published Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

5-at-10: College football, Augusta opens up and QB shuffles

Speaking with friend of the show Quake yesterday, it dawned on each of us that our jobs are more enjoyable (and busier) during football season. So it goes, but it's here, and it's all happening.

The mailbag is filling up, so if you want it, shoot it along.

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

College football list

We have been listifying about college football in excited anticipation of the season satrting next week. We've done ninja coaches, pirate coaches, most valubale QBs and today we'll do most valuable non-QBs.

And remember, if there's a list you'd like to see, shoot it over. We're up for anything that meets with our F-O-I-B policies. (Heck we did ninja coaches after all.)

  • photo
    South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (21) runs for a touchdown. (AP Photo/John Amis)


Most valuable non-quarterbacks in college football. (Remember, most valuable does not mean best per se. These are the guys that if they go down, there would be a major panic among fans, coaches and teams. And yes, it was tough leaving off "The man you know better as Joe the Policeman from the 'What's Going Down' episode of 'That's My Mamma' Mr. Sammie Watkins, any number of LSU defenders and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o "Daylight come and me want to go home" but so be it.)

1) Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina: Dude is a bell cow, and while Connor Shaw may be more reliable than Stephen Garcia, there's not a USC-east fan anywhere that wants to go to battle with Shaw flying solo.

2) Barrett Jones, Alabama: Arguably the best leader in college football this season. Dude was an All-American left tackle and accepted a move to center to help the Tide. This is one that would affect the team inside the locker room as much as on the field.

3) Montee Ball, Wisconsin: The Badgers have landed their yearly free agent quarterback, but it's not that tough handing the ball to Ball, provided he does not wander into a street fight before kickoff. Ball is poised to eclipse the 4,000-yard-career-rushing mark, and that's rarified air.

4) Jarvis Jones, Georgia: With Tyrann Mathieu in rehab, Jones may be the nation's most impact defensive player. And Georgia's defense could be special as long as he's on the field.

5) Brent Russell, Georgia Southern: Yes, this is a shout-out to our guy Spy, but Russell is a beast and the Eagles are poised to make a run. When the Mocs and the Eagles meet this fall, half of the FCS All-American defensive line will be on the field with Russell and UTC's Josh Williams.


Augusta National admitted two deserving female members, financial world heavyweight Darla Moore and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It ended the all-male membership that had become a hot button issue in a decade-or-so-long standoff between women's rights groups and the private Augusta National membership.

  • photo
    At left, in a March 24, 2011 file photo, Darla Moore speaks to students at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. At right, in a Jan. 24, 2008 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice smiles during a meeting with trade union leaders in Medellin, Colombia. For the first time in it's 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members. The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Rice and South Carolina financier Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Whether you think this is a great day for Augusta National or shrug your shoulders or even bemoan the fact that this should have happened years ago, this is a newsworthy event. Is it a red-letter day or a scarlet-letter day?

We could make an argument that yes, Augusta's move was a step forward. We could also argue that it happened 20-plus year too late. But we also feel that a private club should be allowed every right to decide its membership how it sees fit. Everyone is not entitled to be a part of everything everyone else is doing.

So it goes, we suppose. (Side note: The hypothetical questions out there of, "What if the women had said 'Thanks, but no thanks,'" are simply re-DONK-ulous. First, it's Augusta National for crying out loud. They don't ask twice. Secondly, if it's a decision this newsworthy and high-profile, you don't the Augusta National folks had every confidence — up to and including asking Moore and Rice behind close doors — this offer would be accepted before it was extended? This is not the senior prom.)

We were there when Martha Burke tried to strong arm Augusta National about opening their membership to women. Her point was heard and her delivery was loathed — then-president Hootie Johnson saying famously that Augusta would likely allow women members at some point, but would not do it "at the point of a bayonet."

So that controversy will end when Rice and Moore show up in mid-October in green jackets. (Side note II: OK, we all agree that the Augusta membership is not cheap, right? It seems like the prime, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it type of situation." But the club is closed from mid-May to Mid-October. So you're paying huge coin to be a part of the world's best course that you can't play in the summer? Hey, maybe women were the smart ones from the get-go.)

That said, there will be another controversy of conformity on the horizon soon enough. Hey, may the color wheel and Crayola will partner together against the Masters' jackets. Why should green be the only color?


As the quarterbacks turn

OK, while prep football kicked off and college football is on the horizon, we have underplayed the NFL. It is the most popular sport in the country, and as we said all this month, we're all about our country. U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A. (Side note: Is there a single sport out there that any one country would dominate as an Olympic sport as the U.S. of A. would in football — not soccer, but actual football? Kenya's marathon dynasty — it's fairly easy to develop a distance running dynasty when that's your nation's primary form of travel and you occasionally have to avoid tigers as often as traffic — would be in trouble. If surrendering was a sport, the French could offer a similar dynasty, we suppose. And hey, like Austin Powers' fahza Nigel said, "There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.")

OK, where were we? The NFL, yes. Some real quarterback news in the last 24 hours, and let's break each down as it affects the team and how it may affect your fantasy team.

— Titans name Jake Locker their starter.

Team view: This is the right move at the right time, even though owner Bud Adams' praise of Locker's height seems a little short sided. (Titans PR folks, it's time to keep Bud away from the mic. Deal? Deal.) The only reason to turn to Matt Hasselbeck for another fall is if you believe you can make the playoffs right now. That said, turning to Matt Hasselbeck, tells Jake Locker the coaches and the front office don't believe he's better than a veteran journeyman. The time for Locker is now — right or wrong. The Titans — management, coaches, players and fans — need to know if Locker is ready. So does Locker. To paraphrase Red and Andy from the yard, either get busy winning or get busy finding your quarterback of the future.

Fantasy view: Locker has a bona fide stud in the backfield in Chris Johnson. Locker has a good offensive line. His receivers are less than good, and defensive coordinators across the league are going to exploit his inexperience. Locker is no more than a late-round pick that could develop into an option midway through the season.

— Dolphins name Ryan Tannehill their starter.

Team view: This seems like a Joel Goodson from "Risky Business" move, and he's right sometimes you just have to say, "What the flip?" Hey, if you're options are Matt Moore or a gimpy David Gerrard or Tannehill, you kind of picking Farmer Ted from "Sixteen Candles." He may be the king of the dipsticks, but at least he's the king. Tannehill has an outside chance at having more success than many believe simply because Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was his coach at Texas A&M and should have a firm grasp on how to put Tannehill in the best possible position to succeed.

Fantasy view: Similar description as Locker's, but Miami has fewer weapons on the perimeter. Heck, the Dolphins were so desperate at receiver they tried to make the Chad Ochocinco/Johnson project work.

— Mike Vick hurts his ribs.

Team view: None, really. He'll be fine.

Fantasy view: Vick can be one of the real game changers in fantasy football. If plays a whole season, he can be the FFMVP and 90 percent of the league champions everywhere will have him. If he gets hurt, well, you're then the guy talking yourself into either Locker or Tannehill off the waiver wire.


This and that

— Tough loss for your Atlanta Braves. And for the first time, we got an extended view of the Nationals, and they are pretty stacked. Their lineup is better than the Braves', their starters are similar (at least until Strasburg gets put in timeout) and their manager is more experienced. This is going to be a fight to the end. Side note: Jason Heyward has been a stud. Period. And his game-tying homer last night sounded like a cannon shot. After his inexplicable demise last summer, Heyward looks like the bona fide mix between Dave Parker and Eric Davis again.

— What a weekend for golfers with ties to the area? TFP golf ace David Uchiyama connects the dots of five players with local ties who made a mark this weekend at all levels. Cuh-razy.

— Watching the Little League World Series last night, one of teams had a boy named Hu on their team. (Yes, Johnny Cash fans, he has to be tough because he's a boy named Hu.) And amazing he played, you guessed it, first base. So there was a boy named Hu's on first. And that may be the first around the horn of Cash-to-Abbott-to-Costello pop culture reference of all time.


Today's question(s)

Feel free to free flow. It's a catch-all Tuesday.

If you need some starting points, here we go:

What do you make of Roger Clemens returning to baseball, pitching for the Skeeters of the independent league in Texas?

Which cartoon character was most underrated Hong Kong Phooey, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn or Droopy? Discuss.

If you're a Braves front office type and another team called and said, "What's it going to take to trade Jason Heyward?" what's your response?

A) You're best Dr. Evil, "A billion dollars..."

B) "Whatcha offering?"

C) You hang up the phone

D) Start with your best pitcher and your best position prospect


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...

First, thanks for the Brent Russell plug, 5. Dude couldn't be single-blocked even by Alabama last year. He is an automatic double-team by every opposing defense. Even the Rooskies at Stalingrad would have to double-team him.

Most underrated? No question. The great Southern orator, Leghorn comma Foghorn.

And if I'm Frank Wren, I can pay off my American Express card because I'd be making more scratch. But seriously, another team calls asking for Heyward and I ask if their refrigerator is running.

August 21, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
chas9 said...

The Chinese dominate ping pong. Er, table tennis.

August 21, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Two Austin Powers references and a potshot at the French? Excellent...(Know that after I typed that I said it out loud like Mr.Burns and slowly interlocked my fingers menacingly.) Well done Mr. Greeson.

Also, I have an inside source that informed me that Augusta actually just had someone pass Condi and Darla a napkin that read "Do you want to join our club? Check yes or no." I was surprised myself at the informality of the whole process, but tradition is tradition. The only reaction I had yesterday to the news was "Huh, they let women in. Kewl....I bet they get them to change the green jackets within a decade." (My inner monologue occasionally spells words like teenage girls' text messages.) Will they offer different colors for the ladies? A Pink Dogwood shade or Carolina Cherry?

Yosemite and Foghorn were pretty awesome and can hardly be described as underrated. I was a little young or have drank it out but I had to google Hong Kong Phooey, just to see who it was. I discovered an image of a karate kicking dog in a bath robe. How has this evaded me this long? Phooey for the win.

Chas, good stuff for the regulars. Thanks of the chuckle.

August 21, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Before your beach trip, someone proposed making a list of the top five college football programs of all time. Jay, will you include this in the mailbag or as one of your list-ifications (what?) this week? Just for the fun of it, I compiled my top 5 (and also a "next 4" and also a "next 3") based on certain objective and subjective info. And I excluded Penn St. from my top 12 after all the mess that's taken place recently up there.

I'm with you on Hong Kong Phooey, Todd. He's just before our time and I don't recall any reruns being shown on TV growing up. I saw that a movie is in the works though with Eddie Murphy as the voice of HKP.

August 21, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Stewwie —

SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Really? This has made our afternoon. A Hong Kong Phooey movie...

To borrow not-so-subtly from 962.... Excellent. Smithers, undo our pants. ("With pleasure Mr. Burns... not that there's anything wrong with that.)

And you bet, we'll tackle the top five programs, and may go with the next five too. We deal in 5s and 10s you know. (How do we make money... Volume.)

Spy —

No sweat. Dude is a man-child and will make some coin on Sunday.

Plus, if you are truly to have value, then your loss must be felt. And each of those teams have championship goals at some point that would be dashed with a loss of any of those names.

So it goes.

And right now, Heyward looks as untouchable as a 95-mph knuckleball.

962 —

Not only was HDP a "karate kicking dog in a bathrobe" he also changed into his superhero mode in a filing cabinet.

And while we can't confirm or deny the "napkin check box scenario" we do know that the fellas in green were especially mean to Darla and Condie on the playground last week. Coincidence... we check "no."

9er —

Well-played sir. Well-played indeed.

— 5-at-10

August 21, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
chas9 said...

Appreciate David's dots and will add that May Wood played some strong golf for Baylor, too.

August 21, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: I say there! I say there boy! Foghorn Leghorn is the greatest and Hong Kong Phooey is the most underated along with Dasterdly Dog. If Mr. Wren gets a call about Heyward he should say I cannot hear you. You need to speak into my good ear!

August 21, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
BIspy4 said...


A May Wood reference. Why you wanna torture a boy that way?

August 21, 2012 at 12:26 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

No doubt. The Baylor School has produced some folks that can swing a golf club.

Dawg747 —

Concur that unless the deal included Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw, then he should complain of bad reception and just make the turn for the back 9.

— 5-at-10

August 21, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.
chas9 said...

Spy--How is that torture? Did she spurn you? Work on your pick up lines.

August 21, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
chas9 said...

For those who missed it: Roger Clemens will be on the mound Saturday for The Skeeters.

August 21, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

We meant to include Clemens this morning.

First, The Sugar Land Skeeters is a pretty stout nickname. The Sugar Land Delights would have been our first choice but still.

Second, if dude throws strikes and is in the upper-80s, low-90s, here's saying he's in Houston before the end of the month. Book it.

— 5-at-10

August 21, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Skeeter as in mosquitoes. Wow. Crazy what rap music has done to slang terms in today's culture. My mind had led me astray as usual. I was thinking it was a Nickelodeon sponsored team who loved Doug Funnie's best friend or baseball had gone down a very adult avenue...

Do you think they play Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz when they take the field?

"To the window, to the wall, we're here to all play ball, all Skeet-Skeeters got game!" -Lil Jon screamed enthusiastically

It would please me greatly to think that is happening somewhere in Texas. Mr. Cook, please confirm my suspicions or at least lie to me.

August 21, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Ten bucks says Jay has to google "Doug Funnie" much like Todd and I had to google HKP.

August 21, 2012 at 3:19 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Well, the swells at Augusta National have spoken for now. Who's next, Annika?

Next, will Clemens track down Warren Spahn, thus enhancing his chances at the Hall?

For underrated, Hong Kong Phoey mostly on the strenght of Scatman Cruther's voice. Full marks also to Foghorn Leghorn's nemesis "dog."

Addendum: Ten Ring, yes from what I saw East Hamilton is well on the way to the playoffs now stoked by the well won confidence of defeating what could prove to be another playoff team.

August 21, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

Lil Jon has a fantastic dentist. Dude is solid gold.

If we were in the greater Sugar Land area we would so go see Clemens and BOOOOO every time he had the ball in his hand.

Stew-bert —

And while we're not directly connected with Doug Funnie, we do have a soon-to-be-5-year old and a 2-year-old ruling the 5-at-10 compound TV, so we're up to date on most Nickelodean offerings.

(That said, we still googled it just to be sure.)

FE to the C —

That's an interesting question. We could see Georgia resident Nancy Lopez-Knight being an option if you're staying in the golf range.

Nice add on Scatman being the soul behind the HKP genius.

— 5-at-10

August 21, 2012 at 4:34 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - Sorry I'm late to the game, but why no love for Sergio's win yesterday?

August 21, 2012 at 4:45 p.m.
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