Heat on Smith, Spartans to rebound in 2006

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.

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.