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WMR
11-05-2006, 04:22 PM
The University of Kentucky men's FOOTBALL--yes, FOOTBALL--team BEAT the Georgia Bulldogs yesterday at Commonwealth Stadium.

First time since 1996.

macro
11-05-2006, 04:49 PM
As a UK fan, I don't really like that win. That will be all it takes for Barnhardt to keep Rich Brooks around for yet another uneventful season. For the longterm benefit of the program, I was hoping they would tank this year so that a winning coach could be brought in. Now we get another year of Brooks.

And what on earth did they tear the goal posts down for? Was a win over a unranked opponent worthy of all that?

Blimpie
11-05-2006, 08:23 PM
My family has had UK season tickets for thirty years and normally I would have been sitting right there on Saturday. However, I was working a conference in St. Louis for the last six days and could not attend the game.

Go figure.

By the way, Macro...I agree completely with what you said about Brooks. Now that--gulp--seven wins might be within reach this year, UK might actually get to attend a mediocre bowl game. Should they win that game, Brooks will be a lock to return to Lexington.

WMR
11-18-2006, 06:49 PM
Looks like those concerned about the Brooks era being extended were correct...

UK, Brooks Plan to Extend Contract

Mitch Barnhart, University of Kentucky Director of Athletics, said Wednesday night that he intends to work out a contract extension with football coach Rich Brooks following the season.
Barnhart was interviewed on the Big Blue Sports Network before the men’s basketball game between Kentucky and Miami (Ohio).

“We have a chance to go to a bowl game this year,” Barnhart said. “I fully anticipate us going forward with Rich next year.

“He’s (Brooks) not concerned with the contract right now. He’s never come to me and said, ‘I need to get this done.’ We’ll sit down at the end of the year and work out how we’ll go forward (and) give him a chance to continue to build off the foundation that he’s laid for the program. I’m really proud of what they’ve done.”

“We talked earlier this week about having some discussions, when we got time, about extending it and I’m all for it,” Brooks said after practice Thursday. “That’s what I came here to do, is get this thing going. I know it hasn’t been as quick as most people would like to see it, but I think it’s pretty understandable that we have a pretty good group of young players coming back (for 2007). I’d like to get into a bowl this year, obviously, and see if we can move up the ladder next year.”

Brooks is currently in the fourth year of a five-year contract that goes through the 2007 season.

www.ukathletics.com

Matt700wlw
11-18-2006, 06:51 PM
I believe they won again today....

UK and Bowl Game sounds funny together. :)

WMR
11-18-2006, 06:55 PM
Yup, 7-4 and heading to a Bowl...

Brooks finally woke up and realized the way you build a bad program is schedule enough teams you *can* beat, get to a Bowl, hopefully raise your profile, get better recruits, etc. etc... The Bobby Petrino mold...

I'm not as down on Brooks as some here... getting Micah Brooks was a big check mark in his favor in my book... we're finally getting past the NCAA-imposed Hal Mumme era scholarship penalties... I hope he can continue to improve the program and recruiting and keep us going to bowls in the toughest divison in football, the SEC East.

macro
11-18-2006, 07:18 PM
I don't think I've ever used this smiley, but this seems to be a very good time...

:bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:

They'll go no better than 4-8 next year, mark it down. Oh, and :bang:

WMR
11-18-2006, 07:22 PM
I don't think I've ever used this smiley, but this seems to be a very good time...

:bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:

They'll go no better than 4-8 next year, mark it down. Oh, and :bang:

What's the schedule next year Macro?

Why so sure?

Blimpie
11-18-2006, 09:50 PM
I was at the game today. At this point, how anybody could come away from a UK game with optomism about the future is beyond me.

While Joker Phillips has turned UK into a formidible offense, there is nothing pleasant that can be said about Mike Archer's defense. If Rich Brooks keeps Archer as an assistant after the bowl game, his contract should be voided.

I am in my fourth decade of watching UK football teams play in Commomwealth Stadium. I have never--EVER--seen a more pitiful UK defense placed on the field than the ones I have watched play for the last two years.

Today, could have been the single worst one game defensive effort I have ever witnessed. Yes, I realize that in certain coverages we are playing 6-7 first/second years players on defense.

If they are in the right scheme, they are out of position. If they are in the right position, they miss open field tackles. Some of that you can blame on youthful inexperience. What I cannot tolerate is a Defensive Coordinator who refuses to admit he is being outcoached on a regular basis.

Today, he let an undersized Louisiana-Monroe offense absolutely shred the UK rushing defense for over 350 rushing yards on over 50 carries. I kid you not--they ran about 2-3 rushing plays the entire day.

Where were the defensive adjustments? Archer sits back and prays that somebody will make a big play or get a timely turnover. Many times this year, he has gotten lucky. UK's turnover margin is in the top 5 in the country.

It just seems like we can never put the entire package together. If the offense is clicking--then the special teams and defense are putrid. Does this team deserve to go to a bowl game? Sure.

Do I expect 7-8 wins next year? Not unless the defense is completely scrapped...starting with Archer.

WMR
11-19-2006, 01:58 AM
I was at the game today. At this point, how anybody could come away from a UK game with optomism about the future is beyond me.

While Joker Phillips has turned UK into a formidible offense, there is nothing pleasant that can be said about Mike Archer's defense. If Rich Brooks keeps Archer as an assistant after the bowl game, his contract should be voided.

I am in my fourth decade of watching UK football teams play in Commomwealth Stadium. I have never--EVER--seen a more pitiful UK defense placed on the field than the ones I have watched play for the last two years.

Today, could have been the single worst one game defensive effort I have ever witnessed. Yes, I realize that in certain coverages we are playing 6-7 first/second years players on defense.

If they are in the right scheme, they are out of position. If they are in the right position, they miss open field tackles. Some of that you can blame on youthful inexperience. What I cannot tolerate is a Defensive Coordinator who refuses to admit he is being outcoached on a regular basis.

Today, he let an undersized Louisiana-Monroe offense absolutely shred the UK rushing defense for over 350 rushing yards on over 50 carries. I kid you not--they ran about 2-3 rushing plays the entire day.

Where were the defensive adjustments? Archer sits back and prays that somebody will make a big play or get a timely turnover. Many times this year, he has gotten lucky. UK's turnover margin is in the top 5 in the country.

It just seems like we can never put the entire package together. If the offense is clicking--then the special teams and defense are putrid. Does this team deserve to go to a bowl game? Sure.

Do I expect 7-8 wins next year? Not unless the defense is completely scrapped...starting with Archer.

Wow... I'll admit I've been going more by the wins and losses than anything else...

Thanks for the eye-opening assessment.

macro
11-19-2006, 11:26 AM
What's the schedule next year Macro?

Why so sure?

Sept. 1 EKU
Sept. 8 at Temple
Sept. 15 Louisville
Sept. 22 Florida Atlantic
Sept. 29 at Arkansas
Oct. 6 at South Carolina
Oct. 13 LSU
Oct. 20 Florida
Oct. 27 Mississippi State
Nov. 10 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 17 at Georgia
Nov. 24 Tennessee

I can see them beating EKU, Temple, Florida Atlantic, Mississippi State, and maybe Vanderbilt. So if they can win at Vanderbilt, they'll go 5-7 instead of 4-8. I seriously can't see them beating anyone else on that schedule.

Blimpie
11-19-2006, 01:03 PM
Wow... I'll admit I've been going more by the wins and losses than anything else...

Thanks for the eye-opening assessment.Archer is fully in damage-control mode right now...I can't believe that Brooks has already announced that Archer will return next year. It is unfathomable how bad that decision will be.

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/sports/colleges/university_of_kentucky/16050049.htm


Posted on Sun, Nov. 19, 2006

Archer sees nothing to smile about

By John Clay
HERALD-LEADER SPORTS COLUMNIST

Kentucky football has a rare seven wins, four wins in the conference, a record six wins at home, and appears headed to a bowl game for the first time since 1999.

But that defense!

The Cats have the SEC's most electric receiver in Keenan Burton, an All-Conference contender in quarterback Andre Woodson, another triple threat in Rafael Little, and Dicky Lyons Jr. isn't bad either.

But that defense!

"Look at me," said Mike Archer. "Do I look like I'm happy?"

You probably wouldn't be happy either if it was your unit that nearly stripped all the sparkle and shine off what should have been a glorious Senior Day at Commonwealth Stadium.

The Monroe offense was averaging 316.3 yards per game. It gained 501. It was averaging 124.9 rushing yards. It rushed for 351. It was averaging 17 points per game. It scored 40.

The Warhawks had lost 41-7 at Alabama and 44-10 at Arkansas. They lost 42-40 here yesterday.

And they might have lost only because they failed to convert a two-point conversion with 54 seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime.

"The defense made the play at the end of the game it had to make," said Rich Brooks, the UK coach.

That was about the only play it did make.

"The bottom line is we've got to play better defense," Brooks said. "No one has to tell me that."

It's as painfully obvious as Monroe's play-calling on the Warhawks' 15-play, 65-yard, 7:19 drive in the final quarter in which Monroe nearly tied the score. All 15 plays were runs. Most were the same play, a simple handoff to the running back.

"They gashed us," Brooks said. "They flat-out gashed us."

Now that same defense is in danger of gashing some of the progress Brooks has made in his four years.

The UK offense is a near juggernaut behind the creative play-calling of Joker Phillips and big-play ability of Woodson, Little, Burton and Lyons. And it doesn't stop there. The defense, however, is forever on its heels, missing tackles, grabbing at air, surrendering reams of yardage.

Last two weeks, Archer's unit has allowed 1,122 yards. Six teams this season (Louisville, Florida, Central Michigan, LSU, Vandy and now UL-Monroe) have stamped at least 500 yards on UK's Big Blue Forehead. Or is it that forehead red from embarrassment?

"We did win seven games, and I'm happy for the players," Archer said. "But I'm disgusted with what I see."

Judging by the boos that came from yesterday's Senior Day crowd of 53,463, he's not the only one.

But can it be fixed? If not this year, what about next? Brooks has already said that Archer will be back next year. Yesterday, Brooks intimated he sees similarities between last year's offense and this year's defense -- good, young players who suffered growing pains before blossoming. Of the 25 players listed on the defensive depth chart, 17 are either freshmen or sophomores.

But while last year's offense was scoring 48 at Vanderbilt, this year's defense is giving up 40 to UL-Monroe.

"My expectations were totally different because we played so many of those freshmen last year because of injuries," Archer said. "But they're still sophomores. And they're still redshirt freshmen. So we have to be patient.

"They're going to get better. Hopefully, soon."

Hopefully.

Blimpie
11-19-2006, 01:08 PM
Sept. 1 EKU
Sept. 8 at Temple
Sept. 15 Louisville
Sept. 22 Florida Atlantic
Sept. 29 at Arkansas
Oct. 6 at South Carolina
Oct. 13 LSU
Oct. 20 Florida
Oct. 27 Mississippi State
Nov. 10 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 17 at Georgia
Nov. 24 Tennessee

I can see them beating EKU, Temple, Florida Atlantic, Mississippi State, and maybe Vanderbilt. So if they can win at Vanderbilt, they'll go 5-7 instead of 4-8. I seriously can't see them beating anyone else on that schedule.Isn't Schnellenberger still at Florida Atlantic? I'll go with 4-5 wins as well. At least some of the most difficult games will be at home (Louisville, Florida, LSU and Tennessee) where there have had 10,000 empty seats for most every game this year.

macro
11-19-2006, 03:35 PM
... where there have had 10,000 empty seats for most every game this year.

I'm glad to hear that seats are remaining empty. Are you looking, Mitch, or are you too busy celebrating the two-point victory over the powerhouse team that came to town yesterday?

Oh, and the part about Archer coming back is laughable. But hey, who cares? They've got seven wins. That's the attitude that Brooks gave in the press conference yesterday.

Blimpie
11-19-2006, 10:51 PM
This is kinda where I stand on things. Mark Story has pretty much nailed the reasoning behind the apathy regarding the football team.


Posted on Sun, Nov. 19, 2006

This winning season isn't enough to make fans shout

By Mark Story
HERALD-LEADER SPORTS COLUMNIST

Appearances by Halley's comet occur with only slightly less regularity than seven-win seasons come to Kentucky football.

Yet in the news conference after Rich Brooks guided UK to only its seventh such season since Bear Bryant bailed in 1953, the mood was about as celebratory as a tax audit.

The Kentucky coach noticed.

Launching into one of his periodic high-volume, manic outbursts, Brooks shouted "HEY, WE'RE 7-4. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN AROUND HERE? GOOD LORD, LET'S LIVEN THIS PLACE UP! LET'S HAVE SOME FUN WITH THIS!"

The strangest good season in the tortured history of Kentucky football took another odd twist yesterday.

Kentucky won its seventh game by scoring 42 points while moving the ball at will.

Yet, in what was the most embarrassing defensive performance in a season filled with red-face-inducing defensive efforts, UK allowed Louisiana-Monroe -- at 2-7 entering the game, one of the worst teams in the Sun Belt Conference; a team that had scored more than 20 points in a game only three times all year -- to amass 501 yards and 40 points.

Only a failed two-point conversion inside the game's final minute allowed Kentucky to escape a subdued (and disturbingly empty) Commonwealth Stadium with a 42-40 win.

So forget the party over Andre Woodson, Keenan Burton and Co. joining the 1954, 1976, 1977, 1984, 1998 and 2002 Wildcats in the post-Bear, seven-win club.

"In the locker room, we weren't all smiley," UK wide receiver Dicky Lyons Jr. said. "We were upset that we had to go through that."

Said offensive lineman Christian Johnson: "I think you'd call this a 'sorrow-happy.' We're happy we won, but we know we should have done a lot better against this team."

The seventh victory of 2006 was the perfect symbol for this buzz-free UK football season.

In theory, the long-suffering Kentucky football fan base should have embraced a team that has already won every game it was supposed to claim with a "bonus victory" over traditional SEC big boy Georgia thrown in.

It has done so with a wildly entertaining offense featuring emerging stars at quarterback, wide receiver, running back and offensive coordinator.

Yet, somehow, the Kingdom of the Blue never bought into this football season.

Blame it on lack of enthusiasm for Brooks and his boss, the UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. Blame it on the lack of winning in the three seasons prior to this. Blame it on Barnhart-era increases in ticket-price and required "donations." Blame it on the rise of the program at U of L.

Whatever, the fans voted with their seats. Which stayed empty. Kentucky played seven home games this year. It won six. Yet it never sold out a game. It never came close. This season's average home attendance (57,301) is the worst since Commonwealth Stadium expanded to 67,000-plus in 1999.

Yesterday, multiple scouts from the AutoZone Liberty Bowl sat in the Commonwealth press box and looked out at a stadium dotted with vast expanses of emptiness and at an announced crowd of 53,463.

At a school where the fan support has long exceeded the performance on the field by eons, wouldn't it be something if this season's lack of fervor wound up costing UK dearly in the bowl selection process?

As this strange season of bittersweet draws near to a close, Kentucky has a winning team. An entertaining offense. And arguably the worst defense on a seven-win team in the history of college football.

But nobody's perfect.

When he ended his news-conference rant, Brooks shouted "WE'VE GOT WARTS. I NEVER SAID WE DIDN'T HAVE WARTS! BUT WE'VE ALSO GOT SEVEN WINS IN OUR POCKET!

In normal years at Kentucky, that should be reason for everyone to shout.

This year, for whatever reason, it just isn't.

Coming up seven

Kentucky's 42-40 victory over Louisiana-Monroe yesterday was the Wildcats' seventh this season, marking the 21st time UK has won as many as seven games in a season. Here are the others:

Year Record Year Record
2002 7-5 1947 8-3

1998 7-5 1946 7-3

1984 9-3 1912 7-2

1977 10-1 1911 7-3

1976 9-3 1910 7-2

1954 7-3 1909 9-1

1953 7-2-1 1907 9-1-1

1951 8-4 1904 9-1

1950 11-1 1903 7-1

1949 9-3 1898 7-0