5 at 10: Friday mailbag

5 at 10: Friday mailbag

July 8th, 2011 by Jay Greeson in Sports

UT coach Derek Dooley talks to the press after the game against UT Martin at Neyland Stadium Saturday evening.

From CelticVol

Hello 5@10,

Dennis Dodd from CBSSports.com recently wrote an article about college football coaches who are on the hot seat for 2011. One of the names he listed was Derek Dooley. How in the world can Dooley be on a hot seat with the cards he has been dealt? Many times he has referred to his first year as Year 0 and the upcoming year as Year 1. With a roster full of freshmen and sophomores I think eight wins would be a great season. What are your thoughts?

C-Vol,

The 5-at-10 hopes you're enjoying your summer, and here's saying that there is no reason to be worked up by a writer who's trying to work up the UT fan base. Derek Dooley's seat is not hot. Is there pressure? Sure there is, but there is pressure on every head coach at every major college football program.

If Dooley can find a way to eight wins, he'll be on the short list of SEC coach of the year candidates. As long as UT is bowl-eligible, Dooley will be back - and truth be told, it's hard to see any way that Dooley is dismissed in the next 12 months unless there is: (a) another major scandal in Knoxville or (b) the Vols win two games this season.

There are hot seats in the SEC - we're looking at you, Houston Nutt - but Dooley is not sitting on one of them.

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel closes out the Braves' 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies of a baseball game in Atlanta Monday, July 4, 2011. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

From AJ

5er,

The back end of the Braves bullpen needs a nickname. What do you think we should call the Venters-Kimbrel combo?

AJ,

Interesting question.

On principle, the 5-at-10 believes that nicknames like good vegetables should be naturally grown and acquired. That said, the back burners of the Braves bullpen (notice the alliteration there?) could use a nickname.

There are a few tandem nicknames that are overused. Thunder and Lightning. Fire and Ice. Chocolate and Vanilla. Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Here are three that are possible:

Shake and Bake - playing off the bending pitches of Jonny Venters and the heat of Craig Kimbrel. While this has some promise - Venters does have great breaking stuff and Kimbrel does throw a lot of gas - "Shake and Bake" will always be the Ricky Bobby-Cal Naughton Jr. tandem. But on a similar note we could go with ...

Hook and Cook: Playing off the flow of the names and Venters' breaking stuff and Kimbrel's hard-throwing gas.

Good Night and Good Luck: This is our personal favorite. It seems every time Venters pitches it's a good night for the Braves, and the best wishes we can offer opponents against Kimbrel's 99 mph fastball and his frisbee slider is "Good Luck."

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (10) makes his way to the next photographer during picture day before a spring training baseball workout in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

From PDavi

5-at-10, I really think there's been too much MMA in the 5-at-10 this past year. Maybe keep an eye on that.

Let's talk Hall of Fame baseball careers. As I watch the curtain close on two first-ballot Hall of Famers, I'm interested to see how you'd size these two up against one another.

Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter:

- Who was more important to his team?

- Who was more important to his city?

- What would their teams have been like without them?

PDavi,

You know you're digging your own hole with friend of the show EC about the MMA, but that's y'all's bid-ness.

We've thought a bunch about your question - it's bona fide - and here are our thoughts.

Both players have been primary figures on teams that were dynasties. Chipper had more power; Jeter had more intangibles and better help because of a never-ending payroll.

That said, the answers to your specific questions are:

- Who was more important to his team? Jeter, because he played the most important position on the field.

- Who was more important to his city? Jeter, because he was the stabilizing force on baseball's most high-profile team in the world's most high-pressure media mecca.

- What would their teams have been like without them? If Chipper had been a Texas Ranger the last 17 years, here's saying that the Braves would have won the same number of world titles (1) as they did with Chipper in the lineup. Without Jeter, the Yankees certainly would have fewer than the five World Series titles they have won during his time in the Bronx.

John Wayne Gacy

From LW

A friend of mine is terrified of public speaking. It seems like you are always speaking in public in some ways. What are you afraid of?

LW, thanks for stopping by and feel free to come again.

Clowns. Plain and simple.

Public speaking has never really bothered us, and in a lot of ways writing columns is sharing your view in front of a large group without actually speaking. And there are more than a few folks who believe we talk a little too much, but so it goes.

Clowns, however, freak us out. In fact, here's our version of Dante's seventh circle of Hades:

Our day job is moving the same furniture back and forth between the same places;

The only food is cole slaw, and it's served by barefooted clowns;

The only TV station is Lifetime, and the remote is broken.

Let's just move along.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray

From Weena

The Georgia Bulldogs are counting on Aaron Murray to be all that and the pickle. He could, but what happens to the Bulldogs if Murray gets hurt? Are they one Nick Fairley hit away from being done? And, yes, the flashmob commercial has me ready to shoot a small dog. Thanks and remember, "San Dimas High School football rules!"

Weena,

Great "San Dimas High School football rules!" reference - "Heathers" was an under-appreciated movie in our books.

You make a fair point about Murray, who is poised for a big year and has no experienced backup waiting in the wings.

In fact, you inspire an interesting point about SEC players who are the most valuable. Here's the 5-at-10's view of most indispensable players in the SEC:

(1) Trent Richardson, Alabama: Richardson is the offensive engine on what figures to be the nation's top-ranked team heading into the season. Plus, his backup (freshman Dee Hart) tore his ACL earlier this month. If Richardson stays healthy, the Tide are poised for a BCS run. If not, they're poised for a Chick-fil-A run.

(2) Aaron Murray, Georgia: The SEC's top returning quarterback holds the keys to the Bulldogs' immediate future - and coach Mark Richt's foreseeable future - in 2011.

(3) Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina: The Gamecocks are the trendy pick in a wide-open SEC East, and it's because of Lattimore, who was a bell cow as a freshman last fall. Sometimes it's just this simple: With Lattimore, South Carolina can win the East; without Lattimore maybe it can win six games.