Rules are rules, but Cal’s targeting ejection seems small for Big Game

Stanford vs. Cal . . . it’s one of college football’s biggest rivalries.

It’s a rivalry that began 122 years ago. Hell, it even has the nickname The Big Game!

For Cal’s Michael Lowe, you could call this year’s matchup on FOX Sports 1 Saturday the Small Game. Or the Little Game or the Itty Bitty Game. In fact, for all intents and purposes, you could basically call it No Game at all.

Here was the situation: Stanford had the ball, first-and-10 on its own 25-yard line on the very first play from scrimmage to start the game. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan completed an 18-yard pass to Austin Hooper to the Cal 43-yard line. Hooper was tackled by Lowe on the play and Lowe was called for a personal foul with an ejection for targeting. 

One play and the Bears’ fifth-year senior was out. 

Look, I understand the rule and I understand the call on the field was correct. I’ve just always been against the foul leading to an ejection for what I really call a football act. Lowe didn’t launch himself at Hooper, who was going to the ground. Unfortunately in trying to make a play, his shoulder hit him in the head and neck area. 

I get it. It’s the rule.

But really, should it be an ejection? It’s not even close to the personal foul that happened in the Florida State-Boston College game Saturday when the Seminoles’ Matthew Thomas clearly went after Boston College quarterback Josh Bordner and gave him a helmet-to-helmet, straight-on hit and was ejected. 

Back to Lowe. In his situation, the ejection portion of the foul seems to be too punitive in a young man’s playing career in that he missed the Bears’ biggest game of the year. And if it had happened in the second half, Lowe would have been out for any bowl game that Cal might get, if it qualifies. 

Stanford won 38-17 to get the Axe trophy. For Lowe to the get the Axe after one play feels very small in the Big Game.

For more on the Bears’ misfortunes, watch the videos above and below.