December 27, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter (season final): 2.7%, record low; plus UM falls 24-21 in bowl, plus your story-of-year winner & more

[RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND...]

1) It is SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27. Hope y'all are having a wonderful holiday season! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Year-end biggest-national-sports-story-of-2014 poll, Dolphins/NFL Week 17 picks, reflections on LeBron's return & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Find our Miami-South Carolina bowl gamepost and postgame thoughts directly below the new/season finale CSM poll.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G13: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll --the last one of the season -- and they show 2.7 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 24-21 loss to South Carolina in the 1aa1acsmDuck Commander Independence Bowl, leaving UM's final season record at 6-7. That's a record low. The CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Because this is the final poll, special consideration and weight should be given to the season as a whole. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

G6: 3.3% (following 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech)

G7: 29.6% (following 55-34 victory vs. Cincinnati)

G8: 80.4% (following 30-6 victory at Virginia Tech)

G9: 92.9% (following 47-20 victory vs. North Carolina)

G10: 47.6% (following 30-26 loss vs. Florida State)

G11: 3.9% (following 30-13 loss at Virginia)

G12: 1.8% (following 35-23 loss vs. Pittsburgh)

G13: 2.7% (following 24-21 bowl loss to South Carolina)

CSM year-by-year final season results: 2014--2.7% overall satisfaction (following 6-7 season); 2013--16.1% (9-4); 2012--80.9% (7-5); 2011--22.1% (6-6); 2010--4.2% (7-6); 2009--41.7% (9-4).

G13: HURRICANES VS. SOUTH CAROLINA: 'COCKS CLIP CANES IN DUCK COMMANDER INDEPENDENCE BOWL: Final: A disappointing season ends with yet more disappointment as Canes fall 24-21 to South Carolina to end 6-7, with four straight losses to end the year. Miami pass defense had no answers for Pharoh Cooper and QB Dylan Thompson outperformed counterpart Brad Kaaya. Duke Johnson ran well (24-132) in his likely UM farewell, but his lost fumble with 5 minutes left, parlayed quickly into a Gamecocks TD, was ultimately what lost the game. ..... Original post: Two football programs that expected much bettter in 2014 gather in Shreveport, La. today at 3:30 p.m. to try to spritz perfume on a stinky year so the smell doesn't linger as much all offseason. I admired Gamecocks coach
1aa1acanescocksSteve
Spurrier admitting it was tough to get either fan base excited about this game, about (my words from here) being relegated to a second-tier, off-radar bowl sponsored by a company that makes duck calls. The Duck Dynasty reality-TV clowns are behind this bowl's name. Please keep Phil Robertson out of the booth and away from a mic. Quaaack! South Carolina sank to 6-6 on lousy defense after being ranked No. 9 in The AP preseason poll. Miami is just about as thrilled to be 6-6 after losing its final three games of a once-promising season. Embattled UM coach Al Golden, 28-21 as his fourth UM season ebbs, needs a win as a launchpoint to optimism, to a sense of moving forward on the upbeat. Miami has lost its past four bowl games since last winning one in 2006 and could really use a win here. South Carolina has won its past three bowls and probably needs this game less as a program. The biggest headline from this game may come after it as UM star running back Duke Johnson, the Duke of Gables, announces if he'll enter the NFL Draft or return for his senior season. Bet heavily on the go-pro option, which is seen as a near-certainty. In any case The Duke should go out in style with a huge game in what figures to be his college farewell vs. a really bad Gamecocks defense, especially against the run. That factor is a big reason why Miami is favored by 3 1/2 points, and a big reason why Miami should win to (somewhat) quiet the fan-wolves baying angrily at Golden. My pick: Hurricanes, 34-27.

Poll result: LeBron-goes-home named national story of year: We asked you to vote for the 2014 national sports story of the year from among The Associated Press' top 10, and LeBron James going home was your top choice with 22.2 percent, followed by Donald Sterling's NBA ouster (20.7%) and NFL domestic violence (18.9%).

Check back often. We're hell-bent to constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

December 01, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 1.8%, record low; plus UM loses to Pitt 35-23, Seminoles win again, Rice verdict & more

1) It is SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30. Note, Random Evidence, our Sunday notes column, is on holiday today and next week. Random (and its expanded blig-only Top 10) will return on Dec. 14. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ray Rice poll, Dolphins/NFL Week 13 picks, Thanksgiving video, Al Golden verdict & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G12: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 1.8 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 35-23 loss to visiting Pittsburgh putting UM's final 1aa1acsmregular season record at 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the ACC. That's a record low approval rating and includes 92.8% calling themselves "very dissatisfied." (This is not the final CSM; we'll have a last one after the bowl game). The CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

;

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

G6: 3.3% (following 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech)

G7: 29.6% (following 55-34 victory vs. Cincinnati)

G8: 80.4% (following 30-6 victory at Virginia Tech)

G9: 92.9% (following 47-20 victory vs. North Carolina)

G10: 47.6% (following 30-26 loss vs. Florida State)

G11: 3.9% (following 30-13 loss at Virginia)

G12: 1.8% (following 35-23 loss vs. Pittsburgh)

Next poll: TBA (following bowl game)

G12: PITTSBURGH 35, HURRICANES 23: RUN DEFENSE LETS DOWN UM AGAIN: This will only embolden the already sizable anti-Al Golden crowd. Miami tonight loses a third straight game to end its regular season 6-6 and make the coming bowl game all but an afterthought. UM's run defense beaten for 226 yards by Pitt. Miami led in total yards 421-360 but never led where it counts: On the scoreboard. The biggest disappointment to me? That the Canes ended the saeson with its two worst, least excusable losses: At Virginia, and now home against pitt. Original post: All about the running, for and against, as Hurricanes wrap the regular season tonight at 7 vs. visiting Pitt 1aa1acanespittPanthers. Duke Johnson is 34 yards from surpassing Ottis Anderson's long-standing UM career mark. But run defense will be the key for Miami, as Pitt has averaged 306 rushing yards over its past three games. Panthers top RB James Conner actually has 169 more yards than the Duke Of Gables this season. UM will catch a break if Connor (questionable, hip) does not play. Miami is 0-4 when outrushed by the opponent so if the Canes bring the run-defense that got crushed by Nebraska and Georgia Tech, it may well lose. Pitt needs a win to be bowl-eligible. UM must win not only to ehnace its bowl prospects but to hold the anti-Al Golden critics at bay in what has been a largely disappointing season. Canes are 5-1 at home, although all five of its losses have been in night games. Miami also heavily owns the series edge with eight straight wins over Pitt, which last beat the Canes in Miami in George Mira's 1963. Denzel Perryman and 18 other seniors will be honored tonight, giving Canes an added emotional edge. My pick: Hurricanes, 30-17.

Other Collball Week 14 state FBS games:

Old Dominion 31, FAU 28: Owls in the home nest trying to finish a forgettable season on the upbeat, but instead falling to slight underdog O.D., ending FAU's season at 3-9.

No. 3 Florida State 24, Florida 19: [Click on Respect Due for my column from Tallahassee on today's UF-FSU game]. With due respect to the Canes, this was the big game in the state 1aa1afla-fsutoday. By a lot. I was up in Tally columnizing from the stadium as the Gators brought to the rivalry not only the desire to knock the Seminoles out of the College Football Playoff, but also the added motivation to give outgoing coach Will Muschamp a win in his final game. Didn't happen. FSU has now won 28 games in a row. Jameis Winston was bad tonight (four INTs), but defense and RB Dalvin Cook carried the Noles. I correctly saw FSU finishing and winning because it is what they do, but the prospect of a season-altering upset was real and made the game riveting.

Also: UCF def. South Florida, 16-0, on Friday. Off this week: FIU season complete.

Poll result: Most Dolfans want Ray Rice, despite it all: The ex-Ravens running back involved in the domestic abuse controversy won his appeal and is free to sign with any team. We asked if you thought the Dolphins should sign him and it was 54.6 percent yes and 39.6% no, with the other 5.8% undecided.

Check back often because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

November 25, 2014

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter 38.9%, Canesfan 3.9%. Double-ouch as both approval ratings plummet

1) It is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall at Denver. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Random Evidence: Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton signing. No separate blog-only "What South Florida Sports Fans Are Talking About" top 10 this week (I've been away on travel), but the print version linked to includes a top five.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G11: Results are certified in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 38.9 percent overall satisfaction in the wake Sunday's 39-36 loss at Denver putting Miami's season record at 6-5. That's the team's lowest approval rating since Week 5. The DSM, in its 1aa1adsmseventh season, is a continuous weekly gauge of how fans are feeling about the Dolphins and their direction. Right after each game I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 8:30 a.m. today/Tuesday.

2014 DSM results

G1: 96.4% (following 33-20 victory vs. New England)

G2: 12.2% (following 29-10 loss at Buffalo)

G3: 2.0% (following 34-15 loss vs. Kansas City)

G4: 62.3% (following 38-14 victory vs. Oakland in London)

G5: 14.2% (following 27-24 loss vs. Green Bay)

G6: 80.7% (following 27-14 victory at Chicago)

G7: 63.2% (following 27-13 victory at Jacksonville)

G8: 97.4% (following 37-0 victory vs. San Diego)

G9: 40.3% (following 20-16 loss at Detroit)

G10: 93.3% (following 22-9 victory vs. Buffalo)

G11: 38.9% (following 39-36 loss at  Denver)

Next poll: Dec. 1 (following game at N.Y. Jets)

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G11: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 3.9 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 30-13 loss at Virginia putting UM's season record at 6-5 overall and 3- 1aa1acsm4 in the ACC. That's UM's lowest approval rating since Game 6. The CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:30 a.m. today/Tuesday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

G6: 3.3% (following 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech)

G7: 29.6% (following 55-34 victory vs. Cincinnati)

G8: 80.4% (following 30-6 victory at Virginia Tech)

G9: 92.9% (following 47-20 victory vs. North Carolina)

G10: 47.6% (following 30-26 loss vs. Florida State)

G11: 3.9% (following 30-13 loss at Virginia)

Next poll: Nov. 29 (following game vs. Pittsburgh)

Check back often to monitor evolving poll results...

November 16, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 47.6%; plus UM falls late to FSU, Stanton deal, new Hot Button Top 10 & more

1) It is SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins wad Bills, DSM poll, NFL Week 11 picks & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Click on What Champions Do for my column from the stadium on last night's Canes-Noles game. I write that FSU deserves more credit than Miami does blame. Find our blog gamepost directly below the new CSM poll and latest Hot Button Top 10.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G10: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 47.6 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday night's 30-26 home loss to Florida State putting UM's season 1aa1acsmrecord at 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the ACC. (That's easily UM's highest grade following a loss this season). The CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:45 a.m. today/Monday.

;

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

G6: 3.3% (following 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech)

G7: 29.6% (following 55-34 victory vs. Cincinnati)

G8: 80.4% (following 30-6 victory at Virginia Tech)

G9: 92.9% (following 47-20 victory vs. North Carolina)

G10: 47.6% (following 30-26 loss vs. Florida State)

Next Poll: Nov. 22 (following game at Virginia)

HOT BUTTON NOV. 16: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday feature, an expanded, updated Hot Button Top 10. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1aa1ahotbutton1. Hurricanes: UM falls short as Florida State hex continues: Miami led last night all game until 3 minutes remained, losing 30-26. FSU and Jameis Winston did what they do: Being doubted, looking less than great ... then winning. No power shift yet in the ACC. I said yet.

2. Dolphins: Spanking of Bills enlivens playoff hopes: Happy days are here again after Thursday's 22-9 home win over jinx Buffalo. I'd mention Peyton Manning is waiting on deck in Denver, but I'm not a rain-on-your-parade kind of guy.  

3. Marlins: Stanton reportedly close to record extension: Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 25, is said to be close to signing a $325 million, 13-year extension. Be honest. Raise your hand if you thought Jeffrey Loria, who led the league in being disliked, would ever be the owner to set record for spending.

4. NASCAR: Season champion to be crowned today at Homestead: I'll be down there as Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick race for NASCAR season crown today at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Any would be a first-time champ in latest incarnation of Chase for the Crown format. 

5. Heat: Still trying to decipher team in post-LeBron era: A 5-2 start, now two losses in a row entering today's home game vs. Milwaukee. What we know for sure about the Heat right now is that we don't know anything for sure.

6. College football: Alabama topples No. 1 Mississippi State: Nick Saban's home win, 25-20, will send the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide leaping into the College Football Playoff ranking's coveted top four, and likely sending Mississippi State out of it. You get a chance to watch the game, Condoleezza Rice?

7. UM hoops: Canes men visit No. 7 Gators Monday: Jim Larranaga's UM men are 1-0 but get their first real test of the newborn college basketball season at top-10 Floirida Monday. Canes footballers just lost to a state rival. Let's see how the hoops guys fare.

8. Panthers: Cats begin four-game road swing: I keep reading how the season is on upswing. Hmm. When last I checked, Florida was 5-9, last in NHL in goals and 13th of 16 teams in conference. Can we raise the bar on "upswing," please?

9. FIU: Golden Panthers win home finale: FIU rallied to defeat Middle Tennessee 38-28 in their home finale to snap four-game losing streak. It was Senior Day. Based on reports, there may have been more Seniors being honored than fans in the stands. 

10. Soccer: Strikers fall short for NASL title: Fort Lauderdale lost at San Antonio last night 2-1 for NASL championship, Strikers' first time in Soccer Bowl since 1980 loss to N.Y. Cosmos in league's original incarnation. I may be only person in America both at the '80 game and aware of last night's.

G10: NO. 3 FLORIDA STATE 30, HURRICANES 26: No in-game live blog last night because of recurring online/connectivity problems from the stadium. ..... Original post: If No. 1 Mississippi State at No. 5 Alabama is today's collball Game of the Day, it's by a whisker over this one as unbeaten Florida State visits Miami at 1aa1acanesfsu8 p.m. in a nationally televised game that has FSU's 25-game winning streak and repeat-championship hopes in serious jeopardy. The Hurricanes are but narrow 2 1/2-point underdogs at Dolphins stadium, due to a combination of Jameis Winston and his Noles not being as dominant as last year, and UM playing its best ball of the season. The timing seems right for the homies. The U rides in on a three-game win streak and has won 13 of its past 14 home games as it tries to end a four-game FSU win streak in this ACC and state rivalry. Miami has not won at home over the Tally gang in 10 years. The sold-out stadium may be filled with nearly as many fans in garnet and gold as in orange or green, but there are reasons beyond the venue to like Miami. Brad Kaaya is having a better season, at least statistically, than Winston. Red-hot Duke Johnson is playing like a running back who means to make a late run at the Heisman Trophy. And UM's once-maligned defense has seemed to coalesce with more of an attacking style. Miami, the way it is playing right now, is a team that can keep pace with Winston in a shootout. And Lord knows FSU is overdue for a loss. I'll be at the game tonight columnizing. It's one of those "event" games that won't feel like work. Can't wait 'til kickoff! My pick was: Hurricanes, 31-27.

Other Collball Week 12 state FBS games:

South Carolina 23, Florida 20 (OT): Steve Spurrier back in The Swamp is always fun, even though this was an off-year meeting in which Spurrier's 'Cocks and his ex-Gators both are sloughing through disappointing seasons. Florida was a 7-point fave but game to me felt even, like no result would surprise. With good reason, apparently.

FIU 38, Middle Tennessee 28: FIU once was 3-3 and dreaming bowl but had spilled to four straight L's and was a 5-point 'dog here. But I rightly gave G-Panthers a decent upset shot in their home finale.

Also: USF def. Southern Methodist, 14-13, and UCF def. Tulsa, 31-17, Friday night. Off this week: FAU.

JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAYS, MARLINS' GIVE US THE GIFT OF STANTON: The Miami Marlins, of all teams. Jeffrey Loria, of all sports owners. That is what strikes you first when hearing that Giancarlo 1aa1agstantonStanton reportedly is about to sign the richest contract in the history not only of baseball, but of North American team sports: $325 million over 13 years. It isn’t that some team is offering him that. It’s that this team is. The Marlins, who are routinely among MLB's bottom-dwellers in player payroll. The Marlins, who have led the league in cost-cutting, fan-angering "fire sales." The Marlins, whose penurious business 1aa1adickens
operation has made Loria perhaps the most unpopular owner in South Florida sports history. This is astounding. Not less. It calls to mind (just in time for the holidays) Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in which Ebenezer Scrooge sees the light and transforms himself from a miser of cold heart to a man of admirable generosity. Scrooge, in the modern reenactment, is played by Loria. And convincingly, as hard as that is (still) for the mind to wrap around. Click on The Gift of Stanton for today's full column by me.

Check back lots because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

November 01, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 92.2%; plus UM crushes North Carolina 47-20; also FIU falls, Gators stun Georgia, other collball & more

1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1. Happy new month, all! 2) Hope y'all had a fun Halloween. We continued a tradition at our house, which is that I eat more candy than we hand out. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 9 pix, howling at LeBron's awful homecoming, props to Noles, '15 World Series odds & more. 4)Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Find our Canes-North Carolina gamepost and postgame thoughts directly below the new CSM poll.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G9: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 92.9 percent overall satisfaction -- a season high -- in the wake of Saturdays' 47-20 home victory over North Carolina putting UM's season record at 1aa1acsm6-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC. The CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:45 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

G6: 3.3% (following 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech)

G7: 29.6% (following 55-34 victory vs. Cincinnati)

G8: 80.4% (following 30-6 victory at Virginia Tech)

G9: 92.9% (following 47-20 victory vs. North Carolina)

Next poll: Nov. 15 (following game vs. Florida State)

G9: HURRICANES 47, NORTH CAROLINA 20: Final: UM now a bowl-eligible 6-3 witha third straight win, and an easy one, 47-20. Duke Johnson had 226 total yards and three TDs, including a 90-yard run and 37-yard catch. And defense was solid, especially early, and throughout against the run. Al Golden's Canes are playing their best football of the year the past few weeks. ..... Halftime: What an a-- whuppin'! Miami at 30-6 leads 322-46 in total yards, Brad Kaaya has two TD passes, Duke Johnson has 172 yards rushing and two more scores, and the Canes defense is dominating. ..... Original post: The nation's eye will be on No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Ole Miss playing today to knock each other off the College Football Playoff grid. South Florida's eye will be on this expected shootout at Dolphins stadium. A third straight win for Miami in today's 12:30 matinee would make the Canes bowl-eligible but, more important, keep The U alive for the ACC Coastal 1aa1acanesunctitle and a shot at the conference championship. The Hurricanes are playing their best right now and should handle a Tar Heels squad that can score a bunch but plays pretty awful defense. This could be a WNBA score. UM will have more than Duke Johnson, Brad Kaaya and a better defense on its side. It will have emotion on a "Kelly Tough" homecoming day that honors ex-quarterback great Jim Kelly 1aa1acanesunc2and also sees the Ring of Honor indiction of former defensive stalwarts Russell Maryland and the late Jerome Brown. To Kelly, the 1979-82 Cane, the Buffalo Bills might be his immediate family but The U is his extended family. The fact he has been battling cancer and other serious health issues adds emotion, but Kelly deserves honoring just for what he meant to Miami on the field. He engineered perhaps the biggest UM win ever at the time with a 17-14 upset of No. 1 Penn State on Oct. 31, 1981 -- a game that got the nation's attention. It was Kelly (and Lou Saban) who set the plate for Howard Schnellenberger and the '83 champs. If the emotion of the day carries onto the field, the Canes won't lose. My pick: Hurricanes, 41-27.

Other Collball Week 10 state FBS games:

No. 2 Florida State 42, Louisville 31: Jameis Winston and his maligned but resilient Seminoles overcame a 21-0 hole on road Thursday night to affirm their catbird seat (for now) in the first College Football playoff.

Rice 31, FIU 17: The G-Panthers, scrambling to get bowl-eligible, were 7-point home 'dogs but I gave them a big upset shot against half-cooked Rice. Oh well. FIU now 3-6.

Florida 38, No. 11 Georgia 20: Gators used to own The World's Largest Cocktail Party. Alas, Tim Tebow is long gone, the Swamp is drying and it looked like Bulldog time in the annual neutral-field game in Jax. Proud, hurting underdogs are always dangerous in a rivalry, and so UF was here, but I thought Dawgs by double digits was the safer bet. Wrong! A huge ground game with Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones and big defense gave Florida (now 4-3) its season highlight. And maybe saved coach Will Muschamp's job?

Alabama-Birmingham 31, FAU 28: Owls and dangerous Jacquez Johnson were slight home faves but I rightly gave UAB a big chance. Late field goal sent The Atlantic to 3-6.

Also: UConn def. UCF, 37-29; and Houston def. South Florida, 27-3. Off this week: None.

Check back a lot becase we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

October 05, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 3.3%; plus Ga-Tech grounds UM 28-17; also new Hot Button Top10 w/ college upheaval, Heat, MLB, Cats, Fins & more

Watch for new blogpost coming midday today...

1) It is SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat-forecast poll, NFL Week 5 pix, FIU wins Shula Bowl, World Series poll result, Headlines I Never... & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Find our UM postgame thoughts directly below the latest CSM poll, and our new Hot Button Top 10 at the bottom of this post.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G6: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 3.3 percent overall satisfaction -- a season low -- in the wake of Saturday night's 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech putting UM's season record at 3-3 1aa1acsmoverall and 1-2 in ACC play. The CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that wwas around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

G5: 73.3% (following 22-10 victory vs. Duke)

G6: 3.3% (following 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech)

Next poll: Oct. 11 (following game vs. Cincinnati) 

G6: GEORGIA TECH 28, HURRICANES 17: Miami falls to 3-3 and host Tech skies to 5-0 on a night that saw too little from the Canes on both run defense and offense. G-Tech ran 72 plays to UM's 44 and more than doubled the Canes in time of possession, while steamrolling for 311 rushing yards and converting 9 of 14 third downs. UM didn't help itself with two Brad Kaaya interceptions. Hurricanes led 14-7 at one point and thereafter got very little done. A disappointing night in what -- right now -- seems pointed to a disappointing season for coach Al Golden and the Canes. ..... Original post: Miami handled the Yellow Jackets 45-30 down here last year, but the Bees lead the series 8-4 in Atlanta. Tonight's 7:30 duel is an ACC Coastal game, so it's that much bigger. It's also all but a pick-'em game, with Miami 1aa1acanesgtechfavored by a scant 1 point. I think that is because G-Tech padded its record with wins over three flyweights to start the year before a notable victory at Virginia Tech. That result and the fact the Jackets are home and coming off a bye make me a bit surprised UM is not an underdog here. The reason to like The U tonight: Miami brings a big offense, and Brad Kaaya and Duke Johnson should be salivating to play a defense that gave up 38 points and 528 yards to Georgia Southern. The reason a Canes fan might be worried: Remember how Miami's run defense got obliterated by Nebraska? Well, GT's option attack has averaged 292 run-yards per game, 11th in the nation, so Mark D'Onofrio's guys had better be doing a lot better in Atlanta than they were in Lincoln. I can see this game going either way. (Surprisingly I don't feel like that about a lot of games). Bottom line, though: I trust Kid Kaaya and The Duke here to outscore both the opponent and their own defense's shortcomings. My pick: Miami, 38-31.

Other Collball Week 6 state FBS games:

Florida 10, Tennessee 9: Good day to be a Gator fan. You got a road win, and you got rid of Jeff Driskel. UF now 3-1 and Tennessee 2-3 with a 10th straight Florida win in series. The pressure was really on coach Will Muschamp and QB Driskel, because Gator Nation is turning into Hater Nation for those two, and The Swamp is beginning to boil. Driskel was horrid -- 11-for-23, 59 yards, three INTs -- before being benched for Treon Harris. Big defense and 10 fourth-quarter points were enough to win despite Driskel. I had a gut feeling Florida might quiet Neyland with a much-needed upset, but then again I thought that might be osmosis from my knowing too many so many UF alums.

No. 1 Florida State 43, Wake Forest 3: College Football Playoff is blowing up. Oregon loses, now, today, Alabama. At least FSU did its business. Noles now 5-0, Wake 2-4. Point spread was a ridiculous 38. I pictured FSU covering to the tune of 48-3 or something, so had it close. No way to pretend this game would be competitive even briefly. And the Seminoles -- still on top of the main AP poll but losing first-place votes and belief -- seriously needed a big, voters-impressing, lopsided win. This worked.

FIU 38, FAU 10: Miami's Golden Panthers over Boca Raton's Owls in the 13th Shula Bowl, on a weather-ravaged Thursday night, thanks to big defense. FIU now 3-3 overall and 2-0 in Conference USA; FAU 2-4, 1-1. (See previous blogpost for a fuller report on the game).

AlsoUCF def. Houston 17-12 on Thursday night. Off this week: USF.

Poll result: Heat expectations are realistically modest: We asked in previous blogpost how far you realistically expect the post-LeBron Heat to advance in this season's playoffs, and a plurality of 37.7 percent said conference semifinals. Another 31.0% said conference finals, 17.2% said first round and 14.1 said NBA Finals. The results strike me as realistic.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our Random Evidence Sunday notes-column package has returned in print from summer hiatus (click HERE for today's latest edition), but due to semi-popular demand an updated, expanded Hot Button continues as an exclusive Sunday feature of the blog. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1aa1ahotbutton1. Hurricanes: D'Oh-no-frio! UM defense gets run over again: Canes defensive chief Mark D'Onofrio is in trouble with fans again after Miami (now 3-3) yielded 311 ground yards in Saturday night's 28-17 loss at Georgia Tech. Combined distance Nebraska and G-Tech ran on UM would circle the globe 2.4 times.

2. College football: Saturday shockers shatter playoff picture: Oregon, Alabama and Oklahama, ranked 2-3-4, all lost this weekend to throw into upheavel the first College Football Playoff picture, leaving the four-team outlook as Florida State, then Question Mark & The Mysterians. Anything is possible now. Dream big, FIU! OK maybe not but you get my point.

3. Heat: Preseason underway; six days 'til LeBron: The new reality introduced itself last night as Miami lost its preseason opener to New Orleans Pelicans. Team makes home debut Tuesday vs. Orlando but circled date is next Saturday vs. LeBron James and Cleveland in Rio de Janeiro. How funny would it be if LeBron was "resting" and didn't play?

4. MLB playoffs: Three of four division series are 2-0: With postseason play resuming Sunday only Cards-Dodgers are tied 1-1, with Orioles, Royals and Giants all enjoying 2-0 leads in the best-of-five ALDS and NLDS. Well, looks like at least the AL will give us a Cinderella. 

5. Panthers: Bad preseason, now real games here: Florida last night completed a 0-6 preseason under new coach Gerard Gallant. The good news: Maybe Cats are saving all their wins for the regular season? That starts Thursday at Tampa, then Saturday at home vs. New Jersey, ready or not. 

6. Dolphins: Bye week. Rest up, defensive backs: The win in Londond was nice, but Oakland is, like, a CFL team. Actual NFL opponents are on deck with Green Bay here next Sunday, then at Chicago. Aaron Rodgers, then Jay Cutler. Sleep easy today, Fins DBs. Your nightmare s are coming. 

7. Marlins: Games done, but Fish have good week: Jose Fernandez threw a baseball for the first time since surgery, the team extended manager Mike Redmond’s contract and said it would soon offer a long-term deal to Giancarlo Stanton. That’s a better week than any the Marlins had playing this year.

8. NASCAR: Chase field reduced to 16: NASCAR’s new system has reduced the Chase for the Cup field from 16 drivers to 12. If your favorite driver is still in it, the new format is great. If not, it needs tweaking.
 
9. Ryder Cup: Europe beats U.S. yet again: Europe beat the United States for the eighth time in the past 10 Ryder Cups. Those people act like they invented golf. What? Oh.

10. Michael Phelps: Olympic champ in trouble again: On the comeback trial, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was arrested for DUI, his second such offense. He also has been photographed with a bong. Much more off-field embarrassment and Michael will be ready for the NFL.

Check back a lot because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...

September 21, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 11.6%; plus UM falls at Nebraska 41-31, Gators, FIU routed, Noles survive sans Winston & more

1) It is SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canton/Hall poll, Jameis Winston, erosion of Tannehill support, Urban Outfitters & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

BIG 3'S BIG WEEK: Can't recall a bigger combined week for what we used to call the state's Big 3, with Canes at Nebraska, Florida State hosting Clemson and Florida facing Alabama.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G4: Time again for the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, this one in the wake of Saturday night's 41-31 loss at Nebraska putting UM's season record at 2-2. 1aa1acsmThe CSM, in its sixth season, is 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville) 

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

G4: 11.6% (following 41-31 loss at Nebraska)

Next poll: Sept. 27 (following game vs. Duke)

G4: NO. 24 NEBRASKA 41, HURRICANES 31: MIAMI FALLS SHORT IN SEASON-SHAPING TEST: UM's offense was OK tonight in Nebraska. Duke Johnson was good, Brad Kaaya was pretty good (though two interceptions). But the Canes' defensive showing will reinvigorate the Mark D'Onofrio haters. Though a last-minute TD made the final score respectable, Miami's run defense was horrid. ..... Original post: It's an 8 p.m. prime-timer on ESPN2 and the weather could be funky (80% chance of rain) as two storied programs try to get back 1aa1acanescornto where they used to be. Ten combined national titles include four won against each other -- Miami climbing over Cornhuskers for crowns in 1983 (pictured below left), 1991 and 2001, and Nebraska vaulting Canes to win it all in '94. Today, both are trying to see how good they really are. We don't know. Nebraska is unbeaten but vs. 1aa1acanesob84lightweights FAU, McNeese State and Fresno State, hence the barely-there national ranking. UM after an opening loss at Louisville has gotten well against softies Florida A&M and Arkansas State. This game will be a larger test for both as Canes coach Al Golden tries to convince skeptical fans he can win the big one. This would be a big one. Let's see how freshman QB Brad Kaaya handles not only the weather but Nebraska's 90,000-strong Sea of Red. A loss or poor performce by Kaaya and the calls for senior QB Ryan Williams, close to returning from injury, could start. Have a feeling this could be a wild one. Huskers favored by 7 1/2 points but I see it closer with a medium-to-large shot at an outright upset if Miami's defense can reasonably contain Nebraska's spread-option attack. My pick: Nebraska, 30-27.

Other Collball Week 4 state FBS games:

No. 3 Alabama 42, Florida 21: Nick Saban takes his protege, Will Muschamp, to school. Only 'Bama mistakes kept it as close as it was, with Tide outgaining The Gator by 645 total yards to 200.

Louisville 34, FIU 3: Visiting Cardinals were a four-TD favorite and you got the feeling FIU would be fortunate just to keep it that close. L'ville whipped UM by 18. Would have been big for Panthers to keep it even that close.

Wyoming 20, FAU 19: Pretty even matchup with Wyoming getting the home-field 3-point edge. I, a blatant Owl-homer, gave FAU a big shot.

No. 1 Florida State 23, No. 22 Clemson 17 (OT): QB Jameis Winston was suspended for the entire game, after an outcry over the original first-half suspension for shouting a sexist vulgarity on campus. Noles had embarrassed Clemson, up there, last year, 51-14. You knew this would closer but still liked Noles even sans Winston. FSU had won 10 of past 11 in series in Tally by combined 426-167.

Also: UCF def. Bethune-Cookman, 41-7. South Florida def. UConn, 17-14, on Friday.

Poll result: Seau leads your next Hall class for Canton: We invited you to pick the most deserving Hall of Fame inductees from a list of 10 top nominees. Your top five: Junior Seau with 17.0 percent, Marvin Harrison 14.3%, Kurt Warner 11.2%, Orlando Pace 10.5% and Edgerrin James 10.0%. 

Check back often because we update and add to our latest bloposts...

September 14, 2014

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 71.8%; plus UM clobbers Arkansas State 41-20; also FIU loses, more Stanton, Rice verdict & more

1) It is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Click on Week 2 Gems for our latest NFL prediction capsules and on Eventually, Forgiveness for our Friday Page column on Ray Rice. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Giancarlo Stanton's injury, Ray Rice poll, Ferry-Deng audio, NFL Week 2 pix, Al Golden verdict & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Thoughts of Tony C, and thanks it wasn't worse: Today's column by me on Giancarlo Stanton's injury. Click on Lucky to read.

Our UM-Arkansas State game blog is directly below the poll...

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G3: 71.8%: Results are ceertified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 71.8 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 41-20 home victory vs. Arkansas State putting UM's season record 1aa1acsmat 2-1. The CSM polls, in their sixth season, 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. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2014 CSM results

G1: 6.7% (following 31-13 loss at Louisville)

G2: 35.9% (following 41-7 victory vs. Florida A&M)

G3: 71.8% (following 41-20 victory vs. Arkansas State)

Next poll: Sept. 20 (following game at Nebraska)

G3: HURRICANES 41, ARKANSAS STATE 20: Final: Canes fans not satisfied by this may be trying a bit too hard to be critical. Just a thought. Offense in charged all day, led by Kaay's 341 yards and 4 TDs and Dorsett's 201 yards receiving. Too bad for him they didn't try harder to get him Eddie Brown's durable 1984 record of 220 catch-yards. Anyway, it was what it was supposed to be: An easy win over an opponent that should have been an easy win. ..... Halftime: UM having its way offensively at 27-14. Brad Kaaya 10--for-13 for 226 yards and two TDs, Duke Johnson 64 yards rushing on 8 carries, and Phillip Dorsett three catches for 138 yards. Defense has shown a couple of letdowns, though, enough to feed the Mark D'Onofrio haters if not quite sumptuously. ..... Original post: From the Sun Belt Conference come the Arkansas State Red Wolves for today's 3:30 Canes home game -- one Miami should win comfortably but yet must not approach too 1aa1aarkstate 1aa1aarkstate2comfortably. This isn't FAMU, a totally overmatched foe with no real shot at winning. Ark-State, generally around a 15-point underdog, is capable of an upset if UM is off its game or on auto-pilot dreaming of next week's big test at Nebraska. Don't see that happening. Canes are missing WR Stacy Coley to an injury but have plenty of other firepower to make this a no-sweat afternoon. They'd better, because the growing impatience with the program and especially with coach Al Golden mandates an easy W today. My pick: Miami, 34-13.

Other Collball Week 3 state FBS games:

Pitt 42, FIU 25: FIU stunningly led 16-0 after one quarter but was thereafter dominated and overrun. The home team was coming off a win over tiny Wagner but facing an opponent much higher on the college food chain, with Pittsburgh favored by around 25 points. Both teams nicknamed Panthers with similar uniform colors, but not similiar in talent or depth.

FAU 50, Tulsa 21: Tulsa was a slight favorite by most sports books, but I had a strong feeling the home team would prevail. But not by this much! Night Owls!

Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (OT): Gators survive in triple-overtime, oh my! Kentucky was 2-0 but Gators owned this opponent, this series, especially in the Swamp. I said I'd surprised if Florida wasn't on top of the 19.5-point bet-line, but I was wrong. Gator Nation none too pleased.

Also: No. 20 Missouri def. UCF, 38-10; and North Carolina State def. South Florida, 49-17. No. 1 Florida State is off.

Poll result: Rice should serve full-year suspension, but no consensus: We asked about the punishment and future of Ray Rice over his domestic abuse scandal, and 42.8 percent said he should serve a full-season suspension, 29.6% said six games, 15.5% said a lifetime ban, 8.9% said two games and 3.2% were undecided.

1aa1aphyllisHOW NOT TO GET RE-ELECTED IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith (pictured) has devised a way to avoid paying local taxes, anger people and lose her next election all at the same time. Congratulations, Phyllis! How embarrassingly, gallingly brilliant! The lesson, kids, is that what is legal isn't always what's right. What you can do isn't necessarily what you should do. Click here to read. 

Check back often because we update and add to our latest blogposts myriad times daily...

December 28, 2013

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter / season final: 16.1%; plus UM loses bowl to Louisville 36-9, buried by Bridgewater

1) It is SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Year-end poll: Biggest national sports story of 2013, Dolphins?NFL Week 17 picks, LeBron sucks at golf & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).

Vote: What was biggest national sports story of 2013?: Poll still open. Navigate to the blog post directly below this new one and have your say. Ten choices. You can vote for three.

Click on Drama Not Done for my column from Orlando off Saturday's Canes-Louisville game. And find in-game commentary directly below the poll. 

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: BOWL/FINAL: Results are in on the latest and 2013 final Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 16.1 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 36-9 loss to Louisville in 1aa1csmthe Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, putting Mami's final season record at 9-4. This was the fifth year for these polls in our blog, and thanks to the thousands of fans who participated. These polls 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. Because this was the final poll, I asked that you please give added weight to the season as a whole. (Not quite sure you did, honestly. I know it's tough to not give disproportionate weight to what just happened). Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9:15 a.m. today/Monday.

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.

G13: 16.1% (2.7-v, 13.4-s) following 36-9 loss vs. Louisville.

Final season results:

2013: 16.1% overall satisfaction (following 9-4 season)

2012: 80.9% overall satisfaction (following 7-5 season)

2011: 22.1% overall satisfaction (following 6-6 season)

2010: 4.2% overall satisfaction (following 7-6 season)

2009: 41.7% overall satisfaction (following 9-4 season)

BOWL: HURRICANES VS. LOUISVILLE IN ORLANDO: LET ME COUNT THE SUBPLOTS: Final: What can you say? Teddy Bridgewater passed for 447 yards and three TDs, ran for another, and left Miami helpless all night. Now UM fans must decide if they saw an overall positive season this year, or if all theyh can see is the way it ended. My column from Orlando is now online (link above). ..... 4Q: Louisville misses late FG try. Miami still in it! (Sorry). ... Score now 36-9 after Gus Edwards' 2-yard TD run. ... Teddy's 1-yard scoring run on 4th down makes score 36-2. Felt like running up the score. Teddy leaves field mocking UM by making "The U" gesture with his hands, and turning that into a slit-throat gesture. Sad. ..... 3Q: It's now a 29-2 rout on Teddy's 3rd TD throw, this one 24 yards to Senorise Perry, abetted by abysmal non-tackling by UM. ..... Half: Distilling the why on a 22-2 Canes hole at halftime, I would mostly say this: Teddy is 19-for-26 for 231 yards and two TDs for Louisville, and Morris is 6-for-14 for 71 yards and a lost fumble for The U. Teddy is being Teddy, and the Canes offense is being awful. ..... 2Q: Teddy to Michaelee Harris for 13-yard scoring play and 22-2 Louisville lead (the kick was missed) 30 seconds before halftime. ... Canes finally show a spark with Clive Walford's 28-yard catch for a first and goal, but Morris loses fumble when hit in pocket. Awful turnover, terribly timed. ... Miami now 0-for-6 on 3rd downs. Offense sucks at this point. ... L-Ville up 16-2 after Teddy's 26-yard TD pass to DeVante Parker in end zone. He's like Pele' now. No surname needed. Just "Teddy." ... Miami now 0-for-5 on 3rd downs and O-line getting dominated. This will turn lopsided fast if UM offense doesn't find a way. ... Cards add a 42-yard FG for 9-2 lead. Canes defense hanging on, but offense must do something now. Feels like a game that could get out of hand unless Stephen Morris & Company make a stand, pronto. ..... 1Q: Miami defense holding its own vs. Bridgewater in first Q but offense has only 30 net yards on 15 plays. ... Cards add three-run homer I mean 43-yard FG for a 6-3 lead late in quarter. ... Canes didn't make it, but like the go-for-it- call on 4th-and-1 from own 45, even though it set LV up for that FG drive. ... Louisville up by the baseball score of 3-2 with a 36-yard FG. I'd have an "action in both bullpens" line here if it were later in the game. ... Canes 2-0 on safety when Deon Bush sacks Bridgewater in the e-zone. ... "Teddy" chants for Bridgewater. Still think more UM fans here, but Louisville fans seem louder. ..... Pregame post: Visual guesstimate based on orange vs. red in the stands is that UM fans will be in the majority. ... Miami in white uniforms tonight, Louisville in its blood-red duds. ... I'd forgotten what a dump the Florida Citrus Bowl is. The Orange Bowl in its last days was the Taj Mahal compared to this place. ..... Original post: I won't lie and say that being up in Mousetown to columnize off tonight's Russell Athletic Bowl ranks among career highlights, but 1aa1canesbowl13it's a bowl game that means something to the Miami Hurricanes, and so I'm on the trip and happy to be. Louisville (18th-ranked, 11-1) is a 3.5-point favorite over UM (9-3), and with reason. I give the Canes a big upset shot but love the matchup for the subplots. If you don't think this game is huge for Miami, let's count those subplots: UM is in its first bowl since 2010, after the scourge of an NCAA probe and two years of self-imposed bans. Miami last won a bowl game in 2006. A win gives UM its first double-digit-win season, a benchmark, since 2003. The opposing QB, Teddy Bridgewater, is a Miami kid who committed to the Canes but changed his mind when Randy Shannon was fired -- essentially turning his back on Al Golden and the restart. (Bridgewater and UM counterpart Stephen Morris are pictured). A win makes Miami ranked in the final post-bowl polls. Louisville is switching to the ACC so this is the first shot in a budding conference rivalry. And Louisville recruits South Florida heavily so this result carries weight there, too. That enough to chew on? It should be. I see an upset -- if UM can get pressure on Bridgewater, a large if. This bowl game is a letdown for Louisville, which dearly wanted the BCS bid that went to Central Florida. For Miami it's bigger, a deserved reward after all the program has been through. I think the Canes will want this more, and I think that matters in bowls without otherwise obvious stakes. My pick: Upset! Hurricanes, 31-27.

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

1aa1miley 1aa1fat
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-
1aa1caneshelmet2
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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