Hello. Apparently this whole "football" thing is still going on, and I am supposed to write about it. So here are some highly-informative previews of five of this weekend's games involving SEC teams. The "highly-informative" part may or may not be a lie (SPOILER: It is a lie).
Towson at LSU: I have no idea why LSU is playing something called "Towson" in late September, but I'm assuming - as I always do - that Les Miles has some devious motivation for putting them on the schedule. So I once again turned to history's greatest repository of knowledge - Wikipedia - to see if I could figure out what that motivation might be.
The school that would eventually become Towson University opened its doors on January 15, 1866, as the "Maryland State Normal School." So I guess if you were a normal person who wanted to go to college in Maryland before then, you were out of luck. The school mascot was not the "Fightin' Average," but it should have been.
Additional research reveals that besides the usual campus housing options, students at Towson can also choose from five other "special" options, including: "International House, Honors College, Wellness, Alcohol-free, and Special Quiet." I would have assumed that "Alcohol-free" and "Special Quiet" would be the same dorm, but apparently not. Also, the term "Special Quiet" is slightly unsettling and sounds like something you would use to get your five-year-old to stop climbing the walls ("If you sit down and be Special Quiet for an hour while Daddy drinks his ‘medicine,' I will let you eat a fistful of sugar! Yayyyyy, sugar!").
Even further additional research reveals that before the 1960s, the sports teams at Towson were known as the "Knights." Incensed by this kowtowing to the hated British, Towson student John Schuerholz (the current president of the Atlanta Braves) pushed for a new mascot. In a wildly-original choice, the school chose to become the "Tigers" in 1962. It turns out that a then-nine-year-old Les Miles, a noted medieval historian and Anglophile, would never forgive Towson for the decision and vowed revenge. Fifty years later, he will punish the school by murdering its football program. Just as he promised he would.
South Carolina at Kentucky: So they're still insisting on playing this game, apparently. I really want to say something nice and hopeful about this matchup from the UK perspective, but this piece is already too full of wildly implausible fictions. The Gamecocks are big, fast, and talented all over the field, and they're coached by Steve Spurrier, who will never forgive the Wildcats for winning that one time in the 985 occasions his teams have played UK.
The big story this week in Lexington was the decision of UK President Eli Capilouto to ban alcohol, DJs and bands from the student tailgating area along Cooper Drive near Commonwealth Stadium. Because if there's one thing you want to do for your football program when you're struggling to fill seats, it's to tell college students they can't drink before a game. Hey, let me introduce you to the student section for the rest of the season. It's called "some guy from Kirwan I." Should be a great atmosphere.
Ole Miss at Alabama: Batman supervillain Hugh Freeze brings his Rebels to Tuscaloosa for a bludgeoning at the hands of Saborg and the Crimson Tide. If this were some kind of "Southern Literature Bowl" or "High-Falutin' Tailgate Double Dare," I would take Ole Miss in a heartbeat. But it's not. So I won't.
Did you know that two years ago students at Ole Miss actually attempted to replace the school's old mascot with Admiral Ackbar? Wouldn't that have been great? But, alas, it was not to be, as George Lucas concluded that the good Admiral was "too busy" for the job, thus continuing his nearly 30-year quest to suck all possible joy out of anything relating to "Star Wars." I'll bet you anything Lucas would've been perfectly comfortable with Jar-Jar Binks getting the gig ("Meesa call it the ‘War of Northern Aggression,' too!").
Arkansas at Texas A&M: This looks like a REALLY good chance for one of the SEC's n00b programs to get its first conference win. The Razorbacks are absolutely floundering right now and face the daunting task of trying to turn things around at Kyle Field in front of A&M's vaunted "12th Man." The search for Arkansas's next head coach (I'm going out on a limb and assuming that John L. "HURR?" Smith won't be retained) is undoubtedly well under way. If Arkansas's recent hiring history is any indication, that coach will be none other than Ron Cooper. So you've got that to look forward to, Hog fans. Other potential coaches viewed by the Arkansas AD as an improvement over Smith include Inanimate Carbon Rod, Box, and Just About Anybody at This Point, Really.
Tennessee at Georgia: And now the big SEC matchup of the weekend. Early on, Tennessee looked like it might be back on the path to becoming one of the conference big boys again, but a crushing loss to Florida suggests that it isn't as close as Vol fans had hoped. Another loss to UGA might get the hounds baying again at Derek Dooley and his future as UT head coach.
I have zero doubt that Bobby Petrino would betray his children, stab every friend he has in the back, and burn down his own house to get the Tennessee job. Heck, he would probably do that to get a parking spot. And I'm sure given the good terms on which he left Knoxville, Lane Kiffin would be willing to take another crack at the job. Just kidding. I wouldn't wish such a thing even on Tennessee. Lane Kiffin is the type of guy who was born standing on third base and is pissed off that someone didn't just go ahead and carry him home. If you look up "clown shoes" in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Lane Kiffin and that punchable look he always has on his face. That guy is the worst. On second thought, you should rehire Lane Kiffin, Tennessee. Feeling moderately sorry for you is starting to get old and makes me feel a little dirty, honestly.
Enjoy the football this weekend, folks!
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