published Monday, August 25th, 2014

5-at-10: Who won the weekend, UT football questions, Rushmore of mullets

Morning. It's game week. Are you ready?

If you read the Times Free Press this weekend, you are for sure. We had our normal footballapalooza that is the sports section combined with 72 pages of high school preview on Friday and 40 more of college previews in Sunday's TFP.

And remember to following along for live updates on Twitter from high school football games — and all high school sporting events for that matter — at #bestofpreps.

From the "Talks too much" studios, it's here. It's all happening.

Who won the weekend?

We start Mondays here and on Press Row on ESPN 105.1 FM with a simple premise: Who won/lost the weekend?

It's a staple and you know what they say about staples? If you land a staple, staple it to the land. Or something like that.

Who won the weekend? There are several potential answers.

  • photo
    Hunter Mahan waves to fans as he finishes on the 18th hole during the final round of play at The Barclays golf tournament Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Paramus, N.J. Mahan won the tournament. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Hunter Mahan won $1.44 million playing golf, broke a trophy, secured a top-five spot in the season-ending Championship and coined the wisdom of Socrates in, "There's never a bad time to play good golf."

Joey Logano won for the third time and will be a player in the NASCAR playoffs.

How about Peyton Manning, who got a 15-yard penalty an tons of locker room creed for giving Houston safety D.J. Swearinger after Swearinger concussed Wes Welker? Two side items: Concussed is a great verb; and how about the pronunciation swing of Swearinger, which is said as Swear-in-ger, but could also be Swea-RINGER.

As for weekend losers, well, it starts with the St. Louis Rams, a team that was poised to be better in the toughest division in football before losing starting quarterback Sam Bradford for the season with an ACL tear. Bradford also lost a lot considering he was theoretically entering a contract year. He has much to prove to live up to his monster rookie deal — which is set to be worth $16 million next year, but the Rams will almost certainly waive him. That means he'll likely be a free agent coming off his second serious knee injury and will be likely to get a short-term deal for back-up money this offseason.

Ouch-standing indeed.

———

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Justin Upton hits a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Manny Parra in the 12th inning of a baseball game on Aug. 22, 2014, in Cincinnati. Atlanta won 3-1 in 12 inninngs.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Headed home

The Braves have played 131 games (68-63) and have 31 left. It's a long season and we have trusted it, but now we are doubting the finish.

Losers of two straight over the weekend, the Braves are eight back of the white-hot Washington Nationals in the NL East standings. (Side note: The Nationals are mashing right now and got 18 flippin' hits in a 14-6 win over the Giants on Sunday. Yes, 18, and every starter but Anthony Rendon had at least two hits and Rendon walked twice.)

How hot are the Nationals? The Braves are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have lost two games in the standings. Ouch-standing.

So that leaves the Braves in a four-team dance for two wildcard spots. Here's the standings:

St. Louis (70-59)

San Francisco (68-61)

Atlanta (68-63) is a game back of the Giants

Pittsburgh (67-63) is 1.5 games back of the Giants

———

  • photo
    Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley (14) is Tennesse's starting quarterback.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

College football game week

Last week we scanned.

This week, we'll probe.

Here are three questions and answers for the Tennessee Vols (coming tomorrow, quick questions for all of the SEC):

Is Justin Worley ready for prime time? We believe so, and we believe that the biggest game for the Vols in general and Worley in particular is the season-opener against Utah State. If Worley can grab the job on Sunday night and convince his coaches, his teammates, Johnny Vols Fans everywhere and most importantly himself that he is QB1, then the season has more potential promise than most would expect.

Will the new offensive line be ready for prime time? We're not sure about ready for SEC prime time, but here's saying the O-Line will be better than expected considering that all five starters are new.

Will the new defensive line be ready for prime time? Here's the biggest problem on the UT team and it comes at a position that demands a certain level of talent in the SEC. The Vols defensively will have troubles all season stopping people because the front will have difficulty controlling the line of scrimmage, which means the Vols will have to bring reinforcements up to stop the run or to get pressure on the quarterback. And that's hardly a recipe for success.

That said, our man David Paschall's Q&A with Phil Fulmer has the former UT coach saying the current UT coach can get to six or seven wins this year.

Thanks coach.

———

This and that

— The Kevin Love deal is complete. And with it the Cavs are the favorite in the East. Strange but true. Stranger but almost as true — the Heat may be the second-best team in a weakened East. Go figure.

— The Emmys are tonight. We only watch a few select shows that would be considered, but we'll check it out.

— The NFL's two most discussed rookies — Johnny Finger and Michael Sam — met in actual football ways over the weekend. Sam sacked Manziel — and even did his money-finger-thing — and some how social media did not collapse.

— We did the Ice Bucket Challenge this weekend and as one of our challenges we called for someone — anyone — to pour a glass of ice water on Lou Gehrig's grave. He'd like that.

————

Today's question

Feel free to offer your view on who won or lost the weekend.

Also, feel free to answer any of the UT questions above or even poise some questions for your team — we are planning on UT today, Alabama and the SEC on Tuesday, Georgia on Wednesday, UTC on Thursday and figure the mailbag could be reserved for all others on Friday.

As for today's question, well, you know that we routinely scan the wire to see which celebrities celebrate birthdays in the 5-at-10. Today's collection is crazy. Check this out for the stars born on Aug. 25:

Rollie Fingers, 68; (Potential Rushmore of mustaches...)

Monty Hall, 93; (Potential Rushmore of game show hosts)

George Wallace would have been 95;

Justin Upton, 27

Regis Philbin, 83 (and yes we will be giving away LIfe Expo tickets on Press Row this week and next); (Potential Rushmore of celebrities that have appeared at TFP events)

Claudia Schiffer, 44;

Elvis Costello, 60: (Rushmore of Elvises)

Sean Connery, 84; (Several Rushmores here...)

Gene Simmons, 65; (And here)

Blake Lively, 27;

Billy Ray Cyrus, 53.

So if you were born today and are not famous, well, there you go.

Let's honor Billy Ray Cyrus with a Rushmore of mullets. Go.

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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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...

Congrats on 1,000 columns. Has Al Michaels been around for 1,000 years? Is this his last season, or will he just keep on going?

And congrats for getting soaked with ice water.

Althea Gibson was born 87 years ago. Today's cool Google doodle honors her. Arguably she's a bigger deal than any of the lightweights Jay mentioned. OK, except for Gene Simmons.

What's former Vols' head dude Fulmer up to, talking about six or seven wins? Is that notion helpful to his BO successor?

College basketball doesn't get much ink right about now, so you may have missed the Knoxville celebration when, late last week, Coach Donnie corralled a big guy who got loose from the Memphis zoo.

Dominic Woodson was ninth on the Tigers' roster in both scoring and rebounding, so they'll barely miss him. His move may make both teams better. But he'll probably start for UT, which is a measure of how weak their front court will be this year.

Before nabbing the 6'10" transfer, the Vols had no centers and their roster only listed three forwards, all freshmen, none of which cracked the Rivals Top 150.

Though the first-year UT coach is a former TV evangelist, he is overlooking Woodson's rap sheet in Memphis. He rumbled with a Tiger football player, and choir boy Josh Pastner suspended him once for cursing.

(Yeah, John Calipari swears a bit, too, but he's Catholic and gets a quick absolution.)

Meanwhile, Auburn doesn't care that Bruce Pearl is no choir boy. All he does is win. He just came off double super-secret suspension midnight Saturday, and he's already nabbed two four-star players.

Looks like in the new world order Tennessee will be chasing Auburn in roundball, too.

Query: At which Plainsmen games will Brucie wear his famous orange blazer? Maybe with a navy blue tie?

August 25, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.
Stewwie said...

I'd still give a slight edge to the Bulls (with a healthy Rose) over the Cavs in the East at this point. After that, don't be surprised if the Wizards are the next best team. Either way, the Heat should be a top-5 team in the East.

"Sam sacked Manziel..." Lol.

August 25, 2014 at 10:34 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Its not certain yet that Dominic Woodson will be eligible to play at UTK this season...stay tuned.

August 25, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Did Hargis forget to do a Mocs report this morning? Sorry, just use to seeing it online.

Three Days and Counting.

August 25, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Thanks MT! :)

August 25, 2014 at 12:22 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, this is also Paris Liberation Day as well as FEC's birthday. Age, a Jack Benny 39.

Nicc job on the High School and College Previews. I must admit last year's High School Preview (I so happen to have one close)with it's purposeful theme as an anchor and a bit larger font is better than the latest version.

August 25, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

Thanks and thanks for the updates.

Yes, Calipari may have uttered a dirty word in his time, but sweet buckets, Bruce Pearl is landing four-star talent like he's Butch Jones for crying out loud.

FE to the C —

Happy B-Day good sir and congrats for a smashing opener for No. 1 and the Eagles.

And thanks for the kind words about the preview sections. They are most definitely a labor of love — long on the labor; short on the love.

Stewwie —

Fair point about the Bulls — especially with how Rose has looked during the recent events.

The Cavs though are going to be tough to check — man the scoring options they have with Irving, Love, Miller, Allen (soon), Marion and the rest. Heck, that's a pretty good team without the best player on the the planet.

JMC —

Three days and counting indeed.

August 25, 2014 at 1:35 p.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

One mullet on the Rushmore is former South Carolina QB Steve Tannyhill. No doubt.

August 25, 2014 at 1:42 p.m.
jgreeson said...

C-Vol

Tanneyhill gets monster bonus points for having a mullet even before we knew it was a mullet.

August 25, 2014 at 2:07 p.m.
Stewwie said...

The Cavs will have some growing pains at first much like the Heat did in their first year with the Big 3 when all those guys try to figure out how to succeed with only one ball to go around. Couple that with them playing for a rookie (albeit an internationally successful) NBA coach and there are some questions there. I think the Bulls will certainly have the edge defensively and with a healthy Rose, they should have enough offense to be the best in the conference. But that's the thing, Rose MUST stay healthy for them to win the East. Otherwise, it's definitely the Cavs' to lose.

August 25, 2014 at 2:17 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - Let's change it up a bit for the mailbag. Let's call it a mailbag challenge. No. Not an ice bucket challenge. I recall your have a degree in English from AU. Can you publish a football haiku in the Friday mailbag? Bonus points for a Rushmore of haiku. Have a great week.

August 25, 2014 at 8:59 p.m.
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