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Dolphins will beat Patriots Monday. No, seriously; plus LeBron's female alter-ego, FIU's big win at Louisville, Peyton Manning & more

1aa1eagle 1aa1remember [Notes: Here's to America on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Never forget! A terrific, poignant column yesterday by one of the best writers on our staff, Linda Robertson, about high-school football. Read it here. You'll be glad you did. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote]

It is "The Day of the Upset Bird" in South Florida!: Thanks to the mayors of Miami, Miami-Dade and Fort Lauderdale for the official proclamations in honor of the launch of our 21st year of Friday-page NFL predictions. The Upset Bird is off disemboweling a road-killed frog, but adds his thanks.

1aa1fripix NFL FRIDAY PREDIX / WEEK 1: DOLPHINS, HENNE STUN PATS: It is absolutely true. I was sober when I made that pick. New England's defense is looking vulnerable to me, and the full unveiling of Miami's new offense will cause problems. Chad Henne has rolled two straight 300s (335, 305) vs. Pats at home. Expect a third. Click Week 1 Gems for all our picks. Click Fly Like An Eagle for our division-by-division predictions and Super Bowl pick. (Although after watching last night's game I'm thinking a repeat by Packers may be safest bet. Glad to have you on my fantasy team, Aaron!).

1aa1lebresha LEBRON INTRODUCES "LEBRE'SHA"!: There are new indications that Heat star LeBron James might be going insane. That, or the NBA lockout is giving him just wa-aay too much free time. Yesterday LeBron Tweeted (@KingJames) that he is going to New York's Fashion Week to support his sister, "LeBre'sha," an aspiring model. The photo he Tweeted, seen here, is of himself in drag. Hmm. I'll tell you what 'Bron, lose the mustache and you pretty fine.


FIU 24, LOUISVILLE 17. BIG WIN. VERY NICE: FIU 2-0 now after a very nice upset road win last night vs. a Big East opponent, and on ESPN as a bonus. One of the bigger wins in FIU grid history for sure, its first vs. the B-East. Not sure how the Mario Brothers won, exactly, considering L'Ville led in first downs 23-9, in total yards 356-249, and in time of posession 37-23. But still! T.Y. Hilton made his case for getting on the national Heisman Trophy radar with seven catches for 201 yards -- including TDs of 74 and 83 yards -- plus two kick returns for 67 yards. Just on the radar, for now. Original post: FIU has a legit shot for an upset over a bigger opponent tonight at Louisville, and that and a big night by T.Y. Hilton could hoist the latter onto the national Heisman radar for the first time. The newest poll at StiffArmTrophy.com entering Week 2 of college season shows a top three (all QBs) of Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Stanford's Andrew Luck, with FSU's E.J. Manuel sneaking into top 25 at 23. Still no T.Y. sighting, but 200-plus combined yards tonight on the ESPN stage could change that and begin to get attention beyond the FIU campus. Pick: Louisville 27, FIU 17.

PEYTON MANNING IS DONE: It's pretty clear the Colts' QB won't play in 2011, or best case, perhaps very late in the season. I'm no doctor, but I know a doctor who performs these type of surgeries and he said recovery from this week's neck fusion typically takes "several months." He also says doctors apparently miscalculated in thinking the earlier, less serious surgery would solve the problem.

1aa1closing day MARLINS REVEAL "CLOSING DAY" PLANS: Marlins will make a big deal of Closing Day on Sept. 28, the final game in the old stadium and final game as the Florida Marlins. Postgame, the Marlins' all-time team will be announced with a slew of former players participating including Kevin Brown, Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Cliff Floyd, Livan Hernandez, Charlie Hough, Mike Lowell, Marlin-for-a-minute Mike Piazza and Gary Sheffield. Sounds a like a fun but weird day: Bidding a nostalgic farewell to a place that's considered the pits.      

COLLBALL WEEK 2: Miami's Hurricanes are off this week readying for Ohio State and FIU went Friday (see above), Saturday is packed. The state slate, chronologically: FAU gets whupped No. 17 Michigan, 44-0; 5_Florida State crushes Charleston Southern, 62-10; 18-Florida drills Alabama-Birmingham, 39-0; 22-South Florida dispatches Ball State, 37-7; and Central Florida spanks Boston College, 30-3. Thought Howard Schnellenberger's Owls would take a spanking, and that every other state team looked like a winner. Week's only national Top 25 matchup was 3-Alabama beating 23-Penn State, 27-11. Was a good idea the Whitehats had Joe Pa up in the pressbox and off the sideline.

THE REAL T-30: The Real T-30 is our weekly cumulative, consensus Top 30 college football ranking based on a combination of the three major polls: Associated Press, USA Today, ESPN. Points based on 30 for a No. 1 ranking, 29 for No. 2, etc. The combined ranking entering Week 2:

Rank   Team   Points   (Last week)

1   Oklahoma   180   (1)

2   Alabama   172   (2)

3   Louisiana State   168   (4)

4   FLORIDA STATE   156   (5)

5   Boise State   155   (6)

6   Stanford   148   (7)

7t   Texas A&M   139   (8)

7t   Oregon   139   (3)

9   Oklahoma State   135   (9)

10   Wisconsin   129   (10)

11   Nebraska   119   (11)

12t   Virginia Tech   112   (14)

12t   South Carolina   112   (12)

14   Arkansas   109   (13)

15   Ohio State   89   (18)

16   Michigan State   86   (17)

17   Mississippi State   73   (20)

18   Texas Christian   65   (15)

19   FLORIDA   60   (24)

20   Missouri   58   (21)

21   West Virginia   55   (23)

22   Texas   45   (25)

23   Notre Dame   44   (16)

24   Arizona State   42   (26)

25   Auburn   39   (22)

26   Penn State   36   (27)

27   Georgia   35   (19)

28   Baylor   25   (--)

29   SOUTH FLORIDA   23   (--)

30   Southern Cal   21   (28)

32t   MIAMI   4   (29t)

Click back. Probably be adding much more stuff to this latest blogpost...