published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

5 at 10: National Signing Day edition

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.

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    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)

— Prince

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    Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes goes for a basket against Connecticut's Alex Oriakhi during their upset win over Connecticut Saturday in Knoxville.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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.

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    Tim McClendon, a senior running back/line backer for Signal Mountain High School, is on track to graduate and attend a community college. He was declared ineligible last fall and the team was forced to forfeit some games and did not make the playoffs.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
    enlarge photo

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

  • photo
    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.
    enlarge photo

Today's question

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 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?

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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chas9 said...

Yeah, the grey unis were spooky. Bye-bye.

I read Patrick's take on the game. Factually correct, but lifeless. Missed the STORY, the sizzle. I mean it didn't convey the emotion of the whuppin' or the dazzle of the stars on display. I guess the Knoxville beat guy just can't go there. The 5@10 did convey the STORY, but that's why Jay's the greatest. Coach Cuonzo's big guy is good, but compare stat lines with his nemesis:

Davis: 18/8/7/3
Stokes: 4/6/0/1, four fouls

Anybody who saw the game and still doesn't believe in Davis needs to see the eye doctor about those cataracts. And he definitely gets drafted before the also well worth watching MKG. Also before T-Rob.

February 1, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, I don't keep up with recruiting until the last man is signed. Just too much going on and not enough time here at the Enterprises to take on such weighty matters.

From what you say about UT, Dooley better be ready to make some lemonade from lemons, the type of lemonade the East German swim team found that more than stroked their bodies to victory. But wait, all of Dooley's recruits are "character guys."

As a publicist for a young football player, I would be remiss not to pass along to you some recent media about my client.

February 1, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Thanks for the kind words.

Not unlike a rookie pitcher who has success his first time through the NL, Stokes is starting to face some tougher challenges now that everyone has some film on him and some scouting reports. Dude is a hoss and could be a special player, but still, there have been some noticeable defensive differences thrown his way of late. (And without a reliable perimeter game other than the player formerly known as Skler McBee's mustache, that magnifies the interior intensity.)

Love MKG's game, but we already discussed this.


Signing day is in full swing.

Alabama is closing on its star filled class. Florida and Florida State are doing big-time work today.

Georgia has added a couple of new faces.

Tennessee, which did add a big-time JuCo receiver, and Auburn are struggling.


— 5-at-10

February 1, 2012 at 11:39 a.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Covered the game in which Harrison caught his first TD this year. (In a funny story, almost mis-IDed him because if memory serves, the Eagles wore new uniforms that night and he was either wearing No. 1 or No. 44, whichever one he normally doesn't wear. When we go to do our write up after the game, we think, "Hey, that was Harrison, not whomever." It was a big-time catch on a wheel route from Reese Phillip on the home sideline if memory serves.)

Concur about recruiting. In fact, as much as love the draft — and you know this — we don't follow recruiting as much as we once did. It's fun however to go back and look at the ones that hit and the suprises, though. (Nick Fairley a two-star offensive lineman coming out of high school.)

Dooley has some work to do — on the practice field and in the realm of public opinion.

— 5-at-10

February 1, 2012 at 11:45 a.m.
chas9 said...

Another guy in an orange uni had a good game, Maymon. He's a good building block for The Vols. But after the game he blamed the officials for the loss. Cuonzo needs to squelch that, if he can.

February 1, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, I do admire the power of your memory.

February 1, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Is it true Alabama just signed Trent Richardson III, future grandson of Trent Richardson, to a scholarship, just in case? I think that brings their signing class up to 92 or something like that.

Wake me when this is over.... must take nap ... now....

February 1, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Put that in the frustrated inexperience category — which is made even more frustrated by being a 6-foot-6 post player trying to float shots over A-Davis.

FE to the C —

Gracias. As we share with the Mrs. 5-at-10 frequently, we wish we would have put the power of a photographic memory to a more profitable use. Alas.

Spy —

Not, not true about Alabama and TRIII in the signing class. So that leaves the Tide with a nice round 91 in this signing class.

And you've followed college football long enough to know.... that it's NEVER over.

— 5-at-10

February 1, 2012 at 1:20 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Well, it wasn't over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, either. And I guess tomorrow we can start talking about the juniors and sophomores and which prospect camp or team junior and sophomore night they're going to attend.

On the other hand, maybe I'll just call that swimsuit model who gave me her number and see what she's doing when I'm in Atlanta next (and no, 5er, I am not kidding.)

February 1, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.
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