John L. Smith keeping hope alive that he’ll return as Arkansas’ coach

Dr. Saturday

It has seemed for many weeks that John L. Smith wouldn't be retained as Arkansas' head coach.

Even if that's the likely outcome, Smith is not conceding quite yet.

Smith remains optimistic that he'll be back. Here are his quotes, via Saturday Down South:

"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."

Arkansas, which began the season ranked in the top 10, is 4-6. The Razorbacks need wins at Mississippi State this week and against LSU next week to become bowl eligible. That seems like a long shot, and even two more wins might not save Smith's job.

Perhaps the more interesting part of the Saturday Down South post is the reaction of the players, who support Smith. Quarterback Tyler Wilson said Smith and his staff have done an "incredible job," and it is true that Smith was put in a tough spot after Bobby Petrino got himself fired. Kicker Zach Hocker was also very complimentary of Smith.

"I love Coach Smith to death," Hocker said. "He's doing his job. It's just on our plate now for the players to do our job and hold our own and win games. I think as long as our team starts to show some leadership and step up and win games, I think we'll be fine as far as the coaching situation."

Again, that might not save Smith's job, but it's probably nice for him to hear near the end of a long season.

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