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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 2017 Game at Southern Miss a Rare Occurance

Stoops-usa-today

Mark Stoops first 3 years of scheduling has gone much like the previous 15 years of scheduling.  UK held the mentality that the SEC was so strong that they were willing to play Louisville and that’s about it in the non-conference.  Understandable and likely got them to some bowls under Rich Brooks.  But in the end, has it made UK football a better program?  I don’t know.  What I do know is UK now has a 2-year series with Southern Miss on the books, the first game this year at Commonwealth Stadium.  This series is a dangerous one for Kentucky because Southern Miss is good enough to beat UK but the Cats will be expected to win both years (I would assume).  I personally like a more aggressive schedule but it does provide a rare occurrence for the Cats.

The game next year in Hattiesburg will be the first non-conference true road game against somebody not named Louisville or Indiana in 21 years.  In fact, in the last 30 years, UK has played just 7 true road games in the non-conference against non UL or IU opponents:

1996: Cincinnati 24, Kentucky 3
1992: Cincinnati 17, Kentucky 13
1990: North Carolina 16, Kentucky 13
1990: Rutgers 24, Kentucky 8
1987: Rutgers 19, Kentucky 18
1986: Virginia Tech 17, Kentucky 15
1986: Kentucky 37, Cincinnati 20

Mark Stoops has a couple things on the line over the next 2 years that will likely decide his fate.  First up is beating a decent D-1 bowl team at home to begin the 2016 season.  Don’t do that and 2016 is going to be bad.  Stoops likely has 2017 as well.  Whether or not this season goes well, the game at Southern Miss to open 2017 will be HUGE.  If the Cats are coming off a bowl season, a loss in Hattiesburg will basically knock them right back.  If 2016 goes poorly, then that game could literally determine Stoops’ fate.  And judging by UK’s results in the past 30 years, Stoops will have to do something different to get a win there.

Either way, I will like seeing UK playing in a new place and challenging the program a little more in the non-conference.  If we can’t win the Southern Miss game in either of the 2 years, then really we don’t deserve to act like a serious football program.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

10 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 2017 Game at Southern Miss a Rare Occurance



  1. shelby
    8:13 am April 18, 2016 Permalink

    5-7 next year—but we’ll be better. Baby steps folks, baby steps. Stoops is doing it the right way: recruit, redshirt, develop, repeat. It’s a LONG process. He took over a mediocre high school team. He better get at least 2 more years…or my season ticket renewal form will go in the trash.



    • CatFanDu
      9:42 am April 18, 2016 Permalink

      At the Blue-White game Saturday, we sat near some overly-vocal “fans”. They were calling for Stoops to be replaced. They also questioned every decision of every coach, player, assistant, floor sweeper, and concession stand worker associated with the event. There are “those” football fans, but UK seems to have an over-abundance of them. I agree Shelby, this deal requires patience.
      I liked a lot of what I saw Saturday, and even though the stat sheet may not favor him, I was impressed by Johnson at QB. Definitely a good option to have. O-line looked better, D-line has some energy to be added, and King was impressive. GO CATS!



    • scorpiocard
      9:33 pm April 18, 2016 Permalink

      His third year in and you are going to OT with EKU? You have a total system melt down at Vandy? Are you kidding me?

      Delusional denial at its best.



  2. Sentient Third Eye
    8:21 am April 18, 2016 Permalink

    Sports are more interesting when more is at stake, so upping the ante by scheduling better opponents only adds to the interests, I feel. As long as we’re not going crazy and scheduling top ten teams out of conference.



  3. KevinM
    9:17 am April 18, 2016 Permalink

    Gotta out scheme our former OC.



  4. FBtimeintheBG
    9:53 am April 18, 2016 Permalink

    UK and USM had two common opponents last year in Miss St and Charlotte. They also played a familiar foe in WKU. And that Toppers game was a lot closer than the scoreboard indicated, Doughtry poured ’em on in the end like he did every game. USM is going to be one tough opener come September. Fully expect Dawson to have his guys (who were overlooked by SEC) fully TURNT. What do they have to lose coming into Commonwealth?

    It would be great if we could steal two out of three against SCar, Miss St, and @ Mizz to get to 6 bigguns. Both teams schedules leading up to Miss St game helps out UK quite a bit. Here’s to our first SEC West win in 8 some’odd years. Gotta get past that pesky USM team first. Glad I’m tempering expectations and not getting ahead of myself …



  5. BluKudzu
    4:32 pm April 18, 2016 Permalink

    I must be one of “those fans.”

    I blame Mitch. He hired Joker. He hired Stoops. Stop blaming Joker for the woes of this program. He had nothing in the line of support, that Stoops has had to work with, yet statistically against the SEC he did just a little worse, and not by much.

    Thus far, (and I hope for the best), I do not see much in the line of improvement. Everyone keeps pointing, towards the signs of better times, but I have not seen it. If we have better players, they still seem to put up similar statistics, and losses, as Jokers worst years in the SEC.

    Mitch hired this guy because we needed a strong defense to compete in the SEC. Stoops was a defensive mind. Elliot was a guru.

    Yeah, right.

    Ask anyone in football, when the the DBs are the strength of your defense, chances are you will not likely see the opposing teams punter. Not a great defense, so far. 3 years of red shirting, his red shirt juniors and seniors will be on the field this year. We will see how far we have come, since Joker.

    Giving this guy two more years will not change anything, in fact, it will likely get worse. We have already started recruiting against OVC and MAC schools again. If Stoops deserves to keep his job, this will be the year, he needs to show massive improvement.

    I don’t want to see only nine players on the field, wasted timeouts, and lame excuses of not being prepared.

    Maybe I will be one of “those fans” that will not renew tickets for football after another losing season, which could be, after this season, 7 in a row.

    This is not about Joker, folks. This situation is at the feet of the UK AD. I hope Barnhart proves me wrong, I really do. If he does, I will be the first to give credit to his plan and say he was right and I was wrong.

    We are looking at 7 years, and it does not get easier anytime soon.



  6. tnlongdrvr
    7:04 pm April 18, 2016 Permalink

    bti gets on my last nerve! seens like every story he writes is anti-UK like JT or MS at LHL. seems to me like he’s got an agenda in every story he writes. he seems to pretend he’s a fan but if you notice he always puts his agenda to the forefront whether it’s about scheduling fb games that he wants to see whether or not it is the best thing for the program or not or his dislike for MB. I love FM’s football posts because he knows what he is talking about!!. Mrs . TT’s articles are always informative and entertaining. I want to look at the author of an article before I read it but that seldom happens. I can always tell BTI;s articles because of his agenda. I love KSR and it is my first read of every day. keep up the great work KSR!!!