published Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

5 at 10: More college movement and Father Time wins some and loses some

More college movement and Father Time wins some and loses some

From the "Talk too much Studios" here we go...

  • photo
    Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel (3) scrambles as he is pressured by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (5) during the first half of the Champs Sports Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

College movement

Last year, Texas A&M was the straw that stirred the drink that was college sports realignment.

This year, it appears FSU is the instigator. The Seminoles made their availability known when they said they would be open to listening to an offer from the Big 12. (To be clear, in the matter of college athletics, that statement is as covert and hush-hush as posting a "free ice cream" sign at a Weight Watchers meeting. Oh yes, there will be suitors.)

So buckle up for another round of conference musical chairs, where the school athletic directors and presidents are looking for the best deals and the conferences are looking for new TV markets. Oh yeah, what about competition, rivalry and fans? You think anyone cares about that? That's so 1993.

And if FSU is this year's Texas A&M, then the ACC could very well be this year's Big East. Which means if FSU leaves, there could be a series of dominoes fall that rips the guts out of the ACC.

It's coming.


Father Times dominates

Dang thing about getting old, it changes all you have and all your ever going to have.

And the Lakers and the Celtics looked old Monday night in playoff losses to the Thunder and the 76ers, respectively.

The Thunder hammered Los Angeles, doling out an overpowering 119-90 beatdown that spoke loudly to three innate edges the Thunder have right now:

— Their homecourt edge is stout. The joint is loud, basketball-savvy and into the action. We'd say the Thunder crowd is worth six points a night.

— Russell Westbrook is going to be tough for the Lakers to handle. The Thunder point guard was nasty Monday, and if he protects the ball that well for the rest of the series — OKC had a franchise-low four (yes 4) turnovers — the Lakers have no shot.

— Not only are the Lakers much older than the Thunder, but the shortened season and the first-round results — Lakers needed seven games; Thunder swept Dallas and rested — compound the fatigue. Here's two stats to watch in the series: After Game 1 the Thunder have a 13-0 edge in fast-break points and a 13-1 edge in steals. We'll keep this throughout the series.

As for the Celtics, well, color us more than a little surprised that the series heads back to Philly tied 1-1. And, if you think this series is not that close, remember the total points are even 173-173. We feel this one going seven. Thoughts?


Jeter still jamming

Derek Jeter has never won an MVP. He's averaged a sound 16 homers and 22 steals per season.

But dude is speeding toward some rarified air on one of baseball's most pristine lists.

Jeter passed Robin Yount and moved into 17th place on baseball hit list. Jeter, who is 37 and in his 18th season, has 3,143 hits.

Considering Jeter is signed through next year and has a player option for 2014, it's very conceivable that he'll play two more years after this summer. He's averaged more than 200 hits per year for his career, and while he's leading the American League with 55 hits so far this year, that pace seems too high.

Let's conservatively say he averages 175 hits — a number he has been under all of twice in his career — through his remaining contract. That's 470 more hits.

If Jeter gets to 3,613 career hits — his current total plus the 470 — that would be fifth all-time. Fifth.

Wow, is it time to put Derek Jeter on the Tim Duncan All-Stars — the team reserved for all-time greats who for some reason or another rarely get mentioned among the all-time greats? And if Derek Jeter is a Tim Duncan All-Star, he has to be the first one every from New York City, right?


This and that

— Shoutout to our cousin Scott Cole, who celebrates a birthday today. He's a man, he's 41!

— As someone noted last week, Usain Bolt reportedly had decided to abstain from "wink-wink" activities with his girlfriend in an effort to stay focused on the upcoming Olympics. That should be a great deal easier now after Bolt and his chick-a-dee have split. Heck fire, with you guys collect the material, we could be like No. 4 on the celebrity news sites. It could be then, then Yahoo and then the 5-at-10 with a bullet.

— Bryce Harper hit his first big-league homer Monday. The 19-year-old Harper is the youngest to homer in the majors since Sept. 25, 1998 when Adrian Beltre did it. (Beltre was 40 days younger than Harper.

— Braves dropped a 3-1 decision to the Reds on Monday. Hey, it's baseball and it happens. Two quick things: Is anyone starting to get a little concerned about Everyday Jonny Venters? He things happen, but relief pitchers are like cornerbacks — they are supremely well served by having no short-term memory and believing they are untouchable. If Venters starts to believe he's not bulletproof, there could be trouble. The second thing is Holy Smoking Baseballs and Whistling Sliders, Aroldis Chapman throws hard. He hit 101 on a fastball to Chipper last night. Wow.

— Apparently the Cabral family really celebrates a Mother's Day party. Apparently in La Puente early Sunday morning, Modesto Cabral drove his 2006 Lexus into a family's swimming pool He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Yeah, that's a pretty safe suspicion. How would you even try to explain that one. "Well, see what had happened was... needed to change the radio... and foot slipped... and BANG the pool jumped out in front of the car. It was scary."


Today's question(s)

We have long said that the goal of conference expansion should be getting to 16 teams and sub-dividing.

Do you think FSU on the move, even though the University of Texas AD said that FSU is not in play right now? If so, what will become of the ACC? And if that happens, what does the SEC do — stand pat, add two more, look at adding Cuba, China and Costa Rica and taking over the whole planet. (Cut to Mike Slive pulling on his long mustache — if he had one — and laughing sinisterly... Moo-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha.)

What's next?

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Todd962 said...

Did anyone else see Bryce Harper bleeding above his eye a couple days ago? The story is that he went to break a bat against the wall after a disappointing at bat and a piece of the bat or the whole bat whacks him in the face. Brilliant. But the pictures have him in the batters box and in the field with blood just streaming down his face. Awesome. They said it took 10 stitches to patch him up. Bryce angry! Bryce smash!

Things happen like the story of the Lexus. My dad reminded me this weekend of the time I limped my(technically his) Jeep home when I was 16 cause that dern guard rail jumped out in front of me. I stuck with that story cause the true story would have cost me life and limb.

May 15, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr. 962 —

Did see the Bryce story. Maybe that wall got jumpy and said something smart. Nobody likes a wise-acorn wall.

Just about everyone we know has a lucky to be alive moment like that — ours was as a teenager where we wanted to see if we could drive home with our eyes shut. Got out with a flat tire and wrecked rim on the 1978 Pontiac Bonneville (4-doors of course) Brougham (and yes, we did tell every one who got into the car that Brougham was French for 'Turbo').

But Lexus dude is a man — HE'S 40! — and those unpredictable swimming pools can come from nowhere.

— 5-at-10

May 15, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

"The only places that age matters is in cheese, wine, whiskey and professional sports." Cant't remember who wrote it but I read that in an article about Bret Favre years ago.

My altar call moment involved a 1953 Ford flathead Victoria Coupe, my first car in 1963, and 2 of our neighbors' mailboxes that jumped right out in front of me in the last curve before turning into our driveway on 2 wheels. I learned a lot about the laws of bodies in motion on that curve and but that was my scariest lesson of all time.

May 15, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
Todd962 said...

I never got to the advanced stages of actually closing my eyes like yourself, but did enjoy a night time drive with no lights from time to time. You would get up behind somebody and then flip them on with the brights. Big hit amongst fellow drivers on the roads. Broughham into turbo, awesome.

The conference re alignment has become a little irritating. I have to assume football money is driving this and its no surprise to see that some schools have their eyes filled with greed when so many other schools are getting their pockets filled with money. But this is messing up the good things that these particular conferences have with other sports. If the ACC gets torn apart we are going to lose so many great basketball traditions. However, this may present us with the perfect opportunity to introduce relegation to the American sports world. Make football a completely seperate entity, forget conference associations for football and leave the remaining sports as they are, and set it up as a tiered system. Play into the top tiers. It sounds like a horrible idea when you say it out loud but destroying every conference over the next five years isn't the greatest idea either. It would definitely make things interesting every year for every tier.

May 15, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
deboman said...

Haha, Todd I was thinking about all that relegation talk yesterday and have to agree that this may be a future option for NCAA football. Territorial rivalries, student athletes, and traditions be damned. Over the past 10-15 years, the powers that be have really gone over board with the changes. And if I hear one more commish/dean/president say 'We are looking out for what is best for our university/conference/athletes' I may hurt myself laughing at the insincerity. Translation- We are looking at where we can make the most cash. It really is starting to turn into a circus.. a scary circus…with creepy clowns.

3rd round info Stan Cup info, short and sweet since both series have started. While it may appear that the Kings came out of nowhere, they finished the season bouncing between the 3rd and 8th seeds and it wasn’t determined where they would finish until the final days. However, they are the 8th seed and are sitting at 9-1 so far in the playoffs. Nice numbers, I don’t care what seed ya are! LA goalie Jonathan Quick is staking his claim to be the Team USA goalie of the future with some impressive play. Phoenix really needs to win tonight or this series may not make it back to the desert.

Rangers take the first of what will be many games in the Eastern Conf finals. This matchup could and should go the distance. To pick a cliché- these teams really don’t like each other. During the season these teams resurrected the Royal Rumble at the opening face-off to start one of their games. Rangers goalie Lundqvist has been kryptonite for the Devils in the past and proved it with a shut-out last night. Jersey has a decent goalie of their own in Martin Brodeur (arguably the best all-time, and he’s a man- 40 as of May 6th) and it will be interesting to see if he has it in him to get backstop the Devils to his 4th Stanley Cup. The Devils shellacked a high scoring Flyers team 4-1 in the second round and may have been rusty in game one. The Rangers went 7 games against the Capitals and if this series goes long, fatigue could become a factor. Would like to see the Rangers lose, but think that the NHL may get a present to promote on the newly established NBC Sports network and have NY vs LA in the finals.

May 15, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
jgreeson said...

I've got the plan all worked out (talk about questions I spent too much time on this week):

This plan involves taking the current teams from the Big 12, Big 10, SEC, and Pac 12 and assuming that none of them will be left out in the cold when it is all said and done. It tries to keep some resemblance to the current conference structure, and also to rivalries, while also looking at conferences trying to open up markets to themselves. Here's how it all goes down in the end (if I have my way):

Conference 1 Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Syracuse, Rutgers, Boston College, Minnesota, Wisconsin (Delaney craves the New York market- he has it cornered with Rutgers, Syracuse, and Boston College, along with Notre Dame, who is very popular in New York I believe)

Conference 2 Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Miami, Texas A&M, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky (A&M gets in because their squabble with Texas has too many hurt feelings to kiss and make up, and Miami-UF becomes a budding rivalry)

Conference 3 USC, UCLA, California, Stanford, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska (this conference had to go a little far east, but remains mostly a west coast conference)

Conference 4 Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, South Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa State, Georgia Tech (this conference wants to be good at football, but likes Louisville, UNC and Duke because of their basketball prowess, and USF-FSU becomes a budding rivalry)

Then a fifth conference bands together for basketball only purposes, with the football playing members of said conference off to try to pick up the scraps and figure out what to do.

Then there could be a playoff- and a good one! The way it would work would be that the conferences would be divided into four four-team quadrants. Then the winners of the four quadrants would play a semifinal and then a championship game. The winners of the championship games would all go to the tournament, with one wildcard, and one team from one of the other awful leftover conferences. Play the 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 on the home field of the higher seed. Then move to neutral sites for the 1 vs 4-5 and 2 vs 3-6 games. And then the championship game. Only have 11 regular season games. That would mean that if a 3 seed that won their conference and the title played the maximum number of games it would be 16 games. Right now, teams are playing 14, and with the one round playoff coming, some teams will play 15. So this is not adding much. Thanks!

May 15, 2012 at 1:10 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JP —

Great quote about age. And we've already received a call from the 5-at-10's mom saying, "Did you really drive with your eyes shut? You're a knucklehead." Alas.

Mr. 962 —

College football would be a great place to have relegation. Think about keeping kids in school and making the most of a big hall. Great call. This could work. A FBS of 64 teams — 4 regional conferences of 16 teams each split into divisions of eight. The four conference champs and four wildcard teams (if they are all SEC teams, so be it) go to the playoffs. The bottom two (or even 4 teams) from each conference are dropped to the FCS and are replaced by the top rated two (or 4) teams from the geographic area.

The great thing about this is it can be football only and all the conferences can stay the same in the other sports. (Of course the conference chairmen are going to flip, because this would require sharing, and sharing is not their strong suit.

Deboman —

Great NHL recap. And you know the NBC folks would love a NYC-LA finals. And we're terrified of clowns. In fact, in our seventh circle of Hades, the only job is moving furniture and the only meal is cole slaw, and it's served by bare-footed clowns. Yes, we've put a lot of thought into this.

StuckinKent —

Wow. That is some thought.

— 5-at-10

May 15, 2012 at 1:33 p.m.
Blueoval said...

So instead of SEC football domination it would be Conference 2 domination! Ok, got it...........

May 15, 2012 at 1:53 p.m.
deboman said...

In this whole process, what happens when all the conferences finally reach critical mass and merge together as one again? Redo?

On a similar note, the FCS has added another 4 teams to the PLAYOFF process. Apparently it was working so good they decided to increase the number of seeded teams and allow autoberths for conferences that send teams to the tourney. While improving the general format of the playoffs and increase participation, I believe the FCS is trying to make their system a bit more attractive to the teams that are lining up to make the jump to FBS by offering more meaningful games come postseason time. Just a thought, but would you rather see your team play in the BeefO'Brady Bowl or in a couple of playoff games going for a Championship trophy?? Because most of these schools making the jump are not going to see that oft fumbled crystal trophy...well, ever. (Closest we've seen is Boise and the powers that be were't going to let that happen.)

May 15, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Mike Slive is currently considering the plethora of choices he has in front of him.

You wonder who approached whom first in the FSU-Big 12 dance? Was it Barzini? Or was it Carlo?

Losing FSU would only further cement the ACC as a hoops-first, ask-questions-later league. Hey, FSU's been good in hoops (maybe even better lately than they've been in football). But adding the Urnge and Pitt wasn't done to bolster its football rep.

If FSU leaves, then whither Miami? The Canes to the SEC? (Insert your professional cheaters learning from the masters joke here).

May 15, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oval —

Shhhh... we're using code names. (Conference 2 is awesome. And Division B in Conference 2 is nasty.)

Deboman —

The conferences can't merge together because the powers that be won't allow that. The conferences merging together under one umbrella is the NCAA basketball tournament, where the NCAA negotiates the TV rights and gets a huge cut of the dough. The football paydays are bigger for the schools and the conferences because...

a) There's more interest in football so the TV contracts are bigger

b) The big boys are not sharing their pot of gold

c) The conferences negotiate for themselves

And the FCS has to do something PDQ because schools are throwing caution into the wind and making the leap because the thought is that if the playoff comes — and it's coming — and if it gets bigger — and it will get bigger than four teams — the payouts will be shared by everyone in the FCS. Now that remains to be seen of course, but that's the thought.

And the powers may let the little guys eat the scraps from Longshank's table, but you're right, they're going to do everything they can to prevent a Boise or non-power conference school Y win because they would have to share. And they hate to share.

Spy —

Slive is the high school QB who looks like DiCaprio, dances like Usher and is sweeter than cane sugar. He has his pick of all the litters. (Here's saying that if Slive really wanted to, he could go get every school in the country with the possible exception of Texas, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame. If you're any other school and Slive comes calling you listen. And the reason is simple — cash. The SEC will hand out another record check later this month — here's saying that with Alabama winning football, Kentucky winning hoops, the TV deals, etc., each SEC school gets somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million. (ANd that is one BOSS neighborhood.)

And Tattaglia's a pimp. He never coulda outfought Santino. But I didn't know until this day, that it was Barzini all along.

If/when FSU leaves, Miami would be begging to join the SEC. Not sure the interest would be mutual though. The SEC doesn't want any new members sullying its pristine reputation with the NCAA after all.

— 5-at-10

May 15, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Is tomorrow's 5-at-10 going to honor the Great Pumpkin and his induction into the college football hall of fame? Heres hoping so...

May 15, 2012 at 3:21 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr. 962 —

You know this.

— 5-at-10

May 15, 2012 at 4:36 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Foolish of me to doubt.

The Mrs.5-at-10 doesnt need to worry about you closing your eyes in that car as much as she needs to be thankful its gone. I googled what they look like, and wowser. That land yacht was reserved for a different place in time where gas was $0.50 a gallon. However, with those wheels and an eight track of Barry White, I bet that thing could have made a lady killer out of any red blooded man.

I have a suggestion for Friday's mailbag, but the violence may approach the edge of tolerance for such a nice family based interweb setup as you have here. If you could punch five people in sports, living or deceased, directly in the nose, with no repercussions, who would it be and why?

May 15, 2012 at 4:51 p.m.
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