Texas A&M Offensive Coordinator, Bobby Petrino has plenty of history with Alabama Football. He has coached Auburn, Arkansas and Louisville teams against the Crimson Tide, going back to the 2002 season.
A few times Petrino has also been the center of media attention for activities off a football field. There is no point in rehashing the mess he got himself into in Arkansas, other than to say the least of it was a bad motorcycle wreck.
More interesting was in 2003, with Auburn and Petrino and a late-night, clandestine meeting that came to be called JetGate. Auburn wanted to fire Tommy Tuberville and hire Petrino to replace him. Petrino agreed to what was to be a secret meeting that took place at an airport well outside Louisville. Later it was learned, that Auburn power boosters arrived in a private plane, close to midnight. Purportedly, Auburn offered Petrino the job. Petrino wavered and did not commit. Soon afterward, the meeting was no longer a secret. Quickly the Auburn attempt became known as a rogue operation conducted without administrative approval. The backlash against Auburn was so great, that Petrino stayed at Louisville and Tuberville gained a weird level of job security.
More on JetGate can be found here.
Getting back to football, Bobby Petrino has always been respected as a high-level offensive coach. Now, late in a checkered career, that reputation is intact. His record against Alabama Football teams though, has never come close to matching an ‘Offensive Guru’ label.
Petrino’s only success against the Crimson Tide came in 2002 when he was the Auburn OC. The Tigers beat Alabama that season, 17-7, in a game made ugly by penalties and poor execution. It took the Crimson Tide almost 37 minutes to score its only points. Auburn was not anything special on offense either, but the unranked Tigers were never in danger of losing to the No. 9 ranked Crimson Tide.
Petrino vs. Alabama Football 2008-2011
The 2008 Alabama vs. Arkansas game is the most interesting of the four contests. Kevin Steele was the Tide’s DC in 2007. In 2008, Nick Saban promoted Kirby Smart to DC, with Steele retaining a key role of overseeing the Crimson Tide defense and also coaching inside linebackers.
Arkansas lost to Alabama 49-14 in 2008. Petrino’s offense was no match for the Alabama defense, with the Hogs completing just 24 of 46 passes. Two of the 46 Arkansas passes turned into Alabama pick-six touchdowns.
In the following three seasons. Petrino’s Arkansas teams challenged the Tide just once, in 2010 when the No. 1 Crimson Tide beat No. 10 Arkansas, 24-20. The 2009 game was a 35-7 Alabama win and 2011 was a 38-14 Crimson Tide win.
On Saturday afternoon, the Crimson Tide defense may not be a dragon Petrino must slay. That is good for the Aggies because, against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Bobby Petrino is no dragon-slayer.