1) It is SUNDAY, JANUARY 5. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes-column, leading with Dolpins' indecision. Note: Column deadline is Friday afternoon so does not reflect latest Al Golden/Penn State story. 2) Phil Everly (pictured) of the Everly Brothers, dead at 74. Some of the earliest pop/country/rockabilly music to enter my brain. 3) Happy 84th birthday yesterday to the great Don Shula. 4 In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL playoff predix and IRI index, Clemson wins Orange Bowl, Heat top Miami sports story of 2013 & more. 5) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
Orange Bowl: Winner? Clemson. Losers? MVP voters: Tigers' 40-35 victory over Urban Meyer's Buckeyes gave the OB a memorable night. Big losers were my media brethren who chose game's MVP and decided Tajh Boyd's 497 yards of offense and six TDs were insufficient. Click on The Constant for my column from the game. It's an homage to the Orange Bowl on its 80th anniversary, in the unabashed civic-minded manner of my mentor, the great Edwin Pope.
HOW TO FEEL IF AL GOLDEN HAD BOLTED CANES FOR PENN STATE?: BULLETIN: AL GOLDEN ANNOUNCES HE IS STAYING AT MIAMI. Original post: This is weird. Al Golden toughs through two-plus years of NCAA probing and self-imposed bowl bans, gets past all of that darkness to finally see the light ... and now he might leave!? Well, they say timing is everything. And they're right. I believe Golden when he brags what a great job UM is. I also believe that his alma mater, Penn State, is one of the very few jobs he'd leave for, and now that job is suddenly vacant, and now ESPN reports Golden is one of three "preferred" finalists and will be interviewed. Some less credible reports already have him being offered the job. (I wish I had a buck for every casual media use of the phrase "sources say," the ultimate unnamed shield to insulate anyone from anything. You know what my sources say? My sources say their sources are full of s--- or maybe were drunk). Anyway, I'd not be surprised if Golden left or stayed, although I'd be mildly surprised he'd want to take on more NCAA probation in Happy Valley (stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal) after just getting past all that. Let's wait and see what happens, sources say. Meantime, what in our new poll best reflects the way you'd feel if Golden giddy-upped to Penn State? Vote, say why and check back to monitor evolving results.
FIU'S T.Y. HILTON SHINES; NOW BENGALS ROAR, PACKERS IN UPSET AS NFL PLAYOFFS CONTINUE: Today make it Bengals over Chargers 21-17 and Packers over 49ers 27-23 as first round of King Sport playoffs wrap up. Oddly, I feel more confident in these picks (even Green Bay) than I did in Saturday's. We we were 1-1 overall but 0-2 against the spread yesterday. Got lucky with Indy's comeback but did not see N'Awlins winning. How 'bout T.Y. Hilton! Quietly, the little rocket out of FIU has had a terrific two-year start to his NFL career. My original post on Saturday's games: Make it Colts, 24-20, over Chiefs, then Eagles, 31-27, over Saints. It isn't that I have that much faith in Indy or Philly. It's more the flaws in Kansas City and New Orleans. KC is 2-5 since its 9-0 start and not playing very good defense lately. N'Awlins and Drew Brees are hugely less potent on the road.
CANES NEAR-SHOCKER AT SYRACUSE: Miami nearly stunned No. 2 Syracuse up there yesterday, losing 49-44. UM men are now 8-6, not great but pretty solid considering all the players gone from last year's ACC championship team. Jim Larranaga was national coach of the year last season. His might be an even better coaching job this season if he can see this depleted roster into even the NIT.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...