5-at-10: Worst college football coaching hires, playoff baseball, and the ponzi this and that

5-at-10: Worst college football coaching hires, playoff baseball, and the ponzi this and that

October 2nd, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, we are speeding through the week, and have arrived at hump day. (Yes, the camel in the Geico commercials is so, So, SO money. HUMP day. Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike.)

Anyway, buckle, because we're about to take a ride to several corners of differences and tangents. If we had a Les Miles appearance it would be a bonus. We don't. So it goes.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we're a thousand miles from nowhere, time don't matter to us.

Former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin

Former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Worst college football coaching hires

Pat Haden ended the debacle that had become USC under Lane Kiffin, who is quickly becoming the college football version of Gen. Sherman, leaving burned trails and torched embers in his wake after every stop. (The difference as Spy will remind us, is that Gen. Sherman won all his match-ups. Yikes.)

With that news, YahooSports! Pat Forde lists his worst college coaching hire . He has Rich Rod at Michigan, Steve Kragthorpe at Louisville, Lane Kiffin at USC and Tennessee, Derek Dooley at Tennessee and Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss.

Each of those deserves special consideration - and hey, how about that Mike Hamilton making the list twice - but there are a few more awful hires. (And while he did not make the list because he landed Cam Newton and won a national title, you can certainly question Auburn's decision to hire Gene Chizik and his 5-19 career record. Mean Gene was fired after four seasons, in which he went 19-19 without Cam Newton and 14-0 with Cam Newton. Amazingly, Gene's career record was 38-38 overall and 24-28 without a certain QB whose name sounds like Tram Pootin'. Side note: Why do grown men and little kids get so tickled at certain words like pootin'? Admit it, you smiled and said, "Hey he said pootin'" didn't you?)

That said, here are a few more, head-scratchers and what-if moments.

As Spy would remind us, Brian Van Gorder being hired at Georgia Southern was a less than good experience. Bill Callahan's time at Nebraska was record-settingly bad. Mike Price's time at Alabama seemed record-settingly short.

As for really good hires, well, it's not super hard to hire Steve Spurrier or Nick Saban. But give Vince Dooley a lot of credit for plucking Mark Richt, who at the time was FSU's offensive coordinator and had zero head coaching experience.

Discuss. Who was the best or worst hires from your school? (Jomo, was Donnie or Rodney a worse hire?)


Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin (55) is greeted by on-deck batter Clint Barmes (12) after hitting a home run in the second inning of the NL wild-card playoff baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin (55) is greeted by...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Baseball playoffs

The field is set in the NL now that the Pirates topped the Reds in the wildcard. It was Pittsburgh first postseason win since 1992 when Johnny Carson had his final show, John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi won Wimbledon singles titles and we learned that Al Gore invented the interweb. Thank you Al, there would be no family-oriented, interweb-based sports column such as the 5-at-10 without the interweb. War Al.

(Side note: When you go back and do a little looking at a particular year, man, a guy can get lost reading about what happened in 1992, the year Ross Perot changed the world and a rotten year for movies, at least according to the box office standings. The top-five earning movies in '92 were Aladdin, The Bodygiard, Home Alone 2, Basic Instict and Lethal Weapon 3. Side note on the Side note: In Joe Pesci's decorated career, he does not get enough credit for his turn as Leo Getz in the Lethal Weapon movies. Where were we?)

Anyhoo, the NL playoffs are set.

Here's what we see:

Cards take Pirates. Experience matters here. As does home-field advantage. But the biggest difference is the Pirates just fired ace lefty Francisco Liriano for seven tough innings to get by the Reds as the Cards rested. Hey, we like the one-game play-in because it really rewards winning your division. But that one-game, win-or-pack-the-gear setting, is a huge advantage.

Dodgers take Braves. Atlanta has to handle four games of Grienke and Kershaw. That's too much. The Dodgers lineup is fragile - and man can't you see Yaisel Puig making a really bonehead play at some point in the series - and erractic. But so is the Braves.


Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Jordan still talking junk

Michael Jordan was the greatest competitor of his generation and many argue the greatest basketball player of all time.

Dude was special and would do everything in his power to win at everything from cards to tiddlywinks to Game 7.

MJ said in an interview this week that in his prime he could beat LeBron in one-on-one but not Kobe, because as MJ joked, "Kobe steals all" of his moves.

We have some questions. (Yes, we almost always have questions, but we offer these as always as starting points.)

How exactly is 6-foot-6, 215-pound MJ going to stop the 6-foot-8, 260-pound LeBron form getting to the rim?

The interview was in fun and we like mix-and-matching the best from generations as much as anyone.

Who you got: MJ or LeBron, one-on-one?


This and that - Ponzi edition

- Former UConn guard and NBA first-rounder Tate George was convicted of running a $2 million ponzi scheme. Side question, was the guy who coined the term 'Ponzi' scheme a big "Happy Days" fan and put Potsie and Fonzi together? Guess he could have merged Ralph Malph and Richie and got a Rilph scheme. Ponzi is better.

- Second question, after Madoff and even Jim Donnan and the rest of folks who did eight-, nine- and even 10-figure ponzi scheme, doesn't a $2 million ponzi scheme feel like stealing $11.25?

- Third question, with all the press that ponzi schemes have attracted, is it not the financial equivalent of taking candy from a stranger at this point? Seriously, the whole pyramid idea of investing should send up some red flags, right?

- Non-Ponzi this and that: A-Rod is claiming that the Biogenesis folks including Tony Bosch doping him. Really, A-Rod? They slipped you a PED mickey? PUH-lease.

- Jake Locker's hip injury is not super serious. The Titans expect him to miss a month, which is way better than the season.


Today's question

OK, there are about a thousand littered throughout the 5-at-10, but here are a few more:

After watching the Pirates-Reds last night, the home crowd in Pittsburgh was outstanding. What's the best home-field advantage around?

As we said above, Jake Locker is expected to miss a month. Locker was playing better than expected. If Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in and lights it up, could be an interesting little QB debate in Nashville. (And yes, we know injuries are not supposed to cost a player his starting job. Ask Alex Smith how that worked last year in San Fran.)