published Monday, February 7th, 2011

5 at 10: Packers triumphant, quarterback rankings and some hoops hoopla

That was some Super Bowl, huh? Before we getting rolling, here's a tip of the 5-at-10 fedora to najones75, who gets major props for last week's third-person tango. Well done sir. Or ma'am. Let's just move along. Here we go...

Super easy to see why the Pack prevailed

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    Green Bay Packers' Jarrett Bush (24) reacts after intercepting a pass by Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger as Steelers' Ramon Foster (73)makes the tackle during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLV football game Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The 5-at-10 loved, Loved, LOVED this stat from the Packers' 31-25 Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh: Teams that have returned an interception for a touchdown in the Super Bowl are 11-0.

So when Nick Collins returned an errant Ben Roethlisberger pass 37 yards for a score, that was that — whether we knew it or not.

As for the 5-at-10's picks on Friday, we split on the big two — losing the game but winning the over/under.

While we're discussing betting (for entertainment purposes only, of course), let this serve as the ultimate warning that the guys setting the lines know way, Way, WAY more than anyone looking at the lines.

We talked last week that the over/under was 1:54 on Christina Aguilera's version of the "National Anthem," meaning the bet could be made that it would last longer than 1:54 or be shorter than 1:54.

Officially, the time on Aguilera's version was 1:54.

Thank you, Vegas. Goodnight.

Side note: Aguilera messed up a verse, and if memory serves, it was either noted scholar Ben Franklin or Crash Davis that said, "I hate people who get the words wrong."

Aaron Rodgers to the big boy table, Mr. Rodgers to the big boy table

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    Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, right, and teammate Clay Matthews celebrate after the Packers' 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Super Bowl XLV football game Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Rodgers was named most valuable player of the game. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers has completed the circle after throwing for 304 yards and three scores in the Packers' 31-25 Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh.

After dropping to late in the first round — he was linked with No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith before falling all the way to the No. 24 pick — to waiting his turn behind Brett Favre to overcoming the doubts and minor injuries, Rodgers is now among the game's best at the most difficult position in all of sports.

Of the 23 players drafted ahead of Rodgers in 2005, how many would be taken before him now. The answer is zero of course, and to add insult to injury, our main man and friend of the show, Al Davis had the 23rd pick in that draft. He selected "Fast" Fabian Washington, cornerback from Nebraska.

The 5-at-10 asked pretend Al about this — most of his response was not suitable for a family-operated InterTube rant such as this one. Here are some acceptable excerpts:

"You know the Raiders have always been about speed. Speed. And you want to know, because that's how Red Grange would do it. And you want to know what Ditka's favorite movie is? You betcha, it's "Speed," because that Keanu Reeves is just that good. Speed."

Yet another reason the Raiders are going nowhere fast.

QB re-rankings

There can only be a few elite quarterbacks — that is the definition of the word after all — and if Rodgers is not among them he's right there.

There really are four categories of quarterbacks (and no stinky is not one, so you got that going for you Vince Young):

— Elite: Guys like Manning, Brady and Brees. There really can't be more than three. If there's one more it's probably Rodgers by a nose over Roethlisberger.

— Stars: This is the next tier, and there are fewer of these than you think. Big Ben, Rodgers, Phillip Rivers, and maybe a Matt Ryan or Matt Schaub (you have to put in the time here folks, and a few good seasons is not enough).

— Starters: This group is more than just the fundamental definition of "Starter" — i.e. guys who go out there for the game's first snap. No, this group is defined by players who make the franchise and the fans feel somewhat secure about who they have pulling the trigger. Tampa Bay is not out there looking to replace Josh Freeman; they are comfortable with him. He's a starter today, whether he threw five picks last week or not.

— Journeymen: Here's everybody else, and sadly the Titans are flush with journeymen.

Hoops, hoops and more hoopla — Vol. 3, Chapter 1

Did you know that the conference tournaments start in less than a month? Crazy, huh? Let's recap some of the teams that will be in the tournament and where they stand as of this morning:

— Ohio State: The Buckeyes are rolling to the top overall seed, and Sunday's win at No. 20-ranked Minnesota was especially impressive. Biggest strength for OSU is its depth.

— Kentucky: The Wildcats are young (all of John Calipari's teams are) and they have taken some lumps in a better-than-expected SEC. That said, UK always gets its opponents best shot especially on the road, where the Wildcats always draw a full house. That type of game-in, game-out stress will serve them well in the one-and-done pressure of the NCAA tournament.

— Duke: Don't look now, but the nation's most polished team may add a huge piece. Freshman phenom Kyrie Irving, who has been out of action for the last two months, had the cast on his foot removed. Irving, who averaged 17.4 points and 5.1 assists before getting hurt on Dec. 4, is unlikely to be ready to return this year. But if he can, look out.

— Tennessee: The Vols went 5-3 in their SEC games during coach Bruce Pearl's suspension. He returns Tuesday night when the Vols face UK. The final month may mean more to the Vols than any other tournament-bound team in the country. A strong finish and they could get be as high as a 3 or 4 seed.

Let's all agree to take a break from recruiting for a while

This has been the wackiest college football recruiting season ever. And it's not really even close.

Let's recap:

— The nation's top-ranked tackle Cyrus Kouandjio succumbing to family pressure and switching to signing with Alabama from his signing day commitment to Auburn.

— The nation's top-ranked player Jadeveon Clowney is still a week from making his decision.

— Jacoby Brissett is now officially signed with Florida, despite his mother stating she was going to "try and talk him out of it," so Brissett would go to Miami.

And now this: Receiver Avery Johnson, a star in the 2012 recruiting class and the younger brother of former LSU All-American Patrick Peterson, has committed to LSU. But Johnson told ESPN, "I'm open. LSU, Auburn, Florida, USC and North Carolina are my leaders." Johnson's daddy, Patrick Peterson told the Baton Rouge Advocate, "Maybe there was some misunderstanding. He's locked in," to LSU.

Here we go again — somebody wake us when spring practice starts.

Until tomorrow.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Atruefan said...

Great today as always. That person who was supposed to sing the National Anthem last night....can it be called singing if you get the words and the music wrong?....should be tried for treason. When will the NFL learn that most people who enjoy this sport are REAL Americans and would prefer not to have that particular song stop just short of being known as the Star "Mangled" Banner.

February 7, 2011 at 10:47 a.m.
Salsa said...

It fit is well with the disgrace of a half time show. The sound system was awful, the female singer sang off key, and the whole band looked like programmed robots instead of enthusiastic entertainers.

February 7, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
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