published Monday, November 11th, 2013

5-at-10: College football rewind, NFL takeaways and shoutout to the Mocs

Happy Veterans' Day, and to those of you who have served all of us, a heartfelt thank you.

Form the "Talks too much" studios, be the ball Danny. It's kind of hard with you talking like that.

College football rewind

Auburn was impressive. The Tigers moved to 9-1 with a dominating win in Knoxville. Auburn may line up in crazy formations and move pieces like a chess master with Tourette's, but calling this a spread offense is a misnomer. Auburn is a run-first, run-next, run-always offense that marries power and pace like few others. Granted, there were a number of special-team breakdowns for the Vols — including TD returns on a punt and a kickoff, each of which was aided by a questionable no-call on what looked to be a block in the back — but Auburn hung a double nickel in Knoxville and threw seven passes. Read that last part again.

  • photo
    LSU running back Terrence Magee is hit by Alabama defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and linebacker C.J. Mosley in the Crimson Tide's win Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Alabama is better than everyone else. Period. We fell into the mass herd that thought LSU was going to give Alabama a game. We were wrong, and as all of our mothers said, if everyone was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you want to, too? LSU controlled the first half, but failed to stretch its lead. Alabama owned the second half and pulled away for a 38-17 win that put a firm exclamation point on any debate about who is the best team in the country. Yes, Florida State has a nice resume with a win at Clemson — the Miami blowout is going to look worse by the week — but Alabama is different. Double period, which is almost an ellipses, which is a three-period string, which is like a three-peat string, which gets us back to Alabama.

Fab 4-plus-1 picks (times 2) went 6-4, which is OK but still not up to our standards. We're now 35-24-1. We'll say this, though, there were so many underdogs that covered, hitting 60 percent is pretty solid for us considering that we almost always play favorites. We hit on Auburn, Missouri, over in UCLA, Fresno State, La. Tech and Indiana. Of the misses, we had a little bad luck on Navy (which won by 14 but was giving 16 and missed on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and took a knee in the Hawaii red zone on its last two drives — let's say that was not entertaining for some) and some on Ole Miss, which won but failed to cover after Arkansas scored a cosmetic fourth-quarter TD and the Rebels turned it over at the Arkansas goal line.

The BCS is out and Alabama and Florida State are the clear Nos. 1 and 2 in the poll. That will not change of if they win out. That means THE Ohio State and Baylor could run the table and finish on the outside looking in. It also means that any of the one-loss teams, led by Stanford, Oregon and Auburn respectively will need a ton of help. 

Speaking of Auburn and Alabama, here's saying that as of this morning, the Tide are spending at least a chunk of every practice working on Auburn's diverse and dominating running game. With all due respect to Mississippi State and UTC — Bama's next two foes — we believe Nick Saban has the trip to Auburn circled for a variety of reasons. We also believe the Tide will not surrender the chunks of yards the Tigers churned out against UT. We also believe the Tide safeties will be in better position.

We're going to ask a question at the end of each segment today. Enjoy. Question No. 1: Which college football team won the weekend? You can say UTC, and we're good with that. We'll take Vandy, which went to the Swamp, punched Florida in the face, jumpstarted its bowl chances and punted Gators coach Will Muschamp firmly into the cross hairs of a disgruntled fan base. Florida is now 4-5 and needs two wins in a season-ending stretch of at South Carolina, Georgia Southern and FSU to reach a bowl game. 


UTC delivers

  • photo
    UTC defensive lineman Davis Tull (90) sacks Wofford quarterback Evan Jacks, forcing a fumble, in the final quarter of their game at Finley Stadium in this file photo. The Mocs defeated the Terriers 20-10.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

We have been in town for 11-plus years. We think this weekend was the best for UTC sports in that time.

Game one of the Will Wade era was a fun event. The changes to McKenzie at the very least looked good, and whether shining that spud is enough, well great. Still, the floor look great, the seats did too. Plus, moving the students under the basket is a good move, and hats off to a large number of students that showed. There was an energy at McKenzie — and this was at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. We also give a tip of the visor to whomever decided to have the Mocs enter coming down the aisle of the student section. Good move. Side question: How in the world does a season-opener start for one team (UTC counted the game) and it's an exhibition for the other (Covenant is not counting the game).

After the Mocs crushed Covenant, the Lady Mocs thumped Alabama. In truth the Lady Mocs is years ahead of Alabama's, but any win over an SEC foe is good times for UTC.

Then came Saturday, and arguably the biggest win in UTC football history since they added the T in the name.

Banged and battered, a defense that is playing with like eight healthy guys and eight more that are ignoring pain that would make the rest of us take the day off from whatever, the Mocs continue to be the league's best defense. Period. They hand-cuffed Wofford from the start in a 20-10 win that secured at least a share of the SoCon title.

Good times indeed. (And thanks JoMo for the invite, and if the Mocs have another home game — something that is quite possible and would be an almost certainty with a win Saturday at Samford, we're hoping to get by there. There was a lot happening this weekend.)

Question No. 2: Fill in the blank to this question: The crowd of a smidge more than 12,000 at Finley was _. We will use expected, since there were a couple of us that set the over/under 12K, and maybe it was Stewwie who said over 12 and under 13,000. Well-played indeed.


Monday morning NFL review

Here are five quick takeaways from an NFL Sunday that was parts puzzling, parts promising (depending on your loyalty) and parts powerful.

  • photo
    Former Colts star Peyton Manning points out a play during a game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The most watched MRI in the country will be sometime today when Peyton Manning has a scan on his lower body. Manning is on pace to throw 59 TDs and more than 5,700 yards — each would be NFL records — and the Broncos are 8-1 and a game back in their division, so there will be motivation throughout the season. That said, if Manning is sidelined, the Broncos are stable ponies.

Speaking of QB ailments, after losing starter Aaron Rodgers last week, the Packers lost Seneca Wallace on their first series in a loss to Philly. We have explored the import of the quarterback before, but the ups and downs in Green Bay made us ponder what is B.J. Coleman thinking right now? Coleman was the Packers' back-up for about 24 hours before being cut the week before the season as the Packers added Wallace and Scott Tolzien the week before the season opener. If things had turned fractionally different, Coleman would be getting ready for his first start of the season.

The Falcons stink. That is all. So do the Titans. If you are an NFL fan in the 423, may we recommend you look a few more hours East, and... 

The Panthers do not stink. Behind a first-round steal of a few years ago, the Carolina Panthers have won five straight and are 6-3 after winning ugly at San Francisco. Know the following facts about the Panthers and this win: They won without getting into the San Fran red zone; the win was the first for Cam Newton in a game decided by three points or less; linebacker Luke Kuechly, arguably the best player in any sport you have not heard a ton about, and the Panthers limited the 49ers to 4 yards on 14 fourth-quarter plays and held Colin Kaepernick to a QB rating of 7.7. Ouch-standing.

Surely you have heard it by now, but the interview with Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito continued to blur and swirl the entire Jonathan Martin incident. Incognito told Fox Sports that he is not a racist and that everyone in the organization knew he had Martin's back more than any other teammate. He also admitted to taking things too far, which even Helen Keller could see. Still, here are the three things we think we know: The blame looks to belong more and more with the organization, in truth; we agree that this is not a 'bullying' story as much as it is a hazing/locker room story; we believe Incognito may be a world-class jerk but it's hard to think that Martin did not snap, too. So it goes. And tonight we'll get a Jon Gruden interpretive dance on the situation. Maybe it will be his version of the African ant-eating ritual.

Question 3: We'll talk about the best in the league in tomorrow's power poll, but let's stay local. Which team is in a worse spot, the Falcons, who have a good quarterback that's paid like an elite quarterback, solid receivers (when healthy) and holes in a slew of places, or the Titans, who have few long-term answers at quarterback or wide receivers and a solid mix of talent everywhere else? 


This and that

— Whoa nelly, there is news breaking out of Atlanta that the Braves are moving. Yep, the Marietta Daily Journal is reporting that the Braves are going to relocate to south part of Cobb Counny and build a stadium near the intersection of 285 and I-75. The AJC has confirmed it. Gang, that locale is about 3 minutes from where the 5-at-10 grew up and we're going to call them the Smyrna Braves. This is not up for discussion.

— Monster start for chas9's favorite freshman since back when Richie Farmer's mustache was cute rather than criminal. UK's Julius Randle scored 45 points and grabbed 29 rebounds total in his first two college games. Good times.

— Jimmie Johnson finished third at Phoenix on Sunday in the "drive-fast-turn-left" auto club event, the penultimate of the season. Johnson leads the points race by 28 points over Matt Kenseth and can secure his sixth championship with a 23rd-place-or-better finish next week at Homestead. Johnson is elite. The word penultimate is underrated.


Today's questions

Is Alabama beatable?

If you are the Steelers do you look to trace Ben Roethlisberger and rebuild?

Speaking of quarterbacks, who would your rather have, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick or Matt Ryan? Discuss.

Should the Braves change their name?

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.
jomo11 said...

Jay- you were missed at our tailgate !. . . . come to the Playoff tailgate ( I know run Jim Mora audio ). . . .Great crowd at football and b-ball games this weekend in Moc Land. . . .the Bama-Auburn game could be epic. . . .

November 11, 2013 at 10:22 a.m.
chas9 said...

Agree that Bama's different. But at least Malzahn's minions will make it interesting.

Sure would be great if The Baylor and The Ohio State could play in a bowl game. Or Baylor and Auburn or LSU.

Friday I ventured that The Vols had a 65% chance of winning two more to go bowling. Today I put the odds at 50% on account of how strong Vandy looked and how weak Tennessee looked Saturday.

Did you see Beckham-Greene's TD catch around the back of the UK defender's head? He may be as good as Julio.

And if Mizzou is a measuring stick, UT and UK are about even. Tennessee has been beat down by 30 or more four times this season, Kentucky only twice. Butch's boys don't play as well on the road and they have to go to Lexington for the tilt.

As if Johnnyvolsfan doesn't have enough to be mad about, channel 3's Paul Shahen pronounces Tennessee's nickname "Vulls." Some good old boy needs to take him aside and give him lessons. Don't think he's from around here.

When you think about Bama's great history, it's amazing no Crimson QB has come close to winning the Heisman. And A. J. has broken John Parker Wilson's record for all-time passing yards. Who? Not Stabler, Namath or Barker. Whatever happened to John Parker? Maybe it's the system that made him.

Normally arm tackling is not a compliment, but did you notice the several armtackles by safeties in the Bama-LSU game that were just impressive as hell. You gotta be strong and quick to stop the freight train running backs like that.

Congrats to the real-deal War Eagles. Who's coach of the year, Cutcliffe or Malzahn?

November 11, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

The fact the Packers cut Coleman because they simply thought Rodgers and their supposed golden boy back-up QB was industructable is karma in the nth degree. I am sooo doing the "Mother" laugh on this.


Calling the Braves the Smyrna Braves is as stupid as calling the Dallas Cowboys the Arlington Cowboys. This is not open for discussion.

Regardless of over-under, I have no problem shaming my hometown. Shame. SHAAAMMMMMMEEEEEEE! A little over 12,000? Folks, we're not in a conference where we get to host LSU, North Texas, or North Dakota State. But at the same time, we're not Division III either. I grant you I can't thank the paper enough for their front-page coverage both Saturday and Sunday but that game truly proved my hometown is not a true sports town. Regardless, I know it hasn't effected the team's mojo and as long as they maintain the course, Samford should be the landscaping of an otherwise awesome season in the books.

One question though that was not brought up is what is the ranking going to be on Tuesday? I imagine it to be 18 but that's probably too generous.

November 11, 2013 at 10:29 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay- your thoughts on the Braves moving to Cobb County and building NEW stadium near the Galleria Mall ?

November 11, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: Thanks for another great 5@10. I am glad to see the Mocs winning games by the scores they have been losing by the last couple of years. The defense is really meeting the challenges and holding opponents.

Shout out to much maligned Aaron Murray for finally putting Danny Wuerffel in second place for career touchdowns in the SEC.

Watched the Alabma-LSU game Saturday and the Tide put on a show in the second half. Hope they get to play FSU for the National Title. Should be a great game.

November 11, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Never dreamed LSU would keep it close against Alabama. LSU is mediocre this year. Alabama is not. I was actually impressed with how close LSU kept it for three quarters. I also still think the Florida State has been more impressive so far. Now, give them six weeks to prep, and probably Alabama finds a way to win, but if they played this week, I'd take FSU. I also think Auburn and possibly Missouri in the SEC Championship Game have a real chance to beat them. LSU never was going to beat them.

Great wins for the Mocs in men's and women's basketball and football this weekend!

Michigan State-UK- #2 vs. #1 in men's basketball tomorrow night. Going to have an extra special edition of the 5-at-10 tomorrow breaking down all the angles?

Unbeaten Northern Illinois against once beaten Ball State on Wednesday in football. Special edition breaking that down?

That's all I got for now....

November 11, 2013 at 11:35 a.m.
chas9 said...

I hate to see pro sports venues move out of city centers and I like The Ted. Seems brand spanking new to me. Yes, they'll have to be the Smyrna Braves. Or the Atlanta Braves at Smyrna. Or the Flowery Branch Braves. Maybe they'll change from Braves to Big Chickens.

Yes, JR has had a fast start. As of now SI coverboys Wiggins and Parker trail Randle statwise. Randle averages 22.5 points and 14.5 boards while Wiggins is 16/3 and Parker 22/6. As Jay points out, it doesn't matter who makes the preseason All-American team as much as the end of season team.

And The Cats walloped Northern Kentucky, who took Purdue to the wire. So I feel better about UK's chances against The Sparties on Tuesday.

The Champions' Classic likely will see the most-ever talent on the floor for a college basketball doubleheader. Notice I didn't say it'll be the two best games ever. It's too early for team chemistry to have gelled yet, especially for Kentucky.

November 11, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.
Maximus said...

If the City Of Chattanooga does not throw a parade for the football Mocs and give a key to the city to Coach Huesman then Chatt is indeed as a recent Men's Magazine pointed out..........a city of 6's and very few 10's. Also, the new AD had better get Huesman 's new contract ready or the coach and his very, very, good QB son will bolt to D1.

November 11, 2013 at 1:06 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Auburn scores 55 points - running the football. Don't you think Paul Johnson is in his office going, uh huh, told you so. You can run the ball and light up the scoreboard. PJ also just had a great line about the Braves moving to Cobb County - he can sell parking in his yard.

Congrats to the Mocs. Big win for the program. Glad to see that organization is on the rise. Hope they win a bunch more SoCon titles. Better them than those - ahem - people in purple.

That would be the Smyrna Braves. Not the Vinings Braves. As a wise man once said, when you need a cop, do you call the Vinings Police? No, you call the Smyrna Police. Wonder if Doc's will sell premium deck seating for this too. I am hungry and could use me some catfish right about now.

The Falcons need a new stadium all right. Some place no one can come find them to watch them play because they are as bad a Falcons team as there has been in a long time.

Good-o on the folks at the MDJ for breaking the Braves move story.

November 11, 2013 at 1:08 p.m.
Stewwie said...

After giving up 24 to the Citadel and 28 to Appy, I was greatly surprised that we only gave up 10 to Wofford as banged up as we are on D. Guys need to stay focused though since we have apparently not exactly locked up a playoff spot just yet. I heard somewhere that Furman (yes, Furman) still has a chance to get the automatic bid from our conference. If that happened, Samford would be the next pick, and then we'd get in only if they took 3 from the SoCon. But if we win against Samford on Saturday, we won't need to worry at all about getting in.

Anybody catch Verne's subtle shot at Musburger during the Bama/LSU game? After making sure to not make any ridiculous comments about AJ's mom and g/f when the camera was put on them, GD half-jokingly asked him if that was all he was going to say about the women. Verne then noted that he uses discretion and "I don't work for that four-letter network."

November 11, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

If the Mocs host one, you can book it. And we'll even swing by with the Iron Bowl slated for the same day.

As for the Braves, why not. Looking forward to a Braves game where you don't get panhandled on the walk back to the car.

But for those that think traffic will be better, un, no. That said, it will be at least 30 minutes closer to Chatta-Vegas.

9er —

Great use of Minions there and since the little 5-at-10s are big into Despicable Me, we are well-verse in minions. BA-NA-NA. (You know if you know.)

We think Wiggins is a beast, but we like the way Randle attacks glass. Good times.


Not an excuse mind you, but everyone is struggling filling seats. In fact we were thinking not much more than 13K.

Dawg747 —

Thanks for the kind words. The smart early money is on the over in the Auburn-Georgia game.

November 11, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"As for the Braves, why not. Looking forward to a Braves game where you don't get panhandled on the walk back to the car."

Ahhh..fond memories of 2007-2008 (My first year in Dallas when I took a PT job as a concession runner for the American Airlines Center [where the Mavs/Stars play]). I learned every single trick on how to spot panhandlers at 20 yards as well as how to avoid them while waiting at West End station if I was taking the rail line home.

November 11, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...


Welcome to the club. If the Mocs do win the SoCon, there will be some noterity. If they win the National Championship in my backyard, then we'll talk parade.

November 11, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stuck —

No special breakdowns. It should be an entertaining game but college hoops before five-letter months is warm-up drills and free-throw shooting.

Am intrigued with Ball State-Northern Illinois, though.

Maximus —

Welcome to the show, and yes, Russ should be in line for a raise after the recent run.

As will the Gus Bus.

Stewwie —

Yes, the fact the Mocs have overcome this many injuries is a stout testament to the a) improved depth and b) improved mental toughness. How many years prior would that have been a home run excuse that gets replayed over and over.

Did not see that exchange from Verne and Gd — we had since lost interest because and the sound was likely down.

That said, that zinger is pretty sharp and makes you wonder, who wins a fight between Verne and Musberger?

November 11, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.
Stewwie said...

That's a toughie. I'd place my bet on Verne though.

November 11, 2013 at 2:39 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

"who wins a fight between Verne and Musberger?" Not sure who would win, except geritol in advertising.

Yes, good weekend for the mocs & war eagles. Gus is working on a nice raise.

November 11, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Not much to report from the UGA game Saturday. A very forgettable first half followed by a stronger showing in the second half and we finally got a chance to put in some backups. Apart from Murray surpassing Wuerffel in the career touchdown category, the big news of the day was a Jonathon Rumph sighting. He's real, he actually exists.

Speaking of Auburn's offense, here's an idea for a drinking game: anytime some astute observer uses the phrase one-dimensional to describe the Plainsmen you take a shot. On the other hand, alcohol poisoning is a serious issue so forget that. There is no denying that the Auburn offense is one-dimensional, but they are working the hell out of that dimension. The offense at Auburn reminds me of what Frank Zappa said about Elmore James, "He always played that same lick, but you get the feeling he really meant it." Frank also noted: "Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny."

If any of you folks here at the 5-at-10 understand the new targeting rules in college football and the absolute randomness of their enforcement, I would be very appreciative of your insight.

I tried to watch that Incognito interview last night. However, with Jay Glazer and Richie Incognito in the same room the smell of Axe body spray was so overwhelming in emanated from my television.

The Braves are moving to Cobb County and hopefully the Falcons will play out the remainder of the season in Area 51. If a football team stinks in highly fortified government compound in the desert, do they make a sound?

November 11, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Better yet, who sponsors the Verne-Musberger fight?

Welcome, ladies and gentleman. You are looking live at the center stage at McKenzie Arena as Violent Verne Lundquist vs. Brent the Oogler Musberger.

It's a battle of Golden Oldies to be sure. And we'll take this moment to thank our sponsors, Alexian Village, your local chapters of the AARP and the early bird special at Ryan's — eat well, eat alot, eat before dark at Ryan's.

It's go time.

November 11, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Grateful —

Dude, if this was a sappy 1980s movie, we would be the over-sized blond guy that starts the slow clap that turns into a moving standing O.

The smell of Axe body spray line was well-played indeed. How much do those two dudes spend in tanning supplies and hair removal gear?

November 11, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Jay, for a ballpark guesstimate on how much Glazer and Incognito spend on tanning supplies and hair removal gear I think we can set the over/under at a figure roughly equal to the gross domestic product of Armenia. The fact that neither of those meatheads was wearing a T-shirt that read "Tap Out" or "Afflicted" during that interview means that the folks in wardrobe put in a little overtime.

As for your hypothetical Lundquist-Musberger fight, The Rumble of the Ramblers, I'm rooting for Verne and I think he takes it. Verne is goofy and gets lost in his own musings, but he seems like a good guy. I never cared for Musberger. Verne could distract Brent with old man speak like "look at the yabos on that little trollop." When Brent turns to get an eyeful, Verne lowers the boom. "Oh My!"

November 11, 2013 at 3:18 p.m.
jgreeson said...

GD —

Yes sir!!!!

November 11, 2013 at 3:37 p.m.
jimmydurant said...

I have been researching this subject for a few days now for a report I am writing. Your post has been very helpful in this regard.

July 22, 2014 at 8:13 a.m.
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