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10 Things SEC Fans should know about Petrino's Move..


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10 things SEC fans should know about Petrino's move

By JEFF D'ALESSIO

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/11/07

Ten things SEC fans ought to know about Bobby Petrino's move to Arkansas:

1. Mark your calendars for Oct. 23, 2010. That's the next time Petrino is scheduled to coach in the Peach State, when his Hogs play the Dogs at Sanford Stadium. Arkansas and Georgia don't meet in 2007 or '08; UGA travels to Fayetteville in 2009.

call: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier (12-20 with the Redskins), Alabama's Nick Saban (15-17 with the Dolphins), Kentucky's Rich Brooks (13-19 with the Rams) and now Petrino (3-10 with the Falcons).

3. One of two Georgia high school seniors to commit to former Hogs coach Houston Nutt said Tuesday night he's just as excited now as he was when he originally said yes. "Thrilled," Chattahoochee defensive end Justin Smith said. "If [Petrino] can [win big] at Louisville, just wait and see what he can do at Arkansas. I'm sure he'll have us competing for national championships as quickly as possible."

4. Petrino's biggest recruiting pitch the next few weeks won't be to a high school star but to two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Darren McFadden. If McFadden skips school early, the junior is projected to be the top-rated running back in April's NFL draft.

5. Mark Richt has Georgia headed to the Sugar Bowl for the second time in three years but he'll likely be in the middle of the SEC's pay pack if Petrino signs for more than $2.1 million, about the going rate for this kind of hire. Also ahead of Richt: Saban, Florida's Urban Meyer, Auburn's Tommy Tuberville and Tennessee's Phil Fulmer.

6. Arkansas-Auburn just became awfully fun. You remember what happened in 2003, when Petrino, then at Louisville, secretly met with Auburn officials to discuss replacing Tuberville as Tigers coach. That's the Petrino who worked for Tuberville as offensive coordinator a year earlier. "Interesting," Tuberville said Tuesday night when told of Petrino's decision to return to the SEC. "Guess I had better go recruiting."

7. During his college days at Louisville, Petrino was known for grooming pinpoint passers like Brian Brohm and Stefan LeFors. At Arkansas, he inherits the mortal Casey ****, a senior-to-be who averaged 124.8 passing yards a game, ninth-best in the SEC.

8. He won't be coaching in Georgia anymore but Petrino will coach a few Georgians at his new stop. Seven are set to return to the Hogs lineup in 2008, including starting defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell of Newnan.

9. Some Arkansas fans are still holding their breath until Petrino signs on the dotted line. They, after all, remember what happened in April, when Creighton's Dana Altman was introduced at a news conference as the school's new basketball coach, only to have a change of heart and return to Creighton.

10. This search wasn't much easier. Clemson's Tommy Bowden and Wake Forest's Jim Grobe both passed, and Tuberville and North Carolina's Butch Davis both opted to stay put.

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