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Jeff Brohm replacing Bobby Petrino seems like a no-brainer. Here are 4 pros and 2 cons

The Cardinals did the first part of the equation, and now probably shouldn’t overthink the next.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Louisville is just terrible.

The Cardinals were supposed to at least be fine on offense despite losing the transcendent Lamar Jackson. They are far from it this season, and they fully soured on Bobby Petrino, despite his albatross of a buyout, getting rid of him after the blowout loss to Syracuse.

Now it’s time for the Cardinals to do the next part of the puzzle: go after Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, a Louisville native and former Cardinals quarterback and assistant, and make him say no. No coach’s success is a certainty, but Brohm’s the clear guy for Louisville for a few reason.

Pro number one: Reviewing what Western Kentucky and Purdue were before Brohm arrived (and what WKU is since he left) shows his impact.

Brohm has taken over for Petrino, his former boss, before. He took over an eight-win Western Kentucky in 2014. He maintained that level of wins in 2014, then won 12 in 2015 and 11 in 2016. After he left and handed the program to another offensive-minded coach in Mike Sanford, the Hilltoppers have gone 6-7 and started 2018 going 1-9.

Brohm’s first Purdue team pretty shockingly made a bowl game in 2017 at 7-6. His 2018 Boilermakers lost three one-score games to start 2018 before rebounding nicely.

Brohm’s elevation of teams is clear.

Should Brohm take over for Petrino again, some continuity in scheme and terminology could be expected. He coached under Petrino from 2003 to 2006 and in 2013 at Western Kentucky. Those things bode well for a quick turnaround if one is to be made at Louisville.

Pro number two: Brohm’s offensive ingenuity, eye for talent, and local recruiting inroads.

Petrino has long been a brilliant offensive mind, no matter how bad Louisville is this season.

But in addition to having an acumen similar to Petrino’s, Brohm’s also got a big bag of tricks that he pulls from often to stun defenses.

He’s showed creative ways to get his best player, Rondale Moore, the ball. The Boilermakers’ leading receiver also leads the team in yards per carry by a wide margin.

And the fact that Moore is at Purdue is an indictment of some of Petrino’s recruiting issues.

Moore played high school football in Louisville, at Brohm’s alma mater. Moore was the highest-rated player in the state of Kentucky, but didn’t even have the Cardinals in his top six schools (he did include the Kentucky Wildcats). The Cardinals struggling at home is a much broader issue, but Moore leaving the city was a blow.

“For me, my position coach (at Louisville) and I just didn’t have that relationship,” Moore said prior to committing to Texas. “I camped twice, and I just felt like I hadn’t got that respect that I believed I deserved. ... I felt like they just recruited out-of-state guys more than the guys 10 minutes away from their home. That was just kind of disrespectful to me. Louisville was always kind of like a dream school of mine, you’d say, if I had one.”

Purdue flipped the four-star from Texas and swiped him right from the Cardinals’ backyard. He’s the highest-rated player Purdue ever signed in the 247Sports Composite era, and he’s playing to that potential under Brohm.

Brohm’s Purdue signed five of Kentucky’s top 11 recruits in 2018, while Louisville signed one, who played high school football in the city.

And one more note about Brohm’s alma mater: It’s the same one Louisville AD Vince Tyra attended as well.

Pro number three: Brohm isn’t Petrino.

We’ve got a whole tracker for the shenanigans Petrino’s pulled off at multiple organizations, including when he dumped Louisville months after a big contract in 2007. There are so many, Petrino had unusual language in his contract that bars him or his agent from negotiating without written notice given to UofL.

For now, this is probably Brohm’s most oddball moment. If it stays that way, it’s good news.

Pro number four: One cannot blame Louisville for hitting the reset button, given the state of the program.

Beyond Petrino, there’s still the stink of the Rick Pitino/Tom Jurich/Papa John era.

Petrino is the biggest link to athletic department that Louisville’s trying to put behind it. Pitino is gone amidst the FBI scandal, as is former AD Jurich, who hired Petrino twice. Mega booster Papa John Schnatter is as well. Now that Petrino’s gone, the most public ties to that era have been severed.

But why might a reset not work?

Con number one: The favored son thing doesn’t always work out, and there can be some real egg on your face if you get rebuffed.

At the intro presser, when the new coach is talking about specific local high schools and campus memories, it always seems like it’ll work out, but it can be a dangerous game. Kirby Smart, Mike Gundy, Pat Fitzgerald, and Mark Richt are coaches who improved their alma maters, but it’s just as easy to list coaches who ended up fired by their former schools.

Scott Frost can still win big at Nebraska, but for now, he’s at least the latest example of familiarity not making for automatic success. He also shows how bringing back a son of the program ratchets up the hype. Sometimes that can create unrealistic expectations. If Brohm can meet them, all’s well that ends well. If he can’t, then things’ll get messy.

Con two: What if Brohm doesn’t even say yes?

This is obviously the worst case scenario for any coach, but it’s even worse in this case because it looks like such a slam dunk.

If you get rebuffed by a coach who chooses to stay at Purdue when going after the Native Son it’s not going to be good. If that happens, it’ll leak because it would be a notable commentary of the state of the program.

For now, Brohm was asked about the Louisville job and answered it like he was supposed to.

He also pretty definitively denied any claim that Louisville is his “dream job.

Brohm, who is 42-21 in his head coaching career and 12-11 in two years at Purdue, was asked specifically if being the head coach at Louisville was his dream job and the 47-year-old former Louisville quarterback and assistant coach answered with “No, it has not.”

And that puts Louisville in a bad spot, because if they publicly take a swing at Brohm and whiff it’s going to look terrible. Things probably won’t ramp up for another couple weeks, but when they do we’ll see if Louisville can land their big fish.