Kentucky Football: Grading Stoops, the players what letter do they get?

Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Jordan Wright, Kelvin Joseph and Tyrell Ajian Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Jordan Wright, Kelvin Joseph and Tyrell Ajian Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Kentucky football team finished 5-6, what grade did the team earn?

Kentucky Football finished 2020 with a losing record for the first time since 2015. Generally losing records isn’t something celebrated, not even at Kentucky… not anymore anyway. Mark Stoops has completely changed the culture and expectations for Kentucky fans.

In years past a 5-6 record would’ve been looked at as a minor success, but 2020 left fans with something to be desired.

I typically tend to be an eternal optimist, especially in regards to Kentucky Football. For me Kentucky Football in 2020 was a huge success, I fully believe fans will look back at 2020 as the moment when Kentucky Football made another giant leap in the upward direction of contending for an SEC East title.

Most in the College Football landscape would agree that playing in the SEC is just different, and it is. For a team like Kentucky to have to play an SEC opponent ten straight games is asking a lot.

Luckily the Kentucky program of today has much more depth, and position dropoffs between starters and reserves are much more minimal. If Kentucky had to play this schedule in most other ERA’s I fully believe Kentucky would’ve gone 0-10.

Six of those eleven games were against teams inside the top 25, four of those games were against teams inside the top 10. The schedule was so grueling for the conference that only five teams in the entire league finished with a winning record against the rest of the SEC.

While Kentucky fans thought they were looking at a team much worse than they were because of their record if a couple of things had gone differently against Auburn or Ole Miss Kentucky very well could’ve finished 6-4.

Instead, Kentucky finished at 4-6 and went into the Gator Bowl against NC State the fifth-best team in the ACC that came into the game at 8-3 and ranked inside the top 25 as the odds on favorite. Not only did Kentucky win the game 23-21, they absolutely dominated until garbage time.

Kentucky no doubt looked the part of the better team and put on display the disparity between the two leagues for the whole college football world to see. With all that in mind, let’s dissect 2020 unit by unit and see how the team stacked up.