JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Dec. 1, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Phil Roach. …

  • College football in the state of Alabama suffered a seismic earthquake as No. 1 and defending national champion Alabama got caught napping, allowing once-beaten Auburn to win the annual Iron Bowl in a last-second 34-28 thriller.

    It was decided after Bama freshman Adam Griffith attempted a 57-yard field goal with a second left in regulation. It came up short and was fielded deep in the end zone by Auburn's Chris Davis.

    Davis took it to the house for the game winner. It will go down in the books as a 100-yard return for a touchdown, but who's counting?

    It will be interesting to see if the War Eagle Supper Club is still standing today, or any other structure in and around the campus for that matter.

    You don't often see Alabama caught off guard when it comes to covering the little things under Nick Saban. But when you look at the play and only see big uglies trying to chase down Davis, it was comedic.

    Officials had put a second back on the clock at the end of regulation and Saban elected to try the field goal. It was a very un-Saban decision, playing against the heavy odds and it came back to bite him, turning Jordan-Hare Stadium's field into an ocean of orange.

    The loss not only knocked the Tide out of the national championship picture, but in all likelihood Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron slipped out of the Heisman race. McCarron should get a trip to New York City as a consolation prize, but he won't get the Heisman.

    It was a double whammy for the Crimson Tide and they will likely see Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn named the National Coach of the Year for the turnaround he orchestrated at the Lovliest Village on the Plains.

    The former Arkansas high school coach told reporters he would celebrate the way he has always done dating back to his high school coaching days – with a Waffle House meal. Smothered and covered, I would say.

  • So it is Auburn against Missouri in Saturday's SEC Championship Game. There goes the television ratings, but it does give neutral fans new teams to watch.

    Missouri won't get in the BCS National Championship Game, but if Auburn can beat the Tigers impressively and other teams above them lose a game, it could very well play for all the marbles.

  • It may have been the best C'mon Man segment ever on Monday Night Football's pregame spot.

    The material they had was without question the best, thanks to the sad-sack Florida Gators.

    In an unprecedented loss to Georgia Southern in a game in which the Eagles never attempted a pass, there was one play that truly predicted just how low the program has gone under Will Muschamp.

    With the Gators offense trying a sweep to the right, Florida linemen Quinton Dunbar and Jonotthan Harrison were caught on game film blocking. Problem was, Harrison and Dunbar were blocking each other. They never realized they were locked up one-on-one.

    Which prompted former NFL wide receiver Cris Carter to exclaim: “C'mon Gators. C'MON MAN!''

  • I saw Titans running back Chris Johnson's race against a cheetah on the National Geographic Network. It was an up and back race and even though the cheetah ran past the turnaround mark, it managed to catch and pass Johnson by five yards.

    Chicago Bears receiver and kick returner Devin Hester raced a different cheetah and managed to come out victorious. Does that mean Hester is faster than Johnson? I guess you could say when a cheetah is chasing Hester, he is.

  • In a NFL Network segment that looked at four AFC teams going into this week's games and asked two analysts whether those teams were contenders or pretenders in the AFC race to the playoffs. Curtis Conway and Willie McGinest took two teams each.

    Conway labeled the Steelers a contender before they lost Thanksgiving night. He also labeled the AFC South leading Colts a contender. McGinest took the Ravens. He admitted the offense was not sexy and pointed to QB Joe Flacco's 13 interceptions. But he also likes the way their defense has turned into a force at this point and deemed them a contender.

    McGinest also had the Titans. The former outside linebacker liked what the defense has done and on offense named players he liked in Chris Johnson and Kendall Wright. But he pointed to the position that matters in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    McGinest said he liked a lot of things about the Titans offense, but predicted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is “an interception waiting to happen.''

    The Titans can have something to say about that today when they meet the Colts in Indianapolis.

  • I never bought in to Northern Illinois and Fresno State being ranked as high as they were in the polls. Both were undefeated going into this weekend's games.

    But neither team has defeated, or even played, a ranked team this season, yet they were in the mix for a BCS bowl game.

    Fresno State lost for the first time this weekend, getting knocked off by a 5-6 San Jose State team, 62-52. So much for a BCS bowl.

  • Ravenwood High's Wesley Horky has been chosen to play in the Under Armor All-American Game set for Jan. 2 in Tampa.

    Horky is expected to be a long snapper for one team.

  • If I were Tampa Bay pitcher David Price I might lay off Twitter for a while.

    Price had this tweet before Thanksgiving.

    “Everyone that's traveling for the thanksgiving (sic), please be careful! Driving conditions will be rough with these storms. Ladies … let ur man drive!”

    I loved some of the responses.

    “What if the man is a nerd?''

    And, this from Cee Angi: “I was going to go see my parents at Thanksgiving, but I don't have a man to drive me there. I trust David Price will be sending a car.''

  • A Michigan car dealer promised full refunds on automobiles purchased from last Wednesday through Thanksgiving, provided Michigan could shut out Ohio State Saturday.

    It didn't come close to happening. Of course the Buckeyes found a way to stay undefeated, beating the Wolverines by a point, 42-41.

  • The PGA of America has chosen The Tennessee PGA section (TPGA) as winner of the 2013 Herb Graffis Award during its recent PGA Annual Meeting.

    The group was cited for its growth of the game initiatives, managed through the Tennessee Golf Foundation, which also supports disadvantaged youth through golf.

    “We are honored to receive the Herb Graffis Award from the PGA of America,'' said Tennessee PGA President Neil Collins. Collins is also PGA head professional at Tennessee Golf Trail at Henry Horton State Park golf course.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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