JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Feb. 9, 2014

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Tony Robinson…

  • Jim Bob Cooter has a hard-to-forget football name.

    The former Tennessee backup quarterback is the Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach.

    Cooter is a self-made coach who worked his way up the ranks from Tennessee to his last stop with the Denver Broncos. He will now work for Lions offensive coordinator Jim Lombardi, grandson of the legendary Vince Lombardi.

    Lions new head coach Jim Caldwell worked with Cooter when they were with the Indianapolis Colts. It was Colts quarterback Peyton Manning that played a role in getting the Colts to give Cooter his first NFL job.

    Raised on a Lynchburg farm and attending public schools, Cooter attended Tennessee on a full academic scholarship. He also walked on the Vols football team, where he played sparingly.  But he soaked up all he could about his future profession, being an offensive football coach.

    The 29-year-old Cooter had an offer from the Broncos to coach tight ends. But he decided coaching quarterbacks was more pivotal to him becoming an offensive coordinator.

  • The Robertson family has signed a three-year contract to be the title sponsor for the 500-mile NASCAR race April 6 at Texas Speedway.

    It will be the Duck Commander 500, named after the popular A&E show, Duck Dynasty. The original three-year contract will also include a renewable three-year option.

  • You have to love the Sochi Winter Olympics. We now have what is believed to be the first case of an Olympic athlete having been held captive in a restroom.

    USA bobsledder Johnny Quinn found himself trapped in his hotel room. He had taken a shower and discovered the bathroom door was locked from outside. Quinn, a former NFL player with the Buffalo Bills, said he had to resort to his bobsled training to free himself as he had no cell phone and no one else was in the room.

    “I used my bobsled push training to break out,” Quinn said. Man has to do what he has to do. And Olympics officials are considering making Quinn pay for the damage. Nyet, I say.

  • Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly says he passed on some high school recruits who had their eyes on going to the NFL without stepping on a college campus.

    Kelly is looking for players who want to stay the full four years.


    “I don't want three year kids,'' Kelly explained.


  • It's never too late to recognize college football coaches on the hot seat for this coming season.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat website has Florida's Will Muschamp on the preseason No. 1 hot seat. He is followed by West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen.

    No. 3 is Kansas Coach Charlie Weiss. No. 4 is Florida International's Ron Turner and No. 5 is Virginia's Mike London.

    Arkansas' Bret Bielema is No. 6. Former Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow is No. 7 at Hawaii and likely to be fired after this season.

  • Ever wonder which golf course is Jack Nicklaus's favorite? In is book, Jack Nicklaus: My Story, the Golden Bear gave his answer.

    “If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach,'' he said. “I've loved this course from the first time I saw it. It's probably the best in the world.''

  • Good to see Predators TV sportscaster Pete Weber released from a Minneapolis hospital after suffering a heart attack on Thursday.

    GM David Poile was held another night after he was hit in the face by a puck during a morning skate. He had surgery around the eye area and may require additional surgery. Poile had to cancel his trip to Russia where he would be part of the Team USA Olympics staff.

    Both patients are expected to make full recoveries.

  • We know SEC basketball is in a down cycle this season. As few as two teams will make the NCAA Tournament field.

    Bracketologist Jerry Palm has Florida as a 2-seed and Kentucky a 4-seed. Palm has Tennessee and Missouri among the eight play-in teams. 

    UT will play Oregon for a 12-seed and Missouri will play Arizona State for an 11 seed. That's how Palm saw it through last Friday games.

    There are a lot of games that can shake up the latest forecast.

  • is used to a degree by the NCAA Selection Committee.

    Here are some current figures.

    Florida's RPI ranking is No. 4. Kentucky is 13. Tennessee is 47. Missouri is 50 with Ole Miss 59 and LSU 60. Vanderbilt is 66. Arkansas is 93. Others include Belmont at No. 58. MTSU is 94.

    Conference RPI numbers are Big 12 on top. The Big Ten is second. Pac 12 comes in third while Big East is fourth, followed by the ACC, Atlantic 10 in sixth, and the SEC a dismal seventh.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at  

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