Over the past week pretty much everybody that writes for a college football site has written about Bobby Petrino and given their take on his situation. I've held off to kind of see where the situation went and because I have some biases when it comes to Petrino. I'm an Atlanta Falcons fan so I understand that when Petrino's mouth is moving it means that he is lying. I've called out Petrino before and in return I've received some nice hate mail from the Razorbacks faithful. The purpose of this column isn't to rip on Petrino (although I did get one in already) as pretty much everybody has already done that for me.
The longer the Arkansas brass draws this out the better the chances that Petrino stays with Arkansas. If Arkansas was really interested in getting rid of Petrino, he would already be gone. They would have had swift justice and he would be looking for another gig. As it stands right now, Petrino is suspended "with pay." Must be nice, how do I get to take some time off and still get paid for it?
On my way home today I listened to the Chuck & Chernoff show on our local radio station 680 the fan. They took a quick quiz of a couple of Arkansas fans that called in. They asked three questions (this is from my memory so they might be a bit off): do you trust your coach, does your coach have integrity and do you want your coach to stay. The answers were no, no and yes.
That was just a small sampling of the Razorbacks fanbase but I believe it's an accurate one. The Razorbacks knew what they were getting when they hired Petrino. They were getting a hired gun. A man who could not be trusted (see also: Petrino's buyout clause at Arkansas) but a man who knows how to coach college football. When Arkansas hired Petrino they knew they were getting a snake.
Now that the snake has reared it's ugly head the only loud calls for the snake's head have been from the media and from people not associated with the Razorbacks. Petrino is 34-17 since coming to Arkansas but he's 21-6 and 12-4 in SEC play in the last two years. Arkansas feels that they are on the cusp of something and they aren't willing to part with it just yet. The memory of the failure of Houston Nutt is too familiar to the Hogs to relive so soon.
Expect to see Petrino on the sidelines for Arkansas this year and expect for him to have the full support of Razorback nation. For Arkansas fans it doesn't matter that he's had an affair with a co-workers fiance (who he then hired) and then lied about the accident in order to try and cover up the affair; it just matters if he can beat LSU and Alabama (right now he's 2-2 against LSU but 0-4 against Alabama). For better or for worse, the Razorbacks and Petrino are married and that won't change this year.
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