published Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

5-at-10: Brady's bunch, three-peat face-off, is Saban worth it

Hey gang, hope you have a great Hump Day. Reminder: Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will join Press Row around 3:30. Good times.

From the "Talks too much" studios, it's go time.

Trouble with analytics

Hey we dig the new stat wave in sports. The calculations that can size up anything and rationalize everything. It's cool and it's another tool by which we can measure and debate and discuss sports.

Some of these metrics have met with some resistance from old-school folks and we can understand the love for the old-school stats and feelings.

We're somewhere in the middle in this debate and can see the merits of each in truth.

Where the new school stuff finds trouble is when the outliner stats line up and people like Pro Football Focus (a new-school stats bunch that has done some cool stuff) tries to convince us Tom Brady is not a top-five quarterback.

PUH-lease. Brady is a top-five quarterback all-time and to say he's not a top-five QB in today's game is silly.

In fact, even considering age and value, there are not many QBs out there the Pats would trade Brady for.

To suggest the top five QBs in today's NFL are not Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees and then whomever you have fifth is wrong, regardless of the statistical protractor you're using.

(Side note: We'd have Luck there at No. 5 but that's us.)

————

Bulls or Heat

We will breakdown the Spurs-Heat in tomorrow's 5-at-10. Today, we're going to go back in time (yes, Spy, like Huey Lewis)

  • photo
    Miami Heat guard Ray Allen (34) drives to the basket as Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson (32) defends, during their Game 6 in the NBA playoffs Eastern Conference finals on May 30, 2014, in Miami.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Horace Grant said this week on radio that the Miami Heat would not "stand a chance" against his Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan.

Of course we expect Grant, who was the third best player on that first run of three-peats with MJ and Pippen and the boys.

We however disagree with Grant — and in fact believe that the second round of three-peats for Chicago with MJ, Pippen, Rodman and Toni Kukoc were even better than Grant's bunch.

Still, to ever say a team with LeBron James does not stand a chance against anyone is silly. Consider this fact: In LeBron's last season in Cleveland, the Cavs had the best record in the NBA. The next year when James was in Miami, the Cavs had the worst record in the NBA.

Plus, while Jordan is the best player ever, James may be the best athlete to ever play in the NBA, and to think that James, at 6-foot-8, 265 pounds, would not be a match-up problem for Jordan on each end is silly.

It would have made for great drama.

————

Nick Saban

As TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer wrote here, Nick Saban got a nice raise approved Tuesday. Saban's annual financial return will be $6.9 million with planned bonuses.

In truth, as crazy as this sounds, Saban's underpaid. That's especially true if you believe true value is determined by what would another enterprise pay you.

If Tennessee struggles the next couple of years and offered Saban $10 million would that shock you? Probably not. If Alabama matched it and offered $11 million would that surprise us? Certainly not.

The question will soon become where does this stop?

Common discourse forces us to think there has to be a tipping point on this, right? So where's the ceiling and is Saban worth it?

————

This and that

  • photo
    Seattle Mariners' John Buck (4) celebrates with Dustin Ackley (13) as he scores after hitting a two-run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— The Braves led 4-0 after an inning and lost 7-5 Tuesday to the Mariners. Alex Wood took the loss in relief. Of note: Tommy La Stella got two more hits and is hitting .421 (8-for-17). He has two hits in each of his last three games; Danny Struggla had two hits in May. So there's that.

— Here's Paschall's report on UGA safety Tray Matthews riding off into the sunset http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jun/04/richt-dismisses-safety-tray-matthews/. Matthews took to the Twitter to say he's headed to either Louisville (a landing spot for Georgia cast-offs) or Auburn (the SEC unofficial outpost for lost causes and 6-foot-3 homeless studs).

— Here's the Q&A with Will Wade from Tuesday's Press Row. http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jun/04/wade-has-more-spending-money-for-bahamas-trip/ Good times.

—Here's Downtown Patrick Brown's report on Donnie Knoxville and his Vols' chemistry experiments. http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jun/04/tyndalls-vols-basically-starting-back-over/

— Yes, Bill Gates is rolling in the dough. In fact, Gates makes so much money per year, statistically speaking, it is a misuse of his time to bend over and pick up a $100 bill. Still, this story from Yahoo finance adjusts the richest folks in our country's history. John D. Rockefeller is No. 1 all-time and his adjusted fortune was estimated at $253 billion in today's dollars.

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Today's question

The Beastie Boys appear to be on the splits. Tough break.

What's your favorite Beastie Boys song?

Also, in the world of sports and pop culture, who is on our Rushmore of the greatest debuts?

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.
jgreeson said...

Comments are now on. Sorry for the delay.

June 4, 2014 at 11:15 a.m.
MocTastic said...

No, Saban is not worth it. No college coach is worth paying that to coach a game. The fans would still flock to Tuscaloosa and buy tickets and merchandise if Saban was only making $500,000 a game. If colleges showed restraint and didn't wildly inflate salaries then you could hire a Saban for that amount. The concept of paying a person that much money to coach a game when the school's mandate is to educate is absurd. The teachers at UAT who teach the students how to write a resume, or do math, or a bit of history to learn from in their life probably make much less than $100,000. Our country has their priorities way out of whack. Schools should self limit their coaches' salary to the average of what a full professor makes at that school.

June 4, 2014 at 11:20 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

In theory, you are right.

But that is not how it is or will be. It's the same at every level of athletics.

June 4, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Like I have said all businesses from banks, brokerages and even real estate hit an economic bubble. . . .sports and in particular college football will not be immune, dont know when, but these types of things (esculating salaries, over building and dependence on future revenues ) are usually a sell signal. . . hide and watch. . . paricularly TV and especially cable TV revenues could change overnight. Technology has a way of correcting itself. Who knows with technology advances that cable will even be here 3, 5 or 10 years from now. . . who knows if advertising finds a new avenue and decides college football is NOT the way to go. Could all be a bankruptcy on epic proportions. . . .not to mention what state governments ( who ultimately fund state universities ) might decide to do. Anyone who thinks a business model looks like a hockey stick on a graph is a fool

June 4, 2014 at 1:13 p.m.
Stewwie said...

On Brady:

[Monson said that he took into account Brady’s relatively ineffective receiving corps and offensive line in his analysis, but said his decline was inevitable regardless of the players he was surrounded by. “I think the receivers definitely doesn’t help,” Monson said. “When you have a receiving corps that’€™s depleted, you’€™re obviously going to struggle more. But I think the point I was trying to make was that Brady’s decline has been in action for a while now and all the receivers did was make it look worse than it would’ve done already.]

I happen to agree. He may indeed be a top-5 QB of all time, but that doesn't have to mean that he's a top-5 QB in the league right now. I would easily take both Mannings, Rodgers, Brees, Luck, Humpty, and Wilson ahead of him right now.

And this is a great move by PFF no matter if they are right or wrong about this. I had never heard of them before today and their exposure from this is invaluable.

I also disagree with Horace Grant on Miami's chances against the Bulls. It would have been a good matchup. I was equally as surprised to hear Georgia's b-ball coach say last year that the Heat would have no chance against the '80s Lakers.

Saban's salary seems too high at first, but if the market dictates it, then he's worth it. I have no problem with him making that kind of money to coach football so long as public taxpayer money is not involved directly or indirectly. And Alabama's athletics are well into the black so it's hard to say that it's a bad move for the school.

June 4, 2014 at 2:22 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Taxpayer money is involved indirectly as he is "earning" that paycheck while working in a facility that is financed in part by both state and federal funding.

June 4, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.
Stewwie said...

MT, true, but the federal and state dollar contributions have nothing to do with the amount of Saban's salary. If he were paid the same as the professors, the same federal and state dollars would be flowing in (rightly or wrongly) to keep the lights on. To me, it'd be a bigger deal if the coach got top dollar and his school's athletics program was running in the red and taxpayer money had to be spent to bail them out year after year. But Alabama is well into the black; not that that couldn't change, but maybe by retaining Saban, it lessens the chance that the powerhouse will crumble anytime soon.

June 4, 2014 at 3:42 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Saban won't coach forever but the salar "bar" keeps going up and up.....

June 4, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.
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