Is Bobby Petrino through or will he return as a top coach in the future?

Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell

Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell

I was so happy a few months ago with the Razorbacks’ football future firmly in Bobby Petrino’s hands. Things were going so well.  I mentioned to a friend that I was 16 back in 1977 when Lou Holtz led the Razorbacks that season to a 11-1 record and a third place finish in the 1978 January final poll for the 1977 season. Think about the fact that it took the Razorbacks 34 seasons later to get back into the top 5 (2011 finished ranked 5th) and I am now 50 years old. IF HISTORY REPEATED ITSELF I WOULD BE 84 BEFORE WE FINISHED IN THE TOP 5 AGAIN.  We both laughed at that silly suggestion.

However, since then we have lost Petrino as our coach. That thought of not returning to the top 5 is not as silly as I first thought. (Now 6 players are off the team for now Arkansas Sports 360 has reported.) Petrino was respected nationally. Take a look at this article below that mentions Petrino as possibly returning as one of the nations best coaches.

Mike Strange: Who will be the top-ranked coaches in 2022?

Mike Strange
  • By Mike Strange
  • Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:56 p.m.

No games, no spring practice. Recruiting in a lull. What’s a collegefootball fan to do?

How about reading all these lists that are proliferating because the college football media folks don’t have much to do, either?

We’ve got hot-seat lists (seeDerek Dooley), lists of the freakiest athletes (see Justin Hunter) and top pass-catch combos (see Tyler Bray-Da’Rick Rogers).

The big talker this week was the ranking of FBS coaches, from 1 to 124, by The Sporting News. Nick Saban was No. 1. Charlie Molnar of UMass was No. 124. Poor guy’s never coached a game.

Dooley, Tennessee’s coach, checked in at No. 99, right behind 66-year-old Norm Chow, who finally landed his first head-coaching gig at Hawaii, and 74 spots below Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

Hats off to Franklin for shaking up the status quo at Vandy in his first year as a head coach. But how that justifies shooting him up the chart to No. 25 is beyond me.

We can debate the rankings — which, of course, is why they’re there — from now until the Poinsettia Bowl. But here’s my wrinkle:

What will the rankings look like in 10 years? Who’s in the top 20 in 2022?

We can eliminate Saban, Steve Spurrier and Frank Beamer. Saban isn’t going to be coaching at 70. Bill Snyder’s the only guy doing so now.

I was surprised to find 21 coaches 60 or older at FBS jobs. For the record, there are 15 older thanPhillip Fulmer, who turns 62 and qualifies for Social Security on Sept. 1.

I’m going to further rule out the AARP guys who are at least 55. Cross off Les Miles, Kirk Ferentz, Tommy Tuberville and June Jones.

The guys in the 50-54 age group are borderline. The good ones are banking a ridiculous amount of money. Will they have the drive to stay at it? Based on the examples of Beamer and Spurrier, some will.

Some won’t. I can’t see No. 14 Mark Richt coaching at 62. Can Mike Leach carry on as a 61-year-old pirate? Probably.

Perhaps the biggest enigma is the guy who could be No. 1 in 2022. Or, he could be long gone.

Urban Meyer is 47. He’s chalked up two national titles at Florida and won big at Bowling Green and Utah. He’s also burned out once already.

After a one-year sabbatical, Meyer is back in the game at Ohio State. There’s no reason to think he won’t win big again.

His kids will be out of the nest. No reason to spend more time with the family. The hunch here is Meyer will be going strong in 2022.

So will Chris Peterson. Also 47, Peterson is 73-6 at Boise State. That’s no misprint.

Sporting News ranks him No. 2 now and Peterson might still be there in 2022. The question whether he’ll still be at Boise State.

Bob Stoops (51), Oregon’s Chip Kelly (48) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (52) could easily still be coaching in 10 years. What about Brady Hoke (53)?

He was an instant fit at Michigan last year. Maybe Hoke and Meyer settle in for a Woody-Bo rivalry that brews for a decade.

Mike Gundy is a man. He’s 44. Oklahoma State’s coach is 59-30, ranks No. 10 and could be even higher in 2022.

Bret Bielema is in the same category. At 42 with a 60-19 record at Wisconsin, Bielema has excellent long-term prospects.

The Sporting News likes Lane Kiffin. I agree Kiffin’s a heckuva coach and Southern Cal is a place to win a ton of games. But I’ll bet Kiffin’s back in the NFL before 2022.

Some other relatively new head coaches will enjoy a prosperous decade. I’d bet on Jimbo Fisher at Florida State.

Maybe Franklin will be one of them. Maybe Will Muschamp, too. But one season is too little evidence for me to make that projection.

Keep an eye on Troy Calhoun, Chip Kelly, Kevin Sumlin and Al Golden. Don’t count out 48-year-old Rich Rodriguez, who starts fresh at Arizona.

Here’s a wild card: Bobby Petrino. He’s 51, banished from the current rankings but there’s still time to get back in the hunt.

And what, you’re probably wondering, about Dooley? At 43 he faces a make-or-break season. The jury is very much out.

If he’s still at Tennessee in 2022, he will have vaulted way up the rankings.

And if he is still No. 99, he won’t be at Tennessee.

Mike Strange may be reached at

Related posts:

Youtube has not been too kind to Arkansas’ new football coach John L. Smith April 23, 2012 – 3:50 pm

John L. Smith new razorback coach, Who is he? April 23, 2012 – 2:19 pm


Bobby Petrino’s phone records come out April 12, 2012 – 6:50 am

Jessica Dorrell and Bobby Petrino on ESPN together in 2011 April 12, 2012 – 6:38 am


How about a coach swap? :Charlie Strong to Arkansas and Bobby Petrino to Louisville April 11, 2012 – 7:37 am


Bobby Petrino statement April 11, 2012 – 6:51 am


Bobby Petrino fired, but now seeking forgiveness April 11, 2012 – 6:20 am


Video and transcript of Jeff Long’s press conference announcing firing of Bobby Petrino April 11, 2012 – 5:53 am


Bobby Petrino’s arrogance led to his downfall April 10, 2012 – 3:46 pm



Petrino 911 Call – Jessica Dorrell And Bobby Petrino Refuse Help April 9, 2012 – 7:03 am


Earlier concerns about Petrino’s character are coming back up again April 9, 2012 – 6:24 am


Bobby Petrino has achieved the American Dream, but still is looking for something more April 8, 2012 – 1:46 pm

Rex Nelson speculates that Petrino may be fired because “…trust has been so broken…” April 8, 2012 – 12:06 pm

Lying about Jessica Dorrell may get Bobby Petrino in a lot of trouble April 7, 2012 – 1:38 pm

Can Bobby Petrino, Tom Brady and Coldplay all find the satisfaction they are seeking? April 6, 2012 – 2:15 pm 

Bobby Petrino to survive this wreck? April 6, 2012 – 11:08 am

Pictures of Bobby Petrino April 6, 2012 – 9:11 am

Who is Jessica Dorrell? (with pictures) April 6, 2012 – 9:06 am

Major coverage of Bobby Petrino mistake April 6, 2012 – 6:51 am

What will be Jeff Long’s decision on Bobby Petrino? April 6, 2012 – 5:36 am

Bobby Petrino admits to an affair April 6, 2012 – 4:41 am

What impact will breaking trust with Bobby Petrino’s family have? April 6, 2012 – 4:24 am

Two choices now for Bobby Petrino: Follow the path of purity or impurity

If Bobby thinks he is bruised now, then he needs to read about the guy in Proverbs 7:10-27 and what happened to him. I really am hoping that Bobby Petrino can put his marriage back together. He has a clear choice between two paths. In the sermon at Fellowship Bible Church at July 24, 2011, […]

Jessica Dorrell was taking a long ride with Bobby Petrino April 5, 2012 – 4:52 pm

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: