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ESPN writer names Stoops a potential replacement for Spurrier


ESPN’s Travis Haney named six candidates to take over for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, and Mark Stoops is second on his list.

Stoops is joined by Kirby Smart, Alabama’s defensive coordinator; Chad Morris, head coach at SMU; Tom Herman, head coach at Houston; Justin Fuente, the head man at Memphis; and Shane Beamer, Virginia Tech’s associate head coach.

Here’s some of what Haney had to write about Stoops:

More than a few coaches have noted that Mark Stoops likely understands the ceiling at Kentucky. Sometimes an in-division move makes sense; South Carolina will always be the better football job, just as Kentucky will always be the better basketball job.

If Mark Stoops gets the Cats to a bowl game, and he should, then this is absolutely a name to note. [ESPN Insider]

Haney was a guest on Paul Finebaum earlier this afternoon, and once again mentioned Stoops as a coach who should be on South Carolina’s short list, along with Herman.

It is with a great deal of respect that I would like to say this isn’t happening. Stoops has been given everything he’s asked for at Kentucky, including his own designs for a new practice facility; and the talent gap is narrow, if it even exists at all. Not to mention, he loves Lexington and Ohio is just across the river.

Stoops isn’t leaving for South Carolina. I’ll put BTI’s salary on it.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

31 Comments for ESPN writer names Stoops a potential replacement for Spurrier

  1. BigAbes4UK
    6:25 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    No way this is happening and this guy is out of touch. Kentucky is changing the culture here. UK is NOW more a football school than USCjr. Anyone that takes an objective look will see that is the case.

    But the ceiling comment is just ridiculous. We are going to have some of the best facilities in the nation and we play in the best conference with plenty of backing from all parties. We have the right coach getting the right players. The game can, will and IS changing for UK. There is NO CEILING HERE!

    • john wall
      7:02 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      we blew that old ceiling hiring stoops and investing in the program. Stoops will stay and take us to the next level

    • jpgott2
      8:37 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      I agree. South Carolina before Spurrier got there was a worse job than UK. UK has invested in its facilities and is right down the road from his greatest recruiting ground. Stoops sees potential here, and would not bolt for a lateral move. Especially with all the guys he is bringing in.

  2. UKnowMe
    6:26 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    USC jr. at this point, is a lateral move at best.

  3. Mike
    6:28 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Drew, I tweeted the same sentiment when I heard Brett McMurphy say it on the 9 am SportsCenter. SC isn’t even the better job now. Stoops has already surpassed the talent on the trail. He has basically got carte blanche along with the complete support of the university administration. He’s adjacent to arguably the richest recruiting area in the country, which happens to be his stomping grounds and roots. Coach Stoops has a chance to leave his name on a program here at UK, not unlike The Bear at Alabama or Bowden at FSU. To say that Kentucky has a ceiling as a program is ridiculous. You get the gist. Go Cats.

    6:29 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    very tired of hearing the excuse that UK is a basketball school. yes UK is a great basketball school, the greatest actually and it is a birthright and honor to be a fan. HOWEVER, I don’t not for o e second believe that we are ONLY a basketball school. We’ve had 5 out of 6 sell out games this year and we’ve only played 5! We beat auburn and I’ll bet we sell out at least 3 more times. Now that the Administration has finally look at the simple economics of the situation and saw that you have to spend money to make money, we’re finally starting to see the results on the field. ( football earns twice as much revenue as the basketball team). UK is in a prime time to become something special.

  5. Luke
    6:32 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    USC is just Kentucky with more humidity and more mosquitoes.

    • BBNRTP
      6:41 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      Columbia is a slum compared to Lexington

  6. shelby
    6:39 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    It’s Stoops’ choice, but I don’t see this happening; personally, I do not believe SC is a better football job than KY. SC has been relevant ONLY because of Spurrier – Stoops can do the same thing at UK. Not to mention he’s been given EVERYTHING he’s asked for to make it happen. UK can win the SEC east in a few years in my honest opinion; if you can win the SEC east, you can win the conference, if you can win the conference, you can get into the playoffs. Sounds crazy? I don’t think so. Heck, just finishing in the top 2 or 3 in the east will land a major bowl most years.
    UK “CAN” become a football power with Stoops here – I say he’ll stay here and do it.

  7. John
    6:45 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Loyalty counts for something to the Stoops brothers. Petrinos they are not.

  8. DylanG
    6:46 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Here we go again…. Why can’t we just have Stoops and now have “HE’S GOING BLAH BLAH BLAH SOMEWHERE ELSE” Sad. People just don’t want us UK Football fans to be happy. PLEASE GOD, STOOPS DON’T LEAVE!

  9. W.C
    6:52 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    The truth is Spurrier probably helped his friend Stoops get the job. We are for a long time been a sleeping cat and there are coaches in the know realize that, so as the cat awakens why in the world would Stoops leave for South Carolina. It’s a perfect marriage with the rich recruiting grounds just north of Lexington, name me a recruiting area around Columbia that’s not being fought over by Fl.,Ga, Tn. The fact that these Ohio boys can come south in 4 to 6 hours max and play in the toughest conference is a strong selling point, not one that Coach Stoops plans to leave anytime soon! It won’t be much longer before the national media realizes we have something special going on here in Lexington and it just isn’t basketball! STOOPS TROOPS!!!

  10. catfan4life
    7:11 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Didn’t I just read somewhere he Spurrier was all time game winner at SC with 86 wins. So much for a good football program. They were almost division 2 when Spurrier got there and heading for that now so why would Stoops leave for there or any name coach for that matter.

  11. I call bull crap. SC is a lateral move. Like I said earlier, just because they’ve had more success recently doesn’t make them a name/historic program like UGA, Michigan or Texas.

  12. SCCat
    7:36 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Just to put this in perspective – I know Travis Haney as he was a beat writer here in Charleston, SC – you guessed it, assigned to the Gamecocks, before the SEC Network gave him a bit more presence and he moved up to the Mothership.

    So – he loves the Gamecocks, and his view is a touch slanted on this matter.

    As my great uncle used to say, “he’s been struck simple”.

  13. leon singleton
    8:10 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    South Carolina would be a step down for Stoops.

  14. Go cats
    8:27 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    South Carolina is by far a better job and I’m a ky fan. Die hard ky fan. Did you see the eastern ky game. We came back and won. Everyone was gone. South Carolina has had 80,000 a game even through all there bad years.

    • Troll Slayer
      8:54 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      Troll is trolling.

      (And a UofL troll at that; you can always tell by the horrible spelling and incorrect punctuation.)

      What a sad life….. 🙁

  15. Stewart
    8:40 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Stoops would leave UK to go to Ohio State, and that’s it. That won’t happen anytime soon, though. Also, taking UK to “a bowl game” is not considered to be some miraculous work of magic. He would have to take us to a serious bowl game and win it to be wooed by real football schools.

  16. cynman
    8:53 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    I would hope to have Spurrier join Stoops at UK as “consultant” next season and beyond. They have a personal relationship, and Spurrier could be the “sage behind the stage” to Stoops, invaluable to taking the program to the next level (i.e. beating Florida, etc.).

    • Brian
      8:57 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      Smh…. And this is why everyone makes fun of our fan base.

      So you really think one of the game’s greatest coaches is just going to retire, and then come running to UK to help it along?

  17. Nate
    9:23 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    I wish Stoops would leave, the man is an idiot for not playing Barker.

    • Ha!
      9:39 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      You wouldn’t know an idiot if you were looking in the mirror. 2-3, bitch. 😉


    • Brian
      9:48 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

      Hahaha! UofWhores has the same record as Vandy…….

  18. Telford Hall Security Guard
    10:14 pm October 13, 2015 Permalink

    What a bunch of idiots! Acting like we are to good a program to leave!

    • Go2School
      12:15 am October 14, 2015 Permalink

      ‘Acting like we are **TOO** good a program to leave!’


  19. Lineman62
    8:48 am October 14, 2015 Permalink

    You know its nice to have to worry about our coach being picked up by other programs to an extent. Reminds me of the Cal rumors that float around every spring. The fact that Stoops would be a good get at any other school should make us proud to have him as our Head Ball Coach. South Carolina is a lateral move, maybe less if you consider our facilities investments that are being made. Stoops has Lexington on a platter right now. Crazy to leave?

    Kirby Smart would be the smart play by South Carolina, he’d leave Bama for a HC job in the SEC if the money was right and he had the free reign to run his program like he wants to. Stoops stays….unless the NFL or a major major powerhouse come calling.

  20. Mixxy
    9:06 am October 14, 2015 Permalink

    I heard USC pursued Will Muschamp in the offseason as a potential replacement DC and maybe even “likely successor”, but he was not interested at that time (probably because he had already done the “head coach in waiting” thing with Mack Brown at Texas and it fell apart). Instead he went to Auburn, of course. A year later, he would be a good fit at USC, and he would likely be the biggest “name” they are likely to get, as a “middle rung” SEC school.

  21. JC
    10:51 am October 14, 2015 Permalink

    Would Stoops be the first UK football coach to leave for a better job?

  22. JJ
    12:37 pm October 14, 2015 Permalink

    How could anyone say with a straight face that the ceiling is higher at South Carolina than Kentucky? USC is where great coaches go to die, i.e. Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier. They are constantly out-recruited in their own state by Clemson, UGA, and Florida. All-time wins: SC-586, UK-587. Now they have a slightly better win percentage at .514 to UK’s .495, but they played in the SoCon and ACC until 1993. We have the same number of Bowl victories as SC: 8. The same number of conference championships: 2. Kentucky has 6 more All-Americans than SC. We may not be miles ahead of SC, but it’s not an improvement at all for Stoops to go there. He has no ties to that region except for maybe some recruiting inroads he made at FSU. UK Athletics has totally revolutionized how football is viewed in the grand scheme of things in the state since he’s been there. And he is able to basically get anything he wants to make his program successful.