With possible bowl eligibility on the line in what could be Gary Pinkel’s final game at Missouri, the stage is set for another dramatic Black Friday in the SEC.
There is certainly a trend in place where we should expect the unexpected from SEC teams playing on the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps today’s Arkansas-Missouri game will add to the insanity.
Let’s look back at 10 memorable Black Friday games from the last decade that involved current SEC clubs:
No. 2 Auburn 28, No. 11 Alabama 27, 2010: Nothing was any nuttier than “The Camback.” When unbeaten Auburn trailed Alabama 24-0 midway through the second quarter and had gained 2 yards versus Alabama’s 314, there was no reason to believe the Tigers’ BCS title chase -- or Cam Newton’s Heisman Trophy campaign -- would still be alive once they left Tuscaloosa. Then Newton rallied Auburn to the biggest comeback in school history. A week later, the Tigers routed South Carolina in the SEC title game. About a month later, they claimed Auburn’s first national title since 1957.
Arkansas 50, No. 1 LSU 48, 3 OT, 2007: Arkansas-LSU was once an annual Black Friday event, and it will appear on this list a few more times. This one ranks as the craziest, though, since the Razorbacks’ win against the top-ranked Tigers caused everyone to believe at the time that LSU had blown its chance to win a national title. Darren McFadden rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns and passed for one more, and Arkansas totaled 385 rushing yards against a strong LSU defense. Thanks to a couple more upsets after this one, LSU still got its BCS title shot -- and Les Miles’ club knocked off Ohio State to win it.
No. 2 Alabama 26, Auburn 21, 2009: The year before “The Camback” came an Alabama rally that kept alive the Crimson Tide’s hope of an unbeaten season. The heavily-favored Tide never led until Greg McElroy hit Roy Upchurch with the game-winning 4-yard touchdown with 1:24 to play. Alabama would survive Auburn’s valiant effort, then beat top-ranked Florida for the SEC title and a chance to face Texas for the BCS crown. The Tide also toppled the Longhorns, capping Nick Saban’s only unbeaten season at Alabama.
No. 17 LSU 31, Arkansas 27, 2013: Freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings replaced injured starter Zach Mettenberger in the fourth quarter and led LSU on the game-winning, 99-yard touchdown drive. He hit wide-open Travin Dural with a 49-yard touchdown pass with 1:15 to play and helped the Tigers avoid what would have been a massive upset against a three-win Arkansas team.
Mississippi State 17, Ole Miss 14, 2007: Adam Carlson booted the game-winning 48-yard field goal with 48 seconds to play, just less than two minutes after Derek Pegues tied the game with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown. Sylvester Croom’s team trailed 14-0 at the start of the fourth quarter, but closed the Egg Bowl on a 17-0 run.
Texas A&M 38, No. 13 Texas 30, 2007: Texas A&M wasn’t an SEC program at the time, but this remains a memorable win for Aggies fans. Embattled coach Dennis Franchione and his team held on for the win -- A&M’s first back-to-back wins over the Longhorns since 1991-94 -- and then he tendered his resignation after the game. A&M quarterback Stephen McGee (362 yards, three TDs, plus another rushing score) was the star.
Arkansas 31, LSU 30, 2008: Casey Dick connected with London Crawford for a 24-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining to complete Arkansas’ comeback bid. The Razorbacks trailed 30-14 midway through the third quarter before scoring the game’s final 17 points.
No. 3 LSU 19, Arkansas 17, 2005: Miles’ team capped a crazy regular season where he claimed an SEC West title in his first season on the bayou by holding off a four-win Arkansas club. LaRon Landry picked off a Dick pass in the end zone to stave off Arkansas’ last scoring opportunity, and the Tigers benefited from a safety and two missed Arkansas field goals.
Texas A&M 12, No. 11 Texas 7, 2006: McGee scored on an 8-yard touchdown run with 2:32 to play to help the Aggies snap a six-game losing streak against Texas and win in Austin for the first time since 1994. A&M picked off three Colt McCoy passes in the victory and rushed for 244 yards against the nation’s top run defense.
No. 9 LSU 31, No. 5 Arkansas 26, 2006: A battle of top-10 teams saw LSU knock Arkansas out of the BCS title picture. The Tigers traveled to Little Rock and won the “Golden Boot” trophy for the fourth straight year behind 210 passing yards and two touchdowns from JaMarcus Russell.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Texas A&M Aggies