It’s a big year for the Louisville Cardinals. They lost their superstar quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater to the NFL, their high-profile head coach to Texas, and they’re about to enter the ACC.
So who better to guide them through the turmoil than bringing back guy who put the program on the map less than 10 years ago? And a guy who has dealt with his own form of turmoil?
Bobby Petrino is back at his old stomping grounds, the place where he built a name for himself to begin with. While he inherits a program in much better shape than when he took over it more than a decade ago, he also faces rising expectations and a very difficult task at hand.
Replacing Teddy Bridgewater as the Cardinals enter the ACC is hard enough. But Petrino also has to replace seven starters on defense, and Charlie Strong didn’t exactly blow the roof off in recruiting to leave Petrino with enough talent to compete in the ACC.
Yet, everybody seems so sure he will succeed immediately. We all know the offensive genius he is and how he’s been successful at every college program he’s been at.
But that doesn’t mean Petrino will automatically make you a winner. Faced with the task of winning at Arkansas, he stumbled to a 5-7 season his first year there.
So there are still some questions about the Cardinals going into the season, including the fact that their schedule is 10 times tougher than it was last year. While we know Petrino will succeed long-term, all of these questions have to be addressed before we immediately assume Louisville will be good this year.