1) It is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1. Happy new month, all, and happy Labor Day to my fellow American workers out there! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Rate My Fantasy Draft poll, Hot Button Top 10, Upset Bird Countdown, FIU vs. Herald verdict & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
UPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 4 DAYS: The Upset Bird and I launch our 24th
season of NFL Friday Page predictions in the Miami Herald in 4 days, on Sept. 5. To celebrate we have a daily countdown honoring notable fictional birds of different species. Today (following the Aflac Duck), in honor of the Hurricanes' season opener we welcome UM football's venerable Sebastian the Ibis.
Canesfan Satisfaction Meter returns tonight!: The CSM postgame polls are back for another season starting tonight. Look for the 2014 debut, right here, within minutes of the end of tonight's UM-Louisville game. Estimated posttime: 11:30 p.m. Watch for it and vote!
G1: HURRICANES @ LOUISVILLE: AND A FRESHMAN SHALL LEAD THEM...: The Miami Hurricanes' 89th season of football launches tonight at Louisville before ESPN cameras at 8 p.m., marking the fourth season for coach Al Golden. The Canes and their fans hope tonight is a lot different than the way last season ended: a 36-9 loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. Same teams, but much different -- notably at the most important position. True freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya takes over for Miami, while Louisville must replace departed star Teddy Bridgewater. We'll be looking for three things, mainly: 1) How does Kid Kaaya handle the pressure of a loud, hostile crowd and a national stage in his collegiate debut. He seems well-suited for the challenge; doesn't act like a kid just turning 19 on Wednesday. But you know the Cardinals' defense will be geared to pressure and disrupt him. 2) Running back star Duke Johnson in his return from last year's season-ending injury. Domination by the Duke of Gables will make Kaaya's job so much easier. And 3) UM's defense. It was awful at times last year and must be much better all-round. Looking for a star or two to step up other than senior linebacker Denzel Perryman. With no Bridgewater and Louisville also missing star receiver DeVante Parker, the Canes have no excuse for a poor showing. This is an ACC game right out the gate, and also huge because it's one of those swing games that define a season. Most college schedules have a few games that are gimmie wins and a few you can't count on winning, with most teetering in between. This is one of those for The U. Louisville is favored by 3 1/2 points, meaning it's about a tossup aside from the location. My pick: Upset. Miami, 27-23.
Poll result: It's official. You hated my fantasy draft: We had a blind poll inviting you to rank my family fantasy league's draft based on each team's top three picks, and I came in next-to-last. Ouch. Results: Team #2 (my brother/led by Jamaal Charles) 34.3 percent; Team #7 (older nephew/Peyton Manning) 27.9%; Team #3 (oldest son/LeSean McCoy) 11.9%; Team #6 (son's girlfriend/Eddie Lacy) 8.5%; Team #1 (youngest son/Adrian Peterson) 7.5%; Team #4 (wife/Matt Forte) 6.0%; Team #5 (me/Calvin Johnson) 4.0%; and Team #8 (younger nephew/Demaryius Thomas) 0.0%.
HEAT MAKE MINOR COACHING STAFF CHANGES: Movin' on up: David Fitzdale now will be the Heat's clear No. 2 behind head coach Erik Spoelstra. And Juwan Howard will be elevated to a full assistant coach. Demoted: Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo, who'll be invited to remain with the club but in lesser roles. Spoelstra is expected to add another assistant or perhaps elevate Dan Craig. (Is this the kind of story fans care about? I have a feeling a team's staff changes -- unless they involve a head coach or, in football, a coordinator -- are of media interest only).
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