Keith, a chart-topping country music artist for more than two decades, was in town for the Keeneland September Yearling sale where he said he bought one horse and sold three others. The native Oklahoman is a huge fan of the Sooners, formerly coached by Mark Stoops’ brother Bob. Keith and Mark Stoops talked to each other like old friends.
“Toby and I have been through some situations before, haven’t we, Toby?” Stoops said as they began the segment.
“We’ve sat on a lot of sidelines and watched a lot of big games when it mattered,” Keith answered.
Keith praised the job Stoops has done at Kentucky, but couldn’t resist getting a dig in at Stoops’ expense.
“You just hope they don’t go three and out, like they usually do,” Keith said.
Kidding aside, Keith said Mark and his brothers all have football in their DNA.
“It’s important that Kentucky gave him enough time to get his own players here,” Keith said of Mark Stoops. “He’s a great football coach. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been. And I’m so proud of my brother Mike, er Mark — Mike, Bob, Ronnie, all of them. … I knew when Kentucky hired him they got the right guy for the job.”
Keith attended the Tennessee game at Commonwealth Stadium in 2015 and stood on the sideline for the Cats’ 52-21 loss. He predicted a brighter outcome Saturday night.
“You’re at a basketball school, and you’ve got a tough row to hoe, but this is the right guy for the job,” Keith said. “And guess what? They’re going to beat Florida this week.”
Keith talked about how Bob Stoops took his Sooners from 3-8 to a national championship in just a few years. Bob Stoops stepped down ahead of this season, but Oklahoma got an early upset over No. 2 Ohio State to start the year.
“My Sooners took them down,” he said of the Buckeyes. “This boy’s going to take Florida down this week, too,” patting Mark Stoops on the shoulder. “Y’all get ready.”
Stoops laughed off the pressure Keith was piling on him.
“He’s a country music star,” Stoops said with a smile. “He can say whatever he wants.”