Got a fast start to the mailbag already, so if you have something you want to ask, do it now.
From the "Talks too much" studios, know you can is confidence; knowing you will is commitment. Good times.
The 5-at-10 and the cast of characters that make up Press Row spent most of last week at SEC media days.
The rest of the power college athletic conferences are next deep in their media events this week. Here are four items of interest across the college sports landscape. (Feel free to use that old-school Walter Cronkite type-writer/breaking news music in the background.)
— Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby (here's betting he can teased as a tot) said plainly that cheating pays in college sports. With the state of flux for the NCAA and their limited capacity to investigate and enforce — especially at a time when the power leagues like Ol' Bob's there are practically threatening to leave every other week — he makes a fair statement. But Bob, you and the rest of the big-boy schools want to have more autonomy and want in some ways to police yourselves, right? You are the Big 12, which once was the Big Eight, which once was the Southwestern Conference, which has a history so dirty and crooked Louisiana politicians were considered lightweights. And, if the power conferences are allowed the autonomy to police themselves, do we really think that will cut back on the cheating? Sure we don't.
In truth, Bob made some salient points on Mike & Mike on ESPN radio this morning, but we believe two things. First, we can't stand those who are intolerant of other cultures (and the Dutch), and we know that the talking points of the conference commissioners are with a decided aim at getting exactly what they want — autonomy to run the games themselves.
— FSU coach Jimbo Fisher says he did not suspend Jameis Winston for Crab-Gate because he let the baseball team handle that, and that being suspended from the Seminoles baseball team was like "cutting his heart out" for Winston. Here's our theory on that whole crab leg fiasco: We believe that several, maybe dozens of FSU football players were getting the hook up on seafood and whatnot at the neighborhood Publix. It was a wink-wink, nod-nod deal and some new manager (who may have been reassigned to the Publix in Anchorage) recognized the Heisman winning QB and said, "Hey, did he just steal that?" Instead of making an NCAA deal out of this — free food is a violation after all, especially before Shabazz Napier got everyone free snacks — would actually have been worse than the minor legal citation. Go figure, and take that Bob.
— Dabo Swinney is trying to be the next generation's Steve Spurrier. That is all.
— Somehow, someway, Fisher must have got some back crab meat in his salad. Dude said, "No league has ever had as dominant of a league as the ACC last year." Huh? Jimmy, Duke won 10 games, which is a great testament to what David Cutcliffe and Co. are doing, but hardly a sentiment about ACC dominance.
Your Atlanta Braves fell to Miami 3-1 in 10 innings. Shae Simmons, the hard-throwing youngster, took the loss
The good: Julio Teheran bounced back after a couple of less-than-stellar starts before the All-Star break. Teheran was dominant, going seven innings and fanning 11. He left in a 1-1 game because of a mistake to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who homered in the fifth and whiffed in his other four at-bats.
The bad: All of the little things offensively, including Jordan Schafer's complete inability to bunt. Atlanta was bagel-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The normally rock-solid bullpen was quite shaky. Closer Craig Kimbrel loaded the bases before wiggling out of the jam in a scoreless ninth and Simmons was rocked, giving up two runs and letting four of the five batters he faced reach base. Simmons and Kimbrel walked four in 1.2 innings.
The Uggla: Moment of silence for our departed Danny Struggla... That will do. Struggla signed a AAA contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday, a deal that gives the Giants a real chance to potentially make the wild-card playoff round and face the Braves with Tim Hudson on the mound and Danny Struggla invovled. That would be boss.
Sam and Manziel; Manziel and Sam
The NFL's two most talk-worthy rookies again find their names in the news.
First, each is in the top six in NFL jersey sales for the last three months, according to NFL.com. Manziel is No. 1, with apparently all of Eastern Ohio getting a Browns No. 2. (And how many bathroom jokes can be made about the Browns No. 2... nevermind. Forget we asked. Wipe that off the books. Flush those puns.) Sam is No. 6 on the list.
Second, Cleveland coach Mike Pettine says Johnny Football's behavior will be a "non-story" which seems like a stretch unless his behavior very soon will be non-Johnny Football-like.
Finally, former Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy said he would not have drafted Sam because he would not want the distractions, saying "I wouldn't want to deal with all of it. It's not going to be totally smooth... things will happen."
Here's hoping that Dungy does not become the focus of the internet morality mob for speaking his mind and sharing an opinion from a guy who has been in a position to make those type of decisions.
This and that
— Titans back-up QB Zach Mettenberger was sucker-punched at a Nashville sports bar named with the word 'losers' in the name This begs the obvious question — "Who names their sports bar anything associated with losers?"
— NFL guru and renown "NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE" proponent Ron Jaworski put out his list of the top NFL quarterbacks. Jaws for the most part is finger nails on a chalkboard for our personal tastes, but dude studies the tape and has an informed opinion on quarterback play in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. We also concur that Andrew Luck has moved on the cusp on the modern day Rushmore of Rodgers, Peyton, Brady and Brees, Esquire.
— Interesting story about Texas A&M paying the $50,000 insurance premium for future first-round NFL pick Cedric Ogbuehi to stay in school. Only in the NCAA will you find too many texts is a violation but a $50,000 check is as square as Ned Flanders. You go Bob.
Happy birthday to the 5-at-10's mom. We owe her more than we could ever repay.
In her honor, we'll have a Rushmore of the best TV moms of all time? Go.
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 ...