Where Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops falls in CBS Sports head coach rankings

Mark Stoops has had a great deal of success at Kentucky over his tenure and comes in ranked inside the top-25 of coaches in the country.
Nov 18, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops directs his
Nov 18, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops directs his / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops has quietly become one of the more successful coaches in the SEC, especially when you look at what he's done consistently for a historically subpar program.

The Wildcats had just seven bowl appearances in the 19 seasons prior to Stoops taking over the program. What has he done in the 11 years in Lexington? Taken the Wildcats to seven straight bowl games. He won four straight from 2018-2021.

After two mediocre seasons following its first 10-win season since 1977, where does Stoops rank among the top coaches in the country?

CBS Sports released its top-25 coaches rankings last week and Stoops found himself right in the thick of it at No. 20 overall.

"Considering the university didn't want to pay John Calipari's buyout, and then Calipari left to take the Arkansas job, can we now say definitively that Kentucky is a football school? The fact I say that only half-jokingly is a testament to the job Stoops has done in Lexington," Tom Fornelli wrote. "Stoops is 73-65 with two 10-win seasons in 11 years with the Wildcats, and he's 71-55 after a 2-10 first season. Things have evened out in the last two seasons, but Stoops still has respect from our panel."

While Stoops comes in inside the top-20, he actually fell two spots from last season.

Kentucky is coming off of a 7-6 record in 2023 and a loss in the Gator Bowl -- its second straight lose in a bowl game.

With a 73-65 overall record over his tenure at Kentucky, Stoops is already the longest-tenured coach in program history.

And the way that he has kept Kentucky with a winning culture after years of limited success, it's easy to see why the Kentucky program and university wants him to stay.

We'll see what 2024 brings, but Kentucky will need to raise its level of play again if it wants to maintain the winning it has over the last decade. With a new SEC in store, it'll be interesting to see how Stoops and the Wildcats compete atop the conference this season.