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Around the SEC week 4: Auburn and Florida are experiencing some personnel issues

Gus Malzahn and Jim McElwain are thinning the ranks, Bret Bielema eats some crow, and the illegal man downfield penalty earns some very important inspection.

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There's an old saying that runs "If only German had a word for schadenfreude," and certainly anyone who feels enmity for Tuscaloosa and the Crimson Tide is pawing for just such a term this week. Ole Miss accomplished this season what Ole Miss has never accomplished ever: consecutive victories over Bama, including the most diabolically devised play from scrimmage ever executed. Surely our children's children's children will tell of the fabled Tip Six in songs of praise and worship.

The week three whip-around was shelved because there was literally nothing else going on in the college football universe, but it returns for week four, wherein suspensions and benchings and BERT abound! As an added bonus, we'll wax fondly over the nine or so hours that we all thought Lane Kiffin was resigning on Thursday. So finish that half rack of ribs, and let's enjoy Kliff Kingsbury telling it like it is.


Gus Malzahn has more than just a quarterback problem. Gus Malzahn has a sieve-like defense and a general air of disarray problem. On Tuesday, Malzahn announced he was benching presumptive offense-savior Jeremy Johnson in favor of redshirt freshman Sean White, who has yet to field a live snap in a collegiate football match. Citing an abundance of confidence in White's performance in practice and scrimmages, Gambling Gus will offer up White to Mississippi State's defense on Saturday, which gives everyone watching the beautiful hope of another 3-2 fest out on the Plains.

Further, if you're particularly fond of shamelessly unfounded opinions from men who look like a bearded thumb, your friend Trent Dilfer has nothing but praise for Sean White:

Jeremy is a gifted athlete, but Sean is a tremendous passer. If they wanted to throw the ball, I just assumed that was the direction they were going to go.

Arguably the worst quarterback to earn a Super Bowl ring believes a wholly untested redshirt frosh is a "game changer" for an SEC West team that can't stop cold molasses from scoring in a meat freezer. Congratulations in advance, CLANGA.


Speaking of murky quarterback storylines, the Florida Gators have handed down a one-game suspension to backup QB Treon Harris for very hush-hush reasons, though the language of their announcement seems to indicate that possible drug-testing violations are at issue. Sharing bench space with Harris on Saturday will be cornerback Jalen Tabor, who outright refused to take a drug test this week, which earns NCAA athletes automatic one-game suspensions. Great policy, NCAA, I wonder how Harris and Tabor will spend all their free time now that they don't have a Tennessee game to prepare for in earnest.

In any case, the Harris benching doesn't sting Gainesville so much as the Tabor suspension, insofar as Will Grier has effectively concretized his spot as starting QB. Tabor, on the other hand, short-arms an otherwise outstanding Gator secondary on a weekend that invites a detested SEC East rival to the Swamp. This one is Saturday's CBS game of the week, just in time for your mid-afternoon Lundquist-Danielson craving.


Did you know that in Fayetteville the stomach disorder associated with atrocious offensive production and losses to mid-tier Toledo is called bretbielema noxia? Did you also know that Arkansas is suffering from atrocious offensive production and lost to mid-tier Toledo this season? Wonderful.

Anyway, Bret Bielema and Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury engaged in a COACH FIGHT this week following Kingsbury's very correct comments that Bielema's squad got their asses handed to them even with a fullback in the lineup. Bielema, for his part, answered these extremely true and hilarious words with some very loud grunting, which dwindled into odd throaty noises, followed by the world's longest exhale, at which point every journalist in the room felt uncomfortable enough to just up and leave. GOOD LUCK IN ARLINGTON, BERT.

For the good of the order

SEC officials chief Steve Shaw met with with his referees this week to discuss the illegal man downfield penalty, since coaches have apparently been rather vocal in their criticism of how consistently it's called. Who knows why that is. In short, no changes to the rule's wording will be implemented this season, but Shaw's summit at least yielded promises to do a better job at officiating, and not a worse job. Thanks, Steve.

Finally, Thursday's Lane Kiffin tweet storm regarding the coordinator's presumed resignation reached such fever pitches that Drew Magary and Tim Marchman tried to tunnel down to the originary rumor monger, in addition to every other internet sleuth in Tuscaloosa. Kiffin fabulists have sprouted up everywhere, notably on Reddit where Joey Freshwater fan fictions appear with abandon. Whatever the case, this story seemed to have maybe begun to get legs as Thursday wore on, only to be squelched around 4:00 p.m. It's really amazing what mass wishful thinking can accomplish given 140 characters and some dubious "sources."

It has been 21 days since Laremy Tunsil was relegated to NCAA limbo. #FreeTunsil.