Canes football bye-week special: The road ahead. Analyzing the outlook from here; plus NFL Week 8 picks: 3 big upsets. Are Dolphins one?; also, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 34, our Tua Week and Justin Turner columns, Happy Halloween & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31. Happy Halloween and farewell October. To all of you trick or treaters braving the pandemic tonight, remeber, wear a mask! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tua Week in Miami, Justin Turner's outrageous selfishness, NFL Week 7 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB rankings, new Back In My Day video, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 34 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.
My most recent columns: Tua Week, Justin Turner: Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami and Turner -- With COVID -- Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season. Also: Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 34 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 34 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 34 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep34, myself and Chris engage in a sometimes contentious debate over the Dolphins quarterback-change drama, Chris reveals his first career parenting faux pas, and we offer a new edition of 'Greg Doesn't Know Movies.' And of course a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the Q's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!
CANES BYE WEEK: ROAD AHEAD: THE OUTLOOK FROM HERE: The 12th-ranked, 5-1 Miami Hurricanes are off this weekend, with a strong likelihood they'll need to run the table and finish with just one ACC loss to have a shot at reaching the league championship game. The pandemic rule -- no divisions this year -- hurts UM by taking it out of the weaker of the two divisions in a single-conference free for all. Miami's remaining schedule and quickie outlook:
@North Carolina State Nov. 6 -- Wolfpack are presently 4-2. Estimate UM a 3-4 point favorite as of now. ESPN Football Power Index says Canes have 69.2% win likelihood.
@Virginia Tech Nov. 14 -- Hokies are now 3-2. Estimate VT a 2-3 point fave. FPI presently has UM with only 37.9% win likelihood.
Vs. Georgia Tech Nov. 21 -- Yellow Jackets are 2-4. Estimate Miami a 7-8 point pick. FPI has UM win likelihood at 89.5%.
@Wake Forest Nov. 28 -- Wake is 3-2. Game too far off for bet-line estimate. FPI has 56.7% Miami win likelihood.
Vs. No. 15 North Carolina Dec. 5 -- UNC is 4-1. Game too far off for bet-line estimate. FPI has 55.8% win likelihood for UM.
Bottom line? No gimmies here. Remaining five foes are a combined 16-11, with three of the five games on the road. Va-Tech and obviously ranked UNC are the danger games. UM lucks to have the latter at home. Clemson and Notre Dame are the ACC's lone unbeaten teams but meet Nov. 7 in South Band. Miami and UNC are the only teams with one conference loss, so that Dec. 5 game could be winner-take all for an ACC Championship Game berth -- especially if Notre Dame is at two ACC losses. One is likely to be vs. Clemson, and Irish still must also play at UNC.
QB Trevor Lawrence's COVID test-positive for Clemson imperils his availability for the Notre Dame game but Tigers remain the national-championship betting favorite, ahead of Alabama and Ohio State. The dichotomy in Florida's and Miami's national-title odds is interesting. In the polls they are close -- Gators 10th and Canes 12th. But Florida has the fifth best championship odds, while Miami's odds are tied for 22nd. Ouch. #NoRespect.
State FBS games this week (all Saturday, chronologically):
UTSA (4-3) at FAU (1-1), noon: Owls are 4-point picks in the home nest over Texas-San Antonio.
UCF (3-2) at Houston (2-1), 2: Knights favored by 3 on road, and the over/under is 82 1/2 points!
Missouri (2-2) at No. 10 Florida (2-1), 7:30: Gators are less than overwhelming 13 1/2-point Swamp favorites. Maybe that is because Mizzou has won two of past three meetings. More likely it is because, with rival and No. 5-ranked Georgia on deck for UF, will Gator minds be wandering? Better get your guys locked in, Dan Mullen.
Off this week: No. 12 Miami (5-1), Florida State (2-4) and South Florida (1-5).
COVID-related postponement: No. 19 Marshall (5-0) at FIU (0-3). Friday night's was the fourth FIU game this season postponed related to the coronavirus. Man, what a beleaguered season, on and off the field, for coach Butch Davis.
NFL WEEK 8 PICKS: STEELERS-RAVENS AND 3 BIG UPSETS. WILL TUA-LED DOLPHINS BE ONE?: The Week 8 picks leaderboard is topped by our Game of the Week as the last unbeaten, Pittsburgh, travels as an underdog to Baltimore. And by three big upsets including a major one that may be of particular interest to Miami Dolphins fans. This is (hard to believe) our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald, and thanks as always for joining us on the ride! For our Week 8 previews and picks for our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week and all the rest of the 14-game slate, visit NFL Week 8 Gems. Our week got off to an unfortunate start Thursday night, alas. We thought host Carolina (-2 1/2) would win and cover but Teddy and the Cats let us down in a 25-17 Atlanta win. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print, after the Thursday night pick appears separately Wednesdays online and Thursdays in print.
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Heat NBA Finals columns: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Game 5--They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Game 4--Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Game 3--Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Game 2--NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Game 1-- Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.
Marlins postseason run columns: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Game 2--Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Game 1--Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Columns from two wins over Cubs in wild-card round: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs and Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.
Select other 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: 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).