On first read, you might think that John Pennington of Mr. SEC is raining on UK’s parade when he writes that he doesn’t see things ending well for Kentucky with Mark Stoops as head coach. That statement has a double meaning, however.
Pennington looks at the four new head football coaches in the SEC and which one would be the first to fail. He thinks Arkansas’ Bret Bielema has the best chance at long-term success. In sizing up Tennessee’s Butch Jones, Pennington points to a winning track record. He thinks Auburn’s Gus Malzahn has the best chance of being sent to the unemployment line first.
He admits Stoops is off to a “flying start” but . . .
“Though Stoops has gotten off to a flying start, it’s hard to imagine things ending well at Kentucky,” Pennington writes. “Either the Wildcats will struggle to climb the SEC East standings table and Stoops will wash out like so many Big Blue coaches before him… or he’ll have enough success to catch the attention of a traditional football power. If he’s like past Wildcat coaches, he’ll fail. If he does succeed, it’s likely he’ll move on to a bigger, easier job.”
Pennington does say that if Stoops leaves UK job better than when he arrived he’s been a success. That’s my thing. So what if Stoops wins and leaves for a more high-profile gig? The key is to win. I think UK fans would settle for that.