published Friday, July 15th, 2011

5 at 10: Friday mailbag

Sweet tsunami of sports news, the last 24 hours have been crazy, huh? NCAA troubles for Georgia Tech. The first round of the British Open was dominated by an alternate returning to his Waterloo and a 20-year-old amateur who was named for Tom Watson, playing with Tom Watson and playing like Tom Watson. The NFL lockout appears to be coming to end — we even heard some sports folks talking about NFL free agents and such. Roger Clemens (AKA Beetlejuice) had his steroids case ruled a mistrial because apparently the prosecution was absent the day they taught law at law school. Baseball opened its second half. The TFP trotted out its list of best high school football games in recent memory HERE. The coaches' all-SEC preseason team was released.

In other words, as Crash Davis told pitching coach Larry Hockett in the made-for-public-TV version of "Bull Durham," — "We're dealing with a lot of stuff here."

But it's Friday, and that means one thing in these parts: Mailbag. And of course candlesticks always make a nice gift. Let's get two.



  • photo
    Virginia's Chase Minifield fumbles the ball on a punt return as he is hit by Georgia Tech's Malcom Munroe during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, Oct.24, 2009. Georgia Teach recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)

From Weena

I can't believe you miss quoted "San Dimas High School football rules." And you call yourself a sports writer?

What do you make of Georgia Tech? Crazy stuff.

I'm not saying I'm surprised smart people cheated; I'm saying I'm surprised the Smarty McSmart Smart Jackets got caught.

What do you think and "John has a long mustache."

Weena,

You are correct, we dropped the ball last week on the Bill and Ted quote about San Dimas High School football. While San Dimas is out of the TFP coverage area, there are no excuses. We made the error, and we'll pay the price. And there's no way we're making that same mistake again — "John has a long mustache." And "The chair is against the wall."

There were two things from the Georgia Tech stuff yesterday that surprised us. First, it seems like a relatively minor infraction became a major violation because it was not handled properly within the ranks of the GT athletic department. (Sidenote: If GT AD Dan Radakovich had been a candidate for the open UT AD job, well, that went by the boards yesterday. Tennessee will hire someone who is super clean and has a history of being Wally Cleaver in the NCAA's eyes.) That a minor violation became major — stripped 2009 ACC title, four years probation, $100,000 fine — because of improperly handling the situation, well, what does that mean for THE Ohio State, which improperly handled major violations. Here's what GT president G.P. “Bud” Peterson said at Thursday's news conference:

“I believe that we could have been more aggressive in our investigation. Had we known then what we know now, we might have acted differently. But given the information we had at the time, I believe we took reasonable, and appropriate steps to determine a proper course of action regarding the eligibility of the two student-athletes in question, and most importantly we acted in good faith. At no time prior to or since the 20-month long investigation do I believe anyone at Georgia Tech did anything or took any actions with the deliberate intent to hinder or impede this investigation.”

Sweet buckets of truth serum, if Peterson's statement is even close to what happen, compare that with what OSU president Gordon Gee (the guy who hoped Jim Tressel wouldn't fire him) said and how OSU mishandled almost all of the steps to this point, and the question becomes, "How will THE Ohio State not get at least twice the penalties that Georgia Tech got?" Wow.

The second thing that jumped out to us was when did the NCAA go covert. This whole thing was done in secret, black-ops style, and that's rarely the case in these types of cases. Strange indeed.

Let's move along because "Right now I've got a few words for some of our brothers and sisters in the occupied zone." (You can never get too much "Red Dawn" folks.)



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    UT coach Derek Dooley talks to the press after the game against UT Martin at Neyland Stadium Saturday evening.
    Staff Photo by Angela Lewis

From chas9

THE 5@10

One of the pre-season football rags predicts both THE UT and UK will go 6-6 and 2-6 SEC this season. If the prediction holds, who will have the warmer seat, THE Derek or THE Joker? Montana, Cincinnati, MTSU and Buffalo? Does THE Buffalo even have a team? I assume it's not the THE Bills.

OK first off, we're leaning strongly to embracing THE in front of a lot more stuff. Thoughts? As for the hot seat question, well, neither THE Derek or THE Joker are on the hot seat unless major scandal finds them or they post an SEC bagel. Too soon for each of them. Next year is a different story of course, but that's for next year.

As for your question, Chasersize, let's just say a majority of THE preseason magazines' accuracy ranks somewhere between undeniable newsletter of the Lightning Staff and Sword of David's Independent Assembly of Christian Soldiers, Welders, Reality TV Stars and Shepards and the National Enquirer. Don't take this as a shot; truthfully those magazines have a lot of folks that work hard and know college football. The Everest-sized speed bump in the room is that those magazine have to be put to press during the spring, and the information gap frequently leaves holes.

As for THE UT and THE UK going 6-6 and 2-6 in the SEC, the 5-at-10 doesn't see it being possible for each of them doing that.

First off, one of UK's nonconference games is against an improving Louisville team, so the we don't see the Wildcats sweeping their nonconference games. Second, UK has a much easier SEC schedule than UT — the Wildcats play Ole Miss and Miss. State from THE SEC West; UT's foes from the West are Alabama, LSU and Arkansas, and each is likely to start the season ranked in the top 10.

As for the overall records, we'll spit ball and take UK at 6-6, 3-3 (with SEC wins at home over Miss. State and Ole Miss and a win at Vandy). THE UT has a huge pendulum — the Vols could win eight games; they could win five. As you pointed out UT's nonconference schedule ranks somewhere between TSSAA Div. II and the MAC (unless of course the NFL labor deal falls through and the Buffalo Bills are bored and decide to show up at Neyland on Oct. 1. Leading into the SEC media days next week, we'll look more into the SEC, but here's a quick view on UT's schedule:

North Texas — win

Cincy — win

at Florida — ???

Buffalo — win

Georgia — win

LSU — loss

at Alabama — loss

South Carolina — ???

MTSU — win

at Arkansas — loss

Vandy — win

at THE UK — win

That leaves two huge swing games — at Florida early in new coach Will Muschamp's first season and at home against a talented South Carolina team. Win those two (and if the 5-at-10 crazy predictions hold) and an 8-4 or 9-3 season is within reach and Derek Dooley is on the short list for national coach of the year.

  • photo
    (AP Photo/The San Francisco Examiner, Lacy Atkins, File)

From P-Davi

5 at 10,

I want to thank you for clearing up the concerns I voiced last week regarding MMA. Let's move on.

Nuances become a part of every team in every sport as a season progresses. Sometimes they come from real-life tragedy or maybe from players doing something they hope will change their luck. Most of the time none of it continues past the first day of off-season. However, sometimes an action becomes a part of a team's identity and is made a part of it's ritual. If enough years pass, it becomes a part of it's history.

Indy 500 winners drink milk, pitchers with no-hitters can't find any buddies to sit with in the dugout. Zone was the only thing that worked in the past at Hickory and it's the only thing that's going to work in the future (Sidenote: When Coach Norman Dale took on the cults and installed the man-to-man, all it did was lead to a state championship against the mighty Bears of South Bend Central). These are the things that we expect our athletes to abide by. These are the things they are obligated to respect.

I say all of that to say this. If someone's not shirtless in a sports bra this Sunday following a U.S. World Cup victory, I will never listen to another soccer fan tell me how Americans just won't embrace soccer as an American sport. Play by the rules, soccer. Take the shirt off.

P-Davi,

Great question/soliloquy. Let's just move along.



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    A football with a UTC logo is shown near a line of more footballs on the sideline during practice at Finley Stadium.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
    enlarge photo

Scribbler9

I have been curious for some time about the derivation of the name Moccasins for the Chattanooga sports teams. To the best of my knowledge, there was no Indian tribe called the moccasins, not even a minor tribe. And since it seems pretty silly to name a college's sports teams after a topographical feature of a river, as in Moccasin Bend, then the only other alternative seems to be the snake common to most southern waterways.

I would appreciate any background you may have come across.

Scribbler,

Great question and welcome to the show. We have a call into the UTC sports info department, but here's what we have heard.

Up until the mid-1990s, UTC and UC before that was known as the Moccasins. It allegedly started as reference to the snake. It changed later and in the 60s and 70s was the Moccasin the Indian shoe. (and this was not because UTC smelled like feet; the Moccasins were pretty tough back then. Let's move along.)

The Indian-themed Moccasins morphed into, Chief Moccanooga, an overstated Cherokee Indian. In 1996, amid the sweeping sensitivity purge of American Indian nicknames (Syracuse, St. John's and many more schools also changed their nicknames about this time), the Moccasins became the Mocs, short for a mockingbird, which is the state bird of Tennessee. Now, the Moc is a mockingbird, and the mascot's name is "Scrappy" — named for longtime legendary football coach A.C. "Scrappy" Moore, who also is the namesake for the big three awards the TFP hands out at our Best of Preps banquet.

The 5-at-10 hopes that helps; and more importantly, we hope that we didn't mess anything up.



  • photo
    Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts to a goal against Florida during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

From CelticVol

Wuzzzzzup 5@10,

Reports out of Lexington, KY have Lebron James outfitting the Kentucky basketball team for the upcoming year. Everything seems to be going just right for Calipari’s Cats. (Oh how, I long for the days of Eddie Sutton.) Cal has made the Kentucky basketball program the most attractive in the nation. Calipari continues to bring in an abundance of talent every year. Which brings me to the subject of William Wesley, or “Worldwide Wes” as he’s most commonly known, and his connection to Calipari. It is no secret that Wes, who is an agent, is a fixture on the high school basketball circuit and reportedly has connections from all over. With all the scrutiny surrounding college athletics today and Calipari’s past, one would think that the NCAA would find something wrong with this relationship. What are your thoughts?

CelticVol,

It seems that the NCAA spotlight has been focused on football since the beginning of last season with USC, Agent-Gate, Auburn and the Newtons, Oregon, THE Ohio State, et al. That said, there would have to be a college football scandal every month for the next six years for it to get where college basketball is. And a big part of that is the characters like Worldwide Wes that surround the game.

The 5-at-10, though, believes the NCAA does not go looking for violations. They react to violations that are self-reported, newspaper/media reported or reported by other schools. There are hundreds of schools playing dozens of sports, and the NCAA has a compliance office of something like 55 (and that includes the satellite office on THE campus of THE Ohio State University — kidding, kidding, sort of).

If the NCAA wants to find something they can find something on any one; that's the reason it's a big, Big, BIG deal when the NCAA comes calling.

But you're right about where Calipari has the Cats right now. That's the hot place to be and they are bringing in talent in waves. But, if history repeats itself, just wait a few years, and none of it will count. So you got that going for you C-Vol, which is like having total consciousness on your death bed, which is nice.

about Jay Greeson...

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 ...

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bigbearzzz said...

P-DAVI: That was awesome! And I love how no other comment was needed from Cinco...he just let us embrace the greatness that it was and moved on. Job well done, my good sir.

Cinco: UT is NOT beating South Carolina this year. Having said that the Florida game looks like a positive win for you guys right now. Looks like its gonna be a good season at UT after all. I also love the fact that the coaches picked Murray for QB.....really!!? I guess they are all feeling sorry for the dawgs so they decided to throw us a bone?!! I will say this, he is gonna have to be stellar in order for us to have any success this year. Even with moving Samuel back to RB still has us Dawg Fans nervous about the running game. I think defenses are gonna make us beat them on the ground. They are gonna figure out to attack our strength which will be the passing game and then were gonna have to prove ourselves on the ground. it's gonna be a test and a test we'll see early on in the season.

"People behind home plate calling their buddies on their cell phones and waving at the camera. We see you; now hang up and watch the game. Moron."............What's your number?!?!

July 15, 2011 at 10:23 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

P-Davi- you get a standing-O for that one sir...well played...and to the USA Women's World Cup team lets keep the tradition alive(and Im talking to you Hope Solo)...enough said

Can we please move on with this Dereck Dooley Hot Seat talk...I understand if we talk about this next year...but like you said High-5@10...thats next year....

July 15, 2011 at 10:42 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Concur about the praise P-Davi deserves for his insightful insightfulness.

As for USC, we see them being able to beat almost anybody in the country — and being able to lose to almost anybody in the country. Such is the joy of having Stephen Garcia at quarterback. If he's Good Stephen, you get the win against then-top-ranked Alabama last year; if he's Bad Stephen you get the guy that has turned it over nine times (with 0 TD passes) in three bowl losses in his career.

So it goes.

EC —

Couldn't agree more about Dooley's seat being at or below room temperature. In fact, barring a loss to MTSU and Vandy and/or some sort of scandal that causes Yahoo! Sports to book the fourth floor at the Best Western in Knoxville, if the Vols run Dooley in the next 10 months, the program will be so busted it will take a decade to rebuild it.

— 5-at-10

July 15, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I think this would be a good place to insert the standing, slowly accelerating, over-used in every teen movie, dramatic hand clap scene for PD. As far as the hot seat talk....seriously?! If anybody is on the seat its Richt! I mean how do you lose your entire backfield before the season even begins?!?! UT fans are not allowed to have any Hot Seat discussions until a minimum 2013...at least!

July 15, 2011 at 11:13 a.m.
patrickd said...

tHanks guys, my pOint was made. i won't Point out who i think should bE the one that doeS it, i'll just leave it up tO them. i'm onLy looking out for the spOrt of soccer.

July 15, 2011 at 11:29 a.m.
jgreeson said...

P-Davi

We think there's something wrong with your keyboard.

May want to check that out.

— 5-at-10

July 15, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.
patrickd said...

I think it's working just fine.

July 15, 2011 at 11:42 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

As a former Tech student and who's oldest friend is a Tech season ticket holder (and we both went to the ACC championship game victory that no longer exists, along with the Orange Bowl and ... gulp ... Shreveport), just how disappointed should I be right now?

By the way (just for you, Cinq a Dix), my boy is also a lawyer, a former sports agent, and is appalled at the lack of due process the NCAA extends. They really just don't answer to anybody, do they? They're like a modern day Star Chamber.

July 15, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.
jgreeson said...

P-Davi —

Whatever you say my man. Just know that your previous post looks like the electronic version of the old-school ransom note with all the letters cut from magazines and newspapers and glued to a piece of paper. We're not sayin' anything, we're just sayin.'

BIspy —

Hard to know the level of the outrage. Although it seems Danny "The Rad" Radakovich has some splain' to do.

Star Chamber — that's about the clearest comparison we can think of.

— 5-at-10

July 15, 2011 at 12:01 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I dont see anything wrong with PDavi's keyboard looks like its working fine to me. Does look kinda like a stalker note though...like an overly obsessive fan note.....I believe we should all start talking in code myself....i still have got a number yet for tomorrow night...its either that or the sign...or i could go "bear" chested.....with "V@X" on my chest...

July 15, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

P-davi...i get exactly what you are saying...and I HOPE that its a SOLO save that leads to a win for these women...then we are sure to see some...shall i say "fireworks"

I was sad to see there was no question by the 5@10 for discussion sake...i look forward to these questions...like i look forward to opening day of baseball, Christmas and the UT vs Florida game....i suppose i shall just have to wait until Monday for the next question....

July 15, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

As much as I'm pulling for Rory (one great, great kid), would there be a better feel good story in golf than Darren Clarke right now?

You got to love a guy who, after squandering a lead at Hilton Head, comes to the press room for the obligatory post round press conference and the first thing he says is...

"Anybody got a beer?"

July 15, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Thanks for thinking of us and pitching out ideas for a 5-at-10 shoutout from Turner Field. But the "Bear"-chested Oso (with a B-52's concert after the game) may get you some "unintended" and "happy" new friends. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

EC —

Question for today: While we all know the 5-at-10 loves, Loves, LOVES Wally's, is there a better Friday lunch than a plate of Bar-B-Q? If you think so, please share.

BiSpy —

No doubt, Darren Clarke winning this thing would awesome in its supreme awesomeness. In fact, the 5-at-10 would like to go ahead and request the following sports Sunday lineup:

Darren Clarke wins THE Open at about 1 p.m.

Braves go nuts, stretch out an early lead while NASCAR gets off to a fast start

Women's World Cup starts quickly with 2 U.S. goals in the minutes around 2:30-ish

We bounce back and forth between baseball, soccer and NASCAR.

We wake up from the nap that is destined to arrive because we are watching baseball, soccer and NASCAR to see the end of a Braves' shutout, Dale Jr. finally ending his winless streak and the U.S. Women lifting the World Cup. Shirts are optional on all of those, of course.

— 5-at-10

July 15, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

If anything screams a hot summer weekend...its Bar-B-Q...and it doesnt matter where it comes from...nothing hits the spot like spicy, smoked,salty pork...with some baken beans and Im always partial to parring with a potato of some kind along with mac and cheese...now if we were talking a cool fall weekend...well there is nothing that warms that soul quite like fresh chilli...and by fresh i mean chilli thats been cooking in a crockpot for 3 days....it needs to time to mature its flavor...

but back to bar-b-q...you take that bbq plate w/ choice of sides and perhaps some strawberry cobbler for lunch...well my friend that is "the good life" and nothing else can you geared up for a weekend quite like it!

July 15, 2011 at 1:42 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I had a Sweeneys stuffed potato yesterday....it wasnt good at all. The potato was over cooked (do you know how hard it is to mess up a baked potato?!?! I mean you really have to try to mess that one up!!) and the chicken was dry and tasteless. So NO to Sweeney's from now on. The only thing better the Wally's barbq on Friday is the Wally's Buffet in ER...either that or Bea's on Friday....hummmm...thats a quandry. I mean if we are talkin straight Barbque and the best place in Chattanooga to get...i would have to throw out a shout out to Masterblaster's. Not a big Rib N Loin fan, so i would have to shout out to Choo Choo Bar BQue..of Course Sticky Finge....oh i could go on for hours on this topic!!

July 15, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Chili is absolute slam dunk. We could eat Chili (and yes we capitalized it out of respect) five days a week.

Had lunch with our dad (5-at-10 Sr.) at Porker's today. Good times all around.

Oso —

We're with you — we could talk about this for a long time. In fact, it's kind of strange that there is really on two types of Bar-B-Q: Good Bar-B-Q and bad Bar-B-Q, because if it's only OK, then it's bad.

Our personal favorite Bar-B-Q joint is a place called "Mike and Ed's" in Auburn, Ala. Great Bar-B-Q and the best Brunswick Stew anywhere.

— 5-at-10

July 15, 2011 at 2:19 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I actually had a huge bowl of Chili today. I'll be full for the rest of the day...or until about 6 when its time to eat again. We could...for future topic discussions...break this puppy down. Best Ribs, Best Barbque Chicken, Best BBQ Potato, Sandwhich, Brunswick Stew, etc. Its just too much information to digest in one setting. We havent even gotten into BBQ Oddities: BBQ Spaghetti, BBQ Nachos, BBQ Pizza, etc.

July 15, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.
chas9 said...

BBQ lovers, do yourself a favor and try Sugar's here in Chttaboogie, and in Jackson, GA, don't miss the Fresh Air.

July 15, 2011 at 3:33 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Add that to the list of summer topics. (Hey, whatever happened to that list of summer topics?) And mercifully, we are going to have to get to that ASAP because — hold onto your girdle Aunt Gertrude — we are less than 50 days from the start of college football.

9er —

Have not been to Sugar's yet, but have heard mighty fine things about them. In fact SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) is a big fan, and that's good enough in our book.

— 5-at-10

July 15, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
Livn4life said...

I think the 5 at 10 musta drunk something from a Claret Jug. Montana is a long ways from North Texas. Come ON MAN!

July 15, 2011 at 5:42 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

DUH! Guys...I even got the HOPE SOLO part...and I'm going on 70 and a (gasp!)gramma to boot!!!

July 16, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
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