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Mark Stoops near the top of ESPN’s list of coaches on the hot seat


It may seem like we’re picking on Mark Stoops lately, but given Kentucky’s performance the past two weeks, at this rate, we’re just reporting the news. Every few weeks, ESPN’s Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg rank the coaches on the hot seat in college football based on conversations with agents, administrators, and other industry sources. This week, Mark Stoops jumped from his preseason rank of #9 all the way to #2:

2. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (preseason rank: 9): Stoops’ $12 million buyout is still the biggest thing working in his favor, but it might not save him if Kentucky continues on its current trajectory. Kentucky opened the season by blowing an 18-point halftime lead against Southern Miss and falling 44-35, surrendering 32 first downs and 520 yards to an offense coordinated by Shannon Dawson, whom Stoops fired in December. The Wildcats were then stomped in The Swamp 44-7, dropping their 30th straight game to Florida. The schedule eases up the next two weeks (New Mexico State, South Carolina), but if Kentucky doesn’t start reflecting its supposedly improved recruiting soon, Stoops could be out soon.

The only other coach higher than Stoops on the list? LSU’s Les Miles. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn came in at #3 and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin at #10.

Beat New Mexico State, South Carolina, Vandy, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Austin Peay and this all goes away. Easy, right?

[ESPN Insider]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

29 Comments for Mark Stoops near the top of ESPN’s list of coaches on the hot seat

  1. Sentient Third Eye
    12:23 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Struggling teams are rarely as bad as they appear, just as successful teams are not as great as they seem. Maybe the “lights” will come on with this bunch?

    • Mathlete
      12:27 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      I hope you’re right, but “struggling” is probably generous right now

    • Sentient Third Eye
      12:33 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      True. To be honest, I still think a lot of it is left over from last years’ infamous “locker room divide”. These guys just haven’t gelled, and that’s probably because some of them still don’t trust one another. Guys are trying to do too much because they don’t’ trust teammates to do the job. The root problem is between the ears.

    • Mathlete
      12:44 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      I thought most of that divide was the players from the Joker era vs Stoops recruits though? Joker’s players are gone except for Toth and a few other bench warmers

    • Kernel Sanders
      1:42 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      The divide was not between Joker’s players and Stoops players. It goes beyond that, and it’s not fixed (obviously). I’ll just leave it at that.

  2. W1ldCats4Life
    12:36 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    I still say I’ll take a a 2-4 start to the season and be ecstatic to finish 4-2.

    The past 2 seasons we started 4-2 and 5-1 and still didn’t go bowling. If this bunch can get to .500 going into the Alabama game, they’ve got a shot to write their own ending.

    IF these players give up on the coaches after reading all the media…they very well could go 0-12.

  3. empiremaker
    12:39 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Loss to A.Peay/NMST and seat will be in flames, SC/Vandy loss seat will catch fire.

    • Mathlete
      12:46 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      If we were to fall to 0-9, it won’t matter how much it costs to get rid of Stoops. Barnhart will go out with him if he hesitates even a little at that point.

      I sincerely hope we don’t get to that point.

    • KYcats11
      1:55 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      No. Barnhart will give him a 20 million dollar raise!

  4. Kevin C
    12:45 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    UK needs to reach out to the agents/lawyers of Sumlin, Miles, and Malzahn and see if there’s any interest at all…if so, dump Stoops at all costs, and your boosters will likely chip in enough to all the hiring of a good coach.

    • Mathlete
      12:53 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Malzahn hasn’t been much better than Stoops, and when you factor in the quality of players that go to Auburn he’s roughly on par. Sumlin hasn’t had a particularly good team since Johnny Football was there, they’ve beaten up on a lot of cupcakes to get their record as shiny as it is.

      Miles would be a home run, but how much would we have to offer for him to come here? And Barnhart’s preferred policy of not having coach-side buyouts would hurt us pretty badly if/when he decided to leave.

    • W1ldCats4Life
      12:54 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      They’ve obviously produced more than UK has….but they’re all on the hotseat as well. Do we want a “hotseat” coach or do we want a “HOT up and coming coach? Someone like Herman at Houston?

      Mumme was able to win games here playing horrible non-existent defense. I’d take Houston’s offense & the D right now and compete in the SEC.

    • Mathlete
      12:59 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      As far as personality fit and ability to win on a shoestring, look at Troy Calhoun of Air Force. Disciplined team, good reputation as a person, and wins without a lot of elite talent (because it’s the Air Force Academy). He’s been to 8 straight bowl games and won 3 of them while always putting up a good fight (they usually end up playing in the Armed Forces bowl against a P-5 team like Cal or a high achieving mid-major like Toledo or Houston).

    • Willis Wolf Tattoo
      1:49 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Can we please be realistic with Herman? Why would he want to completely rebuild a program after already doing so?

    • Catsby80
      2:06 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      willis wolf… same argument i made yesterday about Brohm and I got chastised for it… Herman has a top 5 team and Brohm can pretty much go anywhere he wants… Herman wouldn’t even take UK’s call and I’d honestly be surprised if Brohm would either.

    • W1ldCats4Life
      9:18 am September 15, 2016 Permalink

      Willis Wolf Tattoo…..don’t you think Herman would want to move to the SEC and get a $2M plus salary increase? I think that would be reason enough to leave. Hell, Stoops is so far up the list over Herman now in salary it’s insane. The rebuild is done, the facilities are done. Now just need a coach and staff that can produce. I hope Stoops can, but his time is quickly running out to prove he’s the man.

      So I guess $2M+ and moving to the SEC is plenty of reason for Herman to take that call or any other hot coach that is not in a power 5 school.

  5. KentuckyFootballFan
    1:02 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Win those 6 and lets move forward as a program with this coach. He will get it figured out!

    • Cmart0907
      1:13 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Shouldn’t take 3 seasons to “figure it out”.

    • stoopstroops
      1:17 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Figuring it out is new every year. You have new players and new coaches. Not possible to walk out for the first game of the year and know what you’ve got and be completely ready.

    • Mathlete
      1:21 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      @Cmart – 3 years is how long it takes to even begin to build the depth needed to compete at any level, so I’m willing to forgive that much.

      That said, the team quit in the Southern Miss game and rolled over for Florida. I’m willing to forgive losing with our best efforts, but we haven’t even seen a modicum of effort since before halftime of the Southern Miss game.

    • W1ldCats4Life
      1:25 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      I gotta disagree. FSU, FLA, ALA, UGA….they don’t seem to have the attrition and loss of key players that we’ve seen. Nor do they see coaches leave like ours do.

      SO they do know mostly what they have returning.

      UK has new QB1, QB2, QB3, new OC, New QB Coach/OC2, new WR Coach, New Special teams coach. So the OL and RBs should have been the backbone….well we’ve seen how that’s worked. Much has to do with the new coaches and learning from the players. 3rd new OC in the past 3 seasons. Offense is gonna suck for a while…that should be expected.

      I think the biggest issue is why our D sucks so bad with the same coaches in place from day 1.

  6. Cmart0907
    1:52 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    @Mathlete I agree they did. I don’t see how they can do the same exact ” defensive scheme ” every season and they can clearly see that this defensive scheme isn’t working. Let’s adjust and try something different after a team converts on 70% of their 3rd downs. That’s the whole point of coaching. If something isn’t workings try something new. Seems like to me they don’t have the brains to fix it. Or the coaches don’t care. If the coaches don’t care neither will the players.

  7. John
    2:02 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    I know all the fans are upset. That’s the under-statement of the century. Forget Kensucky Foosbaall. Big Blue Madness is only 30 days away. At least Cal will figure out what to do with his guys. The fans will get a winning product. Kensucky Foosbaall my a**.

    • Billy Hill
      2:10 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Spoken like a true Tard.

  8. Howdy Doody
    2:26 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    some of you are still blinded by the KSR Sunshine Pumpers. Stick a fork in this bunch, they are done.

    • Billy Hill
      2:40 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Find another site. Win/win for us and you. You’re welcome.

    • onsides
      3:36 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      It’s not over yet, but it’s funny. We either have Barnharts or Stoops’ wife monitoring a message board! Hahaha. Go Cats.

    • BluKudzu
      10:17 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      The folks here still thinking Stoops is the way to go after having our aszes waxed by sunbelt tems and Vandy, are the product of siblings that had sex with one another.
      The issues with the brain can not be explained any other way. Unless, of course, they were drug face first through the dumbasz forest after falling out of the stupid tree hitting every branch on the way down.
      The IQ left in the skid marks of my underpants is higher than these sundhine pumpers.
      Your parents are not proud. They will tell you. Just ask.

    • Billy Hill
      2:30 am September 15, 2016 Permalink

      LMAO. Kudzu is falling apart.