- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Arkansas coach John L. Smith attempted to deliver a rousing speech to a group of Razorbacks fans, but came off a little flat after a couple of uncomfortable gaffes.
Smith spoke to members of the Little Rock Touchdown Club Monday, but as he pleaded with fans to not give up on the Razorbacks and Arkansas' football program, he misspoke in a major way when he said that Arkansas is "our program, it's a state of Alabama program."
After the 52-0 drubbing the Crimson Tide handed the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, "Alabama" is a word Hogs fans probably don't want to hear for a very long time.
It was obvious that Smith didn't realize he said Alabama instead of Arkansas, as he kept going without correcting his mistake. It was later pointed out to him that he misspoke and he tried to joke his way out of it: "I did? Where would that come from? I've never even heard of Alabama."
His response drew some laughs, but his original gaffe drew a few moans and groans from the crowd, marking another face-palming moment for Arkansas fans this season. Smith has drawn a lot of criticism this fall, as he's attempted to replace Bobby Petrino as Arkansas' head coach. His leadership has been called into question, especially after he had almost nothing to say after that embarrassing loss to Alabama, and after three straight losses -- all in the state of Arkansas -- this misstep is just another poor showing for Smith.
But he didn't stop there.
When asked if he thought he saw Petrino coaching at either Auburn or Kentucky in 2013, Smith said he thought Auburn "probably is a better guess if I were to guess."
Not exactly the question you want to answer, especially when both coaches are only four games into their seasons at their respective schools. Also, Arkansas plays both this season -- back to back. That shouldn't make the postgame handshakes with Gene Chizik and Joker Phillips awkward or anything.
You can bet that Smith won't have to worry about fans of other programs smiling after Monday's mistakes.
21hDavid Ching and Edward Aschoff