Oklahoma vs. West Virginia is peak Big 12 football. With Will Grier and Kyler Murray trading blows in an offensive shootout, defense is totally optional. Somehow, Oklahoma's defense managed to steal the spotlight when safety Robert Barnes lowered his head and slammed into Mountaineers receiver Marcus Simms. Then he got ejected for targeting, right? Nope. Barnes was allowed to continue playing.
Oklahoma's Robert Barnes very lucky not to get tossed from this game for targeting. pic.twitter.com/Nwh4HfK2JJ— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) November 24, 2018
Simms is carrying the ball with his head lowered, but there is no way he can make a move to avoid the hit. Barnes leaves his feet, leans with the crown of his helmet, and tries to hit Simms as hard as he can. It's literally the definition of targeting.
Considering that Barnes' hit wasn't called targeting, but Ohio State's Jordan Fuller was called on this hit, the lack of consistency in this rule is maddening.
Ohio State’s Jordan Fuller was ejected for targeting. pic.twitter.com/cccZ7MKgzd— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB) November 3, 2018
It's hard to find opposition to the targeting rule. It keeps players safe and ejects players who throw that safety to the wind in acts of malice or stupidity. However, the lack of consistency in how the rule is enforced is incredibly frustrating.