Year four is one of the most critical years for college football head coaches. Three SEC head coaches are currently in their fourth year. Two have had success, one has not.
Bret Bielema of Arkansas and Butch Jones of Tennessee have turned their football programs around. Mark Stoops, simply, has not.
Bielema has lead his Razorbacks to a 20-20 record, starting 2-0 this season. Bielema has gone from 0-8 to 2-6 and 5-3 in SEC play in Bielema’s first there seasons. Arkansas did not make a bowl game under Bielema’s first season, but have the past two seasons. Arkansas is 2-0 under Bielema in bowl games with wins at the Texas and Liberty Bowl.
Since Jones look over the reigns at Tennessee, he has posted a record of 23-17 and started this season 2-0. After going 5-7 in his first season, Jones turned the table and took his Volunteers to two straight bowl games with a win at both the TaxSlayer and Outback Bowl.
Mark Stoops’ resume at Kentucky does not look anything like these other two coaches. Kentucky has never had a winning record under Stoops, with a 12-26 record. Despite a third straight top 30 recruiting class, Kentucky only has one win over a ranked opponent (No.25 Missouri) and no bowl game appearances.
If you could trade Stoops for either Bielema or Jones, who would you pick?