Oklahoma already knows it will be without one of its top defensive players for its Sugar Bowl matchup with Alabama. Whether that remains the case in 2014 remains to be seen.
In an Oct. 5 win over TCU, Corey Nelson suffered a torn pectoral muscle. The surgery to repair the damage ended the senior’s season after just five games, but there was hope that the linebacker’s appeal for a fifth season would be successful.
The initial appeal for a waiver was denied by the Big 12. The school has since appealed that decision to the NCAA, although the Daily Oklahoman writes that “OU sources have indicated that Nelson’s chances at winning his appeal to the NCAA are very slim.”
That source would appear to be correct as NCAA bylaws will only approve a waiver for a fifth year if the student-athlete has been limited to 30 percent or less of his team’s games due to injury/health issues. The working number for Nelson’s case is 13 contests — including OU’s bowl game — meaning the linebacker could not play in more than four games (13 x .3 = 3.9, rounded up to four). As Nelson was injured in the fifth game, describing his chances at a waiver as “very slim” would be generous.
The senior defensive co-captain was second on the team with 27 tackles before the injury. He also had a 24-yard interception return touchdown, four pass breakups and a sack.
Nelson had started 27 games the past three seasons.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.
After battling to get on the field throughout the season’s first five weeks, Georgia is shutting down inside linebacker Reggie Carter for the rest of the year, Dawgs head coach Mark Richt confirmed Sunday evening.
Carter fought shoulder problems throughout the year, and saw action in only one of Georgia’s first five games. A junior, Carter will be eligible for a medical redshirt.
The Snellville, Ga., native recorded 28 tackles in 12 appearances in 2014 and eight tackles in eight appearances as a freshman in 2013. UAB transfer Jake Ganus started in the spot many pegged to Carter before injure ruptured his season.
Carter totaled two stops in one appearance this season.