Even after blowing a massive lead at home and losing in humiliating fashion to Louisiana-Monroe (who?), even after losing four straight straight games to open the season at 1-4, including a 52-zip loss to rival Alabama, Arkansas interim coach John L. Smith reportedly feels ‘optimistic’ he’ll be retained for the 2013 college football season.
“I’m the most optimistic guy you could imagine,” Smith said. “So, I’m always optimistic. I’m optimistic on us going to Starkville and getting a win this weekend. The other stuff can take care of itself. I’m not overly worried about any of that.”
In fact, one can be sure that whether or not Smith is serious in stating that he has managed to remain ‘optimistic’ regarding the disaster that has been the 2012 football season, Hogs fans are not at all laughing.
Like a dumpster fire (we are trying to make this part of popular culture, just go with it), the Razorbacks season has been just horrible enough where you cannot look away, but no one is actually going to get hurt.
Unless, of course, you’re riding around on a motorcycle with a girl half your age only a little while before the season kicks off.
The reason Smith has been at the helm of an SEC football program this season in the first place is because former coach Bobby Petrino had read a few too many headlines regarding how great he was. Petrino, feeling like he could do no wrong, brought a 25-year old intern onto a motorcycle with him and promptly crashed and burned, literally and figuratively.
After spending several years as an assistant to Petrino, Smith was tabbed as his replacement in the scramble to put somebody in charge before the season began.
About a month ago, athletic director Jeff Long reiterated the fact that Smith would at least make it through the season after being signed to a 10-month head coaching contract. Beyond that time frame, which is only two games away now, all Long said was that it would be apparent as to whether or not Smith was the choice moving forward.
The vast majority of the fan base, having been witness to said dumpster fire, would seem to think that the decision has been made, but Smith, in all of his glorious ‘optimism’, seems to feel differently.
“That’s way over my head, mentally,” Smith said. “I have trouble just concentrating on today and this part of our season and where we are. I’m going to love every day that we go do the practice field, because that’s the best part of my day and being around those guys is what it’s all about. And thank God I’ve had the opportunity to do that.
“I’m just knocking on wood, stretch it as far as we want or as far as we can.”
With games against Mississippi State and LSU remaining for the 4-6 Razorbacks, Arkansas is in very real danger of falling out of bowl contention for the first time in four seasons.
Complicating matters for Smith is the fact that he recently detailed for reporters his bankruptcy filings: The former head coach at both Michigan State and Louisville is over $40 million in debt following several failed real estate holdings in Kentucky.
From the sound of it all, Smith has simply been ignoring his personal and professional problems for quite some time.
Definitely keep that up, Smith, it seems to be helping you win football games.
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