Bahn: Spare Blaming Smith Or The Razorbacks, This One's On Bobby Petrino

by Chris Bahn  on Sunday, Sep. 9, 2012 12:00 pm  

Arkansas fired Bobby Petrino in April. (Photo by AP)

Arkansas couldn’t stop Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. Play calling was questionable. Razorback players and coaches just flat got beat by the Warhawks in every way imaginable.

Officially it goes down as a 34-31 loss in overtime, arguably the biggest loss in program history and the first blemish on Coach John L. Smith’s record with the Razorbacks. Win out and this team will still likely be on the outside looking in on the BCS title race.

But Smith wanted to make sure nobody was playing the blame game. He urged unity in his locker room speech to the team and in his post-loss press conference.

“We all contributed to the loss,” Smith said. “I don’t want to see any [finger pointing].”

Well, John L. Allow me.

Before you lay this one on Smith and the coaches who got outschemed or the players who got outexecuted and outmanned, turn your attention elsewhere. Look to a house on one of the those Lindsey golf courses in Rogers, perhaps somewhere in Montana. Wherever it is that Bobby Petrino currently sits unemployed and hoping for his next job.

Nobody deserves more blame for what happened against the Warhawks than Petrino.

No, he didn’t coach this loss. This isn’t the kind of game he loses when employed. Petrino was remarkable at winning the games his teams were favored to win.

Petrino didn't give up 550 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown from Kolton Browning in overtime that won the game. He didn't fail to run the football in the second half after it becamse clear the passing game was a non-factor with freshman Brandon Allen under center.

But Petrino’s selfishness, his inability not to screw up a great thing (not to mention his inability to recruit defense) is to blame. When Petrino drove his motorcycle off that stretch of highway outside the Crosses community, he took Arkansas’ season right in the ditch with him.

Petrino has recovered from his injuries. It’s looking like this team won’t be able to recover from the blow he dealt them.

We’re witnessing a program reaching its breaking point when it should be reaching its stride under Petrino.

 

 

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