JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Nov. 23, 2014

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Drew Bennett. …

  • It’s amusing to hear SEC football coaches talk before the games about how good the cupcake teams are that many of them played this week.

    Florida 52-3 over OVC team Eastern Kentucky. South Carolina 37-12 over South Alabama. Georgia 55-9 over Charleston Southern. Alabama 48-14 over Western Carolina. Auburn 31-7 over Samford. That’s a combined 223-45 score in favor of the SEC heavyweights over the sacrificial lambs. Sure, the lambs get paid handsomely for getting pounded into submission, but at what price?It is going to force the SEC to make its teams play a nine-game SEC schedule. Fans don’t want to see, nor pay for, these laughingly non-competitive games. Certainly their corporate TV sponsors won’t tolerate ratings killers. Future playoff committees will take a dim view of such mismatches.

  • I give a well-deserved 21-gun salute to Middle Tennessee State, who allowed military families to attend their Saturday night home football game against Florida Atlantic.It marked the 33rd consecutive event. They also were treated to a picnic before the game. If they chose, the families could attend the afternoon basketball game against Southern University at Murphy Center.One ticket got the veterans into both games.
  • Hard to believe, but more than 50 percent of polled Americans thought Kentucky’s basketball team could beat the Philadelphia 76ers, an NBA team. Well, sort of.Fifty-four percent of fans polled by ESPN SportsNation thought the freshmen dominated Wildcats could beat the Sixers in a seven-game series.Get real.A number of Kentucky’s top 10 players were in high school this time last year.
  • Not that theSixers are all that imposing. The team is celebrating Mac & Cheese Monday in Philly, where the76ers call home. You can get two tickets to the game with a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese.You’ll receive a voucher for two free tickets for a future home game.As of Friday, the team was 0-5 at home and 0-11 overall. The previous game drew 14,856 fans to their most recent home game.The franchise did have a marketing deal with Papa John’s, but the pizza company had to alter it after the sour start. They originally were going to give 50 percent off pizzas if the Sixers won on certain nights. They have now changed it to giving 50 percent off if the team can score 90 points or better no matter if it wins or loses.
  • I see the NFL sacked Jets coach Rex Ryan $100,000 for using profanity.If his father Buddy was coaching in this era, under these rules, he would have gone broke.Former Major League slugger Jose Canseco says his surgically reattached left middle finger fell off while he was playing in a poker tournament.Talk about having a hot poker hand.
  • I strongly suspect the lunch conversation at The Depot in downtown Springfield last Thursday centered around football.Those present included Calvin Short, who won three state tournaments as Gallatin’s head coach, Jerry Pearson, who won a state championship at Dickson County and former Father Ryan and MTSU head coach Boots Donnelly, whose Father Ryan team won a state championship.I would like to know how many teen-agers and young men these three coaches have influenced during their coaching years. I don’t know the number, but it’s safe to say it’s impressive.
  • Tiger Woods has hired a swing consultant after firing his former swing coach, Sean Foley earlier this year.Swing consultant? I guess a consultant is on a need basis, while a swing coach is under contract.Chris Como is Tiger’s new consultant. He is 36 years old and from Dallas.
  • The Memphis Grizzlies got off to a 9-1 start and they met another 9-1 team (Houston) in the Bluff City.Entertainer Justin Timberlake attended the 119-93 Grizzlies win last week and someone sent him a tweet that referred toTimberlake as a homer.Timberlake fired back. “Uh. … I’m from Memphis and I’m an owner. Anyone else? #Wig Snatch”The Memphis fans smothered the original sender of the tweet with a flurry of irate tweets for picking on their main man.

    The tweeter thanked Timberlake for his 10 minutes of fame after he got thousands of hate tweets.

    Social media. Don’t you love it? You only need an IQ of an orangutan to post anything you want under the cloak of anonymity.

  • An ESPN panel of Heisman voters has released its votes of their top three candidates before Saturday’s games.Oregon QB Marcus Mariotta led the pack with 46 points.Mariotta has thrown for 2,780 yards, 29 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He has completed 67.1 percent of his passes.Mariotta has also used his wheels to run for 524 yards and another eight touchdowns.Second was Wisconsin road grader Melvin Gordon, who had 44 points in the voting. Gordon set a NCAA FCS record by running for 408 yards in last week’s game.

    The record was broken Saturday by Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine in a 44-7 rout of Kansas. Perine ran for 427 yards on 24 trips in a game delayed 90 minutes for lightning and rain.

    For the season Gordon has rushed for 1,909 yards, good for 23 TDs. He has chalked up 11 receptions for 83 yards and two TDs.

    Bama wide receiver Amari Cooper was third with 19 points, followed by TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott and Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett.

    Defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston was seventh.

  • Former Purdue and Western Kentucky basketball coaching legend Gene Keady was also known for his jet black comb-over.Now 78 and retired, Keady had a telephone conversation with new Indianapolis Star columnist Greg Doyle.Keady told Doyle he had a comb-over because of being on TV and knowing he was going bald.“I thought I looked gorgeous with the comb-over. Of course, it was very ugly.”

    Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings didn’t attempt to follow his college coach and mentor. Stallings has been bald for years, but made no attempt to hide it.

    Keady admitted spending approximately $600 a week to maintain his hairstyle.

    Keady’s wife Kathleen sported a year-round deep tan and jet-black hair. She told Doyle: “Coach thought it was pretty dapper. I thought it was horrible, really weird looking.”

  • Veteran Texas golf writer and author of best selling novels Dan Jenkins wrote a “fake” article on Tiger Woods for Golf Digest’s website. It’s up on their website now.Jenkins’ attempt to pull off the satire didn’t agree with Woods. He ripped Golf Digest and Jenkins.One of his “fake” questions centered around longtime friend and fellow pro Mark O’Meara. Jenkins asked Tiger about O’Meara.“I’m sorry. I can’t place him. Did he play the Tour?”

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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