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Thursday Quickies: Mark Stoops for SEC Coach of the Year Edition

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Stoops has a legitimate case to make for the award

Tennessee-Martin v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Mark Stoops won’t win the SEC Coach of the Year Award, but if you ask me, the year Stoops put together considering circumstances ranks him up there as among the best coaching performances in the SEC this year.

It’s been talked about but it’s worth bringing up again.

Stoops lost one of the best running backs to ever put on a Kentucky uniform in Benny Snell but as a team, the Cats were 5th in the country in rushing yards per game, only behind the military academies and Ohio State.

Stoops lost arguably the program’s best pass rusher and a generational talent in Josh Allen, but the team managed to produce the same amount of sacks as the year prior.

In the secondary, Stoops lost his top five players from last year and then lost his best and most experienced defensive back to a preseason injury, yet the defense allowed the fourth-fewest yards through the air per game in the country, only behind Clemson, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.

One of Kentucky’s best returning players, QB Terry Wilson, was injured in the third game of the season and forced to miss the rest of the season. Not only that, the second string quarterback was also injured and the third-string quarterback suffered a preseason injury. Despite that, Stoops retooled the team with Lynn Bowden as a starting quarterback to finish 5-2 down the stretch.

Ed Orgeron will likely win Coach of the Year with LSU ranked #1 and headed for a spot in the College Football Playoffs minus a hiccup on Saturday, and there’s no way to argue that Orgeron shouldn’t win the award, but with what Stoops has done in a season that many viewed as a rebuilding year and a year that certainly could have gone off the rails with Terry Wilson and Sawyer Smith being injured, Stoops not only kept the ship afloat but managed to put forth a masterful coaching performance.

That’s worth something in my eyes.

Tweet of the Day

This is notable.

Quickies

Kentucky projected to Liberty Bowl - Yahoo

A Wildcats-Cyclones matchup might be in the cards.

Vito Tisdale is rocking Kentucky Blue - KSR

The coaching staff seems to like their chances with the Bowling Green star.

Who has Kentucky recently offered? - Cats Pause

A look at some potential future Cats.

The Kentucky-Arkansas game in Fayetteville is sold out - KSR

Not a surprise, as that’s always a raucous environment.

The latest with Mike Hartline - Herald Leader

The H-L catches up with the former Kentucky QB.

Landon Young named to SEC Community Service Team - Cats Pause

Congrats to Landon!

Clay Helton to be retained at USC - ESPN

A job that figured to shake up the college football coaching carousel won’t be open after all.

New three-round NFL mock draft - Bleacher Report

How is Lynn Bowden not in the first three rounds?

How should the NBA handle James Harden, Rockets situation? - SI

Not an easy fix for the NBA.