Since Louisville’s dismissal of Bobby Petrino a couple of weeks ago, I’ve run pretty much the full gamut of reactions. And who wouldn’t, when your team’s head coach has been the known target from Day 1?
Last year, I was on a business trip to Germany when Twitter rumors started flying that Tennessee had signed Jeff Brohm away from Purdue. I was jetlagged to Hell and my initial reaction was less than rational (the number of F-bombs thrown would have made the writers of The Big Lebowski blush).
One has to understand just how starved for success Purdue football supporters were. Prior to Brohm arriving, Purdue was in full tailspin mode. Brohm has brought some semblance of stability back to West Lafayette. Even if he ends up a .500 coach, the quality of recruiting has returned to at least average levels. Attendance in Ross-Ade has jumped back to the late Joe Tiller days. And the Boilermakers didn’t just eke past Ohio State as the have in Harbor’s past, they blew the doors off Urban Meyer and Co. Things are looking up.
So now what?
The day has come and passed that a certain Indy sports radio announcer (not-so) boldly proclaimed on Twitter that Brohm would be announced as head coach at Louisville (He almost immediately hedged against this). That would have been extremely dumb for Louisville, as his buyout drops another million in December. Twitter is again aflutter with speculation that the Cards have or will be making their offer to return one of their favorite sons home and turn around a program that has basically collapsed after losing their once-in-a-generation talented QB.
The reasons for him to head south of the Ohio River have been stated and restated time and again. He grew up there, he played there, he was an assistant there, and he still owns a house in the area. Every emotional reason points to him going home.
And yet, the coachspeak is strong. Brohm has called it pure speculation. He’s stated that he’s happy at Purdue, that Purdue leadership has shown him a vision of the future (that may or may not include another hefty raise), he is rebuilding the talent base back to at least the middle of the B1G, and he has a Top 25 recruiting class with more stars than have been seen around West Lafayette in awhile. Things around here aren’t too shabby.
So where do we go from here? Much like last year, Jeff’s brother led a meeting with the players while he headed off on a recruiting trip. I highly anticipate little to no news over the next week. The buyout drops by a million in December, so it would be dumb from a fiscal standpoint for the Cardinals to sign him before then.
For now, all the Boilermaker faithful can do is sit back and wait. If Brohm does indeed leave, the rebuild momentum definitely takes a hit but AD Mike Bobinski has now shown that he’s not afraid to spend some coin on a name that can keep the trend pointing up.
In the meantime, I’m done speculating. My brain hurts too much from scrolling the Twitter stream.