Posted by Tom Fornelli
While Auburn was able to bounce back from an early deficit and overcome all the distractions of the previous week against Georgia on Saturday, things did get a bit chippy at the end of the game. It all started with what many felt was a cheap shot by Auburn defensive tackle/eater of souls Nick Fairley on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. A hit that now has Murray's status this weekend in question. In the closing minutes, with the game already decided, there was plenty of pushing and shoving by both teams, but only two players threw punches.
Auburn's Mike Blanc and Michael Goggans were ejected on consecutive plays for throwing a punch, and the SEC rules are pretty clear about what happens when you do that. Not only are you ejected from the current game, but you're forced to sit out the first half of your team's next game. In Auburn's case, that would be the Iron Bowl against Alabama in two weeks, which is a pretty important one for the Tigers seeing as how they'd like to stay undefeated.
Well, it seems that Gene Chizik is holding out hope that he might have both of his players available, though he'll have to talk to the SEC about it first.
"I'm not going to really comment on that," Chizik said on Sunday. "We're going to talk to the SEC [Monday] and we're going to figure exactly what their status is at that point.
"The SEC reviews every situation, penalty-wise, that is reviewable or brought to their attention. We haven't talked with anybody. We know what happened [Saturday]. We're just going to reserve all comment until we really get some clarification on exactly what the status of those guys will be. I haven't had that opportunity yet."
Now it's possible that the Tigers could appeal the ruling, and have the punishment delayed, but I don't see how having either player suspended for the first half of the SEC Championship is any better. Besides, I'm not sure what there is to appeal. The rules are pretty clear, and there's video evidence of both players throwing the punches.