5-at-10: Friday mailbag with AU's next coach, best Westerns, NFL picks, UT's ideal bye week

FILE - Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders calls out a play in the first half of Jackson State's Blue and White Spring NCAA college football game April 24, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. Last season, Sanders' second as Jackson State head coach, the Tigers went 11-2 and won the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Then Sanders signed two Power Five-level recruits to the HBCU, an unprecedented recruiting feat. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Let’s handle our business.

Rushmore of celebs with ‘Lee’ as a middle name — Tommy Lee Jones, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Kathy Lee Gifford. (Side note: Lee Majors was born Harvey Lee Yeary, and yes, my father, my son and I are named Jerry Lee Greeson.) And if we are getting patriotic up in here, Lee Greenwood’s middle name is Lee. God bless the U.S.A.

Rushmore of ‘miles’ — Miles Davis, Miles Standish, miles to go before I sleep, I can see for miles and miles.

Rushmore of Gwyneth Paltrow movies — “Royal Tennebaums,” Pepper in the Marvel Universe, “Se7en” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

Rushmore of modern sports stars most identifiable by their first name — Shaq, LeBron, Serena, Peyton.

Our dwindling Eliminators picked this way:

SAC — Bengals 

Ted P — Packers

Chris P — Steelers 

Ellis — Raiders

You know the rules. Here’s Paschall on UT’s secret spark to its high-flying offense.

You know the rules, part II. Here’s Hargis on the annual Baylor-McCallie tilt. Of all the good parts of the almost 15 years I was the sports editor of the TFP, the bellyaching by Baylor and McCallie folks complaining that the other got favorable treatment was not one of them.

To the bag.

From J-Mac

Got a couple of questions for you. 

No one discussed roughing the passer when Tua went down. I have seen quite a few other times when that would have been called. Hate it for Tua, he seems so much better this year and looks bulked out more. I just hope he is ok, it did look serious.

What about the Lily and Lebron commercial? It looks cheap as everything. It is obvious they are not at the same place and the commercial was filmed in two separate locations or at two different times.

Going on 12 years, still look forward to the 5&10 everyday! Exclamation point needed, not wasted.

J-Mac — 

Hard to believe this little morning conversation is almost 12, you know? How about this: WE started the 5-at-10 in late October as Cam Newton was making the most memorable fall in Auburn history.

And it’s you guys that make it as special as it is. Thanks for that.

More importantly, hope you are safe and did not see too much damage from Ian. The scenes from Florida are scary for sure.

As for the Thursday night game, yes, the Tua hit was savage. It’s a harsh reminder of the brutality of the sport we love so much.

I too hope he’s OK. Moreover, considering the images of Tua staggering and falling the previous Sunday with a ‘back’ injury, I hope he does not return to the field until he’s 100% A-OK. 

And a lot of that process will fall on the Dolphins and the league to make sure the proper protocols are followed.

Because players will lie to get back on the field — in the moment and in the long-term — and Will Smith’s “Tell the truth” from “Concussion” is as hollow as a dead oak tree.

Remember Tua was a first-round pick, which means he’s playing on a rookie deal. If this has long-term impacts, he potentially could never ink that generational-wealth second contract.

And the league — and Miami’s staff — had better hope that last week was truly a back issue. It also shows the dangers of playing that game at that speed on a Thursday, just three full days after playing on a Sunday.

As for the Lily-LeBron commercial, I did not fully grasp how accurate your assessment of those two being filmed in different locales.

In truth, both Lily and LeBron fall into the same space for me. At one point in time, I was a big fan of each. Now I’m tired of both if that makes sense.

Stay safe J-Mac.

From Triple H

Hope you are well. 

Do you want Deion at Auburn? Better question might be who would you rather have (of the realistic candidates)? I think we're to the point where it's ok to speculate on who the coach will be next year and Harsin is not on the speculation list. Deion is one of few who would I think would be giddy to be Saban's in-state rival. Kiffin also comes to mind in that regard but I don't think he'd go from OM to AU. 

How much of the Monday night game is your TV on ESPN2? Peyton and Eli did 4 games last year. What do you think that price tag was and how high did it have to go to get them to commit to 10 Monday nights this year?

HHH — 

I’m all for a hire that will get the fan base and the recruiting scene energized. And Harsin gets an F in both categories.

In fact, his lack of recruiting success will likely be a bigger factor in this two-year failure than his 9-8 record against Power Five foes. (And that 9-8 mark is only going to get worse considering the schedule ahead.)

Deion with a true NIL budget behind him could be scary good. At Auburn or just about anywhere to be honest.

I think Deion would be a better fit in Atlanta with Georgia Tech, though. The ACC is easier. He’s already a bona fide legend in the A-T-L. He would be an immediate star (again) in that town, and the Georgia recruiting would make Tech a factor in the ACC sooner rather than later. (Plus, when FSU comes open again — whenever that may be — the move from Atlanta to Tallahassee would make a ton of sense.)

And the name you mentioned would be my dream. If/when Harsin gets the pink slip, I pray that the powers that be on the Plains make every effort to money whip Lane Kiffin. 

Not sure if it will work or not to lure Lane, but that would be my first choice. 

The Eli-Peyton megacast is a) great and b) brilliant on the Mannings’ part.

Think about it. They get to do the 10 or so games they want. From home. And they get to produce other projects with ESPN like Eli’s Places, which had the great segment on Eli dressing up as Chad Powers, a 26-year-old Penn State walk-on QB.

The money has to be well into seven figures, which is also great because the Mannings are cashing in and are still free agents if a plum gig comes calling like, if say, Collinsworth retires from NBC’s Sunday night game.

I think the Mannings should transfer it to the SEC too on Saturdays. Or, maybe let Marty and McGee do a similar version.

Because the idea is simple and the biggest key is not football knowledge or even the guests that pull up a Zoom screen.

It’s in the chemistry and the Mannings are flush with it.   

From GBO

I have heard a lot of folks say this is a bad time for the Vols to have their bye.

Do you have any thoughts on it?

Also, are you ever getting back on the radio again? 

GBO — 

I have heard that conversation and I can see that in one sense.

UT is playing as well as anyone in the league and maybe the country offensively, and as Crash told Annie, “A player on a streak has to respect the streak… And you should know that.”

But a bye this early does two things — one big picture, and one directly for UT in this moment — that are beneficial.

First, there are some nagging injuries to address. And as good as Bru McCoy was last week in the win over Florida, this passing game with a healthy Cedric Tillman is hard to handle.

Secondly, and specifically for UT, this was a good week for an open date so Josh Heupel and his staff can redirect the ‘rat poison’ about UT’s resurgence and return to the top 10 and all that noise.

If UT was headed to Red Stick this weekend — after hearing how great the Florida win was and all the buzz — it would be a major league trap moment.

Now, the Vols get a week off. LSU will likely hammer Auburn and that will get UT’s attention too.

Because LSU and UK become the two biggest games on the UT schedule at this point in a lot of ways. Win at Baton Rouge and beat the Wildcats, and 10-2 is 100% doable, which means at worst a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Sweep LSU and UK and knock off either Alabama or Georgia, and then you are talking about  possible playoff ticket stuff.

As for the radio, well, never say never, but I doubt it. Have been spending my afternoons coaching middle school football. And middle school basketball tryouts are next week, and we’re coaching that too. 

From Spy

Not just uphill five miles both ways.

But in the snow, too

In south Georgia.

You going with famous Miles?

How about Miles Simon, in the backcourt with Mike Bibby for the national champ Arizona Wildcats?

Or Vera Miles? Her cucumber is bigger. Or so she told Otter. She also played John Wayne’s character’s sidekick’s love interest in The Searchers and started a fight between him and the character played by the guy who was later Festus on Gunsmoke. Have I mentioned The Searchers is the greatest Western of all time and of the five greatest films of all time lately? That’ll be the day.

The Michigan Mile. In Chi-cargo.

And before I forget, fire Geoff Collins.

Hell, he was so bad just do it again. 

Spy — 

This is a typical response from my buddy Spy, who is as crusty as he seems and as funny as he needs to be.

Also of note, and in reference to a theme show earlier this week, Miles was the Macauley Caulkin character in “Uncle Buck” too.

So there’s that.

While most of Spy’s questions are rhetorical, I think he brings a point of order about best Westerns.

“The Searchers” is strong, but your love for Johnny Wayne is where I am with Clint Eastwood in terms of Westerns.

“Unforgiven” and “The Outlaw Josey Wales” are half of my Western Rushmore and neither are negotiable.


From MJ

Dude, I need your NFL picks so I know who NOT to bet on.


MJ — 


Give me the Browns even over the Falcons, give me the over 43 in Colts-Titans, give me Panthers minus-1 over the Cardinals and Green Bay minus-9 over the Patriots, who may not score this week with multiple OCs and no QB.

Have a great weekend friends.

  photo  Jay Greeson