When you look back at Rich Brooks' coaching career several things stand out, including his 4 consecutive Bowl games. He ends his UK tenure with 39 wins, 5th all-time at UK. But no win was bigger than the one on November 4th, 2006.
It was a cold Saturday afternoon in Lexington. Rich Brooks and the rest of the Kentucky coaching staff was feeling the pressure from the public. It was my first year of covering Kentucky football for WYMT. I remember the constent discussion of whether or not Brooks would be fired at the end of the season (if not sooner).
But somehow, by the grace of God, the Wildcats came to play, knocking off Georgia at home 24-20. It was Kentucky's first win over the Bulldogs since 1996. The fans stormed the field and tore down the goalposts. It was one of only 2 times that has happened at Commonwealth Stadium (the other was after an Overtime victory against Alabama in 1997).
The Cats got on a roll after that, winning 6 of their final 7 including a 28-20 win over Clemson in the Music City Bowl.
Although, to be fair, Rich Brooks probably truly saved his job, and permantly changed the course of Kentucky football the week before when UK went to Starkville and beat Mississippi State 34-31 following a 49-0 shalacking at the hands of LSU.
Either way, that two week period is what altered the fate of Kentucky football. Probably for the better. Just some thoughts.
We'll miss you Coach Brooks. Thanks for a great time.
~ Jeff Archer