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Hope this finds you safe and dry. And warm. A note from the 5-at-10 staff: Happy holidays and we're taking a little time off. We'll be back on the Interwebs on Dec. 27, but until then enjoy the season and Merry Christmas.


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In this file photo, Maryville High School tight end Aaron Douglas walks past head coach George Quarles, right, during a workout at the high school football field.

AS IF THE RIVALRY NEEDED MORE HEAT

Junior college football players now are signing scholarships to four-year schools. And if you think a key junior college addition can't make a huge impact, well, go ask Auburn about the late December addition of Cam Newton last year.

I think the Tigers are pretty pleased with how that turned out, don't you?

Anyhoo, there was a pretty shocking signing last night. The Alabama Crimson Tide added Aaron Douglas. Yes, that Aaron Douglas. Yes, the Aaron Douglas whose father played for the Vols. Yes, that Aaron Douglas who was a star at nearby Maryville and was a freshman All-American as a tackle for the Vols in 2009 before leaving after the Kiffin train derailed.

Yes, that Aaron Douglas will be in Crimson next fall and more than likely will be on the field come the next Third Saturday in October.


THURSDAY NIGHT SURPRISE

The Chargers blasted the 49ers - and in turn our gambling buddy Ted, who was a friend of the show before going on the run.

The Chargers have long thought to be the class of the mediocre AFC West but have lagged back in the pack. Well, last night's shining performance of receiver Vincent Jackson explains some of San Diego's struggles.

Jackson caught three touchdown passes last night. Those were his first three TD catches of the season after sitting the first half of the year with a contract dispute and missing some time lately with an injury.

Imagine Phillip Rivers numbers if he had had Jackson to throw to all season.

Quick side note: Who ever is making the argument that Rivers is the Dan Marino of the this generation, that direction gets the full 5-at-10 seal of approval. Rivers numbers are big, his throwing motion a little unorthodox and it will take a stunning series of events - or possibly changing teams - for Rivers not finish his career withoutt a Super Bowl ring like Marino did.


BIG NEGOTIATIONS

The Atlanta Braves are reportedly close to signing newly acquired Dan Uggla to a big-time contract extension. Something in the neighborhood of five years and $60 million.

Well, dang, the 5-at-10 got into the wrong business. If the cards had been different, we would have loved to be in Uggla's position - closing in on a five-year deal that averages $12 million per for a career that has never had a season in which he has hit .300 or driven in 100 runs.

But considering the money-flooded market - remember that Carlos Pena signed a one-year deal worth $10 million after hitting .196 last year - maybe Uggla's offer is not that bad.

It sure feels like another Derek Lowe albatross deal, though, doesn't it?


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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media after their NFL football game against the New York Giants at Ford Field in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. The Giants won 21-3. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

FINAL CHAPTER?

It sure sounds like Brett Favre's career is done.

"I knew going in, as with any season, there are no guarantees, and things may not go as you would have hoped," Favre told the Associated Press. "I know up to this point, I came in and did everything I could do. Don't regret it one bit. If it's meant to be over, then so be it."

Favre's streak of 297 consecutive regular-season starts ended last week against the Giants. He plans to stay with the Vikings through the rest of this season (his 20th in the league) whether he plays again or not.

The odds lean heavily to the latter, and if Favre's done what is the lasting image?

Is it the stumbled-faced youngster running around after winning the Super Bowl? Is it the numerous dejected looks after a painful interception (including the pick that ended the Vikings' chances against the New Orleans Saints late in the NFC title game last season)? Is it the Wrangler commercials?

There are a lot of options - and no the text photos are not among them - but the 5-at-10 staff settled on the sparkle Favre had with the Packers, walking to the line of scrimmage and buckling his chin strap. His was not the knowing confidence of a Joe Montana, or the scientific analysis of Peyton Manning, Favre's presnap smirks were more of the street-baller appearance of, "What ya got," and the circus ringleader glare of "Wait till you see what we're going to try."

Stats aside - and Favre does hold about every passing record out there - Favre will rarely crack the top of any "Who's the best QB of all-time?" discussions. But he's in the the team photo of the best ever, and there weern't many that were more fun to watch.


AROUND COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Since we're not going to be here for a few days, let's wrap up some loose ends:

- ESPN ace Chris Low is reporting that Vandy and James Franklin have agreed to a deal that could be announced as soon as today that will make Franklin the Commodores head coach and all-but end James Franklin's coaching career. There you go, and best of luck Mr. Franklin, you are taking a slingshot into a gun fight.

- Cam Newton donated his $200 appearance fee from being on the "David Letterman Show" to Wright's Mill Road elementary school in Auburn. That's cool, especially considering how much time Newton has spent with the kids at that elementary school all season, even after his star was launched on the way to the Heisman. That said, something tells me Cecil Newton may have been able to get a little more Letterman. Kidding, kidding.

- In the hold on to shirt category of shocking - or as friend of the show Gomer Pyle would have said, "SURPrise, SURPrise," - the BCS commissioner doubts Mark Cuban's efforts to bring a playoff to college football. BCS executive director Bill Hancock told the AP: "Given how much support our current system has among university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and athletes, I don't think any amount of financial inducement will make people abandon" the BCS. Something tells me the chairman of the horse and buggy industry was doubtful of those new automobiles, too.

- Looks like Ball State has dipped into the SoCon for its next football coach. Reports have it that Elon's Pete Lembo will be the next top guy at BSU. Good hire, good guy, and a good indication that if the Mocs have another strong season next year, there are going to be some folks come sniffing at the interest level of one Russ Huesman.


Until next time, and remember, be careful out there.

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Vols show little rust


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