If Tennessee hires Bobby Petrino, it has the memory of a goldfish.
Derek Dooley is as good as gone, according to John Brice of VolQuest.com. Tennessee is a prestigious enough program that it should have multiple respectable options to replace him. Signing Petrino to a contract would be an absolutely foolish mistake that’d leave the Volunteers full of regret—again.
Allow me to take you back to 2010, the year the infamous Lane Kiffin spurned Tennessee for USC after just one season with the team. It wasn’t just that he left, though, but how he left.
Kiffin dragged the Vols into the spotlight with his obnoxious mouth, once even accusing Urban Meyer and Florida of illegal recruiting. UT Nation still had his back, though, because that mouth also attracted many a top-notch prospect to rock Orange and White. But, as you know, the preacher of Tennessee supremacy turned out to be two-faced.
Now, after all the garbage the Volunteers were forced to go through with Kiffin, why in the world would they even contemplate rolling the dice on Petrino?
Adam Himmelsbach of the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that the former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach (and Louisville. And Atlanta Falcons) isn’t done. Petrino’s father said of his son’s unemployment:
He told me, ‘I need a job, Dad.’ I said, ‘Well, you must still have some money. You made 3 1/2 million dollars.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I do. It’s not the money.’ He just misses coaching so much.
It’s safe to say Petrino’s teams don’t miss him “so much.”
Approximately six months after signing a 10-year contract with Louisville, he left to coach the Falcons. And less than a year after that, he abandoned Atlanta before the season even ended. With a shot to redeem himself at Arkansas, he successfully executed the scandal that got him fired.
According to Himmselsbach, Petrino is intrigued by the opening at Kentucky. But his father said, “He wants to stay in the SEC. That was his life’s goal was to go to the SEC.” And of course, Tennessee is the superior job.
If Petrino shows interest, though, the Vols must shoot him down.
Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage listed Petrino as the second-best candidate to replace Dooley, only behind Jon Gruden. With all due respect, that’d be the equivalent of a two-year-old burning his hand on the stove only to touch it again the next day.
Talented coaches with characters as low as Petrino’s (and Kiffin’s) always make noise as soon as their hired. They get the ship sailed in the right direction because they're that freaking good. But without fail, their true colors eventually show and the program takes more steps backward than it ever took forward.
Tennessee, don't touch the stove again.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.