published Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

5-at-10: Playoffs, Derby contests and — shocker — the SEC will rule the 2014 draft too

NBA playoffs

As if they needed any extra advantages, the Miami Heat are sitting and resting and waiting for the rest of the Eastern Conference to get done with the slow dance that has become round 1. So, too are the San Antonio Spurs. Each team is the favorite to get to the NBA Finals.

Let's review where the series are, and when they meet again. Deal? Deal.


New York leads Boston 3-2 after the Celtics won Game 5 92-86 in NYC on Wednesday.

Next: Friday at Boston (ESPN, 7)

Indiana leads Atlanta 3-2 after waxing the Hawks 106-83 on Wednesday.

Next: Friday at Atlanta (ESPN2, 7)

Chicago leads Brooklyn 3-2

Next: Game 6 tonight in Chicago (TNT, 8)


OKC leads Houston 3-2 after Houston won 107-100 on Wednesday

Next: Friday at Houston (ESPN, 9:30)

Golden State leads Denver 3-2.

Next: Tonight at Golden State (TNT, 10:30)

Memphis leads the L.A. Clippers 3-2.

Next: Friday at Memphis (ESPN2, 9:30)

Here's what you need to know. There has rarely been this combination of elitism (the Heat) and parity (there's a real chance that the Western Conference finals could be Grizzlies and the Warriors). This is a great combination for the league.

There's also a very real chance that there could be a MON-ster Sunday with four Game 7s. We know our man Downtown Patrick Brown wants the Grizz to finish the Clippers on Friday, but we are so, So, SO rooting for an all-Sunday elimination day. Talk about good times.


Kentucky Derby Contest

We are back trying to give away stuff.

This time it will be some TFP memorabilia. Maybe even a ticket or two to an upcoming event here in the greater Chattanooga area that sounds like "Rest of Reps."

The contest is simple: Pick the horse that you think will win, and the horse that you think will lose — as in dead last. To try to prevent a tie, let's let picking the winner be worth 1.2 points and picking the last-place finisher be worth 1 point. If we still have a tie, we'll break it Monday. Deal? Deal. And it still don't cost nothin' to enter a 5-at-10 contest.

5-at-10 — Verranzano to win; Black Onyx

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Orb to win; Giant Finish

Sportsfan — Orb to win; Fear the Kitten in last

McPell — Goldencents to win; Franc Daddy in last

TrueBeliever — Revolutionary to win; Falling Sky in last

OTWatcher — Goldencents to win; Golden Soul in last

ThatIDoKnow — Verranzano to win; Frac Daddy in last

Joe — Normandy Invasion to win; Oxbow in last

Thinker — Orb to win; Frac Daddy in last

More to come


Scouts Inc. looks at 2014

Todd McShay, the draft guru who is the head of Scouts Inc. and one of the true experts on ESPN, listed his top 32 prospects for the 2014 NFL.

Hey, we love the draft. You know this.

And his list is somewhat similar to the top five lists we posted earlier this week. Here are our position players in order and where McShay had them ranked overall:

1) Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina D-end — 1st

2) Cyrus Kouandijo, Alabama left tackle — 3rd

3) Anthony Barr, UCLA defensive end — 5th

4) Marqise Lee, USC receiver — 4th

5) Sammy Watkins, Clemson receiver — 21st

Here is our list of 2014 quarterback prospects and where McShay had them ranked overall:

1) A.J. McCarron, Alabama — 15th

2) Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville — 2nd

3) Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech — Not ranked

4) Tajh Boyd, Clemson — 8th

5) Aaron Murray, Georgia — Not ranked.

This is not about the rankings as much as the trends McShay's ranking show.

Here are three things that stick out:

• Alabama again will have the most talent. McShay ranks five Tide players — Kouandijo (3rd), Adrian Hubbard (10th), C.J. Mosely (12th), McCarron (15th) and Ha-Ha Dix (24th) — among the top 25 NFL prospects in the game.

• The Alabama-Texas A&M game will be the game of the year. We kind of felt this way going in, but with the Tide's upper crust talent, and the nucleus the Aggies have on offense — tackle Jake Matthews is sixth overall, quarterback Johnny Manziel is ninth overall, and receiver Mike Evans is 30th — emphasizes it. Think of it this way, according to early numbers, a projected eight of the best first-round prospects will be on the field.

• The SEC again will rule. After producing a record 12 first-round picks last week, the SEC has 13 players in McShay's 32. That said, want the home run stat for how the SEC dominated the 2013 draft? The SEC East had 32 players picked. The SEC West had 31 players picked. The ACC was next with 30 players picked, followed by the Pac-12 (28), the Big 12 (22) and the Big East (21)


This and that

— Interesting story in Sports Illustrated. No, not about the gay NBA guy. SI reports that a Champions Tour player and a former tournament director named David Eger was the guy that called Augusta National about Tiger Woods' improper drop. And how did he get the information through — it's not like there's a bank of of folks in green jackets answering phones at the Masters? He texted an old friend, Mickey Bradley, a rules official who was working on the Masters.

— Holy Space Odyssey 2017. We're way beyond birthdays now. Check out the proposed details and extravagances of the Falcons new facility. Wow.

— Texas A&M apparently feels right at home in the SEC. Huge first year. Heisman winner. Slew of first-round draft picks. Now they are expanding Kyle Field to seat more than 102,000 folks That's a lot of 12th Men. (Or would that be 12th Mans?)

— Want a sure fire recipe for offensive struggles? Nine Ks, two hits, zero walks. Yep, that was the line for your Braves in a 2-0 loss last night, and one of those hits was by starting pitcher Paul Maholm. There are going to be days like these throughout the long, Braves' summer. But wow, the Dan Struggla update is staggering. He has 37 strikeouts in 86 at-bats. That's a strikeout 43 percent of the time. To extrapolate that further, Uggla would have to hit .500 on the at-bats he actually puts the ball in play to hit .285.


Today's question(s)

It's a free-for-all Thursday. Do whatcha' like.

If you need a starting point here are but three:

• Country music will mourn the loss of George Jones today. The funeral for Jones, who died at the age of 81 last week, is today in Nashville and country music's royalty is schedule to pay proper respects. In your Mount Rushmore of country music stars, does Jones make it? Maybe it's sentiment, but we have him making the cut with George Strait, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Discuss. (Side note: His nickname — the Possum — is an all-timer, too.)

• The week of the Kentucky Derby we are always looking for the top 10 rejected horse names. Last year's winner — Glue Stick — is the name to beat at 4-to-1. We also like Alpo Position. Whatcha' got?

• Would you feel more comfortable hitting against the worst pitcher in baseball or pitching to Struggla?


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.
ordinaryguy said...

NBA??? The NEVERENDING BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION...when WWE has bigger viewership...enough said

David Eger needs a butt whooping...where does nonsense like his stop? Someone call the booth during an NFL game and demand a replay?

You are right on three of the four on the country music Rushmore...granted Stait is a talent, but you CAN'T and I REPEAT CAN'T leave off Hank Williams, and for the young whippersnappers that is SENIOR, not Junior...None of today's talent if that is what you call the folks played on the hot country favorite, could carry water for the artists who truly made fact according the the RIAA (the folks who award gold and platinum records) the biggest solo recording artist of all time is country..

May 2, 2013 at 10:29 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Ten Ring,

Slow, cold, morning here in the Big D. I physically laugh at that scene from "After Earth" in the trailer where Will Smith warns his son "The climate will fluctuate dangerously" and we see a swamp area go from humid to deep freeze in a matter of seconds.


I deal with that everyday. The good news is yesterday in the DMN they did a story where metorlogists report the potential of a stable, wet summer. Meaning a good portion of rainfall and highs in the low to mid 80s (until mid June). In Texas between June to September, that's like saying we're be in the 60s.

Rushmore (based strictly on personal taste): Johnny Cash, Randy Owens, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Travis*

*Pre-"Cuckoo for Coca Puffs" up the road from me in Sherman (Which is literally ranch and horse country).

Alabama/A&M is becoming the "new SEC rivalry". And yes, I read all about College Station's "upgrade" as well. However, I think the big question (lopsided results be damned) is when are Tennessee and A&M going to finally play? Ever? I know Tennessee is in the East and A&M is in the West but there has to be SOME wiggle room in the scheduling.

May 2, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Hank is a tough omission. But George Strait is certainly not the fourth horse in that Rushmore.

King George has more No. 1 hits than anyone.


Kris Kristofferson may be the most interesting guy of the back half of the 20th century. Seriously.

Stay thirsty dear friends.

And your Tennessee-Texas A&M question is one that the league is wrestling with greatly.

— 5-at-10

May 2, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

Winner: Mylute; Last: Black Onyx


Also from another friend of the show — BillyinBrainerd

1ST = Revolutionary

Last = Lines of Battle

Keep em coming

May 2, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Hey, if I could play country music AND teach Wesley Snipes how to hunt vampires AND smoke while pumping gasoline, I would be in the "most interesting" catagory as well.

"And your Tennessee-Texas A&M question is one that the league is wrestling with greatly."

It NEEDS to happen soon. That's all I'm saying.

May 2, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - got just a moment between lunch and my next meeting to read the 5 at 10. I'm no expert, but I think you've got to put Patsy Cine on any country music Rushmore. Don't know who you drop, but Patsy set the standard for females followed by Loretta Lynn.

May 2, 2013 at 1:04 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Hank Williams Sr.

Merle Haggard

The Man in Black

George Jones.

Best line I've seen so far is the Knicks need to win Game 6 because Kevin Brown is scheduled to start Game 7 against Boston.

May 2, 2013 at 1:06 p.m.
BIspy4 said...


No. 1 hits in country music are the misleading stat in entertainment. There's a new No. 1 every other week. It's not like Michael Jackson hoisting "Billie Jean" at the top of the charts for months on end.

May 2, 2013 at 1:40 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[NBA??? The NEVERENDING BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION...when WWE has bigger viewership...enough said]

OG, based on what I've seen, the ratings are neck and neck. But it's sad that it's even that close...sad that anybody still watches WWE at all.

The Knicks are trying to give the series away apparently. An all-Sunday elimination day would be cool. If the Bulls can get past the Nets, do you think Rose will try to come back for the series against the Heat? Either way, that one should be interesting to watch.

The architectural firm needs to make sure the new Falcons stadium is built to last a good 10 years at least. Maybe 20. No matter how good it ends up being, it will be time to tear it down and start over sooner than later. Sad reality of today's world.

May 2, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Country Music Rushmore: Hank Sr., Johnny, Possum, and Willie. I would also honor the mad scientist of country music with a statue of Roger Miller mooning the Rushmore carvings. Roger marched to a beat none of the rest of us will ever hear.

With all the talk of country music stars and JMC's mention of the weather in Texas, I was reminded of something Jimmy Dean said: "Texas is the only place in the world where you can be up to your ass in mud and have dust blow in your eyes."

May 2, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Bispy you make a valid point...however the bait I threw out was that from the RIAA which is the official sales site and awards gold and platinum status to albums, etc...none other than Garth himself sits behind The Beatles at number 1 and elvis at 2 as the number three artist in all time sales...

May 2, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...


Never mind writing songs, fly choppers and be the Rubber Duck in a monster Convoy.

Sportsfan —

Patsy Cline is right there, too. Maybe we should have a his and hers Rushmore.

Spy —

Ah Haggard. Yes, this is tough.

And if Dave Roberts gets a steal Friday night in the Garden all bets are off.

And dude, they change out the Pop No. 1s weekly too. Kind George has more than 50 No. 1 singles.

Don't hate the hat, hate the hat rack.

Stew —

Great point. We're not entirely sure what's wrong the Georgia Dome. The beer's cold, the stands are full, the crowds are load... what more do you need?

May 2, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...

GD —

Great call on Roger Miller.

And any time we can quote Jimmy Dean, we're all better off for it.

OG —

As for sales, that's kind of skewed. In fact the Rushmore of country music sales would be Garth, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw, according to the most recent Billboard and the Nielsen Company we saw.

May 2, 2013 at 3:37 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Re: Rushmore

Taylor Swift.

No, Eddy Arnold, going way back, along with Cash, Strait, and Jones. And if there's room, Alabama. Twenty straight songs reached the top.

Can we pencil in the Jagwahrs for Clowney?

May 2, 2013 at 3:46 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, Willie and Jones are automatics. Waylon spelled W-A-Y-L-O-N Jennings, and please make welcome The First Lady of Country Music Miss Loretta Lynn.

By the by, will this coffee table book of yours have legs that fold out from underneath like Kramer's?

May 2, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Laughter —

Our best description of Taylor Swift the musician is, well, she's a heck of a song writer.

Alabama is the Babe Ruth of country duos, there's no doubt.

And yes, the Jags and their QB Blaine Thurston Gabbert IV (where'd he come from a scotch ad) figures to be atop the draft. Of course with their luck and skill, they'll skip Clowney for some other Bozo. (See what we did there... Nice.)

May 2, 2013 at 3:54 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

If you even call Taylor Swift on the phone and sweet talk her, she gonna write a mean ol' hateful song about you. Plus, she needs to eat a sammich. Girl too skinny. That's why she wears those sack dresses, so no one can see just how bony she is. Why do all these guys leave her? At some point, it ain't them, honey, it's you.

And I'm sticking with my Rushmore.

May 2, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Spy's behind schedule so Spy will make this quick:

Also viable Rushmore of country music candidates:

Buck Owens.

Lefty Frizzell.


May 2, 2013 at 5:52 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Can't hear of a guy named Blaine and not think either "In Living Color" or "Cruel Intentions."

May 2, 2013 at 5:57 p.m.
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