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Greg McElroy: “Kentucky is the Michigan State of the SEC”

(Photo via Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo via Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

SEC Network analyst and former Alabama quarterback had some interesting praise for the Kentucky Wildcats future in football.

During SEC media day on Thursday on the SEC Network, McElroy said the Cats are “the Michigan State of the SEC”.

“I think Kentucky is the Michigan State of the SEC at this point,” McElroy said at SEC media day. “Michigan State has obviously achieved a lot more than Kentucky. They’ve been to College Football Playoffs. They’ve reeled off 11-win seasons. They’ve won their league. I think that is the ceiling for what Kentucky can maybe become if they hit on some big-time players.”

This isn’t typically what we think of when someone is offering optimism in the direction of Kentucky football. The Spartans aren’t a “powerhouse” program by any means, but they have consistently been a better team than the Cats.

It’s not an unrealistic comparison, either. Michigan State has had its fair share of down years. The team only had two winning seasons from 2000-2006 before current head coach Mark Dantonio took over. Since then, he has accumulated a record of 107-51 at MSU, including 11 bowl game appearances in 12 seasons.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has slowly been building this program from nothing into something and now has the bowl games to back it up. The next step is making it to the National College Playoff, something Michigan State did in 2015.

“We just need the talent pool to increase significantly and still keep the principles of development that Mark Stoops has prioritized over the last few years,” McElroy continued. “I really believe that. I think there’s similarities with how those programs are really operating. It’s just a matter of Kentucky getting to that point, which we haven’t yet seen.”

The draft picks are slowly accumulating. Josh Allen going No. 7 overall this past season was a massive recruiting pitch that the coaching staff can now use to its advantage. But as McElroy said, now it’s time to really get this thing rolling.

Another 10-win season is obtainable for Kentucky in the 2019 season. If they can achieve that, it will be impossible for anyone to ignore this team any longer.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

11 Comments for Greg McElroy: “Kentucky is the Michigan State of the SEC”



  1. JASUN74
    10:22 pm July 20, 2019 Permalink

    That’s a good comparison as of now. I really believe we have a 9 win regular season and top it off with a big bowl win for another 10 win season!! I think next year is when we really turn into something special and make the playoffs. Although I see, and appreciate Greg’s support and his point, With us being in the SEC, i see us getting closer to what Clemson has become in the future. Just one mans opinion, but I really think we hit the jackpot with Coach Stoops and this Staff. Thanks guys and Go Cats.



  2. mashburnfan1
    11:03 pm July 20, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t like this comparison because the BIG {however many teams they have} is not close to the SEC. If we were in the Big ? and played mostly their teams we would be much closer to a playoff team right now. I understand those predicting 6-7 wins this year as we have no history and did lose some great players and have a question mark at QB. What they don’t know is we actually have the depth that this program has never had {we lost top players last year like Young all season and Kash and Jones but had great fill ins}. Also w was a FR in terms of plating at this level. Those who bash him bobble my mind as very few FR even play at this level, Fields the #1 rated QB recruit seldom got on the field. TW will be fine as a passer and has the legs to help. Great to have the veteran backup at QB as well. OL is best we have ever had, RB is talented and deep as is the WR group. DL and LB are very talented and deep. I do think {hope} the CB spot can be filled by the JUCO guys or our young returning guys and based on this staffs eye for talent I trust we have the guys capable. S spot is in good hands. I am really looking forward to the season and also believe another 10 win season is not only possible, but is probable.



    • KYCat4EVER
      11:09 pm July 20, 2019 Permalink

      Well Said Mashburnfan1! SPOT ON!

      I realize this is an on MACs behalf to provide us with a comparison… but puh lees use anyone instead of a Big Pre-Ten-ed team: pitiful teams, unsubstantiated bravado, on some of the lousiest fans in college football (see buckeye fan)!

      Hope MAC is correct about a TEN WIN season…

      GO BIG BLUE!



    • CatfaninCinci
      7:56 am July 21, 2019 Permalink

      Please Mash… If anything, this comparison isn’t fair to MSU. The fact they’d compare a team with actual BCS success, a team that has won their conference to a team that has never threatened outside of 1 year (to even win their division) would anger us if it were basketball. Where is your pessimism when it comes to football? At least Basketball has championships to hang your hat on.



    • mashburnfan1
      6:47 pm July 21, 2019 Permalink

      If MSU was in the SEC we would have never seen them in the playoff and the record since he took over not near as good. My point is valid, if we were in the BIG {however many teams they have} we may have had a shot at a playoff last year or a soon coming year. MSU has been ok in a bad Conf, we have to do it in a great Conf and I will admit we have the easier side of this great Conf. Look at what UF did to Mich, I believe Auburn blew out one of them and we beat PSU who should have beat Ohio St but blew the game.



    • Corder
      1:03 am July 22, 2019 Permalink

      We get it CatCin you will never believe in the football program and you will always put the team and program down when ever you get the chance. So when this team and coaching staff proves you wrong once agin will you just keep coming back and saying the same things or will you finally eat your words. It’s ok that the media isn’t on board yet with this program but to have people that call them selves fans doubting us left and right maybe it’s time for y’all to go on and start getting on another train and take those miserable attitudes on over to them.



  3. Wildcat homer
    9:18 am July 21, 2019 Permalink

    Kentucky has closed the gap with consistently competitive programs like Michigan State



  4. lex cath
    11:50 am July 21, 2019 Permalink

    When Kentucky gets compared to a Big 10 team that’s a kick in the balls but meant to be nice. I suppose that’s was his best effort to praise the program



  5. michaelb
    5:17 pm July 21, 2019 Permalink

    I get what he’s saying but I can also think of 10 better analogies off the top of my head lolol



  6. Ridge Runner
    10:54 pm July 21, 2019 Permalink

    Greg didn’t mean anything negative obviously.