Western Kentucky lost head coach Willie Taggart to South Florida. The Hilltoppers wasted no time hiring Bobby Petrino to replace him, less than a calendar year after he led Arkansas to 11 wins in the SEC. This is an interesting move and one that should become interesting quickly. His first two opponents will be Kentucky and Tennessee.
Few would delude themselves into thinking Petrino is building a nest in Bowling Green. He was a flight risk at better jobs. It just became clear that his stain has not diminished in the intervening months. Even some desperate AQ schools would not consider him. He had to get back to work, at a place like a Western Kentucky, and rebuild his reputation. No better place spot than Bible Country?
Even if he wins and moves on, that could be good for a program in Western Kentucky’s position. Arkansas State has had consecutive one and done coaches with Freeze and Malzahn, but it’s hard to argue the program is not better off in 2012 than it was in 2010. Teams at that level don’t keep coaches, but winning builds the brand. I
What’s not clear is whether Petrino can work miracles in the short-term. His offense will not be a smooth transition from Willie Taggart’s “pound the lead running back until he collapses form exhaustion” attack that saw Bobby Rainey carry the ball more than 700 times in 2010 and 2011.
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