Record at Kentucky/Overall: 36-39
Bowl appearances: 3
Top 25 finishes: 1
Again, where you win is as important as how much you win. And despite getting blown out by Tennessee football last year, you can’t ignore what Mark Stoops was able to do with the Kentucky Wildcats throughout the season.
After a bad 2013 season when taking over, Stoops just missed a bowl game his second and third years in Lexington. But he has now made one three straight years, and he has yet to have a season that was worse than his previous season.
Simply put, Stoops has built a program. With so much talent departing, there’s likely to be a big drop-off this year. But Stoops has still shown enough to be at No. 6 on this list. If he keeps the program afloat this season, he’ll rise even more.Beating three top 25 teams last year can’t be overstated.
Kentucky is barely a step above the Vanderbilt Commodores, and Stoops has done more than enough to prove that he is a very good coach. He may have already surpassed Rich Brooks in Lexington, and he certainly has surpassed Joker Phillips. What’s clear is he’s in the upper-echelon in the SEC. And he’s made UK, not the Louisville Cardinals, the elite football program in that state.