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4 reasons LSU-Auburn will go down as the most unbelievable game of 2016

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ESPN, USA Today, Getty Images, Sam Butler

LSU vs. Auburn was going to be a memorable game, if only because it paired two desperate rivals in a wild venue with conference stakes and the employment statuses of two prominent head coaches on the line.

Auburn won, 18-13, almost certainly ending the Playoff hopes of the preseason No. 5 team, putting Les Miles right back on the hot seat (and a day later, getting him fired), boosting AU's own bowl chances and buying Gus Malzahn some breathing room.

That's all pretty wild! And it says nothing at all about how confounding this game was, on the field and off.

This list doesn't cover all of it, just the three biggest points, any one of which could've been the strangest moment of an entire Saturday all by itself.

1. It packed more nonsense into the final second than some games manage in three hours.

We attempted to explain just the final second of gameplay, which took a video, a GIF, three screenshots, and a few hundred words broken into six sections. The very short of it: officials ruled LSU had scored a last-second touchdown after hustling to snap the ball post-penalty, then ruled Auburn had actually won. Both teams celebrated the win, but only one counted.

Here's where the ball was when the clock hit zeroes (LSU also isn't set yet, but too many things were collapsing at once for most people to notice that at the time):

lsu auburn

And here's the video of the full ending:

And here's the other thing: there were other baffling incidents in the final few seconds, even before that play. For example, LSU should've been flagged for an illegal shift with six seconds left, according to college football official Cyd Zeigler, meaning the game should've ended at that point anyway.

2. Someone set Auburn's beloved Toomer's Corner trees on fire.

Yes, the same Toomer's Corner that made Alabama fan Harvey Updyke a famous person after he took out an Iron Bowl loss on Auburn's cherished oak trees. These are new trees, which some idiot and/or asshole set on fire early Sunday morning.

Auburn fans roll these trees in toilet paper after every win, and the first SEC home win in quite a while merited a vigorous rolling.

This guy was arrested for it:

3. A photographer got bombed right in the face by a kickoff.

Her name is Ashley Ward.

The amazing news: she's unharmed.

"I was trying to catch the ball, obviously. I made this thing with the manager that I would be able to catch the ball if Daniel Carlson kicked it to me, and I obviously missed it and caught the ball with my face instead of my hands," she said in the video above with WBRC. "I'm okay, just a little red."

4. LSU fired Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron because of a weird snap.

Miles' exit makes sense. It was close enough to time to be time. It's just amazing to think he'd still be around if that ball had gotten snapped a certain number of milliseconds sooner and LSU's game-winning touchdown had counted.

I guess this all makes sense.

After all, this was the 20th anniversary of tailgaters causing a huge fire on Auburn's campus during this game, with a huge tower of black smoke visible to fans in the stadium and flames visible through parts of the stadium on ESPN's broadcast. (Everybody was okay then, too.)

Strange things happen in this series. My favorite part: our Auburn and LSU blogs both independently described the 2016 game as as par for the course for LSU-Auburn.