September 29, 2014

How satisfied are you with Dolphins? New poll. Vote!: plus Fins club Oakland 38-14, Tannehill stars; also Aponte-Philbin rift?, Marlins no-hit, Hot Button & more

1) It is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29. Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with Dolphins. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes-Duke and CSM poll, other state collball, Philbin walloped in poll & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Marlins get no-hit: Marlins get zero hits yesterday on road vs. Washington's Jordan Zimmerman in season finale. Despite that, club extends manager Mike Redmond's contract through 2017. Smart. Right.

CSM bounces to season high: See the previous blogpost for results of the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll. Oh, and erase the phrase "it was only Duke" from your mind and click on Appreciation for my column off last night's win.

Live game blog and postgame analysis directly below new DSM. Also, for what it's worth, CBS Sports' Jason LaCanfora reports a "fraying relationship" between Dolphins executive Dawn Aponte and coach Joe Philbin continues to have Philbin's future in doubt. Click here for the story.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G4: Time again for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, this in the wake of Sunday's 38-14 victory over Oakland at Wembley Stadium in London putting Miami's 1aadsmseason record at 2-2. The DSM, in its seventh season, is a continuous weekly gauge of how fans are feeling about the Dolphins and their direction. Right after each game I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

2014 DSM results

G1: 96.4% (following 33-20 victory vs. New England)

G2: 12.2% (following 29-10 loss at Buffalo)

G3: 2.0% (following 34-15 loss vs. Kansas City)

G4: Voting now underway (following 38-14 victory vs. Oakland in London)

G4: DOLPHINS VS. OAKLAND IN LONDON: TANNEHILL, PHILBIN ANSWER THE PRESSURE: Final: Bulletin! Pretty sure Ryan Tannehill will start next week. Remember how great Miami looked in the second half of the opener vs Patriots? They were that team most of today in London. Tannehill had his breakout game of the season -- answering all of the week's turmoil and distraction. Defense was big, too, with four takeaways. Also should probably mention that the Raiders smell like roadkill rotting in the sun. coach Dennis Allen will be fired on the flight home, if not pushed from the plane. ..... Fourth quarter: Walt Aikens INT for Fins defense. Raiders truly do stink. ... Matt Moore subs in at QB mid-quarter. No controversy!! Tanny's final numbers: 23-31, 278 yards, two TDs and his only pick off a deflection. Rating 109.3. Excellent!. ... OAK within 38-14 on mid-quarter TD pass. ..... Third quarter: Tannehill suffers first INT off a deflection. Unlucky. ... Jimmy Wilson INT for Miami and return to Raiders 16. Dream game. ... Now 38-7 after Cortland Finnegan 50-yard fumble return. Wow. Seriously. ... MIA 31-7 on Miller 1-yard TD run set up by Brent Grimes interception and lovely, weaving return to OAK 3. Are these the Dolphins!? ... Looking like 31-7 but Lamar Miller coughs up a fumble near OAK goalline and Blackshirts recover in the e-zone. ..... Halftime report: "Massive" show by Tannehill, as the Brits might say. At 24-7 he is 17-for-19 for 204 yards and two TDs, with a near-perfect 146.5 passer rating. Philbin should piss him off more often! Thorough performance so far by Miami. Cheerio! ..... Second quarter: MIA now 24-7 on Tanny's 18-yard TD pass to Dion Sims -- Tanny's 14th straight completion. Career day so far for the embattled young QB. ... Rookie Jarvis Landry fumbles away a punt return. ... MIA up 17-7 on Lamar Miller 8-yard scoring run on 4th-and-1. Good gamble by Philbin. Tannehill now 9 straight completions. ... Ryan Tannehill 13-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace thanks to great effort and reach by Wallace has Fins up 10-7 early in second. Tanny 6-for-6 for 86 yards on drive. ..... First quarter: Brian Hartline 35-yard catch has Fins on move as quarter ends. ... MIA within 7-3 on Caleb Sturgis 41-yard FG. ... OAK 7-0 fast on 74-yard opening drive ended by Derek Carr 3Y TD pass to Brian Leonhardt. Bad start for MIA. Gave up a 32-yard kick return, 30-yard completion. ... You know you're an off-the-grid game when Ian Eagle is the announcer. ... Pre-game booing of Dolphins? I'm impressed Londoners care enough to hate. A non-reaction would have been worse. ..... Original post: No, the 1-2 Dolphins have not been deported to a foreign country in a banishment owing to consecutive 19-point losses followed by 

1aa1adoloakJoe Philbin's hell-week distraction with botched handling of who'll start at quarterback. Although a loss here -- to the 0-3 Raiders -- and the Fins won't exactly be welcomed back to Miami. There isn't a coach/QB combo in the NFL that needs a positive result today more than Philbin and Ryan Tannehill. Philbin committed the sin of creating a needless 1aa1adollondondistraction for his own team, a coaching felony, while Tannehill is looking for his first big game of the season to help reestablish himself as a solid No. 1 with a bright future. I don't think Dolfans have much faith in either guy at the moment, to say the least. With a bye week following this game, it is conceivable that Philbin could be fired if Miami loses. Not predicting it; don't think it would happen. But the idea of it hardly is an impossibility. A win would chase those darkest, most desperate thoughts from owner Stephen Ross' mind, and I think Miami will get that at London's famed Wembley Stadium. The Dolphins defense making it tough on Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr is what I'm most sure of in this game. That is adversary is a rookie -- yet one more reason why Tannehill must perform well and win today. Oakland has lost nine straight dating to last season and 10 of past 11 in this series. You thought getting smothered at Buffalo was bad? You thought a home loss to Kansas City was worse? A loss today would be a miserable new low. My pick: Dolphins, 23-10.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our Random Evidence Sunday notes-column package has returned in print from summer hiatus (click HERE for today's latest edition), but due to semi-popular demand an updated, expanded Hot Button continues as an exclusive Sunday feature of the blog. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1aa1ahotbutton1. Dolphins: Pressure on Fins, Tannehill in London: As Fins face Oakland at Wembley Stadium today there is media speculation the rift between Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill could grow worse. There is also media speculation winning will cure all. In other words, there is too much media specualtion.

2. Hurricanes: UM defense stars in  win. No, seriously!: Miami's 22-10 win over visiting Duke last night was marked by excellent defense that forced nine Blue Devils punts. For a change, D-coordinator Mark D'Onofrio can turn on local sports-radio this week and not feel he's opened a blast furnace. 

3. Heat: Life After LeBron as Heat begin training camp: What's-his-name is back in Cleveland and diminished Heat are six days from first preseason game without him. At Friday's media day, oh how I wished Dwyane Wade had answered the first question about LeBron with a deadpan, "LeWho?" 

4. Marlins: Fish wrap season today: No playoffs (again) as Miami concludes season today at Washington, but much improvement from last year's 100 losses despite injuries to stars Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton. Mike Redmond should get manager of the year votes. Might not. But should.

5. Derek Jeter: Yankees great goes out in style: Did that actually happen? It was supposed to rain, but didn't. Then Jeter in his final home game gets the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning. Seriously? I guess what they've been saying for years in New York is true: God is a Yankee.

6. MLB playoffs: Hunt for October begins: Last day of regular season today will set the postseason field, with the wild-card round to start Tuesday. Betting odds still favor an Angels-Dodgers, all-Los Angeles World Series. Laid-back L.A. has made a mental note to start paying attention.

7. College football: FSU leads big day for rallies: No. 1 Florida State rallied for a big win and so did FIU and FAU. Jameis Winston was back from suspension for Noles. Allegations against him have gone from rape to theft to shouting profanity, so at least he’s trending from felony to misdemeanor.

8. Panthers: NHL unfurls with preseason play: Hockey is here, eh? Unfortunately the Florida Panthers already are 0-3 in the preseason. Owners say they expect decreased attendance this season. There is a remedy for that. Cats ought to try it for a change. It's called "winning."

9. Ryder Cup: U.S. vs. Europe wraps today in Scotland: Looking bad for the Americans as golf's premier international event ends overseas. There are few greater competitions in all of sports than the Ryder Cup, according to analysts for the broadcasting network.

10. NASCAR: Chase for the Cup underway: As the November finale at Homestead awaits, NASCAR’s new Chase rules call for a reduction from 16 drivers to 12 after third of 10 races, to eight after sixth race and to four after ninth race. If the formula were any more confusing, it would be the NFL passer rating.

Bonus: Capital One is the new title sponsor of Miami's venerable annual college football bowl, the Orange Bowl Classic. What's in your -- hey! SOMEBODY STOLE MY WALLET!

Check back often because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts... 

September 28, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 73.3%; plus UM bops Duke 22-10 with big D, postgame report; FIU wins big; also Heat, Philbin & more

1) It is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat moves on from What's-his-name, Philbin/Tannehill poll, NFL Week 4 pix, LeBron plays what-if, three-breasted woman & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Heat moves on from That Guy Who Left: I write an entire column about the Heat moving on from What's-his-name without ever mentioning his name. Click on Life After [Blank] to read.

New Canes column: Click on Appreciate for my column off last night's Miami win; erase the phrase "it was only Duke" from your mind. Find our live in-game blog directly below the CSM poll.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G5: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show a season-high 73.3 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday night's 22-10 home victory over Duke putting UM's season record at 3-2 and 1-1 in ACC play. The CSM, in its sixth season, is your invitation after every Hurricanes game to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Monday.

;

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

Next poll: Oct. 4 (following game at Georgia Tech)

G5: HURRICANES 22, DUKE 10: BIG DEFENSIVE SHOW LIFTS MIAMI: Final: Miami improves to 3-2 and drops Duke to 4-1 in a pretty thorough win. Brad Kaaya (226 yards, two TDs) and Duke Johnson (144 yards rushing) carried the offense, but the story was a strong showing by Mark D'Onofrio's much-criticized defense. It held Duke to 260 total yards, forced nine punts and had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Overall, a solid win. ..... Second half: Kaaya 47-yard TD strike to Joseph Yearby for a 22-10 Canes lead with 8:27 to play. Lead now seeming safe-ish. ... Canes lead narrowed to a scary 16-10 on a Devils FG. ... UM up 16-7 on a 4th-and-19 TD from 28 yards, Brad Kaaya to Herb Waters. Gamble made sense; would have been a long FG try in what was then a hard rain. ... Denzel Perryman causes fumble that UM recovers at Duke 32 to start half. ..... Halftime: A dangerous 9-7 lead for Miami. Should be much bigger. UM leads in total yards 241-115 and has forced seven Duke punts but has little edge to show for it. Both teams only 1-for-8 on third-down conversions. Scattered booing chased the Canes from the field into halftime. ..... First half: Canes: miss 52-yard FG try after apparent Phillip Dorsett TD catch (by my eye) was ruled a non-catch in end zone. ... Duke within 9-7 on 7-yard run after 73-yard drive in second quarter. ... Canes 9-0 (missed kick) after 7-yard scoring run by Duke Johnson. ... UM 3-0 on 29-yard FG on opening drive. ..... Original post: Nobody wants to hear that Duke is pretty good in football now. Not Mike Krzyzewski across-campus good, but good enough to crash the Top 25 with an upset here. 1aa1adukemiamiTo Canes fans Duke is still Duke, the doormat you roll over. That proves Canes pride dictates fans still believe the team is better than it is, and it also proves old habits die hard, considering Duke throttled UM up there last season, 48-30. That's why tonight's 7:30 game puts the Hurricanes in a tough spot. Beat Duke and they won't really get credit for beating a top team ("It was only Duke."). But lose? At home? To Duke? To fall to 2-3? Oh my. You don't want to imagine it. I know Al Golden and Mark D'Onofrio sure don't. I think Brad Kaaya and Duke Johnson et al can outscore this opponent. I trust Miami's offense. It can be special. The onus instead will be on D'Onofrio and the Canes' defense, as usual. Last year was an embarrassment and Duke (albeit against lesser foes) has 174 points in this year's four wins. Step up, Canes D. Or be stepped on again. This is a must win for The U in every sense but the literal one. I'll be at the park columnizing, not knowing if I'll be writing a celebration or a wake. That's sports! My pick: Miami, 34-24.

Other Collball Week 5 state FBS games:

No. 1 Florida State 56, North Carolina State 41: FSU now 4-0, N.C. State 4-1. Jameis Winston returned just in time, because N.C. State is pretty good and had won five of past seven home meetings with FSU when 'Noles were ranked. The Winstons won last year's meeting 49-17 in Tally but this one figured much closer, closer (I'd said) than the 18-point bet-line. Wolfpack led 24-7 early before FSU charged back to avoid a shakeup of the national playoff picture.

FIU 34, UAB 20: FIU now 2-3, UAB 2-2. This one I did not foresee. Saw Alabama-Birmingham as clearly superior to FIU. Well, not today. G-Panthers' defense had four interceptions to lead a major (UAB was favored by 17) road upset. Sorry, Wagner, but this is season highlight for The Int'l. By a lot.



1aa1alcoker
FAU 41, UTSA 37:
 FAU now 2-3, UTSA 1-3. Yes, that was the effervescence of Larry Coker, the former UM coach (2001-06), on the visitors' sideline. The Canes' last championship boss ('01) is now 20-18 flying under-radar into his fourth year at Texas-San Antonio. What a comedown, Lar'. Ouch. UTSA was favored by six here but I rightly sniffed an Owls upset. It happened with a 14-point fourth-quarter rally. Hooooot!

Also: No. 19 Wisconsin def. South Florida, 27-10. Off this week: Florida and UCF.

Poll result: Philbin slammed for QB handling: We asked in previous blogpost whose side you took on Larry Coker lookalike Joe Philbin's non-committal handling of the Dolphins' QB situation this week (you may still vote), and 78.5 percent blamed Philbin for the distraction. It was 16.3% pro-Philbin, with 5.2% undecided.

Check back often because we continually update and add to our latest blogposts...

September 26, 2014

Heat move on from What's-His-Name. The new column; plus Philbin/Tannehill poll (vote), NFL Week 4 pix, 3-breasted woman & more

1) It is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26. Lifelong Red Sox fan (me) admits he cheered for Yankees and Derek Jeter last night. 2) I'm holed up at Random Evidence Laboratories today drawing forth the Sunday notes-column package. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tannehill QB controversy, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, SOPY rankings & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Heat moves on with Life After What's-His-Name: Click on Moving On for my latest column -- newly online and shipping to Saturday's inky pulp editions -- from today's Heat media day session. I try to accentuate the positive as the Heat move on without That Unnamed Guy Who Left.

PHILBIN'S BOTCHERY ON TANNEHILL'S STATUS A BLACK EYE FOR COACH: There is never a good reason for an NFL head coach to create a Quarterback Controversy on his team unless the starter's job truly is in 1aa1ajphilbindoubt and the debate is unavoidable. You don't decline to to publicly name your starter unless it's an open competition or you aren't sure. If you refuse to name your starter even though you know who it is -- Philbin's method of operation this week -- you are simply mishandling the most important position on your team and causing a pointless distraction. Even Tannehill admitted it was a distraction and spoke out against the way his coach has handled this. If Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck's coaches do the non-committal thing it isn't a big deal. But when the coach of an a less-established, embattled QB does the non-committal thing after consecutive bad losses, he erodes support for and the confidence of his quarterback. But that's just me. You may feel differently. This could be a tough poll question for many Dolfans because neither Philbin nor Tannehill is particularly popular right now. You might not like Philbin but still think he handled this properly. You might not like Tannehill but still think he was treatly unfairly in this. Weigh in. Vote and say why.



1aa1afripixNFL WEEK 4 PICKS: Good start last night; had Giants winning at Washington in an outright upset. Click on Week 4 Gems for all our latest prediction capsules (have Dolphins beating Raiders in London), and on Philbin's Folly for our Friday Page NFL column. I write how Joe Philbin's mishandling of the Ryan Tannehill situation this week has put his shaky job status in further peril.

LEBRON SAYS MIGHT STILL BE WITH HEAT IF...: To the surprise perhaps only of the easily surprised, LeBron James said he might still be playing in Miami for the Heat if the team had beaten San Antonio in the NBA Finals last season. "I mean, it's a greater chance for sure," he told CNN's Rachel Nichols in an interview excerpt released yesterday. "It would be hard to leave back-to-back-to-back championships, you know, and try to go for four." Post-LeBron, the Heat usher in the 2014-15 season with Media Day today (I'll be there) and then the start of training camp on Saturday.

1aa1atampa3ON THE (ALLEGED) TRIPLE-BREASTED TAMPAN: A "triple-breasted tampan" is not a breed of bird. Rather, it is a 21-year-old Tampa woman who goes by the pseudonym Jasmine Tridevil, and whose claim to fleeting, idiotic fame is that she says she has three breasts, the third not by a freak of nature, but by implant. Jasmine is pictured. Or, did that go without saying? She is presently plying the Internet, working it, looking for dubious stardom in a reality TV show. Alas, there are now indications her triple-header is in fact a bizarre prosthetic apparatus. Which, really, barely makes the story any weirder, if at all.

Check back a lot because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

September 24, 2014

Tannehill remains Dolphins starter. Smart. Benching would have been panicked, dumb; plus Sean Taylor, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, new SOPY rank & more

1) It is WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24. Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown. I wonder if, anywhere on Earth, there is a man named Ross Hashanha? 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Chiefs plow Dolphins, DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Fins, Canes lost in sea of frustration as fans grow impatient: I write in my latest column -- click on Lost at Sea to read -- how Miami fans are increasing angry and impatient as the Dolphins and Hurricanes struggle to find their way back to glory. It is this Petri dish of unrest that foments what we see and hear this week in the venom against UM defensive coordinator Mark D'ONofrio and in the speculation that Ryan Tannehill's job may be in peril.

Sean Taylor on 'A Football Life': NFL Network's terrific A Football Life series features the late great Miami Hurricane and NFL star Sean Taylor, premiering this Friday at 9 p.m. Click here to watch the trailer.

DOLPHINS BENCHING TANNEHILL RIGHT NOW WOULD HAVE BEEN PANICKY, PREMATURE, IDIOTIC: [Wednesday update: NFL.com reports Dolphins players have been told Tannehill will start Sunday's Raiders game in London. No shock. This was a faux Quarterback Controversy all along, with Philbin's public non-commitment -- a curious and really unwise tactic by him -- and media overreaction the co-conspirators]. Original post: Apparently many of y'all disagree the benching would have been dumb. A poll elsewhere on our website has almost two-thirds (it was 65.82% when last I checked) favoring Ryan Tannehill's immediate benching. Wow. Time to bring that number way down, comrades. I wrote in this column off Sunday's loss 1aa1ajoeryanabout the mounting pressure on Tannehill -- that he must perform better, and soon. But the idea Miami would make a quarterback change right now, three games in? Wow again. You don't do that to a young quarterback's confidence and risk losing him unless you are prepared to move on without him, and Miami shouldn't be, yet. They have invested too much, and Tannehill's potential still is too good. Remember that just last season, despite being sacked a record amount, he passed for 3,913 yards and 24 TDs. Benching Tannehill in favor of Matt Moore right now would be radical, panicked and premature, and therefore pretty idiotic. The idea the Dolphins might make a QB change bloomed as a media firestorm on Monday when coach Joe Philbin declined to specifically state Tannehill would start this week vs. Oakland in London. Philbin is pictured either exhorting Tannehill and preparing to punch him, it's hard to say which. The coach didn't say he wouldn't start Sunday; he simply was non-committal. But that was enough for Your Friend the Media to exercise its (very) broad right to interpretation and manufacture a Quarterback Controversy. This is what we do. Shark-like, we sniff blood in the water and attack. So might-bench-Tannehill becomes a story even though offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, asked if he had had any doubts Tannehill would start Sunday, said, simply, "No." Lazor with some validity chided the media for "questions based on panic," saying, "There’s no panic." Likewise Philbin did not sound like a man about to make a QB change when he said he doesn’t view the offensive problems as "a one-man issue," adding on Monday, "I think it’s a little bit early to draw conclusions as to where [Tannehill] is in his third year." Philbin should quash the story he helped ignite by recommitting publicly to Tannehill, at least for the short term. This quarterback must do better and now, yes. He is not above benching if he doesn't, no. But you don't do it three games in.  

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: THE GOOD AND BAD OF WEEK 3: We update you briefly every Tuesday on how 1aa1afripix 1aa1aloboswe did the previous NFL weekend with our published predictions and with our fantasy-league team. Pix: The good. We went 11-5 overall in Week 3 and 10-6 against the spread, nailing our Upset of the Week call ("Aawwk!") with Bears winning at Jets to make it 3-0 on Bird calls. Fantasy: The bad. Greg's Lobos (our team logo is at left) fell 97-76, getting 27 points from Marshawn Lynch but single-digit scoring from five other starters. Dolphins-like, we're now 1-2 after a big win in our opener.

SOPY: UM'S KAAYA, JOHNSON NOW 2-3: Canes Duke Johnson (183) and Brad Kaaya (172.5) had Week 4's top totals and now both rank in the season top three in our latest blog-exclusive State Offensive 1aa1asopyPlayer of the Year (SOPY) rankings --"the State Heisman." This is a cumulative weekly list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from Florida's seven FBS college football teams: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Our past two season SOPY winners have been FSU QB Jameis Winston (2013; 2,107 points) and Canes QB Stephen Morris (2012; 1,900.5 points). Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. The SOPY Top 10 entering Collball Week 5:

SOPY WEEK 4 TOP 10

Rk (LW)   Player, team-pos.                Wk4    Season

1 (1)        Marlon Mack, SoFla-rb            119      552

2 (3)        Brad Kaaya, Miami-qb            172.5    526

3 (6)        Duke Johnson, Miami-rb         183      497

4 (5)        Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb           117.5   437

5 (8)        Rashad Greene, FSU-rec       139      428

6 (2)        DeM. Robinson, Florida-rec     14      371

7 (--)       Justin Holman, UCF-qb          113.5   364

8 (10)     Jacquez Johnson, FAU-qb       99.5    356

9 (7)       Phillip Dorsett, Miami-rec          48      350

10 (4)      Jameis Winston, FSU-qb        DNP    348

Bubble: Jay Warren, FAU-rb, 322. Other team leader: FIU--Alex McGough, qb, 297.5. Season's best week: Mack, SoFla-rb, 304 (Wk1). Note: UCF, Florida and FSU have played one fewer game (3) than the other four state FBS teams.

Cote's State of the State rank entering Collball Week 4: 1. FSU (3-0); 2. Florida (2-1); 3. Miami (2-2); 4. UCF (1-2); 5. SoFla (2-2); 6. FAU (1-3); 7. FIU (1-3).

Check back often because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

September 23, 2014

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 2.0%. Rock bottom!; plus Chiefs plow Miami 34-15; also new Hot Button Top 10 & more

1) It is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. Check out blogpost directly below this for the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter results. (Ouch). 2) Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes fall at Nebraska, CSM poll, other state Collball Week 4 & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Tannehill on the hot seat: Click on Pressure to Perform for my column off Sunday's Dolphins loss.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G3: Results are certified in the latest Dolfan 1aa1adsmSatisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they should a rock-bottom 2.0 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 34-15 home loss vs. Kansas City putting Miami's season record at 1-2. The DSM, in its seventh season, is a continuous weekly gauge of how fans are feeling about the Dolphins and their direction. Right after each game I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Tuesday.

2014 DSM results

G1: 96.4% (following 33-20 victory vs. New England)

G2: 12.2% (following 29-10 loss at Buffalo)

G3: 2.0% (following 34-15 loss vs. Kansas City)

Next poll: Sept. 28 (following game vs. Oakland in London)

G3: KANSAS CITY 34, DOLPHINS 15: BAD FINS SHOW UP, NOT GOOD FINS: Final: A really bad home loss for Miami, which was favored against a mediocre opponent and should have been desperate to win after last week's stinker at Buffalo. Instead the Fins slip to 1-2 and suddenly that good feeling after the opening-win over New England seems a long time ago. Ryan Tannehill (21-for-43, 69.4 rating) simply was not good enough to turn a winnable game in Miami's favor. ..... 4Q: KC makes the final score of 34-15 with a TD with 13 seconds left. ... McKnight 4-yard TD catch makes it 27-15 with 4:35 to play. ... Lamar Miller up to 108 yards rushing, but the bright spots won't mean much if this is a loss. ..... 3Q: Miami within 21-15 on safety as Randy Starks and Jelani Jenkins combine to drop Alex Smith in the e-zone. ... Fins settle for 51-yard Sturgis FG, a semi-waste of that long kickoff return. ... Landry with a 75-yard kickoff return to Chiefs 32. ... Just when Miami gets back in game, defense lets up a 10-play, 66-yard Chiefs drive ending in McKnight's 11-yard scoring catch. ... MIA takes advantage of takeaway, draws within 14-10 on Hartline 1-yard TD pass from Tannehill. Hartline then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for excessive celebration after pretending to putt a golf ball in the end zone. No, seriously. ... Derrick Shelby fumble recovery caused by Jared Odrick at KC 19 sets up Miami. ..... Half: Trailing at home to a bad Kansas City squad is not acceptable, let alone by 14-3. Offense not producing. Defense generally OK but lapses in tackling and Alex Smith has a 135.4 passer rating. ..... 2Q: Miami within 14-3 on 22-yard FG as time expires. Impressive 74-yard drive fell just short. Philbin cautious but smart to opt for three points rather than gamble and go for TD from 4. ... Chiefs up 14-0 on Smith's 20-yard pass to Travis Kelce. Embarrassing result so far for the home team. ... Two-minute warning. Fins two minutes from getting booed off the field the way this game is going. ... KC up 7-0 on 21-yard Knile Davis scoring through through shoddy tackling. How is Miami losing to this team?! ... Dolphins blow a 48-yard FG try wide left, wasting a series that included a 30-yard completion to Wallace. ..... 1Q: Landry follows his good kick return with an ill advised punt return bottling Miami at its own 4. ... Jarvis Landry terrific 40-yard kick return to open game, but drive fizzles in a curious 3rd-and-8 run call by Philbin. ... Pregame: As if there was any doubt (there wasn't), RB Jamaal Charles is officially inactive for KC. ..... Original post: Let's not equivocate. The pressure is squarely on the Dolphins today, at home, to shake off last week's miserable effort in 1aa1adolkcBuffalo, win this very-winnable game and restore some of the good feeling that came in the wake of the opening win over New England. Also unequivocally, the 1aa1adolkc2pressure is on quarterback Ryan Tannehill to author that victory and
restore Dolfans' confidence in him, which is eroding. Tannehill needs a big game. So does Miami. A loss and it's going to begin to feel like same-old-Dolphins, another erratic season of shuffling mediocrity. Likewise Tannehill needs a positive showing to stave off the doubters, who are waiting for a reason to chant for replacement Matt Moore. I'm careful to avoid hyperbole when I can, and am loath to call a game a "must win" unless it literally is. So let's just say today's stakes feel unsually large for a third game of a season. (Pictured above left: The game program from the first Dolphins home game in history, the 1966 AFL preseason opener vs. the Chiefs). My pick: Dolphins, 20-17.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our Random Evidence Sunday notes-column package has returned in print from summer hiatus (click HERE for today's latest edition), but due to semi-popular demand an updated, expanded Hot Button continues as an exclusive Sunday feature of the blog. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1aa1ahotbutton1. Dolphins: Pressure on Fins, Tannehill to bounce back: Good Fins, Bad Fins. Exhilirating triumph over Patriots, then an ugly collapse in Buffalo. Miami needs to find consistency, and Ryan Tannehill needs to more consistently find his receivers, starting today vs. Chiefs.

2. Hurricanes: UM's defense gets run-overin Lincoln: The Canes' offense was OK in last night's 41-31 loss at Nebraska, but the run defense was horrid. The emergency meeting of the Mark D'Onofrio Haters Club will now come to order.

3. Marlins: Final homestand of strange season: Only four home games left including today for Fish, who stayed on periphery of wild-card race into September despite losing stars Jose Fernandez (early) and Giancaro Stanton (late) to injuries. 

4. Heat: Post-LeBron Heat prepare to open camp: Dwyane Wade and downsized Heat open training camp this coming Saturday following departure of LeBron James after four season. Upside of LeBron leaving? Heat fans won't be cfriticized as much for showing up late to games or leaving early.

5. Panthers: Camp underway for Cats, new coach: Training camp is underway for new coach Gerard Gallant and the Cats. Owner Vonnie Viola quashed rumors by vowing to keep club in South Florida. With no playoff series win since 1997, how about an owner vowing to put a winning team on the ice?

6. NFL: Embattled Goodell won't resign, vows cleanup: Commissioner Roger Goodell emerged from hiding for a press conference, vowing to not resign and to clean up the NFL's image problem in wake of domestic-abuse issues and other arrests.

7. Seminoles: No. 1 FSU survives sans-Winston: Top-ranked Florida State edged Clemson, 23-17, in overtime despite QB Jameis Winston sitting out the game suspended. Gators (vs. Alabama) and Canes (vs. Nebraska) had less luck on a big day for state's Big 3 teams.

8. Team USA: Americans win FIBA World Cup gold: Team USA and its NBA stars dominated in the FIBA World Cup In Spain, winning every game by an average margin of 35 points. I've never been prouder, or more bored.

9. Seahawks-Broncos: Denver visits Seattle in a Super Bowl rematch: It's also a possible SB preview as league's best teams clash. Isn't it terrible when football distracts us from talking about domestic abuse and DUI arrests?  

10. Team rankings: ESPN's Ultimate Standings mean to Miami: Franchises in Big Four sports are ranked 1 through 122 by various criteria and, after the Heat at a respectable 34th overall, it's bad nedws for South Florida, with Marlins ranked 96th, Panthers 102nd and Dolphins 108th.

Check back a lot because we update and add to our latest blogposts a lot...

September 21, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 11.6%; plus UM falls at Nebraska 41-31, Gators, FIU routed, Noles survive sans Winston & more

1) It is SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canton/Hall poll, Jameis Winston, erosion of Tannehill support, Urban Outfitters & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

BIG 3'S BIG WEEK: Can't recall a bigger combined week for what we used to call the state's Big 3, with Canes at Nebraska, Florida State hosting Clemson and Florida facing Alabama.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G4: Time again for the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, this one in the wake of Saturday night's 41-31 loss at Nebraska putting UM's season record at 2-2. 1aa1acsmThe CSM, in its sixth season, is your invitation after every Hurricanes game to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

Next poll: Sept. 27 (following game vs. Duke)

G4: NO. 24 NEBRASKA 41, HURRICANES 31: MIAMI FALLS SHORT IN SEASON-SHAPING TEST: UM's offense was OK tonight in Nebraska. Duke Johnson was good, Brad Kaaya was pretty good (though two interceptions). But the Canes' defensive showing will reinvigorate the Mark D'Onofrio haters. Though a last-minute TD made the final score respectable, Miami's run defense was horrid. ..... Original post: It's an 8 p.m. prime-timer on ESPN2 and the weather could be funky (80% chance of rain) as two storied programs try to get back 1aa1acanescornto where they used to be. Ten combined national titles include four won against each other -- Miami climbing over Cornhuskers for crowns in 1983 (pictured below left), 1991 and 2001, and Nebraska vaulting Canes to win it all in '94. Today, both are trying to see how good they really are. We don't know. Nebraska is unbeaten but vs. 1aa1acanesob84lightweights FAU, McNeese State and Fresno State, hence the barely-there national ranking. UM after an opening loss at Louisville has gotten well against softies Florida A&M and Arkansas State. This game will be a larger test for both as Canes coach Al Golden tries to convince skeptical fans he can win the big one. This would be a big one. Let's see how freshman QB Brad Kaaya handles not only the weather but Nebraska's 90,000-strong Sea of Red. A loss or poor performce by Kaaya and the calls for senior QB Ryan Williams, close to returning from injury, could start. Have a feeling this could be a wild one. Huskers favored by 7 1/2 points but I see it closer with a medium-to-large shot at an outright upset if Miami's defense can reasonably contain Nebraska's spread-option attack. My pick: Nebraska, 30-27.

Other Collball Week 4 state FBS games:

No. 3 Alabama 42, Florida 21: Nick Saban takes his protege, Will Muschamp, to school. Only 'Bama mistakes kept it as close as it was, with Tide outgaining The Gator by 645 total yards to 200.

Louisville 34, FIU 3: Visiting Cardinals were a four-TD favorite and you got the feeling FIU would be fortunate just to keep it that close. L'ville whipped UM by 18. Would have been big for Panthers to keep it even that close.

Wyoming 20, FAU 19: Pretty even matchup with Wyoming getting the home-field 3-point edge. I, a blatant Owl-homer, gave FAU a big shot.

No. 1 Florida State 23, No. 22 Clemson 17 (OT): QB Jameis Winston was suspended for the entire game, after an outcry over the original first-half suspension for shouting a sexist vulgarity on campus. Noles had embarrassed Clemson, up there, last year, 51-14. You knew this would closer but still liked Noles even sans Winston. FSU had won 10 of past 11 in series in Tally by combined 426-167.

Also: UCF def. Bethune-Cookman, 41-7. South Florida def. UConn, 17-14, on Friday.

Poll result: Seau leads your next Hall class for Canton: We invited you to pick the most deserving Hall of Fame inductees from a list of 10 top nominees. Your top five: Junior Seau with 17.0 percent, Marvin Harrison 14.3%, Kurt Warner 11.2%, Orlando Pace 10.5% and Edgerrin James 10.0%. 

Check back often because we update and add to our latest bloposts...

September 19, 2014

Your Canton Hall of Fame ballot. Poll. Vote!; plus NFL Week 3 pix, new Jeter ad, Jameis Winston, erosion of faith in Tannehill, UO boycott & more

To disgruntled blog readers: You know by now there are big changes at MiamiHerald.com affecting this blog and others. One is that commenters must now log in with a Facebook account. Another (unfortunately) is a redesign that has bumped my blog from its usual spot on the upper lefthand corner of the Sports front. Another (unfortunately again) is that all comments prior to yesterday have disappeared; it's as if everything started over on Thursday. Folks, these changes are corporate and not my idea or wish. I gauge from the solid response to our latest poll that our overall blog traffic remains strong. I invite our longtime regulars -- our Blog Family -- to stay strong with us through the changes.

1) It is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19. Congrats to ex-Cane Devin Hester for last night setting the NFL career record for most return TDs. 2) I'm in Random Evidence Laboratories today bringing forth the Sunday notes-column package. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ryan Tannehill poll, LeBron's new hairline, Kevin Olsen, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, SOPY Top 10, 3D-printed car & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

1aa1acantonYOU SELECT CANTON'S NEXT HALL OF FAME CLASS: This week the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, O. revealed the 113 people on its 2015 ballot. It'll be pared to 25 names in November and to 15 finalists in January before four to eight new members are elected during Super Bowl Week. This poll includes the 10 people most likely, in my view, to produce the next class of inductees. Our list includes the five most prominent 2014 finalists back for another shot, and the five most prominent first-time eligibles, who are designated in the poll by an asterisk. Say this is your Hall of Fame ballot and you may vote for as many as five. Who are your picks?

NFL WEEK 3 PICKS: Good start last night with Falcons winning and covering -- no, smothering -- the 1aa1afripixpoor Buccaneers. Click on Week 3 Gems for all our latest prediction capsules (have the Dolphins beating Chiefs, but not covering), and on Talking Football for our Friday Page NFL column. I write how this week's big game -- Seahawks-Broncos, the Super Bowl rematch and likely SB preview -- delivers a welcome break from the controversies that have engulfed the league.

ON JAMEIS WINSTON'S LATEST IMAGE-HIT: So FSU's Heisman-winning quarterback stands up on a table 1aa1ajameisin the middle of campus and shouts an unfortunately popular string of words that are juvenile, vulgar and sexist: "F--- her right in the p----!" Naturally it gets out. He is suspended for a half-game -- the first half of Saturday's biggie vs. Clemson. Oh, Jameis. So stupid for two reasons: 1) Did you think, in the age of smart-phones turning everybody into photographers and videographers, that this wouldn't go viral and get you in trouble? Can you be that dense? 2) You of all, people. You, who have been the subject of rape allegations, shouting mysogenist garbage. The good news: What you shouted just gave somebody at Urban Outfitters an idea for a new sweatshirt slogan!

Poll result: Quantifying the erosion of confidence in Ryan Tannehill: We asked your degree of faith in the quarterback's Dolphins future (you may still vote), and more than one in three voters -- 34.5 percent -- answered, "I've seen enough. He isn't the answer. Then it was 31.4% for "not given up but serious doubts," 28.5% for "still back him but must see improvement" and only 4.7% for "very optimistic." Opinions are hardening, with a negligible 0.8% still undecided. This is a clear erosion of faith from previous Tannehill polls. In August 2012 we asked what you realistically expect of his Miami career and most, 49.2%, said "very good, at least a few Pro Bowls." In July 2013 we asked waht you see as his future and most, 42.7%, said "very good." Now, he must earn back the former supporters who have lost faith.

NEW JETER FAREWELL AD A TEAR-JERKER: This is Gatorade's new farewell ad for retiring Yankee Derek Jeter, and it's a good one, a wonderful use of Sinatra's signature song. It brought a tear to my eye ... and I'm a Red Sox fan!

 

BOYCOTT URBAN OUTFITTERS: Urban Outfitters is a Philadelphia-headquartered clothing company whose 1aa1akentidea of being hip and cutting-edge is to consistently insult and offend. It's time we put them out of business. The latest UO outrage was a "vintage" Kent State University sweatshirt with a blood-splatter pattern. It was quickly removed from shelves after complaints from grownups who still associate Kent State with the 1970 tragedy (see photo). UO said, "We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively." Bulls---! Don't put it on our misperception. Put it on your own business plan. UO's previous controversies included "fashion symbols" that resembled Nazi stars, a handgun-shaped Christmas ornament, Che Guevara clothing and a "Ghettopoly" game board. Enough. Boycott.

Check back several times daily because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

September 17, 2014

What's your faith in Ryan Tannehill? Poll. Vote!; plus LeBron's new hair, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, new SOPY Top 10, Kevin Olsen, 3D-printed car & more

MESSAGE TO OUR BLOG FAMILY: (Note, this decision is corporate, not my own): "Starting Tuesday (yesterday), to comment on this blog you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account. We encourage lively discussion, but also believe respect and civility must be part of good debate. Your blog posts will carry the name on your Facebook account; you will have the choice whether your post also appears on your own Facebook page." Find a broader explanation here. Change affects all blogs, not just this one. I apologize for any inconvenience and thank our blog community -- the strongest on all of MiamiHerald.com -- for standing together through the change.

1) It is WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17. A belated happy birthday to Dan Marino, who turned 53 this week. Time flies like his passes once did. Fast. 2) The latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter results, showing a sizable dip, may be found in blogpost directly below. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fizzle in Buffalo, DSM poll, Heat signing, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

CONUNDRUM: TANNEHILL HASN'T FULLY EARNED TRUST, BUT DOLPHINS MUST TRUST HIM: I explore the curious state of Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins in my latest column; click on Pass Or Fail to 1aa1adolqbread. Two mediocre games into this third season, some fans and media already are concluding he isn't the team's long-term answer at quarterback. I say it looks like the Dolphins are afraid to find out. They are not letting him throw deep as often as they should. Sunday in the loss at Buffalo they ran out the clock with 2:21 left in the half and three timeouts (plus the two-minute warning) left. That was negative coaching betraying a lack of confidence in the man running the offense. Unshackle Tannehill, I say. It is the only way to know for sure what you have, and what the future holds. But enough of my opinion. Time for yours. Take a dip in our poll and say why you feel as you do.

LEBRON UNVEILS NEW SHOE, NEW HAIR: LeBron James has unveiled 1aa1alebronnewshoe
1aa1alebronhair2 1aa1alebronoldhairhis latest sneaker, the $200 LeBron 12 pictured left, a shoe whose color scheme seems to pay subconscious homage to the NFL in the city he left behind. Of more interest, it seems LeBron also has quietly also unveiled a new hairline that has reduced his growing expanse of forehead. Check out the before and current pics at right.

ON CANES QB KEVIN OLSEN: [Update: UM released the following statement in its entirety: "Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami. We wish him the very best in the future."] My original post: I have a personal policy to not criticize 1aa1akolsencollege athletes as I would pro athletes. Kevin Olsen (pictured in this week's police mug shot) makes that a challege. UM's oft-suspended quarterback is suspended again after his latest off-field issue, a DUI arrest with a fake ID -- dropping an unneeded distraction onto Al Golden's lap as the team prepares to play Nebraska. I temper this with a degree of sympathy, because it has become obvious the kid has an alcohol problem. He needs help and the school should try to give it as a last step before cutting ties altogether.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 2 DIPS: We update you briefly every week on how we 1aa1afripixdid the previous NFL weekend with our published predictions and with our fantasy-league team. Pix: We went 9-7 overall in Week 2 and 8-8 against the spread, nailing our Upset of the Week call ("Aawwk!") with Cowboys winning at Tennessee. Fantasy: Thud! Greg's Lobos fell to Earth like the Dolphins, losing 136-90 with nobody topping 15 lousy points.

SOPY: CANES' KAAYA VAULTS TO THIRD PLACE: A 177-point Week 3 vaults Canes QB Brad Kaaya to third place in our latest blog-exclusive State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings -- 1aa1asopy"the State Heisman." This is a cumulative weekly list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from Florida's seven FBS college football teams: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Our past two season SOPY winners have been FSU QB Jameis Winston (2013; 2,107 points) and Canes QB Stephen Morris (2012; 1,900.5 points). Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. The SOPY Top 10 entering Collball Week 4:

SOPY WEEK 3 TOP 10

Rk (LW)   Player, team-pos.                Wk2    Season

1 (1)        Marlon Mack, SoFla-rb            49       433

2 (--)       DeMarcus Robinson, Fla-rec   228      357

3 (7)        Brad Kaaya, Miami-qb            177      353.5

4 (2)        Jameis Winston, FSU-qb        DNP     348

5 (9)        Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb           182.5    319.5

6 (5)        Duke Johnson, Miami-rb        116       314

7 (--)       Phillip Dorsett, Miami-rec       206       302

8 (3)        Rashad Greene, FSU-rec       80       289

9 (--)        Matt Jones, Florida-rb           176      262

10 (--)     Jacquez Johnson, FAU-qb     201     256.5

Bubble: Alex Gardner, FIU-rb, 252. Other team leader: UCF--Justin Holman-qb, 250.5. Season's best week: Mack, SoFla-rb, 304 (Wk1). Note: UCF, Florida and FSU have played one fewer game (2) than the other four state FBS teams.

Cote's State of the State rank entering Collball Week 4: 1. FSU (2-0); 2. Florida (2-0); 3. Miami (2-1); 4. UCF (0-2); 5. SoFla (1-2); 6. FAU (1-2); 7. FIU (1-2). 

1aa1astratiWORLD'S FIRST 3-D PRINTED CAR: This technology is beyond my comprehension -- I still listen to CDs -- but I find this fascinating. The Strati (pictured), a two-seat electric car with a range of 120 miles and a max speed of 40 mph, has been unveiled at a Chicago auto show. It was manufactured with a 3-D printer by Local Motors of Phoenix. The Strati will cost between $18,000 and $30,000 when it goes on sale later this year. Click here for the backstory.

Check back a lot daily because we update and add to our latest blogposts a lot...

September 14, 2014

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 12.2%; plus Buffalo 29, Miami 10. Thud!; also message to bloggers, Hot Button Top 10 & more

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO OUR BLOG FAMILY: (Note, this decision is corporate and well above my pay grade): "Starting Tuesday, to comment on this blog you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account. We encourage lively discussion on the blog, but also believe that respect and civility must be part of good debate. This change brings commenting on MiamiHerald.com blogs in line with our policy on the rest of our website. We made that change in February 2013. Your blog posts will carry the name on your Facebook account; you will have the choice of whether your post also appears on your own Facebook page." A broader explanation of new policy may be found here. The change affects all blogs, not just this one. I apologize for any inconvenience and hope our blog community -- the best on all of MiamiHerald.com -- will stand together through the change.

1) It is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. Canesfan Satisfaction Meter results are in and show a sizable bump. See previous blogpost for details. 2) Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package. 3) Click Week 2 Gems for our latest NFL predictions and Eventually, Forgiveness for our Friday Page column on Ray Rice. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes whip Arkansas State, CSM poll, FIU and other state collball, Phyllis Smith & more. 5) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Our live blog and postgame commentary on yesterday's Dolphins game is immediately beneath the new DSM poll. No surprise: With Knowshon Moreno out at least a few games, Miami re-signed RB Daniel Thomas today.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G2: Results are certified in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 12.2 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 29-10 loss at Buffalo putting Miami's season record at 1-1. The DSM, in 1aadsmits seventh season, is a continuous weekly gauge of how fans are feeling about the Dolphins and their direction. Right after each game I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

2014 DSM results

G1: 96.4% (following 33-20 victory vs. New England)

G2: 12.2% (following 29-10 loss at Buffalo)

Next poll: Sept. 21 (following game vs. Kansas City)

G2: BUFFALO 29, DOLPHINS 10: BACK TO EARTH WITH A THUD AT THE RALPH: Final: A litany of awfulness and not enough on Sunday. Miami allows four sacks and gets zero. Tannehill was not terrible but only reached the end zone once as team went 5-for-16 on 3rd downs. Moreno injured his elbow -- and figures to be out at least a few games. The defense gave up a big day to Watkins (8-117) and a 47-yard run to Spiller. The special-teams gave up a 102-yard Spiller kickoff TD and muffed a punt return. That 102-yard play was the real killer, coming right after Miami had gained a modicum of momentum. All in all a sad, back-to-earth performance after last week's exhilirating second half vs. New England. Perspective? Being 1-1 right now shouldn't shock Dolfans. But how Miami got to 1-1 leaves you still wondering about this team. ..... 4Q: Tannehill INT ends it. ... And Hartline drops a deep TD pass. Perfect. Fitting. ... Parade of Carpenter chip-shot FGs continues, score now 29-10 inside of two minutes. It's all over but the complaining. ... Tanny suffers 4th sack but first since early. ... Hey something went right for Miami! Carpenter blew a short FG so Landry's muff didn't cost any points. ... Another special-teams boner! Landry muffs punt-catch, gives BUF possession deep in Fins territory. ... MIA fails on 4th down as bleak gets bleaker. ... Bison tack on yet another FG for 26-10 margin. ..... 3Q: Watkins 12-yard TD catch just before hald. Watkins killing Miami today. So is Dolphin-killer Spiller, whose 47-yard run made quick work of series. MIA had momentum for a minute. Not now. ... Dolphins within 16-10 on terrific 1-handed 7-yard endzone TD catch by Mike Wallace. Been lot of times to doubt if Wallace is worth all that money. On that play, he was worth the money. ... MIA 4th and-3 at Bison 41 -- go for it! They did, and got it on pass to Landry. ... Killer. Just as MIA inches back into the game, it's 16-3 on a 102-yard Spiller kick-return TD. The special-teams coach is crawling into the nearest hole. ... Bad third-down throw by Tanny and MIA settles for 34-yard Sturgis FG to draw within 9-3. ... Stop the presses! Fins in Buffalo territory for first time all day! ..... Half: Miami still in it down 9-0 but that'll require some offense -- currently nonexistent. Dolphins defense has been OK (less so against the pass), but Miami's 62 yards of total offense qualify as pathetic. The Ralph has been a fright for Tannehill. His last six quarters in Buffalo he has 120 air yards on 38 passes, barely three yards per attempt. The halftime question: Does OC Bill Lazor have any adjustments/tricks to bring a flatlining offense to life? ..... 2Q: Why are Dolphins running out clock instead of trying a shot to get into FG range? ... Dolphins are one big offensive play from getting back in this game. All-points bulletin for that play. ... Buffs 9-0 with 31-yard FG. Only Miami's red-zone D is working for Fins right now. ... MIA pass D just gave up its fourth 20-plus play. And it's early. ... Tanny takes a second sack, and a third. Momentum strongly in Bills' favor right now. ..... 1Q: Only 46 total yards in first for Dolphins... Buffs 6-0 with another 27-yard FG. Miami red-zone defense tough, keeping MIA in game. ... Reversed call gives Buffs ball at MIA 7. Everything turning wrong for Fins. ... Buffs block Dolphins punt. ... Tannehill underthrows Wallace yet again. ... Knowshon Moreno apparent left wrist or elbow injury on first carry, leaves game. Not a good sight. ... Ex-Dolph Carpenter nails 27-yard FG for 3-nil Buffs lead. ... Punt-punt to start game is OK, but Tannehill taking a first-series sack not a good sign. ... Fins need to match Bills' obvious emotion at The Ralph. ..... Original post: It's a near pick-'em game because nobody can quite figure out which of these teams is most for real after both had very 1aa1adolbillimpressive opening upset wins -- Buffs triumphing in Chicago and Fins clobbering New England. The winner of today's 1 p.m. game will claim that For Real tag, while the loser's fans may feel like, "Back to Earth. Same old same old." Bills swept Miami last year but Dolphins have improved more, and that awful 19-0 MIA loss last December is a lingering embarrassment that will provide fuel. Both teams must limit the other's ground game and that could be tough for Miami, because of linebacker injuries and because BUF has a really strong defensive front. Dolphs' run-D is good, too, though. Both teams will be forced to pass and, when that happens, I like Miami's air game vs. Bison secondary. A week ago I had a strong gut feeling Miami would beat the Pats and I was right. This week's pick is tougher, and is made with low confidence. I self-diagnose there may be a shad eof homer in this call, but I just feel the visiors are a bit better overall. My pick: Dolphins, 27-20.

HEAT SIGN KHEM BIRCH: Bringing roster to 17, Heat today sign ex-UNLV star Khem Birch, a forward all about the rebounds and blocked shots. He was Mountain West defensive player of the year last season.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our Random Evidence Sunday notes-column package has returned in print from summer hiatus (click HERE for today's 1aa1ahotbuttonlatest edition), but due to semi-popular demand an updated, expanded Hot Button continues as an exclusive Sunday feature of the blog. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1. Marlins: Stanton MVP season ends with fastball to face: Forget about ever-fading wild-card hopes. Big question is whether Giancarlo Stanton's injury will ruin his MVP chances. In fairness, it shouldn't. If it did, that would quite literally redefine the phrase "adding insult to injury." 

2. Dolphins: Miami at Bills in search of 2-0 start: This is where I mention the profound historical signifinace of starting 2-0. Then that's where you mention that it was 3-0 last season before Richie Incognito swallowed the team and left the season in a dumpster fire.

3. UM football: Kaaya's record day propels Canes; Nebraska next: Brad Kaaya set UM freshman record with 342 passing yards in 41-20 cruise past Arkansas State, but thoughts already swivel to Lincoln, Neb. and the Cornhuskers. That's the game that gets Al Golden's critics off his back, or piles more on.

4. NFL: Scandals have commissioner under fire: Roger Goodell scrambles to save his job as the Ray Rice scandal festers and league seeks consistency in how to punish wrong-doers. Latest: Adrian Peterson indicted for child endangerment. Guys, can you all stay out of trouble for one freakin' week, please!?    

5. Team USA: Americans go for gold in FIBA World Cup: It's U.S. vs. Serbia for gold today in Madrid, ending a tournament in which Team USA is 8-0 with an average winning margin of 33 points. What was that I was saying about how much the team would miss absent stars like LeBron james and Kevin Durant?

6. Donna Shalala: UM president stepping down: Shalala will leave UM after 14 years. Many Canes football fans complained that her high academic standards hurt the program, oblivious to how comically upside-down that made their priorities seem.

7. Panthers: NHL team opens training camp Friday: Five days from the ceremonial return of skates and pucks in South Florida. New coach Gerard Gallant doesn't know the market. Let's not break it to him yet that this isn't a hockey town.

8. Serena Williams: Woman defies aging, keeps winning: Her third straight U.S. Open title last week was her sixth overall and 18th major. She'll be 33 next week. Serena did not get the memo informing tennis players they're supposed to be over the hill by then. 

9. FXFL: New minor-league football team coming to Miami: The Fall Experimental Football League opens in October with four teams and one, the Florida Blacktips, is Miami-based and will play at FIU. "See you soon!" said the caretaker of the Miami Minor-League Sports Graveyard.

10. Atlanta Hawks: Racial turmoil engulfs team: Owner Bruce Levenson resigns over a racially charged email and GM Danny Ferry takes leave of absence after saying Luol Deng (now with Heat) "has some African in him." Not sure if that's even offensive, but let's be offended anyway, just to play it safe. 

Bubble: NASCAR Chase for the Cup begins ... UM, FIU to resume playing each other ... MLB forms committee to speed up games. I still like my idea: First run wins.

Check back a lot because we update and add to our latest blogposts oft-times daily...

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 71.8%; plus UM clobbers Arkansas State 41-20; also FIU loses, more Stanton, Rice verdict & more

1) It is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Click on Week 2 Gems for our latest NFL prediction capsules and on Eventually, Forgiveness for our Friday Page column on Ray Rice. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Giancarlo Stanton's injury, Ray Rice poll, Ferry-Deng audio, NFL Week 2 pix, Al Golden verdict & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Thoughts of Tony C, and thanks it wasn't worse: Today's column by me on Giancarlo Stanton's injury. Click on Lucky to read.

Our UM-Arkansas State game blog is directly below the poll...

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G3: 71.8%: Results are ceertified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 71.8 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 41-20 home victory vs. Arkansas State putting UM's season record 1aa1acsmat 2-1. The CSM polls, in their sixth season, are your invitation after every Hurricanes game to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville)

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

Next poll: Sept. 20 (following game at Nebraska)

G3: HURRICANES 41, ARKANSAS STATE 20: Final: Canes fans not satisfied by this may be trying a bit too hard to be critical. Just a thought. Offense in charged all day, led by Kaay's 341 yards and 4 TDs and Dorsett's 201 yards receiving. Too bad for him they didn't try harder to get him Eddie Brown's durable 1984 record of 220 catch-yards. Anyway, it was what it was supposed to be: An easy win over an opponent that should have been an easy win. ..... Halftime: UM having its way offensively at 27-14. Brad Kaaya 10--for-13 for 226 yards and two TDs, Duke Johnson 64 yards rushing on 8 carries, and Phillip Dorsett three catches for 138 yards. Defense has shown a couple of letdowns, though, enough to feed the Mark D'Onofrio haters if not quite sumptuously. ..... Original post: From the Sun Belt Conference come the Arkansas State Red Wolves for today's 3:30 Canes home game -- one Miami should win comfortably but yet must not approach too 1aa1aarkstate 1aa1aarkstate2comfortably. This isn't FAMU, a totally overmatched foe with no real shot at winning. Ark-State, generally around a 15-point underdog, is capable of an upset if UM is off its game or on auto-pilot dreaming of next week's big test at Nebraska. Don't see that happening. Canes are missing WR Stacy Coley to an injury but have plenty of other firepower to make this a no-sweat afternoon. They'd better, because the growing impatience with the program and especially with coach Al Golden mandates an easy W today. My pick: Miami, 34-13.

Other Collball Week 3 state FBS games:

Pitt 42, FIU 25: FIU stunningly led 16-0 after one quarter but was thereafter dominated and overrun. The home team was coming off a win over tiny Wagner but facing an opponent much higher on the college food chain, with Pittsburgh favored by around 25 points. Both teams nicknamed Panthers with similar uniform colors, but not similiar in talent or depth.

FAU 50, Tulsa 21: Tulsa was a slight favorite by most sports books, but I had a strong feeling the home team would prevail. But not by this much! Night Owls!

Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (OT): Gators survive in triple-overtime, oh my! Kentucky was 2-0 but Gators owned this opponent, this series, especially in the Swamp. I said I'd surprised if Florida wasn't on top of the 19.5-point bet-line, but I was wrong. Gator Nation none too pleased.

Also: No. 20 Missouri def. UCF, 38-10; and North Carolina State def. South Florida, 49-17. No. 1 Florida State is off.

Poll result: Rice should serve full-year suspension, but no consensus: We asked about the punishment and future of Ray Rice over his domestic abuse scandal, and 42.8 percent said he should serve a full-season suspension, 29.6% said six games, 15.5% said a lifetime ban, 8.9% said two games and 3.2% were undecided.

1aa1aphyllisHOW NOT TO GET RE-ELECTED IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith (pictured) has devised a way to avoid paying local taxes, anger people and lose her next election all at the same time. Congratulations, Phyllis! How embarrassingly, gallingly brilliant! The lesson, kids, is that what is legal isn't always what's right. What you can do isn't necessarily what you should do. Click here to read. 

Check back often because we update and add to our latest blogposts myriad times daily...