Saying Kentucky is college football’s best coaching job is not really a compliment

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So The Athletic claims that Kentucky is home to the best college football coaching job in the country.

After polling 100 people who work in and around college football, the website ranked the top jobs in the sport. Alabama finished No. 1, followed by Ohio State and Georgia. But Athletic writer Andy Staples differed with his publication’s own poll.

Staples wrote: “The best job in America is . . . Kentucky. If Mark Stoops averages eight wins a year, they’ll build him a statue in Lexington.”

That feeds into the old assertion that all a Kentucky football coach has to do is win seven or eight games a year — with an occasional nine- or 10-win season sprinkled in — and Big Blue fans will be happy. After all, Kentucky is a basketball state, right?

That might have once been true, but I’m not so sure it’s true now. After all, as Pat Riley puts it “there is the disease of more.” Fans always want more. A few years of seven- or eight-win seasons and fans at any school, not just Kentucky, will be demanding more success — a division title, a conference title, even a national title.

Here’s the thing: I’m sure Stoops wants that, too. If he were satisfied with going to five consecutive bowl games, he wouldn’t have parted ways with his offensive coordinator and hired a new one with different ideas. He wouldn’t currently be pushing for the addition of a new football-specific indoor facility.

The Athletic tabbing Kentucky as the best job in America because of its moderate-to-low expectations is more of a knock than a compliment. And it misjudges how much the Big Blue Nation cares about football.

Losers of 11 of their last 15 heading into Wednesday night’s game at Pittsburgh, the Reds have picked a particularly bad time to have a bad stretch.

It’s early, but Evan McPherson appears to be a smart Cincinnati Bengals draft pick. The former Florida Gator booted a 53-yarder and the game-winning 33-yarder in overtime last Sunday against Minnesota. The only kicker taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, McPherson was a fifth-round selection.

Having a vaccine mandate didn’t affect the attendance at Allegiant Stadium for Monday night’s Raiders-Ravens game in Las Vegas. With vaccination stations on site, 61,756 turned out to see the game.

Kentucky gained 554 yards in its opening-week win over ULM, then 519 last Saturday in the victory over Missouri. That’s the first time the Cats have gained 500 yards in back-to-back games since 2016 — 554 in a win over Mississippi State; 582 in a win at Missouri.

I’ll admit that I didn’t think the Cats would adapt to Liam Coen’s new offense this quickly.

If you were wondering, former Kentucky quarterback Joey Gatewood is eligible at UCF. In fact, he ran the ball three times for 30 yards in the Knights’ 63-14 win over Bethune-Cookman last Saturday. UCF is at Louisville on Friday, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Watch for it: Former Lafayette star Jed Wills back in those Baker Mayfield Progressive insurance commercials. On the field, Wills suffered an ankle injury in Cleveland’s 33-29 loss at Kansas City last Sunday. He’s listed as day-to-day for the Browns’ game against the Texans.

Through two weeks, the ACC is 2-6 in inter-conference football matchups against Power Five teams. The two wins? Pittsburgh at Tennessee. Virginia over Illinois. Throw in Georgia Tech’s loss to Northern Illinois and Florida State’s loss to Jacksonville State and it has been a rough start for the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Urban Meyer says there is “no chance” he’ll be the next head coach at USC. That means, of course, he’ll be the next head coach at USC.

RIP to the great Norm Macdonald, the comedian who died of cancer on Tuesday at age 61. At Blake Griffin’s press conference for winning NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, Macdonald asked Griffin if he was worried about the “Rookie of the Year” curse. After all, no one had ever won the award two years in a row.

Warning: You won’t find Saturday’s Kentucky-Chattanooga football game on TV

The John Clay Podcast: Reviewing Kentucky football’s win over Missouri

Besides a win, what can Kentucky gain from a game against FCS opponent Chattanooga?

A hat tip to Mark Stoops for achieving something rare in UK football history

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