity teams at UK since he came here? Every program is doing extremely well mainly besides football. I know football is the biggest $$$ generator but the decision about “coach in waiting” was made by Coach Brooks and Mitch combined. I didnt doubt it bc of high-powered offense back then under Joker as OC. Also, people expecting big time coach WILL NOT happen. UK will not receive that kind of money from boosters for mediocare program. Basketball is a differrent story bc of its legendary past. Think about it, if you are an entrepreneur, would you invest in something that you already know without digging, will not produce growth. I know Mitch will get it right this time as long as he doesn’t look for anyone in NFL. Even the best coaches in NFL do not have a clue about recruiting and teaching basics to 17-19 years old kids.

  86. Brad
    3:46 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Until you get serious money involved no serious coach is coming to UK. We had a golden opportunity to replicate the formula that Brooks had laid out in Oregon, but squandered it due to lack of funding. Brooks himself was dissatisfied and frustrated at the end of his tenure due to the lack of financial support the program received when things started getting better and we were going to bowls of some sort on a consistent basis.

    Oregon was in the same if not worse circumstance but once some level of credibility came then the funding followed from alumni, the school and Nike. Once that over the top funding started then Oregon was able to take it to the next level and are now a consistent top 10 team.

    If UK wants to be great in football then it needs the guts it took to build Rupp Arena in the 70s to invest in an over the top NEW football stadium, athletic dorm, training center, field house and anything else it takes. We will know we are there when professors, local media and etc complain about the exorbitant, over the top, ridiculous investment going into the football program.

    If you want to be great then act like you belong there and build the foundation and hire the coach with the vision and leadership that shows you expect to get there — otherwise stop complaining.

    Kentucky could be a great SEC team if it really wanted to going a consistent 9-3 / 10-2 with 8-4 seasons as a down year.

    We have 32M in revenue and 14M in expenses. The rest of the SEC expenses are Alabama 31M, Auburn 27M, LSU 25M, FL 24M, SC 22M, AK 22M, GA 18M, TN 17M, Vandy 14M, UK 14M, Ole Miss 12M, MSU 10M.

    Funny how that is just about how you can roughly rank the programs year in year out. Don’t give me recruiting advantage arguments either. Florida now supports 4 teams that are consistently in or at at least close to the top 25. Alabama supports 2 top 10 teams on a consistent basis.

    I can guarantee you this if you don’t significantly out spend the top programs in the SEC you will never have a chance to overcome their other advantages.

  87. UK4life
    3:55 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why is football more profitable for UK than basketball since there are more basketball games played?
    they need to find a way to make more money from basketball (besides increasing the price of tickets) and drop football or move to another conference. I like the idea of covering Commonwealth and let the basketball team play there for more seating.

  88. JohnDorman
    4:05 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Chris Petersen

  89. Han
    4:05 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    83) Plenty of people enjoy sports without beer.

  90. Racer
    4:08 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Hatcher here at Murray State might be a good fit. Runs an Oregon style, air raid, “hatch attack” offense that would be something UK has never seen before. Creative on defense and very aggressive. It’d at least be fun to watch.

  91. Bluegrass Jimmy
    4:12 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    HIRE BOBBY PETRINO!!! This man knows football and knows how to win! Look what he did for Louisville & Arkansas. He could have Kentucky in the top tier guick! We already have the Quaterback in waiting, Patrick Tolls, not sure about the spelling on the last name.

  92. bigblue4
    4:16 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t understand everyone wanting to hire Petrino. Look at both programs and what happened to them after he left the job. Also, I don’t care who the coach is, as long as we have the facilities and lack of fan support that UK has we will never keep a big name guy and if we hire a new up and comer that does succeed he will just leave for greener pastures after he establishes himself. We must put some money into the program.

  93. Ed has Tickets
    4:24 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Reminds me of the Kevin Bacon character in Animal House telling everyone to remain calm during the parade riot.

  94. Stan
    4:27 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’m 62, a UK grad and former season ticket holder. Only a few good memories – the 1977 team that went undefeated in the SEC and was the best team in the country at season’s end. One little issue – probation. Beating #1 Ole Miss when I was a kid and upsetting #1 LSU a few years ago and UT last year. Taking in major dough and spending so much on non-revenue sports is like competing in Formula 1 with a lawn mower engine in your car.

  95. Frank
    4:27 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Jim Tressel? Are you INSANE?

  96. Head Bussa
    4:31 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think Bobby Petrino is near as bad a guy as everybody paints him out to be. I don’t really understand all the hate and, in my opinion, it is unreasonable. Petrino had a meeting with Auburn while coaching Louisville. Who can blame him? Petrino left the Atlanta Falcons overnight. So he didn’t like coaching in the NFL and didn’t want to deal with the players going crazy on him? I don’t blame him. In Arkansas, he has an affair and he gave the girl a job. While that is not good, it is also not beyond the realm of reason that a man would cheat on his wife. It’s also not beyond the realm of reason that he might hire the same girl to a job he could get her. People do things for people they care about. From watching the ESPN commercial, I think he realizes that was a major problem he had as a person, and he wants a chance to rectify those sins. If he wanted to come back to coach, I don’t think we need to let personal feelings stop the man from bringing Kentucky back to the Top 25 within just a few years time. He is a great coach and runs a tight ship. He seems to be clean with the NCAA regarding their bylaws. I don’t understand the thought that he shouldn’t be strongly considered to be the next UK coach.

  97. Jeremy
    4:33 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Kirby Smart. All you have to do is look at Alabama’s Defense.

  98. what an idiot
    4:36 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    @88. Mostly BECAUSE we play in the SEC, which has the best revenue sharing in the country, so that’s yet another reason switching conferences would be completely illogical. There are fewer home football games than basketball, therefore demand (and ergo, prices) for tickets is higher (theoretically). Football games are also on weekends so a larger % of the fan base can go, therefore, driving up demand. Week night basketball games are pretty much limited to people in Central KY as far as attendance. CWS also holds A LOT more people than Rupp. You may have noticed this before, but somehow I feel like you haven’t. YAY, isn’t Econ 101 fun? It all adds up. Football is the name of the game when it comes to athletic department revenue. Without a viable football program you have nothing.

  99. Don't be shocked
    4:45 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    The biggest problem Kentucky is going to have if they choose to replace Joker is the basketball culture and facilities.

    1) This is a basketball school. That doesn’t mean its not possible to be a football school too, but you have to understand how that affects a coaching search. By default you will have to eliminate any head coach that will not want to play second fiddle to John Calipari and the basketball program. The best analogy is that UK needs a “Bruce Pearl” for its football program. Bruce knew his place at UT…not just behind football…but behind Pat Summitt. He knew his role, accepted it, didn’t pout about it, and in the end created a brand uniquely his own.

    2) Facilities are a huge stumbling block and unfortunately they won’t be rectified by the tie UK commences a new search. The best thing that could be achieved is a written commitment from the state legislature for bonding. Do not be surprised when many a coach turns down this job because of the facilities alone. You’ll have to get a coach that really enjoys the challenge of overcoming the negative stereotypes about UK football and selling recruits to the worst football facilities in the conference. No easy job.

  100. B-Rabbit
    4:50 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I think you have to go after Petrino here. Past and personal life aside, he’s the most logical “home run” type hire.

  101. Brian Kelly
    4:52 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Kerry Coombs would be an excellent choice for head coach. Coombs coached for twenty yrs. at Colerain High School in Cincinnati and then was assistant head coach under Brian Kelly and Butch Jones at the University of Cincinnati for three or four years. He is a tremendous recruiter who knows how to run a football operation like a business. He is extremely positive and could sell ice to an eskimo. He knows football too. So much football that he is now on the staff of Urban Meyer at OSU. He has tremendous football recruiting contacts in Ohio and is extremely respected. Joker and his staff are a bunch of amateurs who are in way over their head.

  102. Viren
    4:56 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I have always liked Phillip Fulmer former coach of the Vols. He is a championship winning coach and if would consistently get Cats in a bowl games. I know we do not have very high expectations beyong a post season. He was my choice to succeed Rich Brooks. I think Vols made huge mistake in letting him go.

  103. Peterman
    5:00 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    90- I’m making a simple economic point here. When the supply of tickets are high and the demand is low you have to lower the prices. Otherwise, common sense consumers like myself will pass on the buying the product.

    Beer is an incentive for some consumers to attend, namely myself, and therefore will increase ticket sales. I am personally a fan of freedom and think that beer should be sold at the games.

  104. yo
    5:00 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire tressel now. Let him sit his 5. New start next year. Easy.

  105. WERUK
    5:06 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    104. Its a SEC thing, no schools can sell it. I respect the SEC for not selling beer after my experience with drunk fans at the UL game.

  106. it will be Cutcliff
    5:29 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I dont know why KSR contiues to omitt Cutcliff on these next coach posts. He will be the guy. After what Joker has done UK is to toxic for any big name to come here, Cutcliff and Barnhart have a history and Cutcliff has shown he can win at a basketball school. He turned Duke into respectable in about 2 years I think he could do the same here. UK is surely a better job then Duke!

  107. Mr. Awesome
    5:41 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Give Saban 10 mil. a year and call it a day….. Thank you.. golf clap…

  108. Peterman
    5:41 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    106 – I’m well aware of the conference rules about beer and please don’t compare UK fans to D-bag UL fans. With beer or not, BBN is cut above the Cards.

  109. Mr. Awesome
    5:48 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Money talks ladies and gentlemen… It’s time to get the checkbook out and break the bank. You guys can sit and complain all you want but you better go after big names and make it a point that your not settling for anything less… No excuses. IF YOU PAY THEM. THEY WILL COME…

  110. john4uk
    5:48 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Loyal fans of UK fans are sick and tired of excuses and a team that plays uninspired,and are proving that they want a legitimate football coach.UK should be better and can be better than they are if the right coach and staff is hired.No more also rans as coach.Either hire a legitimate coach or diband the program.

  111. bottom line
    5:52 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    WKU has better coaches than UK …

  112. Jackson Purchase
    5:57 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I would like to see Brent Pease as the new head coach. Currently the Florida OC before that was at Boise State. The man knows how to run a offense.

  113. Act Quickly
    6:05 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why all the love for tressel? He cheated blatantly at Youngstown and OSU. The vest and tie is a known act to give the “clean” appearance. Being at UK, the NCAA will hammer him. I like Petrino. Character issues? He cheated on his wife. I bet a good number of you reading this have cheated at one point. No NCAA violations committed. He is available now, therefore a quick move to fire Joker and hire Petrino gets him involved quickly on recruiting for next year. He is the best option, plain and simple. Leach is comfortable in the PAC, won’t come to UK unless stupid money is offered (not happening).

  114. barn
    6:20 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    46–kerry coombs, wow, that would be Intense! i met him when he was coach at colerain hs in cinci and he is a fireball. he was a great d backs coach at uc before going to osu. i expect him to be a head coach somewhere someday, but i doubt it will be UK.

  115. TampaCat
    6:36 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Kirby Smart of Alabama!

  116. UKGrad04
    6:41 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Our fanbase’s lack of any sort of collective football savvy is glaring. Chris Peterson? He’s turned down Stanford and UCLA. He has a child with serious medical issues, and moving his family all the way across the country ain’t gonna happen, especially considering the (much) better jobs he’s turned down. Kliff Kingsbury? David Cutcliffe? Kerry Coombs?? The guy’s not even a coordinator–he’s a position coach! And he’s NEVER been a coordinator!!

    I am happy, though, that a lot of people have pinpointed the problem: it’s the facilities. Coaches will take a job at a place like this if they look around and see the infrastructure in place that will foster growth. Not only do we not have that, we don’t have any plans for that, and until that day comes, we’ll continue to be bottom-dwellers.

  117. WERUK
    6:45 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    117. You nailed it. IMO keep Joker unless your going to hire a homerun coach, because a young coach will put us back 2-3 more years.

  118. icecreamman
    6:48 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    I once had a 1000 sq.ft. ice cream shop and i sold 10 ice cream sandwiches a day….then i thought….i’ll build a 3000 sq.ft ice cream shop and put a 70 in. flat screen tv in it and you know what happened….i sold 10 ice cream sandwiches a day. whoever thinks we need to invest in a stadium and facilities is crazy. Joker was a terrible offensive cordinator and turned into a terrible head coach. i’ll give him credit for trying his best to break the mold by running the no huddle offense and trying to mix it up a bit…but plain and simple…we’re going backwards. we need a coach!

  119. firethejokenow!!!
    6:53 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    91 chris hatcher will make a solid bcs coach someday, he just dont have the big time experience yet. ya he won a dII title at valdosta st and has rebuilt murray st into a ovc contender, but hes only 39 and like i said just doesnt have the ties to big time recruits just yet. but mark my words he will get a chance to coach at a wac, c-usa or sun belt school and prove himself and if he succeeds there he will no doubt be a head coach in a bcs conference. personally i like the idea of terry bowden. he’s got a very attractive resume, in his 19 years as a college head coach he’s 141-65-2, went 47-17 in 6 years at auburn, including his 11-0 record his 1st year! hes currently in his 1st year as the head coach at akron and has publicly said he wanted to return to big time football so the chances of getting him would be great. and we all know how much the bowden’s are respected in college football. he got all that you want, big name, winning history and is only 56 years old compared to papa brooks being like 62 when we hired him

  120. Butch Davis
    6:56 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire me!

  121. Terry Bowden
    7:03 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire me. I can coach in the SEC.

  122. CatGrad7072
    7:25 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    119: You should have purchased an ice cream truck so you could sell to FB coaches who are clueless. You probably could have sold 100 ice creams on one day alone.

  123. Bobby Bowden
    7:59 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    hire my boy terry, he’s the only son of mine who could ever really coach worth a diddly darn!

  124. Catlanta
    8:09 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hire Bobby Petrino and it only the sends the message that his mistakes didn’t matter when they absolutely did. Pay him to coach here would show that UK isn’t serious about having high standards. We’re better than Petrino, we don’t need his baggage, and we have the money to get someone as good as he is. We shouldn’t even consider talking to him.

  125. markp
    8:38 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    35 an option offense will not work at UK, check your history.

  126. markp
    8:40 pm September 17, 2012 Permalink

    125 Bobby Petrino is the only guy who has proven he can win in the SEC.