College football analysts agree: Mark Stoops is one of the best college football coaches in America.
As we creep toward the scheduled start of the college football season, CBS Sports is passing the time by completing an annual talking season tradition. All seven members of their college football staff ranked the 65 head coaches from Power Five programs (plus Notre Dame). Punching his way into the top 25 is for the first time is Mark Stoops.
Kentucky’s head coach is the No. 22 coach in America according to CBS Sports.
I don’t think it can be overstated how impressive a coaching job the 2019 season was for Stoops at Kentucky. This program entered 2019 with the highest expectations it had for itself in a long time and then watched injuries take away multiple quarterbacks. All Stoops did was change his whole offense to fit the talents of Lynn Bowden, and it was successful enough to finish with eight wins. Our voters obviously took notice. Kentucky’s now won 18 games over a two-season stretch for the first time since the 1976-77 campaigns. Stoops will be the winningest coach in program history by the end of the 2021 season if he keeps up that rate, passing some guy named Bear Bryant, who won 60 games with the Wildcats.
By moving up 17 spots from No. 39 on the list in 2019, Stoops is one of the biggest movers on the list. You can hear some of the rationale behind the decision-making by listening to the Cover 3 Podcast. A small excerpt from Barton Simmons that came from their conversation about Stoops:
“The point of the game is to win. I think whether it’s defensively, offensively, they are really good at finding ways and being competitive. I hold him to a different standard than I would hold him to if he was coaching at Florida State. Within that framework I think he’s done a pretty impressive job at Kentucky and he’s finally won me over.”
A few notable names behind Mark Stoops in the rankings: Mike Leach (27), Tom Herman (28), Scott Satterfield (31), Scott Frost (34), Lane Kiffin (35), Jeremy Pruitt (38), Will Muschamp (45), Neal Brown (47).