It may seem like we’re picking on Mark Stoops lately, but given Kentucky’s performance the past two weeks, at this rate, we’re just reporting the news. Every few weeks, ESPN’s Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg rank the coaches on the hot seat in college football based on conversations with agents, administrators, and other industry sources. This week, Mark Stoops jumped from his preseason rank of #9 all the way to #2:
2. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (preseason rank: 9): Stoops’ $12 million buyout is still the biggest thing working in his favor, but it might not save him if Kentucky continues on its current trajectory. Kentucky opened the season by blowing an 18-point halftime lead against Southern Miss and falling 44-35, surrendering 32 first downs and 520 yards to an offense coordinated by Shannon Dawson, whom Stoops fired in December. The Wildcats were then stomped in The Swamp 44-7, dropping their 30th straight game to Florida. The schedule eases up the next two weeks (New Mexico State, South Carolina), but if Kentucky doesn’t start reflecting its supposedly improved recruiting soon, Stoops could be out soon.
The only other coach higher than Stoops on the list? LSU’s Les Miles. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn came in at #3 and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin at #10.
Beat New Mexico State, South Carolina, Vandy, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Austin Peay and this all goes away. Easy, right?