It’s not easy to build a consistent winner when it comes to college football at the University of Kentucky, which makes what Mark Stoops and previously Rich Brooks have been able to do very impressive.
USA Today recently ranked the 10 toughest programs to win at and Kentucky came in at 8th overall.
Kentucky’s the second-toughest place to win in college football’s toughest conference. It’s hard, though Rich Brooks and now Mark Stoops have shown that putting together back-to-back bowl trips is possible if given enough time to cobble together a competent roster. But Kentucky is notable for how hard it has been for coaches to maintain success.
Fran Curci got things rolling in the mid-1970s but petered out through the rest of the decade. Jerry Claiborne’s consistency from 1982-89 gave way to the frustrating Bill Curry era. Brooks ceded to Joker Phillips and the bottom dropped out. Meanwhile, Stoops enters a crucial season for his tenure in 2018.
The rest of the list include programs that have a lot of the same problems that Kentucky deals with: a tough conference, an athletics department traditionally known for basketball, and a lack of a solid home recruiting base.
Here are the other schools:
- Oregon State Beavers
- Vanderbilt Commodores
- Duke Blue Devils
- Indiana Hoosiers
- Kansas State Wildcats
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Iowa State Cyclones
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Washington State Cougars
Obviously, Mark Stoops and Mitch Barnhart have committed a lot of resources to improving the Kentucky Football program, but it certainly has not been (and still is not) an easy task to build a consistent winner.
What do you all think? Does Kentucky deserve to be on this list?