Bobby Petrino Back Coaching in Arkansas – Do You Really Want Next Level?

Jeff Reed Author Page
The text came in and laughter followed.

You know, a true “LOL!”

“Would Bobby Petrino kick people out of a press conference for wearing a Hog hat at ASU?”

Interesting thought huh?

But which is really more interesting – Bobby Petrino kicking someone out of a press conference, or being the head coach at Arkansas State?

We all remember the incident at UAF where the coach was agitated with a reporter from a local station who happened to wear a Florida Gators cap to a press conference.

Let’s start by considering the bigger issue: Bobby Petrino in Jonesboro? Can that really happen? The one-time savior of the Arkansas Razorback football program, disgracefully sent out of town, back in Arkansas and the head coach at the Hogs’ unofficial rival?

Ok, a little backtracking here.

For the past three days, ever since our homeboy Gus Malzahn showed us his true side and took his state pride with him to Auburn, the cell phone and Facebook page have been busy. So has the email.

There is no doubt we all fell for the Malzahn Show. Hook, line and sinker as they say in south Arkansas. If you are an ASU alum, fan or not, we all believed those words that Malzahn said as he took his message all over the state. He was going to do something special at the school in Jonesboro, even though so many felt he was way too big for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference.

My favorite Malzahn quote: “Those people who say I’ll be leaving after 1 year, must not know me very well.”

I don’t think any true ASU people felt like Malzahn was gonna be a lifer. But one season? He is right. We did not know him very well. He certainly painted himself as someone quite different.

Now we come around to Petrino, who is reportedly in the mix for the job in Jonesboro. Would Arkansas State hire him? He does not come with baggage, he comes with a baggage car.

At a lunch time meeting of five ASU wanna-be heavyweights the pros and cons of a Petrino hire were addressed. One who was not able to make the meeting sent a text to be relayed to two in the group who were leaning toward the former Hog coach. It was simple and to the point:  “NO BOBBY PETRINO.”

The rest of the crowd, well they were not against the move.

We all agree that the man can coach football. And the honest Razorback fans will tell your they were very concerned he would wind up at Auburn, and they would have to face him every fall.

But would he fit in Jonesboro? Will he stay in Jonesboro? Will ASU take that chance?

There are those who say, even if he has changed and this is a softer-gentler Petrino, you still have to deal with what all happened last April. And there were issues with the coach even before that little motorcycle ride on April 1. He was never one to stay in one place long, even though he had made a pretty big commitment to Fayetteville.

Malzahn did not have that reputation. He talked liked he was staying and they he ran away first chance he got.

Will the Red Wolves’ fan base be OK with the move?

An unofficial poll on The Den, the most popular ASU fan site, had a 2-1 margin in favor of the hire. You can get awfully used to winning.

No doubt it comes with risk. But ASU, if it makes the move, will surely build in protection in the contract – a lot more protection than the $700,000 Malzahn was able to skip town for.

In the past two years State has made big strides, probably more than most in the state expected.

A Petrino move, while a gamble, would continue that push. It just comes down to do you really want the next level?

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