G5: Hurricanes @ Florida State: What time is it? Tonight it's time, at last, for Al Golden's signature win; plus Panthers open NHL season, FIU wins big, Gators' Red Rubber (foot)Ball, loving the Cubbies & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10: In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The odds against Dan Campbell reviving Dolphins but why he might, NFL Week 5 picks, World Series poll, my MLB postseason picks and Rootability Scale, Philbin-firing verdict & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Periscope.
Watch for new CSM poll: The latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll magically will appear right here soon after tonight UM-FSU game in Tallahassee ends. Estimated posttime: Midnight.
College Football Playoff updated odds: To get to the final four: Ohio State 5-8, LSU 7-4, Baylor 9-4, Alabama and TCU tied 3-1. Florida State is 7-1 and Florida 13-1.
G5: HURRICANES AT FLORIDA STATE: TIME FOR AL GOLDEN'S SIGNATURE WIN: It's 3-1 Miami at No. 12-ranked and 4-0 Florida State tonight at 8 in Tally, and the Canes are this victory away from being back up in the polls -- and from coach Al Golden taking a huge step to start winning back support from an agitated fan base. FSU is favored by 8 1/2 points but I don't know about that. I'm sensing a not so major upset in Miami's ACC opener. Noles star running back Dalvin Cook (from Miami) is hobbled by a tender left hamstring that likely won't keep him out but likely will limit him. And FSU's offense beyond Cook has not been special; transfer QB Everett Golson has been closer to OK than great. Brad Kaaya and Joe Yearby give UM just as much offensive pop if not more. They key will be the Canes' defense ruining FSU's clean slate of zero turnovers. Miami has much to overcome to make my upset call come true. FSU has won five straight in this traditional series and conference rivalry entering its 60th meeting. Golden is 0-4 vs. the Seminoles and 0-12 with UM vs. teams that finished a season ranked. That makes valid the criticism that Golden hasn't won big games and doesn't yet have a signature win. Tonight will change all that -- or only underline the truth of it. My pick: Hurricanes 27-24.
College Week 6 state FBS games (in chronology; all games Saturday):
FIU 52, Texas-El Paso 12: FIU level at 3-3 with a home bopping leading one to wonder why the UTEP Miners bother fielding a team.
Rice (2-3) at FAU (1-3), 2:30: Owls a narrow home-nest favorite coming off a bye.
Syracuse (3-1) at South Florida (1-3), 3:30: Bulls minus-2, but I'm liking 'Cuse.
Connecticut (2-3) at UCF (0-5), 3:45: Knights favored by 2.5 to get off the schneid.
No. 11 Florida (5-0) at Missouri (4-1), 7:30: Defense-strong Gators rocketed 14 spots up the polls after Swamping No. 3 Ole Miss 38-10, and now are a 4.5-point pick over Mizzou. UF coach Jim Elwain referenced a somewhat obscure American pop band called The Cyrkle and its 1966 hit "Red Rubber Ball" in challenging his Gators to not be a one-hit wonder. That song was huge, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard charts; however The Cyrkle actually was a two-hit wonder, as its followup single, "Turn-Down Day," peaked at No. 16. Maybe sneaky McElwain knew that and is counting Missouri as that second big hit?
PANTHERS OPEN 22ND SEASON TONIGHT SEEKING PLAYOFFS, FRANCHISE STABILITY: Overshadowed though it is on the larger SoFla sports plate by Miami-FSU football tonight, the Florida Panthers open their 22nd NHL season at home vs. the Philly Flyers. That's typical Cats luck: Not even the star in town on their Opening Night. Florida has made the Stanley Cup playoffs only four times -- in 1996 '97, 2000 and '12. Doing it this season will be tough in a dense Eastern Conference, but optimism is founded coming off last season's league-leading 25-point standings improvement under first-year coach Gerard Gallant. The future seems bright. The Panthers are ascending, led by young blades like Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad, as well as veterans like Jaromir Jagr and goalie Roberto Luongo. A healthy Luongo could see the Cats in the playoffs. The stakes for this franchise are not just on the ice, of course. Florida was dead-last in NHL attendance last season, averaging only 11,265 fans per game and 66.1 percent capacity in the Sunrise arena. Rumors about the team relocating to Quebec City (or elsewhere) will only amplify if we don't see a playoff-caliber team that begins to spark a rebirth in interest reflected in noticeably bigger crowds.
Poll result: "Let's Go Cubs!": We are all Cubs, apparently. In the previous blogpost I asked who you're rooting for to win the World Series among the final eight teams, and the Chicago Cubs had 46.9 percent, with no other team closer than 10.5%.
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