Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Alvin Duke.…
- So much for those fans who hoped Alabama and Oregon would run the table and meet for a long anticipated battle of what many considered the two best teams in college football this season.
Now undefeated and No. 2 on the BCS rankings going into the weekend schedule, Florida State will see if it can win out and play for all the marbles. A third undefeated team, Ohio State, has a resume that is no better than sixth among those teams. The Buckeyes are undefeated, but have played only two lower tier Top 25 teams in No. 23 Wisconsin and No. 16 Northwestern. Not enough in my book to leap ahead of Bama, FSU, Stanford, Baylor or Oregon.
Oregon had the rug pulled out from under it when No. 5 and once beaten Stanford won a convincing 26-20 upset. It is difficult to believe that the high-scoring Ducks were held to 22 rushing yards in the first half and had only 28 offensive plays before halftime. It was the second straight year Stanford used old school football to dump the Ducks. I guess blocking and tackling will never go out of style.
Give Stanford credit. Its defense took on the impossible task to slow down, much less stop, Oregon offense and applied the brakes. The Ducks also saw Heisman Trophy leader Marcus Mariota‘s stock fall, as he and his offensive teammates were physically punished and pushed around by Stanford.
In a second Thursday night classic, No. 6 Baylor was impressive in beating No. 10 Oklahoma, 41-12. It isn't often a Bob Stoops team gets shown up on the scoreboard, nor is it often brother Mike's defense gets embarrassed.
And if I were an AD in search of a coach at a Top 5 program, I would narrow the search to Baylor's Art Briles or Stanford's David Shaw.
They have two contrasting styles, as Shaw's team is a throwback physical team that has a punishing ground game and Briles comes from the new wave spread-it-out and light up the scoreboard style of offense that he hatched and developed on the high school fields in Texas.
Both coaches have earned their way to where they are today. Both Shaw and Briles are coaches who get it.
That puts Alabama and Florida State on the hot seat now.
Before Saturday's games were played, my BCS rankings were Alabama, FSU, Stanford, Baylor and Oregon in that order. Ohio State was No. 6.
In an ESPN poll, 62 percent want to see a Florida State-Alabama national championship game. Sixteen percent would prefer Ohio State have a shot at the final BCS championship.
- Spirit Airlines took advantage of Miami Dolphins knucklehead Richie Incognito's well publicized bullying of a teammate.
The little known airline is running this ad: Spirit Airlines – Don't be bullied by high fares. Fly incognito out of Florida, or any place for that matter.
- On Veteran's Day Monday, I will be with my Vietnam veterans participating in Nashville's downtown parade as we celebrate and honor all veterans everywhere.
We march for those who never came back, the real heroes.
- According to a Los Angeles Daily News story by Scott Wolf, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has emerged at the front-runner to replace Lane Kiffin as Southern Cal's next head coach.
Sumlin currently makes $3.1 million after two seasons with the Aggies.
According to Wolf, other names still in the mix include Vanderbilt's James Franklin, former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, Boise State's Chris Petersen and Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio.
- Tennessee's basketball team landed two players on the SEC Coaches 8-man All-SEC first team. There were senior Jordan McRae and junior Jarnell Stokes.
The Vols Jeronne Maymon made the 8-man second team. Vanderbilt failed to place a player on either team.
Kentucky freshman Julius Randall earned a first team position while four other Wildcats were put on the second team, including Clarksville sophomore Alex Poythress.
- Las Vegas bookmakers have Kentucky winning another national championship at 7/2 odds. Needless to say, the Wildcats are heavy favorites to win the SEC regular season.
Florida is deemed the second best SEC team at 2/1 odds with Tennessee the third choice at 10/1. Vanderbilt seems destined for a rebuilding season with 50/1 odds to win the conference.
Nationally, Vegas has Tennessee at 75-1 odds the Vols will win the national championship while Vanderbilt is a 100-1 choice.
- When Antioch Middle School met rival McMurray on the football field last week, Antioch High School's former football lettermen were scheduled to lead the middle school team out on the field.
But as former major league pitcher John Mitchell put it, they wisely had the former high school player follow the middle school team to reduce the chance the older alums would not get "mowed down'' by the young bucks.
The oldest alumnus was Tony Hood, a fullback/end who was one of the top players in the Nashville Interscholastic League. The youngest was Mike Woosley, a 1995 grad.
Mickey Hiter (1964-66) and Jody Garlits (1963-65) wore their high school jerseys, which Mitchell says still fit well.
I would have thought some of the former Antioch multi-sports stars such as John Morgan and Ron Bargatze would have made the game.
- CBS Sports' Jerry Palm's bowl projections have Alabama and Florida State meeting in the BCS Championship Game.
The only other BCS bowl Palm has an SEC team playing in is the Sugar Bowl, where they have South Carolina against UCF.
He predicts Tennessee will meet Marshall (a team MTSU beat) in the Liberty Bowl and has MTSU against Colorado State in the Hawaii Bowl. In the Music City Bowl, they have Maryland and Auburn playing. And if Palm is right, Vanderbilt will meet Duke in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport.
As of last week, Palm had 11 SEC teams going bowling.
- Nashville's PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker's overseas trip was cut short after he fell off a Segway he was riding during a corporate outing in China. He returned to Nashville to see Dr. Burton Elrod.
Snedeker suffered a strained ACL and an injured tibia in his left leg. As injury prone as Sneds has been, I believe I would stick to riding in cars with four wheels.
- Lipscomb's redshirt junior guard Carter Sanderson led his team with 21 points in a losing effort to Belmont Boulevard rival Belmont Friday night. He was 8 of 12 from the field, including nailing all 3-point attempts after coming off the bench.
He is the son of former Bison coach Scott Sanderson. Carter decided to remain at the school after a coaching change was made.
- Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, who was on the cover of a recent Sports Illustrated issue, made his debut against Louisiana-Monroe.
Wiggins had a team-high 16 points with three rebounds, two assists and three steals as the Jayhawks won, 80-63.
Kentucky's most touted freshman, Julius Randle, also played his first college game against UNC-Asheville, where he had 23 points, 15 rebounds. The 6-9 Randle was 6 of 9 from the floor as the ‘Cats won, 89-57.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.