Mailbag people. Mailbag.
From the "Talks too much" studios, deserve has nothing to do with it.
This time next week we'll be wrapping up SEC media days, which start Monday. We'll have live coverage at timesfreepress.com and we'll have Press Row on ESPN 105.1 FM live from the event Monday through Thursday of next week.
It should by a ton of fun, and by then hopefully we'll know the answer to several questions that are lingering above the SEC landscape.
With that in mind, let's explore some of the most glaring possible questions for each school in the SEC. Today we'll go over the SEC East; Wednesday we did the SEC West http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jul/10/greeson-sec-media-days-are-upon-us/. We also believe this could be a topic on Press Row for the next couple of days.
Georgia - Is Hutson Mason ready? We're not so sure, but our TFP college football ace and Press Row cohort David Paschall seems pretty confident about Mason, who has the difficult task of replacing Aaron Murray. How good was Aaron Murray? Auburn fans respected the daylights out of him, and when fans from your heated rivals respect a player, you know they are top shelf. Side item: Rushmore of universally respected SEC players?
Florida - How hot is your seat Mr. Muschamp? Man, Will Muschamp went from hot name to hot seat in about three years, right? And after last year's 4-8 debacle that included a loss to Georgia Southern in the Swamp, Muchamp's fourth year in Gainesville best not include four losses or it could be so long Coach Boom. In fact, we had a Florida beat writer on Press Row on 105.1 recently and the number was set at eight wins for Muschamp to be OK, and that eight needed to include a win over Georgia or FSU. And since each of those teams will start the season among the top 15 teams in the country, well, get to work Will. Or there will be some 'splainin' to do.
Kentucky - How can Kentucky survive a rebuilding project with snappy slogans and hashtags? We're kidding of course - and Press Row produce Wells Guthrie went off on the super-indulgence of 'Brick-by-Brick' by Butch Jones and Co. - but the Wildcats are adding pieces and recruits at a pace that is unprecedented for any non-basketball venue in Lexington. And compared to their UT rivals, the Wildcats have a higher projected number of wins by ESPN.stats and a slew of more options at quarterback, including Signal Mountain's Reese Phillips.
Missouri - What can the Tigers do for an encore after last year's amazing run to the SEC title game? We know Missouri has a replacement for James Franklin at quarterback, considering Maty Mauck was every bit his equal and often his superior in spot duty during Franklin's bouts with injuries. That said, there are talented pieces missing from the backfield, the perimeter and the defensive line. And forget the 'sneak-up' factor this time around.
South Carolina - Can South Carolina continue its greatest run in its football history? We say yes, because we believe more in Dylan Thompson than most, and we know that while he loves calling fancy pass plays, coach Steve Spurrier knows how to use a bell cow running back like Mike Davis.
Tennessee - Wow, where do we begin? The lines? The quarterback? The secondary? Each is a fair question. Still, we'll begin here: How many freshmen will start against Utah State, and how long will it take for the kiddie corps to be game-ready?
Vandy - Can Derek Mason fill the clown-sized shoes of James Franklin? Tall order considering Vandy - VANDY - has won nine games in back-to-back seasons.
Man, the Atlanta Braves make the stock market and teenage girls seem stable.
After rolling through nine straight, the Braves have dropped four in a row - including the last three against the dreadful Mets.
So it goes. It's baseball - teams are never as good as they seem in the high times nor as bad as they appear in the low times.
The good: Well at least no one got hurt. That we know of, any way. Man, one run against Dillon Gee, who was making his first start in two months is less than La Stellar.
The bad: Erwin Santana did not pitch poorly, he just got sloppy late and allowed three earned in the seventh inning in the 4-1 loss.
The Uggla: Danny Struggla did not play, so he remains at .162 with 21 hits so far this year. The Braves are 49-42 so they have played 91 games, or 56.2 precet of their games this season. Danny Struggla makes $13 million per year, so he has been paid roughly $7.3 million so far this year. At that clip, each Struggla base hit has cost the Braves roughly $348,000 this season. Ouch-standing.
As the NBA turns
We wait for LeBron to decide where he'll take his throne and then for the chips from the rest of the NBA free agency to fall.
It could all develop and take shape today as this is the first day teams can sign free agents.
The theories are as wild as a weekend at the Manziel compound. (Side note: Did anyone else see Johnny Football at the Red Sox game in a sky box with like four hotties. It's good to be Mr. Football.)
And while all the off-the-court machinations are happening - or about to start happening - there is the mess that is Donald Sterling playing out in a courtroom across the country.
Here are some of the excerpts:
* Donald called his wife a pig. Interesting choie of words since his mistress was a central figure in all of this.
* Donald believes he can get $5 billion of the Clippers. Uh, Earth to Donald. Donald, Donald. Please pick up the normal people phone. Dude, the forced proposed sale for $2 billion was roughly 300 percent more than the price for which the franchise was valued. Heck, it was pegged at roughly $550 million, and if they sell if for $2 billion, Sterling would owe roughly $650 million in taxes for crying out loud.
* He called the NBA the worst corporation in America. Uh, Earth to Donald. Donald, Donald. Please pick up the normal people phone.
* He said he was the punished man in sports. Here is has a point. Dude went a hate-filled rant and it's like he's O.J. Heck, Indy Colts owner Jim Irsay has been charged with four felonies and potentially cost his city $1 billion (if he had not run afoul of the law, we believe Indy would have been awarded a future Super Bowl earlier this year) and everyone thinks he needs help. Sterling went on a hate-filled rant that was taped by a hooker, and dude is the most hated man in American sports according to Pew research.
* Donald says that he will continue suing the NBA for as long as he is alive. This we believe - and have believed since this thing started - more than anything we've heard in this entire mess.
This and that
- Proving there is a reason to attend World Cup games, apparently some attractive fan got her picture snapped and signed a modeling deal with a cosmetics company https://gma.yahoo.com/world-cup-fan-scores-modeling-gig-cheering-183736486--abc-news-topstories.html. Good for her. That's similar to how Pamela Anderson got discovered - she was at a CFL game and the camera guy kept putting her on the JumboTron in a cut-off Molson T-Shirt that showed off her, uh, assets, and there was a Molson executive there and he signed her before the game was over.
- More World Cup strangeness: The Brazilians are blaming Mick Jaggar for the lop-sided loss to Germany. Yes apparently Jaggar is known as "Pe frio" ("The cold foot") and is very bad luck. His track record of picking the wrong side and teams he supports losing caused some Brazilian fans to bring cut-outs of Jaggar dressed in German colors. Alas, the cold foot was too powerful.
- Good to see football back in the pages of the TFP. Here all-around ace Stephen Hargis catches up with UTC coaches http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jul/10/utc-coaches-get-back-to-work/. We're seven weeks from the start of the season. CUH-razy.
Urban Meyer turns 50. He's a man, he's 50.
Who's on the Rushmore of current college football coaches?