Paul Finebaum took a shot at Mark Stoops’ Kentucky football program. The UK head coach provided a counterpunch Thursday evening.
After the Wildcats’ sluggish 0-2 start to the 2020 season, the voice of the SEC Network used an appearance on WJOX-FM in Birmingham to fire back at Kentucky fans who constantly questioned the preseason disrespect from the national media.
“For every Kentucky fan who called up to whatever show in Lexington or our show or anybody’s show and said, ‘How come nobody respects Kentucky? How come they’re not ranked high?’ Well, that’s why,” Finebaum said.
“That was just a brutal loss (in overtime to Ole Miss). There’s no sugar-coating it. This is not a game on the schedule that you’re looking at and going, ‘Oh that’s a close call.’ You’re looking at that as an automatic win.”
But wait — there’s more! Finebaum used the oldest trick in the book to deliver the kill shot.
“After Saturday, there’s no more cases to be made for Kentucky. It’s time to start thinking about John Calipari’s basketball team,” Finebaum said.
In Stoops’ final meeting with the local media before Kentucky tries to bounce back against Miss. State, the 2018 SEC Coach of the Year was asked what he thought about Finebaum’s strong words.
“It’s our fault for giving Paul the opportunity to talk about that. That’s his job, isn’t it? To say whatever the heck he wants,” Stoops laughed, “so that’s up to him. I can’t control that. All I need to do is continue control what we can control, go win a football game, go on a good run, do the best we can. Just like years past, we string some wins together and start doing some good things, I’m sure my phone will be ringing and asking me to be back on the show. That doesn’t surprise me. It is what it is. When you’re down, people are going to try to kick you. When you’re winning they’re going to ask you to be on your show.”
A nonchalant jab right back at Paul’s enormous ears, if Stoops’ retort tells you anything, it’s that he likes his team. Even though Kentucky is 0-2, Stoops believes he has an exceptional team that’s ready to turn around this season.