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The Case For Bobby Petrino

By on November 16th, 2012 in Member Post 21 Comments »

We all know that Gene Chizik is a bad coach, and that he is most likely done as an FBS head coach after this year.  No coach has done less with more than Gene Chizik in the history of our beloved institution.  While the first two years were relatively successful and gave us hope that perhaps the 5-19 record at Iowa State was due to a lack of resources and not a lack of ability, the last two years have completely destroyed that hope.  Declining performance, short-sighted and foolish personnel decisions, and an unbelievably stupid decision to abandon the offensive scheme that won a national championship and that he spent 4 years recruting for has resulted in the most disastrous season in the history of Auburn football.

Gene Chizik, as well as most of his staff, are about to get kicked to the curb.  Pretty much everybody agrees that is what needs to happen.  However, that is where the agreement ends.  Where do we go from here?   Who do we bring in to take the reigns? 

I believe the answer is Bobby Petrino.  After a lot of thinking on the subject, he is the best, most realistic option right now.  Is he a great option?  That depends on how you look at the situation.  I think he is, simply because he fits the bill the best in our situation now. 

There are a lot of people that are screaming that they don’t want Petrino.  Petrino has no character.  He reflects badly on the program, on the university, etc.  Even though I am about to make the case for him, believe it or not, I actually agree with you.  Bobby Petrino has a track record of being an absolute scumbag. From abruptly abandoning the Atlanta Falcons by leaving a form letter in each of his players’ lockers, to hiring an underqualified young blond assistant so she could polish his knob, to lying to the cops and the press about which knob polishing blonde did not, in fact, wreck his Harley, Bobby Petrino can make a Bill Clinton look like Mother Teresa. 

Bobby Petrino is a horny old goat with no discernable morals or conscience.  This is not something I am disputing.  However, there is also something that, if you are intellectually honest, that you also cannot dispute:  Bobby Petrino is a brilliant offensive football coach. 

While Gene Chizik has done less with more, Bobby Petrino took a bottom half SEC dweller in Arkansas and turned them into a perinnial contender.  He was never quite able to get them over the top, but I believe that was largely due to his location and inablity to get top talent to come to Arkansas.  Arky doesn’t have near the resources that Auburn does, nor the recruiting base.  I’d love to see what Petrino could do with those resources. 

Of course, the fact that Bobby is a proven winner and arguably the best offensive mind in college football is just one small part of the puzzle.  To understand the other parts, you have to step away from the ‘Auburn Family’ for a moment, and look at where we are from an outside perspective.  While we are Auburn fans, and we KNOW that the firing of Gene Chizik isn’t just about this one year, it’s about the entire body of work, the national media and average Joe that doesn’t follow Auburn football as closely as we do does NOT know that.  To them, we are firing a coach that won a national championship two years ago after one bad season.  Anybody who has actually followed the situation and knows anything about Auburn football knows better, but most people don’t.  Most people are fairweather fans or idiot reporters looking to sell a story.  Make no mistake about it, we WILL take heat in the press for firing Chizik this year. 

I don’t care.  They are morons, and they don’t know the situation like we do.  I view them as a view movie critics, or political talking heads, or any critics for that matter.  They can go screw themselves.  Why don’t you try making your own movie?  Or running yourself for office and putting yourself in the situation of having to make decisions, or put a piece of yourself out there?  No, it’s much easier to point the finger at others rather than make a difference yourself.  To me, that is the very essence of being a chicken (poop) failure at life. 

But I digress…..

Anyway, the point is, when we fire Chizik, as much as everyone, including myself, will want a ‘big splash’ hire, we will simply not be in a position to make one.  We’ll be paying a $7.5 million dollar buyout, and we’ll have just fired a guy that was a national champion 2 years ago.  If you were a big name coach, would you come here?  If you were a bean counter at Auburn, would you be willing to spend the money necessary to get one, seeing as how you just got done coughing up $7.5 million bucks to fire the last guy? 

I didn’t think so.  That doesn’t leave us with many options. 

One option would be to hire another no-name guy and give him a shot at the bigtime.  This is what Jacobs did in deciding to go with Gene Chizik.  He got Chizik cheap, and crossed his fingers that 5-19 at Iowa State didn’t mean anything. 

We all know how that turned out.

There are some names being thrown around in the ‘no-name hire’ category.  I could go over each, but it would be irrelevant.  Each no-name is called that for a reason:  they are unproven as a big-time head coach.  You could roll the dice again and hope for the best.  We could get lucky, or we could be having this same conversation in another 3 or 4 years, after our 50 to 60 million a year football program profit is gone and our available resources are slimmed down even more than Chizik has caused.  I, for one, am NOT willing to take that chance, especially considering the fact that we still have the resources to keep it from happening, despite this season.  Our football program made $70 MILLION dollars last year in pure profit.  That’s a seven followed by seven zeros, people.  Don’t tell me we can’t afford a $7.5 million dollar buyout and to take on another big coaching salary, especially if that hire generates excitement and sells tickets and airtime next year.  There is no reason to hire a no name coach at a cheap price when we clearly have the means to do otherwise. 

As far as a big splash hire, I’d love to see Bill Cowher, Chris Petersen, Jon Gruden, or (insert football coach who’s name you know).  If we can do that, I’d say go for it!  That would be my number one choice.  Someone who can compete with Nick Satan and the turds on a recruiting and name basis would be absolutely ideal in my opinion.  Realistically, though, I don’t see that happening.  We’re like the really hot girl that you’d love to date but won’t because she has too much baggage.  Let’s face it, we don’t have the best reputation for how we treat our coaches in the last few years, do we?  We’re about to add to that reputation by dumping a guy that brought us a crystal football two years ago.  If I were a big name coach, I’d be VERY skeptical about coming to Auburn, even for big money.  That puts us at a severe handicap. 

So that leaves us with one option.  The disgraced but brilliant coach looking for another shot.  We can get him relatively cheap, and we know we’re getting a proven winner that will at the very least stop the bleeding in our program.  If he gets horny and bangs another intern or cheerleader then we are perfectly justified in firing him then, with no recouse, and we’re the good guys because we gave him another chance.  That would give us the reputation repair and increased resources to go after a Bill Cowher or someone like that in the future.   If he keeps it in his pants and wins football games, then we’re set with coaching for a while.  Petrino was nowhere near getting fired at Arky until his little coach wanted to score more than it should have.  His on-field performance was as good as it gets, and with Auburn’s resources, there is no telling how far he could take the team. 

Simply put, Bobby Petrino is our best option right now.  He’s the only option I see that is both realistic and a proven winner.  If we hire Charlie Strong or somebody like that, we might win or we might not.  Who knows?  But if we hire Bobby Petrino, we’re going to win, and win fast.  He is the clearest option we have to get  out of the mess we’re in.  If you look at the facts, run the numbers, and take emotion and luck out of it, Bobby Petrino should be Auburn’s next head football coach.  I will agree with most of you that I might not necessarily like it, but if we want our beloved Auburn Tigers to be back on top of the college football world where they belong, then Bobby Petrino is the man to take us there.  

Time to build a Harley dealership in Auburn and hire an unqualified hot blonde to run it.  That oughta do it.   


  1. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    LOL at your last line. Capn, you made some good points and I am torn about Petrino. More of me says no than yes on him. I will have to go back to my post about Blayne Barber. I think you can have integrity and still be a winner on the field.
    While I appreciate your well thought out points I will have to vote no on the h***y goat. I would much rather take another ride on the Gus bus. He is equal in offensive ability and I also think we could get him. With Chizik gone there would possibly be an attitude of “OK, let me do it my way completely and watch what I can do” If I were Gus I would jump at the chance to come back and show everyone exactly what I could do without someone messing in my nest.
    BTW, Pinehurst was superb Capn. Going there twice more next year. Want to join me? I can fix you up with some pre 1935 sticks and some knickers for the occasion.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Sounds like fun! Long as the wife says yes. Golf isn’t much fun right now, though. I am hitting it worse then I have in years. Right now I can barely break 80. It’s ugly.

  2. DBAU81 says:

    There is no question that Petrino is an excellent coach and, in all likelihood, the biggest name that we would have a realistic shot at getting. And, your comment that we should take emotion out of the decision is absolutely correct. I would argue, however, that the case for hiring Petrino is largely based on just that – emotion, in the form of the overwhelming anger and frustration that all of us share while watching our beloved Tigers sink to depths that most of us have never witnessed and, just a couple of years ago, none of us could have envisioned even in our worst nightmares. In short, we just want to kick somebody’s ass, and we want to do it NOW. Petrino is, admittedly, probably the best guy to deliver the quick fix. But is that really what we need the most right now? To use a very crude analogy, should we go for the $1,000 per hour hooker or the stable, long-term relationship? This football program, and the athletic department as a whole, needs a complete overhaul. I don’t know who the best candidate is, or should be, but Bobby Petrino is not the cure for what really ails us.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      You are arguing for the ‘diamond in the rough’ theory. I can see your point, but I believe that Auburn is NOT in a position to take a chance on somebody. I want a proven winner, not a promoted assistant that hasn’t been a head coach with a proven record. We might get lucky, sure. But we also might end up with Chizik 2.0. I don’t want that.

  3. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    God am I glad we beat Oregon in the BCS title game in 2010, because I am neither angry or desperate to return to “repsectability”. Make no mistake I really do not like where we are at, but I am neither embarrased enough by it or desperate enough to go after a guy like Petrino. If you could guarantee me that he would be the second incarnation of Saban and be a top 5 school every year, I would say go for it, but since Petrino is much more likely to guarantee you to embarrass the university I don’t think he is anywhere close to worth it. Were we to hire Petrino we would be mocked every week until we won a national title. As bad is this year has been, I don’t need that….. I have the 2010 dvds.
    That being said, think of this from Petrino’s point of view and you willl see why Auburn would not likely be high on his list of potential landing spots. If you are Petrino, to take the Auburn job you will be put on a VERY short leash and Auburn fans will expect wins against the Big 3 of Bama, UGA and LSU immediately or at least 2 of the 3. He knows that 9-3 isn’t going to cut it at Auburn…..for him. If he doesn’t win big, early, he KNOWS its just a matter of time before the people that clamored for him will be clamoring for his head. And if the University is doing its job they will have a VERY restrictive buy out clause for him and themselves. In other words Auburn would probably be the worst place for him to coach, given his history with Auburn and the fact that it would be a love/hate relationship the entire duration of his employment. No fan base is going to be PROUD to have Petrino as their coach, but he is more likely to have them ge on his side if he goes to a perennial underachiever like Kentucky and makes them competitive. At a school like Kentucky, he could go 7-5, poke Louisville in the eye every other year and the fans would love him, because Kentucky isn’t a football school. That isn’t possible at Auburn, and is exactly why….even though we may think he would crawl over broken glass to coach at Auburn……he won’t.

    • Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

      Being someone that is willing to admit when they are wrong……it is being reported on “another website” by its very reputable editor, that Auburn is the job that Petrino covets most. I can’t believe that but it appears to be true. Now whether or not we will go after him is another story. I personally don’t like the man and don’t want him anywhere near Auburn, but I also won’t be a hypocrite and say I won’t support him if he is hired. I’ll just hold my nose like I did when Tubby was here.

      • CapnVegetto says:

        The good ol’ boys club has wanted Petrino for years, ever since jetgate. Petrino is a proven winner. I’d take him.

  4. carol4auburn says:

    I think we should try to get Gus Malzahn somehow back. After all, he left AU for a head coaching position.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      I’d take Gus Malzhan in a heartbeat, provided he hires a good defensive coordinator, recruits for him, and stays the hell out of his way. Malzhan is an assistant, but he’s a winner as a head coach right now, and he’s coached in the SEC. He’s not as sure fire as Petrino, in my eyes, but a damn good alternative. I’d love to have him.

  5. CTAuburnfan says:

    I’m going to throw another name in the mix … Bill O’Brien.

    There are some rumors at PSU that he will leave the program at the end of the year. When he took the job, the sanctions were not expected to be as bad as they were. With what he did at that program this year, I think that he could be a great leader in our program. Who knows, maybe he will bring Ted Roof back as DC and Zac Ethridge as a grad assistant.

  6. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I want to throw in the name ‘David Shaw’.

    • uglyjoe says:

      He has an impressive resume……but no SEC experience. I would think he would have to pull in some serious SEC experienced assistant coaches.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        I don’t know if we should rule someone in or out with SEC experience—namely, because there are many coaches, with SEC experience that still bite the big one at HC. Plus some ignorance to the issues that are ‘so auburn’ might be a bonus for us.

        I hate this word ‘pedigree’, because it’s thrown around a lot in my choosen field, BUT Mr. Shaw trained under Jim Harbaugh and is successfully running the show at Stanford in his stead. Now, that said wouldn’t he want the challenge of building a program of his own? I hope so.

        • uglyjoe says:

          I almost used pedigree instead of resume, but I was on my laptop and couln’t get anything up to check spelling……I don’t disagree with the auburn ignorance remark, I’m just thinking that somebody needs to have some corporate SEC knowledge for recruiting, game planning, etc.

          • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

            Not that I entirely disagree, but Kevin Sumlin didn’t have any SEC experience and is still doing well (for the n=1 years, of course; so this may be anecdotal success and not sustained success). A person can gain SEC experience, but we can’t afford for someone to learn how to be a head coach on the job…so I hope that the Powers don’t ignore a good candidate because of lack of SEC experience.

          • uglyjoe says:

            with you

      • CapnVegetto says:

        There we go. No SEC experience. That alone is reason enough for a no.

  7. rn4au rn4au says:

    I will always love Auburn. No matter what happens the school is still mine and always will be. Look at Penn State, things can always be worse and I admire Penn State fans for sticking to their school through adversity. That is what true family does. Having said that though, I am not willing to sell my soul to the devil for football wins. Call me crazy, unrealistic, outta touch with football reality, whatever you want to call it… I am just not willing to give up my integrity and my Auburn Creed to support a person like Petrino.
    Let me ask everyone this question. Would you, as a parent, want your child to play for Petrino? I know that there are some parents that will say they dont care as long as their kid gets to the next level, but the majority of parents interviewed around signing day say they want a good education, a family atmosphere, and a good role model for their child in addition to good coaching. Does Petrino really fit that bill? I dont think so.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      You are looking at it from an emotional point of view. That may be true, but not for everybody. Some people look at it from a business point of view. Would I want my kid to play for Petrino? If he’s going to be on a winning team, look good on TV, get some airtime and some national recognition, and have a better shot at getting to the NFL, then hell yeah I would want my kid to play for Petrino.

      The fact is, if we get him, we’re going to get that national media attention, we’re going to be on TV, on ESPN, and we’re probably going to win. That will help recruiting, and will make money for the program. The year after Gene Chizik won the title, the football program made a $70,000,000 profit. That is a BIG chunk of change, and not only does it help the program, it helps every single athletic program at the university. Petrino will bring in money, advertising revenue, TV, revenue, and he will WIN. It’s business, and you have to look at it that way.

      As far as playing for Petrino, and picking up any screwing blonde intern on the back of a Harley influence, well, I would just hope that I raised my kid better than that.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        1. Really happy that you won’t be running the search for our new HC. And I mean that in the best way possible.

        2. It’s like I tell some of the ladies that find themselves in my office wondering why they aren’t being taken seriously…….just because you *can* wear short shirts and low cut tops, doesn’t mean that you should. Trust me that’s not the kind of attention that you are looking for. Hiring Petrino would be equivalent to an attractive young woman wearing a size too small top, short skirt and knee high leather boots. Sure, you might stop and stare, but be honest, you wouldn’t want that young woman in charge of anything important….her ability to do the job is completely besides the point. Dig?