published Thursday, October 13th, 2011

5 at 10: Auburn cleared, Post-season baseball and this week's Fab 4 (+1)

Hey, gang, we still have two spots open in the mailbag — it's been a crazy week. That said, unless you want to read some 5-at-10 haikus Friday, we need a couple of letters.

From the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...



  • photo
    Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton (2) celebrates with teammate Nick Fairley (90) following a 28-27 win over Alabama in an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

NCAA done investigating Auburn

After almost 13 months, countless accusations, who knows how many metric tons of newspaper and gallons of spilled newspaper ink, the NCAA has announced it has closed its investigation into Auburn involving the Cam Newton saga (which also included the four former players that went on HBO and said they were paid by Auburn boosters and coaches).

Here's the NCAA's statement:

After conducting more than 80 interviews, the NCAA has concluded its investigation into Auburn University. The NCAA enforcement staff is committed to a fair and thorough investigative process. As such, any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media. The allegations must be based on credible and persuasive information and includes a good-faith belief that the Committee on Infractions could make a finding. As with any case, should the enforcement staff become aware of additional credible information, it will review the information to determine whether further investigation is warranted.

  • photo
    Auburn quarterback Cam Newton laughs as he drops back to throw as he runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Here's TFP SEC ace David Paschall's story on the matter (NCAA clears Auburn).

Whether this was expedited by Auburn coach Gene Chizik's questioning of an NCAA official at the SEC meetings in Destin, Fla., is hard to know. What it does mean is that the phrase "Where there's smoke there's fire," must officially go on the out-of-date list in regard to NCAA matters. It can join dated phrases like "the bee's knees," and "the cut of your jib."

Regardless, whether you believe Auburn did absolutely nothing wrong or did an absolutely everything right in covering its tracks (or absolutely anything in between), there is no denying that the Auburn Tigers are the 2010 BCS champions. And barring some surprise revelation, there is no asterisk either.



  • photo
    LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (7) in the second half against Kentucky in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. LSU defeated Kentucky 35-7 in an NCAA college football game. Mathieu was called for interference on the play. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Fab 4 (plus 1)

We're 19-8-1 against the number. That's pretty strong — not as strong as the 14-3-1 start we had, but still.

Here are a couple strange gambling numbers from friend of the show RJ Bell before we get into our picks:

— Overall, double digit favorites covered 16 of 18 games last week in college football;

— All nine top 10 teams in action last week covered (and by an average of 13-plus points)

What does it mean? Hard to know but if you think last week was a fluke, then be careful with double-digit favorites this week because not that long ago, the books were almost a perfect 50-50 split between favorites and underdogs (the numbers were 129-128).

The 5-at-10 thinks there could be an edge here. With 11 major programs still unbeaten halfway through the season, 'style points' are taking on an extra importance.

On to the picks:

LSU minus-15 at Tennessee: This number will grow the closer we get to kickoff, but it's hard to see the Bray-less, and Hunter-less Vols offense scoring more than 10 against the Tigers defense led by Honey Badger. Honey Badger don't care.

Georgia Tech minus-7 at Virginia: Buy the half if you can (some people call it the hook, but we call it a sling blade, hmm-hm).

East Carolina minus-14 at Memphis: We apologize for not sharing this trend with you earlier this season. Memphis is less than good. If Memphis was a golf swing it would be Al Czervik's. If they were a movie, they would be "Disorderlies." If they were a song, well you get the idea. Memphis is 1-5 (with that win coming against Austin Peay), and of those five losses only covered against MTSU, which was a 23-point favorite. (Yes, MTSU was a 23-point favorite. Let's just move along.

South Carolina minus-3 at Mississippi State: With the entire mess that was Stephen Garcia now no longer part of the USC equation, let's watch if Connor Shaw spreads his wings a little bit.

For the second week, there are several games that look good in the plus-one spot, including Oklahoma, Georgia, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. But we're going to stay with what we know, and take:

Alabama minus-23 at Ole Miss: If you think that's a lot of points, answer this question: How high would they have to set this line before you pick Ole Miss? Is it 30? Is it 35? Let's say it's 35, then 12 points on any pick is a good swing.



OK, Texas is good

  • photo
    Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz hits a 3-run home run in the 11th inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers,j Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Texas Rangers are on the brink of back-to-back World Series trips. Yes, the Texas Rangers, who have a 3-1 ALCS lead over Detroit because in large part because Nelson Cruz is trying out for the tole for Reggie Jackson, Mr. October, 2011.

It's important to remember here, that the Rangers, yes the Texas Rangers, were believed to be a one-year wonder after losing ace left-hander Cliff Lee to the Phillies in the offseason. And as we all know, the Phillies are done for the season (That noise you heard is a high-five from several Johnny Braves Fans and a Rick Flair-style "WOOOOOOOO," from EC).

The Rangers, however, keep on keeping on.

Know what else this does? Let's say the Rangers find a way to win five more games — one more in the ALCS and four World Series games against the winner of the Cards-Brewers NLCS — and raise the trophy. That means coupled with the Mavs win last June in what appears ti be the final NBA Finals for a long while, the Dallas Cowboys are the area's biggest pro sports flop.



This and that

  • photo
    Tiger Woods tees off on the sixth hole during the final round of the Frys.com Open golf tournament, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, in San Martin, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

— This guy is seeing a whole team of psychiatrist. The fellow that threw the hot dog at Tiger Woods during last Sunday's golf tournament, said he was motivated from the movie "Driven." Brandon Kelly told authorities after flinging his lunch at Woods, "As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, 'I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger.'" Nothing else really to say here, huh?

—Rob Sloan caught a spectator shuttle 20 miles into a London marathon and rose the final 6.1 miles before running through some shrubs and crossing the finish line for third place. After initially denying that he cheated, Sloan fessed up that he cheated. We have two questions: First, who cheats to finish third? Second, if the shuttle was a VW, would it be considered the world's largest performance-enhancing Bug? (Thank you, we'll be here all week.)

— Wow, BISpy was right, the Boston Globe's story on the Boston Red Sox meltdown in September was awesome. Granted it took two "sittings" to finish on the old iPad, but it was awesome. Check it out. Plus, former Boston GM Theo Epstein has taken the 5-at-10's dream job as GM of the Chicago Cubs. All he has to do is win one World Series — he won two in Boston, and a lot of folks would say that was a taller order — and he's Abe Froman, sausage king of Chicago forever.



  • photo
    Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, left, and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, right, joke at the 50-yard line prior to their NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, at Williams-Brice Stadium, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)

Today's question

It's free flow Thursday. Grab the mike and go.

Here are some possible topics:

The Auburn/NCAA verdict is good/bad because...

LSU/UT is going to roll/surprise because...

This whole Signal Mountain High School thing makes me...

Or whatever floats your sports boat...

Discuss.

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 ...

10
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
BIspy4 said...

Touch me I yell rat.

October 13, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.
chas9 said...

5er--I like all your picks. You're the bee's knees. Or some part of a bee's anatomy.

LS&U will roll, because:

1) The Bayou Bengals are awesome AND building steam;

2) Simms will find himself looking up at the sky too many times;

3) The Vols got no running game at all;

4) They know it, and are demoralized--or will be by halftime.

You're right--lay the 30 if you have to.

October 13, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.
memphisexile said...

The Auburn verdict is good because....we don't have to hear about it anymore! Everyone knows Cam's daddy took that money and shopped his son around to see what he could get. However, the NCAA apparently can't get anyone to talk, so they are letting it go. While I do not approve of what (likely) happened, I am hoping the NCAA's new emphasis on major violations and less emphasis on stupid things like phone calls will allow them to be better police. Also, if Auburn really paid Mr. Newton and got away with it, eventually they will do the same thing again. Hopefully, next time they will get caught red handed. The most important thing is that I no longer have to hear the endless wild speculation by ESPN because they have too much air time, no real sources and not enough news.

October 13, 2011 at 10:58 a.m.
patrickd said...

textbooks + y > dad admitting to shopping son + 4 players going on t.v. admitting Auburn paid them.

y = we need all of our investigators in Miami. Wrap it up.

October 13, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show McPell

I'm just glad its over. I now have to feel sorry for UT this weekend and Auburn the next weekend. LSU is a steamroller with cheesegraters for wheels.

— 5-at-10

October 13, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.
tigerdawg said...

I think it's about time John Calipari gets an investigation. His 1-year NBA training program has been a joke since he was at Memphis and somehow he still hasn't gotten in trouble

October 13, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.
chas9 said...

5at10--The standings in the "Can you beat Jay?" contest show I'm 32 of 48, putting me in 36th place, ahead of blue oval and bigbearazz. But the thing is, I'm really 32 of 38 (84%), because I only started playing the second week. Is it too late for me to go back and pick the first week's games?

I wouldn't be greedy. I'd only pick 8 of 10 correct (worse than my average), and that would put me up at 40 of 48, ahead of JGreeson (TN), which would make me a wiener, right?

October 13, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Sorry for the late response today guys. Apparently there are a lot of folks interested in the Signal stuff. Don't know if you've heard about it or not? Anyhoo.

Spy —

No one's going to touch you anyway.

9er —

You left Honey Badger off the list of reasons that LSU will roll UT, but that's OK, Honey Badger don't care. As for extra credit on week 1 picks, you snooze, you lose. But you'll always be a wiener in our book.

Exile —

Interesting take, and we could not agree more on the fact that the storyline was played and played and played. And eventually there was nothing there but a river of rehash.

PDavi —

That's funny and here's saying that while Auburn fans were fist-pumping and high-fiving after hearing the news, that THE Ohio State and Miami were also pleased by the recent turn of events. You know what else, it appears Auburn never lied or never got caught in a lie in the investigation process, and we all know how the NCAA feels about that.

TigerDawg —

We're willing to bet the NCAA has a Calipari File. It's not as big as the Tarkanian File or some of the more famous football files, but we'd put the over/under at 100 pages in the Calipari File.

— 5-at-10

October 13, 2011 at 1:42 p.m.
chas9 said...

Question for Friday: If Honey Badger and Sweetness smashed into each other at the 50-yard line, what'd be left?

October 13, 2011 at 2:01 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Sugar Smacks.

October 13, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.