Football is divided into several seasons.
You have preseason, the regular season, the postseason and, in college football, recruiting season.
Now another season has to be considered part of football and that is the time when coaches move from one school to another, be it by choice or otherwise.
In the college football world, there has been a host of activity with coaches coming and going. Websites have been designed to keep track of the transactions and these sites have become quite a profitable venture.
In terms of the college game, perhaps the most talked about change has been Louisville’s rehiring of Bobby Petrino as its head coach. The hire has been viewed as negative by 99 percent of the press and fans outside of the Louisville circle. No doubt there are probably some followers of the Cardinals who disapproved as well, although it doesn’t seem to be many.
Petrino’s story is well known. He has always been viewed as the ultimate opportunist, never shying away from looking to the next job. He left Louisville the first time to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, only to leave less than a year later to become the coach at Arkansas.
Petrino’s image took an even bigger hit when he was involved with a scandal while coaching the Razorbacks. That led to a one-year hiatus from coaching, but Petrino returned to coach Western Kentucky for the 2013 season.
When Charlie Strong left Louisville to become the next head coach at Texas, the wheels were set in motion for Petrino’s return.
The main question heard since Petrino’s rehiring is a simple one: “Why?”
The answer is just as simple: “Because he wins.”
Petrino is considered by many, including his detractors, to be one of the top minds in college football when it comes to strategy on the offensive side. In watching him at Western Kentucky this past fall, it was obvious how much of a mind he has for the game.
With Louisville moving into the ACC, athletic officials wanted to hire a coach they felt could keep the program at a high level. Petrino was very successful during his first stint with the program and all indications are he will be just as successful, if not more so, in his second tour of duty.
Petrino has always won football games. His last Arkansas team was a top five program. Had Michael
Vick not shown his true character, one can only wonder what Petrino could have done with the Falcons.
In college football, it’s supposed to be about character, honor and all that. But don’t kid yourself. It’s about winning. Big-time college football programs want to win and want to win immediately.
When you pour millions into a program, that’s the only outcome you want.
Why was Petrino re-hired by his former school? It’s not a mystery. Take a look at his overall record as a head coach. When you consider what he’s done on the football field in terms of coaching, his hiring was a brilliant move.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking college football is about “what’s right.” Rather, it’s about winning.
Coaches are fired on a regular basis who don’t have any of the personal baggage that Petrino may bring to the table. They are fired because they don’t have Petrino’s record of wins and losses.
One thing that is a certainty: Louisville football is about to become a national player. When it comes to Xs and Os, that’s what it’s about. For that reason, Louisville made a sound hire.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at email@example.com.