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Rumorology: The Final Four

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Our quest to crown the greatest message board rumor is down to four.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-National Championship-Virginia vs Texas Tech Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

We reached the end of our regional categories and we’re down to our final four contestants here. Most of the picks have been chalk so far, but two of these are going home the hard way.

Bobby Petrino’s Motorcycle Wreck

Here’s the thing about this story — Bobby Petrino, fresh off a top-10 finish at Arkansas, was busted with his mistress, whom he had hired as his personal assistant. That’s already a firable offense, and a pretty big violation of federal employment law for a state position. He could’ve been fired just on that by itself.

And the rest of this story STILL has enough layers to make it just...beautiful. Name your favorite aspect:

It was a cornucopia...hornucopia? Hogucopia? of blessings for us all.

Also, fuck that guy.

1/9/12

The three letters that will haunt the dreams of LSU fans forever. Name your favorite story:

  • Gregg Williams gave Alabama a copy of LSU’s game plan
  • Jordan Jefferson threw the game for bookies
  • The black players told Les Miles they wouldn’t come out of the locker room if he played Jarrett Lee
  • T-Bob Hebert and Jefferson had a massive brawl at halftime

Layers. Like an onion.

As the Plains Burn

So many words have been spilled on the greatness that is ATPB. But as the document itself indicates, there’s always more. With that in mind, friend of the site and long-time EDSBS commentariat partner in crime TexanInNYC weighed in with his thoughts:

Here’s the thing about the Cam Newton scandal… it shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. There were far more fascinating bribes, far bigger scandals that disappeared as quickly as they came up. UNC should possibly have been shuttered as an institution; Ole Miss was essentially hiring like a Fortune 500.

But the context – a dominant SEC, a revived national power in Alabama, and a sudden, out-of-nowhere contender to the throne in Auburn emerging. It seems crazy to think it now, but in 2010 everyone thought that Alabama/Auburn was going to be the Nebraska/Oklahoma or Lakers/Celtics of our lifetime – Chizik and Saban leading heavyweights against each other. It was 1915 Europe and Cam Newton scoring 28 unanswered points was Franz Ferdinand.

And then, the most treasured document in message board history emerges. To call As The Plains Burn a message board rumor is to call The Wire a cop show – it’s technically true but dismisses a Zolaesque lens to the world that says “we are all connected through our collective awfulness.” It is the greatest conspiracy theory, in the old-school literal way, ever concocted, and like The Wire or a Zola novel rolls every aspect of life in Alabama – corrupt politicians, Bible belt gambling, the lumber industry – into one beautiful read that is ostensibly about $180,000 in cash but is actually about so, so much more. It is our Reality Bites, our Hair, our Les Miserables. It could only exist in Alabama in 2011.

Nick Saban to Texas

We know it by now. Following the 2013 season, with Mack Brown on his way out, rumors developed over a December weekend that Alabama head coach Nick Saban was in discussions to jump to Texas. Or so we all were told. Things were hot and heavy for a day or so, Brown declared that he had no intentions of retiring, and by the end of the weekend the debate was whether the whole thing was real in the first place.

Well, Roll Bama Roll’s Erik has his take...

Alabama fans had their heads in the collective sand following a two-game slide to end 2013. Needing to just hold serve at Auburn, the odds of a three-peat were very good: But, they did not, and for the first time in his seven years, Saban got a lot of criticism from fans. And it was deserved too — Kick Six should have never been attempted. Saban notoriously does not handle such criticism well.

Tired of dealing with a notoriously feckless and spoiled fanbase who believe that a national title is the only barometer of a successful season, Saban *did* shop. And Texas *did* offer. The terms were similar to what had been speculated at the time: complete control over football, $10 million per for seven years (some report five).

In the end, Alabama fans owe Miss Terry as much as anyone for keeping the Sabans in Tuscaloosa. With daughter Christy being recently married, a grandchild on the way, their Mercedes empire expanding from Birmingham to Nashville and the like, the intrepid wanderers finally had too many roots in one place for Nick to take the next Big Thing that could burnish his resume or balm some bruised pride.

There are rumors and then there are rumors. This one was very, very close to coming to fruition.

Poll

Which rumor was crazier?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Bobby Petrino’s Motorcycle Wreck
    (55 votes)
  • 35%
    1/9/12
    (30 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which rumor was crazier?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    As the Plains Burn
    (57 votes)
  • 34%
    Nick Saban to Texas
    (30 votes)
87 votes total Vote Now