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25 posts from November 2011

November 06, 2011

G8: Dolphins 31, Kansas City 3 (Final): Miami wins! Miami wins! Miami wins! (Told y'all...)

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

Vote now in latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in separate post directly above this! 

1aa1dolskcG8: DOLPHINS AT KANSAS CITY: FRESH BREEZE. IT FEELS LIKE A WINNY DAY...: Final: Final, and finally! A first victory of 2011 for the no-longer-winless Dolphins. No mystery why. Miami played turnover-free for first time in 23 games. QB Matt Moore played great. Reggie Bush played great. Defense pitched a near-shutout. And I called it. (I really must stop bragging; how unbecoming...) Where the hell has this team been!? ..... 4Q: Miami's TD-shutout intact as KC misses another 4th down play near goalline. ..... Dan Carpenter's 13th straight FG (42 yards) puts Miami up 31-3. ..... Dolphins D stops KC on 4th down near goalline. ..... 3Q: Reggie Bush weaving 28-yard scoring run for 28-3 Miami lead. Pinch me time. Dolphins are going to win a [bleep]ing football game! ..... Matt Moore to Brandon Marshall 14-yard TD pass and 21-3 lead. It's going to happen. (I don't believe in jinxes, no). ..... Miami special teams stops fake (or botched) KC field goal try. ..... Half: There isn't a Dolfan living who has suffered this year's blown leads who feels overly confident right now. Still, you want a stat-line to explain this game so far? QB Matt Moore at the half: 11 for 14, 167 yards, two TDs, zero picks. ..... 2Q: Anthony Fasano 35-yard scoring catch, his second of game, has Miami with 14-3 cushion. Is today finally the day? ..... 1Q: Fasano 3-yard scoring catch from Matt Moore and 7-3 Dolphins lead in last minute of quarter. ..... KC on board first, 3-0, with 43-yard field goal. Original post: You get a feeling sometimes, you know? I see Miami winning, 23-20. (Traditionalists vs. Suck For Luckers can debate the cheer factor in that). Think Dolphins can run and control the ball a bit on a so-so Chiefs run-defense. Don't think Kansas City or Matt Cassel are anything special. Also see the Chiefs overconfident and in letdown-mode on a short week after Monday's emotional division win over San Diego. Upset!

November 05, 2011

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 89.2%

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

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: GAME 9: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan 1aa1csmSatisfaction Meter, and they show 89.2 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Saturday's 49-14 home victory over Duke, a conference result putting the Hurricanes' season record at 5-4 overall and 3-3 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 8:30 a.m. today/Monday.

2011 Canesfan Satisfaction Meter

Next poll: Nov. 12  following game 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).

G9: Hurricanes 49, Duke 14 (Final): UM takes of biz, eyes FSU next; plus LSU ekes by Alabama, Dolphins deny non-report & more

[Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Vote in latest edition of Canesfan Satisfaction Meter in separate post directly above this one!

1aa1dukeumG9: HURRICANES 49, DUKE 14: I was wrong. UM won much more comfortably than I'd figured. TV showed a Canes fan gholding a sign that read, "Duck you, Fuke." A bit rude, no? ...... Original post: Duke, the basketball school, has risen from utter doormat to respectably bad in football, and Miami, at 4-4, has not earned the right to take any opponent lightly. Human nature being innate, though, expect a fairly perfunctory performance by Miami a week before its red-circle date at Florida State. Pick: Hurricanes, 27-17.

1aa1nicksNo. 1 LSU 9, No. 2 Alabama 6 (OT): I unfortunately foresaw Nick Saban smiling late last night if only because Tuscaloosa was the site -- and was happily wrong. Was interested to see if two great defenses necessarily meant a low-scoring game, and they sure did. Satanic coincidence du jour: Miami played an opponent with a devil in its logo, and football fans from Baton Rouge to Miami think Saban is Satan. (Saturday's other national top-25 matchups: 7-Arkansas d. 9-South Carolina, 44-28; and 3-Oklahoma State d. 14-Kansas State, 52-45.

Week 10's other state FBS games: On Thursday, FSU routed Boston College, 38-7; and Tulsa won at Central Florida, 24-17. Saturday, besides UM-Duke: Florida barely beat Vanderbilt, 26-21; FIU lost at Western Kentucky, 10-9; FAU lost to Arkansas State, 39-21; and South Florida lost at Rutgers, 20-17 (OT).

DOLPHINS DENY NON-"REPORT" ON HENNE: Funny. The Dolphins this morning issued the following stern admonishment: "The report that Chad Henne should have played with his injury is totally false and the speculation of the nature of that injury is not correct." Funny because hardly anybody would have known about the "report" at all without the club's denial. The "report" was a journeyman ex-QB, Jim Miller, vaguely implying during an interview on 640-AM that Henne could have toughed it out. Two points: 1) Sports-radio hosts: If you can't do better than Jim Miller as a guest, find a new producer. Seriously. 2) 640's ratings (compared to market monsters 790 The Ticket and WQAM) are negligible nearly to the point of being non-existent. Dolphins, this "report" did not merit the added weight given it by an official denial.

Click back. Will be updating and adding to this latest blogpost...

November 04, 2011

NFL predix: Dolphins win, Packers lose. Seriously. Plus D-Wade gives himself to science, Rex Ryan: Pats fan, updated SB odds, Lulu & more

[UM football coach Al Golden won an enormous vote of confidence in our poll. See results in blog post directly below this new one. Also, join us on twitter @gregcote].

1aa1fripixNFL PREDIX: DOLPHINS WIN, PACKERS LOSE. AND I'M SERIOUS!: Old-school Dolfans -- defined here as fans wanting their team to win as a bedrock, unequivocal starting point -- will be happy on Sunday as Miami finally gets off the 2011 schneid. Also headed to happy this weekend: Old Dolphins, the 1972 Perfectos, who'll be cheering the fall of the last-unbeaten Packers. Miami will win at Kansas City, 23-20. Green Bay will lose at San Diego, 31-28. (I know most of you are guffawing in disagreement. That's why they're called upsets, people). Click on Week 9 Gems to find out why and for all my latest King Sport prognostications. Click on Marino Under Siege for my Friday Page colun on this finally be the year Dan Marino's 1984 passing-yards record will fall. I also anayze the Pack's chances of running the table and catching the ghosts of '72.

NFL Week 9 Bonus Fact Just For You: Giants-Pats game is 44th regular-season meeting between franchises that have faced each other in a Super Bowl. It's 21-21-1 in the first regular-season meeting afterward -- but SB winners have won 12 of past 15.

1aa1iceAnd another one...: Newark Star-Ledger reports Jets coach Rex Ryan will play a Patriots fan in a 2012 Adam Sandler movie called I Hate You, Dad. Also appearing: James Caan and Vanilla Ice. Not sure which is more surprising: That Rex Ryan acts. Or that somebody is bankrolling an Adam Sandler movie featuring Rex Ryan and Vanilla Ice. 

THE SCIENCE OF DWYANE WADE: The Heat star offered himself for experimentation at the Gatorade Sports Institute this week. Click here for the tale. Just another reminder that our NBA stars are doing everything but playing a season.

UPDATED SUPER BOWL ODDS: From our friends at Bodog, it's Packers a prohibitive 13-5, then Patriots 6-1 and Steelers 9-1. Next at 12-1: Eagles, Saints and Ravens. The not-yet-officially eliminated Dolphins are a righteous steal at 1,000-1.

1aa1luluWHEN GOOD + GOOD = BAD: Love James Hetfield and Metallica. Love Lou Reed. Don't love their new collaborative CD, Lulu. Really dismal. Reed's lugubrious, sluggish, at times spoken-word delivery is no match for Metallica's thrashing pace. I do like the cover art, though. And I still think "Perfect Day" is a mournful masterpiece, Lou.

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

November 01, 2011

Grading Al Golden so far (with poll); plus out-of-Luck Dolphins, Arison's Tweet, Shaq's book, Wrestlemania, taint on LaRussa & more

[Thanks to all who joined our live chat today. Do it every Wednesday 1-2 p.m. Click HERE to post questions, comments or pithyisms any time. Missed our Halloween rap video? It's in post directly below. Also, join us on Twitter @gregcote]

1aa1algoldenpicGRADING GOLDEN SO FAR: A front-page Miami Herald story today is headlined, 'Agent: Golden isn't leaving.' The online head is, 'He's not going anywhere.' The suggestion is that University of Miami football coach Al Golden might leave after this season, and that an escape clause could allow it in the face of looming NCAA penalties. The agent's statement carries little weight. It would not surprise me if Golden really was in this for the long haul and it would not surprise me if he bailed. I do think evidence so far -- three quarters through his first season at 4-4 -- suggests he has been a good hire, one UM and its fans should hope to hang onto. Do you agree? Take a dip in our poll and say why.

1aa1shitdolphinsOUT OF LUCK: IT WON'T HAPPEN, DOLFANS: I lay it out in this column why the Dolphins aren't bad enough or lucky enough to end up with the No. 1 draft pick and Stanford QB Andrew Luck. It's more realistic to dump the "Suck For Luck" mantra and replace it with, say, "Lose For Landry" (as in Jones). I keep hearing that 1aa1flagupsideMiami's great hope is that Peyton Manning returns to action in time to rescue the winless Colts. Really? Seriously? Ask yourself what would be dumber than for Indy to risk hurrying Manning back from neck surgery and derail itself from the inside track to Luck all at the same time?

ARISON'S LITTLE TWEET SAYS MUCH: Today's latest column by me (click here) is on how much Heat owner Micky Arison said when his Twitter response to NBA owners being called "greedy pigs" was: Honestly, u r barking at the wrong owner. The NBA fined Arison $500,000 for violating its gag order on public comments about the lockout. Arison's Tweet not only revealed a rift among owners, but spoke of Miami's particular imperative to end this labor impasse and play a season.

MARLINS' DEFENSE STILL LAGS: Zero Marlins won a Gold Glove award, announced today. Then there is this from The Bill James Handbook 2012, ranking every double-play combination, best to worst. The best (Texas' Elvis Andrus/Ian Kinsler) is estimated to have saved the Rangers 29 runs last season. The worst (Mets' Jose Reyes/Justin Turner) is estimated to have cost the team 22 runs. The Marlins' Hanley Ramirez/Omar Infante is a below-average 22nd of 30 teams, with a minus-9 on runs. Could be one reason why Infante didn't get the Gold Glove the team was touting him for.

1aa1wrestlemaniakk2 1aa1wrestlemaniaWRESTLEMANIA!!!: It's Wrestlemania XXVIII and it is at the Dolphins stadium next April 1 and tickets go on sale this week. Woooooo! Who stole whose Roman numerals -- the NFL or WWE!? I think Rome should sue them both. My only reason for mentioning Wrestlemania is as a vehicle to run a gratuitous photo of WWE diva Kelly Kelly, who, but for the blond hair, bears all of the classic bimboesque markings of a Kardashian.

1aa1bookshaqTHE BIG TELL-ALL: SHAQ'S NEW BOOK: I find 90 percent of athlete autobiographies as dull as I find 90 percent of athletes, but Shaquille O'Neal may be an exception with his upcoming, Shaq Uncut: My Story. If nothing else he peels back the curtain on his departure from the Heat, with an excerpt revealing a February 2008 confrontation with Pat Riley that got nose to nose and nearly came to blows. Alonzo Mourning tried to intervene but, "I threw him aside like he was a rag doll," writes Shaq. Always interesting when an athlete refutes his own public persona. Shaq played the lovable, happy-go-lucky big fella but behind the scenes, with Kobe Bryant and here, wanted his way and knew how to throw his considerable weight to get it.

UM WOMEN NO. 7 in PRESEASON POLL: The bar is set. Katie Meier's Hurricanes at seventh in preseason coaches' poll, after Baylor, Notre Dame, Tennessee, UConn, Stanford and Texas A&M, and just ahead of ACC-mate Duke. For UM, a season expected to contend for the Final Four. That's intoxicating. That's also pressure such as the program has never known. Teams opens at home Monday Nov. 7 vs. Barry.

TONY LaRUSSA? YEAH, BUT...: The glowing testimonials for retiring Cardinals champion manager Tony LaRussa are fine and mostly justified. The thing is, LaRussa was also the manager who turned a blind eye to Mark McGwire's performance-enhancing drugs during the latter's entire career, first in Oakland, then in St. Louis. When we say PEDs tainted that era in baseball, we shouldn't mean just the players. We should include the authorities who looked the other way. And that includes the manager who watched McGwire hit 135 home runs in two seasons and never thought, "Hmm..."

1aa1amywAMY WINEHOUSE: A posthumous CD (pictured) of previously unreleased songs is set for December release. I look forward to it and will buy it. Click here for story.  



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 10:

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

2. Miami Hurricanes (1) 4-4, 2-3 ACC

3. Florida Gators (3) 4-4, 2-4 SEC 

4. S. Fla. Bulls (4) 4-3, 0-3 Big East

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

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

7. FAU Owls (7) 0-7, 0-4 Sun Belt

ME, FANTASY: Greg's Lobos dropped a turd third straight game to fall to 3-5, this a 127-93 loss. My warhorse Aaron Rodgers was out on a bye and backup Joe Flacco didn't get much done for me. Never a good fantasy sign when your leading scorer has but 15 points.

1aa1fripixME, PICKS: Went a decent 9-4 straight-up on my Friday NFL predictions page last week, and was square at 6-6-1 against the spread. Called Steelers' outright upset of Pats and had three 'dogs covering -- Rams over Saints, Dolphins over Giants, Vikings over Panthers -- but too much bad stuff as well. (Seahawks over Bengals? What was I smoking?) Details coming on this Friday's 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 combined ranking entering Week 10:

Rank   Team   Points   (Last week)

1   Louisiana State   875   (1)

2   Alabama   861   (2)

3   Oklahoma   841   (3)

4   Boise State   783   (4)

5   Stanford   767   (5)

6   Oklahoma State   740   (6)

7   Wisconsin   685   (7)

8   Oregon   665   (8)

9   Nebraska   586  (9)

10   Arkansas   582   (10)

11   South Carolina   546   (11)

12   Virginia Tech   508   (13)

13   Texas A&M   457   (12)

14   Clemson   422   (14)

15   Michigan State   380   (16)

16   FLORIDA STATE   340   (15)

17   West Virginia   338   (17)

18   Michigan   336   (18)

19   Texas   266   (20)

20   FLORIDA   262   (19)

21   Arizona State   236   (22)

22   Kansas State   232   (24)

23   Georgia Tech   230   (21)

24t   Houston   196   (28t)

24t   Baylor   196   (23)

26   Auburn   183   (25)

27   Illinois   161   (26)

28   Texas Christian   158   (27)

29   Ohio State   151   (28t)

30t   Penn State   144   (31)

30t   SOUTH FLORIDA   144   (30)

41   MIAMI   13   (41)

44t   CENTRAL FLORIDA   7   (44t)

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