Welp, the John L. Smith era was fun while it lasted because it’s very, very doubtful at this point that his 10-month contract will be renewed.
Sun Belt member Louisiana-Monroe didn’t just go toe-to-toe with No. 8 Arkansas, and it didn’t just take the Razorbacks to overtime. ULM actually won 34-31 on a 16-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kolton Browning.
It’s about as big of a shock as the young 2012 season has given the college football world.
Arkansas’ BCS championship hopes? Gone. SEC West hopes? Still alive obviously, but it’s tough to think of the Razorbacks as a serious divisional contender now. It didn’t help — that’s putting it mildly — that quarterback Tyler Wilson had to leave the game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury (CBS Sports Network initially reported a broken collarbone, but that’s been retracted). Additionally, cornerback Tevin Mitchel was taken from the field on a stretcher after a helmet-to-helmet collision with teammate Alonzo Highsmith in the fourth quarter.
But Arkansas allowed ULM to hang around long before its playmakers had to leave the game. The Warhawks threw for over 400 yards against UA’s defense and controlled the time of possession by a roughly 2-to-1 ratio.
It was about as disastrous a scenario as you can imagine for Arkansas. Just an absolute stunning game.
To top it off, the Razorbacks have top-ranked Alabama at home next week on CBS. You know Nick Saban won’t be underestimating the Hogs (or, just don’t write that he will), but you have to wonder if Arkansas was underestimating ULM looking ahead to that very game against the Tide.