5 at 10: NFL Combine, Kentucky hoops and the BCS

5 at 10: NFL Combine, Kentucky hoops and the BCS

February 22nd, 2012 by Jay Greeson in Sports

From the "Talk Too Much studios," let's go.

Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Combined issued

We love the draft. You know this.

The NFL combine is this week and for some folks, this will be a time to really show out. Think RG III and Trent Richardson. Seriously, RG III is going to put up some jaw-dropping physical numbers - let's say a 4.6 40 time and some incredible agility numbers - to the point that there will be some "RG III or Andrew Luck?" talk, but that will be more created than credible. And we're expected Richardson to post some insane numbers - a better than expected 40 time in the 4.4s, and something nuts like 40 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds - and jump start talk like "Richardson is the best running back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson" and that talk will be 100 percent accurate.

Our SEC ace David Paschall listed three SEC pass catchers that need strong showings at the combine to greatly improve their draft stock http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/22/combine-huge-for-three-sec-pass-catchers/.

The intrigue and the pressure are two of the main reasons why we love the draft. Think how nervous you were on your first job interview out of college. And let's say that was for a job that was offering $40,000 and the interview last an afternoon. Well, the NFL combine is for at least 10-times the stakes and lasts up to three days for each player.

We have a NFL combine question for Friday's mailbag (and there is still room available there, so shoot us a question, we'll talk, no big whoop), but here are three players who have huge weeks in front of them:

- Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who always seemed to be as talented as any player on any field anywhere, but also was known to pout and commit silly penalties. He has first-round skills and big-time question marks?

- B.J. Coleman. We know a great deal about B.J. because he's from here and came back from Knoxville to play for the Mocs. There will be stories about how he could sneak into the fourth round and about his potential. There will be stories that he is surprisingly just 6-foot-3 (which is not really a surprise to us, but since we've already read one Fox report that has B.J. at 6-6, well, they're in for a surprise). That said, B.J. is going to shine in the interviews and make a great impression.

- Janzen Jackson. Remember ol' Janzen. That's right the former UT freshman All-American who transfered to McNeese State. Well, Janzen will be at the combine, and he will impress people physically. (And that's without actually hitting people, which is a big part of his game.)

Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor (44) drives against Kentucky forward Anthony Davis (23) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Kentucky won 69-63.

Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor (44) drives against Kentucky...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The Cats are tough

Kentucky gets everyone's best shot. That's how it goes, and we've discussed this before. In fact, when we were matriculating our grades down the field at Auburn, there were only two basketball games that routinely sold out - Alabama for obvious reasons and UK for different but equally as obvious reasons.

Last night the Wildcats took their show to Starkville, Miss., and faced a Mississippi State team long on talent and short on heart. Well, they were short on heart until last night's opening tip, when the Bulldogs flipped the switch and looked like an Elite Eight team for 35 minutes.

Dee Bost was boss and the crowd was going nuts and before you knew it, MSU had a 13-point halftime lead.

But Kentucky has supreme talent and John Calipari. And while we all know about the former - UK had five guys in double figures last night and another player with 8 points - it's easy to forget about the latter.

Sure, we all know Calipari is a great recruiter, but it's too easy to dismiss his coaching abilities. Has Calipari assembled the best team in the country? Probably. But that team was getting pushed around Tuesday night on the road, and Cal made every right call.

He was quick with a time out - he stopped a 5-0 MSU run with a time out 90 seconds into the game when the Bulldogs were energized and the MSU crowd was electric. Calipari was calm going into the locker room. And whatever he said in the locker room certainly worked - the Cats started the second half on an 11-2 run to pull back into the game. Plus, Cal and the Cats switched super-freaky 6-foot-7 freshman athlete Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to covering Bost in the second half, and the MSU point guard had few answers.

Matt Molina, of the Fiesta Bowl Committee Florida, hangs a banner at Florida's practice field at Scottsdale Community College Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Florida will take on Ohio State in the BCS Championship football game on Monday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Matt Molina, of the Fiesta Bowl Committee Florida,...

BCS discussions begin

The AD from Notre Dame and the commissioners from 11 conferences started meeting in Dallas on Tuesday to discuss the BCS - the much-maligned system in which major college football crowns a champion.

There were talks of academic calendars and final exam schedules. There was mention of TV ratings and limits about extending the postseason too far into January.

In other words, there was much ado about nothing. Final exam schedules? Really? There's not some assistant administrator to the executive assistant director to the vice-commissioner of the SEC that could have gone through final exam schedules before everyone got into the big room and sat down? Really? Sure.

When the feet dragging is done, call us. Or forget that, read our check list of what you guys need to be kicking around:

1) How are you going to make sure the college football regular season remains the best in all of sports with any playoff system?

2) When you finally decide on the playoff system, and whether you pick four teams or 40, what's going to be your answer when No. 5 or No. 41 complains about being robbed a shot? Heck, you let 68 in the Big Dance and there's always someone belly-achin' about being left out.

3) How are you going to keep the remaining bowl games relevant?

4) If two trains leave Chicago at the same time heading in exact opposite directions and going 250 miles an hour and not stopping, when will they pass each other? (Answer below)

Anybody else got any other questions for the 12 big shots of college athletics other than when students are taking finals next December.

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) comes onto the field before an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) comes onto...

This and that

- Brady Quinn touched the third rail of sports, calling out Tim Tebow for something or other. Here's the quick recap: Quinn talks to reporter, reporter writes what was said, Quinn says some things that come across as unflattering to Tebow, Quinn says he was mis-quoted, blah, blah, rinse and repeat. This is sports and there are starters and back-ups and there are personal feelings and egos and the whole 9 yards. In the grand scheme of things, show us a frustrated back-up quarterback who has failed to live up to expectations and who is stuck in neutral on the depth chart that is not frustrated at the situation, and we'll show you some one that won't be in the league very long.

- Big game for the Tennessee Vols basketball team tonight. Playing hard is respectable, and the Vols have done that. Overachieving is admirable, and the Vols have done that. But beating teams you're supposed to beat when there are stakes on the line can be tricky for any team, especially a young one. Any win over the Ole Miss Rebels tonight would be a good win. In fact, you know what winning ugly is... It's winning by golly.

- There's a story on ESPN about how Tiger is "up for opener" at this week's Accenture Match Play. Well, of course he is. He's playing golf for crying out loud. Now, if we read a head line that Tiger is "up for opening" moments of an insurance seminar, then that's news.

- Your math problem answer is 2 days and 2 hours later on the other side of the planet. Figuring that the world is roughly 25,000 miles in circumference, and the trains going 250 miles per hour, they cover 6,000 miles a day, it would take 4.166666 days to circle Earth. And if they're going in the exact opposite direction, they'd meet on the other side halfway home. And to that Chicago fans say, "Ditka."

(AP Photo/Fox Broacasting Co.)

(AP Photo/Fox Broacasting Co.)

Today's question

Happy birthday this week to "Homer at the Bat," the iconic episode of "The Simpsons" that centered on Mr. Burns sending Smithers out to hire nine Major Leaguers to fill out the plant's softball team. For a show that that has had more than 500 episodes, this is the one that most remember. In fact, there was a Deadspin article looking back on that episode, and in that story Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith says as many people ask him about that episode as they do about his baseball career. And he's flippin' Ozzie Smith. (See what we did there?)

Anyoo, today's question is a list/question combo. What are the five most memorable TV episodes? Notice the wording, we did not say, "best" we said memorable, and there's a difference. For example, show like "The Wire" and "Breaking Bad" may be among the best that have ever been on TV, but no one single episode is overwhelmingly memorable. And we've excluded sports moments, because they would dominate. Granted, the 5-at-10 has a huge edge since we've wasted a large portion of our brain on pop culture and sports minutiae. Still, we all have our strengths.

Here's out list:

1) The Contest - "Seinfeld"

2) Who shot JR - "Dallas" (and if you think the 5-at-10 is not super-stoked about a "Dallas" remake with JR's kid and Bobby's kid going at it, well, you're kidding yourself.)

3) Homer at the Bat - "The Simpsons"

4) Finale of MASH - "MASH" (and a special shout out to the finale of "Newhart" for being the most clever finale ever, and a special shout out to the MASH episode when Henry Blake died as being the best of single episode of an amazing show)

5) Good-bye to Coach - "Cheers" (there were a ton of great "Cheers" moments - in fact, we'll throw out there that "Cheers" and "Family Ties" are the two most under-rated comedies of our generation, primarily because there's not a ton of syndication of either - but the heartfelt way the show said good-bye after the real-life death of Nicholas Colasanto was amazing)