By LARRY VAUGHT
Winning a New Year’s Day bowl game and getting to 10 wins was a huge deal for Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and his Wildcats last season. He also had five players just picked in the NFL draft.
Stoops has now taken Kentucky to three straight bowl games, a heady feat with the Cats, and he’s continuing to bring in better and better recruits.
However, the new cbssports.com coaching rankings show Stoops some respect but not an abundance as he was rated as the nation’s 39th best coach, seven spots better than he was last year.
CBSsports.com writer Tom Fornelli wrote this about Stoops’ ranking: “I was fully expecting Stoops to take a significant step forward in these rankings after winning 10 games at Kentucky last season. It was the first time the Wildcats won at least 10 games in a single season since 1977. I had him at No. 34 on my ballot, but I guess my fellow voters weren’t as impressed as I. Still, climbing seven spots isn’t insignificant.”
Here’s another oddity about the rankings. New Louisville coach Scott Satterfield, who has never coached a Power-Five game, came in at No. 37. Here’s what Fornelli wrote about him:
“The new Louisville coach has a nice starting point in these rankings as he takes over for Bobby Petrino (who was 29th last year, so these rankings provide no job security). In six seasons at Appalachian State, Satterfield went 51-24 and won three consecutive Sun Belt titles before taking this job. It’ll be a lot more difficult winning conference titles while playing in the same division as Clemson and Florida State, however.”