It's Radio Tuesday!: I'm back in-studio today with the Dan LeBatard Show, 3-7 on The Ticket Miami, 4-7 on ESPN Radio. Ears welcome.
1) It is TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7. The Jacksonville Jaguars mascot led to an apology from the club for the sign shown carried during the Steelers game. Dear Mascots: Two things. First, stay out of politics and current events. Second, nothing about the ebola virus is funny. 2) Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes grounded by Georgia Tech, CSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
THE DOLPHINS' HARBAUGH DILEMMA: A prevailing school of thought within the NFL is that the San Francisco 49ers and coach Jim Harbaugh may mutually part ways after this season, despite their success together. That immediately raises Harbaugh-to-Dolphins speculation considering owner Stephen Ross already tried once (2011) to hire Harbaugh for Miami. I think the issue would be moot if Miami makes the playoffs, which I think would secure Joe Philbin's job. But otherwise? Harbaugh's coaching talent is evident. But so is his off-putting personality and his hunger for control. Hiring him would be seen as a coup by some, but would be seen by others as an invitation to upheaval and turmoil. It's early, but we invite your thoughts on the matter. Vote and say why.
THE MERRY MESS OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL: I am grinning right now at all those folks who thought the advent, this season, of the four-team College Football Playoff would make everything cut-and-dried, neat, above argument. Ha! In the best case, the Final Four may not be a broad consensus. There will usually be an angry No. 5 standing outside the closed door leading a protest. In the worst case, picking four for the CFP may be a crapshoot that finds at least as many teams feeling unfairly left out. This first year of the playoff looks like it could be one of those nightmares for the selection committee. Seemed otherwise until Nos. 2-3-4 Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma all lost this past weekend, leaving the playoff picture as Florida State and the backup group Question Mark & The Mysterians. Auburn is pretty solid No. 2, then it gets crazy. Mississippi State, Baylor, Ole Miss, Notre Dame -- there are 24 teams in the AP Top 25 with zero or one losses. Alabama or any of the other recently dethroned team that runs the table from here stil can gravitate back up into the top four. It's insane, with very little hope of consensus come playoff time. Ain't it great!?
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: ALL GOOD FOR WEEK 5: We update you briefly every Tuesday on how we did the previous NFL weekend with our published predictions and with our fantasy-league team. Pix: Great on the overall at 13-2 and OK against the spread at 8-7. But we stumbled for first time on our Upset of the Week when Bears blew it in Carolina. Fantasy: Greg's Lobos (logo at left) improved to 2-3 with a 107-93 win, led by 22 points from Marshawn Lynch, 21 from Philip Rivers and, unexpectedly, 21 from the toe of Stephen Gostkowski. Gotta say, though. You killin' me, Calvin Johnson!
SOPY: CANES' JOHNSON, KAAYA STAY ON TOP: Canes Duke Johnson and Brad Kaaya stay 1-2 in our blog-exclusive State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings --"the State Heisman" -- while hard- charging Jameis Winston, the defending champion, leaps to No. 3. This is a cumulative weekly list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from Florida's seven FBS college football teams: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Our past two season SOPY winners have been FSU QB Winston (2013; 2,107 points) and Canes QB Stephen Morris (2012; 1,900.5 points). Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. The SOPY Top 10 entering Collball Week 7:
SOPY WEEK 6 TOP 10
Rk (LW) Player, team-pos. Wk6 Season
1 (1) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb 158 826
2 (2) Brad Kaaya, Miami-qb 119.5 769
3 (6) Jameis Winston, FSU-qb 194.5 746
4 (4) Jacquez Johnson, FAU-qb 176.5 741
5 (5) Rashad Greene, FSU-rec 33 592
6 (3) Marlon Mack, SoFla-rb DNP 586
7 (9) Alex McGough, FIU-qb 114 538.5
8 (8) Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb 59.5 496.5
9 (7) Karlos Williams, FSU-rb 54 494
10 (--) Alex Gardner, FIU-rb 118 470
Bubble: Jay Warren, FAU-rb, 467. Other team leader: UCF--Justin Holman, qb, 458.5. Season's best week: Mack, SoFla-rb, 304 (Wk1). Note: UCF and Florida have played 4 games, FSU and USF have played 5 and Miami, FIU and FAU have played 6.
Cote's State of the State rank entering Collball Week 4: 1. FSU (5-0); 2. Florida (3-1); 3. Miami (3-3); 4. UCF (2-2); 5. SoFla (2-3); 6. FIU (3-3); 7. FAU (2-4).
A TOAST (EARLY THIS YEAR) TO 1972: In South Florida "1972" doesn't mean Vietnam or Watergate or anything else but Perfection. It means Don Shula, Lazrry Csonka and the 17-0 '72 Dolphins. Usually it's around Thanksgiving each year when some other NFL team is making its futile attempt to equal what Miami did, once and forver. This season we're only five weeks in and already we are rid of the last unbeaten team, thanks to the Bengals losing big at New England last night. The '72 Perfectos should feel cheated. National football writers didn't even have time to try to scrounge a phone number for Dick Anderson or Nick Buoniconti. Was the champgane even chilled yet? Anyone, congrats to what was, and remains. To the Class of '72.
...AND THEN THERE'S DERRICK SHELBY: We segue from the Dolphins' pinnacle of pride to the latter-day embarrassment of defensive end Derrick Shelby, arrested for causing a disturbance at Fort Lauderdale nightclub at 2 a.n. Saturday. Cops had to tase him three times. The mugshot at left hints at one of the charges: resisting arrest. This is the worst possible climate to be arrested as an NFL player right now, but alcohol does cloud the mind, doesn't it? Kudos to the Dolphins and coach Joe Philbin for immediately suspending Shelby.
CINDERELLA LIVES IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE: I love that the Orioles and Royals are in the AL Championship Series after 3-0 playoff series wins over the Tigers and Angels, respectively. The O's have waited the longest of any AL playoff team (31 years) to win a World Series, while the Royals hadn't even been to the postseason since 1985. In the NL, if the Nationals (down 2-0) get eliminated the team to root for sentimentally would be the L.A. Dodgers. They last won a WS in 1988, although seven playoff appearances since and a mega-payroll hardly make LAD a classic Cinderella like the AL offers.
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