The SEC Football Blog was reading a Twitter conversation between ESPN’s SEC writer Edward Aschoff and SEC football writer for College Football News Russ Mitchell where they were discussing the firing of Bobby Petrino, Arkansas‘ former coach who was fired after some off-season shenanigans involving one of his assistants.

Without wanting to go into a deep discussion about their Twitter conversation – here’s the Twitter page of Aschoff and here’s the Twitter page of Mitchell – Aschoff thinks that Petrino should have been fired, and Mitchell thinks that Petrino shouldn’t have.

Anyway, here’s our opinion: The SEC really, really needs Bobby Petrino back – be it as an offensive co-ordinator, a quarterbacks coach, or even a head coach.

Here’s why: Bobby Petrino is one hell of an offensive coach. His offenses produce touchdowns, and his teams are successful.

Petrino’s record in his years at Arkansas were 34-17. While his first year in 2008 at Arkansas  was nothing particular to talk about (5-7), he had three winning years, which saw his team’s winning percentages escalated: 8-5 (2009), 10-3 (2010) and 11-2 (2011). Not only that, but 2012 Heisman candidate Tyler Wilson is a Petrino quarterback, and nothing offensively is really going to change under John L. Smith (a nice balance between pass and run (like any good offense should have), although we think the numbers are going to be a little lower now that talented receivers Joe Adams, Greg Childs and Jarius Wright have gone to the NFL.

Petrino would have been show us if the ‘Backs would be ‘back’ in 2012, but his own stupid behavior with Jessica Dorrell, which included motorbikes and hush money, meant that he was summarily fired in April.

But this doesn’t mean that the University of Arkansas is not going to miss Bobby Petrino – despite was Aschoff might think. Petrino is an incredible offensive influence, and his team could have been a real contender in the SEC this year – instead of being also-rans.

And while the SEC feels that it doesn’t need Bobby Petrino back, we do. Here’s why: The guy wins football games. Without him we worry about Arkansas’ effectiveness, and therefore the SEC loses a National Championship contender (note to John L.Smith: If Arkansas runs the table this season or beats one of Alabama or LSU, we’ll admit we were wrong), and therefore makes the SEC as a conference less powerful.

And regardless of what people think about Petrino – and he’s not the most likeable personality in the world (and Mitchell beautifully summed it up by this: “Bobby Petrino is a jerk. So say many of the men who have worked for or around him in the past.”) – but he wins football games. Is there a better offensive co-ordinator in the SEC? It would be hard to argue with Petrino, who coached a No.2 two offense in the conference for two straight years, if we’re going by the all-important total yards stat.

If Petrino ISN’T hired within the SEC again, then the SEC may not miss his brain from a personality point-of-view, but they certainly will from an offensive point of view. He’s consulted at Cal and the Tennessee Titans, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he takes up a coaching job in 2013. But if a SEC team is struggling mid-way through 2012 with their offense, they could do a lot worse than give Petrino a call.


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