published Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

5 at 10: Tom Coughlin, Danica Patrick and National Signing Day Eve

From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.

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    New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin chats with quarterback Eli Manning before an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Super Bowl breakdown, Part II

We're going to breakdown 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: New York coach Tom Coughlin. Would this be the single biggest turnaround for a coach in history? After a dismal loss to Washington dropped the Giants to 7-7, Coughlin was reportedly on his way out of NYC. His team has not lost since. A win Sunday would Coughlin two Super Bowl titles — as many as former Giants legendary coach Bill Parcells — and put him position to never have to hear about the hot seat again.

Side note: There's nothing that says more about a coach's place in the locker room or his stature within a team than seeing how that team performs when said coach is on the "hot seat." When media yahoos like the TFP sports editor start writing that someone is on the "hot seat" how a team plays is all you need to know. Coughlin — not unlike Mark Richt — obviously has earned an earnest and dedicated effort from his team when the "hot seat" label was being tossed about. Raheem Morris — not unlike Houston Nutt — obviously had not earned that same effort or respect.

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:

We'll take "No" in the prop bet, "Will Kelly Clarkson show her belly during the national anthem?" Again, another even money pick — and one we can all root for. Agreed? Agreed.

Super Bowl best of list, part I: The best Super Bowl commerical... and the nominees are:

— Mean Joe Greene, a kid, a jersey and a Coke (and if you need more than that, you are now excused from the rest of today's exercise)

— Career Builder — Monkey business

— Budweiser frogs (although Budweiser — think about the donkey, the respect after 9/11, the "What's Up crew" — could have their own category; they're the Steelers of Super Bowl advertisers)

— VW Darth Vader

— Terry Tate, office linebacker

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    Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, left, introduces new football coach Derek Dooley Friday, Jan. 15, 2010 at Neyland Stadium. Derek Dooley was hired as the 22nd head football coach at UT after Lane Kiffin bolted to take Southern California job.
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Re-cruitmas Eve

Wednesday is national signing day. You more than likely know this.

There will be thousands of high school football players sign scholarships to hundreds of colleges that will make millions of fans emotional — Alabama fans will be giddy; Auburn fans not so much.

Here is a final guess at some of the top uncommitted players nationally:

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

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

That's just some of the big names out there. If you have a question, ask and we'll try to answer it best we can.

For UT fans, Wednesday will be as much about keeping who is committed as adding an 11th-hour surprise or two. According to a good friend of the 5-at-10, Otha Peters is strong toeard UT despite his late flirtations with Arkansas. Four-star safety LaDarrell McNeil, though, is getting the full-court press from Oklahoma State.

As we said Monday, Alabama's class is again solid gold. Did you see the story about Landon Collins? There were claims Monday that Collins, the five-star safety who picked Alabama over in-state LSU against the wishes of his momma, was improperly recruited by Alabama. Those claims came from Collins' momma, by the way, when she said that Nick Saban gave Collins' girlfriend a job in the athletic department (FYI — this is not an NCAA violation in football, only basketball, so the claims are moot).

Side note here: When Spurrier was dominating the SEC at Florida, he was doing it with guile and cunning and play-calling and a certain style that made him easily dislikable but somewhat lovable. The way Saban has grabbed the SEC by the throat with an unyielding will, a personality-less, machine-like efficiency and a dogged recruiting approach, you can't help but look at the way he has crafted that program with a begrudging respect and wonder why your program's coach is not working as hard as Saban.

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    Danica Patrick walks out of a drivers meeting following the shortened IndyCar Series' Las Vegas Indy 300 auto race Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 in Las Vegas. Dan Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, died following a crash in the event. Marco Andretti is behind Patrick at left. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

Danica already passing people

It's official, the 5-at-10 is going to avoid the rush and root against Danica Patrick from the start. This has nothing to do with the fact that she has two X chromosomes. Rather this has everything to do with the double standard on the horizon.

Yes, we know that Dale Jr. has a reserved seat at the favored table in NASCAR circles. We get it. His family helped to create the sport and his father put it on the ascent to new heights. We're OK with that. (That said, doesn't it feel like we're at a crossroad for Junior's career. A place where either he starts winning occasionally and competing for a points title or he continues to run laps and cash checks for another year or three and then joins the booth and becomes the biggest star in NASCAR.)

But now that Danica has jumped from Indy Car to NASCAR and joined the Stewart Haas Racing crew, we can feel the cosmic tumblers starting to click and NASCAR starting to open itself up for as much Danica-mania as possible. New leaked early this morning that SHR is looking to trade "technical and pit support" to Tommy Baldwin Racing for the top-35 spot TBR earned in last year's points race. And if you're asking, "So?" know that with that extra top-35 spot — and the guaranteed starting spot in the first five races, regardless of qualifying results — SHR is certain to have a spot for Danica in the Daytona 500.

Hey, this kind of wheeling-dealing has happened a few times in the past, but almost never for a newcomer. And we get it from the NASCAR point of view: NASCAR does well in the male demographics and there's a real chance to garner a lot of women fans.

But here's hoping NASCAR let's Danica earn that rather than stepping on the hammer and speeding her down the fan base's throat. (And consider us flat-out giddy for the first time she crosses Kurt Busch. That's right — giddy. Like a school girl even. How quickly would Ears put her into the wall? Another quick question: Who's the first driver to get a six-figure fine from NASCAR for saying something along the lines of "typical woman driver" this season? Thoughts?

Blake Griffith dunk

This and that

— The Women's Professional Soccer league will not compete for the 2012 season because of a legal dispute with a former owner that was forced to leave the league. OK, to answer your first question, no, we didn't know there was a WPS either. To answer your second question, there will likely be tens of season ticket holders disappointed.

— OK, the TFP web team is charged with finding Blake Griffith's dunk last night and putting it here. Watch this... we'll wait for you. OK, that was something else, right? It's not the best in-game dunk ever, but it's in the top 10. And to answer you're question, the best in-game dunk ever was Jerome Lane breaking the backboard for Pitt in the 1980s (click here) complete with Bill Raferty's "Send it in Jerome," call. If this had happened during the social media age, the Twitter would have melted.

— Don't know about you, but we're at a dangerous point when even the public knows the handful of teams to which a superstar player would be willing to be traded. Take Dwight Howard for example. We know he'll go to a select few spots. We know the Orlando Magic need to explore every opportunity to a) sign him or b) get as much possible for him so that when he walks as a free agent next summer, they are not left with bupkis. So, now that Chicago is one of the landing spots, the Magic are still left begging from scraps from Longshanks table where only a select few sit. Tough spot indeed, and this only will further continue the caste system that is the NBA. So it goes.

— Programming note: The TFP sports editor will be on SportTalk with Quake, Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) and Cowboy Joe (AKA De-obe) this afternoon around 4:15ish.

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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

Reports from have people close to Peyton Manning wondering if he'll ever play again. We're officially to the point that just short of "Manning to start cricket league in Dubai" we'll believe anything in this crazy story that has gone from draft intrigue (the 5-at-10 loves the draft, but you know this) to complete unknown.

We know what you're thinking... "C'mon 5-at-10, we know this." Granted, but here's where we need your help.

Complete this sentence: A year from now, Peyton Manning will be.......

There are no wrong answers. 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 ...

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.
rustyvol said...

5 at 10,

Long time reader, but first time to join in the discussion. This is wishful thinking, but a year from now Peyton Mannig will have been named the new head coach of the Tennessee Vols and will be preparing to sign the best recruiting class in college football history. What kid could say no to Peyton Manning.

January 31, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Peyton would not be interested in coaching at UTK. Someone with that kind of money would not be interested in begging 17 yr olds. Look for Manning to be in broadcast booth or NFL coach.

January 31, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.
jgreeson said...


Feel to swing by any time.

And you are far from the only Johnny Vols Fan we know that is hoping Peyton's future will be in the 865 and on the sideline in Neyland.

That said,

Jomo —

We tend to agree that chasing down recruits and putting in the time needed to be a top-flight college coach (see: Saban, Nick) in the SEC does not seem ideal for a person with young twins and a nine-figure bank account.

— 5-at-10

January 31, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
govolswb said...

A year from now, Peyton Manning will not be in Indianapolis. That's all I'm pretty well sure of not being an insider like Rob Lowe and all. If he can't play football anymore I'm betting he will be in the broadcast booth. He was in the booth for a short conversation during one of UT's games this past season and seemed pretty comfortable. You might even say he's a natural. That being said if he did coach at Tennessee I would rather see him as the Assistant Head Coach/ offensive coordinator rather than head coach. There are 2 reasons for this. I'm still drinking the Dooley Kool-Aid (at least until after the 2012 season) and I would rather Peyton just worry about the offense and nothing else. Now what's that old saying? If wishes were.....

January 31, 2012 at 11:24 a.m.
Blueoval said...

A year from now Peyton will be retired or wearing another team's uniform. That may even be a month from now..... I would love to see him as a offensive coordinator in Knoxville but he will probably be in the broadcast booth.

It will be one of the Bush brothers who cross paths with Danica or say something about her that gets them fined by NASCAR.... It will be interesting to see how she reacts to it because she has a pretty good temper herself.

Dale Jr is done....toast....cooked. He is driving the best cars out there and still can't get it done (without rule changes, cautions for debris when he is about to go a lap down, etc...) I don't EVER see him in the broadcast booth. He is awful in interviews and you can tell he's uncomfortable doing them. I see him as possibly a team owner since he already owns a Nationwide team.

Wow, only one more football game left to watch (the big one). Kind of depressing...seems like the season went by too fast. A question was asked yesterday on Sportalk of how they could make the Pro Bowl better....Let them play Defense is my answer. I know they don't want to get anyone hurt on the offensive side of the ball but they limit the defense so much and the same goes for special teams as well.

January 31, 2012 at 11:45 a.m.
Walden said...

A more interesting question might be "what will Peyton be doing 2 or 3 years from now?" One year from now, he will be doing very little, other than assessing his options. One year from now will be too soon to be either an announcer or a coach, and his playing days are over.

January 31, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Govolswb —

We'll try to get Rob Lowe on the horn to see what's next for Manning. which leads us to if the question, if Rob Lowe is an expert on all things Peyton does that mean Chad Lowe is an expert on all things Eli? Discuss.

Stick by your Kool-Aid. Got a feeling Dooley's going to need a bunch of folks in his corner this year.

Oval —

Nice to have you back.

As for Junior, we concur his best days on the track on in the rearview, but don't bet against the announcing thing. It's way easier talking than answering questions — plus, DW was terrible for three years and now other than the Boogity junk he's not bad.

We'll need to start a NASCAR draft — the 5-at-10 loves the draft; you know this — for things like:

Junior's next win:

Who will be the first to put Miss Patrick into the wall:

When will Jimmie Johnson's eyebrows finally connect:

And so on.

Walden —

Great point. He may even take the next year and try to heal (and go overseas for some of that stem cell treatment) and get back on the field.

— 5-at-10

January 31, 2012 at 12:26 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Peyton Manning will be assessing whether or not he can really play again a year from now. I highly doubt that will be in Indy and it seems that is for the best Irsayily saying, anyway. As for coaching, he could do that but as someone else posted, it won't happen for a while now. On Dooleyiciousness-Anyone who does not give him this year to show marked improvement is drinking or smoking some of what the late Al Davis had(don't know what that was). With the deck he was dealt, this is THE year we see if he has it. If not, I pray as a Johnnyorangeboatfan myself, that powers which be have a bonafide plan for properly replacing him unlike the debacle which followed Philip Fulmer's whatever that was.

January 31, 2012 at 1:02 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Livin(large) —

That's a home run post on all counts.

Could not have agreed with it more if we had written it.

Well done.

— 5-at-10

January 31, 2012 at 1:11 p.m.
fechancellor said...

How about Manning goes to Denver by trade or as a free agent depending on how the Colts handle the $26 million roster bonus? If it's a trade Manning is worth a two next year conditional upon his health.

This frees Denver to fix Jacksonville's attendance woes by dealing Gator darling Tim Tebow down to Jacksonville for a high three or low two.

Danica plowed into a wall? Rubbing is sexual harassment.

January 31, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Blake Griffin's fingertips barely got to the rim. It was jumbo size finger roll. Dunks are overrated anyway. Throw ground balls. They're more democratic.

A year from now Peyton Manning will be ... going, Hmm. Does this put break that much to the left? I'm just glad I avoided Big Bertha.

January 31, 2012 at 2 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

We like where you're headed with this. Tebow needs to land in J-ville, although if that franchise moves to L.A. as is rumored, what kind of fit would Timmy T be in La-La Land with swimming pools and movie stars.

"Rubbing is sexual harassment." That is OUT-standingly well-played.

BIspy —

If that was a finger-roll it was the mother of all finger rolls. In fact that would be such the mother of all finger rolls that it gave birth to George "Ice Man" Gervin, who we all know could finger roll.

He may very well be doing that very thing up the road at The Honors. He's a member and all. We don't know how to put this but Peyton's kind of a big deal. People know him. He's very important and has many leather-bound books and his apartment smells of rich mahogany.

— 5-at-10

January 31, 2012 at 2:45 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

But ... can he play the jazz flute?

January 31, 2012 at 3:22 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Jazz flute is for sissies.

— 5-at-10

January 31, 2012 at 3:37 p.m.
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