Bowl or ban: the big decision facing UM. Poll. Vote!; plus Dolphins Perfect Season tribute sneak-preview, NFL predix, debut of Heat Big 5, Mississippi & more
Dolphins' Perfect Season documentary: The Dolphins and NFL Films are marking the 40th anniversary of Miami's 1972 17-0 season with a one-hour documentary on that team. It debuts Saturday/tomorrow at 7 p.m. on WFOR-CBS4. Click here for a 90-second sneak preview.
TO BOWL OR TO BAN, THAT IS THE QUESTION: Miami Hurricanes football becomes bowl-eligible with one more win -- perhaps Saturday at Virginia -- and then the university would face a wrenching decision: Whether to let the team compete in the postseason, or self-impose a ban (as happened last year) to lessen future NCAA penalties. The sides: Coach Al Golden (left), wanting the prize his team would have earned, and UM president Donna Shalala (right), weighing what's best for the program in the broader view. I tackle this issue in today's latest column; click The Hard Choice to read. Stakes are higher this year because UM controls its own path to reach the ACC championship game for the first time, and play for a spot in the Jan. 1 BCS-level Orange Bowl. That's a lot to give up, although the more that is sacrificed (presumbaly), the more that would weigh with the NCAA. I write that Miami should take its medicine, bitter and hard to swallow as it is, and self-impose another ban. The priority here should be to move beyond future NCAA penalties in the Nevin Shapiro mess as quickly as possible, and having a voluntary bowl ban now means you don't have one and are past this a year sooner. But I also sense I may be in the distinct minority on this issue. Thus, a poll! Vote and say why. Remember: Everybody wants a bowl. Nobody wants a self-imposed ban ... the issue is what's the smartest course for UM?
DEBUT: HEAT BIG 5 AT...: The blog loves bells 'n whistles especially of the nerdy-stat variety and today we debut a new one we'll be running throughout Heat season at five-game intervals. It's a top-five cumulative ranking of the players having the biggest overall impact this season based on eight statistical categories. We begin with The Big 5 at 5 Games (4-1):
1. LeBron James 170.5
2. Dwyane Wade 130.4
3. Chris Bosh 130.2
4. Mario Chalmers 98.5
5. Ray Allen 97.1
Bubble: Rashard Lewis, 63.3.
NFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS WHIP LEAGUE'S WORST DEFENSE: Big weekend in store for Pro Miami as Dolphins rappycack Titans and '72ers cheer a loss by last-unbeaten Atlanta. Says all that and more in Week 10 Gems, my latest NFL picks. Last week I went 13-1 straight-up and 10-4 vs. the spread so we'll see if momentum applies to prognosticating. Also click on King Sport Midseason Awards and see that the league MVP race has a new leader.
Updated NFL odds: Entering Week 10 from our friends at Bovada, a tight Super Bowl race with Texans 5-1, Pats 11-2, Niners 6-1, Falcons 15-2, Broncs and Pack 8-1, and Bears and Giants 9-1. MVP leaders are Peyton Manning 2-1 and Matt Ryan 3-1. Offensive rookie leaders are Andrew Luck even, Doug Martin 2-1 and Robert Griffin III 3-1.
OH, MISSISSIPPI: Read and saw the video of around 350 University of Mississippi students protesting Obama's election late Tuesday. "Riot" is too strong a word, but it was an ugly scene that included racial slurs. Sad. I guess the students felt that Mississippi's negative stereotype as a backward state of rednecks and racists had grown a bit soft and needed a reboot.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...