I’ll be honest, what I am about to write totally means I am not as good a fan as some of you. But there comes a point after 30 years of life, pretty much all of it a supporter of UK and UK football, where you have to admit something to yourself. And frankly, after attending the Florida game and watching the Auburn game, it’s time to just tell it like it is. I think I am losing patience with this program. Not in Mark Stoops or any player in particular, but just in UK football as a whole. To see so many bad football teams take the field for UK it just makes all of these tough losses over the years with good football teams that much harder.
What is hard for me to not become frustrated with is we have seen Hal Mumme, Rich Brooks, Guy Morris, and Mark Stoops take players of vastly different skill levels and build the program up in their own ways. And then they win 6 or 7 games. There is some kind of ceiling with this program that we can’t break through. Can UK do it on a 1-game basis? Of course. Beating LSU in 2007 or various upsets over the last 25 years shows that. But then there is always a disappointing loss that follows. If UK can’t convert opportunities against Florida and Auburn AT HOME, how can I feel confident they can it at Mississippi State or at Georgia. Will Tennessee be just another heart-breaking experience? And what about Louisville? We should totally beat Louisville in Commonwealth this season. We are better. But I truly think we were better than Auburn and Florida and look how that turned out.
Do we just overrate our talent and chances? Or are we just a completely snake-bitten program?
Look, Mark Stoops has CLEARLY increased the talent level at Kentucky in his 3 years. It is obvious. But it doesn’t seem matter what advantages you have or how good your players are, there seems to be something stuck in this program that prevents us from breaking through in the SEC. How many absolutely silly drops and key missed tackles did we see last night that we haven’t seen all season? Dorian Baker makes the HUGE catch against EKU but they blows game-changing TD catches against Florida and Auburn. Don’t know about you, but I’ll trade an EKU loss for Baker catching both of those passes. But instead when it mattered most, the Cats blow it again.
It doesn’t mean I won’t support the program or cheer them on from now until forever. I love the way Stoops is running this program. But it just seems a lot easier to just accept 6 wins and be surprised by 8 than believe in 8 and finish disappointed every season. In a year by year situation, that’s a bad attitude to have. But I have done this for 30 years and many of you have done this for 40, 50, 60, or more years. How do some of you remain patient and passionate knowing that this program continues to rip your heart out?
We are going to look back on this season and truly regret the chances we let slip through. The SEC East was completely there for the taking this year. And I say with a straight face this UK team was good enough to win that division. Could we have beaten Florida and Auburn? Of course. If they had done that, they could have lost to BOTH Mississippi State and Georgia and still won the division. Instead, their chances are all but toast barring a great run to end the season. And frankly, for those of us who have watched this program for 30+ years, it’s hard to remain patient enough to believe that can happen.
So what can Mark Stoops and company do now? Simple. Prove me wrong. Make me look foolish. Win 8 games this year. I want them to win their final 6 games. I will cheer for them in all 6 as hard as I did in the first 6. But as it stands now my patience is completely fried with the UK football program. Those of you who remain passionate and confident this can become a 9-10 win program, how do you do it after this happens time after time? I am looking for advice.