The Kentucky Wildcats are 2-0 to start the season, but it hasn’t been a great beginning for Mark Stoops’ bunch.
They’ve squeaked out wins over Southern Miss and Eastern Kentucky and haven’t looked all that impressive in doing so. The Wildcats have their first SEC game of the season, when they travel to face a dangerous South Carolina team on Saturday.
The Wildcats are coming off a 7-6 season, but they haven’t lived up to some of the preseason potential. Stephen Johnson has clearly looked like the better quarterback, but the rest of the offense, including top recruit Lynn Bowden, has struggled to impress.
Besides bringing in another strong recruiting haul — the Wildcats had the No. 29 class in the country for 2017 — Stoops returns running back Benny Snell, who ran for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman last season. Snell has been battling injuries to start the season.
Though Kentucky basketball fans never seem satisfied, Wildcats football fans approve of the job Stoops is doing. In the SEC Country approval rating poll last month, Stoops finished with a rating of 87.1. That places him second among SEC East coaches, and fourth overall.
Recruits have also taken notice. Using the 247Sports composite rankings, the Wildcats have the No. 20 recruiting class in the country, placing them seventh among SEC teams. That puts the Wildcats ahead of Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas. The Wildcats also have a commitment from 4-star QB Jarren Williams.
Stoops earned $3.5 million last season.The Wildcats kick off at South Carolina at 7:3o p.m. on the SEC Network.
Vote on Mark Stoops’ approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.