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Bowl Season is Underway; Petrino is Back on the Sidelines

Rich Rodriguez

RichRod talks about the Wildcats' huge comeback win in the New Mexico Bowl.

If the 2012-2013 college football bowl season is anything like its’ opening game then we are in for an absolute treat. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl saw Nevada jump out to a huge lead on the Arizona Wildcats only to see Rich Rodriguez’s crew rally with 21 points in the 4th quarter for the 49-48 win.

While no one should be surprised by the lack of defense, especially from a RichRod team, the huge offensive numbers and finish of the game were still mind-boggling. The Wildcats scored two touchdowns in the final minute (they recovered an onsides kick) and capped the comeback with :19 remaining. The two teams combined for over 1,200 yards of total offense including over 400 yards rushing by the WolfPack.

In the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Utah State waited until the 4th quarter before finally taking Toledo behind the woodshed. The Aggies scored 28 fourth-quarter points en route to a 41-15 win over the Rockets. Entering the final stanza, the Aggies led just 13-6. Running back Kerwynn Williams ran for 235 yards on 18 carries and had three scores in the win.

USU capped an excellent season by finishing with a record of 11-2 while Toledo finishes with a very solid 9-4 record. Utah State would run a very balanced offensive attack that led to 582 total yards to just 315 for Toledo.

Bobby Petrino

Petrino is getting a second chance with Western Kentucky.

A somewhat familiar face returns to the college football landscape next season as Bobby Petrino has become the head coach at Western Kentucky. Back in the spring, Petrino of course was the head coach at Arkansas before being forced to resign over an extra-marital affair with young member of the Arkansas Athletic Department. The whole became public knowledge following a motorcycle accident in which he and the young lady were hurt.

Petrino didn’t exactly have a solid image prior to this incident anyway. Remember, this is the guy that was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons who bolted during a poor season to take the Arkansas job. He made his intentions clear to his Falcons’ players by leaving them a note in their lockers. Not exactly a first-class move to be sure.

So what is the risk to Western Kentucky? Really, there’s very little. His hiring puts the Hilltoppers in the public eye for a bit and if Petrino is successful as I believe he will be, he’ll advance the program before he moves on to a more significant opportunity. That opportunity will come too. The name of the game in college football is winning and Petrino has been pretty successful at that. His Razorbacks were thought to be a top five or top ten team heading into the 2012 season.

Should Petrino struggle, then the University really doesn’t lose much because not a lot is expected of them in the first place. They fire him or he leaves and they move on. It’s really a pretty matter of fact situation for both parties.

Bowls This Week:

The Poinsettia Bowl BYU (-3) vs San Diego State – The Aztecs play at home for the second time in three years and bring with them a powerful running attack in the top 20 in the country. The issue in this one will be the SDSU defense. Both teams score 30 or more points per game but the Aztecs give up more than 10 more points per game than does BYU. I like the Cougars to cover.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Ball State (+7) vs Central Florida – This is basically a home game for the Golden Knights. Offensively the teams are very similar as they both average 35 points per game but UCF gains almost 70 yards more per game than does Ball State. Central Florida also give up about nine points less per game on defense too. With that advantage and the home-field, take the Knights.


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