I've said it before and I'll say it for the last time....UT does not need that type of person or coach, I dont care how successful he is, he's a freakin liability...not only for WKU now, but for his wife and family as well. Never have liked how this guy carried himself at Arkansas or Atlanta. Tennessee knew this, they dont want this type of person leading their program, let it go already enough said
During Kentucky’s coaching search, it became clear that there was a vocal group of Wildcat supporters who wanted their school to hire ex-Louisville and ex-Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. Instead, only Auburn among SEC schools reached out to Petrino at all. And Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart selected Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as his school’s new leader.
Stoops’ first game with the Wildcats will come next August 31st at LP Field in Nashville against Western Kentucky. Across the field on the opposite sideline he’ll see none other than Petrino. The Hilltoppers will name Petrino their new coach later today.
It’s a helluva fall from the head coach at Arkansas (where Petrino had gone 21-5 in his last two seasons) all the way to the Sun Belt Conference. Already, some are saying WKU will win football games but lose its soul by hiring Petrino. (Actually, I think a few ministers out there might point out that the soul in better shape is the one that offers forgiveness to someone else’s.) But make no mistake, this is a nightmare scenario for Barnhart.
If Kentucky’s athletic director watches his football program lose two years in a row to Western Kentucky, well, that’ll be bad enough. But if Petrino can thump the man Barnhart chose instead of him? Over him? Oh, the Cats’ AD will most assuredly hear about that one on talk radio stations across the state.
For Cat fans looking for an upside to this odd twist, it could be that Barnhart will now be sufficiently motivated to provide anything and everything Stoops needs to build Kentucky’s football program. Vanderbilt has invested in its program and James Franklin has taken advantage. Stoops might be able to do the same if Barnhart starts backing his program financially. Petrino might provide the right motivation to make sure that happens.
Or… he could just come back to bite Barnhart right in the rump.
UPDATE – Petrino could actually cause some discomfort for Tennessee AD Dave Hart, too. As noted above, Kentucky and Tennessee both decided not to chat with Petrino this offseason. While UK hired Stoops, UT brought in Butch Jones from Cincinnati. After looking over WKU’s schedule, guess who the Hilltoppers face in Knoxville the week after they play Kentucky in Nashville? Yep, Hart’s Volunteers.
The open to the 2013 season could be a real “You Shoulda Hired Me When You Had The Chance” tour for Petrino.