published Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

5 at 10: Peyton Manning, bad uniforms and Cliff Lee hammers Atlanta

And we’re off. Here’s hoping you’re dry and have power.

From the “Les is Best Studios,” here we go.

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    Maryland running back Davin Meggett (8) tries to outrun Miami linebacker James Gaines in the first half of an NCAA football game in College Park, Md., Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

College Football Monday (yes we know it’s Tuesday, but hope you enjoyed Labor Day) Morning Quarterback

Welcome to what will be a regular Monday (Again, yes, we know it’s Tuesday) feature from now until the first Monday (you know) in December. We'll look back at the weekend that was and try to recap the ebbs and flows of the weekend’s action.

Here are the top five things to know:

1) When will the uniform madness end. Jay Bilas tweeted Monday as Maryland trotted out in helmets that were multi-colored and pattered after the state flag (and it’s not a real attractive flag, mind you): “The 1970's Houston Astros have just released a statement that they would not be caught dead in Marylands uniforms.” Ouch. Well played indeed.

That said, Georgia’s awful get-up and the soon to-be-worn debacle that Michigan will present Saturday were worse than the Terrapins travesty. First, Georgia and Michigan have classic uniforms and to ruin those is bad. Second, at least Maryland’s attempt had a connection to the state.

That said, they all look like a mix between the old XFL and something you could have expected to see in “Any Given Sunday” or even “Roller Ball 2020.” (And that’s not a compliment.)

2) Les Miles rules. You know this. We discussed it Monday — but it’s still true this morning.

3) Auburn is lucky. Dang lucky. But lucky and 1-0 — even though the Tigers needed a successful onside kick and two touchdowns in the final 128 seconds to beat Utah State 42-38 at home — is way better than playing well and being 0-1. Ask Oregon. Or Ole Miss.

4) There is a lot of unrest in the Bulldog Nation right now. It will be interesting to see what TFP ace David Paschall brings back from Tuesday’s media meeting with UGA coach Mark Richt.

5) Wow, UT’s passing game appears to have the ability to keep them in the game against anyone this side of the New England Patriots. Bray looked sharp (got to love the Sunday replays on SportSouth, right?) and the receiver/composing duo of Rogers and Hunter(stein, yes, BIspy, we went musical on you) is top-notch. The Vols’ trip to the Swamp in two weeks will be high drama indeed.

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    Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, left, sits in the dugout next to Cliff Lee after finishing three innings of work during a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Clearwater, Fla., Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Phillies deliver a message

Ouch. Seriously, ouch.

Cliff Lee dropped the hammer on Atlanta on Monday, getting his sixth shutout of the season with a five-hit, no-walk gem in a 9-0 win. Lee was overpowering — he hit 93 mph on the gun in the ninth.

The Phillies’ biggest area of weakness is their bullpen. You know this.

But if shutdown starters of Lee and the Co. are going to throw complete games, that point becomes meaningless.

If anything, as the Braves continue the three-game set in Philadelphia, Atlanta needs to salvage some confidence in the next 48 hours. A sweep will almost assuredly linger — in both dugouts — come next month.

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    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning listens to a question during a news conference after Indianapolis was defeated by New York Jets, 17-16, in an NFL AFC wild card football playoff game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

More on Manning

Here are some stunning numbers about Peyton Manning’s value to the Colts. Manning has not progressed well from offseason neck surgery and may miss some time with Indy this year, and that possibility of an absence has sent shock waves through Vegas. RJ Bell of lists the following for the Colts:

— Sunday’s game with Indy at Houston — With Manning, the Colts were a 1-point favorite; without Manning, the Colts are 8.5-point underdogs.

— Reaching the Super Bowl — With Manning, the Colts were 14-to-1; without Manning, the Colts are 35-to-1.

— To win the AFC South — With Manning, the Colts were the favorites and the Houston Texans were given a 36-percent chance of winning the division; without Manning, the Texans are a 69-percent pick to win the division.

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    Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart's crew prepare to move his car to the garage during a rain storm before the NASCAR Atlanta Sprint Cup AdvoCare 500 auto race, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

This and that

— The Casa de 5-at-10 was without power for most of the night. For our money, here are the two most irrational common things consistently done by rational people: During a power outage (or even when a bulb is out) we flip the switch expecting light, and we do it more than once; when looking for misplaced keys it is common to check your pockets no fewer than 14 times. Just thought we’d share those.

— Hey, UT hired Dave Hart as its new athletic director. Great move. By all accounts, he’s top shelf. Plus it sets up a real state-wide marketing ploy. His son Rick is UTC’s athletic director. Let’s say Tennessee Tech hires Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Austin Peay hires former ET reporter Mary Hart, Belmont hires former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart and Memphis hires Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers (Yes, the former TV tandem that was “Hart to Hart”). Then the entire slogan can be — Tennessee athletics — you gotta have Hart. Thank you and remember to tip your waiters and waitresses.

— NASCAR is supposed to race today. We’ll believe it when we see it.

— Webb Simpson topped Chez Reavie in the next round of the PGA playoffs. Yep, Webb beating Chez — boy that PGA postseason fever... if you catch it, see a doctor and get rid of it. (Thank you Navin R. Johnson).

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    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in action during the second quarter of an NFL AFC wild card football playoff game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis on Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Today’s question

As we discussed earlier, it appears Peyton Manning could be on the shelf for a while. And as we pointed out, there is no other player in team sports that means as much to their team’s success than Manning.

That said, is there a player on any team that said team could do without that is comparable to Manning?

Who’s next on the MVT — Most Valuable to Team — scale? (And we know Eljefe is going to say A-Rod.)

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 ...

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.
bigbearzzz said...

I wouldnt be so up in arms over our lost Saturday (After all it was to the number 5 team in the nation) if we didnt absolutely get MANHANDLED at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. But not only that you cant start the first series with THREE penalties straight outta the gate. That has always been our Achille's heel. We always seem to lead the league in at least one category...most penalty yards, which is a direct reflection of lack of discipline. I would be ok with it other than that. I think Crowell did ok, still needs to work on blocking, obviously, but he did ok. Would have liked to see him get a view more carries. Samuel proved all he can do is run straight ahead for 2-3 yards then fall down. My prediction for this weekend: Lattimore is going to have a career day rushing against our weak defenseive line and Richt will be gone after this year. Sad to say since he is the second winningest (sp)coach since Dooley. Oh well, the life of a Bulldog.

September 6, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.
dawg747 said...

The quarterback for Boise St. is good but 5@10 you could have completed the passes he did with their receivers open all the time. Everytime they made a catch no one was within 5 yards of them. The offensive line sucked all night long and looked like they had not played togather before. As for the MVT: Tom Brady. New England cannot win without him.

September 6, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Boise State did win the battle at the line and that was surprising. And a lot of the UGA fans we know have long lamented the overflow of penalties during the last few years for the Bulldogs.

Lattimore presents a real challenge for a defense that has some real questions — like what to do without one of your best linebacker now that Alec Ogletree is hurt.

And if we think Richt's hearing background noise right now, let USC come into Athens and hand out some whippings and Katie bar the door.

D747 —

Kellen Moore was amazingly efficient — and yes he had loads of time and could have popped open a couple of Coca-Colas in the comfy pocket he enjoyed.

Brady's on the MVT short list right there with Phillip Rivers — and both of them are a step behind Drew Brees.

— 5-at-10

September 6, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.
najones75 said...

It seemed to me that when UGA ran their regular offense (pro-style, I-formation) things went very well. I don't understand why they insisted on running the shot-gun, spread, look-at-your-coach-on-the-sidelines offense. It didn't work the entire time, yet they continued to go back to that. Another stroke of genius by Bobo, I suppose.

Alec Ogletree getting hurt and having a walk-on play the rest of the game at inside linebacker was a stinger, as well.

I would expect the same results this weekend, if not worse.

September 6, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

OK 5@10...will you or someone please explain EXACTLY what is the problem with Peyton's "neck"...what is wrong with it? I've not seen in print or on line what's the trouble...(sorry if it's been explained in detail but I must've missed it).

I agree that without Peyton the Colts will never make'll be a dismal year...

September 6, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
patrickd said...

I'll give a quick Alabama postgame synopsis:

1) QB competition: AJ McCarron (or AJ McHasahotmom as he'll be referred to the rest of this post) clearly looked a cut above teammate Phillip Sims on Saturday. AJ threw for 226 yards to Sims' 73. Maybe more than the discrepancy in yardage, the team appeared to click when Mchasahotmom was behind center. Unless Sims sets Penn State on fire, this quarterback competition may be over after week 2.

2) Saban's 2011 Defense: I said after 2009 that there was nothing scarier than when a Nick Saban defense has someone like Rolando McClain on the field directing players on where to be and what to do; I was wrong. There's nothing scarier than a Nick Saban defense that no longer needs to be directed.

3) Offensive struggles: Bama put 48 on the Golden Flashes but the Kent State defensive-line lived in the backfield most of Saturday's game. The offensive-line that was expected to be a strength for the Tide in 2011 left running backs Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy with a total of 95 rushing yards combined. The offensive-line won't be playing Kent State this week, they'll play a stout Penn State defense in front of 110,000 fans at Happy Valley. Time to grow up. Quickly.

September 6, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.
jgreeson said...

najones75 —

Agree 100 percent about the offense looked good lining it up and going I-formation and play-action. The spread with non-spread personnel can be a disaster. Ask Tommy Tuberville and Tony Franklin.

Plus, and this is open to any Georgia fan, did we miss the memo that blitzing was not going to be allowed by the Bulldogs? Was that in the game contract?

UGA has better athletes than Boise State, but tried to put them in zone and out-fox Kellen Moore. Really, that's the plan? Moore is only going to finish his career as the most successful FBS QB ever, and putting him a position where he can get comfortable and go through three, four and five progressions was the best option?


ER8 —

Here is what we found from an AP story in May in the days following the surgery:

Manning told The Indianapolis Star on Tuesday that the procedure was "minimally invasive" and said he expects to make "a quick recovery."

The four-time NFL MVP told The Star that Monday's operation addressed a completely separate issue. Manning said this surgery revolved around a disk-related issue in his neck that had created discomfort recently.

"There is plenty of time for recovery," Manning told The Star, referring to the lockout that is now in its third month.

That last quote from Peyton seems kind of out of place now, huh?

— 5-at-10

September 6, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Yes, it was quite a lovely tune the Vols played on Patsy State U. Actually, Montana's a really good program, even if UT washed the Grizzlies right out of their hair (back atcha, 5er). And those folks travel. I remember a visit they took to Finley Stadium in 2000 and they brought quite the crowd.

Now that I'm back into fantasy football (every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in), I'm trying to figure out just how much time to spend/not spend at work working on fantasy football.

September 6, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.
jgreeson said...

PDavi —

Nice Bama write-up.

Question for you: If there's four minutes left to play, and Bama's down three Saturday at Happy Valley (and yes, it would have to be 3-0 because that Tide defense is slap nasty), who is Saban sending out there at QB?

BIspy —

Thanks for playing along. We knew we could count on you. Who you got in the MVT rankings?

That said, unless you're working on a tight deadline, fantasy football is always better than real work. (Unless of course our bosses are reading this, then... BIspy address the tasks at hand and do your fantasy football stuff at home. At least that's how we'd approach it.)

— 5-at-10

September 6, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

Thanks, 5@10 for answer...if Peyton's explaination is correct then what's wrong with his non-return? Something's not right here...I suspect surgery was more serious than originally reported...Peyton's need for total privacy I guess...which is his right...but still....

September 6, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Coming off a losing season, Richt is in deep doo-doo. As a Tennessee fan who has been through what you Dawg fans are about to go through, I offer you the following quote from 9-6-2009. Tennessee fans could see your program's demise under Richt coming from a mile away because Fulmer said the same type of junk towards the end of his time on Rocky Top.

"We looked good for a minute there. When we look at the film, I think we'll see that we're very, very close. Even as things were happening, we could see that we were only one block away in the running game. I also think there were a couple times we could have caught the ball. I think when we watch the film, we're going to be sick on a couple of occasions." – No, this isn't a Phil Fulmer quote believe it or not. It's non other than Mark Richt, aka "Skinny Fulmer" aka "Fulmer Light" as quoted in David Paschall's column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on 9-6-2009.

September 6, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

blitzing!!!? The one time we get to him he messes up and throws an interception...HEAVEN FORBID WE DO THAT AGAIN!!!! All around....very disappointing opener for us. Our Offensive line cant give Murray enough time to throw and when he does our receivers can keep their footing long enough to catch the ball!!! UGH...its gonna be a very long year. And then to add insult to injury we had to come out in those horid all red things!! Guess so Boise couldnt tell how much they made us bleed....good plan!

September 6, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
patrickd said...

With four minutes left to play, and Bama down three at Happy Valley, who is Saban sending out there at QB?

Trent Richardson, ala Mark Ingram against South Carolina in 2009.

September 6, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.
jgreeson said...


Every time we see that quote, it screams Fulmer. It's hard to know how this will turn out for Richt right now, but Saturday is a huge, Huge, HUGE game for him.

Plus, a couple of reports we've seen have him laughing in the postgame news conference after the Boise State game. It's one game, sure, but no UGA fan wants to feel like they are taking the loss harder than the man charged with preventing the loss in the first place.

Oso —

Thoughts on Grantham 14 games into his tenure?

And those uniforms need to be collected and burned. Like before we get to lunchtime Wednesday.

PDavi —

We see what you did there and we like it. A lot in fact.

— 5-at-10

September 6, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Reflections on Saturday night (after the Savannah Craft Brew Festival, which was tasty, by the way)...

Um, Coach Grantham, that whole zone thing against the kid who will probably the winningest QB in FBS history? Yeah, probably not a great idea.

I've never been a Boise drumbeater but if you haven't thought they were for real before, you better now. Their run D was stout last year and Georgia found just how good it is. Take away Boykin's sprint and Georgia did very little on the ground behind that very large O line.

I don't know how good a pro Mr. Moore will be. I'm not sure about his arm strength. But man can he pick apart a D with short and medium range stuff.

Didn't get to see much of LSU-Oregon. But as Bill Lee once said of Don Zimmer, Les Miles continues to fall out of trees and land on his feet.

September 6, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.
Livn4life said...

GA's red uniforms could be for embarrassment. But Boise State is a very good football team. As usual, they do not have a lot of other serious teams to play this year. No matter what Kellen Moore has done and it is remarkable, until year in and out they play the better FBS opponents, they will not be taken as seriously as many believe they should be taken. Being the winningest FBS qb on a team which plays a lot of very weak teams is one thing, doing it on a team which has to spill its guts each week just to win its conference, then play a tough opponent in a conference championship game, is something else altogether. We see that GA should not have been ranked for various reasons. But they were and Boise State boasts beating a ranked SEC opponent. Well it is behind us all now and we have to move on. I just hope the DAWGS do burn those unis; please please don't bring them to Knoxville.

September 6, 2011 at 2:53 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Love that line about Zimmer, and it is so true about Les Miles (to go before he sleeps).

Livin'Large —

Boise State is strong. Would they put up the same numbers in the SEC? No, but that's not because of Kellen Moore, who reminds us a lot of left-handed Danny Wuerffel, who had some success in the SEC.

cbtole —

Welcome to the show, and way to introduce yourself with authority. ZING. That's like being the new kid in grade school and showing up with cupcakes.

Feel free to swing on by any time.

— 5-at-10

September 6, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.
callison said...

cbtole, that was idiotic.

September 6, 2011 at 8:47 p.m.
NoMyth said...

The Maryland uniforms are the exact same as the state flag. It actually seems quite appropriate for a state university and the look was more interesting and college-like than the pro-like uniforms on the thugs from Miami!

September 6, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

If that is what Maryland's state flag looks like the designer must have been high as a Georgia pine when he made it...looks like some drunk threw up on it.

September 7, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.
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