1. With the regular season over, has Kentucky met or failed expectations?
This Kentucky squad did not enter the season with high expectations, but still fell well short of fans' measuring stick with a disappointing 2-10 season and some embarrassing blowouts in SEC play (49-7 at Arkansas and 40-0 at home to Vanderbilt) that ultimately led to the dismissal of Joker Phillips as head coach.
2. What one player has made the difference this season?
Kentucky's season effectively ended when quarterback Maxwell Smith went down with a season-ending ankle injury in the South Carolina game Week 5. He was leading the SEC in passing at the time, and the Wildcats were never the same after his surgery.
3. What are the key improvements that need to be made in the offseason?
Kentucky must focus on an overall talent upgrade under new head coach Mark Stoops. The Cats have some good players in the freshman and sophomore classes, but felt the pain of a two-year recruiting gap this season preceding those classes. They don't currently have the type of depth, especially on the defensive side of the ball, to be competitive in the SEC. A major talent transfusion is needed in February, and possibly some juco players who can step in and contribute immediately.
4. What has been the dominant headline of the regular season?
The cloud surrounding Joker Phillips' job security hovered over the program all season long. He was placed on the "hot seat" from Day 1, and a loss to arch-rival Louisville in the first game lost most of support he had remaining. A loss to another in-state program, former I-AA squad Western Kentucky, in Week 3 doomed his chances of returning next season.
5. If the recruiting class stays in-tact, what are your expectations for next season?
This is a difficult question to answer. Kentucky's recruiting class is currently not very highly regarded, but with a coaching change, it's expected that the new staff will want to bring in some of their own players. Mark Stoops has a strong recruiting reputation at Florida State, and I expect him to attempt to bring some talent from the Sunshine State with him. If he can, the Cats have some nice complementary parts coming back to be an interesting team next season.
Season Review: Kentucky
Scout CFB Top Stories
Duke Walk-On Gets Surprise Scholarship CallDuke walk-on Danny Doyle got a big surprise from head coach David Cutcliffe and teammates during a team meeting.
Scout CFBYesterday at 11:12 AM
Richt donates $1 million for indoor facilityMiami football coach Mark Richt has donated $1 million of his own money towards an indoor practice facility for the Hurricanes.
Scout CFBYesterday at 9:39 AM
Briles Firing to Alter Recruiting LandscapeThe news today that Art Briles would be fired could alter the recruiting landscape in Texas and the Big 12. Baylor currently has six commitments and is third in the Big 12…
Scout Football10:07 AM
Art Briles Out at Baylor: What's Next?What is next for Baylor, now that Art Briles is gone?
Bears Illustrated9:16 AM
Who's the Best Recruit Scout's Ever Seen?Scout's national recruiting analysts have a lot of experience and have seen so many elite prospects, so who is the best they have seen? All reveal their best here...
Scout FootballYesterday at 6:00 AM