5-at-10: Friday mailbag

5-at-10: Friday mailbag

September 20th, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sportscolumns

Gang, another excellent week. You guys rock and we continue to hear from more folks who are reading. Feel free to comment with the regulars - they won't bite. Well Spy might, but he's so old his dentures are slippin' most of the time.

Before we get to the mailbag, we need a ruling. First off, we forgot our No. 1 rule of picking games that was established when we hit 68 percent in 2011 when we were 0-8-1 in games involving Clemson. Stupid Clemson. We had the Tigers -13.5 and they won 26-14 after allowing N.C. State to drive the length of the field in 23 plays - YES, 23 PLAYS - that included four fourth-down conversions. OUCH-Standing. Stupid Clemson.

As for the ruling, we picked Nebraska -20 over South Dakota State before Taylor Martinez was ruled doubtful this morning. Can we recant or are we stuck? We need a ruling.

From the "Talks too much" studios, as Tupac told us, even the genius asks questions.

From LionMan

There are 10 college football teams (fbs) in the country who are 0-3 against the spread. Of these teams, which 3 teams will finish the season with the worst record ATS?

Cal

Central Michigan

Florida Intl

Louisiana Tech

Middle Tennessee St.

New Mexico State

Notre Dame

Texas Christian

Tulsa

Wake Forest

Enjoy spending too much time on this question, the column and radio show are sounding great. Big fan here.

Lion,

Thanks for the question and for the kind words.

Interesting stat, and one we should all pay attention to. Here is our top five - or is it a bottom five - of the teams above.

These are listed in best guess as to covering ability:

1) Notre Dame - The Irish are likely the best team on the list, but they also are nationally the most popular team, which inflates lines in their direction because people like to bet on the Irish. So it goes.

2) Cal - Cal is clearly not the worst team but they clearly play the toughest schedule dotted with high-powered opponents. Sonny Dykes and his staff likely will have success out there; it will just take a while as they change to the spread.

3) Florida International - This team is bad. When you are a home underdog to Bethune Cookman - and still do not cover - well, it's going to be a long year.

4) New Mexico State - Hard to image a line too big against these Aggies since they are allowing 47.3 per game. If UCLA comes to play Saturday, they'll hang 60 on NMSU.

5) Wake Forest - Again, this is as much about overmatched competition.

You bring up an interesting point that we're going to follow this year.

Great question.

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From Larry

I have read your FOIB for a while but this is the first time I have a question worthy of the bag.

Here's what I want to know:

Why are sports sequels always awful and what sports movie would have the best chance to have a sequel that could work?

Thanks and thanks for the morning entertainment.

Larry,

Don't be a stranger and excellent questions.

As for the sequel stinkiness factor, well there are a few.

One, the sports movies good enough to have a second part are general beloved, so we have lofty expectations. Two, all-too-often, folks are looking for the quick cash in and use very similar themes and jokes so it feels tired. Third, since a baseline of great sports movies generally include an underdog winning big, the next season is tough to live up to. One of the reasons that Rocky II is the best sports sequel is that he lost the title fight in Rocky I, so there was still someplace left to go. While this final one is not universal - the Major League and Bad News Bears sequels come to mind - it does have some relevance.

As for the one we could see being pretty good, well try this: Bull Durham. Crash is managing in the show. Nuke is on his last chapter of a Hall of Fame career. Ron Shelton writes it and never the 'twain shall meet. It would either be awesome. Or terrible. Not Caddyshack 2 or Slapshot 2 wretched, but bad none the less.

Former Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin looks on during a 2009 game against Western Kentucky in Knoxville, Tenn.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

From Chas9

Hey, J--Could you please channel a conversation in which Bo Pelini explains how to have smooth relations with the press to Lane Kiffin? (Or Nick Saban or Mike Tyson, your choice.)

Lets' give this a shot.

Bo Pelini: Hey, Lane. Pat Haden asked me swing by and give you a couple of pointers about being a little more engaging.

Lane Kiffin: What can you help me with? Dude, look at you. If Kazoo from the Flintstones and Velma from Scooby Doo had a baby it'd be you dude. Man, I'm outta here.

Pat Haden (from the back of the room): Sit down junior and pay attention or I'm calling Jeff Fisher this afternoon and he'll have your office by Monday morning.

Lane Kiffin: Flith flarn flubber...

Pat Haden: What was that?

Lane Kiffin: Nothing sir.

Pat Haden: Bo, please continue.

Bo Pelini: Thanks Pat. And by the way, your hair looks especially nice today. Have to notice that Dr. Tom Osborne has really nice hair too. Must be something about being distinguished, right Lane.

Lane Kiffin: Brown-noser. Dude, not even Orgeron kisses this much tail.

Bo Pelini: Exactly. Here are the rules of engagement. 1) Make sure people believe you have passion. Passion can explain away a lot of mistakes.

Lane Kiffin: Dude. I got passion. I got a Porsche already, and Ed calls it a passion wagon. We are flush with passion alright. Dude this is so bogus.

Pat Haden: Sit down.

Bo Pelini: Second, make sure no one has a tape recorder in their pocket. I'd write that one down.

Lane Kiffin: Video cameras are a no-no too.

Bo Pelini: Now you're getting it. Finally, embrace the media. Those sons of ^%&%( and mother(^%^$(s can shape the opinions of the masses, even as unwashed and uneducated #$%^$% as they may be. It sucks, #$%$&ing right it sucks, but that's why we get the big bucks.

Lane Kiffin: And the chicks are great.

Haden: Hopeless. Utterly hopeless. Get me Fisher's number.

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Tiger

Dude, You and Paschall are excellent on the radio. What's the number again?

Quick question: Any chance Saban would go to Texas?

Tiger,

Thanks for the kind words. Call us at 423-648-1051 on Press Row from 1-3 p.m. on 105.1 FM. Don't cost nothin' after all.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban argues after a penalty call during their game against Texas A&M Saturday in College Station, Texas.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Highly unlikely that Saban leaves for Texas. The only thing that job - or any other college job - could offer Saban is the chance to be the only coach in the history of college football to win national titles at three schools. Someone could match his standing as the only coach to win national titles at two schools - Meyer might could; Spurrier if the magic hit; maybe a couple of others - but if he notched crowns at three different locales, forget it. Game, set and match, Saban would be the best ever.

As for money and Texas' deep pockets, please. Alabama would do whatever it took. And if a bidding war starts and Saban starts cashing $8 million checks per year, those of us who are steadfast against paying players will no long be able to say, "Well, it could bankrupt the athletic programs."

As for the rest of the SEC and those of us who follow non-Crimson teams, the only shot of Saban leaving the Capstone in our view is if a high-powered NFL team comes calling at the right time when he's tired of dealing with NCAA-issues or booster nonsense.

Other than that, buckle up buttercup. The road to the SEC title (and the BCS title) goes through Tuscaloosa.

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From several of you

Todd Helton is retiring. Is he a Hall of Famer?

We think he will be a real close call.

There have been very few links between Helton and PEDs, which will help his resume. Dude was a Gold Glove first baseman who was a career .316 hitter with 368 homers and averaged more than 100 RBIs per season. That's the good.

The bad is he had roughly 51 percent of his career at-bats at Coors Field, the haven for hitting. That has to be taken into account. Also, he never finished better than fifth in MVP voting.

Helton is a very good player who had a very good career.

He is not a Hall of Famer. Side note: He's one of the three best college baseball players we ever saw - along with LSU's Todd Walker and Auburn's Tim Hudson.

Monsters.

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From sportsfan

Jay - Let's change it up this Friday. If you could change one rule in college football, the NFL, and major league baseball, what would it be in each?

SF -

Great question, and one we'll have to do some thinking on.

Our first answer for baseball was to eliminate the fake to third and spin and look at first. We hated that, but they already changed that one. we also would love to change a slew of the rules and nuances of the new 'targeting' rules but we're not entirely sure we have a complete and firm grasp on them yet.

So let's go here:

College football - Defensive pass interference is a spot of the foul penalty. Right now it's capped at 15 yards, which means if you get beat on a long pass it behooves you to break the rules. Breaking the rules should not be rewarded unless you are escaping a dictatorship or are a creative accountant.

NFL - We know this has zero chance because the safety push, but we miss kickoff returns. Move the line back and let's have Hester and Patterson and the rest of those speed demons streak up and down the field.

MLB - Enact and enforce a between pitch clock for hitters and pitchers. The fact that baseball takes 3-plus hours - or 4-plus hours for Yankees and Red Sox - is going to kill the game in this modern-day, short-attention-span theater.