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Stoops on potential bowl bid: “Of course I want to go … but there are a lot of circumstances to look at.”

With bowl eligibility requirements thrown out the window this college football season, teams with losing records remain in contention for postseason bids, including the Kentucky Wildcats.

Despite boasting a 3-6 record with just one game to go in the regular season, Kentucky is projected to land a bowl bid, with the Music City Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Gator Bowl, Birmingham Bowl and Gasparilla Bowl seen as potential options in the latest run of weekly projections.

But will Kentucky even accept a bid if one is extended? UK head coach Mark Stoops says it’s up in the air.

“I am not sure. I really haven’t addressed that yet. I need to visit with our team,” Stoops said Monday afternoon.

Unsurprisingly, the comments were met with immediate criticism, as fans on social media, message boards and comment sections all blasted the idea of skipping out on a bowl if the opportunity presents itself. With the possibility of adding practice reps for young talent and the opportunity to see departing seniors one final time, it’s a can’t-lose situation for all football programs, at least on the surface level.

When asked about the postseason situation during his call-in show Monday evening, Stoops clarified that his desire is to participate and hopes his team feels the same way, but it’s more complicated this year than most.

For starters, the team has not been able to see their families and have been “stuck” in their dorms since they arrived on campus in June. When you factor in Kentucky’s recent battle with COVID-19, one that has wiped out as many as 27 people inside the program, safety is something to factor in, as well.

“I’m just not prepared to answer that question right now,” Stoops said. “Of course I want to go and hopefully our team does, but there are a lot of circumstances to look at. What are they going to allow people to do? Are these players allowed to go and enjoy themselves? They’re already stuck here by themselves in their dorm rooms right now.

“These players have been here busting their tail since June, haven’t seen their family, can’t go out, can’t do anything. Fortunately for us, we’re able to wrap up our season now, then we’ve got to bring them back. I have no idea, I’m just not prepared to answer that.”

In an ideal situation, one that would allow players to have a bit more freedom at the bowl site and the team having the coronavirus outbreak under control, Stoops would love to go. But until he has more clarity on the situation and speaks with the team following UK’s battle with South Carolina on Saturday, he isn’t ready to confirm any postseason plans.

Right now, the focus is on the Gamecocks.

“I want to go, yeah, and I hope our players do, but I want to see what it looks like,” he said. “We’re getting annihilated with COVID right now, so hopefully we can work our way through that. I’m concentrated on winning this game.”

Kentucky vs. South Carolina will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Kroger Field, with the game airing live on the SEC Network.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

26 Comments for Stoops on potential bowl bid: “Of course I want to go … but there are a lot of circumstances to look at.”



  1. Rick_S
    1:06 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Do not deserve a bowl bid..that’s stupid..3-6..lmao



  2. DaaaaCats
    1:20 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Get the popcorn! This is about to be a wild comment thread!



  3. DoubleB65
    1:22 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t care if the world is ending… 3-6 or maybe 4-6 IS NOT Bowl worthy. Are we passing out participation trophies this year too?



    • 44stewart
      1:33 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      Do those bowels should just not have any games? Be use if they don’t give them out to teams like UK they don’t have enough teams to fill them.



    • 44stewart
      1:33 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      So not do



    • abobicesaevior
      1:39 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      So UK should turn down a boatload of money and extra practice and game reps? Good thing you’re not running the program.



    • Theymademesignup
      2:31 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      abobicesaevior

      It’s not a boatload of money if you lose and can’t have many fans there. The winning teams get the payout, otherwise you are making money on attendance and a few other things like merchandise. 10% of the attendance per team isn’t much money at all.



    • 4everUKBlue
      3:34 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      Bowels??? LMAO! Might want to read your posts before hitting submit there Stewie.



  4. Mr.Incognito
    1:26 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    It’s better for the team going forward to get the practices and the game reps. Better financially too.

    Deserve has nothing to do with anything, if we can go, we should.



  5. U22JBK
    1:31 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Take a bowl game. Definitely don’t deserve, but would be a boring December without it. Need a break from the dudes playing roundball who spend all their time getting their hair braided.



  6. Headhurts
    1:34 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    A bowl game is fine if it’s versus a equal team, another blow out would not be good.



  7. Look Out Fireworks
    1:47 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    A bowl game would be good for the obvious reasons: an extra game in a 10 game season, extra practice, help with recruiting, etc.

    However this team has done little to be celebrated this year, which is what bowl games have become, one big celebration.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      2:02 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      They should go to a bowl, if only to prove the SEC is a juggernaut when they win or that Stoops is a complete joke when they lose.



  8. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:02 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Was not meant as a reply.

    They should go to a bowl, if only to prove the SEC is a juggernaut when they win or that Stoops is a complete joke when they lose.



  9. 4burgoo
    2:21 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Seems like there was a time when college sports existed to represent the student body, fans and alumni for a university. Now it’s about all about what they want, how much they should get paid, if and when they feel like playing, and platforms for social injustice. Maybe the best thing would have been for a total shutdown in sports this year then maybe it would force them to realign their priorities (and maybe have some true appreciation for the students/fans paying their salaries.)



  10. Theymademesignup
    2:30 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    abobicesaevior

    It’s not a boatload of money if you lose and can’t have many fans there. The winning teams get the payout, otherwise you are making money on attendance and a few other things like merchandise. 10% of the attendance per team isn’t much money at all.



  11. secrick
    2:34 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    4burgoo i agree with you.



  12. GoCatz
    2:35 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Another bowl bonus for Stoops I guess with a 3-7 or 4-6 record.



  13. wildcatdon
    2:46 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Both teams get paid from their respective conferences after they total and divide. It is not just the winning team that gets paid.



  14. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    2:46 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Some valid points on both sides, but I come down on the side of needing the extra practice time. Maybe Stoops & company can start looking at putting in a new O scheme for next year.

    However, I definitely see his point about not wanting to travel just to be locked up in a hotel room the whole time.



  15. GoCatz
    3:19 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Another bowl bonus check for Stoops i suppose….with a 3-7, 4-6 record.



  16. jaws2
    3:54 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Sure go, Stoops could use another month to continue practicing HIS playing not to lose offense. He’d probably play Wilson the entire game because he’s loyal to a fault as well.



  17. Ryan Lemonds Toupee
    3:59 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Heck yeah u play the bowl game. Play it to win w ur best players suited up. It’s a player reward for blood sweat & tears. Dedication to the program



  18. tdub
    4:59 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Play it. Work on new offense with young prospects and hope we draw Louisville.



  19. jaws2
    6:00 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

    Stoops shouldn’t go. He looks like he may be due around then!

    Oh ,and you better hope we don’t play loserville. They actually have an offense and I’d hate to give them bragging rights in a year where 3 win teams go to bowl games. That would be really embarrassing.



    • tdub
      6:37 pm December 1, 2020 Permalink

      Pounded them the last two years. I hope we do!