|How much longer will it be before a bigger school takes notice of Jim Grobe's success? (US Presswire)|
So what did we learn over the weekend?
1. The SEC stands by the "unsportsmanlike" call at LSU: On Sunday I reached out to Steve Shaw, the SEC supervisor of officials, to discuss the unsportsmanlike conduct call on LSU punter Brad Wing during Saturday's game against Florida in Baton Rouge. In case you didn't see it, Wing, a redshirt freshman from Melbourne, Australia, took a fake punt and ran 52 yards for an apparent touchdown late in the first quarter. But before Wing scored he eyed the Florida defender and raised his arms in that direction. Wing was flagged for unsportsmanlike contact and, under the new rule, the penalty was marked from the spot of the foul and there was no touchdown. "When I first saw it I wondered if that was one we should have let go," said Shaw. "But I talked to the official on the play and watched it closely. It was the correct call. It was textbook."
I just thought it was hilarious. Why? We knew that somebody would get called for this before the season was over. But what were the odds that it would be a punter? And what were the odds that the punter would be from Australia? Maybe we need to brush up on our Australian rules football.
Oh, by the way. When the folks out there are beating up on the officials over this, remember that it was the coaches who wanted this rule and pushed for its passage.
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2. Jim Grobe knows how to coach them up: I keep wondering when some school is going to wise up and hire Jim Grobe for a high-profile, big-money job. What Grobe is doing at Wake Forest really shouldn't be possible in modern day college football. According to the school's website, Wake Forest has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,569. Its stadium, BB&T Field, seats 31,500. Its athletics budget ($38 million) is about half of its state rival, North Carolina. But on Saturday, Wake Forest beat Florida State (enrollment: 31,000) for the fourth time in six years. After winning the ACC championship in 2006 and posting the only 11-win season in school history, Wake Forest went 9-4 and 8-5. After two seasons of rebuilding the program, Grobe has the Deacons at 4-1 and is 3-0 in the ACC for the first time in school history.
3. Ohio State's season is SO over: There is a reason that the NCAA has handed out the "death penalty" only once. It is sudden and the pain goes away in a relatively short amount of time. The NCAA has found that a more suitable punishment is the death by a thousand cuts where it slowly and painfully bleeds out. This morning we bring you Exhibit A: The Ohio State University.
Last week, just when it appeared the Buckeyes were finally going to get back to full strength after numerous suspensions, the NCAA tacked on additional games for running back Daniel "Boom" Herron and wide receiver DeVier Posey for overpayment for summer work.
These things just suck the life out of a program. So when Nebraska started making its comeback from a 27-6 deficit Saturday night in Lincoln, there was simply no resolve by the Buckeyes to hold off what was coming, a 34-27 loss.
4. When it rains it pours on Rocky Top: On Sept. 17, Tennessee lost its best receiver, Justin Hunter, for the season with a knee injury. But the Volunteers felt like they would remain competitive as long as quarterback Tyler Bray was there. Now Bray is out for at least four weeks and maybe longer after breaking his right (throwing hand) thumb after hitting the helmet of a Georgia defender in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's game in Knoxville. Now the reins are turned over to Matt Simms, who came off the bench after Bray's injury and got the Volunteers into the end zone. Simms, son of NFL great Phil Simms, was the starter at the beginning of last season before giving way to Bray, a freshman. He completed about 58 percent of his passes for 1,460 yards and eight touchdowns. So now Tennessee has lost its best receiver and its starting quarterback. Its best running back, Tauren Poole, could miss Saturday's game with LSU due to a hamstring problem. Ouch.
5. Mark Richt gets No. 100: For a guy who's supposed to be on the hot seat, Mark Richt sure does win a lot of games. Saturday night's 20-12 victory over Tennessee was career win No. 100 at Georgia for Richt. The former Florida State offensive coordinator is in his 11th season as the head Bulldog. He has been Georgia's head coach for 136 games and has won 100 of them. If you're keeping score at home, that's 73.5 percent. He is 56-28 in SEC play with a 3-1 record this season. "A lot of former players chimed in, guys I haven't heard from in a while," Richt told reporters. "That was sort of neat."
Richt did have a first in the game against Tennessee: Up 20-6, the Bulldogs were in position to put the game away with a first down at the Tennessee 23-yard line. But three holding penalties and a facemask penalty later, Georgia had to punt facing a fourth-and-58 (yes, you read that right).
Watch The Tony Barnhart Show on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on The CBS Sports Network.