The dogs around Commonwealth Stadium probably won't mind if the Air Raid siren becomes a thing of the past.
Maybe Mark Stoops won't either.
During a sit-down with the media a couple of weeks ago, the Kentucky coach balked a bit when the Cats' offense was dubbed "Air Raid" by a reporter.
"Yeah, I'm not ready to define that as Air Raid, OK?" Stoops said. "Maybe I did when I walked in and they asked me, and I said, sure. I've got to talk to our marketing people about that."
He laughed as he finished the last sentence.
But Stoops' desire to have an offense that can throw the ball a bunch and also run it down opponents' throats has been well documented.
Even new UK offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, a direct descendant of the Air Raid coaching trees of Hal Mumme and West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen, fidgeted a bit when asked the "Air Raid" revival question Wednesday.
"You're going to see the evolution of the Air Raid that I'm doing now," he said matter-of-factly.
"There were times throughout the course of years when we were throwing the ball probably 80 to 90 percent of the time," said Dawson, whose Stephen F. Austin offense once threw it 85 times in a game and ran the ball just 33.8 percent of the time when he was offensive coordinator.
But that's not how it's going to be at Kentucky.
"In my opinion, if you want quarterbacks to stay on their own two feet and to stay healthy, good luck with that in today's football, because those D-linemen are rushing pretty fast," he explained. "And so we're going to do some things that keep defenses honest and keep 'em off-balance."
There are also those pesky end-of-game situations, which have caused many an issue for pass-happy coaches in the system.
"You better be able to sit there and get pad on pad with a stacked box and grind out a couple first downs to run the clock out if you're up by six or seven points," he pointed out.
Dawson said even if Mumme, one of the godfathers of the system, was asked, the former Kentucky coach would admit that the system had to evolve and has evolved.
The evolution Dawson discussed was evident at West Virginia where in one season the Mountaineers went from throwing it 57 percent of the time in 2011 to this season when they threw it just 48.7 percent of the time.
That evolution is becoming more apparent at "Air Raid" schools around the country.
Of the coaches that are best known for their so-called Air Raid styles, guys like Mike Leach (Washington State), Holgorsen (West Virginia), Art Briles (Baylor), Ruffin McNeil and Lincoln Riley (East Carolina), Sonny Dykes and Tony Franklin (California) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M), few are pass-happy.
These days they're more like pass-pleasant.
In the past two seasons, Leach is the outlier, still passing 75.9 percent of the time.
The McNeil/Riley and Dykes/Franklin combos are next-highest, throwing 57 percent of the time each of the last two seasons.
Others like Sumlin and Holgorsen are right at 50-50 in pass/throw percentages, with Sumlin's Texas A&M team throwing it 52.8 percent of the time and Holgorsen (and Dawson) throwing it around 50.2 percent of the time these past two seasons.
Some coaches, like Baylor's Briles threw it even fewer times than that, just 43.7 percent in 2013 and 2014.
At Kentucky, Neal Brown's offense passed just 48.7 percent of the time in his two seasons before departing to be head coach at Troy.
Dawson said he would throw it as little or as much as required to get a win, which seems to be how most Air Raid-types are operating these days.
"Everybody loves seeing the ball in the air, there's no doubt about it, but the one thing I love more than doing that is seeing a "W" on the scoreboard at the end of the game," he said.
In the month between West Virginia's last regular-season game, a 37-24 win at Iowa State, and its Liberty Bowl loss to Texas A&M, Dawson's life was a little, um, hectic.
"I've not slept in the same place too many times in a row," he confessed last week.
A mutual friend, whom neither Stoops nor Dawson mentioned by name, contacted him about the opening at Kentucky. Two or three days later, he was meeting with Stoops.
In that monthlong period, while he was doing bowl prep for his job as offensive coordinator, he also sat down with Mitch Barnhart to discuss facility upgrades at UK. "Everything they're doing here increased my excitement even more," Dawson said.
News broke of his new job on Dec. 18; he formally signed his contract a day later and officially started Dec. 30.
After the bowl loss, Dawson and his wife, Chelsea, got off the charter in Pittsburgh at around 11 p.m. and drove straight to Lexington.
"Basically, we had to make sure we had (health) insurance starting Jan. 1 rather than February, because we got a little one, and we had to find a house," he said.
"Both things we got done within about four hours. I promise you this: The whole family will be here a couple days after signing day. We'll be ready to go. I'm not messing around with that."
It's been a crazy few weeks, the 37-year-old said.
"When I was single, it was a lot easier to make these moves and transitions," he said. "But being married now, with the little one (3-month-old daughter Acelyn), being away from her has been tough."
Even his news conference with the media last week was on a timer as he needed to catch a flight to do some last-minute recruiting.
Confidence is high
Whether he wants to term it an Air Raid or hybrid Air Raid or the Run it More Air Raid, Stoops said in December that there's one thing he especially likes about guys who are a part of that Hal Mumme tree: confidence.
"There's things that draw me back to it," Stoops said of the system. "A lot of it has to do with attitude. I think a lot of these guys from this tree ... they have a great confidence about them that I like, that they need to bring to our offensive team and to our whole football team."
It took just a few minutes for that facet of Dawson's personality to come out in his meeting with the media. When the new coordinator was asked about winning big at a place that has spent plenty of years in the bottom half of the Southeastern Conference, Dawson had a quick reply:
"Because I think I can be successful anywhere," he said. "Maybe I'm naïve to the point, but I've taken over a couple programs that didn't win any games the year before and we were close to winning national championships at both of those programs. So I believe that it's the mental approach you have."
UK from outside perspective
While at West Virginia the past few years, Dawson did his share of recruiting against Kentucky, Stoops and Vince Marrow , especially in Ohio.
The week before, Marrow even joked (maybe?) that Dawson would be happier to be "on this side now."
Dawson didn't deny that and also had interesting insight to why UK is having unprecedented recruiting success.
"Watching those guys recruit for the past two years, obviously social media is huge and their extent into social media and the way they target these kids has been off the charts," Dawson said.
It's created a good talent base that UK will continue to build upon, the new offensive coordinator said.
"I'm going to learn a lot from those guys with that, too," he said. "So I do think they've built a base, a foundation for this program, that's going to continue to improve and continue getting better players."