From Chas

Gary Parrish and Mike Norlander asked 100 roundball coaches: With Mike Krzyzewski retiring soon, who is the best person to replace him as the most prominent voice/face of college basketball?  The only coaches in double figures are Jay Wright (Villanova) 38%: Tom Izzo (Michigan State) 20%; and John Calipari (Kentucky) 12%.

I'm surprised Wright's that high and Cal's that low. Are you?

And what about Coach Pearl?


Chas -

I did not see that story but that's a very interesting big picture angle.

Funny you mentioned Wright and Coach Cal of the three that finished in double digits. I am most surprised that Izzo got 20% because he's a fraud, and the details — known and especially unknown — about what went down at the MSU athletic department should make all of us uncomfortable.

It's almost like the way Dickie V would trumpet the leadership of Bobby Knight regardless of the juvenile and borderline criminal antics Coach Knight would pull.

And that Coach K was canonized — dude cheated his whistle off like everyone else, especially to build the Duke program — is a failing of the media who covered him, if you ask me.

And that Coach Cal is viewed as a cheater — he is — and Coach K was/is viewed as a saint — he's assuredly not — is laughable. Wright seems like a good dude, and he's relatively non-threatening since his Wildcats will assuredly be cyclical and not an every-year frontrunner like Cal's bunch.

I'm surprised Mark Few did not get more votes, to be honest.

As for my man Bruce, he's hated by a vast majority of the coaching world for NCAA telling tales out of school back in the day.

So it goes. But few fan bases love their coach more than Auburn loves Bruce Pearl.  


From Tom


So, let me see if I have this straight. A bunch of LSU fans want to get rid of Orgeron to replace him with a coach who will SPECIFICALLY recruit Arch Manning?

Arch still has a say in this right?

And what happens to said Coach in the event Manning doesn't sign with LSU?


Tom -

I likely should yield the floor to our resident LSU expert here, Fat Vader, but overhauling an entire program for one recruit never works.

Didn't work for UT hoops for Allan Houston. Heck, it didn't work for LSU hoops for Pete Maravich back in the day.

And it would be even more difficult to make it work for a football player.
Case in point, and with a couple of direct connections here:

Ole Miss hired David Cutcliffe in large part because of his relationship with the Manning family, and Coach Cut got Eli to Oxford.

And he delivered there, but once Eli was headed to the draft, Ole Miss fans ran Coach Cutcliffe out of town and replaced him with? Yep, Ed Orgeron.

Ed Orgeron is LSU's Gene Chizik, just like Joe Burrow is their Cam Newton. It was a perfect storm that led to a perfect season.

LSU will turn the page on Coach O very soon — and considering that there already is a monster job open with USC looking for its next coach — the sooner the better.

And for Vader's sake, I pray they don't go after Jimbo Fisher, who is making $9 million a year to be unranked in College Station, Texas.

(And that's as much for Vader — Jimbo = overrated — as it is for the rest of the SEC West. We already have to deal with Bama and Saban. If A&M got a real coach in there with those resources, look out brother.)


From Matt H

Are you ever going to update the Survivor Pool?

I mean, what do you work like 5 hours a week and it messes with your busy schedule?

Please do your job.


Matt H - 

Why the hostility, my man?

Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Last week's crumblings from the Saints and Titans culled the herd greatly. From more than two dozen entries heading into last weekend, we're down to the following folks. (And if you think you should be on the list, please email me and I will check it out and update if needed.) 

Sleepy Floyd

Fat Vader

Mike B


Ted P

Matt H

Paul J (moved through the week with the Rams last night)

Andy M

Brian E

Jason T

Good luck Matt and the rest of the crew.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work.


From Chopper

Jay, I read your morning blog every day. I love it and look forward to it.

I have never asked a question and if the mailbag is full then that is okay too but I have 2 questions.

No 1 - Can our Braves win it all?

No 2 - Will my Bulldogs beat Bama this year?


Chopper - 

Thanks Chopper, for reading. You guys that share your time with me, well, it means more than you will ever know.

Two great questions, and if I was ranking them on likelihood, I think No. 2 is way, Way, WAY more likely than No. 1.

For the Braves to win it all, I truly believe the following things must happen.

First, Charlie Morton will need to be postseason power ace Jack Morris, circa 1991. This could happen.

Second, the Giants need to beat the Dodgers, because I do not believe the Braves can beat L.A. This could also happen.

Third, Freddie and Austin Riley need to put on a hitting clinic over the next three weeks. This could easily happen.

Fourth, Will Smith needs to be lights. Yikes.

Fully loaded, the Braves are poised to contend for the whole ball of wax next year with Acuña and Soroka back and if they retain Duvall (and maybe Soler).This year? Too many holes.

As for Georgia, I believe they are the best team in the country, Alabama included.

Oh, I fully understand voting Alabama No. 1, but no team in college football does anything as well as Georgia plays defense.

And gang, rushing the passer never goes out of style or slumps.


From A Real Picker

Wow, your picks are sucking. Like real suck. Missouri over UT? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I will bet you $100 you won't get to .500 this year and I will have made way more than that by picking against you every week.

You in or you chicken?


ARP - 

Heck yes, I'm in. And to paraphrase the great Terrence Mann soliloquy in "Field of Dreams," it's money I have and peace I lack.

Side note: The combination of that speech — about baseball — and James Earl Jones' voice make the following among the greatest motivational speeches in sports movie history.

Here's the quote (and I'll bet everyone is lowering the voices in their heads in a faux James Earl Jones impression): "People will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it, for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh ... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."

And a bonus, here's national treasure Vin Scully giving his version of Mann's famous speech.

So yeah, I'm in. And you're right — so far my picks have smelled like old gym socks. Or your breath. Sorry, did I say that out loud?

But more importantly, what are the best motivational speeches from sports movies. Yes, Terrence Mann is not a coach, but the above counts, even if "Field of Dreams" is a fringe sports movie at best.

The best part of "Any Given Sunday" is Pacino's pregame speech. Herb Brooks' "You were born to be hockey players" is great. McConaughey in "We Are Marshall" has some moments for sure, and arguably the best one of all time is Billy Bob Thornton at halftime of the state championship in "Friday Night Lights."  

Amazingly, the best pregame speech in Hoosiers is delivered by Strap's old man and the preacher.

"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."

This brings us to our daily business.

You know the rules. Here's Paschall on UT football coach Josh Heupel staying in his lane. And here's Hargis with a good column on the roller coaster that has led Grace Academy to the pinnacle of eight-man football.
As for the Rushmores, let's move quickly.

Rushmore of Simon: Simon Says, Simple Simon, Paul Simon and playwright Neil Simon. With great apologies to Mike Myers' "Simon and I like to do drawings" kid on SNL and the 1980s follow the leader electronic game Simon.

Rushmore of socks: Two socks, the wolf from "Dances with Wolves," a movie that is assuredly overrated — how it beat "Goodfellas" is anyone's guess — but one I enjoyed far better than the remake known as "Avatar," Red Sox, Stick a sock in it, sock hop (ask your dad, Andrew).

Rushmore of mounts/mountains: Rushmore (of course), Everest, The Mountain from GoT and Signal. (Hey, I'm a homer, and that's my home.)

Enjoy the weekend, friends, and remember to bet opposite of my picks, right ARP?

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Jay Greeson