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February 05, 2013

Tannehill vs. World: Name best young QB. New poll; plus NSD, Gangnam golfer, Heat Big 5@45, Amazin' Canes win again & more

This is your National Signing Day headquarters! (Not really): Proudly, we won't have up-to-the second updates on whether, for example, the Hurricanes landed coveted long-snapper Lennay Tanktread of Surgery Prep, because we know that info is only available to you about a thousand other places including live on ESPN. However, later in the day, we will assemble all pertinent information and then -- after extensive research consisting of the Internet -- we'll assess how the Canes and others did. Stay tuned.

[1) It is WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6. Hey, sorry I'm late, y'all. Barack and I were off skeet-shooting. 2) Alex Rodriguez thinks he might be the victim of a conspiracy. Looky here. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): How power outage saved Super Bowl, SB grades, TV, '14 odds. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

1aa1kreskinYes, the Amazing Kreskin is still alive: His publicist informs us the Amazing Kreskin correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner. That puts Kreskin in the exclusive company of myself and about 86.3 million other people who also correctly picked Baltimore. 

TANNEHILL AGAINST THE WORLD: NAME THE BEST YOUNG QB: Watching the Super Bowl the other night at my house with a small group, a friend remarked, of Colin Kaepernick: "(Ryan) Tannehill might become 1aa1goldenagereally good, but he's not this guy." I said nothing but immediately thought: Blog poll! This is a Golden Age of Golden Young Arms in the NFL. Just look at the seven names in the poll. All meet my criteria: One or two years' NFL experience, and 25 years old or younger. (The "somebody else" category also might include, among others, Nick Foles, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. Notes on three more: Sam Bradford is 25 but has played three pro years, Matthew Stafford turns 25 this week but has played four, and Brandon Weeden was a rookie this past season but is 29). Here is how impressive the poll names are: Tannehill might be last in some estimations, and he just passed for 3,294 yards as a rookie. You'll wish you had about five votes here but you only have one. So. Which young QB would you most want on your team? Vote and say why.

HOW AND WHY CANES LOST RB RECRUIT COLLINS TO ARKANSAS: I know folks at South Plantation High; was the baseball announcer there for several years. And I can tell you Miami didn't lose highly recruited 1aa1acollinsrunning back Alex Collins to Arkansas because of anything Al Golden's staff did wrong. I am told Collins' decision was based on two factors: 1) He had built up a strong relationship with Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, and when the coach moved to Arkansas (on Dec. 4, 2012) and took his Miami-area recruiter Charlie Partridge with him, Collins' thoughts immediately went with him to the Razorbacks because of that relationship. 2) The Southeastern Conference. Playing in America's premier college-football conference was something Miami and the ACC could not offer. Despite Miami's history of great running backs, Collins became convinced the SEC stage would better foster a future NFL career. A pretty major blow to UM's recruiting  class as Wednesday's National Signing Day arrives.

PROFESSIONAL GOLFER DOES IT GANGNAM STYLE: It was James Hahn, on the green, after a birdie putt. Funny. Click here to watch.

HEAT BIG 5 @ 45: The blog loves bells 'n whistles especially of the nerdy-stat variety and so we started this new one we are running throughout Heat season at five-game intervals. It's a top-five cumulative 1aa1heat5ranking of the players having the biggest overall impact this season based on eight statistical categories. The numbers themselves might not mean much but the numbers relative to each other give an indication of the contribution players are making. The Big 5 @ 45 Games (31-14):

Rank (@40)   Player   Total

1 (1)   LeBron James   1,711.1

2 (2)   Dwyane Wade   1,139.6

3 (3)   Chris Bosh   1,087.5

4 (4)   Ray Allen   687.5

5 (5)   Mario Chalmers   665.6

Bubble: Udonis Haslem, 454.1

Heat's subtle early lobbying to re-sign LeBron: LeBron James can leave in free agency after next season, in 2014, and one way Miami hopes to keep him is simply to show constant appreciation, publicly and privately. "To never, ever take him or what he does for granted," as coach Erik Spoelstra likes to say. Two nights ago James scored 31 points on a career-best, near-perfect 13-for-14 shooting. The consistency of his excellence can make it seem routine; Spoelstra's constant praise fights that. James telling ESPN.com last week he doesn't feel he gets enough credit for taking less money to be here did not surprise Heat officials. As one member of the front-office staff told me, "LeBron likes to be appreciated."

LARRANAGA'S AMAZING HURRICANES: [Update: UM steamrolled visiting Boston College last night, Miami's 10th straight win to go 9-0 in the ACC] Original post: I try to avoid hyperbole. Don't use words like "amazing" often. 1aa1jimlBut Jim Larranaga's Miami men are 17-3, have won nine in a row, have risen to a program-best-tying No. 8 in the national polls, and are 8-0 in the ACC -- the first team other than Duke or North Carolina to do that since 1981. Yes: that's pretty amazing. I spoke to Larranaga yesterday for today's column. Being a head coach in the ACC had been a lifelong ambition of his. Even when he gained national attention leading George Mason to the Final Four in 2006, he had not arrived to where he wanted to go. Now, in his second season here in the ACC, Larranaga is proving he belongs. He is proving to be the perfect man to win big and also to grow college basketball in what has never been a hotbed. Click on Fulfilling A Dream for the full column.

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

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