JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Feb. 23, 2014

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Feb. 23, 2014 (Image 1)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Darius Coulibaly…

  • Seven. Count ‘em. Seven SEC basketball teams are saddled with 7-7 records in league play. Mediocrity at its best.

Tennessee and Vanderbilt are among the seven. The Vols dropped to 16-11, after a second loss this season to Texas A&M, another member of the Magnificent Seven.

The Commodores improved to 15-11 after coming from behind at Auburn Saturday.

Florida is the only SEC team that has a winning record against AP Top 25 teams. Coach Billy Donovan's Gators are 3-2 against Top 25 teams and they are still in the hunt for a No. 1 seed, perhaps the top seed as Syracuse lost its second game in a row, this one to Duke at Cameron Indoor.

Tennessee is 1-4 against Top 25 teams while Vanderbilt is 0-3.

  • Eat you heart out, Jason Dufner. The PGA star and Auburn graduate has to envy current Auburn student Patrick Burch.

At last weekend's Auburn basketball game, Burch attempted to make a 95-foot putt during a game promotion. The putt rolled the length of the court, going through a spot the size of a cup on a board at the end of the court.

He earned $15,000 toward the purchase of a new car. Suffice it to say the surface of the “putting green'' was harder and slicker than any on the PGA Tour.

“I didn't even think I was going to hit the board,'' Burch told “I just put it down and hit it.''

  • Professional athletes often are portrayed as being selfies. Not Dwyane Wade. The Miami Heat star hooked up with Gatorade and they built a brand new locker room for Riverdale High School's basketball team in Jefferson, La.

The locker room the team has been using was built in 1962. Workers came in during the team's game recently and installed new wood paneling modeled after the Heat locker room.

Wade told The Sporting News, “This is an NBA locker room now. My locker room, we had like iron lockers. Our coach's office was in the shower. He did his stuff in the shower area.''

  • Does it count as a career sack for Dan Marino after CBS dumped him off the Sunday NFL preview show? Tony Gonzalez is set to replace Marino and they are searching for a replacement for Shannon Sharpe.

Sharpe's input was minimal. Supposedly an analyst, Sharpe rarely offered any insight.

  • The NFL combine is the largest organized cattle call in professional sports.

Here are some Saturday measurable's you might find interesting.

Former Ensworth and Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio “Tiny'' Richardson did 36 bench presses while Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews, son of Hall of Famer and former Titans offensive line coach, Bruce Matthews, only pushed the iron up 24 times. Matthews did post a 5.07 seconds time in the 40-yard sprint. Since when have you seen an offensive lineman run 40 yards in a game?

  • University of Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack's stock is rising. NFL media draft analyst Mike Mayock is touting Mack as high as the first choice on Draft Day next month.

Remember it was a Mid-American Conference offensive tackle, Eric Fisher, who went No. 1 last year. Mack set a NCAA career record with 16 forced fumbles. He also had 75 tackles for loss.

Mayock experienced some man-love after he watched Mack against Ohio State last season.

“Mack dominated Ohio State like nobody I've ever seen dominate them,'' Mayock said.

  • I wouldn't put too much stock in what Steve Spurrier said when he said Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic was “OK.''

I'm not sure Spurrier spends much, if any, time watching the South Carolina defense during practice. He's all about zoning in on his offense, where he still calls the plays on game day.

Trying to compare Clowney's work ethic to former running back Marcus Lattimore is apples and oranges. First of all Lattimore is a running back and a workout warrior. No one on those teams worked as hard as Lattimore.

The same work ethic questions were asked about Reggie White until the last games as a junior and his senior season. It was also said about Albert Haynesworth all during college at Tennessee.

Haynesworth underachieved in the NFL until his contract year when he turned the light on enough to entice the Redskins to make him set for life.

  • Clowney is a physical freak. He came in the combine at 6-5¼ and weighed 266. His arms are 34 1/2 inches. His wingspan (finger tips to finger tips with arms spread out) was 83 inches or an inch under seven feet.

I'm not convinced Houston will take Clowney with the first pick. Their coach is targeting one of the quarterbacks. One reason would be that the Texans run a 3-4 defensive scheme and while you would have J.J. Watts at one end and Clowney at the other end, one of them would likely play an outside linebacker position. You need two run stoppers on the front line as Clowney and Watts are quarterback hunters.

  • Just who was that man behind the voice in the Southern Cal audio during Signing Day that called out Tennessee signee Jalen Hurd?

Many think it was former Vol quarterback Tee Martin, who is on the Trojans staff.

The person claimed Hurd was “so soft and terrible.'' USC apologized. Martin denied making the comment.

 Jayson Swain told Saturday Down South website that he talked to Tee Martin and Martin told him, “I've never had any dealings with Jalen Hurd and wish him nothing but the best at Tennessee.'' (Martin's happy Hurd's there.)

 Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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