With the search for a new head football coach at the University of Louisville complete, Cardinal Authority gives you five reasons Bobby Petrino was the right pick.
U of L athletic director Tom Jurich cut the list to three candidates and on Thursday morning will announce Petrino, the Western Kentucky coach and a former head coach at U of L, as the man.
Cardinal Authority gives you five reasons the Cardinals should hire the man who roamed the sidelines at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium from 2003-06 and was also previously here at U of L as an assistant coach.
1. Petrino is a proven winner: Petrino does have some issues off the field, but on the field he's the best candidate for the job. And it's really not even close. Petrino has an 83-30 record in nine seasons as a head coach and has taken his teams – U of L, Arkansas and Western Kentucky – to seven bowl games with four wins. He was 41-9 at U of L, including the 2006 Orange Bowl win. He went 9-4 his first year at U of L and while at Arkansas was competing for the SEC title. Petrino is the perfect guy to take the Cardinals into the ACC. He's a winner, there's talent in the fold and he will use that talent to help the Cardinals continue to win.
2. You want points? Louisville just finished a 12-1 season but many of the fans were wanting more from the Cardinals' offense. Well, Petrino will deliver. In four years at U of L, Petrino's offense scored 2,059 points – 41.1 points per game. The Cardinals scored more than 50 on 13 different occasions and only scored fewer than 21 points two times in 50 games. The total yards for the offense was 488.1 the first season, 539 the second season, 482.1 the third season and 475.3 yards in the Orange Bowl season. Fans won't have to worry about wanting more offense.
3. He's been given a second chance before, why not U of L? Petrino will be the first to admit he's made mistakes. And he's paid for them. His wife, Becky, gave him a second chance and his family is stronger for it. Western Kentucky gave him a second chance and the folks in Bowling Green have been nothing short of gushing in his praise since he's been on campus. He's a big-time football coach and deserves to be at a big-time football program, even with a second chance.
4. King of the Bluegrass: Easiest sell for Petrino to Jurich would have been to point out his record against rival Kentucky. Petrino could have reminded Jurich that "We won't lose to UK." In his first season, U of L whipped UK 40-24 before 28-0 and 31-24 decisions. In the Orange Bowl season, it was 59-28. He also beat the Wildcats this season at Western Kentucky. Petrino owned the rivalry and that has to make Jurich and all of the fans smile.
5. The final answer: I was going to give a fifth reason to hire Petrino, but four seems to be enough. So, with No. 5 I will just take a knee!
We shall see what happens tomorrow.