Titanic news in Nashville
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher will no longer be the team's coach. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans parted ways Thursday night. It seemed at least somewhat amicable.
Who saw this coming? Well, the 5-at-10 did — in December.
Anyhoo, when the news started to leak, the 5-at-10 had two questions: Who will be the next Titans coach? What would AL Davis say about the decision?
As for the Titans next coach, well, the timing of this divorce between Fisher and Titans owner Bud Adams is less than ideal. Actually, it stinks. Bad. And it stinks for each side — there are no other NFL openings for Fisher to explore and the hot names such as Jim Harbaugh and Jason Garrett already have jobs. This late in the process, Fisher will probably sit out the 2011 season. The Titans are not going to be that fortunate.
Tennessee is likely going to be forced to look at some names they're familiar with such as current staff members Mike Munchak (offensive line coach), Dave McGinnis (linebackers coach) and Mike Heimerdinger (offensive coordinator).
Sadly, Titans Fan, the names being tossed around are less-than-hair-raising. It's hard to see a scenario where the phrases, "Here's Super Bowl winning coach Mike Munchak," or "NFL coach of the year Dave McGinnis," become options.
As for some of the mega names that get tossed out when any NFL head coaching job comes open — forget it. Do you really think someone such as a Bill Cowher or a Jon Gruden is going to come to Tennessee? Really? Neither of the two hottest names in coaching, each of whom have turned down reportedly a combined dozen jobs in the last 18 months is coming to the Titans, who have a major question mark at quarterback and in the owners box, where the 88-year-old Adams is the most effective during his nap time. Which leads us to...
You can call him Al
Speaking of dated owners who have become cartoon characters, let's welcome back to the 5-at-10 the thoughts of what Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis might say. (Turn on the Applause sign).
5-at-10: Al, thanks again for stopping by. What are your thoughts on the Adams-Fisher scenario?
Davis: Let me say this, I love having Bud Adams in this league. He makes me look good. As for firing coaches, hey, it happens. Sometimes you make a mistake and you have to cut the cord — just like I did with Lane Kiffin.
5-at-10: Uh, Al, you fired Lane Kiffin after 20 games; Fisher has been with the Titans for 17 years, since before they were the Titans actually. He was the head coach in Houston before the team moved to Tennessee for goodness sake.
Davis: Houston is a great town. Not as good as Amarillo, but it's close. Hey, that reminds me, have you heard that George Strait song, "Amarillo by Morning," Great song. Great song. We were going to use a third-round draft pick on George Strait just so we could have the rights to that song, but his agent was a handful. Where was I? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
5-at-10: One more question before we move on, Al.
Davis: Ditka. DITKA!
5-at-10: Stay with me Al. If this had happened on Jan. 7 rather than Jan. 27, would you have hired Fisher?
Davis: I don't know. I think we got the guy we wanted. We hired Hue Jackson, and he has a lot of talent. He was an Oscar host. He has been in some dramas and some romantic comedies. And Great Ceaser Salad was he great as the "Wolverine." You wanna talk about a tough football coach, we hired Wolverine. Take that.
5-at-10: Uh, Al, that's Hugh Jackman, the actor. You hired Hue Jackson. They're not the same guy.
Davis: Huh? Where's my phone?
Four-star tight end Brandon Fulse picked Auburn over Tennessee and others on Thursday afternoon. You know this.
The final days heading into next Wednesday's signing day are going to get crazy. You know this, too.
That said, arguably the biggest wildcard in the South made his pick today. Five-star defensive end Ray Drew announced his intentions to stay in-state and joining Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs.
In fact, Drew, the No. 9-ranked player in the country according to Rivals.com, could springboard the Bulldogs in the final week toward a possible top-five signing class, and who needed a jolt of positive momentum more than Richt, who will start next season on the hottest seat in the SEC and possibly the country?
NASCAR needs more work in the pits
NASCAR chairman Brian France announces a new points system for its top three series, during a news conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011.
Got some great feedback from some gearheads about NASCAR's need to make more changes than the minor tweaks to its points system.
Here are some of the best, including a couple from P-Davi (Not sure if he's related to P-Diddy or not):
— Give bonus points for leading at predetermined intervals throughout the race. Say lap 100 and/or the halfway point. That way drivers and teams are forced to go hard from start to finish and not parade around and burn laps while setting up for a furious finish.
— Cut every race by at least 25 percent, and some even more. There's not a lot of fan interest in marathon running, either, so let's try to cut the length of these races.
— Add at least one dirt track to the circuit. Love this one. Love it.
— Cut the starting field down to 35. Make qualifying matter again. Plus, how many times does a Tony Stewart or a Jeff Gordon or another star of note get tangled up in a wreck caused by Larry Lugnut in the Local Grocery-VFW blank-hood Chevy.
— Do we even have to mention moving the Daytona 500 to the back of the racing schedule? No, didn't think so.
NCAA tournament briefing No. 4
Michigan State's free fall continued, losing at home to rival Michigan for the first time since 1997. Wow. The Spartans started the season ranked in the top five and now they are seriously on the brink as we hit the halfway point.
A handful of quick tidbits:
— How 'bout those Mocs, huh? A thrilling, one-point, double-OT win. This is an unpredictable bunch that John Shulman and Co. have put together, but the following combination has to be considered good news for even the most pessimistic Mocs fan. UTC appears unyielding at home and the Southern Conference tournament will be played at McKenzie Arena. As Carl Spangler would say, "So they got that going for them, which is nice."
— Huge weekend of hoops on the schedule. Your bracket-filling homework is as follows: Keep an eye on the these games between ranked teams on Saturday — Louisville at UConn (noon), Georgetown at Villanova (noon, ESPN), Minnesota at Purdue (1 p.m., CBS). Another one Saturday is Georgia at Kentucky (4 p.m., ESPN), especially since Georgia needs a big-time win to hang its hat on, and winning in Lexington is a big-time win.
— The Vols got to Ole Miss in Saturday for a 4 p.m. It's another game against the woeful SEC West, which means a loss hurts more than a win helps UT.
Until Monday, when we can start Super Bowl week in earnest and we are sprinting toward the homestretch of recruiting.
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 ...