From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.
UTC hoops future
TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer shares with us here (Wiedmer: UTC bosses not inclined to end John Shulman's run) that UTC chancellor Roger Brown and athletic director Rick Hart are fully prepared to give Mocs basketball coach John Shulman another season to fix the UTC basketball team.
OK. We supposed.
As UTC hoops ace David Uchiyama tells us here (UTC season of promise falls to futility) that this basketball season of great hope and lofty goals is now dotted by the longest losing streak in UTC's Division-I era and could devolve into the first 20-loss season in program history?
The only conclusion is that must be OK, too. (Side note: As Weeds pointed out, and the time frame is interesting because this May will mark our 10-year anniversary at the TFP, the expectations of basketball success for the Mocs of today seem somewhat hollow compared to what they were when Henry Dickerson was dismissed in 2002.)
To be fair, before firing any coach, the first or second question must always be, "Who are we going to get that is better?" That answer may not be pretty for Hart and the cash-strapped Mocs. As Weeds noted, to clear the table and start over would carry roughly a $600,000 price tag.
Almost every coach is hired to be fired ultimately. That's the circle of coaching life. There are two ways to get fired - losses on the court or shortcomings off it.
Situation 1: If you win on and off the floor, you could be Pat Summitt. And that's as rare as they come.
Situation 2: If you win on the floor and supporters look for ways to ignore the off-the-court shortcomings. The extreme level of this would be Bobby Knight.
Situation 3: If you win off the court but struggle on it, ADs and chancellors find was to highlight the positive.
Situation 4: If you lose on and off the court, ADs and chancellors hope to avoid going down with the sinking ship.
It's pretty clear where the Mocs are, and that Brown and Hart are playing situation No. 3.
But eight years in, this quote from Hart - "It's not a bad product. We're just not winning. But I feel better about the management of our basketball program than any other year I've been here." - is not unlike saying "We love this car. The seats are great and it's the best radio ever... too bad it won't start."
Moving and shaking
Two notable college news items from Tuesday:
1) Memphis has joined the Big East, starting in 2013. Great move for the Tigers. Good move for Big East basketball. Scary move for Memphis football, which had better get better quickly if it's going to go toe-to-toe with a schedule that will include Boise State, Louisville and Cincinnati among others - well, that is unless the conference expansion music starts again and everyone starts looking for new seats.
2) The Big Ten stated it's going to look at a four-team playoff. The Big Ten was one of the major hurdles in 2008 when this idea was last seriously considered.
OK, that's great and all, and we know the rest of college football has a sour taste in their mouths after the all-SEC title game. Plus, there's the added bonus of an extra round of playoffs in which the SEC can pound a Big Ten team, and that's always nice.
The last obstacle may well be the Rose Bowl, which wants to continue with its traditions, and in truth the 5-at-10 respects that.
We believe change is coming - hammered home by one Big Ten AD saying they want to avoid surpassing 15 football games, which is a raised ceiling compared to any other previous discussions.
We have shared our view on the proposed changes. We're open to anything that makes the process of determining a champion better that does not devalue the regular season.
It dawned on the 5-at-10 Tuesday that there have been three high-profile athletes strong arm teams into draft-day trades that range from overwhelmingly one-sided to growingly one-sided.
In 1983, John Elway told the then-Baltimore Colts that he would play baseball - he was drafted by the Yankees, nice to have options, huh - rather than play in Baltimore. So the Colts dealt Elway - one of the game's best QBs ever - for Mark Hermann, Chris Hinton and a 1984 first-round pick that became Ron Solt. Ouch-standing.
In 1996, the then-Charlotte Hornets dealt Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac. Yup, read that one again. Overly Ouch-standing.
In 2004, the San Diego Chargers dealt Eli Manning to New York for Philip Rivers and draft picks that became Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding. At least the Chargers got three productive players, but the Giants got a player that would lead a franchise to two Super Bowl runs.
Combined the three players that forced trades have been central pieces on nine championship teams. The three teams that were forced to deal those players are two relocated franchises and one rumored to be (San Diego is on the short list of teams looking at possibly moving to L.A.).
This and that
- If there's any certifiable proof that there's more to being a basketball star than scoring points, here's Exhibit A-plus: Paul Pierce passed Larry Legend on the Boston Celtics scoring list. Pierce is a fine player - a star even. But Larry Bird was a legend for crying out loud.
- The Texas Rangers have hired a handler for Josh Hamilton, the former AL MVP and big-time Big Timer who fell off the wagon 10 days ago. The 5-at-10 believes this is going to be a common trend five years from now - player handlers/baby-sitters/valets/whatever you want to call them. Teams have entirely too much money invested in these star players for them to fall off a wagon and need to spend 30 days at a halfway-house in June and July. In fact, this may be one of the true job growth areas in the next decade. Let's start a firm - we'll call it "Star Watchers" - and see if we can't get Clint Eastwood to do a voice over commercial.
- Top-ranked Kentucky rolled No. 7-ranked Florida 78-58 on Tuesday. Yes, Kentucky is that good. Although, speaking of UTC's season, the Mocs only lost 87-62 at Rupp in December. Think these Mocs are only five points worse than Florida?
- The slew of new UT football assistants are speaking with the unwashed mass of media yahoos today. The TFP will have multiple aces there and will keep you updated on the happenings.
- MMA Golf? Did you hear about the Texas guy that may lose use of his leg after being stabbed with the shaft of a broken golf club after a fight broke out on the course when the victim tried to play through? Wow. Just wow.
- From friend of the show RJ Bell at pregame.com, here are the odds on Peyton Manning's future:
Retire: 20% ($100 wins $250); Dolphins: 20% ($100 wins $250); Redskins: 17% ($100 wins $300); Colts: 14% ($100 wins $400); Jets: 11% ($100 wins $500); Cardinals: 3% ($100 wins $2,500); Broncos: 3% ($100 wins $2,500); 49ers: 2% ($100 wins $4,000); Titans: 1.5% ($100 wins $5,000); Chiefs: 1.5% ($100 wins $5,000); Texans: 1% ($100 wins $7,500); Other Team: 6% ($100 wins $1,000).
After the Super Bowl, there is always talk of which quarterbacks are best and which ones rank where.
This has a lot to do with the fact that more than any other position in any other sport, winning as a stat - and the Super Bowl in particular - is linked to QB greatness.
We'll cover our view on the all-time best QBs in Friday's mailbag (Side note 1: Great question WarEagle; Side note 2: There's still some room in Friday's mailbag).
That said, who is on your active QB Mount Rushmore. Which four active QBs are the best? (And yes, Peyton Manning is still on the Colts roster, so he's in and there's no "He's injured, blah, blah, blah.")