Boise State's Chris Petersen Could Be Facing The Ultimate Decision

D. WalkerAnalyst INovember 22, 2009

HOLLYWOOD - JULY 11:  Boise State football coach Chris Peterson accepts the award for 'Best Game' onstage during the 2007 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 11, 2007 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

On one hand Chris Petersen is very secure in his job as the head football coach for the Boise State Broncos.  He makes over a million dollars a year, his family enjoys life in Idaho and he is loved by the city and state in which he lives.  He has proven that he can recruit the kinds of athletes he needs in his system and Boise State has stepped up their commitment to the football program by adding significant improvements to Bronco Stadium, new training facilities and an indoor complex for practice.  Did I mention that he also wins?  Petersen is 46-4 in his four years at Boise State, is on the verge of winning his 3rd conference title in 4 years and has already won the Paul "Bear" Bryant award as the best coach in America.  Sounds to good to be true doesn't it?  What more could coach Petersen want?

On the other hand every head coach in college football has one goal in their professional career.  To win the National Title.  That goal is achieved by few.  After all, there is only one National Title winner per year.  Does Petersen actually believe he can win a national championship at Boise State?  The odds are not good.  BSU plays in one of the weaker conferences in college football (WAC) and in recent years Boise State non-conference schedule has been filled with what many experts feel are 'cupcake' opponents with the exception of a few.  Petersen has proven that he can coach his team to an undefeated season and a top 10 ranking and not even be invited to a BCS bowl.  It could happen again this year.  For Boise State to have a shot at a National Title they must have help from others and a lot of it.  In other words, the chances are slim.

Although Petersen appears to be quite happy in Boise, Idaho there is one job in college football I don't think he could turn down.  The head coaching job at Notre Dame.  It is most likely that job is going to come open sometime this year.  Petersen no doubt will be on the short list.  If you're Notre Dame, what's not to like about Chris Petersen?  He's proven he can win, is highly regarded within his profession and has the kind of character that is demanded of the head coach of the Fighting Irish.

If Chris Petersen can recruit the kinds of players that fit his system at Boise State. Imagine what he could do at Notre Dame.  He has a winning percentage of 92% at BSU while recruiting at best a few 3 star recruits and mostly 2 and 1 star players.  What could Petersen do within his system if it were loaded with 5 star and 4 star players like there are at Notre Dame?  The University of Notre Dame is regarded as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in America.  The campus is beautiful, the amenities unsurpassed.  The football program is the most storied program in the history of college football, rich in tradition, pride and the home of Knute Rochne.  And ... you can win a national championship at Notre Dame.

Although Petersen enjoys a very comfortable lifestyle in Boise making over a million a year, the Notre Dame job pays as much as four times that amount.  Charlie Weis, soon to be the former head coach, is the second highest paid coach in the nation at $4.2 million a year.  In other words, money is not a issue.

With all the history, tradition and money at Notre Dame also comes expectations and pressure.  With those expectations and pressure also comes the chance to win a national championship or two...or three.  The opportunity to be the head coach for the most historic program in the history of college football and the chance to win a national title in the process is one that would be very, very difficult to turn down.  Notre Dame could soon be presenting Chris Petersen with the ultimate decision.  Frankly, it couldn't happen to a better guy.  Petersen is a winner in all phases of life and is the perfect fit for the profile of the head coach at Notre Dame.  The quesion will be is Notre Dame the perfect fit for Chris Petersen?