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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ranking The 26 Wins of the Mark Stoops Era

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After his initial 2-10 campaign, Mark Stoops has won 24 games over the last 4 years at UK, with a variety of significance and excitement attached to those wins.  So I took a minute to rank the 26 wins of the Stoops era by a combination of significance to the program, excitement of the game, and important players and moments that took place:

#1 – 2016: Louisville, 41-38 (Louisville)
-This game will be tough to top in the Stoops era for so many reasons.  The fumble by Lamar Jackson.  The kick by MacGinnis.  The great passing performance by Johnson.  All these things make it one of the better wins in school history.

#2 – 2014: South Carolina, 45-38 (Lexington)
-The Bud Dupree INT and score with 2 minutes left was maybe the moment UK football began coming back and as loud as Commonwealth has been under Stoops.

#3 – 2016: Mississippi State, 40-38 (Lexington)
-A game the Cats tried to give away was saved by Austin Macginnis’ 79-yard field goal at the buzzer.  It was that long, right?

#4 – 2015: South Carolina, 26-22 (Columbia)
-First road win of the Stoops era and broke a 22-game road losing streak.

#5 – 2017: Tennessee, 29-26 (Lexington)
-This was a bad Vols team but any win over Tennessee is a big moment for UK.

#6 – 2017: Missouri, 40-33 (Lexington)
-A wildly entertaining game put the Cats at 5-1 for the season.

#7 – 2015: Missouri, 21-13 (Lexington)
-Win over 25th ranked Tigers the first over a ranked team under Stoops.

#8 – 2017: South Carolina, 23-13 (Columbia)
-Make it four in a row over the Gamecocks in what turned out to be a game the Cats controlled.

#9 – 2016: Missouri, 35-21 (Columbia)
-Albeit not a good Mizzou team buts Cats dominating a conference foe on the road was a big step forward.

#10 – 2017: Southern Miss, 24-17 (Hattiesburg)
-Payback was sweet in a tricky road situation.

#11 – 2014: Vanderbilt, 17-7 (Lexington)
-The first SEC win of the Stoops era.  Broke a 17-game SEC losing streak.

#12 – 2017: Vanderbilt, 44-21 (Nashville)
-Another dominant win over an SEC foe on the road.

#13 – 2013: Miami (OH), 41-7 (Lexington)
-The first win of the Mark Stoops era

#14 – 2016: South Carolina, 17-10 (Lexington)
-3rd straight win over the Gamecocks but truly one of the more boring games in the Stoops tenure.

#15 – 2016: Vanderbilt, 20-13 (Lexington)
-See above.  Conference wins are always important but this was about as forgettable as it gets.

The Rest of the Wins, AKA Beating Up on Cupcakes
16. 2015: Louisiana-Lafayette. 40-33 (Lexington)
17. 2016: New Mexico St., 62-42 (Lexington)
18. 2017: Eastern Michigan, 24-20 (Lexington)
19. 2014: Louisiana-Monroe, 48-14 (Lexington)
20. 2014: Ohio, 20-3 (Lexington)
21. 2015: Eastern Kentucky, 34-27, OT (Lexington)
22. 2017: Eastern Kentucky, 27-16 (Lexington)
23. 2016: Austin Peay, 49-13 (Lexington)
24. 2013: Alabama State, 48-14 (Lexington)
25. 2014: Tennessee-Martin, 59-14 (Lexington)
26. 2015: Charlotte, 58-10 (Lexington)

Article written by Bryan the Intern

8 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ranking The 26 Wins of the Mark Stoops Era



  1. krautdog
    10:32 am August 22, 2018 Permalink

    How much does that equate to in head coach salary $/win? I daresay the most expensive in NCAA football!



    • ClutchCargo
      11:02 am August 22, 2018 Permalink

      In fairness, that would be true for any well-paid coach trying to build from almost nothing. I’d say this season is the time to judge whether he is worth the money or not.



  2. JohnnyCheeseSticks
    10:40 am August 22, 2018 Permalink

    Cool post, BTI. I would flip #2 and #3, but both were magical wins. Other than that, I agree with the ranking.



  3. Iamheasyouarehe
    10:59 am August 22, 2018 Permalink

    It’s murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It’s as easy to learn as your abc’s



  4. ClutchCargo
    10:59 am August 22, 2018 Permalink

    I was in the upper deck for that 2014 USCjr game. It was scary how much it was swaying up there when the crowd was going nuts!



  5. RackEmWillie
    12:09 pm August 22, 2018 Permalink

    #2 was one of the coolest environments in CWS I’ve ever experienced. There was so much tension when UK went to tie, got the INT, and then South Carolina’s ensuing drive to attempt to tie. SC’s drive after the pick 6 was probably the loudest for a single drive, I’ve ever heard any UK game. I can still remember that game vividly.



  6. cats646
    2:33 pm August 22, 2018 Permalink

    I think this list is exactly right. Good article.



  7. Luether
    4:06 pm August 22, 2018 Permalink

    #3 Well maybe not quite 79 yds…