John L. Smith was given the keys to what we thought was a super charged Ferrari, but it came with one condition: you can't drive it. You can ride in the backseat as your top notch coordinators navigate us through the SEC schedule. No backseat driving allowed!!! Just enjoy the ride.
This was a recipe for disaster.
Jeff Long said Smith would "unify the staff, the team and the Razorback fan base." Two weeks into the season, the fan base is split in a hundred directions. No one is safe. John L., Jeff Long, Paul Haynes and Paul Petrino have all been under attack. Getting outplayed on both sides of the ball on one of your home fields by a 30-point underdog will do that to a program.
We learned last Saturday in a crisis situation that this team has only one real leader, and that's Tyler Wilson. That's sad. Former Razorback star Clint Stoerner put it best when he said that Tyler is much more than an All-SEC quarterback.
Clint says Tyler is also the undisputed leader of this 2012 Razorback team, both on and off the field, in and out of the lockeroom. This team and game was lost when Tyler was unable to answer the bell in the second half Saturday.
The Hogs are only two weeks into the 2012 season. There's still time to find more leaders. The Sportsweek guys, Bruce James and David Bazzel, believe this defense will be headed in the right direction when someone steps up and assumes a leadership role. Arkansas has a great history of defensive leaders. Guys like Steve Atwater, Kenoy Kennedy, Jake Bequette, Caleb Miller... Do they have that guy? Only time will tell.
Here's a crazy idea: let John L. take a shot at leading on the sideline. If you've watched the sideline in the first two games, it's been hard not to notice a lack of leadership
John L. Smith is a proven leader -- Idaho, Utah St and Louisville; he had success as a head coach at all three schools. I'm not advocating that John L. start drawing up plays on the sideline. I just want him to be allowed to lead on the field, or at least look like a leader. Let him sit in the drivers seat. I have to believe that if allowed, John L. might have suggested a less aggressive offensive approach in the fourth quarter last Saturday.
We are almost five months into this 10-month experiment and it's not working. Top-ranked Alabama is just a few days away and we're searching for answers.
Come Saturday, I'd love to see John L. lead the Hogs to a shocking victory!
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