Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Frenchy Fuqua…
- Former Oklahoma football coaching legend Barry Switzer did some homework in trying to find out why Arkansas hired Wisconsin's Bret Bielema as its head coach.
“The first thing I heard was that he grew up on a pig farm. That's quite a start in my book and my last memory of him was hanging 70 (points) on Nebraska. Just those two facts are enough,'' Switzer said.
- “Then I hear that he's out of the Hayden Fry–Bill Snyder–Barry Alvarez coaching tree. Okay, that's enough for me to like a lot.
“Then I hear he's got a 27-year-old wife. Okay, we can stop. I like him.''
- The Monday Night Football game featuring the 4-9 Titans against the 6-7 J-E-T-S, could make history.
I would guess it has a chance to become the lowest-rated MNF game ever. I suggest if you watch the opening with Faith Hill, then turn your TV off, you will be much more likely to get a good night's sleep.
Since the Titans have lost 15 players to the injured reserve/PUP list, they can make a claim it has been a legitimate reason for their record.
Meanwhile, the Jets are in the midst of a quarterback quandary. Monday night's QB on the spit will be Mark Sanchez. He appears to be the best of what the Jets have and when that's the case, you're leaving Coach Rex Ryan with no chest-thumping predictions to utter.
The past two weeks, Sanchez led the Jets to unimpressive wins over Arizona, 7-6, and Jacksonville, 17-10. He has been sacked 30 times, intercepted 13 times and is ranked 34 out of 36 quarterbacks in passing ratings with 71.8.
Ryan claims he will use Tim Tebow in some Wildcat formations, as Tebow has been nursing rib injuries and missed the last three games.
The Titans problems are too numerous to list in a notes column, but suffice it to say owner Bud Adams' 10-gallon hat shrinks with each loss.
- Time will tell if new Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has hired what he promised to be “the best coaching staff in college football.''
Why he would make an outrageous claim like that, I don't know. On paper, it is far from the best, but we shall see on the field, where the real grades are taken.
Other than that, early returns on Jones are promising. He brings a high energy level, will connect with in-state recruits and coaches and demand his staff do likewise.
Jones was correct in noting that Les Miles and Nick Saban didn't have SEC recruiting experience when they were hired at LSU, but they had built-in advantages in that Louisiana produces a gold mine of high school talent and LSU was keeping a lot of the top prospects at home before they came there.
- MTSU basketball coach Kermit Davis shook his head when asked if one of his teams had ever played a game in which none of the players managed to score double figures.
“Never,'' Davis said after his team shot 28.6 percent from the field in losing to Belmont, 64-49, at the Curb Event Center Thursday night. JT Sulton came off the bench to score 9 points in 24 minutes.
“I thought Belmont beat us in every facet of basketball,'' Davis added. “I'm embarrassed for our fans who drove over here to see this game.''
It was only 30-26 at intermission, but Belmont outscored the Blue Raiders by 11 in the final half.
“We were fortunate Middle didn't have a good shooting night. I would like to think we had something to do with that, but this wasn't their best night,'' Belmont coach Rick Byrd said.
Byrd put the odds at 100-to-1 that MTSU would not have a player score as many as 10 points.
“Our job was to make their shots as tough as possible and I think we made the right guys take tough shots.''
It is a series that area basketball fans can embrace. They are from different conferences, but only a little more than 30 miles apart and have solid programs.
“We play every year and I respect Rick as a coach,'' Davis said. “I look forward to playing them at our place next year.''
- Did former Texas Tech Coach Tommy Tuberville dine and dash?
WRECKEM247.com quoted Devonte Davis, a Hutchinson (Kan.) CC recruit to Texas Tech as saying Tuberville got up in the middle of a dinner for recruits and never returned.
“The waitress brought us our food and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back,'' Davis said. “The next thing I know, the next day he made an announcement that he's going to Cincinnati.''
Tuberville vehemently denied that account on the Dan Patrick Show.
He said everyone had finished eating, he got up and left and didn't tell the recruits goodbye since they were going to be around him the next two days on the visit.
Evidently Tubs accepted the Cincinnati job after the recruiting meal and vamoosed out off Lubbuck.
- The Nashville Old Timers Association snagged former major leaguer Bill Buckner for its 75th Diamond anniversary banquet speaker.
Buckner played 22 seasons in the major leagues, primarily with the Cubs and Red Sox. He was a lifetime .298 hitter, with 2,715 hits and 1,208 RBI. He won a batting title in 1980 with the Cubs and made the 1981 All-Star team.
In 1986, Buckner became the goat when he allowed a slow roller from Mookie Wilson to go between his legs, allowing the Mets to score the game-winning run in the 10th inning of Game 6. The Mets went on to win the World Series 4 games to 3.
The banquet is set for Jan. 24th at Maxwell House Hotel on Rosa Parks Blvd. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at Hit After Hit, the Sounds office or from any Old Timers board member.
- Imagine the look on Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne's face when he appeared at the downtown Indianapolis Westin Hotel valet parking service last Sunday morning to pick up his 2007 Bentley and it could not be located.
It turned out that Ferris Bueller is alive and well in the form of Gunner Belcher, a valet parker who claimed he was a “cousin by marriage'' to Wayne. Ferris, uh, Gunner, had been arrested at 2 a.m. for obstructing traffic a number of blocks away from the hotel. He was joyriding Wayne's Bentley. Belcher blew a .13 on the sobriety test, was charged on several counts and told police he left his valet job at 9 p.m. and didn't clock out.
It didn't seem to faze Wayne, as police returned his car. Later that day he caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown against the Titans.
We don't believe Belcher had enough time to roll back the odometer.
Have a sports news tip? Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.