published Thursday, January 12th, 2012

5 at 10: NFL picks, Penn State news and College football staff changes

From "the soon to be named studios" here we go.



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    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees smiles on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NFL playoff picks

The Fab 4 (plus-1) picks finished the college season 58-30-2 against the spread. We're content with that — especially since the 5-at-10 went 1-8 in picks involving Clemson. Stupid Clemson.

We're 2-2 so far against the number in the NFL playoffs (and we blew the Steelers-Broncos game big-time). Stupid Tebow.

Now we have four games this weekend, and we normally make four picks. Seems like symmetry, huh?

Let's get it done (and remember to buy the hook, right Quake).

New Orleans-San Francisco over the 40: This is only the second road favorite this late in the playoffs since the days of Joe Montana. Yes, that Joe Montana. So, this seems like a sucker's bet right? Well, we've been called way worse (especially if you read our e-mail this morning after our column on the UT coaching staff woes). Plus, we're borderline giddy over the chance to bet against Alex Smith in a playoff game. (And yes, that's giddy in an entertainment-purposes-only kind of way.) Let's take the over and know that we're safe either way.

Green Bay-New York Giants over the ----: Heck, we didn't even look this one up. They can't set it high enough. (Unless of course there's a blizzard in Green Bay. Somebody get Paul Barys on the horn and check this out.)

Baltimore minus-7 against Houston: Granted, every time Joe Flacco opens his pie hole, we become less and less confident in the Ravens. But here's saying if the Texans are going to need T.J. Yates to make plays to win a road playoff game, well, we'll lay the points.

New England minus-13 against Denver: Yes, that feels like a truck load of points. And yes, we're placing our gambling soul in great peril by going against Saint Timothy. But, it's at New England and last time we checked New England has Tom Brady. Yes, God may be with Tim and the Tebows, but IT'S TOM BRADY. Yes, the force is strong in young Tebow-walker, and the overwhelming cosmic power of his 316 passing yards is the stuff of goose bumps. Hey, let's continue the John 3:16 run — New England 31, the Denver Tebows 6.



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    Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, center, arrives in handcuffs at the office of Centre County Magisterial District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot while being escorted by Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General's Office officials in State College, Pa. Former board members of Jerry Sandusky's charity say its CEO never told them about a 2002 shower incident that is the focus of child sexual abuse charges against the retired Penn State assistant coach.
    Photo by (AP File Photo by Andy Colwell/The Patriot-News)

More embarrassment for Penn State

The Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News is reporting that accused child sexual predator Jerry Sandusky watched Joe Paterno's record-setting 409th career win in October from then-Penn State president Graham Spanier's luxury suite. Read that sentence again. Now know that Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts of child sex abuse a week later after an investigation that lasted years and included several PSU officials — including Paterno — being interview by a grand jury in the months before the start of the football season.

The collective obtuseness of the entire Penn State administration in this entire sordid mess is astonishing. Simply astonishing.

Did they believe that it was all going to go away? Did they think no one would find out? Do they believe Sandusky is innocent (and if that's the case, why has no one — NO ONE — come out to support him)?

This smacks of either an over the top arrogance that bordered on the belief of being bullet proof or an absolute child-like view that "if we pretend this didn't happen, maybe it will disappear."

Either way, the overwhelming guilt of inactivity that covers everyone — yes, everyone especially Joe Paterno — will forever be part of the Penn State brand.

Does new PSU football coach Bill O'Brien have the toughest job in the history of sports? It's possible.



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    Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against the Alabama, Saturday, Oct, 22 2011 in Tuscaloosa Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

College football movement

The comings and goings of college football seem endless in the month between when the bowls end and signing day.

Everyone who knows how to spell Peyton Manning is well aware that the Vols are still looking for a defensive coordinator. Now there's word that UT offensive line coach Harry Hiestand may be on his way to Notre Dame for the same gig on Brian Kelly's staff.

The Vols are surely not alone in reshaping their staff. Alabama is looking for an offensive coordinator; as is Auburn. Florida just hired a new OC when Brent Pease agreed to leave Boise State. There will likely be even more coaches move after certain NFL teams finish their playoff runs and after certain colleges finish the recruiting period. Happens every year.

Granted, most of the Johnny Vol Fans we know would help Hiestand pack after an experienced Vols front regressed in 2011 and failed to generate any push in the running game this season. That said, if Hiestand heads north, he'd be the fifth UT assistant to leave since the end of the season.

That's a bunch.



This and that

— Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin and his UT hoopsters hit the road tonight with a tough trip to Starkville as our UT ace Patrick Brown tells us here (Vols look to end road woes as No. 20 MSU set to host UT tonight). The win over Florida was big for The Conz, but a road win against a pretty tough Mississippi State team would be HUGE.

— The NCAA tweaked its rules this week, making third-party negotiations a violation that will cost athletes their eligibility. And with that pen stroke, the Cam Newton loophole is closed. And wow, did we spill a lot of ink and angst over that ordeal for a whole lot of not-so-much. In fact, the lasting memory of the whole situation was the cliche "Where's there smoke, there's fire," is no longer valid.

— Georgia tight end Orson Charles opted for the NFL, as our SEC ace David Paschall tells us here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/12/charles-going/?sportscollege. Here's saying that Charles will test well and could be the second tight end off the board in the draft. (Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen is a monster.)

— We're planning on making our regular Thursday appearance on "The Show," with Chris Goforth today around 2 p.m. on 1370 AM here in Chattanooga.



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    Tennessee coach Derek Dooley talks to his team on the sidelines during the first half of Saturday's game against Georgia at Neyland Satdium.
    Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Today's question

We're going to go quick:

Do you think the staff turnover in Knoxville is....

A) Normal college football offseason stuff

B) A little troubling, but nothing Derek Dooley and folks can't handle

C) Pretty alarming, especially since it's taking this long to hire a defensive coordinator

D) A five-alarm disaster, and a sign of the sinking of S.S. Dooley.

E) (fill in the blank).

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 ...

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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.
jomo11 said...

don't underestimate Buddy Green's close relationship with Thunder Thornton. . . . will be interesting to see how the local press, who was very hard on Buddy Green when he was at UTC, will now embrace him as the defensive savior for UTK.

your thoughts Jay ?

January 12, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.
dawg747 said...

Willie Martinez would probably like to come back to the SEC. sounds like UT has the Kiffen curse. Nothing went right while he was there and nothing has gone right since he left. Orson Charles was a DGD and when Jay Rome replaces him this fall the Dawgs will have another great tight end. Jay has the blood lines to be great since he is the son of Stan Rome and the nephew of Roger Rome. Jay who do you think the next Offensive Coordinator at Auburn will be? We heard today that Michael Dyer had a lot of trouble at Auburn and the coach did not think twice about letting him go.

January 12, 2012 at 10:55 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

The whispers about Buddy being the next DC are growing stronger. Quickly.

If it does happen, we're not sure how the press will embrace Buddy by comparison — we weren't here for Buddy's time at UTC.

That said, it's doubtful that many would view hiring Buddy Green as the home run a lot of folks thought Dooley needed.

Dawg747 —

Great call on Rome — Paschall mentioned him in the office just yesterday when the news on Charles broke.

As for the next OC at Auburn, it's hard to know. Have heard a few names, none of them seem over-the-top impressive like adding Brian VanGorder.

What did you hear about Dyer?

— 5-at-10

January 12, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

NC State's tight end also is a big time prospect. I still think Charles is first round material. He'll wind up being the Terrell Davis of NFL tight ends. Big career and watchers of the National Football League will say, "You played at Georgia? Really? When?"

I wouldn't be so hasty as to discount the Giants at Green Bay, oh 5 Kenobi. As you said yesterday, they can rush the passer and Green Bay's offensive line is a little on the tattered side. Plus, they have receivers who can make plays deep and a running game with two good backs. Not to mention they lost by 3 to the Pack at home a few weeks ago.

The last time the Giants had a playoff rematch to a high-powered team they lost by 3 at home late in the season? If my memory serves me correct, it ended when 9 foot tall Plaxico Burress was matched up on 5 foot nothing Ellis Hobbs in the end zone.

January 12, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Just want to add that Kobe went 40 again last night...his 109th 40+ game of his career...3rd all time... (no thank you Ellias Sports Bureau)

January 12, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring,

Re: Your Column

I believe we can agree that Sal Sunseri is no Ken Donahue, however Sunseri is imbued in the Saban system, defensive scheme, coaching methods and philosophy whether making game day calls or not. In industry, the Saban system is akin W. Edward's Deming's concept of Total Quality Control.

My other concern, what is Sanseri's track record as a recruiter?

Is there a job at Tennessee for Dale Jones, who has enjoyed success after success at Appy State? A Vol Nation pleaser to be sure.

Going to give Dooley a B that escalates to a C if no quality hire is made by the end of the month.

January 12, 2012 at 11:24 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

That's fair with O'Charles (love the chicken fingers there).

And we're not discounting the Giants, we're on the over 49.5 in that one.

And Plaxico was 9-feet-2 until he shot himself in the leg.

EC —

Here's hoping you're back to being a regular and not only going to come by when Kobe goes for 40-plus. (Although that seems like a nightly occurrence here lately.)

Also, do you think Kobe is better than Jordan (relax, JordanRules, we're kidding)? That said, at this pace Kobe's going to be dead(tired) by March 1.

— 5-at-10

January 12, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Dropping some logic on folks. "Saban system is akin W. Edward's Deming's concept of Total Quality Control." Wow. That was nice — here's betting you have lots of leather-bound books and your office smells of rich mahogeny.

Seriously, that's a strong point. It's hard to know how anyone on Alabama's staff other than Saban recruits, because Saban is the Honey Badger of recruiting — He takes what he wants.

We feel Dale Jones would be a great addition to the UT staff, especially since it would be the first move that would be almost universally pleasing to Johnny Vols Fans everywhere since the OT TD against Vandy.

— 5-at-10

January 12, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Kobe Better than Jordan?..hmm Kobe is only better than Jordan if you count Jordan's time with the Wizards...but if you ignore that 2-3 year span...(like you should) than no Jordan is better than Kobe... but if Mitch and the boys over in LA figure out a way to land D-Howard...well Kobe will end up with more Rings that his Royal Airness

and here is to hoping that MLB comes up with some reason to have a lockout...the start of a professional sports league in the 11-12 era just wouldnt be right without one

The MLS Draft is coming up...who you got going #1 overall ? I know you the love the draft! Something tells me the #1 overall will have a name that is hard to pronounce and will likely not have his drivers license

January 12, 2012 at 11:37 a.m.
dawg747 said...

5 @ 10: To answer your Michael Dyer question. I have a friend who loves Auburn as much or more than you do. I do not know his sources but he said that there were some drugs involved and that he had been cought breaking into a car. Plus he said there was some other minor things.

January 12, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this. We'd take Pele No. 1 overall. Forever — don't care if dude is 58, he's the top pick.

Kobe and Superman would be tough. The Black Mamba has five rings, right? One more than Shaq, right? One fewer than MJ, and Robert Horry has 7 — the most of any non-1950s-60s Celtics player.

Dawg —

Had not heard that stuff about Dyer. Know he had two great years — but there did not seem to be a lot of tears from within the Auburn program when he announced he was leaving. So it goes.

— 5-at-10

January 12, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
jharvey1984 said...

fivel, sorry no time to comment on the 510 today just a quick interjection on FE's comment. Total Quality Management was actually a japanese concept (Ishikawa at Toyota). Deming just brought their model to the western world, at least that is my limitied understanding. Please correct me if Im wrong, but either way an excellent analogy.

January 12, 2012 at 12:54 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

jharvey @12:54

Are you sure about Deming and Total Quality Management being a Japanese concept?

"Dr. Deming's teachings and philosophy are best illustrated by examining the results they produced after they were adopted by Japanese industry, . . ."

The conventional "wisdom" that I was taught was that Deming taught the post-war Japanese corporations his quality control methods, along with other processes, and they used them to beat our brains out, especially as quality control relates to the auto industry. While I realize that Wikipedia is not a be all-end all source, here is a quick recap of Deming and his accomplishments.

If I am wrong it won't be the first time. My last look at Deming was in the 1980's and conventional "wisdom" may have changed since then.

Sorry, Jayster. We now return you to our regularly scheduled discussion of how badly Brady and his Patriots are going to beat down Tim-bo and his ponies this weekend.

January 12, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Im gonna take a Stab at the Question De Jour...that sounds good Ill have that !.... Dooley's turnover rate ...E.. he has hired a bunch of scared little sissies who jump ship at the first chance of getting out of the SEC... lets do some talking Dooley.. Go Get Trooper Taylor to do all your recruiting and paying for players...lets get someone with the last name Manning on the Staff... and cherry pick each and every SEC Staff and get a coach who looks hungry and wants a chance at a bigger piece of the pie...Lets higher some MEN who wanna do work in the SEC and arent affraid of taking the occasional brow beating from an SEC West Foe....or in the case of this year's staff...and SEC East Foe

January 12, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.
memphisexile said...

a. Especially the guys who went back west to where they were from. If I were a vols fan, I would be more worried about what the offense is doing.

January 12, 2012 at 1:57 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JHarvey and Mr. Proctor —

You guys are going to mess around and hand out some knowledge. Well-played indeed.

EC —

Get you some. Somewhere Johnny Majors just toasted a shot of Jack Daniels and said, "DANG RIGHT."

Exile —

This defensive drama and hubbub have overshadowed the offensive struggles. But we'll go with C, since the public perception is growing more and more sour by the passing hour.

— 5-at-10

January 12, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
jharvey1984 said...

jay, what are you basing your "public perception" on - message boards, call in shows? im a huge vol fan as is most of my family and close friends and none of us are too worried about how long it is taking. i understand that there is a recruiting element, but as far as im concerned, it should take as long as it takes to find the right guy. i would rather it take six months to find the right guy for the job than two weeks for a bad hire. the consequences of the latter would be heavier than any consequences suffered by the former, in my opinion.

proctor, thanks for the info; i did not know that. when i was in class the "toyota way" was always hyped and, as it was fed to us, seemed like all the credit went to the japanese for TQM.

January 12, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
Redlegs11 said...

Regarding Michael Dyer, me thinks the fact his teammates voted a wide receiver (Emory Blake) who missed several games and was a WR for gosh sakes in a running offense as offensI've MVP Says all that need to be said about how much Dyer will be missed.

January 12, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.
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