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25 posts from October 2010

October 31, 2010

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 77.9%

[Main game post on Dolphins-Bengals may be found directly below this in blog].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: DOLPHINS @ CINCINNATI: Results are certified on the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter, and they show 77.9 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday afternoon's 22-14 victory at Cincinnati putting Miami's season record at 4-3. That's a bit on the low side following a win, owing perhaps to the team's offensive troubles in the red zone resulting in field goals. 

1aadsmThe DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans feel about the team and its 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, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open; however, poll results are certified official on the morning after one full day of voting. In this case, that'll be around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Previous DSM scores may be found beneath this latest poll:

DSM 2010 RESULTS:

Game 1: 76.1% satisfaction (9.8 very, 66.3 somewhat) following 15-10 victory at Buffalo.

Game 2: 96.7% satisfaction (52.4 very, 44.3 somewhat) following 14-10 victory at Minnesota.

Game 3: 62.8% satisfaction (11.8 very, 51.0 somewhat) following 31-23 loss vs. N.Y. Jets.

Game 4: 7.0% satisfaction (4.5 very, 2.5 somewhat) following 41-14 loss vs. New England.

Game 5: 82.7% satisfaction (17.4 very, 65.3 somewhat) following 23-20 victory (OT) at Green Bay.

Game 6: 40.9% satisfaction (8.3 very, 32.6 somewhat) following 23-22 loss vs. Pittsburgh.

Game 7: 77.9% satisfaction (21.4 very, 56.5 somewhat) following 22-14 victory at Cincinnati.

Next poll: Nov. 7 following game at Baltimore.

G7: Dolphins 22, Cincinnati 14 (Final); Road Warriors! Miami improves to 4-0 away

[Watch out for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll beginning at 5 p.m!].

1aaantcin 1aaantmia DOLPHINS TRIUMPH IN TIPPING-POINT GAME AT BENGALS:

FINAL: Nice road win today for Miami as slight underdogs. Called it a tipping-point game because, with at-Ravens on deck, a loss would have had Miami staring at 3-5 at midseason, and a palyoff longshot, while a win puts the locals at 4-3 and still in the fight. No huge stat games for Miami today. Here was the recipe: Stout defense, five field goals, and one brilliant 96-yard drive. [Dolphin Bonus: Jets lose today to Green Bay]. 

4Q: Big INT by Sean Smith with under 3 minutes left looks like a win clincher for Miami ..... You just had your best offensive series of the entire season. Why are you running the bleeping Wildcat!?!? ..... Now THAT is a drive for a suddenly safe(ish) 22-14 lead, as good a drive as Miami has had all season. It was 96 yards, featuring 25- and 24-yard passes to Marshall and Hartline, a 30-yard Hartline end-around, an 18-yard Ricky run, then a finishing 2-yard TD plow by Williams ..... Another special-team mistake by Bess, with a non-catch letting punt roll inside Miami's 5. 

3Q: A fifth FG by Dan "The Man" Carpenter gives Miami its first lead at 15-14 ..... Davone Bess fights the sun and loses, muffing a punt return that Cincy recovers.

2Q: Miami within 14-12 at half on Dan carpenter's fourth FG ..... More settling for another Carpenter FG to make it 14-9 in final minute of half ..... Oy! A should-have-been INT off the hands of safety Chris Clemons and into the hands of Owens for a 14-6 Cincy lead. Clemons will cringe when he sees that replay. Awful ..... That's a bad Chad Henne interception into double coverage ..... Dolphins add another FG. Why can't this offense finish?

1Q: Miami within 7-3 as fairly nice opening drive bigs down, settles for FG. Never a good sign when your kicker is among your offensive MVP candidates as midseason nears ..... Ugh. Miami defense gives up 86-yard TD drive for a quick 7-0 hole culminated by Terrell Owens schooling Jason Allen on a scoring catch.

Original post: You are 3-3 with a game at Baltimore on deck. So let's be real. Lose today and you're staring at the likelihood of 3-5 at midseason, a point from which the climb to the playoffs would be steep indeed. Win today and a 4-3 mark makes you feel like you're still in the fight. This is probably the easiest game in Miami's brutal eight-game stretch of schedule (games 2 through 9), so it's an opportunity that must be seized, not missed.

Looking for a concerted ground game today by the Dolphins, whose Ronnie & Ricky Show has played to lukewarm reviews. Cincy has lost three straight but that only makes today's road game tougher.

Your Dolphins-Bengals thoughts welcome here before, during and after the game.

October 30, 2010

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 11.3%

[Main game post on Canes-Virginia / Collball Week 9 may be found directly below this in blog].

1aacsm CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: UM-VIRGINIA: Results are in on the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter, and it shows 11.3 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday afternoon's 24-19 upset loss at Virginia leaving UM's season record at 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC.

[Special note: The 11.3 actually is a higher than expected. Voting trends indicated an unusually high number of "very satisfied" votes early. In fact the "very satisfied" total briefly was over 30% before the mass of votes poured in and overwhelmed what I suspect was an organized guerrilla effort of anti-UM folks].  

The CSM is our continuing weekly gauge of how Miami Hurricanes football fans are feeling about the team and the program's direction. A new poll appears in a separate blogpost soon after the conclusion of every Canes game.

Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the 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 was around 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Season results may be found beneath the latest poll:

CSM 2010 Season Results

Game 1: 95.0% satisfaction (69.8 very, 25.2 somewhat) following 45-0 victory vs. Florida A&M.

Game 2: 25.6% satisfaction (9.1 very, 16.5 somewhat) following 36-24 loss at Ohio State.

Game 3: 83.8% satisfaction (22.1 very, 61.7 somewhat) following 31-3 victory at Pittsburgh.

Game 4: 88.3% satisfaction (26.3 very, 62.0 somewhat) following 30-21 victory game at Clemson.

Game 5: 5.6% satisfaction (3.5 very, 2.1 somewhat) following 45-17 loss vs. Florida State.

Game 6: 22.6% satisfaction (2.6 very, 20.0 somewhat) following 28-13 victory at Duke.

Game 7: 81.2% satisfaction (32.4 very, 48.8 somewhat) following 33-10 victory vs. North Carolina.

Game 8: 11.3% satisfaction (8.2 very, 3.1 somewhat) following 24-19 loss at Virginia.

Next poll: Nov. 6 following game vs. Maryland.

[Thanks again to reader Raul Pares for the CSM logo design].

G8: Virginia 24, Hurricanes 19 (Final); UM rally falls short, ACC hopes in peril; plus Gators, FAU win

[Look for our latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate post in the blog today beginning at 4:30 p.m. Also, I'll be on CBS-4's SportsZone tonight at 7 chatting Canes, Dolphins and Heat. Catch us if you can].

1aacavaliers2 1aacavaliers VIRGINIA STUNS NO. 22 CANES, 24-19: Miami rallied from 24-0 down but falls short when defense cannot stop late third-down conversions by Cavaliers. Ultimately UM could not overcome five interceptions by three different QBs, with 21 of VA's points coming off UM turnovers .... Canes now 5-3 overall, 3-2 in ACC, and ceding control of the division title race to Virginia Tech ..... How serious is Jacory Harris' injury is big question in the wake of the loss ..... UM recovers onside kick, scores on 60-yard Travis Benjamin TD catch ..... Stephen Morris TD run but Matt Bosher shanks XP kick ..... Leonard Hankerson TD pass from true freshman Stephen Morris averts shutout, mid-fourth ..... Third quarter didn't get any better. Three Miami QBs have thrown four interceptions. ..... Oh my. What a miserable first half for Miami. QB Jacory Harris out injured. Canes killing themselves with mistakes. Nothing going right. Nightmare. Do they have a comeback in them?

Original post: Miami (5-2 overall, 3-0 in ACC) is a comfortable 15-point road favorite over Virginia (3-4, 0-3), although the very suggestion of "comfy" is likely what concerns coach Randy Shannon going in. This could be The U's easiest game, on paper, since the FAMU opener, perhaps even more so than the one at Duke. But the Canes can afford no letdown if sights are to remain set on an ACC championship. Things a UM fan should hope to see: Continued emphasis on more running and offensive balance to ease the burden on Jacory Harris; that was one of the delights of the win over North Carolina last week. Also wondering if Miami is capable of playing a "clean" game in which turnovers and costly penalties are not a factor. (By the way, maybe it's just me, but the Cavaliers' mascot, far right, looks ... a little ... fey? Not that there's anything wrong with that! Maybe it's his Halloween costume). 

Your thoughts welcome here on all Collball Week 9 action, particularly on the Canes, Florida-Georgia and of course the FIU-FAU backyard brawl for the Shula Bowl. My predictions: UM big, Gators in a (mild) upset, and Owls in an upset over FIU. (Hey, I got two out of three!)

Other Week 9 state FBS games:

North Carolina State 28, No. 16 FSU 24: Thursday night upset loss loosens Seminoles' grip on both the top-25 and the ACC race, ending Tally's five-game win streak.

Florida 34, Georgia 31: Oy, how the mighty have fallen. The annual "World's Largest Cocktail Party" in nuetral Jacksonville found both sets of fans boozing to drown sorrows more than celebrate. The Gators (now 5-3, 3-3) were slight 'dogs but ended a three-game lsoing streak.

Central Florida 49, East Carolina 35: Here's one I couldn't much care less about, personally, yet it was a big game within the Conference USA East division. UCF now 6-2, 4-0.

FAU 21, FIU 9: Shula Bowl! Backyard grudge! Neighborhood war! Golden Panthers were 4 1/2-point favorite. Arise, Owl Nation, arise!

Idle this week: South Florida's Bulls 4-3 and preparing for Wednesday night game vs. Rutgers.

National top-25 matchups: 18-Iowa d. 5-Michigan State, 37-6; 14-Nebraska d. 6-Missouri, 31-17.

COTE TOP 30

Our continuing weekly cumulative ranking of the college football programs having the biggest impact on the 2010 season:

Rank-LW   Team   Points

1-3   Boise State   757

2-1   Alabama   756

3-2   Ohio State   735

4-5   Oregon   718

5-4   Texas Christian   710

6-6   Oklahoma   637

7-7   Nebraska   609

8-10   Auburn   514

9-8   Wisconsin   500

10-12   Louisiana State   471

11-9   Iowa   470

12-13   Utah   464

13-14   Arkansas   430

14-11   Florida   427

15-15   Texas   386

16-17   Stanford   380

17-16   MIAMI   355

18-19   Arizona   342

19-18   South Carolina   339

20-21   Michigan State   298

21-20   Florida State   277

22-27   Missouri   200

23-25   Virginia Tech   184

24-24   Michigan   174

25-26   Southern Cal   167

26-22t   West Virginia   166

27-22t   Penn State   163

28-28   Oklahoma State   156

29-29   Nevada   119

30-30   Georgia Tech   91

October 26, 2010

Dream Team delivers home opener up to the hype; plus who owns this town -- Canes, Dolphins or Heat? (with poll) & NFL Week 8 picks (uh oh)

[Note: Thanks to ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' for having us on Friday to talk -- what else! -- Heat].

FANTASTIC HOME OPENER FOR DREAM-TEAM HEAT: Miami was predictably rusty in opening loss at Boston, rebounded with a nice win at Philadelphia, and seemed to really find its stride in a 96-70 home-opening rout of rival Orlando Friday night. Click on Grand Opening for my column off the game.

I'm curious what inroads the Heat will have with football fans the next few months. Does a Dolfan or 'Canes fan switch or share allegiances now? Take a dip in our poll and say why you voted as you did.

I'll be at the Bayside arena tonight and have rarely looked forward more to a non-playoff home game in any of our sports.

1aabosh1 1aabosh2 By the way, click Rise for LeBron James' new Nike commercial. It's brilliant. Alludes to his clumsy exit from Cleveland but unapologetically. Plus I love a shoe commercial that barely mentions shoes. [Pictured: The Heat's Big 3 (left) and (right) how the Heat's Big 3 might have looked had Pat Riley come up with the idea sooner].

WEEK 8 NFL PICKS: Be very concerned, Dolfans. I think Miami will win Sunday in a mild upset at Cincinnati, 28-27, and the way my picks are going this season, that could be the smooch of doom. Click on Week 8 Gems for all our latest picks.

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in The Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

October 24, 2010

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 40.9%

[Main game post on Dolphins-Steelers may be found directly below this in blog. Click on Steelers Steal One for my column off the game].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: PITTSBURGH @ DOLPHINS: Results are official, and the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll indicates 40.9 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday afternoon's 23-22 home loss to Pittsburgh putting Miami's season record at 3-3. That's actually a fairly high number following a loss, likely reflecting both the 1-point margin against a quality opponent, and the We Wuz Robbed factor.

1aadsmThe DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans feel about the team and its 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, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open; however, poll results are certified official on the morning after one full day of voting. In this case, that was late morning Tuesday.

Previous DSM scores may be found beneath this latest poll:

DSM 2010 RESULTS:

Game 1: 76.1% satisfaction (9.8 very, 66.3 somewhat) following 15-10 victory at Buffalo.

Game 2: 96.7% satisfaction (52.4 very, 44.3 somewhat) following 14-10 victory at Minnesota.

Game 3: 62.8% satisfaction (11.8 very, 51.0 somewhat) following 31-23 loss vs. N.Y. Jets.

Game 4: 7.0% satisfaction (4.5 very, 2.5 somewhat) following 41-14 loss vs. New England.

Game 5: 82.7% satisfaction (17.4 very, 65.3 somewhat) following 23-20 victory (OT) at Green Bay.

Game 6: 40.9% satisfaction (8.3 very, 32.6 somewhat) following 23-22 loss vs. Pittsburgh.

G6: Pittsburgh 23, Dolphins 22 (Final); Miami loses at home ... again

[Canesfan Satisfaction Meter voting continues in the blogpost directly below this. Look for the new Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate post soon after today's Dolphins-Steelers game. post time: 5 p.m. sharp].

1aadolhel 1aadolhel2 G6: PITTSBURGH @ DOLPHINS:

Final: Controversial ending with that weird call and Pittsburgh's late FG. No excuses, though. It's another home loss, and now 3-3 on the season. Click on Steelers Steal One for my column off the game.

Fourth quarter: Jeff Reed 18-yard FG for a 23-22 Steelers lead with 2:26 left. Ben Roethlisberger had scored on apparent 2-yard scoring run that was reviewed but call was Pittsburgh ball on 1. Ruling was that ball did not cross plane of goalline before coming loose but officials could not determine who recovered in end zone. Huh? Since when do officials fail to determine possession? The killer on the series: a 29-yard third-down completion to Mewelde Moore to the Miami 14 ..... Dan "Money" Carpenter with a 40-yard FG and 22-20 Miami advantage with 5:17 to play. Can you say "nervous lead"? ..... Playing it safe (or too cautious?): Dolphins punt on 4th-and-1 from 50 early in quarter.

Third quarter: Dan Carpenter 37-yard kick has Miami within 1 at 20-19 in final minute of quarter ..... Jeff Reed 39-yard FG and Steeltowners up 20-16 with 5:32 left in third ..... Penalty negates nice kickoff return to get Miami off to an inauspicious start.

Half: A great, taut game, but if turns into a Roethlisberger-Henne shootout, I'm not sure I like Miami. Big Ben in first half: 12-for-16, 195 yards, two TDs. A little pass D, please?

Second quarter: Miami within 17-16 1:50 before halftime on Davone Bess 26-yard scoring play from Chad Henne, which survives review to see if he stepped out of bounds ..... Oh my. Jason Allen beaten 1-on-1 by Mike Wallace for a 53-yard scoring catch, a beautful toss by Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh now up 17-9 and the home crowd is (shh) quiet ..... We interupt this game to report that Jimmy Johnson's dog, Buttercup, has died at age 15. Condolences. Doggy heaven is a yappier place today ..... Miami moves it first-and-goal at the 5 and again settles for a FG ..... Pittsburgh has first lead at 10-6 on Big ben's 21-yard scoring pass to Hines Ward. The culprit: a Brian Hartline fumble loss that set up Steelers on Miami 34 .... Steelers settle for FG and within 6-3 in first minute of quarter after a 43-yard catch by Hines Ward to the 11.

First quarter: Two golden chances for a 14-0 lead but it's only six ..... Dolphins force another Steelers turnover but again settle for a FG and 6-0 lead. Could come back to haunt ..... Dolphins recover fumble off opening kickoff but settle for 3-0 lead.

Original post: Can Miami (3-2) ride the heat of a 1 p.m. start to its first home win? Tall task. Steelers might be best team in league now that Ben Roethlisberger is back, with no real weaknesses anywhere on the field. On my Friday predix page I picked Steelers to win 24-16 and that still sounds right. I think points will be hard to come by against a run-defense that leads the NFL allowing 64 yards per game, and a pass defense that's just as good. Miami has a big chance to announce itself as a top-10 team with a win, but I just don't see it. Home-field advantage also will be negated somewhat because Steelers enjoy a true national following and figure to have a substantial portion of the crowd today.

Your thoughts welcome here before, during and after this afternoon's game. Catch us today on 790 The Ticket's Dolphins pregame show from 11-1, then join us right here for an Unofficial Semi-Live Boutique Blog. Follow on Twitter.com/gregcote for some stuff there, too.

October 23, 2010

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 81.2%

[Main post on UM-North Carolina game/Collball Week 8 is directly below this in blog].

1aacsm Results now official in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll, and it's 81.2 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday night's 33-10 home victory over North Carolina putting Miami's season record at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. Notably, the 32.4% calling themselves "very" satisfied is the highest mark in that category since the season opener.

The CSM is our continuing weekly gauge of how Miami Hurricanes football fans are feeling about the team and the program's direction. A new poll appears in a separate blogpost soon after the conclusion of every Canes game.

Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the 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 was around 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Season results may be found beneath the latest poll:

CSM 2010 Season Results

Game 1: 95.0% satisfaction (69.8 very, 25.2 somewhat) following 45-0 victory vs. Florida A&M.

Game 2: 25.6% satisfaction (9.1 very, 16.5 somewhat) following 36-24 loss at Ohio State.

Game 3: 83.8% satisfaction (22.1 very, 61.7 somewhat) following 31-3 victory at Pittsburgh.

Game 4: 88.3% satisfaction (26.3 very, 62.0 somewhat) following 30-21 victory game at Clemson.

Game 5: 5.6% satisfaction (3.5 very, 2.1 somewhat) following 45-17 loss vs. Florida State.

Game 6: 22.6% satisfaction (2.6 very, 20.0 somewhat) following 28-13 victory at Duke.

Game 7: 81.2% satisfaction (32.4 very, 48.8 somewhat) following 33-10 victory vs. North Carolina.

Next poll: Oct. 30 following game at Virginia.

[Thanks again to reader Raul Pares for the design on our CSM logo].

G7: Hurricanes 33, North Carolina 10 (Final); Impressive home show as UM convincingly ends the Butch Davis Hex

[Note: Look for the newest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate post in the blog soon after tonight's UM-North Carolina game ends. Post time: 11:30 p.m. Watch for it and vote!].

1aacaneshel2 1aacaneshel

NO. 25 HURRICANES 33, NORTH CAROLINA 10:

Final: Canes now 5-2 and 3-1 in the ACC after a quite-impressive home win over North Carolina, ending Butch Davis' three-game win streak over his former school. Jacory Harris an efficient 21-for-32 with three TDs, Damien Berry with a fourth straight 100-yard rushing game, and Allen Bailey leading a stout defensive effort. Aslo key: Balance on offense, with lots of running to take the pressure off Harris. Smart game plan. More of it, please.

Second half: Damien Berry short scoring run and the rout is on at 33-10 ..... Ramon Buchanon INT for Miami early 4th Q. All Canes right now ..... Harris' third TD pass, this one to Leonard "Money In The Bank" Hankerson, and UM now in charge 26-10. Harris is eating alive UNC's freshman cornerbacks ..... Brandon Harris INT for Miami, then a penalty for too much celebrating. Please. Ticky-tack call ..... Jacory Harris to Travis Benjamin TD pass and 19-10 lead (missed extra point kick), on a great play by Benjamin. Harris, since his one interception, has been really good. 

Halftime: UM with a nervous lead, but a lead. Penalties hurting Miami, as usual. Return of RB Lamar Miller has been a big boost. Defense -- other than the one long scoring run allowed -- is coming on pretty nicely.

First half: Harris to LaRon Byrd and Canes up for first time at 13-10 ..... UM cashes another Bosher FG after apparent spectacular TD catch by Aldarius Johnson was (properly) called a no-catch..... UNC 76-yard TD run for 10-3 Tar Heels lead. Awful D by The U. Never laid a hand on the guy ..... UM 38-yard FG ties it 3-3 ..... Canes lucky not to be down 14-0 early after one UNC drive settles for FG and another (preceded by a Jacory Harris INT) ends with fumble into end zone recovered by Telemaque. 

Original post: Simple. The U must end the Butch Davis Hex to save its season and keep alive any hopes of an ACC title. Miami and North Carolina both enter 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. Canes are a none-too-convincing 6 1/2-point favorite, but Davis has beaten his former team three straight times. It shouldn't happen again. Two separate scandals have depleted UNC's roster -- called them the Tarred Heels -- and a home loss would be close to devastating for coach Randy Shannon and his program. I like Miami along the lines of 28-17. Then again, I have a feeling I have been overestimating the Canes most of the year. How good are they? I'm still not certain, but tonight's result against a dangerous visitor will tell a lot.

Other Week 8 state-college FBS games:

South Florida 38, Cincinnati 30: Nice upset win on road Friday night for da Bulls, now 4-3 and 1-2 in the Big East.

Arkansas State 37, FAU 16: Owls (now 1-5, 0-3) were an 8-point road 'dog in Sun Belt matchup but disappointed. Tough season for Howard. Owl Nation, arise!

Central Florida 41, Rice 14: UCF's Knights (now 5-2, 3-0) continued angling for shot at Conference USA championship.

Off this week: No. 16 FSU (6-1) rides five-game win streak into game at North Carolina State on Thursday Oct. 28. FIU (2-4) brings two-game win streak into Shula Bowl rivalry at FAU Oct. 30. And Florida (4-3) nurses a three-game losing streak, Gators' longest since 1999, as it readies for its neutral-site grudge vs. Georgia in Jacksonville Oct. 30.

National top-25 matchups: 4-Auburn d. 6-LSU, 24-17; 13-Wisconsin d. 15-Iowa, 31-30; 16-Nebraska d. 14-Oklahoma State, 51-41; and 11-Missouri d. 1-Oklahoma, 36-27 -- the third straight week the No. 1-ranked team has lost.

COTE TOP 30

Our own cumulative ranking of the college football programs that have had the greatest impact on the 2010 season, entering Week 8:

Rank-LW   Team   Points

1-2   Alabama   681

2-1   Ohio State   672

3-3   Boise State   670

4-4   Texas Christian   629

5-5   Oregon   628

6-7   Oklahoma   577

7-6   Nebraska   556

8-10   Wisconsin   434

9-9   Iowa   433

10-13   Auburn   430

11-8   Florida   427

12-14   Louisiana State   416

13-15   Utah   394

14-11   Arkansas   392

15-12   Texas   386

16-16   MIAMI   328

17-17   Stanford   326

18-18   South Carolina   297

19-19   Arizona   295

20-20   Florida State   230

21-23   Michigan State   220

22-25t   West Virginia   163

22-21   Penn State   163

24-22   Michigan   162

25-25t   Virginia Tech   154

26-24   Southern Cal   152

27-29   Missouri   128

28-30   Oklahoma State   123

29-27   Nevada   104

30-28   Georgia Tech   91

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in The Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.

 

October 22, 2010

Esteem for Dan Marino slipping? (with poll); plus LeBron 9th on 'most hated' list, Odrick/Miller injuries, Jerry Stackhouse, NFL Week 7 picks & more

1aacrownr [Join us at Twitter.com/gregcote. Personal note: We were among guests at the 18th annual Hollywood Welcomes the Stars fundraiser last night at the Westin Diplomat for the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood. Thanks for having us! Unfortunately my silent-auction bid -- for a purple crushed velvet Crown Royal throne -- fell just short, much to my wife's relief].

1aadan NFL 'GREATEST PLAYERS' LIST DISSES MARINO. OR DOES IT?: Dan Marino checked in a surprisingly low 25th Thursday night in NFL Network's latest continuing countdown of the 100 greatest players. The top 20 will be revealed in installments Oct. 28 and Nov. 4. Other ex-Dolphins or Canes ranked after Marino are Jim Otto 63rd, Paul Warfield 71st, Ted Hendricks 82nd, Ed Reed 88th and Michael Irvin 92nd. Marino finished seventh in the fan vote but was apparently severely downgraded by the experts panel for the lack of a Super Bowl ring. No. 25 strikes me as significantly low for Marino. But that's just me. What do you think? Realistically, Dolfanism aside as best you can, about where should Marino rank and why?    

1aadan2 DOLPHINS O-FOR-ODRICK: Dolphins losing No. 1 draft pick (28th overall) Jared Odrick (pictured) for the season to an injury is a blow, but one lessened by the development of fellow rookie Koa Misi and mostly by the rise-to-impact of Cameron Wake. Trivia: Who is the only Penn State drafted higher by Miami than Odrick? Answer: O.J. McDuffie (25th overall) in 1993. That reminds me: McDuffie's recent $11 million verdict in a medical malpractice suit was quietly voided by the judge. Other reasons were cited officially, but we hear the judge felt the jurors were unduly influenced by the starpower of celebrity witnesses such as Don Shula and Marino.     

1aadan3 1aaheatpre LEBRON 9TH ON 'MOST HATED' LIST: LeBron James checks in 9th on Bleacherreport.com's list (click here) of the 100 most hated athletes of all-time. The top 10: O.J. Simpson, Barry Bonds, Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tonya Harding, James and Kobe Bryant. The notion of hating LeBron reared its fetid head again this week when he re-Tweeted some racist messages he has received. Too bad Tweets don't have postmarks; think we could tarce most of them to bitter, can't-get-over-it Cleveland. Other notables in the hated-100 include Ben Roethlisberger 11th, Terrell Owens 14th, Alex Rodriguez 20th, Chad Ochocinco 29th, Brett Favre 31st, Isiah Thomas 47th, Irvin 49th and Shaquille O'Neal 91st. (Pictured left: A sneak peek at ESPN The Magazine's upcoming NBA preview-issue artwork for the Heat. Each team is represented by a Marvel Comics-style design).

1aadan4 HEAT WOES CONTINUE WITH MILLER INJURY: If only vitriol against LeBron were the Heat's biggest problem, right? Mike Miller's thumb injury (Miller is pictured) that will sideline him several weeks erases the team's primary three-point threat and the biggest free-agent addition after James and Chris Bosh. Add the fact Dwyane Wade missed all but three minutes of the preseason with a hamstring injury and the Dream Team has had a nightmare preseason with one fake game to play. [Saturday update: Heat signs veteran Jerry Stackhouse, 36 next month, as a Band-Aid off the bench for Miller's absence. Pat Riley loves those veterans!] 

NFL WEEK 7 PICKS: Steelers beat Miami, 24-16. Pittsburgh is just too solid all over the field, all but weakness-free now that Roethlisberger is back. Also, Steeler Nation will flood the stadium and offset the home-field edge. Sorry, Dolfans. Wait. Or should I say congratulations? I'm 1-4 straight-up picking Dolphin games so far, so my favoring Pittsburgh could be a strong indicator of success for the locals. Anyway, click on Week 7 Gems for all this week's NFL picks, and on The Sadness of Favre for today's Friday-page column. Oh, and click on Animated Favre for an animated Taiwanese synopsis of the Favre scandal. Good stuff. 

JETS NOW SUPER BOWL FAVORITE: Updated Bodog.com SB odds entering Week 7 have Jets the pick now at 6-1, followed by Steelers 7-1, Ravens 8-1, Colts and Patriots 9-1 and Saints 11-1. MVP frontrunners are Peyton Manning 3-1 and Drew Brees and Chris Johnson 7-1.

1aamarias MARIA SHARAPOVA UPDATE: Our favorite tennis player is marrying Lakers scrub Sasha Vujacic. I personally don't give a crap. I just look for any excuse to post a photo of Maria. Because she fine.

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GREG COTE: READ columns and blog in The Miami Herald and MiamiHerald.com, including general sports columns, Friday NFL predictions page and Sunday "Random Evidence" notes. FOLLOW on Twitter. WATCH for occasional appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and elsewhere. LISTEN on 790 The Ticket's weekly Dolphins pregame show and Tuesdays around 4:20 p.m. JOIN in live chat every Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. CONTACT at gcote@miamiherald.com.