I recall getting a lot of criticism for my support of Lamichael Fanning's suplex tackle in the Alabama-Missouri game. Fanning was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play, the television announcers speculated that Fanning would be disciplined by the SEC, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban even insisted that Fanning write a letter of apology to the Missouri head coach and the player tackled on the play.
The Southeastern Conference will not suspend University of Alabama defensive end LaMichael Fanning for a controversial tackle in the final minutes of UA’s 42-10 road win over Missouri Saturday, Tidesports.com has learned. Fanning, a redshirt freshman, flipped Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough over his back Saturday, resulting in both players landing on their heads.
Yes, Eddie Lacy would say his 73-yard touchdown run on Alabama’s second play Saturday in a 42-10 victory at Missouri was the best run of his college career. “The offensive linemen did a great job,” the fourth-year junior said. “The hole, pretty much anybody could’ve ran through it, and the wideout did a great job of blocking the corner downfield, and I was able to break a few tackles and score.”
When I first saw this play, personally I thought it was just a good individual effort by one of the young guys on the team just trying to show the coaches what he can do. Then came a flag? And the announcers implying that Fanning should be suspended by the league for a tackle like this? I admit it’s been awhile since I played a down of football. More then 15 years the last time I counted, but since when did the game of football get to be so soft? This is a rough sport. Or at least it used to be. At some point you have to let the players play. What happened to Eric Waters shortly after this play in what appeared to be a benign tackle by comparison just proves that point. You can be injured on any play regardless of how aggressive or passive the players are playing. I think the outrage over this play is exaggerated.
The Alabama Crimson Tide traveled to Columbia, Missouri for the first time in history to properly welcome the Missouri Tigers to the SEC West. This was Missouri’s first divisional game since joining the SEC. Alabama completely dominated the game by putting up 28 unanswered points until a lightning delay late in the first half broke their momentum. Following the lightning delay, Alabama seemed to have lost their fire and let a kickoff return slip by them for a touchdown. They looked pretty flat for much of the rest of the game. Still they emerged with a convincing 42-10 victory. I don’t exactly blame them for looking ahead a little bit since they do have the Third Saturday in October against Tennessee coming up next weekend. Roll Tide!
Alabama returns to practice today to prepare for its first trip to Missouri in more than 30 years. The Crimson Tide is coming off an idle week after its 33-14 win over Ole Miss on Sept. 29 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. So after a week to prepare for future opponents, and to give more opportunities to some of Alabama’s less experienced players, Tide coach Nick Saban met with reporters to talk about the Tigers.
Missouri held talkative defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson out of media day Monday after the player’s unflattering remarks about Georgia and the SEC in general. Richardson, a junior, said after Saturday’s opening victory over Southeastern Louisiana that he watched some of the Bulldogs’ opening victory over Buffalo earlier in the day but turned off his TV because “it’s like watching Big Ten football. It’s old-man football.”
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel says there’s no doubt quarterback James Franklin will be ready for the opener. Both Pinkel and Franklin said after the opening day of fall camp that he could play right now.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel says he thinks it is “wrong” to place sole blame for the Penn State tragedy on former coach Joe Paterno.
The Tigers led the Big 12 Conference in rushing last season, and yet they often line up in a shotgun formation on the goal line.
During his media day session Tuesday, Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel said that Nick Saban, who he knew back in college at Kent State in the 70s, will “go down as one of the greatest coaches in college football.”
“He put me in a position to get an underneath opportunity,” Pinkel says of succeeding Saban in 1991 as the head coach at Toledo.
OK, the 2011 season has been decided. Congratulations to Alabama on its second title in three years and to the SEC on its sixth straight crown. It was another fun season. Now, let’s get ready for 2012. It’s the SEC’s world in football and everyone else is just living in it, so let’s settle our focus there. Two new teams join the league, with Texas A&M in the West Division and Missouri in the East. Go ahead everyone and congratulate them on their fifth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively.
South Carolina President Harris Pastides told his school’s student newspaper the SEC will play nine conference games by adding Missouri. The SEC office says that’s not the case – at least not yet. “No, not at this point,” SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark Womack said Monday. “I think (Pastides) believes it’s something we’re certainly going to look at or thought it might be an idea. But it’s a topic that really hasn’t had a lot of discussion at this point.” Would the SEC ever go to nine games?
The SEC is moving West, but its geographic center is still in Alabama. The league confirmed the addition of the Missouri Sunday. Texas A&M, another Big 12 refugee, joined the league earlier. Both schools will start competition next football season. Although the scheduling and travel hurdles are still being worked out, it’s fair to say that both schools will add a new geographic flavor to what has traditionally been a Deep South football league. But the changes won’t be too dramatic.