published Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

5 at 10: NFL Combine, Kentucky hoops and the BCS

From the "Talk Too Much studios," let's go.



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    Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Combined issued

We love the draft. You know this.

The NFL combine is this week and for some folks, this will be a time to really show out. Think RG III and Trent Richardson. Seriously, RG III is going to put up some jaw-dropping physical numbers — let's say a 4.6 40 time and some incredible agility numbers — to the point that there will be some "RG III or Andrew Luck?" talk, but that will be more created than credible. And we're expected Richardson to post some insane numbers — a better than expected 40 time in the 4.4s, and something nuts like 40 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds — and jump start talk like "Richardson is the best running back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson" and that talk will be 100 percent accurate.

Our SEC ace David Paschall listed three SEC pass catchers that need strong showings at the combine to greatly improve their draft stock http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/22/combine-huge-for-three-sec-pass-catchers/.

The intrigue and the pressure are two of the main reasons why we love the draft. Think how nervous you were on your first job interview out of college. And let's say that was for a job that was offering $40,000 and the interview last an afternoon. Well, the NFL combine is for at least 10-times the stakes and lasts up to three days for each player.

We have a NFL combine question for Friday's mailbag (and there is still room available there, so shoot us a question, we'll talk, no big whoop), but here are three players who have huge weeks in front of them:

— Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who always seemed to be as talented as any player on any field anywhere, but also was known to pout and commit silly penalties. He has first-round skills and big-time question marks?

— B.J. Coleman. We know a great deal about B.J. because he's from here and came back from Knoxville to play for the Mocs. There will be stories about how he could sneak into the fourth round and about his potential. There will be stories that he is surprisingly just 6-foot-3 (which is not really a surprise to us, but since we've already read one Fox report that has B.J. at 6-6, well, they're in for a surprise). That said, B.J. is going to shine in the interviews and make a great impression.

— Janzen Jackson. Remember ol' Janzen. That's right the former UT freshman All-American who transfered to McNeese State. Well, Janzen will be at the combine, and he will impress people physically. (And that's without actually hitting people, which is a big part of his game.)



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    Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor (44) drives against Kentucky forward Anthony Davis (23) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Kentucky won 69-63.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Cats are tough

Kentucky gets everyone's best shot. That's how it goes, and we've discussed this before. In fact, when we were matriculating our grades down the field at Auburn, there were only two basketball games that routinely sold out — Alabama for obvious reasons and UK for different but equally as obvious reasons.

Last night the Wildcats took their show to Starkville, Miss., and faced a Mississippi State team long on talent and short on heart. Well, they were short on heart until last night's opening tip, when the Bulldogs flipped the switch and looked like an Elite Eight team for 35 minutes.

Dee Bost was boss and the crowd was going nuts and before you knew it, MSU had a 13-point halftime lead.

But Kentucky has supreme talent and John Calipari. And while we all know about the former — UK had five guys in double figures last night and another player with 8 points — it's easy to forget about the latter.

Sure, we all know Calipari is a great recruiter, but it's too easy to dismiss his coaching abilities. Has Calipari assembled the best team in the country? Probably. But that team was getting pushed around Tuesday night on the road, and Cal made every right call.

He was quick with a time out — he stopped a 5-0 MSU run with a time out 90 seconds into the game when the Bulldogs were energized and the MSU crowd was electric. Calipari was calm going into the locker room. And whatever he said in the locker room certainly worked — the Cats started the second half on an 11-2 run to pull back into the game. Plus, Cal and the Cats switched super-freaky 6-foot-7 freshman athlete Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to covering Bost in the second half, and the MSU point guard had few answers.



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    Matt Molina, of the Fiesta Bowl Committee Florida, hangs a banner at Florida's practice field at Scottsdale Community College Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Florida will take on Ohio State in the BCS Championship football game on Monday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

BCS discussions begin

The AD from Notre Dame and the commissioners from 11 conferences started meeting in Dallas on Tuesday to discuss the BCS — the much-maligned system in which major college football crowns a champion.

There were talks of academic calendars and final exam schedules. There was mention of TV ratings and limits about extending the postseason too far into January.

In other words, there was much ado about nothing. Final exam schedules? Really? There's not some assistant administrator to the executive assistant director to the vice-commissioner of the SEC that could have gone through final exam schedules before everyone got into the big room and sat down? Really? Sure.

When the feet dragging is done, call us. Or forget that, read our check list of what you guys need to be kicking around:

1) How are you going to make sure the college football regular season remains the best in all of sports with any playoff system?

2) When you finally decide on the playoff system, and whether you pick four teams or 40, what's going to be your answer when No. 5 or No. 41 complains about being robbed a shot? Heck, you let 68 in the Big Dance and there's always someone belly-achin' about being left out.

3) How are you going to keep the remaining bowl games relevant?

4) If two trains leave Chicago at the same time heading in exact opposite directions and going 250 miles an hour and not stopping, when will they pass each other? (Answer below)

Anybody else got any other questions for the 12 big shots of college athletics other than when students are taking finals next December.



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    Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) comes onto the field before an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

This and that

— Brady Quinn touched the third rail of sports, calling out Tim Tebow for something or other. Here's the quick recap: Quinn talks to reporter, reporter writes what was said, Quinn says some things that come across as unflattering to Tebow, Quinn says he was mis-quoted, blah, blah, rinse and repeat. This is sports and there are starters and back-ups and there are personal feelings and egos and the whole 9 yards. In the grand scheme of things, show us a frustrated back-up quarterback who has failed to live up to expectations and who is stuck in neutral on the depth chart that is not frustrated at the situation, and we'll show you some one that won't be in the league very long.

— Big game for the Tennessee Vols basketball team tonight. Playing hard is respectable, and the Vols have done that. Overachieving is admirable, and the Vols have done that. But beating teams you're supposed to beat when there are stakes on the line can be tricky for any team, especially a young one. Any win over the Ole Miss Rebels tonight would be a good win. In fact, you know what winning ugly is... It's winning by golly.

— There's a story on ESPN about how Tiger is "up for opener" at this week's Accenture Match Play. Well, of course he is. He's playing golf for crying out loud. Now, if we read a head line that Tiger is "up for opening" moments of an insurance seminar, then that's news.

— Your math problem answer is 2 days and 2 hours later on the other side of the planet. Figuring that the world is roughly 25,000 miles in circumference, and the trains going 250 miles per hour, they cover 6,000 miles a day, it would take 4.166666 days to circle Earth. And if they're going in the exact opposite direction, they'd meet on the other side halfway home. And to that Chicago fans say, "Ditka."



Today's question

Happy birthday this week to "Homer at the Bat," the iconic episode of "The Simpsons" that centered on Mr. Burns sending Smithers out to hire nine Major Leaguers to fill out the plant's softball team. For a show that that has had more than 500 episodes, this is the one that most remember. In fact, there was a Deadspin article looking back on that episode, and in that story Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith says as many people ask him about that episode as they do about his baseball career. And he's flippin' Ozzie Smith. (See what we did there?)

Anyoo, today's question is a list/question combo. What are the five most memorable TV episodes? Notice the wording, we did not say, "best" we said memorable, and there's a difference. For example, show like "The Wire" and "Breaking Bad" may be among the best that have ever been on TV, but no one single episode is overwhelmingly memorable. And we've excluded sports moments, because they would dominate. Granted, the 5-at-10 has a huge edge since we've wasted a large portion of our brain on pop culture and sports minutiae. Still, we all have our strengths.

Here's out list:

1) The Contest — "Seinfeld"

2) Who shot JR — "Dallas" (and if you think the 5-at-10 is not super-stoked about a "Dallas" remake with JR's kid and Bobby's kid going at it, well, you're kidding yourself.)

3) Homer at the Bat — "The Simpsons"

4) Finale of MASH — "MASH" (and a special shout out to the finale of "Newhart" for being the most clever finale ever, and a special shout out to the MASH episode when Henry Blake died as being the best of single episode of an amazing show)

5) Good-bye to Coach — "Cheers" (there were a ton of great "Cheers" moments — in fact, we'll throw out there that "Cheers" and "Family Ties" are the two most under-rated comedies of our generation, primarily because there's not a ton of syndication of either — but the heartfelt way the show said good-bye after the real-life death of Nicholas Colasanto was amazing)

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.
chas9 said...

5/10--Yesterday's Cats-Bulldogs tussle qualifies as what Coach Cal says he wants out of regular season games, a chance for his team to learn. The Starkville lads were unconscious most of the game, but no tougher than most teams UK will face in the NCAA's. So coming back from a serious deficit on the road helps The Cats. Moultrie is a MAN, and could be great if he played 100% all the time. Sidney still needs to spend time with Patrick Patterson's trainer. Bost is super athletic.

Concur Cal can coach. A FOX sports columnist today writes that he can't. Even if you hate him, any basketball writer who can't see that he can coach loses credibility. I guess controversy draws readers.

UT ace Patrick Brown's story today reveals that Cuonzo's charges have mined the Bull Durham script for advice on how to spout sports cliches to reporters. I understand that these college kids need to employ these empty words, but reporters don't have to use them.

Kentucky will fiercely battle all comers in a singleminded quest for their ultimate prize, and I'll pull for them. But it's just a game, and in his column today the talented Frank Deford tells the super story of two Division III teams who demonstrate that there's more to life than winning. The story's at www.wbur.org/npr/147186116/when-there... />

February 22, 2012 at 11 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay, since the NFL network carries a lot of the combine, do you know when BJ might be on throwing passes or running or whatever ?

February 22, 2012 at 11 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Since at least half the job of being a college coach is putting the roster together, and we all know that Cal is as good as anyone this side of Saban at doing that, saying he can't coach is actually factually incorrect.

Saying he's not a good game coach is wrong, too, but that's simply being either mis-informed or not knowing the game.

Dude knows hoops. (Side question: If Cal was doing it with smoke and mirrors and overwhelming people on talent alone, he wouldn't open up his practices to web cams and let everyone look behind the current.)

Will check out DeFord. He's an all-timer in the BID-ness, and he used to be the bee's knees. He's not as consistent of a slam dunk as he used to be, but when he's on, he's top-notch.

Jomo —

B.J. and the rest of the QBs will be on the field Sunday. Do not know the exact break down of the scheduled events as far as the on-field activities, though.

— 5-at-10

February 22, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

Brady Quinn's mouth just shot him into arena ball or used car sales and possibly opened a roster spot for BJ.

An add to the memorable TV shows - ER where the revenging nerd Dr.Green dies.
Question is UK the top seed in the east in the NBA playoffs?

February 22, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
chas9 said...

Ellen "coming out" while accidentally turning on the airport PA microphone was memorable.

The Newhart-Suzanne Pleshette scene is definitely the most clever ever ending. Another memorable Newhart scene is the Isaac Hayes-like character commanding "Sit, Whitey"!

February 22, 2012 at 11:34 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

I don't know. Gus getting half his face blown off in the last season finale of Breaking Bad was kinda memorable.

I think when you look at shows that have no standout episodes, shouldn't "Friends" top that list? Other than the episode "The One Where I Just Want to Punch Ross in the Face Repeatedly" ... oh wait ... that was every episode.

February 22, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.
jharvey1984 said...

Jay, About your math problem: Your answer is actually the maximum amount of time it would take the trains to meet and would occur if they traveled thru the poles. For the shortest time, we would assume they travel along the line of latitude that goes thru chicago which is about 42 degrees. therefore the circumference at 42 degrees is 25000*cos(42)~18580. So the min time would be about 37 hrs. So it would actually take them somewhere between 37 and 50 hours. Sorry its engineers week and my nerdiness is coming out.

February 22, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
chas9 said...

Spy--Right on about the stupid Friends series. Friends don't let friends watch Friends.

February 22, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
jharvey1984 said...

gotta throw the tom cruise jumping on the couch episode in there...that guy is nutz.

February 22, 2012 at 11:46 a.m.
jgreeson said...

McPell —

Yeah, maybe Brady bought stock in a moving company, because after insulting Tebow, Mayor of Denver, his free agent status became even more freer.

ER had a few moments that are lasting, and no, UK would not be the top seed. The Heat would be the top seed, UK would get the No. 2 seed.

9er —

Yes, the Ellen thing was memorable, but since we've never seen Ellen, we can't remember Ellen. In fact, Ellen and Rosie and Dr. Phil and Judge Judy and the rest of daytime TV that includes people's names are like trees falling in an empty forest, and if we don;t hear them, they do not exist.

And while we concur that friends don let friends watch Friends, it could also be tossed out that friends don't pick friends who watch Friends. Discuss.

Spy —

Ross would wear you out. Kidding... kidding.

Is there a more annoying character in recent TV history than Ross? Wow.

Jharvey —

Excellent point. And we almost used Ecuador to get the full distances. We stand corrected, but you get the idea.

And dude, embrace your inner-nerdiness. It worked for Louis and Gilbert and the rest of the Tri-Lambs.

(Revenge of the Nerds is way, Way, WAY underrated, by the way.)

— 5-at-10

February 22, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, we must find room for Simpson's episode "Lisa the Greek," a send up to all things NFL.

How the hell does the AD from Notre Dame find his way into the meeting of the 11 conference commissioners? The Pope's Pupils from the Indiana Vatican own 5 BCS losses since 1995. 10 losses total out of 12 opportunities in the same period for a bowl game winning percentage of .116.

February 22, 2012 at 12:18 p.m.
chas9 said...

You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose. But you can't use a pick on your friend's nose.

February 22, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Well, Notre Dame does have its own television network. And God said they could go. Besides, it's Ash Wednesday.

February 22, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Jay,

You left off a part b. to your math question. Part b. should be, "Who is operating the trains?" It would be a trick question, however, since any train that can travel a consistent 250 MPH through various terrain and even over the ocean has to be none other than Mr. Chuck Norris. In fact, he can operate both trains at the same time!

Regarding the BCS, especially with all the expanded conferences, I think it would only be fair to ditch the conference championship games. Either that, or make them actually mean something for the playoffs...as in, loser goes home. Ditch the conference championships, and you have an extra week to start the playoffs. The presidents may not go for it because of lost $$$ from not having the game, but there surely would be a way to make up that $$$ in a playoff system. What do you think?

February 22, 2012 at 1:33 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Lisa the Greek was excellent, and as a reformed gambler, one of our favorites.

As for NDame, it's NDame, and this is not about winning (which NDame has not done in a while) or even tradition (which NDame has in spades), this is about TV ratings, fan interest and money — and NDame is flush with those.

9er —

So true. Achew. You nose more than you let on.

And to tie back to the "Revenge of the Nerds" — Booger Presley on the mean guitar was another underrated part of RotN. And the guy that played Dudley Dawson actually earns a spot on the Steve Buscemi All-Stars (Guys that are not attractive enough to be actors and then the next thing you know they have like 3-plus really good movies/roles to their credit). This will be a topic for another day.

Spy —

When did Bo Jackson say Notre Dame could go to the BCS meetings?

What a mediocre Cathlolic like yourself give up for Lent? We've decided to give up Celione Dion records, beets and watching anything with Roseanne Barr.

Brunswick Stewwie —

Well played, sir. Well played indeed. And if Mr. Chuck Norris is driving the train, then it's actually not steam, it's Chuck Norris staring at the air with his laser eyes and melting oxygen to the point that it splits and the train just glides. He's Chuck Norris.

When the boogeyman goes to bed, he checks the closet for Chuck Norris.

The championship games are going to take on more meaning, actually. We can even see 16-team conferences split into four division of four teams, with the conferences actually having semifinal games, that way the conferences are the ones keeping their own profits.

The toothpaste is out of the tube on conference title games, and there's no way those leagues are giving back any revenue stream — especially one that is that big of a rain-maker.

— 5-at-10

February 22, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.
lucky14bama said...

If Chuck Norris went to the combine, he would not do push ups, he would do Earth downs!

February 22, 2012 at 3:20 p.m.
jgreeson said...

L14Bama —

That is unless of course Tebow's there, then all bets are off.

Chuck Norris' tears may cure cancer, and that doesn't help us because Chuck Norris doesn't cry. Unless Tebow's mad at him. Or Jeremy Lin, maybe?

— 5-at-10

February 22, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
lucky14bama said...

Cheers and Family Ties are both great and underrated, but I think one of the best shows ever was The Wonder Years. I NEVER see reruns of Kevin Arnold and the gang!

Also another strong candidate for the Steve Buscemi All Stars, is Paul Giamatti!!

February 22, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...

L14bama —

No doubt, Kevin, Paul, Winnie and the gang are way underrated and not surprisingly, the 5-at-10 knows why "The Wonder Years" never made it big in syndication — there are so many great and classic songs used in the show, that buying the rights to syndicate it would be like buying a round-trip ticket to the moon.

Paul Giamatti is an absolute SB All-Star. So is Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

— 5-at-10

February 22, 2012 at 4:41 p.m.
jharvey1984 said...

add nick nolte to the sb allstars

February 22, 2012 at 5:17 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Looks like Brady Quinn will become Dr. Quinn very soon.

February 23, 2012 at 6:28 a.m.
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