"We're going to battle and we're going to fight for a national championship," John L. Smith said when Jeff Long introduced him as the interim head coach of the Arkansas football program back on April 23rd.
Smith came in saying all the right things, but once the season arrived it was a different story.
The Razorbacks stumbled almost immediately, suffering the worst upset in school history when Louisiana-Monroe knocked off the Hogs in week two.
"I guess it was not a very good plan and very good execution," Smith said after the game.
The next week, with quarterback Tyler Wilson on the sidelines, Arkansas faced Alabama, suffering the worst home loss in school history to the Crimson Tide, 52-0.
"The blame is here," Smith said afterward as he pointed to his chest.
He compounded the problem at his weekly press conference when he chided the gathered media to smile in his opening remarks. Only a quarter of the way into the season, Hog fans already started calling for his firing, but Smith didn't care.
"I don't listen to that crap," he said when asked about it.
After another home loss, Smith's mouth got him in trouble yet again when speaking to the Little Rock Touchdown club.
"Don't give up on those players," he told the crowd. "Don't give up on us. It's our program. It's the state of Alabama program."
Through all the turmoil, slim bowl hopes lingered into late October, but Arkansas closed the season with four losses in the final five games.
The Hogs righted the ship following losses to Rutgers and Texas A&M, winning games against Auburn and Kentucky, but eventually the stage proved to be a bit too bright for John L. Smith as the Razorbacks limped to a 4-8 finish with just two wins in SEC play against teams who finished a combined 0-16 in league play.
Saturday, Jeff Long announced John L. Smith's dismissal. The nightmare is over, but the awful record will remain in the archives forever.
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