Last year Mark Stoops led Kentucky to its second consecutive bowl berth and a .500 record in the SEC. Despite the successes of the 2016 and ’17 seasons, CBS Sports has put Mark Stoops on the hot seat.
Dennis Dodd ranked every FBS coach on a scale of 0-to-5. Zero is described as “untouchable,” with No. 5 as “win or be fired.” Entering his fifth season at Kentucky, Stoops’ seat is getting warm at No. 4, described as “start improving now.” CBS moved Stoops up one from last year’s “pressure is mounting” phase.
In the 2018 edition of CBS’ hot seat rankings, there are six coaches in “win or be fired” territory, while Stoops joins nine others with a No. 4 rating.
From a practical standpoint, this ranking is silly. Posting consecutive seven-win regular seasons at Kentucky is something that’s only happened once since 1976-77. Stoops’ contract has locked him until 2023, and after every seven-win season his contract is extended by one more year.
Within a historical context, Kentucky football is in a great place, but it would be dishonest to say the entire fanbase is satisfied with Stoops after five seasons. The loss to Florida last year weighs heavily on many, and how it happened makes them ask, “Is Stoops the right guy for the job?”
With 18 returning starters, Stoops has all of the talent to prove the haters wrong. He’s done it before. In September of 2016, CBS put Stoops in the “Win or Get Fired” category. I think we all remember what happened next.