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THE BEST GAME OF 2015

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IT WAS COLD, LOUD, FAST, AND TOTAL NONSENSE

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Bill C included it in his top 100 games of 2015 at #26, marking one of the few times Bill C is unequivocally wrong about things in college football. He is wrong, and that happens to even the finest computers from time to time.

He is wrong because Mississippi State/Arkansas was the best game of 2015, and was for the following reasons:

1. It involved two teams never really sure they're going to win, ever. Arkansas and Mississippi State both have tortured football histories involving blown leads, improbably victories, and occasional periods of happiness inevitably dashed by scandal, coaching turnover, or the creeping return of mediocrity and mediocrity's addled cousin, Abject Failure.

They sit in the perfect zone of ideal competitive parity for the uninvested viewer: No lead is ever safe, yet no game is ever too far out of range to be totally hopeless. Because you've won things, Arkansas and Mississippi State! You've also lost things, and lost them in horrifying fashion. Together you make nervous desperation, and nervous desperation is always entertaining.

2. Mississippi State played their part by racing out to a lead, and then coughing up that lead twice, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes of the second half alone. Arkansas was down 31-14 in the second quarter, and yet would eventually lead 42-31 at the end of the third.

3. This led to two quarterbacks absolutely playing eight miles out of their mind. Dak Prescott threw for 508 and five TDs, which is a rattling total until you look over and realize Brandon Allen threw for seven touchdowns for a team that would, on any other day, prefer to run the ball seventy times and finish with a good three pounds of turf in each lineman's facemask. Prescott ran for two TDs, too, something you forget because a part of your brain just assumed twelve TDs between two teams should be enough for most games BUT NOT THIS GAME, DEAR READER. NOT THIS MIGHTY AND LARGELY FORGOTTEN CONTEST.

4. It was butt-cold, with the temperatures plunging into the twenties by nightfall. We mention this only because it's fun to watch SEC players attempt to function in the cold. In this game's case, the defenders refused to comply, and gimped around the field as if they were "all stove up". This is a phrase my granddad used to use, and I can only say that a.) I'm not totally sure what the definition is, but b.) I know it when I see it, and c.) every defender in this game was definitely all stove up.

5. The game featured three lead changes in the last seven minutes, and a very, very makeable missed field goal blocked to end it. A blocked field goal is the insurance claim denial of losses. All you had to do was fill out the paperwork, they said. Sure you had Brandon Allen playing the hottest hand of his life, and three minutes on the clock, but this was just paperwork when you have the ball on the 19 yard line. Three runs and you'd just mail that baby in! Unfortunately, Dan Mullen is the world's meanest claims adjuster.

6. There were many shots of Bret Bielema on the sideline not looking like a man who'd slept in the woods for weeks on end. Might have been the only time he shaved in 2015, to be honest. And after what happened, he probably swore it off altogether.

7. A fight broke out in the stands. Not a tussle, but a good, solid, facepunchin' fight.

These two schools concluded a game that got out of control and ended up in the 50s by blocking a field goal, and then turning to the stands where two definitely-not-drunk bros continued the fight by punching each other in the teeth. This is all I can ask of a football game: chaos, weird weather conditions, and players out-of-sorts and desperately trying to keep up with each other in a game that ends way, way too late for its own good.

You snap to Sportscenter and everyone's just kind of staring at the camera going "uhh, so...yeah. Hi. We'll give you a minute to put your brain back in your skull." This was the best game of 2015.