The Kentucky Wildcats victory against Vanderbilt on Saturday night gave the Cats six wins on the season. That means UK is bowl eligible for the third straight season under head coach Mark Stoops.
With UK win over Vandy, this is the earliest during the Mark Stoops era that Kentucky has become bowl eligible. After a 5-1 start in 2014 UK failed to win another game and finished 5-7. Kentucky’s 2015 season offered more of the same, as 4-1 start gave way to a 1-6 finish.
Stoops will be only the third coach in Kentucky football history to lead the Wildcats to at least three consecutive bowl games. The other two coaches to do so were Bear Bryant (1950-52) and Rich Brooks (2006-09).
Kentucky is 6-1 overall, but perhaps more impressive is their 4-1 start in the SEC. The last time the Cats got off to a 4-1 start in conference was 1977. On top of that, Saturday’s win against the Commodores gave UK a third straight year of winning at least four conference games, a first in school history.
Mark Stoops got a nice bonus after the win as well. He will receive a $50,000 bonus for making a bowl game. If he’s lucky enough to lead his team to an SEC affiliated bowl, then that number jumps to $100,000.
Saturday’s win at Kroger Field was Stoops 25th win at home as the head coach of the University of Kentucky. That ties him with Rich Brooks for the most home wins all-time. It also moves him into a tie for sixth among UK coaches for wins. Bear Bryant leads that list with 60 victories during his time in Lexington.
Only three times in UK’s 103 year history of playing college football have they reached at least 9 wins. This Kentucky team is well on their way to joining that elite company.