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CLAY HENRY: Bobby Petrino joining Barry Odom at UNLV interesting

Combination of Petrino, Odom, Las Vegas, stadium could put Rebels football on the national map quickly.



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Don’t completely dismiss the first glance at Missouri State coach Bobby Petrino as the new offensive coordinator at UNLV, per reports.

The story comes from a report by Chris Low of ESPN.

Some, mostly Arkansas fans still butt-hurt over the way he left the Razorbacks in the spring of 2012 will point out he’s not in the big time.

Hold that thought.

This may be one of these deals in reverse like new Rebels coach Barry Odom had at Arkansas where he essentially had complete control of the defense while coach Sam Pittman dealt with the media and all that other stuff.

If you don’t know it, a head football coach these days is more of a CEO and public relations person than doing a lot of drawing X’s and O’s on a legal pad or white board.

Plus UNLV’s home stadium is Allegiant Stadium, which is also home to the Las Vega Raiders. Having a guy that can light up scoreboards like a slot machine hitting jackpots on a regular basis will draw fans and, ultimately, television (which will also come to a really good show).

Odom is a fairly low-key guy. Petrino is, too, unless it’s game day and he’s on the sidelines. Then there’s a lot of running and yelling involved, but this time he only has to deal with half the team.

Petrino, who is probably a completely different person than the trauma that resulted from that motorcycle trip to Elkins on April’s Fool’s Day.

Speak for yourself, but that’ over and done with. It’s a family issue and if they have worked things out (and seem to have gotten past it), the time is now for everybody else to move along, too.

It’s doubtful Greg Sankey and the SEC office threw up any roadblocks on the reported deal of Petrino going to Texas A&M.

When you think about it, how long could he and Jimbo Fisher actually make it work? That’s two guys with big egos about offense and was just a train wreck waiting to arrive at the junction on the tracks.

In Las Vegas, Petrino will probably be the offensive coach, Odom the defense and if they can round up the players it could all work pretty well.

They are in the Mountain West conference but with a new round of teams going everywhere with possibly new conferences being created, an exciting team in Las Vegas can certainly attractive.

Petrino is coming off three seasons at the FCS level as head coach of Missouri State. He went 18–15 with the Bears, making the NCAA FCS football tournament in his first two years, but then going 5–6 in 1922.

What nobody mentions is he came back to Fayetteville and the Bears out-played the Hogs for three quarters before running out of gas.

Yeah, they can build a team that might not challenge today’s College Football Playoff with four teams, but the move to 12 opens a door that’s easier to slip inside.

Defensive coordinators might not want to face a Petrino offense in January.

Especially if he finds some key players.


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