Remember Friday's mailbag and to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
From the "Talks too much studios," here we go...
We're five weeks into the college football season. Wow, they grow up so fast.
Our Fab 4 picks (plus 1) started slowly, including a gross-tastic 1-4 mark in week two. We're 16-9 on the season, a stout rebound all things considered, and that includes a staggering 2-0 mark picking Clemson, the same team that confounded us to a 1-8 mark last fall.
Well, this is the weekend that we distance ourselves. In the paraphrased words of William Wallace, we're going to pick like poet warriors. Pass the blue face paint.
FREEDOM. In fact, in honor of Braveheart — the Mrs. 5-at-10's favorite movie, which is wicked cool in and of itself — we're taking six games this week. (Hang on Dr. B — he's a doctor after all — and see how they turn out.)
Clemson minus-10 against Georgia Tech: Yes, this violates two of our betting axioms — when lines look too good to be true, they normally are, and never bet on Clemson. We'll consider that a double-negative that will yield a positive. The Jackets are broken. They are beyond saving. Period. We love Paul Johnson and the triple option, but for defensive coordinator Al Groh, it's time to say goodbye — playing outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes.
LSU at Florida under the 46: How would Les Miles' quote William Wallace? Let's try this exchange:
Princess Isabelle: I understand you have recently been given the rank of knight.
William Wallace: I have been given nothing. God makes men what they are.
And if she was talking to Les Miles:
Princess Isabelle: I understand you have recently been given the rank of knight.
Les Miles: Gifts of dark and nights are commonplace among the people who have the want to be different and great and greatly different. Understanding that kinghts before the night have predawn and predrawn convictions is the difference between night and day. Good day. Good night.
That said, too much defense. Too much on the line. Too much at stake for each team. First team to 21 wins.
Kansas State minus-22 against Kansas: The in-state rivalry of this one gives it a little emotion. Good thing since K-State is light years better than K. In fact, we can imagine K-State coach Bill Snyder talking to his team and coming over to his assistants and having the following exchange:
Assistant 1: "Fine speech. Now what do we do?
Bill Snyder: Just be yourselves.
Assistant 2: Where are you going?
Bill Snyder: I'm going to pick a fight.
Assistant 1: Well, we didn't get dressed up for nothing.
Somebody better have a couple extra shrimp cocktails around for Chucky Wies to drown his sorrows in after this one.
West Virginia at Texas over the 70: "Geno Smith is 7 feet tall." "Yes, we've heard. Scores points by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume Texas with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse." Geno Smith is here. And he is on a mission. Yes, the Longhorns are a step up in competition. Yes, the road atmosphere is going to be crazy. Yes, this is a tall task. But Geno is 7 feet tall for crying out loud. Look at dude's numbers: he's averaging 432 yards passing a game and completing 83.4 percent of his throws. His career TD-to-INT rate is 76-to-15. We'll take our chances. We also like WVU plus the 7.5.
Georgia plus-2.5 at South Carolina: "We know you can fight, but it's our wits that make us men." If that's the case, Steve Spurrier is the Braveheart of college football. Dude has wits by the truckload. And we expect them to be on full display. But remember, weapons decide the outcome and Georgia has more. Lots more.
Bonus pick for Dr. B: Notre Dame minus-12 against Miami: "My scouts tell me their archers are miles away and no threat to us. Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing." That Longshanks was a cuddly character, no? Anyhoo, look at this game on its merits: Cold weather game. Check. Decidedly unneutral neutral site. Check — this game is in Chicago and Soldier Field will be a 100-percent pro-Irish. Line that seems to high. Check. Thank us when you check the score late Saturday afternoon and its 31-6.
FINANCIAL FREEDOM (for entertainment purposes only of course).
Mess in Knoxville
The temperature on Derek Dooley's seat has taken a back burner at the University of Tennessee for the time being.
Pat Summitt's affidavit in the lawsuit filed against the athletic department and AD Dave Hart by former women's sports media director Debby Jennings says the legendary former Lady Vols coach felt forced out originally. Summitt said in the legal hearing that she was told in March by Hart that she would have step down at the end of the season.
"This was very surprising to me and very hurtful, as that was a decision I would have liked to have made on my own at the end of the season after consulting with my doctors, colleagues and friends and not be told this by Mr. Hart," Summitt said in the affidavit. "I felt this was wrong."
Summitt said later in the affidavit that Hart said she misinterpreted what he had said.
OK, there are a slew of layers to this. It's like a Chernobyl onion. On a blend of steroids and miracle grow.
Pick a layer and there's a different meaning. Look at the questions: Was forcing Summitt out an option? Was letting her stay and potentially and unwittingly destroy the greatest program in the history of women's hoops the best plan? Is Summitt trying to help her longtime friend Jennings? If Summitt was truly forced out, why was there a big hug-fest at the "retirement" news conference that included Summitt's son Tyler and her acceptance of the "head coach emeritus" job?
That said, the spin cycles on this one will range from damp to wrinkle free. And like the layered onion, if this one was sliced poorly, it will bring some tears.
OK, the NBA has adopted the anti-flop rule. Yay. It's a staggered set of fines that surely needs to be called the Vlade Violations.
Here's the rub: The league is hitting the players in the pocket, and the players only. L.A. Clippers star Blake Griffin calls it a money-grab by the league, and looking at the merits, that seems somewhat fair.
Hey, flopping needs to stop. It slows down the game, and the NBA has made strides in regards to watchability and enjoyability. But this seems hollow, especially for a league that struggles with uniformity of officiating.
Nevermind the fact that the NBA referees are a notoriously bitter bunch that holds grudges. What better way for a ref to extract a little payback than a couple of five-figure flop calls against the power forward that showed him up?
Fining the players could be part of it, but it feels like there needs to be some sort of team price on this, no? Maybe it should be a technical foul, too, so that there is a tangible team cost with each event.
This and that
— Congrats to Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers slugger who captured the first triple crown in baseball since 1967. Huge season and in truth something we did not ever expect to see. Because we're a junkie for things like this, in 1967... gas was 33 cents a gallon; average income was $7,300; minimum wage was $1.40 an hour; Rolling Stone magazine was published for the first time; the first Super Bowl was played; Jimmy Hoffa begins an eight-year prison term; Evil Knievel jumps over 16 cars lined up in a row but fails to clear the fountains at Caesars Palace; Elvis Presely marries Priscilla; "The Dirty Dozen" is released in theaters; Vanilla Ice was born on Halloween of 1967 (that's fitting on so many levels, no?)
— Wow, now that's a commitment. Louisville coach Charlie Strong figured to be one of the top names on the market when the big-time jobs come open at the end of the year. Well, with Papa John's money and KFC money at his backing, Louisville AD Tom Jurich is going to make it tough for Strong to leave. "I will match anybody's salary," Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com. "I will match anybody in college. I will be supportive of whoever's here. Do they want to be here? When someone is being talked about, that's a compliment to our program."
— A's clinched the West, and Yankees clinched the East in the AL. Huge edge winning your division, as it should be. Here is the playoff schedule for Friday: Cards at Braves at 5:07 p.m. (Lohse vs. Medlen); Baltimore at Texas at 8:30 p.m. (undecided vs. Darvish). The winner of the NL wildcard faces Washington; the winner of the AL wildcard faces New York.
— We'll be on with Chris Goforth around 2 today on 1370 AM. Swing by if you get a chance.
— From our friends at pregame.com — before the debate the $100 bet on Romney would have won $365; after last night's debate debate, a $100 bet on Romney wins $240.
In honor of last night's presidential debate — hey, hope your guy did swimingly, but please take the political diatribes and bellyaching over to Clay's playground — we propose the following debate, and want to know who you'd think would win:
Les Miles vs. Mike Tyson.
Who you got?
Remember, Les is the master of misdirection and Iron Mike powerfully misplays a great quote.
Here are a couple examples from each:
Les — "I can only tell you that the only fit to me for those players on this campus is extremely good;" "There was great interest there as soon as that interest was mutual;" "The only thing that I can tell you is that I am relatively honest and somewhat deceptive."
And for Iron Mike — "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth;" "Another thing that freaks me out is time. Time is like a book. You have a beginning, a middle and an end. It's just a cycle;" "I know how hard it is to be a woman, especially a black woman;"I guess I'm going to fade into Bolivian."
Les Miles vs. Mike Tyson. Who you 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 ...