It’s more or less a foregone conclusion that Joker Phillips won’t be coaching at Kentucky in 2013. The only sensible course of action is to let Phillips go after 3 seasons, each worse than the last. It’s truly a shame to see Phillips fail, because he is one of us, a true blue fan who has been a part of UK as a student-athlete, graduate assistant, assistant coach, offensive coordinator, recruiter and now as head coach. He loves this football team as much as anyone in the Commonwealth. He was the one chance for continued success at Kentucky, a well-thought of coaching candidate who would likely never leave for greener pastures had things worked out.
Now UK fans are treated to new coach speculation, a process which hasn’t visited Lexington in over a decade. The grapevine is alight with rumors of different coaches who have connections to Kentucky and others whom the “big boosters” have vetted before the process starts. The entire spectrum of coaching candidates is open to speculation, but Wildcat fans need to keep expectations reasonable. Kentucky won’t be announcing the hiring of Jon Gruden, Bobby Petrino, Chris Peterson or Jim Tressel anytime in the near future.
It is also unlikely that a decent coach who already has a job at a BCS school would choose to move to Lexington in what would likely be a downgrade in positions. There is nothing that UK offers that Tommy Tuberville, Charlie Strong, and faux-savior Mike Leach can’t already get from their current positions. Most will sound the SEC battle-cry here but stepping into a lower-tier school in the nation’s toughest conference is unlikely to appeal to most. And there is also the basketball-centric culture in Lexington, which is a serious disadvantage to football, even if Wildcat fans refuse to accept the truth. For those who still doubt, look no further than the pigskin accomplishments of Duke, Syracuse, UNC, Indiana and UConn. But that is a topic for another day.