As we approach the end of the 2014 calendar year, we’re looking back at the top 50 stories in college football for the year. Today, we look at No. 20-16.

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Fans have been on quite a journey with regards to their relationship with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. A move that was widely ridiculed at the time, Saban nailed the hiring of Kiffin to lead the Tide’s offense in 2014. Despite having a new quarterback lead the team this year, Alabama’s offense dominated in 2014 setting records in a number of categories.

Despite some hilarious sideline feuds with Saban chewing out Kiffin, Lane took it in stride and ended the season with a classic speech at the Broyles Award banquet:

It’s safe to say that Kiffin’s stock is rising as Alabama prepares to play Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. He’s likable and his offense is hitting on all cylinders. Well, he’s likable if you’re not a Tennessee fan. How soon until another program takes a shot at Kiffin as head coach?


Rushing the field isn’t new, but with the rise of social media, these events get covered like never before. A video camera in everyone’s pocket means the internet gets to see gems like the following:

Yeah, one unlucky fan after Ole Miss upset the Crimson Tide made the mistake of running at Nick Saban. Saban’s security officer promptly “choke slammed” him without breaking stride. Yes, this video has over 3 million views on YouTube. Who doesn’t love a good choke slam?

The Ole Miss celebration was one for the ages. While Katy Perry partied it up in the Oxford bars, fans were taking home pieces of the goal posts and sharing photos for the world to see:

College football at its finest.


While fans in Mississippi had the opportunity to party like never before this season, the mood was quite different around the UAB football program. UAB announced that it was ending its football program on December 2, 2014.

While there are complex and large issues behind the demise of UAB football, most of the media and internet focused on the emotional side of the story captured by videos such as this:

Indeed an unfortunate situation for the UAB players, one must wonder however if UAB is one of many football programs that will end in this new era of college football where television revenue continues to be concentrated in the Power-5 conferences.


It’s difficult to recall a tougher way to lose a football game than when Ole Miss lost to Auburn on Nov. 1. In a game with championship hopes on the line, Ole Miss lost its top playmaker to a devastating injury on a late touchdown play that got reversed to a fumble. No touchdown. Auburn ball. Game over. Treadwell’s done. Ouch.

The most heartbreaking play in Ole Miss football history?

The story took another turn when the Opelika-Auburn News put the graphic injury photo on the front page of the newspaper with headline “FINDING A WAY.” The move resulted in quite a bit of criticism.

We hope Laquon Treadwell fully recovers and dominates in 2015.


In one of the more fascinating internet based stories of the year, an Auburn fan wrote an open letter posting it to Reddit criticizing Georgia fans for the harsh treatment he and his group received during the Auburn-Georgia game weekend (you can read the letter in its entirety here). Here is an excerpt from the letter:

The experience we (my group of friends) had in Athens this weekend was – in a word – awful. Not because of the game, but because of the way we were treated. I am asking UGA fans to remedy this as best they can in future games.

First, it’s important to detail what actually happened. Let’s start with Friday night. We decided to go to a few bars in Athens, because Athens is certainly known for its bar scene. Note that for the most part we were dressed in neutral colors, although one of us had on an Auburn ball cap and a girl had on a blue scarf with orange trim. Before we entered the first bar we were boo’d. Okay, whatever, it’s a rivalry. But then it got taken too far. By the end of the night, I had two drinks thrown at me (and not by anyone I had talked to). The guy in the ball cap had a glass beer bottle thrown in his direction, and later realized he was bleeding. We were spat at (literally) and cussed out. Two of the girls were in tears, and one (the one with the scarf) was genuinely scared she would be assaulted. She got rid of the scarf because she was scared it was making her a target. It’s in some dumpster downtown now. We called it an early night and got the hell out of dodge.

So, Saturday. Okay, gametime. Maybe those were just drunks last night, and we had some bad luck. Who knows. Nope. Spat at. CONSTANTLY. I did NOT understand why grown men were literally spitting at me on a regular basis. It was insane. I lost count at 20. I had more drinks thrown at me (although this time it was soda, as we were in the stadium). Luckily I had a waterproof hood on my jacket, so that stayed up the rest of the game. Cussed out again. Leaving the stadium the guys in our group surrounded the girls, at their request, because they did not feel safe (and we left early, both because of the way the game was going and the way the fans were treating us). I was hit upside the back of my head a couple times walking out. I should mention that the girls were being called extremely vulgar things almost the entire game, as well as the night before.

While the letter was interesting (and concerning), what surprised many of us at SDS was how it launched an enormous discussion about Athens, opposing fan bases, and fan behavior in general. The article alone received upwards of 600 comments. A large number of fans wrote in to provide a defense of Georgia fans and the town of Athens – we decided to publish one of them.

Who knew the topic of fan treatment or the reputation of a great college town would launch such a firestorm of discussion? For several days at the end of November, this topic owned the college football corner of the internet.

Hey, let’s treat each other with respect during game day, huh?

What’s Next?

As we continue our countdown, we’ll look at coaching turnover, Kenny Trill, the ups and downs of Treon Harris and more.