published Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

5-at-10: College football, referees and Final Four 1980s ensemble movie casts

Folks, we'll be moving quickly this week as we are wrapping up a second consecutive marathon task of another football tab. Remember Friday's mailbag and to tip your wait staff handsomely.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's go.

It's time — really — it's time

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    In this Saturday Oct. 16, 2010 file photo, Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley rolls out to pass against California during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

It's high school football game week. The Vols open the 2012 season of much promise/much desperation two weeks from Friday.

It's here. It's all happening.

That said, from today through the opening Friday of the college season, we'll have some sort of list — we can't promise one on mailbag Fridays since you guys determine the topics, but we feel pretty good about it — about the upcoming season.

Today, and in honor of Tyrann Mathieu creating an open spot on the Heisman front-runner list, let's meet the 5-at-10's top five Heisman hopefuls, and with all these lists, order matters. It always matters, because as Ricky Bobby says, "if you're not first, you're last."

1) Matt Barkley, USC — Will post big numbers and has an entire region to himself. Plus, the Trojans will likely make a big run toward the BCS.

2) Denard Robinson, Michigan — Being fast in the Big Ten is like being a high school senior competing in the middle school academic bowl — it's simply an unfair advantage. And Robinson definitely fast; although he is the last to say he wants to race Usain Bolt, which calls his judgement into question.

3) Montee Ball, Wisconsin — As long as Ball somehow doesn't wander into three street fights between now and December. Whatever. That said, Ball could post another monster campaign running behind the cheese-curders in Madison. And Ball, who went for 1,923 rushing yards and 23 TDs last year, will pass the 4,000-yard career rushing mark this fall.

4) Landy Jones, Oklahoma — There needs to be a couple of Sooners receivers stepping up — remember the name Trey Metoyer — but Oklahoma's offense will score (especially against the defensively challenged Big 12) and Jones will be in the middle of it.

5) Geno Smith, West Virginia — If we were in Vegas and were going to lay money, we'd likely put it on Smith, considering the odds and possibilities. Remember, the last time Smith and the Mountaineers were on the field they put 70 on Clemson. Now they have a year in Dana Holgorsen's offense and figure to be even better.

Replacement refs

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    NFL officials are shown before an NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The NFL is Teflon. Bounty-gate has been shrugged away. The worries of concussions and post-concussion effects are hovering over the game, but most players and fans alike are embracing the ever-popular, ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach and believe that if they do not acknowledge the concussions, they'll go away. (They won't of course, and while the NFL's present is for the most part concussion proof, the league's future will be shaped by concerned parents across the country who will decide if 6-to-10 year-old boys who may be the next Tom Brady or Robert Griffin III will play football.)

Last year's labor dispute was resolved and while the schedule was affected, no one really noticed. Or no one really cared since there were games on all day Sunday and Monday night and the Super Bowl closed the year with the nation's biggest Sunday shindig.

The NFL is bulletproof. Right? Well, mostly.

It appears the league is bound and determined to open the season with replacement referees as the work negotiations between the NFL and the officials association have hit a stand still. And while all the other issues around the NFL may be worse and more disconcerting to a normal view, they for the most part have not affected the majority of the NFL fans because the issues have not affected the actual games.

Replacement referees, however, could have an overwhelming impact on the product. And when the product gets damaged — and the bets and/or fantasy leagues of "invested" fans — that could prove to be the first crack in the NFL's Teflon armor.

Here's saying this impasse will be bridged before the start of the season.

Braves' befuddles

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    Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) avoids San Diego Padres' Logan Forsythe (11) as he turns a double play on a ground ball from Alexi Amarista in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in Atlanta. The Padres won 4-1.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A good number of folks we know have mentioned the Braves' long-standing struggles on Monday. Until a couple of weeks ago, the Braves had not won on Monday since something like August 2011, a run that almost reached 20 straight cases of the Mondays. (Side question: The case of the Mondays makes us think of "Office Space," which gets at least a 7.5 on the underrated scale with 1 being the underrated movie equivalent of "Independence Day" and 10 being "Miller's Crossing.")

And while that's fine and well and jazzy, here's the bigger question for Johnny Braves Fans everywhere: Why do the Braves slap stink against the dregs of the National League?

Quick, name a Padres player. Uh, there's Tony Gwynn, right? No, he retired. What about Heath Bell? No, he stinks and is blowing saves in Miami. Jake Peavy? Nope, been gone more than a year.

The Padres were 14 games under .500 before popping the Braves 4-1 last night behind a lineup featuring the renowned slugging slate of Forsythe-Amarista-Headley-Quentin in the top four slots. Does anyone else think the Braves would take two of three from the 1976 Reds but lose three of four to the Lookouts?

And the Braves couldn't touch some journeyman named Eric Stults — not to be confused with Eric Stoltz, who was Rocky Dennis in "Mask" and a stoner in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Side note: As we discussed earlier this summer "Fast Times" was one of the excellent movies that came out in 1982 and is celebrating its 30th year. Looking back at the cast — Penn, Cage, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Stoltz, et al. — that may be the single best collection cast of a slew of talented collection casts in the 80s. More on this to come.

This and that

— Kudos to former Red Bank High and Tennessee Tech standout Tim Benford, who had a catch for the Dallas Cowboys in last night's thrilling 3-0 win over Oakland in preseason action. It was a game so brutal only mommas and agents were watching.

— Speaking of local guys making good: Former Rhea County pitcher and current Braves reliever Cory Gearrin has now pitched 10.1 major-league innings this season and has allowed one run — on a solo homer to Nick Swisher in mid-June. Gearrin, who worked a scoreless inning Monday night, has an 0.87 ERA this year.

— With the final golf major in the books, the next big golf event is the Ryder Cup in late September. The qualifying for the top eight spots on the U.S. team are set with, in order of finish, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. That leaves some interesting names such as Stricker, Fowler, Snedeker, Johnson, et al. left from which David Love III to pick four.

— Is Derek Lowe the cockroach of MLB pitchers? Every time his career looks to be cooked, Lowe lands somewhere and contributes. After being paid to leave Atlanta, Lowe had early success in Cleveland before bottoming out. The Indians released him and he signed with the Yankees, who have been riddled with pitching injuries. Lowe pitched four scoreless innings in relief Monday and picked up his first save since 2001. If nuclear winter hits the MLB, there will be Derek Lowe, Omar Vizquel and Jim Leyland.

— Of note: The Yankees tagged the Rangers in the game Lowe got the save. The Yankees punished Rangers starter Ryan Dempster, who was acquired at the trade deadline. Remember Dempster refused a trade to the Braves and was dealt to Texas and has been shelled in the tough AL and in the Rangers' hitter-friendly park. Safe to say Dempster's 8.31 ERA in three starts for the Rangers have not been overly impressive, especially in the stretch run of a contract year. Be careful what you ask for, Ryan.

Today's question

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    No. 1 seed — St. Elmo's Fire vs. No. 4 seed — Red Dawn in the Better '80s Ensemble Cast Final Four.

We have quick answer stuff for you today:

What college football list do you want to see in the days ahead?

Is there any surprise that Reuben Foster, the five-star linebacker who has switched high schools and flopped his commitment from Alabama to Auburn in the last eight months, is a subject of interest by either the Alabama high school association (according to Rivals) or possibly the NCAA (according to the AJC)?

Better '80s ensemble cast Final Four: No. 1 seed — St. Elmo's Fire (Estevez, Moore, Lowe, McCartney, Nelson, Sheedy, with a nice supporting role from Andie MacDowell) vs. No. 4 seed — Red Dawn (Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Sheen, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, with appearances from Powers Boothe and Harry Dean Stanton); No. 2 seed — The Outsiders (Swayze, Dillon, Estevez, Cruise, Garrett, Diane Lane, Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Lowe... how was this a 2 seed again?) vs. No. 3 seed — Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Who you got?

Discuss.

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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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.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

To be fair, the Padres are the second hottest team in baseball right now. They are 8-2 in their last ten. The only team better in all of baseball is the Nationals 9-1. Playing the Padres at the wrong time, unfortunately, for the Braves.

Mentioned a fantasy football league earlier. Is that going to happen?

Good luck finishing up everything. Thanks for doing the 5 at 10 even though you're so busy. It keeps me going through the day.

August 14, 2012 at 10:52 a.m.
chas9 said...

Football's here and among the best news is that The Pirate is back (at Washington State). Other than Leach, who are the most pirate-ish college football coaches? Arrrrrgh!

MMA's Mayhem was arrested naked in a church with mayhem strewn all around him followed by an ugly mugshot. After a recent nekkid incident, Jay proposed the 5@10 scale with Braveheart Boy the gold standard. Query: How many points on the 5@10 scale did Mayhem earn?

Newsflash for Spy: Johnny Depp and his long-time main squeeze Vanessa Paradis have split. The estimable Ms. Paradis says she's looking for a guy who's "creative with burning eyes and a pretty mouth." Sounds like Spy all right. Or Ned Beattie.

August 14, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Padres players...Padres players...Garth Brooks? No?.....Chris Gaines? Still no? Yeah, that is a tough one.

Some preseason games are fun to watch just because football is on tv again and youre excited to see the young players going all out for a spot on the team. Last night was definitely not one of those games. Its bad when getting three stars on angry birds is forcing a divide in your attention span from any NFL product. And how many NFL teams are still having to play on baseball fields? It looks like junk from a tv viewer's perspective. Cant they just build more stadiums? Is that not in the budget? The dirt makes my eyes hurt. Have them look into that.

Your 1980's Final Four has enough tight rolled jeans and leg warmers to drive someone mad. If it was a true battle, Red Dawn is a run away. You cant fill a cast with that much teen angst and then arm them without dangerous repercussions. Even if the average age for a cast in a majority of those movies was 29.

August 14, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Stuck —

Thanks for the kind words. Fair point that the Padres are hot. They still are a really good Double-A team, though.

The jury is still out on the fantasy league right now.

9er —

We laughed out loud at your final paragraph. Then we cringed.

Mayhem gets huge points on the punk scale for being in a church. That said, one of the reasons Gibson's meltdown was so eye-popping was because he carried himself as such a likable dude. He was the Lethal Weapon guy that made friends with Danny Glover.

If your name is Mayhem, there's not a lot of surprise in acting the fool. Although being nekkid in a church is going the extra mile for sure.

We'll do top Pirates in college football for tomorrow or Thursday.

962 —

If Garth was trying out for these Padres, not only would he make the club and start, he'd be asking to be traded to a contender.

Great call on the average age of the cast being 29, which begs the question do we allow say a "Big Chill" or another upper age ensemble cast to be considered since they're all roughly the same age anyway.

Another side question: Would Rob Lowe be considered the Thomas Jefferson of metrosexuals everywhere? Disucss.

— 5-at-10

August 14, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, as fortune would have it, "Rock-n-Roll High School," in my opine the far and away better than "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," was released in '79.

Can't say or not if you've considered these when honing you list, but the following merit attention...

Stripes: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P. J. Soles, John Candy, John Larroquette, Sean Young, John Diehl, and Judge Reinhold, Dave Thomas, Bill Paxton, Joe Flaherty.

Caddy Shack: Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, Brian Doyle Murray.

The Big Chill: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams.

August 14, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Can't believe you left off Caddy Shack...you feelin ok? Another honorable mention I'd like to add in to the hunt is of course The Breakfast Club. On another topic, replacement refs (yeah you know i was gonna come in here for this!) I hope the NFL reaches an agreement soon. There is a reason that the refs they are using now are not refin games for the NFL on a regular basis. If they were competent enough to do the job in the first place then they would be the ones without a job right now. It spells nothing but trouble for the NFL if they dont do something and fast. Look for more flags than normal and missed calls and more time consuming huddles to make sure they get the right call which we all know fans just loooooooove!

August 14, 2012 at 12:55 p.m.
chas9 said...

Recently the five'll get you ten listed the top sports icons in Beantown lore. Don't think any of us mentioned Johnny Pesky, who today is being called Boston's favorite. Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

And Lane Kiffin has once again shown you have to take what he says with a shaker of salt.

Keith Olberman is right there with Rob Lowe.

August 14, 2012 at 1:11 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I go Red Dawn, also because of Harry Carey Jr. (the actor, not the broadcaster). Dude wsa part of many, many, many John Wayne movies. He's the guy who played the uncle to Jennifer Grey and Lea Thompson.

And I go Fast Times. Judge Reinhold. Sean Penn. One young Nicolas Coppola. I think he changed his name or something. Jennifer Leigh Jason Leigh Leigh Jason. And um Phoebe um yeah Cates. Uh huh. And don't forget our favorite Martian, Ray Walston.

fechancellor, terrific call on Stripes.

August 14, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Diane Lane. The Spy has always had a fondness for her since "A Little Romance," co-starring Laurence Olivier.

August 14, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

chas9,

guilty as charged as "creative with burning eyes." And they're not burning red from too many free Bud Lights, thanks to the generosity and largesse of a darn good boss.

August 14, 2012 at 1:45 p.m.
Todd962 said...

The twitter machine produced another brilliant idea that I saw the other night.(Proving that it can be used for good and is not just an instrument of destruction when placed in the hands of a moron.) So in place of having a closing ceremony/weird octopus concert for the Olympics, take all the Gold Medalists and put them in the arena for a last man standing dodgeball competition. One, it will produce a grand champion of the Olympics. And two, holy smokes can you imagine the ratings that thing would pull. I would put up pay-per-view money to see if Usain Bolt was fast enough to escape Lebron chasing him with a dodgeball. It would produce a tv spectacle the likes of which no one has ever seen. What do we need to do to make this happen?

August 14, 2012 at 1:54 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

After a long recess, nice to hear Jay talking about the true ambassadors of North Texas. And no, it has nothing to do with that UTC-ish school up in Denton.

I don't want to come across that Dempster (or Dumpster as I tend to say) was an ill-faded trade but Cliff Lee he is not. I don't believe he's going to cripple us enough in the post-season but he's not doing anyone in the Rangers bullpen any favors in regards to sharing the workload. On a sidenote, I passed on Stubhub to go to Sunday's game where even some of the third base tickets were at Lookouts prices and the outfield seats were cheaper than the Lookouts. A imagined after Friday and Saturdays game to instead go see "Brave" in Northpark (GREAT movie-on my Rushmore for Pixar flicks). So I missed how Yu pitched one hell of a game and the bats lead to a lopsided victory against the series with Detroit.

So yes, I did a little kicking of myself in the rump over that decision.

Worst case senerio, Dumpster will either get cut or booted down to Frisco (aka the Lookouts of North Texas).

Also Jay, todays DMN has a three page spread dedicated to the start of class 4A and 5A football here in North Texas. Check your mailbox real soon for more "paperwork" from the Dallas office.

August 14, 2012 at 1:54 p.m.
chas9 said...

Oh. Oh. Oh. OH. OH. Mr. Kotter. Mr. Kotter.

Horshack has been called to the principal's office..

August 14, 2012 at 2:28 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Strong list. Caddyshack deserved a little more love. We may have to make this an eight-team field for Friday's mailback and have a playoff. Who's in?

Oso —

Nice to see you again good sir. And we agree that the NFL does not want any part o replacement officials. Because worst case scenario is you get a rogue Tim Donaghy in there and who knows what could happen from there.

9er —

We searched for a way to get Pesky in the 5-at-10 today. Opted for a silent tribute.

No Olberman is the Thomas Jefferson of modern-age dufus.

Spy —

We are leaning to Fast Times too. There are four Oscars in that group, for what it's worth. Although Cruise's and Lane's presence in The Ousiders is tough. Never mind one Leif Garrett, who was the teen heart throb when that movie was release.

962 —

Awesome idea, but can only be complete if Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks do the announcing for ESPN the Ocho (although this is so going on NBC).

All we can do is make it happen here. Who's in for an Olympic gold medal Dodgeball draft for Friday's mailbag?

JMCook —

Dumpster Fire is getting what he deserves. The AL is much tougher on pitchers and he has above average stuff that is getting lit up. Would you pour 5 years and $75 million into that?

We have since rewatched the Dallas season finale, and we liked it just as much the second time around.

— 5-at-10

August 14, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Just saw that. Ron Pallilo, the dude that played Arnold Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter is dead at 63.

How tired do you think that guy was of hearing the Horshack laugh? Or do you think it went the other way and he showed up places in Horshack T-shirts and the green jackets?

From before for the honorable representative from the Dallas office...

If/when the DMN puts out any football preview sections, please send them along. We love to see what other papers are doing. We'll mail you our college preview — eight pages on the Mocs — before it hits the streets on Aug. 26.

— 5-at-10

August 14, 2012 at 2:42 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

A day old but Baylor is the best team in the area even though they (cough, cough) haven't decided on a quarterback.

A college football list, which programs are most likely to get the hammer in the next couple of years. Or the hammer and sickle, the way some at the college in Pennsylvania State perceive it.

Platoon: Tom Berenger, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon (Entourage), John McGinley (Scrubs), Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Tony Todd (Candyman, tons of other appearances), Sgt. Dale Dye (Band of Brothers, currently in Falling Skies), and even Richard Edson, who played one of the garage attendants that took the car for a ride in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

August 14, 2012 at 3:02 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Score!

August 14, 2012 at 3:07 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

oh wow....great call on Platoon....well played LB....

August 14, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

5@10 - I think you'll need a wildcard round with Platoon in the mix. Love olympic closing with a mass dodgeball melee.

August 14, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

How about Apocalypse Now? Daddy Sheen. Marlon Brando. Robert Duvall. G.D Spradlin (Senator Pat Geary from Godfather II). Harrison Ford. Larry Fishburne. Dennis Hopper.

Though it may be a 1979 release instead of 1980.

August 14, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

So now Yahoo! is reporting several Red Sox players asked the ownership to dispatch Bobby Valentine elsewhere.

Shoot, the fans have been wanting that all season long.

August 14, 2012 at 4:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Laughter —

Great call on Platoon. Outstanding. In fact, when we saw that in theater one of the more haunting/memorable images in our file is walking past two dudes that appeared to be of the age that they may have been in Vietnam and they are just crying their eyes out. We'll never forget it.

Great call. Platoon > the cast of the Disorderlies.

As for Baylor, the decision process on the QB may take a while. (Wink-wink-nod-nod.) And maybe the Red Raiders will be better, but Signal is the best we've seen so far.

Spy —

Look up Apocalypse Now, cause not only is that a great cast, it's a top-five role for Duvall and that's saying something.

Yahoo is also reporting that Tech boosters were unhappy with Bill Lewis and Georgia fans were less than thrilled with Ray Goff (the coach not the quarterback).

— 5-at-10

August 14, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
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