Like most rational Louisville fans, I didn’t expect Louisville to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. I didn’t expect our defensive line to “dominate”, and I didn’t foresee our receivers beating their corners on every play. What I did predict was for the Cards to come out and execute a game plan that kept the outcome respectable. In his fifth year as head coach, Bobby Petrino has talent all over the field at skill positions, so I was naturally ready to finally witness “Bobby Ball”. Surely he’d have our guys ready to go for this monumental game.
Final score: Alabama 51 Louisville 14
Considering that Louisville essentially had 9 months to plan for this massive game against the reigning champs, you’d think that Petrino, who is paid more than 3 million dollars a year would have these guys ready to at least look like a competent power 5 program. But as we’ve seen with almost all of UofL’s teams under Bobby 2.0, our boys looked astonishingly undisciplined, out of sorts, and at times lost. After four 12 men on the field penalties in the first half, you gotta think that these young men were questioning what the hell this coaching staff is thinking. Right? It was especially nauseating when the second half began and ESPN showed this graphic:
This is year five, people. And we look so dysfunctional that ESPN can’t help themselves from cracking a joke on Louisville’s effort.
I don’t put any blame on any of the players — this wasn’t an issue coming from lack of effort or care. This is a systematic problem coming from the tip top of the totem pole, and Bobby Petrino and his coaching staff embarrassed themselves and their team in front of a prime time audience on national TV. When you add this debacle to the growing pile of mishaps, it’s easy for me to say that it’s time to seriously start questioning why the hell he’s still here. So why the hell is he still here?
Since coming back to Louisville, Petrino’s teams have gone 1-11 against ranked teams (0-7 on the road) with the majority of those losses being lopsided embarrassments. Oh, and remember two years ago when he got punked by a horrendous UK team despite having the Heisman Trophy winner behind center? Yeah, I haven’t forgotten either.
Maybe Bobby Petrino was a sports mirage from the beginning of his second tenure at Louisville. After the departure of defensive minded Charlie Strong, maybe we were so starved for a fun-to-watch offense that we were hallucinating. I’m not doubting that the guy knows football and was at one time a great offensive mind, but realistically his first tenure here his record was inflated by playing in a couple of weak conferences. Yeah, he groomed some damned good QBs over the years, but when will he put together a legit contender? Will he ever?
While I’m not suggesting we fire Bobby Petrino mid season, I think that it’s officially time to have an open dialogue about whether or not Petrino has lost his edge, and that maybe, just maaaybe it’s time to start looking in another direction. Call me crazy, but I think it’s safe to say that after getting steamrolled by Alabama, Bobby’s chair is officially starting to heat up. As I said before, no one expected Louisville to go and beat ‘Bama, but we as fans expected a competent performance.
Unfortunately, it’s evident that the gap between Louisville and top tier programs like Florida State and Clemson hasn’t closed at all since his return — some might argue that it has widened after Saturday’s debacle. There are still devoted Bobby Ball enthusiasts that will apologize for this horrendous outing and suggest that he needs more time to build the program, but no matter how hard I squint, as Mr. Pitt said in Seinfeld, “I can’t see it, Elaine!“