published Thursday, October 4th, 2012

5-at-10: Fab 4 picks Braveheart style, Summitt, and more

Remember Friday's mailbag and to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

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

We're five weeks into the college football season. Wow, they grow up so fast.

Our Fab 4 picks (plus 1) started slowly, including a gross-tastic 1-4 mark in week two. We're 16-9 on the season, a stout rebound all things considered, and that includes a staggering 2-0 mark picking Clemson, the same team that confounded us to a 1-8 mark last fall.

Well, this is the weekend that we distance ourselves. In the paraphrased words of William Wallace, we're going to pick like poet warriors. Pass the blue face paint.

FREEDOM. In fact, in honor of Braveheart — the Mrs. 5-at-10's favorite movie, which is wicked cool in and of itself — we're taking six games this week. (Hang on Dr. B — he's a doctor after all — and see how they turn out.)

Clemson minus-10 against Georgia Tech: Yes, this violates two of our betting axioms — when lines look too good to be true, they normally are, and never bet on Clemson. We'll consider that a double-negative that will yield a positive. The Jackets are broken. They are beyond saving. Period. We love Paul Johnson and the triple option, but for defensive coordinator Al Groh, it's time to say goodbye — playing outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes.

LSU at Florida under the 46: How would Les Miles' quote William Wallace? Let's try this exchange:

Princess Isabelle: I understand you have recently been given the rank of knight.

William Wallace: I have been given nothing. God makes men what they are.

And if she was talking to Les Miles:

Princess Isabelle: I understand you have recently been given the rank of knight.

Les Miles: Gifts of dark and nights are commonplace among the people who have the want to be different and great and greatly different. Understanding that kinghts before the night have predawn and predrawn convictions is the difference between night and day. Good day. Good night.

That said, too much defense. Too much on the line. Too much at stake for each team. First team to 21 wins.

Kansas State minus-22 against Kansas: The in-state rivalry of this one gives it a little emotion. Good thing since K-State is light years better than K. In fact, we can imagine K-State coach Bill Snyder talking to his team and coming over to his assistants and having the following exchange:

Assistant 1: "Fine speech. Now what do we do?

Bill Snyder: Just be yourselves.

Assistant 2: Where are you going?

Bill Snyder: I'm going to pick a fight.

Assistant 1: Well, we didn't get dressed up for nothing.

Somebody better have a couple extra shrimp cocktails around for Chucky Wies to drown his sorrows in after this one.

West Virginia at Texas over the 70: "Geno Smith is 7 feet tall." "Yes, we've heard. Scores points by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume Texas with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse." Geno Smith is here. And he is on a mission. Yes, the Longhorns are a step up in competition. Yes, the road atmosphere is going to be crazy. Yes, this is a tall task. But Geno is 7 feet tall for crying out loud. Look at dude's numbers: he's averaging 432 yards passing a game and completing 83.4 percent of his throws. His career TD-to-INT rate is 76-to-15. We'll take our chances. We also like WVU plus the 7.5.

Georgia plus-2.5 at South Carolina: "We know you can fight, but it's our wits that make us men." If that's the case, Steve Spurrier is the Braveheart of college football. Dude has wits by the truckload. And we expect them to be on full display. But remember, weapons decide the outcome and Georgia has more. Lots more.

Bonus pick for Dr. B: Notre Dame minus-12 against Miami: "My scouts tell me their archers are miles away and no threat to us. Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing." That Longshanks was a cuddly character, no? Anyhoo, look at this game on its merits: Cold weather game. Check. Decidedly unneutral neutral site. Check — this game is in Chicago and Soldier Field will be a 100-percent pro-Irish. Line that seems to high. Check. Thank us when you check the score late Saturday afternoon and its 31-6.

FINANCIAL FREEDOM (for entertainment purposes only of course).

Mess in Knoxville

The temperature on Derek Dooley's seat has taken a back burner at the University of Tennessee for the time being.

Pat Summitt's affidavit in the lawsuit filed against the athletic department and AD Dave Hart by former women's sports media director Debby Jennings says the legendary former Lady Vols coach felt forced out originally. Summitt said in the legal hearing that she was told in March by Hart that she would have step down at the end of the season.

"This was very surprising to me and very hurtful, as that was a decision I would have liked to have made on my own at the end of the season after consulting with my doctors, colleagues and friends and not be told this by Mr. Hart," Summitt said in the affidavit. "I felt this was wrong."

Summitt said later in the affidavit that Hart said she misinterpreted what he had said.

OK, there are a slew of layers to this. It's like a Chernobyl onion. On a blend of steroids and miracle grow.

Pick a layer and there's a different meaning. Look at the questions: Was forcing Summitt out an option? Was letting her stay and potentially and unwittingly destroy the greatest program in the history of women's hoops the best plan? Is Summitt trying to help her longtime friend Jennings? If Summitt was truly forced out, why was there a big hug-fest at the "retirement" news conference that included Summitt's son Tyler and her acceptance of the "head coach emeritus" job?

That said, the spin cycles on this one will range from damp to wrinkle free. And like the layered onion, if this one was sliced poorly, it will bring some tears.

Flip flops

OK, the NBA has adopted the anti-flop rule. Yay. It's a staggered set of fines that surely needs to be called the Vlade Violations.

Here's the rub: The league is hitting the players in the pocket, and the players only. L.A. Clippers star Blake Griffin calls it a money-grab by the league, and looking at the merits, that seems somewhat fair.

Hey, flopping needs to stop. It slows down the game, and the NBA has made strides in regards to watchability and enjoyability. But this seems hollow, especially for a league that struggles with uniformity of officiating.

Nevermind the fact that the NBA referees are a notoriously bitter bunch that holds grudges. What better way for a ref to extract a little payback than a couple of five-figure flop calls against the power forward that showed him up?

Fining the players could be part of it, but it feels like there needs to be some sort of team price on this, no? Maybe it should be a technical foul, too, so that there is a tangible team cost with each event.

This and that

— Congrats to Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers slugger who captured the first triple crown in baseball since 1967. Huge season and in truth something we did not ever expect to see. Because we're a junkie for things like this, in 1967... gas was 33 cents a gallon; average income was $7,300; minimum wage was $1.40 an hour; Rolling Stone magazine was published for the first time; the first Super Bowl was played; Jimmy Hoffa begins an eight-year prison term; Evil Knievel jumps over 16 cars lined up in a row but fails to clear the fountains at Caesars Palace; Elvis Presely marries Priscilla; "The Dirty Dozen" is released in theaters; Vanilla Ice was born on Halloween of 1967 (that's fitting on so many levels, no?)

— Wow, now that's a commitment. Louisville coach Charlie Strong figured to be one of the top names on the market when the big-time jobs come open at the end of the year. Well, with Papa John's money and KFC money at his backing, Louisville AD Tom Jurich is going to make it tough for Strong to leave. "I will match anybody's salary," Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told Jeremy Fowler of "I will match anybody in college. I will be supportive of whoever's here. Do they want to be here? When someone is being talked about, that's a compliment to our program."

— A's clinched the West, and Yankees clinched the East in the AL. Huge edge winning your division, as it should be. Here is the playoff schedule for Friday: Cards at Braves at 5:07 p.m. (Lohse vs. Medlen); Baltimore at Texas at 8:30 p.m. (undecided vs. Darvish). The winner of the NL wildcard faces Washington; the winner of the AL wildcard faces New York.

— We'll be on with Chris Goforth around 2 today on 1370 AM. Swing by if you get a chance.

— From our friends at — before the debate the $100 bet on Romney would have won $365; after last night's debate debate, a $100 bet on Romney wins $240.

Today's question

In honor of last night's presidential debate — hey, hope your guy did swimingly, but please take the political diatribes and bellyaching over to Clay's playground — we propose the following debate, and want to know who you'd think would win:

Les Miles vs. Mike Tyson.

Who you got?

Remember, Les is the master of misdirection and Iron Mike powerfully misplays a great quote.

Here are a couple examples from each:

Les — "I can only tell you that the only fit to me for those players on this campus is extremely good;" "There was great interest there as soon as that interest was mutual;" "The only thing that I can tell you is that I am relatively honest and somewhat deceptive."

And for Iron Mike — "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth;" "Another thing that freaks me out is time. Time is like a book. You have a beginning, a middle and an end. It's just a cycle;" "I know how hard it is to be a woman, especially a black woman;"I guess I'm going to fade into Bolivian."

Les Miles vs. Mike Tyson. Who you got?


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.
chas9 said...

And would William Wallace have compromised his soul for Papa John's money? I guess we'll never know. Braveheart was a fine movie, but I can't watch it now without seeing the crazy train wreck that is Mel G.

All of us should be cautious drawing conclusions about what happened in the Summit affair, but what I read reminds me of the old story about the seven wise blind men in India describing an elephant. Everybody's just telling how it feels to them and nobody's really a bad guy. If I thought anybody was trying to hurt Pat, I'd send William Wallace after them. This subject is probably a good one to apply the maxim that everybody should just shut up and heal.

The last real triple crown winner was Affirmed in 1978 and smart money says the streak without another one will last enough more years to beat the just ended baseball streak.

Did Iron Mike really say that?

October 4, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

My understanding is that the commissioner's office will be the one determining the fines and that the officials on the court will not be able to make that call about whether or not someone flopped. Is that not right?

KSU always plays up or down to the competition. This is the team that barely lead Missouri State in the third quarter. So, while I would expect them to beat Kansas handily, I'd be scared to death to make any wager on it.

As far as Clemson-Georgia Tech goes, you're also violating a third rule. The third rule is never bet on Georgia Tech. I have NEVER been able to figure them out. I pick them to win? They lose. I pick them to lose? They win. Can't figure it out. Throw in that Clemson-Georgia Tech always play some of the most bizarre games each year. So- I would avoid that game, too for those reasons.

Finally, the LSU-Florida game. I have no doubt that Florida scores between 17 and 21 points against LSU. The question is how many LSU scores- they've looked good sometimes, and awful sometimes. I tend to think only about 10 to 14 points. They could put up 24 points. Very interesting game.

October 4, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
fechancellor said...

"Congrats to Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers slugger who captured the first triple crown in baseball since 1967." Damn Skippy!

I'm not sure where to fall on the Pat Summitt revelations, yet. However, Coach Summitt by dint unparalleled, superlative service to the University of Tennessee spanning thirty-eight years ashould be by right be accorded ALL the respect she has earned during her tenure.

Only the firing of Johnny Major's can be taken for an possible equal.

Going to take Tyson here. "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth;..." This seemingly simple statement first postulated by Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke simply stated, "No plan survives contact with the enemy."

October 4, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

I've got Rickey Henderson.

This is Rickey, calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball again.

October 4, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

No way William Wallace sells out; Robert the Bruce did and we saw what torment that brough.

But if the Cards can keep Charlie the Strong, they will be good for the long haul.

Concur about the wait-and-hear-more approach in regard to Pat.

Not only did Iron Mike say that, we left out the "I want to tear out his heart and feed it to him."

Stuck —

We may have misread it, but the commissioner's office is no better. Want to fine Rasheed Wallace without having to answer to the players' union, scream flop.

As for K-State, we believe the state rivalry will be enough to clear the hurdle of playing to the level of their competition — or what is known as "pulling an Auburn."

Fair point on Tech. It could be the dreaded triple negative reverting back to a negative.

FE to the C —

We're reserving judgment on the Summitt scenario until we know more. And dropping some history.... nice.

Spy —

Rickey doesn’t have albums. Rickey has CDs.

— 5-at-10

October 4, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay- I just heard that the NFL replacement refs have just awarded Obama the winner in last night's debate . . .

October 4, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

Upon further review, the replacement refs upheld the famous newspaper headline "Dewey beats Truman."

— 5-at-10

October 4, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Congrats to Spy —

Booby Valentine has been dismissed by the Boston Red Sox.

Bad news for baseball fans everywhere —

Booby Valentine will be back on TV come April.

— 5-at-10

October 4, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
Stewwie said...

The NBA flop rules are a definite step in the right direction. Even better that the league office is reviewing these calls to determine the guilty party instead of leaving all of that to the refs on the floor. A warning for the first offense is fair. But hopefully guys will learn really quick that the days of acting ridiculous just to fool the refs are over. Time to man up and play ball the right way. Leave the flopping to the European soccer players.

[Nevermind the fact that the NBA referees are a notoriously bitter bunch that holds grudges.]

Steve Javie was probably best known for doing this, but, ironically, he was also widely considered the best ref in the league. Now he's retired.

I think overall the NBA refs are good (and WAY better now than 10 or 20 years ago)...and the new flop rules will help them look even better. That said, out of the group below, which has the best collection of refs/umps, and which has the worst?


NCAA b-ball


Baseball Minors


NCAA football

October 4, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Oh I agree....the commissioner's office is no better. But I do like that they (in theory) will be reviewing the plays, and not just letting refs call technicals for flopping. I mean, if it was that easy to spot a flop, then the refs wouldn't call fouls so much when a guy flops. They'd just let them play. So leaving it in a place where the video is being reviewed seems to be the way to go there, if they are doing it. I don't know how you get flopping out of the sport, but I think I like that they are trying to curb it somewhat. I think I rather have guys be suspended (with pay) than fined for it. Suspend them for the 1st six minutes of a game, and then keep on extending it by six minutes each time. Give them five warnings first (you think some guys wouldn't use up all their warnings in one game?). That makes this a much less big deal.

I like your K-State explanation. Maybe that does make the difference. I love this K-State team. They are becoming my team for this year that I'm rooting for that I have no reason to root for. They are a lot of fun to watch. I used to pull for them a lot back in the mid to late 90s because I enjoyed watching them then. I still maintain Tennessee was lucky not to have to play them in 1998. The Wildcats would have had a better chance to beat them than Florida State on that night. Yes, I know KSU lost the Alamo Bowl. Totally different situation than playing for a national championship.

October 4, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Thank you, 5, thank you. I want to thank the Academy, all my co-stars, all the great people behind the scenes, my agent, my personal shopper, my publicist, my errand person who takes the blame publicly when TMZ catches me doing something stupid ... I mean, it's such a great honor just to be nominated to not have Bobby Valentine manage your baseball team anymore. But to win? I could have never dreamed this. Thank you. Thank you all. God bless America, and God bless our troops!

October 4, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stew —

Concur that flopping needs to be stopped. Here's a point of discussion — why do the leagues not farm out controversial practices and policing matters to third parties? Goodness knows they have the money and we certainly could use the jobs. C'mon NBA and NFL, think of the kids. U-S-A. U-S-A.

Stuck —

That Bishop-led KSU team was fun. This Klein-led KSU team is fun. Bill Snyder is going to be the Weekend of Bernie's guy in Manhatten and no one will care.

Spy —

You are SOOOOOO selfish.

— 5-at-10

October 4, 2012 at 3:27 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

So glad Booby V is gone. I hate to see a team wrecked by incompetence - saw enough of that with barfield at Auburn in the 70's.

Rumor has it Peyton Manning is part of a minority group investing in the Grizzlies. Will the color scheme be UT orange soon?

October 4, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

NFL replacement referees > NBA referees. Those guys want to be part of the show and the bigger the game, the more often they screw it up. MLB umps aren't a lot better. The most consistent referees and umps are the ones with the least ego. regular foul plus another for the T. Both are charged on the player's six-foul limit. Four free throws for the foulee. That will stop things quickly without a fine especially if it's late in a game and costs the team the win.

October 4, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
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July 22, 2014 at 8:03 a.m.
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