G4: FIU at Hurricanes: It's Battle for the 305. But, c'mon, fellas ... PLAY NICE!; plus why Dolphins will beat Raiders and rest of our NFL Week 3 predictions & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It's SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. Football's back! That makes this the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with the surprise of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Herald NFL Week 2 QB Rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's State of the State, Marlins Man, the real FitzMagic & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.
Personal update: As many know from following me on Twitter, I had recent thoracic surgery to remove a tumor from my chest and am in recovery mode. I'm on pain meds and on rest and no-drive orders this week. That's why I've cut back on a bunch of stuff such as a temporary reduction in Herald workload, no LeBatard Show and so forth. Thanks for the understanding. Hope to be back at it starting Monday.
Canes' latest postgame poll coming: Watch for the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll right after today's game ends. Look for it around 6:45 to 7 p.m., both right here in the blog and also on my Twitter feed @gregcote. You may vote both places.
2018 CSM game-by game results
G1: 9.2% following 33-17 loss to LSU.
G2: 73.8% following 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State.
G3: 76.7% following 49-24 victory at Toledo.
G4: Voting begins following today's game vs. FIU.
G4: FIU (2-1) AT NO. 21 HURRICANES (2-1): OK, FELLAS ... PLAY NICE!: Here we go today/Saturday at 3:30 at Hard Rock, in front of ESPN2 cameras, the Hurricanes coming off a solid win at Toledo that failed to move them up in the polls, and crosstown neighbor FIU having hung 63 points on UMass and (as always) looking for respect. Emotion frames the matchup, of course, because so many players on either team grew up friends in Miami, and mostly because of what happened when they met 12 years ago, in the 2006 season. BRAAAWWWLLL!!! Both benches emptied, a melee ensued, eight Panthers and five Canes were ejected, and 31 players from both teams were later suspended. Both coaches (Larry Coker, Don Strock) would lose their jobs after that season. The Backyard Brawl obviously was not the sole reason, but it was a shared embarrassment that helped shelve the natural rivalry as a regular series. UM won the brawlgame 35-0. The schools met the next season without incident, Miami winning 23-9. Today is the schools' first meeting since, the first in 11 years and only the third ever. Nobody anticipates an ugly reprise of '06. Said UM coach Mark Richt: "There will be guys getting their blood pumping. But I don't really anticipate anything foolish. I've not mentioned one thing [about the '06 brawl]to our guys." Second-year FIU coach Butch Davis, formerly with UM, of course, recruited the players who would win the 2001 national championship (Miami's most recent), but has a long way to go to hoist FIU onto a competitive par with UM. As we'll likely see Saturday. My pick: Hurricanes, 41-20.
OTHER STATE COLLBALL: There are seven FBS-level college teams in Florida. With Saturday's Miami-FIU game previewed above, here's chronological Week 4 schedule for the rest:
No. 16 UCF (3-0) beats FAU (2-2), 56-36: Teams got the national ESPN spotlight Friday night with Knights coming off an unexpected bye after Hurricane Florence erased last week's game at North Carolina. UCF, a 2-TD fave, used big second half to crush Lane Kiffin's Owls.
Northern Illinois (1-2) at FSU (1-2), 3:30: Most recent years this would be a walkover for the Seminoles, but now-struggling FSU is a rather modest 9 1/2-point home favorite as new coach Willie Taggert begs patience of fans.
Florida (2-1) at Tennessee (2-1), 7: Gators seem to be finding their groove, but this one will tell. UF is a 4 1/2-point road fave in a big SEC matchup.
East Carolina (1-1) at South Florida (3-0), 8: Bulls impressively beat Georgia Tech but stayed seven spots outside the Top 25. Will big win here finally get SoFla in polls?
Week 4 national Top 25 matchups (2): No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama, 3:30; and 7-Stanford at 20-Oregon, 8.
UPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: DOLPHINS-RAIDERS AND ALL THE REST OF OUR NFL WEEK 3 PICKS: The Dolphins are going to defend The Rock and beat the Raiders here Sunday to forge a 3-0 start for only the fourth time since 1998. I explain why at the top of my latest NFL predictions. They include my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aaawwwk!") and all of the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is off to a solid start. We were a stout 20-10-1 overall and more importantly a strong 19-12-1 against the spread entering Week 3. Now let's keep it going! Dive into Week 3 Gems for all of my latest picks. (Included within is a separate link to Thursday night's Jets-Browns pick, or find it directly at Week 3 Thursday Gem. Got off to another win-win start to our new week, only one point off a rare Exacto on the final score. Thank you, Baker Mayfield!) Pictured at right, our "How the Darts Landed" shield, the bull's-eye representing the height of giddy optimism.
Select recent columns: Give Dwyane Time And He'll Make Right Call. Why Drake/Gore Will Work, And Why That's Crucial to Fins. Somehow, Dolphins Make A 7-Hour Wait Worth It. Soft Stretch In Schedule Is About Improving At QB. NFL 2018 Team Rankings. Dolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This Town. NFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest Quagmire. To The Good-Guy Grinder In The Shades. Time to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports Town. Can Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.
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