Things are about to get crazy in Lexington. Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari’s recruiting prowess has been well
documented. And suddenly, with TV Williams commitment to UK, Head Football Coach Mark Stoops is making a name for himself on the recruiting trail. Calipari has done the improbable in bringing in 5 straight top ranked hoops classes to Kentucky. What Stoops has done is borderline impossible. While it’s understood that the class rankings will change one the 2014 football class actually signs letters of intent, the simple fact that the Wildcats are currently ranked #3 by Rivals, while briefly hitting #1 is ridiculous. How does a team that finished 2-10 a year ago and is a historical SEC doormat suddenly find its recruiting class sandwiched between Texas and Florida State and ahead of football powerhouse Alabama?
Let’s presume that Cal keeps recruiting the way he has over the next four to five years. And even with a drop off, how low would the recruit rankings fall? In my mind, not far. And then, let’s presume that Stoops and his staff continue this forward momentum over the same period, which isn’t as far fetched as it sounded 6 months ago. The forecast is Blue. There’s a Big Blue Storm brewing.
It’s rare that a school boasts a championship level football team and a championship level basketball team at the same time (I refuse to count the University of Louisville’s 2013. The Football team lost to a dreadful UConn team at home and didn’t win the Big East outright). The one school to do it, Florida, won the BCS and NCAA Men’s hoops title in 2006. I know that Gator fans love their football team, but when the O’Connell Center doesn’t sell out to see a back to back NCAA Champion hoops team? That leaves a lot to be desired. One would expect that wouldn’t be a problem for the Big Blue Nation.
The key to the Cats even being in the discussion of a becoming a dual threat rests on the shoulders of Head Football Coach Stoops and UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart. If Stoops can recruit ‘em and coach ‘em up and if Barnhart gives him the tools he needs to succeed… the Big Blue Nation can soon say they’ve got the best of both worlds. And don’t laugh. Ten years ago, had you heard of Boise State Football? So, why not now? Why not the Cats?