John Adams: UT-Kentucky goes best with a sense of humor

John Adams
Outgoing Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips, right, hugs Cartier Rice during Senior Night ceremonies before an NCAA college football game against Samford, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The Samford game marks Phillips' last home game as head coach at Kentucky. He was fired Nov. 4 and will coach until the end of the season. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Outgoing Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips, right, hugs Cartier Rice during Senior Night ceremonies before an NCAA college football game against Samford, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The Samford game marks Phillips' last home game as head coach at Kentucky. He was fired Nov. 4 and will coach until the end of the season. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

A coach named "Joker" has to have a sense of humor — even if he is about to become unemployed (effective, end of the game). So how cool would it be if outgoing Kentucky coach Joker Phillips started a wide receiver at quarterback against the Vols?

You saw how that worked out last season with Matt Roark playing quarterback for the first time since high school. Besides, it's not as though the other quarterbacks are reminding anyone of Tim Couch.

And it's not as though the coach's job is on the line.

Tennessee 59, Kentucky 24: No pressure on the Vols today, so look for them to bring back the glory days of 1997-98 when they scored 59 points on the Wildcats in consecutive seasons.

The biggest winner of the day will be interim coach Jim Chaney, who will conclude his head-coaching career with an unbeaten record and forever be remembered as the man who ended UT's one-game losing streak to Kentucky.

Alabama 41, Auburn 7: Remember how the last Tide-Tigers matchup started out in Tuscaloosa two years ago? Look for more of the same — but without the second-half Auburn turnaround.

And no tree will perish.

Florida State 24, Florida 17: The season has gone on a little too long for the Gators offense, which spent the first half of the season knocking holes in opposing defenses for quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Mike Gillislee.

The offense now looks tired. Too tired to beat the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

Georgia 41, Georgia Tech 20: The uncertainty of Georgia's mindset might raise the possibility of an upset. Could the Bulldogs be looking ahead to the SEC championship game against Alabama?

The question isn't farfetched for a team that has lost its focus more than once this season. But even if it just goes through the motions, Georgia Tech won't be able to keep up.

Ole Miss 34, Mississippi State 31: So much has happened at the top of the SEC this season, you might have missed what's going on at the bottom — mainly, the Rebels aren't there.

Coach Hugh Freeze has had an immediate impact after taking over a program that was 6-18 the previous two seasons. Now, he's in position to end the Bulldogs' three-game winning streak in the in-state rivalry.

Texas A&M 44, Missouri 20: The Aggies and Tigers came into the SEC together. But since then, they have gone their separate ways.

Texas A&M has gone up. Missouri has gone down.

They won't get any closer today.

South Carolina 30, Clemson 27: Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier usually picks on opponents for two reasons: 1. He thinks he can affect the opposing coach; 2. He thinks he can win the game.

He should succeed on both points today.

Vanderbilt 27, Wake Forest 20: Winning eight games would qualify as a magical season. Getting more than 5,000 fans to follow them to an out-of-state bowl would qualify as a miraculous season.

Top 25: Notre Dame 31, Southern California 13; Oregon 41, Oregon State 30; UCLA 30, Stanford 27; Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 42; Pittsburgh 27, Rutgers 24; Ohio State 30, Michigan 20; Louisville 37, Connecticut 23.

Record: 198-49 (.801), 110-106 (.508) against the spread.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 4

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

The biggest difference for Ole Miss this year seems to be that Arkansas and Auburn have been down big time. Otherwise, they could well be 3-8 right now instead of 5-6, which doesn't exactly put them out of the cellar BTW, specially if they lose to MSU.

orangecountyvols writes:

10SEVol,

Did you watch the Arkansas vs LSU game?

Did it look familiar? Arkansas was at the LSU 1/2 yard line and took a field goal.
If I remember correctly, they got inside the 5 and had first and goal. Once again, another team went pass happy.........and lost. On 3rd down from the 1 they called a QB sneak and Wilson edged it closer.......
then came the infamous field goal.......and a loss. Crowd was very displeased with the call.

Anyway, this is as close as LSU gets to the SEC CG.........since Alabama is not about to lose to Auburn by any stretch.

We just need the Vols to at least end on a good note.

CroKev writes:

Knoxville New Year's resolution:
1) New coaching staff
2) New KNS sports writers
(not necessarily in that order...)

BolivrBob writes:

Sigh...................

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