That's why he readily admits that he and his staff have been preparing the No. 14 Razorbacks (3-0, 0-0) for this Saturday's SEC opener at No. 2 Alabama (3-0, 0-0) since the summer.
"A year ago it was Georgia," Petrino said. "You always have that week when you're back in school and you don't have a game. So generally we'll take that week and you teach your players to go through game preparation. You practice a regular Tuesday practice, regular Wed and regular Thursday and you game plan. This year we chose to do it for the Alabama game."
There was no attempt to hide what he was doing from the players according to Petrino.
"They understood what we were doing, yeah," Petrino said. "They understood exactly what we were doing."
Alabama has dismissed Kent State, won at Penn State and hammered North Texas (41-0) so far this season.
The Razorbacks are well aware that Alabama is a huge step up in competition from their wins over Missouri State (51-7), New Mexico (52-3) and Troy (38-28).
"It's real ball," Arkansas tailback Ronnie Wingo said.
Arkansas safety Tramain Thomas said the Razorback players have basically been looking forward to this game since the Crimson Tide rallied from a 20-6 deficit to win 24-20 in Fayetteville last season.
"Pretty much since last year's game we have been wanting to get back at these guys and we have the opportunity and now we have to seize the opportunity," Thomas said.
As usual, the Crimson Tide have one of the nation's best defense, something Alabama head coach Nick Saban prides himself on.
"It's challenging," Petrino said. "They're very good at what they do. First and foremost, they are very, very well coached, technically. They don't make a lot of mistakes. They know what they are doing in their press coverages, their off coverage. Their linebackers understand where they are supposed to be. You have to go earn everything. You have to go execute, block them, throw the ball, catch it and take care of yourself, execute yourself because they are not going to give you any cheap ones."
Petrino does not have a win against Saban at Arkansas, losing all three of his match-ups with the Alabama coach.
But it made it clear he was not looking for a win for himself, but one for his team.
"It's not a personal standpoint," Petrino said. "But for our program and for our FB team, that's a win that we need. We have not beat Alabama yet. And we certainly need to do that. More importantly we need to start off the conference with a victory."
After the Razorbacks' loss in Tuscaloosa two seasons ago, Petrino bluntly said he didn't think his players went in thinking they had a chance to win the contest.
"I really felt like we learned a lot from that game," Petrino said. " Even though we were, you know, hyped up, acting like we were emotionally ready to play and excited about the opportunity, I think deep down we didn't believe we would win the game.
"What happens then is you see a lot of people do the same thing against Alabama," Petrino added. "You don't execute and do the same thing that you normally you do. You drop passes. You overthrow a guy wide open. You trip on a line. It's just, you're out of your comfort zone and you don't play football the way you can."
Certainly the close game last year showed the gap had diminished between the two programs.
"I think last year's game has to help us some in our confidence and certainly the way we came out in that game," Petrino said. "But this is a new team. We've got to go show and prove it to each other that we believe we can win the game."
Arkansas played last Saturday without three starters – wide receivers Greg Childs (grandmother's death) and Jarius Wright (strained knee) and defensive end Jake Bequette (hamstring).
Petrino updated their conditions on Monday.
"I think we came out alright from the game," Petrino said. "Definitely Greg Childs will be back. J. Wright got some work in the other night. And Jake Bequette has made tremendous improvement. Not sure what his availability is for practice tomorrow yet."
This will be the first big start of Tyler Wilson's career at Arkansas and his coach believes he will be ready.
"I think he's ready," Petrino said. "When you look at his first three games, he came out and executed well with the exception of really the parts of the second half the other night. I think when you look at his stats and his percentage of completions, the way he's throwing the ball, taking care of it, yards he's producing. The one thing we understand here is our standards are very high. Our expectations are very high. We expect to go score every time we get the ball. I think overall he's done a nice job."
There has been some talk among fans about his yelling at Wilson after some bad plays on Saturday.
"He just really blew his technique," Petrino said. "He brought his back foot around and didn't do what he normally does throwing the ball. He was way off balance. I was just trying to make sure he understood you need to set, carry the ball high and throw the ball like you're supposed to."
He noted that he knows exactly what he is doing while bringing his quarterback along.
"You always consider how you coach different guys," Petrino said. "Sometimes you coach them hard for a reason. It helps them later on in the season."
Petrino said he was aware that Alabama likely has held some stuff back for the Arkansas game and was asked if his team had indeed done the same.
"You always wonder that, don't you?" Petrino said with a smile.