John Clay: Bobby Petrino proves he's still got it

jclay@herald-leader.comSeptember 2, 2014 

Random notes:

Say what you will about the new Bobby Petrino or the old Bobby Petrino, or the little bit of both Bobby Petrinos, but the guy can still coach.

As clearly demonstrated Monday night, Louisville will be just fine under Petrino's guidance. Will Gardner will continue to improve because Petrino's quarterbacks always improve. The U of L offense was without Devante Parker and Michael Dyer, after all, and still managed to move the football.

We cast a wary eye at Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, more bombast than brilliant when performing his act at Georgia, but ex-coach Charlie Strong recruited well on that side of the ball, so the Cards should be just fine there, as well.

That being said, we should be careful not to paint with a broad brush after one game, though we usually do.

Texas A&M is not as good as it looked against South Carolina. Nor is South Carolina as horrific as it appeared while being steamrolled by Texas A&M. Vanderbilt won't commit seven turnovers every game. Georgia's Todd Gurley won't produce 293 total yards every game, though he might. And so on.

Say this for the new College Football Playoff, it is forcing highly regarded teams to play other highly regarded teams, and the sport is much better for this new development.

College basketball coaches will tell you strength of schedule is a real deal.

On that note, we must say we are very much looking forward to Michigan State at Oregon on Saturday. Michigan State plays old rock-em-sock-em defense. Oregon plays space-age offense. Worlds collide.

On behalf of those who regularly cover Kentucky football, I'd like to thank Mark Stoops for playing Matt Elam on Saturday, which now gives us the green light to talk to the entertaining freshman defensive tackle on a regular basis.

Stoops' rule is that after Media Day, true freshmen are off limits to the media until they see action.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended six games, fined $500,000 and, probably most painful to him, is not allowed to tweet.

How is it possible to root so hard against someone as a tennis player (John McEnroe) but love that same person as a television broadcaster (John McEnroe)?

It was amusing to read that Alabama Coach Nick Saban told the media on Monday it needed to "fess up" and admit it was wrong in criticizing Saban's hiring of Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator.

Truth is, most media considered the coupling not so much as wrong, but as odd. Then again, Alabama did score 33 points last Saturday.

Nearly lost in last weekend's onslaught of opening games was Western Kentucky piling up a ridiculous 708 total yards in a 59-31 win over Bowling Green.

New coach Jeff Brohm was promptly added to some athletic director's "must watch" lists.

Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill has let it be known that he wants to be called "Kenny Trill" not "Kenny Football" after the previous Aggie quarterback.

Willie Cauley-Stein was wearing "Trill" apparel well before anyone had heard of Kenny Hill.

My NFL divisional champion predictions: Patriots, Colts, Bengals, Broncos, Eagles, Saints, Bears, Seahawks. Wild cards: Steelers, Chiefs, Packers, 49ers.

Super Bowl: Patriots over Saints.

Quote of the week comes from Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason, a fifth-year senior who proved after the Dogs' 45-21 win over Clemson that he has gained something from his college education when he said, "I do have the ability, when someone fat is chasing me, to kick it into gear."

John Clay: 859-231-3226.E-mail: @johnclayiv.

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