LITTLE ROCK — Head down and crafting when LSU was comfortably ahead, Bobby Petrino's sideline tirade was unseen.
LITTLE ROCK — Head down and crafting when LSU was comfortably ahead, Bobby Petrino’s sideline tirade was unseen.
Post-game, there was buzz in the press box about his language. CBS commentator Gary Danielson said he believed the expletives were aimed at LSU coach Les Miles. He’s probably right, but for all I know he was pointing to an official, or less likely, a player. There is no way to tell from the video. Regardless, no one should condone the language.
After the fact, CBS cameras showed Petrino and most people could read his lips. Soon, his explosion was available on YouTube.
Do not blame the network or those who posted the material. Anybody with celebrity has to know that in these days of camera-equipped cell phones and other technology, somebody, somewhere is going to film any bad act and share it.
Ask Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. The Vols have sunk so low that they heartily celebrated a 27-21 overtime victory over Vanderbilt. In the locker room, Dooley was caught on video telling his players: “The one thing that Tennessee always does is kick the —— out of Vandy.”
While there is no excuse for Petrino’s language, there may be an explanation of sorts — that he was wrought with emotion at the end of a very difficult week that began with the death of one of his players. Maybe he thought Miles — who was criticized for taking a knee on four straight plays inside the Ole Miss 10 — should have considered the Garrett Uekman tragedy before kicking a field goal for a 24-point lead. Maybe somebody chop blocked a helpless defender. Who knows?
Surely, he didn’t think the Tigers were running up the score. Playing to the final gun is part of the game. Arkansas does it that way.
• Oct. 8, Arkansas was leading Auburn 31-14 when Tyler Wilson completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Johnson with 5:50 to play. With 1:40 remaining and the ball on the Arkansas 1, Wilson threw incomplete for Greg Childs.
• Nov. 12, Arkansas was leading 35-7 when Wilson threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Broderick Green with 10:58 to play. At the 7:18 mark, Brandon Mitchell to Javontee Herndon was good for 21 yards to the Tennessee 26. De’Anthony Curtis scored on the next play for 49-7.
• Nov. 19, Arkansas was leading Mississippi State 34-10 when Wilson threw incomplete into the end zone and Zach Hocker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 13:02 to play. Green scored from the 2 with 3:20 to play for 44-10.
Coach of the Year in the Southeastern Conference is a debate about expectations.
Miles, Nick Saban and Petrino were a combined 33-3 during the regular season, spectacular but no more than what was anticipated. Georgia, under Mark Richt, won the Eastern Division, but, it was written months ago that the Bulldogs had the edge because South Carolina had to play Arkansas and Georgia did not.
The choice is James Franklin, the first-year coach at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt’s 2-6 record in the league doesn’t sound like much, but it was equal to or better than five other SEC teams.
Most importantly, they competed every week, losing to Georgia, Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee by six or less. If not for an inexplicable fumble inside the Arkansas 10, Vanderbilt might have authored the upset of the year in the SEC.
And, after the OT loss to Tennessee, with bowl eligibility on the line, Vanderbilt throttled Wake Forest, 41-7.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org