The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

We need to talk about Kentucky Football

Graphic by Ben Cantrell
Ben Cantrell

Head Coach Mark Stoops set the tone for Kentucky football in 2015, with an encouraging quote, “It is no longer acceptable for us to accept mediocrity.”

It made fans feel as if the program was turning around, and for a while, it was.

Since Mark Stoops was hired during the 2012 season, Kentucky snapped a 31-game losing streak vs Florida, had two 10-win seasons, won four bowl games, and dominated our biggest rivals, Florida and Louisville. The program has undoubtedly taken steps toward success; however, it seems the progress has slowed.

Mark Stoops and Kentucky agreed to an extension in 2022, giving Stoops the reins through June of 2031. Since the beginning of that season, Kentucky is 14-11 with a 6-10 record in the SEC.

This includes bad losses to Vanderbilt and South Carolina (twice), as well as blowouts to Tennessee (38 pts), Georgia (38 pts), and Alabama (28 pts). Kentucky is also 2-18 vs teams ranked in the top 10 in Stoops career at UK.

It is reasonable to question Stoops’ ability to win vs the best of the best, or just SEC opponents in general.

Kentucky has had the talent, with stars like Ray Davis, Will Levis, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Jamin Davis in the past few years, but seem to fall flat every year.

Kentucky lost five of their last seven games this season. Players, parents, and fans were active on X, questioning the direction of the team moving forward.

From an outside perspective, it seems part of the fanbase has lost hope in Stoops’ ability to make Kentucky consistent winners. This begs the question: Is it time for a change?

A buyout for Stoops’ contract is definitely on the table. At $4.5 million, it is not that bad of a price. Kentucky could easily move on if they felt it was best. The problem is: Who would they hire? There are not many good options so a decision to buyout Stoops could leave us worse off than better.

Most fans (including myself) believe it would be a mistake to move on from Stoops. Even though the last two seasons have been rough, it is much better than where we were before we had him. It would be irrational to erase over 10 years of progress this quickly, with no plan in mind. 

Kentucky just wants a change. The program is desperate to return to winning ways and something needs to be done for this to happen.

Kentucky closed the 2023 season with a tough road win vs 10th ranked Louisville. This win has regained some hopes from Kentucky fans about better days to come. We need this feeling to continue.

These past couple of years have been nothing but mediocre. Stoops stated it’s not acceptable to accept mediocrity, so that is what we are doing.

We are demanding something happens to turn this program around, and it needs to happen quickly.


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About the Contributor
Ben Cantrell, Sports Editor
If you are reading this, you are in the presence of greatness. This is Ben Cantrell. He is a junior here at GRC, and his favorite things to do are play sports, watch sports, and talk about sports. Who could guess that his favorite thing about GRC are the sports. One thing about Ben is he can not be scared by people. The only person who scares him is a person holding a snake. Besides that, he is very lighthearted and a fun person to be around. Ben is excited about his future in this well-respected program and knows he can make an impact (probably something to do with sports.)

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