December 11, 2007

Petrino Takes Arkansas Job; Leaves Falcons Immediately

[Updated 7:01 p.m.]

Um, what? I actually sat through the horrors of last night's Falcons-Saints game (in which Chris Redman played reasonably well), and thought to myself that Bobby Petrino seemed to enjoy coaching the team through all their adversity this year. I think I even recall Arthur Blank commending Petrino when he was in the MNF booth.

Tonight ESPN reports that Petrino is off to Arkansas, and will not coach the remaining three games.

Note to GMs: NEVER HIRE A COLLEGE COACH. NEVER. NEVER NEVER NEVER. Ok, maybe you can hire June Jones if he suddenly appears to want back in, but otherwise NEVER.

On the other hand, I'm not going to muster the venom I had for Nick Saban because Petrino did this in private. He never stood up and said he had no interest in a particular job, only to leave weeks later. The report states that Petrino and his agent had talked to Atlanta about his desire to return to college, but Peter King reports that Blank first heard of Petrino's desire to bolt today. People make mistakes, like Billy Donovan and Rich Rodriguez almost did, and despite the short notice to Blank, I still can't be too upset with him. King does remind me that it was a rough go early on for Petrino though, and some players might have disliked him from the start.

My guess for interim coach would be Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson. Atlanta is going to be training a new quarterback next year, so give the guy a shot to see if he might have the tools to make it work. Jackson was himself a QB at Pacific, and prior to this year he was the WRs coach for the Bengals. Oh, and this is totally irrelevant, but he happens to be African-American too, which would play well in Atlanta in the post-Vick era.

Why do I think Matt Ryan just jumped ahead of Boehm on their board though? Sigh....

11 Responses:

"ben" said...

Not that anyone (but me) was suggesting him for the Michigan job, but what the hell, man? Why didn't Michigan call him?

Maybe he's just a southern kind of guy and would've have chosen Arkansas over Michigan, anyway (I'm shedding a tear).

ESPN is claiming this is proof that Miles is staying at LSU, because Petrino wanted the LSU job, but now he had to jump at Arkansas because there's no vacancy at LSU.

Like I said, Ron English it is (please be Ron English, because otherwise it's going to be Brady Hoke).

J-Red said...

I'm enjoying Michigan shooting for A-list coaches and getting shunned. They're not hiring anyone until after the BCS Championship Game, because I'm not convinced they can't still get Miles.

"ben" said...

I won't continue to hijack your blog, but if you want all the details on the Michigan search, I can easily fill you in.

Miles is in play, yes, but he lied again today saying he was coaching LSU next season.

J-Red said...

I think eventually a school will realize that a coach might lack a certain degree of credibility if he takes a job after publicly denying over and over that he doesn't want it. I still expect Miles to come out of this looking bad.

And what's wrong with LSU? How is that not the second-best job in the country right now, behind only USC?

"ben" said...

Nothing is wrong with LSU. LSU is a great job. Just ask Skip Bertman.

Seriously, all year long, I never thought Miles would be interested, but apparently he just loves Michigan more than life itself.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I never wanted Miles, and now I really don't want Miles. The shame would be too great. There would be no defense for it.

J-Red said...

Count me in the camp that thinks that Petrino would bolt from Arkansas in a second if Miles leaves for Michigan.

J-Red said...

Pat Forde has a great column reminding us that Petrino has been caught trying to get a new job each of the past 6 years, including blatantly lie about his interest in the Auburn job after his first year in Louisville.

After the trend started by Billy Donovan and Rich Rodriguez, could Arkansas back out of this deal?

"ben" said...

Role play suggestion:

J-Red = NFL team
NTIH = college coach

The game: J-Red pays millions of dollars to get screwed.

J-Red said...

College coach = Pat Summitt?

"ben" said...

Whatever floats your boat. You're not the one that balked at the Bill Martin game, though, so I don't know why you're pretending it's necessary to get a female's name involved.

J-Red said...

I didn't know who either of those two people are.

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