November 19, 2017

How satisfied are you with the Dolphins? Newest poll. Vote now!; Miami falls late to Bucs, 30-20, for 4th straight loss; also, Truex wins NASCAR crown at Homestead and my Dale Jr. column, my Canes football column, latest Hot Button Top 10 & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19. Holiday season! Give the Dolfan on your list the gift of my book on the club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes beat Virginia for 10-0 with CSM poll, FIU handles FIU, other state Collball & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

NEW! On Hurricanes' 44-28 Saturday win: Click on Heart and Fight Keep Canes' Perfect Dream Alive for my column from stadium on Saturday's comeback win by No. 3 and now 10-0 UM.

Voting in CSM postgame poll continues: The latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll remains open. Click CSM to vote.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G10: Time again for the latest installment of the Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, this in the wake of Sunday afternoon's 30-20 Dolphins home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers putting Miami's season record at 4-6. The DSM is a continuous weekly gauge of how Dolfans are feeling about the team and its 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 7 a.m. Tuesday.

 
2017 game-by-game DSM results
G1: 81.9% (following 19-17 victory at L.A. Chargers)
G2: 4.8% (following 20-6 loss at N.Y. Jets)
G3: 3.8% (following 20-0 loss vs. New Orleans in London)
G4: 9.9% (following 16-10 victory vs. Tennessee)
G5: 79.7% (following 20-17 victory at Atlanta)
G6: 86.1% (following 31-28 victory vs. N.Y. Jets)
G7: 6.1% (following 40-0 loss at Baltimore)
G8: 13.1% (following 27-24 loss vs. Oakland)
G9: 3.5% (following 45-21 loss at Carolina)
G10: Voting now underway (following 30-20 loss vs. Tampa Bay)

G10: TAMPA BAY AT DOLPHINS: MIAMI LOSES 4TH STRAIGHT, FALLS TO 4-6: Miami trailed 20-7 early, fought back to tie it 20-20 but lost on a 35-yard Bucs FG in the closing seconds followed by a fumble-TD on the final play. Fins had rallied behind Matt Moore after Jay Cutler (with three first-half INTs) left with a concussion. Original post: This is the season opener Hurricane Irma blew away and postponed 'til now -- what should have been a bye week for both teams. Instead the delayed meeting finds Fins and Bucs each slogging through disappointing seasons. Tampa just Tbmiaextricated from a five-game losing streak and now is without injured QB Jameis Winston. Miami was sailing along at 4-2 despite bad offense, but then came that 0-3 skid by a combined 112-45 score in consecutive prime-time pratfalls. Dolphins are only one game off playoff pace in the weak AFC but it feels worse, leading coach Adam Gase this week to say of his team: "It's not a total disaster everywhere." How's that for a positive spin! Such a rallying cry! It's hard to decide which team is worse right now, so this is a rare pick-'em game -- at least it was when I picked it -- though Miami opened a 2 1/2-point favorite and on Sunday morning I found both TB and MIA favored by 1 point in various lines. Not sure I get why Fins are not a three-point pick because team seem even. Jay Cutler vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick may be a push, but I anticipate a big bounceback performance at home by Miami's defense, which was embarrassed in that 40-0 loss at Baltimore and maybe even moreso in the 45-21 shellacking in Carolina Monday night. Against a Bucs squad that is 0-4 on the road, look for the Dolphins to shake their lapse into awfulness and get back to being average. Both teams share desperation,with LB Rey Maualuga's recent arrest and fast firing only adding to Gase's trying season. As the city swoons over the unbeaten Hurricanes, the Dolphins sincerely need a W to get folks caring again. My pick: Dolphins, 21-20. (Click Week 11 Gems for all our latest picks).

Nascar HomesteadNASCAR CROWNS TRUEX CHAMP, JUNIOR BIDS FAREWELL AT HOMESTEAD: My Dale Jr. column from the track. Click Truex Jr. Takes Trophy, But Dale Jr. Wins The Day. The four drivers running for the NASCAR season championship today -- Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex -- do not, for me, include any transcendent star of particular interest. But the fact this is Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s final race before retiring adds a compelling layer to the day. I'll be down there columnizing. Gentleman, start your laptop!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 19): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Hotbutton1. HURRICANES: No. 3 Canes rally to beat Virginia in home finale: ACC title game, first 10-win season since 2003 and angling for College Football Playoff all say Miami is back. Saturday's third straight huge home crowd for the 44-28 win says Canes fans are back, too.

2. NASCAR: Final Four, Junior lead finale at Homestead: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex will run for season crown Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. co-headlines the day in his final race before retiring.

3. MARLINS: Trade-rumored Stanton wins NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton joins Dan Marino (1984) and LeBron James (2012, '13) as only Miami athletes to win their sport's top individual award. Just one more reason we'll miss him when (if) he's gone.

4. DOLPHINS: Fins host Tampa, try to end slump: Even game Sunday vs. Bucs here as Miami tries to end 3-game skid in which it was outscored 112-45. Schedule toughens greatly after this, so loss to Tampa would all but wave bye-bye to realistic playoff hopes.

5. HEAT: Wanted: Signs Miami is above average: Heat is 7-8 entering today's game vs. Indiana after last season's .500 finish. When will Miami leave Mediocreville and be relevant again? Wednesday visit by really-good Boston will tell us how good Heat is ... or isn't.

6. SOCCER: Two huge omissions as World Cup field set: The 32-nation field for the 2018 men's soccer World Cup in Russia is now set, with the draw scheduled for Dec. 1. Italy and the United States were the two most notable teams to fail to qualify. You'd think Putin could have snuck the U.S. in as a favor to Trump, no? 

7. SHULA BOWL: FAU handles FIU in rivalry renewal: The 16th annual Shula Bowl found host FAU clobbering FIU 52-24, Lane Kiffin besting Butch Davis in a duel of two veteran coaches who have turned around those programs in their first seasons at the schools.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men rise in polls: Jim Larranaga's guys have started 3-0 and risen two spots to No. 11 in the polls entering Wednesday's game vs. LaSalle. Season's first big test: Nov. 29 at No. 14 Minnesota.

9. PANTHERS: Hey don't forget about us, say Cats: Florida fell to 7-12 with a 4-0 loss at the L.A. Kings last night. Inconsistent Cats play in Anaheim Sunday. Hockey team needs to make a run (a skate?) to earn attention of more than diehards in South Florida.

10. TENNIS: Serena gets married: Tennis star Serena Williams married Alexis Ohanian in a fairy-tale, Beauty and the Beast-themed wedding in New Orleans. They'd recently had a baby girl together. The baby is the early betting favorite to win Wimbledon in 2038.

Missing the HB10 cut: The Jerry Jones-Roger Goodell feud is getting nasty. On the bright side, it's a diversion from counting players who took a knee during the anthem ..... Bucs QB Jameis Winston is accused of grabbing the crotch of a female Uber driver. And, yes, that is worse than stealing crab claws ..... Dear Media Colleagues: A special request? Quit interviewing, quoting and broadcasting LaVar Ball. Thank you. Carry on.
 

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 18, 2017

How satisfied are you with the Hurricanes? New poll. Vote now!; plus No. 3 UM rallies, mints first 10-win season since 2003!; also, my new Canes column from stadium, FAU spanks FIU, other state Collball (updated) & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18. Holiday season! Give the Dolfan on your list the gift of my book on the club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ferdie Pacheco R.I.P., Stanton wins NL MVP, NFL Week 11 picks & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

NEW! Game column from Canes' 44-28 Saturday win: Click on Heart and Fight Keep Canes' Perfect Dream Alive for my column from the stadium on today's UM comeback win.

Canes QB Malik Rosier: A family crisis and a father's love: In my previous column I write about all that quarterback Malik Rosier is dealing with off the field as he leads the unbeaten Hurricanes on it. Click on A QB, a Crisis & a Father's Love to read.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G10: Time again for the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, this in the wake of Saturday Csmafternoon's 44-28 home victory by unbeaten No. 3-ranked Miami over the visiting Virginia Cavaliers putting UM's season record at 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the ACC. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Monday.

 

You may also vote in poll online by clicking HERE.

2017 CSM results

G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman

G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo 

G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke

G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State

G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech

G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse

G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina

G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech

G9: 98.6% following 41-8 victory vs. Notre Dame

G10: Voting now underway following 44-28 victory vs. Virginia

VaumG10: VIRGINIA @ NO. 3 HURRICANES: UNBEATEN MIAMI RALLIES, TAKES CARE OF BUSINESS ON SENIOR DAY IN HOME FINALE: MIAMI WINS 44-28, STAYS UNBEATEN FOR FIRST 10-WIN SEASON SINCE 2003. Click on Heart and Fight Keep Canes' Perfect Dream Alive for my column from the stadium ..... MIAMI 44-28 (4Q): Homer 19-yard run .....  MIAMI 37-28 (4Q): Rosier 8-yard run ..... MIAMI 31-28 (3Q): Badgley 44-yard field goal ..... MIAMI 28-28 (3Q): Johnson 30-yard interception return ..... MIAMI 21-28 (3Q): Rosier-Cager 9-yard pass ..... UVA 28-14 (3Q): Benkert-Hamm 26-yard pass ..... UVA 21-14 (2Q): Benkert-Levrone 33-yard pass ..... MIAMI 14-14 (2Q): Rosier-Harris 36-yard pass ..... MIAMI 7-14 (1Q): Rosier-Richards 10-yard pass .....  UVA 14-0 (1Q): Benkert-Reed 75-yard pass ..... UVA 7-0 (1Q): Benkert-Zaccheaus 33-yard pass ..... Original post: The intensity and  atmosphere will be dialed back a bit for Saturday's noon matinee vs. mediocre-but-decent 6-4 Virginia, after consecutive wins over ranked Virginia Tech and Notre Dame had TochainThe Rock filled and rocking. Or will it? The home-finale emotion of Senior Day, another expected huge crowd and UM 9-0 and gunning for its first 10-win season since 2003 should keep that intensity ratcheted up. Canes also know an upset loss would send them tumbling from their coveted No. 3 spot in the College Football Playoff ranking. The intensity surely will be there for QB Malik Rosier as well, with his father here and watching one game after missing the Notre Dame after suffering a stroke. (See my column on that, linked above). Miami cannot let down against a bowl-eligible ACC opponent with a decent offense led by QB Kurt Benkert. Miami is favored by 19 points. Of course there's always that magical Turnover Chain if things get a little quiet. UM has 24 takeaways, tied for fourth-most in the country, including eight in the past two huge wins. My sense of Saturday? The Cavaliers defense won't be up to the challenge of stopping Rosier, Travis Homer and Braxton Berrios et al, and a huge crowd thanking the Canes for this season will keep the team revved up. My pick: Hurricanes, 31-16.

Other state FBS Week 12 games (chronologically, all Saturday unless noted):

South Florida 27, Tulsa 20: Bulls now 9-1 after less-than-impressive Thursday home win, with rival UCF on deck and amid rumors Charlie Strong may be candidate for Florida Gators opening.

No. 3 Miami 44, Virginia 28: See preview above.

No. 15 UCF 45, Temple 19: Never-a-doubt road win puts Knights at 10-0 with rival South Florida on deck in play-in game for spot in American conference title game.

Florida State 77, Delaware State 6: Seminoles now 4-6. This is called "taking out your frustrations."

Florida 33, Alabama-Birmingham 7: Gators now 4-6 after beating lesser team. Whooooo!

FaufiuFAU 52, FIU 24: C-USA regional rivals met in 16th annual Shula Bowl, and who'd have believed they'd do so as a combined 13-6? That's a testament to two veteran, smart-hire first-year coaches in Panthers' Butch Davis and Owls' Lane Kiffin. FAU was a huge 14 1/2-point home fave due to an explosive offense, and verified that. Owls, 8-3, now on a seven-game winning streak in which they've averaged 49 points, and clinched spot in conference championship game with the win. FAU now leads Shula Bowl series 11-5. 

National Collball Week 12 overview: After a plethora of CFP Top 25 matchups the past two weeks there is only one Saturday: No. 5 Wisconsin handled 24-Michigan 24-10. Looks like no Top 10 will lose this week.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 17, 2017

My new column on Canes QB Malik Rosier and his father; plus Ferdie Pacheco R.I.P., Stanton's MVP win (and a guess where he'll end up), NFL Week 11 picks & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17. Know any diehard Dolfans? Just in time for the holidays, surprise them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, latest SOPY standings, new Back In My Day video & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

Malik Rosier: A family crisis and a father's love: In my new column I write about all that quarterback Malik Rosier is dealing with off the field as he leads the unbeaten Canes on it. Click on A QB, a Crisis & a Father's Love to read.

FerdieFERDIE PACHECO, THE FIGHT DOCTOR, 1927-2017: Ferdie Pacheco, "The Fight Doctor," passed away in his sleep Thursday at 89 in his Miami home. He would have turned 90 in three weeks. I knew Ferdie well and admired him much. He was a Renaissance man of many passions, including medicine, writing, painting and kindness. He was a boxing legend for his work as ring doctor with Cassius Clay-turned-Muhammad Ali in the 5th Street Gym heydays, and as a boxing analyst. Ferdie and I stood with each other and watched the day a wrecking ball turned that famed, gloriously dilapidated gym to rubble. What a fascinating life well led. R.I.P., good sir.

StantonSTANTON MVP MUCH DESERVED: Congrats to the Marlins' (for now) Giancarlo Stanton for last night being named NL MVP for his 59-homer season. He joins only Dan Marino (1984) and LeBron James (2012 and '13) as Miami-team athletes to have won their league's highest individual honor. I wonder if this will merit a personal congratulatory call from new Fish CEO Derek Jeter, or if Jeter will delegate a minion to pass along his good wishes? It seems a given Stanton and his enormous contract will be traded in the next few weeks. I hope it is not. Stanton genuinely loves living in Miami; just bought a new penthouse here. Hopefully the new ownership resolve to build around Stanton and grow their farm system other ways, such as other deals and smart drafting.

Speculation on Stanton's landing spot: CBS Sports here lists all 30 teams from most to least likely to end up with Stanton. Marlins keeping him ranks a fairly encouraging No. 6, after the leading Red Sox, Cardinals Dodgers, Yankees and Giants.  

FripixUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA! NFL WEEK 11 PICKS: DOLPHINS SHED AWFUL, GET BACK TO AVERAGE, BEAT BUCS: Miami's defense has been terrible in three straight losses but I see a big bounceback at home Sunday. Click on Week 11 Gems for my picks on Dolphins-Buccaneers, Game of the Week (Eagles-Cowboys), Upset of the Week (Rams-Vikings: "Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our week got off to a perfect start last night. We said Steelers would cover a 7-point line over Titans, and Pittsburgh won, 40-17.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 16, 2017

Dolphins' Cutler makes big leap in latest Herald NFL QB rankings; plus Canes No. 3 in CFP, Pix 'n Fantasy results, updated SOPY standings, new 'Back In My Day' video & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16. Dolphins approval rating sinks to new season low in latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter. See previous blogpost for details. 2) Know any people who are (still) serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins collapse in Carolina with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

Tonight's Steelers-Titans pick: Two division leaders on four-game win streaks. Wow. A Thursday night football game worth watching! Click Thursday Gem for our predix capsule.

No. 3 in CFP a great spot for Hurricanes: Miami being raked behind Clemson is a huge benefit to the Canes. Click CFP Does Canes A Favor to read my latest column. And click The Mark 'n Manny Show for my previous column on Canes.

BRADY RETAKES LEAD, CUTLER MOVES UP / HERALD QB RANKINGS / WEEK 10: Patriot Tom Brady takes advantage of Alex Smith's Chiefs bye week to regain Jcthe season lead after Week 10 of the Miami Herald’s NFL quarterback rankings. The Rams' Jared Goff wins the week with a 44.75-point game, edging Brady. Meanwhile Miami's Jay Cutler (pictured) moves up five big spots to No. 21 overall, putting him in position to crack the Top 20 chart this week. This is the 20th season of our Passer Success System (PASS) rankings, which began in 1998. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. Most major ranking systems such as the NFL's and ESPN's are complicated and percentile based, allowing QBs who miss half a season to still win a title, while our system is cumulative, rewarding players who are consistently productive and avoid injury or benching. Because the rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week (such as Smith in Week 10) take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season.

HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / Top 20 plus Dolphins

RK LW Player, Team               Wk10   Season

1     2  Tom Brady, NE              43.30   345.35

2     1  Alex Smith, KC              BYE     318.20

3     3  Drew Brees, NO            25.20   312.90

4     7  Russell Wilson, SEA       34.90   281.15

5     5  Kirk Cousins, WAS         23.35   273.70

6     6  Josh McCown, NYJ        20.10   270.10

7     4  Carson Wentz, PHI        BYE     268.10

8     8  Matthew Stafford, DET 31.45   267.05

9     9  Matt Ryan, ATL             33.75   257.60

10  12 Jared Goff, LAR            44.75   254.50

11  10 Dak Prescott, DAL         18.80   237.70

12  16 Cam Newton, CAR         36.70   233.60

13  17 Eli Manning, NYG           38.65  230.65

14  15 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT  26.80  223.90

15  19t Case Keenum, MIN        39.20  220.70

16  11 Derek Carr, OAK             BYE    217.70

17  14 Philip Rivers, LAC          19.75  217.15

18  13 Tyrod Taylor, BUF           -0.20  202.20

19  19t Jacoby Brissett, IND     18.10  199.60

20  25 Andy Dalton, CIN           24.25  195.20

21  26 Jay Cutler, MIA              20.65  189.95

40  39 Matt Moore, MIA            DNP     29.20

Bubble: Cutler, MIA, 189.95. Week 10 Best: Goff, LAR, 44.75 (25-37, 355, 3-0 in win). Week 10 Worst: Taylor, BUF, minus-0.20 (9-18, 56, 0-1 in loss).

FripixNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 10 RESULTS: Every week in the blog I tell you know how I did the previous NFL weekend with my Miami herald predictions and with my Greg's Lobos team in the LeBatard Show fantasy league. WEEK 10Herald picks: Mixed results again. Went a very solid 11-3 straight-up but a terrible 5-9 against despite an Upset of the Week bull's-eye ("Aawwk!") on Bucs over Jets. Also had Packers-with-points over Bears. Got a bit unlucky in missing two games by a half-point each. Greg's Lobos: Loss. Lobos fell to 6-4 (still tied for third in a 14-team league) with a tough 102.1-99.5 loss to Domonique Foxworth. Had nobody better than Todd Gurley's 19.6 points. Still had a shot with two in play Monday night, but Jarvis Landry and Graham Gano fell just short for me. #GurleyMen #GoLobosGo

SOPY RANKINGS / WEEK 11: CANES' HOMER CLIMBS CHART: Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier maintains third place but loses ground to the leaders Sopywhile UM running back Travis Homer rises two spots to No. 6 in the race for the Herald's 2017 State Offensive Player of the Year award. QBs Quinton Flowers of South Florida and McKenzie Milton of UCF are in a virtual dead heat for the No. 1 spot. Our weekly rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida. The rankings are cumulative but based weekly on average points per game: Total points divided by number of games a player's team has played. This keeps the comparison even because not all teams have played the same number of games at the same time. 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.

SOPY Top 10 entering Week 12:

RK LW Player, School-Pos.                          Average  Total points (Games)

1    1  Quinton Flowers-SoFla qb                 208.06    1,872.5 / 9

2    2  McKenzie Milton-UCF qb                   207.33    1,866 / 9

3    3  Malik Rosier-Miami qb                       188.94    1,700.5 / 9

4    4  Devin Singletary-FAU rb                    167.10     1,671 / 10

5    5  Alex McGough-FIU qb                        136.83    1,231.5 / 9

6    8  Travis Homer-Miami rb                      113.00    1,017 / 9

7    6  Cam Akers-FSU rb                             107.83       970.5 / 9

8    7  Thomas Owens-FIU rec                      105.06      945.5 / 9

9    9  Marquez Valdes-Scantling-SoFla rec     96.11      865 / 9

10  -- Tre'Quan Smith-UCF rec                       94.44      850 / 9

Bubble: Darius Tice-SoFla rb, 94.11. Other team leader: Feleipe Franks-Florida qb, 68.33. Week 11 best: Milton-UCF qb, 225.5 points. Season best: Flowers-SoFla qb, 341.5 points (W10).

Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. Miami (9-0); 2. UCF (9-0); 3. South Florida (8-1); 4. Florida State (3-6); 5. FAU (7-3); 6. Florida (3-6); 7. FIU (6-3).

LATEST 'BACK IN MY DAY': UNNECESSARY AUTOMATION!: On self-parking cars, automatic doors and moving walkways. Not my best BIMD, but they can't all be, right?

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 15, 2017

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 3.5%. Season-low approval rating for Fins; plus Miami clobbered in Carolina 45-21 in defensive collapse; also, Canes column, latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated) & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14. Know any people who are serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes crush Notre Dame 41-8 with CSM postgame poll, other state Collball & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

New Hurricanes column: As 9-0 Canes await arrival tonight into the College Football Playoff ranking's top four, we write about the real reason for this season. Click The Mark 'n Manny Show. Also, click Championship In View For Soaring Canes for column from Saturday night huge win over Notre Dame. And, no surprise: Approval rating in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll hit 98.6 percent, another season high. See previous blogpost for details.

DsmDOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G9: 3.5%: Results are certified in the latest installment of the Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 3.5 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Monday night’s 45-21 Dolphins loss at the Carolina Panthers putting Miami's season record at 4-5. That is a new season low. The DSM is a continuous weekly gauge of how Dolfans are feeling about the team and its 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 8:45 a.m. today/Wednesday.

 

2017 game-by-game DSM results

G1: 81.9% (following 19-17 victory at L.A. Chargers)

G2: 4.8% (following 20-6 loss at N.Y. Jets)

G3: 3.8% (following 20-0 loss vs. New Orleans in London)

G4: 9.9% (following 16-10 victory vs. Tennessee)

G5: 79.7% (following 20-17 victory at Atlanta)

G6: 86.1% (following 31-28 victory vs. N.Y. Jets)

G7: 6.1% (following 40-0 loss at Baltimore)

G8: 13.1% (following 27-24 loss vs. Oakland)

G9: 3.5% (following 45-21 loss at Carolina)

Next poll: Nov. 19 (following game vs. Tampa Bay)

G9: CAROLINA 45, DOLPHINS 21: OK YOU SAW WHAT THE CANES JUST DID, FINS. WHAT YOU GOT? NUTHIN'!:  Our five takeaways from Monday night’s 45-21 Dolphins loss at Carolina: 1) With Miami 4-5 after a third straight loss, please do not mention the phrase “playoff contention” again until you hear otherwise. You cannot rely on either offense or defense As ESPN’s Jon Gruden put it Monday night, Miami “is perhaps the most inconsistent team I‘ve seen in a while.” 2) We knew the offense was among the NFL’s worst. But we thought the defense was OK, maybe even pretty good. Until now. Carolina totaled 548 yards of offense, including 294 rushing (and 8.2 per carry). Embarrassing. 3) Not Yet Ready For Prime-Time Players. Dolphins just became the first team ever to play three consecutive prime-time games and lose them all. 4) Miami remains the only team in the league to not score a rushing touchdown this season. Larry Csonka and Ricky Williams are spinning in their graves, and they aren’t dead yet. 5) Game-turning play: Fins were headed into halftime down only 10-7, then Jay Cutler through a bonehead interception from his own end that set up Carolina for a 17-7 lead. It was over from there ..... In- game: MIA 21-45 (4Q): Landry 9-yard pass from Cutler ..... CAR 45-14 (3Q): Funchess 32-yard pass from Newton ..... CAR 38-14 (3Q): McCaffrey 2-yard pass from Newton ..... MIA 14-31 (3Q): Drake 66-yard run ..... CAR 31-7 (3Q): Artis-Payne 12-yard run ..... CAR 24-7 (3Q): Funchess 28-yard pass from Newton ..... Halftime thoughts: Miami down in total yards 220-118 but a fairly even half except for the late, dumb Jay Cutler interception that gifted Carolina an easy TD ..... CAR 17-7 (2Q): Dickson 7-yard pass from Newton ..... MIA 7-10 (2Q): Thomas 2-yard pass from Cutler ..... CAR 10-0 (2Q): McCaffrey 4-yard run ..... CAR 3-0 (1Q): Gano 40-yard FG ..... Live blog tonight will mean as-they-happen score updates, halftime and postgame thoughts, then the DSM postgame poll ..... Original post: The Dolphins have lost two in a row, and there are no pity-points for improved effort or barely losing to Oakland 27-24 last week as what had been a comatose Miami offense finally showed a pulse. Fins still must prove they 

Miacar1can play a complete, complementary game with all cylinders pumping, and if they don't do it Monday night in Charlotte that would make it 0-for-3 in consecutive prime-time showcases. I give Miami a big chance here -- certainly against the spread, getting 10 points. Dolphins may be a shaky .500 at 4-4, but the Panthers' 6-3 mark Miacar2wobbles a bit, too. Cam Newton's passer rating actually is a fair bit worse than Jay Cutler's (78.4 to 87.4), thanks to Cam's 11 interceptions, tied for most in the league. The Cats are minus-8 overall on turnovers, fourth-worst in the NFL. Miami also has the benefit of safety T.J. McDonald's debut after serving an eight-game league suspension for substance abuse. Carolina's defense, though, is really stout -- much better than what Cutler picked apart last week vs. Oakland. And it doesn't help that Fins right tackle Ja'Wuan James is now on injured reserve. Also the Monday night stage, though diminished, still tends to magnify a home-field advantage. The good news? I'd bet on a close game, Miami-plus-points, and an outright upset would not shock. The bad news? I need to see a solid, four-quarter performance by the offense and defense in synch before the Dolphins earn my trust to conjure another major road upset like what they pulled off in Atlanta. My pick: Carolina, 24-17.

 

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (UPDATED): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature, updated Mondays, is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Hotbutton1. HURRICANES: UM crushes Notre Dame, stakes championship intentions: Canes crushed Fighting Irish 41-8 Saturday, clinched a spot in ACC title game and made case to leap from No. 7 into College Football Playoff top four. For me, other than the five national-championship wins, the last in 2001 -- maybe the greatest night in UM football history. #TurnoverChain

2. DOLPHINS: Miami crushed at Carolina on Monday Night Football: Fins had lost two games in a row on Thursday night (at Baltimore) and Sunday night (vs. Oakland) and now gave Monday a shot in last chance to avoid being first team ever to lose three consecutive prime-time games. Didn't work.

3. NASCAR: Six days 'til Championship Sunday at Homestead: Sunday's penultimate race in Phoenix finalized the Championship Four for this Sunday's run at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It'll be Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex and Brad Keselowski racing for season crown. As many eyes, though, will be on Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his last race before retiring.

4. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: CFP committee ready to shuffle top four: With No. 1 Georgia, 3-Notre Dame and 6-TCU all losing Saturday, Miami should leap 7-to-4 -- at least -- in Tuesday's new College Football Playoff ranking. New No. 1 figures to be Alabama ... unless Miami Hurricanes fans commandeer the votes. Would not shock to see Canes second behind only 'Bama.

5. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women both open season 2-0: No. 13 UM men routed Gardner-Webb 77-45 in Friday's season opener behind Bruce Brown's triple-double while Canes women beat FIU 77-69 led by Mykea Gray's 27 points, then both won again Sunday. Men's team plays under cloud of that FBI investigation into college recruiting, but winning is a diversion, at least.

6. MARLINS: Stanton trade speculation gains traction: Fish confirmed Don Mattingly would return as manager but remain noncommittal on slugger Giancarlo Stanton as assumption grows that they'll trade him, with Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants and Phillies out front among reported suitors. Dear Marlins: Small request. Get (a lot) more for Stanton than you got for Miguel Cabrera.

7. HEAT: Must we get used to being average?: Miami is 6-7 after Sunday's loss in Detroit, after finishing right at .500 last season. Long season, folks. And it's looking like another thrilling fight for that seventh or eighth seed. Pardon the attitude. The Big 3 years spoiled me.  

8. PANTHERS: Florida sinks to bottom of East: Cats are 5-11 after loss in New Jersey and in last place in the NHL's Eastern Conference. Either the club will show patience seldom associated with the Panthers, or rookie coach Bob Boughner may be on the edge of trouble.  

9. FIU: Panthers fall at home: FIU was an upset loser to Old Dominion 37-30 Saturday but still is an impressive 6-3 under first-year coach Butch Davis, though overshadowed by UM's unbeatenness. I mean, what were the odds FIU would today have as many wins as the Seminoles and Gators combined?

10. BASEBALL: Japanese phenom headed to America: Touted Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani will be in Major League Baseball starting in 2018. hailed as perhaps the greatest two-way player since Babe Ruth. Hey, no pressure or anything, Shohei!

Missing the HB10 cut: Free man O.J. Simpson has been banned from the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino in Vegas over alleged drunken, belligerent behavior. Or, did that go without saying? ..... Lonzo Ball's younger brother was among UCLA players arrested for shoplifting in China. Does the Bruins defense get statistical credit for those steals? ..... Bulletin: Ezekiel Elliott's suspension is back on, pending another 47 appeals ..... On behalf of Richard Sherman and his Achilles, can we finally abolish Thursday Night Football? Please? ..... R.I.P., Roy Halladay. And a slap in the face to those Boston radio idiots who made light of the private plane crash that took his life ..... What the hell did you start, Harvey Weinstein? Now Louis C.K., too? Keep it in your pants, fellas. Y'all are giving men a bad name, by which I mean even worse than usual.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 13, 2017

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.6%. Another season-high approval rating for unbeaten UM!; plus Hurricanes rout Notre Dame 41-8 in epic night to put national-title shot in play, our column from game

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12. Know any people who are serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 10 picks, Herald NFL quarterback rankings, updated SOPY standings, Pix 'n Fantasy results & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

NEW: COLUMN FROM STADIUM ON CANES' EPIC WIN: Click Championship In View For Soaring Canes. Also: The Hurricanes Are Back; Deal With It, America (column advancing game) and Canes-Irish: Game For The Ages (earlier column listing Top 10 UM wins since glory days, and why this tops them all).

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G9: 98.6%: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 98.6 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday Pic98.6night’s 41-8 home victory by unbeaten No. 7 Miami over No. 3 Notre Dame putting UM's season record at 9-0. That's another season high -- and about as close to 100% as you'll ever see in an online poll. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:30 a.m. today/Monday. Votes came directly below and also online here.

2017 CSM results

G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman
G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo
G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke
G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State
G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech
G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse
G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina
G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech
G9: 98.6% following 41-8 victory vs. Notre Dame
Next poll: Nov. 18 following game vs. Virginia  

 

G9: NOTRE DAME @ HURRICANES: UNBEATEN UM SLAYS A GIANT, MAKES MOVE ON CFP TOP FOUR: MIA 41, ND 8 (Final). Click Championship In View For Soaring Canes for my column from the stadium .....  MIA 41-8 (4Q): Dallas 5-yard run ..... ND 34-8 (3Q): Winbush-Mack 14-yard pass ..... MIA 34-0 (3Q): Dallas 4-yard run ..... MIA 27-0 (2Q): Bandy 65-yard interception return ..... MIA 20-0 (2Q): Badgley 30-yard FG ..... MIA 17-0 (2Q): Badgley 23-yard FG ..... MIA 14-0 (1Q): Rosier 16-yard run ..... MIA 7-0 (1Q): Rosier-Berrios 7-yard pass ..... Original post: It was 1989, the season of Miami's third of five national championships, when the Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish last played a football game in Miami. Omen? History repeating? Let's find out as 8-1, No. 3- Miandranked Notre Dame and 8-0, No. 7 UM play Saturday night at 8 at a filled-up Hard Rock Stadium before a national audience on ABC. That was after ESPN's College Gameday did its show from the Coral Gables campus earlier in the day -- yet another indication this is the Game of the Week and the Canes are top-tier-relevant again in the sport. That the TochainIrish are higher-ranked and favored (by 3 points) despite being the road team is no shock, nor is it an injustice or insult. Notre Dame has won seven straight games, all by double digits, since losing by one point to now-No. 1 Georgia. Miami by contrast had won its previous five games by a combined 18 points prior to last week's impressive 28-10 home dismantling of Virginia Tech in its first 2017 win over a ranked opponent. The onus is on the underdog Canes to prove their defense can penetrate a premier Irish Chainsrosariesoffensive line that bulldozes the way to a 325-yard rushing average per game. UM already has allowed 200-plus ground yards to three opponents this season, so that's the matchup that most makes the visitor the betting favorite. Apart from that 20-19 loss Leprechaunto Georgia, Notre Dame has averaged 44 points per game. This gives UM hope, though: ND's defense gave up 37 points to Wake Forest last week. The stakes could hardly be higher. The game's winner will be in the driver's seat to be in the College Football Playoff as one of the top four teams, while the loser will be a longshot. "It's single-elimination for both teams," as Irish coach Brian Kelly put it. I get why Notre Dame is favored, but I also think intangibles weigh heavily and favor Miami. The crowd and ambience and noise vs. Virginia Tech created a palpable, difference-making home field advantage for UM, and Saturday's crowd will be even more electric. UM expects more than 300 former players and coaches at the game, a record. It figures as one of the biggest nights in Miami sports history, any team, any time. Pictured left: Dueling magic. Lucky Turnover Chain vs. Lucky Leprechaun. My pick: Hurricanes, 30-27.

Other state FBS Week 11 games (chronologically, all Saturday):

No. 18 UCF 49, Connecticut 24: Knights, now 9-0, were favored by 40 1/2 over 3-6 UConn, so this won't impress poll voters much.

South Carolina 28, Florida 20: Gators can't climb from early 14-0 hole they dug on road, sink to 3-6 (and 0-2 under interim coach Randy Shannon).

No. 4 Clemson 31, Florida State 14: Tigers were big 16-point home favorites but only led 17-14 before two late scores verified their CFP status and clinched a spot in ACC title game as FSU tumbles to 3-6.

FAU 48, Louisiana Tech 23: Bowl-bound Owls are now 7-3 after another impressive win for Lane Kiffin's resurgent program.

Old Dominion 37, FIU 30: Butch Davis' Panthers were 9 1/2-point home favorites but forgot to bring their defense to the stadium, fall to 6-3.

No. 7 Miami 41, No. 3 Notre Dame 8: Epic. See above.

Off this week: South Florida (8-1).

National Collball Week 11 overview: Five more CFP Top 25 matchups Saturday along with Miami-Notre Dame. No. 10-Auburn stunned No. 1 Georgia 40-10, 13-Ohio State routed 12-Michigan State 48-3, 15-Oklahoma State beat 21-Iowa State 49-42, 5-Oklahoma beat 6-TCU 38-20, and 2-Alabama survived 16-Mississippi State 31-24.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 10, 2017

Ranking Top 10 Hurricanes wins since last national championship, and why beating Notre Dame would be No. 1; plus Dolphins-Panthers and other NFL Week 10 picks, Cutler wins Week 9 passing title, Owl crashes SOPY party, Pix 'n Fantasy results & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10. Know any people who are serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall to Oakland with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

MiandMiami-Notre Dame Week: In my latest column I name the Top 10 Miami Hurricanes football wins of the post-dynasty era (since the last national title in 2001) and declare that beating the Fighting Irish here Saturday night would top them all. Click on Canes-Irish: Game For The Ages.  

FripixUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA! NFL WEEK 10 PICKS: I THINK I SPRAINED AN ANKLE JUMPING OFF THE DOLPHINS BANDWAGON: After mistakenly picking the Dolphins to win the past two games, I'm done thinking they'll rise to the prime-time occasion. Click on Week 10 Gems for my picks on Dolphins-Panthers Monday nighter, Game of the Week (Saints-Bills), Upset of the Week (Jets-Buccaneers: "Aawwk!") and the rest. Our week got off to a nifty start last night. We said Seahawks would cover a 5-1/2-point line at Arizona, 24-16, and Seattle won 22-16.

SMOKIN'!: DOLPHINS' CUTLER WINS WEEK 9 PASSING TITLE / HERALD QB RANKINGS / WEEK 9: The Dolphins’ Jay Cutler scored a 50.55-point game to lead Cutlerall passers in Week 9 of the Miami Herald’s NFL quarterback rankings, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smith overtook Patriot Tom Brady for the overall season lead. This is the 20th season of our Passer Success System (PASS) rankings, which began in 1998. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. Most major ranking systems such as the NFL's and ESPN's are complicated and percentile based, allowing QBs who miss half a season to still win a title, while our system is cumulative, rewarding players who are consistently productive and avoid injury or benching. Because the rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week (such as Brady in Week 9) take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season.

HERALD NFL WEEK QB RANKINGS / Top 20 plus Dolphins

RK  LW  Player, Team                        WK9     SEASON

1     2    Alex Smith, KC                     32.15    318.20

2     1    Tom Brady, NE                      BYE       302.05

3     3    Drew Brees, NO                    41.15    287.70

4     4    Carson Wentz, PHI                29.95    268.10

5     7    Kirk Cousins, WAS                 28.35     250.35

6     6    Josh McCown, NYJ                23.00     250.00

7     5    Russell Wilson, SEA               17.85     246.25

8   11    Matthew Stafford, DET          48.05     235.60

9   10    Matt Ryan, ATL                     28.65     223.85

10  12   Dak Prescott, DAL                 32.45     218.90

11  13   Derek Carr, OAK                    32.00     217.70

12  21   Jared Goff, LAR                    38.55     209.75

13  22   Tyrod Taylor, BUF                  38.25     202.40

14   8    Philip Rivers, LAC                  BYE       197.40

15   9    Ben Roethlisberger, PIT          BYE       197.10

16 14    Cam Newton, CAR                 13.85     196.90

17 19    Eli Manning, NYG                   18.00     192.00

18 15    Aaron Rodgers, GB                 DNP       182.25

19t 25   Jacoby Brissett, IND              36.40      181.50

19t 16   Case Keenum, MIN                 BYE        181.50

26  29   Jay Cutler, MIA                      50.55      169.30

39  37   Matt Moore, MIA                    DNP          29.20

Bubble: tie, Carson Palmer ARI and Deshaun Watson HOU, both 180.95. Week 9 Best: Cutler MIA 50.55 (34-42, 311, 3-0 in loss). Week 9 Worst: Jameis Winston TB 4.35 (7-13, 67, 0-0 in loss).

FripixNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 9 RESULTS: Every week in the blog I tell you know how I did the previous NFL weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my Greg's Lobos team in the LeBatard Show fantasy league. WEEK 9Herald picks: Mixed results. Went an awful 6-7 straight-up as my struggles there continued, but fashioned a solid 7-5-1 against the spread  including two exact-score bull's-eyes in Titans winning 23-20 and Panthers 20-17. Greg's Lobos: Win! Lobos rose to 6-3 with a 120.3-78.3 rout of Billy, fueled by 25.6 points from Matt Forte and 24.4 from Todd Gurley. #ReturnOfTheGurleyMen #GoLobosGo

SOPY STANDINGS / WEEK 10: AN OWL CRASHES THE PARTY, ENTERS 'STATE HEISMAN' RACE: It's been a three-man race all season for the Herald's 2017 State SopyOffensive Player of the Year award -- the "state Heisman." Well, make it four now. Add Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary to the quarterback troika of South Florida's Quinton Flowers, UCF's McKenzie Milton and Miami's Malik Rosier. All had huge Week 10 performances, with Flowers overtaking the No. 1 spot with a season-high 341.5-point game, Singletary scoring 287, Milton 262 and Rosier 215.5. Also in the 200 club: Florida State RB Cam Akers with 229. Our weekly rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida. The rankings are cumulative but based weekly on average points per game: Total points divided by number of games a player's team has played. This keeps the comparison even because not all teams have played the same number of games at the same time. 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.

SOPY Top 10 entering Week 11:

RK   LW Player, School-Pos.                            Average / Total (Games)

1      3   Quinton Flowers-SoFla qb                  208.06 1,872.5 / 9

2      1   McKenzie Milton-UCF qb                    205.06 1,640.5 / 8

3      2   Malik Rosier-Miami qb                       197.00 1,576 / 8

4      4   Devin Singletary-FAU rb                     173.11 1,558 / 9

5      5   Alex McGough-FIU qb                        132.00 1,056 / 8

6      9   Cam Akers-FSU rb                             113.94 911.5 / 8

7      6   Thomas Owens-FIU rec                      107.31 858.5 / 8

8      7   Travis Homer-Miami rb                      105.88 847 / 8

9     --    Marquez Valdes-Scantling-SoFla rec     96.11 865 / 9

10   --    Adrian Killins, UCF rb                          95.63 765 / 8

Bubble: Darius Tice-SoFla rb, 94.11. Other team leader: Malik Davis-Florida rb, 74.50. Week 10 best: Flowers-SoFla qb, 341.5. Season best: Flowers-SoFla qb, 341.5 points (W10).

Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. Miami (8-0); 2. UCF (8-0); 3. South Florida (8-1); 4. Florida State (3-5); 5. Florida (3-5); 6. FIU (6-2); 7. FAU (6-3).

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 07, 2017

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 13.1%. Approval rating shows slight bump despite loss; plus Fins fall to Oakland 27-24, Hot Button Top 10 (updated) & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6. Know any people who are serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes throttle Virginia Tech with CSM poll, other state Collball Week 10, NFL Week 9 picks, your verdict on Ajayi trade & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

Dolphins-Oakland game column: Click Dolphins Let Another Prime-Time Chance Slip for my column from Sunday night's 27-24 home loss to Oakland.

Canes-Virginia Tech game column: Click Everything Is In Play Now for my column from the stadium on Saturday's 28-10 UM victory. Also see previous blogpost for latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter rating, a season-high 98.0.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G8: 13.1%: Results are certified in the latest installment of the Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 13.1 percent approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Sunday night's Dsm27-24 Dolphins home loss to the Oakland Raiders putting Miami's season record at 4-4. The DSM is a continuous weekly gauge of how Dolfans are feeling about the team and its 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 7 a.m today/Tuesday.

2017 game-by-game DSM results
G1: 81.9% (following 19-17 victory at L.A. Chargers)
G2: 4.8% (following 20-6 loss at N.Y. Jets)
G3: 3.8% (following 20-0 loss vs. New Orleans in London)
G4: 9.9% (following 16-10 victory vs. Tennessee)
G5: 79.7% (following 20-17 victory at Atlanta)
G6: 86.1% (following 31-28 victory vs. N.Y. Jets)
G7: 6.1% (following 40-0 loss at Baltimore)
G8: 13.1% (following 27-24 loss vs. Oakland)
Next poll: Nov 13 (following game vs. Carolina) 
 
You may also vote in the DSM poll online by clicking here.
 
G8: OAKLAND 27, DOLPHINS 24: MIAMI FALLS DESPITE HUGE NIGHT FROM CUTLER: Click Dolphins Let Another Prime-Time Chance Slip for my game Oakmiacolumn ..... Original post: These were both AFC playoff teams last season, and neither are looking the part this year. But this tells you all you need to know about the public's especially low regard for Miami: That the 4-3 Dolphins are underdogs at home to a 3-5 opponent -- an opponent that has lost five of its past six games and been one of NFL's biggest disappointments. If betting lines could talk, this one would be saying, "Your 4-3 record is a fraud, Dolphins. You stink!" And that negative perception was only magnified, underlined and italicized by this week's logic-defying trade of top RB Jay Ajayi to the Eagles in exchange for a lowly fourth-round draft pick. Dumb! A bad offense got worse, and a roster with limited starpower got less talented. Dummmb! The question now is whether the Fins can begin to prove that negative perception wrong Sunday night in this second of three straight prime-time opportunities, after falling flat in Baltimore last Thursday, 40-0. With great hesitation and wavering confidence I say yes -- not because I think Miami is better than average, but because Oakland, right now, is worse all-round. Derek Carr has been far from great, and only four teams have given up more points than the Raiders, so there should be opportunities as Jay Cutler returns at QB after a one-game injury absence and gets top target DeVante Parker back, too. Upset! My pick: Dolphins, 24-20. [Click Week 9 Gems for all our latest NFL picks].

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (UPDATED): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature, updated Mondays, is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Hotbutton1. HURRICANES: UM shuts up skeptics in manhandling of Virginia Tech: Canes are 8-0 and will be moving up in the College Football Playoff Top 10 after Saturday night's 28-10 handling of visiting Virginia Tech, led by massive defense and the loudest, most-into-it crowd we have heard at The Rock. As forcefully as UM beat Va-Tech, the Canes also silenced their critics.

2. DOLPHINS: Fins fall to Oakland despite huge night by Cutler: Coming off 40-0 loss at Baltimore then losing top back Jay Ajayi in dumb trade to Eagles, Fins sought spark on Sunday Night Football vs. Oakland but fell short, 27-24 despite 311 yards passing and three TDs from Jay Cutler. Did I mention club announced ticket-price increase for 2018? Hey, somebody gotta pay for those stadium upgrades.

3. HEAT: Miami readies for Golden State as first road trip continues: Heat are now 4-5 and into a six-game road trip that continues with champion Golden State Monday night. Meantime Cleveland's Dwyane Wade (three words that still sound odd) likened the final year of Heat Big 3 in 2014 to a "bad marriage." Um, y'all reached NBA Finals, Dwyane. Couldn't-a been that bad.

4. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men open season under shadow: No 13-ranked UM opens this Friday night at home vs. Gardner-Webb, and coach Jim Larranaga might have his best Canes team. He also has his biggest headache, denying wrongdoing but implicated nonetheless and subpoenaed to provide info in that ongoing FBI probe into college recruiting.

5. SOCCER: Miami FC falls in NASL playoff semifinal game: Miami FC hosted New York Cosmos Sunday at FIU in an NASL playoff semifinal match, falling 6-5 on penalty kicks after a scoreless match. The Orange & Blue won both the spring and fall seasons and aimed for the overall crown. With a record of 21-6-5 heading in, explosive Miami FC was the best South Florida pro sports team most of you have never seen.

6. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Miami named host of 2020-season national championship: The College Football Playoff knows how to make an entrance. First, their initial season ranking bumped Alabama from No. 1 and anointed Georgia instead. Then the CFP awarded its next available national championship game, following the 2020 season, to Miami.

7. FIU: Once-forlorn Panthers sailing at 6-2: FIU's 14-7 win over Texas-San Antonio on Saturday put the team 6-2 under first-year coach Butch Davis. Unbeaten UM casts a long shadow, but what Butch is doing at FIU is a small wonder. 

8. MARLINS: New-era Fish set spring dates: While Houston still celebrates the Astros' World Series win, the new-era, Derek Jeter-run Marlins announced pitchers and catchers would report for spring work Feb. 14, with the first full-squad workout Feb. 19. Grapefruit league games in Jupiter will start Feb. 23. Hopefully Giancarlo Stanton will still be around.

9. PANTHERS: Looks like the same ol' Cats: Florida has lost nine of its first 13 games including four in a row and already is well off playoff pace entering a three-game road trip starting Tuesday. Or, did that go without saying?

10. UFC: Return of GSP headlines best card in a while: The return of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre in a victory over Michael Bisping highlighted UFC 217. GSP was the young guy at 36; Bisping is 38. Is Geritol considered a PED? It was one of the best UFC cards in a long time, and UFC needed that.

Missing the HB10 cut: Two more races will pare the final field to four contenders for NASCAR's Nov. 19 season-championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Looking like Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and [fill in the blank], but it can all change. That's racin', after all ..... Ezekiel Elliott's suspension from Cowboys was upheld and then overturned yet again on yet another appeal. At this rate he'll begin serving his six-game suspension after he retires in 2026 ..... Randy Shannon's career as Gators interim head coach began with a 45-16 loss. You're at the wrong school, Randy ..... The latest indication ESPN's 30 For 30 series finally has run out of good ideas. Debuting Tuesday: Nature Boy, the Ric Flair story.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 06, 2017

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.0%. Another season high approval rating follows UM's 28-10 whipping of Va-Tech to go 8-0; also, NFL Week 9 picks, FIU wins again, hoot-hoot for the Owls, your clear verdict on Ajayi trade & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

NOTE: DUE TO A COMPUTER GLITCH OUR BLOGPOST INCLUDING DOLPHINS-RAIDERS LIVE BLOG AND HOT BUTTON TOP 10 WAS DELETED. APOLOGIES...

1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4. Know any people who are serious Dolfans despite last Thursday? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ajayi trade with poll, Ross wins big with 2021 CFP title game, Herald NFL QB rankings, updated SOPY standings, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, newest BIMD video (Halloween!) & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

My Canes-Virginia Tech game column: Click Everything Is In Play Now for my column from the stadium.

Troika! Our 3 most recent columns: Miami Wins Again: Hard Rock Stadium awarded 2020-season college football national championship game. How to Make a Bad Offense Worse: Dolphins trade Jay Ajayi. Appreciate Perfection -- Period: Quit finding fault with Canes at 7-0.

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G8: 98.0%: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 98.0 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday night's 28-10 home victory by No. 10 Miami over No. 13 Virginia Tech putting UM's season record at 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the ACC. That's a season high and as much consensus as you'll ever see in an online poll. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:30 a.m. today/Monday.

2017 CSM results
G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman
G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo
G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke
G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State
G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech
G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse
G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina
G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech
Next poll: Nov. 11 following game vs. Notre Dame. 

G8: NO. 13 VIRGINIA TECH @ NO. 10 HURRICANES: IT'S BIGGEST GAME OF RICHT ERA (UNTIL NEXT WEEK...): Final: Huge win for Canes. Click Everything Is In Play Now for my column from game. 4Q: UM interception is fourth takeaway of game by Cabnes' defense ..... Turnover Chain! Again. UM recovers another fumble. Hokies killing themselves ..... Miami now in complete control at 28-10 on 13-yard scoring run by Rosier ..... 3Q: Interception (and Turnover chain) by UM's Johnson late in quarter. Every time Va Tech threatens to get back in game, Canes' defense steps up ..... Miami back in charge, 21-10, on Rosier 43-yard catch and run by Herndon. Much needed ..... UM is so fortunate that only one of Rosier's three INTs have proved costly ..... Rosier suffers third interception. QB is giving away this game! ..... Va Tech within 14-10 on 1-yard Jackson TD run, a direct result of Rosier INT ..... Rosier suffers second interception of game ..... Halftime thoughts: At 14-3, the half was all Miami, bearing in mind the Canes squandered an early 1st-and-goal opportunity with no points. Miami led in total yards, 260-149. And yet Canes have not pulled away. Hokies are one score from making it anxious game for The U ...... 2Q: McIntosh recovers VT fumble. Turnover chain! ..... Rosier intercepted ...... Va Tech within 14-3 on 50-yard FG ..... Miami 14-0 on Homer 64-yard TD run ..... Miami 7-0 on Rosier-Berrios 8-yard scoring pass finishing 87-yard, 9-play drive. All Canes thus far ..... 1Q: Oh My. Rosier 36-yard run to VT 2, but Miami fails to score, stuiffed on 4th-down gamble by Homer. Should UM have kicked short FG? Probably. But early enough in game to like the bravado ...... Pregame: Losses today by No. 6 Ohio State and 7-Penn State really enhance UM's bid to move up closer to coveted CFP top four -- if UM can win ..... Original post: All rankings you see here beginning this week are those of the College Football Playoff, whose ultimate top-four is all that matters now for big-dreaming teams -- and this game features two of those. It 

Vtmiasays much about skepticism surrounding Miami that the Hurricanes have a better record than Virginia Tech, are higher-ranked and are home, yet were 2 1/2-point underdogs to the Hokies before a late wave of bets made Miami the favorite by one point, still less than the typical home-field edge. Teams prone to having sharp antenna for disrespect might be a little insulted by that. That is why this 8 p.m. prime-time game on ABC is such a wonderful stage for UM to declare itself for real ... that, or to prove the skeptics right. Miami is 7-0 and Va-Tech 7-1 and it's a huge game not only in the national CFP context but also in the ACC. A Miami win would all but assure the Canes a spot in the conference championship game. There are reasons the Canes are not clear favorites, of course, even at home. UM has won its past four games by combined 18 points after last week's 24-19 escape in Chapel Hill against a North Carolina team that Virginia Tech had recently manhandled 59-7. The Hokies also have been a bit of a nemesis for The U, with Canes only 5-8 against this opponent since both schools moved from the Big East to the ACC in 2004. Miami hosts No. 3-ranked Notre Dame next week but better have blinders on because Va-Tech will demand all of UM's attention and best effort and then some. This may be UM's biggest game of the season because of the ACC importance, and also because a win here could put Canes in position to vault into the CFP's coveted top four by also then beating the Fighting Irish. OK. Deep breath. One game at a time, please. Virginia Tech first. My pick: Hurricanes, 28-24.

Other state FBS Week 10 games (chronologically, all Saturday unless noted):

FAU 30, Marshall 25: Big home win Friday night for Owls, now 6-3 and bowling. Devin Singletary's 203 yards rushing fueled it as FAU closes in on shot at Conference USA title in Lane Kiffin's first season.

Missouri 45, Florida 16: Ugh. Gators now 3-5 and the misery continues as Randy Shannon makes an unsuccessful interim-coach debut for sacked Jim McElwain.

Florida State 27, Syracuse 24: Noles win! Noles win! FSU now 3-5, led by Cam Akers' 199 yard rushing. Rare, sort-of bright spot in midst of Season From Hell for the Seminoles.

South Florida 37, Connecticut 20: Newly unranked Bulls are now 8-1 and likely to climb back up into polls.

FIU 14, Texas-San Antonio 7: Butch Davis' Panthers were 4 1/2-point home 'dogs, but Cats, now 6-2, have been surprising everybody all season.

No. 18 UCF 31, Southern Methodist 24: Closer than expected for the Knights, now 8-0.

National Collball Week 10 overview: A season-high seven big Top 25 Saturday matchups this week including No. 10 Miami throttling No. 13 Virginia Tech 28-10. The others: 24-Michigan State upset 7-Penn State 27-24; 4-Clemson beat 20-North Carolina State 38-31; 25-Washington State beat 21-Stanford 24-21; 5-Oklahoma beat 11-Oklahoma State 62-52; 2-Alabama beat 19-LSU 24-10; and 17-Southern Cal beat 22-Arizona 49-35.

UPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA! NFL WEEK 9 PICKS: I LIKE DOLPHINS OVER OAKLAND. THE WAY MY SEASON IS GOING, THAT MIGHT NOT BE GOOD NEWS: I am Fripixhaving a rough season with my NFL predictions at around midseason, maybe the single worst, in fact, in 27 years of doing it. My .555 win percentage straight-up and .420 against the spread are figures I'd normally only admit under oath. And that was before I blew last night's game, failing to call the Jets' win over Buffalo. So when I tell you the Dolphins will beat the Raiders, 24-20, Sunday night, that might mostly be seen as good news in and around Oakland. Still, we sally forth, undeterred, and hell-bent to rally from here. Click Week 9 Gems for our full predix capsules on Fins-Raiders, our Game of the Week (Chiefs-Cowboys), Upset of the Week (Rams-Giants: "Aawwk!") and all the rest. I keep saying, "It can only get better from here." We'll see...

POLL RESULT: MIXED FEELINGS, BUT STRONG MAJORITY DON'T LIKE AJAYI TRADE: We asked, "What do you think of the Dolphins trading RB Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a 4th-round draft pick?" And 62.8 percent voted "against it." Another 26.2% voted "for it," while the remaining 11.0% were "undecided." That's a thumbs-down by better than a 2-to-1 margin among those who had a clear opinion.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 02, 2017

On Dolphins' Jay Ajayi trade: Poll. Vote now!; plus Herald NFL QB rankings, Bills-Jets pick, Stephen Ross' big win, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy results, new Back In My Day video, updated SOPY standings (Canes' Rosier makes his move), a message for UM fans & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It is THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2. Click Thursday Gem for my pick on tonight's Bills-Jets Thursday Night Football game. 2) Know any people who are serious Dolfans despite last Thursday? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes win at North Carolina with CSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 , state Collball Week 9, The List (college coach-salaries) & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

Miami, Stephen Ross win big: Miami and Hard Rock Stadium are awarded the 2020-season college football national championship game and it's a huge win for the city, Stephen Ross and (maybe) the Hurricanes. Click Miami Wins Again for my latest column.

Dolphins' Jay Ajayi trade: Dumb!: Miami traded its young, really good No. 1 running back and got in exchange the NFL equivalent of a tackling sled and a box of kicking tees. Dumb. Dumb! Dumbdumbdumb. Click How to Make a Bad Offense Worse for my column.

A message for Hurricanes fans: Quit finding fault at 7-0: Desperate Gators turn to Randy Shannon. Embarrassed Seminoles are 2-5. Is this really the season you want to look at Hurricanes' 7-0 record and complain it hasn't been dominant enough? Click Appreciate Perfection -- Period.

JayaON DOLPHINS' JAY AJAYI TRADE: YAY OR NAY? VOTE NOW: I have had my say. The link to my column is just above here. I think the Dolphins trading their top young running back and getting next to nothing in return made a bad offense worse, erased somebody the team should have made a part of its future, and was just plain dumb. No spinning it. No yeah-buts. No equivocation. DUMB! But that's just me. Now have your say:

BRADY OVERTAKES SMITH FOR SEASON LEAD / HERALD QB RANKINGS / WEEK 8Miami’s favorite quarterback -- not -- has
Tbradyovertaken first place after Week 8 in the Miami Herald's latest NFL quarterback season rankings. That would be the Patriots’ Tom Brady (pictured) surpassing the Chiefs’ Alex Smith, who has led all but one week this season. Seattle’s Russell Wilson climbs to fifth place overall on the strength of a 47.60-point week that gave Wilson his second straight weekly title. This is the 20th season of our Passer Success System (PASS) rankings, which began in 1998. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. Most major ranking systems such as the NFL's and ESPN's are complicated and percentile based, allowing QBs who miss half a season to still win a title, while our system is cumulative, rewarding players who are consistently productive and avoid injury or benching. Because the rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season.

RK LW Player, Team                  Wk8       Season

1     2 Tom Brady, NE                  41.65     302.05

2     1 Alex Smith, KC                 15.10     286.05

3     4 Drew Brees, NO               37.95      246.55

4     3 Carson Wentz, PHI           22.55      238.15

5   10 Russell Wilson, SEA           47.60     228.40

6     6 Josh McCown, NYJ           37.85      227.00

7     5 Kirk Cousins, WAS             26.15     222.00

8     7 Philip Rivers, LAC             14.60     197.40

9   12 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT     23.85     197.10

10 16 Matt Ryan, ATL                 30.70     195.20

11 19 Matthew Stafford, DET     30.15      187.55

12 14 Dak Prescott, DAL             18.15     186.45

13 18 Derek Carr, OAK               25.65      185.70

14 15 Cam Newton, CAR            16.70      183.05

15  8 Aaron Rodgers, GB             BYE       182.25

16 21 Case Keenum, MIN            33.40     181.50

17t 20 Deshaun Watson, HOU     31.10     180.95

17t  9 Carson Palmer, ARI           BYE       180.95

19 11 Eli Manning, NYG              BYE       174.00

20 17 Jameis Winston, TB          8.50       172.65

29 29 Jay Cutler, MIA                 DNP       118.75

37 38 Matt Moore, MIA              8.80         29.20

Bubble: Jared Goff, LAR, 171.20. Week 8 best: Wilson, SEA, 47.60 (26-41, 452, 4-1 in win). Week 8 worst: Mitch Trubisky, CHI, 1.20 (14-32, 164, 0-1 in loss).

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 8 RESULTS: Every week in the blog I tell you know how I did the previous NFL weekend with my FripixMiami Herald predictions and with my Greg's Lobos team in the LeBatard Show fantasy league. WEEK 8Herald picks: Disappointing. Went an OK 9-4 straight-up and a poor 5-8 against the spread. That included a huge misfire in believing Dolphins would win at Baltimore. Greg's Lobos: Lobos sank to 5-3 (still tied for second in the league) with a 83.3 to 66.6 loss to Roy. Is it even possible to score fewer points? We got bitten by the bye bug bad. Still, no excuses. Never a good sign when your leading score is tight end Kyle Rudolph with 14.7 points. #GoLobosGo

SOPY STANDINGS / WEEK 9: MIAMI'S ROSIER JUMPS TO 2ND IN 'STATE HEISMAN' RACE: Malik Rosiers' 216-point game at North Carolina (second-best among state FBS schools this past weekend) lifted him one spot to second place, now narrowly trailing only UCF's McKenzie SopyMilton, in the race for the Herald's 2017 State Offensive Player of the Year award -- the "state Heisman." Devin Singletary's 279-point game for FAU, a statewide season high, solidified his hold on fourth place. Our weekly rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida. The rankings are cumulative but based weekly on average points per game: Total points divided by number of games a player's team has played. This keeps the comparison even because not all teams have played the same number of games. 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.

SOPY Top 10 entering Week 10:

RK  LW  Player, School-Pos.                      Average        Total (Games)

1     1   McKenzie Milton-UCF qb               196.93         1,378.5 (7)

2     3   Malik Rosier-Miami qb                  194.36          1,360.5 (7)

3     2   Quinton Flowers-SoFla qb             191.38         1,531 (8)

4     4   Devin Singletary, FAU-rb               158.88         1,271 (8)

5     5   Alex McGough-FIU qb                   132.93            930.5 (7)

6     6   Thomas Owens-FIU rec                 111.64           781.5 (7)

7     7   Travis Homer-Miami rb                 103.71           726 (7)

8     9    Darius Tice-SoFla rb                      98.13           785 (8)

9     8   Cam Akers-FSU rb                          97.50           682.5 (7)

10  --   D'Ernest Johnson-SoFla rb               90.13           721 (8)

Bubble: Marquez Valdes-Scantling-SoFla rec, 88.38. Other team leader: Malik Davis-Florida rb, 85.14. Week 9 best: Singletary-FAU rb, 279 points. Season best: Singletary-FAU rb, 279 points (W9).

Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. Miami (7-0); 2. UCF (7-0); 3. South Florida (7-1); 4. Florida (3-4); 5. Florida State (2-5); 6. FIU (5-2); 7. FAU (5-3).

LATEST 'BACK IN MY DAY': HALLOWEEN!: In our latest LeBatard Show BIMD rant I lay out my rules for Halloween. How many did you observe followed or broken on your street last night?

Select other recent columns: Along For the Ride On the Road to 'Back' (UM at7-0). Dolphins Debacle (quick hits 40-0 loss in Baltimore). Time Is Right For Dolphins To Prove Doubters Wrong (on three straight prime-time games). The Godfather Speaks (Pat Riley exclusive). Also: Latest Drama in Bizarre, Trying SeasonIt Isn't Just CutlerBack On Track & Ready To Roar. Jeter Betting On JeterHope That Wasn't GoodbyeChasing HistoryWade Will End Where He BelongsLarranaga Has Canes Flying High, Now ThisRegret, Tears & a Legacy's Dark Shadow. Really Good or God-Awful, Cutler Won't Be DullA Perspective On Sports As a Hurricane Hits. Specials: Thank You, Mae RibackThank You, Edwin Pope.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote