NOTE: As a part of the “Best Of 2013″ series that Wildcat Blue Nation is running, I have chosen an article written before the football season began. It is a reminder that, even before the season began, I foresaw a few more down seasons before results would start being seen. Please enjoy my contribution to the “Best Of 2013″ series and a nice refresher that better times are ahead for the Kentucky Wildcats football team!
The first nine months or so have been a whirlwind tour for Mark Stoops and fans alike. After being greeted to a huge welcoming at his introductory press conference, Stoops and company hit the ground running. What came next, no one expected. With seemingly no time at all, Stoops was able to haul in the highest rated class ever. Pulling in recruits like Ryan Timmons and Jason Hatcher were huge, signaling a change of culture within the program. This has continued with a monster 2014 recruiting class, one which is growing every day.
Unfortunately for all of us fans, reality is about to set in. This season is expected to bring improvements. Improved effort, fitness, and schemes will provide a better product on the field. This, however, will not yield immediate results in the win column. The Cats are very thin at the key positions of WR and DB. Combine this with what is arguably the toughest schedule in the nation and wins will be hard to come by in Stoops first year. Year two will bring a few more wins, as the heralded 2014 class will make it to campus to help provide some depth and improve the talent. However, the real fruits of this staffs labor will start taking hold in the 2015 season.
Hear me out on this one. Stoops first class with the likes of Ryan Timmons and Jason Hatcher will be going into their third year on campus. The 2015 class, led by Drew Barker, will be going into their second year and will be ready to contribute in full force. Not to mention, Stoops will have his third class on campus as freshman. This will provide further depth and talent on a roster that will finally look the part for an SEC team. Just the roster alone should be reason enough to get excited for the results of the 2015 season. Look further into the situation and it will get even better. Alabama will be dumped as one of Kentucky’s SEC West opponents for that year. The replacement cannot get much tougher than Alabama, meaning that game should be an easier win. Given the circumstances, wins should begin piling up that year. It should be enough to give way to a bowl berth, something that UK fans covet more than anything. The fruits of their labor will start taking hold in 2015. This, however, will be just a shadow of what’s in store for the coming years.