Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Boss Bailey…
- Can the Titans slow Broncos star Peyton Manning's hot start to the season?
The former Tennessee star has passed for 4,125 yards through 12 games. He needs to average 338 yards a game in his final four games to pass the single season record of 5,476 yards by Drew Brees in 2011.
Manning's 41 passing TDs is tied for second and chasing Tom Brady, who had a record 50 TD passes in 2007. With the Titans, Chargers, lame duck Texans and the Raiders remaining, Manning should have a solid shot at it.
- Duke forward Alex Murphy is going to transfer after the current semester. Murphy has only played 33 minutes in five games for the Blue Devils.
The 6-9 sophomore from Rhode Island was a redshirt freshman last season and played in 31 games. His brother Erik, played for Florida.
- At South Carolina, they will have to replace defensive end Jadevon Clowney next year, as he will leave after his junior season. While Clowney leaves big shoes to fill, the Gamecocks will likely lose two more key defensive players to the NFL draft.
Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles is 6-4, 300 pounds and leads the team this season with 13.5 tackles and 9.5 sacks. In the secondary, the Gamecocks will likely lose its top cover cornerback Vic Hampton to the NFL. Hampton leads the team with three interceptions and nine passes broken up. The 5-10, 202-pound Hampton missed some playing time with a concussion and a suspension.
- Tennessee will lose junior offensive tackle Antonio “Tiny'' Richardson. The junior, who played at Ensworth, is leaving early for the NFL.
Richardson is blessed with NFL size and strength, but I thought he, and the Vols offensive line as a whole, underachieved this season. If Richardson is going to be successful in the NFL, he better realize his motor has to run the whole game and not take plays off.
He doesn't realize just how strong he is, but to reach his potential, he must get serious in the weight room and on the field.
Butch Jones has a big job next year to basically replace his offensive and defensive lines. Since that's where games are won and lost, especially in the SEC, Jones has to get a lot accomplished in spring practice and the players have to take it on themselves to improve during the summer when coaches can not set up organized workouts.
- Christ Presbyterian Academy came up short in the state championship game against perennial power Alcoa Friday night.
Alcoa, coached by former Riverdale coach Gary Rankin, pretty much put the ball in running back Jacques Tyson's hands and let him do the heavy lifting in a 25-7 victory that handed CPA its first loss of the season.
The 5-9, 196-pound Tyson was named offensive MVP of the game after picking up 278 yards on 49 carries, a 5.7 yard per carry average. He added one reception for 10 yards. He had three touchdowns, all from one-yard out.
Tyson is a junior and returns next season for another run at the Class 3A title. I would think he'll have a number of scholarship offers.
As a team, the Tornadoes gained 382 yards on 69 carries, a 5.5 yard per carry average. The game was delayed 90 minutes due to lightning in the area.
Look for CPA Coach Ingle Martin to get his team back in Cookeville next season. This was the school's first trip to the playoffs.
- News 2's Dawn Davenport had a difficult job as a sideline reporter on the WUXP broadcast, made even more difficult by the lousy weather all weekend. The Henry County-Knoxville West game was pushed back by the weather delay when the CPA started late. Davenport weathered the rain and icy weather and offered more valid information than a lot of major network sideline reporters can give you.
She will be promoted on the college level if that is what she aspires to. She did sideline reporting on major college games this season. Currently she is co-hosting Channel 2's morning news show.
- Joy Johnson waited until she was 56 years old to start jogging. She got hooked on running and ran 25 consecutive New York City marathons two years ago, making her an official streaker.
Johnson recently kept her streak alive this year and became the oldest finisher in the race's history at 84. She stumbled and fell during the race, suffering a head injury. She picked herself up and completed the marathon in 7:44.45.
The next morning she and her two sisters went to Rockerfeller Center for a post-race ceremony. They returned to the Roosevelt Hotel. She told them she was fatigued and lay down to rest.
They were unable to wake her up and she was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Now she was someone who died loving what they were doing.
- I never bought in to voting Fresno State and Northern Illinois as high as other pollsters did, even when they were undefeated late in the season Why? Neither team played a Top 25 team. Fresno State lost last week for the first time and Northern Illinois lost to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference championship game. A team that was vying for a BCS bowl, lost 47-27.
Their quarterback, Jordan Lynch, was even in the Heisman Trophy discussion. Lynch may well be a solid NFL quarterback, but against Bowling Green he was a disappointing 21 of 40 for 219 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Those aren't Heisman numbers.
Northern Illinois' inability to win the conference title will cost the MAC up to $8 million in bowl money. But former Tennessee offensive coordinator Dave Clawson (2008) realizes his Bowling Green team beating NIU cost the MAC a lot of money.
“We won a championship, but we're not going to be able to buy jock straps next year,'' Clawson joked after the game.
Clawson is now 32-31 at Bowling Green after five years.
- I can't blame Texans owner Bob McNair for firing Coach Gary Kubiak. They were projected to win the AFC South and contend for a Super Bowl berth.
After losing to the once 0-8 Jaguars, McNair had seen enough.
He said the Jags played harder, played smarter and the Texans effort was “unacceptable.''
Kubiak getting fired doesn't do Titans Coach Mike Munchak any favors. Munchak hasn't exactly set the NFL on fire and his team plays the Texans at LP Field Dec. 29.
If the Texans win that game, I don't think Munchak survives.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.