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ESPN says don’t buy into Kentucky and Mark Stoops

Despite the hot 2-0 start, not everyone is sold on the Cats.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

If you’re like any other fan, you’re still on cloud 9 after the streak against the Florida Gators ended. You’re also excited and ready to see just how special this season can be for the 2-0 Kentucky Wildcats.

But while a lot of the national media is joining in on the Kentucky hype, not all are sold on the impressive start to the season.

ESPN writer Will Harris wrote an article where he picked the teams that he thought were teams to “buy or sell” as we enter the third week of the regular season. He’s not very high on the Wildcats, and to me, he is in the minority on this one.

Harris didn’t seem to believe that Kentucky would ever be able to contend in the SEC under Mark Stoops and compared his time here to that of Rich Brooks.

“Stoops will leave Kentucky better than he found it, and he won’t be able to fashion a relevant SEC contender.”

While Kentucky most likely has a long way to go before becoming a consistent SEC contender, I believe that Stoops is the right man for the job to get them to that level. He has recruited well and done a lot of good things for this program, which has it on the rise.

Harris noted the improvements Stoops has made but knocked us for celebrating the win over Florida.

“Stoops has done wonders for the program on the recruiting, fundraising and facility-building fronts, but Kentucky has natural disadvantages that have cemented its historical place in the league pecking order. The program is still in the phase where it wildly celebrates rare wins over rebuilding league bullies. That’s nowhere near contending”.

Any team that had lost that many games in a row to a team would celebrate ending the streak no matter how bad the team was. Kentucky has had the better team over Florida the last two seasons and ending that long streak is something that should be celebrated like it is.

“Don’t get carried away thinking that this 2018 Kentucky team is different because of one road win over an opponent who didn’t offer SEC-caliber resistance. Florida is a bad football team in its second game of a program overhaul under a brand-new staff.”

Harris didn’t feel like a Stoops team could “play consistently enough week after week to be a factor in the SEC race.”

Well, in years prior to this one, Stoops hasn’t had a team with this much talent and experience. He either has experience and not much talent, or a lot of talent and not much experience. It’s hard to expect a team to play consistent week in and week out in either of those situations.

But with this team, he has both, and through the first two weeks, they have been consistent, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

One thing the first two weeks has proved is do NOT talk trash about this team, or they will do anything to prove them wrong. The players love Stoops, and personally, I like the fact people are doubting the Cats, because any added motivation is a great thing with the way this team feeds itself off the doubters.