Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Recap of sorts

So this is how we got to this point, and please let us know if our memory, or even logic, is incorrect.

Lane Kiffin bursts onto the SEC scene by publicly accusing Urban Meyer of "having cheated" in trying to recruit NuKeese Richardson at a Vol booster breakfast. By the close of the business day, Kiffin received his first reprimand from Mike Slive, the SEC Commissioner.

Fast forward, and Marc Curles and his officiating crew act like the fun police and throw some "excessive celebration" flags in the LSU - UGA game, leading some to think that it gave LSU the game (we disagree that it did, but...)

Then Curles and crew threw a few flags in the UF - Arkansas game that were questionable, and found themselves subject to the first ever public suspension of an SEC crew. Why? Not because of the calls per se, but because of the public uproar and the beating the SEC was taking in the press. Precedent was set.

Next Bama's Cody blocked two Tennessee field goals, and Lane Kiffin's play calling was found to be suspect, so Kiffin cries foul on Cody for ripping his helmet off and accused the SEC and the refs of looking the other way to keep Florida and Bama in the title hunt. But Kiffin's knowledge of the rules of the game are incorrect, again.

Later that night, Dustin Doe takes a pig to the house against Mississippi State, or did he? The replay official didn't have "indisputable evidence" to overturn the call on the field because the dearth of the SEC cameras were in Tuscaloosa at the Alabama - Tennessee game.

And then Dan Mullen mouths off, and both he and Kiffin catch a reprimand. But Kiffin's was so egregious, in that he called into question the integrity of the SEC conference and mocked the reprimand that Petrino caught, that Mike Slive instituted a new rule that there will be no more reprimands. Now there will be fines and suspensions. Next precedent set.

Then along came UGA, and true to Mark Richt's roots from FSU, are a pack of undisciplined players who rack up penalties game after game, and quite a few personal fouls. Despite not even having watched the game, the national media seem to honestly think that Brandon Spikes, who has no history of on the field shenanigans, suddenly felt like poking a guy in the eye. What the media maelstrom seemed to have missed was UGA's 3 personal fouls, the late hit on Tebow, and Spikes getting spit on and even poked in the eye, before his unnecessary and inexcusable, but explainable, retaliation.

So Spikes gets a half game suspension and the fury escalates because, and let's be honest here, there isn't a real marquee game this week. Even we can't get that jazzed about LSU - Bama, or Vandy (mainly because we won't get to see either due to an inescapable family do.)

Then our boy Tebow took a hit for having his quote "we didn't do anything they didn't do" taken out of its full context and was called "immature" by those that love him, and worse by those that don't.

And crying for some kind of parity in the name of justice, the Gator Nation rallied and fired up their cameras and uploaded Nick Williams' late hit on Tebow to youtube, and Urban Meyer sent it to the SEC for review.

Asked about the SEC's review on Wednesday, Urban Meyer responded, in part, by saying "That should have been a penalty in my opinion. Obviously it should have been. You have to protect quarterbacks. That’s the whole purpose. It’s right in front of the referee.”

At nearly the same time that WaShaun Ealy publicly stated that Spikes didn't gouge him in the eye, and that he doesn't think Spikes should be suspended, Spikes decided to bench himself for the full Vandy game instead of a half so he wouldn't be a distraction to the team.

Now college football fans are waiting to see if Urban Meyer will be suspended or fined for saying what he said.

So we have this one question, why hasn't Tom Ritter and his crew been suspended for clearly mismanaging the Florida - Georgia game? They missed some egregious fouls. And please don't try and tell us that they pulled the team captains aside during the game. It's not the job of officials to coach players, it's their job to officiate.

Which brings us to the end of this whole rambling. If Mike Slive had just nipped Lane Kiffin in the bud back in the Spring, or even last week, we wouldn't be here today. If Mike Slive had not played to media howling when he suspended Curles and his crew, there wouldn't be an out cry now.

Hopefully Mike Slive has learned that it is far easier, and even better, to never start than it is to try and stop. The irony that Urban Meyer might be the first to be bit by the goofy "Lane Kiffin" rule is, well, what it is. It also illustrates that silly, imprudent and desperate rule making, instead of instituting reasoned discipline rarely works.

And the icing on the cake, word has it this very same week that NuKeese Richardson wants to transfer, but Kiffin says it ain't so. What are you gonna believe? When NuKeese leaves Tennessee will Kiffin claim that someone else cheated?

We never thought we'd even think this, much less write it, but we are beginning to miss Roy Cramer (pictured above).

(UPDATE: If you want all the juicy youtubes of the above, click here.)

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