Bobby Petrino has emerged as a candidate to be Texas A&M's next offensive coordinator, according to 247Sports' Chris Hummer. The former coach of Arkansas, Louisville and the Atlanta Falcons is expected to interview with the Aggies in the coming days. Petrino, 61, just finished his third season leading Missouri State of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher fired offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey following a 5-7 season -- Fisher's fifth with the program. This year marked Fisher's first losing effort in 13 seasons as a head coach at Florida State and Texas A&M, and his offense was .
The Aggies ranked 94th nationally in total offense, 102nd in scoring offense and 114th in time of possession. Dickey did not call plays -- a role that Fisher has typically maintained even as a head coach -- but took the fall for the team's offensive struggles. A partnership between Petrino and Fisher would pair two offensive minds who rose to prominence during the late 1990s and early 2000s but have come upon hard times as of late.
Petrino's final team at Louisville in 2018 ranked 108th in total offense, averaged just 19.8 points per game and finished 2-10. After a year away from coaching, Petrino resurfaced at Missouri State and led the Bears to FCS playoff appearances in his first two seasons, though this year's squad finished 5-6. Petrino last worked as an offensive coordinator at Auburn in 2002.
Fisher to relinquish play-calling duties?
As a former NFL coach and prominent college coach with stints at both levels of Division I, Petrino would surely want to put his unique stamp on Texas A&M's offense. The chances of him leaving a coaching gig -- even at the FCS level -- for Texas A&M only for Fisher to continue calling plays seem unlikely.
Arkansas fielded potent offenses in Petrino's heyday, with the 2010 squad averaging 482.5 yards per game during a 10-win season that culminated in a Sugar Bowl appearance. By comparison, the Aggies averaged just 360.9 yards per game this season and did not reach 30 points against an FBS opponent until an upset win over LSU in the finale.
While the crumbling of Petrino's second tenure at Louisville in 2018 is concerning, that may be more of an indictment on his ability to run a program as opposed to his ability to call plays and orchestrate an offense. In Missouri State's near-upset of Arkansas this season, Petrino schemed his squad to 409 yards, 27 points and 21 first downs as massive underdogs in a hostile environment.
An attractive job
If Fisher is willing to relinquish control of the offense, the Texas A&M offensive coordinator job should be attractive because of the roster talent. Though the Aggies have been hit hard by attrition via the transfer portal since season's end, there likely won't be a shortage of quality talent for the new OC.
Jut this week, the nation's No. 1 running back running back prospect, Rueben Owens, flipped his commitment from Louisville Conner Weigman showed promise down the stretch after beginning his true freshman season third on the depth chart. The former five-star prospect and No. 22 overall player from the Class of 2022 threw for eight touchdowns without an interception in five appearances. Though he had inefficient outings, such as a 14 for 36 performance in a loss at Auburn, he also showed flashes of brilliance. Weighman passed for 338 yards and four touchdowns in a loss to Ole Miss and completed 12 of 18 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns in the LSU victory.. Though quarterback play was an issue for the Aggies this season,