published Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

5 at 10: Dooley/Richt, Bama/LSU and the Fab 4 +1

(AP Photos by Rogelio V. Solis and Gerald Herbert)
(AP Photos by Rogelio V. Solis and Gerald Herbert)

From the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...

Make a call

Alabama vs. LSU is the biggest SEC regular-season game in the history of the free world. It's bigger than Roseanne Barr's tuckus and more intimidating than... well, Roseanne Barr's tuckus. The SEC preview in the TFP's Weekend Blitz in Friday's paper will have a tale of the tape breakdown of the Tigers and the Tide.

But that's tomorrow. Today we want your view. Who will win? Why?

Is Trent Richardson the best player on the field? Will he be the most valuable? Is AJ McCarron ready for this? Is Jarrett Lee? Will Les Miles do something crazy? Will Nick Saban be so intense that lasers will shoot out of his eyes, ears and even his nose? (The 5-at-10's answers to those questions are, in order — Yes, Maybe, Maybe, No, Oh Yes and Abso-flipping-lutely.)

Heck fire, let's have a contest:

Pick the winner of the LSU-Alabama game and by how many (remember "Price is Right" rules apply, meaning if you go over you're out of luck).

We'll try to get a lot of the TFP college writers and some of the area media folks involved too. In fact, we're doing our regular Thursday spot on "The Show" with Chris Goforth around 2 p.m. today on 1370 AM and we'll get his pick then.

We'll announce the prizes come Friday. Whatcha' got?

  • photo
    Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, center, and fullback Geoff Meinken (10) celebrate after Luck scored a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Stanford won 56-48 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Fab 4 (+1) picks

We're 28-14-1. Against the spread. For crying out loud if Luca Brasi had that kind of success he could have moved beyond muscle and taken a position of prominence within the family. But does the 5-at-10 family care? No. Not in the least.

Alas, so it goes, and so we'll keep making our best guesses and throwing them out there. (Of course, now that we've played the sympathy card, we're begging for a 1-4 week. So it goes.)

Stanford minus-20 at Oregon State:

It's a ton of points on the road, but the 5-at-10 is loyal. Stanford is 13-0-1 against the spread in its last 14 games, and the Cardinal have Andrew Luck. That's enough for us.

Ole Miss minus-1 at Kentucky:

The divide in talent level alone is enough to make anyone say, "What, Kentucky is only getting 1?" Plus, if Houston Nutt loses this one — which would be something like his 1,457th consecutive SEC loss, well, Johnny Rebel Black Bears Fans nationwide would be ready for a dismissal. On Sunday

  • photo
    South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier looks up toward the scoreboard after a touchdown and extra point during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee at Williams Brice Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, in Columbia, SC. (AP Photo/Rich Glickstein)

Arkansas minus-4.5 vs. South Carolina:

Tyler Wilson against Connor Shaw. Thank you and pass the parlay sheet.

North Carolina minus-3 at N.C. State:

Yes, this is a rivalry game. Yes, this is an ACC game. Yes, this is a game that features two teams that are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in puzzles wrapped in conundrums. That said, UNC has way, Way, WAY more talent, and more times than not talent is enough.

There are several candidates for the plus-one games this week — Michigan minus-4 at an Iowa team that lost to Minnesota last week; Notre Dame minus-14 at Wake Forest; USC minus-whatever at Colorado on Friday night (by the way, the 5-at-10 really likes that game) and Houston-minus-the-free-world at UAB (the 5-at-10 really likes this game, too). But all season, the plus-one spot has been reserved for Alabama. And while the Tide face a monster challenge against LSU this week, the plus-one is loyal if nothing else.

Alabama minus-4 vs. LSU:

Evenly matched teams in a game hyped beyond human belief. That only means one thing — this feels like a two-touchdown win for the home team.

  • photo
    Coach Derek Dooley shouts at his players during a timeout.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Vols Talk takes a strange turn

Did anyone other than the 5-at-10 listen to Derek Dooley's call-in show last night?

OK, quick recap: Derek Dooley handles the vast majority of calls saying, "Coach, you da man," or "Coach love the Vols and thank you for everything," or "Coach, we're behind you and," well you get the idea. Your regular, self-contained, self-praising calls and compliments that make every coaches call-in show seem identical. Heck, 97 percent of the calls have questions that sound an awful lot like, "We are playing this week, are we ready to play?" and feature a lot of "we" and "our" as if the caller has been practicing since August. And that's how it should be.

Well, Wednesday night, there were at least two calls for Coach Dooley that were certainly not the regular softballs and some even would describe them as harsh, especially for the vacuum setting that is every coach's show. The most overwhelming of which was a stern question about the running game and the underachieving offensive line (which by all accounts would be a fair question because the offensive line has not been as good as many expected).

Dooley's answers were smooth and well-presented, but dude is super sharp and that should be expected. It was somewhat unexpected to the 5-at-10, though, that the critics have already arrived on the coach's show.

Does anyone else get the feel that anything less than a 3-1 November will create a whole lot of unrest in the program heading into the offseason?

  • photo
    Georgia head coach Mark Richt looks on from the sidelines during a football game against LSU on Oct. 3, 2009. LSU won 20-13. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

This and that

— Sweet buckets of blush and blunder, UGA coach Mark Richt babbled his way through the explanation of the collective rules violation at the running backs position meeting. Well, it's a VERY LUCKY thing for Coach Richt and the Bulldogs that it happened this week against a lesser opponent as opposed to last week before the Florida game or next week before the Auburn game, huh? (Does sarcasm come across as well in the typed word as it does in the spoken word?)

— Sweet buckets of spit and long-standing hopes of punching someone in the face, but did you see that Lenny Dykstra and Jose Canseco are going toe-to-toe in a celebrity boxing match this weekend? Ok, first question, how are either of those goof balls still considered celebrities? Second, those two nut bars couldn't punch a ballot much less each other. Third, oh forget it, this is a waste of time because each of these targets are too easy.

— Sweet sounds of needless hand-wringing, don't look now but with all the stuff going on in our great country two Democrats in Congress are urging Major League Baseball and the players union to test for human growth hormone and ban chewing tobacco by players in uniform. Really Congress, this is atop your to-do list? The Congressmen — Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Frank Pallone of New Jersey — apparently believe that people being jobless, homeless and in some cases hopeless are not as pressing an issue as tobacco that's smokeless.

— The NBA has now missed two days of the season. Let's keep a countdown: Days of games skipped — 2; Days missed by the 5-at-10 — 0.

— Sweet Gordon Gekko greed is good. Why in the name of football's crazy bounces are there a handful of SEC games at night this weekend? The biggest regular-season SEC game in a generation is being broadcast at 8 p.m. A match-up of two SEC teams ranked in the nation's top 12 is also in prime time. As are three other games. Why? Why, Mike Slive. You're smarter than this.

  • photo
    Alabama's Darius Hanks (15) drops a pass as LSU's Jai Eugene (4) defends during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Today's question

We want your predictions for The Showdown.

Bring it. Know that we have a contest — pick the winner and by how much and remember that the "Price is Right" rule applies — but feel free to offer up what you think the difference will be.

We'll start — Alabama by 10.

But don't let it stop there. What's going to be the difference Saturday night. Who will be the star. Bring it and if you make the best prediction and it comes true, you will be rewarded.

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
BIspy4 said...

Alabama by 5. You not taking any under/over on this one ... for entertainment purposes only?

I wonder if Richt had to suspend all three running backs because he loved them?

November 3, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.
Blueoval said...

Bama by 4

November 3, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

It's definitely a "Feel-the-Love" Thursday. Brought to you by the Love Doctor (Yes, that's "Night Shift" reference).

The posted over/under is 42, and that scares the living Kiffin out of the 5-at-10 more than the spread.

Oval —

You're in.

Here's what we have so far:

5-at-10 — Bama by 10

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Bama by 3

BIspy — Bama by 5

Blueoval — Bama by 4

TFP UT beat writer Patrick Brown — LSU by 2

WarEagle — LSU by 8

McPell — Bama by 1

JordanRules — LSU by 7

scole023 — LSU by 6

Keep them coming...

November 3, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
chas9 said...

Bama by 6. TR the sTaR.

What've we got, Johnny?

November 3, 2011 at 11:45 a.m.
jharvey1984 said...

Bama by 12 Probably a flea flicker and an attempted fake punt or FG from the tigs (it will be no good)

November 3, 2011 at 12:33 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Bama by 7

November 3, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.
patrickd said...

The Week of Dominance™

It's Day four of the ceremonial Five Days of Backhanded Passive/Aggressive Compliments™.

DAY 4: Accusations are surfacing that Les Miles may not be an articulate wordsmith who effectively communicates with media members. In response, Miles gathered his thoughts, and then confidently said... "When he contacts you, when he brings contact in to bear, it is a very physical force."

Overtaken Yoda, as best communicator, Les Miles has.

November 3, 2011 at 12:59 p.m.
smmom said...

LSU by 11..Tigers are dominant. Not intimidated by Tuscaloosa..Certainly not intimidated by Saban. Honey Badger and Spencer Ware are back....Les Miles will pull out something that will make the veins in Saban's neck bulge.It's our year to bring home another crystal ball.

November 3, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Got in late last night (early this morning) because I'm working on another project that's past deadline. Had to get up at 6 to go to a Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

And almost didn't get to sleep because "Real Genius" was on, starring Val Kilmer and "that guy," William Atherton.

November 3, 2011 at 1:11 p.m.

Bama by 3. I think it just might be as good as the hype. But, gut feeling says Saban takes this one, just by being a step ahead of Miles. As a GA fan, you know I have as much interest in the SC/ARK game as I do the AL/LSU game. As a football fan, I will unfortunately miss the SC/ARK game. Sad day for the SEC when they could have easily swept the whole day in tv ratings, if they would have thought it through a little. Scared of that Stanford pick. I think they will win, but history is not too good to teams after a triple OT game. I have to believe the Beavers will bring their A-game to try and pull the upset.

November 3, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
jharvey1984 said...

i really wish they could both

November 3, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Geez, Jay, been working all morning on the calcuations defining the possiblity of an Israel air strike on Iran, as seen all over the Jerusalem media. I'm thinking, no, this is just pressure of China and Russia to climb aboard the next US led santions regime.

That said, for the even tougher call today...take it away Zorak:

LSU -2, Daddio!

November 3, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

LSU by that like betting 1 dollar?

November 3, 2011 at 1:31 p.m.
memphisexile said...

LSU by three. I am guessing a last second field goal after a defensive struggle. Les has not run a trick play all year, expect something special. Although, it will be pretty hard to top the TE reverse with the QB lead blocking from last year.

November 3, 2011 at 2:33 p.m.

"Does anyone else get the feel that anything less than a 3-1 November will create a whole lot of unrest in the program heading into the offseason?"

In the program? No. Those with unrest are the fans who need 18-22 year olds to win big every week in order to validate their sorry lives. The ones that matter, the alumni, supporters, employees, and students of the Universiy, can see the improvement in the program under Derek Dooley.

Jay, I was a student on The Hill in the early 80s. It can get worse.

November 3, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
Redlegs11 said...

Bama has better linebackers and a better tailback. That's pretty much it. Certainly Saban will garner a ton of credit for his Xs and Os and people will make fun of Miles, but they are 2-2 against one another and I happen to like both of LSU's coordinators better. LSU rotataes 10 people on the Defensive line and their secondary is unmatched outside the NFL. That deadly combination says they will load up on Richardson (maybe 80-85 hard-fought yards) and make the QB beat them. He can't do it. Tigers win this one relatively easy .... say LSU 24-10.

November 3, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Updated list:

5-at-10 — Bama by 10

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Bama by 3

BIspy — Bama by 5

SMMOM — LSU by 11

Blueoval — Bama by 4

TFP UT beat writer Patrick Brown — LSU by 2

WarEagle — LSU by 8

McPell — Bama by 1

JordanRules — LSU by 7

scole023 — LSU by 6

Chris Goforth — LSU by 3

jharvey1984 — Bama by 12

Musicman375 — Bama by 7

addictedtochalupa — Bama by 3

FE to the C — LSU by 2

Oso — LSU by 7

Memphis Exile — LSU by 3

OTWatcher — Bama by 1

Redlegs11 — LSU by 14

Gang, great response all the way around.

As for the responses to the comments, here goes:

JHarvey, concur that a trick play or three will be tried by LSU. If they work, the Tigers could roll (and Nick Saban's head will pop off).

PDavi —

In an effort to be fair in our back-and-forth in the backhanded compliments, here is LSU's reply:

Les Miles has a way of communicating that only a mother could love; Nick Saban's way of communicating is by far more popular among dictators and evil emperors all over the world.

SMMOM — Thanks for stopping by the show and sharing. With the Badger back and Spencer Ware, LSU is fully armed. That said, the QBs likely will decide this one (and Honey Badger will care about that).

ATC — Agree about Saban being ready for this one — in fact here's saying the Tide has been prepping for this game as soon as the Arkansas win was wrapped up. And Stanford seems a little sketchy, but a player on a streak has to respect the streak.

FC to the C — Dude, all this foreign policy is making our head hurt. Unless you're talking kickers, the foreign policy stuff can wait until after the bowl games.

Oso — Where you been? And yes, that's like betting a dollar... on Mars... next Tuesday.

redlegs11 — That's a strong assessment, and we agree that LSU's coordinators, especially Chavis, have done Cracker Jack work this year. LSU's secondary will be a big key. Huge. Is it possible to be this excited for a game that your team is not in?

BTG — It most definitely can get worse. Always can. And you make a fair point about the folks inside the program believing Dooley and how that matters most. It does, well those folks and the big-money donors.

But don't undersell the power of public opinion.

That said, the 5-at-10 is not to be considered either pro-Dooley or anti-Dooley. We're just unsure right now. Does he need more time? Probably. Has he been overly impressive? That's debatable.

What's not in debate is the passion of the UT fan base, and for that, thanks BTG and Jomo and Ldurham and the rest of the folks that have made this a great week of college football debate.

— 5-at-10

November 3, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
rossboro said...

LSU by 4 They are more consistent on both sides of the ball than Bama. I kinda think they have a little more speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball

November 3, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
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