The Kentucky Wildcats have always been a basketball school. But, in the 1940s and 1950s the Wildcats had the best college football coach possibly in the history of the game in Bear Bryant. He left to take a job at Texas A&M before heading to Alabama where he finished up his career.
Kentucky has had little success since that time other than a brief time in the 1970s under coach Fran Curci. That didn’t last.
Rich Brooks took them to 4 bowl games in a row from 2006 through 2009. Then Joker Phillips arrived on the scene and promptly took them back down to a 2-10 record in 2012.
Before the 2013 season the Wildcats hired Mark Stoops the brother of Bob and Mike. Mark Stoops was the former Defensive Coordinator at Florida State and Arizona before that.
Mark Stoops went out and signed the best recruiting class in the history of the Kentucky Wildcats football program in his first signing class coming off of a 2-10 year. Using the excuse that we can’t recruit well because we are losing doesn’t work for Mark Stoops, apparently and hooray for him and his staff. I give them credit for working their butts off.
Then, Stoops went out and went 2-10 in his first season. In 2014, Stoops again signed another top recruiting class maybe even better than the 2013 class. Again, no excuses were used, just got the job done.
The Kentucky Wildcats have started off with a 2-0 record and have already equaled the win totals from the last two seasons.
A lot of the recruits from the last two recruiting seasons are showing up on the field and they are making a different.
But, the main difference between this year and last year is Quarterback Patrick Towles. Towles was already at Kentucky when Stoops arrived.
So far this season Towles has hit 37 passes out of 60 attempts which was good for 547 yards and a couple of Touchdowns.
Patrick Towles is a big winner, and he always has been. Listed at 6-5, 238, the kid has a great arm and has really good speed for a guy his size.
Towles is the grandson of Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Jim Bunning who was also a former United States Senator.
Towles was the Mr Kentucky in high school football and led his team to a 38-1 record and 3 straight state titles. Towles played briefly in 2012 at Kentucky and then redshirted in 2013. The redshirt season apparently helped out because Towles is looking really good after 2 starts in 2014.
Patrick Towles has a lot of young Wide Receivers coming in from the last 2 recruiting classes. Ryan Timmons, Dorian Baker, Blake Bone, and TV Williams are some talented young guys.
Kentucky has been pretty impressive on both sides of the ball, but the true test will come this weekend in the Swamp against Florida.
Florida had a terrible season in 2013, but their defense was still impressive and kept them in a lot of games. It was the offense that was so very bad last year and this year’s version looks dramatically improved.
This might be a big test for the Florida Gators as well and one that they desperately need to pass with flying colors if Will Muschamp is going to keep his job.
Kentucky is that underdog that people love to pull for and I am guilty of that myself at times. At least the Wildcats play in the SEC East instead of the West and should have an easier time with their schedule than all West teams.
Patrick Towles and Kentucky are pretty easy for a guy like me to pull for. I don’t think they will beat Florida at Florida on Saturday but stranger things have happened in the crazy world of college football.