College football's hottest mess of a conference got even hotter and messier this past weekend, as coaches from Gainesville to Nashville went to great lengths to one-up each other in the drama queen department. Here's all the seamy, sudsy, blisteringly profane gossip:
SEPARATED. The South Carolina Gamecocks and the SEC East title, following the season-ending injury to running back Marcus Lattimore against Mississippi State on Saturday. The team's publicist characterized it as only a trial separation, pending the outcome of games at Tennessee and Arkansas; "The Gamecocks have been through a lot of changes lately," she said, "and this is really just them taking an opportunity to take stock of their lives and decide whether they're in this relationship for the long haul." Though the separation is only on a trial basis, the publicist did confirm that the Gamecocks are being allowed to see other people, including the Gator Bowl.
SPOTTED. Florida head coach (and former Auburn defensive coordinator) Will Muschamp, in an ugly shouting match with his former team, in Auburn, Ala., Saturday night. Muschamp was known to be a volatile partner in his prior relationship even in the best of times, but witnesses in Auburn said seeing his old team apparently brought back a flood of emotions. "I mean, here he is, two straight conference losses and can barely keep a quarterback healthy, and he sees them strutting around with a 4-2 record and a national title trophy," said one onlooker. "You think a guy like Muschamp can keep his cool after something like that?" For their part, the Tigers professed innocence, saying that current defensive coordinator Ted Roof was "just a friend, nothing serious" and that in spite of the ugly scene, they "wish Coach Muschamp the best."
IN TREATMENT. The Tennessee football program, for depression, following a series of events over the last couple weeks. The team lost starting quarterback Tyler Bray to a thumb injury during its Oct. 8 game against Georgia, then got blown out 38-7 by the top-ranked LSU Tigers on Saturday; the final straw, though, was hearing from Alabama head coach Nick Saban that he "could give a s**t" about the storied Alabama-Tennessee rivalry. "This football program is in a very vulnerable place right now," said the team's therapist. "They've been beaten by a bunch of teams and abandoned by a bunch of others. We're bringing some old friends over for an intervention or two to show them the love that they need." The first such intervention is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 29 in Knoxville, where the South Carolina Gamecocks have only beaten the Volunteers once in the history of their rivalry.
SENTENCED. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, to four hours of time out, for his profane tirade directed at Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin following Georgia's 33-28 win over the Commodores on Saturday. Grantham must spend the time consecutively, in his room, without access to TV or his computer, and was directed to use the time to compose an essay on the importance of keeping one's temper; however, his attorneys were able to plead the length of the essay from 10 pages down to three. Franklin will appear before the same magistrate on Thursday, where he is expected to plead not guilty to charges of aggravated tattling. "For my client to be charged at all in this incident is a miscarriage of justice, since he never even touched Mr. Richt or Mr. Grantham at any point during their respective confrontations," Franklin's attorney said. "To repeat: Not touching you, not touching you, not touching you." If convicted, Franklin could also face a period in time out.
FEATURED. The Ole Miss offense, on a special "revival" episode of the Ashton Kutcher reality show Punk'd, filmed in Oxford, Miss., Saturday night. In their segment, the Rebels were allowed to score first on the second-ranked (and heavily favored) Alabama Crimson Tide before the Tide unloaded 52 unanswered points on them. The prank was finally revealed when Bama running back Trent Richardson, rumbling toward his fourth touchdown of the evening, suddenly broke into a complicated interpretive dance at the 14 yard line.
Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt claimed to have known about the joke all along; Kutcher and the show's producers denied Nutt's account of events.