We have never attempted this before. For more than 250 days in 2011 and for 24 days into 2012, we enjoyed presenting the 5-at-10 — five sports-related items at 10 a.m. for your enjoyment.
Today, to celebrate the early-morning start on national signing day — or Re-Cruitmas as some call it — we present the 4-at-8 (four items at 8 a.m.) and leave the bottom open for recruiting questions, comments, complaints or conundrums. There will be loads of breaking news throughout the day so come back often for our views and takes. Enjoy, and feel free to pull up a chair and discuss your team's success or struggles. Alabama and Florida fans are going to be giddy today; Auburn and UT fans may be less than pleasant.
From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question during a news conference in this file photo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Super Bowl breakdown, Part III
We're going to break down the Super Bowl daily until Thursday. We've decided to follow a formula to help Weena understand our points and to make it easier for conversation. (Hey, as Linda Richman would say, "Give us a comment, we'll talk, no big whoop.)
Spotlight: Let's go outside the box and hand the microphone to Al Michael and Chris Collinsworth. Al and Chris, by almost all accounts, are football's best announcing duo. Well, let's see what you got boys. Let's see if you can elevate your game without being over the top. Let's enjoy analysis that actually is analysis and not repeating the "National Football League" or some of that corny "football players making football plays," type mumbo-jumbo.
Prove to us you're the best. And this challenge is doubly difficult — there will be millions of non-football fans watching and millions of hard-core football junkies watching, so making sure you can include each group without reminding people 15 times this is the "National Football League" (See: Jaworski, Ron). For the record: the 5-at-10, believes in Al and Chris and is expecting big things.
Prop bet of the day: This is where we discuss some of the amazing things you can bet on during the Super Bowl. Of course, you can bet on the coin flip, the first person to score, the outcome, the total number of points scored (in the game, in each half or in each quarter), whether Kelly Clarkson will mess up the national anthem and on and on.
The list is crazy (seriously), and we love looking at the wild proposition bets that are out there. Here's our pick of the day:
The passing yards prop bets are major-league interesting. Here are a few of our favorites:
Passing yards over/unders — Brady 321.5 (over); Manning 311.5 (over)
Will Brady and Manning top 300 yards — Yes 35% ($100 bet wins $170); No 65% ($200 bet wins $100). Put us down for yes.
Brady over 500 yards — 25-to-1 and we like those odds; Manning over 500 yards 35-to-1 and we like those odds, too.
Super Bowl best of list, part I: The best Super Bowl musical effort... and the nominees are:
— Whitney's national anthem (and this one wins gang — it was a blockbuster)
— U2 halftime show
— Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake and it getting a little bit nipply in here... Did we say nipple?
— Bruce Springsteen (Dude hits a home run almost every time, and after we cross George Strait off our concert bucket list in 10 days, the Boss is the last one we need to see)
Big Blue looks the part
Kentucky rolled Tennessee 69-44. Here's our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown's report (Davis, Wildcats overpower Vols) and here is our ace columnist's Mark Wiedmer's view (Wiedmer: UK center swats away any hope of UT victory).
We all kind of thought this would happen — in fact, on SportTalk Tuesday afternoon, the TFP sports editor offered Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) if he would take the Vols plus-22; he politely declined.
The Wildcats extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 48 games — it's still a lifetime away from the 120-plus consecutive home wins Adolph Rupp put together in the late 40s and 50s. But with all respect and honor, Rupp never had a collection of talent like this group at Kentucky.
Sweet buckets of NBA lottery picks, this team is loaded. Loaded.
Anthony Davis went for 18 points, eight boards and seven blocks and is on pace to be the NCAA freshman block champ, the nation's player of the year and the top overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. And he may not be the most valuable Wildcat. Read that paragraph again. Every time we watched Kentucky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist does something understatedly brilliant and continues to impress. We compared MKG to "a Rodrick Rhodes who cared or even a John Pelphrey with skils," but that may be selling MKG short. Kid is talented, tough and teeming with intangibles.
The ceiling for this Wildcats' team is tough see, and that's saying something considering we said a month ago they weren't going to lose again. That said, let's all agree that the uniform malfunction that was the Ole' Kentucky Grey Mares did not happen. Deal? Deal.
But rest easy, Johnny Vols Fans, there are better days ahead for UT and Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin. They have been spanked on the road, but this is a super-young team, and super-young teams get spanked on the road is normal. Give the Vols this, they showed up Tuesday to compete, and were aggressive and emotionally invested, especially early. That said, the Vols were taking a knife to a gun fight in hoops talent, and that's that.
This and that — Re-cruitmas Eve Rewind
Today is national signing day. You know more than likely know this.
— Here are two good local stories about signing situations. One of our veteran aces Ward Gossett tells us how Tim McClendon and Signal Mountain ended on a positive (Big day for Signal Mountain's Tim McClendon, other football futures), preps ace Stephen Hargis gives us the look to some super-talented juniors who are a year away from signing day and already collecting offers (Austin Sanders solid for Vols in '13).
— On the college front, our SEC ace David Paschall previews the SEC events (Georgia expecting 'good group' again), and Downtown Patrick Brown details more UT consternation here (Vols lose star Louisiana linebacker Otha Peters to Arkansas).
— Here are the 5-at-10's recruiting picks from Tuesday:
WR Dorial Green-Beckham: Arkansas (although Missouri has made up a lot of ground — either way he'll be tormenting SEC secondaries next fall)
DT Eddie Goldman: FSU over Auburn
WR Stefon Diggs: Florida over Auburn
DE Darius Hamilton: Rutgers over Miami (CORRECT)
DB Tracy Howard: Florida over Miami
ATH Nelson Agholor: USC over Florida
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons: Georgia over FSU and Florida
DT Leonard Williams: Auburn over Florida
Signal Mountain's Tim McClendon, center, smiles as players Cole Green, left, and Caden Thomas crowd in for a hug as seniors are recognized before the game against Chattanooga Christian Thursday at Signal Mountain High School. The TSSAA ruled McClendon ineligible to play, and players surrounded him on the field to show their support for him.Photo by Angela Lewis.
It was less than a sterling start to ReCruitmas for Tennessee, considering the Vols lost four-star linebacker commit Otha Peters late Tuesday afternoon. Here's some recruiting by the numbers:
10 — Number of scholarships Auburn still had left as of Wednesday morning after safety Jordan Moore picked TCU over the Tigers. That's a slim group, in numbers
4 — Number of commitments among the 19 verbal pledges in UT's class that weigh more than 240 pounds. Wow, that's a slim group in bulk.
1 — Number of current linebackers among UT's commitments. That's a slim group in a position of need.
0 — Number of Rivals.com top-100 players that LSU has in its commitments as of Tuesday. Wow that's a slim group on star-power.
How is your team doing in recruiting? Is there 4-star studs under your tree or is your team unwrapping a bunch of 2-star lumps of coal?
Discuss, and know we'll be updating all day. Whatcha' got?
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 ...