JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: August 30, 2014

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Nov. 15, 2014 (Image 1)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Tony Robinson. …

  • The Titans sliced their roster down to the mandated 53-man roster Saturday.

    There were few, if any, surprises.

    Defensive back and special teams contributor Tommie Campbell has some talent, but through the years has cost his team with ill-advised penalties, both on special teams and in the secondary.

    They can get better, more dependable players than Campbell.

    Marc Mariani was fighting an uphill battle with the numbers, both at the receiver position and as a punt/kick returner. Missing two seasons with injuries made his mission close to impossible.

    I believe some team will pick him up. St. Louis hasn’t set the woods on fire in their return game and Coach Jeff Fisher‘s son Brandon, was a teammate of Mariani’s at Montana.

    I’d like to see Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews get another chance, whether some other team claims him off waivers or the Titans put him on the practice squad. I think Andrews can be a solid NFL back.

    Perhaps GM Ruston Webster and Coach Ken Whisenhunt can strengthen the defense through the waiver wire or by a trade. Maybe they will sign a defensive player that can actually tackle an opponent.

    I’m also not sold on the two place-kickers they have in camp.

  • Nobody asked, but I believe if Tennessee gets beat by Utah State Sunday, the Vols won’t win the six games necessary to get to a bowl game.

    If that happens, I don’t blame Butch Jones. I fault the schedule and inexperience.

    Jones has landed a lot of SEC talent in his two recruiting classes. But they are still puppies in a lot of ways. You don’t rebuild your offensive and defensive lines with dogs that haven’t played in an SEC game.

  • In Joker Phillips‘ final season at Kentucky he landed 26 recruits, not realizing he would not coach them.

    Of those 26 Phillips’ signees, only 10 remain on the current roster. UK Coach Mark Stoops has had difficulty in retaining players. Since his arrival, 25 players have transferred, quit or been dismissed.

  • They are currently shooting a film on the life of the late Lipscomb University basketball coaching legend, Don Meyer.

    A movie on Meyer’s life and career would not be complete without the late Chuck Ross being included. Meyer was a huge influence in Chuck’s life and vice versa.

    So who will play the role of Chuck in the movie? That would be none other than Mark McGee, a former Banner sportswriter and Lipscomb graduate and current member of the school’s athletics department.

    McGee certainly knows Chuck’s background, having fielded hundreds of telephone calls from Chuck while with the Banner and in his roles with the athletics department.

    I hope they include one of my favorite Chuck-Coach Meyer’s dialogue. Chuck would get upset about something and raise his voice and blood pressure.

    Meyer would say, “Talk like a girl Chuck,” and instantly Chuck would start talking in a girl’s voice.

    I’m not sure Mark could pull that one off.

    Not bragging, but I had Chuck’s voice down pat. I once called a local sports radio show and imitated Chuck. The hosts bought it, convinced it was the real Chuck. Those were days when sports talk radio was fun.

  • Wow, was Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill the real deal in the Aggies’ season opening 52-28 rout of South Carolina?

    Forget the gaudy statistics that Hill posted against the stunned Gamecocks. He was 44 of 60 for a school record 511 yards and three touchdowns as the Aggies dominated, 52-28.

    I was most impressed by Hill’s modesty in the post-game presser when he instructed the media to not call him Kenny Football, a pointed reference to former Aggie QB Johnny Manziel. Some of Manziel’s teammates grew weary of him getting all the headlines for A&M’s success.

    Hill went from not even being mentioned for this season’s Heisman Trophy, to one Las Vegas betting parlor making him 20/1 odds to win it.

  • Former Brentwood Academy football-track star Jalen Ramsey is being touted as one of college football’s best defensive backs. Ramsey and his defending national championship Florida State teammates played their season opener Saturday.

    Last year the 6-1, 204-pound cornerback was the first true freshman to start at cornerback for FSU since Deion Sanders in 1985. Ramsey finished his freshman season seventh on the team with 49 tackles.

    He also ran track for the FSU track team, competing on relay teams and long jump. A consensus Freshman All-American team defensive back, Ramsey is on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list.

    His father, Nashville Fire Department Captain Lamont Ramsey, played wide receiver under Boots Donnelly at MTSU and his older brother and cousins also played college football.

  • Another local college football player, Miami’s Corn Elder, is fighting for a starting role at cornerback for the Hurricanes. The 5-9, 188-pound sophomore is also in the mix to return kicks and punts.

    Elder was an all-state football and basketball star at Ensworth where his Ricky Bowers coached teams won a number of state championships in both sports.

    A sophomore, Elder played in 10 games before tearing a meniscus in a knee and the surgery kept him out for the rest of the season. He had seven tackles for the ‘Canes and returned seven kickoffs for 164 yards.

    Elder had a career long 39-yard kickoff return against Virginia Tech as a freshman.

  • If you are in Neyland Stadium Sunday for the Tennessee-Utah State game, the voice you will hear through the public address speakers will be Jeff Jarnigan.

    He is replacing the icon Bobby Denton, who passed away with cancer. Denton was there years telling everyone at the concession stands to “Pay these prices and pay no more.”

  • Athlon Sports publications love lists. I share their affinity.

    They recently ranked the current college football coaches from one to done.

    I don’t have to tell you which coach they put in the top slot, so I won’t.

    But following Saint Nick was Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, followed by South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, who was a defensive coordinator under Spurrier during the Gators’ best days, finished fourth. All four of those coaches spent time in the SEC.

    Rounding out the top five was Baylor’s Art Briles.

    Here are some other coaches you might be interested in. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn was No. 10. Tennessee’s Butch Jones was No. 37 with a 55-37 record after seven years as a head coach.

    Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason, who had not coached a game when the Athlon list came out, was No. 62. MTSU’s Rick Stockstill, who is 51-49 after eight seasons, was No. 83.

    Duke’s David Cutcliffe was No. 15, very deserving, as Cut was successful at Ole Miss and now at Duke. Penn State’s first year coach James Franklin landed at No. 11 due to the job he did at Vanderbilt. Franklin’s team came from behind against Central Florida Saturday morning to kick a game winning field goal as time expired.

    Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre, who played at Brentwood Academy, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech, was No. 45. Florida’s Will Muschamp, who probably will have to get to a bowl game to save his job, was No. 52. He is 22-16 after three years in the Swamp.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at


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