Georgia center Ben Jones chops Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox while the players were casually following a play in the closing minutes of Saturday's game at Starkville. Although you can't fully see the act on the video, Georgia's Mark Richt and Mississippi State's Dan Mullen are clearly upset, with Richt — to his credit — ripping into Jones as the player returned to the sideline.
Readers Rob and Robbie both sent us messages after having watched it while in attendance at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Robbie writes that Jones not only should have ejected, but "suspended for at least 2 more it was so nasty."
Although Dan Mullen's first season as coach wasn't a smashing success — the team finished 5-7, only a one-game improvement over 2008 — Bulldog fans sense the upward momentum. For the second consecutive year, Mississippi State has set a record for sales of season tickets. Mullen, 38, is one of college football's top young coaches, having previously worked alongside Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. He will have to find a replacement for workhorse running back Anthony Dixon if the Bulldogs are to return to the postseason.
As a run-up to the start of the season, the Wiz will display one
poster each day until our supply is exhausted. Last year, the site
displayed 69 posters.
Then we turn it over to readers, who will vote on the poster of the
year. In the meantime, send your team's poster schedule to jayzuma (at)
gmail.com. Thanks to Chad and Joe!
How distrustful are Southeastern Conference coaches of league officials? At the moment, it's off the chart.
Tennessee's Lane Kiffin acknowledged that he decided against running another play before his team set up for a field goal that would have beaten Alabama because he was fearful officials would have found another way to penalize his team.
Tennessee was one of the nation's least-penalized teams entering
Saturday's game, but was flagged eight times for 68 yards. Alabama,
which had been flagged 10 times for 113 yards the previous Saturday
against South Carolina, was penalized only once for 10 yards.
"You run another play and you throw an interception or they throw another flag on us — I wasn't going to let the refs lose the game for us there and some magical flag appear," Kiffin said.
Florida linebacker Dustin Doe was ruled to have scored on a 23-yard interception return with 8:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, but replays showed that Doe was stripped of the ball before crossing the goal line by Mississippi State receiver Brandon McRae.
Doe's touchdown was upheld after being reviewed, giving Florida its second touchdown in 33 seconds and a 29-13 lead. The Gators won, 29-19.
"I don't know why we even have replay right now in the Southeastern Conference if they are not going to utilize it," Mullen said. "That's twice that they've blown calls on the replay with our games resulting in big plays and I think that's inexcusable for that official. I mean, I hope he is severely punished, if [he] ever works another SEC game again, because I think it is completely unacceptable."
Dan Mullen of Mississippi State is recipient of our coaching blunder of the week award. With his Bulldogs inches from a go-ahead touchdown and conversion, he decided to get fancy by calling a pass play. It didn't work and the Tigers held on for a 30-26 victory.