Mark Stoops not worried about No. 9 College Football Playoff rank


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops walks down the field during the game against Central Michigan on Saturday Sept. 1, 2018, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 35-20. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Almost everyone who follows Kentucky football was paying attention to the announcement of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday evening and had something to say after the Wildcats were ranked No. 9.

Mark Stoops was not one of those people. 

“Really didn’t pay much attention to that,” Stoops said on the SEC Teleconference Wednesday afternoon. “Obviously any recognition our team gets I’m grateful for because they’ve worked hard and deserve it, but we have a great opportunity in front of us this week and really that’s what my focus and attention is right now.”

At Monday’s press conference, Stoops talked about blocking out the hype and focusing on themselves throughout the week, even as difficult as that may be in a week like this one.

The winner of Saturday’s matchup will win the SEC East Division and play in the SEC Championship in early December. The game has been sold out for a month and will be broadcasted in CBS’ primetime afternoon slot. 

The No. 9 ranking only adds more excitement and attention to this weekend’s game, but Stoops said he doesn’t think the ranking will be on any players’ minds.

“I think our team knows we have a lot to play for regardless of what that has to do with anything,” Stoops said in the teleconference. “I think just the opportunity to represent the East is a pretty strong motivation for us.”