published Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

5-at-10: SEC questions and answers, NFL review, NASCAR scandal and best TV catch phrases

SEC questions and answers

Here's our power poll of the SEC, with the questions — and answers — facing each program this week.

1. Alabama (1-0)

How are they going to slow Texas A&M's 6-foot-5 receiving duo of Mike Evans and Ricky Seals-Jones? Forget Johnny Autograph, the Aggies perimeter receivers present the tallest challenge for the Tide this week. Call it a hunch, but we believe Nick Saban will have a plan.

Saturday: at Texas A&M, 3:30 (CBS)

2. LSU (2-0)

Is LSU really this good? It's been hard not to be overwhelmed by the Tigers, especially offensively, considering they stormed a ranked TCU team with 37 points in the opener and flooded UAB with 56 points and a school-record five TD passes from Zach Mettenberger. LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is the front runner for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's best assistant coach.

Saturday: vs. Kent State, 7 (ESPNU)

3. Texas A&M (2-0)

  • photo
    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel throws during NCAA college football practice in College Station, Texas.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Are we ready for Johnny Cam? CBS will dedicate a full-time camera on Johnny Manziel this Saturday, following the Heisman winner all over the field all afternoon in this week's Game of the Century against Alabama. If Texas A&M had paid him half as much attention this offseason, maybe he would look like such a goofball. Here's another question, just because: How will an Aggies defense that allowed some guy named Timothy "Don't call me Ned" Flanders run for 170 yards be able to slow down T.J. Yeldon? That one does not have an apparent answer, however.

Saturday: vs. Alabama, 3:30 (CBS)

4. Georgia (1-1, 1-0 SEC)

None this week. Enjoy the downtime.

Saturday: Open

5. Florida (1-1)

Will the offense find a stride, and more importantly, make the most of one of the nation's best defenses? Florida turned the ball over four times inside the Miami 20 in last Saturday's 21-16 loss to the Hurricanes. The Gators defense allowed just 10 first downs; the Gators offense however never was able to take advantage. Back to the drawing board Coach Boom.

Saturday: Open

6. South Carolina (1-1, 0-1)

  • photo
    South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is hugged by a teammate after making a sack on Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Who is that guy in Jadeveon Clowney's uniform? Clowney, who still will be one of the first two players picked in the NFL draft next spring, has a very pedestrian six tackles in two games and all of one sack. Those are not Heisman numbers; those are Heimlich numbers that make us all choke. South Carolina's defense even had had more success with Clowney not on the field Saturday against Georgia. Go figure.

Saturday: vs. Vandy, 7 (ESPN)

7. Ole Miss (2-0, 1-0)

Will this be the most-watched program on the Longhorn Network ever? There's a good chance since the SEC is involved. Also, when the Rebels roll out of Austin smiling and kicking back a couple of Co-Colas to celebrate, who will Texas head coach Mack Brown dismiss next week? Dead coach walking. Here's another extra question: When Texas runs Mack Brown, how much will the deep hats and deeper pockets of Longhorn Nation offer Nick Saban to come save the day in Austin?

Saturday: at Texas, 8 (Longhorn Network)

8. Tennessee (2-0)

Can the Vols keep up in Oregon? Doubtful. The Ducks fly. Quack, quack. And they can bite. (Side note: A hissing momma duck with some babies in tow can be an intimidating sight; alas, she is no match for a 9-iron, however. Long story.) Oregon scores on average more than three points a minutes. Yes, THREE points a minute. That's crazy good.

Saturday: at Oregon, 3:30 (ABC)

9. Auburn (2-0)

When did they start allowing Auburn defenders to tackle again? After a dismal 2012 in which almost every bad defensive mark was reset, the Tigers and new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson look to be flying to the ball and playing hard. Gang, may we present Robinson Therezie, the Auburn safety who goes by 'Cadillac' and is the unknown defensive breakout star through the first two weeks of the season.

Saturday: vs. Mississippi State, 7 (ESPN2)

10. Arkansas (2-0)

How did the Hogs' 10-point win over Stanford last week not get more pub? What? It was over SAM-ford. No way the Hogs only beat SAM-ford 31-21. No way.

Saturday: vs. Southern Miss, 12:21 (WDSI)

11. Missouri (2-0)

After two weeks, who had the only two unbeaten SEC East teams being Tennessee and Missouri? Yep, we all did right? That said, the Tigers handled Toledo last Saturday every bit as convincingly as Florida did the week before. Not sure if that says more about the Tigers or the Gators.

Saturday: Open

12. Vandy (1-1, 0-1)

Could Vandy steal one in Columbia? After a heartbreaking loss in the opener, Vandy crushed Austin peay 38-3 last week. Now the Commodores head to Spurrierville to face a Gamecocks team dejected after Saturday's loss at Georgia.

Saturday: at South Carolina, 7 (ESPN)

13. Mississippi State (1-1)

Is Mississippi State's offense ready to keep pace against an Auburn defense that has not allowed a TD in 19 possessions? The Bulldogs offense showed that there is miles of difference between Oklahoma State (three points in a season-opening loss) and Alcorn State (51 points last week).

Saturday: at Auburn, 7 (ESPN2)

14. Kentucky (1-1)

Would there be more people at the game Saturday if Louisville and Kentucky were playing hoops? If they had each in a 70,000-seat arena, we say yes, there would be more for the Cards-Cats on the hardwood.

Saturday: vs. Louisville, noon (ESPN)

————

NFL

The first weekend is in the books. Let's try to decipher the lessons we gleaned.

• Chip Kelly's offense looked very good early and predictable late. So it goes — and as we suggested, Mike Vick will be a valuable fantasy commodity as long as he stays healthy.

• The NFL is a numbers game. Not unlike golf it's not how — it's how many. It's not how you win, it's how many wins you get. Ask the Titans or Seattle or even the Patriots if they feel guilty about benefitting from an opponent's poor performance or from catching a break late.

  • photo
    New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) kicks a field goal in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• We're legitimately worried about your Atlanta Falcons. More on this as the season rolls, but the questions outweigh the answers this morning.

• We had a friendly discussion with Quake and the Gang on SportTalk about the league's quarterbacks. Dr. B is high on Colin Kaepernick, and his week one showing belied Dr. B's confidence (he is a doctor — Dr. B, not Kaepernick). So in an effort to reaffirm our case that there Kaepernick is at best No. 10 among quarterbacks in the league, let's look at the draft board if the league was completely reshuffled and had a re-draft:

1) Aaron Rodgers

2) Tom Brady

3) Peyton Manning

4) Andrew Luck

  • photo
    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) paces on the sideline in the final seconds of their 23-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

5) Drew Brees

6) Eli Manning

7) Matt Ryan

8) Russell Wilson

9) Joe Flacco

10) Ben Roethlisberger

11) Cam Newton

12) RG III

Which two names would you take off that list and replace with the man who resembles Humpty Hump from Digital Underground? The Humpty Dance is your chance to do the Hump...

Talk to us baby.

————

NASCAR

The governing body of NASCAR put its foot on the accelerator and stomped Michael Waltrip Racing for what was deemed as manipulating the outcome of Saturday's race.

Here's the back story: Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers pulled some late-race hijinks that robbed Ryan Newman a potential win at Richmond — a win that would have placed him in the Chase. Bowyer and Vickers did what they did to help MWR teammate Martin Truex Jr. get into the Chase.

NASCAR booted Truex from the Chase and gave that spot to Newman. It also docked the MWR teams 50 points apeice and fined MWR $300,000 and suspended the team's general manager indefinitely.

Kudos to NASCAR for taking a stand.

"We penalize to not have this happen again," NASCAR president Mike Helton told reporters. "It's a message from the league saying 'You can't do this.'"

And he's right. There have been a slew of things that have happened in NASCAR's history that you could say, "Well, that's one of them racin' deals." There's also the old-school thought process that in NASCAR, if you "ain't cheatin' you ain't trying."

Somewhere there's the balance of this decision, which seems to be the fair one.

————

This and that

— SI is planning on releasing part an investigative story on Oklahoma State claiming a slew of violations on several fronts. A host of these allegedly happened during the Les Miles tenure.

— The Braves won 5-2 with one big inning, excellent starting pitching and Kimbrel in the end. It's a formula that as worked all year, but man is that offense erratic. They scored five runs in one inning — heck they got all five of their hits in that inning too. Could they tell us which inning they are going to pick so we could make sure we miss the rest.

— Tim Tebow has been offered a job by the L.A. arena league team. And with Jacksonville without Blaine Gabbert (we've said it thousand times, is there a worse QB name than Blaine? Think about it this way, if there is a movie with a character named Blaine, it's played by James Spader or Andrew McCarthy — those are not QB-level actors), shoudl the Jaguars make a play for Tebow?

— UTC beat ace John Frierson tell us here that after the Russ Huesman 'injury' fabrication that the Mocs athletic department must balance transparency and protecting the student-athletes. OK.

————

Today's question

Weigh on any and all of the above. If you need a talking point, well here but three:

In light of Oklahoma State taking its turn in the crosshairs of a national investigative story — and the following NCAA probe — which school would be your guess to be the next to be the subject of a big scandal?

Looking at Chip Kelly's early success and with the push to the spread-option consuming all levels, who will be the next coach that some NFL team tries to lure to the show and flip the script?

TV guide posted it's top 10 greatest catch phrases and another 50 from various decades of TV history. Here's Johnny from Ed McMahon was No. 1 (We did not know that. See what we did there Spy?) The story is here but before you click, what was the first catch phrase you thought of and where did it rank? Before you go there, their list has several flaws. E-gads.

Release the hounds.

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 ...

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JonathanMCook said...

Back when I was a kid/teenager, I use to watch the old Millier-Boyett shows on Friday Nights on ABC and my two favorite from Perfect Strangers was when Balki (Bronson Pinchot) would either say "How dare you use Wayne's name in vain! (referencing Wayne Newton) or "Well, of course I know __ don't be ridiculous...(punchline)". My other favorite was from this one episode where Balki was surprised by something he saw or heard and responded to it by saying "Well feed me oat brand and call me regular." Everyone in the room just slowly turned to look at him with this WTF look in their eyes (like it was improvised and not in the script).

The list is pretty accurate. If game shows are included on the list, "Is that your final answer?" is probably a hair bit more well-known then "Come on Down".

Sketch comedy, "In Living Color" was a treasure-trove of catch-phrases.

And of course, for those of you on here with no real day-job, how can you not include "__", you sir....are.....NOT the father!"

September 10, 2013 at 10:50 a.m.
chas9 said...

Your point about Kentucky attendance says more about the quality of KY basketball than any lack of gridiron enthusiasm in the Bluegrass. Knoxville had more empty seats Saturday than did Lexington. And aren't the AP and coaches' poll voters who cast ballots for The Vols getting a bit ahead of themselves?

Here's hoping both UT and UK stay close Saturday so as to enhance our viewing pleasure, but we know the fleet Ducks and Teddy Bridgewater will put on a fun show anyway.

Haven't seen the list, but I'd hope to see "Book 'em, Dano," "Nip it in the bud," "Oh! Oh! Oh! Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter," "Dy-no-mite," and "This is the big one. You hear that Elizabeth? I'm coming to join you, honey."

September 10, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

Well-played on the Mr. Burns reference.

Back to sports, I tuned into Sport Talk via online streaming just to hear Coach Huesman's take on Hamstring-gate. And he basically stated "No laws were broken, no code of conduct was violated, it was strictly in-house, we're moving forward!"

Compared to what I wrote yesterday, I can honestly live with that answer. My concern, and I believe everyone elses, was basically the imaginative fear of "the bad old days" during the Allison era (like Boom-Boom 6 on 1 and later admitted to crying wolf in court - gate) only now the coach was flat out lying to cover the issue up. But in this case, I will admittedly type I was wrong and will remain a strong follower and will enjoy Saturday's game.

On a sidenote to all these people coming to Huesman's defense yesterday, you want to show support? Go to the darn games.

I do feel a little sorry for the really die-hard SEC-ers. Tennessee plays a "real" team the same time Johnny Ewing playing Saban's unbeatable juggernaut.

September 10, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

One more on TV quotes in reality TV "Let's go fill out some paperwork" (Pawn Stars)

September 10, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
Stewwie said...

I would take those first 6 QBs you listed plus Flacco ahead of Humpty. So that puts CK in the top 10 right now.

Nadal is making a serious push to be the GOAT in tennis. He's now up to 13 slams, just behind Sampras' 14, and inching up to Fed's 17. He has already won more French Opens than any other man has won any other slam. And if he wins another Aussie Open, he will do something no other man has done in the Open era...win at least 2 titles at each slam. He's improved his game over the years to better compete on the non-clay surfaces. If his body can hold up, I don't doubt that he will match or surpass Fed's slam total.

September 10, 2013 at 11:12 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

...and Nadal is only 27 years old.

Billy-In-Brainerd

September 10, 2013 at 11:33 a.m.
jgreeson said...

What is this tennis of which you speak?

Our biggest question mark about Kaepernick is: Is he a game-changer making the 49ers a Super Bowl contender or is he simply cranking the ignition on the best, most complete car in the league?

Is Kaepernick better in that system than say Cam would be? C'mon.

9er —

Your phrases were top notch, and most of them made. Barney did not. Neither did two glaring omissions:

"To the moon Alice."

"Lucy, you got some splainin' to do."

Joey from Friends does not belong on that list. And while we love Seinfeld as much as almost anyone, those were phrases that made one show, which we contend are not catch phrases. If they are, then Barney's "Nip it in the bud" needs some love.

JMC —

Excellent call on the "You are not the father."

Well-played indeed.

P.S. — Not many 5-at-10s start the day with a Balki from Perfekt Strangers reference. Nice.

September 10, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[Is he a game-changer making the 49ers a Super Bowl contender or is he simply cranking the ignition on the best, most complete car in the league?]

I believe he makes them a legit contender. He did well running the read option last year, but I don't think he's simply a one-trick pony. The Packers spent all offseason preparing for that offense, but Harbaugh went away from the bread and butter in Week 1 to instead let Kaep win with his arm. Plus, remember how cool as ice Humpty was in the big games in last year's playoffs? Dude looked like a seasoned veteran. It remains to be seen if he's more than just a flash in the pan, but I think he's for real.

[Is Kaepernick better in that system than say Cam would be? C'mon.]

Not that Newton wouldn't do well with it, but I think Kaep is better.

September 10, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

We could go all Fonzie with you an "Aaayyyyy!!!" Or a more modern day Sheldon Cooper "Bazinga."

Doc is here? Doc is not here? Doc is here?

5, does Auburn always have to have a guy named Cadillac on the team? At some point, the NCAA will be investigating while there are so many Cadillacs at one school.

Also, over and under on Louisville points in the first half against Kentucky. I say 42. Which also could apply to Oregon and UT. I watched some of the Vols replay and going hurry up will get you in big fat trouble if you go three and out a bunch, which is what I saw from the time I watched.

September 10, 2013 at 1:57 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

At this point, Jadeveon Clowney's Heisman campaign is following the same trajectory as Bob Uecker's baseball career, "It started slow and then tapered off from there." On a side note, the stories Norm Macdonald and Artie Lange tell about their visits with Uecker are some of the funniest sports related stories I have heard in a while. Back to the Gamecocks...I believe that South Carolina currently has both the most overhyped and the most underrated player in the SEC on their roster. The Clowney hype is fizzling out fast. On the other hand, stock in running back Mike Davis is on the rise. Just as Todd Gurley had a big game in a losing effort against Clemson, Mike Davis had a huge game in a losing effort against Georgia. Davis also put up good numbers in the Gamecocks' opener against UNC. Much has been said and written about the stud sophomores at the running back position in the SEC(Gurley, Marshall, Yeldon). Mike Davis deserves to join that list.

Should the Jaguars make a play for Tebow? Absolutely. Tebow will not make the Jags contenders, but the Jags were not going to contend anyway. As Bob Dylan said: "When you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose." Tebow is a local boy and a Gator icon. That should put a few more people in the seats and sell a few jerseys in Jacksonville. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and if the Jags can drum-up any excitement in that franchise it is a step in the right direction.

You know what most surprised me about that TV Guide list is that TV Guide still exists. Good for them. In this day and age in which we all have on-screen guides and search options on our televisions, I just assumed TV Guide had gone the way of the 8 track tape.

September 10, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

I read an interesting stat regarding Clowney the other day, through 2 games in 2012 he had 6 tackles and 1 sack. I know it was an SI writer, but not sure which one who wrote it.

September 10, 2013 at 4:05 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Don't forget that a stud defensive player will often draw double teams that limits and lowers his statistics. However, by concentrating on him the offensive team will often allow another defensive player to shine. How well a player plays often is not seen in the tackles, interceptions, etc made.

September 10, 2013 at 4:38 p.m.
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