Paul Finebaum has turned up the heat on John Calipari, as Mark Stoops has transformed basketball-crazy Kentucky into a flipping football school, man!
Mark Stoops has transformed the Kentucky football program from an afterthought into a force to be reckoned with in SEC country.
While winning a national title on the gridiron is still a ways away for UK, ESPN’s Paul Finebaum has had enough of the school’s basketball coach John Calipari. There are Finebaum rants, and then there’s this. He told Greg McElroy and Cole Cubelic on McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning that Cal has become delusional in thinking the men’s hoops team is still the biggest ticket in town.
"“He might, because sometimes I think you can be delusional in the moment,” said Finebaum on McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning about if Calipari thinks Kentucky is still a basketball school. “And listen, I don’t need to explain Kentucky basketball. But you and I understand in 2022 when billion-dollar deals are being made across the board, it’s about football. It’s not about basketball.”"
Kentucky may be a basketball blue-blood, but even Finebaum believes Duke University could embrace football a bit more now that Mike Krzyzewski has called it a career after 40 years.
"“You might have legitimately been able to have heard Mike Krzyzewski say a year ago that we’re a basketball school,” continued Finebaum. “But even at Duke today you probably couldn’t make that statement, and you certainly can’t make it at Kentucky.”"
Even more damning, Finebaum called the comments “Cal’s worst moment” and hinted that athletic director Mitch Barnhart has “had enough of you, Cal”, claiming there are way better options out there to lead the Kentucky basketball program than Mr. One-and-Done going forward.
This is the biggest story right now in SEC country, one where the tides are turning in Lexington.
Paul Finebaum calls out John Calipari and then rips him like nobody’s business
I mean, who doesn’t love a good Paul Finebaum rant? He may not do it very often anymore on his one-of-a-kind radio show over on the SEC Network. However, he will let it rip on 94.5 JOX down in Birmingham with the boys, or set your day off right with football takes of fury on Get Up. Either way, Finebaum is not off his rocker here. Stoops has been the better coach over Cal for years now.
For us to really unpack the genesis of this bluegrass blood feud, we have to assess what Kentucky football is and what it should be, as well as the same sort of thing with the men’s hoops team. The football program was a joke under Stoops’ predecessor Joker Phillips. Right now, Stoops is taking this team to 10 wins regularly as the longest-tenured SEC head coach behind only Nick Saban.
As far as Cal is concerned, Kentucky has won seven national championships without him. It has been a decade since Anthony Davis led the Wildcats to a national title. Davis has never shaved his unibrow, and Kentucky has not won a national championship since then. Ultimately, Stoops has had to overcome immense adversity, while Cal has been fat-catting it sitting over on third base.
Barnhart is not going to let the basketball team tank, but he may be looking for a new head coach.