Although many expected Saturday to be a light one for the SEC, this latest slate of games still churned out a surprising number of compelling storylines for football fans to digest on a lazy Sunday. From the continued lopsidedness of Alabama-Tennessee to a couple of shockingly poor performances by Texas A&M and Kentucky, the reactions were strong and wide-ranging.
As we dive in, how could we start with any game other than the heart-stopping, yell-inducing back and forth between Auburn and Arkansas, which ended only in quadruple overtime? The two schools combined to score 52 points in overtime alone. And as Twitter brilliantly points out, the box score hardly resembles that of a football game.
Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema was just happy it wasn’t a night game.
Bielema: I'm glad that game was at 11, or else it would have ended at midnight.
— Andrew Hutchinson (@NWAHutch) October 24, 2015
Arkansas tailback Alex Collins played a big role in the win, cranking out 105 yards on 25 rushes. But in classic Bielema fashion, he managed to turn even that into something controversial.
Bielema: Alex Collins pissed me off–he was late for breakfast this morning. He's got so much potential. The only guy who limits him is him.
— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) October 24, 2015
Over in Tuscaloosa, meanwhile, Alabama clung onto a late lead to beat Tennessee, 19-14, for the ninth year in a row. This pleased former Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron, who is a little touchy when it comes to correct identification of his alma mater.
Oh I almost forgot man does it just feel great or what to beat the ORANGE team for 9 straight?? Wonder if we're still the RED team? #doubtit
— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) October 25, 2015
Over in the opposing team’s locker room, Vols coach Butch Jones wasn’t making any excuses for the close loss. Tennessee offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson felt the outcome “should have” been different, while teammate Josh Smith thinks his team is better than its record indicates.
#Vols' Kyler Kerbyson: Two years ago we were wowed by Bama's size and talent. This year we weren't. We could have and should have won.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) October 24, 2015
Butch Jones: "At the University of Tennessee, there are no moral victories."
— Matt Slovin (@MattSlovin) October 24, 2015
Josh Smith: If we didn't show today we can play w/ anybody … We r one of the five best teams in the country. I believe that. #Vols
— John Brice (@John_BriceVQ) October 24, 2015
And for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, well, this whole season probably feels like a nightmare after entering the fall with such high hopes.
"It's a tough loss. It's a tough way to lose," said Gus Malzahn after losing in four overtimes at Arkansas
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) October 24, 2015
Oh, and how could we forget: Perennial SEC nemesis Florida State lost to Georgia Tech in spectacular fashion on Saturday night. With his team likely out of contention for the College Football Playoff, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher offered this thoughtful response: “It’s not all about winning.”
That quote should be painted on a wall somewhere in Doak Campbell Stadium, for players to touch as they march toward the field. Inspirational.
"It's not all about winning" oh god FSU fans are going to implode with this. https://t.co/UDSMqvblIx
— Morgan Moriarty (@Morgan_Moriarty) October 25, 2015