Arkansas will keep Bobby Petrino.
Despite Ozzie Guillen’s best attempts to gain the media’s focus, Bobby Petrino is still a major topic of discussion in the sports media world. Arkansas will likely try to keep their offensive-minded coach around in Fayetteville.
As we all now know, Petrino wrecked his motorcycle and lied to his superiors about Jessica Dorrell’s involvement in both the wreck and Petrino’s life.
Petrino put out a formal apology for covering up his “improper relationship” and hopes he will remain the head coach. Petrino has since been put on administrative leave from the program by Jeff Long.
Arkansas has been a winning program ever since Petrino took over the program. Coming off ten and eleven win seasons, Razorback fans expect(ed) big things in 2012. Here are three reasons Arkansas will keep Bobby Petrino as head coach:
1. Willing to weather the storm
Assuming no new revelations about Petrino’s off-the-field activity come out (a la Tiger Woods), the Razorbacks are willing to weather the storm. That’s certainly the way it seems right now in Fayetteville. Athletic Director Jeff Long, I believe, is willing to stick his neck out, hold the media frenzy at bay and move forward with Bobby Petrino as the head of the football program.
2. Likely can’t get anyone equal right now
If the Razorbacks were to fire Petrino, replacing his services with a quality coach would be very difficult. There’s in-state Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State, and I do believe he would crawl through glass to get that job. However, I’m still not convinced Malzahn is even close to Petrino with regards to coaching ability. Petrino has created a winning tradition at a school that has not had much success in the toughest half of any conference in America. If the Hogs were to rid themselves of Petrino, the program would indeed take a step back, and it could lose its competitive ability in the SEC West.
The only thing Petrino has done at Arkansas is win. He has had two seasons with 10 wins or more, and he has taken this offense and team to new heights, having been in contention in the SEC West the last two years. He’s a combined 21-5 over those two years, and he has taken the team to three bowl games out of four years.
We know he’s a great offensive-minded coach. And while he may not be the best overall head coach, he has created a winning tradition at Arkansas right now. By weathering the storm for a few months, the Arkansas football program can get back to winning football with Bobby Petrino on the sidelines come this fall.