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Columnist says Stoops emerging as the tortoise to Gus Malzahn’s hare

You know how I know Kentucky’s turning some heads in the SEC? Kevin Scarbinsky, the college football columnist for (the main news source in Alabama), wrote an article today in which he argues Mark Stoops is emerging as star of the 2013 class of SEC coaching hires that also included Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Tennessee’s Butch Jones, and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema. Old Kentucky football fan says:

Think about it. Malzahn, Jones, and Bielema are all struggling this season, while Stoops has slowly, quietly put together a program that’s actually looking up instead of down. Take it away, Scarbinsky:

Meanwhile, Stoops – the football coach at the basketball school – is the only member of the SEC coaching class of 2013 trending in the right direction. Kentucky just beat Missouri to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC and snap an 18-game losing streak against ranked teams.

If the Wildcats beat Eastern Kentucky this weekend, they’ll have a better record than Auburn when those teams meet on that Thursday night TV special Oct. 15. Who could’ve seen that coming? Bill Curry leaving Tuscaloosa for Lexington was easier to imagine.

As Scarbinsky says to close his column, when all four coaches were hired, most thought Stoops would be the first one to fail. Right now, he’s the only one getting it done.


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.

23 Comments for Columnist says Stoops emerging as the tortoise to Gus Malzahn’s hare

  1. Mathlete
    3:03 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    I’m not sure that’s a fair shake to Butch Jones, he had UT ranked in the top 25 for the first time since Kiffin was there (maybe even Fulmer, I didn’t look that closely). His relatively young squad has coughed up 2 multi-score leads against good opponents the last couple of weeks, but overall his results have been solid.

  2. clutchcargo
    3:27 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Damn you for getting my hopes up, but I do believe Stoops just might be the guy to get this done.

  3. Charlie Waite
    4:09 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink is the main news source in Alabama…not a newspaper in Tuscaloosa. It is a website with links to news in all the major cities in Bama.

  4. ArmyCat
    4:14 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    C’mon Man(thlete!) SGT Carter can definitely recruit and self-promote, but he can’t coach. Last time I checked UK was playing quite a few true and redshirt freshman this year. The “relatively young squad” excuse has been played out…sounds like something generated by the UThug propaganda machine in Knoxville. So far this year, SGT Carter has choked on two 4th quarter leads to the tune of 30 points, and let’s not forget the debacle that was last year’s Florida game in Neyland Stadium.

  5. MJames
    4:24 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Tuscaloosa News is the only paper in Tuscaloosa, AL. (A town that did not receive a new coach in 2013.) It’s like saying KSR is the main newspaper in Louisville, KY. (Well maybe there is some true to that last statement.)

  6. Well Well
    4:32 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Let’s see a Alabama paper with negative comments about two sec west opponents makes since. And the Tenn hire i wouldn’t say that Butch Jones is not trending the Vols in the right direction. Has Uk beaten Tennesse since Butch has been the coah? Didn’t they go to a bowl last year also? And the Vols where pretty much rock bottom before Butch. Just telling it like it is without drinking the Bluaid.

    • Mike "Hammy" Hamilton
      4:58 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

      Let me help you out “o drinker of the Big Orange aid”. It’s “sense” not “since”; “I”, not “i”; coach” not “coah”. You must be a product of that fine university system that wants to change the English language in things other than Ze and Zir. Maybe you all can change the unofficial school song to “Zocky Zopp”. “Good Ole Zocky Zopp, Zocky Zopp Zennezee”.

    • Deputy326
      5:12 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink


  7. I would agree that it’s a little early to put him above Butch Jones. Yeah, they’ve soiled themselves in the 4th quarter in 2 games, but it WAS against OU and UF, not directional this & 1AA that.

    We’ll see what happens on Oct. 31. Man it’s hard to believe we’re playing 4 games after UT!

  8. Bob
    4:55 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    I too agree UK coaching staff was the best hire in the SEC, however the true credit for this programs turn arround belongs to the season ticket holders and fans whom buy tickets to games.It was these people whom lite an fire under the schools ass to search an make solid hires of people whom could coach and get players to come to Lexington .I am not saying UK hasn’t had it ups but nothing more than an taste of an winning program in the SEC. BBN fans deserve an winning football program too ! I see an turn arround us fans have never seen in the history of Wildcat football and man it feels good. My Birthday is 10-16 and know what i want this year an simple Win over the Tigers on the 13th .It is really an great time to be an Cats fan. GO BIG BLUE !!!!!

    • Jesus Effin' Facepalming Christ
      5:01 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

      Here’s your Entitled, Above the Program Fan of the Day!!!

    • ukjaybrat
      7:21 am October 1, 2015 Permalink

      so many things wrong with this post… with way too many ‘an’s and ‘whom’s all teh way to the fact that we don’t play the tigers on the 13th. someone who’s birthday is that week would know that Thursday is the 15th…

  9. catfan4life
    5:00 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Well, just to be clear TN has had more talented athletes than UK all those ‘rock bottom’ years! UK was at rock bottom and still is as far as seasoned talent in the SEC. Vandy even beat UK. I don’t know how many listen to the SEC guys listen to Booger McFarland, but he is no fan of Sgt. Jones. He has pretty much laid him out more than once for bad coaching decisions so probably has a good argument even if it is speculation.

  10. RollTideCat
    5:16 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Dang, Butch sure does bare a striking resemblance to Sgt Carter from “Gomer Pyle, USMC”. Wonder if he’s Sgt Carter’s and Gomer’s long lost son. Surprise surprise surprise!

  11. On to the Next
    5:41 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    I don’t think the Vols program has experienced the same kind of “rock bottom” that UK is trying to climb out of. Tennessee has a known “name” in college football, and yes they have indeed struggled the past few years. UK has had a few decent teams throughout the programs history and even fewer bonafide good teams, but they are the new kid on the block trying to make a name for themselves and be recognized for something other than a hoops school.
    In order to take the next step, UK has to win all of their winnable games and sneak an upset every now and then. If they can do that, then the recruiting for top talent will get a little easier each year.
    All Tennessee has to do is prove that stability has returned to their program and they will get their recruits.
    Time will tell.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:21 am October 1, 2015 Permalink

      Tennessee spent a few years with the worst record in tennessee football history. it may not have been UK bad, but for tennessee, it was rock bottom.

  12. C'mon
    11:29 pm September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Tennessee sucks.

  13. Pat King
    8:36 am October 1, 2015 Permalink

    As a Cat fan I find no solace in troubles at UT or Arkansas. The real story in my opinion is Ohio. As a state they produce 175 to 200 D1 football players per year. The top 15 to 20 go to Ohio State. Stoops has quietly been signing about 10 young men a year from the top 40 players in Ohio or the top 25% of Ohio players. After 5 years, one half to two thirds of the UK squad will be top 25% Ohio players. The over all quality is like night and day compared to previous years.

    Kentucky’s previous run of bowl games was a bit of fools gold. It occurred on the back of the worse hire in Louisville history, Steve Kragthorpe. If UK didn’t beat UL three years in a row they would have made one bowl game. This time it appears we are much more solid.