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Kentucky Wildcats: Sunday Brunch 11.04.2012

News, commentary, and opinion from around the Big Blue Internet. Kentucky football finds rock bottom. Kentucky basketball ready to excel. The LSU-Alabama game and what it means. More.

Hope does not survive contact with reality.
Hope does not survive contact with reality.

Welcome to the first A Sea of Blue Sunday Brunch. Today's links will be mostly focused on UK football and basketball, and some will come with extended commentary:

Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt yesterday:

  • Mark Story: It's time for UK, Joker Phillips to part ways //
    Gee, Mark, ya think? In my mind, that decision has been made for some time now. Everybody, Phillips included, seems to know that.

  • UK-Vandy notes: Mostly empty stadium shocks Kentucky players //
    Here's the question: How many adults are going to brave a cold, rainy, miserable day to watch a football team that isn't just struggling, it's failing? The answer: Not many.

  • Kentucky Football Notebook - Attendance sags at UK-Vandy game //

    Sanders on moving past the latest loss: "I’m looking forward to going home, sitting on my recliner and talking to my dog. My dog really doesn’t care what happened today. He might be the only one I know that doesn’t care."
    No, Randy, dogs don't care. But people do.
  • UK basketball notebook: Schnellenberger sees hope for UK football //
    Jerry Tipton ventures into the football arena. I think we need to use the wisdom of the Schnellenberger to our advantage in the search for a replacement for Joker Phillips, when that time comes.

  • Is Mitch Barnhart Accusing Fans of Being Racist? // Everything Kentucky
    No, Sam, he isn't. He is pointing out that many fans have banded together in an effort to force his hand by refusing to attend games.

    Anyone who has been paying attention over the last four years knows that there was a vocal minority who did not want Phillips hired as the "coach in waiting." They wanted what UK fans always want -- a "Name." These fans have been at the core of the discontent of UK football, and have helped create the atmosphere that produced the fan boycott. That, in my view, is what Barnhart is referring to.

    The perception that this was a racial reference is unfortunate, and, to me at least, obviously wrong. While there are no doubt some fans out there somewhere motivated by racial bigotry, Barnhart would never acknowledge their existence in public, and it wouldn't be necessary to do so. There are plenty of people with a personal grudge against Phillips, and it has, in large part, to do with performance. UK fans take failure personally, and they have visited their frustration on the coach because he has failed, not because of the color of his skin.

  • Mitch Barnhart needs to step up // Ky Cat Stats
    We have seen this opinion here, and elsewhere. I don't agree, but I do understand why people feel this way. Unfortunately, it is reactionary and offers no real advantage, in my view.

    Fans won't show up to the games if we fire Phillips today, or tomorrow, or anytime before the season. Fans will show up when a new coach is in place, and the team has a chance to win. As to it being an "ugly scene" in two weeks, that's just incorrect, in my view. It's as ugly as it is gong to get right now. There is realistically no "down" from here, and with basketball ramping up and big games on the horizon, only the football die-hards, who are a minority at Kentucky, are going to be wringing their hands about the football program.

    When Barnhart does announce that Phillips will not be retained, whenever it is, fans will pay attention again. They will pay attention, but they will not return in significant numbers to the games. What you have right now is a lot of venting. The adults must remain in charge, and must do the right thing, not the expedient or popular thing.

  • "I am not going anywhere" - Patrick Towles // vaughtsviews
    I don't expect he will. UK is going to have a new coach next year, and Towles will certainly be in the competition for starting QB. But I don't think he will win the job if Maxwell Smith is back and healthy.

  • Numbers against keeping UK coach Joker Phillips just continue to get even more staggering // vaughtsviews
    A comment from Larry Vaught's blog:

    Larry, will you refresh my memory? A lot of the media are making good points about how UK gave Rich Brooks a fourth year when the UK program was about as awful as it is now, but my question is, had BBN given up on that team us much as they’ve given up on this team? I’ve been one of the few holding on to hope that injuries/youth have have been the biggest downfall of this years team, but, when you’re only playing in front of 19,000 a game, I think a change HAS to be made. Thanks for clarifying.
    The answer is that no, the fans did not give up on Brooks' third year as badly as they have on this one. But there were mitigating factors there. Probation was the biggest one, because most fans knew Brooks was operating with scholarship reductions.

    Then there were all the injuries on top of that. Phillips has injuries as an excuse, but the problem is that fans view him as having many advantages over Brooks in both talent and the fact he's been around the program a long time. All those perceptions are true, and while they may not be absolutely fair, the truth of the matter is that as head coach, Phillips has failed.

    Look, failure happens to us all. I have failed. You have failed. Every human being has failed. It is said that we learn more from our failures than from our successes. With that said, failure as a football coach will get you fired, not executed or imprisoned. Life goes on after failure. Joker will go on, just not here.
  • Joker Phillips downcast after Kentucky football gets 40-0 drubbing from Vanderbilt // Courier-Journal

    Phillips said he doesn’t expect Barnhart to break from his oft-repeated stance, that he’ll evaluate the coach after the season. Phillips said if a decision had been made behind closed doors, it would be in everyone’s best interest to just come out and say it, to "help get another guy or help us in recruiting."
    Or just to get it over with, eh Joker? Nobody likes to wait for the axe to fall. But that's what happens all too often.

    In all honesty, maybe the ax will fall this week. Phillips seems to be all but asking for it to happen right now. Based on that, it would not shock me if Barnhart changed his mind and made the move. I don't think that's the best way, but then again, I'm not the Athletics Director, and he hasn't asked me for my opinion.
  • KSR writer gets blasted for a fair and reasonable opinion
    I truly hope that the commenters over there are not representative of the majority of UK fans. If they are, then our lousy reputation on the Internet is well deserved.

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