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25 posts from November 2011

November 19, 2011

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 65.2%

[Main game post on UM-USF and more (including NASCAR poll) is directly below this in the blog. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote]

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: GAME 11: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan 1aa1csmSatisfaction Meter, and they show 65.2 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 6-3 Hurricanes' victory at South Florida, a non-conference result putting UM's season record at 6-5 and making UM bowl-eligible (though Miami since self-imposed a bowl ban).

In its third season, the CSM is a continuing weekly gauge of how Miami Hurricanes football fans are feeling about the team and the program's direction, with a new poll appearing in the blog after every Canes game. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction, and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. This year I also suggest making this about the team and how it performs on the field, not about off-field NCAA matters.

Polls never close, but results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

2011 Canesfan Satisfaction Meter

Next poll: Nov. 25 following season finale vs. Boston College

G11: 65.2% satisfaction (14.9 very, 50.3 somewhat) following 6-3 victory at South Florida.

G10: 33% satisfaction (8.1 very, 24.9 somewhat) following 23-19 loss at Florida State.

G9: 89.2% satisfaction (45.9 very, 43.3 somewhat) following 49-14 victory vs. Duke. 

G8: 31.5% satisfaction (5.0 very, 26.5 somerwhat) following 28-21 loss vs. Virginia.

G7: 94.0% satisfaction (58.6 very, 35.4 somewhat) following 24-7 victory vs. Georgia Tech.

G6: 85.3% satisfaction (24.0 very, 61.3 somewhat) following 30-24 victory at North Carolina.

G5: 50.9% satisfaction (10.0 very, 40.9 somewhat) following 38-35 loss at Virginia Tech.

G4: 45.0% satisfaction (6.3 very, 38.7 somewhat) following 45-14 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman.

G3: 19.9% satisfaction (6.2 very, 13.7 somewhat) following 28-24 loss vs. Kansas State.

G2: 92.8% satisfaction (40.0 very, 52.8 somewhat) following 24-6 victory vs. Ohio State.

G1: 49.2% satisfaction (9.1 very, 40.1 somewhat) following 32-24 loss at Maryland.

2010 Final: 4.2% overall satisfaction (following 7-6 season).

2009 Final: 41.7% overall satisfaction (following 9-4 season).

November 18, 2011

G11: Hurricanes 6, USF 3 (Final): Wieclaw wins it as time expires!; plus NASCAR's dream finish (with poll), "Cookin' Buffalo," Tebow & more

[Lee Corso dropped f-bomb on ESPN's College GameDay today. Oy! Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Vote now in new Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in separate blogpost just above this one!

1aa1canesusfG11: HURRICANES 6, SOUTH FLORIDA 3: UM BECOMES BOWL-ELIGIBLE: How's this for a headline: "Canes Win 6-3 on Walkoff Field Goal In Bottom of Ninth!" Story of game: Miami's great defense, and USF being penalized 145 yards for having incredibly ugly uniforms. Actually of course it was Jake Wieclaw's uber-clutch 36-yard kick (after two "icing" timeouts) as time expired that won it. If a game with no touchdowns can be exciting, I guess this was exciting. I don't mind a low-scoring college game. Different. UM could not run today but Jacory Harris (27-for-35, 259 yards) had some of the success I'd envisioned. Canes now bowl-eligible with 6-5 record. ..... Original post: It was the USF Bulls' upset of the Hurricanes a year ago that got Randy Shannon fired. Don't know that's much of an emotional factor today but worth mentioning. More fuel should come from Miami (5-5) needing one more win to become bowl-eligible. Then again so does USF (5-4). I like the Canes today in what is a pick-'em game, betting-wise. South Florida -- though hardly geographically -- has been spotty in pass defense and I foresee large numbers from Jacory Harris. Pick: Hurricanes, 27-20.

[Watch for latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in separate blogpost soon after today's game]

Other state-college FBS games today: Florida rallied to beat Furman, 54-32; Troy kept FAU winless, 31-7; FIU won at Louisiana-Monroe, 28-17; Central Florida lost at East Carolina, 38-31; and Virginia upset No. 25 Florida State, 14-13.

National top-25 matchups: No. 18 Michigan beat No. 16 Nebraska, 45-17; 22-Baylor upset 5-Oklahoma, 45-38; and 13-Kansas State beat 23-Texas, 17-13.   

VROOOM! NASCAR'S BEST FINISH COMES TO HOMESTEAD (DO YOU CARE?): I'm a casual NASCAR fan. Yes 1aa1carltonythere is such a thing. It's not all love it-or-hate it like you hear. I follow the sport but not intensely. Root for Dale Jr., but not maniacally. It isn't my favorite sport to cover, but I'm looking forward to getting down there this weekend because I love big events, and this is one. A crowd twice the size of Dolphins-Bills will migrate to Homestead to watch Tony 1aa1carltonyhomeStewart and Carl Edwards (pictured) go head-to-head for the season Sprint Cup championship. It's good for the sport to have somebody different than consecutive five-time champ Jimmie Johnson, and the two men fighting to replace him are worthy. A third season title would put Stewart in select company, while Edwards (you could argue) is the best driver to not yet win a belt. OK that's me on NASCAR. Your turn. Where does your interest lie? Take a dip in our poll and say why, but remember to yell. I can barely hear you over all those revving engines.

[Poll note: The relative smattering of votes thus far is a statement in and of itself. Most polls we run would have five times the number of votes or more by this point].

NFL PREDIX: "WE BE COOKIN' BUFFALO" (OR NOT...): On Friday's King Sport picks page I have visiting 1aa1fripix 1aa1cookinbuffBuffalo beating the Dolphins, 23-20 in an upset Sunday, largely because Fred Jackson is the best running back in the NFL so far this season. Solo D disagrees. Click on Cookin' Buffalo for his YouTube song. It's pretty good! Click on Week 11 Gems for all my latest picks. And on Canton Calling for our Friday Page column listing the Top 10 candidates to make the hall of Fame from among the 141 current NFL players from Miami, Florida, FSU or other state schools. [Update: Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter was added to injury list as questionable with a groin strain]. 

HEAT STARS IN OBAMA FUNDRAISER GAME: Chris Bosh and Alonzo Mourning are among current and former NBA stars confirmed to participate in a Dec. 12 "Obama Classic" campaign-fundraiser basketball game in Washington, D.C.

1aa1tebowingTIM TEBOW, HALLOWED BE THY NAME: Winning ugly, praying devoutly, Tim Tebow does it all. My son tells me we might be on the verge of witnessing something great, or special. Not sure about that. But we are witnessing a guy who, after Thursday' night's humbling of Rex's Jets, is now 3-1 as a starter with seven TDs and one interception. Amen.

UPDATED NBA LOCKOUT, SUPER BOWL ODDS: From Bodog, on whether entire NBA season will be canceled, it's "yes" a betting fave at minus-150, with "no" at plus-110. Latest Super Bowl odds: Packers 2-1, Patriots 11-2, Saints 9-1, Steelers and 49ers both 10-1 and Ravens 14-1. Also, from StiffArmTrophy.com's latest Heisman poll, it's still 1-2 with Stanford QB Andrew Luck and 'Bama RB Trent Richardson.

JACK ON TIGER: Jack Nicklaus, suggesting Tiger Woods' career downturn is mental not physical, said Tiger can still break his record of 18 majors "if he gets the five inches between his ears squared out." Um, Jack, I don't think those were the five inches that got Tiger in trouble.

Click back. May be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost...

November 15, 2011

Marlins: Pujols? No. Reyes? Maybe (but may be trouble...); plus Sandusky, Dansby, new logo, R.I.P. NBA & more

[Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

HERE'S WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH MARLINS AND THEIR BIG 3 IN FREE-AGENCY: 1. ALBERT PUJOLS: The Marlins landing the Hall of Fame-bound slugger and first baseman is about as likely as the Marlins' top stars moving into the neighborhood immediately surrounding the new ballpark. Not gonna happen. 1aa1hanleyjoseThe club did make him an offer, but -- no matter what you have heard -- it doesn't compete with the nine-year, $200 million deal St. Louis is wagering to keep him (a deal Pujols has rejected as not enough). So unless the Fish up the ante for Pujols or make a move on Prince Fielder (not a bad idea), it looks like you're safe at first, Gaby Sanchez. 2. JOSE REYES: Now this is very possible. Miami could land the all-star ex-Mets shortstop and I think it will. His money command (around $90 million over five or six years) is closer to the Marlins budget and interest is mutual. The problem is Hanley Ramirez. Reyes would only sign to play shortstop, his only real position. That means Hanley would be moved to third base (likely) or center field (possible) -- but neither move would be to his liking. You know Hanley. Much coddling required. Keeping him and his ego tranquil as he watched Reyes take his position would be a tough, fragile task. The club's biggest concern is making the two of them (pictured) fit beyond the batting order, and keeping the volatile Ramirez happy. If Reyes does not end up here, chances are those concerns would be a major reason why. 3. MARK BUERHLE: The career-long White Sox starter would be a huge addition to the rotation as a veteran, steady, innings-eating lefty. Yes, even at age 32. But the word is he's a Midwestern guy not enamored of the idea of Miami. He's more realistically gettable than Pujols but likely less than Reyes. [Postscript/Thursday update: Laughed out loud this morning, literally, at a media account proposing the Marlins could become the "Evil Empire" of the NL with all their spending. Let's see them buy somebody first, OK? Anybody can look at a Lamborghini in a showroom. I'll be impressed when I see it in the driveway...]

DEAR JERRY SANDUSKY: Jer, you did yourself no favors in that phone interview with Bob Costas broadcast the other night. Can't believe your lawyer was pleased to hear it. Yes, you denied sexually assaulting young boys while a Penn State assistant football coach. But what you admitted to was damning. Showering with young boys. "Horseplay" while naked. Touching their legs. That stuff is so wrong, it makes it that much easier to believe the accusations are true. As the saying goes, "You in a heap o' trouble, boy."

1aa1dansbykDEAR KARLOS DANSBY: Your Friend the Media loves athletes who are easily baited, like the Dolphins' Karlos Dansby. Need an easy story? Go to an easily baited athlete after he has had a big game and invite him to boast; he won't let you down. "Karlos, who's a better linebacker than you?" Et cetera. And then watch the bragadoccio flow! So it was that Dansby, after Sunday's win, mentioned that he is the NFL's best linebacker. No, seriously. His pro resume', on its bottom line: 8 seasons, 0 Pro Bowls. OK so the poor guy got carried away! How's this: You were the best linebacker in Sunday's game, Karlos. And I mean it.

BELICHICK, RYAN ARE POTTY MOUTHS!: Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the Jets' Rex Ryan let it fly after New England's 37-16 win Sunday. The NFL is investigating whether to fine Ryan for telling a fan, "Shut the f--- up!" when that fan suggested he'd just been out-coached. Around the same time, a mic caught Belichick embracing his son Stephen and crowing, "Thirty-seven points on the best defense in the league, suck my d---!" Love Pats vs. Jets. The animus is real. Great for football.

SHOULD WE CALL MARLINS THE "MAROON 9"?: Not a huge fan of the pop group Maroon5 but 1aa1maroon5marlinsknow 1aa1maroon5enough of them to note a similarity in the 'M' in their logo (left) and in the Marlins' new logo (right). I'll leave it to Maroon5's legal team to judge whether the similarity is harmless or egregious; I say the former. Many fans don't seem to care for the team's new colors or logo but I sort of like it. It's growing on me. Not like a fungus you'd call a doctor about, but as something stand-out different. I think it has an Art Deco-y, So-Fla feel that is on the mark.

NBA EXPLODES, NO WORD ON SURVIVORS: The NBA exploded last season but in a good way. Interest 1aa1lockout2was at an all-time high, thanks largely to LeBron James' "Decision" and the controversial confluence of the BIg 3 in Miami. Now the NBA has exploded in a bad way, as in, well, disintegrated. The continuing impasse in lockout negotiations has hit what seems a wall. For the first time (to me, at least) it feels now like the entire season might be canceled -- parochially a wasted year of prime for the Heat's LeBron/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh experiment. I have always blamed both sides, while my media brethren have tended to blame owners and ultimatum-issuing commissioner David Stern most. Now though I wonder if blame is inching toward players, who seem to be inviting a losing battle with their threats/plans to decertify their union. What a nightmarishly litigious morass. Together the owners and players might be astonished to know how easily life would go on without an NBA season. It could be the first thing they'd agree on! [Postscript: NBA players would have received their first paychecks of season today. LeBron's would have been for $667,603. Should we take up a collection?]

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE: Our latest updated weekly ranking of the seven FBS teams in our state, with previous week's rank in parentheses. Entering collball Week 12:

1aa1fla1. FSU Seminoles (1) 7-3, 5-2 ACC

2. Miami Hurricanes (2) 5-5, 3-4 ACC

3. Florida Gators (3) 5-5, 3-5 SEC 

4. S. Fla. Bulls (4) 5-4, 1-4 Big East

5. C. Fla. Knights (5) 4-6, 2-4 C-USA  

6. FIU Panthers (6) 6-4, 3-3 Sun Belt

7. FAU Owls (7) 0-9, 0-7 Sun Belt

ME, FANTASY: CRAP! I yelled that or something similar last night when Aaron Rodgers got lifted in the middle of the fourth quarter because the Packers led by 178 points. As a result the no-luck Greg's Lobos fell to 3-7 with a 120-113 loss.

ME, PICKS: Rough week. Limped in at 9-7 straight-up and 6-9-1 against the spread. Will have details, unfortunately, on this coming Friday's NFL predictions page.

THE REAL T-30: The Real T-30 is our weekly cumulative, consensus Top 30 college football ranking based on a season-long combination of the three major polls: Associated Press, USA Today, ESPN. Points based on 30 for a No. 1 ranking, 29 for No. 2, etc. The aggregate ranking entering Week 12:

Rank   Team   Points   (Last week)

1   Louisiana State   1,055   (1)

2   Alabama   1,026   (2)

3   Oklahoma   991   (3)

4   Boise State   922   (4)

5   Stanford   920   (5)

6   Oklahoma State   913   (6)

7   Arkansas   826   (9)

8   Oregon   821   (7)

9   Wisconsin   784   (8)

10   Nebraska   665  (10)

11   South Carolina   643   (11)

12   Virginia Tech   640   (12)

13   Clemson   558   (13)

14   Michigan State   490   (15)

15   Texas A&M   457   (14)

16   Michigan   400   (16)

17   FLORIDA STATE   375   (17)

18   West Virginia   355   (18)

19   Houston   318   (23)

20   Kansas State   312   (20)

21   Texas   305   (19)

22   Georgia Tech   280   (21)

23   FLORIDA   262   (22)

24   Arizona State   244   (24)

25   Penn State   230   (26)

26   Georgia   223   (29)

27   Baylor   213   (27)

28   Texas Christian   210   (28)

29   Auburn   202   (25)

30t   Ohio State   161   (30t)

30t   Illinois   161   (30t)

33   SOUTH FLORIDA   144   (32)

41   MIAMI   13   (41)

44t   CENTRAL FLORIDA   7   (44t)

THE LIST: OUR GREATEST 11'S: This list was supposed to run, in honor of 11-11-11, in last Sunday's Random Evidence notes column but got cut, so here it is. The 11 most notable No. 11s to play for the Dolphins, Heat, Marlins or Panthers:

Rank Person                       Years             Of note

1. Jim "Crash" Jensen         1981-92         Dolphins' special-teams ace

2. Jim Leyland                    1997-98         Marlins' '97 champ manager

3. Alex Gonzalez                 1998-2005      Marlins' shortstop

4. Bill Lindsay                     1993-99         Panthers' popular wing

5. Sherman Douglas            1989-92          Heat early-era guard

Others: Dolphins' Rick Norton and Gus Frerotte, Heat's Rafer Alston and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Marlins' Chris Hammond and Panthers' Gregory Campbell.

Click back. May be adding yet more to this lengthy latest blogpost...

November 13, 2011

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 35.9%

[With apologies, due to technical issues this latest poll did not post until Monday morning. Main Dolphins-Redskins game post is directly below this in blog. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote].

Click on Home Sweet Home For A Day for my column off Sunday's game.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: GAME 9: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Dolfan Satisfaction 1aa1dsmMeter, and they show 35.9 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 20-9 home victory over the Washington Redskins, a second straight victory putting Miami's season record at 2-7. The overall reading is a season high but notably shows a sharp decline in those calling themselves "very" satisfied, a group that in recent weeks had likely been voting with the chances of an overall No. 1 draft pick in mind -- hopes now remote.

The DSM, in its fourth season, 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. I also suggest your vote be based on this season only, and not how it might affect the 2012 draft.

The poll never closes but results are certified official after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

2011 Dolfan Satisfaction Meter

Next poll: Nov. 20 following game vs. Buffalo.

G9: 35.9% satisfaction (7.8 very, 28.1 somewhat) following 20-9 victory vs. Washington.

G8: 31.6% satisfaction (16.0 very, 15.6 somewhat) following 31-3 victory at Kansas City.

G7: 19.6% satisfaction (18.1 very, 1.5 somewhat) following 20-17 loss at N.Y. Giants.

G6: 14.5% satisfaction (14.0 very, 0.5 somewhat) following 18-15 loss vs. Denver.

G5: 9.6% satisfaction (9.2 very, 0.4 somewhat) following 24-6 loss at New York Jets.

G4: 5.6% satisfaction (5.4 very, 0.2 somewhat) following 26-16 loss at San Diego.

G3: 3.9% satisfaction (3.3 very, 0.6 somewhat) following 17-16 loss at Cleveland.

G2: 3.7% satisfaction (2.6 very, 1.1 somewhat) following 23-13 loss vs. Houston.

G1: 34.4% satisfaction (3.9 very, 30.5 somewhat) following 38-24 loss vs. New England.

2010 Final: 3.8% overall satisfaction.

2009 Final: 31.2% overall satisfaction.

2008 Final: 96.9% overall satisfaction.

G9: Dolphins 20, Washington 9 (Final): Miami wins a home game! Miami wins a home game!

[See results of the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in the blogpost directly below this one. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote].

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: The latest installment now appears (it was late because of technical issues) in a separate post directly above this one. Vote now!

Click on Home Sweet Home For A Day for my column off Sunday's game.

G9: WASHINGTON AT DOLPHINS: Final: A two-game win streak! A home victory! Matt Moore 20-for-29 for 209 yards, though with one pick and a lost fumble. Reggie Buish two TDs. Brandon Marshall 7 catches for 98 yards. The story though was a second consecutive TD-shutout by the defense. ..... 4Q: Skins wide left on 49-yard FG try with 2:51 left. That should do it. ..... Reggie Bush scores on 18-yard run, celebrates by launching ball up into stands. Miami up 20-9 with 6:07 tro play. Dolphins are going to WIN A HOME GAME! ..... Wow. Huge! Skins driving, 1st and goal at 10, and Karlos Dansby spears a pass from air for biggest interception of season. ..... 3Q: Skins driving as quarter ends. ..... Bullet dodged. Davone Bess muffs punt but ball bounces right back at him. ..... Miami settles for 28-yard FG and 13-9 lead after another red-zone petering out. Had it 1st and 10 at 14 after 26-yard catch by Brandon Marshall. ..... Moore turnover leads to 23-yard FG and Skins now within 10-9. ..... Matt More is sacked and loses fumble at own 24. Dolphins not good enough -- offensively or in general -- to abide or survive turnovers. ..... Half: It feels like Miami is in charge, although neither the stats nor the score show it more than barely. Nervous lead. ..... 2Q: Skins add 47-yard FG, move within 10-6 with 1:07 left in half. ..... Carpenter wide left on 49-yard FG try. ..... Vontae Davis pickoff and 28-yard return. An interception by a Miami defensive back! What?!? ..... Dan Carpenter 21-yard FG and 10-3 lead. ..... Anthony Fasano showing up again; nice 28-yard catch on imperfectly thrown ball. ..... 1Q: Matt Moore badly underthrown interception returned 30 yards to Miami 5, but Skins settle for 26-yard FG for 7-3 deficit in final minute of quarter. Solid open-field tackle by Vontae Davis forced kick, after earlier TD run had been negated by holding. . ..... Skins miss 50-yard FG try. Thank Jared Odrick, whose sack lengthened the try. ..... Reggie Bush 1-yard scoring run for a 7-0 lead, mid-quarter. ..... Original post: It has been one full year (less one day) since the Dolphins last won a 1aa1dolswashhome game. Seven straight losses here and 12 of the past 13 have made a lampoon of the notion of "home-field advantage," the very concept a wistful memory around these parts. That should change today as Miami, on the wing of last week's impressive maiden victory at Kansas City, is a narrow favorite to beat the visiting Washington Redskins, who have lost four straight under beady-eyed Mike Shanahan and must be lousy because their starting quarterback was Dolphin reject John Beck, whom they are now benching in favor of equally bad Rex Grossman. So weird, this day. For the first time all season coach Tony Sparano must be concerned that his team is not overconfident and does not take an opponent lightly. Imagine! Beware, though. Redskins have a credible defense and Miami's overall edge is slight, especially given the home jinx. Oh, and "Suck For Luck" rears back into play today as well, with 0-9 Indianapolis in serious jeopardy of winning at home vs. Jacksonville. Pick: Dolphins, 20-17.

November 12, 2011

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 33.0%

[Main game post on UM-FSU and more (updated) is directly below this in the blog. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote]

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: GAME 10: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan 1aa1csmSatisfaction Meter, and they show 33 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 23-19 loss to Florida State in Tallahassee, a conference result putting the Hurricanes' season record at 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the ACC.

In its third season, the CSM is a continuing weekly gauge of how Miami Hurricanes football fans are feeling about the team and the program's direction, with a new poll appearing in the blog after every Canes game. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction, and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. This year I also suggest making this about the team and how it performs on the field, not about off-field NCAA matters.

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. today/Monday.

2011 Canesfan Satisfaction Meter

Next poll: Nov. 19 following game at South Florida.

G10: 33% satisfaction (8.1 very, 24.9 somewhat) following 23-19 loss at Florida State.

G9: 89.2% satisfaction (45.9 very, 43.3 somewhat) following 49-14 victory vs. Duke. 

G8: 31.5% satisfaction (5.0 very, 26.5 somerwhat) following 28-21 loss vs. Virginia.

G7: 94.0% satisfaction (58.6 very, 35.4 somewhat) following 24-7 victory vs. Georgia Tech.

G6: 85.3% satisfaction (24.0 very, 61.3 somewhat) following 30-24 victory at North Carolina.

G5: 50.9% satisfaction (10.0 very, 40.9 somewhat) following 38-35 loss at Virginia Tech.

G4: 45.0% satisfaction (6.3 very, 38.7 somewhat) following 45-14 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman.

G3: 19.9% satisfaction (6.2 very, 13.7 somewhat) following 28-24 loss vs. Kansas State.

G2: 92.8% satisfaction (40.0 very, 52.8 somewhat) following 24-6 victory vs. Ohio State.

G1: 49.2% satisfaction (9.1 very, 40.1 somewhat) following 32-24 loss at Maryland.

2010 Final: 4.2% overall satisfaction (following 7-6 season).

2009 Final: 41.7% overall satisfaction (following 9-4 season).

FSU 23, Hurricanes 19 (Final): UM its own worst enemy with turnovers, mistakes as winnable game slips away; plus Penn State falls short for Joe Pa, FIU-FAU & more

1aa1newmarlins[Find our Miami Marlins/Albert Pujols and more blog post directly below this. Join us on Twitter @gregcote].

Vote now in latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in separate blogpost directly above this one!

G10: HURRICANES AT FLORIDA STATE: Final: Weird game. Felt so winnable for Miami, but mistakes killed the Canes. Three turnovers (to none for FSU), 10 penalties, a dropped two-point conversion, a botched extra point. Bottom line: UM falls to 5-5, still one win shy (with two games left) of bowl eligibility. And the mythical state title goes to the Noles. ..... 4Q: Onside kick fails. Game. ..... UM scores on another Mike James 1-yard run but blows the extra point try to make it  23-19, now needing a recovered onside kick and a TD, not a FG. ..... Canes score on Mike James 1-yard TD run but are left in a two-score hole at 23-13 when Allen Hurns drops the two-point conversion pass. ..... Noles add a FG for 23-7 lead and it looks bleak for Miami. ..... 3Q: UM big break on that roughing the punter penalty. Nole barely grazed him. ..... Indians add short FG, lead 20-7. Offense-or-bust time for Canes. ..... Half: UM leads at half in total yards 203-79 and in first downs 12-3 but has a 10-point deficit to show for it. Worse, QB Jacory Harris left injured late, apparently hurting his back on a sack. ..... 2Q: Noles 17-7 on 83-yard punt return score in last minute of half. ..... FSU 10-7 on TD pass between tight coverage. Two Canes on the ball but neither made the play. ..... Harris to Clive Walford, 2-yard TD and 7-3 UM lead. ..... Canes defense narrowly misses out on safety. ..... 1Q: Noles 3-0 on 37-yard FG in last minute. ..... UM driving but Jacory Harris throws into coverage and is picked off in end zone. Bad INT, although only his fifth all season. ..... FSU scores (apparent) TD when completion to Allen Hurns is stripped from him and returned for score, but call is ruled as incomplete pass upon review. A fair call. Also a lucky one for Miami. ..... Original post: The stakes are low, comparatively. For years this would 1aa1canesfsube a top-10 matchup with a conference title in play, maybe even a national championship in the mix. Now (today at 3:30) it's two teams that are a combined 11-7 (UM is 5-4) playing essentially for bragging rights and maybe a future recruiting edge. The most tangible prize might be that the winner still has chance to finish ranked in the lower polls. Also, Miami of course still needs one more win to become bowl-eligible, assuming the Canes do not volunteer themselves out of the bowl picture with future NCAA sanctions in mind. Give the Canes a big upset shot today in what should be a shootout, but make ti a venue call. Pick: Seminoles, 37-31.

No. 13 South Carolina 17, Florida 12: The Ol' Ball Coach had his way with his former team, though it was a stout effort by Florida. Poor Gators haven't been this low since Ron Zook roamed the Swamp.

1aa1faufiuFIU 41, FAU 7: Sun Belt rivals met in "Shula Bowl" with FAU sadly winless in Howard Schnellenberger's swan song season and FIU struggling after a fast start. Did the Atlantic have an upset in it? Could the Owls win one for Howard? Nah. Panthers big, Panthers now bowl-eligible.

Other Collball Week 11 state-college FBS games: Friday, South Florida won big at Syracuse, 37-17. Saturday, No. 22 Southern Miss edged Central Florida, 30-29.

1aa1joepaNo. 19 Nebraska 17, No. 12 Penn State 14: This would have been a big game because of the rankings alone. It was the national game of the day because of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sex scandal that caused the firing this week of legend-coach Joe Paterno (pictured). The firing was justified, but still sad and unfortunate. It would be have been sweet if the Nittany Lions could win this for Joe Pa. I thought they would. Almost.

Other top-25 national matchups: 7-Oregon spanked host 4-Stanford, 53-30; 10-Virginia Tech handled 21-Georgia Tech, 37-26; and 15-Georgia embarrassed 20-Auburn, 45-7.

November 11, 2011

Happy birthday, Miami Marlins! (Won't you join us at the party, Albert?); plus NFL predix, Al Golden/Penn State odds, Joe Pa news & more

1aa1dayvets["Happy" Veterans Day never sounds quite right to me, since so much of what we are honoring is ultimate sacrifice. So just make it a day of appreciation, respect ... and thanks! Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

DEAR ALBERT: JOIN US IN THE NEW BALLPARK, WON'T YOU?: Welcome Miami Marlins! It's 11-11-11, the day the Marlins officially and ceremonially transmogrify (love that word ) from Florida to 1aa1albertpMiami and introduce new uniforms, colors, logo and so forth preparatory to moving into the new ballpark in the spring. Happy birthday, sort of. It's a complete re-branding for our baseball club but the best part is the fatter team wallet, the increased payroll. Miami already has made overtures in free agency to shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher Mark Beuhrle and prized Cuban CF Yoenis Cespedes. Now comes word the Marlins are speaking with the mighty and mighty expensive Albert Pujols (pictured), squiring him, wooing him. He is 31 but still in his late-prime. Last season he hit .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs. It was an off-year. Hopefully this isn't mostly for show. Hopefully the Marlins, to augment the signing of "name" manager Ozzie Guillen, are prepared to pay big for at least one or two impact free agents. Pujols would be as about as impact-big as they get. (Aside to team: Prince Fielder's still out there, too).

1aa1fripixNFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS FACE OVERCONFIDENCE. NO, SERIOUSLY: It's the damnedest thing. For the first time all season the Dolphins approach a game threatened by overconfidence, by taking an opponent lightly. They should beat Washington anyway, ending a full year's home losing streak. Click on Week 10 Gems for all my latest NFL predictions. And click on Halftime Awards for our Friday Page column, my midseason picks for individual honors in several categories. 

EXCLUSIVE: JOE PA SNUBBED SANDUSKY RETIREMENT PARTY: Random Evidence has learned that Joe Paterno was conspicuously absent at Jerry Sandusky's retirement party in 1999 and declined an offer to reschedule the event so he could attend. That is an indication, to me, that Joe Pa felt in his heart even then that Sandusky was guilty of assaulting young boys. Also that he has held his secret since then -- that Sandusky's indictment last week was no surprise. My source for this info: A Pittsburgh attorney who is closely tapped in to Penn State football. Postscript: Mike McQueary, the receivers coach who eye-witnessed an alleged Sandusky assault but did not intervene to stop it, should be fired, too.

UPDATED ODDS FOR SUPER BOWL, NO. 1 PICK, MORE: From Bodog, Packers have distanced themselves as 5-2 faves for Super Bowl title, with Patriots 7-1 and Saints next at 11-1. For No. 1 draft pick, Colts a prohibitive 1-2, then Dolphins 9-2, Jaguars 13-2, Rams 10-1. Packers are 9-2 to finish 16-0. More likely: 15-1 at 3-2, 14-2 at 11-4.

UPDATED ODDS FOR NEXT PENN STATE COACH, BCS TITLE, MORE: From Bodog again, Urban Meyer is a 2-1 pick to be the next Penn State coach starting in 2012, with UM's Al Golden at 9-2, Mike London 5-1, Kevin Sumlin 11-2 and Pat Fitzgerald 6-1. BCS-title odds have LSU 1-2, Alabama 5-2, Oklahoma State 17-4 and Stanford 5-1. Heisman Trophy? Andrew Luck a prohibitive 1-5, followed by Trent Richardson at 19-4 and Kellen Moore 6-1.

Click back. Will be adding much more to this latest blogpost...

November 07, 2011

Will Joe Paterno firing amid scandal hurt or help UM keep Golden?; plus Joe Frazier, R.I.P.; new Marlins unis, danger of Dolphin wins, Heat season & more

[Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

COULD PENN STATE SCANDAL HELP CANES KEEP GOLDEN?: [Click here for my latest column, on the Penn State scandal and Joe Paterno's firing] Many consider UM coach Al Golden (pictured left) a strong candidate to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State after this season -- a main reason Golden might think of 1aa1happybookleaving Miami. But now as the Jerry Sandusky scandal swamps Happy Valley, costing Paterno his job, one wonders: Would Golden leave UM in part to escape looming NCAA penalties only to take on another program clouded by scandalous controversy? At the very least, it seems less likely. Sandusky, as most know by now, is the longtime former Penn State defensive coordinator indicted on charges of inappropriate sexual behavior including statutory rape 1aa1algagainst eight minor-age boys over a 15-year period. (Irony: The ex-coach's autobiography, pictured right, is titled, Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story. The allegations are not expected to lead to NCAA sanctions, but already have led to resignations. For sure, Joe Pa's eventual replacement will inherit a program whose good name has been hugely damaged, making recruiting that much tougher. [Side note: Sandusky is not related to longtime former Dolphins assistant coach John Sandusky, who happens to also have a son named Jerry who is a former local WSVN sportscaster and now a radio voice for the Baltimore Ravens].

1aa1frazieraliJOE FRAZIER: REQUIEM: The great Smokin' Joe Frazier, gone at 67, taken by liver cancer. It seems every obituary coming out is less about Frazier than about his storied rivalry with Muhammad Ali, but that's OK, because the rivalry was that epic. I was always an Ali guy, mesmerized by his personality and poetry. I remember my brother and I listening on the radio in an unlit room as the "Thrilla In Manila" delivered some of the best drama in the history of sports. The 1970s were halcyon days for me and sports, and "Ali-Frazier" was an important reason. The two men's relationship, in their prime and years later, was complicated, often bitter. Cassius Clay-turned-Ali mocked Frazier, called him a "gorilla" and "Uncle Tom." Frazier, who resented Ali's greater stature and beloved status, fired back without class at times, even mocking a latter-years Ali after he lit the Olympic torch, trembling with Parkinson's. Some would see irony in Ali outliving Frazier. Graciously, Ali's statement on his old rival's passing spoke of respect. Frazier had earned that.

1aa1marlinsnew2 1aa1marlinsnewNEW MARLINS UNIFORMS! (MAYBE...): Official new Marlins uniforms will be revealed Friday night, but the Internet has sprung a hundred leaks and pictured here, above, are a few more. I must say I don't think these are bad. Not in love with the orange jerseys -- too Baltimore Oriole-ish -- but think the others start out OK and are likely to grow on us.  

A LITTLE SUCCESS MUSTN'T CHANGE DOLPHINS' IMPERATIVE: In today's latest column by me -- click here to read -- I explore the risk in the Dolphins experiencing a little success the balance of this season. And I'm not talking about losing out on Andrew Luck. The more Miami wins, the easier ti would be for owner Stephen Ross to convince himself major changes aren't needed. It is a trap to be avoided. From draft plans to front-office and coaching upgrades, Ross must remain strong in his commitment to significant changes.

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE: Our latest updated weekly ranking of the seven FBS teams in our state, with previous week's rank in parentheses. Entering collball Week 11:

1aa1fla1. FSU Seminoles (1) 6-3, 4-2 ACC

2. Miami Hurricanes (2) 5-4, 3-3 ACC

3. Florida Gators (3) 5-4, 3-4 SEC 

4. S. Fla. Bulls (4) 4-4, 0-4 Big East

5. C. Fla. Knights (5) 4-5, 2-3 C-USA  

6. FIU Panthers (6) 5-4, 2-3 Sun Belt

7. FAU Owls (7) 0-8, 0-6 Sun Belt

ME, FANTASY: Greg's Lobos have faded to 3-6 with a fourth straight loss, this one 134-109. That I cannot win with Aaron Rodgers (38 more points) speaks ill of my drafting, I think. I'm top-heavy on WRs but very weak at running back. Boo, me!

ME, PICKS: Went 9-5 overall and 8-5-1 vs. the spread on my Friday NFL predictions page last week. Nailed the Dolphins' upset of KC and also had two other outright upsets with Jets at Buffalo and Bengals winning at Tennessee. Rolled dice on Chargers over Pack but can't find much shame in a 45-38 loss. Details coming on this Friday's pix page.    

1aa1davisvVONTAE DAVIS: PARTYING AND TARDYING!: Dolphins CB Vontae Davis was made to sit in a corner under a dunce cap and miss the Kansas City trip after missing treatments for a hamstring injury, showing up late to a team meeting, getting into an altercation with Brandon Marshall, and showing up for a practice smelling of alcohol from a night's partying, according to sundry reports. Dear Vontae: Ever heard of a breath mint? Davis, his punishment over and expected back at practice Wednesday, is pictured wading in a vat of vodka. I'm kidding. It's water, probably.

LAMAR MILLER PEGGED MID-1ST ROUND TALENT: Hope UM sophomore running back Lamar Miller doesn't read Todd McShay's latest Top 32 draft projections on ESPN.com. Might give him some ideas about turning pro early. McShay pegs Miller 14th overall.

AND 51 WEEKS LATER...: After UM beat Duke and then the Dolphins won in Kansas City I figured it had been awhile so I looked it up. It was 51 weeks ago, last Nov. 13-14, when the Dolphins and Hurricanes both won on the same weekend. Then it was UM beating Georgia Tech and a day later the Dolphins beating Tennessee -- the club's last home win, by the way.

COMICALLY AWFUL IDEAS IN AMERICAN JOURNALISM: I try to avoid criticizing colleagues, but it has just come to my attention that a certain South Florida newspaper (not mine) is pretending the Heat season is going on and writing about the games that aren't happening. Seriously. I just hope the Sun-Sentinel unnamed newspaper doesn't give LeBron a pretend sprained ankle or anything! The paper explains the premise thusly: "We will offer a look on each scheduled game day of what would have been in play for the Miami Heat had they actually been playing." Here's an even better idea: Please don't!

THE REAL T-30: The Real T-30 is our weekly cumulative, consensus Top 30 college football ranking based on a season-long combination of the three major polls: Associated Press, USA Today, ESPN. Points based on 30 for a No. 1 ranking, 29 for No. 2, etc. The combined ranking entering Week 11:

Rank   Team   Points   (Last week)

1   Louisiana State   965   (1)

2   Alabama   942   (2)

3   Oklahoma   913   (3)

4   Boise State   861   (4)

5   Stanford   852   (5)

6   Oklahoma State   826   (6)

7   Oregon   740   (8)

8   Wisconsin   733   (7)

9   Arkansas   651   (10)

10   Nebraska   623  (9)

11   South Carolina   593   (11)

12   Virginia Tech   572   (12)

13   Clemson   487   (14)

14   Texas A&M   457   (13)

15   Michigan State   434   (15)

16   Michigan   364   (18)

17   FLORIDA STATE   350   (16)

18   West Virginia   338   (17)

19   Texas   299   (19)

20   Kansas State   268   (22)

21   Georgia Tech   263   (23)

22   FLORIDA   262   (20)

23   Houston   256   (24t)

24   Arizona State   244   (21)

25   Auburn   202   (26)

26   Penn State   201   (30t)

27   Baylor   197   (24t)

27   Illinois   161   (26)

28   Texas Christian   175   (28)

29   Georgia   170   (32)

30t   Ohio State   161   (29)

30t   Illinois   161   (27)

32   SOUTH FLORIDA   144   (30)

41   MIAMI   13   (41)

44t   CENTRAL FLORIDA   7   (44t)

Click back will be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost...

November 06, 2011

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 31.6%

[Main Dolphins-Chiefs game post is directly below this in blog. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote].

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: GAME 8: Results are certified in the latest installment of the Dolfan 1aa1dsmSatisfaction Meter, and they show 31.6 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 31-3 victory (yes, win) at Kansas City, putting Miami's midseason record at 1-7.

The DSM, in its fourth season, 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. I also suggest your vote be based on this season only, and not how it might affect the 2012 draft.

The poll never closes but results are certified official after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 10 a.m. today/Tuesday.

2011 Dolfan Satisfaction Meter

Next poll: Nov. 13 following game vs. Washington.

G8: 31.6% satisfaction (16.0 very, 15.6 somewhat) following 31-3 victory at Kansas City.

G7: 19.6% satisfaction (18.1 very, 1.5 somewhat) following 20-17 loss at N.Y. Giants.

G6: 14.5% satisfaction (14.0 very, 0.5 somewhat) following 18-15 loss vs. Denver.

G5: 9.6% satisfaction (9.2 very, 0.4 somewhat) following 24-6 loss at New York Jets.

G4: 5.6% satisfaction (5.4 very, 0.2 somewhat) following 26-16 loss at San Diego.

G3: 3.9% satisfaction (3.3 very, 0.6 somewhat) following 17-16 loss at Cleveland.

G2: 3.7% satisfaction (2.6 very, 1.1 somewhat) following 23-13 loss vs. Houston.

G1: 34.4% satisfaction (3.9 very, 30.5 somewhat) following 38-24 loss vs. New England.

2010 Final: 3.8% overall satisfaction.

2009 Final: 31.2% overall satisfaction.

2008 Final: 96.9% overall satisfaction.