5 at 10: NFL Best/Worst, Tennessee Vols and what has to happen at Penn State

5 at 10: NFL Best/Worst, Tennessee Vols and what has to happen at Penn State

November 8th, 2011 by Jay Greeson in Sports

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan and Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly discuss the details surrounding the case of Penn State former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and allegations against him of sex abuse crimes involving young men, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg Pa. (AP Photo/Daniel Shanken)

Now from the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...

Paterno has to resign today or he should be fired Wednesday

In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, left, stands on the sidelines next to quarterback Matt McGloin (11) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Iowa in State College, Pa. Paterno says there's still a rotation at quarterback, though the way he's used McGloin in recent games indicates McGloin is now the go-to guy in the huddle. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar, File)

In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Penn...

The longer the nastiness - and it is flat, stinky nasty - goes on at State College, the worse it's going to get.

For those sleeping under a rock, here's the quick recap (Penn State officials step down amid child sexual abuse scandal). And if you want to read the grand jury report, it's here (Sandusky Grand Jury Presentment). (You're going to need a shower after reading it, but here it goes.)

Hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion and if you believe Joe Paterno is/was a good guy that made a bad choice, well, that's your opinion. But if you are supporting Paterno's washing his hands of this when he was told of Jerry Sandusky's acts in 2002, how do you answer these questions:

- Why did Paterno not call Sandusky in 2002 when he was told by a Penn State coach about the incident with Sandusky and a child in the Penn State showers? (You can't believe that if you heard something this gross and seedy about someone you had coached and worked with for almost 30 years, you would not ask them about it. Immediately. The only plausible reason you would not confront that person is if you knew it to be true, and that opens up a whole other kettle of nastiness and makes this even worse.)

- If it had been a former coach breaking NCAA rules, you don't think he would have picked up a phone and confronted the coach? (Seriously, if Joe Pa heard third-hand that someone was paying players in the shower, he would have sprinted from his living room in his house coat and slippers to confront this person.)

- Does that mean Paterno would have been more concerned about the appearance of his program than protecting children? (We'll let you answer that.)

Want to know something crazy, if anyone had asked 13 months ago, who runs the best college football program top to bottom, the two choices would have been Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno. Each has since made career-ending mistakes. It proves yet again you can't judge a book - a Pennsylvania state law book, an NCAA rulebook, an ethical guide to being a decent human being - by it's sweater vest or black shoes and white socks or coke-bottle glasses.

Power Poll

What do we know about the NFL? We know the Packers are excellent and have crafted that feeling like they are going to win every Sunday unless Aaron Rodgers gets hurt. We know the Colts are awful and have crafted that feeling like they are going to lose every Sunday until Peyton Manning returns.

Those two statements are the closest things we have to facts, everything else is hunches, guesses and supposition. Forget a Power Poll, we could have Power Points with the Pakcers at 1 and the Colts at 32 and call it a day. But somehow that feels like we would be short-changing your subscription price of $0.00, so here we go:

Top five

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers waits to come onto the field before an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers waits to...

1) Packers: So good they play just "alright" and score 45 at San Diego.

2) 49ers: Yes, Alex Smith is still the quarterback, but 7-1 is 7-1.

3) Baltimore: Great offensive, defensive balance, but mental lapses led to losses to Jacksonville and Tennessee.

4) New Orleans: Drew Brees is still Drew Brees.

5) New York Giants: Sunday's comeback win at New England was impressive.

Bottom five

Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson (28) watches the action against the Carolina Panthers from the sidelines with his teammates during an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. The Minnesota Vikings won 24-21. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson (28) watches the action...

28) Minnesota: Sad situation for Adrian Peterson, who apparently is on the Barry Sanders' career path of being a great running back on a stink-pants team.

29) Seattle: Pete Carroll is learning how tough it can be when everyone can pay their players.

30) Miami: If the Dolphins keep winning and lose a shot at Andrew Luck, it's going to tick off their fans big time. All seven of them.

31) St. Louis: Lost Sunday on a 99-yard punt return. In overtime. Ouch

32) Indianapolis: Bagel-for-16 is possible if Manning misses the whole year.

Vols secondary improves against MTSU, prepares for huge test

Eric Gordon of Tennessee, 24, tackles Georgia's Brandon Smith.

Eric Gordon of Tennessee, 24, tackles Georgia's Brandon...

Photo by Jenna Walker /Times Free Press.

Downtown Patrick Brown, the TFP's UT ace, reports today about an actual Eric Gordon sighting here (Tennessee defensive back Eric Gordon reappears, sparkles for Vols). It's a really good thing, too, because the Vols head to Arkansas this weekend, and while October was tough in a lot of ways, UT has not seen a passing game anything close to what the Hogs bring.

(Sidenote: The 5-at-10 is going to take a glass half-full/glass half-empty approach to our daily Vols breakdowns.) Today's topic: Stopping Arkansas

Breaking it down, this appears to be the one SEC West power the current Vols defense can compete with if for no other reason than Arkansas is not a physically overpowering team like LSU or Alabama. The Tide and the Tigers simply lined up and ran through eight Vols in the box, and there was very little UT could do about it. The Vols front seven defensively has been a patchwork operation from the start - that's what happens when your starting middle linebacker is a converted fullback and your best defensive tackle is a team-first defensive end who has really delivered. That said, the front seven has overachieved by most accounts.

However, the Hogs stretch the field unlike any team in the SEC. Head coach Bobby Petrino may still be a marked man in Atlanta for his cowardly exit and his conversation skills hardly make him a first-round dinner guest draft pick, but dude can flat-out call passing plays. The Hogs would be a great team to watch from the upper deck so you could watch combination routes unfold and watch Petrino's offense use dummy patterns and delays to create space. Against a secondary that has underachieved and is turning to more and more first-year guys, that's not a comforting thought.

This and that

Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt celebrating his team's victory over then No. 10 LSU in their NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt celebrating his team's...

- Houston Nutt has resigned at Ole Miss. He will coach the rest of the season. (Quick question: If you resign and it takes effect in four weeks isn't that more of a presign? Just asking.) The hidden culprit in Nutt's downfall - remember he started 18-8 with two Cotton Bowl trips in his first two years - was the school's decision to bag Colonel Reb and go with the Rebel Black Bear as its sideline mascot. Say what you will, but look at the facts. The Rebel Mascot Committee officially approved the heinously silly Rebel Black Bear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rebel_black_bear.jpeg) on Oct. 14, two days before Ole Miss lost to Alabama that started its current 12-game SEC losing streak that is the longest in program history. Since approving the obviously cursed Rebel Black Bear, Ole Miss is 3-13 overall (and 2-6 at home) with wins over Louisiana-Lafeyette, Southern Illinois and Fresno State.

- It was good to see college hoops on the TV last night. Be careful NBA, you could lose a lot of the viewing public to college hoops, and who knows how long it will take to get them back.

- In a baseball trade, the Giants acquired Melky Cabrera. Yes, normally that would draw a ywan from the 5-at-10. But remember that Melky played with the Braves in 2010 and was, well, forgettable. Last year for the Royals, Melky was outstanding, hitting .305 with 20 steals, 18 homers, 87 RBIs and 44 doubles. Yes, Melky Cabrera for crying out lound. That would have looked pretty good in the ATL.

- Stevie Williams made more news this week by being stupid. Hey, dude's a horse's tuckus, how is this surprising any more?

Today's question

In this undated photo, boxer Joe Frazier is seated in the corner of the ring. The former heavyweight champion died after a brief fight with liver cancer. He was 67. The family issued a release confirming the boxer's death on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/File)

In this undated photo, boxer Joe Frazier is...

In honor of the passing of Smokin' Joe Frazier, who's the best boxer ever?

Frazier, who died Monday night at 67 from liver cancer, was a great heavyweight during a time when there were multiple great heavyweights. In fact, lots of longtime boxing fans we know say Ali would not have been Ali without Frazier, in the same way that Larry Bird would not be Larry Bird without Magic (and vice versa).

So whatcha got - who's the best heavyweight of all-time?

(And when you answer be prepared to answer our next question, "In each of their primes, who would have won (your choice) or Mike Tyson?"