John L Smith: Nice Guy, Not Right Fit for Arkansas

By Allen Faul
Beth Hall-US Presswire

Someone needs to step in and do the right thing, whether that is University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long or John L Smith, himself; the time has come to end Smith’s tenure as head coach of the Hogs.

Smith has experienced plenty of criticism, and deservedly so after the Razorbacks struggles early in 2012, but it wasn’t supposed to be this way.  After an afternoon Harley ride rattled the world of Arkansas football, Smith wanted to be the pillar of stability in an unstable situation, leaving his post at Weber State.  Coaching many current Razorbacks as a special teams coach in the three previous seasons, Smith felt a responsibility, an obligation to do right by the kids he stood on the sidelines with.

The intentions were good, but sometimes the story doesn’t always have the fairy tale ending.  Sometimes it doesn’t even have a fairy tale beginning, unless you consider a win over Jacksonville State University a signature victory, which for those of you keeping score at home it’s not.

While critics will point to the University of Louisiana Monroe loss, that game was not the biggest blunder.  No, it was the way his team failed to respond, quitting against the defending national champions, the University of Alabama.  It was the way he failed to rally his team after those two losses as the Razorbacks dropped their third straight game Saturday evening to Rutgers University.

Monday afternoon things didn’t get any easier for Smith when he spoke to the Little Rock Touchdown Club.  Smith looked as if the season, the Razorbacks struggles were beginning to wain on him.  Then he let it slip that this is a “state of Alabama program.” One little problem: Smith coaches the Razorbacks of Arkansas’ flagship university.

It is obvious to see that while his intentions may have been good at the start, Smith was in over his head when he was handed the keys to one of the SEC’s football powers.  Now is just the time when Arkansas needs to cut its losses.

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