Bruce Feldman of CBSsports.com is reporting that Western Kentucky has hired Bobby Petrino. The WKU job came open when alum Willie Taggart recently left to take the USF job. After being spurned by their alum, the Hilltoppers have turned to the dark side and have accepted Bobby Petrino into their program.
We knew it would happen sooner or later. We knew that somebody would take a chance on Petrino and it's happened sooner. Petrino has been a successful college coach everywhere he has gone, he was an abysmal NFL coach but that's a story for another day, but he's also left every program he's been a head coach at in shambles. Arkansas went 4-8 they year after he left, Louisville went 6-6 and the Atlanta Falcons became the laughing stock of the entire NFL after he bolted that job in mid-season after going 3-10 (he taped notes on the players lockers and fled in the dark of night).
Petrino's track record on the field is about as good as you can get. He went 41-9 at Louisville and then 34-17 at Arkansas with a 21-5 record his last two seasons. From 2009 to 2011 his Arkansas offense was top twenty in the FBS in scoring every year and was first in the SEC in two out of three years. But it's the baggage that comes with Petrino that you have to be worried about.
By hiring Petrino, WKU is telling the college football world that the most important thing for them is to win now and they don't care if they are used as a stepping stone in the process. WKU has only been a member of the FBS since 2008 so they are still relatively new to the landscape. In 2009, they went 0-12. In 2011 and 2012, the Hilltoppers had back-to-back winning seasons and earned their first bowl berth this year. It's obvious that they want to keep up their recent winning trend with this hire. Petrino will win at WKU. The bigger questions are how long will he stay, how bad will they be once he leaves and in what way will he embarrass the school like he has the last two programs that he left?