The 5-at-10 is done with the snow. Seriously. If we wanted to battle the winter elements we would have moved somewhere up North like Gatlinburg (there's no way we'd go any farther North than that, though). Let's just move along.
Here we go...
Fresh faced stars
Carver's Isaiah Crowell gains yards at Calhoun High School in this file photo.Staff Photo by Angela Lewis
We talked Wednesday about the glaring holes in the University of Georgia depth chart at running back. (Quick recap: Leading rusher Washaun Ealey is suspended indefinitely and may have picked the room next to back-up running back Caleb King in Mark Richt's doghouse. There's even been talk about Ealey exploring transfer options.)
We also mentioned that help — big-time, five-star help — is on the way since stud running back Isaiah Crowell signed his letter of intent and will be there soon.
That got the 5-at-10 thinking about which recruits of last week will impact freshmen of next year. There are a few — think Auburn's Mike Dyer and South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore — that have five-star talent and a five-star opportunity. That appears to be case in Athens, huh?
Anyhoo, here we go (remember this is not the five best recruits, per se, as much as the five guys that have the talent and the chance to be stars in 2011):
1. Crowell, UGA: We have already covered this. Let's put it this way — if Crowell doesn't get double-digit carries in the season opener against Boise State, then hopefully he will quickly recover from whatever injury has kept him off the field.
2. Cam Clear, Tennessee: The uber-athletic 6-foot-6, 265-pounder from Memphis was ranked as one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country. But he wants to play tight end, and Tennessee needs, Needs, NEEDS a big-time tight end, especially in Derek Dooley's system. This could be a big year for Clear, who wore No. 80 in high school. (And if you want a teenage nightmare, imagine being a 165-pound high school junior lined-up at safety and here comes a 265-pounder on a crossing pattern. No thanks.)
3. C.J. Johnson, Ole Miss: The five-star recruit will start preseason practice as no worse than the second-most talented linebacker on the roster (behind D.T. Shackleford, maybe).
4. Reese Dismuke and Christian Westerman, Auburn: The nation's top-ranked center and top-ranked guard, respectively, have a real shot to be part of the Tigers' youth movement along the offensive line. Auburn has to replace four starting offensive linemen from last year's national champions.
5. Jeff Driskel, Florida: Call this one a hunch, too, because John Brantley could very well flourish under the pro-style direction of new Gators' offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. But the new regime could easily embrace the new kid on the block — Driskel is enrolled in school and will go through spring practice. Athletically, Driskell is ready to play now.
Now this does not include Jadeveon Clowney, the all-world defensive end who has yet to commit. But if/when Clowney picks South Carolina, he will zoom up this list.
No-star in recruiting, Superstar on the Youtube
This is more than a Holy Buckets. This is a Holy 55-Gallon Drums.
UConn backup quarterback Johnny McEntee has produced a trick-throwing video that will blow your socks off. Take five minutes and check this out.
College hoops update, Vol. 3, Chapter 4
Duke's Lance Thomas (42), Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer (30), and Nolan Smith (2) high-five each other during the second half of the NCAA South Regional college basketball championship game in Houston, Sunday, March 28, 2010. At right is Baylor's Quincy Acy. Duke won 78-71. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer was spot on about the SEC teams' tournament chances in today's TFP. Read it.
That said, last night was educational in a lot of ways for those of us always hunting a bracket edge.
— Duke needed a career-game from Nolan Smith and Seth Curry to overcome a huge hole and squeak by North Carolina. At home in the rowdy Cameron Indoor Stadium. Either UNC is a lot better than we thought or Duke is not as good. Or maybe a little of both.
— Oh my goodness, did you see the four-point play that Rutgers used to beat No. 10 Villanova. Holy Buckets. Rutgers was down five with less than 10 seconds left and Jonathan Mitchell (yes, the former Florida player who transfered) hit the 3 and the free throw in the final second to cap the rally. The foul was a bogus call, but it was high drama none the less.
— Texas punished Oklahoma at Oklahoma. You want a testament to a team's mental toughness? Look how many times they go on the road in conference games and thump the opposition, knowing that the joint is full and rowdy and the visiting favorites still delivered the smackdown.
— Maybe it's time the 5-at-10 started taking Notre Dame seriously. The Irish are No. 7 in the country and beat No. 15 Louisville last night by 10 in overtime. Ben Hansbrough (yes, former UNC All-American Tyler's brother) scored 25 and the Irish committed just seven turnovers against a Rick Pitino defense. Read that last part again.
Can the Packers repeat?
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts late in the fourth quarter as the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in the NFL Super Bowl XLV football game Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
After Aaron Rodgers and Co. returned the Lombardi Trophy to the Home of Lombardi, there was a big party at Lambeau Field before a sell-out crowd in sub-freezing temperatures.
But now that the party's wrapped, who's the favorite next year (provided there is a next year of course, but that labor disharmony is for another 5-at-10)? Glad you asked.
According to one online betting service the Packers are a 7-to-1 pick to win the Super Bowl next year. (Disclaimer for the gambling-challenged: That means if you bet $10 on the Packers to win Super Bowl 46, you win $70. In truth though, if you did not know that, you shouldn't be betting anyway, and feel free to send that $10 this way. We'll call it, you know, a little something for the effort.)
Here are the top five favorites:
And then there's a mess of teams at 14-to-1 (Baltimore, Indy, New Orleans and the New York Jets)
And the bottom five long shots:
Seahawks 80-to-1 (Yes the same Seahawks that made the playoffs and won a playoff game last season.)
Locally the Falcons are 16-to-1 and the Titans are 50-to-1. The 5-at-10 likes that number on the Falcons — Atlanta could make a Packers-type run next year. As for the Titans, that number is way, Way, WAY to low. The Jaguars, the Cardinals (especially if the rumors about Kurt Warner returning prove to be true) and the Seahawks will have better seasons and a better chance to win it all next fall than the Titans.
Odds and ends
There's a lot happening and we are out of items (if we start doing the 6-at-10 or the 7-at-10 then we'll have to reprint the T-shirts and all the other merchandise.)
—ESPN is reporting that today's scheduled meeting between the NFL and the players reps has been PPD because the sides are so far apart. That's not good at all. Quick question: If the sides are that far apart shouldn't that call for scheduling MORE meetings rather than canceling the scheduled meetings?
— If you have not see it, do yourself a favor and read our UTC football ace John Frierson's story on Huesman recruiting Huesman. Here it is.
— Poor Cleveland, which lost its 26th consecutive game. That ties the longest losing streak in professional sports history — matching the mark set by the Tampa Bay Bucs in 1976-77 and the 1889 Louisville Colonels (baseball).
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 ...