Bruce Feldman speculates on Bobby Petrino’s next landing spot.
For background: I appear weekly on Paul Finebaum’s radio show. On Thursday, he asked me where I could see Bobby Petrino coaching next. My answer was that Joker Phillips at Kentucky better win.
Phillips is 11-14 in two seasons at UK and 4-12 in league play. By Kentucky football standards, that’s not that bad. But Phillips can’t afford a backwards step in the next two seasons with Petrino out there. If UK goes 4-8 this year, even if it’s still only Phillips’ third year, the pressure will be high. Anything short of a bowl season will add a lot more heat.
I’ve heard a lot of folks say how three years is the new five years in college coaching these days, and I think there is something to that. My hunch is Petrino may be out for two years while some of the spectacle of his demise at Arkansas fades. So what may be a viable landing spot in two years? Well, Kentucky could fit that recipe: Petrino is a proven winner at the highest level of the SEC. Obviously, he comes with major baggage and that would scare off probably all Top 25 football programs, but the thought that he could make UK dangerous in football might be tempting.
I’ll tell you what’s even more tempting: a chance to stick it to Louisville. There’s a small measure of revenge to be taken in hiring the guy who took the rival program to its greatest heights. It’ll be even more enjoyable for UK given the history with Rick Pitino. So, yeah, I can see this happening.
The downside for the ‘Cats is that I don’t see Petrino sticking around for too long.