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The Case For Bobby Petrino

By on October 23rd, 2012 in Football 125 Comments »

Trading Places???

It wasn’t long before I could take the pulse of the Auburn crowd in Vanderbilt stadium early Saturday afternoon. Gallows humor and outright calls for Chizik’s head seemed to fill the air. I’m not sure if a win Saturday would have changed the way the prevailing winds are blowing in Auburn right now but it sure would have made my trip a little better. While I argued in this space last week that Chizik has earned a chance to right this ship, I think any vestiges of his continued tenure are long gone and the decision has been made already. Despite the hefty buy-out of Chizik and his assistants, I’m convinced that Auburn will soon look to the market for a new coach and staff.  What on earth are we going to do?

In looking for another head coach, the only question that really matters is who can come in and compete with Miles and Saban in the SEC West virtually immediately. There’s a very steep learning curve that’s going to be involved considering the west keeps competing for and pumping out national championships. There’s simply no time to install training wheels on anyone. The stakes are too high and the time is already past.

Bobby Petrino has already demonstrated he can compete with the powers in the west. He ran up a record of 10-3 in his 3rd year at Arkansas, 2010, beating LSU and only losing to Alabama, eventual national champ Auburn, and to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. Last year, he only lost to the two best teams in the country for most of the season, Alabama and LSU. Given the purported (but now questionable) superior talent found on the Plains as opposed to Fayetteville, Petrino should have a few steps up to work his craft.

Love him or hate him. Petrino is the second coming of the Evil Genius himself, Steve Spurrier, with his high octane offensive mind and loathsome personality. While the Old Ball Coach may have mellowed somewhat in his later years, Petrino’s character and demeanor are definitely not sunny-side up. Are we willing to tolerate that? I’ll argue that we are.

So much baggage comes with Petrino: Jetgate, The Falcons stint, the Sex Scandal, the dour personality. I say it doesn’t matter. If we go win less in the SEC this year, no Auburn fan will care about any of that. They will do anything to make the wins start again, and I can’t think of a quicker tonic than Petrino. If you worry that he might once again derail, I think he’s learned his lesson after Arky did the right thing and fired him. No one expected that, least of all him, and I think he’d do anything to get a chance to compete on that level again. He’s such a good, innovative, offensive-minded coach who gets the most out of his players. Someone in the SEC is going to give him that shot again and I feel he definitely wants it as opposed to going to the Big 12. If we can’t beat him, we might as well have him join us.

Tennessee is also going to be in the market and they have some advantages over us. They’re a more prestigious program and they’re really hungry for a winner after being out of the chase for the better part of a decade. They also lack the sorted past and ill feelings for Petrino that Auburn does, which could make him feel more at ease. For better or for worse, Petrino knows the Auburn family dysfunction. He may choose to embrace it or totally rule it out–given a choice between us and the Vols. If Auburn was the only opening, you could bet your buyout he’d sign with us in a Jimmy Sexton second.

Sure, the higher ups may have pause, but enough of the Lowder contingent in the administration remains that is still strong enough to pursue and finally get their long-awaited man. Many Auburn fans are going to show open disdain in the comments below. I don’t blame them. In a perfect world we would never have Bobby Petrino leading our beloved Auburn Tigers, but we don’t have that luxury of delusional choice.

Our neighborhood doesn’t resemble anything like the Big East or ACC. We have to have a coach who’s going to come in and be able to not only compete immediately with tough customers, but win against them. We thought we were treading water last year. We sunk to the bottom of the ocean this season. We need to make the winning start again. Make the losing stop.  Make a play for Petrino.

You can even use the Track Em Tigers jet. ~~


  1. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Well, being a bit outspoken today I wanted to comment on this “idea”.

    My opinion is that Bobby Petrino is a great offensive minded coach. But what he did at Arkansas crosssed a line of morality with me that I can’t over look. I can forgive him… but I can’t trust him in a position of responsibility over young men ever again. I think he would send a bad message to the young men we want to shape into Auburn young men. He would not be welcomed at Auburn by me or my family.

    I stated this today on another article… I think it would be extremely helpful to the fan base to “know” the enemy here. The reason I ask is that most fans only know what they see. They don’t have time to read OP ED pieces about ‘who likes Johnny’ or ‘how this policy affected Suzy’ or for that matter ‘why Joe doesn’t like Jimmy’. Can we lay out the charges as concisely as possible? I remember seeing this in Bleacher Report once but it came across as the story about how the author found bigfoot. It explained nothing and made me question everything. Still, the truth may be out there. I am speaking specifically at the “the Lowder contingent in the administration” comment.When this mess was going on in the 1980s I was chasing girls and enjoying time in my fraternity. I could have cared less about anything else namely because I was a student and no one was asking for my opinion. For those shaking their heads in disgust I will make sure I hole punch my diploma three times and say a prayer to Shug asking for forgiveness. I am a bad alum! There I said it. But forgive me if I am still wondering why this is important today.

    If it matters – can you explain it in an article? Perhaps this would help solidify the dysfunctional part of our family (those like me) if we know who the victims are and the charges against the accused.

    Just a suggestion. I can’t think of another pertinent topic facing AU at the moment besides this one.


    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      If we are going to continually bring up the past and bring out our cat of nine tails… explaining how bad it was… and how it still affects us today – here is a suggestion: how about we fix the problem.

      If we know who they are – let’s pressure the “powers that be” in demanding that this get addressed. I say the Governor! He is the higest elected official in the State. I think it falls under him some how. Last time I remember – that is how Tubs got his first reprieve. Who is to say he can’t fix the BOT? Or at least bring enough public attention that it runs them off for good.


      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..Well, strike another 1500 word comment I almost posted. I was going to comment on our current governor’s abilities, or lack thereof. I don’t think this is a political format, and I think I’ll leave that alone, here in the wee hours of the morning!

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……As concisely as I can put it, the 1970s Auburn University administration was loaded with George Wallace cronies and political friends with questionable ability. The Trustees were meddling in the football program as early as 1973, when Auburn was having its second year of shaky offense after Sully and Beasley graduated. It was said that Shug Jordan was too old, and set in his ways to have a team that could score points anymore.

    …..Then freshman coach Doug Barfield’s group beat Alabama in the annual Junior Varsity game the weekend before the Iron Bowl, running a high-powered veer-option attack. (Freshmen couldn’t play on the real team, back then.) From what I’ve been told, the trustees demanded that Shug promote Barfield to offensive coordinator. Shug did, and Auburn went 10-2 the next season, with a good running game led by Phil Gargis and Scedrick McIntyre. From there, Shug was encouraged to retire on a good note, and he did. Briefly. Then he decided that he needed the money from one more year of the Auburn Football Review to retire comfortably on. Barfield was named basically head coach in waiting, while many folks thought long-time defensive coordinator Paul Davis should have gotten the job.

    …..Deep division split the Auburn nation. Some folks even went so far as to sabotage Barfield, turning in recruiting violations and the like to the NCAA. It’s worth noting that of the 1979-1980 Probation, none of the violations happened under Barfield’s watch. Under the weight of Probation and lack of support, the Auburn athletic program was awash in red ink, the administration fired Barfield, and dithered. After President Hanley Funderburk tried to low-ball Vince Dooley (offered him less than he was making at Georgia), Lowder made a pitch to the rich and powerful among Auburn’s boosters.

    ……With a significant chunk of donors supporting him, Lowder demanded that Funderburk hire Pat Dye. If Funderburk refused, Lowder was going to take all of his friends and their dollars down to Troy, and they’d build a football power there, while Auburn rotted. George Wallace had left office two years prior, and new Governor Fob James refused to get involved. Funderburk backed down, and Lowder was in control from that point forward. There were howls from a lot of Auburn supporters, because Dye was a Georgia grad, and had coached at Bama, our two biggest rivals. Funny thing, though. Winning smoothes over a lot of hard feelings.

    ……However, Lowder was just getting started. Dye rung up an SEC Championship in just his third season, and had beaten Bama twice in those years. Then, Auburn sagged a bit. There was the year Bo got hurt. Auburn started 0-2 against Miami and Texas, then got waxed in Gainesville 24-3. Finally, Auburn lost 17-15 to a 4-6 Bama squad. The pressure was on from Lowder and co. Dye switched from the wishbone to a power-I offense. The next year in 1985, Auburn got embarrassed in Knoxville, lost to Florida again, and lost the Iron Bowl. Lowder had Dye fire both coordinators, Frank Orgel and Jack Crowe.

    …..It could be argued back then that Lowder knew what he was doing. After the re-organization, Auburn reeled off the best 4 back to back years in school history, winning the SEC three times. Then Steve Spurrier arrived in Florida, Eric Ramsey played his tapes for the press, and Dye’s program drove into the ditch. It was Lowder who insisted that Dye resign, and a stop-gap coach would be hired to get us through probation. That coach was Terry Bowden, who made the mistakes of winning his first 20 Auburn games, then deciding that he was bigger than Lowder.

    …..Bowden’s support evaporated with the big boys on the board. After Auburn lost back to back games to Georgia and Alabama in 1996, athletic director David Housel spoke to the press and informed everyone that Auburn would NOT be giving Terry any sort of raise or automatic contract extension, because a 7-4 season was unacceptable. (Never mind that 7-4 or 8-4 is pretty much statistically an average Auburn season, historically.) Bowden won the SEC West in 1997, and was handed a huge raise. Then the rug was pulled out from under him when he started the 1998 season 1-5, and he decided to quit. Pretty much committed professional suicide, with that move. Still, it was clear at that point that Lowder and his folks had lost their edge. Lowder officially became an embarrassment to the university, rather than a catalyst for good change.

    …..The hire of Tommy Tuberville was questioned widely, because it involved stealing Ole Miss’ coach, AND Tuberville had pretty much a used-car-salesman vibe to him. Tuberville had a rebuilding job to do, but he managed to win the SEC West in his second year. When an injury riddled, very young team veered off the rails in 2001, more Lowder meddling was evident. Both coordinators got the axe, a move we’d seen before. In were brought Gene Chizik and Bobby Petrino. Things trended upward in 2002, then Petrino left and the offense crashed. Lowder sent his puppets to Louisville on his jet to lure Petrino back, but were busted by the press.

    …..Lowder and co. were forced by outraged Auburn followers to extend Tuberville’s contract and give him a fat raise. But Lowder-faction support for Tuberville ended at that point. New athletic director Jay Jacobs seemed to be in openly contentious conflict with Tuberville and his staff right out of the gate, and Auburn’s recruiting success dwindled. Some say Tuberville got lazy, some say he was sabotaged. Tuberville tried to re-invent the program to help recruiting with a new spread offense, but the old Riverboat Gambler rolled snake-eyes. Tony Franklin’s spread offense needed an accurate, strong-armed passer to make it work, and Auburn couldn’t come up with one in 2008. After the 5-7 season, Tuberville had had enough, and resigned.

    …..During the Tuberville years, Lowder managed repeatedly to stay on the Auburn Board of Trustees, despite term limit rules, and helped some of his allies do likewise.

    …..Lowder had made questionable decisions regarding the football team for more than a decade, and this lack of judgement appeared in a big way in his professional life, as his Colonial Bank nearly went under thanks to the housing crash of the late ‘aughts. Lowder had staked his future on sub-prime mortgages, and lost most of his fortune, and his job. Colonial was picked up by foreign financiers for pennies on the dollar.

    …..Lowder’s now off the Auburn Board, and one would have to hope he’s done playing around with the athletic department. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for the 1980s, and a big sneer of derision for his embarrassing antics thereafter.

    • mvhcpa says:

      Acid, Thank you so much for that historical overview. I only knew a little about the movers-and-shakers, not because of any cover-up but just because I didn’t care at the time. It’s nice to know what and who the underlying the forces were and are.

      Michael Val
      (who really wishes the only thing that mattered was what goes on on the field)

    • restless6 says:

      Great up!

      That is very interesting stuff. It’s also a bit sad. The more I learn about the Auburn history, the less pride I have in being a fan. The good ol’ boy network is a cancer on the program. I don’t think it will ever go away, either. Too many power hungry, greedy boys want to manipulate the football program like its some sort of hobby.

      I’m glad to see that some Auburn fans are finally seeing and reporting what the problems are now. One great thing about social media, is that, it’s hard to bury stories forever.

      As far as Petrino, he didn’t do anything wrong to Auburn. However, if he is hired, don’t you think that he will be told who he has to keep and who has to fire? Do you really think that Auburn will give him control of the program?

      I don’t think that will happen. The culture has to be radically changed in Auburn. The AD must go when Gene goes. All athletic programs should be evaluated by the new AD.

      Until then, who in their right mind would come to Auburn now?

    • Thanks for your historical perspective our athletic department. For the most part it jibes closely with I have been told over the years. I do have a question.

      “Some folks even went so far as to sabotage Barfield, turning in recruiting violations and the like to the NCAA.”

      With this statement, are you implying that BOT members loyal to Auburn, turned Auburn in for recruiting violations?

      Love him or hate him, Bobby Lowder engineered success in the Auburn football program. Since his departure things have gone deicidely downhill. The 2010 national championship was the best thing to happen for the University of Alabama football program since the arrival of Paul Bryant. That year Chizik pulled a magic rabbit out of his hat (Cam Newton) and we were all deluded into thinking he was a good head coach. Instead he has proven to be a miserable failure. Poor coordinator hires, discipline problems, and nonexistant player development mar his tenure. The current powers that be at Auburn are charged with seeing beyond what we as outsiders can not see. That being said, the current powers that be are also miserable failures.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..No, not board members. But disgruntled Auburn folks did talk to the NCAA, and the entire case against Auburn in the 1978 letter of inquiry was based on that testimony. Back then, the NCAA didn’t require disassociation of rule-breakers.

        • Off the record conversation with long retired in state (AL) sports reporters indicated to me that the drive to start an investigation was initiated elsewhere and that certain Auburn people felt that they had no choice but to tell all.

    • R’cd for pure Acid Awesomeness!

      Class dismissed…

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Can we put this in bronze plaque somewhere and exorcise the demons of the past – maybe on Donahue near the stadium with a small park area that is named aptly “never again”?

      For the record and to clear the air – I absolutely don’t think you are writing about “bigfoot” here.

      I will probably have more questions later. This could gel some interesting issue that I observed over the years.

      Right now – can I ask – did McGreggor (sp) have any association with this “group”?


    • What about Terry Bowden’s contention that Wayne Hall had a fund to pay players (with Lowder’s full knowledge and permission)? There is an interview with Bowden on the web where he goes into detail about Hall and Housel and how they were knowingly breaking recruiting rules wholesale. Is there any truth to his assertions or is it all the result of a disgruntled former HC?

      I followed Bowden when he was at UNA a few years ago. He ruffled feathers there because he was essentially bringing in Div. I rejects who had been in trouble with the police. Some of them ended up being arrested again while at UNA. It was a big deal in the Shoals area and many people thought Bowden was less than a “Christian” due to his antics.

      This is why I wonder if what Bowden says is true. It’s hard to know who to believe. I am an AU fan but also a realist. I don’t bury my head in the sand and pretend AU can do no wrong.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Great post, Greg. I’m sure we’ll have folks ripping one another apart, once again. That’s what losing seasons do to most fanbases. If we hire Petrino, I’m going to view it with a very skeptical eye. There will be a significant faction of Auburn supports who won’t like it. If he wins, he’ll be tolerated. If he’s sufficiently contrite over his past, he may even be loved eventually. He won’t be given any leeway at all, if he doesn’t win right out of the gate.

    …..I think some of us Auburn fans thought Alabama sold their moral soul to get Nick Saban. This hire would be orders of magnitude more scummy.

    …..Honestly, I don’t like Saban, and I think his treatment of reporters is ridiculous. That said, he runs a good clean program, and wins big. And I don’t think he ever says anything to denigrate his opponents. You’ll likely never hear him call us a “cow college.”

    • …..Honestly, I don’t like Saban, and I think his treatment of reporters is ridiculous. That said, he runs a good clean program, and wins big. And I don’t think he ever says anything to denigrate his opponents. You’ll likely never hear him call us a “cow college.”

      He is an a*****e, but a smart a*****e. I give him that much.

  4. mvhcpa says:

    This is a wonderfully well-written piece, but I have to controvert the basic premise, summed up in this sentence: “In a perfect world we would never have Bobby Petrino leading our beloved Auburn Tigers, but we don’t have that luxury of delusional choice.”

    Er, yes we do. We always do. I remember back when doing something like Petrino did would keep you from running for dogcatcher. There is always a choice to do the right thing. AU does not need to sell (whatever might be left of) our soul for a few wins (or even a few soon-to-be-less-Mythical National Championships).

    I also do not think that there is no other coach out there who can deliver a winning tradition. Hard to find maybe, but out there nonetheless. Heck, can we even attribute winning to every coach anymore (Chizick-minus-Cam)? I also realize that we need not limit ourselves to an “Auburn man” or also preclude an “Auburn man” from contention.

    Again, I do not know that of which I when it comes to practicalities, but I’ll restate my standard: Excellence, not only wins, needs to be the standard. Excellence in character is part of that. I am convinced that excellence will bring wins. No wins by definition means no excellence, but I want a program I can get behind, not just be happy with the final scores.

    I really can’t get behind the “He’s a BLANK, but he’s our BLANK” mentality. Maybe that sentiment should give a home-grown member of the family a wee bit of a pass during his time already with us, but to go out and get a BLANK you know is a BLANK (even a former “Auburn man”) shows even more that college football isn’t what it used to be, and isn’t what makes it worthwhile to me anymore.

    Michael Val
    (who asks, Why can’t all these coaches these days keep their zippers zipped?)

  5. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    I posted this on twitter two days ago.
    “If Auburn hires Bobby Petrino to replace Chizik, I will quit blogging and shut down my twitter account @AUTigerBloggin” I am a man of my word, so if they hire BP, you will no longer see me except on the comments, and gameday threads.
    Then yesterday, I realized the best way to please both sides of this argument was for Chizik to hire Petrino as OC for 2013.

    • JayTS says:

      I’m more of a lurker and rarely comment here, but as an Auburn alum and lifelong fan, hiring Petrino is one of the few things Auburn can do to ensure that I never set foot on campus again, or at least until every person involved in the hire was no longer affiliated with the university and/or football program.
      The man is a good coach, but an exponentially worse human being, and does not represent in the slightest what an Auburn man should.

      • He is an awful human being for doing what 30% of men do (cheating on their spouse)?

        Terry Bowden was boinking secretaries when he was at Auburn (even got one pregnant).

        Pat Dye was known to be, shall we say, mean to his wife (I know someone who was Pat Dye’s neighbor in AU during the 80’s — told me all kinds of stories about the antics that went on at the Dye farm, stuff I won’t repeat here). Back then there was no Internet gossip mill or else we would have been hearing all about it. Dye had the good fortune of the gossip staying local.

        Wayne Hall was a less than perfect character as well (IIRC, he also had infidelity problems among other issues).

        And that’s just Auburn coaches. If you look at other programs, they all have the same issues.

        I am not trying to bash these men, I am simply saying no human is perfect. When you get in a position of power (like a head coach at a major university) temptations abound. Petrino is far from the first man in such a position to cheat on his wife. I will guarantee you that. The difference is he just got caught. Most of the other coaches out there are smart enough not to put their “mistresses” on the back of a hog and crash into a ditch. Most are certainly smart enough not to hire them at the university. Yes, Petrino screwed up and screwed up big. I won’t deny that.

        My only point is, if you want to find a perfect coach who has never sinned, AU will be looking for a coach for a long time. I would bet even Chizik has some skeletons in his closet somewhere in his life. Everyone does.

        What matters to me is someone who follows the NCAA rules and conducts themselves in a reasonable manner in public. To be honest, I don’t give a rat’s behind if the coach is shagging some little 25 year old cutie. It’s none of my business. AU can easily construct Petrino’s contract in a way that makes it clear — you mess up and you are terminated on the spot. They could even insert a “morals clause” in the contract. Petrino would have zero room to negotiate it. It’s a win-win for Auburn.

        But the author of this blog post is dead-on. We need a Petrino. That is, someone who is not only proven, but undoubtedly one of the top 5 coaches in the game. We don’t have TIME to sit around and hire some unknown coordinator.

        If we don’t hire Petrino, another SEC school will. Mark it down.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..Interesting. But with Bobby P, it is not just one or a handful of things. It was a full-blown ethics issue at Arkansas when he subverted the hiring process for his mistress. Every place Bobby has been has ended badly. He’s got a heck of a track record of leaving burning wrecks behind.

    • mikeautiger says:

      I like that idea, Patrino as OC. Borgious would be good too. I had watched loeffler last year at Wyoming and they had a good defense and I said not knowing whom he was he called a better game than Malzon, I could not
      Predict where bthe all was going….I am so disappointed in what he is doing at auburn.

      Head coach Charlis Strong…..background in SEC, won NCs in SEC as coordinator wirhn2 different coaches, and he is doing a great job at Louiville. He seems to know both sidesnofnthe ball.

      What are some other options besides Retrobate Patrino?

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      🙂 LOL.

      Hmmm. That might work. I laugh only because there would be some justice in that. A demotion of sorts…. it goes to his rehabilitation and demonstration that he has paid for his crimes against his spouce. My only question would still be – even though it isn’t truly any of my business – is she ok with it?

      I would hazzard a guess and say that if she was still with him… would be yes. And her only comment woul dbe to please sign the check here.


  6. Tim says:

    Good offensive coordinator but I would never hire him; too many weak character issues that can be used against him in recruiting. He quit on the Atlanta Falcons and didn’t have the guts to tell his players he was leaving. Everybody knows about the motorcycle accident; nothing to add there. He bolted on Louisville at the first better deal. Petrino has major character problems.

    Coaching questions are can he put together a staff and field a complete team. Look at Arkansas right now and you will see a Petrino staff. I don’t like what they have. Can Petrino field a complete team? I don’t remember any Arkansas or Louisville team that played defense.

    • Please let’s stop it with the “bolting on the Falcons” nonsense. Do you realize how many coaches do EXACTLY what Petrino did?

      I was watching a Utah game when Urban Meyer was there. It was a game at the end of the season when his name was already being mentioned for HC at Florida. One of the ESPN guys asked him point blank “Do you plan on taking the Florida job?” Meyer responded “No, I will be at Utah for as long as they want me.” About two weeks later, Meyer was in Gainesville.

      When Tuberville was at Ole Miss, he told them “The only way I leave here is in a Pine Box.” Now a famous quote that every AU fan chuckles about.

      Nick Saban told the Dolphins there was no way he was taking the Bammer job. Guess what?

      I could give many, many more examples of this. When a coach says they are going to be at a school for X number of years, there is absolutely no reason to believe them. It’s just the way things are today and it’s not something Petrino invented.

      So, please let’s stop with this “he changes jobs too much” nonsense. EVERY coach does it.

      • Agreed. And Petrino hadn’t banked on a Mike Vick-less Falcons unit. No doubt he could have handled leaving better–addressing his players personally, but in the end, he simply left for another job like they all do.

  7. Autgr91 says:

    I’m with you Michael. I think Auburn deserves better than to settle for whatever devil can bring us wins on the footbal field. I’m a season ticket holder (and have been for several years) and I love Auburn. I have a sense of being home when I finally reach the campus. If I lived closer, I would attend every basketball game, baseball game, swimming or diving event, or maybe even E-day events just to get that comfortable feeling of being in a place where “my people” are.

    That being said, if we stoop to hiring the likes of Petrino (or similar trash), I will no longer be able to bring myself to support Auburn. I’m not asking others to follow, and I won’t speak ill of Auburn in public, for I firmly believe that too many of our personal liberties are infringed upon every day and we have become a society of schooling fish all too ready to change directions if one of the leading fish darts this way or that.

    I simply won’t sacrifice my morals nor teach my children to sacrifice their beliefs in pursuit of wins or glory. I was taught that if you consistenly do the right thing, you will be rewarded for it. If you do the wrong thing, you will suffer the consequences. Not every time, but eventually and consistently. Again, I’m no “holier than thou” righteous man trying to drum up Puritan support against all things evil, I am human and have my own demons. But I am a simple Auburn man that believes that we must all strive for doing right.

    Hiring Petrino is not right. Hiring those that will sacrifice and bend the morals of our young men in the name of wins is not right. Let’s face it, we don’t recruit choir boys and young men with the purest backgrounds. We recruit football players. We can see up front what their God given talents are. However, what they do with the opportunity given to them at Auburn is another thing. We CAN choose where they go and how they act once they are with us. We CAN change their behavior, beliefs, and direction. If they choose not to change, then they learn that whole consequence thing I mentioned above.

    Petrino may be completely different than I perceive, but I don’t think so because I also believe that your actions, not what you say, show what’s in your heart. There is rot in that heart. I will not support that. Make no mistake, I will long for and wait for a return to what is right, and when things are fixed I’ll be back. But if this decision is made, I will not actively support it.

  8. idnod idnod says:

    I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

    I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

    I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

    I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

    I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

    I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

    I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.”

    And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

    Now, do you really want to hire him ??

  9. LSU Jonno says:

    Petrino is the wrong guy.

    He was never close to beating Saban and while he split with Miles, I think Chavis had finally figured out how to stop his offense. Besides, LSU always struggles with Arkansas.

    Petrino is a lazy recruiter. He can’t compete with Saban, Miles, Richt or Muschamp. Think Saban has too much talent now? Just wait until his competition goes down.

    Hiring Petrino makes Bama stronger. That’s bad for everyone. Auburn needs a hire that can have the same success that Chizik had in recruiting but can also develop that talent.

    Why is no one mentioning Paul Rhodes? He’s familiar with Auburn and has experience cleaning up Chizik’s mess.

  10. JayTS says:

    “So much baggage comes with Petrino: Jetgate, The Falcons stint, the Sex Scandal, the dour personality. I say it doesn’t matter. If we go win less in the SEC this year, no Auburn fan will care about any of that.”

    Lifelong Auburn fan here. I’d rather Auburn never win another football game for the rest of eternity than have Bobby Petrino back on the plains. The man is poison.

  11. Sani-Freeze says:

    No, no, NO! Petrino is a dirt bag. If we hire him, we are no different than the Updykes. Some things are more important than winning. Look back at the AU Creed and tell me if you really think Petrino is an Auburn man.

  12. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    WEA, if you wanted to get some action going on here you sure did a great job. I have to agree with the rest of the posters. I don’t want Patrino mainly for the reason Jonno stated. With his moral baggage there are not many parents that would welcome him into their home to talk to a high school player.
    I want someone who is a proven winner at the COLLEGE LEVEL, not the pros. I want an offensive minded head coach who is creative. I want someone of good character. I want someone who can get the best use of the talent they have. (The anti Loeffler if you will)
    In short, I want Mr. Blue Turf…Chris Peterson. Year after year he takes, one and two star recruits and turns them into 4 and 5 star college players. Imagine what he could do with the kind of recruits he will get in the SEC at AU. He can have a big contract but must leave the blue turf in Idaho. I also think he is gettable.

  13. Controversy Tuesday is BACK!!!

    Here’s the dealio: Petrino’s affair was only an egregious insult to his wife, until he hired his mistress for a job and bought her things with the University cc (figuratively speaking)….That action put his employer at risk of some serious $$$ sexual harassment litigation $$$. I don’t know how you would trust him to not do that again without serious oversight. And I think that we all agree that we want to be able to trust the next coach so that he doesn’t need serious oversight.

    On the other hand, Petrino would have the cajones to stand up to the current Power Structure. That said, he’s an ‘easy’ fix, not the ‘right’ fix.

    And, Greg, of COURSE Petrino’s going to look contrite. He is not stupid and needs a job. I have no idea why folks have snakes as pets, then get super surprised when they get big and eat the family cat…..

    • Just don’t eat the family BLOGGER!!!!

      I wonder what the outrage would have been had I suggested my next choice, LSU’s Mo Isom?

      Wow. No one has agreed with me so far. Wait until we’re 3-9 and see if you aren’t willing to hold your nose and whisper Bobby’s name. “Rosebud”.

      • Todd92 Todd92 says:

        I sir am no blogger eater! That is disgusting! LOL!

      • Clearly Petrino is a good coach, and despite being a ‘lazy recruiter’ he field some well-prepared Arky teams….hence doing ‘less’ with ‘more’. There’s just some trust issues that I don’t know if even Dr. Phil could fix…

        I’ve missed controversy Tuesday….and maybe Mo wouldn’t be a great choice for HC, but I bet she has Special Teams dialed in 😉

      • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

        You are obviously assuming we will beat Alabama A&M. As a Huntsville resident I can assure you we won’t walk all over them. New Mexico State yes, A&M no.

      • Hobbes says:

        I fully expect us to win no SEC games this year and get blown out by TAMU, Bama and UGA. And it will not surprise me a bit if we lost to both NMSU and Bama A & M. So no, I will never say “yes” to Petrino.

  14. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Everyone has already hit on every point for not hiring Petrino, but let me add that I would have a very hard time explaining my children why he was our coach even when he has poor character (come to think of it I couldn’t). I have always tried to set a good example for them and have always taught them the importance of the meaning of the Auburn Creed and what it means to me. It would be hard to explain that AU set aside the creed to hire a football coach. I could excuse 1 character flaw or act as a mistake….. But repeated poor judgement and continued deceit is hard to overlook and while I can certainly forgive I can’t forget until change is demonstrated.

    • So I have you down for a MAYBE?

    • BigDaddyAU says:

      Well said sir. I too would have a hard time explaining to my daughters why we believe in the Auburn Creed but have to ignore our football coaches transgressions just to win a football game.

      I do believe in forgiveness but you can’t also ignore a pattern of behavior that persists over many many years and has manifested time and again to the extent that Bobby Petrino has shown.

    • What repeated poor judgment? Outside of the Arkansas thing, what has Petrino done “repeatedly?”

      • Todd92 Todd92 says:

        How about leaving Atlanta in the middle of the night and leaving a note in the players locker to say he was gone…. All before the season was over. You think that exhibits great leadership? Meeting with the unnoficial AU coaching search behind Louisville’s back? That’s a good display of character there. How about signing a 12 year contract with Louisville because they are your dream job and then leaving them in a lurch to take the Atlanta job?

        And the Arkansas thing is bundle of character failures of which the infidelity is but one issue. Hiring his mistress rather than a more qualified individual, lying to his bosses and the public repeatedly sticks out squarely in my mind. Like I said earlier it would be easier to excuse 1 character issue but repeated lying and deception throughout his career is hard to overlook. I don’t want AU to be his career rehab stop and that is all we would be.

        • “I will not leave Ole Miss unless it is in a Pine Box.” — Tommy Tuberville

          “I have no intentions of leaving Utah to go to Florida” — Urban Meyer

          “There is no deal with Ohio State.” — Urban Meyer

          “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.” —- Nick Saban

          “I always wanted to be back at Auburn” — Gene Chizik (after leaving AU for Texas)

          “Sandusky didn’t molest those children — I swear” — Jo Pa

          • Todd92 Todd92 says:

            There is no doubt that there is some sort of coach speak involved when talking about changing jobs…. Coaches certainly don’t divulge their intentions when changing jobs til the ink is wet. And they almost always deny leaving their team during the season…. But Petrino takes it to another level. Even you can’t deny that…. Leaving in the middle of the night during the season? Quit trying to justify Petrino’s actions it just doesn’t equate. And the Sandusky comment was out of place don’t you think? Maybe it’s a maturity thing but I found it to be tasteless.

  15. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    You make a good plea for Bobby P. WEA ,
    But No Dice for me.
    There is no way I could support that hire.
    No way, No way, No way.
    Not even if Hell freezes over!

  16. AUTigerinBR says:

    Love this blog. My husband introduced me to Track ‘Em a few years ago and I feel like I know some of you. But, this morning I had to get an official ID to say “NO! NO! NO!” I am unhappy, downright sad about this football season, but winning football games is not worth selling out. Petrino, even if he never lost a game, is not the answer for Auburn. Do we really want to be about winning at any cost?
    Football is only one part of the Auburn University we all love.
    While Auburn needs to fix the athletic program, we, as fans, need to remember that it has been very bad before and it has been VERY good. We are not fair weathered fans. We should mourn the losses our coaches and players have suffered this year (and I mean people), prepare ourselves for more disappointment on the scoreboard this season and remain faithful to our university. Note that I am not against change in leadership, particularly in the AD position. I am, however, against change that will not take Auburn forward. And, in my humble opinion, hiring Petrino would be a giant step backward.

  17. TexasAUTiger TexasAUTiger says:

    I, like AUTigerinBR, have enjoyed reading this blog for a long time now but have only now decided to create an account to echo the sentiment of everyone else regarding Petrino. I saw the article this morning and immediately became scared at the thought of the Auburn faithful supporting the idea of getting someone who has had success recently and would be available, just to win.

    Morality and ethics aside, I just don’t think the guy would be much of a step up from Chizik. Sure, he produces good offenses but I agree completely with LSU Jonno’s assessment – the elite teams have figured him out and he is a lazy recruiter.

    I want a defensive minded guy who is good at managing players and competent enough to hire a good offensive recruiter (BVG should stay). I want Chizik to succeed but he doesn’t appear to have everything we need in a head coach. Give him a superstar and a bunch of veterans and he’s great at managing those personalities and guys who are leaders and know their roles. He just sucks at developing young guys, which is obviously crucial in college football considering the high turnover.

    If I had a vote, it would be for Gary Patterson. The guy can coach his butt off, knows defense, and can get the most out of his players, even at a school like TCU. Either that or go back in time and hire Muschamp, my original choice.


  18. As an Auburn lifelong family member I couldn’t support a Petrino hire. To be “All in” for AU does not mean we must support and “All out” sellout of our collective moral principals (even if you disagree with them). Auburn is not worth supporting a man blatantly unfaithful to his teams (Louisville/Atlanta Falcons), his friends/employers (Tubberville/Arkansas/the assistant coach whose fiance’ he was cheating on), and most egregiously, his wife and kids. I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve forgiveness if he sincerely and honestly seeks it out, but it would be foolish to expect him to act any other way towards Auburn or any other school (here’s looking at you UT and UK) in the future. All that to say, as much as I would want to but the tickets or turn the TV on, I could not support a Petrino led AU. I would compromise what I am teaching my kids, I would become (justifiably) a petty sellout. I can’t do that, I won’t do that, and I hope the Auburn administration does not push me (and like minded fans) our the door. Winning DOES NOT cure everything, let’s just put that old cliche to rest.

    Now (getting off my soapbox), in my mind what should happen is J. Jacobs needs to be replaced ASAP, and Loeffler needs to be replaced as well. If you think about it AU has been in the position to win EVERY game this year in the third or fourth quarters. We are 5-10 bad offensive play calls a game from being (in my opinion) a 1-2 loss team. CVG has done a tremendous job improving the defense, our DB’s are looking better each game, McKenzie at MLB will be a beast by the end of this season, our D-Line can only go up at this point. Special teams are as solid as any in the country. RB’s are good, O-Line needs work but has size and talent, the receivers simply haven’t had opportunities this year, and Wallace has the talent and confidence to be a solid QB by next season. AU needs change, but as bad as it has been this season we have been very close in every game this year, we simply need an OC and QB that can lead this offense. J Jacobs however needs to be judged based on all of the athletics department, and the other sports (more than football) deserve a AD who cares and is competent.

    I’ve been reading the blog for a couple years but this is my first time commenting, it’s good to finally get in on the conversation.

    War Eagle!

  19. Darthaubie Darthaubie says:

    If Petrino has turned over a new leaf, then he would be a great hire. I know he’s done the obligatory interview and expressed regret on ESPN. So at this point I have no reason to doubt him. Those that interview him would have to make the final decision to take Bobby at his word or not.

    If AU is to fire Gene Chizik, then I will always remember him for the 2010 season. But I hope that they go after a very talented and proven coach and let him do his job or we will be right back where we started.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..But see, if I had a dollar for everyone in this state who screws up and invokes Jesus publically… Petrino’s never really apologized for anthing, till this latest misstep looks like it might derail his career.

  20. Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

    Combine 0-4 vs Bama, character issues, and the university’s liability aspect brought up by TotM and you have a great case against hiring this man.

  21. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    I’m in the camp of replacing JJ first and then see what happens but if CGC were ousted, I would like to make an argument for finding an offensive genius as the HC and not a defensive minded HC. Offenses are very particular and once you’ve recruited the personnel, we can sit back and watch it click. CGC had good offensive production with Malzahn, we recruited players that fit the mold and then we lose our OC and we replace Malzahn with a different offensive game plan altogether. Heck, let’s wait another year, follow Ark State’s 2013 season and then bring Malzahn back to HC…

    Good OCs and DCs will come and go but if we have an offensive minded HC, he will find replacements to suit his overall offensive plans (think Spurrier). Defensive packages are easier to implement in a short amount of time rather than new offenses. Find a morally qualified, tested, spread style offensive minded OC with the rocks to stand up to the BOT for the long haul, keep BVG, assess the rest of the coaches, pin our ears back and stick to the plan…

  22. uglyjoe says:

    I’ve spent the whole day trying to come up with caption for the picture. There’s a great one out there; just can’t get my arms around it.

  23. restless6 says:

    What is it about Auburn that produces so much controversy and puzzling events? Does this go on at other schools?

    Maybe it’s because I live in the state, but has anything like the Lowder escapades gone on in other places?

    If it does, it sure isn’t reported like it is at Auburn.

    I’m just sick and tired of all of the drama that has gone on since Jetgate. I hate the good ol boy network that seems so powerful on the Plains, and seems to be as strong as ever and not going away.

    I’m beginning to understand why there are Florida, LSU, Georgia and Tennessee fans in Alabama.

    • A few years ago a lot of Bama fans wanted Moore, Bryant Jr., and Drummonds to go away, but our in-state media are very careful about how they portray UA infighting.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..Drummond got some pretty bad press in the past decade, but not about UA. It was issues in Columbia, allegedly having union reps assassinated. Lawsuit here in the USA failed, on that charge.

  24. Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

    Is there any way to get new comments highlighted? I’m losing track of new ones.

  25. mgizmo2005 says:


    I know the media loves to paint a villain and maybe his story has been embellished for the press, but even I, the original doubter realize Petrino is a scum bag and has no business being a Head Coach anywhere, not especially at Auburn.

  26. Deep Blue Deep Blue says:

    I will not support the football program or buy any merchandise or even watch any games if Petrino is hired until the day after he leaves. No way, no how. I love Auburn, and do not want this cancer near our program.

  27. DBAU81 says:

    No, no, a thousand times no. I would keep Chizik before I would hire Petrino.

  28. AUownsU says:

    I wonder if all the people here in the comments section would have been willing to give Petrino a 2nd chance if he went to JC first?

    Seriously some of you guys need to step off of that high horse and realize Auburn has a chance to hire one of (if not the) best offensive minds in the country. We aren’t talking about hiring a new team chaplin here people, we are talking about hiring a HC. Without any doubt in my mind Petrino gives Auburn the best chance to turn things around in a hurry. If we F this up this time around I’m gonna be pissed. Of course no matter who we hire or even if we stick with CGC, I’ll keep on being an Auburn fan and support the program. I’m not as superficial and overly dramatic as some. My house just might be made of glass, ya know?

    • restless6 says:

      Petrino is known to be a lazy recruiter and his has a a history of bailing on programs. Notes in lockers in Atlanta?

      Add to this the history of liabilities he placed on Arkanasas with his infidelity.

      I’m no moral authority, but he will certainly be the quick fix some fans want. He may fix it quickly, but at what cost? Will he leave on a whim, leaving recruit and players in limbo? Will he leave notes or address the team? Will he hire a hottie in the program?

      I’m sorry, but if Chizik and the current crop of clowns and Petrino is the best that Auburn can do, that’s pitiful.

      The firing of TT and the circumstances that led to it have an albatross around the program’s neck.

      I also believe that Auburn “sold out”, as many fans like to say about Bama’s hire of Saban, with Cam.

      One of these days, the truth will come out, and if losing embarrassingly doesn’t drag the program into a hole, then this will. Someone on that staff will be fired at season’s end, and they will have to be paid a ton of hush money to keep quiet.

      Karma is a bitch, and it seems like the chickens have come home to roost.

    • mikeautiger says:

      Hey watch it on that chaplain comment lol, I’m one, a good chaplain can help us get out of this grief funk faster to better playing days. No coach can hardly fix the problem that compound grief is causing this team. It is going to take time, probably another 6 months.

    • challenger10 says:

      Dude 0-4 against uat.

  29. […] The Lastest Contingent Stop Limit News Posted on May 4, 2012 by The Case For Bobby Petrino Sure, the higher ups may have pause, but enough of the Lowder contingent in the administration remains that is still strong enough to pursue and finally get their long-awaited man. Many Auburn fans are …. It was Lowder who insisted that Dye resign … Read more on Track Em Tigers […]

  30. atlau says:

    If you really don’t want to see Petrino as the next coach, and I certainly don’t, I suggest emailing members of the board. You can find their email addresses below. Most on this site will say this is a futile attempt, but it doesn’t take long to compose a message and send it to the trustees. I would encourage people to email and also encourage friends and family who don’t want Petrino either.

  31. restless6 says:

    Nice insults, guys. I’m a realist. I can take the heat.

  32. Malakai Malakai says:

    It’s easy for me to say no now. I don’t want Petrino either, but I know deep down when I watch the Iron Bowl this year I will be wishing we had him. Maybe that makes me weak, or not a very good Auburn man, but I’ll be honest about it.

  33. PhilTheTiger says:

    Its tempting to choose BP because hes the easy fix, but hes not the right one…Proven Winner who can develop talent to take it to the next level AND clean bill of health with the NCAA…thats my the criteria for the next guy hired either an OC or HC…lets go out and pay for a proven commodity…John Chavis coached at Tenn for years…now hes @ LSU doing even better is a good example…One question…Is Chizik Larry Coker reincarnated???

  34. PetriNOatAU says:

    I, for one, can’t abide the thought of Bobby Petrino at Auburn. I want to do my part to send a message to the BOT. Auburn is too good for the likes of Bobby Petrino. Please sign below if you agree!

  35. fhopetiger says:

    No go on Petrino. That ship has sailed and I’m glad it did. I didn’t like him when he was here. Great coach but definitely not an Auburn man. There are plenty of other candidates that can take us to where we belong.

  36. Darthaubie Darthaubie says:

    After reading many of these post and talking to others I have had an “about face” and think that Petrino would not be a good fit for AU. I do know, If I was able to do so, what I would do.

    I would Fire JJ and hire a new Athletic Dir. I would also give CGC another season or at least half and let him make the changes needed.

    I still love and support the Tigers and I will always appreciate the 2010 season.

    I’ll be in the upper deck of JH tomorrow night to cheer the team on!


  37. URL says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More here: […]…

  38. dr.mark says:

    Bobby Petrino is self-destructive and carries a lot of collateral damage. He dissed Louisville in such poor taste, secretly interviewing with other teams so many times it was ridiculous. Matt Hayes of Sporting News said quote “So you don’t like Bobby Petrino, the person, don’t take it out on Bobby Petrino the Coach! This is asinine idiocy! This is making excuses and looking over glaring personal deficiencies unbecoming of a head coach at a major state university and predictive of huge troubles later on. It is tantamount to saying “So you don’t like Jerry Sandusky the man, don’t hate Jerry Sandusky the (assistant) coach!! Bobby Petrino is toxic, stay away!!!

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