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Did Mark Stoops pass on Texas A&M?

Or did A&M pass on Mark Stoops? Either way, Kentucky was a big winner.

Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

What a day Saturday was for the Kentucky Wildcats.

It began with a thrilling win over the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals, followed by Mark Stoops nearly leaving for Texas A&M, then ended with Stoops opting to stick with the Cats.

So, did Stoops pass on Texas A&M, or did Texas A&M pass on Stoops?

According to KSR’s Matt Jones, it’s not quite as black and white as one would think.

Per Jones, A&M never fully offered Stoops the job but was preparing to do so Sunday morning, though it wasn’t a done deal that the offer would actually be made.

Before that happened, Stoops decided he didn’t want to leave and removed his name from consideration (somewhere, Rick Barnes is smiling).

And there’s this from Dave ‘Buzz’ Baker.

The truth is, we may never know what the 100% truth was. Both sides are going to push their own version of what happened to save face. Stoops’ side will say he could have accepted the job but passed. A&M people will say they either didn’t plan to offer him the job or decided to pull the offer.

Either way, Kentucky is the winner from this. Yes, Stoops has his flaws and rough edges, but he’s taken Kentucky Football to heights never seen, just beat a top-10 team in their own building, and currently has a top-25 recruiting class.

Adding to that, if Kentucky can keep the majority of its core roster — guys like Deone Walker, Dane Key, Alex Afari, Barion Brown, D’Eryk Jackson, Trevin Wallace, Maxwell Hairston, and Eli Cox — while getting a good transfer portal addition at quarterback, 2024 has serious potential to be a good one for the Cats.

But if Stoops had left, that likely all falls apart, even if Kentucky nailed the replacement hire — likely Jon Sumrall.

Against the odds, Kentucky scored two program-shifting wins Saturday.

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