Petrino a good fit in Knoxville..or Jonesboro

Friday, December 7, 2012

So, Arkansas hires a virtual unknown from Wisconsin and Gus Malzahn vacates the state to take over the Auburn program.

Now if Bobby Petrino will take the Arkansas State job and the boneheads that make the call preventing the Red Wolves from playing the Hogs will re-evaluate that situation and get that scheduled, Arkansas Razorback fans would have to be resuscitated when Malzahn and Petrino both come back to haunt the program.

I wonder why Malzahn's name never really came up regarding the Arkansas job. And I bet a dime to a doughnut that Bret Bielema was not Jeff Long's first choice. It's not as bad as the Tennessee situation but I do wonder how many coaches turned down the position before Bielema signed for a near $20-million contract through six years.

Speaking of Tennessee, the Vols are having a most difficult time finding someone to just say yes. They've been turned down more than the sheets at a cheap motel. What happened to that program that even Charlie Strong turned down the opportunity to return to Louisville?

And why wouldn't the Vols be interested in Petrino? And what about Butch Davis? Those appear to be the only two names I can come up with that could really take over and start filling those 102,000 seats in Knoxville again. But the fan base there wants no part of Petrino after he left Arkansas in shambles this year and who knows about Davis. The list of high-caliber coaches is dwindling. They may be looking at a trade for a coach pretty soon. Does anyone have an old walkman they are willing to part with?

And I realize it would be a huge mistake for Arkansas State to even breath Petrino's name as a replacement for Malzahn. But the Wolves are going to be even more hungry now that they've tasted success. And Petrino has all the recruiting potential that program needs to continue the in-state war Malzahn started. Nobody thought he would throw the Wolves to the wolves after just one year. He said he was in it for the long haul.

I can't believe he lied.

And why is everyone shying away from Petrino? Reports say he has contacted A-State about the vacancy. Those reports have not been confirmed or denied. I am quite sure the truth will come out in the next couple of days. He has also apparently expressed interest in the Kentucky job and has made it clear he wants to stay in the SEC.

I don't blame Malzahn for leaving a Sun Belt school to be a head coach in the Southeastern Conference, the most dominant league in the nation. Not only will he be successful on the Plains, he will likely find a pretty good home there and the War Eagles will be soaring once again. He will finally get his chance to beat Arkansas, just with a bunch of Tigers instead of Wolves.

If Petrino somehow ends up in Jonesboro, which I think would be amusing, it will be interesting to see if he recruits better than Bielema. Personally, I think he would. I also think he would push to have those two schools meet in the near future. I don't understand why that game is not already on the schedule. These two schools playing each other on campus in Fayetteville would create more buzz than a hornet's nest.

Random question. Why do the powers that be not want this matchup to happen? I understand the logistics of why the U of A doesn't want it. They have nothing to gain but a win. A-State would be the big winner, regardless of the outcome. But give Petrino a couple of years to build on what Malzahn started and the Wolves could do some serious damage.

Fun stuff. Can't wait to see what happens as the coaching carousel continues to spin.

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Chan Davis is the sports editor for the Carroll County News. Contact him at or 870-654-2742.

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