Cardinal Football

Louisville Football: This Is Far From Just One Bad Year

Chris Humphrey

Bobby Petrino was asked about his future at the University of Louisville during his weekly press conference on Monday afternoon.

“I believe in myself,” Petrino said when asked if he believes he’s the guy that can get things turned around. “I believe in what I’ve been able to do as a coach. We’ll grow, and we’ll get better.”

That’s the exact answer I’d expect from a head coach in the current situation.

Petrino was also asked what he’d do if he were an administrator.

“Yeah, I would,” Petrino said when asked if he’d retain himself given where the program is right now. “I think what you see is what our record has been, what we’ve done here, what we’ve built here, where we’ve been, and understand that we had a bad year.”

Again, a predictable response.

However, surely Petrino doesn’t think the “we just had a bad year” excuse is legit. This is far from simply a bad stretch over the first eight games of the 2018 season.

Petrino’s overall record since returning is 36-24, which is a 60% win percentage.

The majority of Petrino’s wins have come against teams that have finished with a losing record. I calculated the win percentage of the teams he has faced on a year-to-year bases.

2014: 44%

2015: 38%

2016: 41%

2017: 41%

In 2014, only two of the nine teams he defeated finished with winning record.

In 2015, only two of the eight teams he defeated finished with a winning record.

In 2016, only three of the nine teams he defeated finished with a winning record.

In 2017, only three of the eight teams he defeated finished with a winning record.

If your rebuttal is “you can only play who’s on your schedule,” that is an apathetic and inattentive assessment. The level of competition matters, it’s a measuring stick for the legitimacy of a program.

Since 2014 Petrino is 9-26 against teams that finished with a winning record. It only gets worse as the competition elevates, as he is 1-11 against ranked teams. In addition, Petrino is 1-3 in bowl games being outscored 118-77.

For those that say, “It’s his first bad season”, look at this stat.

Since Louisville was ranked fifth in the playoff ranking during the 2016 season, their record is 10-14 overall and 4-9 against ACC competition. Louisville has been on a downward trend since. In addition, two of those wins came against FCS opponents.

2-10 is legitimately the proper expectation at this point and if that happens, Petrino will have won just 56% (36-28) of his games over five years.

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