published Monday, January 27th, 2014

5-at-10: Mocs glory weekend, NFL storylines, recruiting and more

Man, was that the sun we saw this weekend? Did we actually go outside without 12 layers of clothes? Yes and yes. And now back to the artic blast.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's make the magic happen.

UTC monster weekend

It's hard to imagine a better weekend for Mocs fans. Let's review:

  • photo
    The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team presents a banner celebrating UTC women's head basketball coach Jim Foster's 800th career win after UTC defeated Samford Sataurday at McKenzie Arena.
    Photo by Erin O. Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

UTC XX Mocs coach Jim Foster joined the rarified fraternity of coaches with 800 wins on Saturday before more than 3,300 fans as the opening game of the Mocs hoops doubleheader.

UTC XY coach Will Wade continues to dazzle as the Mocs extended their winning streak to something like 12,000 games. Seriously, UTC has now won 10 in a row and is 8-0 in the Southern Conference. In fact, there were more than 6,600 at the game Saturday night, and according to all-around TFP sports ace Stephen Hargis, two football commitments commented that the environment Saturday night was at least part of the reason they picked the Mocs. Read that last sentence again.

The final two commitments for the Mocs football team capped a dizzying week for Russ Huesman, recruiting coordinator Will Healy and the rest of the UTC staff that resulted in adding several playmakers and possibly landing the QB of the future.

Good times for sure.



  • photo
    An extra football crosses in front of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he throws another during NFL football practice at the team's training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Friday. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

We start the most important week of the NFL year discussing the most meaningless NFL endeavor of them all. Team Rice beat Team Sanders in the Pro Bowl 22-21, and if you watched any of it, well, that's on you.

Now, Super Bowl week. It will be filled with discussions on weather. It also will be filled with discussions on whether — this is Peyton Manning's final game; Richard Sherman, thug or theater; which state, Colorado or Washington, will sell the most pizza during the "highs" and lows of the big game considering the new laws in each state; can the Seattle defense slow the Denver offense and potentially so much more.

Amid the hype and hysteria, there will be a ton of stuff to kick around that is less important as well. In fact, in concert with Press Row, our 3-6 sports radio show with TFP college football ace David Paschall on ESPN 105.1 FM and simulcast here on, we will have a Super Bowl Rushmore every day this week.

Today's Rushmore — worst Super Bowl games. Discuss



The Mocs were not the only ones adding big names and filling pieces.

Here's a quick scan around the college football landscape as we are now nine days from National Signing Day:

• Alabama may have just filled their quarterback quandary with the announced transfer of former FSU QB Jacob Coker. Coker, who is set to graduate in May and has apparently changed his name to Jake — Jacob was an ACC name; Jake is an SEC, man's-man name after all — will have two years of eligibility left and will be eligible this fall since he will have completed his course work at FSU and will enroll for Masters classes in some major that FSU does not offer. Hello, loophole.

  • photo
    James Franklin waves to reporters and fans gathered at University Park Airport in State College, Pa. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• The news has been relatively quiet for the Tennessee Vols. Such is the case when you have 1,242 commitments before the end of the regular season. That could change today when Derrell Scott, a four-star running back, picks between finalists UT and South Carolina. Also of note: The Vols feel quietly confident about the strides made with A'doree Jackson, a five-star defensive back from California. The Vols still are a long shot, but they are in the game.

• New Penn State coach James Franklin keeps haulin' in recruits, and this time he did not steal one from the Commodores. Nope, this one Franklin poached from Rutgers when four-star wideout Saeed Blacknell flipped and from Cal when four-star defender Koa Farmer pledged. Franklin and Urban Meyer are about to infuse some talent and life in the Big Ten.


This and that

— Scott Stallings survived a teethy Torrey Pines to win the Farmers Insurance PGA event. Stallings won a whisker less than $1.1 million. Tiger Woods did not make Sunday's final round after missing the second cut — PGA Tour fine print — and the lack of star power on the leaderboard was noticeable. Heck, we're pretty sure Sir Nick Faldo fell asleep and napped the 4 o'clock hour away.

— Tennessee hoops got pasted by Florida. Bad. Real bad. The holes were exposed, and while few teams are going to win in Gainesville, there are not many that will be completely pantsed like UT was. Here was our assessment in real time Saturday and in less than 140 characters at @jgreesontfp on The Twitter: "UT hoops — great offensive rebounding = more shots; bad point guard play/scheme = more bad shots."

— The ups and downs of the Miami Heat will make news because they are the Miami Heat and LeBron plays there. But for those wondering where the title must circle through, it's still South Beach. James and Co. spanked the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday in the first meeting between the teams since last year's NBA Finals. The Heat were crazy, Crazy, CRAZY efficient — shooting 58 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3 and 95 percent from the line.


Today's question(s)

Ton to discuss, and if you have Super Bowl-themed Rushmores, pass them along.

Also, last week's mailbag was outstanding, let's build on that and it starts with letters from you kind folks.

If you need some talking points, here you go:

The Mocs moving the student section under the basket was a grand idea. And we love the big faces on sticks as much as the next guy. But we need someone else with UTC or Chattanooga-connections other than Mr. Belding. Mr. Belding is a fine addition — and what could be more disconcerting that shooting free throws with Mr. Belding's mug — but we need more. In fact, if we come up with an idea the 5-at-10/Press Row will help inspire the photos for the rest of the year. Deal? Do we add a T.O.? Do we look to add some of the rest of the Saved by the Bell class? We need ideas.

We have actually heard some folks speak glowingly on the Pro Bowl this morning. Did you watch? More than 10 million watched last year — making it more viewed than all but one World Series game 2012 and several other big-deal sports events.

Speaking of popularity, the Harris Poll surveyed tens of thousands of Americans and found that the NFL is the most popular sport. Duh. It's the 30 consecutive year the NFL has won the polling, but the most interesting fact is in the first documented year of the poll, the NFL was the most popular with 24 percent, one point higher than MLB, which had 23 percent. Baseball is still second this year, but the divide is great with NFL getting 35 percent and baseball getting 14. Also of note, golf is half as popular today as it was before Tiger Woods' accident.

And did anyone else think Madonna looked an awful lot like Col. Sanders in here Grammy get-up? Extra crispy indeed.

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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jomo11 said...

Great column by Weeds this morning, as usual he is spot on. . . .Need a fathead of Jim Reynolds, his nickname is pumkin-head anyway . . . .UTK football recruiting class has dropped to #4 in the and will probably drop to the 7-10 range,

Jay- why is everyone so mad at Justin Bieber, it's not like he yelled at Erin Andrews or tested positive for steriods ?

January 27, 2014 at 10:08 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

Way too many bad Super Bowls for one Rushmore. How about a Rushmore of one game wonders -- guys who played big in the Super Bowl but did little else?

January 27, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, bigger waste of time - the Pro Bowl or the Grammys? I watched neither. Then again, you could go all (insert professional sports league's all star game) vs. (insert celebrity (?) filled awards show). At least the NHL realized its all-star game is the Olympics this year.

5, I'm also thinking there was already talent in the Big 10. Michigan State and Wisconsin, and perhaps Michigan too, might have something to say bout that.

January 27, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
chas9 said...

Coach Foster and Coach K hit their milestones together. Rarified air up there.

Why not use the big faces of Bessie Smith, Reggie White and Samuel L. Jackson in the student section? Maybe the whole distracting body of Marla Maples, Miss Resaca Beach?

The Uniblocker had a nice stat line Sunday: 22/19/7. Kentucky's not blocking shots at the rate they used to and the ramifications affect their whole effectiveness. But they seem to be adjusting, and WC-S seems to be back on track. The Cats seem to be gelling in time for a tough stretch of schedule.

Tennessee has a tough stretch coming up, too. They get Ole Miss in K-town and then travel to Bama and Vandy. Wins on the SEC road are tough as possum jerky, and the hot Henderson-fueled Black Bear Rebels could triumph in Thompson-Boling. An 0-3 stretch would not only kill the chance to dance, it could demoralize The Vols into a deadly funk.

Losing to The Gators in Gainesville is a given. UK won't win there, either. But Tennessee's meager offense is cause for concern. Jay's Twitter critique sums it up. Stokes (16/10) showed he's stout as an oak (and more mobile), but he deserves a better supporting staff.

My favorite whipping boy, Barton, tallied 2 points on 1 for 7 shooting. He had zero (zip, nada) assists, and the team had only six. In fairness to Cuonzo's cagers, Florida's machine was so well oiled, they might've beaten any team in the country Saturday.

I had expected Kentucky to lose in Gainesville, but now I fear a loss at Rupp, too. In The Wildcats favor is when they get to play The Gators. It's the best possible scenario, giving the diaper dandies a chance to grow up a bit.

Richard Pitino's team may be almost as good as his dad's. Minnesota has beaten #9 Wisconsin and lost only five games, but strangely they've gotten no votes in either poll. That's about to change.

To jomo's point--Why blame The Beebs for driving a Maserati 60 mph? That's about as slow as they'll go.

Spy--Agreed. And ALL the award shows are dead to me.

January 27, 2014 at 10:35 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...


If Russ's commitments keep getting more lucrative, we might be in for a lot of two touchdowns and more victories this year.

I saw the Mr. Belding big head in the highlights and agree we need to add to the collection. T.O. would be at the top of the list. I would also recommend "The Good General" himself but most students (or even the general population) couldn't point out B.B. Bell in a police line-up. That's not to say UTC doesn't have its share of distingished alumni as much as unless your success is tied with sports OR showbiz, you're gonna get a lot of "huhs?" "who?"

I am enjoying the streak success of XX and XY Mocs but saving my viewship for the post season (for reasons already discussed).

Most Super Bowls are for the most part a blur to me. My personal favorite to this day was the Titans/Rams game. I consider it to have been one of THE BEST SB games in the series history which irony also holds the title for the THE WORST commericals in the series history.

January 27, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.
MocTastic said...

They have, or have had, a TO fathead. It made multiple appearances over the last few years. It was from his "crying" press conference. Want a famous alumni and former Moc hoopster and football player? How about Hugh Beaumont? Here is a photo of him on the freshman team the one year he went to UC before moving to SoCal.

JG the students have the same sections they have had the last few years, more or less, losing a bit of seats on the sideline side, they just actually have students in them this year, and students that make noise.

Is it just me, or does that look like Ryan Stiles on the top row center on the above photo?

January 27, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.
chas9 said...

You could put Jay's and Quake's heads on sticks and blot out the WHOLE sky.

I caught Sir Charles in a CNN interview Saturday. Main subject was Sherman's remarks. He referred to his own Nike ad from 1993 in which he said athletes are not role models. Look to your parents for direction. Said it was the best thing he's ever done.

Barkley praised Sherman, saying "I'm not sure I'm smart enough to even drive by Stanford." But he was smart enough to drive by Auburn, and his words aren't as eloquent as Sherman's, but the governor wannabe does show flashes of wisdom.

The Round Mound of Rebound highly praised Commish Stern and said the terms "thug" and "street cred" are racist slurs. I think they can be, but depends on context.

Don't know if Chuck would call Butch Jones "racist" for saying Josh Dobbs was dripping with "street cred."

You may have noted that in football recruiting it's The Bama #1, The Ohio State #2, The Vols #3 (1,242 commits), but I bet you didn't know Kentucky's out-recruiting The Buckeyes in their own back yard. Yep, UK has commitments from 14 Ohioans, OSU only 9. Vince Morrow's the best.

Jay, they're also discussing which beer the respective fans will wash down the pizza with. Seems in Washington they prefer small batch (nano) brews (which are sometimes high gravity), and Colorado's fans lean to beer that's distributed nationwide.

January 27, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.
Buschleague said...

5-- I think Denver caught a break when Seattle won last week, much like the last time they won the SB. (Still not sure how the Falcons beat that Vikings team). The Seahawks just won't be able to score enough on Sunday. And any comparison to the D of the 85 bears or even the 02 Bucs should just stop now. If the best player on D is a corner..good luck with that.

The Grammys were money..Caldwell Banker had an awesome spot with a nod to Motley Crüe.

Weekend golf reminded me a lot of pre-Tiger era golf-fun only for the winner..come back Tiger..please!

January 27, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

chas9 great call on the Quake man and you know his radio cohort would love it since he does believe he (quake) is the greatest of all time and solely responsible for mocs and lady mocs basketball success...the others Reggie/Sam Jackson and Bessie Smith are a no go since they did not attend the school at anytime......JG has not been around long enough to rate the face on a stick yet...MocTastic you are dead on with Ward Cleaver...have said it for years that card needs to be played along with Sir Dennis and T.O. and you must throw in punkinhead JR...

January 27, 2014 at 12:38 p.m.
fechancellor said...

T.O. is still a story? Maybe if he's working out in his driveway again, especially during the last couple of weeks.

Ten Ring, only two for the Super Bowl rush...Marcus Allen and Doug Williams.

January 27, 2014 at 12:55 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

Great suggestions. We'll see what we can get accomplished along the lines of Ward Cleaver. That'd be swell, June.

Jomo —

We're mad at Bieber because well, he's Bieber. And that's enough. And if that squirt yelled at Erin Andrews, she'd stuff him and his flat bill in a trash can.

TennFlyer —

We know Super Bowl surprises are in the discussions as we speak.

Spy —

Touche' about the talent. Let us rephrase: Urbie and Dr. James Franklin appear to be bringing speed to the B1G. Buckle up butter cup.

9er —

Yes, congrats to Coach K as well. The Duke-Syracuse game will have our interest this week.

And as much as we love Chuck — and we do — he does a whole bunch of preachin' to then close with he's not a role model. OK, then should we not take any of his moral stances seriously? We know not to take his golf game seriously.

OG —

Concur about the fatheaded TFP sports editor. Whipper snapper has to pay some dues after all.

We are on the Quake bandwagon for sure. Dude is top-notch.

Busch —

That Caldwell Banker commercial was awesome in its awesomeness. The Crue rocks — then and now. Then was on stage; now is in old-man rocking chairs. So it goes.

And yes, golf was unwatchable Sunday. Get better Tiger... we need you.

January 27, 2014 at 12:56 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Wow, 6,600 at the Mocs game Saturday night? I only saw about 5,000. Maybe the other 1,600 were hiding in the bathrooms or on extended smoke breaks throughout the game. Either way, that's great attendance, and it's good to see those boys keep winning.

The Mocs seem to finish halves very well and that certainly plays a big part in being able to win. That's something Wade focused on early...playing through fatigue and keeping the eye on the prize. Wade's game strategy has been good, but I also think the strength and conditioning has been much better this year for the players.

Ditto what MT said about the T.O. fathead and the student section. And J.R. needs a fathead. And while we're at it, let's get Mike Royster's head on one of those too. 70+ years of service to the university between those two fellas.

I'll admit that I watched part of the Pro Bowl. The game has definitely improved...guys were giving half-effort instead of no effort. But I'm still not too impressed. The first half was enough for me. One more thing they need to change is to take out the "no intentional grounding" rule for the game.

Rushmore of Worst Super Bowls since 1990:

SB 24--SF 55, DEN 10

SB 27--DAL 52, BUF 17

SB 35--BAL 34, NYG 7

SB 37--TB 48, OAK 21

January 27, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Speaking of UTC Athletic bout dem Rasslin...oops...Wrestling Mocs !! Ranked # 22 nationally. HC Heath Eslinger was awesome today at QB pin-in-the-1st-minute-of-the-match awesome. Plenty of room on the 2013-14 Moc Train.


January 27, 2014 at 2:13 p.m.
chas9 said...

More fatheads: Leslie Jordan, Gerald Wilkins, Johnny Taylor. But use a short stick for Jordan.

January 27, 2014 at 2:36 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Chase: Agreed with Gerald Wilkins given his near tireless run in the NBA. Not really on board with Leslie and I'll tell you some reasons why:

Sherry Landrum ( I was one of Rex & Sherry's original Not-Ready-For-Hollywood students) wouldn't go into details with me but apparently LJ had a lot of hardships while a student there. I don't know if this was something to do with being gay in 1970s Chattanooga or something else. But he's never really shown in claim or pride with 615 McCallie Avenue.

The other reason is Leslie is more of an "unknown" character actor more then anything. Yes, I've seen him in a TON of well-remembered characters but most everyone sees him as one of those "'re that played (character) in (movie)." but no one addresses his name. It's sad but a showbiz fact of life.

I also consider him personally a certain word which is synonymous with a certain pelvic area affiliated with a certain XX gender for the simple reason he's too chicken (blank) when it comes to performing "Like a Dog to Linoleum" uncut and uncensored in his hometown. But that's a personal grievence and would not discourage anyone else from wanting to do a Fathead LJ.

January 27, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.
golfgal said...


I'm a Colorado girl so like any Bronco fanatic this week is crazy! Just curious, when your not covering/working an event what is your favorite place in Chattanooga to take in a big game?

Also what's your favorite Superbowl moment?


January 27, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

9er mentioned earlier a discussion of the beer enjoyed by fans in Colorado and Washington. Here's a little piece of advice from yours truly: If you are a beer drinker planning a trip to Seattle any time soon, you may want to buy a couple of cases of your beer of choice and either ship it or pack it. Ordering a beer in Seattle can get complicated. You belly up to the bar and end up with some skinny guy with a ponytail telling you about a choice beer that has a beautiful dark amber coloring, an almond bouquet, and a raspberry kick. Having totally missed the boat on the microbrew movement, all I wanted was something yellow that tastes like a cold beer.

If you're like me and started out with Milwaukee's Best and other bottom-shelf cheap beers, most all beer seems like an upgrade. The Beast abides.

January 27, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
MocTastic said...

I side with asking Leslie Jordan if he minds and having him...let's start showing some pride in his work, he is great..has nothing to do with his private life.

I can understand no Samuel L Jackson, yet his high school, Riverside is practically on campus.

January 27, 2014 at 3:18 p.m.
chas9 said...

JMC--Glad to hear some back story. I like Rex and Sherry, might even like you if our paths cross. One can easily imagine what Leslie faced.

GD--Don't care for the skinny guy in the ponytail, but I have learned to appreciate the fancy pants beer. The Ft. Oglethorpe beer store is amazing. But my shelves also still have a 12 pack of Milwaukee's Best, even now.

I toast my glass to the tap of the United Tastes Beer and to the pub from which it pours, one pint, chaotically crafted, with libations and jodhpurs for all.

January 27, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Let's keep the fatheads to people who have ties to the basketball program. Otherwise, it will get ridiculous. Wilkins and Taylor are a good call. T.O. played roundball in addition to playing pointy ball. Mr. Belding actually played on the team too back in the day (though probably not very much). Anybody remember seeing him play?

January 27, 2014 at 4:02 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

9er...Jodhpurs for all? Is this some craft beer thing where one has to travel to India wearing riding pants in order to enjoy a cold brew? Hey man, whatever makes your bull run.

January 27, 2014 at 4:27 p.m.
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