(RNN) - SEC rivalry weekend lost its sparkle last week. But there will still be plenty of weirdness, pain and joy to go around, because sometimes, the team that isn't supposed to win, does.
Florida and Alabama clinched the division championships and will clash for the SEC title next week in Atlanta and everybody went, awwww. Then, starting Thursday, mere havoc was unleashed upon the world.
According to the latest wild report, LSU hired Ed Orgeron, and the first thing he wants to do is hire Lane Kiffin away from Alabama! That's what I'm talking about! Jimbo said no again, the Tigers obliterated Texas A&M and we get another whole year of colorful, barely intelligible coach quotes out of the Bayou! And whoo, did LSU beat the poor Aggies, who are pinwheeling downward like a duck full of buckshot to another November of oblivion. Derrius Guice gained 5,000 yards while Leonard Fournette sat on the sidelines wrapped in a blanket and now, Kevin Sumlin is on the griddle, but good.
It looks like Texas is going to get Houston's Tom Herman, since the Longhorns fired Charlie Strong first thing Saturday. Tom's didn't do too well against Memphis, but he was probably thinking about the Trump tax cuts.
And man, did Mizzou just wipe Arkansas off the map or what? Who saw that coming?
It makes you want to watch all the Saturday games, even those that look like they're going to stink. Because it's rivalry weekend, and sometimes the best teams don't win.
SEC haters will still want to tune in to watch the game of the century of the week out of frozen Ohio, because talk about rivalry.
Everybody outside of Ohio and Michigan hates Ohio State and Michigan, and they hate each other. The SEC hates the Big Ten even more than it hates other people and vice-versa.
This game presents a rare opportunity where you can pull against both teams.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines, as all SEC fans know, are overrated, would finish behind Kentucky in the East and would play Mississippi State for last place in the West. They are slow on defense, unimaginative on offense, their mamas dress them funny and their coaches are devil-men.
And guess what? There's a good chance they'll both go to the playoffs anyway. They play at noon, Saturday on ABC.
Hate on, haters!
Here are actual SEC games, all times Eastern:
Both teams took similar rocky paths to seven wins. The Bulldogs rose from near oblivion to put together a three-game win streak in Kirby Smart's quest to make Georgia great again. A loss to Tech will not make Athens a safe and special place.
Last Thursday, Houston poured down blistering rebuke upon highly ranked Louisville. The Coogs made Lamar Jackson look less like a Heisman front-runner and more like a kid getting rolled by bullies for his lunch money and Nike Hyperdunk Flyknits.
Louisville is bound to have a mad on after that sorry exhibition. It's reasonable to anticipate a savage transferal of aggression.
Two weeks ago, Auburn looked like a playoff team. Then they got everybody hurt and lost to Georgia, and that sobbing sound your heard was programming executives in the CBS sports department.
The Iron Bowl died a little that day.
Rather than Armageddon between hated rivals for the SEC West championship and all that lies beyond, it's just a brawl between teams with a profound mutual dislike colliding in the heart of darkness where no love abides.
Auburn's still pretty beat up, even though a few of the halt and lame are limping back into action.
Quarterback Sean White has been hobbled with an injury to his throwing shoulder. He was ineffective against Georgia, who knocked him around and hurt his shoulder some more. He took a game off last week against cupcake Alabama A&M. Massive running back Kamryn Pettway, who was the SEC's leading rusher, pulled up lame and went down in the middle of a long run against Vanderbilt. The coaches made a joyful announcement that he was back and practice and ready to go.
Coach Gus Malzahn said he may not be 100 percent, which is accurate if that injury is half as bad as it looked. He hasn't said for sure if White will be able to go. If not, Auburn will turn to Jeremy Johnson and/or John Franklin III. They both can do certain things pretty well, but there's a reason why White is the starter and they aren't.
If Pettway can give Auburn a little punch in the running game, lighting things up between the tackles giving whoever's quarterback a place to escape to on the left or right, this one could be interesting. But still. Alabama. Defense.
Pettway and White are tough kids and both are imbued with the finest aspects of the Auburn spirit. But even tough guys find it tough to play against Bama's Fantastic Beasts of Defense if you don't have all your football faculties. Alabama does to injured skill players what lions to do slow antelopes.
No matter what, Alabama wins the SEC West and goes to the SEC Championship Game. Don't expect a letdown. Nick Saban is known to be about half crazy, and that goes to three-quarters when Auburn comes to town. He almost blew a gasket last week because his team didn't crush Chattanooga crushingly enough.
The Scrambled Egg Bowl comes chunked, smothered and covered this year.
The Rebels can grab their sixth win and make a bowl game, which means, of course, that their hated rival can keep them from going to a bowl game and would love nothing more.
That's plenty of motivation when both teams have slogged through lousy seasons and everybody's mad at the world anyway.
Clemson must win a game that they're probably going to win anyway. This almost never turns out well for the other team, and South Carolina's not quite ready to upset Clemson.
Or are they? Clemson's been flaky. Heck, Troy should have beaten them and Pitt did. The Gamecocks beat Tennessee and Josh Dobbs, who's a mobile quarterback who in some ways faintly resembles Deshaun Watkins.
Eh, probably not, but watch for a quarter to make sure.
Tennessee lost its chance to go to the SEC Championship Game last week when Florida upset LSU. Vanderbilt needs one more win to be bowl eligible.
If they manage to get it against Tennessee, there will sad faces on Rocky Top, one of which will be on the front of coach Butch Jones' head.
This season, Florida State got blasted by Louisville, and lost pretty to North Carolina and Clemson. A loss to Florida might not sit well with the coach search committee at LSU.
Florida is the SEC East champion for the second straight year. The Gators used a lot of emotional capital to get by LSU and clinch.