The last man to coach the Kentucky football program to a bowl win told Paul Finebaum that he was disappointed in the way the final two seasons have finished, but he believes Stoops has built a program that can turn the corner. Brooks thought the Cats were destined to go bowling the past two years, but the second half of the season has not been on their side.
Brooks noticed some of the same problems that Matt brought up to Coach Stoops on KSR in the middle of their second half losing streak. “This year (there were) some special teams breakdowns, a little bit of game management in one or two games, and the quarterback play just hasn’t been consistent,” Brooks said.
What made the difference for Brooks was being able to rely on playmakers, especially Andre Woodson at quarterback. “In that league, particularly at the quarterback position, if your guys aren’t making some plays for you it’s going to be very difficult to win in the SEC.”
Even though it’s been frustrating, Brooks is confident the program is taking steps in the right direction. They didn’t happen during his time, but the dreams of new facilities are finally coming to fruition and will make a difference.
“I think they’ve made the commitment that I was kind of told they were gonna make my last year or two,” he said. “I think now it will be easier to climb that hill because as you know, the arms’ race is in full swing in the country, but REALLY in full swing in the SEC.”
The new practice facility might be one of the biggest improvements. “I think it will definitely help to turn the corner and be a competitive team,” he said, while tempering some expectations. “But I think you’ve seen that other than one or two teams in the SEC, nobody stays at the top level year after year after year.”
Coach Brooks believes that Stoops has built the program the right way, but agrees with the rest of the Big Blue Nation — next year the program needs to produce results.
“Certainly going into now his fourth year, now I think this next year is the year he needs to step up and get to that bowl game that has been eluding him the last two years.”
Listen to Coach Brooks’ complete interview here.