Paul Finebaum says Mark Stoops has reached 'elite' status in SEC, predicts team will make 'serious run' at hiring him
Paul Finebaum has been impressed with the job Mark Stoops has done at Kentucky.
Stoops took over a program that had gone 2-10 in 2012. The Wildcats matched that record in 2013, but after identical 5-7 marks in 2014 and 2015, he has led them to 6 straight bowl games and won 4 in a row. Last year, they went 10-3 and won the Citrus Bowl, and are off to a 2-0 start in 2022 with wins over Miami of Ohio and Kentucky.
Finebaum, on the SEC Network’s SEC Nation, discussed Stoops’ status among his conference peers, while predicting that another program could make a heavy push for his services in the offseason.
“I think he’s one of the elite coaches now in the SEC,” he said, according to Kentucky Sports Radio’s Tyler Thompson. “He’s so good I think somebody’s going to make a serious run in taking him away from Kentucky at the end of the season.”
One job that’s open right now is Nebraska, with Stoops cited as a possible candidate. But there are sure to be others across the Power 5 that come open following the season. That said, Stoops is locked up until 2027 and is making $6.75 million this season. Will another program end up making him a pitch he can’t resist?
Meanwhile, the Youngstown, Ohio native will look to lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 start as they face Youngstown State on Saturday.