THE MAIN EVENT
ESPN calls it “Feast Week,” and other than having to endure the endlessly overused analogies and references to Thanksgiving, it may just be the best week on the sports calendar. Starting as early as Sunday of the holiday week, there are continuous college basketball games which lead you right into the traditional NFL games on Thursday. But what really makes this week so great is what we have as the main event (I wouldn’t dare call it the main “dish,” as would the mainstream media). All those other sports are merely the prelims, and will have their own special time at a later date. The main event I’m talking about is college and SEC football’s rivalry weekend.
Rivalry weekend is the peak of college football. Not the conference championships, not the bowl games, not even the College Football Playoff and National Championship. Those are still great (well, if TCU isn’t involved), but they can never match the intensity of an in-state or traditional rivalry played on the last weekend of the regular season.
Welcome to SEC Football Fireside Chat. Where ever since the first Thanksgiving, we have been recapping all that happened on the previous weekend in Southeastern Conference football. Please see below for a recap of all the games featuring SEC football teams, and I hope you enjoy reading. Not “eating,” “feasting,” “gobbling up,” or “going back for seconds” like we have heard the broadcasters say all week.
SEC FOOTBALL WEEK 13 RECAP & RESULTS
No matter what happens or where it is played, this game is always fun. It is a Thanksgiving night tradition to tune in to see what kind of rascality this year’s edition of the Egg Bowl will bring.
In this installment, it started with State’s interim coach Greg Knox sputtering the team out on to the field on a four-wheeler. That choppy start ended up resembling both team’s offenses in what turned out to be a relatively low-scoring game.
All in all, Ole Miss finishes with ten wins and is eyeing a significant bowl game. This is their second ten win season under Lane Kiffin. Before him, Ole Miss had never had a ten win regular season period. Mississippi State finishes with a losing record, won’t be going to a bowl game, and will be starting over next year with a new head coach.
For two schools separated by only 100 miles or so, the current state of their respective programs could not be further apart.
Let’s flip a coin on how to discuss this one. Heads – we hit the positives for Missouri. Tails – we go negatives regarding the Hogs.
For the fifth time in the last seven years, Arkansas fails to win more than four games. Not only that, it’s almost like they play worse at home. In that span we have seen the following losses in Fayetteville:
- 44-17 to North Texas (2018)
- 45-31 to Vanderbilt (2018)
- 31-24 to San Jose State (2019)
- 51-10 to Auburn (2019)
- 54-24 to Mississippi State (2019)
- 45-19 to Western Kentucky (2019)
- 21-19 to Liberty (2022)
- 38-31 to BYU (2023)
- 7-3 to Mississippi State (2023)
- 48-10 to Auburn (2023)
- And now this on Friday
Good news for the Razorback fans though! Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek confirmed head coach Sam Pittman will be back next year!
If you watched this and live outside of the state of Kentucky, what number is the player you’re related to and/or how much money did you have on this game?
I seriously think the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions/Memphis Showboats rivalry is more storied than this one.
Just because you live next door to the smart, wimpy kid who wears glasses and has zero hand-eye coordination doesn’t mean you can just go over there every year, beat him up, and then pound your chest like you accomplished something [x1].
Just because you live next door to the smart, wimpy kid who wears glasses and has zero hand-eye coordination doesn’t mean you can just go over there every year, beat him up, and then pound your chest like you accomplished something [x2].
You know, the name Clemson and that orange paw print logo sure do remind me of a once dominant college football program who won two national championships in three years, played for it four out of five years, went to six College Football Playoffs in a row, and had a coach named Dabo Swinney who was widely regarded as a top three coach in the country – even rumored to be a possible candidate to replace Nick Saban at his alma mater one day…
But it must just be a coincidence.
Florida had one job: take FSU out of the picture to help the SEC as far as the College Football Playoff is concerned. Their reward: being bowl-eligible and claiming bragging rights over your rival.
Apparently that was too much to ask. Once again, Billy Napier looked as if he found out they had a game fifteen minutes before kickoff. He had that look way back on the Thursday night in August when they opened the season at Utah, and except for a big win versus Tennessee, has had it all year.
The Gators were 5-2 when they woke up the Saturday of the Georgia game. They finish 5-7. Happy Thanksgiving.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Now we turn our attention to Georgia and Alabama this – wait a second…I’m sorry…I forgot one of the games. Must’ve just slipped my mind.
There is great college football played all around the country. And it can be consumed and enjoyed all the same. Whether that is Texas and Oklahoma playing at the state fair every October, staying up late to watch Pac-12 After Dark, Big Ten football played in the freezing cold. But on the day of the Iron Bowl, it’s as if the rest of college football doesn’t exist. What #2 Ohio State at #3 Michigan winner goes to the CFP? I don’t know what you’re referring to. That game doesn’t matter today.
The Iron Bowl even has a way of blocking off every thing that has previously happened or will happen during the season. Auburn didn’t lose to New Mexico State at home the week prior, and Alabama isn’t playing Georgia in their toughest game of the year next week. No, on the day of the Iron Bowl all each side cares about is beating the other.
Alabama/Auburn is by far the greatest rivalry that has ever existed. Duke/UNC is only in basketball. And Ohio State/Michigan is just called “The Game.” That’s it? Just one game? If it wasn’t called the Iron Bowl it would be called “Every Day.” That’s because the rivalry is experienced every second of every day. The opposing team’s fans don’t travel in from faraway lands to go at it once a year. More like they are your co-workers, friends, neighbors, and even your own family. If anything the game itself is almost like a reward for putting up with one another the other 364 days. There’s no fighting in the stands because you already got it out of your system at church the week prior.
Take for example Ohio State’s cute little practice of marking out all the M’s on their campus the week of playing Michigan. If Auburn did something like that with the A’s, I assume they would also have to mark out their own and we would be hyping up “uburn-lbm,” which just sounds like some sort of over-the-counter anti-rash ointment.
Anyway, I don’t have to talk about the game because if you’re reading this, you saw it. It was once again a game for the ages, as is usually the case when played at Jer-den-Hare. Just think about some of the iconic moments in the history of the rivalry that have been cemented with their own name: The Run in the Mud (1967), Punt Bama Punt (1972), Bo Over the Top (1982), The Kick (1985), The Drive (2009), The Cam-Back (2010), The Kick Six (2013), and that’s just to name a few.
What will Jalen Milroe’s perfect pass to Isaiah Bond in the corner of the end zone to win the game and keep Bama’s national championship hopes alive be named?
“4th and 31?” “Milroe Miracle?” “Nightmare at Jordan-Hare?” “Gravedigger?” (the name of the play).
Alabama fans will probably be fine with anything, and Auburn fans will hate the sound of all them.
We’re a whole year away from the next Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa in 2024. But the rivalry itself, just like every day, renews again in the morning.