In the 2013 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan, three messages were sent by Jadeveon Clowney; don't run his way, SEC plays at a higher level than other conference, and officials wanted to pay more attention to Clowney.
ACC coordinator of officials, Doug Rhoades, stated he would have thrown a flag on Clowney for targeting. Targeting!! I'm sorry players from opposing conferences feel targeted when playing the SEC. This is the same game that players work out to bring more physical presence than their opposition.
Clowney had no personal beef against Michigan's running back, Vincent Smith. Any running back, quarterback, or wide receiver is a target when the ball is in their hands. Head on head contact is a thing of the past, but this was not the case. It was a clean hit and a lack of presence on the offensive line.
By putting doubt in Clowney's mind, the officials are slowing down the most intimidating defensive player ever in college football. As a Georgia Bulldog fan, I fear Clowney, but not as a dangerous weapon. Georgia fans fear what Clowney can do to shut down the Bulldog offense.
SEC coaches Steve Spurrier, Will Muschamp, and Bret Bielema all agreed that Clowney's hit was legal.
As long as there's a difference of opinion between the ACC and SEC on matters such as this, the ACC will always be a soft football organization - helmets fall off.
The visiting team in an out of conference game will have their conference's officials calling the game. It will be interesting to see how many penalties are thrown against the South Carolina Gamecocks when they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at home.
Clowney didn't decide to play another year of college football to worry about the officials.
Final Note: While staying up to watch some PAC-12 games in 2007, it was evident that officials were calling penalties for legal hard hits. At that moment, I realized the SEC was on it's way to being a far superior football conference.
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- I'm still baffled how you recall "what you realized in 2007", but forgot to take clothes out of the dryer.