Morning gang. The 5-at-10 will be heading South and East through a good chunk of today as we head to Augusta to set up a satellite office for the next few days. We'll check in later, but until then, you folks play nice.
Here we go...
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair reacts after cutting the net after his team's 76-70 win over Notre Dame in the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, April 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
How much better is a playoff really — let the arguments proceed
The 5-at-10 is huge fan of the NCAA tournament (especially that first weekend, Holy Buzzer-Beating Buckets). You know this.
The 5-at-10 is a huge believer that college basketball's regular season has become borderline non-watchable. You know this, too.
Did the magic of the tournament make the previous five months worth it? That's debatable.
Would a college football playoff negatively alter the greatest regular season out there right now (college football is a three-month cliff-hanger, with every almost Saturday resembling that glorious first weekend of the hoops tournament)? More than likely, yes.
Certainly the BCS system needs work, but after what is supposed to be the prime example of college postseason greatness, let's review some items.
— To say the computers ruined college football is overlooking the fact that the major factor determining which teams get into the NCAA basketball tournament is the RPI.
— None of the four teams — Auburn and Oregon in football and UConn and Butler in hoops — were preseason top 10 teams, so the argument that you have to start the football season at the top is a non-starter.
— Now a college hoops coach has voted Ohio State No. 1 in his final basketball poll. That's right, according to USA Today, Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras cast his No. 1 vote for the Buckeyes. Say what? Granted, that title game set hoops back a good five years, but now we're going to have a playoff and still vote for a team that didn't win the title game? Really? You know who's going to love this? Dale Earnhardt Jr., that's who. Now after Harvick or Gordon or Johnson or whomever wins the race, we can put it to a vote, and we know Junior can fill up a ballot box. Fast.
— Maybe we should have expected the title game to be kind of a stinker. According to TFP college football super ace David Paschall, UConn was 22nd and Butler was 36th (the Bulldogs ranked 11th among the "getting votes" group) in the final college basketball poll before the NCAA tournament. By comparison, Paschall pointed out that if you take the football teams ranked 22nd and 36th before the bowl games to play for the title, you're going to have a knockdown, drag-out between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the N.C. State Wolfpack. ("Now I know for sure, I've just added two more guys to my wolfpack." Sorry, had to be done.)
What does this mean? We're not really sure, just thought it was some interesting stuff to kick around. (Not that it really matters; even if everyone else on the planet wanted a football playoff, the college presidents are not going to budge on sharing the big pie. It really would take government involvement, and the 5-at-10 doesn't know about you, but with all the other issues swirling around our great nation, the last thing we need Washington looking at is college football postseasons and steroids. Please get back to running the country.)
Six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus speaks during a news conference before start of the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Masters Week, Day III (part one)
We're going to have our top five guys who could win a green jacket this week in Thursday's TFP sports section. (That's what they call in the InterWeb buiz-NESS a "tease." Nice, huh? Now I feel like I've added a few more to our wolfpack.) Here are three guys that narrowly missed that list (and it may surprise you):
Tim Clark — Not a big hitter, which makes it tough at Augusta, which measures more than 7,400 yards. That said, his short game is shiny and his putting his steely. And if you've got shiny and steely in your bag, well, that generally bodes well at Augusta.
Sean O'Hair — Big hitter, the Lama, long. Seriously, O'Hair is long; he's a multiple-time winner on tour; and he's even had the big-stage implosion (remember his meltdown on No. 17 at the Players a few years ago) that helps calm nerves in major moments.
Hunter Mahan — Dude can really putt. Plus, he's finished in the top 10 each of the last two Masters. Hey, wait, maybe he should be on the top five list after all. Maybe, you'll have to wait for Thursday's paper. (It's another one of those "tease" things. War Wolfpack.)
Vijay Singh of Fiji watches his chip shot to the 12th green during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Masters Week, Day III (part two)
We're still looking for players and a name for the "5-at-10 masterfully Masters mastered pick'em challenge." Here's the game for everyone: Submit your top five players (order is not important; points will be awarded as 5 for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth and 1 for fifth; perfect score is 15) and whoever has the most points will get a Masters trinket or something (we won't bring you back a pimento cheese sandwich, but don't expect the moon either — the 5-at-10's on a tight budget). Picks are due by tonight, and the results are after Sunday's final round (thanks Oso). As always, everyone's welcome to play, no purchase necessary. Here's the entries so far:
BIspy4 — Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood
Mcpell — Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar, Eldrick "Tiger" Woods
CelticVol — Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods
EC — Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson
Bigbearzzz — Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson
WC777 — Tiger Woods, Jonny Vegas, Anthony Kim, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson (also known as Dill Pickelson)
ElJefe — Bubba Watson, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Reitef Goosen, Bo Van Pelt
Kburgess — Bubba Watson, Anthony Kim, Aaron Baddeley, KJ Choi, and Rickie Bieber (Fowler)
OTWatcher — Phil Mickleson, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Fred Couples, Lee Westwood.
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson
5-at-10 — Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood
TFP golf writer David Uchiyama — Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Anthony Kim
Pretend Al Davis ("I'm coming for you EC.") — Ditka (What do you mean he's not in it? He's Ditka for the Love of Gene Sarazen's Sand Iron.) OK, Tiger ("Duh."), Jason Bohn ("He went to Alabama like Stabler and Namath."), Charley Hoffman ("If there was ever a golfer that looked like a "Raider Golfer," it's
this guy."), Bo Van Pelt ("Giants used to have a stud linebacker named Brad Van Pelt, maybe they're related."), Mark Wilson ("Former BYU QB right? Throws a good deep ball right? He was pretty good with us the first time in the 80s. No. That was Marc with a "C" you say? Take him anyway.)
Charlie Sheen — Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Jhonny Vegas, Ryan Moore (winning), Fred Couples
SportTalk 102.3's Dr. B (he is a doctor after all) — Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paul Casey, Dustin Johnson, Martin Laird
SportTalk 102.3's Quake — Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Anthony Kim
SportTalk 102.3's Cowboy Joe (he is a cowboy after all) — Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar
Nick Bonsanto from ESPN 105.1 — Phil Mickleson, Tiger Woods, Mike Weir, KJ Choi, Bubba Watson
Side note: Still waiting some of the celeb entries, and will post some others from email later today.
Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is introduced before the Braves took on the Milwaukee Brewers in a baseball game Monday, April 4, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Braves won 2-1. (AP Photo/West Bend Daily News, John Ehlke)
Braves' shoutout in a shutout
If you're a regular reader, you know the 5-at-10 likes this Atlanta Braves team.
If you're not a regular reader, well, welcome to the show and if you have not heard, the 5-at-10 likes this Braves team. There, we're all on the same page.
A 1-0 loss to the Brewers and Yovani Gallardo, who tossed a two-hitter that was awesome in its awesomeness, is hardly something to cause alarm. Those are going to happen, let's move on.
There is growing unrest in the Braves Nation about Nate McLouth hitting second in the order and star-in-the-making Jason Heyward hitting sixth. We're five games in the season, so batting averages, homers and all the other stats so far this year are not overly pertinent in this discussion.
The number that is pertinent is 18 — which according to most stat gurus is the average number of at-bats over the course of a MLB season a hitter would lose as you drop each place in the lineup. For example, if your leadoff hitter was going to get 700 ABs, then your No. 2 hitter would get roughly 682, the No. 3 hitter would be 664, etc.
So Johnny Braves Fan, looking at it that way, would you rather have Heyward or McLouth with those extra 72 ABs (the difference between hitting second and hitting sixth) this year? Thought so.
Texas A&M players celebrate with the trophy after their 76-70 win over Notre Dame in the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, April 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
This and that
— In case you hadn't noticed — and, as Harry Doyle would say, "And judging by the attendance, you haven't" — Texas A&M beat Notre Dame 76-70 for the women's title. Anyone else feel a little shortchanged by all the Final Four festivities — men and women — of the last five or six days? Yeah, us too.
— Sweet overstated stat projection, but at this pace, Mark Teixeira is going to finish the season with 324 RBIs. That would be a record. This is fun, SteelerFan, thanks for the suggestion.
— Former MTSU receiver Garrett Andrews is suing the NFL for the current lockout. Andrews had all of 34 catches last year for less than 400 yards and two scores, and he filed a class-action suit against the NFL because the labor issues are causing him harm. If a back-up MTSU receiver has a right to sue for a spot in the NFL, the 5-at-10 is contemplating a lawsuit against MLB because of their labor unrest in the 1980s may or may not have cost the 5-at-10 and our high-70s high school fastball our shot. Andrews is not welcomed in our wolfpack.
— Wow, how bad has the N.C. State job gotten if they were backed into the re-tread corner that is hiring former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried? Here's betting that Johnny Wolfpack Fan is less than thrilled to add Gottfried to their Wolfpack.
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 ...