Did Jimbo Fisher just send the middle finger to his administration? Rumors swirled in November that the Texas A&M football head coach was forced to relinquish his offensive playcalling duties to save his job.
In the process, Fisher hired one of the most controversial figures in the sport. Chris Low of ESPN reports recently hired UNLV Rebels offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino has been named to the same role at A&M.
Yes, Petrino is coming back to the SEC more than a decade after he was fired by the Arkansas Razorbacks due to an inappropriate relationship with an employee. Now, Fisher is bringing that baggage to Texas A&M football.
It’s a vintage Petrino move, too. He had just been hired by UNLV in December after three years as head coach of the Missouri State Bears, but he’s bolting before coaching a game.
However, it’s not just Petrino’s checkered past that lends credence to the idea of Fisher doing this to embarrass his bosses. Petrino’s track record adds more fuel to that fire.
If you look at his recent stops, Petrino is clearly not the offensive genius he once was. He was fired from his second stint with the Louisville Cardinals in 2018 after a 2-8 start.
Two years later, Petrino took over as Missouri State head coach. He’s gone 5-5, 8-4 and 5-6 while there. This past year, the offensive genius was averaging just over 27.3 points a game.
In what stratosphere is Petrino the best hire Fisher could make? He’s not. The baggage he brings massively outweighs his success on the field in recent years. By every metric this is a bad hire.
Of course, with the move, Fisher is assuring that Texas A&M football has the most scandal-ridden coaching staff in the nation. Petrino alone could propel a staff to that title.
However, his defensive coordinator is D.J. Durkin, who was fired by the Maryland Terrapins in 2018 after the resulting scandal of a toxic culture within the program that stemmed from the awful Jordan McNair tragedy. This past year was Durkin’s first there.
Then you have Fisher himself, who isn’t free of scandal. He came under fire as an enabler for Jameis Winston throughout the numerous incidents he was involved in as Florida State Seminoles quarterback.
Taking all this into account, Fisher was going for headlines with this move more than results. It’s either that or a Hail Mary for both him and Petrino, whose careers are on their last legs.
Lots of eyeballs will be on Texas A&M football next year with this hire. It’s hard to see this working out at all. Fisher and Petrino both share a commonality in that the game seems to have passed their offensive minds by. Maybe together, they can adapt.