Posted: 12/11/2012 10:23:31 PM
Everyone laughed at Gus Malsahn for taking a Sun Belt job. One year later he's the HC in the SEC. It seemed to work for Hugh Freeze as well, another SEC HC from the Sun Belt.
I think that Petrino will be just fine. The Sun Belt Conference is on the rise. Just look at what their teams accomplished this year.
Arkansas State averaged over 480 ypg on the way to a conference title.
Louisiana-Monroe won at Arkansas of the SEC.
Western Kentucky won at Kentucky of the SEC.
Middle Tennessee won at Georgia Tech.
Louisiana- Lafayette was leading Florida 20-13 with 1:41 to go in Gainesville before giving up 14 points including a blocked punt returned for a td with 00:02 left as they lost 27-20.
North Texas gave Kansas State their closest home game of the year, losing 35-21.
Troy had two different SEC teams on the ropes before finally losing 55-48 at Tennessee and 30-24 at Mississippi State.
They will lose FIU and North Texas next year but will get FBS new comers Georgia State and Texas State who beat Houston 30-13 and hung 55 on Louisiana Tech. I would think that the Sun Belt will expand to 12 teams in 2014 (maybe Georgia Southern and App.State?) and have a conference championship game.
Maybe this is not a "Big Time" coaching job but there is no shame in coaching at Western Kentucky to get yourself back into the FBS scene.
And if things don't get better for Charlie Weiss at Kansas he could paint his body red and join Petrino in Bowling Green as that Hilltopper mascot thing.