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‘Swaggy’ Mark Stoops sure seems optimistic to me

Mark Stoops (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Going into the 2018 football season, most national media members were wondering if Kentucky could win six games despite returning a veteran roster that featured players like Josh Allen and Benny Snell.

Of course, UK had a historic season with 10 wins, top 15 national ranking and New Year’s Day bowl win. Five players got drafted, including Allen at No. 7 overall.

But all the early 2019 predictions have Kentucky dropping off dramatically after losing Allen, Snell, five defensive backs and two starting offensive linemen. The Cats didn’t get a mention in preseason top 25 teams while many teams they beat last year did.

Saturday Down South writer Conner O’Gara recently picked Kentucky as the “most underrated college football team heading into 2019.” He cited Mark Stoops’ “superb” coaching as the biggest reason for his optimism.

Snell became UK’s all-time leading rusher, Allen had 17 sacks and was the consensus national defensive player of the year. Kentucky has no reason to expect that from anyone this year.

However, to me Stoops was especially “swaggy” during spring practice and has offered no excuses going into next season. I think he likes this team a lot more than national media members — and probably even UK fans — do.

Am I expecting another 10-win season? No. Am I expecting a losing season? No.

Kentucky has holes to fill I think writing off Kentucky as a one-hit wonder is going to be wrong.

7 comments

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  1. UK football must put together a 5 to 10 year history of winning football. Another good year will help. A long history of losing football will not win respect among these so called experts. Kentucky and Mark Stoops must win respect by continuing their winning ways. This 2019 team getting no respect should give much motivation to go show em!

  2. LP is right about needing to post a sustained winning record to establish this program as one worthy of true respect among college football experts and fans. Coach Stoops has been here 6 seasons, and as he enters his 7th season, his accomplishments have been remarkable.

    I believe that the transformation of the UK football program from the doormat to a true contender on a sustained basis is a generational process given the long dismal history. Another 5 successful seasons will still be a tenuous situation, but another 10 years would be on the cusp of that generational transformation.

    Staying the course with Coach Stoops is how that will get done, and that will require the BBN to take a deep breath and support this Coach and his entire staff to see this hard job through.

    As for 2019, I am optimistic that this team can duplicate last season’s 9-3 regular season record.

  3. Both LP and The Professor on target as usual, provided Terry Touchdown stays healthy…alway enjoy and respect both posters input-Go Cats!

    1. hfp, you are a UK mega fan and a true gentleman. Thanks.

  4. LP, I’m approaching 83 years of age and I’ve seen pretty much all the ups and downs with both football and basketball at UofK, and I can truly says the last 10 years have been spectacular. You, The Professor, and all the other posters keep it alive for BBN-thank you so much.

  5. We lost a lot of playmakers from last year and its hard to think that will not show up in next year’s record. Stoops has his work cut out for him.

  6. Custer was optimistic too at the Little Big Horn.

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