Earlier this week, Arkansas’ athletic director unequivocally stated that, despite a 1-3 start to the season, John L. Smith would finish the season as the Razorbacks’ head coach.
After yet another embarrassing loss in conference play, one has to wonder how long Jeff Long will be able to cling to that noble yet short-sighted notion.
For the first time this season, UA traveled away from their friendly Fayetteville confines. Only the venue changed, though, as it was lather-rinse-repeat for the Hogs as they were embarrassed in Alabama-like fashion by Texas A&M, a 58-10 throttling that further drove home the point that Smith is walking the Green Coaching Mile and hurtling toward a ride on the unemployment lightning.
The worst part of the day for the Razorbacks, though, wasn’t even the final score or margin of defeat or even the fact it was their fourth loss in five attempts in a season that began with a top-ten ranking and BcS title hopes. Rather, it was a Hogs football team that walked, looked, acted like a squad that has completely and totally given up on their soon-to-be-former head coach.
UA actually took a three-point lead into the second quarter in College Station, then proceeded to do what quarterback Tyler Wilson accused his teammates of doing during the course of the 52-0 debacle against Alabama two weeks ago: quit. Flat gave up in giving up 51 straight points to the Aggies, giving up over 700 yards of total offense.
It’s one thing to lose. It’s one thing to lose your head coach to an offseason sex scandal. It’s another animal entirely to get embarrassed while simultaneously quitting on the disgraced head coach’s replacement.
So, would replacing a 10-month rental with an interim head coach for the remainder of the season even remotely turn things around for the Hogs? Maybe not, but, with John L. on the sidelines, the prospect of things getting much, much worse in this train-wreck of a season are very much real.
For that and that alone, UA should pull the trigger now and put its fan base and its football players out of their collective misery.