Are you ready for the start of the Kentucky Wildcats Football Dynasty?

3 of 5

Jul 17, 2014; Hoover, AL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops talks to the media during the SEC football media days at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Stoops’ hiring has injected a new energy into the program. While the wins aren’t there yet, you are starting to see the footprint of his rebuilding plan. It all started with recruiting areas that are supposed to be off limits to Kentucky. Maryland, Virginia and Ohio have become top priorities. Kentucky now battles with the Gators, Seminoles, and Hurricanes for talent in Florida.

Stoops understands, like any coach, that it takes quality players to win SEC football games and it takes a large quantity of them. After watching the top talent leave the state of Kentucky for the better part for a decade, a proverbial fence was put around the border and athletes like Jason Hatcher, Drew Barker, and Matt Elam are staying home. The entire culture has changed and that roles over into other aspects of your program. 51,000 fans arrive to watch a PRACTICE during the spring for a team that is almost guaranteed to have a losing season.

Now the Wildcats are appearing on recruiting programming and seeing commitments invited to nationally televised all-star games. The energy created spills over into the athletic department, where billboards are erected. Commercials are produced, and new stadium upgrades are approved. New uniform combinations follow along with now popular hashtags like #BBN, #YAHTZEE, and #STOOPSTROOPS. The program is referenced on national TV and radio for various improvements to the facilities and the erupting culture is now taking off throughout the country.

Basically, Kentucky is on the doorstep of being truly relevant. The coaches have stepped up. The Athletic department has stepped up. After the Florida game, it’s now obvious that the players have stepped up and bought in. What’s missing?

The fans.