Perhaps it was the bright lights of ESPN that caused a rival SEC coach to come up with a bold and creative yet nitpicky stat on Saturday — that went against UGA.
Kentucky squares off against Florida on Saturday afternoon, one year after the Wildcats defeated the Gators to end a dreadful 31-game losing streak in the SEC series.
During an interview for ESPN’s GameDay on Saturday, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops proudly proclaimed “Changing that culture is hard. It took a long time. Our coaches and players are used to winning. There’s only one SEC team in the last 15 games that has won more games than us.”
It’s the last sentence that turned heads: “There’s only one SEC team in the last 15 games that has won more games than us.”
Let’s dig into that, and you will understand how “creative” Stoops was with his math:
For starters, Alabama is the only team that has won more games than Kentucky over the last 15 games; the Crimson Tide was 14-1 last season, and they’re off to a 2-0 start this season. Now the rest:
- UGA: 11-3 in 2018, 2-0 this yeay
- Kentucky: 10-3 in 2018, 2-0 this year
- Florida: 10-3 in 2018, 2-0 this year
On the surface, it looks like Stoops is wrong because UGA won one more total game this year and last year. But Stoops coyly stated “the last 15 games” rather than “this year and last year,” which means he counted UGA’s SEC Championship loss against the Bulldogs. In other words, Georgia was technically 12-3 in its last 15 games (not counting the 2018 season opener) – tying both Florida and, yes, Kentucky.
Congrats to Stoops to Kentucky’s new-found success, although it will be difficult for the Wildcats to repeat it this season. If anything, this is excellent insight on how coaches everywhere twist statistics to brag about to their players and prospective recruits.
UGA hosts Kentucky on Oct. 19. Here’s the math of last year’s game: The Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 34-17.