Remember the Friday mailbag, and, hey, do something nice today. Bring a co-worker a cup of coffee, speak to a stranger, buy a newspaper. It's well worth the investment.
From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...
Not so bright Orange future
We believe most of the folks who read the 5-at-10 are pretty sharp. We believe most of them are also UT fans.
If that's the case, Saturday does look too promising for Derek Dooley and the boys on Saturday.
Look at the picks so far in the Third Saturday in October... Can the Vols shock the world contest:
scole023 — Alabama 31, UT 12
TennFlyer — Bama 35-10
OrdinaryGuy — Bama 42-3
Stewwie — Bama 38-21
JohnathanMCook —Bama 46-10
FEchancellor — Bama 35-17
BlueOval — Bama 42-17
Spy — Bama 37-10
Musicman375 — Bama 38-17
McPell — Bama 41-16
Livn4life — Bama 42-6
Sportsfan — Vols 27-24
StuckinKent — Bama 31-23
Dawg747 — Bama 42-7
wannabe33 — Bama 56-3
Jefe — Bama 35-24
Tiger — Bama 38-24
ThatIDoKNow — Vols 31-27
Harold — Bama 42-14
Granted we are still looking for some more entries and we may call some of the local radio folks to see what they have too.
We have some mailbag questions about this game, so we won't go too deep into the preview stuff today. But here are the three things that must, Must, MUST happen for this game to be worth watching past 8 p.m. for any one other than the most die-hard UT and Bama fans and those who like B-horror movies:
1) Justin Hunter to the orange courtesy phone. Hunter is a slam-dunk first-round pick. He needs to play like it.
2) Derek Dooley meet Cordarrelle Patterson, Cordarrelle meet Mr. Dooley. Patterson is electric. Dude needs to be returning kicks, punts, catching screens even running jet sweeps. Heck, dude is averaging almost 20 yards a rush, let him run off tackle. He needs 20 touches Saturday. Period. (Side note: SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) slap nailed his preseason pick that Cordarrelle was going to be a stud duck. Nailed it. Now, you can say that's Dr. B spaghetti style — you know, if you keep throwing noodles at the wall, eventually something will stick — if you want, but CP is a hoss.)
3) A.J. McCarron, you and your chest tat can have a career night, but we're putting nine guys in the box and taking our chances. We'll go on record right now and say if the Tide throws for 400 yards and scores five TDs in the passing game, then Sal Sunseri's plan was good. It's the classic pick-your-poison position for an overmatched UT defense, but if the Vols do not stack the line of scrimmage against Bama's overpowering running game, UT has no chance. None. And you know this.
Fab 4 picks (plus one) — but minus three before noon
OK, we don't know if this is a testament to how crazy the SEC is this year or how how the Fab 4 (plus one) picks are, but check this out: The last two weeks, the Fab 4 is 8-2-1, but the silly eye-blacked Sports Editor is 5-7 picking SEC games straight up in the "Can you beat Jay" contest.
Needless to say we're not picking a lot of SEC games when there's entertainment stakes at play. Let's make some entertainment.
Oregon minus-7 at Arizona State: This number has dropped like a tech stock. It started at 10 at the beginning of the week, and a friend of the show who would prefer to remain nameless has there's heavy entertainment on ASU. The main reason of course is that all of the talking heads have used buzz words like "Upset Alert" and "Sleeper" when describing the Devils this week. Here's another key word — "Angry." As in the high-flying Ducks are likely pretty torqued the Florida Gators jumped them in the BCS poll. Here's another key word — "casinos." When the public loves a pick as much as the Sun Devils — the line moving three points is a lot of action — more times than not that train crashes. There are not a lot of bettors in monster palaces with 1,000s of rooms. Those are called casinos and they are built with the money, er... entertainment, wagered by the masses.
La. Tech minus-30 against Idaho: OK, if you think we have scouting reports or breakdowns on this game you're nuts. Here's what we know: The Techsters have covered five times in six games. They have scored more than 40 in every game this season, including a gutsy 59-57 loss to Texas A&M last week. The Idaho Vandals are 1-6 overall and against the spread this year. In their last three road games — and the trip from Idaho is a haul to anywhere — they have lost by 49 to LSU, 66 to UNC and 31 to Texas State. Yes, that Texas State.
OK, we'll be back with the rest of our picks. We're struggling this morning and we have to get the lil' 5-at-10 to preschool. Giddy-up.
Kentucky freshman Willie Cauley-Stein dances after his introduction during Kentucky's NCAA college basketball Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Kentucky gets good news
No not the football team, which will get a whipping on Saturday from an angry Georgia bunch.
No the Wildcats basketball team received a big jolt of positive energy with the news that freshman rock star Nerlens Noel will be eligible to play this year.
Noel, who has a big-time game and arguably the best high-top fade since Kid-n-Play were doing work, is a 6-foot-10 specimen that is athletic and gifted.
In fact, with the news that he will be eligible to play, Noel becomes one of the best players in the SEC right now and gives serious teeth to the Cats' preseason No. 3-ranking in the USA Today preseason poll.
Here's the early rankings:
4) THE Ohio State
Your Tennessee Vols received 10 points in the polling, so if you carried it through, Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin's bunch would 33rd in the poll.
This and that
— From the Inteweb and Good Morning America, "A 96-year-old farmer in India says that he has set the record for the world's oldest new dad - for the second time. Ramjit Raghav and his 52-year-old wife Shakuntala Devi, who live in Haryana, 31 miles northwest of Delhi, welcomed baby Ranjeet earlier this month. The healthy baby boy was born on Oct. 5, according to The Times of India." Ramjit said "I didn't take any performance enhancers" to complete his family. Take that Lance Armstrong.
— The Cards took Game 3 over the Giants 3-1 and lead the NLCS 2-1. The game was delayed by rain and pushed into Fox's primetime TV lineup. The move caused major complications on "The X-Factor" one of the reality singing competition shows.
— Game 4 of the ALCS was moved to tonight because of rain. And while the odds are looooooongggggg that the Yankees can rally from a 3-0 hole, it's pretty important for the Tigers to handle their BID-ness as soon as possible. First, there are two more games in Detroit and no one in a Tigers uniform wants to go back to NYC. Second and more important, if Detroit can end this tonight or this weekend, it likely can set its rotation to get the ball to Justin Verlander three times in the World Series. And that would be a huge edge.
We're open to anything today. Give us a whirl — but remember the contest above and Friday's mailbag.
That said, we offer up two Rushmores for today's question:
In honor of the debacle that has become the A-Rod situation — the Yankees' $30 million reserve — we're going to borrow the idea from Wednesday. What's your Rushmore of the biggest confidence implosions for great players: We'll go Tiger Woods, A-Rod, Brad Lidge and Vince Young.
The second Rushmore option is in honor of Marshall Mathers — also known as Eminem — who turned 40 on Wednesday. What's your Rushmore of rappers all-time: We'll take Chuck D, LL Cool J, Eminem, Snoop.
And that second one may be one of the tougher Rushmores we've done in a long time.
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 ...