published Friday, March 15th, 2013

5-at-10: Friday mailbag

Gang, thanks for another great week.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we Christen thee the Flying Wasp; bless thee and all who sail on her.

  • photo
    Chattanooga head coach John Shulman talks from the sideline.
    Photo by Contributed Photo

From JMC47

John is an excellent coach. So is Wes Moore. What if each had coached the other man's team this year? Does anyone really think Wes would have had the male Mocs at the top of the heap in the SouCon? No. He wouldn't.

The Mocs roster is not in the class of the likes of CofC, Davidson, or Elon. The roster has no point guard, a center who, though a really nice guy, has one move which rarely works (jump hook), limited perimeter shooting, etc..(the roster of the Sweet 16 team that beat UGA and ILLINOIS included 4 STARTERS WHO WERE JUCO PLAYERS!)

Now let's ask the other question. If John were coaching the Lady Mocs, would he have taken them to the Big Dance today like Wes did? Most likely, the answer is yes. The Lady Mocs' roster is far superior to every other team in the conference and that is the main reason why they are so consistently good.

Of course, the real question is: WHY DOES ANYONE OTHER THAN THE CHANCELLOR OR THE AD AT UTC THINK THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECLARE THAT SOMEONE ELSE SHOULD BE FIRED FROM THEIR JOB? I recognize that this type of behavior has become the norm. But....it's wrong.

AND

Also, the polls from last year and this year about Coach Shulman show that the fans aren't lined up with the local sportswriters. Last year's poll was 58% in John's favor and this year's poll is remarkably close considering that the team just suffered a heartbreaking loss to end the season. Even in this tough time for the Mocs, your poll just doesn't support your claim that the support for Coach isn't there.

Why is this paper so against him? When the Mocs pull off a good win, it's usually buried on page 8. If they suffer a tough loss.....you can bet it's on page 1.

Maybe when our own paper starts supporting our own city's university instead of bowing down to an orange city the very same size as our own things will get better?

JMC47,

Thanks for the letter and the chance to respond. Because you obviously care deeply about this topic, I am going to skip the 5-at-10 "third-person" references and do my best to avoid sarcasm and snark.

I'll address your points one-by-one:

  • photo
    Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore stresses the importance of rebounds to players during a recent game at McKenzie Arena.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Point 1: Wes Moore vs. John Shulman: I believe that Wes Moore is a much better basketball coach than John. I believe that if Wes coached the men this season they would have been better; and if John had coached the women they might have won the SoCon. But the elephant in the room in that comparison is that arguably the largest responsibility of college coaches is assembling their roster. So, other than the no-junior-college-transfer handcuffs, Shulman's roster is the product or shortcomings in recruiting of John and his staff.

And while the 1997 magical Mocs may have had a slew of JuCo transfers, I'm not a big believer in transfers as the be-all, end-all solution. Look at the river of D-I transfers the Mocs have had in the last few years, and other than this year's noticeable improvement and production from Z Mason, which among those transfers would you call a success?

Point 2: Why does anyone other than the chancellor or the AD think they have the right to declare someone else should be fired? Really? How about anyone with a vested interest in the program. People who care about the program, be them donors or supporters or columnists and radio personalities that are paid for their sports opinions. Now the chancellor and the AD are the only ones with an opinion that ultimately counts. If you do not want people to care about the program — to be invested in the success and the failure and feel passion — then the program will die. You are not asking for unconditional support, you're expecting blind loyalty. But in sports — and in a lot of ways life in general — to expect blind loyalty from the fan base or the media or the community or customers or anyone outside of your immediate family is not only unrealistic, it's naive.

Point 3: The polls aren't lined up with the sportswriters opinion. I assume you are speaking of the poll the TFP ran that asked should John be fired. I am not sure what the results were when you submitted your question on Monday, as of this morning, 60 percent of the 483 votes were in favor of firing John. But that is a poll on the internet that is hardly scientific, no matter which way it swings. That said, I believe a vast majority of the public — at least that part of the area's public who know the Round House from the Patrick Swayze classic Road House — believe John's time has come and gone. And the strength of my believe is the level of apathy that has consumed this program. I went to five games this year, not one was well-attended. Not one was energetic. The fans of the program are making a statement with their decision not to go and their actions at McKenzie. The relative silence of turnstiles — and forget the announced crowds, there are guys who have made their bones talking about how they "caught a fish THIS big" that look at the UTC attendance numbers and go, "Wow, that's whopper" — and in the gym have been deafening.

Part 4: "Why is the paper so against him?" The paper has never been against John. In fact, I really like John and respect John. He's a good guy. This hasn't worked, but that doesn't mean he's anything less than the good guy I believe him to be. In fact, there have been several folks who have asked me directly why we haven't been "harder" on John or called for his job before now. As for placement of the Mocs basketball stories this year, well, it's my job as the sports editor of our paper to reflect interest, not generate it. And there were a slew of high school basketball games this year that were better attended than Mocs games. Period. In fact, when it comes to fannies in the seats, I'd be willing to bet that the Lady Mocs drew roughly as many (and maybe more) fans than the Mocs this year. The interest in UTC men's basketball has been at an all-time low in my almost 11 years in Chattanooga. And I appreciate your question, and while I can't remember a big Mocs win that was entirely inside (unless it was on the road and we did not send our beat writer David Uchiyama), the line between winning and losing almost never decides whether a story goes to the Sports front or stays inside. It's not the outcome, rather the size of the game, that predetermines story placement. This may be a little too inside baseball, but let me explain quickly how the planning process works at the TFP sports section on a daily basis. Since there are so many moving pieces and people and possibilities, I put together a plan each day of where everything will go. A lot of factors and research go into these decisions, and there is some gut-feeling and some purposeful attempts at balancing the sports and schools for variety. But with all that happens from when that plan is hatched around 5 p.m. — long before games are even started, much less over so we'd know the outcome — and when we have to be done by deadline, very rarely do we move story placement around. Does it occasionally happen? Sure it does. But it's rare that a big win or a big loss determine if a story goes out front — there are some folks who think every time their team loses I put them on the front because "I hate this team/coach/sport" or "I love their rival team/coach/sport."

Part 5: "Maybe when our own paper starts supporting our own city's university instead of bowing down to an orange city the very same size as our own things will get better?" Please. UTC athletics gets more ink from the Times Free Press than any school its size from any paper in the country. And that's across all sports. Ask anyone who has come from another market about how well we cover UTC by comparison. Ask Russ Huesman about how much UTC football gets compared to when he was at Richmond and the Spiders were winning national titles and getting two stories a week in their local paper. Ask SID Jay Blackman to compare the coverage his program got when he was in New Mexico. We have five different writers handle various beats in the Mocs program. Most places would kill for the kind of coverage we give UTC sports. And amazingly, you're asking at the same time for more coverage and more sports front coverage, but you don't want any of our columnists or me to share an opinion or discuss the elephant in the room. As for the coverage of the University of Tennessee, well, I view my job as being the steward of the sports section of our paper. And it is our paper — the community's — I'm just in charge of it for the time being (and the Good Lord willing a long time to come) and make the best decisions I can. But to say there is not a huge amount of Tennessee interest in this town would be at best a mistake.

I think John did one of his better coaching jobs this year, taking an unknown team to a middle-of-the-pack finish in their division. But the in my view the ship has sailed. After nine years, he's 145-146 overall — that's including non-Division I games — and has a losing conference record. To expect anything different than .500 basketball and frustration seems like the personification of Twain's definition of insanity. And to let him to continue to coach begs the question if the goal of UTC men's basketball is to be a .500 basketball team?

Again, I spent a lot of time thinking about this and wanted to answer your question honestly and directly. Thanks for reading the TFP and the 5-at-10.

(And now we'll return to the 5-at-10 and attempts at the occasional one-liner. Yes, Spy, we said attempts.)

————

From Atlanta Al

Hope this is not too late for your mailbag, but what do you make of Steven Jackson to the Falcons? With Tony G. back and Jackson on the roster, is this the best offense in the NFC?

Thanks and thanks for the 5-at-10, it's an every morning stop for me.

Atlanta Al,

We think Steven Jackson is an upgrade over Michael Turner for sure. And we love that the Falcons are pushing their chips in to make a run for it all.

We think the Falcons will be on the shortlist of best offenses in the league, and the big five skilled position accounting firm of Ryan, Jones, White, Gonzalez and Jackson is as good as there is in the league.

Still, a three-year deal for a running back that will be 30 before the season starts and has had at least 250 carries every years since his rookie season seems little long. Jackson is an improvement, but he is not an answer for the future.

We like the Falcons' aggressive nature in going after the ring now, but we still hope they use their second-round pick on Marcus Lattimore to have a long-term solution at running back.

————

From AReader

Where are all of these awful college basketball uniforms coming from? Did you see Notre Dame or Cincy?

AReader,

Great point. And it's a great thing that Billy Packer has been put out to pasture, because he would have had kittens on air about this.

Although a 73-year-old curmudgeon having kittens on air would be something to behold. It would be the front-runner for the 10-grand on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Let's check in with Jim Nantz and special guest Charles Barkley if Notre Dame and Cincy met in a Final Four and wore their Lime Sherbet and Camouflage uniforms:

Jim Nantz: Hello friend, welcome to Atlanta, the site of the Final Four and the home to Varsity.

Chuck: The Varsity is good. Hmmmmm, chili dogs. Frosted Orange. Onion... What in the world is that?

Jim Nantz: Great point Charles, the new uniforms are quite fetching.

Chuck: Does fetching mean TURR-ible?

Jim Nantz: No Charles, fetching is, well, winsome and eye-catching.

Chuck: Winsome? Who are you Alex Trebek? Winsome you lose some, and those uniforms are losers. Man, if I'd worn one of those Coach Mac would say I look like the world's largest duck blind.

Jim Nantz: OK, thanks Charles. To today's matchup, who do you like the Irish or the Bearcats?

Chuck: Neither. My eyes are bleeding and your talking about fetching and winsome. I need a chili dog. And a blind fold. (Chuck leaves)

Jim Nantz — to no one in particular: It's still better than working with Phil Simms.

————

From Laughing Boy

5-at-10,

Gossett has a game story earlier this week on an area high school pitcher hitting mid 90s, fact or fiction?

Laughing Boy,

Fact.

While we readily admit the two biggest numeral lies in sports are 4.4 and 90, as in 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash and a 90-mph fastball.

We asked our high school baseball ace Ward Gossett about it, and here's why we say fact.

First, he saw the gun hit 93 in the third inning, and while radar guns can fluctuate, moving up or down 5 mph is on the high end of the scale. Second and more importantly, there were 20 big league scouts there, and that many big league scouts in attendance means someone with potential first-round grades.

Know who has first-round grades? Right-handers who really throw 93 and kids that really run 4.4s.

————

From Ben R. (in two e-mails)

If the Vols get to Friday (in the SEC tournament), I think they are in. What do you think?

Johnny Vols Fans everywhere need this?

(Second e-mail addition on Thursday around lunch)

Hey, after getting Jalen Hurd to commit and if the Vols can secure a tournament bid, this would be the best week in UT sports since....?

The 5-at-10 is awesome.

———

Ben R.,

Thanks for the kind words and feel free to swing by any time — don't cost nothing.

We agree with our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer's point here that the Vols need a win today over Alabama to feel good about Sunday's selection show.

And you bring up a great point: This has been high times for the Vols, and Hurd's commitment can't be overstated right now.

In fact, we spoke with friend of the show Brad Shepard, who writes for Rocky Top Talk, and he was discussing the point that this could be the type of start that could yield a similar recruiting bounty as the first full signing class Nick Saban landed at Alabama. And the comparison has merits, in that each has been built with a foundation of some big-time legacies and each came with the lucky timing of being a great year for in-state talent.

Rest easy Alabama fans or UT bashers, this is not saying Butch Jones is Nick Saban or will recruit at that level, but the comparisons are there. Todd Kelly for UT; Barrett Jones for that Alabama class. Hurd is a five-star, top-10 national talent; Julio Jones was a five-star, top-10 national talent.

Somewhat ironically, UT's NCAA hopes in our eyes rest on the outcome against the Tide. A win and Sunday's a rubber stamp. A loss and Sunday becomes Super Stressful.

That said, a win today — to punch the dance card and to pop the Tide's bubble — would complete as sweet a week for UT fans since Bruce Pearl and the Vols made the Elite Eight and may be the best football week — Kelly committing on Sunday; Hurd on Thursday — since 2004. Which is both sad and energizing.

————

From LongShot

Someone mentioned this week about a TV comedy final four. That sounds awesome. If there was an NCAA-like TV comedy bracket who are your No. 1 seeds and who make the Final Four?

LongShot,

Great question, and one we hope everyone chimes in on. Ground rules: These are 30-minute sitcoms. Variety shows would be another category, and trying to rank SNL would be tough.

Our No. 1 seeds will be: Cheers, I Love Lucy, All in the Family, Seinfeld.

Our 2 seeds will be: Simpsons, Cosby Show, M*ASH, Honeymooners

Our 3 seeds will be: Mary Tyler Moore, Frasier, The Office, Taxi

Our 4 seeds will be: Friends, Arrested Development, Modern Family, Dick Van Dyke Show

We'll have our bracket and winners later. And feel free to weigh in on any and all of the above topics.

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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hometownhero said...

5-at-10: very well said on the Shulman response. Although I would have made more of a big stink about how disrespectful that was to Wes Moore and the Lady Mocs. But that's just me.

Objectively speaking, either JMC47 is John Shulman's mother or they just never watch basketball. Shulman's not a completely bad coach--and honestly I felt like his last two recruiting classes were really quite good. That being said, Shulman is a horrible developer of talent. His kids come in with loads of potential but they hardly ever improve year to year. That can't happen in college basketball. Also, if you watch any of his games, it doesn't take long to see that he just isn't a good motivator or X's and O's guy.

Last point which I just thought about. Think about these names: Chris Early, Farad Cobb, Ridge Mckeither, Q Waddell, Matt Gwynn, Josh Odom, Jasper Williams.. all of these guys, either transferred or kicked of the team within a year or two. And all of these guys were on the Mocs in the last four years..

March 15, 2013 at 10:46 a.m.
chas9 said...

JMC47's Mocs question was thoughtful and the answer was even better. Thanks. Years ago, in the Gammon/Searcy era, as a Times copyboy I got to see how the sausage is made and your reminder of the planning stages for each issue is a good reminder.

I love when you channel Chuck. Could you please channel what he really says after getting out of that sardine can called a Buick LaCrosse? (Out-take version, not the actual ad when he says "That's way more than I expected.") I expect this ad to disappear quickly soon as the dimwits at Buick realize The Round Mound of Rebound really looks uncomfortable in the interior shot.

The one and two comedy seeds are too close to call, so I won't quibble, though I'd put The Simpsons on the top line (pending a ruling on whether animated shows compete in another league). From your response to the original query, I know you're not a huge Friends fan. The Fiends aren't in my sweet 16 at all. And I'd find room for WKRP and a Newhart show.

Add another round to the bracket, and I'd include Kotter, Golden Girls, King of the Hill, South Park, Murphy Brown and Andy Griffith.

March 15, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
orangeguy said...

Your 1's are nearly impossible to argue with. I think Frasier's a 2 and I've never seen an episode of Arrested Development or Modern Family. Andy Griffith & Everybody Loves Raymond replaces those two for me.

Simpsons vs. Seinfeld & Raymond vs. Frasier in my final 4 faves. Office beat at the buzzer by Simpsons in previous round. Seinfeld wins it all.

Great response to JMC. Hard to argue for Shulman at this point... Which I hate because he's just good people.

A win over Bama today coupled with football off-field success and spring practice getting underway would equal Vols best weekend since Pearl got us into the Elite 8. Seriously. Not equivalent to, but best since, IMO.

Falcons Mike Smith has to be under the gun now, right? No more excuses for early exits at least for next 2 years.

March 15, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Great bit of writing about Coach John...keep one thing in mind, a lame duck season is a huge possibility the longer it takes to find an AD, does anyone really see Shulman giving up??? Rodney was kept around for his final year, and the damage was repairable, the question being are hoops beyond repair???

Your #1 seeds are spot on...My 2's would be Family Guy, Simpson's, Honeymooners, and MASH...Number 3's The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP, Married With Children...4's are Dick Van Dyke, Newhart (the greatest series finale in history), SOAP, and Andy Griffith

Great Caddyshack reference! IT'S EASY TO GRIN WHEN YOUR SHIP COMES IN...HOW ABOUT A FRESCA!!!!

March 15, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
JS said...

Shulman needs to go, but it might not happen anytime soon.

March 15, 2013 at 12:18 p.m.
JS said...

I'm a Mocs fan and UTC graduate, but Shulman's time is up. The program has fizzled since the Mocs made their last tournament appearance. Mindaugas had just won the slam dunk contest and Jimmy Fallon featured the Mocs on his show. The publicity was not capitalized on and the program has gone downhill since. Unfortunately a new AD is the priority, so a new head coach search will not take place until the AD is hired.

Also, you need to be more specific when you say the University of Tennessee. Last I checked, that is the name of the university system, so that is quite confusing to this UTC grad. I believe University of Tennessee at Knoxville is the correct name, which is why their website is www .utk.edu.

March 15, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Unlike college football there is not a rush to hire/fire a basketball coach. This UTC team has 4 of 5 starters returning and 4 or 5 on the bench coming back. You also have 3 fall signees coming. You really only need to sign 1 or 2 now, and if you dont you can sign additional players in the fall.So really you can hire a new coach as late as June, as long as the new coach is in place by the July 3rd evaluation period you are fine. Remember, we hired Mac McCarthy in August and things worked out and we hired Jeff Lebo 3 weeks AFTER the final four. Charleston didnt hire Cremins until June. . . . so this SEC football mentality that you have to have a new coach in place as fast as possible to sign 20-25 players is much different than college basketball. . . so there is plenty of time for the new AD, who should be here late May/Early June to make this work out. There will be plenty of good coaches that would be interested in this job

March 15, 2013 at 1:46 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Jay, great honest response to JMC's question. I was a bit surprised at the TFP's poll results though. Even though it is hardly scientific, as you noted, I expected the "fire-Shulman" percentage to be in the high 80s. Maybe there is more love for Shulman around these parts than what it has seemed. Maybe it's just that the loudest folks are the ones who want him gone.

This season went about as well as I had hoped for this year given how young and inexperienced the team was. However, without the injuries (and Cobb's lack of self-discipline), this team would have certainly gotten at least a bye in the tourney. Shulman has proven that he can coach and get us to the top and I think that next year this bunch could be scary good.

All that said, I think Shulman has coached his final game at UTC. With all that's been said and done, and with all the changes being made (Chancellor, AD, and the Arena), I think Shulman will eventually agree to some sort of buyout and move on. An extension will not be happening. If I were him, I'd be searching for new employment right now.

As far as game attendance goes, part of the issue has to do with scheduling. There is no good reason why the Vols (wimps) can't set up a home-and-home with us. And if the other schools won't agree to a simple home-and-home, we need to make some offers they can't refuse like...we'll come to your place 3 times if you come to our house once. Get a few regional teams on board with this like Kansas, Duke, UNC, Indiana, and Georgia Tech. Having at least one of those teams visit each year would certainly help.

In regard to Wes Moore, is there any chance he would be interested in coaching the men? If not, why not?

March 15, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Gang —

Sorry for the tardy response. Been a busy morning and had a job shadow for most of the morning. (And we're pretty sure the glitz and the glam of being a sports editor, i.e., budget meetings and planning sessions, put the young lad to sleep. So it goes.)

We appreciate the kind words about the Shulman response. We wanted to be fair and tried to be as polite as possible because the question was asked honestly and with obvious care. We even sent the response this morning to a couple of folks we respect who are closely tied to Mocs hoops to make sure we were polite.

HTH —

Nice list of names. And each of those had lofty hopes, Early especially. And watching them as freshmen, there were flashes from Odom and Cobb in particular that had the look of future All-SoCon type of player. That said, dismissing players happens at every school for a slew of reasons. We're not defending those kids or degrading John for those decisions. They know what happened; the 5-at-10 doesn't and never the twain shall meet.

9er —

Is that Chuck or Shaq in the Buick Commericals — although the way Chuck's knocking back Big Macs, those two may weigh roughly the same?

Orange —

You bet the heat is on Mike Smith. Heck, the way these Falcons have been assembled, it's Super Bowl or non-success.

OG —

The lame duck scenario could be crippling. It would have been crippling for the football team but the combination of Russ being pretty doggone good at his job and a 4-star, future NFL QB realizing Lane Kiffin's a dolt and coming home to Chattanooga happened at the same time.

That's a tall order and a select group of circumstances to duplicate.

JS —

It may not happen, you're correct about that. We tend to agree with Jomo that the timing with a roster that will return almost in tact means UTC and the new honchos could make moves into the summer and still be OK.

And we can see your point about UTK. It doesn't mean it will change, but we can see your point.

Side note: Is there any school in America that needs the city designation than Auburn. Auburn University in Auburn seems even sillier than it sounds or reads.

Stew —

The schedule could be better, for sure. But attedance has no chance to improve until the energy there returns.

Think about the old I-AA title game before it left town. That game became a fun event to go to because it was a fun event (and as obvious as that reads it's pretty true).

UTC hoops right now feels like an obligation... For everyone — coaches, players, fans, media.

Our TV picks will come shortly and some e-mail blasts from other 5-at-10 readers.

— 5-at-10

March 15, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Seinfeld is the #1 seed, the East Region is loaded, followed by Midwest.

South Region: 1-Andy Griffith Show (North Carolina) 2-King of the Hill (Texas) 3-The Golden Girls (Florida) 4-Evening Shade (Arkansas) 5-Green Acres (Hooterville) 6-Designing Women (Atlanta) 7-Dave’s World (Miami), 8-I Dream of Jeannie (Florida) 9-Reba (Houston) 10-Petticoat Junction (Hooterville) 11-My Name is Earl (unnamed Southern state) 12-Frank’s Place (New Orleans) 13-House of Payne (Atlanta) 14-Meet the Browns (Atlanta) 15-The Flying Nun (Puerto Rico) 16-Empty Nest (Miami)

East Region 1-Seinfeld (New York) 2-Cheers (Boston) 3-Newhart (Vermont) 4-All in the Family (New York) 5-Friends (New York) 6-The Odd Couple (New York) 7-Taxi (New York) 8-Barney Miller (New York) 9-How I Met Your Mother (New York) 10-I Love Lucy (New York?) 11-Dick Van Dyke Show (New York?) 12-The Cosby Show 13-Soap (Connecticut), 14-Night Court (New York) 15-Wings (Rhode Island) 16-King of Queens (New York)

Midwest Region 1-Bob Newhart Show (Chicago) 2-Happy Days (Milwaukee, shark episode not included) 3-Married with Children (Chicago) 4-WKRP (Cincinnati) 5-Family Ties (Ohio) 6-Home Improvement (Michigan) 7-That 70s Show (Wisconsin) 8-Good Time (Chicago) 9-Coach (Minnesota) 10-Mary Tyler Moore (Minnesota) 11-Laverne and Shirley (Milwaukee) 12-Drew Carey Show (Cleveland) 13-According to Jim (Chicago) 14-One Day at a Time (Indianapolis) 15-Martin (Detroit) 16-The Middle (Indiana)

West Region 1-MASH (Korea) 2-The Big Bang Theory (LA) 3-Beverly Hillbillies (LA) 4-Frasier (Seattle) 5-Two and a Half Men (LA) 6-Three’s Company (LA) 7-Sanford and Son (LA) 8-Bernie Mac Show (LA) 9-Mork and Mindy (Colorado) 10-Gilligan’s Island (South Pacific) 11-Fresh Prince (LA) 12-Dharma and Greg (San Francisco) 13-Alice (Arizona) 14-Community (Colorado) 15-What’s Happening (LA) 16-The Brady Bunch (LA)

March 15, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.
jgreeson said...

LB —

Wow. Simply wow.

Nitpick all you want, but this level of detail and creativity makes this the official bracket. It's in the books. (Yes, The Honeymooners have a real beef with the selection committee, but some bad losses early can cost you.)

And before we breakdown our Elite Eight matchups we have to relay UTC ace John Frierson's comment when he saw your bracket:

"Hope that guy is not a government employee."

— 5-at-10

March 15, 2013 at 2:49 p.m.
orangeguy said...

@LaughingBoy uh... Wow

March 15, 2013 at 2:49 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show BillyinBrainerd —

Jay-G,

Looks like my question below did not make the early cut today, so I will ask again: What is Coach Shulman’s Division I career record ?

Maybe you can include the answer in one of your responses later today. Also, for whatever reason, I still cannot post a comment on the T-FP web-site.

Thanks

BillyInBrainerd

March 15, 2013 at 2:50 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Dude just went Beautiful Mind on us...

March 15, 2013 at 2:53 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Honeymooners should have been in there. Modern Family but I was unsure on the location.

As far as the time used on this, "Wikipedia is our friend"

March 15, 2013 at 2:55 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Orange —

If we get in dutch with the IRS, we want LB coming to the rescue. Is he an accountant? Who knows?

Money. Pure money.

BillyinBrainerd —

Going through the old schedules, we got Shulman at 25-0 against non-Division I teams — and there were a few we had to look up.

If our checking was correct, that would make Shulman 120-146 against D-I opponents.

962 —

Beautiful Mind or "247 toothpicks, defintely 247 toothpicks.... 12 minutes to Wapner."

Either way, we're all better off because of it.

War Laughing Boy.

— 5-at-10

March 15, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent (part I)

Now things really get interesting.

After yesterday, I have 18 teams for nine spots.

Atlantic 10- Temple, LaSalle, Massachusetts ACC- Virginia, Maryland Big 12- Oklahoma Big Ten- Minnesota, Iowa Conference USA- Memphis Mountain West- Boise State Pac 12- California SEC- Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Alabama Southland- Stephen F. Austin Sun Belt- Middle Tennessee WCC- Saint Mary's

Here's the deal- Memphis has 10 Top 100 wins, but their best win (RPI-wise) is over Southern Miss (who I refuse to include on my bubble on the premise that they have beaten just one Top 95 RPI team all year long). The Tigers next best? Tennessee. Ummm....not exactly that of a lock at this point. Win today, get to the CUSA Championship Game, and then it is a lock, I think. California is just 6-10 against RPI Top 100 teams. I don't see them as a lock at this point. Oklahoma is probably in at this stage. Massachusetts, Maryland, Iowa, Ole Miss, and Alabama all need to keep on winning in their conference tournaments- probably multiple more games. Stephen F. Austin beat Oklahoma. (I'm beginning to feel a little Drexel/Syracuse of a few years back about this, when Drexel beat Syracuse and everyone had them on the bubble but the Orange comfortably in, and then both missed the tournament, and no one could believe that Syracuse got left out.) Stephen F. Austin is a great defensive team. I'd enjoy seeing them in the tournament, and think they could give a favorite a run for their money.

Now onto the new category: bid thieves. These are teams still alive in the A-10, ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, C-USA, Mountain West, Pac 12, or SEC tournament that is not already on the bubble. If they win, they steal a bid from a bubble team. Obviously, the earlier in the tournament you are, the more likely you are to be on this list, and the less likely you are to win the tournament. Probably safe to ignore the SEC teams on this list for another day, in other words.

Boston College Florida State Charlotte St. Joseph's Nebraska Tulsa UTEP Southern Miss Utah LSU Vanderbilt

SCHEDULE OF BUBBLE TEAMS AND BID THIEVES TODAY:

12:00 Boston College-Miami 12:00 Charlotte- Saint Louis 1:00 Florida-LSU 2:00 North Carolina State-Virginia 2:30 Butler-LaSalle 3:00 Tennessee-Alabama 4:00 UTEP-Southern Miss 6:00 Southeastern Louisiana-Stephen F. Austin 6:30 Tulsa- Memphis 6:30 Ohio State-Nebraska 6:30 St. Joseph's-VCU 7:00 Maryland-Duke 7:30 Vanderbilt-Kentucky 9:00 Iowa-Michigan State 9:00 Massachusetts-Temple 9:00 Florida State-North Carolina 10:00 Missouri-Ole Miss 11:30 Utah-Oregon

March 15, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent (part II)

By the way- semi-awkward position for the Vols today.

What's the easiest way for the Vols to win today and NOT make the tournament? Probably for them to lose to a team they should beat (AKA a bad loss) without adding a good win. In other words, a loss to LSU tomorrow could be very damaging. A loss to Florida- not so much. So while an LSU upset of Florida helps their position in the SEC Tournament, it hurts their NCAA Tournament position.

Other way? Several "bid thieves" winning the conference tournaments. So, again, an LSU win over Florida keeps a bid thief alive, while a Florida win goes ahead and eliminates one.

So in some really weird, sick, twisted, bubble universe, Vol fans are cheering for Florida today.

March 15, 2013 at 3:02 p.m.
chas9 said...

Seems odd to me that the team seeded #6 in the SEC tournament is IN the Big Dance, while the #2 seed is barely, maybe IN and the #3 seed is probably OUT.

Coach Stallings says "our guys are not afraid" of KY. Should they be?

March 15, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Frasier is one of those great underrated comedies. It had longevity, plus great acting and great writing and remained fresh through its run. Think about how long the Frasier Crane character was on TV.

I think the Big Bang Theory merits consideration and where do you stand on The Larry Sanders Show, 5? Does it fit the sitcom hole? Regardless (irregardless ... that's one just for you, big fella), it is one of the funniest shows of all time.

Was Three's Company set in LA or San Diego (San Diegans? San Diegites?)

The Office has not closed well. Had a strong start but it has faded down the stretch. Might be a tough out in the NIT but it's late failing I think puts it on the bubble. You lose Steve Carell and it took a lot of the offense with it.

It's hard to imagine a Final Four without Seinfield or Cheers. I say a great double digit seed with an upset or two in its future would be Police Squad. A limited run but what looked what it spawned - the entire Police Squad movie franchise.

March 15, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Here we go:

South Region first round winners

1-Andy Griffith Show (North Carolina)

2-King of the Hill (Texas)

3-The Golden Girls (Florida)

4-Evening Shade (Arkansas)

5-Green Acres (Hooterville)

8-I Dream of Jeannie (Florida)

10-Petticoat Junction (Hooterville)

11-My Name is Earl (unnamed Southern state)

Second round:

1-Andy Griffith Show (North Carolina)

2-King of the Hill (Texas)

4-Evening Shade (Arkansas)

11-My Name is Earl (unnamed Southern state)

Sweet 16

1-Andy Griffith Show (North Carolina)

2-King of the Hill (Texas) — in a buzzer beater over My Name is Earl

FINAL FOUR BOUND —

King of the Hill (hey, we love Andy, Opie, Bea, Barney and the gang as much as anyone, but this show has aged like a fine wine; plus, if we're going to penalize shows for finishing poorly, when Barney left and color arrived, well, most folks won't even watch those old episodes from Mayberry.)

March 15, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.
jgreeson said...

East Region

First round winners

1-Seinfeld (New York)

2-Cheers (Boston)

3-Newhart (Vermont)

4-All in the Family (New York)

9-How I Met Your Mother (New York)

10-I Love Lucy (New York?)

11-Dick Van Dyke Show (New York?)

12-The Cosby Show

Second round

1-Seinfeld (New York)

2-Cheers (Boston)

3-Newhart (Vermont)

4-All in the Family (New York)

Sweet 16

1-Seinfeld (New York)

2-Cheers (Boston)

FINAL FOUR BOUND

Seinfeld — Brutal bracket. Simply brutal

March 15, 2013 at 5:06 p.m.
chas9 said...

Spy's right that Big Bang is strong. And it reminds me of another show I liked, Third Rock.

And Andy in living color was just odd.

Yes, of course it is Dr. Shaq that they greased up and slid into a tight Buick. Only tighter fit is Oprah in Spanx.

I was in too big a hurry to slip the greatest sports nickname ever into my post (Round Mound of Rebound) and to urge 5 ball to channel Sir Chas one more time.

The Cuonz sure can coach, but is he the boringest interview ever? Straight from the sports cliches textbook. Seems like they chose the anti-Pearl.

March 15, 2013 at 5:09 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Midwest Region

First round

1-Bob Newhart Show (Chicago)

2-Happy Days (Milwaukee, shark episode not included)

3-Married with Children (Chicago)

4-WKRP (Cincinnati)

5-Family Ties (Ohio)

6-Home Improvement (Michigan)

9-Coach (Minnesota)

10-Mary Tyler Moore (Minnesota)

Second round winners

1-Bob Newhart Show (Chicago)

5-Family Ties (Ohio)

6-Home Improvement (Michigan)

10-Mary Tyler Moore (Minnesota)

Sweet 16 winners

5-Family Ties (Ohio)

10-Mary Tyler Moore (Minnesota)

Final Four

10-Mary Tyler Moore (Minnesota) in a barn burner, and to be fair, Family Ties was one of favs forever.

March 15, 2013 at 5:10 p.m.
jgreeson said...

West Region

First round winners

1-MASH (Korea)

2-The Big Bang Theory (LA)

3-Beverly Hillbillies (LA)

4-Frasier (Seattle)

5-Two and a Half Men (LA)

6-Three’s Company (LA)

9-Mork and Mindy (Colorado)

10-Gilligan’s Island (South Pacific)

Second round winners

1-MASH (Korea)

2-The Big Bang Theory (LA)

4-Frasier (Seattle)

6-Three’s Company (LA)

Sweet 16 winners

2-The Big Bang Theory

4-Frasier

Final Four Bound

4-Frasier (and MASH was bounced because as great as the first six seasons were as a comedy, when Alan Alda took control of the script and the direction and it became a 30-social commentary/com-dram, well, that's the same thing as missing a bunch of free throws down the stretch.

March 15, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.
jgreeson said...

So the Final Four is

King of the Hill vs. Seinfeld

and

Mary Tyler Moore vs. Fraiser

Wow, matchups are everything, and there were some great matchups.

That's our view, and well-played LB, well-played indeed.

March 15, 2013 at 5:17 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stressful 48 hours on tap for The Conz and the Vols.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

And Senator, love the suit.

March 15, 2013 at 5:57 p.m.
bigguy said...

JG - I tried to follow your commentary, but there were so many grammatical errors that made no sense. I was lost most of the way. Did you, by chance, major in something besides English?

March 15, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.
JCM47 said...

Jay - I appreciate your thorough response to my comments. I still stand by them, but I respect your opinion.

Hometownhero - My comments about the Lady Mocs were not disrespectful. (The only thing disrespectful was your suggestion that I am John's mother.) It's true that their roster is far superior to the other teams in the conference and they should beat the rest of the league consistently, which they do. It's not like Wes does anything particularly complicated with them strategically. They rarely press or change defenses and the offense is pretty vanilla. But it all works because they have a great roster. On the other hand, John mixes things up offensively and defensively with the Mocs, using a lot of defenses and presses, while also running a good variety of offensive sets. He just hasn't had the good fortune of recruits panning out like they should. We just need that one superstar to sign with the program to turn things around. (Where was Davidson before they lucked into Curry?) You just never know when those lucky signings will re-ignite the program (i.e Gerald Wilkins, BJ Coleman)

March 15, 2013 at 11:33 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Big Guy —

Um, OK.

Thanks for reading and participating in the discourse.

JCM —

Thanks, and I appreciate your opinion. One of the things that makes sports so much fun is differing opinions and sharing them.

Thanks for the question, it made for a good discussion.

— 5-at-10

March 16, 2013 at 6:39 a.m.
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