published Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

5-at-10: UT football, SEC on the outside looking, best trios and who do you want coaching the Vols

Gang, excellent show Tuesday. In fact, great start to the week. And for all you newcomers who are cruising the interwebs looking for stuff on Derek Dooley and the tire fire that is your Tennessee football program, welcome. Feel free to swing by anytime, because as Bluto says in "Animal House," it don't cost nothing.

We're a family-oriented, interweb-based sports column that tries to answer every question, avoid politics if at all possible and refers to ourselves in the third-person plural. Keep an eye out for a slew of movie quotes, and as always, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Oh yeah, every Friday we have a mailbag where we answer your questions. Feel free to shoot along your query — we have a couple of spots open.

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go.

UT football

The main topic of discussion across the state has been the status of Derek Dooley. Our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown has been all over this story and we've had that multiple unnamed sources have said Dooley will not return for his fourth year. We've also had Dooley saying UT AD Dave Hart told Dooley he has not made up his mind.

Here's what we know: The University of Tennessee has lost 180 SEC football games ever; Dooley has lost 18 of them. The Vols have been playing SEC football since 1933, which means Dooley has accounted for 10 percent of the program's SEC defeats in less than four percent of the school's SEC seasons. Talk about overachieving at underachieving. OUCH-standing.

Here's what else we know: Since reporting in Monday's paper that Dooley's future is grim, we've been told more and more frequently by people with various ties to the program that there's no way for Dooley to salvage his gig. So it goes.

We believe — and this belief is based on some pretty good intel — that the decision to cut bait has been made and the only reason that it has not been announced is to try to give the players every chance to beat Vandy and keep alive any bowl chances. And in truth, after the meltdowns that were Fulmer's firing (and the immediate loss to Wyoming in 2008) and the brutal timing that was Mike Hamilton saying the "jury is out" on Bruce Pearl two days before a Biblical whipping by Michigan in the NCAA tournament, this seems to be the fairest move to all involved. Kudos to Hart and his staff for actually thinking about the players.

And that's how it should be, because the fact that Tennessee — a 4-point underdog to the Commodores — needs every emotional edge to try to top Vandy to become bowl eligible is every bit as damning for Dooley as the river of unflattering numbers on his resume.


More SEC stuff

There is a great three-level divide in the SEC this year.

Sure, it appears unlikely that college football's best conference will have the BCS champ for the seventh consecutive season. As SEC ace David Paschall tells us here, Georgia and Alabama need some help in the final three weeks of the season.

Still, there are six SEC teams in the top nine of the current BCS standings — and of the combined nine losses of those six teams, all of them have come against each other.

So you may have a title game with Oregon and Kansas State or Notre Dame, and that's nice. And the BCS is what it is. The system has benefitted the SEC as much as any league — although in 2004 Auburn got jobbed.

Let's go to 5-at-10 correspondent Hyman Roth: There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada... made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI's on the way to the West Coast. That kid's name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn't even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn't angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we've chosen; I didn't ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!

Thanks Hyman, and yes, this is the business we have chosen.

And whether the SEC gets some help and gets into the title dance, there's still no debating where the toughest college football neighborhood is.

It's over here on this side of the tracks.

Side note: Here's the SEC team-by-team breakdown we did for today's TFP:


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Shout out to the Trios

OK, we had some serious topics so far. Let's lighten it up a little bit, huh?

Happy 48th birthday to Joseph Simmons. No, he's not the man you know better as Joe the Policeman from the What's Going Down episode of "That's My Mama."

No, Joe Simmons is Reverend Run from Run DMC fame. And if you think of the people that have changed perception of their industry, Run DMC is one of the forefathers of rap. In fact, their iconic duet with Aerosmith in "Walk This Way" during the early days of MTV (back when MTV played videos) brought rap music to the masses. Debate whether that's a good thing or not, but Run, D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay were the pioneers, and if you're roughly the 5-at-10's age — We're a MAN! We're 42! — then you went through several "Raising Hell" cassette tapes.

My Adidas, walking on the hard wood floors...

In honor of Run DMC, what is the sports Mount Rushmore of trios? We'll take Aikman-Smith-Irvin, Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz, Bird-McHale-Parrish and Jordan-Pippen-and the guy who slings popcorn.


This and that

— It was a fun night of college hoops in the Georgia Dome. Michigan State topped Kansas. Duke outlasted Kentucky. Each of those teams will be around for the long haul. But as our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer accurately wrote here, this is barely a gauge. If the college basketball season is a meal at a steakhouse, November is even before the Bloomin' Onion. Heck, it's the peanuts in the bar waiting for your dining beeper to go off. Is this place beeper friendly? Yes, the 5-at-10 is beeper friendly. Side lament: Man, we wish we would have invented those funny-shaped dining beepers/flashers. Genius. Not like polio vaccine or TV remote control genius, but dang smart enough to hang up the working shoes for a career. Alas.

— It was a rough Monday night for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. In a cold and steady rain his team looked sluggish. He injured his right shoulder and is questionable for this week's showdown with Baltimore. And, ESPN made a mistake on one of their graphics about Big Ben. In an effort to praise Ben's success with short passes (dinking and dunking), ESPN praised his "Drink and Drunk" style. Stay thirsty my friends.

— Hey, when you make your living with words, there's always a head-scratching mistake out there for everyone. What's the 5-at-10's biggest? Well, there's two. When we were a young reporter — been on the job like three months at the Newnan Times-Herald — we wrote about a Christmas basketball scrimmage at the local high school. In an effort to set the scene, we described the teams as "shirts-and-skins" only we left the 'r' out of shirts. Changes the description a touch, huh? The other one was eight years ago here at the TFP, and our sports page had said someone who was very sick was dead. That person had not died, but when they did pass roughly six months after the out mistake, Brad Shepard, who was on our staff at the time, quipped, "Heck, we had that story six months ago." Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you; cry and they think your a mama's boy.

— Monster trade in baseball Monday with the Toronto Blue Jays sending some prospects, the attitude formerly known as Yunel Escobar, some Molson and three bats, two balls and a weekend stay at Sky Dome to the Miami Marlins for Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. Good thing the Molson was in there or it really would have been a one-sided deal, huh? Seriously, one of the great benefits of a salary cap is the handcuffs it puts on teams from hitting the reset button with massive salary dumps. If we were a Marlins season-ticket holder, we'd have some questions, and they would have nothing to do with a phone bill. Who ordered this Code Red roster cleansing and who's refunding us on our season tickets?


Today's question

We wrote earlier in the week that the top three names we've heard on the Vols wish list are:

1) Jon Gruden, 2) Bob Stoops, 3) Charlie Strong.

We are not into the rumor-gouging that has turned Gruden into a combo of Chuck Norris-Tim Tebow-Mike Ditka-Mother Teresa in the Volunteer state. Seriously, just because Gruden mentioned that Eric Berry went to UT does not mean he's head this way. That said, we know the powers that be in and out of the athletic department (wink, wink) are doing everything possible to try to land Gruden. Will it work? Don't know if anyone this side of Gruden knows, but they are leaving no stone unturned and no check unwritten.

That said, and we've listed the three names we've heard most frequently, if you take Gruden off the list since he's obviously every Johnny Vols Fan's No. 1 pick, here's your chance to make your case for who you want the next Vols coach to be. And if you are a non-Johnny Vols Fan, we know you want Derek Dooley to get just one more year. So for non-Johnny Vols Fans, who would you least like to see head to the 865 and awake the beast?

Have at it, and let's be careful out there.

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.
TennFlyer said...

How about the Heatles - LeBron, Wade, and what's his name the good but not great player who always appears with the first two. Bush, Bosch, something like that. The Steelers with Swann, Harris, and Bradshaw were kind of the original triplets back in the day. The Steelers also had a trio on defense Greene, Ham, Lambert and or Blount. Can a team have more than one trio? Finally, better rock trio - Rush or Triumph?

November 14, 2012 at 10:23 a.m.
chas9 said...

OK, it's only November roundball, but for some of us, the pointy ball season is over.

Brittney and her Baylor running mates went 40-0 last year, and will repeat. Period. Griner is the female Anthony Davis surrounded by little girls (though her team mates are very good). They demolished The Lady Cats, but they will crush everybody, including UConn. The Lady Cats will do fine in the SEC.

The story out of Atlanta isn't that Duke won (I predicted that). The story is that KY came very close, without a point guard. I don't know how good Harrow is, but with just a semblance of PG flow, The Cats would've won. They showed much more aggressiveness and rebounding than in game one, and defended the three point shot adequately. And the talent we knew they had is shining through.

Without Shabazz, the Uclans are weak. They edged UCIRV by one.

November 14, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
chas9 said...

TF--Don't know this Russian Triumph motorcycle, but I'd put Cream, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jimi Hendrix Experience, and ZZ Top on the Rushmore.

November 14, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

9 - I'll give you Cream and maybe the Experience but CSN needed the Y, and ZZ Top seemed like they were always the next video on MTV (over-exposed).

November 14, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

Good trios so far. Here is one of my favorites - maybe not rushmore worthy - Bo Jackson, Tommy Agee, Lionel James in the Auburn backfield.

November 14, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Lets see, we'll go Jordan, Pippen, and Horace Grant's Rec Specs, not Horace, just the Specs. Followed by Dylan, his guitar, and his harmonica. And rounding out my trio of trios, since someone already mentioned Jimi, I choose the Beastie Boys because "my name's Mike D and I'm about to get money." That and they help me fight for my right to party, which is nice of them to do.

Honorable mention to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli as well as Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Nerd Alert. Back to the basement I go with my hot pockets in tow.

November 14, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
chas9 said...

TF--CSN were better with Y, but you gotta give ZZ bonus points for the facial hair.

As for sports trios, old-timers like fec and me remember Tinker, Evans & Chance. I love the Braves pitchers Jay mentioned, but I also like Koufax, Drysdale, Podres. And remember the Braves staff Spahn, Sain, Rain?

Football's tough because of the many possible combos, but Morris, Csonka, Klick were solid in the day (or maybe Csonka, Morris, Little). Of course there were The Thee Amigos. Soon we may enshrine receivers Jones, White, Gonzalez, and in the might've been category, Rogers, Hunter, Patterson.

And Dr. B told us Bray, Patterson, Hunter would be the greatest ever, but he should stick to doctoring.

Do girls at girls' schools play shirts and skins?

November 14, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.

I'll take Nicklaus, Palmer, Player for the win, Peter.

November 14, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Tennessee's new coach will be Governor Bill Haslam stepping up to the most important job in the great State of Tennessee. If things don't go so well, the Haslam family can buy him out.

On a more substantial level, the understanding is Stoops just moved into his dream house outside Norman. Just another nail in the hopes of attracting Coach Stoops to K-Town.

Someone not on the list, what about Gary Patterson at TCU?

Chas9, I'm not a fan except for their anthem, The Beastie Boys. 10 Ring, Hanson seems more at home with your laid back stylings.

Then there's a whole list of Motown ladies: The Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas for two.

Who can forget Cartman's Christian super group (with Token and Butters) Faith Plus One?

November 14, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
BackupQB said...

As they say on talk radio, long time listener (reader) - 1st time caller (comment-poster) ... as a Johnny Vols Fan, my wish-list is unrealistic; but I offer a prediction: Pete Carroll. Friend of mine who follows the Seahawks says the only reason he is in Seattle was to "stay one step ahead of the NCAA Posse" and their invasion of Heritage Hall. Supposedly, Pete prefers the college game and would be interested if the Big Orange called. Thoughts?

As for trios, with Duke's big win last night, I'll go early 90's Devils with Laettner, Hurley, and Hill (Grant, not Thomas). I know it's just college hoops ... but, how many back-to-back Champs since Wooden (I know Gator fans, you did it too).

Got a mailbag question ... but I'm a week late. Hopefully, this is still relevant. I think numerous Johnny Vols Fans were excited with the hiring of Nick Saban/Kirby Smart disciple, Sal Sunseri (is it SALLLL or SUNSEERRRII?) ... we know how that worked out. I'm wondering about who do you think is the most overrated Defensive Coordinator? Watching the Bama vs. LSU game(yes, I'm a week late), I had flashbacks to "3rd & Chavis," where Johnny Chavis (granted, ALL TN fans would take Chavis right now today) goes into his "Mustang" package (side note - If Chavis runs the Mustang, is Sunseri's version called the 'Matador'?). McCarron had done NOTHING in the 2nd Half and carved the 'Mustang' like he was throwing routes on air. On the same night (granted a week late), the great Monte Kiffin's Defense gave up a school record(SC football dates of 1888) 730 yards (321 and 5 TD's to RB Barner) and 62 points! Yes, I know that Chavis has directed some of the best defenses in the game during his years in Baton Rouge and Kiffin invented the famed 'Tampa 2,' but can you think of anyone more over-rated?

November 14, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent—

Also, did you hear that Bray said, "I get paid to win football games." Has Cecil Newton suddenly become Bray's father too? Or is this an NCAA investigation waiting to happen? Or was it just a slip of the tongue?

Kentucky is good, but they are 3 or 4 seed good, not 1 seed good. I think at the end of the year, they will be a 3 or a 4 seed. I'm not sure if they'll get to the Final Four like they did two years ago as a 4 seed. But this team is going to have LOOOONG stretches where they don't score almost every night.

November 14, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...


Tennessee's defensive backs may just be knuckleheads. I watched the game again and focused on the mayhem taking place in the secondary and there's no way they should been lost so many times unless they're just not very bright. It's not just the weekly preparation and the calls from the sideline or the box.

November 14, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
jgreeson said...

TennFlyer —

Thought about Bradshaw, Swann and Stallworth, but we hated the Steelers growing up. The football runner-up to the Cowboys' Big Three was Montana-Craig-Rice. And those Steelers' defenses had way more than three.

Rush... by a lot. Like by Oregon over Cal and Georgia over Auburn lots.

9er —

Saw that Baylor-Lady Cats score and thought, "Wow, Griner is Alcinder of the women's game."

And cut Dr. B — he's a doctor after all — some slack. Just got off the phone with Mel Kiper Jr. — we love the draft, but you know this — and let's just say that MK Jr is quite fond of Patterson and Hunter.

McPell —

You keep bringing up those good ole' days and you're going to make us tear up.

962 —

We have forever said that License to Ill is on the Rushmore of best debut albums ever. M.C.A get on the mic my man.

And you have to give us a head's up when you flip the nerd switch. We can't see the hot pockets over the interwebs. And if you break out a 12-sided die, we're going to schedule an intervention.

Addicted —

How you been? And that's a strong trio. Well-played indeed.

FE to the C —

Interesting stuff about Stoops' crib.

As for Patterson, he said thanks but no thanks three years ago. Don't see him changing his mind now when he's a lot closer to his dream job — Hello Texas — than he was before.

And did you really say Hanson is more in our range?

We don't even know who you are any more.

Back-up QB —

You're new Delta Tau Chi name is June Jones. Why? Why not.

Seriously, great mailbag question — it's in. As for Pete Carroll, that would be a home run, and it's a name we hope Auburn contacts if/when the Tigers make a change.

Stuck —

Slip of the tongue with Bray. And if they are paying him to win football games, UT needs some refunds.

Let UK mature. It's a long march to March.

— 5-at-10

November 14, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.
BackupQB said...

Jay, thanks for the warm welcome to the fraternity. Can you ask the boys in the Delta house not to haze excessively a boy named June?

November 14, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.

Been just fine, except for stupid Gamecocks. As a Bulldog fan I have grown to learn how to be cautiously optimistic. Hope for the best and expect the worst. Every since that SEC championship game of first half missed opportunities and second half meltdown, it's hard to get excited until the the final score is posted. And even then you know there is another three headed monster to slay next week standing in your way of reaching the mountain top. While others in our midst have been able to accomplish this feat, we are a long way removed from Herschel and 1980 (I was 11). We hope, dream and even barter with God and how we will be better, if HE will just deliver us a National Championship, to no avail. I tend to hang my hat on those things that I can count on like....winter rates start tomorrow at Bears Trace. And shortly after we finish taking down the Christmas decorations, being upset about the BCS and filling out our college hoops brackets, we will be heading down I-20 East singing "Augusta, your dogwoods and pines.......". I have heard you comment in this forum, your limited belief in Karma. I would ask if you have put any thought into the possibility that Chizik "sold his soul" for Mr. Newton and a Championship?

November 14, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
chas9 said...

Stucky--Too early to tell, but I'd bet KY will be a 1 or 2 seed.

Jay--Just got an encrypted email from a shirtless FBI agent denying Gruden will be named CIA director this evening, but the Hooters jet landed at McLean AFB about 30 minutes ago. Just sayin'.

And the now-availble David Petraeus could be K-town's new coach. A leader's a leader. Talk about a defense! Of course, you'd want to hide the volleyball coach. He likes the athletic types.

November 14, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Laughter —

Great call. The Lakers guys do have more titles than the Celtics' trio.

And yes, the UT DBs appear to be knuckleheads. And their lack of skills coupled with Sal Sunseri — SAAALLLLL!!! — is the SEC definition of the blind leading the blind.

June —

We're all in this thing together. And no way we'd make fun of anyone's name.

Well, with the exception of Spy, that is.

And the proper response is "Thank you sir may we have another."

Addicted —

Been a strange year, no doubt. Has there ever been a quieter 11-1 in SEC history? And have we gotten to the point that Mark Richt is like a great Carhardt coat? We take for granted that it's going to be warm and durable — never flashy and likely won't ever wear it to a BCS party — but still a really good coat.

As for Karma and the Chiz, well, who knows. We'll say this though: If it cost us $180K and Gene Chizik's soul for a national title, then we got out cheap.

Amen and pass the 2010 season highlights DVD.

— 5-at-10

November 14, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Petraeus could run the defense; Petrino could take the offense.

Hide the women; here comes the P&P show.

And yes, UK will be in the hunt come March.

— 5-at-10

November 14, 2012 at 1:35 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Jay, your Carhardt metaphor was sharp. I like your style. They just so happened to show the 2001 UT vs UGA game on Fox South last night and the analysts were discussing the first year Georgia coach and whether he was going to make it in the SEC. Funny looking back at how well Richt has done in his time there and how much Casey Clausen looked like Iceman with a helmet.

And two rolls of my dodecahedron reveal that the probabilty of you getting some of my delicious hot pockets are not good and also that if there is going to be an intervention sprung on me it will likely not be for nerd-dom, but one of my many other vices.

November 14, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
SgtFootball said...

Sports trios???? Gotta go with Moe, Larry, and Curly playing golf. Not only did they get in 18 holes in that episode, but Curly did his laundry in the ball washer while Moe and Larry did some expert grounds keeping. On a serious note - Magic, Kareem, Worthy??? At least 3 titles together...Starr, Hornung, Taylor??? Multiple championships and all HOF'ers....Parker, Duncan, Ginobli (who I still say played Balki on the tv sitcom "Perfect Strangers")???? heart and soul of multiple championships.

November 14, 2012 at 9:58 p.m.
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