Who is Heat's biggest challenger in the East? New poll. Vote now; plus LeBron's future (results map), NFL Pix n' Fantasy, SOPY rankings & more
It is THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10. Am holed up today in the Friday Page Dungeon creating the latest NFL predictions, and hoping to end my torturous slump. 2) Red Sox advance to ALCS on Blood, Sweat & Beards! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall to Baltimore, DSM poll & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
WHO IS BIGGEST EAST ROADBLOCK TO HEAT RETURNING TO NBA FINALS?: I know. Your answer is an indignant, "Nobody!" But here in the real world somebody will be Miami's biggest challenger. They don't allow walkovers in the Eastern finals; Miami will be required to play an opponent. Who will it be? We did this same poll just after last season ended with the Heat's second straight title. Time again now that the new season is almost upon us. Be interesting to contrast results. Who will be Miami's main challenger in the Eastern Conference? Vote and say why.
NATION SAYS: LEBRON WILL RE-SIGN WITH HEAT (EXHALE RELIEF!): ESPN loves polls even more than I do, and its latest is on where LeBron James will end up playing after this season should he opt out and test free agency. The results: Re-sign with Heat 35 percent, Cavaliers 28%, Lakers 19%, Knicks 8% and "somewhere else" 10%. The map shown has the Heat in red, Cavs in blue and Lakers in yellow. Knicks did not lead in any state. Gray represents states with tie votes. Predictably the "re-sign with Heat" option spiked to 62 % in Florida.
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY / WEEK 5: TO SUMMARIZE, I STINK: The disco band Shirley & Company sang Shame, Shame, Shame in 1974. I'm living it in 2013. Seriously. NFL predix: The worst slump of my prognosticatory career continued last week. I was 5-9 overall and 2-12 against the spread. I only wish I were kidding. I bull's-eyed my Upset of the Week with Colts over Seahawks and had Cowboys-with-points over Broncos and that was effing it. My only consolation is the knowledge that, for me, as with the New York Giants, I am so low I can only go up from here. Fantasy: Greg's Lobos lost yet again, 137-113, falling to 1-4. I got 31 points from Dez Bryant, but Tom Brady's nightmare far better captured my miserable weekend.
On Dolphins' offensive woes: In my latest column I explore Miami's troubles rooted in the O-line play. It's no surprise. GM Jeff Ireland left an obvious problem untreated. Click No Blindside Hit for the column.
SOPY RANKINGS / WEEK 6: CANES' 'DUKE OF GABLES' VAULTS TO 4TH: This is the second season of our blog-exclusive State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, a weekly updated list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS schools: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Because our rankings are cumulative players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over course of season. Canes QB Stephen Morris won the 2012 season title with 1,900.5 points. FSU QB Jameis Winston is the current leader. Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. Our 2013 standings entering Week 7:
Rk (LW) Player, Team-pos. SOPY Pts. Wk6=Year
1 (1) Jameis Winston, FSU-qb 250.5 = 969.5
2 (2) Blake Bortles, UCF-qb 81 = 762
3 (5) Jaquez Johnson, FAU-qb 272.5 = 748.5
4 (6) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb 211 = 673
5 (3) Marcus Shaw, USF-rb 27 = 611
6 (4) Storm Johnson, UCF-rb 101 = 604
7 (10) Stephen Morris, Miami-qb 173 = 529
8 (9) Jonathan Wallace, FAU-rb 137 = 498
9 (8) Kenny Shaw, FSU-wr 102 = 484
10 (--) Devonta Freeman, FSU-rb 104 = 449
Bubble: Tyler Murphy, Florida-qb, 442. Other team leader: FIU--Lamarq Caldwell-rb, 213. Note: FAU has played six games, all others five.
Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. FSU (5-0); 2. Miami (5-0); 3. Florida (4-1); 4. UCF (4-1); 5. FAU (2-4); 6. USF (1-4); 7. FIU (1-4).
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...