While this season certainly didn't go the way the fans expected, Arkansas head coach John L. Smith thinks his successor will have the Razorbacks back in the Top 25 sooner than later.
"Definitely," Smith said. "Why not? My goodness. It's going to happen."
Just why is Smith so certain of the State of the Hogs?
"The positive things, of course, are just look at what is happening here," Smith said. "Look what has taken place. Look at the buildings going up on campus. And you can say what you want, but facilities do sell. I think the state of the program is going to be just fine.
"Understand, it is going to take a year or so," Smith added. "But these young guys - particularly last year's freshman class is a great class. And you are just going to have to add to that and continue to recruit, continue to coach and things are going to be fine.
"The greatest thing is you have great facilities going," Smith continued. "You have a great program here. You have a great administration. You have great fans that are the best I have ever seen. With all those positive things, it's a positive outlook."
Arkansas (4-7, 2-5) will try to finish up its subpar campaign Friday by trying to upset No. 8 LSU (9-2, 5-2) in a 1:30 p.m. game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The game will be televised nationally by CBS.
"Playing on Friday, playing at home and sending our seniors out, we are looking forward to the game and looking forward to sending them out in the right way," Smith said. "This has been a great class. It is a class that I came in with the four years ago and they have been part of a lot of good things – three bowls, a BCS game, an 11-win season an fought through a lot of adversity this year.
"They have handled the adversity this year with dignity and class and done things the right way," Smith added. "It is going to be an emotional day to see those guys leave, but they are all looking forward to the rest of their lives and whatever they may do."
"Hopefully the stands will be full and the fans will be able to show their appreciation for the season as well," Smith continued.
Arkansas has continually jumped out an early lead this season only to see that dissipate in the second and third quarters.
"If we could play every quarter like we play the first quarter, it would be a totally different season," Smith said. "…You can look at several reasons. Is it because we're young? Is it because we're fighting through the second quarter? …First quarter's been very good for us. Second half hasn't been."
The Razorbacks will have a remembrance dinner Wednesday night to honor fallen teammate Garrett Uekman, who passed away a year ago this week.
"We want to make it a special night on Wednesday night and then of course Thursday we will have our Thanksgiving meal together," Smith said. "Thursday evening we always do our evening prior to – which will be the same regimentation that they've done all year long. So there will be just a few things cramped into this short week in an attempt to make it a little bit of a special week for us."
Bright Future Ahead
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