published Monday, October 28th, 2013

5-at-10: College football recap, Series drama, Testing Tiger, weekend winners and losers

Wow, that escalated in a hurry. Brick killed a guy.

From the "Talks too much" studios, if you were a tree, what tree would you be and if you were a tree that fell in the forest with no one around, would you make a noise? We say yes and we'd be a Dogwood. At Augusta. Good times.

Saturday splendor

The college football world became more defined and more confusing. It became more clear while becoming more clouded.

Basically we're dealing with a lot of stuff. And we all know that candlesticks make a nice gift, maybe find out where she's registered and get a nice placesetting. OK, let's get two. Better make it five.

— Alabama is pretty good at tackle football. We almost made the Tide minus-28 our final Fab 4-plus-1 pick (more on that to come) and we certainly knew there was trouble for the UT Vols on Friday when the main complaint from Nick Saban was the frat boys were leaving the blowouts early. Let's face it, Nick Saban is going to complain about something involving his football program. He's perfection's guardian and to be that he most pick nits and constantly remind those in and around his program that something is not perfect. Well, if the only thing left on his list is frat boys and their dates leaving 52-0 blowouts early to go find some cocktails, well, his football team is in pretty good working order. The first half of Alabama's 45-10 drubbing of Tennessee was flawless (of course Saban said he was not happy with the second half).

— One of Twitter followers shared that the FSU students were chanting "We want Bama," during the Seminoles drubbing of N.C. State. Uh, you may think you do but you don't. Well, actually you do want the shot — as TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer points out here the final run of the BCS may be the most unforgettably flawed — since there could be three or four unbeaten major conference champs eyeing a spot opposite Bama in the title game.

In some fitting space in the gap between irony and ironhead is the BCS going out like a toot in church. That said, in the 5-at-10 power poll that gauges how Vegas would weigh the top 10, here's a guess how the wise guys would rank the top 10 (as in who would be favored over every other team below them):

1) Alabama

2) Oregon (how great was that fake punt, by the way — major-league juevos for sure)

3) FSU

4) Baylor

5) LSU

6) Stanford

7) Clemson

8) Ohio State

9) Texas A&M

10) Miami

Again, this is not the 'most accomplished' or the 'best' rankings of anything. This is a guess how Vegas sees them, and in truth, since Vegas has skin in the game, those rankings should carry significant weight.

— The 'upset bug' toppled unbeatens Texas Tech and Missouri. We used the quotes around 'upset bug' because Texas Tech was actually getting points form Oklahoma and Missouri was only laying 2.5 to South Carolina. That was the one game we missed last week — and the stupid kicker missed two chip-shots, including one in regulation that would have iced the game — in our Fab 4-plus-1 picks. We hit BYU minus-7, over 51.5 in the Auburn game. over the 66 in the Baylor game and Buffalo plus-2 in a 20-point win over Kent State. Dang right it was a good day — didn't even have to use our AK. The 4-1 swing back into the path of righteousness moves us back to 10 games over .500 and 27-17-1 against the number, meaning if you wagered 100 entertainment credits on each of the Fab 4-plus-1 picks this year, you'd be 820 entertainment credits to the good (that's minus the entertainment commission for your local entertainment broker, of course).

— Big ups to the UTC Mocs for delivering in the final moments in Saturday's win over El Cid. In what sounded like a sluggish and physical game, the Mocs scored with two minutes left for a 28-24 win that was big on several levels. It is win No. 6 overall and the Mocs' fourth in a row. It was a game UTC should have won and it did win — a threshold the program needs to step through consistently. It was a win when the Mocs did not play especially well, something that has been a headache for a while. It was a win overcoming adversity, losing your leading rusher before you take an offensive snap would have been an easy excuse. But the Mocs didn't need excuses because they finished what they started. Was it pretty? Not sure — but it looks mighty fine in the left-hand column of the standings. And we got a preemptive email from JMC that will surely stir the drink later this morning about Saturday. We'll post it in a few.

— Weekend winners and losers: Winner — David Cutcliffe and Duke beating Va. Tech. Loser — Missouri stubbing its toe against South Carolina. (Side note: Conner Shaw is a flat gamer. Dude came off the bench injured and willed South Carolina to a 'W' on the road. Dude's a winner.) Winner — Unbeaten teams Alabama, Oregon, THE Ohio State, FSU and Baylor CRUSHING conference foes. Loser — BCS. Winner — Auburn, sweet buckets what a turnaround. And a little of everything — Johnny Football. Dude can light it up on Saturday, but then he comes out and says he wants to party with Sheen, Gronk and Tiger.

————

Series drama

And now it's a best-of-three to decide the intergalactic supreme superforce in baseball. Side question, since there are only two countries represented, why is this the World Series? Shouldn't this be the North American Series? Does the Japan baseball championship team just get hacked off to the Nth degree about this 'World Series' assumption we're making?

  • photo
    Boston Red Sox's Koji Uehara, catcher David Ross and Mike Napoli (12) celebrate after Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in St. Louis. The Red Sox won 4-2 to ties the series at 2-2.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Where were we? Oh, yes, a twisting, turning World Series that may not have everyone's attention over a football-packed landscape, but a drama-filled, highlight/lowlight-riddle affair that has rewarded those who have watched late into the crisp fall night.

How crazy has this been? Well, know this, it's not a surprise that we seem destined for a Game 7 that is scheduled for Halloween night.

The Cards winning Game 3 on a walk-off error. The Red Sox winning Game on a three-run homer from a replacement outfielder and a game-ending pick-off. Good times, unless of course you are the Cards pinch-runner who was picked off first to end Sunday night's game with Carlos Beltran at the plate in a 4-2 game. OUCH-standing.

This of course is the recap, and with the Red Sox and Cardinals tied at 2, tonight's game 5 in St. Louis is must-win for the Cardinals since the final two games are back in Boston.

Tonight Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester will pitch and we recommend watching. This has been great theater and could get even better.

————

And now this happened

OK we talked about Brandel Chamblee, the Golf Channel analyst who insinuated that Tiger Woods is a cheater.

This was less-than-thrilling for Woods — and his agent threatened legal action last week. Now, it's less than thrilling for Mr. Chamblee. 

Woods told reporters in Hawaii that the ball is now on The Golf Channel's green. While we certainly do not condone any media organization being strong-armed, Chamblee created this sandstorm.

And make no mistake, Woods in the game of golf is every bit the needle-mover and head-turned as the biggest stars in any sport with the possible exception of Lance, MJ and Tiger a decade ago. Those guys were at such an apex that the very threat of any of those three blackballing someone was paramount of a nuclear winter. Seriously.

That's a terrible amount of power to afford anyone of course, and to his credit, Tiger did not say boycott or offer his suggestion to The Golf Channel.

But not unlike Chamblee's vague apology — he said he was sorry for the discussion this has created not for what he wrote — Woods has left this open for determination and the folks at The Golf Channel are certainly smart enough to know that they need Tiger a heck of a lot more than he needs them. Regardless of how many improper drops he takes.

It's a rare spot for certain, and one that plagues media outlets of all ilk. It's the Frankenstein principle of sports media. And how The Golf Channel handles the monster situation will be interesting, because in some ways, whether they were going to discipline Chamblee or not over his allegations (which he wrote on another media site so TGC is completely dealing with a mess not of its making) now it would appear they are being strong-armed by Camp Tiger.

————

This and that

— Julianna Hough is in hot water for donning black face as part of a Halloween costume. Gang, the black face idea is never a good one. Trust us. Here's a few more thinks to remember — say no to drugs, refrain from Hitler references, don't run with scissors, never play cards with a guy nicknamed after a city and skip the black face. You follow those and everything else is gravy. 

— There were bits and quibbles last week that Dez Bryant was as good as Calvin Johnson. The two and their teams played in Detroit on Sunday and Bryant had three catches for 70-plus yards and two scores. Calvin Johnson had 14 catches for 329 yards. Yes, 329 yards. During the game, Dez had a sideline meltdown and afterward he was a quote-machine. You know what? We'd take Dez on our team for sure. Dude has passion — it can be misguided at times — and you have to play the game with a desperation of excellence. Well, at least the great ones do. And more times than not, that comes with a too-quick-to-the-red-line possibility. There was only one Jerry Rice.

— Speaking of desperation, the Falcons are cooked. And when did the NFL become so top-heavy. There are a lot of bad teams in today's NFL. Tampa's terrible. The Jags are jerky. The Steelers stink. The Falcons are foul (and fowl). The Redskins are rotten. Heck, they showed the Giants-Eagles game to prisoners and the ACLU protested. And tonight the Rams are sending Kellen Clemens and his 0.6 QBR against the Seattle Seahawks. 

— The NBA starts Tuesday and we're in. Some of you are assuredly out — and Spy we certainly won't argue your choices of where to spend your hard-earned Benjamins — and that's OK.

————

Today's question(s)

We have a bunch of them so buckle up:

Who won the weekend?

What are you going as this Halloween?

If you were Brandel Chamblee's boss, what do you do?

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...

The interference call at third base was correct. Unlike the one when Hrbek pulled Gant's leg off the bag, costing the Bravos the World Series.

You know the sad stories of Jim McMahon and Junior Seau. Retired NFL safety Dave Duerson similarly committed suicide with a gunshot to the chest, leaving a suicide note that asked for experts to study his brain. More than 30 former NFL players who have died have donated their brains to research.

Now comes the tough, tough, none tougher Brett Favre cautioning us about concussions. He says "I couldn't remember my daughter playing youth soccer, just one summer…So that's a little bit scary to me. For the first time in 44 years, that put a little fear in me.”

I expect to soon see helmets with sensors that measure the number and intensity of head blows and a cumulative electronic record will determine who plays and who sits.

Speaking of brain injured NFLers, Favre says, “The players either retired or some of the few players ... are either killing themselves or self destructing. And you know, studies have proven that some of this is because of concussions."

Some readers of the 5@10 may think I'm a wimp, but I dare you to call Mr. Favre that to his face.

October 28, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Tough loss by Ozark Nation. However, a win by Tennessee should all but confirm a lock for the SEC East and the title game against Bama.

UTC played with more heart then I have ever seen Moc Nation do...ever. I grant you the fact our "beloved" fickle community turned tail at the half thinking there would be an upset against Bama Nation was by all accounts a funny wake-up call by karma-tic porportions. With the Terrier upset by the BBB (Baptist Bulldogs of Birmingham; not the Better Business Bureau), it is literally a three way contest for the championship. Even if we lose at Boone*, we're still in the running.

*I read about the pop-knots Yoseff & Co. gave to Eagle Nation on Saturday. Hince I'm having to literally "eat" those words about a runaway victory at the Rock. Also, to add salt to the wound is the fact Keon will be out on Saturday but should be 100% healthy for Wofford.

That being said, if Moc-Nation can pull a win at Boone, then the stage will be set for basically a community blitz of epic proportions: AKA David Blackburn has the Sports Marketing Department contact businesses, local media, put up billboards, take out ads in the paper, have players and coaches on Sport Talk, get people wanting to come to Finley for the Wofford game.

I saw the pic of Brandel Chamblee which goes to show how much free time and easy access the 24 hour media have. The general public was thinking the same thing I was: Who?

October 28, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

No wimp words from this camp. Brain injuries are serious and real. The solutions are hard and expensive.

But the solutions are not being chased super hard by the powers that be because of a) the coin that it would take; b) the fact that if a player says no thanks like Favre did, there are still 100s of others willing to roll the dice to collect the prize.

JMC —

Well-said. This week is big on a lot of fronts for the Mocs.

A win Saturday, and against Wofford could be extremely interesting.

October 28, 2013 at 11:21 a.m.
chas9 said...

Jay--You're right about rolling the dice. Or spinning the revolver's cylinder.

Coach Butch sez The Vols have the hardest schedule in the history of college pointy ball. Not so much. Just this year, according to Sagarin, Gawga has faced the toughest schedule, Ole Miss is #2, UT is #5, and UK right behind at #6. But Saturday's game did result in one "most ever," and that's points scored on Tennessee at Tuscaloosa.

Still, the Knoxville crew gave the Tide a better game than the Bluegrass boys did. But if Whitlow gets healthy, UK could take away a brick from Butch's mailbox.

And a tip o' the helmet to Norwood for the diving backward catch in the third quarter.

October 28, 2013 at 11:56 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

I still think the call Saturday night stinks. "Runner creates his own basepath"? What is this? T-ball?

You cannot - absolutely cannot - get boatraced by the worst team in App history since Dan'l Boone killed himself a bear. I do not think this portends one way or the other on Georgia Southern's future FBS fortunes. My opposition to such move is based not on competitive issues (Southern can compete in the Sun Belt. That's not the point, Saturday's punch bowl deuce notwithstanding) but rather on financial issues and other factors. If you think GSU football is irrelevant now, wait until Sun Belt play. Saturday's Texas State-Georgia State game drew 11,000 plus. Granted, Arkansas State drew 24K for its home game this weekend, but that's an outlier.

But all this "exposure" hooey from the school president and the AD is just a mountain of claptrap. I see FCS scores on the ESPN crawl more often than I see Sun Belt scores. If you think FCS is mired in obscurity, then you don't know the Sun Belt, the witness protection program of FBS.

Go Mocs.

If I'm Brandel Chamblee's boss, I ask "He works for us? What does he do?" Tiger saying the ball is in Golf Channel's court is his way of saying "dump this clown or I never speak to Golf Channel again," as if he grants probing interviews to anyone anyway.

5, I think they're telling prisoners at Gitmo that if they don't start talking, they'll turn the Eagles-Giants back on.

October 28, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay- do you think Justin Worley thought Butchy said "pick" , as in interception, than "Brick by Brick" ? . . . .If Vol fans think that even with a # 2 national recruiting class this winter can close that talent gap with Alabama they are nuts. . . By the way Alabamas class is rating #1 , so that sorta cancels out.. . .hey but hope Vols get those 6 wins so that can go to that always well watched BBVA Compass bowl in the exotic location of Birmingham, Ala. Always a great holiday destination. . . .weather should be lovely that time of year

Great comeback by Mocs. Hope Keon gets ankle back. Will need him and everyone to beat Appy on the road next week. At Appy is a very tough place to win.

October 28, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Hard to see UK handling UT, which has an elite O-Line. UK is scrappy and plays hard, but there are not enough weapons in the tool shed.

Jomo —

No, we're pretty sure Justin got the right call; we're just not sure he has the skill-set to deliver against an NFL-caliber defense.

Comparing Alabama and anyone this side of Oregon or FSU right now is Apples and Orange Bowls. Alabama would be at least 14-point favorite over THE Ohio State.

This is the same App State that has won twice this year, right?

And Birmingham would be a lovely spot for Butch's Vols — regardless of the locale, getting to a bowl and getting the extra practice time would be a feather in his cap.

Spy —

It will be interesting to see how TGC handles this entire mess.

Speaking of mess, that was one the Eagles laid in Boone. And while we were typing, like three GSU players turned an ankle.

October 28, 2013 at 1:18 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jomo-

Concur on the tough factor known as The Rock. I don't care that the place is snap-dab in the middle of the Forest Moon of Endor (which it is), it's up there with the Swamp and Bryant-Denny Stadium as one of the roughest places to play. They're already at full capacity. I don't even see how they plan on even being able to expand if such a thing is possible. At least with Paulson Stadium given it's local (And I did see the expansion construction on the endzones when watching the Mocs/GSU game online), IF (and I do mean IF) there's enough need of an expansion, they can build to the demensions of a Samford or Neyland. (Same with Finley obviously).

But I knew before the day was done Spy would be venting to no avail (and rightfully so) Love the comment about the Sun Belt being the witness protection program of the FBS.

October 28, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Brand new computer top ten (from StuckinKent's computer program that has been pretty excellent — 5-at-10):

1) Florida State 2) Alabama 3) Oregon 4) Ohio State 5) Baylor 6) Stanford 7) Missouri 8) Arizona State 9) BYU 10) LSU

Computer loves Arizona State and BYU. Not so much any of the other teams that think they belong up there. But Arizona State and BYU? I'm surprised. No joke. And Miami? Only #15. Have fun in Tallahassee. Good news for the Canes is that even a loss won't hurt them too bad in the rankings, since just going to Florida State should keep them high. A win would shoot them up the rankings rather quickly. The easy part is to say all that. The tough part is actually beating FSU in Tallahassee. Not going to be easy at all.

Thursday November 7 is the best day of football all year. Baylor-Oklahoma. Stanford-Oregon. Two of the better games of the whole season, and they are both on a Thursday night. Wow. Take the day off Friday.

October 28, 2013 at 1:46 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

I could not agree more with David Martin's op/ed on page B7 of today's T-FP. Link...with JMCs comments:

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/oct/28/when-they-win-we-all-do/?opinioncolumns

Billy-In-Brainerd

October 28, 2013 at 2 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

The kick time for UT-Auburn on Sat Nov 9 has been announced: 12n on ESPN. Questionable weather [+ a loss to App] will not help attendance for the Mocs-Wofford game [2pm] on the 2nd Saturday in November.

Billy-In-Brainerd

October 28, 2013 at 2:49 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Good rankings in the "Vegas" top 10. To me, this kind of poll would be more significant than the regular polls because it considers overall perception from the general (betting) public about who really is better. To the contrary, the voters of the regular polls adhere to an unwritten rule that undefeated teams from the power conferences should be ranked higher than any 1-loss teams regardless of who each has played. Then you get "upsets" that aren't really upsets.

Too bad there's not a plus-one game for this year. I would really like to see how Bama, FSU, Oregon, and Baylor would do against each other in a playoff.

Do people actually watch the Golf Channel? The Tiger fiasco might actually help its cause. You know what they say about bad publicity...sometimes it's good publicity.

The big win from App on Saturday may be what they need to turn around their season. Couple that with the continued injury woes to the Mocs and we may have a closer game than originally anticipated this Saturday.

October 28, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, as I sit here wondering what this will look like for tomorrow, I've decided to rely on an old standby to get my task done.

The fabled Greeson X.

October 28, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.
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