Missouri v South Carolina

Dorial Green-Beckham dismissed by Mizzou


Even if you thought this was the course of action the football program should’ve taken, this is still one of those “WOW!” moments in sports.

Just a few short hours after Dorial Green-Beckham released a statement accepting responsibility for his actions, Missouri shocked the college football world by announcing that the talented but troubled wide receiver has been dismissed from the football program.

“This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind,” said head coach Gary Pinkel in a statement. “Dorial’s priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family. We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start.”

Since coming to Mizzou in 2012 as Rivals.com’s top-rated player in that recruiting cycle, Green-Beckham has twice been suspended, and twice he’s been arrested on pot-related charges — one felony in nature — in addition to the latest Columbia Police Department investigation into an alleged robbery.  The latter was by far the most disturbing as an incident report stemming from the report of a first-degree burglary stated that Green-Beckham pushed one woman down a several steps as well as injuring another female, his girlfriend, very early this past Sunday morning.

The victims, one of whom was quoted in the incident report as stating she was afraid of the media and community backlash, declined to press charges, forcing the police to drop the case.

Green-Beckham was indefinitely suspended earlier in the week, and remained that way even after he was “cleared” in the robbery probe.

“We have a high standard of conduct for our student-athletes,” said athletic director Mike Alden. “Though we provide the resources and mentoring to all of our student-athletes, we are also responsible to the community at large and to the ideals and values of the University of Missouri. We have determined that this was a necessary step for our football team, athletic department, the University and our community.”

Despite Green-Beckham’s checkered past, he would have undoubtedly — hopefully after he gets his issue straightened out — become one of the most sought-after transfer in the recent memory.  At 6-6, 225 pounds, Green-Beckham is one of the most talented receivers in the country and has the stats to back it up: last season during the Tigers run to the SEC championship game, the sophomore led the team with 59 receptions and 12 receiving touchdowns.

Those numbers and his raw physical ability will have teams clamoring for his services — if he even makes it back to the FBS level.

As for the immediate future, Green-Beckham has three options: drop down to the FCS level or lower (JUCO ranks included) and play immediately; transfer to an FBS program and sit out the 2014 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules; or sit out the 2014 season entirely.  As he’s not three years removed from high school, the NFL’s supplemental draft this summer would not be an option.

After the 2014 season, Green-Beckham could then play at the FBS level (unlikely) or make himself available as an early entrant to the 2015 NFL draft (highly likely).  In other words, we’ve likely seen the last of Green-Beckham on the big stage of major college football.

Hopefully, again, after he gets his head on straight and works through what appears to be myriad issues.

SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 all have 5 teams in coaches top 25 poll

Johnny Jefferson, Micah Awe
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With multiple teams in the coach spill top 10 losing this week, there was bound to be some shaking up the rankings this week. The coaches poll still has Ohio State on top, followed by TCU, Michigan State and Baylor. Florida had the biggest jump in the rankings while Georgia had the biggest drop The coaches poll also welcomes some new additions this week.

The Florida Gators, fresh off a stomping of previous No. 3 Ole Miss (down to No. 13) moved up 11 spots in this week’s coaches poll. Florida is one of five SEC teams in this week’s coaches poll. The Big Ten has five as well. So does the Pac-12.

No. 23 Iowa, No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Memphis make their debuts in the coaches poll this week, giving us our first glimpse on the national perception in the Group of Five race. I may have Boise State down a few pegs, but the coaches, or those who actually submit the votes, have the Broncos on top of the Group of Five pack. Memphis is right there as well, but not Toledo.

Here is this week’s coaches poll:

  1. Ohio State ( first place votes)
  2. TCU
  3. Michigan State
  4. Baylor
  5. LSU
  6. Clemson
  7. Utah
  8. Florida State
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Alabama
  11. Texas A&M
  12. Florida
  13. Ole Miss
  14. Northwestern
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Georgia
  17. USC
  18. Stanford
  19. Oklahoma State
  20. UCLA
  21. Michigan
  22. California
  23. Iowa
  24. Boise State
  25. Memphis

Brian Kelly defends decisions on two-point conversion attempts

Brian Kelly

Notre Dame fell two points shy of tying a road game at Clemson Saturday night, partly because the decision to go for two-point conversion on one early fourth-quarter touchdown backfired on the Irish. Down 12 points early in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly chose to go for two-points to cut the Clemson lead to 10 points, meaning Notre Dame would need a touchdown, extra point and a field goal to tie. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Irish trailed by 12, 21-9.

Had the Irish gone for the easier and more likely extra point, Notre Dame would have been down 11 points. That is still a bit of an uphill battle that would require a two-point conversion later on anyway, but it also meant Notre Dame had to score two touchdowns instead of a touchdown and a field goal for a shot at tying the game. Making things worse, Notre Dame burned a timeout after the touchdown before deciding which two-point conversion play to run.

Notre Dame’s execution of a late two-point conversion with the game on the line with under 10 seconds to play also came into question as the Irish looked to give freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer the call on a run-pass option. This was stuffed by Clemson as Kizer held on to the football. Kelly, after the game, defended his quarterback’s decision to try and run for the two points.

“We had fair numbers,” Kelly said. “He’s reading it at the line of scrimmage, if the numbers were fair, they were in zone coverage. It was the right call. He made the right call.”

Sometimes a player can make the right decision and still come up short. Perhaps that is exactly what happened in the rain at Clemson Saturday night. Kizer made the best possible decision in the heat of the moment, but Clemson came out on top with solid work up front on the line of scrimmage. Of course, as it turned out late in the game, Notre Dame would have only needed an extra point to tie Clemson in the final seconds after the Tigers tacked on a field goal to set up a seven-point deficit with an Irish extra point earlier. The Irish were forced to go for two because they chased the points earlier in the quarter. Hindsight might be 20/20, but Kelly is not looking back on that decision.

Kelly is hardly the only coach to make some questionable decisions under pressure this season, or this weekend. He is, however, another example of a coach being paid millions to put his program in the best position making some questionable calls that have come back to bite him. Maybe Notre Dame would have won in overtime. The Irish certainly had the momentum in their hands. Or maybe Clemson wins anyway. Who knows?