The Arkansas Razorbacks ended their 2012-2013 season with a loss to the LSU Tigers on the day after Thanksgiving.
The loss capped a frustrating season that saw the slow and steady decline of a once-proud program. This game provided a chance for the Razorbacks to end the season on a high note, but it did not happen.
Here is a list of the winners and losers from the season-ending loss to LSU.
After the loss, John L. Smith was fired as head coach at Arkansas.
Although a lovable character, Smith never had a chance to stay on at Arkansas.
Smith was a quick-fix replacement filling in for Bobby Petrino, who was forced out due to a scandal. Smith was signed on to a 10-mointh contract to start the season, and only a championship would have saved his job.
Smith at times looked overwhelmed and was out-coached in every game this season.
His decision to kick a short field goal late in the game instead of going for it on 4th-and-short from the 1-yard line highlighted his bad decision-making.
As the first team casualty of the offseason, Smith joins the list of losers from the Week 13 game.
The senior running back and locker room leader deserved more coming into this game. Dennis Johnson led the team in rushing, but was plagued throughout the year by turnovers.
Johnson is a relentless runner, and his ability to fight for the extra yards in a game can lead to turnovers. That is exactly what happened in this game, and that lead to a turnover that killed a potential scoring drive and sucked all the momentum out of Arkansas early in the game.
Johnson is a great player that will be remembered fondly at the school, but on this day, he made the loser list.
The LSU Tigers are known for their hard-hitting defense and ability to run the ball. In this game against Arkansas, they had a player make a highlight-reel catch and the “winners” list.
Jarvis Landry made a circus catch and became a household name after this unbelievable play. This is one of the best catches of the college football season.
The catch put the Tigers on the scoreboard and took the wind out of the Razorbacks defense. Anyone who can make a catch as great as this deserves to be called a winner.
During this dark season, the two players that have shined are quarterback Tyler Wilson and wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.
They were at it again on Friday against LSU.
Wilson set the school record for career passing yards set by former Razorback Ryan Mallett. Wilson finished with 359 yards on the day and 7,765 in his career at Arkansas. Wilson is one of the better signal-callers in college football and is expected to be a high draft pick in the NFL draft.
Standout wide receiver Cobi Hamilton also had a record-setting day. Despite double coverage all day long, Hamilton set the school record for receptions with 175 in his career.
These two players made the season bearable and will exceed at the next level.
The biggest winner of this game is the Arkansas Razorback fanbase.
The Razorbacks have one of the most passionate fan bases in the country, and they have stayed loyal to this program during a tumultuous season.
It will be painful watching an SEC Championship game that does not include Arkansas, but the fans can finally look forward to a new year.
They will now be glued to a coaching search that has included big names like Jon Gruden. The anticipation of a new direction for this team will once again rejuvenate the love for the Razorbacks and what the future may hold.
The fans are the biggest winners of this game because now, they can look forward to a new beginning.