Is Cincinnati’s Butch Jones on Kentucky’s Radar?

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The vacant coaching job at Kentucky has gone under-the radar with Tennessee and Arkansas dominating the headlines with rumors abound who will be their next head coach.

However, the job at Kentucky could be the one that is filled first and it could come soon.

Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones is believed to be the top target for the Wildcats and could be named the coach of the struggling SEC program when Cincinnati finishes their regular season.

A jump from the lifeless Big East to the SEC certainly would be a challenge for Jones who would be taking on the daunting task of resurrecting the Kentucky program while competing in the SEC east against some of the best teams in the country on a weekly basis.

The last coach to leave the Cincinnati program was Brian Kelly, and he did so after an undefeated regular season, to take the job at Notre Dame, and his team is No. 1 and one win away from a BCS Championship Game berth.

Kelly’s predecessor was Mark D’Antonio who has enjoyed a great deal of success at Michigan State, despite this season’s struggles.

One thing is clear and that is the Cincinnati program is a good feeder system for major conference jobs and would give Jones an opportunity on a bigger platform and a bigger paycheck.

The Kentucky program can only go up after hitting rock bottom this season with Joker Phillips and Jones is 17-5 in his last two seasons and can start the culture change in Lexington, Ky and bring the program back to respectability.

Cincinnati closes out their season on Dec. 2 and the Wildcats should be ready to pounce on Jones.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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