Q&A with Blue Ribbon's Chris Dortch

When it comes to preseason football publications, I don't think there is any better than Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. That's why I considered it such an honor when publisher Chris Dortch asked me to write for him a few years ago.

When it comes to preseason football publications, I don't think there is any better than Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. That's why I considered it such an honor when publisher Chris Dortch asked me to write for him a few years ago.

The yearbook will be available soon, so I wanted Dortch to share some of his insights on Kentucky as well as the SEC.

1. Who is the team to beat in the Southeastern Conference this year?

Dortch: Florida and Alabama will have some young players filling key roles, but they've both got such tremendous stockpiles of talent they would still have to be considered the best teams in the league until another team or two prove otherwise.

2. How do you see Kentucky competing in the SEC Eastern Division?

Dortch: I think the Wildcats will run the same, rugged gauntlet in the division as years past. But the difference is the uncertainty at Tennessee, with its third head coach in three years. Perhaps this could be the year Kentucky ends that long losing streak to the Vols and overtakes them in the league standings.

3. What have you thought of what Joker Phillips has done to this point?

Dortch: I like the job he's done. He's always been bright, media savvy and a hard worker, traits that obviously any successful head coach has to have.

4. To you, who is Kentucky's most intriguing returning player?

Dortch: Randall Cobb, without question. He's a multi-position hybrid kind of player who's a threat to score running, throwing or returning kicks.

5. What would be your biggest concern about Kentucky going into the season?

Dortch: The offensive line must replace four starters.

6. Who are the SEC's best returning offensive and defensive players?

Dortch: Offensively, you have to like Heisman winner Mark Ingram at Alabama, but Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett had a great year last season and could be even better in 2010. Defensively, I'd look at someone like Marcell Dareus of Alabama and Patrick Peterson of LSU.

7. Does Kentucky have an incoming player that could rank among the top newcomers in the league? Dortch: I like the tight end Alex Smith. He's big and talented, and even though he didn't take part in spring practice after graduating high school early, he spent time learning the playbook and getting stronger.

8. How can fans get a copy of Blue Ribbon Football Yearbook and just what all will they find in the yearbook this year?

Dortch: Call 1-877-807-4857 between the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Eastern Monday-Friday. Or go to our website, www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com. The book is bigger and better than ever this year. We've bumped it to 400 pages and have redesigned several features to make it more informative and reader friendly. All 120 FBS schools have at least three pages written about them in the book.


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