published Monday, October 21st, 2013

5-at-10: College football madness, Manning has no Luck in Indy and who won the weekend

  • photo
    Robin Thicke, left, and Miley Cyrus perform "Blurred Lines" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

What an awesome weekend. Outstanding even.

Let's get to work before we have to get to work. Work. Or as Miley Cyrus would say, let's get to twerk before we go to twerk.

Are we to a point that we can sub in the word twerk in like the Smurfs do with 'smurf' in just about any situation?

From the "Talks too much" studio, grab a brew, don't cost nothin.

College football rewind

Wow. Is there much more to say?

Wow. There were so many monster moments from Saturday. Can we rank which team had the best day?

Here's our ballot:

1) Auburn rolls into College Station and lands a 45-41 shocker over Johnny Football and the Aggies. This one tops our list because it was on the road against a high-quality opponent — which also happened to beat the living stuffing out of Auburn last year — that catapulted Auburn to 11th in the BCS standings. (Side note: StuckinKent's computer poll has had Auburn in the low teens for a few weeks now. Well played indeed Stuck's computer.) The win — coupled with LSU's stunning loss at Ole Miss — means Auburn joins Alabama and Missouri as the only teams with complete control of their SEC fate.

2) Tennessee ends a five-season streak against ranked foes — against the Ol' Ball Coach, no less. There's a fair argument to be made that for what it meant in the moment and the degree of difficulty, that Marquez North's one-handed, fourth-quarter catch in double coverage was the best catch in Tennessee football history.

3) Central Florida does the nation a favor by folding the House of Cards on Friday night. Hey George O'Leary, it may be time to polish up that resume. What? What did we say? Too soon? C'mon.

4) Missouri is for real, beating Florida and taking a two-game lead in the SEC East, which had the Gators, the Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs each lose a conference game on the same Saturday since 2004. The Tigers were one of five in-conference SEC upsets. The Tigers were +3; Vandy was +7.5 and beat UGA straight-up; Tennessee was +7 and beat USC; Ole Miss was +10 and beat LSU on a last-second field goal; Auburn was +14 and won at Texas A&M. According to RJ Bell, if you had wagered $100 bucks on a parlay on those five to win straight-up it would have paid more than $63,000.

5) Florida State, which grabbed the No. 2 spot in the initial BCS standings with an overwhelming, anyone-else-got-any-questions 51-17 win at Clemson. Jameis Winston meet the world; world meet Jameis Winston.

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BCS rankings

Even though their Saturday was very impressive, Alabama likely enjoyed Sunday more. (Side note of the two of the Fab 4-plus-1 picks that hit, Alabama was one everyone should have been heavy on, considering in the days leading up to the game, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema mentioned Alabama freshman Altee Tenpenny, saying he told the Arkansas native running back he would be fourth-string at Alabama. There's pulling Superman's cape, there's poking a sleeping bear with a stick and there's calling out Nick Saban before a game about something involving recruiting. We're surprised it was only 52-0. #karma.)

What we're not surprised by is that Alabama is atop the BCS standings that were released Sunday.

Alabama's the best team in the country. No. 2 Florida State may have the best player in prodigy QB Jameis Winston, who was masterful in the Seminoles' showdown beatdown at Clemson. No. 3 Oregon may have the best offense. No. 4 Ohio State certainly has the easiest schedule. No. 5 Missouri may be the biggest surprise, but...

Alabama is the best team. Period.

Think of it this way, despite all of the complaining and bemoaning about this area needing to step forward and that group has underperformed, if you take a 49-42 road trip win over then-No. 6 Texas A&M, the Tide have pummeled everyone and every thing in their path.

Their closest game in their other six wins is 25 points and their average margin of victory overall is 31. In fact, other than Johnny Football's circus act in College Station, Alabama has allowed all of two TDs — a 77-yard by Virginia Tech and a 30-yard pass by Kentucky — in 24 quarters.

Yep, the BCS may face controversy about which team deserves to be No. 2, but there is no debate about which team should be No. 1.

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Welcome back, now take this

The Indy fans showed much love for Peyton Manning in his return Sunday night to face the Colts. In a fitting and understated tribute before the game, Manning took his helmet off and placed his hand over his heart as he mouthed "Thank You" several times during the long standing ovation.

  • photo
    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning smiles following an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

It was good times. Everything after that though was great times for the current Colts, who rallied around the moment and All-Pro quarterback in waiting Andrew Luck and delivered a complete and thorough 39-33 win that was not as close as the score would indicate.

It's difficult to know whether all the background noise distracted Manning, who continued his aerial high-wire act with 386 yards and three more TDs in the lose. It was amazingly easy to see that the Colts were motivated by the moment, however. Indy was the better team in each phase, including discipline, winning the turnover battle 3-to-1 and committing half as many penalties.

If you don't want to answer the college football questions below, here's one for you:

What's your Rushmore of Most Untocuhable/tradable athletes in all of sports? Andrew Luck is definitely there. LeBron is there because there's not enough out there to warrant moving King James. Kershaw maybe? Aaron Rodger? Kevin Durant?

Discuss with the athlete who you think GM X would say, "You want to trade for (blank)? Bwah-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha." Click.

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This and that

— We had a lot of fun on the radio with the Camel 'Hump Day' Geico commercial. Now, the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki are having some fun too. From JMC in the Dallas office, here's the clip.

— We said good-bye to two underrated football coaches this weekend as former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips and Former Washington coach Don James died. Phillips was an all-time quote machine — a country Les Miles is a fair press conference comparison — and one of the founding architects of the 3-4 defense. James' coaching tree is sneaky impressive considering two of the hottest coaches in college football — Nick Saban and Missouri's Gary Pinkel are among his disciples.

  • photo
    UTC Mocs player Davis Tull poses for a portrait at Finley Stadium.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
    enlarge photo

— Nice win for the Mocs and kudos to Davis Tull for setting the school sacks mark. UTC did not allow a TD in the 20-9 win over Elon and is now 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Southern Conference. Of course, as JMC also noted over the weekend, the Mocs bring a three-game winning streak into a home game this week. That's the good news. The bad news: The 2 p.m. kickoff is going to be affected by the 3:30 Alabama-Tennessee game.

— Also of note, Mr. Keon Williams went over the 100-yard mark again for the Mocs. Trying to think who said he would have a breakout season.... Hmmmm.... Through seven games, Williams is averaging 98 yards a game and 6.0 yards a carry and has 10 total TDs (nine rushing, one receiving).

— Tough loss for the Titans on Sunday, but that had as much to do with the opponent, a very good San Francisco bunch. Fine win for the Falcons on Sunday, but without Julio Jones that had as much to do with the opponent, a very blah Tampa Bay bunch.

— Jamie McMurray won at Talladega, which normally means you go fast turn left and avoid trouble. There was a noticeable absence of the big wreck that has become commonplace at the superspeedways. And with the absence of the unaccountable, it should remain as no-surprise that five-time Jimmie Johnson now has the points lead with four races left.

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Today's question

This one is pretty straight forward:

Who had the biggest win this weekend and why?

You can make an argument that it's any number of SEC teams. You could make the argument that it's Florida State. Heck, the Colts have a beef too.

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.
MocTastic said...

Wondering if the Colts kicker is going to get fined and/or suspended for that helmet on helmet action last night, still no word on it from the announcers....

For those who didn't see it http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/20/pat-mcafee-hit-trindon-holliday_n_4133809.html

Ndamukong Suh is also wondering if he will get fined....

If he had been ejected during the game, would it have made a difference?

October 21, 2013 at 10:11 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Babe Ruth was sold, Willie Mays, Johnny Unitas, Hank Aaron, and many others were traded...there is no such thing as an untouchable, never has been, just has to be the right time or the right deal.

October 21, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent — Current computer rankings:

1) Florida State

2) Alabama

3) Oregon

4) Missouri

5) Baylor

6) Stanford

7) Ohio State

8) LSU

9) Arizona State

10) UCLA

11) Clemson

12) Auburn

13) Texas Tech

and Miami (the other major conference unbeaten) is #16.

Computer has been high on FSU and Missouri for weeks....

Everyone needs to calm down about the BCS rankings- these things have a way of working themselves out. I don't get the current paranoia surrounding what happens if FSU, Alabama, and Oregon all win out. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'll bet on that not happening, just because it almost never does....(Auburn fans are allowed to roll their eyes right now and scream, "BUT IT DOES SOMETIMES!!!!")

October 21, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

Glad you enjoyed the clip. Whoever said Dirk is not willing to parody himself in a mash-up to market the team is crazy.

Definite big win for the Mizzou Tigers. While both a battle hardened South Carolina team and a vastly improve Tennessee team come visiting in Columbia, a Gamecock win and an upset by Tennessee (Got pull for Orange Nation on this one) all but assures Ozark nation a Carl Stone-Cold Lock of the Century...of the Week in the SEC East.

I wouldn't be upset if only 3,000 show up for Saturday's game. It is Tennessee/Alabama after all that they are competing against. Citadel should be a good match-up in leau of apparently a much weaker Appy State team the following weekend. Heck, even Western Carolina played better against power house Wofford then Yosef & Co. did against a Furman team we held to three field goals and no TDs.

Speaking of which, interesting write-up by THE John Frierson comparing Chattanooga with Fargo Drago* to the Northwest in regards to red zone offense and defense. Are we predicting something here?

*Play off a C-list Looney Tunes character; yes, I'm that good :P

I didn't watch Payton-fest for the simple reason I was burning out of football and the endless head-hurting commericals for beer, cars, and masculinity issues. People may hate seeing commericals on Hulu, but the one thing I DO like is that on Hulu, you get to switch out spots you don't care for spots you may find appealing (Unless you're watching the Awesomes in which case they "ho-up" Jack Link's Beef Jerky and their overkill Bigfoot spots u_u ::sigh::)

October 21, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.
jomo11 said...

I have been saying all along Peyton doesnt start throwing interceptions until the big games. . . like last night. . .Looks like Irsay made the right call with Luck over Peyton . . .Mocs are on a roll . . .What a great College Football Saturday, great game after great game. . .I predict Butchy and his boys dont score a touchdown vs. Bama. . . big buildup for probably a 36-9 type game

October 21, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

Yep, a targeting call on a punter is head-scratching indeed.

True, eventually every one is expendable, especially in the NFL.

But in their heyday, none of those guys was going anywhere. Who's that in today's sports — and you could make an argument that Durant is every bit as untouchable as James.

Stuck —

"BUT IT DOES SOMETIMES!!!!"

JMC —

Thanks for the Dirk clip. Good times.

And Missouri's storyline just keeps getting more interesting.

Jomo —

It was a great Saturday. Simply sublime.

And if forced to pick a score, we think that is a pretty good starting point.

October 21, 2013 at 11:53 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Herschel Walker was traded in his heyday...for every Viking draft pick for something like two years. Those picks built a team that won SuperBowls for Dallas. If I was a GM, anybody and everybody would be available, for the right deal. Another one that was traded at the top of his game, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Wilt Chamberlin also moved during his prime.

October 21, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Heh heh heh ... O'Liary ... heh heh heh. Still don't know why "Falcons get Blank check" wasn't chosen. I mean, it's better than ... "Lockheed!" (those are for 5, who understands their significance like no one else)

How bout the Sox fans signing along with "Three Little Birds" as Victorino stepped up to hit his slam? And I don't know I've heard the ballpark get that loud in the after it landed in the seats.

And thank you Florida, LSU, A&M, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina and I'm leaving one other out because I can't recall it for not - repeat, not - even coming close to covering the spread.

October 21, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

If you are Jim Irsay and you own the Colts, what would it take to move Luck?

Spy —

That O'Leary line was typed with you in mind sit.

The series will be more fun watching two extremely smart and loud fan bases trying to help their clubs.

Good times.

October 21, 2013 at 12:08 p.m.
Stewwie said...

The Broncos would have won that game last night had their RB not fumbled at the goal line with over 2 minutes left. Had the Colts played their next possession conservatively, the Broncos had the timeouts to get the ball back and drive down for the game winning FG (like they did on their last drive anyway). How many times have Peyton's teammates let him down in the clutch be it a RB, WR, DB, or kicker? Seems like it has happened a lot, but the blame always goes on Peyton when there's not a W.

The Mocs game attendance will take a hit Saturday as some of you have said. Nippy weather + mediocre opponent + same time slot as TN vs. Bama = 7,000 max at the game.

October 21, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

"BUT IT DOES SOMETIMES!!!!" Sorry, couldn't help myself. Not being a big Nascar fan, but couldn't help but notice that McMurray was driving the Auburn car to turn left in.
Fun weekend of football, but you have to figure that the SEC NC now solely rests with Bama. Any more major upsets and the SEC streak is over.

October 21, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

Sorry- I knew that wouldn't be a pleasant memory for you....

BTW, if i had had a vote in the poll in 2004, I would have voted Auburn #2. I had Auburn #1 heading into the SECCG that year, but decided that all three were very close. I decided that I would call it a tie and determine who belonged there based on their game that last day. Oklahoma was clearly the best team that day (did you see them dominate Colorado????) and Auburn was second. USC was clearly the third best team. Ironically, USC hammered Oklahoma in the title game, and with the way USC played THAT day, they probably would have beaten Auburn too. So who knows? But Auburn deserved a shot. They really did.....

October 21, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.
MocTastic said...

JG, okay, I am Colts GM. To move Luck it has to be a great deal. If this was spring of 2015 and the team with the overall number 1 pick was calling, I would talk. Given it is just his freshman year, but that kid Jameis Winston looks special. Package me a deal ala Herschel Walker, your first round pick for three consecutive years, your second round pick for three consecutive years, and a few other picks and I will be driving to your office to get your signature on the deal...not driving...flying, rent a jet if I have to. My point being, as PT Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute...and I if came across that sucker, such as was Vikings GM Mike Lynn, I would definitely talk trade. Odds are I would never move Luck because Mike Lynns don't come around often, sorta like Haley's Comet, but you should always be willing to consider it.

October 21, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
chas9 said...

Saturday was a good day to be a dog. Not a Dawg, but a dog. All the SEC dogs won (Bama's really in a league of its own). The Tide have now scored 111 unanswered points against The Hogs.

Butch and the boys have earned a little Aretha-style R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I'll stop hating on Worley. Seems to me The Vols deserved at least one vote in the AP poll. The Gus Bus has taken off so fast they may have to bring back Sandra Bullock for a Speed sequel.

Clearly the big win fills UT with confidence. What happens when Bama rips 'em a new one?

Tennessee's losing streak against ranked teams was longer than UK's.

They'd have tried to lock you up if you were crazy enough to predict Mizzou at #5 and The Other Tigers at #11 at the beginning of the season. Or even two weeks ago. No way Clemson should still be #9 or #10.

Conner Halliday threw 89 passes against The Ducks. Wait a minute. Yep, 89. Washington State ran the ball 12 times.

I introduced Famous Jameis in this space three weeks ago. It's clear who the first three teams will be in the championship picture. I predict Baylor is the fourth.

Happy 85th birthday to the great Whitey Ford today.

Does it seem to you that SEC teams this year have been beset by an unusually large number of injuries that matter?

If Auburn loses only to Bama and doesn't get into the top four, will fans scream "Screwed again"?

October 21, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stewwie —

7K is a pretty fair over/under. We'd take over 7,000 but not more than 8,500.

And the quarterback always gets too much praise when they win and blame when they lose, whether your names in Manning, Manziel or Manchurian.

McPell —

We think the Tide carries the best chance by far, but if Missouri runs the table — and in doing so beats an unbeaten Alabama in the SEC title game — how do you keep them out?

Stuck —

We don't think AU '04 would have beat USC. But you're right, they deserved a shot — and it would have been a much, Much, MUCH better game than that USC-OU beatdown.

MT —

There actually is a Herschel rule in the NFL books that you can only move so many draft picks in a single deal and we're pretty sure you can't move consecutive No. 1 picks in the same trade.

That said, you have a point that everyone has a price. So let's rephrase this way, who has the highest trade value in team sports?

9er —

Was a good day to be a 'dog.

There won't be a two-loss team in the top four, so no AU would not be belly-aching too loudly.

And yes, the SEC has been hammered by injuries, to the point that the SEC East will be about survival more than success.

October 21, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.
chas9 said...

Jay-- I love how your photoshop wizard put Miley Cyrus' head on your body. Twerk that thang!

October 21, 2013 at 1:44 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

"What an awesome weekend. Outstanding even." Shut up Jay. Okay, that was uncalled for on my part. Some of you did have an awesome weekend, outstanding even, but some of us got our faces stepped on with a hobnail boot and were left muttering things about sinking ships and atrocious special teams play.

The bad news for Bulldog Nation include: special teams that are anything but special. An injury riddled offense that has now gone so conservative with the play calling that The John Birch Society just made Mike Bobo an honorary member. A defense that, in spite of improved play Saturday, is still a work in progress at best. And Conley and Clemons joined the ranks of the battered and bruised. The good news is, the start of the women's gymnastics season is right around the corner. Hunker down ladies...Work that springboard girls!

Some drink to remember. Some drink to forget.

October 21, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Regarding the 2004 AU FB close call, I have 2 words: The Citadel. That was before the 12 game regular season schedule, and most big boy programs were not playing I-AA schools.

Billy-In-Brainerd

October 21, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

The miracles of science, indeed.

GD —

We may borrow the "John Birch" line. Well-played, sir, well-played indeed.

And remember, some drink to remember to forget.

BiB —

You know better than bringing facts into a college football argument.

How dare you sir.

Kidding. Mostly.

What's your over/under for Saturday at Finley?

October 21, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Finley - 8,000

October 21, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Announced attendance or actual? [Injured or suspended?] I will guess 6,000 at kickoff [2pm], with half that leaving by 3:30 to get somewhere to watch UT-bammer.

Billy-In-Brainerd

October 21, 2013 at 3:20 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Over/Under on the number of students at the Mocs game this Saturday in the student section--25.

October 21, 2013 at 3:42 p.m.
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