5-at-10: Friday mailbag on reading Playboy for the articles, Butch's future, NCAA hoops cheating, Protests and NFL picks and hatemail

5-at-10: Friday mailbag on reading Playboy for the articles, Butch's future, NCAA hoops cheating, Protests and NFL picks and hatemail

September 29th, 2017 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

In this May 14, 1999, file photo, Playboy founder and editor in chief Hugh Hefner receives kisses from Playboy playmates during the 52nd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. Hefner has died at age 91. The magazine released a statement saying Hefner died at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes on Wednesday night, Sept. 27, 2017, surrounded by family. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

From Mark S. 

Jay - Love listening to say what I'm thinking on Press Row. You guys are great.

Buddy of mine and I were talking about Hugh Hefner's death and wonder what you think the Rushmore of wink-wink lies of all-time are? 

Picking up Playboy "just for the articles" has to be on that list right?

Keep being real man. Love listening to you.

Mark S. —

Such a great question.

Hugh Hefner's life was unbelievably full. No question.

There's also an excellent debate on whether Hef was a champion of the first amendment or a degenerate, dirty old man. (We feel the clear answer to that either/or question is yes, yes he was.)

There are horror stories from some of the former Playmates from the mansion, and then there are testimonials from people like Pamela Anderson and others. What difference of opinion depending on the vantage point.

Great point about the universal acceptance of the "Playboy for the articles" hogwash. (Side note: As much as the internet has changed almost every business model in the last decade and a half, it has completely rocked the nudie mag model.)

Here are some suggestions for those:

I go to Hooters for the wings.

I'm about five minutes away. 

The dog ate my homework.

Let's keep in touch.

No officer, I did not know I was speeding.

Who has any others? Rushmore to come before Press Row.

Ole Miss football interim head coach Matt Luke, who was tabbed last month to replace Hugh Freeze, will guide his Rebels against South Alabama on Saturday night in Oxford.

Ole Miss football interim head coach Matt Luke,...

Photo by Rogelio V. Solis

From Mike C. via Twitter

Why is it that some teams can go from being extremely competitive/dominant to stinking in the next yr? Depth?

Mike —

Great question. (Also, nice win for your Horns last night.)

There are a lot of ways this happens.

First, if you get a great class — think about that class of talent Ole Miss put together — and those guys play early, when they are sophomores and juniors they are very good.

Then you get mass exodus and there are holes.

In some scenarios, the perfect player for a certain system can leave and finding a piece that perfect means struggles. (Tebow leaving Florida, Cam leaving Auburn, Johnny Manziel leaving A&M are three examples in the last 10-or-so years.)

Coaching changes — not only head coaches leaving but really liked and effective coordinators — can derail programs. (When Malzahn left Mean Gene Chizik to his own devices, well, the wheels fell off.)

For the most part, though, extreme drop-offs signify either deep internal issues, lack of true coaching expertise or both.

Thanks for playing along. 

From left, Tennessee coaches Robert Gillespie, Mike Canales and Butch Jones send signals to the offense during this past Saturday's home win against UMass. The Vols lost yardage on first down six times in the 17-13 victory, and avoiding such setbacks will be crucial this weekend against No. 7 Georgia, Jones said.

From left, Tennessee coaches Robert Gillespie, Mike Canales...

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

From Frustrated Orange

Man, I am so frustrated. When are we going to fire Butch? It's the same thing week after week after week. When was the last time we came out and physically steamrolled anybody?

I know he has recruited well and all the rest of it, but IMHO he's not the guy to get us to great.

What do you think? (And using your word, I am pretty sure UGA is going to boatrace us Saturday.)

Thanks for the 5@10 and love listening to Press Row.

Frustrated Orange (we started with F.O., but thought better of it) —

Not sure if I can give you a date, my man. Butch is here through this year for sure barring an absolute collapse — and by that we're talking getting housed by UGA and Alabama going 1-4 in the final SEC games. (As for steamrolling someone, well, the for-sure, non-debatable answer against a Power Five school would be the bowl win over Northwestern to end the 2015 season qualifies.)

Know this FO, you are not alone. And there are a lot of folks who share your believe that Butch seems unable to take UT from improved to elite. 

I share that sentiment, and in my opinion, one of the biggest shortcomings about Butch the head coach is that he has not put together an elite staff.

Whether that's because Butch doesn't want someone getting the credit or doesn't want a brighter star than he or if he's simply incapable of identifying excellent assistants, it's a real problem.

As many folks have mentioned before, especially our man Wes Rucker of 247sports, every offensive coordinator under Butch Jones is running Butch Jones' offense. That seems short-sighted and silly to me.

And Butch is hardly alone in that major flaw in college football. All these teams trying fit a passing, square-peg quarterback into the round, mid-line option system hole in which the QB has to move is bad leadership. Period.

(For the ultimate example: Take the best college football coach we've ever seen in Nick Saban. Five-plus years ago, Saban was taking shots at spread offenses and saying they were dangerous. Enter Blake Sims and now Jalen Hurts and Alabama's best option at quarterback was a dual-threat dude who can run. So what does Saban do? He changes his pro-style system to fit his pieces. That friends is great coaching and leadership.)

Do we see that changing? No, not really. And it may be Butch's ultimate undoing. 

But, sorry FO, that undoing is at least a year away in our view if not more. 

As for Saturday, it could get nasty, but as Press Row cohort and TFP SEC ace David Paschall tells all of us here this game has been inexplicably close the last few years.

From Pat

Hearing Quick Rick express shock at what is transpiring in college hoops just makes me think of Claude Rains in Casablanca.

"I'm shocked there is gambling here at Rick's!"

"Your winnings, major."

How deep does this go?

Pat —

Great reference, my man. Simply spot on. And Count Pitino blaming the shoe companies for the broken system and the system forcing people to break the rules, just lunacy.

And crap.

Man, Pitino is a great basketball coach, a true maestro of the X-and-O, but what a scummy dude. 

As for the depth of this, it will cover almost every major program in the country in some way or form.

The silence from Lexington, Lawrence, Durham, Chapel Hill and all points in between scream that everyone knew about this system.

And it's the pinnacle of naiveté to assume that Louisville is paying five-star recruits $100,000 but the same level player is happy to go to Kentucky, Kansas, Duke or UNC because of tradition. Seriously.

Maybe there are some major programs out there that did not participate in this cycle. Maybe.

But the ripple effects of this will reach everywhere and the strength of the tide will be felt for years.

For those wondering, yes, we believe this will be the end of the Bruce Pearl tenure at Auburn. For those coaches without a checkered resume in terms of NCAA violations, the culture and systematic flaws of this entire thing may allow them to keep jobs. Those repeat offenders however are going to have a hard time hanging on.

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers links arms with Richard Rodgers and Randall Cobb during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

From Shirley

I have read your stuff on the protests and I agree with you 100 percent.

Did you see what the Bears and Packers did (Thursday) and what did you think about it?

Thanks and love your work.

Shirley —

Thanks so much for the kind words and playing along.

I did see the highlights of last night, and we have no problem with the showing of unity and the linking of arms.

It's kind of crazy to think where this thing has not landed. 

It started with Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem for what he said was equality and fair treatment for blacks from police officers.

It morphed in various forms through last year. It became a national talking point after Trump's Tweets last week.

Now it has changed into a mix of freedom of speech, NFL unity, respect and so many different tangents.

Heck, last night, as the Packers and Bears linked arms, the crowd started chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" 

In a lot of ways, we are expecting the protests to be almost none this weekend, and it feels like the original talking point has been hijacked in a lot of ways. (And if that was Trump's goal, then he played this like a wizard.)  

This leads us to our NFL picks.

We talked about it on Press Row that we loved the Packers minus-7 last night. Man, Aaron Rodgers is a dude.

As for Sunday, coming off a crazy weekend in which the underdog went 12-4 against the number with eight outright wins, let's try to right the ship.

Steelers minus-3 over Baltimore. We believe the Steelers were as distracted as any team in football last week because of the pregame stuff. We also believe the banged-up Ravens are too hurt to put up much of a fight.

Houston plus-3 over Tennessee. We think the Titans are improved, but we think Deshaun Watson is ready for this moment at home. Buy the half, and feel good about it.

Philadelphia plus-2 over San Diego. Somewhere in the NFL rules it states Philip Rivers has to be down a score with the ball and less than a minute left. It's in the books. We also know that Philly has a pretty nasty defensive front, and that's the recipe to stall these Chargers.

Seattle minus-13 over Indy. Let's add the variables. Seattle is desperate. Jacoby Brissett is making a road start against the Legion of Boom in the loudest stadium in the NFL. at night Yes, double-digit NFL lines can be scary, but here's a believe that this will be an absolutely blood-letting. Hope Chris Collinsworthhas a bunch of side stories ready. (We know Romo would.) 

Last week: 2-3 (40 percent)

This season: 6-8 (42.9 percent)

Today's date and this week's Rushmores

On this day nine years ago, the Recession started as the Dow Jones dropped 777.68 points when Lehman Brothers announced it was bankrupt.

The U.S. Department of War established a regular army on this day in 1789.

On this day 101 years ago, John D. Rockefeller became the world's first billionaire.

Jerry Lee Lewis is 82 today.

Lou Gehrig got married on this day in 1933.

Kevin Durant is 29 today. Calvin Johnson is 32. (Calvin Johnson a Hall of Famer, yay or nay?)

Andrew Dice Clay is 60 today.

Rushmores to come at lunch. (Hey we're running wicked late.) 

This week's not exactly fan mail

Sir:  You are full of crap.

These crap allegations by the "victim" of the Wheaton hazing. I know the coaches, have spoken to witnesses, am aware of the independent-investigators' findings a year ago.

I was hazed 67 years ago. Not fun. Shouldn't be done. But your piling on Wheaton without both researching sides of the incident  is terrible journalism. FBI shut down program? Unbelievable. Do another column in about month with updated facts, eh?

(Wait, there's more.)

Every day I say I'm canceling this Fake News Rag and after reading your editorial today I know I won't renew my subscription.  I am very disappointed in your take on what Trump has done, not being politically correct by calling a spade,  a spade. You need to wake up and get out of your cocoon!

(Almost there.)

God, would you just shut up about Trump! Your a bandwagon liberal who has no idea what the President is doing. He's trying to MAGA and your part of the problem. You suck!

Yep, that nails it. Good talk.

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