5-at-10 mailbag: UT recruiting, the Te'o movie cast and Big Ten divisions

5-at-10 mailbag: UT recruiting, the Te'o movie cast and Big Ten divisions

February 1st, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sportscolumns

Another great week. Thanks gang. That said, it's hard to remember a Super Bowl in which the game created less buzz than this one. We received no serious Super Bowl questions - got a few about Beyonce's halftime show, and for what it's worth, we say she kills it come Sunday night around 8:30. KILLS it.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's do work.

Spy

Do great receivers make great quarterbacks? Do great quarterbacks make great receivers?

Spy,

We think quarterbacks make receivers more than the other way around, but there certainly is evidence of both.

And this question was asked somewhat rhetorically about the Jerry Rice discussion earlier this week. Rice's numbers are insane, and his work ethic was top-notch, but we do not believe he is the best NFL player ever. Not sure who is, just have a hard time putting that tag on a wide out.

As for the chicken-or-the-egg debate between quarterback and receiver, let's look at some of the best duos of all-time:

Manning and Harrison, Marino and the Marks, Montana and Rice and Young to Rice, Aikman and Irvin, Bradshaw to Swann, Unitas to Berry, Fouts to Winslow. Of that list, Winslow is the only receiver who for sure is better than the quarterback, right.

The fact that Rice is on there with two different QBs is certainly high praise, but it also signals that the 49ers were operating in a special circumstance with Bill Walsh's finger prints all over their success.

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From Livn4life

Recruiting 5-er: For Vol Fans, if nothing else, we can Hope! See you a week from Wednesday. My quesion as a JVFan is honestly, how many "big recruits" are required to have a really noticable turnaround on Rocky Top this fall? I know the coaching ability will come into play but do wonder how many it will take.

Livn(Large),

Not sure there is a specific number of big-named kids that could make a noticeable difference on Saturdays this fall. UT is in the mix for a slew of highly regarded kids that operate in positions of great need.

When MarQuez North signs, he likely is the most talented receiver in UT's program and figures to contribute this fall.

Ridgeland High School's Vonn Bell has the ball.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

If Vonn Bell heads to Knoxville, he's likely the second-most talented defensive back. Carl Lawson would be a contender to start right away at defensive end, too.

Those would be upgrades over the current Vols, not necessarily upgrades against the competition the Vols will see this year. Those stud ducks would be better than what UT has but not better than what UT will face. At least not yet.

But adding those big-time names would lay a very strong foundation of talent for Butch Jones and Co., and it would be a nice beacon for future recruiting success, especially since the second class is always better than the first.

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From recruit junkie

How fast can UT close? Getting MarQuez North was huge, right? What would it take to get a top-20 class or even around top 10? Thanks and thanks for the 5at10.

Junkie,

Butch Jones is Tennessee's head football coach.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Tennessee and Butch Jones could be one of the big players on national signing day. Five-star defensive end Carl Lawson is in play. We all know five-star safety Vonn Bell is in play.

If Butch and Co. land both Bell and Lawson, then UT will speed toward the top 10 but it will take those two and almost every other 50-50 name on the UT board to get into the top 10. But the fact that we're even having this conversation when a week or so ago, the Vols appeared doomed to an 11th- or 12th-best class in the SEC is crazy and a testament to what Jones and his staff have been able to do.

That said, if the Vols finish as a bride's maid to a slew of these guys, this class could finish in the 30s nationally (UT's class is 32nd according to Rivals.com this morning and that's counting the addition of North), which would feel like a disappointment considering the late charge and momentum Jones and Co. have generated.

Know this, Auburn and Tennessee are likely to be two of the big stories - either good or bad - come signing day next week.

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From A reader

You said this week that Mario Lopez should play Manti Te'o in the Lifetime movie. What's the rest of the cast and what's the name of the film (because you are so going to watch it)?

A reader,

Love the fact that we have a slew new names in the mailbag this week. Great job gang, and feel free to stay a while - it don't cost nothing.

OK, for the cast, Lopez is a no-brainer. We'll take Khloe Kardashian as the girl who posed in the photo that became the face of Lennay Kekua. We'll take Bruno Mars in his acting debut as a thinned-down Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. We're going to need a power-player to be Jack Swarbrick for his press conference, so let's get Jack Nicholson (We want him at that podium, we need him at that podium), and William Shatner can play Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

As for the name, this is tricky. There's the hokey - Imaginary Love, Hoaxed!, Internet Intrigue. There's the themed - Tarnished Dome, Miss Tackled, etc. We'll go with "Pretense and Pretending." Thoughts?

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From sportsfan

Sorry for the late post. I'm out of town. For Fri mailbag. Can MTSU make the dance without winning sunbelt? And. Is Tiger back?

Sportsfan,

If MTSU wins out through the regular season they'd be 27-4, with two of those losses to tourney-bound Florida and Belmont (Akron and Arkansas State are the other two). They have a nonconference win over Ole Miss, which helps the Blue Raiders' argument greatly.

We think MTSU has one loss to play with, and since you're asking about getting in without winning the Sun Belt, that loss would have to be in the conference tournament and it can't be in the first round. The Blue Raiders also need Ole Miss to finish the drill since that's MTSU's high-mark win.

So we'll say MTSU gets in at 28-5 with an at-large, but it would be a stretch for the Blue Raiders if they have another regular-season loss and a tournament loss to get in as an at-large.

As for Tiger, well, we never thought he left. Sure he struggled some, but he was still Tiger. And to be fair, no one - not even Tiger - will get back to the levels of dominance he attained in the mid-2000s.

As for his recent win, there were encouraging signs for sure. His swing looks more consistent and steady, so that portends for future success. His putting was steely.

As for him being back, well, we'll go rare with a flip-and-reverse answer: If you are in a golf draft (We love the draft - you know this) and you have the first pick and you're charged with picking a player that's going to win a major this year, who are you taking? Yep, we think Tiger would go No. 1 too.

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From McPell3

Rumor has it the big 10 is looking at renaming its divisions. You're the commissioner - what do you call them now?

McPell,

This is good stuff right here. Thank you sir.

We'll offer a ballot for folks to play along. After the fallout of the ludicrous choices of Legends and Leaders (which conference had its top two teams miss the postseason because of NCAA timeout... was that Legendary or Leadership?), we'd likely go geographical. North and South or East and West, but the grouping is not divided that way, so like the ACC and its nonsensical Atlantic and Coastal, it needs another plan. The best solution would be to add Maryland and Rutgers to the Leaders division and ship Wisconsin to the Legends division and let the Leaders become the East and the Legends become the West. But where's the fun in that.

Here are five top Big Ten division names:

- "Slow" and "Slower"

- Since there is an obvious disregard for numbers in a league that has 14 teams but is called the Big Ten, "Math" and "Smath"

- THE and BLUE (that should pay proper respect to THE Ohio State and Michigan)

- Cash and Cows

- "Has beens" and "Never will bes"

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From Scott N.

Can UT frack in Neyland Stadium, it's been pretty empty up there lately?

Scott N.,

Sure they can.

In fact Nick Saban has fracked them a couple of times up there already. And the next time lil' Nicky gets the chance to play James Franklin and Vandy in Nashville, here's saying he's going to frack them up too.

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From Potholder

Dude, marijuana is now available at the KMart in Seattle. How cool is that? I'm thinking about moving.

What will be on the shelves in a decade that will be no big deal?

Thanks, and love the 5@10 -- great way to waste a morning.

Potholder,

Love the first timers, and especially love the first timers that recall the images of Sean Penn falling out of the van as Jeff Spicoli. "What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too! Get it?"

Side note: Fast Times at Ridgemont High may be the most underrated movie of the 1980s. Discuss.

Interesting question potholder - interesting name too, going with a kitchen aid in handling hot stuff.

We think low-level steroids - who knows we may all be taking deer-antler spray by then - will be street available at the CVS.

And this is not even broaching the topics of what will be virtually available. There's a 3-D printer that can allegedly produce a hand gun and QR codes and interweb communications will make email seem like Western Union sooner rather than later.

Heck, just ask Manti.