ARE WE SATISFIED YET?

By Ryan Lemond

 

I give Mark Stoops and his UK coaching staff all of the credit. Their ability to recruit top quality players to Lexington is a testament to their abilities. These coaches are able to sell what the UK football program is becoming and where it is headed.

We recently had an interesting conversation on Kentucky Sports Radio where the question was: “What does it take for the UK football fan to be satisfied?”

UK football has just posted back-to-back bowl seasons. I’m 51 years old, and in my lifetime, this is only the fourth time where the Cats have played in two or more bowl games in a row.

That alone should suggest that we as UK football fans should be riding another “high” of going to back-to-back bowl games. This just doesn’t happen every year. There have only been 13 bowl appearances in my lifetime.

So yes, I’m on the side of being very satisfied with what the UK football programs has been able to accomplish the past two seasons. Here’s the kicker for me: I truly believe that playing in bowl games will now be the “norm” around here. I think 6 wins seasons will be the new minimum win total every year. I think we’re going to start seeing more and more 7 and 8 win seasons.

To me, that’s good. To get 7 or even 8 wins in a season of playing in the truly tough Southeastern Conference is a great accomplishment and a step forward for this program. To put the Cats in position to flirt with 9 wins (or possibly have a shot at 10) is uncharted territory that most thought could never be possible. But now it is.

I give Mark Stoops and his UK coaching staff all of the credit. Their ability to recruit top quality players to Lexington is a testament to their abilities. These coaches are able to sell what the UK football program is becoming and where it is headed.

For years, I said there was “no way” the UK football coaching staff could ever recruit against the big boys in the SEC. I rationalized that there was no possible way any UK football coach could convince a kid to play for the Cats over the other powerhouses in the SEC, picking UK over places like Ohio State.

But somehow, they can do it, and they’re doing it on a regular basis. The recruiting success has obviously led to a higher success on the playing field. You get better players, you get more wins. You get more wins, you continue to get better players.

That’s why I’m excited about this UK football programs and where they are headed. That’s why I’m satisfied.

So as we begin to put the 2017 season to bed, it’s easy to remember the “what if’s”.

What if the Cats had beaten Florida? What if UK was able to beat Ole Miss? What if this team had actually finished with 10 wins?

The last time a UK football team had 8 wins in the regular season was in 1984... 33 years ago! UK fans need to realize how special this era is. This just doesn’t happen all the time here in the Bluegrass. We need to appreciate it when it does.

And the best part is that it’s going to continue to get better and better! 

 

 

 



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