John L. Smith in 2006.
The Arkansas Razorbacks have found a replacement for fired head coach Bobby Petrino, albeit a temporary one.
According to the latest reports, Arkansas has hired former Hogs assistant coach John L. Smith to be the interim head coach this season. He was supposed to be the head coach at Weber State this season, but he has apparently jumped at the opportunity to coach a loaded Razorbacks team.
The news of Smith's hiring came rather suddenly, and the reaction to his hiring is coming fast and furious. And you know what that means...
Yup, it's time for a stroll around Twitter to see what people are making of Smith's hiring.
To the Twitterverse!
Looking for a perfect example of how most people are reacting to the news of Smith's hiring? Pete Thamel of The New York Times gave us one:
Oh boy. This will be fun. RT @AP_Top25: Breaking: AP source: Arkansas hiring former assistant John L. Smith as interim coach— Pete Thamel(@PeteThamelNYT) April 23, 2012
The words "oh boy" pretty much sum it up. Smith's last tenure as a head coach didn't go so well, as he led the Michigan State Spartans to a 22-26 record from 2003-06. Moreover, he brought the spotlight on himself on more than one occasion with his behavior.
What that in mind, Smith isn't exactly the safest hire Arkansas could have made.
Lou Bezjak, a prep sports writer for the Morning News, thinks disaster is going to ensue:
John L. Smith to #arkansas as interim got train wreck written all over it— Lou Bezjak (@loubezjakfmn) April 23, 2012
Matt Hayes of Sporting News chose to focus on the irony of Smith's hiring:
Football Gods are some sick, sick dudes: John L. Smith replaces Bobby Petrino -- who replaced John L. Smith at Louisville.— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) April 23, 2012
Hayes then decided to call out Smith for ditching Weber State at an inappropriate time:
Oh by the way, Weber State, where John L. Smith was for all of four months, just finished spring game April 14.— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) April 23, 2012
This is a fair criticism to make. Smith was hired to replace retired head coach Ron McBride at Weber State, and here he is leaving the program just several months after accepting the job. Not exactly a nice thing to do, especially to your alma mater.
That being said, I'll thank Dan Wolken of The Daily for saying something that needed to be said:
I know John L Smith is going to get killed for leaving Weber St in the lurch. But don't pretend like you care about Weber State football.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) April 23, 2012
Some are choosing to laugh at Smith's hiring rather than scorn it. Popular radio host Paul Finebaum was kind enough to let us know that the first of his callers thought the hire was hilarious:
Quick reax to UA hiring of John L. Smith. First caller, Andy from Ohio, laughing hysterically. "Tammy would have been a better hire.''— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 23, 2012
Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel is looking forward to a good laugh:
I like the Arkansas interim hire if only for the potential entertainment of the John L. Smith/Les Miles pregame chat— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) April 23, 2012
Welcome to Twitter, where trolling is happening no matter what's going on. Twitter will be making jokes about the end of the world when it comes.
Not everyone is being so negative about Smith's hiring, however. Some are choosing to look on the bright side.
Matt Jones of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette notes that Smith is familiar with Arkansas' assistants:
John L. Smith would be an interim hire for the 2012 season. Of Arkansas' nine full-time assistants, eight have worked with him in the past.— Matt Jones (@NWAMatt) April 23, 2012
Richard Davenport, also of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, thinks Arkansas' players will have no problem whatsoever playing for Smith:
John L. Smith will be embraced by the Razorback players. He loves his kids and the kids love him.— Recruiting Guy (@ArRecruitingGuy) April 23, 2012
Smith had better hope Davenport is right. The Razorbacks have some really good players on their team. If they take a liking to Smith, they might just have the kind of season many people expected them to have before Petrino was fired.
And Davenport may be right. Here's what Hogs running back Knile Davis tweeted about Smith's hiring:
The happiest day of my life... hearing that John L.Smith is coming back to the ville to b our head coach...#priceless— Knile Davis (boobie) (@Boobie_Knile) April 23, 2012
It seems the Smith era is already off to a good start.