Razorbacks fans need to take it down a notch


The radio in my car is set to sports talk radio. It always has been and always will be, no matter where I live.

Granted, my drive to work is 10 minutes long at the most, so it is not like I have my radio on for at least an hour every day. But the past week of sports talk radio in this state has almost forced me to turn my dial until the end of the college football season.

More specifically, I should keep it off until Arkansas hires its new football coach.

After Arkansas’ 52-0 loss to Alabama, it is amazing to me just how many Razorback fans have completely jumped ship off the program and have not just wanted John L. Smith fired, but also think Jeff Long made one of the greatest mishaps in Razorbacks’ history.

Yes, this includes you, Paul Finebaum, who I am not even sure how he constitutes as a college football writer anymore.

I get it, John L. is not a great football coach. This was no secret when he was hired and I can see why people want him gone, but my question is, who is Arkansas going to bring in right now? That was actually the same question I had when Bobby Petrino was fired.

Wait, Petrino is the name about 25 percent of the Hogs’ faithful wants to bring back? Hopefully they will also contribute to the lawsuits Arkansas would face for basically skipping any credible hiring process for Petrino bringing in his mistress.

Of course, some Arkansas fans have countered with ‘Bill Clinton did it.’ Well, if Clinton jumped off the bridge in Little Rock into the Arkansas River, should we do it too? No? Well, seems like your mother had the answer to that one.

I get it. John L. says some crazy things. This past week he told the media to smile. Maybe it was because his brother died so he should have never been in front of the podium anyway.

Some of the blame has turned to Long for hiring Smith. What was he going to do? I hear the name of Butch Davis being floated around and how he has not been brought in already.

Maybe it is the fact of all of the NCAA violations he had while at North Carolina and how he ran a pretty dirty program while at Miami. There were not many people sad to Davis go in Cleveland, either. Without his cheating, he has not established himself as a successful coach by any means.

Then Jon Gruden’s name gets thrown out there. Apparently, they forget the fact that Gruden gets paid more to broadcast games than he would to coach, and that he has never been more than a wide receivers coach in college. Also, he took over Tony Dungy’s team and won a Super Bowl, but went 7-9 and 5-11 in the two seasons after. He is overrated.

The fact of the matter is no one was going to leave their program after spring practice to take over at Arkansas, where he would have to keep all of the coordinators that he has no chemistry with. That’s not how the college coaching circle works.

Arkansas fans will just have to deal with it now. It is not the end of the world and the Hogs still have some strong recruits lined up, so all is not lost. Will it be a frustrating couple of months yet? Yes, even in recruiting.

The good news though, at least the recruiting of offensive linemen and defensive backs cannot be worse than what Petrino brought in, which got Arkansas in part of its bind to begin with.

Justin Rust is a sports writer at The Commercial. Email him at jrust@pbcommercial.com.