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Don’t Believe the Kentucky Football Hype, ESPN writer says

Kentucky’s 27-16 win over No. 25 Florida at The Swamp captured the nation’s attention.  People from all across the country are hopping on the Kentucky football bandwagon.  Many believe in blue, but not everybody.

In a column for, Will Harris picked teams to “Buy and Sell” ahead of week three of the college football season.  Harris looked at Mark Stoops’ team using the perspective as a gambler.  In the process he took the Cats to the woodshed.  A look behind the ESPN Insider paywall:

Mark Stoops won’t get to end his tenure as Kentucky coach voluntarily like Rich Brooks did, but two aspects of his time in Lexington will stand out as parallels to the Brooks era. Stoops will leave Kentucky better than he found it, and he won’t be able to fashion a relevant SEC contender.

Stoops has done wonders for the program on the recruiting, fundraising and facility-building fronts, but Kentucky has natural disadvantages that have cemented its historical place in the league pecking order. The program is still in the phase where it wildly celebrates rare wins over rebuilding league bullies. That’s nowhere near contending.

Don’t get carried away thinking that this 2018 Kentucky team is different because of one road win over an opponent who didn’t offer SEC-caliber resistance. Florida is a bad football team in its second game of a program overhaul under a brand new staff. Stoops has amply demonstrated that however much he’s raised the talent level — and therefore the bar for Kentucky’s A-game — he can’t get his team to play consistently enough week after week to be a factor in the SEC race. Stoops’ Wildcats will always be prone to weeks where poor weekday practices and gaffe-filled Saturdays prevail. The SEC East is weak, and some team may emerge from the division with a gaudy record yet be largely a fraud. If it looks like it might be the Cats, don’t buy the hype.

Kentucky still has many haters.  You’d hate to see stuff like this get back to the players.  Benny Snell, Kash Daniel and Josh Allen would not appreciate what Mr. Harris has to say about their head coach.



Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

82 Comments for Don’t Believe the Kentucky Football Hype, ESPN writer says

  1. secrick
    10:28 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    **** Will Harris.

  2. JTHinton
    10:28 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Someone close to the players needs to print out every article like this that they can find and tape them in the weight room, and use this as the best form of motivation

    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:50 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      If you don’t think the players read the biggest UK fan blog on the WWW, then you need to…. Oh nevermind. I made my point already.

  3. xXWaddle10Xx
    10:29 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Nick I doubt you read these, what annoys me the most about a lot of these guys are that they say they’re experts but what do they truly know? I do believe we need to slow down and take this game by game but, like I’ve been telling UF fans, the celebration was more because of the streak than the team we played. None of these “experts” can really see that. I would be interested what this guys background is because most of the time, aside from the top of the reporters, really just take guesses this early in the season.

    • CombatMedic_98
      11:22 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Will Harris= MORON

    • Blue Bill
      4:27 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      At least he didn’t say we should bench TT and he’d be “done” with Ky. Football if they stuck with TT like you did. Haaaaaaa.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:02 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Gotta prove yourself on the football field. As a fan I wanted him benched. As a coach I would have played him as well. I said he would be benched after the 1St QTR based on his mistakes against Central Michigan…he almost went there against Florida. We would have scores 14 more points if he would not have fumbled nor thrown the pick. He has to clean that up COMPLETELY or teams like A&M Missouri Vandy TN will not let us catch up…games we’ve got to win. You do understand the only thing saving him is our Defense. So, yes he’s improving but, turnovers make you lose games you should win…! We’ll see Gunner in action Saturday. Maybe Danny as well. Terry is good and he showed it all…

  4. mreconomy
    10:36 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Will Harris VERIFIED
    Chesapeake, VA
    Freelance Pop Culture Writer — Freelance
    Arts and Entertainment, U.S.
    As seen in: Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, The A.V. Club, Thrillist, UPROXX, Campaign (UK) and more
    Covers: Anything pop culture, really. TV, film, music, books… You name it.
    Doesn’t Cover: I’m up for anything, really, but at the moment, if it’s not pop culture, I’m not covering it.

    Typical shill…..

    • Rise
      12:19 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      We will know in a couple weeks vs Mississibbi st

    • CombatMedic_98
      5:39 pm September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Typical Democratic, Socialistic, Liberal…Shill!!!!

  5. bigbluechesticles
    10:37 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Not sure I really disagree with the guy all that much. The Gators are not a good team right now, probably one of the weakest Florida teams I can remember. Besides Georgia, the SEC east is full of mediocre SEC teams, below the normal talent level. And he’s right about consistency, look at all the Stoops teams, ups and downs and full of coaching mistakes with in game decisions. Breaking the streak has people blinded to the truth, which is probably a 6 win season.

    • Booby Petrino
      10:52 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      6 win season…looking forward to them proving you and your chesticles wrong.

    • krautdog
      10:55 am September 13, 2018 Permalink


    • JohnnyCheeseSticks
      10:56 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      You couldn’t be more wrong about the “consistency.” Coaching calls have cost games at times, but Stoops’ trajectory of improvement is evident:

      2013 2–10 (0-8) 7th SEC East
      2014 5–7 (2-6) 6th SEC East
      2015 5–7 (2-6) 5th SEC East
      2016 7–6 (4-4) 4th SEC East
      2017 7–6 (4-4) 3rd SEC East

      You obviously cannot identify consistency, nor improvement. Moreover, you’re either too lazy, or don’t know how, to use statistics.

    • ClutchCargo
      11:07 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Chesticles was making fair points, then she threw in the 6 win prediction. lol

      3:27 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      “The program is still in the phase where it wildly celebrates rare wins over rebuilding league bullies. That’s nowhere near contending.”

      I don’t disagree with the author or with chesticles… A “big win” is great, but let’s win the games we’re supposed to win without Stoops popping the bed, THEN I’ll get behind him. I love our players and have all the confidence on the world in their talent as they have clearly been the better team on the field on most Saturdays – major props to our O-line! The game time coaching and play calling has been a different story. We have a lot of football left to play on 2018… Remember when Stoops started the season 5-0?

    • JohnnyCheeseSticks
      10:59 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      You still didn’t present any factual information, you red bird.

    • natertatter
      7:44 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      look you loserville loving hater go back to your strippers…..

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:03 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      You are maddened by madness…!

  6. BluKudzu
    10:39 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Bottom line:
    UK beat Florida in a down year. So what? Florida has been bad before and we still lost to them.
    The SEC might not compare favorably to the SEC West, but few conferences do, and for that matter, few conferences compare to the SEC East.
    This is where big boy football is played, and losing 4 games in the SEC is better than 1 loss team in most others.

    • ClutchCargo
      11:11 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. The naysayers are acting like we think we’re going to the playoff this year just because of one win. The rest of us can appreciate that the talent level, depth and culture are improving toward the level they need to be to compete in this conference.

    • bailey000
      9:09 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Yes finally someone gets it. There are maybe 10 teams outside the SEC that could come into the SEC east and contend on a yearly basis.

  7. DelrayCat
    10:40 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Come on guys…let’s be honest with ourselves. There’s some truth in what he describes (especially about the natural disadvantages (recruiting). Of course, I think he’s wrong about Stoops being ultimately fired from UK…but I do think we are jumping the gun here a bit to totally throw this entire statement out as garbage. Let’s win more than 6 games and not lose another bowl game before we ordain we truly “turn a corner” in the program here.

    • DelrayCat
      10:42 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Let’s head into Kyle Field sitting at 5-0…and then we can talk a little chit.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:04 am September 14, 2018 Permalink


    • ukcamel
      2:29 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      I’m sorry, but a few donuts in a bucket of shit is still a bucket of shit.

      The two biggest loads of crap:

      1. the presumption that Kentucky now thinks it is competing for an SEC title. This isn’t true. It would be awesome if we got some breaks and ended up in the title game, but no one legitimately thinks this is going to happen. We believe that maybe we are continuing to move forward, but legitimately competing is at least a few if not many years away. Right now we want to see several consecutive winning seasons, maybe with an occasional 9 or 10-win season mixed in. Eventually the playoff would become a goal, but that is putting the cart ahead of the horse. This clown is projecting.

      2. Preordaining that even if Kentucky has a “gaudy” record, it’s only the result of fraud. This is “heads I win, tails you lose” BS and would be silly if said by a KSR commenter.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:05 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Glazed or chocolate….!

  8. BlooBloodRon
    10:52 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Please please PLEASE keep writing this kinda stuff! I don’t disagree with the general sentiment that we have to show consistency and beat better teams to earn more respect. But kicking us until we get there is a great way to further motivate our guys to be consistent with their effort and to keep striving to be their best every day. I hope they keep finding guys to write this stuff. And I hope it keeps finding its way into the locker room.

  9. Headhurts
    10:53 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Well if Mr. Harris had mentioned how bad Florida was before the KY game then ok, after the game, please home boy.

  10. nmichave
    11:00 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with Delray. I guess this is the age of everything being either black or white, no grey areas in any take or opinion. The guy has a point. Why is it so blasphemous to acknowledge anything negative about a UK program? I love UK. I’m a UK grad. I would LOVE for UK to be an SEC powerhouse. They can eventually get there like any other team can. It takes time. UK has to string together SEVERAL 8, 9, 10 win seasons, then the good kids might start to think about coming here instead of Georgia, Alabama, or LSU. You can’t fire coaches every 5 years either and expect to be top 10 good in two or three years. I’m so glad they beat UF. they’ve turned a corner. There’s alot more corners they need to turn though.

    • Booby Petrino
      11:27 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      anything negative about UK? All he said was negatives, not one positive (unless there’s more than quoted above, I didn’t do any clicking on article). I don’t think anyone disagrees with everything he said, but there is room for argument with a lot of what he said. We’re excited because we finally beat a team we hadn’t for 31 years…I don’t know anyone who thinks we’re National Champ contenders. It’s okay for us to be excited. It’s reasonable that we’ll win at least 7 games based on past performance and current schedule. We know there is room for improvement, but according to this “article” there will never be improvement. Sucky take.

    • ukcamel
      2:31 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      He doesn’t have a point. He is making a straw man argument and then follows it up by saying in the unlikely event he’s wrong, he’s not actually wrong. Don’t be fooled by this sophist.

  11. Moonage
    11:03 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    What is “selling” on? ESPN “predicted” UK to finish 9th in the SEC.

    No one has predicted UK to even compete in the SEC. So where is this hype he’s downplaying? Ending a 31 year losing streak is something to get excited about. But, no one suddenly changed their pre-season predictions to include competing for the national championship. Harris is the perfect example of the biggest problem in media today, fake news. He’s taking UK’s limelight for a good win completely out of context and using it to make his own personal statement. We know beating this Florida team comes with a caveat. We’re fine with that. We know we got a pretty brutal schedule remaining. If Harris had “bought” Kentucky before the Florida game, this is not the week to sell. And quite frankly, if KSR truly concerns itself with the opinion of a guy who writes for Vanity Fair, they probably need to sell whoever it is that’s concerned with Will Harris’s opinion.

    • secrick
      11:09 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Well said Moonage. Some of our fans like to complain no matter what. We beat Fla and i don’t give a crap how down they where. 31 FRIGGING YEARS .

    • michaelb
      12:33 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Yea the article seemed bizarre while reading it bc he looks at it in a strange light that is not the reality of the situation . He should be a lawyer or something

    • Soylentbeans
      10:40 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t agree with the article, but actually this week in terms of buy low sell high would be the perfect week to sell.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:07 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Probably a liberal democratic flAtlander anyways…what’s he know about KY Football ? anyways!!!

  12. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    11:18 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    He loses all credibility when he says Stoops won’t leave of his own accord. That’s just an asinine prediction at this point. Could he be right that team is fool’s gold? Sure. But I’ll take fool’s gold over knowing 100% for sure the team sucks.

  13. CatsfaninFL
    11:26 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    I will pay for Insider for someone on the team to print this stuff off and pin it in lockers. Right, wrong, or indifferent on what is said, the guys seem to get fired up being the underdogs so let’s give them all the fuel they need!

  14. gasman01
    11:26 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Waiting to see how we fare against Miss. St before I totally buy in. We are improving as a program.

    • ukgrad83
      11:57 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with you. But just like Florida, if UK beats Miss St., you can bet people will be saying it’s because Miss St. is down (first year coach after all), it wasn’t because UK is really good.

    • SuperTroy18
      1:58 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Right. Bulldogs are ranked, and VERY solid. They’ll give the “first-year coach” and “haven’t played anyone” excuses should we win that one. Every team, (outside of UGA,) will have an excuse if we win the game. We will hear this kind of talk after every single win. Let’s just keep winning.

  15. Teamhhc1
    11:32 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    In my opinion, to be taken seriously we have to win the games we are supposed to win and the only SEC games we may be excused from will be the Georgia game. If we loose to Mississippi State then it will have to be a close game. Games like Tennessee, Missouri, and Vanderbilt need to be decisive wins and the South Carolina game needs to be by a touchdown or more but even then I’m sure there will be doubters. I believe in this team! I think we can have a 2 loss season. But who knows, I have seen stranger things happen. Any great team can have a bad night and be shocked by what’s believed to be a lesser team. Florida was a 14 point favorite and we won!!!

    • ukcamel
      2:36 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      So if we hypothetically lose to Georgia, Miss. St. and Texas A&M, but beat everyone else, Kentucky will still be without the accolade of you taking us seriously? I’m ok with that.

      You should be a Missouri fan, I hear they’d love your company.

    • Teamhhc1
      5:21 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      You know, this is what makes it so hard to make any kind of comments on this site. If you have an opinion, some smart a$$ is going to come on here and show ignorance. And I bet there ukcameltoe that you have probably never even strapped on a chinstrap or ever played a down of competitive sports of any kind.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:09 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Well they did cheer for the team…

    • ukcamel
      1:09 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      I did play sports, though that’s immaterial. Since we are speculating here, I bet you’ve never been paid to think critically and then put your thoughts in writing. Also for someone who implies he’s qualified to determine whether Kentucky can be taken seriously because he’s a tough football man, your skin is paper-thin. Maybe you should prove that you should be taken seriously before you start making judgments, pal.

  16. WinkyBoyBlue
    11:34 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with waiting until the Miss St game before we talk about how good we are. In the meantime, let’s enjoy being 2-0, breaking the streak, and beating Florida as a 2 TD dog. That is plenty enough for me right now!

  17. Bluebloodtoo
    12:27 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    No data in that argument. There are supposed to be “reasons” why UK is a proverbial cellar dweller in the SEC, but he doesn’t manage to cite any of them. He has lots of things that Stoops has done well, but his argument about why they are over hyped is vague… Or nonexistent really. Opinions are like a$$holes, every one has one…

  18. DerBaron
    12:29 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    What a turd!

  19. kjd
    12:34 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Based on the previous 5 years under Coach Stoops, I completely understand how he arrives at his conclusions. Our team has a opportunity to show the talking heads that they’re different. Experience has been a good teacher and motivator. Play the next game, one at a time. Go Big Blue!

  20. Sublem
    12:35 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    What gets me is that he has ND at buy, possibly the most overrated program ever. They just beat ball State… BALL STATE 24-16, and he wants to buy them. Yeah ok, whatever.

  21. VulcanEar
    12:52 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    I mean, it’s true? For decades UK football crushed hopes, dreams and reason. They’re not going to win 8 or 9 games, maybe seven at best. Most likely, they’ll be back in some small bowl and that itself is an accomplishment. For this program to go to however many bowls in a row is progress. Kentucky will never be Georgia or Alabama, nor will they ever actually compete in the SEC. Wait till basketball season….

  22. TheAssman
    1:12 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Go Big Blue!!

    Who cares what this jackass thinks. Would love to hear what he said about our chances going into the swamp.

    Roll on CATS!!

  23. KYcats11
    3:01 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    So just because we celebrated a big win against a mediocre team who has beat us 31 straight years, it makes us a bad team?

    • ClutchCargo
      3:50 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Correct. We’re supposed to say that we still suck and that we will wait and see how we play in the next big game before getting any joy from watching our football team. Basically, even when we win we lose. 🙂

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:10 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Ranked team though…

  24. CKTermy23
    3:07 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe this hate is sarcastic hate ment to motivate us even further with the purpose of pushing us to achieve greatness? Probably not but one can hope right? Go Cats let’s annihilate Murray St on Saturday!!!

  25. CopenhagenCat
    3:10 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t care what the guy says. They beat Florida on the road. Its a win and ill take it. As long as Stoops doesnt hold this team back they could win 8 games. Ignore the noise and support these kids.

  26. playmorezeppelin
    3:12 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Does anybody actually watch ESPN these days? I turned it on the day after the win on Saturday but goodness those guys are unwatchable. There isn’t a show left on that network that is tolerable. They are drowning and it couldn’t be more obvious. The way they’ve been shuffling around analysts from show to show is pathetic. You could seriously sit in any sports bar in America and get a better insight on this weekend’s games than you would watching the jokers running the worldwide leader in sports.

    • J. Did
      5:03 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Sat a.m. – ESPN College Gameday with Corso and Herbstreit, et al, is awesome. Other than that, I concur.

    • TheAssman
      5:26 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Agree….that is the best thing espn has going. Love Corso, Herbie and Desmond. Great hosts with good info and are funny!!

    • Soylentbeans
      10:46 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

      I watch 30 for 30 and that’s it

  27. KYjellyRoll
    3:33 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Wow! I hope like heck the players see this! Let’s go!

  28. KYjellyRoll
    3:37 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Weren’t we 13 point underdogs at Florida? We were not supposed to beat them.

  29. J. Did
    4:54 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink


    LOVE good Bulletin Board material …..especially for EVERY single remaining GAME!!!!!!!!!!

    If this doesn’t piss you off…….If this isn’t sufficient motivation….it doesn’t get better than that.

  30. Teamhhc1
    5:25 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Can someone please block ukcamel of this site. All negative and a pure smart a$$

    • JohnnyCheeseSticks
      7:47 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

      Quit getting your feelings hurt so easily, you little snowflake. I don’t know whether he/she’s right or wrong, but everyone has their right to an opinion. Quit acting like a liberal crybaby (aka: democrat).

  31. runningunnin.454
    6:45 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    This guy is one of my wife’s favorite writers; he used to write for Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and Good Housekeeping.
    Maybe he should stick to pies, cakes, and loofahs.

  32. Trenchtrap
    6:49 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Everyone keeps saying now “a weak rebuilding gator team” when every so called expert, even Vegas,picked Florida to hammer the Cats. So Mullens Gators were a earth shaker last week and now they’re the goats of the sec? Experts huh? UK wins 9 games minimum. Get on that Stoops Juice!!!

  33. Miller45
    10:45 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    The team has no control over what people think, say, and do. Talk is talk and they can only focus on those things that they can control, which at the moment is how they prepare themselves for and get ready to play Murray state. I think they thrive when they are playing with a chip on their shoulder, keep giving them a reason to have something to prove

  34. Miller45
    10:51 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    I just want to say that this is a really good discussion thread, with thought out and insightful posts, seriously good job guys

  35. notFromhere
    12:33 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

    Hype? To ESPN it may be hype, because they’ve had their head up their assets for a long time regarding UK Football. They’re not alone, of course. There are a few UK fans that are in the same boat.

    To those that have been watching UK compete in the SEC for 3 years, this should be common sense. They’ve been out-recruited, if you believe the recruiting rankings and star system, every year by all SEC schools except Vandy and Missouri. Teams that far down the list shouldnt be sniffing the top 3 spots in their division, nor beating 4 conf teams each year. They should NEVER beat a school like Florida AT the swamp.

    Might have beaten them 3 times by now if 2 plays/calls don’t go Florida’s way. That’s RIDICULOUS, and what’s even more RIDICULOUS is not noticing.

    ESPN can go back to their excretory self-diagnostics and keep ignoring UK for a while. I like the way this team plays when they think they’re not getting respect

  36. cats646
    8:53 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

    Benny? Kash? Did y’all see what this guys saying about your team?? SHUT. HIM. UP.

  37. Alleykat16
    9:56 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

    Keep hating on the CATS it’s ok. What I’m more interested in who is going to be our back when Snell leaves. I think Rose will have only one year left

  38. KY Blue Blood
    10:22 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

    I’m just glad there’s some positivity surrounding our ever improving football program. And I’m happy for our players who have played their hearts out. Just sad that this type of presumtuous scrutiny is relevant to anyone. Those who agree or approve of it aren’t fans and are just full of crap!

  39. MTSCHE3
    1:48 pm September 14, 2018 Permalink

    interesting how no one thought UK would beat Florida. Top 25… this team is set up for a great year. really excited to watch this team evolve!

  40. KyZoneBlitz
    2:30 pm September 14, 2018 Permalink

    Please put this entire post up in the locker room, the weight room, inside the bathroom, the toilets, on the dorm walls, hell, take a massive board, and post it up on the board outside of the practice fields DAILY the rest of the season!!!

  41. G_Money
    2:30 pm September 14, 2018 Permalink

    What an a$$wipe.