GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26. If you missed who won the week, who leads the early season Top 20 and where Fins' Ryan Fitzpatrick lands, check out our NFL Week 2 QB Rankings. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins crush it in Jacksonville, Herro the hero in Heat Game 4, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 29 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.
Column off Friday's Heat loss to Celtics: Heat Lose, Game 6 Ahead. The Prize? An NBA Finals Vs. LeBron.
Column off Thursday's Dolphins win: We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.
Our NFL Week 3 picks: NFL Week 3 Gems.
G3: FLORIDA STATE (0-1) AT NO. 12 HURRICANES (2-0): MIAMI ON HIGH ALERT, CAN'T AFFORD STUMBLE VS. ARCH-RIVAL: A perfunctory 31-14 home win over smaller UAB and then a big 47-34 road triumph at ranked Louisville have Miami sitting pretty as the nation's 12th-ranked team entering Saturday night's ACC rivalry renewal vs. Florida State at Hard Rock Stadium. Big game? It's on ABC and ESPN's College GameDay is in town, albeit without the usual attendant crowd mania due to COVID-19 restrictions. Likewise, a normally full stadium will be limited to a max of 13,000 fans. Missing in addition to those other 52,000 fans will be FSU first-year coach Mike Norvell, who tested positive for the coronavirus and will be watching from home. Miami is only an 11-point favorite, and ESPN's Football Power Index puts UM's win likelihood at a modest 58.4 percent, so the upset alert should be up. Miami cannot afford a stumble just because the 'Noles appear down. Canes have benefitted by an infusion of key transfers led by quarterback D'Eriq King (pictured), defensive end Quincy Roche and kicker Jose Borregales. The dual-threat King has proved the perfect driver for new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee's uptempo attack. And running back Cam'Ron Harris has been great through two games. Miami is popping on all cylinders and looks good to go for another win, but, coming off the big one in Louisville -- and with No. 1 Clemson next on the schedule -- coach Manny Diaz better have his players' heads right and focused on the task at hand. Otherwise a season-souring slipup is possible. My pick: Hurricanes, 30-20.
Other state FBS games Saturday:
No. 5 Florida (0-0) at Ole Miss (0-0), noon -- Gators, dreaming of national championship, finally open, vs. sneaky Lane Kiffin, as comfy 13 1/2-point road faves.
No. 13 UCF (1-0) at East Carolina (0-0), noon -- Knights should roll as a 27-point betting pick.
FIU (0-0) at Liberty (1-0), 1 -- Finally! Year 4 of the Butch Davis era gets tardily going with Panthers 7 1/2-point road 'dogs.
[South Florida (1-1) at FAU (0-0), postponed].
HEAT LOSE, STILL UP 3-2. THE GOAL? AN NBA FINALS VS. OLD FRIEND LEBRON: We all know what this is about now. The stakes are set. It’s all in play, if the Miami Heat can just go get. If they can do what they failed to do Friday night and finish this. What is in play feels bigger than just the NBA Finals. Bigger than Miami vs. Los Angeles. It is the Heat vs. LeBron James. This is personal. It is delicious. For Heat fans, the idea of not only playing for a championship this strangest of all seasons, against all odds, but playing for one against this opponent? It’s like hitting the lottery. Twice. I know, I know. Miami isn’t there yet. The Heat fell hard to the Boston Celtics on Friday night in the Orlando bubble, 121-108, in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference finals, Miami’s lead in the best-of-7 series cut to an anxious 3-2 entering Game 6 on Sunday evening. The Heat was in control early but saw Boston seize leverage with a 41-point third quarter. A 3-2 series lead suddenly feels wobbly. Can Miami win one of the next two? LeBron’s L.A. Lakers aren’t quite there yet, either. They lead the Denver Nuggets 3-1 entering Game 5 Saturday night. Ah, but this is the beauty of sports, right? The anticipation. For our full latest column, visit Heat Lose, Game 6 Ahead. The Prize? An NBA Finals Vs. LeBron.
Previous Heat-Celtics columns: Off Game 4: Conquering Herro! Rookie's 37 Has Heat 1 Win From NBA Finals. Game 3: The Fun Starts Now As Heat's Joy-Ride Postseason Finally Hit a Bump. Game 2: Miracle Or Magic, Miami Heat's Stunning Postseason Run Continues. Game 1: Unexpected Playoff Run Makes Miami Heat the Most Fun Ride In Sports Right Now].
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 29 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 29 is out now! A new episode drops early every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 29 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. (Start on Episode 1 and catch up!) In new Ep29 we welcome in special guest Izzy Gutierrez of ESPN to talk Heat and NBA playoffs, who's got the best restaurant bread and more. Greg and Chris also talk Heat-Celtics, Dolphins’ loss to Buffalo, Canes, Marlins’ playoff run and more. And Chris reveals something about Greg at a restaurant table that he finds annoying. Will you agree? Of course there's a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the L's. Hear all of that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast now!
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Our football special-section column troika: TUA TAGOVAILOA IS DOLPHINS' SAVIOR SENT TO BRING NEW GLORY ... IF PROPHECY IS TRUE / WHO'S SUPER BOWL-BOUND? WHERE DO FINS FALL? OUR 2020 NFL-IN-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS / and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET
Select other most recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice
Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote: Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Columns. Podcast. Podcast on Twitter. Podcast on Instagram. LeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).