How much do coaches really matter in college football?
Perhaps there is no better place to look for the answer than Arkansas in 2012.
John L. Smith comes in to coach the 10th ranked Razorbacks after the firing of Bobby Petrino in one of the off-seasons biggest scandals that didn't take place in Happy Valley.
Even with Petrino, the great college coach that he is, gone, expectations are still sky high in Arkansas that this will be the year the Hogs overtake LSU and Alabama as the team to beat in the nations top conference, the SEC.
As unfortunate as it may be, a 9-3 season will simply not be acceptable to Arkansas fans with dynamic players such as Tyler Wilson and Knile Davis on offense, to go along with one of the nation's top defenses.
However, even with LSU and Alabama at home this season, the gap between those two teams and Arkansas, especially without Petrino on the sidelines, will be too much to overcome.
Not to mention, the Razorbacks have struggled on the road in recent years, and they must go to Texas A&M, South Carolina, Auburn, and Mississippi State in 2012, and it is not unreasonable to think they could slip up in one of those games, or in a trap home game against Rutgers.
I am not denying Arkansas's talent, but when your expectations are a national championship, there is little room for error. Without Bobby Petrino to coach 'em up next year, I can't see the BCS trophy going to Fayetville in 2013.