September 29, 2009
• Concussion Gate, Day Three. Urban Meyer said Tim Tebow was still suffering from "a little soreness and a headache" after being rocked Saturday at Kentucky, but otherwise sounded pretty optimistic Monday afternoon about his star quarterback's chances of returning for the Gators' next game, at LSU in two weeks:
"I think [Tebow will play], but I don't know that," said Meyer about the game. "As far as health wise, we won’t play him until he’s ready and Tim's Tim. He’ll be ready to go."
I'm not sure exactly what "Tim's Tim" means in the context of a brain injury, unless Tebow also possesses Wolverine's healing factor, which is quite possible. Tebow is scheduled to return to the UF football complex today, where he may expect some sympathy from offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, who tried to take the blame for the hit, claiming he didn't leave enough protection in a five-wide set.
In other Most Outstanding™ injury news, Sam Bradford returned to Oklahoma's practice Monday and threw passes with his bum shoulder -- "looked good" and "seemed to feel fine," according to Bob Stoops -- but won't get any further news on his bid to start at Miami Saturday night until he makes it through a few more without significant problems.
• We appreciate the teachable moment, you @$#&!#$. As promised over the summer, the Big Ten has been in a bit of a suspendin' mood this season, and turned its wagging finger Monday toward Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman: The senior captain will serve a one-game suspension against Indiana this week for an alleged cheap shot in the final minute of the Buckeyes' shutout win over Illinois on Saturday.
Coleman was flagged on the play and immediately removed from the game (and presumably reprimanded) by OSU coaches, who didn't dispute that the hit was dirty but apparently assumed the 15-yard penalty and sitting out the last 37 second of a blowout was punishment enough, especially when the game officials didn't issue an ejection themselves -- which, ironically, would not have been reviewed by the league if they had. From an official statement from head coach Jim Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith:
"We concur that Kurt's hit was late and a result of poor judgment; he was thus penalized and removed from the game by his coaches. We do not agree that it was 'pre-meditated' or that he was 'targeting a defenseless' player.
"The decision to suspend points to the Conference office’s feeling as if there was poor judgment by the game officials for their decision not to eject at the time.
"In our estimation, the final 'poor judgment' is in levying a one-game suspension in this particular case. We will abide by the decision, learn from it, and move forward."
I haven't seen the hit -- it seems to have brought other outlets out of their seats -- but when Jim Tressel strongly suggests you loosen up on this one, you know you're cold, man.
Quickly ... Alabama linebacker Jerell Harris, held out due to yet another NCAA investigation into improper benefits, will return after a six-game suspension in time for the South Carolina game on Oct. 17. And Tide linebacker Dont'a Hightower is definitely finished for the year, per Nick Saban. ... Michigan's Boubacar Cissoko, consistently abused by Notre Dame's Michael Floyd a few weeks ago, is in an open competition with J.T. Floyd for one of the Wolverines' starting cornerback spots, and freshman Justin Turner may enter the mix, as well. ... Tennessee is auditioning replacements for injured middle linebacker Nick Reveiz. ... Miami reviewed its terrible tackling performance at Virginia Tech. ... Ralph Friedgen said Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is getting a "little skittish". ... Texas relishes its week off as one of the few top teams still unbeaten and essentially healthy through September. ... Ex-Oklahoma Heisman hero Jason White almost decided to go to Miami, instead. ... Case Keenum had an unbelievable third quarter against Texas Tech. ... And back to reality at Washington: After Stanford (like USC) pounded the Husky defense on the ground Saturday, Steve Sarkisian expects to get a full dose of opponents' running games the rest of the season.