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November 29, 2013

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 78.0%; plus UM thumps Pitt 41-31, 'Bama loses, FAU tops FIU, Incognito, NFL Week 13 picks & more

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1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30. Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My turkey soup recipe is below. (Click on the image at right for the disturbing animated version). 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Thanksgiving Special, Bird Day NFL picks, Bullygate Thanksgiving video & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).

1aa1incogSignificant Bullygate update: The Dolphins and suspended bully Richie Incognito reached an agreement to extend Incognito's team suspension with pay. This is significant. It positions Miami to reinstate Incognito if the findings of Ted Wells' NFL investigation make that plausible from a public relations standpoint. It had earlier been reported Incognito would never again play for Miami. Well, that no longer seems nearly as certain.

COLLBALL WEEK 14

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G12: Results are in on the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 78.0 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 41-31 victory at Pittsburgh putting Mami's final 1aa1csmregular-season record at 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the ACC. That is UM's highest CSM rating since Week 6. (This is not the season-ending CSM poll; we'll have a final one after the bowl game). This is the fifth year for these polls in our blog. They are your invitation after every Hurricanes game to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction, and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Polls never close, but results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Sunday.

2013 Canesfan Satisfaction Meter

G1: 82.9% (19.9-very, 63.0-somewhat) following 34-6 victory vs. FAU.

G2: 96.7% (71.2-v, 25.5-s) following 21-16 victory vs. Florida.

G3: 95.7% (77.2-v, 18.5-s) following 77-7 victory vs. Savannah State.

G4: 97.6% (67.9-v, 29.7-s) following 49-21 victory at South Florida.

G5: 95.8% (60.4-v, 35.4-s) following 45-30 victory vs. Georgia Tech.

G6: 82.3% (41.8-v, 40.5-s) following 27-23 victory at North Carolina.

G7: 68.4% (31.2-v, 37.2-s) following 24-21 victory vs. Wake Forest.

G8: 65.7% (28.5-v, 37.2-s) following 41-14 loss at Florida State.

G9: 15.1% (4.7-v, 10.4-s) following 42-24 loss vs. Virginia Tech.

G10: 5.7% (2.5-v, 3.2-s) following 48-30 loss at Duke.

G11: 51.1% (6.2-v, 44.9-s) following 45-26 victory vs. Virginia.

G12: 78.0% (21.9-v, 56.1-s) following 41-31 victory at Pitt.

Next/Final poll: Following bowl game, date TBD

G12: HURRICANES @ PITT: Final: The bad news? UM's defense was spotty, especially against the run. The good news? Everything  else. Stephen Morris threw for almost 300 yards, Stacy Coley had three long TD plays totaling 139 yards, and Allen Hurns had nine catches for 173 yards to cap a terrific regular season for him. With the win bowl-bound Miami still had a chance to sneak into the ACC title game vs. FSU, but that ended when Duke won Saturday. ..... Halftime: The Stacy Coley Show, starring Stacy Coley. TD passes of 32 and 34 yards and a 73-yard TD run are about all you need to know of Miami's easy first half and comfy lead. The scary thing? Coley should have four TDs; he dropped a perfect pass in the end zone. ..... Original post: National television on ABC. Freezing-cold weather. Regular-
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1aa1caneshelmetseason finales with bowl positioning in play. Lots to like about today's Canes at Pittsburgh game. For 8-3 Miami, a narrow favorite, a win also could see The U creep back up into the polls and keep slim ACC title-game hopes alive. Panthers are 6-5, pretty good, but Canes should win if Stephen Morris masters the conditions and turnovers are not a factor. (Admittedly, a lot to ask). The Hurricanes, with a win, are projected to meet either Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta) or Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando). That means Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater, so UM had better pack its pass defense for the trip. But that's getting ahead of ourselves. Beat Pitt today, or the bowl stakes shrink. My pick was: Miami, 28-24.

Other Week 14 state FBS games, chronologically:

FAU 21, FIU 6: The annual rivalry for the Don Shula Trophy was more of a Nightmare Bowl this year. FIU was a miserable 1-10. FAU had lost its head coach to a drug-related scandal around midseason -- but rallied and became bowl-eligible today. Remember: You can't spell "bowl" with "OWL"! My pick was: FAU, 37-13.

No. 19 UCF 23, USF 20: The Knights are rolling to an AAC title and major BCS bowl game and wouldn't be stopped by the ornery Bulls, but this one took a late escape. My pick was: UCF, 28-7.

No. 2 Florida State 37, Florida 7: Was this where we were supposed to pretend that the rivalry and home field and pride and all that good stuff would somehow turn this into a competitive game? I wouldn't bet on it. Jameis Winston,under investigation in a sexual assault case, calls the field his "sanctuary" and continues to thrive despite the distraction. Was close for a long while, but then the FSU offensive dam burst as you knew it would. My pick was: FSU, 41-14.

Week 14 national Top 25 matchups (all Saturday):

No. 4 Auburn 34, No. 1 Alabama 28: Iron Bowl was the Game of the Week and fittingly ended with a thrill, a 106-yard Auburn TD return of a missed field goal. Nick Saban out-coached himself to lose another shot at a national title. My pick was: Alabama, 31-21.

No. 10 South Carolina, 31, No. 6 Clemson 17: This was first time in 111 meetings both had been top-10 as both Tigers and 'Cocks angled for a BCS bowl. My pick was: Upset. Clemson, 27-24.

No. 8 Stanford 27, No. 25 Notre Dame 20: Stanford drive to a Rose Bowl wouldn't be derailed by the Irish. My pick was: Stanford, 27-21 (one point from an exact score).

No. 5 Missouri 28, No. 21 Texas A&M 21: Mizzou needed the win for the SEC East title and got it at home. Johnny Manziel is now 0-4 against ranked teams this year. My pick was: Missouri, 38-31.

No. 22 UCLA 35, No. 23 Southern Cal 14: USC had won five straight this season under Ed Orgeron, and seven in a row at home in this rivalry. My pick was: Southern Cal, 27-20.

My record: This week, 6-3; season, 79-27.

UPSET BIRD DAY: WEEK 13 NFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS BEAT STINKIN' JETS: Dolphins a slight underdog at 1aa1fripixJets Sunday but Geno Smith will find a way to see a Miami victory. Rivals might both be 5-6 but don't let the haters tell you it isn't a big game. Winner will still have a decent shot at an AFC wild-card playoff berth. Click on Week 13 Gems for full prediction capsules on the Dolphins and all other games, and on Outlook Cloudy for my NFL notes column, leading with the playoff picture. My week got off to a decent start with the Thanksgiving Day tripleheader; I went 2-1 straight-up and the same against the spread.

SAVE THE CARCASS! GREG'S TURKEY SOUP RECIPE: (Photo of soup taken on my kitchen counter, 2:45 p.m. Friday) To make stock, submerge turkey carcass in 3 1aa1gregsoupquarts water. Rough-chop and add a handful each of celery, onion and carrots. Add 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper and teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer at least 1 hour. Strain and reserve stock. Pick remaining meat from carcass and add to pot, along with 2 cups chopped leftover turkey, 1 cup of diced onion, 1 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup fined-diced carrots and 1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning. Add 1 1/2 cups uncooked ditalini (white rice may be substituted). Stir, simmer until pasta is done. Stir in handful of fried onion crumbles, and S&P to taste. Serve. (Good now, better reheated tomorrow). Enjoy!

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