Joker Phillips. Rich Brooks. Guy Morris. On and on all the way back to Paul “Bear” Bryant. Kentucky football coaches are always asked about playing second-fiddle to Wildcat basketball. Today, Mark Stoops became the latest guy to have that question lobbed at him.
Like all his predecessors, Stoops played down the issue. He praised John Calipari and said he enjoys being around him. Like Phillips when he took over, Stoops said that UK’s basketball success should be a positive for football. He also added that the fans have already proven to him that they will support football moving forward.
It was an answer we’ve heard before. It was a question we’ve heard before.
The reality is that come October, UK fans will start turning their attention to basketball and why wouldn’t they? They’re expected to have the best team in the nation.
Would Cat fans continue to support a football team — even in October and November — if it’s in the race for an East Division crown? Probably. But there’s no proof of that. First, because we haven’t seen Commonwealth Stadium packed to the rafters late in the season and, second, because Big Blue Nation hasn’t been given a title-worthy team to watch in decades.