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Kentucky is 7-3, but What If?

The Kentucky football team is 7-3 for the first time since 2007.  It’s an accomplishment Kentucky fans rarely see, but the Cats are two plays away from witnessing even more rarified air, reached less than a handful of times before in the program’s history.

What if Nick Haynes didn’t get called for a hold and Austin McGinnis drilled a chip shot field goal to beat Florida?  What if DK Metcalfe’s foot landed on the sideline six inches to the left?

The “What If” game is a cruel hypothetical that fuels the naysayers and makes the most crazed Kentucky fan dream of a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.

“I understand it.”

As a head coach, Mark Stoops isn’t supposed to get stuck in the past, but he empathizes with fans who wonder what might have been.

“We as coaches, you never wanna look back, but there’s a human side of me that says, ‘What if?’  I remember bad beats for 20 years.  I’ll never forget bad beats.  You always try to learn from them and grow from them.  The only thing I can say to you is I understand.  I’m frustrated and disappointed in some ways as well.  Again, it’s not for a lack of effort.  We’ll continue to work to put ourselves in position to win games because that’s easier said then done.”

Many fear this squandered opportunity will be Kentucky’s last.  If Stoops has truly learned from those two plays and the program continues to trend in this direction, there will be more than one of these rare opportunities in the near future.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

26 responses to “Kentucky is 7-3, but What If?”

  1. UKinIN

    For UK to take the next step they have to do what the very good and great programs do: become almost impossible to beat at home. Road SEC wins are difficult to find. Before UK can truly challenge for the East they need to go undefeated at home. On Kroger Field the only name of the jersey that can matter is Kentucky.

  2. Catcasey1

    Ain’t happen

  3. sincitycat

    I’ll take 7-3 as it could just as easily be 3-7. Go Big Blue!

  4. Sentient Third Eye

    We’ve had so many close games this year, only losing two of them is outstanding.

    1. foamfinger

      Yep. Also, if we had Cole Mosier and Baker, that would have helped out a lot. It’s nice we got line continuity now, but if we had it earlier, we wouldn’t have had so many close games.

  5. RogerW

    It is easy to look on the bright side and see that we are only 2 plays from 9-1.

    However, if you do that, you also have to look at it the other way as well. We had two games decided on the last play that we won. So, we could easily be 5-5. I’ll go a step further, almost every game decided by scores or less, are games that could have went the other way. I say almost all games because there are games where 1 team is in control the whole game but the final score may not reflect it.

    So, in total this season, we have 1 blowout win, 1 blow out loss, and 8 games decided by less than 2 scores.In those 8 games, we are 6-2, for a 75% success rate, I’ll take it.

    In the past we would have been 2-6 or worse in such games.

    I am happy with 7-3. I did think some of the 7 wins would have been more convincing and that we would play better than we did, but such is not the case. At the end of the day, we have looked like a poor football team for much of the season. Yet we are at 7-3. We have under performed in several games and we are still 7-3. Wasn’t that long ago that we had to play above our heads just not to get blown out.

    The Vandy game is how I expected us to look this season. We had a game plan, we executed, we seemed to have a purpose. Building a program is a process. I hope we take the next step and play good sound football the final two games (3 counting a bowl game)

  6. ukkatzfan

    What if……Ky football fans supported the football team every game? What if….football fans bragged about everything good the football team does instead of criticizing and nit picking everything that could go wrong? What if the Hefty Lefty and rest of the pre game show was positive instead of negative? What if…UK fans celebrated McGinnis, Snell, S. Johnson and other players place in UK record books ? What if fans realized how good the coaches are? Stoops and His Assistants? What if the seats at Kroger Field were full of loud cheering fans everytime team played? My guess is your article would not be wrote, recruiting to UK would be an easier job, playing at UK would be more fun in front of the fans and…..well you get the picture.

    1. east-ky-boy

      You are correct! What if fans didn’t leave early? Lol

    2. Rembrandt

      Agree with UKKatzfan. This column panders to critics who would rather play the “what if” game than recognize and support what our team and our coaches are accomplishing. When you are going bowling in a program that has only accomplished this one other time since 2010, there is no point in playing “what if”. So, “what if” KSR had football columnist who would write about how our football team’s record has improved every year.

    3. AGSlater

      So you want us as uk fball fans to have zero expectations? I swear you guys cant take criticism at all. Some criticism is valid and you still cant admit it. Even if Jared says things you get testy. A former player!

    4. AGSlaters Daddy

      Get off your phone, you should be in class!

    5. ukkatzfan

      First, thanks to east-ky-boy and Rembrandt for the support. Okay AGSlaters Daddy, I am about to f’n become his granddaddy. I am 57 years old. I have followed Uk football since the late 80’s-early 90’s timeframe. I know I was a fan when Pookie was the qb. I don’t know how much before. I was a fan of the Pillsbury Throwboy back in his day too. Cheer for him now in his battle of weight loss(I am fighting a smaller battle there). But I was really disappointed in the manner of his pick during Saturday’s pre-show. I live in O’boro now. But grew up in Henderson and had extremely high hopes for my hometown Damon Hood back in the day. And like seeing Wolfe lined up now. I list UK football as by FAR the number one thing I prefer to watch on tv. UK Football is by far my #1 favorite team in ALL sports. If someone could research the archives to preseason, I was one who predicted a MINIMUM of a 9-3 record and couldn’t believe the negative ninnies that picked 6,7 and even 8 wins. I liked the gym post by team that had the football team and 3 open spots playing for the championship. It should be our goal EVERY year. Even though Booger and Matt (who listens to a guy named Booger) preach otherwise. As for our football coaches, Stoops and Company, we are very blessed and lucky to have them. Hoping we can hold onto all that Coach Stoops wants to keep on staff. I can not sing how much I am a fan loud enough. I really HOPE we can be where Coach Stoops retires. As for the rest of the staff, I hope they can all reach their dreams when that day comes.

  7. My Dixie Wrecked

    What if we played real teams?

    1. sprtphan

      Like Louisville?

    2. ClutchCargo

      What if adidas could just pay someone off and University 6 got to keep that 2013 banner?

    3. Rembrandt

      This guy doesn’t believe SEC football teams are “real teams”.

    4. AGSlater

      Ha. Yeah. Dirty cards fan. Dont speak your opinion. Gotta be a cards fan for sure. If not prob Duke

    5. My Dixie Wrecked

      Laugh all you want. Southern Miss? Eastern Michigan? Eastern Kentucky? Oh and not mention how awful the SEC East is this year, besides Georgia, and we saw how that turned out when they played a West team.

    6. CatstopWontstop

      I’m sorry, but he’s right. Kentucky needs to schedule a top 25 team out of conference.

    7. Bob Sacamano's Rat Hat

      For what it’s worth, the SEC East is 20 – 2 against non conference opponents this year. The SEC East is only ‘awful’ by SEC standards. It’s average when compared to other conferences.

  8. rick64

    4 wins by 7 points or less. Agree Stoops and UK could be staring at 3-7.

  9. TB112162

    Like Jerry Claiborne used to say I don’t play the What If game

  10. catsby90.1

    What if we covered open receivers? What if we didn’t play prevent defense the last drive against ole miss? What if we got Lynn Bowden the ball more often? Still a good season no matter what happens though. At least we aren’t Tennessee!

  11. Swizzle

    If you had a coach that covered wrs out of timeouts, or had time management skills we’d be 9-1

  12. Cincy Cayt

    Don’t play the WHAT IF game now – only look forward. I still can’t get over the 2007 losses to MSU and UT. One we didn’t show up for and the other we barely lost.

  13. dballrb

    You are what your record says you are..7-3..Alot of SEC teams would love to be 7-3..