And we're off.
From the "Talks too much" studios, is that a whisper of excitement from Titans land? You bet it is.
San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, left, walks off the field with offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt after a 27-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in an NFL wild-card playoff football game on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Cincinnati.
The Titans have hired a new head coach, picking Ken Whisenhunt from the group of common names and familiar faces.
TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer weighs in here.
We believe this is a home run hire for several reasons.
First, the Titans got the most accomplished name on the market, lest we forget that Whisenhunt got the Cardinals — yes the Cardinals — to the Super Bowl.
Second, the Titans landed one of the big three — Whisenhunt, Bill O'Brien and Lovie Smith who were considered to be sure-fire candidates for the seven NFL coaching openings, and they did it despite being the last opening and the fourth team to make a hire.
Third, the Titans swept Whisenhunt out of what appeared to be a safe landing in Detroit, which has more pieces already in place.
In fact, we feel so good about this hire, we have to ask if the Titans got lucky or if this really could be a new day for the franchise?
Now we are down to four, and not so amazingly, the best four teams in the NFL.
We spent all season offering power rankings on Tuesdays each week, and truth be told, the teams that dominated the polls are still standing. So it goes.
What is also conspicuous is that the final four is also the top two poster children of the 5-at-10's official division in the modern NFL.
We have said from the beginning that the way to build a Super Bowl contender is to have either a) an elite all-time QB who can win with almost anyone in the huddle and can mask glaring deficiencies in your roster because he is an elite all-time QB or b) have a good and affordable young QB who is making peanuts but gives you enough cap space that you can be superior everywhere else.
Sound familiar. Yep, the Patriots and Broncos are examples 1a and 1b of postulate a) and the Seahawks and 49ers are the personification of postulate b).
So in addition to living the theory, we'll even get a chance to see which postulate is a better approach since we are assured of option a) meeting option b) in the Super Bowl.
OK, we all know the 5-at-10 thinks highly of LeBron James. Very highly.
Dude is the best player in the game, one of the best all-time, and arguably one of the best athletes ever. We have much respect.
But this is too funny not to pass along. Apparently high school kids have started a viral campaign mocking King James for flopping. In fact they call it LeBroning, and not unlike Tebowing or Duffnering, it is quite clear and pretty funny.
Here's the clip and know that the NBA and the officials can try every method to stop flopping and it may or may not work.
This however could have a really effect. Hey, call it the playground principle — someone doing something questionable, gets called out for it, gets poked at a little, that someone quits doing whatever it was.
This and that
— Nice win for Jim Foster's Mocs at App State in women's college basketball. Sorry if that came across as wordy, still getting used to the "no Lady Mocs" rule. In truth, we're OK with that as long as it is universal across all sports. It's their nickname. If they want to be called the Flying Squirrels, great. Here's the TFP report on the outcome from Boone.
— Deion Sanders is going to suit of for the Pro Bowl. Perfect. That's absolutely spot-on perfect, because if any other complete and total farce in sports need more of a circus feel, it's the Pro Bowl. Hey, I've always liked Deion — in fact you can make an argument that he is one of the five most influential NFL players of the modern era — but c'mon man.
— The UT Orange and White game is April 12, and yes, that is the Saturday of the Masters.
— Alabama hired Bo Davis as their defensive line coach. Davis used to be at Alabama and had spent the last few years at Texas, which just hired Chris Rumph, who left Alabama. No word on whether Alabama got a grad assistant to be named later.
Bigger basketball surprise: Mocs starting 4-0 in the SoCon or the Vols struggles?
ESPN hoops ace Jay Bilas has the Vols No. 41, which seems high, but Bilas is one of the best working at ESPN. In fact if you need another talking point, who are the best national college hoops guys. Bilas is our No. 1 for sure.
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 ...