Considering what he inherited and the facilities now in place, it’s hard to argue that Mark Stoops hasn’t improved the UK Football program; however, his 12-24 record through three seasons is pretty bleak. Depending on how you look at it, Kentucky’s close calls vs. Florida, Auburn, and Louisville are both frustrating and promising, the sign of a program on the cusp of something good but still too flawed to make that final push towards relevancy. While Kentucky fans seem to be in the “wait and see” camp going into season four of the Mark Stoops era, Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman already has Stoops seventh on his list of the ten coaches on the hot seat this fall.
“He’s recruited well and made some progress, although a 12-24 mark in three seasons with just four SEC wins while in the much easier division doesn’t look great,” Feldman writes. “UK does have a talented young QB in Drew Barker, some dynamic RBs and a couple of big-time rangy corners. Getting UK to a bowl game this year isn’t an unrealistic thought, especially with South Carolina and Mizzou also struggling and Vandy in rebuilding mode.”
What Feldman doesn’t mention is that, barring total collapse, Stoops will probably get a fifth season regardless considering his $12 million buyout. Still, we can all agree the time for winning is now.
Also on Feldman’s hot list: Auburn’s Guz Malzahn, Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason, Texas’ Charlie Strong, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, and LSU’s Les Miles.