But. Let's examine it anyway because I have a theory--well, a hypothesis.
Point 1: It's not exactly a secret that Bob has commitment issues even if naive Louisville fans have deluded themselves into thinking that Bob has changed.
Actually, wait, let's back up. That's not fair. They haven't deluded themselves; they've allowed themselves to be deluded by the fangless local media, which is controlled by their beltless, collarless athletics director. What they don't know, what the rest of us do, is that middle-aged men in positions of power aren't given to change. Bob wanted the Kentucky job as badly as I want the Gisele Bundchen Oil Boy job, and buddy, that's pretty effing bad. Do you think for one second he ever intended to honor any contract Mitch Barnhart could've given him? Maybe--maybe he did intend to fulfill a contract--at the time. WKU believed he did. But here's the thing: it's easy to be faithful when no one else wants you. It's when the better job and the hot blonde volleyball player comes along when loyalty is truly tested, and if Bob has proven anything over the last decade it's that he can be trusted to be untrustworthy--a common trait among the disingenuous and self-serving.
Point 2: Okay, so we've pointed out that Bob is disingenuous and self-serving; additionally, it is unlikely, at least on an anecdotal level, that a man his age, in a position of power, is, either by nature or inclination, willing and/or able to change his behavior--especially when he's now been rewarded for it in the form of two more head coaching jobs. I think it's then reasonable to take the stance that the moment a bigger job comes open (and there will be several after this season), Bob, based on his track record, will leave for that job--assuming anyone wants him.
But. Louisville looks kinda sh!tty right now. Not Wake Forest sh!tty (about ten points better), but still--sh!tty. Sure, Devonta Parker is hurt. Sure, the quarterback situation is still fluid. Sure, once he gets that figured out, Louisville will be rolling. Right?
Well, let's take a look. Charlie Strong didn't leave the cupboard bare. He was recruiting at a level previously unseen at Louisville, and Petrino has recruited like a man who is having a hard time convincing mothers to send their sons to come play for him. So, the talent level isn't getting better at Louisville--it's getting worse; moreover, it's getting worse at a time when the competition is getting better. While the ACC is crap this year, it's still a major step up from the fake conferences in which Louisville has played every single year of its football existence.
Reasonably, one could then presume that Louisville's future value might not appraise for as much as their fan base (and only their fan base) once thought.
Point 3: It won't be long before Jurich realizes his misstep. Yeah, look, I don't like Jurich because of his (J. Edgar) Hooverian grip on the local media, but there's no debating his effectiveness. Still, I contend he panicked in hiring Petrino. I said it at the time, and I stand by it now: you can't go home again. When Charlie Strong left, Louisville was at its peak desirability. They had talent banked, they were joining the ACC and Sally's Spray Tan and Neck Tattoos had just announced its Floyd St. Grand Opening. Instead of taking his time and scouring the national landscape, which was rich in its bounty last year, Jurich took out his famous (and, evidently uncreative) shortlist (as if every AD doesn't have a shortlist) and called Bob. I can only assume he did this because he views Louisville as a destination job, and he wanted a coach he could bully into staying for a long time (even though I emphatically posit Petrino ain't that guy).
That's dumb, and I'd be willing to gamble Jurich knows it. It's another example of Louisville Cardinal Puffery, wherein they have grossly overestimated their station in college football. It's not a destination job. It's a stepping stone job--and there's nothing wrong with that. There are only a few destination jobs in college football, and they all have one thing in common: black and white photos of national championship teams.
Louisville fans eschew history at their peril because by acknowledging its importance they're simultaneously admitting they don't have any. Instead, they ignore the role past success plays in current equity. They're trying to skip the whole middle step of building a college football program--the only one that really matters: a long, demonstrated history of winning.
POWER HYPOTHESIS: Desirable Job U will come open, and Petrino will bolt, with Jurich's encouragement--maybe even his brokering. Or will he? The problem for Louisville is that the jobs that are likely to come open (namely Michigan and Florida) will be swimming in a different pool than Louisville, and after that the pickins look pretty slim. The other problem for Louisville is that no one will want Petrino because right now no one wants Petrino. Being a disingenuous jerk when you're winning is excusable--some might even call it Belichikian. Being a disingenuous jerk when you're losing is a mortal sin--Kentucky fans call it Clyding.
So, Louisville will either be stuck with a lame duck coach or they'll hire a fractal version of the coach they should've hired when Strong left. Either way, it's like :)
UPDATE: I took out the last paragraph because it was wandering and impertinent to the thesis. Blogs, man.
Next up: Don't Be Stupid, You Morons: Power Advice to UK Players walking around with an air pistol