After back-to-back 5-7 seasons, there’s no denying the frustration in the fan base when it comes to football. Since Saturday’s epic collapse, football talk has dominated the Big Blue Nation, with many loyal fans calling the loss to Louisville the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Today, Mitch Barnhart did interviews with both The Courier Journal and the Herald-Leader to discuss the state of the program. Barnhart admits to frustration about how the season ended, but also reaffirms his support for Mark Stoops. You should definitely click over and read Barnhart’s comments in full, but to whet your appetite, here are just a few quotes:
— “I think in some degrees it was — the record is the same, but I think it looks a little bit different. Frustration nevertheless. We’re frustrated about being 5-7 and not being in postseason play like we want to be,” Barnhart said. “So, to say that there is frustration would be the understatement. Certainly understand that from our fans perspective. They’re frustrated. I don’t think that totally reflects where we are in terms of the status of the program.”
— Barnhart said he won’t tell Stoops what to do regarding staffing changes, but did say he’ll meet with him after the staff returns from recruiting to offer help and perspective.
“Certainly it’s my role to walk in and ask good questions, to make sure that they’re thinking about things. In terms of Mark’s world, that’s his job. He gets paid to do that, and I’ll respect that. I’ve never been an AD that walks in and says, ‘Do this, this, this and this, or out.’ I just haven’t done that.”
— On whether or not he senses support from the players for Stoops:
“I do. I really do. I think that our players desperately want to win and to experience some of the stuff that’s going on in postseason play. They want that. I think that they realize they were pretty close on a lot of fronts.”
— On coaching criticism:
“So, yeah, you see some of that passion and some of the good – and then all the sudden you see some mistakes and everybody goes, ‘They can’t coach anymore.’ Well, hold on. That group just beat the team that was two-time defending SEC East champions. I go back to my deal of 12 to 18 plays usually can define a season for a football program in one way, shape or form, good or bad.”
For more, head on over to The Courier-Journal.