"I've seen worse." -- Bill Curry
"You've got a nice little punter." -- Steve Spurrier
"Fans willing to come next week will have their choice of premium seats." -- UK
Turn Back The Clock Game... All joking aside, perhaps the worst part of this latest chapter in Kentucky's War and Peace-sized losing streak to Florida is how the Wildcats took a monumental step back on Saturday after making tremendous strides against the Gators in each of the previous two years. Despite having more talent and experience on its roster, UK managed to get blasted on the same field where it played Florida to three overtimes in 2014. Only a controversial non-call on an apparent Gators delay of game penalty kept the Cats from ending the skid that year. Last season, UK couldn't generate much offense against a great Florida defense, but still delivered a respectable performance in a 14-9 loss at Commonwealth Stadium. So how did we go from there to this hapless Curry-era shellacking in the course of 12 months? A program without a conference, let alone a $150M new training facility -- UMass(!) -- played these people to a 24-7 game last week. Massive regression in Year 4 of a head coach is a scary proposition. You could probably count the number who have survived it on one hand and still have a few spare fingers.
Where Is The O? -- We all knew about the question marks in the UK defensive front seven and how that could be a problem for the Cats this season, but what in the name of Ron Hudson is going on with the offense? After posting 35 points in the first half against Southern Miss, the UK offense saw the opponent post 79 consecutive points before scoring a meaningless touchdown against the Florida Kappa Alpha intramural defense late in the game. I don't think the most pessimistic of fans could have envisioned the Cats being so inept on the offensive side of the ball as to play a game in 2016 in which the quarterbacks completed as many passes to their teammates (3) as the opposing defenders (3). I won't even get started on how ONCE AGAIN the tight end is completely ignored on a UK team (one measly reception through two weeks) when it would have been nice to complete a few to anybody on Saturday. This offensive unit is loaded with four-star recruits. There is no excuse for the performance they gave at The Swamp. New OC Eddie Gran will face some tough questions this week.
SEC Replay System... Not that it made any difference whatsoever in the outcome, but how could the play on Florida's opening series of the game be overturned by replay? The ruling on the field was that Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio fumbled when hit by UK linebacker Denzil Ware, and J.D. Harmon scooped it up and raced 60-something yards for an apparent touchdown. Replays showed that Ware's helmet struck Del Rio's arm before the passing motion, and the quarterback only moved his arm forward after the "empty hand" situation. Despite that, the SEC's new replay confirmation hub in Birmingham ruled that it was a pass, giving possession back to the Gators. We see this often in college football these days. The "irrefutable evidence" to overturn a call on the field seems to have been tossed out the window.
CBS Takes Shots at UK Fan Base... As if getting humiliated by an unranked Florida squad wasn't bad enough, CBS Sports' Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson piled on a bit when they appeared to get bored with the horrific matchup they were given Saturday. At one point, the usually rock-solid duo resorted to the age-old cliche of UK fans only counting down the days until basketball season began. Danielson even relayed what I suspect to be an urban legend about the first call to the postgame show after the Cats' upset of No. 1 LSU in 2007 being a question about the basketball team. Those do happen on occasion but are not as common as outsiders would think, and I'd bet the farm it didn't happen that day. I listen to all of those shows, and I don't recall it. He should have tossed in a story about Bear Bryant, Adolph Rupp, a pocket watch and a Cadillac for good measure. This notion that Big Blue Nation does not care about football is utter nonsense. Had they listened to Saturday's postgame calls, they would understand that. It was not pretty, and no one was talking hoops. Their assertion that fans are part of a culture that is holding UK football back was beyond laughable, given the loyalty displayed over the years and the amount of money that BBN keeps pumping into a bad product.
Movies You Can Rent to Recapture The Spirit of 1986...
- Top Gun
- Crocodile Dundee
- The Karate Kid, Part II
Or Some Songs To Download...
- Amanda - Boston
- True Colors - Cyndi Lauper
- Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung
- You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi
- Word Up - Cameo
Or Maybe Some Nick At Nite...
- Magnum PI
- Hill Street Blues
- The A-Team
1986. Thirty years, folks. Thirty. Years.