By LARRY VAUGHT
Getting a seventh regular season win for a second straight year was a rare occurrence for Kentucky football. It was a also a rewarding one for coach Mark Stoops.
His contract has a provision that if UK wins seven games, his contract is extended for a year. He’s now under contract though 2022 and will get a raise to $5 million per year in 2022.
“I’m always appreciative of that. This is a grind. It’s always tough. I’m committed to this place and taking it to another level and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Stoops said after Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt.
“And believe me, I want to say, with that, how greatly I appreciate our fan support tonight. Walking out there early and seeing the Big Blue Nation representing like that was just great to see. Our players really loved seeing that. There was a lot of blue out there. We really appreciate our support and thank them for hanging with us.”
That could be big, too. Bowl officials notice how fans travel — and rent hotel rooms.
The SEC bowl choices are a little more jumbled today after Georgia got thrashed by Auburn Saturday. That likely means the SEC won’t have two teams in the national title playoffs, so that drops Georgia back into the bowl mix with other SEC teams.
Mississippi State has also improved its stock with its play against Alabama even in a loss and both South Carolina and LSU are teams on the rise.
Kentucky also has a conflict with the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game on Dec. 29th at 1 p.m. that could influence going to the Music City Bowl or Belk Bowl — both on Dec. 29th.
But no matter how that turns out, Stoops appreciates having another year on his contract at a time when two SEC coaches have been fired during the season.
“Appreciate the administration and what we’re doing. We’re trying to take this thing to another level and we’re going to keep on working at that,” he said.