The answer to that question is back to the drawing board. I’m not going to sit here and complain or criticize the Cats for how they played against Louisville. Louisville was the superior team coming into the game regardless. What is being questioned here by Phillips, his players, and the fans are UK’s effort and output. As for next week, the Cats are only seven point favorites over Kent State.
Apparently Sunday was enough evidence for the folks at ESPN to place Kentucky dead last in their SEC Power Rankings. The fact that they are ranked behind a Texas A&M team who hasn’t played a game yet this season is saying a lot. So what exactly does Joker need here? He needs time. Unless you have the players necessary from the start, it will take time for them to be integrated in your system and get the ball rolling.
Mark Story from the Herald-Leader seems to agree. Rich Brooks wasn’t popular during his first few seasons in Lexington. He had a 9-25 record after his first three seasons. Nine wins, 25 losses. Yet with time, he was able to right the ship, and led Kentucky to four straight bowl appearances and three bowl wins, a first in school history. And most important of all, Phillips was part of that success as Head Coach of the Offense, rather than offensive coordinator.
Despite not maintaining the same level of success as the past few seasons, Joker has been able to accomplish what Brooks and previous coaches weren’t able to do. Beating South Carolina and Steve Spurrier in 2010, and finally breaking the streak against “that other team” down I-75 in 2011 were milestones for Kentucky.
If we’re going to look at the stats, the stats say that we’re headed in the right direction.