Today in ‘As the Worldwide Leader Turns,’ ESPN’s Chris Low checks in with Mark Stoops about the direction of the program and the now-official Blake Bone commitment. Haha. Just kidding. It’s ESPN, so there’s no time for SEC recruiting talk in between all the reading of celebrity tweets and non-stop Tebow Time.
They did really check in with him about the program though, and there’s a lot of good stuff in there. Here’s a sample:
Mark Stoops knew exactly what he was getting into at Kentucky, a basketball-crazed school that just happens to reside in the toughest football conference in the land.
But whereas others might have seen barriers, Stoops saw opportunity. He saw passion. He saw a fan base thirsting for sustained football success.
“You always have a chance if you have a rabid fan base, and our fans are very hungry to have a successful team,” Stoops said. “That’s been evident with their support. It gives you a chance to recruit quality players and build your program the way you want to build it.”
On facing Petrino:
“It brings a little extra excitement,” Stoops said of the Petrino factor. “It’s a great challenge. He’s a great play-caller and a great offensive mind and had a lot of success in this league. It will be exciting for both of us.”
On managing expectations, and what he’s seen from his guys so far:
Stoops has been impressed with the way his team has prepared, but first games — especially with a whole new staff and whole new system on both sides of the ball — can be tricky.
“The big thing I want to see is us playing with an attitude and having some fun,” Stoops said. “From time to time, I see our team in a little bit of a shell. I don’t always see the juice and the excitement. I see them a little bit timid and playing not to make mistakes and things like that.
“It’s important to prepare very well and to be confident and to just let it rip. Our players know that we’re a work in progress. They’ve handled their business the right way and worked hard.
“We’ll see how it comes out this week.”
Four days, guys. Just four more days.