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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Much Leeway Does Mark Stoops Have This Season?


Coming off the greatest UK football season in at least 40 years in 2018, it is safe to say that Mark Stoops is riding pretty high with the UK fanbase right now.  And despite losing some of the best talent in the school’s history, the cupboard isn’t exactly bare for Stoops.  He has a quality returning quarterback and some solid pieces on both lines.  If the secondary and offensive playmakers can take a step up, the 2019 edition shouldn’t experience much of a drop back.

But just how much of a comfort zone does Mark Stoops have in 2019 where the fans remain happy?  Because let’s be honest, there is never a scenario in today’s world where a coach can have any kind of season and the fans will all remain happy.  Obviously, the scores of the games matter and just how the team looks, plus which games are the wins and which games are the losses is important, but for simplicity I am just going with overall win total and my assessment of how the fanbase would feel:

0-3 wins: Barring an injury to Terry Wilson causing this result, I would think fans would feel quite disappointed with anything in this range and Stoops will have lost all momentum gained in 2018.  Three wins or less would also likely mean an 0-8 SEC season.  Obviously this is very unlikely to happen.

4-5 wins:  Certainly some fans would go back to being critical of Stoops if they have a 4-5 win season in 2019.  And I think some fans would accept this after a 10-win season and losing Snell and Allen.  But for Kentucky to truly become a football “power”, they can’t drop back to a non-bowl team.  Ever.  It is too easy to make bowls these days and missing one after a 10 win season would likely fracture the fanbase in support of Stoops.

6 wins: This is the floor for me.  There is enough talent remaining and the expected improvement from Wilson to expect 6 wins minimum.  They will be heavy favorites in all non-conference games plus Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Missouri all appear likely on paper.  If we are to take this program and its improvements seriously, and I do, then this would be a must.

7 wins: You could call this a solid season and one where winning 10 games in 2018 helps Stoops.  It would likely mean a less than exciting bowl but with Wilson still with 1 year remaining I think fans would accept this results, especially if the Cats could get a bowl win too.

8 wins: You would have to think this would make fans ecstatic.  Would mean at least 4 SEC wins again.  Would show the 10-win season wasn’t a fluke.  If he doesn’t have 100% fan support after this, I don’t know what will get it.

9+ wins: If you lose Benny Snell and Josh Allen and can still win 9 games or more, Stoops should be given that Calipari lifetime contract.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

26 responses to “BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Much Leeway Does Mark Stoops Have This Season?”

  1. zoupman

    7 wins would be great.

  2. EastKYCAT

    I honestly see 8-9 wins. We are going to get the Vols this year and Mississippi State as well as the team’s mentioned in 6 win season comment.

  3. Gocats30

    Gotta get to a bowl, 7 wins im good with, 8 or more and im ecstatic

  4. big cat

    STUPIDEST column ever to write in April.

    1. notFromhere

      Stupid or lazy?

      Leeway? Wtf… If your coach just lost half their D, most of their offensive production, and delivered a “basketball school” their best season in 40 years, WTH would anyone be talking about LEEWAY?

      The attitudes people have regarding UK Football are dumbfounding. Go beat up on the Reds or the Bangals if you have to abuse something. Just ignore football, if you’re going to be negative constantly

    2. CATandMONKEY

      Considering they just played the spring game, your comment exceeds this column in stupidity by several orders of magnitude.

    3. Luether

      STUPIDEST reply to a column ever written in April…

  5. RackEmWillie

    Toledo (H) – WIN
    Eastern Michigan (H) – WIN
    Florida (H)
    Miss. State – WIN
    South Carolina – WIN
    Arkansas (H) – WIN
    UGA
    Mizzou (H) – WIN
    Tennessee (H) – WIN
    Vandy – WIN
    UT-Martin (H) – WIN
    UofL (H) – WIN

    I think those are the can/will/should wins of the season. We beat Florida once in 30+ years, I’m not prepared to pick us to beat them in back-to-back seasons. I’m not going to say that they’re going to win all of them, or lose those 2 games. I just think those are the games that, going into the season and knowing what we currently know about this team, that I would feel comfortable picking the Cats to win.

    A losing season would pretty much kill any momentum they had, with this years schedule. 7 wins would hurt, but not kill it. I think 8-9 wins in the regular season would be great, after losing your 2 biggest players. If they could get to 10 wins (or more) then I agree with giving Stoops a lifetime contract. Give him whatever he asks for. Because, clearly, he’s the best coach on the planet to be able to do that at UK.

    1. notFromhere

      When Stoops Cats start playing a schedule where the Cats get a true home-field advantage against Florida – playing them here in November, we’ll be at least splitting the series, if not beating them every 2 of 3

    2. ClutchCargo

      That’s how it used to be, back when we beat them in 1986. There were snow flurries that day. And yes, I see at least 8, if not 10 wins in that schedule. I just don’t see them taking much of a step back at all.

    3. notFromhere

      Likewise.

      I’m not going to say on here what I believe they’ll do, because KSR, but I agree, clutch

    4. chardun20

      REW, I like your thinking, I always take what I think UK will win, then subtract 1 or 2 wins.

  6. notFromhere

    I like accountability. Not big on lifetime contracts. That said, I’m not UK Football. Might be the way to go if a lot of the contract remains incentive-based as Mitch prefers

  7. makeitstop

    8-9 wins gets them to the Outback Bowl, who really wants to host them, and is a quality NYD bowl. There’s 8-9 wins on here IF they stay healthy and the corners develop. I’m not willing to say Wilson can succeed w a high scoring offense if the D gives up a lot on the corners, not just for the points but for the time of possession that will stress our D. I hope he can but he’s really the key to their success this year. If he hits the throws on stride and prolongs drives by picking up yards w his legs as needed and not just when he holds it too long then we hv 8-9 wins in there. Don’t count USC as an automatic though, they’re due, and don’t count us out against the Gators at home.

    1. DirtyDave

      I’m totally ecstatic with an Outback bowl invite!!! Less than an hour from my door… I’m THERE! Couldn’t make the Orlando game just past and was totally sick for not making it!

  8. UKfanforlife

    Kentucky needs to win at least 8 games and be competitive in their bowl game. Winning the bowl game would depend on what team they draw.

    The transition form a COW BELL rusher centric offense to a more balanced run/pass O is the key to the season. If the QB makes a big step in reading defenses, seeing open receivers, and being more accurate, the O could be more explosive.

    It won’t be as safe as having a bruising RB eat up the clock, because interceptions can happen, no matter how good the QB play is. The fans will enjoy it more. The OC was pass happy at Cincy. It’s not like he forgot how to run it.

    Funny thing is that I didn’t expect any more than 7 wins. last season. I am glad they won big last year. It was a long time coming. The bowl victory meant a lot for the program, the players, the fans, and the overall image of how outsiders view Kentucky football.

    1. notFromhere

      As long as we dont play gtech in a bowl, I’m confident in the outcome. In fact, I’d not accept a bid if it meant playing them outside of the playoff.

    2. RackEmWillie

      You do know that Tech has a new coach, right? I don’t think they’re still doing their triple option stuff.

    3. notFromhere

      Then bring it! That sht was illegal and never should have been allowed for so long.

    4. notFromhere

      Ukfanforlife, spot on regarding the reads. Didnt see that part of your post at first.

    5. ClutchCargo

      Declining to play in a bowl game because of who you have to play? C’mon man, that would be a worse look than not even being invited to a bowl game.

  9. notFromhere

    We’re going to give up yards, no doubt. We have a good chance of keeping scoring down if we’re healthy and keep plays in front of us. DBs have to be disciplined in a hurry..

  10. shelby

    7 or 8 is a must imo. Anything less is a step back; we cannot take a step back.

  11. jamburgey22

    If we could lock stoops in for life!! OMG we could actually have a legit program that our kids would be proud to say theyre fans of!!

  12. ClutchCargo

    And about that title… that is just about the perfect example of a loaded question.

    1. makeitstop

      Seriously, u could just as well ask “how many losses do we need to make sure a bigger program doesn’t try to hire our coach?” Last year the question was what’s a successful season, and I think most of us said 8 or more bc it was building on the last 2 seven win seasons. I think THAT was really what the article was aiming at.