1) It is TUESDAY, JANUARY 7. Dear Progressive insurance: That "Flo" ad campaign is wheezing. Move on. 2) Click on Random Evidence for the latest Sunday notes-column, leading with Dolphins' indecision. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Al Golden staying, if-he-left poll, Clemson wins OB, T.Y. Hilton/NFL playoffs, Canes' near-shocker in Syracuse & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
DOLPHINS PART WAYS WITH JEFF IRELAND: Dolphins part ways with GM Jeff Ireland, a day after canning embattled offensive coordinator Mike Sherman in a move neither entirely expected nor a surprise -- but closer to expected. The move will be popular with fans. The team ended up averaging not quite 20 points a game, and somebody was going to take the fall after the collapse in those last two games cost Miami the playoffs. A source in the building had indicated offensive line coach Jim Turner also may yet be let go, and that Ireland's future still was being considered. Until now. Coach Joe Philbin is safe. The firing had to be tough for Philbin, who called Sherman "a mentor" even in dismissing him.
FSU'S IMPRESSIVE, UN-NOLE-LIKE TRIUMPH; FAREWELL, BCS: Very impressed by FSU's national-title win last night for the very reason it wasn't that impressive by margin. They had to work for it. It wasn't the usual: Seminoles sailing and winning by 40, instead rallying to win, 34-31. Give Auburn credit; it's defense dominated early. Also give Jameis Winston credit. He was brilliant only when he absolutely had to be. Congrats, Noles, for bringing the big prize back to the state of Florida. Original post: Florida State vs. underdog Auburn in Pasadena, Calif., decides the latest college football national title and ends the 16-year era of the Bowl Championship Series, which gives way next season to the four-team College Football Playoff. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said it right this week: "We all complain about the BCS, but isn't it funny how often they get it right?" Here's what else is funny, even when they got it wrong, when the final two teams were debatable, it was still right. Still good for the sport. The debate, the controversy and arguing -- all good. We'll miss you, BCS. Well, I will anyway. The only rancor moving forward will be the annual kvetching by the team ranked No. 5, the one just missing the playoff. I guess that'll have to do. Meanwhile, I like the Seminoles to send the BCS off into the sunset in style. You can have all the "team of destiny" stuff attaching itself to Auburn. I'll take Jameis Winston and that offense. Auburn's defense ranked 88th in the country, giving up 24 points and 424 yards on average. How on Earth can they stop FSU? Answer: They can't. They won't. The SEC's seven-year title reign ends as Seminoles raise the ACC banner. Pick: FSU, 41-27.
LEBRON HONES MACHINE-GUN SKILLS, JUST IN CASE: As player hobbies go, I'd imagine Heat braintrust Pat Riley and Erik Spolestra would look on this one about as approvingly as they might bungee jumping or running with the bulls. Nevertheless, there were LeBron and Mrs. James the other day at a local gun range, Lock & Load Miami, firing a M249 SAW belt-fed mahcine gun. LeBron is pictured. Click HERE for the 17-second video. This may or may not prove incriminating, should Roy Hibbert find himself mysteriously strafed by machine-gun fire in a driveby shooting.
Bynum to Bulls: Chicago acquires big man Andrew Bynum from Cavaliers fro Luol Deng. It's still a Heat-Pacers conference, but Bulls now could be a tougher hurdle for somebody. Bynum is a guy Miami would have sought to sign had a trade not been worked out and he became available.
Heat nickname jerseys: Heat made official the complete list today. They are, alphabetically: Ray Allen (J. Shuttlesworth); Chris Andersen (Birdman); Joel Anthony (Doc); Shane Battier (Battle); Michael Beasley (B Easy); Chris Bosh (CB); Mario Chalmers (Rio); Norris Cole (Cole Train); Udonis Haslem (UD); LeBron James (King James); James Jones (JJ); Rashard Lewis (Sweet Lew); Roger Mason Jr. (Moneymase); Greg Oden (G.O.); and Dwyane Wade (D. Wade).
MORE ON GOLDEN STAYING AT UM: Click on Maybe Al Golden Means It for yesterday's column by me on the coach staying at Miami over overtures from alma mater Penn State. Coaches tend to lie, but it may be time to start believing Golden when he says Miami is where he wants to be. Him staying could also signal the start of Coral Gables being a destination job, not a stepping stone. Golden however, was unilluminating in his Monday press conference. The only real news to come out of it was his confirming there would be no staff changes (meaning defensive chief Mark D'Onofrio is safe). Golden would not address the Penn State matter much at all, leaving to speculation whether he actually interviewed or was offered the job. Would have liked him to be more forthcoming on that.
Poll result: Golden leaving would have been largely accepted: We asked in previous blogpost how you'd feel if Al Golden left Miami for Penn State, and turnout was large and results surprising. A plurality of 33.3 percent said they'd feel OK because it was his alma mater, edging the 32.5% who said they'd be disappointed because he left a job undone. Another 20.2% said they'd be glad because UM could do better. The rest: 8.5% unsure/mixed feelings, and 5.5% angry/feeling betrayed.
NFL PLAYOFFS: FIRST ROUND'S BIGGEST LOSER? ME: King Sport's Wild-Card Weekend left me curled in a fetal position in the gutter. OK maybe that's a bit dramatic. But I was only 1-3 overall -- and a Colts miracle-rally from being 0-4. I also was 1-3 against the spread, hitting on only Chargers-with-points. Quick thoughts: 1. Road teams lost three of four; so much for fighting all year for the home field. 2. How can Cincinnati, the only team to lay down, move forward trusting Andy Dalton?
Seahawks now narrow SB favorite over Broncos: New Super Bowl odds out for the NFL's surviving eight teams, courtesy Bovada: Seahawks 12-5, Broncos 13-5, 49ers 11-2, Patriots 15-2, Panthers 11-1, then Colts/Saints/Chargers all 14-1. Exact-matchup odds leaders are Broncos-Seahawks 9-4, Pats-Seahawks 13-2, Broncos-49ers 11-2 and Broncos-Panthers 8-1.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...