Do you remember the stories about Kentucky's 2013 spring game? When fans packed the house for new head coach and former Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, who'd already boosted UK recruiting? When things were gonna be different and better now, after the Joker Phillips era's dismal end?
I grabbed this photo of local legend Tim Couch telling a crowd of 51,000 that the air raid offense Stoops' staff was bringing back to Lexington was the one they'd been missing all this time.
Looking back, that exact moment, with Couch speaking assurances to a full house from above, feels like the peak of the Stoops era at UK.
Three losing seasons, with two of them including suspicious, 5-1 starts offset by close losses to Florida. Saturday, the Wildcats didn't even get that far, extending their Florida losing streak to 30 years and getting blasted off the field so cleanly, CBS' Verne Lundquist jokingly asked viewers to send him stories to read on air. I think it was jokingly.
Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones, perhaps the most authoritative voice on the state of the Big Blue Nation fanbase:
UK Football fans have hit a level of frustration that may be the highest I have ever seen. After decades of supporting the team at levels far above any natural reward, Kentucky fans have collectively just about had it and the miserable experience Saturday caused many to reach their wits end. After years of rationalizing every explanation in the book as to why Kentucky football is not successful, a stark realization is upon us. The time for excuses is over as Mark Stoops and Mitch Barnhart now must either produce or face the consequences.
A prominent Louisville media member reacts to Jones' post:
Barnhart and Stoops are at their "If I've lost Walter Cronkite..." moment. https://t.co/g9V7rehxf0— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) September 12, 2016
I'll continue to watch and support Kentucky football. My support for the coaching staff, Mark Stoops and DJ Eliot in particular, has suffered and is close to being non-existent at this point.
Even UK's recruiting, once Stoops' biggest piece of evidence in his favor and essentially the school-cited reason he got a contract extension after a 2-10 debut, offers little hope. Kentucky ranked 38th and 34th on the 247Sports Composite over the last two years, which is pretty good by local standards, but not going to provide enough talent to win very many games in the SEC East. Uh, as you can see.
And now a look at the remaining schedule: at Alabama, at Tennessee, and at Louisville could very easily add three losses to this 0-2 start. A couple slips elsewhere, and that's four losing seasons with little improvement to show.
(Could Mark become the latest Stoops to rejoin his brother Bob's staff after failing to win in a tough location?)
Clemson and Georgia fall a combined 10 spots in the AP Poll (both polls and two other ratings here), and is it just me, or is the AP being more aggressive about moving teams around early on?
That hook-and-ladder Hail Mary Central Michigan broke out to beat Oklahoma State? CMU scored with it before, with the same QB and WR involved. (And the Big 12 and MAC mass-suspended all officials involved in letting that play happen.)
Pat Narduzzi and James Franklin are jawing over clapping, proving they remain perfect rivals for each other. (Also, some quick X's and O's of one play the Panthers hit PSU with.)
FSU’s best defender has an injury. That’s about all we know for sure right now.
Is Texas’ freshman QB still cranking up the hype levels? Oh yes, very much so.
This was a sweet moment: USC WR Adoree’ Jackson’s mom crashed his postgame interview on the field, then revealed to the public her battle with cancer.
The Arizona and Grambling State bands have a pretty cool history together, which they rekindled on Saturday.
One of the wild plays Arkansas used to beat the TCU Horned Frogs is named "Frog," David Ubben reports.
Don’t call Arizona State’s wildcat formation "the wildcat" (for state rivalry reasons), but here’s why it worked so record-settingly well against Texas Tech.
Florida looked good at everything, including offense? It was just Kentucky, but still.
Opening lines for Week 3’s 10 biggest games and such. So Auburn is slightly more than just a regular home favorite against A&M, huh? Huh.
As always, visit your school’s SB Nation blog for lots on how your weekend went.
Also, this is still true:
Since September 2015, the Alabama Crimson Tide has 2 more wins in AT&T Stadium than the Dallas Cowboys— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) September 11, 2016