Guest post: Can’t the fans let the program mature

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)


I am football illiterate.  You can criticize me all you want for what I am going to say.  I’ll admit I don’t know a running back from a tackle, other than the tackle is really big. 
From what little I know, you can’t turn a program around instantaneously when you are left with another coaches players unless that coach’s players belonged to Myer, Dantonio or Saban.  A coach needs time to build his program … 5-6 years in my humble opinion.
 Joker was left a good program but it did not go any farther with him as a coach and I can understand why fans were upset.  But now fans are singing his praises for what he is doing at Ohio State and those same fans wanted his head served up on a cow pie platter.

Kentucky has an almost impossible task of recruiting not just against programs in the SEC, but against all good programs in college football.  There are not enough 4 and 5 star players to go around and you are not going to get those players unless you let a coach do his job.  It is hard being Kentucky.


Fans are use to winning when it comes to one of the major sports at Kentucky. Not all fans like both sports but that does not seem to matter sometimes.  Football is not successful, basketball is successful. It is a different story but that is comparing apples to oranges when you talk about the two programs, especially at UK.   That two program scenario at UK … Rupp seems to be the ghost that sits by and above, is emulated, who other coaches are following but developing their own way to success, idolized but yet the program has always had, except for a couple coaches, major winning programs.  

But the Ghost of Bryant is hanging over the football program.  It seems it is an excuse why the football program cannot succeed and the program being in the SEC does not help.  UK ‘s program has muddled in the sewer of the SEC for so long they can’t seem to get their head above the water line long enough to see the end of the tunnel.   Fans who were excited about Stoops have now turned on him, no bowl?  How many teams go to a bowl?  Does ever SEC team go to a bowl?  Going to a bowl, does that hinge on a successful program?


“There are 128 schools in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. By definition, all schools in this grouping have varsity football teams.” (Wikepdia0Y

There are 6 playoff bowls, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl Classic, Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.  That is 12 teams to go to those bowls.  There are 122 teams leftover that did not go to THOSE bowl games, the biggie bowls.  Those 122 teams are going to fight over going to the reaming 34 bowls.  So you have 80 teams that will be bowl eligible out of 128.  I supposed they could have 24 more bowls and then everyone can go to a bowl, let’s all bowl!   Which bowl do you want?  You don’t have to have 6 wins anymore; you can be a 5-7 team.

We could plan a bowl, name it whatever we want, play whomever we want, and make sure we pick a team we can defeat and win it.  Would that make fans happy?   BOWL BOWL BOWL…Not every team goes to a bowl, I know, you want a bowl, give it time.


Comment after comment over the years no matter who the coach is: UK can’t recruit, UK does not have the facilities, UK does not put the money into football and coaches like they do basketball, UK can’t win, UK can’t do this and they can’t do that.   

Fire the coach and that has evolved into Stoops should resign in disgrace.  Well, they have the facilities now, they have the salaries … can’t the fans let the program mature now, let it build and not switch horses again and start all over again. It is still going to be the same players and a new coach is still going to have to build his program, it will not instantly be a winning program.


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  1. Linda, I am in your corner on this.

    1. Thanks Professor

      1. Me too Linda. And you know I have been tough on football before. But it takes time so I.m for giving Stoops time.

  2. Linda UK fans have been waiting for winning football for 40 years. Guess what, times running out for some of us old guys! Ticket prices and parking and special donations are too high to put up with football like we are being served up! Hopson a first year head coach at USM, a Conference USA squad, came into CWS and beat UK, a SEC team, coming from behind by 25 points. That is not supposed to happen against a Kentucky squad that we were being told by Stoops was much stronger and better prepared.. Stoops has had plenty of time. His teams are no better than Joker’s and Joker was shown the door after 3 years. Stoops fired his OC after praising him and then praised him again on Sat night after he lost to him. Stoops would be better off just letting the Dawson thing lie. UK has more talent, but still can’t beat teams on their schedule they are supposed to beat. His defense, and he is supposed to be a defensive coach stinks. They stunk last year, but Dawson took the hit. No one on the defense was held accountable. Hey, if the Admin sees it different than I do, fine, but they may be giving tickets away soon if this guy don’t start picking up some wins. Wait all year for football only to watch an opener like we saw Sat night. Do you think all you basketball bennies would put up with Calipari if he had three losing years in a row, losing to teams like USM or WKU? I got an answer for you, they would be ready to run him out of town.

  3. The Curse Of The Bear lives on. UK has had only one period of solid football since the Bear picked up and went south. And it turned out that one good team fudged to get good. I’ve had my heart broken by UK football so many times I’ve come to expect it. I do believe in giving a coach a chance to win. But when I see adjustments made on the field by opponents lead to wins for their teams and I see it many times there is a problem with the coach in place. Recruiting is only part of the battle. Football is like chess with pads.

    I’ve had insanely good coaches and dismal excuses for coaches. It doesn’t have to be incredibly complicated. I’ve watched college coaches win with the most basic schemes going. And I’ve seen coaches that don’t seem to have clue how to counter moves by the opposition. I hate to say it because I liked him but Stoops falls into the latter category. He flat got out coached Saturday. There’s no other way to say it.

    It matters a LOT how things are done on the field. I know I said it once but I had a genius coach. He drew up 50 plays in an hour that all worked. He was making up our play book and it was in a study hall I was in and I watched him do it. The guy was like an alien when it came to drawing up plays. And it wasn’t complicated. It was just smart.

    I’ll give an example of basic football that all QB’s and receivers should know how to use and be able to execute. It’s all about the patterns ran by the receiver. It’s just 3 plays but it works and will continue to work until the other team makes a huge commitment to stop it. The first thing the receiver does is establish his ability to go deep. Your basic post pattern will do. If you don’t know what that is it just means you run 7 yards and break toward the goal post. If you have the talent to make the cornerback guarding you think real hard about keeping you from making deep catches that corner will back up about 5 yards to keep you from being able to get past him. That’s when you run the second play. A square out. You run 7 yards and cut toward the sideline. The defender is too far off of you to stop that pass. But eventually that corner will learn to come hard to stop that square out route. He will be playing you deep and trying to run toward you to stop the short pass. That’s when the thrid play comes in. You make your move toward the sideline, your QB makes a pump fake in your direction (he has to be able to sell this) and when the corner comes running up to cut off the short pass you make your second move and turn and run straight down the sideline like it was a fly pattern (which is a straight down the sideline route). The corner will be going the wrong way to stop and turn and follow you. The QB drops the ball over the corner’s head and you have only a safety to beat to get a touchdown.

    Three plays that will change most games. It certainly gets more complicated but you have to make the basics work before you graduate to the more complex stuff. There are many ways to alter these 3 basic plays accounting for double coverage or even triple coverage. I’ve seen teams put 3 players into trying to stop me from running this series of plays. And of course that leaves your other receiver all sorts of room to do the same set of plays. I’ve done this many times in games. It’s simple and it works.

    Coaches have to know how to adjust to stop a series of plays like that and your coach has to know how to counter the moves the other coach will make to stop you. It’s usually in the second half before all the options come into play. I could describe the Jerry Rice modification to the post route or the Collinsworth shortening of the fly route and a lot of other options to make changes to these basic plays.

    I said all this to point out that Stoops is not getting it done when it comes to the X’s and O’s. And you can’t win unless your coach can do that.

  4. I am old and tired. I’ve stood by Stoops for 3 years but gave had my fill. The team he fielded Saturday was an embarrassment… a joke. Thank God I canceled my season tickets this year.

    Stick a fork in me folks, I’m done.


  5. Sorry, you say it takes time to build a program, but Stoops has had time. 4 years has given him a full roster of his own players! A full roster that has been touted as one of the most “talented” teams UK has ever had in the modern era. Do I expect him to win the East in 4 years…no. Do I expect him to beat teams of Southern Miss’s caliber…YES!!!

    AS it stands, the season is not over, but losing to a team like S. Miss in the first game of the 4th year is not a good sign that giving it time will ever do any good. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m afraid we will underachieve, Mitch will wait too long to make a change, and we’ll be rebuilding yet again. Sometimes, you gotta strike while the hammer is hot if you wanna get anywhere. I’m pulling for Stoops and co, but if we fail to make a bowl this year, recruiting will take a hit and he will be a lame duck…and it’ll just be par for the course for UK football. 🙁

    1. Fair points. Can’t just settle and hope things change based on what we have seen

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