Stanford's top defensive player and starting safety Ed Reynolds will miss the Washington State game after getting ejected against Arizona State for targeting. Texas linebacker Steve Edmond will also be missing the first half of the Iowa State game after getting ejected from the Kansas State game.
Reynolds' loss will be tremendous for the Cardinal defense, as he is an All-American-caliber safety with potential to go in the first two rounds of the NFL draft in April. He's one of the best coverage players in college football.
The senior free safety already has an interception this season and is arguably the best coverage safety in the Pac-12. Losing him is going to be tough for the Stanford defense, and it makes the ejection and suspension penalty for targeting look even more questionable than it already is.
He will be desperately missed versus Washington State. And while this is a huge loss, it's not nearly as bad as it would be versus Oregon or Washington—two teams with All-American-caliber tight ends in Colt Lyerla and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Steve Edmond is the starting middle linebacker for the Longhorns and could be a bigger loss for them than Reynolds is for the Cardinal. He's the main defender in a Longhorns defense that is already mediocre at best.
And losing the junior will be extremely tough for the Longhorns as the Texas defense uses him as a run defender, blitzer and coverage linebacker. His versatility will be tough to replace. All this does is magnify the error of the NCAA's ways with the overpenalization of players with this penalty.
The problem with the targeting rule is that it ejects a player for the rest of the game, and if it occurs in the second half of a game, it forces him to miss the first half of the next game. It's completely unfair to the player and is overkill.
There is no question that the player should be reprimanded. But ejecting a player from the game completely for a head-shot is just way too much. It should just be the 15-yard penalty and the player should have to sit out for five to 10 plays.
But alas, that's not going to change any time soon. The Cardinal will have to deal with the loss of one of their best defenders in Ed Reynolds for the first half of the Washington State game. Hopefully, this loss doesn't get too exposed by the Cougars offense early on.
And losing a middle linebacker for a conference game is only going to handicap Texas even more in an already tough season. The targeting rule needs to change before a team with a national title shot gets upset from an ejection at a crucial moment.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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