Editors note: The thoughts & opinions of Jeff Nunn do not necessarily reflect those of CSZ
I’m as big of a Louisville football fan as it comes. I’m not trying to hide it or be neutral in my writing. But I always try to keep it real. If it’s bad, I’ll tell you it’s bad. If it’s not as bad as it seems, I’ll be straight with you there too. We, as fans, tend to overreact to things when they don’t go as well as they had hoped or even better than we had hoped. It’s human nature and I can’t blame you.
But as bad as things seem right now with Louisville football, Bobby Petrino isn’t going to get fired or quit. It’s time for everyone to realize that he is, and will be, our coach for the foreseeable future. You don’t have to like it but you need to accept it.
Why do I say that he won’t be fired? It’s basically the root of all evil – money. Here is an article from SB Nation that breaks down the pay Bobby would receive if he were to be fired. And if you were wondering, firing him for not doing his job very well is not considered “with cause.” https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2018/10/2/17921446/fire-bobby-petrino-contract-buyout-louisville
My opinion is that Bobby is still a great coach. He knows offense better than almost any coach out there. It’s no secret that a Petrino led team lacks discipline but this team struggles with execution due to poor preparation. That’s why I believe the problem is with his staff and not necessarily him. He has a reputation of being hard to work with so he can’t get the top level assistants to work for him. As a result of the assistants lack of experience and or knowledge, the team isn’t properly prepared and at times, seems lost on the field. Examples of this were the multiple 12 men on the field penalties vs Alabama, at one point there were 16 guys on the field vs Indiana State, a guy taking a knee at the 1 vs Virginia, one quarterback taking a look at the primary receiver and then running if receiver is covered – and many other similar situations.
His staff is made up of guys who will do whatever he says and would never question him. If Bobby had a better staff, one of them would have stepped up and told Bobby not to go for it on 4th down at his own 34 yard line vs WKU or maybe one of them would have questioned his play call of a pass on first down in the last couple of minutes vs FSU. And maybe a different QB coach would have said to him that he probably shouldn’t pull his QB after only 3 pass attempts and let him work through the growing pains of being a collegiate starting QB.
Ultimately, Bobby hired his staff and should be held accountable for their actions, just like a former basketball coach.
But it’s not going to happen and it’s partly the fault of that basketball coach. Louisville still doesn’t know how much money they will have to pay him so firing Bobby and giving him just over 14 million to go away isn’t an option right now. Vince will have some serious decisions to make if things don’t get better soon.
Regardless of how you feel about Petrino, you shouldn’t stop supporting this team. These guys have worked their *sses off and are doing exactly as they are coached. I never saw one guy give less than 100% vs FSU and as I stood near the tunnel when they walked off the field, I saw the pain and hurt in their eyes.
I wanted to share with you a tweet that sums up my feelings perfectly…
Fans, including myself need to realize that these guys on the field are far more hurt from this loss than we are. Respect the coaching staff or don’t, but let’s not quit on these kids. #GoCards
— #GoCards (@Damon_UofL) September 30, 2018
I read somewhere that fans are saying “not going to anymore games will surely get Petrino fired.” Well, it won’t and it only hurts the team even more. It also takes away from money that could potentially go toward buying out his contract once the dollar amounts drop. I just wish people would think these things through a little more instead of being so reactionary.
I guess my message is, let’s support the team. Things aren’t great but they will eventually get better (see the Krapthorpe and Cooper years). Bobby isn’t going anywhere and if you feel he isn’t doing a good job, then I’m not mad at you for expressing your feelings towards him. He gets paid a lot of money and should be held to a higher standard. Dealing with ridicule and verbal persecution just comes with the job. But the student athletes shouldn’t be ridiculed. Jawon wasn’t perfect but he was better. You think that last interception didn’t just eat him up inside all week? The last thing he needs is fans tweeting at him or blasting him on social media. Jawon gives us the best chance to win so let’s support him.
We, as fans, can’t fix the problem with our team but we don’t need to make it worse.
Get out and support the team you love. Let’s beat Georgia Tech and then go from there.
As Always, GO CARDS!