Confused? Check out the advanced-stats glossary here.
1. Like hiring a hitman
Hiring Bobby Petrino will allow you to meet a goal you want to accomplish. You won't feel good about yourself, and you'll probably end up with regrets. But he will do the one thing you're asking him to do.
I expressed my opinions of Louisville's hire of Petrino in a Coaching Grades piece back in January.
We'll put aside the general tackiness of this hire, that it sets an awful example for players (if you're into that sort of thing) ... that Louisville is basically welcoming back the guy who cheated on the program, then dumped it seven years ago ... that there's a chance that, despite the "baby, I've changed" rhetoric, he leaves Louisville for a sexier job again in the coming years ... that even though we know that winning is all that matters, we don't necessarily enjoy having that principle shoved so blatantly in our faces.
Indeed, let's put that aside. This makes quite a bit of sense on paper ... we think. [...]
The problem, if one exists, isn't what's on his résumé; it's what's not. When he left Louisville, successor Steve Kragthorpe won just 15 games in three seasons. When he left Arkansas (because of a literal extra-marital situation, instead of the figurative one mentioned above), the Hogs went 7-17 in 2012-13. Were these just poor hires by these respective schools, or were there cracks in the foundation that might actually trip Petrino up if he sticks around in the same place for long enough? We'll see.
If Petrino sticks around as long as he says he will, we'll finally get an idea for what kind of program builder he is. It would be a first. Still, while he's never stayed more than four seasons at one spot, the guy's 83-30 in nine years as an FBS head coach. He won fewer than eight games in a year just once, in his first season at Arkansas. (He won 29 games in the three following years.) He engineered two top-six finishes at Louisville in 2004 and 2006, then did it again at Arkansas in 2011.
He is his own worst enemy, and he's made plenty of enemies through the years, but he's back in Louisville, and he's going to win some games. That much we know.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about 2014.
More U of L
More U of L
2. This seems familiar
Exciting sophomore quarterback, high-upside receiving corps, questions on defense. Sound familiar?
It sounds a lot like Petrino's 2009 Arkansas team, one that featured Ryan Mallett throwing to exciting receivers and an athletic defense that was a little too young to be a top-30 unit. That team went 8-5, then improved as Mallett and the offense gelled.
It's a shaky comparison, yes. This Louisville offense has a more experienced offense, and while 2009 Arkansas' defense was done in by its secondary, Louisville's is more likely to be done in by a young defensive front. But what Petrino is implementing in Louisville should take relatively quickly. Last year, he inherited a WKU offense that was running Stanford power; by comparison, the receivers he finds at Papa John's Stadium will be very much to his liking.
Louisville will score, and the prospects that Charlie Strong left behind for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham should be at least reasonably effective, despite both youth up front and the move from a 4-3 to a 3-4. This isn't a team likely to continue the Cardinals' recent pace of wins -- 11-2 in 2012, 12-1 in 2013 -- but Louisville could easily be the third-best team in its new league. Not a bad place to start.
2013 Schedule & Results
|Record: 12-1 | Adj. Record: 12-1 | Final F/+ Rk: 12|
|Date||Opponent||Opp. F/+ Rk||Score||W-L||Adj. Score||Adj. W-L||5-gm Adj. Avg.|
|1-Sep||Ohio||104||49-7||W||50.0 - 18.6||W|
|7-Sep||Eastern Kentucky||N/A||44-7||W||36.0 - 16.7||W|
|14-Sep||at Kentucky||97||27-13||W||34.2 - 28.2||W|
|21-Sep||Florida International||125||72-0||W||47.8 - (-5.7)||W|
|5-Oct||at Temple||98||30-7||W||35.5 - 19.7||W||25.2|
|10-Oct||Rutgers||91||24-10||W||39.7 - 14.9||W||23.9|
|18-Oct||Central Florida||21||35-38||L||50.0 - 31.1||W||23.8|
|26-Oct||at South Florida||99||34-3||W||39.9 - 19.2||W||26.7|
|8-Nov||at Connecticut||93||31-10||W||30.1 - 20.8||W||17.9|
|16-Nov||Houston||46||20-13||W||25.0 - 12.7||W||17.2|
|23-Nov||Memphis||83||24-17||W||28.5 - 30.2||L||11.9|
|5-Dec||at Cincinnati||64||31-24||W||41.5 - 22.3||W||12.0|
|28-Dec||vs. Miami||36||36-9||W||39.7 - 6.3||W||14.5|
|Points Per Game||35.2||25||12.2||2|
|Adj. Points Per Game||38.3||10||18.1||5|
3. Great, then good
I was right and wrong about Louisville in 2013. After the Cardinals' thumping of 11-1 Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, expectations for the 2013 season grew unfairly high. Suddenly people were considering Louisville a top-5 or top-10 team after the Cardinals only played at an elite level once or twice. I love talking about up-and-coming programs, but I found myself repeating the "tap the brakes on Louisville, guys, they're not an elite team" mantra quite often. Quite often.
In the end, the Cardinals indeed were not an elite team or a national title contender. But they came a lot closer than I expected. And over the first two-thirds of the season (aside from basically one quarter against UCF), they were indeed every bit as elite as I said they wouldn't be.
- Adj. Points Per Game (first 8 games): Louisville 41.6, Opponent 15.6 (plus-26.0)
- Adj. Points Per Game (next 4 games): Louisville 31.3, Opponent 21.5 (plus-9.8)
A fluky, last-second home loss to a strong UCF team ended Louisville's title hopes, and the Cardinals had almost instantly vanished from national consciousness by the morning of October 19. But while the invisibility seemed to impact their play a bit -- they won their final three AAC games by just seven points each -- they kept winning.
The semi-lull knocked season averages down a bit, but the Charlie Strong era still ended with 23 wins in 26 games; Louisville had won just 10 of 27 when he took the job in 2010. Strong left for Texas, stars Teddy Bridgewater and Calvin Pryor left early for the pros, and most of the defensive line graduated.
But Strong's south Florida recruiting has left the Cardinals with a strong base of talent on defense, and if Petrino coaches up the skill positions as he typically does, this should be a pretty good team in 2014. Not amazing, but pretty good. He's inheriting a program that is infinitely better shape than the one Strong inherited.
|FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||50.6%||6||Succ. Rt. +||115.6||17|
|FIELD POSITION||Def. Avg. FP||28.7||47||Def. FP+||101.4||41|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||4.8||20||Redzone S&P+||98.6||68|
|Q1 Rk||28||1st Down Rk||33|
|Q2 Rk||26||2nd Down Rk||26|
|Q3 Rk||19||3rd Down Rk||9|
Note: players in bold below are 2014 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.
|Will Gardner||6'5, 230||So.||3 stars (5.6)||8||12||112||2||0||66.7%||3||20.0%||6.5|
|Brett Nelson||6'4, 231||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Kyle Bolin||6'3, 196||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Pat Thomas||6'4, 185||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Reggie Bonnafon||6'3, 205||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
4. All eyes on Gardner
Louisville's gonna score
Louisville's gonna score
It goes without saying for anybody who saw him play, but Teddy Bridgewater was a really, really good college quarterback. You don't need numbers to tell you that, but looking back on the numbers again is still rather jarring. The 31-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio. The 70 percent completion rate over two years. The random, almost perfect games -- 35-for-45 for 447 against Miami, 25-for-29 for 344 against USF, 23-for-28 for 355 against Ohio. The level of competition dinged Louisville's offense a bit; the Cardinals finished just ("just") 23rd in Off. F/+ and 18th in Passing S&P+. Still, Bridgewater set the bar impossibly high for his successor.
That successor's name appears to be Will Gardner. Let's say that his spring game performance -- 32-for-37 for 542 yards and four scores -- allayed concerns a bit. The redshirt sophomore from Douglas, Georgia, has size, arm strength, an experienced line, and potentially elite receivers, and if competition matters, he'll certainly find a steady dose of it for the top spot on the depth chart. Petrino's never been known as an elite recruiter, but he doesn't struggle to find quarterbacks, even on rosters he inherits.
(Pro tip: if you find yourself Googling for background information, be sure to type in "Will Gardner Louisville" instead of just "Will Gardner." Then again, maybe you want to read a bunch of articles about The Good Wife. I'm not here to judge.)
|Dominique Brown||RB||6'2, 216||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||163||825||8||5.1||5.3||38.7%|
|Michael Dyer||RB||5'9, 215||Sr.||5 stars (6.1)||44||223||2||5.1||4.8||40.9%|
|Brandon Radcliff||RB||5'9, 216||So.||3 stars (5.6)||17||91||1||5.4||3.1||47.1%|
|Corvin Lamb||RB||5'9, 212||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||4||13||0||3.3||0.8||50.0%|
|L.J. Scott||RB||6'0, 215||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|DeVante Parker||WR-X||6'3, 209||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||80||55||885||68.8%||18.7%||57.4%||11.1||240||9.4||136.2|
|Eli Rogers||WR-W||5'10, 182||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||55||44||536||80.0%||12.9%||55.3%||9.7||56||8.6||82.5|
|Gerald Christian||TE||6'3, 242||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||36||28||426||77.8%||8.4%||74.1%||11.8||116||12.5||65.6|
|Robert Clark||WR-W||5'9, 173||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||34||25||219||73.5%||8.0%||39.3%||6.4||-65||4.5||33.7|
|Dominique Brown||RB||6'2, 216||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||30||24||228||80.0%||7.0%||68.0%||7.6||-34||8.4||35.1|
|Michaelee Harris||WR-Z||6'2, 202||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||26||15||195||57.7%||6.1%||50.0%||7.5||3||7.2||30.0|
|Kai De La Cruz||WR-X||6'0, 186||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||17||15||271||88.2%||4.0%||30.0%||15.9||114||13.2||41.7|
|James Quick||WR-Z||6'2, 171||So.||4 stars (6.0)||12||6||73||50.0%||2.8%||54.5%||6.1||-10||6.7||11.2|
|Lamar Atkins||FB||5'11, 216||So.||2 stars (5.2)||5||3||11||60.0%||1.2%||100.0%||2.2||-27||1.5||1.7|
|Matt Milton||WR-X||6'5, 205||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)|
|Keith Towbridge||TE||6'5, 263||So.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Cornelius Sturghill||WR||5'11, 180||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Cameron Polk||WR-Z||6'2, 185||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Micky Crum||TE||6'4, 250||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Charles Standberry||WR||6'3, 216||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
5. A few more big plays wouldn't hurt
Louisville's offense was just about as efficient as anybody's in 2013, but when the Cardinals stalled out, it was most likely because of a lack of big plays. The passing game was solid in this regard -- three of the top four receivers averaged at least 13.4 yards per catch, and DeVante Parker averaged 16.1 -- but the running game was mostly devoid. Louisville had only 61 rushes of 10+ yards (79th in the country) and 14 of 20+ (76th). That held back the offense a bit, but only so much.
Still, efficiency is significant, and Louisville had it. Petrino offenses tend to have it, too. At WKU last season, Petrino's Hilltoppers ranked just 100th in IsoPPP+ (explosiveness) but 60th in Success Rate+ (efficiency). With two of three running backs, four of the top five receivers, and tight end Gerald Christian returning, Gardner will have plenty of efficiency weapons around him. Christian and Eli Rogers are two of the best efficiency guys in the country, and Parker is a potential All-American. Plus, former blue-chipper James Quick is patiently waiting his turn on the second string. Combine that with one of the most experienced lines in FBS, and one has to assume this offense will click. Maybe there's a drop-off simply because of Bridgewater's absence, but there might not be much of one.
|Jake Smith||C||6'4, 312||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||38||1st All-AAC|
|Jamon Brown||LT||6'6, 350||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||27||1st All-AAC|
|John Miller||LG||6'2, 321||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||34||2nd All-AAC|
|Ryan Mack||RT||6'5, 319||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||13|
|Chris Acosta||RG||6'3, 275||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||3|
|Aaron Epps||RT||6'7, 279||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||0|
|Mike Romano||C||6'4, 293||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||0|
|Josh Stearns||RG||6'1, 285||Jr.||NR||0|
|Andrew Polston||RT||6'6, 275||Jr.||NR||0|
|T.C. Klusman||LG||6'3, 272||So.||3 stars (5.6)||0|
|Joe Manley||RG||6'6, 326||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0|
|Pedro Sibiea||RG||6'3, 294||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0|
|Skylar Lacy||LT||6'6, 320||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Kelby Johnson||OL||6'7, 299||Jr.||2 stars (5.3)|
6. Plug the holes
Note that I said that the offensive line is one of the most experienced in FBS, and not one of the best. Despite three all-conference performers, the Louisville line was only good and not spectacular last fall. It created opportunities for its runners, but there were glitches -- Louisville ranked just 92nd in Stuff Rate (negative run plays).
Still, one has to love the potential of a line that returns all three of those all-conference performers and boasts 115 career starts distributed among five players. Jake Smith, John Miller, and Jamon Brown came up with Bridgewater, basically, and after some growing pains in 2011, this became a steady, reliable unit. And despite Bridgewater's departure, it returns mostly intact.
I don't know for sure about upside, but experience tends to create reliability, and if the Cardinals can minimize the random glitches while starting up to four seniors, there are really no question marks on this offense outside of the quarterback position.
|FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||34.2%||7||Succ. Rt. +||111.6||25|
|FIELD POSITION||Off. Avg. FP||29.9||71||Off. FP+||99.5||68|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||3.0||2||Redzone S&P+||116.9||18|
|Q1 Rk||1||1st Down Rk||9|
|Q2 Rk||26||2nd Down Rk||32|
|Q3 Rk||52||3rd Down Rk||5|
|Rivals||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Sheldon Rankins||DE||6'2, 287||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||10||13.0||2.0%||4.0||3.0||0||2||1||0|
|B.J. Dubose||DE||6'5, 268||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||11||10.0||1.6%||4.0||1.5||0||0||0||0|
|DeAngelo Brown||NT||6'0, 319||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Johnny Richardson||NT||6'3, 334||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Kyle Shortridge||DE||6'2, 293||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Pio Vatuvei||DE||6'3, 265||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Terry Ramsey||DE||6'5, 250||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
7. Turnover and changeover
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes
Most of my reservations regarding Louisville in 2013 came on the defensive side of the ball. When Charlie Strong came to town, he immediately improved the Cardinals' defense from 89th in Def. F/+ to 45th in 2010. But there was a ceiling in place; they ranked just 46th in 2011 and 48th in 2012. The level of returning experience was high in 2013, but I was curious just how much the defense could improve in just one offseason.
The defense improved quite a bit. Thanks mostly to a line that went from liability to extreme strength, Louisville improved all the way to 10th in Def. F/+. The Cardinals were equally adept at preventing you from moving the ball efficiently and putting the kibosh on big plays, and they got even better when you got closer to their end zone. Only one defense in the country allowed fewer than Louisville's 3.0 points per trip inside the 40.
While the defense was a pleasant surprise in 2013, it has its work cut out for it in 2014. First of all, the line was decimated by attrition. The thing about having top-notch experience in a given season is that it probably means you don't the next. Plus, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, formerly of Georgia, is installing his version of the 3-4 defense, which means that the front line is undergoing both turnover and change. There is almost no experience at the new nose tackle position, and while players like Sheldon Rankins have shown plenty of potential, they now have to produce at a much higher level.
The news isn't all bad, of course. Former end Lorenzo Mauldin should be absolutely terrifying at the OLB position, and inside linebacker James Burgess has proven to be tough against both run (eight non-sack tackles for loss) and pass (five passes defensed). Throw in some former four-star recruits who have been either limited by injury (Keith Brown) or simply waiting their turn (Nick Dawson, Stacy Thomas), and you've got loads of upside at linebacker.
Still, potential at linebacker only matters if the line can keep blockers off of those linebackers. We'll see.
|Rivals||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|James Burgess||ILB||6'0, 215||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||13||56.5||8.9%||9.0||1.0||1||4||1||0|
|Lorenzo Mauldin||OLB||6'4, 243||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||13||34.5||5.4%||12.0||9.5||0||4||3||0|
|Keith Kelsey||ILB||6'1, 225||So.||3 stars (5.6)||12||20.0||3.1%||1.0||0.0||0||2||0||0|
|Nick Dawson||ILB||6'3, 265||So.||4 stars (5.9)||10||10.5||1.7%||3.5||1.0||0||2||0||0|
|Deiontrez Mount||OLB||6'5, 246||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||10||6.5||1.0%||1.5||0.5||0||2||0||0|
|Lamar Atkins||LB||5'11, 216||So.||2 stars (5.2)||11||4.5||0.7%||0.5||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Keith Brown||LB||6'1, 235||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||4||3.0||0.5%||1.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|James Hearns||OLB||6'3, 272||RSFr.||4 stars (5.8)||2||2.0||0.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Stacy Thomas||OLB||6'1, 249||RSFr.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Finesse Middleton||OLB||5'11, 246||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Lyn Clark||ILB||6'2, 244||RSFr.||2 stars (5.4)|
|Trevon Young||OLB||6'4, 233||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|LB||6'3, 215||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Henry Famurewa||OLB||6'2, 232||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Rivals||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Terell Floyd||CB||5'10, 201||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||13||43.5||6.9%||2||0||4||3||1||0|
|Charles Gaines||CB||5'11, 174||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||13||19.5||3.1%||0||0||5||7||0||0|
|Jermaine Reve||FS||6'0, 180||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||13||18.0||2.8%||2.5||0.5||0||0||0||0|
|Gerod Holliman||SS||6'0, 201||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||11||14.5||2.3%||1||0||0||3||0||0|
|Andrew Johnson||CB||5'9, 186||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||9||6.5||1.0%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Devontre Parnell||CB||5'11, 174||So.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Kevin Houchins||CB||5'11, 194||So.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Chucky Williams||SS||6'2, 207||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Richard Benjamin||FS||6'0, 210||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Terrence Ross||S||6'1, 186||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|James Sample||S||6'2, 215||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|D'Eric Culver||CB||6'0, 180||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Michael Johnson||S||6'3, 200||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
8. Circumstance vs. the secondary
With Mauldin and Marcus Smith leading a dominant pass rush, the secondary had plenty of help last year. Pass defense was an overall strength of the defense, which was particularly helpful considering Louisville opponents were usually behind and forced to pass.
The pass rush should still be pretty good, but if the line doesn't gel, and offenses are in more favorable down-and-distance situations, that will put a lot of pressure on the secondary to raise its game. And to be sure, the cornerback position is of no concern. Terell Floyd is strong, and Charles Gaines is outstanding.
But the Cards are starting over at safety with the departure of Calvin Pryor and Hakeem Smith. Jermaine Reve and Gerod Holliman saw some action as sophomores last year, and there's plenty of potential in players like Chucky Williams and Richard Benjamin. But it's hard to imagine the defense avoiding at least a little bit of a drop-off when it comes to big-play prevention.
And if the run defense is also regressing a bit ... well, that's not incredibly encouraging. There's enough talent here for Louisville to avoid becoming a bad defense, but this isn't going to be a top-10 defense this time around.
|Ryan Johnson||5'11, 199||Sr.||39||41.2||5||12||11||59.0%|
|John Wallace||6'0, 196||Jr.||80||59.6||14||4||17.5%|
|Joshua Appleby||6'3, 219||Jr.||9||63.3||3||0||33.3%|
|John Wallace||6'0, 196||Jr.||52-54||18-20||90.0%||2-4||50.0%|
|Charles Gaines||KR||5'11, 174||Jr.||10||30.1||1|
|Robert Clark||KR||5'9, 173||Sr.||9||15.8||0|
|Kai De La Cruz||PR||6'0, 186||Sr.||10||2.9||0|
|Eli Rogers||PR||5'10, 182||Sr.||10||8.2||0|
|Special Teams F/+||28|
|Field Goal Efficiency||64|
|Punt Return Efficiency||45|
|Kick Return Efficiency||40|
|Opponents' Field Goal Efficiency||83|
9. Johnson and Gaines are keepers
As good a cornerback as Charles Gaines is, he's almost as good a kick returner. Gaines and Ryan Johnson gave Louisville a couple of outstanding field position weapons. Granted, a lot of those field position gains were given away by kickoff coverage, and John Wallace was only a good place-kicker, not a great one, but this was a good special teams unit in 2013, and everybody's back. That probably means good things, huh?
2014 Schedule & Projection Factors
|20-Sep||at Florida International||122|
|8-Nov||at Boston College||69|
|22-Nov||at Notre Dame||25|
|Five-Year F/+ Rk||7.9% (39)|
|Two-Year Recruiting Rk||51|
|TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin*||17 / 10.7|
|Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.)||13 (8, 5)|
10. Four top-60 opponents
One would think that a move from the AAC to ACC would result in an upgrade in schedule strength for Louisville. And to an extent, that's true. The Cardinals do host Florida State and Miami and visit both Clemson and partial ACC member Notre Dame. That's a pretty impressive ACC welcome.
Those are also the only four projected top-60 opponents Louisville has on the docket. There are plenty of potentially tricky games -- trips to Virginia, Syracuse, and Boston College are in no way slam dunks -- but you play those types of games in the AAC, as well. Louisville's SOS numbers aren't going to improve by an extreme amount, but considering the transition at play here, that might not be a bad thing.
Petrino and his new charges get a schedule custom-made for 8-4 or 9-3, and they should be good enough to reach that. Obviously a lot of the Cardinals' fortunes depend on finding an adept quarterback, but Gardner passed his spring tests, and if he's not up to standard, there are a lot of potential replacements waiting their turns.
And the rest of the offense is going to be good enough to offset a few iffy moments at quarterback. Petrino inherits a lovely stable of receivers, not to mention some big running backs, which he preferred at Arkansas. The offense seems to have the tools he requires, and that should be good enough for Louisville to play at a top-40 level even if the defense regresses as much as it might if the line doesn't take well to transition in the short term.
Louisville brought Bobby Petrino back for one simple reason: wins. The Cardinals weren't worried about scoring PR points, just scoreboard points. And while we don't know if Petrino's going to stay two years or 10 this time, he'll do what he was brought back to town to do. There will be a little bit of transition and defensive struggle in 2014, but this is definitely one of the ACC's better teams, and that will probably be the case for as long as Petrino is in town.