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November 13, 2012

Vroom! @#$%&! NASCAR Week in Miami. (How much do you care?) Poll. Vote!; plus NFL pix 'n fantasy, Pavel Bure, SOPY, Big 3 Killed My Baby & more

IT'S RADIO TUESDAY: I'll be in-studio again today with Dan Le Batard and Stugotz on 790 The Ticket and FM 104.3 from 3 p.m. 'til 6 or so. Ears welcome.

[1) It is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13. Jeremy Lin: Nuthin' but ... air! 2) See results of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter (ouch!) in blogpost directly below this newest one. 3) Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote (under construction; new vids coming soon) and join us on Twitter @gregcote]

IT'S NASCAR WEEK IN MIAMI! (HOW MUCH DO YOU CARE?): The 2012 NASCAR season ends Sunday down at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and even non-gearheads might have to acknowledge it is a huge 1aa1homedeal that we have the season-ending race that crowns the champ. This year Brad Keselowski enters with a 20-point lead over five-time champ Jimmie Johnson, meaning Keselowski needs only a 15th place finish or better to win the season title. That might make this race seem anti-climactic, except this is NASCAR, where the chances of Keselowski being wrecked out of a race -- of his own error or intentionally -- cannot be discounted. Just look at this past weekend, when four-time champion Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked 1aa1home2Clint Bowyer, fully admitting it, and causing a melee between the two crews on pit road and in the garage. Gordon was fined $100,000 and docked 25 standings points. He should have been suspended. Now Bowyer is not ruling out retaliation Sunday at Homestead. Maybe auto racing is not your thing, but one thing NASCAR isn't is dull. Speeding, recklessness, road rage .. the perfect event for Miami! I follow NASCAR casually throughout the year but get amped for this annual Homestead crescendo. Do you? Vote in our latest poll and say why.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: A mediocre meh and more misery. NFL predix: Am neither clicking-heels nor 1aa1fripixsullen over a 9-4-1 mark straight up and 6-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week with Saints beating Falcons ("Aawwk!"), but got blindsided by that Dolphins loss. Greg's Lobos: My fantasy team continues to suck royally, now 2-8 after a 142-91 defeat. My mainstay Aaron Rodgers had a bye so I gambled. I signed and started Ryan Tannehill (silly me), figuring the Titans defense was historically bad. And how'd that work out!? Please don't answer.

'THE BIG THREE KILLED MY BABY': This is not an indictment of the Heat's LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who have -- to my knowledge -- never killed anyone's baby. (LeBron has no time for such shenanigans; too busy dropping 32 second-half points on Houston last night). But I was reminded the other day that the White Stripes once recorded a song called "The Big Three Killed My Baby." It was about the auto industry, not a darkly prescient ode to the Heat. Click here to listen.

On Heat's biggest challenge: In terms of likely NBA Finals foe, it isn't Memphis, despite the recent win over Miami. It isn't Oklahoma City, already vanquished and weakened by the James Harden trade. It could become the L.A. Lakers. But right now it's San Antonio. As for the Lakers, the problem isn't the coach, the problem is an old starting unit coalescing with little help from a roster lacking depth.

1aa1bureROCKET MAN BURE ENTERS HOCKEY HALL: Congrats to the Russian Rocket, Pavel Bure, for his induction into the hockey hall of fame. His three-plus seasons with the panthers included NHL goal-scoring titles with 58 and 59 in 1999-00 and 2000-01. For those two seasons Bure was Marino-esque and LeBron-like in terms of sheer goal scoring.

SOPY RANKINGS (WEEK 11): NOLES' MANUEL BACK ON TOP: 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 11 it's Florida State's E.J. Manuel back on top. The SOPY Top 10 entering Week 12:

Rank (LW)     Player, Team-pos.     SOPY Pts. Week=Year

1 (2)     E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb     141 = 1,624.5

2 (1)     B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb     BYE = 1,585.5

3 (3)     Stephen Morris, Miami-qb     138.5 = 1,503.5

4 (5)     Blake Bortles, UCF-qb     164 = 1,369.5

5 (4)     Jake Medlock, FIU-qb     BYE = 1,215.5

6 (6)     Graham Wilbert, FAU-qb     161 = 1,204

7 (7)     Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb     131 = 1,170

8 (10)     Latavius Murray, UCF-rb     135 = 1,049

9 (8)     Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb     53 = 1,006

10 (9)     Chris Thompson, FSU-rb     DNP = 965

Bubble: Duke Johnson, Miami-rb, 961.

State of the State rankings: 1. Florida (9-1); 2. FSU (9-1); 3. UCF (8-2); 4. Miami (5-5); 5. South Florida (3-6); 6. FAU (3-7); 7. FIU (2-8).

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost... 

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