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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Those Calling for 8 Wins Have Some Ammunition in SEC Football

Where to land on expectations for this UK football team is tough.  The talent is obviously there, maybe moreso than ever before in UK football and definitely moreso than at any point in the Mark Stoops era.  The Cats have been to back-to-back bowls, and have had moderate SEC success.  But they’ve also had several setbacks and last season certainly had its tough moments in a blown loss to Florida and blowout loss to Louisville.  Plus, the schedule toughens up significantly from 2017.

You have certain fans who look at these factors and are calling for a 6 win campaign for the Cats and calling that a success.  You have the other side saying that in Year 6 of any coaching tenure, calling for a .500 season is not good enough, especially with the talent on roster.  I think it is hard to reasonably call for much of a step up in record this year when the Cats will likely only be favored in 5 or 6 games but at the same time, their competitiveness in each and every game will be a must.  Any blowouts this season will be unacceptable in my eyes.

Just for comparisons sake though, I went back to each SEC school and found all of the coaches who lasted at least 6 seasons since 1990.  Below are the 21 coaches who that applies to, their overall record going into the 6th season, and their results in that 6th season:

Alabama: Gene Stallings (52-10-1), 6th year: 8-3
Alabama: Nick Saban (55-12), 6th year: 13-1
Arkansas: Houston Nutt (39-23), 6th year: 9-4
Auburn: Terry Bowden (46-12-1), 6th year: 1-5 (resigned mid-season)
Auburn: Tommy Tuberville (38-24), 6th year: 13-0
Auburn: Guz Malzahn (45-22), 6th year: TBD
Florida: Steve Spurrier (49-16-1), 6th year: 12-1
Florida: Urban Meyer (57-10), 6th year: 8-5
Georgia: Mark Richt (52-13), 6th year: 9-4
Kentucky: Bill Curry (18-38), 6th year: 4-7
Kentucky: Rich Brooks (25-35), 6th year: 7-6
Kentucky: Mark Stoops (26-36), 6th year: TBD
LSU: Les Miles (51-15), 6th year: 11-2
Ole Miss: David Cutcliffe (30-19), 6th year: 10-3
Mississippi State: Jackie Sherril (29-27-2), 6th year: 5-6
Mississippi State: Dan Mullen (36-28), 6th year: 10-3
South Carolina: Lou Holtz (27-29), 6th year: 6-5 (retied after season)
South Carolina: Steve Spurrier (35-28), 6th year: 9-5
Tennessee: Phillip Fulmer (43-9), 6th year: 11-2
Texas A&M: Kevin Sumlin (44-21), 6th year: 7-5 (fired after season)
Vanderbilt: Bobby Johnson (15-43), 6th year: 5-7

There are 21 instances listed above with 2 of the coaches (Stoops and Malzahn) entering their 6th seasons this year.  So taking them out of the picture, you have the following:

  1. Of the 19 coaches, 12 won at least 8 games in their 6th season and 14 of the 19 won at least 7 games.
  2. Of the 7 coaches who won 7 or fewer games in their 6th season, only four returned for a 7th season.  Two were fired and one retired.
  3. With that said, Stoops will become only the 5th coach since 1990 in the SEC to make it to the 6th season with an overall losing record.  Two of the other four were Bill Curry and Rich Brooks.

I think what is clear above is Kentucky, more than any other SEC school, is patient with its coaches.  Even six years in, UK sticks with its guy and they are doing the same with Stoops.  And I think fans have been plenty patient with the ups and downs of this tenure.  But I see this season really being a make or break season for fan support of the program.  I am not saying eight wins is a requirement as it was with basically every other SEC school not named Vanderbilt.  But six years in, with this talent, it is a MUST than UK is not embarrassed again like it was against Georgia and Louisville last season.  No more curb stompings.  If Stoops can not accomplish that, and 6 wins follows, I’m not sure the seat doesn’t deserve to get a little hotter for 2019.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

15 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Those Calling for 8 Wins Have Some Ammunition in SEC Football

  1. shelby
    10:05 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    If we win 8, stoops should be SEC coach of the year. Yes we may have more talent than we’ve ever had at UK, but it’s still a LOT less talent than UGA, bama, LSU, A&M, tennessee, florida, miss st, and probably even south carolina.for those who doubt this, just look up the recruiting rankings for each of the past 4 or 5 years.

    • E11Q
      11:01 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

      I assure you this will not happen

  2. Cmstew502
    10:06 am August 27, 2018 Permalink


  3. shelby
    10:08 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    Btw, if stoops gets fired after what he’s done here, who da heck is gonna want this job?? U might get neal brown who has NEVER coached at a high level. Winning at Troy is not winning in the sec.

    • timer2
      10:15 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

      Didn’t Troy win at LSU?

    • Cmart0907
      10:53 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

      This comment right here deserves a gold medal lol.

    • E11Q
      11:05 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

      What has he done? I’m genuinely curious as to what you think he’s accomplished in his tenure? Outside of getting us back to a level that is slightly less laughable than we were under Joker. I just don’t understand why people around these parts are SOOOOOO desperate for any sort of football relevance that they’re willing to deify Stoops. I mean his ENTIRE THING was being a defensive guru. He’s had more than a full recruiting cycle and still we were one of THE WORST DEFENSIVE TEAMS IN THE NCAA last season. Nearly 500 yards per game allowed. So I ask again, what has he done here?

  4. WVCat
    10:18 am August 27, 2018 Permalink


  5. Catcasey1
    10:57 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    Take Neal Brown any day of the year

  6. Cmart0907
    10:57 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    All of Stoops recruiting classes has been top 40 every year i believe. None of these recruits or players are from Joker. So no excuses. Everything is on Stoops this year. I don’t mind a 7 win season. No way in hell we should get blown out. A team success goes deeper than the school wins and losses. The fan base wants IMPROVEMENT. We want to see us compete and not be a laughing stock to the S.E.C. Stoops have all the pieces he need. No more excuses. Plain and Simple.

  7. RackEmWillie
    11:08 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    Can someone fully explain to me how UK’s schedule has gotten so much tougher this year?

    Swapping TAMU and Ole Miss doesn’t make a difference, since we didn’t win that game last year anyway.

    I think the only teams UK beat who got better would possibly be Mizzou and South Carolina. And UK has been good against those teams for the last several years. And that’s not to mention the fact that UofL won’t be what they were last year, so it’s effectively 1 team difference between last year and this year.

    • 2Dogs
      12:35 pm August 27, 2018 Permalink

      I’ve never understood the clamor about how tough this schedule supposedly is. Ask Tennessee about a tough schedule. They play Auburn and Alabama both of which we avoid.

  8. E11Q
    11:09 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    The bottom line is we must eventually take “the next step” that Stoops has preached for two or three years now. He’s go all of “his guys” now. I do not see any reason (with the amount of resources UK athletics has) why it’s absurd to think that once or twice a decade UK should be competing for a top 2 finish in the SEC East. I don’t expect to be annual contenders, but with the East being an absolute JV league, aside from UGA, we have no more excuses. UT is awful. Florida has gotten increasingly worse, Vandy…..well they’re Vandy…. Missouri and SCar shouldn’t ever be just head and shoulders better than UK on a yearly basis (and haven’t been recently so that’s encouraging).

  9. Bluebloodtoo
    11:17 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    Agree with your conclusions, but not sure the comparisons are valid. Alabama, auburn, ms st, Florida. None of those teams had a negative perception among recruits and/or none of them were “building a program” like Stoops had to do at UK.

  10. UK Big Board Update
    11:49 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

    I hope we hire Neal Brown next… lol.