published Monday, September 1st, 2014

5-at-10: Lots of winners — UT, Gurley, Auburn, et al. — on Labor Day

Wow, what a weekend.

College football galore. Birthday party for the 5-at-10 Jr., who turns 7 in coming days. NFL news and meaningful baseball. This is a glorious sports time.

Since this is a holiday — and we are on No. 1,006 of consecutive Mondays-Fridays trotting out 5 things at 10 a.m. (Hey, 5-at-10, that's a catchy title) — lets go quickly with 5 winners or losers from the weekend.

Deal? Deal.

1. Tennessee football fans. Winners. Everyone Johnny Vols Fan we know was genuinely worried about the season-opener against Utah State, and considering Vegas had UT a four-point pick an hour before kickoff, there was reason for concern. And yes, Jomo, is going to remind everyone that it was Utah State after all, and that's fine, but we have said since SEC media days that this was the biggest game on UT's schedule because of what a season-opening loss would mean inside the locker room and across the fan base. So Sunday's impressive 38-7 whipping was a much-needed jolt of energy and positive reinforcement for UT backers everywhere.

2. Todd Gurley's Heisman hopes. Winner. Dude looked awesome in his awesomeness. He was the best player we saw this weekend and in retrospect it was not that close. Plus, for the Johnny Bulldogs Fans among us, congrats on having a DC who actually made adjustments and used the halftime for something more than snacks and Co-Colas. Well-played Jeremy Pruitt.

3. The SEC West. Winner. The only SEC West team to lose was Arkansas, which lost at SEC heavyweight Auburn. And when Texas A&M — picked no better than fifth in the preseason in the division — hammers SEC East favorite South Carolina, well, best of luck surviving the shark invested waters of football's best division this side of the NFC West.

4. People who followed the 5-at-10's Fab 4-plus-1 picks. Winners. We hit four picks — Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Ohio State — and we need a clarification from the gallery on the fifth pick. When we posted liking LSU minus-5 on Thursday, we were confident. The line fell to 3 before kickoff. LSU won by 4, so we lost Thursday's pick but anyone who had entertainment on it Saturday night won. So we're counting our week as 4-1, and some people who took out advise went 8-0 considering we picked BYU minus-18 on Friday and Mississippi State minus-31 on Saturday and escaped with Tusla over Tulane on late Thursday. Entertainment for everyone.

5. Auburn's quarterback situation. Winners. Jeremy Johnson looked super sharp throwing the ball. Nick Marshall played the second half and the Tigers offense took off. Man, you know, that Gus Malzahn may know a thing or three about offense.

So who was your winners or losers this weekend. And yes, we'll check back and they can be from arena outside of college football.

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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chas9 said...

Jay's five winners are entirely valid. But the Big Blue Nation were winners, too. If Tennessee's was a "runaway win," what was Kentucky's? A "blowout win," maybe?

Loved The Vols' defense, but I'm not sold on the offense. If you get 2.8 yards per carry against Utah State, what do you get vs. SEC teams?

Worley averaged less than 10 yards per completed pass, while UK's Towles averaged 19.2 Saturday. The Wildcats now have big play capabilities they have been lacking since Randall Cobb.

UK's Heard touched the ball twice and ran for two long TD's. He's better than UT's Hurd. And Kentucky's rushing average was 8.4.

Yes, Utah State is tougher than UT-Martin. But Kentucky thumped the Skyhawks the way The Vols did in 2010, their last bowl year.

Get used to the Air Raid sirens.

September 1, 2014 at 10:39 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

My choice for the biggest winner of the weekend is the SEC Network. Some of the cheesy ads remind me of the old Jefferson Pilot days but the features were interesting and the games well called. However, Tim Tebow's debut was at best a charitable "C."

September 1, 2014 at 10:40 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Did I not say that UTK should beat Utah State by 3 TDs ?.......,... However, UTK averaging less than 3 yards a carry, should give some concern

September 1, 2014 at 12:34 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Very impressive Saturdays for the Vols, thumping a legit Utah State program, and for one Mr. Todd Gurley II. He's like good and stuff. Florida State may not be as good as they were last year, but to go to Dallas and find the moxie to hold off a good Oklahoma State team bodes well for the Seminoles.

The Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles and Orange County and Southern California ... also winners. Big time. Dang it.

North Dakota State - now 5-0 in its last five games against FBS. To those who claim FCS is dying, I give you the Bison, Villanova (which took Syracuse to double OT before Billy Owens layup and foul. Oh wait, wrong sport. But it was double OT) and the moribund program of Western Carolina, which threw a hooge scare into South Florida. Boy, South Florida hasn't just fallen. They've gone over the cliff like that Nazi tank in the Indiana Jones movie (not to be confused with Alabama Jones. A very, very different movie franchise).

Not winners of the weekend ... Jennifer Lawrence.

September 1, 2014 at 12:58 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

UK did have a nice debut and the talent is noticeably improved.

But the gap between UT-Martin and Utah State is wide.

JP —

Great call. The SEC Network did have a great debut all things considered, but Tebow — and some of the other newbies — struggled. That said, Greg McIlroy is going to be really good at this TV thing.

Jomo —

Fair point about the YpC.

But that was still an impressive showing.

September 1, 2014 at 1 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Spy- If I'm not mistaken, your Eagles only lost to the WolfPack (an ACC school) by one point?

Couldn't watch Vols-Utah State because Time Warner has no contract with the SEC Network (which means a block from the ESPN Online feed). Apparently I did not miss anything.

With the Mocs playing Jax State at 5:00 PM D-town time, I may end up taking the straight drive to Denton via I-35 E and check out North Texas vs. SMU (kickoff at 11:00 AM). Will fill you in on all the details the following Monday.

Good read yesterday by Hargis regarding the behind the scenes happenings up at Mt. Pleasant. Apparently Jacob took it real hard but was shocked reading this morning that the OC takes most of the blame on this. They didn't stick with what worked in the first half? What the FRUIT????

September 1, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.
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