For seemingly the one millionth straight year, Rivalry Week was Off. The. Chain. The Thanksgiving college football extravaganza has never disappointed, though its existence is a disappointment given that it's the final week of the regular season, a sign that the end of football is near. We can choose to be sad over this (I am) or we can choose to celebrate it for all its wackiness (I will). And my goodness was there some wackiness.
Rivalry Week was so wacky (say that five times fast) that we're not giving our college football star of the week award to a player, a coach, a broadcaster, a mascot or even a human being. We're giving it to the hedges at Jordan-Hare Stadium, which claimed multiple lives in the aftermath of Auburn's epic 48-45 Iron Bowl win over Alabama, producing by far the funniest image of the 2019 college football season:
Jokes, of course, were made:
Silly moms, right? Hold up! The hedges were FAR from finished. Late Saturday night, another video of the hedges literally swallowing up a woman went viral, but this time it was an actual college student. Young, old, it doesn't matter, the hedges will get ya:
In case you're interested in the first-person version, she did take a video herself:
The funny thing is, Auburn's hedges aren't even the most famous in the SEC. The field at Sanford Stadium, home of the Georgia Bulldogs, is literally referred to as "Between the Hedges." Georgia's hedges have been a part of Sanford Stadium since 1929, while Auburn's weren't put in until legendary head coach Pat Dye decided he wanted them put in in 1987. Ironically, the reason for the hedges, besides to give the stadium a "face lift," was to deter fans from rushing the field. In that regard, the hedges have been a colossal failure, except at producing endless #content. College football is the only sport where you could get lost for hours discussing bushes, and frankly I wouldn't have it any other way.
Angry Nick Saban
Nick Saban doesn't need any help being mad. He wakes up in the morning seething with rage. Perhaps there is a brief moment where he takes a bite of a Little Debbie's Oatmeal Creme Pie and a sip of coffee and smiles, but after that it's back to furiously rewinding and fast forwarding game tape. His anger level is at a 10 at all times. But during games there is the possibility that it goes to 11, and when that happens, it's special:
This was after the refs allowed Auburn one final play in the first half by leaving a second on the clock, which Saban was understandably frustrated over. It led to a field goal for the Tigers, a three-point difference they eventually won by but obviously wasn't THE deciding factor. Here was
Satan Saban discussing it at halftime:
Elite anger. Props to Jamie Erdahl for entering that tornado of rage and coming out alive. It got even better for Saban haters at the end of the game, when Auburn essentially tricked 'Bama's defense into a 12-men on the field penalty and ended the game. I can't find the full video of Saban flipping out over that, but the headset toss will have to suffice:
You have to be an idiot to be in the vicinity of Saban at that moment like this guy was. Saban did NOT want him to catch the headset and he probably wanted to throw it in his face and tell him his parents don't love him, but that dude went in there anyway and caught the headset. Ballsy.
Seemingly every other year, Gus Malzahn saves his job by winning the Iron Bowl, and as a result we get a happy Malzahn. A Waffle House Malzahn:
I've not had the blueberry at WH but I have had the chocolate chip and, as you'd expect, it's a revelation. Malzahn always goes to Waffle House after a victory, but I'd imagine it tastes best after an Iron Bowl win in which he DUPED Nick Saban. Take it away Orlovsky:
Galaxy brain-level stuff to pull off in the biggest moment of the year.
Any other weekend, Iowa kicker Keith Duncan probably goes somewhat unnoticed, even if he hits a game-winning kick. But because his game-winning kick came on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when everybody has the day off and Iowa-Nebraska is the only show in town, all eyes were on Duncan. Not only did he drill the game-winner in Lincoln, which knocked the Cornhuskers out of a bowl game, he taunted the hell out of the Nebraska sideline:
The Mutombo finger wag! By the way, this was a 48-yarder that he walked off like Tiger Woods walks after a birdie putt that's still four feet from the hole. Epic scenes. His Instagram post after the game might have been the best part:
Computer ... ENHANCE:
Here lies the Nebraska football program, murdered by a kicker named Keith.
After 15 straight losses to Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers finally got one, and they celebrated accordingly:
With the win the Wahoos secured a spot in the ACC Championship Game, where they'll more than likely lose by 40 to Clemson. But they still completed this hilarious circle of ACC Coastal division life:
For those who didn't follow this story, former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano was set to be re-hired by the university earlier this month. Then the deal fell through, then the powers-that-be at RU said he was demanding too much. Then everyone wrote hit pieces about the powers-that-be at Rutgers. Then there was a fan revolt. Then the school's big-time donors started threatening to stop donating to the school. Then suddenly the deal was back in play. Then, finally, he was hired, though the deal has not been made official yet. It was an all-time saga, and probably the most Rutgers football has ever been discussed since beating Louisville on ESPN that one year:
Many people are saying that this was an absurd amount of drama over a career 68-67 coach, which is true. But people do forget he had Rutgers ranked as high as seventh in the country in 2006, and if not for a 41-39 loss in triple overtime to West Virginia in the final game of the regular season, he would have had the Scarlet Knights in a BCS game. I highly doubt Rutgers will ever compete for a Big Ten Championship, but I'd be willing to bet he'll get them to be competitive within a few years, something Rutgers has not been since joining the conference.
The best part of the hire, however, was the unearthing of this video: