Monday, October 5, 2009
Tebow chatter hot, excessive celebrating not
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Who’s hot and who’s not in the SEC? It’s that time of week again to find out:
Tim Tebow speculation: Every passing minute, there are more doctors coming out of the woodwork and more concussion experts springing up than Tebow has scored touchdowns during his record-setting career. When Florida coach Urban Meyer says he doesn’t know if Tebow is going to play against LSU, he means it. Nobody knows. This isn’t Meyer’s call. This isn’t Tebow’s call. This is a doctor’s call, a real doctor, and no legitimate doctor is going to clear Tebow for contact unless he’s sure the Gators’ star quarterback is completely free from any symptoms and in no danger to go out there and play again after suffering a concussion. We might not know for sure about Tebow’s availability until Wednesday. We might not know for sure until game time. The only sure thing is that nobody knows.
Alabama running back Mark Ingram: If you’re looking for the most complete running back in the SEC, Ingram would be right there at the top. He’s averaging just under 100 yards rushing per game and is tied for the team lead with 14 catches. He has nine touchdowns -- six rushing and three receiving -- and is coming off a 140-yard rushing effort in the 38-20 win over Kentucky.
Tennessee’s special teams: The third phase of the game was a problem under the previous Tennessee staff, and it’s a problem under the current staff. The Vols just aren’t very good when it comes to covering kicks.
Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Trahan: One of those players you keep waiting to break out and become a star, Trahan had a career-high 11 tackles, including two sacks, in the 23-7 win over Vanderbilt.
Georgia’s running game: The Bulldogs are the only team in the league not averaging 100 rushing yards per game. They were held to 45 yards on the ground in the loss to LSU. It looks like the time may be now for true freshman Washaun Ealey.
Auburn running back Ben Tate: The bruising senior has really prospered in Gus Malzahn’s offense. He had 180 all-purpose yards in the 26-22 win over Tennessee, including 128 rushing yards.
Georgia-LSU officiating crew: Not only did they throw the bogus flag on Georgia’s A.J. Green for excessive celebration, but they did the same thing a few minutes later on LSU’s Charles Scott in an obvious makeup call. More on this later.
Georgia receiver A.J. Green: Yes, he showed up here last week. But as Jerry Reed once sang, “When you’re hot, you’re hot.” Green’s leaping touchdown catch against LSU, his fifth of the season, was spectacular. He leads the league in receptions (30) and reception yards (527).
Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline: After opening the season with a little momentum, Hartline has fallen off dramatically. He’s thrown six interceptions in his last three games and hasn’t thrown for more than 178 yards in any of those games. Alabama picked him off three times last week.
Ice, Ice Baby
Excessive celebration penalties: Enough is enough. It’s a dumb penalty to begin with and way too subjective as to when you throw the flag and when you don’t throw the flag. What makes college football so great is the passion and unbridled enthusiasm of the players. So you mean to tell me that when they score a touchdown in the final minutes and the crowd is going bonkers, they’re not supposed to celebrate, too, and whoop it up with the crowd? Give me a break. Why don’t we just play the game with robots? There’s an obvious line you don’t cross, such as taunting another player and gestures such as the throat slash. Those things should draw a flag every time. But the whole idea that you penalize a player because he’s celebrating excessively is asinine. And by the way, the head of the NCAA rules committee when the celebration penalty was enacted in 1995 was none other than Vince Dooley. So those Georgia fans crying foul might want to look up their legendary ex-coach.