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Arkansas vs. Ole Miss is annually the dumbest game and remained dumb in 2018

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Every year, this series finds a way to produce one of the silliest endings you’ve ever seen.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve learned to expect the unexpected when Arkansas and Ole Miss meet for SEC West ... well, not supremacy.

2001’s seven-overtime banger set the tone, and the fact that the two schools were the figures in arguably the SEC’s strangest coaching drama (which is saying something) contributes to their rivalry, but the last three seasons in particular have given us three strange gems in a row.

2018

The series’ latest entry happened Saturday. Arkansas led 27-10 in the second quarter, then got to blowing that lead. Ole Miss took the lead on a Scottie Phillips touchdown run with 42 seconds left, capping a 97-yard drive. Arkansas then tried to come back and returned the kickoff out to its own 43, needing a touchdown to take the lead back.

But a 15-yard personal foul at the end of that play backed the Hogs up to their 28. Then, on the first play, QB Cole Kelley threw to a wide-open ... Ole Miss defensive back.

Zedrick Woods’ interception ended things. Final score: Ole Miss 37, Arkansas 33 in Little Rock.

2017

This year also had stakes, but of an unusual variety. Bret Bielema was coaching for his job, so the Hogs did all kinds of weird stuff on the field as the Hogs got down by 31-7 in the second quarter.

For the third year in a row, there was a weird bounce-like activity on fourth down — but this time, it was totally drawn up that way, for some reason.

What did work for the Hogs was tremendous fumble luck, particularly on this play (in which Ole Miss’ Myles Hartsfield celebrated the recovery he thought his team got). Instead Arkansas pounced on it after a long preamble.

More bounces? There was also this scoop and score to bring the Hogs to within two late in the fourth.

It all ended with Arkansas pulling off the comeback and kicking a game-winning field goal despite Ole Miss breaking out the dreaded TRIPLE ICING. Even when this series ends with a basic football play, it still finds a way to be strange.

2016

The followup to 2015’s stupidest game featured the Hogs winning despite the Rebels leading with three minutes remaining. And yep, it all hinged on a ball flying backward on fourth-and-long yet again.

2015

Our game of the year in 2015, the Hogs and Rebels got together in a fun one with huge stakes, as Arkansas played spoiler in overtime with a chance for Ole Miss to lead the SEC West on the line.

Steady excitement: Neither team led by more than seven points in the entire game. One would score, then the other would match. It was 7-7, then 14-14, then 17-17, then 24-24, then 31-31, then 38-38, then 45-45. Not until Arkansas went for 2 at the end of overtime did this pattern end.

That chance for two only came after a touchdown set up by this fourth-and-25 miracle ...

... which ultimately contributed to Alabama’s national title, leading to grateful Bama fans.