By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor


Music to listen to: I Miss Being Misses Tonight by Loretta Lynn ft. Jack White

Last Season: Renowned defensive coordinator Mark Stoops took over the Kentucky program last year replacing Joker Phillips who had decent success with the Wildcats. In his first year at the helm, Stoops led Kentucky to a 2-10 record. It was the first time in Kentucky history that the program had two consecutive double-digit loss seasons.

The Wildcats also lost to Western Kentucky and Louisville in the same season for the first time in a long time which couldn’t have sat well with the natives.   Recruiting usually doesn’t make it into my review of a team’s previous year performance but the Wildcats’ ability to get two consecutive recruiting classes ranked nationally in the top-30 is commendable and a testament to the improved talent level that’s heading to Lexington.

Offense: Neal Brown came to Kentucky as offensive coordinator with Stoops hoping to revitalize the offense with an up-tempo, passing attack. What resulted was a unit that topped 17 points only twice during SEC competition. Another offseason of practice would look to improve that production.   While sophomore Patrick Towles looks to be the leading candidate at starting quarterback, there will be open competition at the spot all the way up to opening day. The Wildcats do benefit from a solid backfield led by Jojo Kemp and Braylon Heard and returning its top-five receivers from last season led by senior Javess Blue.

Four starters return to the offensive line that was underwhelming the majority of last season.

Defense: The Wildcats’ defense struggled throughout last season as well and will miss the serves of Avery Williamson, who led the team in tackles the past two seasons at middle linebacker. Defensive linemen Za’Darius Smith and Bud Dupree combined for 13 sacks last year and return to the Wildcats.   The secondary must improve from gaining only one interception last season.



8/30 Tennessee-Martin
9/6 Ohio
9/13 at Florida
9/27 Vanderbilt
10/4 South Carolina
10/11 Louisiana-Monroe
10/18 at LSU
10/25 Mississippi State
11/1 at Missouri
11/8 Georgia
11/15 at Tennessee
11/29 at Louisville


If the Wildcats can be 2-0 heading into Florida, it would be a solid accomplishment. They play in the easier (relatively speaking) SEC East and avoid Alabama and Auburn on the schedule which is a major plus. The swing contest of the season will be against Vanderbilt. If the Wildcats can beat the Commodores, an upset may push the win total to six which means a bowl appearance.

First memory: Tim Couch putting in work in the late 1990’s for the Wildcats was my first introduction to the program growing up in the NYC. His time with the Cleveland Browns didn’t go as well but under Hal Mumme, Couch was a badass.

Favorite alum

: lorensen-kentucky

This is an easy one. Jared Lorenzen served as an inspiration for bigger football players like me that anything is possible on the football field like a 270-pounder playing quarterback at a competent level for a SEC program. Bravo, Hefty Lefty, Bravo! Honorable mention Tom Hammond, Rex Chapman, Pat Riley and Jamal Mashburn


ashley judd

Ashley Judd has been a charter member of my Top Five club since its inception years ago. There have been many changes to the list over the years but since I saw her in A Time To Kill back in 1996, she’s been a member. Once I found out she’s a big sports fan (granted for one college program), that has darn near guaranteed lifetime placement. In fact, in 2013, she was elevated to President/General Manager of the squad to allow five other women a spot on the team.  Needless to say, she’s the crush.

Overall outlook: The reality of the SEC is that you can improve your program by getting better coaching, bringing in an improved roster and take tangible, positive steps but still end up with a losing record. Stoops is a solid coach, the talent level has increased in Lexington but its still hard to see the squad becoming bowl-eligible in 2014. Four victories looks like a reality but also a two-victory increase from last year which has to be looked at as a positive.

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