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Kentucky Wildcats: Where they were 10 years ago

The 2016 season will be a pivotal one in gauging Kentucky's progress under mark Stoops. Jeff Moreland/Icon SMI

To know where you are in the present, sometimes you have to look into your past.

For some, that can be a fun, healthy endeavor. For others, well, not so much.

Still, we're paying homage to the past and how it's affected the present in the SEC this week by taking a look at where each program was 10 years ago and where it currently stands. Some programs have made big leaps, some have steadied the course, and others, well, they're yearning for the days of old.

We continue the series with a look at the Kentucky Wildcats:

2006 record: 8-5 (4-4 SEC)

2006 coach: Rich Brooks

Notable: The Wildcats had a breakout 2006, going 8-5, which included a win over Clemson in the Music City Bowl. Quarterback Andre Woodson had a huge junior season, throwing for 3,515 yards and 31 touchdowns with only seven interceptions while completing 63 percent of his passes. The season as a whole was historic for the Wildcats. They finished tied for third in the SEC East, their best finish since 1993, beat Georgia for the first time in 10 years, won a bowl game for the first time since 1984 and had three straight fourth-quarter come-from-behind victories over Georgia, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Monroe.

Trending: The program was definitely trending up after 2006, considering the Wildcats were a combined 9-25 from 2003-05. They followed up the historic 2006 season with another 8-5 campaign in 2007. That included another bowl win (over Florida State in the Music City Bowl) and set the program up for a solid run of bowl appearances in Brooks’ final years as the Wildcats’ coach.

What’s happened since: Kentucky went to five consecutive bowl games from 2006 to 2010, going 36-29 in that five-season stretch. Brooks coached through the 2009 season and then announced his retirement, opening the door for then-offensive coordinator Joker Phillips to take over. Phillips’ first season (2010) was the Wildcats’ last bowl appearance; he was fired after three seasons and a combined 13-24 record, including a 2-10 season in 2012. Mark Stoops arrived from Florida State to take over and is entering his fourth season in Lexington. The Wildcats have gone 5-7 in each of his last two seasons, narrowly missing a bowl game, but appear to be recruiting and building toward success. The 2016 season will be a pivotal one in gauging the overall progress the program is making under Stoops.