How every SEC fan base should feel entering Rivalry Week
Rivalry week. What better way to transition into the holiday spirit than sharing a little disdain for fellow fans?
While the week may not be in its traditional spot on the football calendar, fans have still had plenty of time stew about their team and will need an outlet after the pent-up anger of someone forgetting to turn on the oven on Thursday. With just a few games remaining, here’s how each SEC fan base should feel about its team heading into Week 10:
Do Alabama fans ever feel guilty for the pain their team inflicts on fellow programs? Certainly not when it comes to the Iron Bowl. Sure, it would have been fun to see a Nick Saban rant, since so many families will be without a large Thanksgiving dispute this year. But, instead, Tide fans should be thankful that Saban’s program is to the point where it should be able to handle Auburn without him Saturday.
Picture how good the Razorbacks’ record would be if they were fighting a fair fight. It must be exciting to imagine how officials will conclude the trilogy and steal the a third game. At least it won’t happen this week.
Almost forgot what football looks like on the Plains. Winning the Iron Bowl in back-to-back seasons is certainly one way for Gus Malzahn lock down his job for another year. (Even if Nick Saban isn’t on the sidelines this time.) It’s also the perfect distraction for an athletic department looking for more ways to bury the basketball investigation under the rug.
If winless Vanderbilt was a challenge, just wait till the juggernaut that is 3-win Kentucky comes to town. With a down week for Justin Fields and Mac Jones last weekend, Kyle Trask has a prime opportunity against 3 average to below-average teams to make a strong closing statement for the Heisman. That will certainly soften the blow of playing in the Orange Bowl.
It’s definitely a bold strategy waiting to play your best QB until the season no longer matters, but then again Kirby Smart deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to always making the right quarterback decision. South Carolina may be a rudderless ship, but it also has a defense with players on scholarship, so there might need to be some adjustments in the run game this week.
Stop the count! At least the Wildcats dominated the clock in the first half and ruffled Saban’s feathers. As fun as it has been to watch clock roll this season on the football field, there’s no better timer in Lexington than the one that reads “30” on top of the backboard. If Mark Stoops is spotted the same amount of points Kentucky scores on Morehead State in the basketball opener, just maybe the Wildcats have a chance against Florida.
Progress is all you can ask for, and that’s what the Tigers showed against the Hogs. The Aggies’ offense is going to be a whole different story. There’s been a whole lot of losing on and off the field for the LSU team in the month of November, so savor that Arkansas win like Coach O does gas-station chicken because it’s about to be a long offseason.
Sometimes you just need to lop off the dead weight. Who knew the best players in Starkville could be found on the intramural fields? One step closer to weird and happy Mike Leach press conferences is a return to normalcy everyone can get behind.
Poor Missouri fans trying to plan weekend itineraries this year. Make that 6 schedule changes. Eli Drinkwitz has already done a great job in Year 1, imagine if he actually had a full week to prepare for opponents. Fortunately, it doesn’t take that long to prepare for Vandy.
Lane Kiffin has brought many things to Oxford in Year 1 from an explosive offense to a renewed sense of energy with the fans. Who has a better throwing day Saturday in the Egg Bowl? Matt Corral or Kiffin?
Luke Doty looked … respectable. Certainly the type of QB that coaching candidates will be fawning over to get their hands on next year. But if not him, JT Daniels still has eligibility, and there’s no telling what Kirby Smart will do with his quarterbacks moving forward. Could be worth dropping a flyer on the sidelines on Saturday.
50 Cent is officially off the pregame warmup track since the Volunteers only seem able to give you 2 quarters of football. Speaking of quarters, it’ll cost just 52 million of them to part ways with Jeremy Pruitt should he drop a 6th straight. Tennessee fans wouldn’t mind looking through their couch cushions and now they have a free weekend to do so.
Between SEC postponements and BYU being more averse to quality opponents than alcohol on campus, those dreams of a mid-December showdown are a mere fantasy now. It’s time for Aggie fans to just sit back, cheer for Auburn in the Iron Bowl and root like crazy for other teams to lose.
A first-quarter W over Florida is the biggest win of the year. Sure, the Tennessee game was postponed, but hopefully, Derek Mason still gets his shot at beating Jeremy Pruitt and not being the first SEC coach fired in The Volunteer State.