The Wildcats, previously a perennial doormat who was liable to lose to anybody on their schedule, can now beat almost anybody on their schedule. If that doesn't show a step up in the program, nothing else does.
There has been more optimism surrounding the program in recent years than previous two dozen years combined. The optimistic view is there for good reason. Kentucky has had three consecutive winning seasons and also has had three consecutive bowl wins.
Think about that.
Now we have to break that down a little. Kentucky has still not finished above .500 in the SEC during this three year stretch. However the staff has won 16 consecutive non-conference games. If things hold true to form, that streak should last at least through 18 after playing Eastern Kentucky and Louisiana Monroe this season. That streak is unlike anything seen at UK since the 60s.
And while Brooks and company haven't ended ridiculously long losing streaks to Florida, Tennessee and even South Carolina, they have managed to beat LSU (who went on to win the national championship), Georgia in 2006 (a game that might have given this program the momentum to grow) and Florida State (in the Music City Bowl). All of these have been milestone-type victories for the Wildcats.
What has happened at Kentucky is unheard of for the program. The main thing now, with the success is to not rest and to continue to build on that solid foundation.
This season is at a turning point, now. With Mike Hartline out for at least four games, a decision has to be made about who to put on the field at quarterback. Many fans want wide receiver Randall Cobb at the helm. Other fans are calling for true-freshman Morgan Newton to take over. Then there are those who think Fidler needs to be the man.
Whatever the decision is, it's time that the fans get behind coach Brooks, the staff and all of the players including whoever is starting as quarterback.
Coach Brooks should be allowed to make this decision and see it through without the bickering amongst fans. A divided fans base doesn't help the program grow. The players know when fans aren't completely behind them. Some of them read message boards, newspapers and some even receive nasty messages online.
The program deserves better than that and so does coach Brooks. After helping to lift a dead program from the grave, he's earned the right to make decisions without every disgruntled fan second guessing him.
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