From those brilliant readers, here are eight GIFs that explain everything about SEC football right now.
Ole Miss: Everything was looking like Christmas and then …
Mississippi State: Say what you want, the Bulldogs are the league’s only undefeated team.
Texas A&M: Well, the first post-Johnny Manziel season has backfired.
Alabama: With LSU, Miss. State and Auburn left, the Tide can deliver the league a knockout blow.
LSU: Miss. State’s best friend and resident league spoiler. They beat Ole Miss and now can beat Bama. The least the Bulldogs can do is give LSU some props.
Arkansas: So, so close for Bret Bielema, yet so far.
Auburn: You never see ‘em coming until they’re about to hit you in the face.
The entire SEC East: Yeah.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. A select number of emails between NCAA staff regarding the organization’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky aftermath at Penn State were released in a lawsuit and show that within the NCAA’s walls, staff members debated the legality and scope of power they actually had in penalizing Penn State. The NCAA levied unprecedented penalties, including a $60 million fine, on Penn State, and now the release of this information raises the question of whether the NCAA operated within appropriate boundaries. One staff member called their approach with the school a “bluff,” knowing the NCAA couldn’t firmly support every penalty it was suggesting. Penn State called it “deeply disturbing” that the NCAA would try to “bluff” a member institution and is considering its legal options.
What does this all mean? Who knows. There will likely be more lawsuits, which will likely take a lot of time to get sorted out, and it surely will be messy. Maybe it means even more of the penalties will be reduced – the bowl ban was lifted this year, making the Nittany Lions eligible immediately – or maybe it means we’re on the cusp of a really embarrassing moment for NCAA president Mark Emmert.
2. Michigan is redshirting five-star cornerback/athlete Jabrill Peppers due to a leg injury. He’s played in only three games and will be considered a redshirt freshman next season. The positive here, I suppose, is that it puts to rest the speculation about Peppers possibly transferring, as he’s one of the most important recruits the Wolverines have nabbed in a while and a big part of their future.
3. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher and Virginia coach Mike London are taking part in a bone-marrow drive for Fanconi anemia before they play each other this week, as both have children with the disease. Fisher, in particular, has been crushed this season by the media for his role in how FSU has handled its myriad legal issues. While much of that criticism is warranted, the good things he does should also be acknowledged.
2. UAB boosters sent school president Ray Watts a letter on Wednesday expressing concern that the Alabama Board of Trustees is considering shutting down the football program after the 2016 season. The board is reportedly evaluating the long-term viability of the program. UAB has never won more than seven games (and did that only twice) in 16 seasons in Conference USA but has a chance to reach that threshold this year in head coach Bill Clark’s first season on the job. The program is 5-4 – one win from bowl eligibility – with three games to play.
3. Texas defensive coordinator on the idea of the Longhorns wearing an alternate uniform: We don’t wear “clown suits.” I’m sure this has nothing to do with recruiting and certain in-state schools that like to sell their shiny new things to 18-year-old football players. Nothing at all.