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.