JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: August 25, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Jose Canseco. …

  • The NCAA finally came to their senses when it ruled MTSU freshman walk-on Steven Rhodes is now eligible to play football.

    A Marine who served five years before returning home to attend MTSU, Rhodes was first informed by the NCAA he would be ineligible, due to the fact he played organized football in the Marine Corps.

    A media outcry across the nation obviously made the NCAA brain trust recognize the absurdity of its decision. It's too bad they had to be shamed into correcting their mistake.

    I guess they were afraid college football recruiters would be hanging around military bases looking for football scholarship candidates.

    Years ago, they did have competitive, organized military teams. Former Dallas Cowboys QB Roger Staubach played on Naval football teams after a volunteer tour of duty at Chu Lai in Vietnam. The Naval Academy graduate is now a highly successful businessman.

    NCAA President Mark Emmert should have had the foresight to override the original decision to make Rhodes ineligible. It would have been trumpeted as one of Emmert's few decisions based on common sense.

  • The NFL is not immune to making irrational decisions. The way the league's fashion police ferrets out offenders is akin to the military enforcing uniform regulations on the battlefield.

    Redskins QB Robert Griffin III reportedly will be fined $10,000 for wearing improper apparel while warming up before his team's Monday Night Football preseason game against Pittsburgh.

    RGIII had to audacity to wear at T-shirt in pre-game warm-ups that had “Operation Patience'' written across the front. Horrors. He was never scheduled to play in the game, as he is still recovering from off-season knee surgery.

    Last December the NFL watchdogs fined RGIII for wearing Adidas apparel to a post-game press conference while the NFL official sponsor is Nike. That one also cost him $10,000.

    How do supposedly smart people make such dumb decisions?

  • We've seen Belmont Coach Rick Byrd outcoach opposing coaches for years.

    Most of the Division I coaches agree he is one of the game's top tacticians.

    In a survey conducted by ESPN of D-I head coaches, Byrd placed ninth among all the coaches. Michigan State's Tom Izzo was the top vote getter. Izzo is 39-15 in NCAA Tournament games.

    Byrd currently ranks seventh among all active D-I coaches with 663 career wins.

  • Belmont basketball continues to put players in the pros.

    Alex Renfroe, who was Atlantic Sun Player of the Year in 2009, has recently signed a contract with Enisey Krasnoyarsk of the Russian Professional League.

    The former Hume Fogg standout has earned league championships in three different countries in three consecutive seasons. He is trying to hit for the cycle this season in Russia.

    He has won in Germany, Italy and Croatia. Talk about furthering your education.

    Other former players now in the pros include Ian Clark, who has a two-year contract with the Utah Jazz; Kerron Johnson (New Zealand); Trevor Noack (Germany).

  • Good start for Ensworth's football team, as it traveled to Louisville and beat USA Today's top-ranked team in the country, the Trinity Shamrocks, 27-26.

    Trinity is a regular powerhouse in Kentucky and it's a sign Tennessee high school football had not been too shabby in recent years.

    Also in Kentucky, former Vanderbilt and All Pro offensive lineman Will Wolford made his coaching debut Friday night as head coach at Saint Xavier high school in Louisville.

    St. X and Trinity are fierce Catholic school rivals.

    Wolford's team took a 32-14 decision over Louisville Ballard before a reported 5,595 fans at Brother Thomas Moore Stadium. St. X had only seven passes during the game, while grinding out 310 yard on the ground, typical of an ex-offensive lineman's game plan.

    Wolford replaced longtime St. X Coach Mike Glaser.

  • To celebrate the end of two-a-day practices at Georgia, Coach Mark Richt continued his tradition of taking the team to Georgia's outdoor pool.

    He started the pool party by making his annual back flip off of a 10-meter platform. The 53-year-old Richt had hip replacement surgery in the off season. Having dived off 10-meter boards in my younger days, it's like hitting a concrete wall if you hit wrong.

  • Former Colts and Packers center Jeff Saturday lost a sixth grader. Figuratively, that is.

    Saturday finished his career last season with the Pack. He played at 6-2 and weighed around 295 pounds.

    When he showed up at a Colts preseason game, Saturday was NFL svelte. Pictures of the after-NFL Saturday made it hard to identify him if you didn't know. It is estimated he lost between 50 and 75 pounds.

    I would say it is closer to 75 pounds judging from the pictures.

  • With defending Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel's clown acts since claiming the trophy, the field has shifted in Las Vegas.

    Manziel has slipped to ninth place, with Bovado's odds at 15-1.

    Preseason favorite is now Ohio State QB Braxton Miller at 9/2 with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney second at 6-1.

    The next four candidates are QBs. Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is 9-1. Alabama QB AJ McCarron is 10-1, while Oregon's Marcus Mariota is 12-1.

    Georgia's Aaron Murray and Clemson's Tajh Boyd come in at 14-1, along with Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon.

    Clowney is the only defensive player on the list of 28 candidates.

    Over-under odds for Clowney's total sacks are 18½. Over-under on Vanderbilt's Jordon Matthews' receiving yards are 1,200 and over-under on his TD catches is 6½.

    Miller's over-under on total passing yards are 2,800 with 19½ passing TDs and 1,000 yards rushing and 14½ rushing TDs.

  • The 2014 SEC football schedules are out and Vanderbilt drew a pretty favorable conference schedule.

    The Commodores play Western Division opponents Mississippi State and Ole Miss next season. No Alabama. No LSU. No Texas A&M.  Vandy fans have to love that.

    They will conclude the season against Tennessee, which had always been the case until 2007.

    The Commodores have non-conference opponents Temple, UMass, Charleston Southern and Old Dominion, about as soft as it gets.

    Coach James Franklin whined about Vanderbilt not selling out season tickets. He is in his third year and if he wants fans to buy season tickets, he must upgrade his non-conference schedule. I'm not suggesting he take on Southern Cal, Oregon and Notre Dame, but D1-AA Charleston Southern? Really?

    His program is beyond that.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s