UK Football

Cats picked fourth in SEC East, ahead of Vols

Alabama running back Mark Ingram talks to the media during the Southeastern Conference Media Days on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/ Butch Dill)
Alabama running back Mark Ingram talks to the media during the Southeastern Conference Media Days on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/ Butch Dill) AP

HOOVER, Ala. — Randall Cobb was asked earlier this week where he thought Kentucky would be picked in the pre-season poll at Southeastern Conference Football Media Days.

"We'll be somewhere at the bottom," Kentucky's junior wide receiver said. "Guaranteed."

Well, things weren't quite as bad as Cobb predicted. The Wildcats were picked by the media to finish fourth in the SEC Eastern Division, ahead of both Tennessee and Vanderbilt. UK received the eighth-most overall points (462), ahead of Tennessee (450), Mississippi State (320), Mississippi (293) and Vanderbilt (194).

Florida was picked to win the East with 153 first-place votes, with Georgia (15 first-place votes) second and South Carolina (8) third.

For the first time since 2000, defending national champion Alabama was picked to win the SEC title. The Crimson Tide also had a league-high 12 representatives on the All-SEC team, led by 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, who was the leading vote-getter with 165 votes.

Kentucky's Cobb and Derrick Locke both made the media All-SEC first team, Cobb as an all-purpose player and Locke as a return specialist. The two players were also named to the second-team offense. UK senior defensive end DeQuin Evans, who was selected second-team All-SEC by the coaches, did not make the media team.

Kentucky gets votefor SEC champion

Not only did the Wildcats get picked ahead of Tennessee, one media member actually voted for UK as the overall SEC champion.

The identity of the voter was not known, but this was the first year that ballots were done online at SEC Media Days instead of manually.

Vanderbilt received a vote to win the SEC East.

Stocker savors The Streak

Tennessee senior tight end Luke Stocker was the first player from Madison Southern to sign a Division I-A football scholarship when he chose Tennessee in 2006. Now, he's a second-team All-SEC pick and viewed as a legitimate NFL prospect.

"I've always felt like I've had something to prove," Stocker said. "I knew I had a chance, but being from Madison County I don't think many people expected me to do much at Tennessee. But I've always believed in myself."

Stocker said he hopes to preserve UT's 25-game winning streak over Kentucky this year, which is the longest such streak in the nation. UK visits Neyland Stadium on Nov. 27.

"It's your last game at Neyland, so you don't want to lose anyway," Stocker said. "And you definitely don't want to lose to your home state, who you've beaten 25 straight times. I definitely don't want that streak to end under my watch."

Stocker nearly helped UK break the streak last year, when his fumble late in the game gave the Wildcats a chance for a game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. But the Cats had to settle for a field goal and UT won 30-24 in overtime.

"That was a sick feeling I had," Stocker recalled. "If we had lost that game, the end of the streak would have been on my shoulders."

Fan Day Aug. 7

Kentucky's annual Fan Day will be held the evening of Saturday, Aug. 7 in Commonwealth Stadium, UK announced Friday.

UK football items will be given away and fans will have an opportunity to interact with first-year head coach Joker Phillips and the team. Additional information, including starting time and schedule of events, will be announced next week.