John Clay's notes: Ex-UK assistant Sanders wins another BCS title

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJanuary 7, 2014 

Random notes:

■ Congrats to Randy Sanders, who went from, as he put it, "2-10 and out of a job" to winning a national title as quarterbacks coach for Florida State's Jameis Winston as the Seminoles won the final BCS championship game.

Sanders was also quarterbacks coach for Tennessee's Tee Martin when the Vols won the first BCS title game.

■ Thought Alabama Coach Nick Saban was outstanding Monday night on the BCS pre-game and post-game shows. That guy might have a future in broadcasting.

■ So Bobby Petrino's father said his son would accept the Louisville job if offered. Yes, I expect he would.

■ As much as Petrino might want to return, I can't see Tom Jurich re-living that. But I could be wrong.

■ I was wrong about Charlie Strong and Texas. Strong obviously brings the intensity that Texas has been lacking. He'll do fine on the field. It's the massive off-the-field responsibilities at Texas that are a concern.

■ A Texas booster called the Strong hire "a kick in the face." Yeah, Strong's teams kicked several opponents in the face during his four years at Louisville.

■ It should be noted that not much has been noted of the fact that both Texas (Strong) and Texas A&M (Kevin Sumlin) have black head coaches. And that's good.

■ So Louisville has lost its coach to Texas, and it looks like Vanderbilt could lose its coach (James Franklin) to Penn State.

Kentucky fans should worry more about their own program improving rather than hope they improve by way of other programs losing their coaches.

■ Postponement or no postponement, I still think John Hardin defensive lineman Matt Elam will end up at Kentucky.

■ If the TV sports analyst thing doesn't work out for them, Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel could star in their own Odd Couple sitcom.

■ Michigan State finished No. 3 in the AP poll, its highest ranking since 1966. So if I'm Louisville, I'd take a look at defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, whose father, Bill, was an assistant at Kentucky.

■ Did you see where former UK offensive line coach Mike Summers has been hired by Florida?

The Gators' offensive staff now includes offensive coordinator Kurt Roper (UK assistant in 2005), wide receivers coach Joker Phillips (longtime UK assistant and for three years the head coach) and Summers.

■ Before the season began, what were the odds that the SEC would put three teams in the top five of the final rankings, and not one would be Alabama?

■ My pre-season top five for next season: 1. Florida State, 2. Alabama, 3. Oregon, 4. Auburn, 5. UCLA.

■ It's just more and more problems for North Carolina basketball, which lost its ACC opener to Wake Forest on Sunday night.

■ My NFL picks this weekend: Patriots over Colts. Broncos (barely) over Chargers. 49ers over Panthers. Seahawks over Saints. No surprises.

■ I may be the only person in America who hasn't interviewed for one of the numerous NFL head coaching openings.

■ If you are the Bengals, seems your only option is to hope Andy Dalton will learn from his playoff mistakes. You can't really discard a quarterback who has taken your team to three straight playoff games.

■ Dalton's performance apparently did nothing to jeopardize offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's candidacy for NFL head coaching jobs.

■ On one note it would have been neat if the Bengals had snapped their 23-year string without a playoff win.

Sunday was also the 69th birthday of the last Bengals coach to win a playoff game, Sam Wyche.

■ The Onion headline: "Scientists believe hockey players may communicate by banging sticks against boards."

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com.

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