Seems like every time that the University of Louisville gets a fairly successful football coach, the pundits, talking heads, impresarios and press immediately peg him for departure. Even though Charlie Strong was barely over .500 in his first two years here, his 5-0 mark with the 2012 Louisville Cardinals has speculation
and rumor that he's looking around. He's a hot commodity.
Arkansas is being mentioned. Charlie was born and raised in Arkansas. John L. Smith (SMILE!) has taken
a pre-season top 10 program and tossed it in the recycle bin in Fayetteville. Arkansas is in the SEC, the self-proclaimed, best darn conference in football. ( These promoters obviously haven't watched Kentucky play, but I digress....they're a basketball school.)
Arkansas has a checkered history of ending up with ex-Louisville coaches. It began with Tom Collen, Louisville women's basketball coach, who left the Cards to go to Fayetteville. He had two years left with Angel McCoughtry. He still went. He had the KFC YUM! Center in a couple of years to play in. He still packed up the twins and Nikki and got on the bus.
Arkansas women's basketball isn't exactly tearing up the SEC.
Collen was 88-37 in four years in the "Ville". That .707 winning % is the best in Louisville women's basketball history. He's nowhere near that with the Hogs. His departure did open the door for Jeff Walz to
take the job. I say we definitely got the best end of that deal. Walz will eventually top that .707 percentage. The only variable is time. A move to the BIG 12 wouldn't hurt, either.
I don't believe that Charlie Strong is looking to leave Louisville. His appearance on the Jim Rome show yesterday pretty much backed my philosophy up.
There will be more innuendo and speculation down the road about Charlie and other jobs. There's nothing we can really do about that...programs look to improve and go after proven, successful and trendy coaches.
Charlie is one of those.
I hope he studies the lessons of the three mentioned coaches in today's article and learns from their sagas.
Tom Jurich has provided him with pretty much everything he's asked for over the past three years. That commitment is likely to continue, as far as I can see.
There's no place like home, Charlie. Unless it's Arkansas.