With a shocking one-year hiatus from the usual mayhem in Austin, 2017 was the year the SEC returned to its alleged place atop the college football hierarchy, with two teams in the playoff, and five truly colossal trainwrecks atop this hot mess right here (not to mention six of the top ten)! You can’t actually make up some of the insane nonsense that went down in the land of Sankey. (And that pun writes itself, doesn’t it?) Seriously, where else could you get a coach melting down about alleged death threats in his presser and negotiating his buyout a week later during a rivalry game…and still not have the biggest pile of pandemonium in the conference?
Chaos…it just means more in SEC Country!
And now, as chaos takes a brief holiday (well, unless you’re from B1G Land and want to bitch about your two-loss champion who got their balloon popped against Iowa not making the playoff), we’ll contemplate whether we’ll have more to mock between bowl season and that early signing day. Maybe we will and maybe we’ll be too pumped up on egg nog to care.
Merry holidays, y’all!
- Tennessee – Always remember: it’s not about how you start; it’s about how you finish. Dang, the Vols finished on a roll, bringing the hammer with Team 121 officially their worst ever and that trainwreck of a coaching search, complete with the Schiano mess, the rejections from everyone not named Majors, and their old fiend Lane Kiffin tweeting that announcement of Kim Jong-un accepting the gig. Then there was the firing of the A.D. who botched the search and the hints that, just maybe, a certain someone was intentionally f-ing up the search to get back at the A.D. So congrats to all involved for truly putting the rocky in Rocky Top.
- Florida – Y’all peaked too soon, Gators, though we do have to admit that the warp-speed flameout of Coach Mac – right in the middle of a rivalry game disaster, no less – was surely the single-day highlight of the season and the most impressive implosion we’ve seen in ages.
- Ole Mess – Speaking of peaking too soon, Johnny Reb sure blew his, er, chance at the chaos crown by leaving everything on the field before the season even started. Anyway, strumpets are now blaring at the thought that we won’t have to think of another lame prostitution pun every week. Oh, and enjoy those extra NCAA sanctions and Shea Patterson’s plane ticket out of Oxford, y’all!
- Ole Mess State – And just when it seemed everything had settled down in the land of the Egg Bowl, Dan Mullen bolted Stark Vegas for more chaotic climes, meaning that the rivalry may now return to where it usually dwells, the bottom of the SEC West.
- Texas A&M – Way to keep your reasonably successful coach dangling all year when you obviously wanted to bring in Jimbo and his 8-8 conference record over the last two seasons on board for megabucks. Surely, you’ll surpass ‘Bama now. In the meantime, the Aggies can savor the fact that they dominated the competition for the single most chaotic on-field meltdown of the year with that come-from-34-points-ahead loss in Week One.
- Florida State – There’s nothing like having to reschedule a game against Louisiana Monroe just to make sure you keep your bowl streak alive in a season you started ranked in the top ranked #3. At least the Noles own the honor of being the only Power 5 program whose coach fired them.
- Iowa State – Every year, there’s that one program that reminds us that chaos doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and every year, it’s almost the Cyclones, but not quite. This year it was, and dang it was a fun ride, and with Matt Campbell coming back, it’ll be interesting to see what comes next. Y’all need to act while you’re hot, get that FCS program off next year’s schedule and find a way to replace them with Clemson.
- UCLA – All isn’t well that ends well, but the Bruins sure went from ruins to in the chips when they went from some jackass crowdfunding the money to fly a banner over the Rose Bowl demanding Jim Mora’s firing – which is apparently a more important cause than, say, cancer research or the Wounded Warrior Foundation – to beating out #2 Florida for the aforepunned Coach Kelly. And now, the Bruin faithful can spend the next nine months fantasizing about what comes next…kinda like they did when Rick Neuheisel was hired and brought Norm Chow with him.
- Baylor – Matt Rhule deserves better. As for the rest of the program, well, Matt Rhule deserves better.
- Arkansas – As #karma goes, that was one hell of a Bielemess, but at least Gus is coming to fix everything, right? Right?!? Okay, so that’s not happening either. We hear John Currie’s available to help you hire a new coach.
- Michigan – By now, Coach Khakis had the 49ers in the Super Bowl and Pete Carroll soiling himself. At this point, all he’s got in Ann Arbor is quarterbacks running away and zero wins against you know who.
- BYU – Ask UCLA how firing the offensive coordinator after a disaster of a season works out.
- Nebraska – The fact that the Riley era ended with a couple gazillion times more dignity and class than the Pellini era doesn’t mean that the intervening mess wasn’t brutal. Oh, and while the return of Frosty is a heartwarming story, there’s a lingering feeling that if he doesn’t work out, the Huskers can be permanently consigned to the “Where are they now?” files.
- UTEP – Speaking of where they are now, Mike Price is no longer in either a Tuscaloosa t-bar or the Sun Bowl. Take your pick as to which tarnished his reputation more after he ended up getting sucked into this year’s debacle.
- Oregon State – It’s sort of like the Nebraska story, only without the class or the track record that at least hints of the possibility of success. After a season where the coach melted down, left, and then started sniping at everyone else, the Beavs actually managed to not bring back Mike Riley. Instead, they brought back his quarterback. Way to think outside of, but right next to, the box.
- North Carolina – In the Tarheels “breakout year”, they sure did break. It’s nice to see that heads still haven’t rolled, especially since no heads rolled after that academic cheating scandal either.
- Illinois – The Illini have been so irrelevant for so long that, apparently, wins over Western Kentucky & Ball State are enough to avoid admitting, “We f-ed up! Big time!!!” There’s a spot in the MAC West for y’all.
- Kansas – Congratulations on being the most consistently awful program in the game! Exciting news: with Nicholls State on the schedule, the Hawks are all but guaranteed to win a game again next year!
- #Pac12AfterDark – We hate to go all Jack White on you, but here we are. We’ve said it once before, but it bears repeating: memo to the marketing geniuses at the P12 office. #MACtion works because it roughly translates to: “You wouldn’t watch this game on Saturday, but on Tuesday? It’s golden.” See, it’s a gift to the masses. No matter how much lipstick you all try to put on your pig, #Pac12AfterDark translates to: “Our marquee game of the week is kicking off at 11pm on the East Coast, but please, please, please stay up until 2:30am to watch the whole thing. Pleeeeeeeease.” It’s not a gift, it’s an admission that nobody f-ing cares. Congrats on really proving the point by playing your conference championship game on a Friday night, just like a good mid-major should do.
- Why Are You Here? – A hearty Bronx cheer goes out to all those festive teams that departed FCS in the last handful of years because they’d rather have a shot at eventually playing in the Fred’s Taco Hut & Weed Whacker Bowl than, y’know, playing at the level they belong, only to find out that – shock! – they don’t belong. So here’s to you Charlotte, Old Dominion, and the majority of the Sun Belt! May the new year bring you the wisdom to take a hint from Idaho.