With Mark Stoops' stock rising, could he leave Kentucky? Paul Finebaum shares his take
Kentucky fans have been waiting years for Mark Stoops to turn around the football program. Now that that appears to have come to fruition, could the leader of the Wildcat program bolt for another job?
If Kentucky fans don’t want that to happen, they would be wise to start supporting the program more often, as the first two home games at Kroger Field featured lackluster crowds. Big Blue Nation showed up in force Saturday night for the Mississippi State game and helped create a wild atmosphere that propelled the team to the big 28-7 win over the No. 14 team in the nation.
Now that the Wildcats sit at 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in league play, SEC Network host Paul Finebaum was asked about the chance Stoops leaves Kentucky for another job. Finebaum fielded the question during his weekly Monday morning appearance on the Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM radio show The Roundtable.
“Didn’t seem that long ago I was being asked whether he would survive,” Finebaum said laughing. “I think he’s a good coach, and I give him a world of credit in that he built this program brick-by-brick. Have you ever heard that one before? He really did though, and he has the support of the administration. Now, it looks like a really good program. I don’t know what he would do, but the challenges up there are obvious.
“Kentucky fans are very good when things are going well, but the problem is once the weather gets cooler and basketballs start being bounced, which is this week, they stray if the team isn’t doing well. Right now, they’re all in, and they should be. I think the whole place is behind him, but he will get offers.”
It should be noted that Kentucky has made serious investments into the football program under Stoops, having unveiled a new football complex last fall that ranks up there with any program in the league. The school has also invested heavily in Stoops, despite his less than stellar league record heading into the 2018 season (Stoops was 12-28 in league play entering the season).
In Stoops’ current contract, he’s guaranteed a one-year extension each time he leads Kentucky to a seven-win season, and he’s guaranteed a two-year extension each time he leads the program to a 10-win season. It’s unlikely Stoops is going to find a contract that friendly anywhere in the nation, which is something to consider. Stoops is currently under contract at Kentucky thru the end of the 2022 football season.