Auburn and Arkansas might each be 1-3, unranked, and among the bigger disappointments in the country. But their Oct. 6 meeting at Jordan-Hare Stadium just got a little bit more interesting all the same.
Razorbacks coach John L. Smith made an appearance at the Little Rock Touchdown Club Monday, where the floor was opened up for questions. Per Arkansas Sports 360 reporter Jim Harris, Smith answered as candidly as he always has -- and raised more than a few eyebrows with this response:
Ask where he thought Bobby Petrino would end up next year, Kentucky or Auburn, Smith laughed, then said "a better guess would be Auburn."— Jim Harris(@jimharris360) September 24, 2012
But that likely won't be as uncomfortable as the pregame (or postgame) handshake between Smith and Gene Chizik when the Razorbacks go to Auburn. It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Publicly casting aspersions on the continued employment of one of your SEC coaching peers is not something that's going to be looked on favorably in most corners of the league ... Auburn most notably.
(And for the record: Even if Chizik somehow oversees the kind of epic collapse that sees him dismissed after this season, the Tigers aren't touching Petrino -- a key figure in the infamous 2003 "Jetgate" scandal that helped land the entire university on academic probation -- with a 10-foot pole.)
Smith's off-beat candor is one of his major selling points as a coach and as a person. But this may be one occasion where he'll wish he'd kept one opinion to himself.