2011 NFL Combine Late Afternoon Notes: SEC Speed and NCAA Stupidity

David ThurmanCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Chimdi Chekwa #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is unable to come up with an interception as he goes up for the ball against Cobi Hamilton #11 of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second quarter during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chekwa was injured on the play. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Speed to burn

No surprise here, but much of the country seems to be in shock as another Ohio State alum posted a hot 40 time. This time it was Chimdi Chekwa, who timed out at 4.33 at the NFL combine according to this Tweet by Ken Gordon. We always knew he was fast, and this validates it. 

Still, Buckeye followers are forced to listen to rants from announcers and fans alike who continue to picture a big, slow team aiming for "three yards and a cloud of dust." While I do admit that top SEC teams have exhibited more speed on the defensive line, the truth is that Ohio State has to take a backseat to nobody in producing speedy skill position players on offense, and in the defensive backfield. 

All of this got me to thinking about some of the fastest players I remember watching the past couple of decades. Here are a few that come to mind (feel free to add to the list):

Joey Galloway (fastest I can recall seeing in person), Terry Glenn, Shawn Springs, Chris Sanders, Vinnie Clark, Robert Smith, Michael Wiley, Nate Clements, Pepe Pearson, Antoine Winfield, Santonio Holmes, Ken-Yon Rambo, Ted Ginn Jr, Chris Gamble, Anthony Gonzalez, Ray Small and Brandon Saine. Folks, that is a whole lot of speed!

NCAA Head Scratcher

I have given up trying to figure out the decisions rendered by the NCAA (which stands for National Collegiate Asinine Association). We all bellyached about the Cam Newton situation, and wondered how USC got away with so much for so long.

While those may be more noticeable, there are often small decisions that make fans scratch their heads. The latest involves Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith, who was denied a sixth year of eligibility in a rendering passed down this week. 

Smith, one of that nation's finest receivers, went down in game two last season, and most assumed he would be granted an extra year like Tyler Moeller of Ohio State. He seems like a good kid, and had what appeared to be a solid case, but will now be headed to the NFL. 

So for those who are counting on Ohio State getting a reduction of the five-game suspension handed down to the Tat Five, don't hold your breath. It is impossible to guess what the NCAA will do. The popular notion is that five games will be reduced to four, but only God knows for sure what will happen, and He isn't telling anybody!

Big Game Tonight

When Ohio State invades the Bryce Jordan Center tonight it will find a hostile crowd and a Penn State team that will play a lot tougher than their 15-12 record. Although the Buckeyes have defeated the Nits 14 times in a row, there have been some close ones, including a hard fought 69-66 victory in Columbus on January 15.

With a grudge match looming against Wisconsin on Sunday, OSU can ill afford to look ahead. Ranked No. 1 in the nation again, they have a huge bull's eye painted on their back, and will need a solid effort to leave State College with a win. 

Wedding Bliss

Well, Drew is officially married, getting hitched last weekend in Mesa, Arizona. It was a gorgeous day for an outside wedding that would have made Billy Idol proud, and he was lucky enough to marry a gorgeous young lady. By the way, he removed an Ohio State garter from her leg as the Buckeye Battle Cry was played! Right now he is in the Dominican Republic, presumably not thinking about all things scarlet and gray.

Go Bucks!