Fact 1: If Bobby Petrino is hired as head football coach at Auburn University, he will win. It will be tough, but Auburn is a much better job than Louisville or in most years Arkansas. There are some disadvantages facing Auburn right now with the ascendance of Alabama, but that is just part of it. Auburn’s recruiting area is shared with other powers on the rise including Georgia, Florida, Florida State and LSU. Ouch. That is rough. However, Auburn is still within a good recruiting area, is in the SEC and can recruit talent on both sides of the football. It is foolish to think Petrino cannot improve Auburn over the incompetence of Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn.
Auburn can win with just about anyone. How big Auburn wins will depend on several factors including the resolution of another major NCAA investigation into Auburn’s recruiting tactics.
Fact 2: Petrino’s system is much better than Gus Malzahn. Petrino’s offensive scheme will attract NFL-caliber athletes, and Petrino has proven he can develop offensive talent. This will be a major boost to Auburn’s recruiting and on-the-field performance. If you look at Arkansas’ record under Petrino, he performed very well relative to his recruiting rankings.
Rivals ranked Arkansas recruiting 34th in 2012, 24th in 2011, 49th in 2010, 16th in 2009, 36th in 2008, 31st in 2007, 27th in 2006 and 24th in 2005. And how did his offenses perform? In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Petrino’s Hogs averaged 36 points per game.
Think about that for a minute.
Fact 3: Unless the NCAA does something about Auburn’s creative recruiting *cough* transcript fixing *cough* and other recruiting methods, the bagman combined with Petrino would make for a very successful team.
Fact 4: Petrino’s defenses will improve at Auburn compared to his defenses at Arkansas. For Petrino, defense was never a priority, but moving to Auburn will yield far better access to defensive talent. The recruiting area including Alabama, Georgia and Florida will expose him to far more dynamic defensive playmakers. He will also, if hired at Auburn, pick a strong defensive coordinator.
Fact 5: Auburn needs a leader, not a loser and if Auburn picks Bobby Petrino then Auburn has a leader. Sure, the guy has no morals and probably broke many laws or at least HR policies when he involved the explosive issues of sex and hiring, but since when did you need morals to be successful. Petrino will not allow a power vacuum. When he arrives, he will own the job.
Of course, Auburn fans will face the embarrassment of being exposed as hypocrites for hiring a guy who isn’t all about God, Family and righteousness. However, the sanctimonious Auburn fans who recite the creed while rolling oaks in some bizarre pseudo-religious ritual more reminiscent of the Hare Club (Hippitus Hoppitus Reus Domine) rather than major college football will get over their embarrassment once Petrino turns things around. Once Petrino wins 10 games at Auburn, he will be viewed as a saint. Saint Bobby the patron saint of motorcycle riders, volleyball players and mad cow disease.
Fact 6: Petrino as Auburn head coach means the Tigers could be bowl eligible as soon as next season. A quick look at the 2013 schedule gives Auburn what appears to be six reasonable wins. These wins include Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas and Tennessee. Auburn should be competitive with Washington State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Auburn wins seven games out of this schedule even while dropping games against LSU, Georgia and Alabama.