Well, has is sunk in yet? If you have not been paying attention the last couple of days, shame on you. It's football season folks --that's right, football season. Wednesday February 6th was National Signing Day and for the first time in a very long time, Kentucky was in the mix at the top of the food chain. Or at least the Top 40, according to ESPN. According to Rivals.com, #28. But no matter who is doing the ranking, UK is in the top of the stats.
There are 123 schools ranked by Rivals.com for their recruiting in the top tier of Division I. UK came in ahead of 95 of those schools. UK also made the ESPN Top 40, coming in with the last slot. Most experts will tell you that those kinds of numbers are nothing to get excited over. However, this is Kentucky, and we don't swim in water this deep that often.
Will this excellent recruiting continue? Well, as of today, Mark Stoops has been on the job for 66 days. Take a minute and think about this for for a minute: Who had a better first two months in office? John Calipari or Mark Stoops? Those who deal in stats will say Calipari. That's fine, however, if you factor in the overall mood of the fans, Stoops may be trying to raise the dead here.
It's like Stoops gave the entire Kentucky Football program an enema. He got rid of all the bad thoughts and memories and put visions of glory in our heads in one day. Calipari is getting the glory and the money to go along with his National Championship, Kentucky's eighth. But what would happen if Stoops could bring UK its first BCS championship in football?
It definitely energized things around here, as Glenn, myself, and some others closely monitored the progress of Twitter, UKathletics.com, ESPN, Rivals.com and every other place we could get scraps of information and confirmation every LOI. Combine that with live video from the UK war room as well as interviews with coaches and other UK personnel every few minutes, and we were scrambling not to miss anything.
Ever seen a game thread go on for 9 hours? Try a game thread where you were watching 5-6 channels to see the game. Coach Stoops didn't make it easy on us either. We could no more than get one bio completed and posted for your reading pleasure when another letter would come in. We had computers humming in more places than Apple for a while. Every time we got a confirmation, we would double check it with another source, and then get the info out there. I told someone on a thread that it was like trying to follow a stock ticker.
Remember that this is not basketball recruiting. We aren't getting 5-7 guys here. UK got 22 today. With more to come. With the other players that have not yet committed, we may very well see an increase in those ratings I shared with you earlier -- When was the last time that UK Football was truly fun? Can anyone remember a time when the Big Blue Nation was this firmly behind the Cats on the gridiron?
Conversely, 22 players does not a team make. These guys are good. Some are very good. But they are not all of what UK will need to rise to the level postseason play. However the news of this group of recruits is not just good, it is outstanding. And being a part of the process for the first time was an experience in and of itself. Get in on this football thing now while you can folks, it may get a little crowded later.