For those of you who don’t know what the “Friends Zone” is, it is basically my high school life. Joking not joking. But you know how there are people who you are attracted to who just don’t feel the same way, but still keep you around as a friend? It’s actually more painful than if they just completely ignored you.
Well, Mark Stoops is in the friends zone for the foreseeable future for UK fans.
Do we like Mark Stoops? Of course. He comes across as a good man, good to his players, he’s decent with the media, he seems to run a clean program, and has been such an improvement from what we had before. But after what we saw on Saturday it’s nearly impossible to love Stoops. How can you still be fully confident that this program can be a consistent SEC power? Because that wasn’t 2 teams who were equal on Saturday and one team loses and one team wins. Nope. We had the better team and played better and coaches took it away. The holding call at the end should have never happened. The missed tackles at the end of the game should have never happened. That game should have never been in doubt in the 4th quarter. But it was. Because somehow we have a culture that says we are just good enough to play with anybody in our conference and just scared enough to be great that we’ll snatch it away.
2014: Start 5-1, ready to love Stoops, lose 6 in a row to finish season, including 3 games by more than 30 points
2015: Start 4-1, finish season losing 6 of 7. Botch Auburn home game. Badly botch game at Vanderbilt. Don’t show up against Georgia and Tennessee. Blow 21-point lead to Louisville
2016: Completely blow season opener to Southern Miss. Gain some ground back winning 5 of 7. Blow winnable game at home against UGA. Gain it back beating Louisville. Lay complete dud in bowl game.
I like Mark Stoops. I still want him to be the coach. But every time you think maybe he has the qualities to love, something goes bad that is a direct result of him. I like Mark Stoops but I find it hard to believe I will ever love Mark Stoops.