[1) It is THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6. Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote to see our "The View from Miami" mini-commentaries. 2) Thanks to Dan Le Batard, Stugotz and 790 The Ticket for having us sit in on their show yesterday. Fun. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
UPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 1 DAY: The Upset Bird and I kick off our season of Friday NFL prediction pages this week, tomorrow, Sept. 7, and began a 21-day countdown that each day is honoring notable birds. Following Thanksgiving's iconic Turkey, today we conclude our countdown by welcoming the 1970s sitcom/music group, The Partridge Family. (Find a complete roll call of our 21 Birds at the end of this blogpost).
YEAH! Y'ALL RATED MY FANTASY TEAM SECOND OF SIX: My little six-team fantasy football league held its draft a few days ago (points-per-reception format, ESPN.com) and I offered a poll indicating each team's top three choices in order wihtout saying which was my team. I'll admit I'm not a great fantasy player, so I was genuinely curious how you all rated these teams based on the top three picks, because I assume many of you are better and more serious fantasy players than I. Well, I can now reveal you voted my team (B. Aaron Rodgers, et al) second in what turned out to be a two-team race. My youngest son's team (E. Calvin Johnson, et al) won by landslide. The other four teams you didn't like much. You can still vote for which of these top-threes you'd most like to have in a PPR league and say why. Meantime, Aaron and I thank you for the vote of semi-confidence.
DOLPHIN PLAYER PROJECTIONS: From our friends at Bovada, statistical over/unders are offered for five Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill passing (185 1/2 yards average), Reggie Bush rushing (875 1/2 yards), Davone Bess receiving (700 1/2 yards), Anthony Fasano receiving (500 1/2 yards) and Cameron Wake sacks (9). It is interesting that Tannehill is given an average rather than a season total, an indication to me that Mr. Vegas thinks his starting job could be temporary. Five rookie QBs will start Week 1. Odds on who'll lead in passing yards are: Andrew Luck IND 7-4, Robert Griffin III WAS and Russell Wilson SEA both 2-1, and Tannehill and Brandon Weeden CLE both 15-2.
ON GARRARD: The Dolphins unsurprisingly releasing veteran QB David Garrard dovetailed perfectly with the column I wrote. (Click on Into The Unknown to read). Miami is in full-blown rebuilding mode, in starting-over mode. Fans approach this season as if blindfolded and walking into a pitch-black room, hands stretched out before them in case they might bump into something. This is scary. But it's also a little bit exciting. That element of the unknown might be the only thing that is exciting about this season, but you gotta start somewhere.
DEBUT: SOPY RANKINGS (WEEK 1): This college football season the blog debuts our weekly cumulative State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, encompassing the best seasons of any quarterback, running back or receiver from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida and FSU, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Our formula awards one point per offensive yard gained running or receiving and a half-point per yard passing, plus six bonus points for touchdowns thrown or scored. The season began with UM's Duke Johnson getting most of the publicity but with another Miami running back -- FIU's Kedrick Rhodes, pictured -- leading the state after 130 yards rushing and 115 receiving. The SOPY Top 10 after Week 1:
Rank Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts.
1. KEDRICK RHODES, FIU-rb 257
2. Jake Medlock, FIU-qb 205
3. Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb 160
4. B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb 159.5
5. Duke Johnson, Miami-rb 157
6. E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb 138
7. Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 130
8. James Wilder, FSU-rb 124
9. Latavius Murray, UCF-rb 117
10. Wayne Times, FIU-rec 114
Bubble: Rannell Hall, UCF-rec, 106. FAU leader: Byron Hankerson-rec and Martese Jackson-rb, 99 each.
State of the State rankings: 1. FSU (1-0); 2. UCF (1-0); 3. Miami (1-0); 4. Florida (1-0); 5. South Florida (1-0); 6. FIU (0-1); 7. FAU (1-0).
ON MOCKING PENN STATE'S SANDUSKY SCANDAL: Opening weekend of college football saw a proliferation of T-shirts and signs making fun of Penn State and its Jerry Sandusky scandal with varaiations on the theme, "I'd Rather Shower at Penn State Than..." Two examples are pictured. Fair game or bad taste? Readers of mine know I don't offend easily and occasionally push the bounds of taste. In this case, though, I vote thumbs-down on this stuff. Why? Because there were real-life victims of those showers. They are still trying to heal. They do not deserve to be made fun of.
[21 BIRDS: A ROLL CALL: In order: 1. Poe's Nevermore from The Raven; 2. Sesame Street's Big Bird; 3. Lady Bird Johnson; 4. Comedic prop Rubber Chicken; 5. The Byrds; 6. Larry Bird; 7. Charlie "Bird" Parker; 8. Bird Bowl (on Bird Road); 9. Clarence Birdseye; 10. A Flock Of Seagulls; 11. Sheryl Crow; 12. Warner Brothers' Tweety Bird; 13. Hitchcock's The Birds; 14. Tony Hawk; 15. Winnie the Pooh's Owl; 16. Carly Simon/James Taylor's "Mockingbird"; 17. The Eagles; 18. Donald Duck; 19. Robot Chicken; 20. Thanksgiving Turkey; and 21. The Partridge Family].
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost. Consider that both a threat and a promise...