The Week Ahead: Clowney riles the OBC

"So nice of you to join us, Mr. Clowney." (Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports)

The five biggest stories that CBR is monitoring this week.

1. Clowney-Spurrier relationship getting chilly.

Ultra-talented South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has found himself felled by a series of maladies to start the season. He missed last Saturday’s game versus Kentucky with what was reported to be a rib injury. Not all that difficult to read between the lines of what Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier had to say about Clowney’s absence:

"I will just say he told me he couldn’t play,” Spurrier said of how he learned Clowney wouldn’t dress…

"If he wants to play, we will welcome him to come play for the team if he wants," Spurrier said.

This has trouble written all over it.

2. Instant replay stinks.

Normally, we here at CBR prefer that fans just stuff it when it complains to bitching about officiating. However, after last weekend’s latest round of controversies in the Texas-Iowa State and Stanford-Washington games, even we’d admit that the application of instant replay to review borderline calls has reached the point of absurdity. (Waiting for the officials to fully review plays is a drag, too.)

Hopefully, the Powers That Be in the sport are considering ways to improve the use of replay in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness. If so, it will be interesting to hear if conference officials offer up any guidance in the near future.

3. Oklahoma loses its defensive leader.

The Sooners have made a dramatic turnaround defensively this season from last year’s collapse. A major key to that has been the play of the linebackers, particularly senior Corey Nelson. The news that Nelson will be lost for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the win over TCU hits especially hard this week as OU prepares for battle with Texas in the Red River Shootout.

Bob Stoops will likely turn to true freshman Dom Alexander to fill in for Nelson. It’s difficult to imagine the Sooners getting the same kind of all-conference-level play out of a rookie.

4. Ooh, a “reprimand.”

As if the ending to Texas’ wild win over Iowa State didn’t give critics enough ammo to accuse the Big 12 league office of kowtowing to Bevo, Bob Bowlsby also announced over the weekend that UT wideout Mike Davis had earned a stern warning for his down-and-dirty cheap shot on ISU’s Deon Broomfield.

The rationalizations and defenses coming from Davis and head coach Mack Brown make the entire situation all the more pathetic. The conference just set an awful precedent.

5. #Haterz get on Rutgers bandwagon.

If the thought of Louisville possibly getting a shot at the national championship makes you as ornery as your average Finebaum caller, got some bad news for you: The Cardinals are running out of legitimate tests on their schedule.

The best team that the Cards may face this year, Rutgers, travels to the House that John Schnatter Built on Thursday with the hopes of many an aggrieved homer pinned to their backs.

Oh, and Louisville’s only a 17-point favorite.