(Photo: AP/Phil Sears)
It’s the year 2012 and the world is a completely different place. The Kentucky basketball team is the reigning NCAA national champion, Barack Obama is re-elected for a second term, Michael Phelps is winning every gold medal in London, there is a woman breastfeeding on the cover of TIME magazine, and “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.”
And down in Tallahassee, Mark Stoops is an assistant coach under Jimbo Fisher at Florida State, as is now UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. Stoops the defensive coordinator; Gran the associate head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator.
Now fast forward to today, some six years later, and the three former colleagues will meet on the gridiron tomorrow at Texas A&M as Stoops’ Wildcats meet Fisher’s Aggies in an important SEC game. It’ll be the first time the three men have seen each other on a football field since the Seminoles’ 31-10 drumming of Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.
Back then, Fisher knew he would soon lose Stoops to a head coaching gig, which is exactly what happened at the conclusion of the 2012 regular season. Fisher gave Stoops a nice endorsement shortly before Kentucky came calling.
Earlier this week, Stoops explained what he expects to see out of his old boss. He said, “In general, I expect to see a well-coached, tough, hard-nosed football team and that’s Jimbo. Jimbo’s very detailed but he’s tough and hard-nosed and his teams usually reflect that.”
Down in Texas, Fisher said this of Stoops: “That guy lives, eats and breathes football. He does a great job.”
Hopefully Stoops and Gran get the best of Fisher in the reunion tomorrow.
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