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January 09, 2012

WWJD: What Will Jeff Do? Vote for Dolphins' next coach (with poll); plus Nick Saban, Tim Tebow, Larkin, 'Shameless,' 11/22/63 & more

[1) You can still vote in our what-team-are-you-supporting-in-NFL-playoffs poll in post just below this. 3) Hurricanes women fall 12th to 13th in latest AP basketball poll. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Update: Indefinitive quasi-"reports" continue to suggest Jeff Fisher is now leaning toward the Dolphins over the Rams. No official word. Stay tuned. Meantime, strike Mike Mularkey from Miami's list of head-coach candidates. He has been hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

1aa1copterWHOM DO YOU HOPE IS THE NEXT DOLPHINS' COACH?: Obviously the team's No. 1 choice is Jeff Fisher, and even thought he reportedly is leaning to St. Louis until the moment he says "It's the Rams," I would not discount Miami' chances. (Pictured at right, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross' coach-squiring helicopter under attack by the St. Louis Rams). Fisher would get my vote to be next coach since I am finally convinced any hope of Bill Cowher/Jon Gruden is dead in the water. Now have your say. Tell the Dolphins how much you too want Fisher -- or don't. This poll includes the six men who have or will be interviewed by the club for the job as of now, plus one wild-card of my choosing (Les Miles), based solely on speculation and rumor. Also there is a "somebody else" category. Take a dip in our poll and say why you back the person you do.

Joe Philbin's son found dead: Click here for a serious and tragic story about the son of Dolphins coaching candidate Joe Philbin, the Packers offensive coordinator. He had been reported, his body later pulled from a river. Foul play is not suspected in the death of the 21-year-old, leading one to suspect an accident or suicide. The son had been convicted in 2009 of sexual assault.

ALABAMA QUIETS THE COMPLAINERS: Nick Saban's Tide rolled mightily over LSU last night, 21-0. Field 1aa1nicksgoals + that defense = national championship. These were the two best teams in the country (sorry, Oklahoma State), and the victor would deserve the title. A narrow 'Bama win (after Tigers beat Tide 9-6 during the season) might have left debate, but this was conclusive. I had picked Alabama to win 24-20; did not imagine a rout. One post-mortem quibble: Alabama got 55 of 60 votes in the final Associated Press poll. I can almost see the four votes for Oklahoma State; it's like supporting Ralph Nader. You know you are hopeless but you get to pretend you are standing for something. But can someone please explain the one vote for LSU? After last night? That voter should be identified and stripped of his voting rights. Seriously. [See related 'List' below].

"WE'RE NO. 7! WE'RE...": Tom Lemming of CBS Sports issues his Top 25 college football recruiting classes of 2012 and Miami Hurricanes check in 7th. Top five: Alabama, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Ohio State. FSU 10th.

1aa1shamelessWELCOME BACK, 'SHAMELESS': Pleased to watch the season premier of Showtime's Shameless last night. Any other fans out there? For me it joins an echelon with Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Family Guy as the best stuff on TV. William H. Macy as the alcoholic, deliciously derelict family patriarch Frank (pictured) is brilliant.

ON TIM TEBOW, HIS ACOLYTES: I wrote that Tim Tebow was a "fraud QB" and that he'd be dominated by 1aa1ttebowPittsburgh's defense yesterday. Um, I was wrong -- or at least certainly on the latter point. He threw for 3:16 oops sorry I meant 316 yards and Denver won in OT. So the Legend of Tebow is resuscitated! It is the reaction since that has amused me. My e-mail box is stuffed with delighted, crowing, told-ya-so messages from His (benefit of doubt on the capitalization) fans. And some of the words contained, I must say, are rather un-Christian! Anyway, I deserve it. I underestimated Tebow. Based on the reaction, I'm pretty sure that's a sin.

UPDATED SUPER BOWL ODDS: With the field down to eight, from our friends at Bovada: Packers 9-5, Patriots 11-4, Saints 7-2, Ravens 7-1, 49ers and Giants both 14-1, Texans 28-1 and Broncos 40-1. Exact- matchup favorites are Pack-Pats at 2-1, Saints-Pats 9-4, Pack-Ravens 5-1 and Saints-Ravens 8-1.

LARKIN IN COOPERSTOWN: [Barry Larkin is the father of Miami Hurricanes freshman basketball guard Shane Larkin. Click here for the tale]. Career-long Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin (1986-2004) was voted 1aa1barrylinto the Hall of Fame Monday on his third try. (Guess he was especially good in retirement this past year). Larkin was the only one voted in, and an expected if somewhat marginal choice. To me, he's in the Hall of Very Good, a solid (.295 career average) guy who never led the league in any statistical category for a season, though he did win the NL MVP in '95 and gained a solid 86.4 percent of the votes. All-star career? Yeah. Cooperstown? Well, congratulations in any case. Voters held their ground, though, on the two guys smudged by steroids era, with Mark McGwire at a mere 19.5% of the votes and Rafael Palmeiro at 12.6%.

TUNA IN CAN(TON)?: Bill Parcells is among 17 who made the latest cut for consideration for the next wave of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, along with former Hurricanes standout Cortez Kennedy and briefly-a-Dolphin Cris Carter. I'd call Tuna's chances pretty good, unless voting is confined to Miami.

1aa1kings11/22/63: Am presently immersed in Stephen King's latest novel, 11/22/63, about a man who time-travels in an effort to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As a Constant Reader of King's I am amazed by how prolific he is without diminished quality. The man sh--s best-sellers. He can take a premise that every fiber in your being knows is ridiculous (time travel? c'mon!), sell it, give you no choice but to buy it, and make you glad you did.

THE LIST: ALABAMA/LSU NATIONAL CHMPIONSHIPS: Alabama (7) and Louisiana State (3) have combined for 10 national football titles, based on BCS championships since the 1998 season and final Associated Press polls prior. Championship seasons by the two schools:

Season   Champion   Coach

1958   LSU   Paul Dietzel

1961   Alabama   Bear Bryant

1964   Alabama   Bear Bryant

1965   Alabama   Bear Bryant

1978   Alabama   Bear Bryant

1979   Alabama   Bear Bryant

1992   Alabama   Gene Stallings

2003   LSU   Nick Saban

2007   LSU   Les Miles

2009   Alabama   Nick Saban

2011   Alabama   Nick Saban

Click back. Will be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost...

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