This poor season could be the end of the line for Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino. In his return to Louisville he’s won either eight or nine games every year, but Cardinals have hit a serious skid in the post-Lamar Jackson world.
The Cardinals are just 2-5 to start the season, with an 0-4 ACC mark. The two wins came against FCS Indiana State, and a struggling Western Kentucky squad 20-17.
WKU football has long had strong ties to Louisville. The school took on Petrino when his personal brand was at its lowest, after the scandal that led to his ouster at Arkansas.
He used the Hilltoppers to springboard back to Louisville, where he has enjoyed solid success. However, in the wake of the basketball scandals that have rocked the school in recent years, the athletic department has cleaned house. That includes a new athletic director, Vince Tyra, who could use a terrible season at UL to make his mark on the football program, and move on from Petrino, who was a controversial hire at the time because of what happened at Arkansas.
With Bobby Petrino hot seat increasing, there is one name that stands out for a potential Louisville job: Jeff Brohm.
Brohm, currently at Purdue, played at Louisville. From 2003-06, he served as Cardinals quarterbacks coach under Petrino during his first go-around at the program, and stayed at UL through 2008. He succeeded Petrino at WKU, and built on his success, topping out at 12-2 in 2015, and going 30-10 overall in three years.
He parlayed that into the Purdue job, and immediately elevated the lowly Boilermakers to a bowl game last season. After three straight losses by four or fewer points to open the year, Purdue is up to 3-3 in 2018.
If Petrino is fired this year, Brohm is naturally the first name that comes up for many for a Louisville opening.
No I’m for Brohm being here, what I was saying was look at what Brohm did at Purdue with the extreme lack of talent last year. This Louisville team has loads of talent imagine how he can utilize it.
— CardNation ⚫️? (@L1C4Nation) October 16, 2018
This is hands down Louisville’s best option. Strong and Petrino’s first HC jobs were UofL.
Brohm killed it at WKU, and now turned Purdue from a 9-36 team over 4 years into 1/2 game out of first in the Big Ten.
He’d be the most qualified coach UofL has hired since Schnellenberger
— Presley Meyer (@meyer_presley) October 17, 2018
The best louisville can do will be brohm and that's a good thing. If he was a just a coordinator i wouldn't be as willing to hire him but hes been successful as a head coach in 2 separate places and purdue being in the worst shape possible and he's immediately made them better
— THE HAPPY HALLOWEEN DWB 69™ (@Tee1andonlyJay) October 18, 2018
I would love Brohm’s hunger and offensive mentality here at Louisville . Just hope he doesn’t have a Scott Frost first season IF he is our coach next year. We have a 14 million elephant in the corner that needs to be addressed first and foremost
— ? Petty Krueger ? (@LJthaFiasc0) October 18, 2018
From that perspective, Brohm is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST FIT! I'm not sold ?on Brohm either. It'd be nice to see him prove some more and have some more signature wins on his resume, but who else knows, has the understanding and passion of Louisville Football more than Jeff Brohm?!?!
— ?Rosstradamus? (@rosspro) October 18, 2018
Today, SB Nation‘s Richard Johnson wrote a column outlining the pros and cons of Brohm-to-Louisville. He calls it a “no brainer.”
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Brohm would leave the Big Ten to head to his alma mater. Firing Petrino would cost Louisville $14 million thanks to a hefty buyout that was designed to keep the notoriously flighty coach from jumping ship himself. Brohm also has a hefty buyout from Purdue, so Louisville would need some real will to make the move.
Even so, Brohm is building something at Purdue. He has quickly brought the program back from the dead, and is accruing some serious talent. Freshman Rondale Moore is already one of the most exciting players in college football, and Brohm has three four-star players lined up in the 2019 class, which ranks No. 28.
Is Louisville that much of a jump up? In recent college football history, absolutely. However, the Big Ten West may be more winnable than the ACC Atlantic at this point. Still, the chance to coach your alma mater is enticing, and it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing to see him jump, even if you can argue its a lateral move at the moment.