My take, in a very condensed way, is that this is a good thing for the team. Bobby Petrino didn't make adjustments, didn't seem to care all that much about his players and certainly had no interpersonal skills. He will also be remembered as the coach who presided over one of--if not the--worst season in the history of the Atlanta Falcons, and then bolted. There's also no buyout clause in his contract, might I add.
Bobby Petrino, you're a huge jerk.
Now what, you ask? I don't know. There'll be an interim coach for the next three games, and then the Falcons ought to start looking in earnest again. While they're at it, they should fire Rich McKay, who has quite simply run out of chances to turn this team around. A whole new regime (minus maybe defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who I like) is necessary here. It's pretty clear in retrospect that Petrino and McKay were ill-equipped to deal with this, but I had reasonably high hopes coming into this season.
All gone now, of course. If the team never hires a hotshot college coach again, it'd be way too soon. Petrino couldn't deliver any of his promises to the fans or the team and now gets to slink off to a job he really wants a lot richer. Any fans who are happy for him are, in my humble opinion, completely misguided. He didn't give a damn about any of us. I wouldn't bother to follow him with any particular interest.
Very few franchises, if any, have been through what we've been through this year. I suggest we band together as we've always done through the last three games. Watch 'em with friends and have a couple brews. Take the offseason to throw darts at a picture of Petrino's face. I can't promise anyone that next season will be any better, but it sure as hell can't be much worse.
Good riddance to a bad coach who lied and bumbled his way through the season. I'm eager to see what a fresh start can bring this team.
Update [2007-12-11 21:0:10 by Dave the Falconer]: Jeff Schultz of the AJC basically calls Petrino out as a wuss and a tool. You're preaching to the choir, Jeff.
Update [2007-12-11 22:54:53 by Dave the Falconer]: I want to thank everyone who has posted tonight, from the fans of other teams who are being very supportive to our own fans, who are taking this remarkably well. We've got the world's greatest support group here on SBNation, and it certainly makes it worth calling Petrino names.