- Joined: Jan 30, 2012
- Last Login: Nov 28, 2021, 4:31pm EST
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- Comments: 4,745
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Game on Paper fun
Fairly even in a lot of areas (turnovers, explosive plays, TFL, sacks, etc), but UK stands out in the trenches. Just grinded them away again.
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It's fun to be on the other side of Perfect Storm-type games
In the College Football Expanded Universe I don’t think there are many timelines that have UK winning by that much. A defense that most of the season was allowing 40% conversion on third downs is holding a team to less than 15% conversion until garbage time? Awesome. A team that’s committed 22 turnovers in 11 preceding games doesn’t commit any? Fabulous. Cunningham was sporting a 183 QBR in the month of November, and a 148 QBR for the season at home, gets held 111 QBR by a defense that was allowing about 250 yards passing per game prior to the last two weeks. Outstanding. The great thing about yesterday was similar things happening in the OSU-Michigan and OU-OK St. games too!
When UK scored on its first two opening drives, and UofL followed with a turnover on downs, the Cardinals looked to me like they started playing tight. Meanwhile, UK’s team became a lot more animated – staff and all – after the shoving match on the sideline. Pretty quickly could diagnose the mentally tougher team.
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I think the 2018 team was better at every position than the 2021 team besides QB and TE/WR. Even then, the strengths of the 2018 (secondary and pass rush) would have been a bad matchup for those advantages. I also think UK’s 2018 OL was far better than the 2021 front seven, so Snell would have run for 130 yards and TW would have had clean pockets to throw to Bowden .Without double-checking, I also think the Miss St. and Florida teams the 2018 beat were better than any team the 2021 team beat.
The thing I can’t square in my head is wanting to be all the more congratulatory for the coaches overachieving to 9-3 even more so than the 2018 season while thinking the 2018 staff was a lot better than the 2021 staff. Maybe SoS explains. Not sure I have an answer.
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Preach it, Coach.
Kentucky won 10 games in 2018, 8 in 2019, 9 (and counting) in 2021. The Cats just finished with the SEC’s fourth-best record (overall and league). Is this the ceiling at UK?
"Oh, hell no," Stoops told me. "I definitely feel like there’s more in us."https://t.co/xpN8VWnety
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 28, 2021
"Oh, hell no," Stoops said amid the cigar smoke. "I definitely feel like there’s more in us. As you continue to get better and gain credibility throughout the league and continue to work your tail off at recruiting, you start to get difference-makers. Wan’Dale (Robinson) is a difference-maker. Will (Levis) is a difference-maker. A couple of those guys come back next year and some of the guys we’re bringing in? Now what?"
More? "That comes with recruiting," Stoops said. "I’ve got to continue to elevate recruiting. You look at the Georgias of the world and the kind of guys they get, and we’ve got to continue to chip away and get some of those guys."
Expecting a higher ceiling sometimes comes with baggage because the more toxic fans online are usually associated with always wanting more, but they can be right even if their methods are wrong. We can simultaneously acknowledge how far we’ve come while expecting more.
What would another standard deviation of progress look like to me? A combination of: a four year average of a Top 15 signing class, winning more games by more than one score, fewer 50/50 games against SEC teams and more 65/35 games, and making a 12- or 16-team playoff every five years. From a national perspective, I think that would put Kentucky on the same tier as Oklahoma St., Wisconsin, and Washington. From a SEC perspective, Kentucky would supplant Florida in the East and Auburn in the West.
In 2014 when we said "Why Not?" as Kentucky fans that was largely associated with annual bowl games and some plucky upsets along the way. In 2021, "Why Not?" should be associated with larger goals. Why not expect more is plausible?
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Heading to the game tonight
This will be me in the stands if UK wins:
This will be me in self-enforced solitary for the rest of the weekend if UK loses:
I don’t like two of UK’s three primary ball-handlers are turnover prone, but I do like UofL’s depth issues hurt them in the fourth quarter of games. I think UK will have to be on the right side of turnovers and grind away clock in a game of keep away from the other team’s offense. Same formula UK used a lot 2016-2019.
KENTUCKY @ LOUISVILLE pic.twitter.com/F2cGV2Avt6
— parker (@statsowar) November 23, 2021
I really hope LSU doesn't do the smart thing and hire Stoops instead of a "bigger name"
If you're an LSU fan worried about Mark Stoops' name surfacing, 1. It's been a possibility for a long time 2. You better hope they're not A/B testing Bill O'Brien
— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) November 24, 2021
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CFB Subreddit reax (aka tea from other team's premium message boards getting spilled)
Lots of fan bases think they have a shot. "Georgia insiders saying Georgia or Bama." Lots of OSU references too.
I’d bet a good chunk of the G5 would be happy to have him. I don’t know if he, or White, want to go back to the NFL one day or not. HC in the P5, or coordinator at a blue blood, would be an easier path to get back.
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Sources: Troy University expected to fire coach Chip Lindsey today. He went 15-19 in three seasons there. https://t.co/s79xgvGFkH
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 21, 2021
Jon Sumrall was a finalist last time round.
Tom Herman went 7-3 last year. All 3 losses were by 3 pts or fewer in regulation. #HookEm
— Tyler Duffy (@tyduffy) November 20, 2021
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South Carolina is decent. They’ll get better sooner than Mizzou is my bet.
I don’t think he’ll go somewhere he isn’t #1 on the depth chart
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Jeff Sheppard on the moment Reed told John Calipari he was committing to Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/1ltX7TIbdW
— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) November 20, 2021
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I was thinking Coach Taylor moving from Dillon West HS to Dillon East HS but this is better.
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On the plus side, he’d bank the generational wealth he’s made at UK, secure some form of generous contractual guarantees from LSU to leave UK, and if he’s fired by LSU within two years he can be semi-retired and watch his sons play HS ball while still getting paid by LSU for another 2-5 years.
I hope no one views our conversation as anyone complaining (besides me a little bit).
If I were to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment…
but I believe that the step to the next level is going to be difficult and glacial in nature
…what if it doesn’t happen this way? What if a bunch of smaller factors – portal, NIL, TV dollars, coaching salaries drawing closer, facilities becoming more comparable, 12-16 team playoff, Saban retiring – cumulatively lead to CFB having more parity than it has historically over the next 5 years? If that’s the case, I’d sure like UK to be poised to take advantage.
can Stoops nail that hire and actually upgrade?
Million dollar question right there. Coaching hires are usually 50/50, right? I would say if UK is offering the position with the same pay and responsibilities post-Marrow they’ll have a good group of applicants (assuming everything is on board).
A more fair way of making my original point would be to focus on a broader recruiting overhaul beyond just the RC (forgot about Jacob Lacey and Walker Parks the other night too. Maybe Gavin Wimstatt or others?). Who on this staff are the ace recruiters? I count two, maybe three, so if the assistants who aren’t great recruiting aces also aren’t great mentors then I think we can do better. If we basically agree on the premise that we could squeeze more juice out of the recruiting orange, then I don’t think we are too far apart on the bottom line, maybe?
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I agree 100% with your transfer portal point, but it’s also the wild card for everyone everywhere. I don’t expect much returns on personnel arbitrage after this year. I don’t think any team will hit the cycle on Levis, Robinson, Jones, and Rosenthal again. Well, someone will, but I don’t think it’ll be a P5 and/or happen again often.
But I’m really not sure what else there is to do. We are who we are and this is likely our ceiling unless our state demographics change.
I’m old enough to recall people saying this in 1998. Hell, I’m old enough to remember today’s darlings Alabama and Clemson sucking at football. "Clemsoning" was a common phrase (sorry Mom) for playing down to your opponent in the parlance of 2008-2013. Programs ebb and flow – we don’t have to be a static program.
I’ve seen it now with my own eyes, and now I’d like more please and thank you. Less talented Missouri took advantage of a down SECE to win back-to-back division titles. This team’s roster is close to the 2013 Mizzou team minus a five star WR. I don’t expect overcoming a title contender like UGA this year, but how we win/lose is telling.
We can…dramatic pause… let Marrow move on and sign a younger "RC". A lot of folk online will lose their mind to this radical idea, but he’s proven his ceiling, and he’s only getting older. Let’s go bigger now as he’s fulfilled his purpose. He’s locked down in-state recruits after Schlarman had his recruiting understandably curtailed, but he’s still not winning major recruiting battles. My takes are too harsh to some but winning in-state is the bare minimum and yet we’ve still lost: Jordan Watkins, Michael Mayer, Damien Harris, Jed Wills, etc. "RC loses in-state blue chips but gets a pay raise to coordinator level." We should talk about that more, but he’s media’s biggest source so not going to happen (well played). Winning Mayer who grew up an altar boy in pro-ND NKY to ND is understandable, but unfortunately our blue chip losses aren’t anecdotal. Paid like a coordinator but losing the Commonwealth’s best talent. Must be nice.
I’m happy with this season. I have comments here that established I didn’t buy into the 11-1 talk, but I also have tens of thousands of words establishing how UK wins/loses is more important than some people realize. How we are winning/losing has hit a ceiling. Who wants to lead the non-fun conversation about stasis as regression? It should be talked about more. We can applaud both the win-loss record while also pointing towards the seams showing in the eight year-old family couch. I’ve been consistent on this point since the dark days of September 2013.
Unfortunately – now trying to tie all my comments in the last 24 hours into a single coherent rant – no one will talk about the drastic changes needed to move forward. Gran got the axe but he’s a small fry. The relatively painless choice. The easiest scape goat.
Hence, more 50/50 games vs MSU, UofL, and UT instead of 65/35. Hence deux, playing an injured NB because your other NB has act a doofus and you have no one else. Etc. Life isn’t easier after Gran because…[you finished the sentence for me it was so obvious]
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it’s so tough to break into the top 20 on recruiting unless you can rely on strong in-state recruiting as a base. having said that, it’s hard to name the last consensus blue chip skill position player they’ve signed from out of state since Bowden.
I guess my ennui is derived from the fact we hit a wall a while ago. And I don’t think it’s getting better until we recruit better, but the figurehead for our recruiting is beyond criticism/reproach. We’re an Oscar nominee that’s put on a suit, done hair and makeup, knowing we’re going to lose to Denzel.
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to be fair, 5-3 in the SEC is a great record and a long way from 2012. this has been an unbelievably good makeover. my annoyance at recruiting shouldn’t be outweighed by what they’ve accomplished on the field. i use to think 7-8 wins annually was the ceiling. they’ve shown it’s higher.
I’d like to see objective coverage but unfortunately Marrow is the media’s best source! Fans won’t know they are screwed until it’s too late.
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— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) November 14, 2021
Makes me think of this deleted Tweet from 2018:
There’s still not much depth (across the board, not talking about individual positions) and recruiting hit bedrock five years ago. I think the coaches have done yeoman work. We need better players to advance to the next tier. Our Recruiting Coordinator makes $900k/year but he’s a sacred cow.