5 at 10 - Peyton Manning, College hoops rewind and New UT assistants

5 at 10 - Peyton Manning, College hoops rewind and New UT assistants

February 9th, 2012 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.

In this Dec. 2, 2011, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks to reporters in the locker room at the NFL football team's practice facility in Indianapolis. The Super Bowl is getting upstaged by the greatest spectacle in football. Manning is making headlines without playing a down, dominating conversations without saying a word and superseding the two conference champions from the sideline.

Photo by (AP File Photo by Michael Conroy)

Peyton Manning

The meeting between Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay was scheduled for sometime this week. You know we pitched the idea of showing that thing on pay-per-view and raising money for charity.

As far as we know that meeting may have already happened. It may be today. It may have been postponed. You know the background: Manning's a stud who has battled a neck injury that has left his future uncertain; without Manning, the Colts went 2-14 and have the No. 1 pick in the draft, which features Andrew Luck, the best QB prospect to come out of college since, well, Peyton Manning; the Colts have to make a move soon since Manning is owed a $28 million roster bonus the first week in March.

Let's role play, and picture a possible exchange between Manning and Irsay, as the two guys decide how the Hall-of-Fame chapter in Indy will end for one of the game's best QBs ever.

Jim Irsay: "Thanks for joining me Peyton. Let's get through this."

Peyton Manning: "Did you bring the $28 million check?

JI: "No."

PM: "Did you bring the $28 million in cash?"

JI: "No."

PM: "Then what do we have to talk about?"

JI: "You know Peyton we had some laughs, right?"

PM: "What?"

JI: "There were some good times. The Super Bowls. The rivalry with the Pats?"

PM: "Dude, what are you talking about."

JI: "Peyton, as much as you've meant to us... as much as you've meant to me... wow this is tougher than I thought... Peyton, it's not you, it's me."

PM: "Say what?"

JI: "It's not you, big guy, it's me. We're the ones that failed here."

PM: "Are you giving me the "It's not you, it's me," speech? Seriously? Do you know who I am? You have twitter followers. I host SNL. You beg for the spotlight. I have to avoid it. 'It's not you, it's me,' huh? You're dang right it's you. And know this, I'm coming back and every time I see that stupid horseshoe, I'm going to nuke you guys."

(He gets up from the table...)

JI: "Peyton... Peyton..."

PM: "Buckle up pal."

(Manning storms off, calls Archie on his cell phone, and slams the door.)

JI: "Get Luck's agent on the horn, ASAP. The chair is against the wall. The chair is against the wall."

That said, if Manning does come back, and if he does play against the Colts, sweet buckets it won't be pretty. It will be like that girl your buddy broke up with because she wore sweatpants all the time and kind of nagged him too much, but then she took the break-up to heart, lost 25 pounds, started following sports and starts dressing way better.

And then every time your buddy sees her, she's having a great time and he thinks, "What did I do."

Yes, whenever Manning sees the Colts in the future, he will be that woman scorned. And we mean that as a compliment.

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Duke's Austin Rivers, left, tries to dribble past Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Duke 85-63. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

College hoops rewind

We have had our doubts about Duke. Wednesday night, Duke answered at least some of those questions.

Freshman point guard Austin Rivers drilled a game-winning 3-pointer as the horn sounded in a 85-84 road win over rival UNC. While Duke's impressive showing on the road may have answered some questions about the Devils Rivers is a true play-maker, the Devils have enough length to compete with anyone this side of UK and Ohio State, this team may be short on athleticism but its long on guts there still are concerns. Duke shot 36 3s, making 14, and relying on long-range success is always a dicey proposition.

The Duke win also raises some questions about UNC, which ranks with Kentucky as the nation's most talented teams. These Tarheels were thumped by FSU earlier this year, and they could not put away a Duke team that was down 10 with less than three minutes left. No matter how much talent UNC has, if they can't get a stop, that will stop any chance they have to make a deep run.

Elsewhere in college hoops...

- The Vols handled their BID-ness against the worst team in the SEC, using the marksmanship of Skylar McBee and his mustache in a 69-57 win over South Carolina. Here's our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown's report http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/09/skylar-mcbee-win-vols-south-carolina/. These Vols are not going to the NCAA tournament and they'll likely be lucky to win more than one SEC tournament game. That said, they play hard and they play pretty smart, and that's a credit to Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin. You know what else, they beat the teams they're supposed to beat, and that's and underrated trait in sports.

- Jim Boeheim has won more games at one school than any coach in men's major college basketball. Syracuse's 64-61 overtime win over Georgetown moved Jimmy B past Dean Smith with 904 career wins. That's a lot.

- While Duke's rally over UNC raised more questions than it answered, the Kansas Jayhawks continue to improve. After a disappointing road loss Saturday at Missouri - that was at least aided by a rotten charge call that really hurt Kansas - the Jayhawks delivered a knockout punch to No. 6-ranked Baylor last night. As if they needed it, the Jayhawks found another weapon - 7-footer Jeff Withey had 25 points despite taking just 10 shot attempts - in a 68-54 win over the Bears.

- The Mocs look to end their seven-game losing streak tonight against Elon. We have discussed the current state of the Mocs here and in the TFP over the last couple of days. We have been told that the UTC administration is backing coach John Shulman. We have heard from more than a few Mocs fans in the last 24 hours they are almost uniform in a view that is completely opposite that of the UTC administration. We may need to swing by McKenzie tonight to see how many folks are in the seats.

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University of Tennessee logo

New UT assistants

The UT Vols introduced their six new assistants Wednesday. Our aces Downtown Patrick Brown (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/09/vols-make-changes-new-coaches-set-to-revamp-vols/) and ace columnist Mark Wiedmer (Weeds http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/09/the-ut-brand-still-impressive-for-vols-new-coaches/) were there.

The big newsmaker in attendance of course was new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri. Got to say, we like the look of the guy and the sound of his message.

The only fundamental mistake a new coordinator can make is saying, "We run this, and we'll run it until we get it right." That's a fine philosophy if a coach has been somewhere a few years and can recruit to fill that philosophy.

Right now the Vols are short on 3-4 defensive parts. (Name a 3-4 defensive end on this roster, and in a 3-4, you need two stud middle linebackers, and even if stud duck A.J. Johnson makes a smooth transition to the middle, the Vols are one short of the needed pair.)

So Sunseri is preaching the value of multiplicity. (Although, we think "Multiplicity" is among the worst of Michael Keaton's work, which is more underrated than you think, especially the early stuff and the comedies: the first Batman, Gung Ho, Mr. Mom, Night Shift, Johnny Dangerously, The Dream Team, are all very rewatchable.)

Jokes aside, and we were skeptical about Sunseri's hiring because hiring a Nick Saban defensive assistant could very well be like hiring Picasso's paint mixer and expecting a masterpiece. But, if we were a Johnny Vols Fan, we would have been pleased with what was said Wednesday.

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This and that

- What's with all the bellyaching about tweets from athletes? These guys are paid seven- and eight-figure salaries to perform in public. The latest is Kendric Perkins saying LeBron's tweets about Perkins getting dunked on. Perkins said, "If you're an elite player, plays like that don't excite you." Hogwash. Blake Griffin's dunk was awesome in its awesomeness. Here's an idea, if you don't want to see the tweets, don't get dunked on.

- OK, if you have not seen Will Ferrell's intros for the Hornets-Bulls game last night, well, here you go. And you're welcome. "Starting at guard... his favorite movie is still "The Notebook,"... Derrick Rose." Good times. Quick question: If you had unlimited funds, and could have anyone introduce you at a shindig or entering the office, who you got? Ferrell was pretty outstanding, but we'll take Sam Elliot and his booming, "Now here's the 5-at-10" with some added in drama.

- SEC commissioner Mike Slive says changes to the BCS are at least a couple years away. Well, duh. The TV deal still has a couple of years left, but here's saying there will be an extra game or two to sell when the new TV deal comes up for re-negotiation. (And if you think this is about finding a better way to determine a champ, you're kidding yourself.)

- A slew of Braves will be at Taco Mac today. The TFP will be there, and the 5-at-10 is trying to get free to swing by if for no other reason than to see how big Jason Heyward is.

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Today's question

It's A.F. (after football) Day 4.

5-at-10: Hi, we're the 5-at-10, and we're addicted to football. We have a problem.

Group: Hi, 5-at-10, pull up a seat.

Since we're all trying to move forward through the post-football haze, last night's Duke-UNC game got us thinking.

Duke-UNC is one of the handful, non-football rivalries that has ascended to must-see status, even for those with no skin in the game.

So today we ask what are the best non-football rivalries.

Discuss.