Wading through Bleacher Report's CFB articles is a lot like grazing at a pot-luck supper in your church's fellowship hall. Sometimes you get a great piece of fried chicken. And sometimes you get burnt squash casserole.
Well, put these two Bleacher Report dishes by "featured columnists" Eric Bowman and Luiz Batlle on the do not serve table.
Bowman huffs that "Alshon Jeffery was doing wonders for his NFL draft stock by dominating the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but he threw it all away by getting into an altercation with Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard. "
Not to be outdone, Batlle goes even further into la la land, claiming: "NFL scouts will, more so than anything else, take into account his confrontation with Dennard to close out the third quarter" and that Alshon "believes he is bigger than the team, as he was willing to cost his team a flag and ejection in the process."
Are you kidding me? Who are these guys? (Batlle is a college student, and while that might be an explanation for moronic commentary, it's still no excuse; of course Bowman cannot plead youthful inexperience - or can he?)
My personal opinion was that Dennard should have been ejected for throwing two punches (including the first punch) and that it was a ridiculous over-reaction for Jeffery to have also been ejected for pushing back with open hands. This was supposed to be the "top" officiating crew from the Big East Conference, and frankly I was underwhelmed for the game as a whole, and absolutely gobsmacked by this particular "call"; I wonder if they lacked the courage to eject one (who deserved it) and not the other (who did not).
I do not think it is hyperbole to say these Big East officials stole from both South Carolina fans and Jeffery. From Jeffery, the took from him a chance for sole possession of most career TD receptions at South Carolina (the Hail Mary reception at the end of the first half put him into a tie with the great Sidney Rice). From Gamecock fans, they stole our right to see one of the greatest players to ever wear the Garnet and Black finish a Hall of Fame career with an ovation as he came off the field one last time. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. I would hope that AD Eric Hyman and the SEC would protest to the Big East (I won't hold my breath).
The Cap One Bowl Committee certainly made an unmistakable editorial statement by awarding Jeffery the MVP when they could just as easily (and perhaps with more justification) awarded it to Connor Shaw. The Feathered Warrior said it best in one of his game-thread comments that the MVP tells "you all you need to know about what most people thought of his ejection." I'm not saying that Jeffery is a choir boy - he may have baited Dennard and he is a physical player who will push-off with the best of them. But none of that is grounds for ejection. And it certainly doesn't raise character issues.
I'm not a NFL scout. But neither are Messrs. Bowman and Batlle. I think I'm on very safe ground, however, to say that Alshon Jeffery's draft status is not the least bit in jeopardy, and his character will not be questioned. He's never been suspended. He's never been arrested (you hear me, Corey Miller?). Even though he's been double-teamed and cheap-shotted (remember the uncalled face mask at Mississippi State?) all this season, and had every chance to sulk or quit, he was still one of our fiercest blockers and always among the first to congratulate other teammates who made TD receptions or runs that might have gone to him had Garcia not imploded or Shaw been more experienced and willing to take more risks. Alshon Jeffry is a prototypical NFL number 1 wide receiver. Tiffs like Jeffery/Dennard are part of the game, and Jeffery was defending himself.
So are Bowman and Batlle serious when they say "scouts" will downgrade him for the Cap One Bowl? Or write defamatory and factually unsupportable posts that Jeffery now has "character" issues? Are they out of their minds? Their contention is laughable to the point of absurdity.
And unpalatable to say the least. Pass me the Rolaids, brother.