Heat on Smith, Spartans to rebound in 2006

John L. Smith hasn't found the winning formula at Michigan State, but he's hoping 2006 will be the year the Spartans turn things around.

Originally Published: March 22, 2006
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com
They liked him at first, and not just because of the glowing record he brought to Michigan State. They liked that John L. Smith's straightforward manner was as pointed as his cowboy boots.

That candor isn't so endearing now to the MSU loyalists who think it tore Smith's team asunder last season when the Spartans were losing six of their last seven games.

Tom Pidgeon/Getty ImagesDrew Stanton hopes to get some help from his teammates in 2006.
It would figure, then, that Smith wouldn't be so forthcoming when asked if he still senses the necessary internal support at Michigan State upon starting his fourth season.