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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Mark Stoops is the Ultimate “Friends Zone” Coach

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.

2017: Florida.  

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. 

Article written by Bryan the Intern

39 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Mark Stoops is the Ultimate “Friends Zone” Coach

  1. RackEmWillie
    10:08 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    This is, without a doubt, the most accurate representation of how I feel about Stoops. Every time he lures me in, and then we don’t cover. Or we blow a lead to UofL. Or he coaches scared against UGA. Or we blow a lead to USM.

    That’s why this Florida game hurt so much more. Because it was a packed stadium filled to capacity with people who believed, to watch a team that finally wasn’t being out played. Every year, UK would have stolen one from Florida with overall inferior talent. Every year, UK would have come up and picked it off and then faded into the background, because they weren’t the better team. We finally have the talent on the roster to where is wouldn’t just be a lucky break, and we can’t see the uncovered WR in a bright orange helmet, jumping up and down, 15 feet away from us.

    I like Stoops. But, it’s going to take something more for me to love him. And I’m not sure what that is, yet.

    • callitlikeiseeit
      11:05 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      and the reason we have the talent is Stoops and staff. Now that they are making this a deep roster we will compete for SEC titles.

    • RackEmWillie
      11:17 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      You gotta be able to cover all 11 when there’s a minute left and the game is on the line, before you can compete for the SEC East.

      No one ever said Stoops couldn’t recruit, we knew he could recruit a month after he was hired at UK. That’s never been in question, and it shouldn’t be. The talent exists, now it’s up to Stoops an co. to use it and win with it.

  2. UKfan2442
    10:14 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    KSR=ultimate fair weather football fans.

    • RackEmWillie
      10:24 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      But, they’re aren’t wrong in their assessment. Pretty much every time Stoops have given people something to be excited about, they fall short.

      Start 5-1, don’t get a bowl game.

      Start 4-1, don’t get a bowl game.

      Get a bowl game after looking awful at the start of the year, proceed to look awful.

      Get a sell out crown and the best stadium atmosphere ever, don’t cover receivers and waste the game away.

      It might not be positive, but they aren’t wrong. UK football doesn’t have the opportunity to have fair weather fans, mainly because there are so few fair weather days.

    • callitlikeiseeit
      11:08 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      You really have to look at the teams they played when they start 5-1 and 4-1 then lose late in season. We started with cupcakes and the bad USC teams then get to Bama, UGA, etc. Agree the USM loss was horrible and the UF game last week was bad but is part of the learning process. I love where UK football is right now, most talented team in many many years. Plus they seem to do it the right way and they seem to be good people on the team and the staff.

    • CPACAT
      11:11 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Not sure how you can argue this is a “fair-weather fan” article. It is a listing of objective facts. I run a business, if I schedule three people to show up to do a job that requires 4; then those three can’t get the job done timely, it is not their fault its mine. Clock management, on-field player management, conservative play calling, going away from “what we are doing well” to something more conservative, inability to make halftime and in-game adjustments, etc. have all contributed to some of the losses in big games that we could have won. Some of these have improved with the new assistants.

      Make no mistake, player error has contributed as well. DBs running into each other at the goal line at UF on the touchdown (2014 game, on the play where they had no time left on the play clock); dropped passes (too many to mention), missed tackles, penalties, etc. Those happen. There are also big plays made in some of the wins too.

      Point is, its not being a fair weather fan to point out that we continually get to the precipice of a fantastic season, only to have the ball pulled away from us ala Lucy from Charlie Brown. It’s just frustrating that these same issues keep preventing that one “big win”.

    • UKfan2442
      1:28 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      When you have to resort to this type of negativity for your own program, that should put up a big, flashing warning sign out there. What an opportunity this site has to energize our fan base!! And this is the junk that they put out there. Smh

    • catsarerunnin
      2:02 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah there’s no place for objectivity here…

    • UKfan2442
      2:33 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Objectivity is fantastic, we lose one game and Stoops becomes a marginal coach according to this site. Funny how that happened. How is that for objectivity?

  3. knowitall
    10:22 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    Bryan the Intern is the biggest downer on KSR. Why he gets to continue to post anything is beyond me. Lets bash KY football, basketball, and I don’t know why not make fun of ugly babies while your at it. Mark Stoops has done more with less than anyone else who we could have had as a coach. Its not like he took over Alabama level talent. So before the game why not post something bad about the football team,great article Bryan.

    • AGSlater
      11:50 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      You cant handle the truth. Stoops cant coach well

    • catsarerunnin
      2:04 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Well look who crawled out of the woodwork. Good ole Slater. Tough few days huh Slater with all the sad sad UL news???

    • Luether
      9:49 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      No fat chicks…

  4. ClutchCargo
    10:28 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    I swore I wouldn’t read any more BTI posts, much less comment, but I can’t help it. The loser attitude on display in this post is one of the main challenges that Stoops, or any UK football coach, has to overcome. Being a UK football fan is hard, but hang in there. He is doing the right things to get over the hump and it just takes time to overcome the culture that has been created here over so many decades. If an established, successful head coach would have been interested in this job when Stoops was hired, we would probably have that guy right now.

    • Thatcher
      1:08 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      A couple of things to disagree with you here. The idea that BTI is a downer is only because you are so over-optimistic. You likely think UK will win the SEC East by beating Georgia and Tennessee, (not only in the same decade, but the same season). BTI has pointed out real concrete facts to defend his position. What’s your defense, “Hang in there?” Stoops has failed the big tests time and time again. Not his players. He did not learn from the Vandy game last year. There are no gimme games left in this season, so he needs to “learn” his lessons real quick to save this season.

      As to whether or not a better coach would have come, do you remember when Brooks was brought out of retirement? For whatever good Barnhart has done for the whole of UK Athletics, he did not seek out better coaches. He had his short list (we all do). Rumor has it (who knows if we’ll ever know the truth) that Spurrier was interested.

  5. Sentient Third Eye
    10:30 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    What’s Love Got To Do With It? – Tina Turner

  6. JaminTheCoach
    10:32 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    Are you and Drew Franklin the same person BTI? Or do you sit around sniffing each other’s butt all day exchanging like minded ideas? Either way, you both suck, the site is better without both of you, and you’re more than welcome to go watch film of Bill Curry’s and Joker Phillip’s teams.

    • Drew Franklin
      10:35 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      As co-owner of the site, I don’t plan to leave anytime soon to watch old film.

      We do, however, sniff each other’s butts on the third Friday of the month. And that will continue, per office policy.

    • knowitall
      10:45 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Bryan and Drew are no where near on the same level. Drew is much more sarcastic but generally spot on. Bryan is an idiot with no original thoughts and very short sighted.

    • AdamN
      11:51 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Drew for the win

    • EdC
      12:59 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Well Drew that is a vivid image. Think I’ll leave it at that.

    • JaminTheCoach
      4:24 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      That’s too bad Drew. Will you at least stop covering football in your personal posts? Leave that to people like Roush who actually know the sport. Stick to basketball and basketball recruiting so I can just skip over those until Cal is gone.

  7. Peter Criss
    10:52 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    I like KSR, but can never love KSR. Sure, they are 1,000 times better than Jerry Tipton and the HL, but there are just too many hypocrites to take them seriously and love them. They have complained for years about UofL trying to control media, but won’t allow comments on posts they know are ridiculously slanted (looking at you Mr. Miller). I for one love this football team, not just like it and will continue to check KSR (until I can find UK coverage I love).

  8. inside info2
    10:52 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    I agree 100% with this article. Stoops is just good enough to keep, but unless we see a dramatic improvement in his coaching ability, we probably won’t be good enough to truly compete in the SEC elite.

    Cal can’t coach, but at least he gets enough elite talent that we are still a great team every year. That probably won’t happen with Stoops at UK.

    • knowitall
      11:01 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

      well here is an idea for people who say he can’t coach, go teach him with all your experience coaching at the college level. and Cal can’t coach? Not saying he is the best x and o’s guy ever but OMG you should be banned from every being able to post anything ever again or to be able to have any original thoughts of your own to speak out loud.

  9. macsauce13
    10:56 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    It isn’t that you’re wrong, its just BTI writing another prototypical negative piece. I wish I would just stop reading your posts. They always tick me off.

  10. highway119
    11:08 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    Coach Stoops is still a relatively new head coach, and while these events are beyond frustrating, there are significant examples that the talent level is improved, game management is improving, coaching decisions are improving (you’ll never please everyone; run and they will say pass; pass, and they will say why didn’t you run), and the overall status of the program hasn’t been at this level but a few times in the past 30-40 years (Mumme and Brooks). The simple fact that we are dominating an SEC team besides Vandy, and are on par, talent-wise, with most other SEC teams, is a testament to what he has accomplished while here.
    When we plateau, and we have several seasons at a mediocre level, or regress, then let’s evaluate him. Until then, understand that building a program is a process, and learning curves and hiccups are part of the growing pains. Remember, we are still very much in the hunt for the SEC East.
    I understand your basis for the post, but if you are going for the friend zone comparison, you sound like the girl that has unrealistic expectations from all boys, and so never finds the “right” guy, while friend-zoning someone that would more than make them happy. Don’t be the stuck-up girl, BTI!

    • AdamN
      12:02 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      I logged in so I could post a comment about how UK is progressing every year, and we have a first-time head coach… and pretty much the exact same message you already posted. So I will just reply to yours. It seems we have a lot of fans, and apparently now KSR writers, that see us win a few games and all of a sudden think we’re Alabama. Fans way too quickly spoiled from just a small amount of success. How quickly you forgot about the 1 and 2 win seasons,

    • ClutchCargo
      12:25 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      It’s hard for some people to wrap their brains around the fact that football is nothing like basketball, in terms of building and sustaining a winning program. It’s a much harder and more long-term process.

  11. za
    11:24 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    I can’t blame coaches for missed tackles but yea this is pretty accurate

  12. AGSlater
    11:48 am September 29, 2017 Permalink

    Stoops is a good defensive coach. Head coach not good. Cant manage or organize a high school team. Also these little ads on the mobile version with the little hide tab are driving me insane. This site looks more like a click bait website now.

    • AdamN
      12:05 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      Ads = $
      This isn’t charity work

      Talk trash about Stoops, talk trash about the site… you sir, are a hater.

    • catsarerunnin
      2:30 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

      No he’s Slater. Same thing though.

  13. BeePee39
    12:04 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

    What has happened to KSR..?!? I used to love it…LOVE IT..!!! I would check it 10-12 times a day, regardless of what was going on in the world of BBN. It has become too…I don’t know…UN-KSR like. What happened to the days of O.H. Napier, Kige Ramsey, and Frosted Tips? If it’s going to continue to be this kind of stuff,I would just as soon go to other sites that have less of these types of posts. I have nothing against BTI, I’m sure he’s a swell guy. I guess I just miss the irreverence. I miss Matt Jones. The click bait sizzucks donkey balls BTW.

  14. fairweather
    1:50 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

    If he was better he’d be gone. If he was worse he’d be gone. He fits just right (and I believe the team will improve and that he’ll improve as a coach)!

  15. krautdog
    3:40 pm September 29, 2017 Permalink

    I like Stoops. Remember this is his first head coaching job. He’s still in the learning curve. That’s why I’ve said all along he’s OVERPAID! A few years ago he made more money than Saban-PER WIN! Barnhart was all too eager to push Hal Morris out the door to make room for his buddy Brooks and was waaaaay too premature in giving Stoops a contract extension with a huge salary increase. Stoops is going to make a good head coach but “he ain’t there yet”. Be. patient BBN-he’s still learnin’.