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Bruce Feldman puts Mark Stoops on the Hot Seat

stoops aint scared, come at me bro

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.

[Fox Sports]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

27 Comments for Bruce Feldman puts Mark Stoops on the Hot Seat

  1. Kernel Sanders
    1:04 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    How is Stoops responsible for “the facilities now in place”? I would say the fat SEC media deal is more responsible than anybody, and then credit to Barnhart. Considering Rich Brooks all but begged for upgraded facilities during his tenure, I’d say Brooks would appreciate some credit too. If you’re giving Stoops credit for upgraded facilities because he would not come to UK without them, then baloney. Any coaching candidate worth his salt would have looked at UK’s facilities compared to the rest of the SEC and done the same.

    It’s really not hard to argue Stoops hasn’t improved the program. Not yet. W’s are what matters. I really hope he can turn the corner this year. If he wins 6 games, I will be the first one to say that he has BEGUN to improve the program. In the meantime, shiny practice fields and shiny recruiting glasses are smoke and mirrors.

    • Mathlete
      1:18 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t think you remember just how incredibly bad the team was before Stoops. We might have had a winning record if we had played in an FCS conference in Joker’s last year. Maybe. That we’re competitive in most games (even last year with that joke of an OC) is evidence that we’re better since Stoops got here.

      This wasn’t a rebuilding project like some other coaches have inherited, this was more like Stoops inherited the wastelands from Mad Max (was great a long time ago, or so legends tell) and he’s trying to make it rain again.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:24 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Aside from letting The Bear get away many decades ago, the whole “coach in waiting” fiasco may have been the biggest blow that UK Football has ever had to endure. Brooks had built a solid foundation and at least a hint of a winning culture, and Joker obliterated all that. If UK had swung for the fences and managed to hire a coach the caliber of Jones at UT or Franklin at Vandy, we might be consistently ranked in the top-25 by now.

    • Kernel Sanders
      1:59 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Mathlete, not to defend Joker, but we did go to a bowl game his last year. In fact, if Mike Hartline didn’t get suspended, we may have beaten Pitt.

      Gimme a break on “being competitive in most games”. I went to the EKU game last year and we should have lost that awful game. To an FCS school like you mentioned. Stoops record is nearly identical to Joker’s.

      I couldn’t care less about shiny facilities, losing recruits to Bama instead of Akron, having 30th ranked recruiting classes, blah blah. Again, W’s are the only measure of success. And increased W’s are the only measure of improvement. Like I said, if we win 6 games, I will gladly come on here and give credit to Stoops for improvement. If we win 5 or less, then I am saying Stoops has not improved us at all. Jury is still out!!!!

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:03 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Joker went to a bowl in his last year???

    • Kernel Sanders
      2:20 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Sorry meant he went to bowl 1st year. Joker was not the man to be HC at UK, obviously. But if Hartline had played, we beat Pitt, then it could have been a different path.

    • CatsfaninFL
      2:24 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      LOL…looks like Kernel forgot we went 2-10 Joker’s last year…including that embarrassing 40-0 home loss to Vandy and an OT loss at home to WKU. Yah…Joker was fantastic his last year…

      I agree we need to see some W’s but to think this program hasn’t been seriously upgraded upon Stoops arrival is a joke (much like the Kernel here).

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:25 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah. He also had a Brooks-prepared roster for the most part. Why is this so hard for folks to understand.

      “Stoops record is nearly identical to Joker’s”

      Joker inherited Brooks roster.

      Joker decimated a program that had had relatively decent success in just three years.

      Stoops inherited a program decimated by Joker.

      Don’t compare wins at this point in eithers career. Its totally not fair to Stoops.

    • RealCatsFan
      2:30 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      KS, if we moved to another conference and began winning, would that count?

      The Joker situation was similar to the Tubby situation, IMO. Both were handed the keys to a program that had a pretty solid foundation (more than solid in the case of Tubby). Tubby managed to win, but many are saying that he did it with RP’s players. So why are you not seeing it the same way with Joker, KS?

      I will give props to Joker for one thing – breaking the streak against UT.

    • Kernel Sanders
      2:40 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Ok, so we are going into year 4 and it’s not fair to use W’s as a measure of improvement? I’m not comparing Stoops to Joker or Stoops to Brooks. Saying Stoops has improved the program WITHOUT seeing increased wins this year is akin to claiming a moral victory. But if you think “program improvement” is seatbacks on the bleachers, shiny video boards, a new practice facility, improved recruiting rankings (meaningless if wins don’t increase), then like Barnhart I guess you are ready to give Stoops a raise and contract extension

    • Billy Hill
      2:59 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Joker Phillips:
      5-7 (-1)
      2-10 (-3)
      Trending down

      Mark Stoops:
      5-7 (+3)
      5-7 (no loss or gain)
      Trending up to even

    • Billy Hill
      2:59 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      But please, continue crying….

    • Billy Hill
      3:05 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Rich Brooks:
      2-9 (-2)
      3-8 (+1) (2 wins less than Stoops in his third year) (W-L 9-25 vs 12-24 for Stoops)
      “Ditch Ritch!!!”
      8-5 (+5)
      8-5 (even)
      7-6 (-1)
      7-6 (even)

    • Mathlete
      3:07 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      We should have won against Florida and Auburn, but our OC decided to make exactly no adjustments during halftime. A minor tweak here and there, we win both of those games, and it’s a whole different conversation now.

      Billy’s spot on, we’re trending in the right direction and it’s a matter of time before we can say we’ve turned a corner. Hopefully it’s in week 9 after the MS State game when we’ve already locked up 6 wins.

  2. RealCatsFan
    1:19 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    Does the fact that five of the ten coaches mentioned are SEC coaches say anything? To me, it underlines the fact that the SEC as a whole is the most competitive league in the country. It also emphasizes that this is a football-first conference, which is somewhat less so in the Big 12 and Big 10, and definitely less so in the ACC. The fact that a coach like Les Miles is listed on the “hot seat” is both laughable, and indicative of the religious like fervor of football worship in the deep south.

    UK truly is a square peg being jammed into a round hole in the SEC, and they always will be.

    • Mathlete
      1:28 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      You bring up an interesting hypothetical – if LSU fires Miles and UK decides that Stoops isn’t getting us where we want to go, do we have an outside shot at hiring Les Miles now that we have the facilities and a pretty solid roster?

    • RealCatsFan
      2:33 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      Not likely, but I guess it would depend a lot on what other programs have openings.

      We hired what was supposed to be a highly desirable coach from a blue blood program many years ago when we got Bill Curry. That didn’t turn out so well, although I will say, as a human being, few will outshine Curry.

  3. ukkatzfan
    1:50 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    When Stoops wins(underline When), UK is going to be on the hot seat. And with all the whiny naysayers, I won’t blame him for leaving. Don’t hate, Appreciate. On Sep 3rd, the winning is beginning. #ALLIN

    • RealCatsFan
      2:26 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      I hope with every fiber in my being that you are right. 🙂

  4. BluKudzu
    3:33 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    For those that give a shid….
    I don’t think anyone will argue the program had fallen on hard times when Joker took over, it was inevitable. No skills a a head coach in a very tough league, blah, blah, etc., whatever.
    The fact remains, based on the coach’s and team’s record, Stoops is still a losing coach with a losing team. Not entirely his fault, but he is making bank to change it. His record, at this point, however you wish to judge it, is not as good as Jokers, and he has had better players and facilities to work with. Take that argument in any direction you want.
    First, understand this, an improvement of 100%, over where we were, still does not get us in a bowl, or make us a winning team (a 100% of nothing is still zero). Last year was proof of that.
    This is the year. If Stoops manages personnel, locker room, coaches, and the game better, he has a chance to get to 6 wins, and there should be no reason why he should not, or even surpass that mark. Last year, was last year, but still……bunny season and it went south.
    I think, at this stage, 6 losses, or more, will define what the potential is for his future. He will be back, no matter if he eats the doughnut, but even a mediocre following season and he is done.
    I predict a lot of frustration coming out on Southern Mississippi, Cats big, Cats Cover.
    Stoops, keep your job. Give us the season, we have waited for, going on 7 years now.

    • Billy Hill
      4:13 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      “The fact remains, based on the coach’s and team’s record, Stoops is still a losing coach with a losing team.”

      ….and so was Rich Brooks record at this point in his career. But blah, blah, etc. whatever, right?


  5. Howdy Doody
    4:14 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    IF Stoops is under .500 this season THEN is the time to pay the Piper and move on. A Lame Duck Coach CAN NOT RECRUIT and that sets the program back at least 2-3 years …
    NO ONE will sign to play under an un-named successor to a losing football program.
    Fans, just like me, will not be renewing season tickets if Stoops is retained just because UK made a crappy buy out deal.

  6. kycats13
    4:26 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    I believe this team has the IT factor. That intangible that bounces the football our way in the close games and gives us the opportunity finally win. Not saying that we will win more than 7 games, but I believe the IT factor will get us to 7 and then we start rolling in the future years. I think we all will be pleased at the end of this season.

    I believe in IT.

  7. Billy Hill
    4:27 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

    I love when fans whine about how much we pay Stoops (which is still 11th in the SEC), not realizing that it’s also a strategy to attract better head coaches in the future, should Stoops not work out.

    Don’t be stupid, people.

    • BluKudzu
      5:03 pm August 24, 2016 Permalink

      To Mr. Bill,

      We do not have to be, as long as you are around we can never be the stupidest person in the room.
      You are such a little girl. You remind me of the fat, ugly and stupid middle sister that never got any attention at home. Resorting to name calling when she does not get her way, and throws a tantrum when people do not think as she does. Mommy should have spent more time with you as an infant, sorry you were never breast fed, but she didn’t. It is no surprise to anyone how much of a loser you have turned out to be.
      So here is an offer for you little girl, Come to a game, I will buy you a ticket and an Ice cream, you can sit with me, while I explain your first football to you, while you pick your nose.
      You really need to lighten up you miserable little fat, ugly and stupid girl. Total losers and cowards don’t go very far. you are such a wussy.
      Go Cats!!

    • Billy Hill
      12:05 am August 25, 2016 Permalink

      Awwww. U mad, bro? U mad.

  8. KYChris
    11:45 am August 25, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t believe Stoops is on the hot seat, yet. I believe he will get 6 years to right the ship and honestly, I believe he’s got us on the right path now. The team has been young and has shown signs of improvement. I believe Stoops saw the issues with Dawson and went and found seasoned offensive guys who could really get this team going. I’m not implying that Gran and Hinshaw are gonna turn us into an offensive juggernaut but they will be an improvement over what we had and will help keep our defense off the field a little more. When it comes down to it, we have only been one win away from bowl contention the past two years and could have beat Florida each of those years to get there. Let’s see what happens this year and I think all should be a lot more positive, as far as fan perception of the team goes, by the end of the season.