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John L. continues tripping, stumbling toward unemployment line

John L Smith AP

In every sense of the word, the last couple of months for John L. Smith have been an unmitigated disaster.

Smith, hired on a 10-month contract as Arkansas’ head coach in the wake of the Bobby Petrino scandal, has seen his Razorbacks start the season 1-3, with all of the losses coming at home and two in embarrassing fashion — an overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe and a 52-0 throttling at the hands of Alabama, the former which ended with Smith not shaking hands with the winning coach and the latter prompting injured starting quarterback Tyler Wilson to label some of his teammates as quitters.

The on-field gloom and doom prompted Smith, in the aftermath of the Tide evisceration, to bizarrely demand of the media “Smile!… If not, I’m not talking!”

Off the field, Smith has filed for bankruptcy — documents showed he had just hundreds of dollars at his disposal and $25.7 million in liabilities — and, last week, flew to Idaho midweek to bury a younger brother who had passed away.  And then came Monday.

Speaking at a Little Rock Touchdown Club gathering, Smith implored those in attendance to “don’t give up on us,” punctuating his statement by proclaiming “It’s our program, it’s a state of Alabama program, it’s not one individual’s program.”

Oy.  The loquacious Smith, though, wasn’t done.

A fan in attendance asked the head coach whether he thought Petrino would coach at Kentucky or Auburn.  Instead of simply brushing off the question since, ya know, both programs currently have head coaches, Smith decided to deep-throat the bait.

“I think UK would be in there, but my best guess would be Auburn,” Smith said.

Oy, the sequel.  Yes, both AU’s Gene Chizik and UK’s Joker Phillips have come under fire this season, particularly the latter.  Smith, though, simply can’t answer a question like that and in the process add another couch or two to the raging inferno that is the Razorbacks football program.

These verbal missteps and everything else surrounding the coach would be mitigated immensely by on-field success, something that, unfortunately, has proven elusive for Smith.  In his past 23 games as a head coach — four at Arkansas, 19 at Michigan State in 2005-06 — Smith is an abysmal 6-17.

That won’t suffice at nearly any level of major college football, let alone the hyper-competitive SEC.  Given everything that’s happened the past couple of months, it’s become a matter of when, not if, the guillotine falls on Smith.

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15 Responses to “John L. continues tripping, stumbling toward unemployment line”
  1. polegojim says: Sep 25, 2012 9:51 AM

    Maybe he meant ‘we WISH it was a state of Alabama program’.

    That’s tough to defend.

    Woooo… Pig Roast… Soooie!

  2. dmvtransplant says: Sep 25, 2012 9:57 AM

    People pile on him to much, he was never suppose to be more than a band-aid. At a lower level he’d probably be a great coach, just like the guy at UK also.

  3. wabbitslayer says: Sep 25, 2012 10:30 AM

    He’s the head coach of an SEC football team. If the team is lousy, he should get piled on. He left Weber State for the big bucks and big glamour of being the head football coach at the University of Arkansas, and he’s getting it and all that comes with it.

    Although….since his creditors will get most all of his money thru the bankruptcy trustee, looks like he’s getting all the extra stress without seeing much of the extra money. Should have stayed at Weber State.

  4. thepancreas says: Sep 25, 2012 11:45 AM

    If the NCAA wanted to do something right, they would force into law a provision that makes John L. a 1-A football coach for life.

    In fact, make it such that, John L has to rotate through each BCS conference coaching at least 2 different teams.

    This kind of entertainment simply can’t be missed.

  5. texasbornlsufan says: Sep 25, 2012 11:48 AM

    Poor little Pigs!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. houndofthebaskervols says: Sep 25, 2012 11:54 AM

    LOL What a hopeless idiot.

    First of all, band-aid or not, John L was auditioning for a full time job…he failed….miserably. And has made it worse with these very public gaffes that just seem to get worse in their magnitude. I mean Rule 101 says you dont speculate about other coaches in the league, or anywhere for that matter, being replaced, particularly not by a disgraced coach that you are subbing for!

    OK Arkansas, now listen up! You got Phil Fulmer’s phone number, his agent is in Memphis…MAKE THE CALL OK! FULMER TO THE RESCUE!!!!!!! ha ha

  7. sabatimus says: Sep 25, 2012 11:56 AM

    “Guillotine” is a pretty poor choice of words given his brother just died.

  8. houndofthebaskervols says: Sep 25, 2012 1:33 PM

    @ sabatimus

    “Guillotine” is a pretty poor choice of words given his brother just died.

    I didnt know his brother was beheaded? Dumb comment.

  9. bamajs says: Sep 25, 2012 2:10 PM

    No, John L was right–Alabama has owned Arkansas for a long time…. Leave the man alone!

  10. thebigturds says: Sep 25, 2012 2:17 PM

    You can’t make a race horse out of a jackass

  11. Deb says: Sep 25, 2012 2:26 PM

    Good grief. Maybe it would have been wiser to just make one of the Arkansas coordinators interim HC. He couldn’t have done any worse.

    For their sakes, hope neither Arkansas nor Kentucky hires Petrino. Look what he leaves in his wake. I wouldn’t gamble on him.

    College football–especially in the SEC–can be a cold, cruel world of “What have you done for me lately?” But Auburn played an impressive game Saturday night–particularly on defense. Seems they could give Chizik at least one more year after this season.

  12. philliesblow says: Sep 25, 2012 3:24 PM

    He’s gone from John “Louisville” Smith to John “(E) Lansing” Smith to just plain John “Looney” Smith.

  13. abrellbama says: Sep 25, 2012 6:59 PM

    You know, this past week was very rough on John L Smith and people should give the man a break. His baby brother died on Monday, he had to fly out for the funeral on Thursday but before he did, he had to have a press conference because the press were demanding one, then he attended his brother’s funeral, and had to fly back the same day for the game on Saturday and of course they lose. If I were JLS, I would NOT have held the press conference before and after and would have told them “I am grieving so leave me in peace this week” but instead he answers questions and of course get bombed by everyone. I am a Bama fan but enough is enough. Leave the man alone right now and let him grieve over the loss of his baby brother.

  14. florida727 says: Sep 26, 2012 7:28 AM

    I think this applies, so I’m going to throw it out there: some people just fall in love with the limelight and don’t think about every word being recorded and scrutinized. I have 2,000+ hours of time in front of a television camera, and I can tell you two things about my experience hosting a nationally-seen show… 1) it’s the biggest ego trip in the world, and 2) I couldn’t be happier that I no longer do it. It changed me as a person, and definitely NOT for the better. That’s what I see in the little bit I’ve witnessed of John L. on tape: he clearly loves the attention of being a head football coach at a prominent school in a prominent conference; all of it to his own demise. He won’t last long unless someone advises him to change and remember what his day job is.

  15. 24pointlead says: Sep 26, 2012 8:29 AM

    He would be the perfect replacement if Joe Biden goes down.

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