Manziel or Bridgewater: Who do UM fans want to face in bowl? Poll. Vote; plus Marlins' signing, Wallace on Pittsboo, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, SOPY & more
1) It is WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4. Several e-mailers are asking so here's the answer: I have bunch of back-loaded vacation days I need to use by end of year. That's why I have had fewer columns lately. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins whip Jets, DSM poll & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
"It's cute the Heat thinks it has two teams that could make the playoffs. I'd feel better if I was more sure the Heat had one team that could win another championship." --Greg Cote
"Passengers should not be involuntarily bumped from a flight to accomodate a Florida Gators basketball team getting to a game. The game, frankly, is not that important." --Greg Cote
CHOOSE YOUR VILLAIN: DO CANES FANS WANT MANZIEL OR BRIDGEWATER IN BOWL GAME?: This is a tough call but it's looking like Miami's delicious most-likely option for a bowl game: Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 in Atlanta, or Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville in the Russell Athletic Dec. 28 in Orlando. (Bridgewater and Manziel are pictured, left to right). I may be overstating to use the word "villain" for either except that Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner, has done plenty to make himself disliked nationally -- sort of the player version of Nick Saban. The feeling about Bridgewater is more personal to Miami. Many Hurricanes fans have not forgotten that the Miami Northwestern star was UM-bound before decommiting after the firing of coach Randy Shannon. To some, he's a turncoat. Which opponent -- and QB -- do you most hope UM ends up with in its bowl game, and why?
WALT DISNEY SPINS IN GRAVE: A technical glitch led a movie theater in Pinellas Park, Fla. to show two minutes of hard-core porn to an audience awaiting Disney's G-rated Frozen. This is a blog. Could I say it if it weren't true? Click here.
MARLINS SIGN BOSOX CATCHER: The Marlins today agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He has started the past three seasons. A switch-hitter, he hit a career-best .273 with 15 homers, 40 doubles and 65 RBIs last season for the world champs. One negative: He struck out 139 times in 121 games last season. This is big money by Marlins standards, a positive sign.
Red Sox, Yankees and Ellsbury: I can tell you as a representative of Red Sox Nation that the sting of losing Jacoby Ellsbury is lessened significantly by the delight in knowing the desperate, rudderless Yankees have grossly overspent, yet again.
MIKE WALLACE ON RETURNING TO PITTSBOO: Dolphin Mike Wallace, today, on his Sunday return to Pittsburgh to face his former team: "I already know how my welcome is going to be, it’s not going to be too pretty, I’m looking forward to it, though." Does he expect booing? "Definitely. Yeah." On what he'd say to angry Pittsburgh fans: "I wouldn’t say too much. Everything happens for a reason. At the end of the day, this is still a business. You can’t get caught up in too many feelings and emotions. Most people won’t understand that, so I wouldn’t even try to even explain."
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY / WEEK 13: MORE HEARTBREAK AND AWFULNESS: It's just been one of those seasons, folks... NFL predix: Went 9-7 overall and a miserable 5-11 against the spread this past week. A few nice picks, like Dolphins' (mini) upset and Texans-with points over Pats, but not nearly enough. Fantasy: Greg's Lobos fell to 2-11 but I continue to insist I'm not that bad. This week I lost 146-144 to our league's top team, placing eight of nine positions in double-digit points. (Did I just say my 2-11 team isn't that bad? I think I did).
SOPY RANKINGS: WEEK 14: WINSTON HAS ALL BUT CLINCHED: This is the second season of our blog-exclusive State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, a weekly updated list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS schools: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Canes QB Stephen Morris won the 2012 season title with 1,900.5 points. Current leader, FSU QB Jameis Winston, broke that record. 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. Final, expanded SOPY standings will appear next week. UCF and USF have one regular season game left, meaning Blake Bortles still has a very slim mathematical chance to overtake Winston. Our 2013 standings entering Week 15:
Rk (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Wk14=Year
1 (1) Jameis Winston, FSU-qb 189.5 = 2,107
2 (3) Jacquez Johnson, FAU-qb 225 = 1,866
3 (2) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 107.5 = 1,817
4 (4) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 166 = 1,560
5 (5) Storm Johnson, UCF-rb 64 = 1,284
6 (8) Allen Hurns, Miami-wr 173 = 1,187
7 (6) Devonta Freeman, FSU-rb 61 = 1,165
8 (7) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb DNP = 1,051
9 (9) Rashad Greene, FSU-wr 25 = 977
10 (--) Kelvin Benjamin, FSU-wr 230 = 910
Bubble: Kenny Shaw, FSU-wr, 885. Other team leaders: USF--Marcus Shaw-rb, 857; Florida--Tyler Murphy-qb, 723; FIU--Lamarq Caldwell-rb, 620. Note: UCF and USF have played 11 games, all others 12 each.
Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. FSU (12-0); 2. UCF (10-1); 3. Miami (9-3); 4. FAU (6-6); 5. Florida (4-8); 6. USF (2-9); 7. FIU (1-11).
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...