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September 03, 2011

Vote on how many games Dolphins, Canes will win (with polls); plus T.Y. Hilton, Brandon Meriweather, my state-teams ranking, McKeon's future & more

[Welcome to Monday. Look for our "G1: Hurricanes @ Maryland" blogpost beginning at 4 p.m. today. Sharp! Also join us on Twitter @gregcote].

1aa1fripix 1aa1fripix COUNTDOWN! 4 DAYS TIL UPSET BIRD: Coming Friday, Sept. 9...

 

TIME TO SET BAR ON 2011 EXPECTATIONS FOR DOLPHINS, CANES: In 1aa1dolphinslogo separate polls 1aa1caneslogo below I invite fans to offer what I hope are realistic expectations on how the Dolphins and Hurricanes will fare this season. Not what you hope the win totals might be, but what you honestly predict they will be. Base your picks on a 16-game Dolphins regular season and on a 12-game UM regular season not counting possible conference title-game or bowl. Then tell us why you fall where you do on the optimism/negativity scale.

POLLS NOTE: I know more than just fans of the two teams are voting. Maybe some haters are, too. Free country. But that is counterbalanced by fans who may be thinking perfect season rather than being realistic. As the votes pile up reasonable fans will hugely outweigh extremists and render a fairly legitimate pulse-read on overall expectations.

T.Y. HILTON AND THE HEISMAN: FIU's Hilton4Heisman campaign for its exciting receiver/returner is admirable, but here is another indicator of the odds. StiffArmTrophy.com's preseason poll of 66 Heisman voters, out today/Sunday, shows no Hilton (or any other state-school player) in the top 25. The top three: Stanford QB Andrew Luck, Oregon RB LaMichael James, Boise State QB Kellen Moore. Right now Hilton is quite literally off the radar.

DOLPHINS MISS CHANCE ON BRANDON MERIWEATHER: The ex-Cane has been a Pro Bowl safety the past two straight seasons but was a surprising cut by the Patriots yesterday. Would have been a very smart and very timely pickup by Miami. Alas, Meriweather was signed by the Bears today. Dolphs reached the 53-man roster with a slew of cuts but no real shockers. The most notable to exit by my reckoning: RB Larry Johnson, CB Will Allen, FB Lousaka Polite; QBs Pat Devlin and Kevin O'Connell; TEs Dedrick Epps and Mickey Shuler; and WR Phillip Livas. Also, OT Lydon Murtha placed on injured reserve.

OWLS FAIL TO 'WIN ONE FOR THE HIPPER': FAU opened as a huge underdog tonight at No. 22 Florida, a day after coach Howard Schnellenberger briefly was hospitalized in Gainesville after experiencing pain in a surgically repaired hip. And the Owls lost, 41-3. Earlier, No. 6 FSU thumped Louisiana-Monroe, 34-0. Other FBS state-school games Saturday: South Florida scored a big upset win at No. 16 Notre Dame, 23-20, despite the desperate Irish asking God for two lightning delays, and inhospitable Central Florida beat visiting Charleston Southern, 62-0. In last night's national Top 25 matchups: 4-LSU beat 3-Oregon. 40-27, and 5-Boise State dispatched 19-Georgia, 35-21.

1aa1jack MCKEON ON HIS FUTURE: Jack McKeon, 80, is denying reports that he and the Marlins have mutually agreed he won't return as manager in 2012. He isn't expected back (think Ozzie Guillen), but says no decision has been made. I'm running the picture at left only because it shows my friend Clark Spencer, the Herald's Marlins beat writer, staring intently into his cell phone, which I found funny.

1aa1jetssuck FOR DOLFANS WHO ARE JETS HATERS: I guess that would be pretty much all Dolfans, right? Ran across the adapted logo at right and thought y'all might enjoy it.

VIDEO DU JOUR: Coffee Jerks.

RANDOM JOKE: At a wedding reception someone yelled, "All the married men, please stand next to the one person who has made your life worth living." The bartender was crushed to death.

DUMBASS OF THE WEEK: Right here.

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE: The debut of my weekly ranking of the seven FBS teams in our state. The preseason ranking entering Week 1:

1aa1fla 1. FSU Seminoles

2. Florida Gators

3. Miami Hurricanes

4. UCF Knights

5. South Florida Bulls

6. FIU Golden Panthers

7. FAU Owls

STATE'S 10 BEST COLLEGE PLAYERS: According to the Palm Beach Post: 1. FSU DE Brandon Jenkins; 2. UM LB Sean Spence; 3. FIU's Hilton; 4. FSU OT Andrew Datko; 5. Florida DT Jaye Howard; 6. FSU QB E.J. Manuel; 7. UM DT Marcus Forston; 8. UCF CB Josh Robinson; 9. UM S Ray-Ray Armstrong; and 10. Florida LB Jelani Jenkins. 

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 preseason ranking entering Week 1:

Rank   Team   Points

1   Oklahoma   90

2   Alabama   87

3   Oregon   83

4   Louisiana State   82

5   FLORIDA STATE   77

6   Boise State   75

7   Stanford   73

8   Texas A&M   68

9   Oklahoma State   67

10   Wisconsin   61

11   Nebraska   59

12   South Carolina   57

13   Arkansas   54

14   Virginia Tech   53

15   Texas Christian   48

16   Notre Dame   44

17   Michigan State   42

18   Ohio State   41

19   Georgia   32

20   Mississippi State   30

21   Missouri   27

22   Auburn   24

23   West Virginia   23

24   FLORIDA   22

25   Texas   21

26   Arizona State   18

27   Penn State   13

28   Southern Cal   12

29t   MIAMI   4

29t   Utah   4

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