1) It is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21. See results of latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter in blogpost directly below this new one. 2) Check out our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote (under construction; new vids soon) and join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Marlins' salary-dump trade: Team confirmed that the controversial, locally unpopular 12-player trade with Toronto is now official. The commissioner's office investigated the trade but, as expected, did not veto it.
SHARP DIVISION OF OPINION PRECEDED CANES' POSTSEASON BAN:
University of Miami announced a second straight football postseason ban Monday morning, meaning the Canes will go consecutive seasons
without a bowl game for the first time since 1981-82. The move is not unexpected and is smart. Tough medicine, but smart. The university's statement noted this will "allow the football program and the university to move forward in the most expedited manner possible." In other words, get past this mess sooner. Put it in the rear-view and have a fresh slate. "We will get it fixed," said coach Al Golden (pictured) after Saturday's 40-9 win over South Florida made UM bowl-eligible. All of this is self-imposing results to the continuing NCAA
investigation in the matter of Nevin Shapiro, the rogue booster turned jailed Ponzi scheme thief. UM is counting on two straight self-imposed bowl bans lessening eventual penalties handed down by the NCAA. I am told by a source privy to the internal discussions there was sharp debate over whether to self-impose a ban. Not last year, but this time. "One school of thought was that giving up a possible berth in a BCS bowl would give us 'extra credit' with the NCAA," said the source. "But then the argument was that the BCS bowl is the reason to play. We win an ACC title that's our biggest moment since the last national championship." UM did what was right. Miami would have had to win at Duke next week to get into the ACC title game, where the Canes would have been a clear underdog to Florida State. And with five (or possibly six) losses, the bowl game preceding that for Miami would have been a minor one. What do you think UM should have done? I have already had a recent poll on this -- 54.9 percent supported a ban, 36.7% wanted to play and 8.4% were undecided -- but your reaction to the latest news is invited.
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: DOUBLE-GOOD!: The fates must have picked Thanskgiving week to look benevolently upon me. NFL predix: A very solid week by me on my Friday Page last week, going 12-2 overall and 9-4-1 vs. the spread. Leading my parade: Outright upset bull's-eye on Jets winning in St. Lou. Fantasy: Hallelujah! Greg's Lobos finally snapped the losing streak and improved to 3-8 with a 107-100 win. Got a silly-good 47 from Andre Johnson but still needed 12 off David Akers' foot Monday night to clinch it.
NORTH MIAMI EMBARRASSES ITSELF, AWARDS KEY TO CITY TO KARDASHIANS: The vapid sisters famous for no discernable reason -- Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian -- were awarded the key to the
city of North Miami yesterday, also for no discernable reason. I have no doubt the Kardashians were thrilled, if only because the word "key" begins with a K. Key-giving North Miami mayor Andre Pierre presided over the ceremony, enabling residents with one more reason to enthusiastically bounce him from office. The Kardashians were honored ostensibly because they are filming part of their E! reality show in North Miami. Either that, or Snookie wasn't available. My immediate reaction when I heard the Kardashians were getting a key to the city? Change your locks, everybody!
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (A REVIEW): We and two other couples took in Million Dollar Quartet at the Broward performing arts center the other day, the musical set in one mid-'50s night at Sun Records studio in Memphis, the only time Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis all were together. It does not rise to the level of Jersey Boys as theater, or as a story, but I'd nevertheless recommend it highly. Elvis and Cash are performed particularly well, stunningly so, and Lewis is a scen-stealer. One quibble: I'd cut a few songs and add a bit more story and a bit less music.
KESELOWSKI A FRESH, NEEDED CHANGE FOR NASCAR:
Spent the day down at Homestead-Miami
Speedway Sunday and produced this column
off the race on Brad Keselowski (pictured), who was crowned Sprint Cup season champ. Writing NASCAR is out of my comfort zone but I enjoy it. Most of the drivers are great to deal with, and you can't but help have a different perspective on sports watching these guys perform. Football players risk a knee injury? These guys risk more. Keselowski, 28, is a gust of fresh air. Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and that older guard are still around, but the new champ -- youthful, funny, cocky, a Twittering fool -- is a nice change. Now we see if he's a shooting star or has the staying power to be a multiple champ.
SOPY RANKINGS (WEEK 12): UM'S MORRIS IN DEAD-HEAT FOR LEAD, TITLE:
This college football season has marked the blog debut of our weekly State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, which I like to call the "Sunshine State Heisman." Our chart encompasses the most productive
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. (Note: Rankings consider only passing, rushing and receiving, not returns). 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. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over course of season. After Week 12 it's Florida State's E.J. Manuel and the Canes' Stephen Morris (pictured) in a virtual tie at the top. The SOPY Top 10 entering Week 13:
Rank (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Week=Year
1 (1) E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb 81 = 1,705.5
2 (3) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 201.5 = 1,705
3 (2) B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb DNP = 1,585.5
4 (4) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 82.5 = 1,452
5 (5) Jake Medlock, FIU-qb 180 = 1,395.5
6 (6) Graham Wilbert, FAU-qb 188.5 = 1,392.5
7 (7) Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb DNP = 1,170
8 (9) Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb 136 = 1,142
9 (8) Latavius Murray, UCF-rb 73 = 1,122
10 (--) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb 77 = 1,038
Bubble: Chris Thompson, FSU-rb, 965.
State of the State rankings: 1. Florida (10-1); 2. FSU (10-1); 3. Miami (6-5); 4. UCF (8-3); 5. South Florida (3-7); 6. FIU (3-8); 7. FAU (3-8).
Click back. Will be updating/adding much to this latest blogpost...