The 2011 season was a disappointment for Kentucky. It was the first time it had missed a postseason game since 2005. Things have been in decline in Lexington lately.
That makes this season a make-or-break year for head coach Joker Phillips. And in the SEC, that is a tough thing to have to deal with. Games against South Carolina, Mississippi State and Georgia at home and Arkansas, Florida, Louisville and Missouri on the road make it almost impossible for Kentucky to clinch bowl eligibility without mass improvement.
2012 Forecast: I think it will be another tough year in Lexington. If the Wildcats are to succeed, they will have to be tougher and more physical than they were last year.
Offensive player to watch: #11 Morgan Smith – SR – quarterback
Defensive player to watch: #94 Taylor Wyndham – SR – defensive end
Sept. 2 – Louisville (Louisville) – Loss 28-21
Sept. 8 – Kent State (Lexington) – Win 31-21
Sept. 15 – Western Kentucky (Lexington) – Win 24-17
Sept. 22 – Florida (Gainesville) – Loss 37-14
Sept. 29 – South Carolina (Lexington) – Loss 30-14
Oct. 6 – Mississippi State (Lexington) – Loss 18-14
Oct. 13 – Arkansas (Fayetteville) – Loss 24-0
Oct. 20 – Georgia (Lexington) – Loss 38-12
Oct. 27 – Missouri (Columbia) – Loss 38-17
Nov. 3 – Vanderbilt (Lexington) – Loss 21-17
Nov. 10 – Off
Nov. 17 – Samford (Lexington) – Win 42-10
Nov. 24 – Tennessee (Knoxville) – Loss 28-14
Projected record: 3-9 (0-8)
Not only is it a losing season for the Wildcats, it is one without a single conference victory. Yes, the SEC is a tough league, but Kentucky has found ways to have success in the short-term past. If this is the outcome after the 2012 season, evaluations and perhaps adjustments will have to be made in the Kentucky football program.
*Home games are in BOLD