published Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

5-at-10: Combine questions, College hoops challenges, NASCAR contest

Don't forget Friday's mailbag and we're shooting for a ton of folks in the NASCAR contest.

From the "Talks too much" studios, Daddy Mac makes us wanna jump, jump.

Combine stuff

We love the NFL draft. You know this.

The NFL combine — the carnival-style event for hundreds of hopeful and hypeful former college football players who will be tested and prodded and quizzed and clocked — starts this weekend. This is going to sound nuts, but there are certain aspects of this event that are simply great TV when the elite prospects perform. Seriously.

Watching the 40-yard dashes and trying to gauge what someone ran. Watching the receivers run the gauntlet catching passes from all directions. Watching the QBs throw and the DBs cover. The 5-at-10 finds it very interesting.

That said, heading into the biggest job interview of these guys lives, here are the five names that are going to generate a lot of attention with their physical skills at the event (we'll discuss quarterbacks later this week):

Alabama nose guard Jesse Williams — Dude is a monster and bench presses small villages. In a copycat NFL that craves monster-strong 3-4 nose guards, Williams size and brute strength will send him rocketing up the charts.

  • photo
    UT's Cordarrelle Patterson runs against Troy at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson — He is going to put on a show. We're expecting a sub-4.4 time in the 40 and rave reviews about his physical abilities. We admit it, Dr. B said it months ago — he is a doctor after all — Cordarrelle is a monster.

Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert — Playing the offensive position that is currently coveted in the pass-happy NFL, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Eifert's stock could skyrocket with a quality 40 time. Eifert is a great study in the draft's unique blend of talent and value — he has first-round skills, but some teams will wait and see how low they can still draft him. The draft is lovable, no?

Michigan athlete Denard Robinson — There will be a ton of folks watching how Robinson, the former Wolverines quarterback-turned-receiver who made a highlight reel of big plays, runs routes and catches the ball. We think his 40 time will be above-average rather than eye-popping — he always was more quick and elusive than straight-line fast, and that is OK — and his intangibles are off the charts. It will be a tough task for scouts, but they will have to decide if they think Robinson could be a Brad Smith or an Antwan Randle El rather than a Pat White.

Georgia's Jarvis Jones physical will be the difference between being a top-five pick and a late-first-rounder. Concerns about his spine — and while we're not a doctor, the spine seems to be pretty important in most physical endeavors — have teams starting to be very wary in regards to Jones.

————

NASCAR contest

OK, watching Quake and the gang on Racing Tonight on Monday was the difference-maker for us. We're having a Daytona 500 contest. Give us the winner and where Danica finishes. Danica's finish will be the tie-breaker, and we'll use our normal Price is Right rules (closest without going over).

We'll play for some sort of trinket and we'll try to get a slew of the local sports folks involved.

Here's our first two entries:

5-at-10: Kevin Harvick and 22nd

Mrs. 5-at-10: Jimmie Johnson and 35th

Who's in?

————

Monster night in college hoops

Now that there is less than a month left in the college basketball season, the stakes are raised. Home games are paramount. Road games are a chance to improve the resume. It's go time Jerry. (Hey, March Madness is glorious. The college basketball regular season is not. It's the price you pay.)

There are five games featuring teams that have some tournament skin in the game tonight. Let's take a peek:

Tennessee: The Vols are surging. It likely will be too little too late. As UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown tells us here Kenny Hall is trying to contribute in a limited role. Great. A loss tonight to LSU would seal UT's NCAA hopes. A win allows the small chance to continue to breath.

No. 1 Indiana at No. 4 Michigan State: The Hoosiers will lock down a No. 1 seed with a win. Sparty would make a big statement for a top seed with a win over college hoops' best team.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack has underachieved. They were preseason top 10; they are currently unranked. They host Florida State tonight, and a loss would be painful.

UNC: Likewise, the Tar Heels have been underwhelming. They are at Georgia Tech tonight. A loss would be painful. (Side note: As a college-hoops crazy kid growing up in the A-T-L, the relative absence of any type of excitement about a UNC-Tech game is disappointing. Sigh. Man, the Dome used to rock when the Tar Heels came to Atlanta. Now, it's hard to name a starter on either team. Such is the state of college hoops, but maybe that is true about all of the college game.)

No. 5 Florida at Missouri: The Gators are one of the nation's most complete teams. A road win tonight further extends their claim to be a No. 1 seed. Missouri is inside the bubble right now, but a top-five win would really complete the resume. The Tigers are 8-6 in their last 14 games and their best win is likely a November victory over VCU. The SEC needs Missouri to show up tonight.

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This and that

— Mark your calendar: The Atlanta Braves are going to retire Chipper Jones' No. 10 on June 28 at Turner Field. Not counting the 42 that was retired by all of baseball in honor of Jackie Robinson, Jones' 10 will be the 10th Braves' uniform number retired. Fitting, no?

— OK, the NCAA fired the VP who bungled the Miami investigation. That was the right move of course, but it seems a little soft no? Is there criminal charges that could be explored? Even if it's just for appearances, shouldn't the NCAA at the very least put a show-cause penalty on those involved. This is not good for the NCAA, which will have a creditability problem in almost every investigation for the foreseeable future.

— Sidney Lowe was arrested on tax-evasion charges. Lowe was the point guard on Jim Valvano's 1983 national title N.C. State team and former coach of the Wolfpack and in the NBA.

— Josh Hamilton has made his return to Texas appointment TV. After helping each other to national relevancy — Hamilton was a stud duck in the middle of a Rangers lineup that made back-to-back World Series trips; the Rangers stood by the talented-but-troubled star with a myriad of off-the-field woes — Hamilton bolted to AL-West rival, the Los Angeles Angels, for a big-dollar free agency deal. He said Monday that Dallas was not a baseball town. Ouch-standing.

— Roger Clemens said he "wouldn't lose sleep" over the Hall of Fame vote. Great. Neither are we. If Clemens does lose a few winks, maybe there is a sleep performance-enhancer out there that could help him with that?

— Is Brittney Griner the best women's basketball player ever? We say yes. She's Kareem at a similar crossroad for the women's game.

— Tip of the fedora to Wes Moore's Lady Mocs, who have now won 13 in a row and are rolling at full speed right now.

————

Today's question

Was Jerry Buss the best sports owner of our generation?

Buss, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Lakers died Monday. The Lakers won 10 NBA titles since Buss bought the team in 1979.

We think he's certainly on the Rushmore of team sports owners of the last 30 years: We'll take Buss, Steinbrenner, the Rooney family and Jerry Reinsdorf.

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.
chas9 said...

You're right about The Vols. They're running out of runway to get on Jimmy's jet.

It's not crazy to think the once-mighty SEC might send only Florida to The Dance. Bama, Mizzou and Ole Miss are weakly on the bubble now with little chance to improve their resumes. As discussed yesterday, UT and UK are even longer shots.

When we made our final four predictions in this space, I already saw the onrushing Hurricanes looking good, but I didn't go with my gut. As of now, I wish I could swap them for Kansas in my picks.

And Miami's opponent this evening, Virginia, is a wild case for the tournament selectors. The Cavs are 6-1 against the Top 100, but only 6-5 against #101-200. And they lost to # 324 Old Dominion.

February 19, 2013 at 10:20 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Thanks for reminding us. With all the Disney craziness and Signing Day and the Super Bowl and .... (fill in the blank) we have not collected the Too early x To Guess = Final Four picks from ealrier this year.

We're on it. And, if memory serves, only one person has Miami.

— 5-at-10

February 19, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Plate is full this morning there Eddie 2...if you were thinking you should have chuckled at the asteroids reference yesterday...first off remember this name Nigel Nicholas from Oklahoma State by way of Ridgeland, he was impressive at the all star game (formerly Blue/Gray)and with his speed could be a beast in the NFL...although not a huge Chipper fan it is a no brainer that his number be retired it is deserved...No matter what happens Sunday, Danica is the biggest story in NASCAR since that fateful day 12 years ago and when Dr B was taking picks last Friday (before qualifying) that Danica has enough talent and the owner (Tony Stewart) to make some noise...Put me down in the go daddy camp, she shocks the world as Stewart Haas Racing go 1 and 2...As for the Rushmore of ownership, your choices are spot on, no argument from me

February 19, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - Put me down for Carl Edwards and Danica finishes no better than 28th. I also predict she'll take Tony Stewart out early in the race. Glad you're back.

February 19, 2013 at 10:42 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

Jay -- put me down for Tony Stewart and Danica 15th. Think the crowd will be waving singles in the air when Danica does the parade lap on "the pole"? Rushmore of owners Buss, Steinbrenner, the Rooney family, Lamar Hunt. Reinsdorf gets a mention in the visitor's center along with a few others.

February 19, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Do what? No argument from you? Well, that's some reeeaaaallll tomato ketchup Eddie.

We'll get on trying to catch up with Nigel. Size and speed combo makes him an interesting prospect, no doubt.

Sportsfan —

Good to be back. Mostly.

TennFlyer —

Hunt gets major points since he came up with the Super Bowl and all. That said, the Chiefs have kind of stunk. Bad. Of course, Reinsdorf's biggest winning move as an owner was watching Portland take Bowie over Jordan.

So it goes, and timing is everything.

— 5-at-10

February 19, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, sorry to learn of the passing of Jerry Buss. An old school owner, he let his personel department of Jerry West and later Mitch Kupchak rigorously evaluated players on the Lakers, in the NBA and the college draft. Then Buss was the last word.

10 Ring, have you taken the Jose Conesco Challenge yet? I understand your concerns. One of the many side effects from HT is a total loss of diction.

February 19, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay,

Apparently word travels fast back home in the 423. As timing would have it, I had just jumped in my car for the 10 minute drive home and had my radio tuned in to ESPN 103.3 and guess what Galloway (Dr. B 2.0) was talking about? Yep. Hamilton's taste for shoe leather. Before we get into this, I am surprised you even bringing this up on the account that stemmed from a "local" interview (CBS 11 here in D-town) as suppose to a national source. Regardless, it was the talk of "local" media here in the 972.

I understand that for the most time during Hamilton's tenure the Rangers were still the perverbal doormat of the MLB (my first year here they were practically giving away tickets) but as Galloway pointed out there are very few cities where baseball is king: New York, Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis. Everyone else has to share the limelight with their pigskin counterparts.

Truth be told, Troy Akimen said it best: Dallas is a winner's town. As long as your team is willing, people love you. If you're not, well, any bad press the basketball Mocs are receiving would be ten-fold in this market. Especially if the city is more well known for Jerry's "Joe Engel" shannaiguns than producing a winning product.

As for Hamilton's return in an Angel's uniform in April? Let's just say I predict the response will be less than warm.

February 19, 2013 at 11:42 a.m.
chas9 said...

Brittney Griner scored 25, in passing the career 3000 mark, and the #1 Lady Bears beat the #3 Lady UConners at Hartford. Not many athletes have dominated their sport the way the 6'8" Griner does. You need to see her, even if you don't watch the women's game.

In the undercard, the #8 Lady Cats got a big W over the Lady Aggies at College Station. Going in to yesterday's game, #11 A&M was tied with #12 Tennessee for the SEC lead. Now UK is a half game out with A&M right behind. Overall, KY is 23-3 and TN is 20-5. The season ends with a bang, Tennessee at Kentucky.

February 19, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

Give me Kasey Kahne and Danica finishing 12th. And I had NCST in my too early final 4 - would love to have Miami..luckily I did have FL.

February 19, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.
orangeguy said...

I'll take Dale Jr. To win and Danica finishes 19th.

I'm too excited about baseball to worry about the Combine this year. My lack of excitement about the combine/draft has plenty to do with my desire to completely forget this class of former Vols heading to the NFL. Bray, Hunter, Cordarrelle, & Rivera all had some shining moments in orange, but that era is too forgettable for me to follow their future accolades. (The only reason I even watch the NFL is to check up on former Vols.)

Wish Chipper's number retirement could have happened with the Mets in town. But I guess the fact that the 2 highest paid OF's on Mets payroll this year are Bobby Bonilla & Jason Bay will have to suffice my shear Mets-hatred for now.

Why does Mark Emmert keep his job? Isn't this a lack of institutional control? Hopefully the NCAA tries to impose sanctions on Miami anyway, and Shalala sues it into oblivion.

Kinda wish Hamilton would hush. Dude's not good with the media.

Like your Rushmore of owners. I'll give honorable mention to Robert Kraft. And a dishonorable mention to the McCourts. How about a Rushmore for the worst owners?

Sterling (Clippers), Loria (Marlins & Expos), Dan Snyder (Skins), Al Davis (Purgatory).

February 19, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.

I will take Matt Kenseth (I still say he was the fastest car on the track Saturday night). And Danica finishes a respectable 12th.

February 19, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: Give me Jeff Gordon for the win and Danica for 15th.

February 19, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Great point about Buss and his "Less is More" approach to the front office decisions.

As for misplacing our diction, well, we are seldom at a loss for words.

JMC —

Great line there from Aikman. And very true.

A little warm, huh?

9er —

The list of folks who walk into Storres and run the Lady UConns is not very long. Griner is the best we've seen.

— 5-at-10

February 19, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.
jgreeson said...

You guys are in.

Orange —

That's a great idea for a Rushmore. We're in.

We had the same thought about Chipper's retirement party. In fact, it should have been against the Mets.

Kraft was one of our finalists. Finding Brady in round six screams fortune as much as skill.

February 19, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

Let me put it to you like this, Dallas sports fans are "classy" when compared to our "Northeastern" counterparts. However, if Hamilton doesn't get stuff thrown at him from the stands, I would be totally shocked.

Also, I just got back from lunch and yep, DMN has is all on the front page of the sports section (along with Jerry's new 2.5 million bus ride). Will send soon.

February 19, 2013 at 1:59 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I'll try not to look at this through Boston-colored lenses, but I will give props to owners the O'Malley family and to the DeBartolos. They won and won with class and dignity.

I'll go with Little E to win and Danica to finish 35th. That will be the France family's Daily Double to make NASCAR shiny and attractive again.

Why not the France family as Rushmore owners? They don't own a team, but they do own an entire sport. Gotta be something said for that.

February 19, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
Etsubuc13 said...

Let me grab Jeff Gordon with the win and Danica to finish 33rd.

I'll never forget Mad Dogs retirement when he told the team to go out and beat the mets like they always used to. No matter the names on the back it's still says Mets on the front. They're the reason we know Larrys first name and he named his kid Shea for goodness sakes. How could they not retire his number when NY is in town so he could get one more shot in.

February 19, 2013 at 2:42 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

Thanking it forward.

Spy —

The France folks were debated; in the end Reinsdorf's titles in each league won the final spot.

ETSU —

Good to see you back around these parts. Feel free to swing by whenever — don't cost nothing.

And as much fun as it was to hate those Mets, the "LAR-ry, LAR-ry" chants were pretty cool. And made even cooler since Chipper hit like 12 million against them.

— 5-at-10

February 19, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
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