Historically the Bears fire coaches a day after the season ends, and January 4th is the day after the Bears finish up the season against the lowly Detroit Lions.
It's all speculation, of course, because the Bears may decide to hang on to the embattled coach, much to the chagrin of fans.
But prognostication hit the high gear after general manager Jerry Angelo shot down a report that Smith was coming back next season and said discussions will be had when the season ends.
No matter how much Bears fans want to see a move done now, its not going to happen in-season.
The most recent coaching changes all followed the same trend.
December 29, 2003, one day after the Bears suffered their fourth losing season in five years, Dick Jauron was fired.
December 28, 1998, one day after the Bears recorded their second consecutive 4-12 season, Dave Wannstedt was fired.
The only exception in the last 20 years was when the Bears waited a week after the 1992 season ended to fire Mike Ditka just after New Year's.
But that was Da Coach, not Lovie Smith.