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Bobby Petrino: Western Kentucky is Perfect Fit for Tarnished Head Coach

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Cowboys Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

For better or worse, Bobby Petrino will bring Western Kentucky quite a bit of attention.

Per Yahoo! Sports, news of Petrino's hiring was reported Monday. The last time he was seen on the college football scene, Petrino was embroiled in a scandal involving a female member on his staff at Arkansas, with whom he had gotten into a motorcycle accident.

It was just another incident in a long line of bad press that has hovered over Petrino for at least the last decade. The ways in which he departed Louisville and the Atlanta Falcons drew ire almost universally across the sporting landscape.

Petrino, much like John Calipari, is viewed as the kind of coach a school turns to when it wants to win at all costs. With the big business of college football these days, his ability to win causes schools to look past Petrino's, well, past.

Making the jump immediately to a school like Auburn would have been too big of a risk for both the school and coach. The magnifying glass on Petrino would simply be too large.

Western Kentucky is an optimal fit for Petrino. He'll be able to prove once again how good of a football coach he is on a smaller stage, where the pressure to succeed won't be as high. This also allows him to pay some dues for how he left Arkansas, and Louisville, and the Falcons.

Western Kentucky also gets a coach that is quite a few levels above their standing in the college football landscape. The Hilltoppers will become a powerhouse in the Sun Belt Conference for a few years, before Petrino of course leaves for greener pastures.

At this point, you can't be surprised when Petrino pledges his undying love for Western Kentucky and signs a 10-year, $98 million extension to stay at the school forever. Then, like a thief in the night, he'll make a quick exit for a BCS school.

You can't feel sorry for the Hilltoppers either, because they know exactly what they're getting into. They're taking a risk in the short term hoping it will pay huge dividends in the long term.

Western Kentucky put winning ahead of everything else by hiring Petrino. But quite frankly, isn't that how you succeed in college football these days?

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