My favorite blog is www.ASeaOfBlue.com. I’m a little biased because I grew up on a farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and a passion for Kentucky athletics was planted into my life from a young age. Regardless, I have checked this blog almost daily for the past few years to catch up on football, basketball, and other sports news relating to UK. I had the privilege of interviewing the editor of this blog, Glenn Logan, and I wanted to share his thoughts with all of our SEC Football fans:
What is your prediction for Kentucky’s record in the 2010 football season? What are the key matchups?
I look for Kentucky to go 7-5 this year in the regular season, but they have a fair shot at 8-4. I think that Joker Phillips will be able to hit the ground running unlike teams that hired coaches from outside their existing organization. Key games this year for Kentucky would be:
1) @ Louisville — Louisville just hired a new coach from outside, so they will experience the same growing pains as they did when Bobby Petrino left, but now they have significantly less talent. UK needs to win this game very badly.
2) @ Mississippi and @ Mississippi State — Kentucky needs at least one win from these two games. Neither team looks like gangbusters, but winning on the road is always hard in the SEC.
3) Vanderbilt in Commonwealth Stadium — Vanderbilt seems to always be the team UK needs to beat to make a bowl. This season will likely be no different.
4) @ Tennessee — This year, I think Kentucky will actually have a better team than the Volunteers. Knocking out the ridiculous 25-game Tennessee winning streak in Knoxville would be a great way to end the year.
What do you expect Kentucky’s strength will be this football season?
Once again, I think it will be the running game, although UK is likely to be much more balanced offensively this year. Derrick Locke is returning for his senior year, and he is one of the fastest and most elusive running backs in the SEC. He will be capably backed up by Donald Russell, Jonathan George, and Coshick Williams. Senior Moncell Allen will take over the fullback position, and he will be a very dangerous situational threat from that spot.
Kentucky’s receiving corps has finally matured, and should be a threat this year to do some serious damage downfield. The big question right now is, who will be throwing them the football?
Defensively, Kentucky should be adequate, although they lost a bunch of players from the defense, especially in the linebacking corps. The loss of Trevard Lindley, UK’s all-American cornerback, will also be sorely felt.
Will Joker Phillips be able to build upon the momentum surrounding the football program under Rich Brooks?
I think so. Recruiting-wise, he is doing as well or better than when Brooks was here. With the addition of Tee Martin and Greg Nord, UK now has increased their recruiting presence in Louisville and the deep South. That is already paying dividends judging from the verbals that Kentucky has received so far this year.
As far as the team goes, Joker is now free to experiment on offense, and I think that Rich Brooks was holding that back. Brooks played a very conservative and specific pro-set offense, and I look for Phillips to tinker with that a bit this year. That should add a bit of drama to games where teams are facing the same system, but against a coach who has more freedom than previously.
How do you think Kentucky will fit into the SEC East in the upcoming years? Do you predict them making a move towards overthrowing some of the powerhouses in the conference?
I don’t know. At the level UK is currently recruiting at, it will be hard for them to move up unless some of the other teams move down a bit. Until Kentucky is able to consistently get higher levels of talent through recruiting, it’s hard to see them moving up much past the middle of the SEC pack, at least for the foreseeable future.
Of course, it’s always possible that Joker Phillips will be a spectacular head coach and turn Kentucky into a national contender, but in a league like the SEC, I think UK would need a lot of help from other schools. The bottom line is, until Kentucky is recruiting at least to the level of Auburn or South Carolina, they will not likely be a consistent contender for the SEC East.
Can you tell our readers from around the SEC a little about www.ASeaOfBlue.com?
A Sea of Blue is the SB Nation Kentucky Wildcats blog. The primary authors on the site are myself (blogging under the nom de plume “Truzenzuzex“) and Ken Howlett, but we have several other contributors. We cover primarily football and basketball, but we do track baseball and women’s basketball a bit, as well as some of the minor sports at Kentucky.
Unlike most SEC blogs, A Sea of Blue tends to be a basketball-first blog, and we get into football coverage quite a bit later than most SEC bloggers do. We really ramp it up in August and throughout the football season, but basketball is the sport of choice among the Big Blue Faithful, and we have to respect that.
We try very hard to cover UK sports from a fan perspective, but also try to be as fair as possible in our coverage. We are mostly an opinion and analysis-oriented site and do not go in for getting “scoops” or trying to get a leg up on the news. We also do not try to cover recruiting much like some of the other UK sites do, although we do follow and comment on it.