The SEC Spring Meetings in beautiful, sunny Destin, Fla., have produced a flurry of Bobby Petrino stories.
The new Boss Hog told Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Tony Barnhart that leaving the Atlanta Falcons for the Arkansas job with three games left in the NFL season "was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life." Remarking on the thermonuclear blast of criticism and righteous indignation that erupted after he resigned (we hear that medical crews have been unable to remove the foam from around Pat Forde's mouth), Patrino says, "It was hard on my family. It was hard on my wife and kids, but I didn't hear a lot of it. That was probably good."
Other items of interest from the Barnhart piece:
• Petrino claims that he and Tommy Tuberville "are fine," despite the fact that Petrino secretly met with Auburn officials to discuss the War Eagle job back in 2003. (Editor's note: We're not sure we buy that.)
• The new Hog coach is not known for his sense of humor, but he did get off a nice quip when asked if his time in Atlanta was like the "bad dream" season of "Dallas": "That's not the show I thought of. Did you ever see the movie 'Misery'?"
Meanwhile, Petrino tells Joe Adams of the Knoxville News Sentinel that Arkansas "needs to be my last job. Professionally, there's no question that's how it needs to be. And that's also what I want." (Thanks to the The Slophouse blog for the link.)
Adams paints a rather bleak assessment of what could be in store for the Hogs in the near future: "Professionally, [Petrino] faces a huge challenge. The team coach Houston Nutt left behind for Ole Miss could be the worst of the West in 2008. There's also a daunting transition to be made from Arkansas' run-oriented offense to Petrino's wide-open approach that often relies on the pass to set up the run. Much of Petrino's first-year success might depend on how well quarterback Casey Dick can assimilate and execute the new offense. A pedestrian passer at best, Dick won't remind anyone of Brian Brohm, Petrino's last quarterback at Louisville."
Other Petrino items of note:
• Jim Harris of ArkansasSports360.com takes a look at an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll on Petrino.
• The Mobile Press-Register says Bobby is "still feeling his way."
• And, the Huntsville Times says Petrino "won't escape [his] past quickly."