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13 posts from October 2020

October 31, 2020

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

Pump1) 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.

CoteshowGREG 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!

TheuCANES 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.

PicksNFL 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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THE ARCHIVES:

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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 29, 2020

Justin Turner's outrageous, ignorant selfishness. New column; plus Welcome to Tua Week in Miami, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now, NFL Week 7 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB Rankings, new Back In My Day video (Potato Chips!) & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 33 & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

NFL Week 7 QB Rankings: Old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady wins week, rockets to third overall. Details and updated Top 20: NFL Week 7 QB Rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 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!

TurnerSELFISH JUSTIN TURNER -- WITH COVID -- JOINING DODGERS CELEBRATION A SADLY FITING END TO SEASON: Baseball’s World Series gave us an absolutely perfect ending to the 2020 season, the strangest of all time. It was not perfect from a baseball standpoint, except of course to a Los Angeles Dodgers team winning it all for the first time in 32 years, since Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson. No, it was a perfect ending as a mirror on America in this year of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The final images of the season reflected so damned accurately a country literally playing in a pandemic, and not taking seriously enough a plague whose American death toll on Wednesday stood around 227,000. And climbing. We should be talking today about the Dodgers finally getting over the hump to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1988. About L.A. celebrating yet again just 17 days after the Lakers won the NBA Finals. We should be talking baseball and second-guessing the manager! Can you believe Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash giving the early hook to Blake Snell when Snell was dominating? Over-managing gone way wrong. Instead, we must talk about what is more important, and what kicks dirt on the Dodgers’ triumph: Justin Turner and his outrageous selfishness. (The literal grinning fool, in the red beard, is pictured). For our full latest column, visit Turner -- With COVID -- Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season.

TuandFitzDRAMA, CONTROVERSY, TORQUED-UP PRESSURE: WELCOME TO TUA WEEK IN MIAMI: In ways ceremonial and real, Monday began the Tua Tagovailoa Era in Miami. Let’s capitalize era for added gravitas — such are the expectations, pent up around here for 20 years, ever since we said goodbye to to Dan Marino and waited (and waited) for another like him. We will know by degrees over time whether Tua possesses that potential. We have had but a two-minute blink. The first real hint comes with his first start this coming Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Rams. This week would have been one of great anticipation maybe tinged with trepidation under any circumstances. Is the kid ready? After two NFL minutes and two short passes? Dial back to 1983 and remember that Marino, before his first start, had seen extensive action in two games, completing 23 of 39 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. That after the full preseason that Tagovailoa was denied by the COVID pandemic. (And Marino did not bear the shadow of injury history, of hip surgery). But to all of that already entailed in Tua Week, we added something expected. We add elements of drama, pressure, even controversy. All of that is courtesy the man benched to make way for Tagovailoa, the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has caused this not with malice or ill intent, but with plain, raw honesty. For our full recent column, visit Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami.

Most recent other stuff from me: NFL Week 7 picks, Dolphins' QB change and fun time in Miami sports: NFL Week 7 GemsDolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right MoveHeat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 7 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Ouch!: Went 9-5 straight-up this past week. Can live with that. Went 5-9 against the spread. Can head straight to the poorhouse with that. Our worst week yet ATS, by a lot. Had a few nice hits, including Pittsburgh's mini upset at Tennessee, and 'dogs-with-points covers by Panthers and Jets. Also had some bad luck with blown leads and near misses. Still, no excuses for three what-was-I-thinking picks: Texans over Pack, Cowboys over Washington and Pats over Niners. Somebody slap me. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Promise a big bounceback week. Greg's Lobos: Ouch 2.0: Lobos had been hot. Man did that end. 'Bos got clobbered 127-73 to fall to 4-3 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Hard to win when your top scorer with 18 points is newly signed Matthew Stafford. We were scrambling, with Dak Prescott lost for the year, two starters on byes and Michael Thomas and Aaron Jones both injured. The good news? Still tied for 3rd in hunt for four playoff spots!

NEW 'BACK IN MY DAY': POTATO CHIPS!: Fresh out the oven, this one. Premiered earlier today on the Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio and TV. Hope you enjoy:

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THE ARCHIVES:

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.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

Football special-section columns: 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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 is updated 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 26, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Topping the marquee, a Fins QB change tinged in drama, wins by Canes and Inter Miami win and World Series; plus Greg Cote Show podcast new episode 34 out now!, NFL Week 7 picks & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's MONDAY, OCTOBER 26. Hope y'all had a nice weekend! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes host Virginia with preview and pick, FIU falls badly, NFL Week 7 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 33 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Most recent stuff from me: NFL Week 7 picks, Dolphins' QB change and fun time in Miami sports: NFL Week 7 Gems // Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move // Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 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!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCTOBER 25-26): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Miami names Tagovailoa starter, benches Fitzpatrick: Can't say the Fins didn't pack major news and unwanted controversy into their bye week. Miami named rookie Tua Tagovailoa as starting quarterback beginning next Sunday, with benched Ryan Fitzpatrick admitting surprise and disappointing and calling himself "heartbroken." Fins have won two in a row, with Fitzpatrick playing well. His reaction turns up the pressure on Brian Flores to have made the right call -- and on Tua to justify his coach's faith, and timing.

2. HURRICANES: UM doesn't dominate but gets past Virginia: No. 11 Miami never trailed Saturday here in a 19-14 victory over Virginia that was more efficient than overly impressive. D'Eriq King's 322 yards passing -- 170 of them to Mike Harley -- fueled the home win. With No. 8 Penn State losing, the now 5-1 Canes are likely to  nudge up into the top 10 in the next polls. 

3. MLB: Dodgers on brink of World Series title: Dodgers lead Rays 3-2 in games after last night's 4-2 Los Angeles win -- putting L.A. one more victory from its first World Series crown since 1988. Does Tampa Bay have another comeback in it? The Series pauses today before resuming with Tuesday night. And the city that just celebrated the Lakers i poised again.

4. INTER MIAMI: A dramatic late home win for Miami over Orlando: MLS expansion team Inter Miami is now 6-11-3 -- a credible 6-6-3 since an 0-5 start -- after Saturday's 2-1 win over rival Orlando City before a limited number of fans in Fort Lauderdale. Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez headed in  an 89th minute goal off a corner kick to decide it. Next match: Wednesday at FC Dallas.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Cowardly Big Ten, Ohio State join season: No. 5 Ohio State and the Big Ten began their season Saturday, after righteously saying they would not play in 2020 due to the COVID threat -- and then changing their minds, putting money over safety. (Buckeyes beat Nebraska, 52-17, Saturday). Pac-12 also went from not playing to changing its mind and will begin play November 7.

6. NBA: League mulls starting next season sooner, playing fewer games: COVID shows no signs it will stop messing with sports anytime soon. As the NBA plans for a delayed, virtual draft next month, the league's board of governors met and discussed possible changes to the 2020-21 season, including starting as quickly as possible -- as soon as Christmas Day -- playing fewer than 82 games and not waiting for fans to be permitted to all arenas.

7. HEAT: Riley hints at offseason plans: Godfather Pat Riley in his annual postseason state-of-the Heat news conference suggested he's reday to stand pat next season with a team that unexpectedly reached the NBA Finals as a 5 seed. Said he'd keep the team as close to intact as possible and maintain spending money to go whale-hunting in 2021. Our takeaway: Re-sign as many of own free agents as possible -- priority: Goran Dragic -- and gun hard for Giannis Antetokounmpo next summer.

8. SOCCER: Barcelona-Juventus spices Champions League play: UEFA Champions League group-stage play is underway, and this Wednesday delivers the much anticipated Barcelona-Juventus match in Group G. It would pit longtime rival soccer gods Lionel Messi of Barca vs. Juve's Cristiano Ronaldo -- if Ronaldo is cleared to play after testing positive for COVID on October 13. Butsome reports in Europe are that he'll be ruled out.

9. NASCAR: Logano first to reach Championship 4: Joey Logano's win at Kansas made him the first to qualify for the November 8 championship race in Phoenix. Two more runs (Monday at Texas after Sunday's rain postponement and November 1 at Martinsville) will complete the Championship 4 field, with Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski currently owning the inside track.

10. FIU: Butch Davis' miserable 2020 gets worse: Panthers football fell to 0-3 Friday night, absorbing an embarrassing 19-10 home loss to FCS-level Jacksonville State. This after three FIU games already had been postponed by COVID issues. Otherwise, everything going great for Butch Davis!

Missing the HB10 cut: Antonio Brown to Bucs. A 32-year-old problem child on a team with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin getting enough targets to keep him happy? Yeah good luck with that, Tom Brady ..... Steelers-Titans today is only sixth time in Super Bowl era two unbeaten teams have met this late in a season ..... 0Congrats Stan Van Gundy on the New Orleans Pelicans job. He inherits Zion Williamson. Also, Lonzo Ball's dad! ..... Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje in UFC 254. Betting favorite: Me misspelling one of their names ..... South Park cutouts to be seen at Broncos-Chiefs game Sunday ..... Ha! ESPN's Adam Schefter added Antonio Brown to his fantasy team moments before tweeting out the news Brown's suspension had been lifted and the Seahawks were interested ..... Happy birthday to Pele'. The Brazilian soccer legend turned 80 on Friday ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 34 drops Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,073 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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THE ARCHIVES:

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.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

Football special-section columns: 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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 is updated 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 24, 2020

G6: Virginia at No. 11 Hurricanes: Welcome to the 'No-Stumble Zone.' Our preview and pick; plus NFL Week 7 picks, Dolphins' thrill-ride bye week; FIU takes embarrassing home loss; our column on Tua Time; latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24. Happy weekend, all! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins QB change is risky timing but right move, Suddenly great time to be Miami sports fans, NFL Week 6 Pix 'n Fantasy results, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 33 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Our most recent columns: On Dolphins' QB change and fun time in Miami sports: 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.

VamiaG6: VIRGINIA (1-3) AT NO. 11 HURRICANES (4-1): FAVORED MIAMI IN 'NO STUMBLE ZONE' VS. CAVALIERS: 'No Stumble Zone' means UM will have a fighting chance to reach the ACC Championship Game if it runs the table from here and does not take a second conference loss. That is because Clemson and Notre Dame, the only unbeaten ACC teams, play each other Nov. 7 in South Bend. But a second league loss would severely damage Canes hopes. Virginia, tonight's 8 o'clock opponent at Hard Rock Stadium, should not be a problem, and yet Miami is but a 12 1/2-point favorite -- a rather modest line for a No. 11 team at home vs. a 1-3 visitor. That could be because Cavaliers-Canes has been tight recently. Miami won at home last season 17-9, and lost the year before on the road 16-13. Miami may be without injured tight end Brevin Jordan (shoulder) again, but also could catch a break by not facing the opponent's starting quarterback for a second straight game. UVA's Brennan Armstrong (concussion) was uncertain to be available. Virginia averages almost 50 passes a game, so missing it starter would really hurt. For Miami, as with last week's game vs. Pitt, this is a should-beat opponent but hardly one to be taken casually. Or looked past -- with three ranked opponents in the five games left after this. 'No Stumble Zone,' remember? My pick: Hurricanes 30-16.

Other state FBS games this week:

ButchJacksonville State 19, @ FIU 10: Ouch. This hurts. Bad. Panthers were favored by 10 12 Friday night over their FCS-level foe from Alabama but FIU's offense was dominated. It's been a miserable season so far from coach Butch Davis (pictured). Off the field, he's seen three games postponed by COVID issues. On the field, he can't find a quarterback who's able and just fell to 0-3. ESPN's Football Power Index had put FIU's win likelihood at 80.2 percent. This was an embarrassing home defeat.

Tulsa 42, @South Florida 13: Tulsa was favored by 10 and rolled big Friday to sink the sad Bulls to 1-5.

Florida State (2-3) at Louisville (1-4), noon Saturday: Cardinals a 5-point home fave. But which FSU team will show up? 

Tulane (2-3) at UCF (2-2), 2 Saturday: Knights a 19-point pick with a sky-high over-under of (!) 72.

FAU (1-0) at No. 22 Marshall (4-0), 2:30 Saturday: Visiting Owls are 16-point 'dogs in only second game of season.

Off this week: No. 10 Florida (2-1).

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: EPISODE 33 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 33 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 33 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep33, 'Growing Up Cote II,' we welcome back my older brother for Uncle Dick 2.0. He makes fun of explains the phenomenon of PFPI and the PFPI Gala, shares how Greg is so odd on a golf course, and reveals what he really thinks about how Dan Le Batard treats his little brother on the air. Also, Greg and Chris chat up Tua's long-awaited Dolphins debut. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the P's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

PicksOUR NFL WEEK 7 PICKS: STEELERS-TITANS UNBEATEN BOWL, 3 UPSETS, DOLPHINS' THRILL-RIDE BYE WEEK: The Week 7 picks marquee is topped by our call on the Steelers-Titans battle of 5-0 teams, along with three upsets including one major one. We also delve into the Dolphins' anything-but-quiet-and-tranquil bye week. This is our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald, and thanks for joining us on the ride! For our Week 7 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 7 Gems. Our week got off to a mixed start Thursday night. We rightly called the Eagles win over the Giants, but thought Birds would also cover the 4 1/2-point line and they let us down on that. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. (Thursday night picks appear Wednesdays online and Thursdays in print).

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THE ARCHIVES:

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.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

Football special-section columns: 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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 is updated 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 22, 2020

Dolphins turning to Tua now is risky timing -- but right move. Newest column; plus it's been a magical little run in Miami sports, tonight's Giants-Eagles pick, latest Greg Cote Show podcast, NFL Week 6 Pix 'n Fantasy results & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins blank Stinkin' Jets and Tua debuts, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 33 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

Tonight's Giants-Eagles pick: Go to NFL Thursday Gem for the pick on tonight's Week 7 kickoff.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 33 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and the new Episode 33 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 33 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep33, 'Growing Up Cote II,' we welcome back my older brother for Uncle Dick 2.0. He makes fun of explains the phenomenon of PFPI and the PFPI Gala, shares how Greg is so odd on a golf course, and reveals what he really thinks about how Dan Le Batard treats his little brother on the air. Also, Greg and Chris chat up Tua's long-awaited Dolphins debut. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the P's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

TuaWHY MIAMI DOLPHINS TURNING TO ROOKIE QB TUA NOW IS RISKY TIMING -- BUT THE RIGHT NOVE: The scene: Bourbon Street in New Orleans at the height of Mardi Gras, pre-pandemic. The boulevard is packed with revelers, beads are flying. It’s an undulating, nonstop party. And there’s that one guy on a milk crate with a bullhorn, warning all of the sinners to repent. The Miami Dolphins quarterback change as reminded me a little of that. The vast majority of Dolfans are in party mode, cheering the elevation of rookie Tua Tagovailoa to the starting job. Beads and hope are flying. I’m old enough to have been at the very first Dolphins expansion game with my Dad in 1966, know this franchise better than I know any other, and I have not felt the fan base this excited in 20 years. Not since Dan Marino. Ah, but there is that one segment of fan on that mile crate with a bullhorn, shouting, “But why now!?” Miami has won two in a row and three of the past four to get to 3-3 and join the NFL playoff hunt — all under the able aegis of veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and his glorious Viking beard. Take a photo of the standings for posterity because hallelujah the Fins are above the New England Patriots. Is now the time to hand the ball to a rookie whose 2 minutes 27 seconds of NFL experience came in Sunday’s garbage time against the Jets? Short answer: Yes. Make that: YES! For my full most recent column, go to Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move.

HEAT, MARLINS, CANES, NOW TUA. MISERABLE 2020 SUDDENLY A GREAT TIME TO BE A MIAMI FAN: The sun had just set when hope began rising. An October Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, late in the game and the future is rising up off the bench, warming up on the sideline. Fans in the spaced-apart, pandemic crowd of 10,772 were rising up, too, with a cheer that became an ovation. That joyous noise, pent up for how long? Years? Two decades? Maybe ever since Dan Marino limped off a football field for the last time on January 15, 2000? That big noise the small crowd was making — it was the sound of the future arriving, becoming real. “Tua! Tua! Tua!” All of a sudden, it seems, what a time it is to be a sports fan in South Florida. It has been a so-depressing 2020, sustained misery, the COVID-19 death toll now past 220,000 in America and cases spiking anew. Social unrest, political divide, even the common ground of shared values seeming to run away from us. It is strangely in this oppressing context that Miami sports has pushed through and picked curses 2020 to create such an exhilarating ride. We all needed a lift? We got one. For my full recent column, visit Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan. [My column off Fins win over Jets: For Dolphins, 4th Straight Good Game -- And Tua, Too!]

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 6 RESULTS: NFL Pix--We took our hits: Went 7-7 straight-up in Week 6, never OK under any circumstance. Also went 7-7 against the spread, which is decent, at least. Example of our struggles: Had Texans over Titans in our Upset of the Week. Texans lead by seven with less than two minutes left. Texans lose in OT. Had the right idea, jus needed Houston to close it out. Had a trip of 'dogs-with-points in covers by Broncos, Eagles and 49ers. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Onward and upward! Greg's Lobos: Hot 'Bos win again!: Lobos won yet again to improve to 4-2 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. We're on playoff pace as we near midseason. This win was unexpected, 89-88. We were dead in the water but got 36 big points Monday night including 20 from Amari Cooper. The miracle of 4-2 is that we've done almost all of it wthout top draft pick Michael Thomas. Now we've lost starting QB Dak Prescott. Can the underdog Lobos keep it up? Stay along for the ride and find out!

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THE ARCHIVES:

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.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

Football special-section columns: 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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 is updated 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 19, 2020

Dolphins smother Stinkin' Jets 24-0 and we have a Tua sighting! My new column; plus overstuffed latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's MONDAY, OCTOBER 19. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes handle Pitt, NFL Week 6 picks, NFL Week 5 Pix 'n Fantasy results, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 32 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

NyjmiaG6: DOLPHINS 24, N.Y. STINKIN' JETS 0: MIAMI SAILS, REACHES .500 ... AND WE HAVE A TUA SIGHTING!: My column off the game: For Dolphins, 4th Straight Good Game -- And Tua, Too! Original post: Strange to ask, but after playing Seattle tough and then last week’s exhilarating road rout over San Fran, are the Dolphins at risk of overconfidence or a letdown Sunday vs. the lowly Jets? The division rivalry says probably not, but rarely in this series have the Fins been such a favorite or NYJ been so awful. The Jets stink at just about Tuaeverything. How does old friend Adam Gase still have a job? (Rhetorical question. He might not if Planes lose here). Now Le’Veon Bell is gone. Gase’s inability to get along with star players sounds like a bit of a job detriment. Bell also was available and ESPN reported he intended to sign with Buffalo, Kansas City or Miami; unsurprisingly he picked the Chiefs. Fins could have used him, obviously. Miami’s supposedly improved running game has been way disappointing. Even lacking balance, though, Fins’ offense still is averaging a decent 27.2 points per game. NFL has set five-week records for most TDs (453) and points (3,958) — no thanks to Jets’ league-worst offense, although NYJ’s equally bad defense probably deserves a little credit. Sam Darnold (shoulder) won’t play Sunday, but his regression and capable backup Joe Flacco make the QB change a push at worst for the Jets. Flacco is 6-0 in his career vs. Miami. But those six were with Baltimore, filet mignon to the Jets’ dog food. On the other side in this mis-matchup, Ryan Fitzpatrick should have another big game. Oh, and if Miami leads big late, might there even be a Tua Tagovailoa sighting for a series or so? This is the first time all season — the first game and situation — where I can see it as at least a possibility. Although with a bye on deck, a Week 8 first taste ‘o Tua may be likelier. This, by the water, is yet another NFL game affected by COVID-related schedule shuffling. Original 1 p.m. start was shifted to 4:05 to sneak in the previously postponed Denver-New England game at 1. My pick: Dolphins (-9 1/2) over Stinkin' Jets, 37-16. Visit NFL Week 6 Gems for this and all of our other latest previews and picks.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 33 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and the new Episode 33 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 33 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep33, 'Growing Up Cote II,' we welcome back my older brother for Uncle Dick 2.0. He makes fun of explains the phenomenon of PFPI and the PFPI Gala, shares how Greg is so odd on a golf course, and reveals what he really thinks about how Dan Le Batard treats his little brother on the air. Also, Greg and Chris chat up Tua's long-awaited Dolphins debut. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the P's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCTOBER 18-19): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Hot Fish blank Stinkin' Jets as Tua makes NFL debut: Yes I said hot. Miami has now strung together four strong efforts in a row, winning big in Jacksonville, fighting nobly in a loss to unbeaten Seattle, that unexpected easy rout at San Fran, and now Sunday's 24-0 waltz past the Jets. Even better than the shutout: Tua Tagovailoa debuts late, enters to an ovation, goes 2-for-2.

2. HURRICANES: UM bounces back from Clemson debacle, handles Pitt: The Canes shed last week's flat 42-17 loss to Clemson and handled Pitt at home Saturday, 31-19, behind solid defense and D'Eriq King's four TD passes. Win elevated UM two spots to No. 11 in polls. The ACC tests keep coming next week at home vs. Virginia in prime time, with now 4-1 Miami ill-affording a second conference loss if it stills hopes to reach ACC title game.

3. MLB: It's a Rays-Dodgers World Series!: Tampa Bay Rays took ALCS Game 7 Saturday over the Houston Cheatin' Astros, while Los Angeles Dodgers pushed NLCS to a Sunday Game 7 vs. Atlanta and won. Braves had earlier eliminated Marlins in NL Division Series to end Miami's first postseason in 17 years. The two leagues' best-record teams advance in an LA-Tampa World Series starting Tuesday.

4. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Tide beats Dawgs, FSU stuns UNC: No. 2 Alabama beat No. 3 Georgia 41-24 Saturday, with Nick Saban back on the sideline after getting COVID. Shocker of the day: Florida State's 31-28 win over No. 5 North Carolina. LSU at No. 10 Florida was postponed after Gators' COVID outbreak. UF coach Dan Mullen also tested positive -- the same guy who said he wanted a packed stadium. 

5. PANTHERS: Ouch! Cats taking hits in free agency: Ottawa poached steady Florida scorer Evgenii Dadonov in free agency, signing him to a three-year, $15 million deal after three straight seasons of 25-plus goals. Cats now brace to lose Mike Hoffman, who had 29 goals last season. Panthers' free-agent gains have been more modest, with defenseman Radko Gudas and forwards Alexander Wennberg and Vinnie Hinostroza fronting a low-watt bunch.

6. MARLINS: Fish parting with longtime exec Michael Hill: The timing is odd, but Marlins CEO Derek Jeter announced Sunday the club will not renew the contract of longtime president of baseball operations Michael Hill. Comes after the club's first winning season in nine years and first postseason trip since 2003. 

7. INTER MIAMI: Expansion team falls at Montreal: Inter Miami, in this strangest of MLS expansion seasons, is now 5-11-3 after Wednesday's 1-1- draw with Atlanta and then Saturday's 2-1 loss at Montreal. Miami is a credible 5-6-3 after an 0-5 start. Next: Home in Fort Lauderdale vs. budding rival Orlando City next Saturday.

8. HEAT: Miami approaches 2020 offseason mostly girding for '21: After an unexpected run to the NBA Finals and eventual loss to LeBron' champion Lakers, expect Miami's 2020 offseason priority to be re-signing pending free agents Goran Dragic and Jae Crowder, then adding perhaps a second-tier, rotation-type FA from a modest class. The larger goal: Enough cap-space to whale hunt when the monster free agents come around in '21. Can you say Giannis Antetokounmpo? No, I'm serious. I mean, can you pronounce it?  

9. SOCCER: UEFA Champions League group play at hand: Group-stage play begins this Tuesday, running into early December. Among the 32 clubs Bayern Munich and Manchester City are co-favorites at most books just head of Liverpool. Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive for COVID, but Juventus are hopeful Ronaldo will be available for its Champions League match vs. Barcelona and old rival Lionel Messi on October 28.

10. COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Hurricanes, others open preseason practice: Jim Larranaga's Miami men, Katie Meier's Canes women and the rest of college basketball began preseason practice this week toward a delayed November 25 planned start to the season. But nothing is the same due to COVID. Last season ended with a canceled March Madness. This one began with no Midnight Madness first practices in packed gyms.

Missing the HB10 cut: It was announced this week the NFL is canceling this season's Pro Bowl game for the first time since 1949. Fans nationwide reacted with yawning indifference. The NFL said the Pro Bowl would return after missing just this one. "No that really isn't necessary," said fans in a chorus ..... The Mumbai Indians won the toss today and elected to bat first against the Kings XI Punjab ..... The Lakers' championship celebration in L.A. included some rowdiness, a few fires and not much attention to social distancing. Or, did that go without saying? ..... Teofimo Lopez at age 23 became youngest undisputed lightweight champion by dethroning Vasiliy Lomachenko in Las Vegas Saturday night. People enthralled by lightweight boxing might care, if there are such folks out there ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 33 drops Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,080 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Too soon for a "U-S-A!" chant?

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THE ARCHIVES:

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.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

Football special-section columns: 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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 is updated 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: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 17, 2020

G5: No. 13 Hurricanes handle Pitt, 31-19, behind King's 4 TD passes; plus NFL Week 6 picks: Dolphins-Stinkin' Jets and the rest; also, newest Greg Cote Show podcast featuring Uncle Dick, NFL Week 5 Pix 'n Fantasy results, recent columns & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat fall as Lakers win NBA Finals, Dolphins crush Niners, Canes crushed at Clemson, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 32 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

PitmiaG5: NO. 13 HURRICANES 31, PITT 19: KING's 4 TD THROWS, STRONG DEFENSE CARRY UM: I thought it would be a defense-first game that Pitt would cover as 13 1/2-point 'dogs. I was right as Miami  improved to 4-1 and Panthers fell to 3-3. Neither team could run and both struggled on third down. D'Eriq King was uneven and threw two picks but also had four TD throws including scoring strikes of 35, 38 and 45 yards. This result will satisfy if not wow the pollsters. Original post: No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama is of course the game most college football fans will be watching Saturday. Pittsburgh at No. 13 Miami is on the ACC Network, so even most Canes fans in South Florida who want to watch may not be able to because their carrier does not have the ACC channel. In any case, this is a danger game for UM. Warning lights are flashing. The point spread favoring Miami was bet up from 10 1/2 to 13 1/2. Hmm. Did bettors all over the Canes here not see The U obliterated 42-17 by Clemson last week? Do they not know Pitt is two 1-point losses from being 5-0? This noon start does not look like an easy one for Miami -- especially if Hurricanes are in any sort of letdown mode after playing No. 1 Clemson, or take Pitt's Panthers lightly in the least. Clemson was able to dismantle UM's running game and uptempo offense last week. Pitt is not Clemson, but the panthers' D is very good -- including a nation-leading 25 sacks. QB D'Eriq King will need his legs for escape purposes unless Miami's O-line proves better in this matchup than I think it is. Pitt's run defense also will be a challenge for Cam'Ron Harris as he tries to bounce back from being shut down by Clemson. Figure Miami's defense will arise to win this in what I see as a fairly low-scoring game and one closer than the betting line. No ACC divisions in this weird pandemic season, just one conference, so the two teams with the best conference records will make the championship game. With Clemson, North Carolina and Notre Dame all unbeaten and top-five nationally, it could be tough for somebody else to get in. Miami will have a shot if its ACC loss count stay at one. A second conference loss could be crippling. Makes this a must-win in every sense but the literal one. My pick: Hurricanes, 24-17. [My column off last week's game: Canes Not 'Back' Yet, As Clemson Emphatically Proves Again].

Other state FBS games today:

South Florida (1-3) at Temple (0-1), noon: Home-nesting Owls were 11-point faves and rallied to beat a down Bulls squad, 39-37.

UCF (2-1) at Memphis (1-1), 3:30: Knights, a 3-point betting pick, are 13-0 in series but past three very competitive.

No. 5 North Carolina (3-0) at Florida State (1-3), 7:30: Hard to see Heels ranked this high and 13-point faves. Then you recall how FSU got obliterated by Canes.

Off this week: FAU (1-0). COVID-related postponements: LSU (1-2) at No. 10 Florida (2-1); and FIU (0-2) at Charlotte (1-2).

PicksOUR NFL WEEK 6 PICKS: DOLPHINS-STINKIN' JETS AND ALL THE REST: Did you survive without a Thursday night game? Week 6 continues a season increasingly increasingly impacted by COVID, causing delayed and postponed games. It is why the Dolphins-Jets game Sunday was pushed back from 1 to 4. But our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald -- that's always reliably right on time, and we thank your for following along each week! Here are our Week 6 selections for Stinkin' Jets at Dolphins, for our Game of the Week, our Upset of the Week and all the rest of the 14-game slate. Hint on our big upset: An unbeaten teams falls. For all our latest game by game previews and picks visit NFL Week 6 Gems. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. (Thursday night picks appear Wednesdays online and Thursdays in print).

Coteshow MeandbroGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 32 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and the new Episode 32 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 32 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep32, 'Growing Up Cote,' we welcome in my older brother, a.k.a. Uncle Dick, and share memories of me as a (strange) child. Dick and I are pictured, circa early '80s. Also, Greg and Chris discuss Dolphins' big win over Niners, Canes' crushing loss, and Heat. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the O's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

Canes clobbered by Clemson ... yet again: My column off Saturday night's game: Canes Not 'Back' Yet, As Clemson Emphatically Proves Again.

Our 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.

Our 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.

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 5 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Big finish saves the week: We finished a solid 10-4 overall and 7-7 against the spread in Week 5 -- thanks to a big finish in the three prime-time games that ended the schedule. Sunday night we bull's-eyed Seahawks winning but Vikings covering; Monday night we rightly had Saints winning but Chargers covering; and Tuesday night we nailed our Upset of the Week with Titans (+8 1/2) beating Bills outright. "Aaawwwk!" Also called Panthers' upset win in Atlanta, and had Dolphins with the points vs. San Fran. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald. Greg's Lobos: Another big win in fantasy!: Lobos won again to improve to 3-2 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. We won 112-99 thanks to 26 points from the Ravens defense and a big 25 from Emmanuel Sanders Monday night. The bad news: Dak Prescott. My big-scoring QB is out injured for the season, a huge loss. I've got Kirk Cousins in the wings but have made waiver claim for Matthew Stafford. We're a 1-point loss from being 4-1 despite also still missing our top draft pick. Michael Thomas. With Thomas' high production back and a little luck replacing Dak, we should be OK.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 Cote: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 12, 2020

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Heat fall in Game 6 as LeBron's Lakers win NBA title (with column), Canes routed by Clemson (w/ column), Fins clobber Niners, Marlins run ends, Inter Miami wins again; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's MONDAY, OCTOBER 12. Peruse NFL Week 4 QB Rankings for the latest Top 20. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat win to force Finals Game 6, Canes visit Clemson, Marlins eliminated, NFL Week 5 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 31 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

Canes clobbered by Clemson ... yet again: My column off Saturday night's game: Canes Not 'Back' Yet, As Clemson Emphatically Proves Again.

HeatPLAYOFFS! HEAT FALL IN GAME 6 AS LEBRON, LAKERS WIN NBA FINALS: Miami's unexpected deep playoff run ended two wins short of a championship Sunday night in a 106-93 Game 6 loss to the L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals. Our column off the season-ending loss: LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Column off Game 5: They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Column off Game 4: Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Off Game 3: Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Off Game 2: NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Off Game 1: Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

FishPLAYOFFS! MIRACLE MARLINS ELIMINATED BY BRAVES IN NLDS SWEEP: Marlins were ousted by Braves in a three-game sweep of the best-of-5 NL Division Series with Thursday's 7-0 loss in the Houston bubble. Our column off the season-ending Game 3: Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Off Game 2: Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Off 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.

MiasfG5: DOLPHINS 43, AT SAN FRANCISCO 17: FINS COMPLETELY DOMINATE NINERS. (DID THIS REALLY JUST HAPPEN?): Original post: The Niners should beat Miami no matter what, but the iffy status of QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) makes picking against the point spread a crapshoot, because it’s a big drop-off to Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard. The uncertainly whittled the bet line all the way from 13 to 8 1/2. San Fran also has mounting defensive injuries, but still will show better pass D that what Fins saw from Seattle last week. After surprise loss to Philly in Week 4, Niners are too good and too well coached to be surprised again. Still, a fat-looking point spread given SF’s injuries has us liking Miami plus-nine. One more thing, an aside: Glad to hear Dolphins coach Brian Flores finally say directly and aloud this week that rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa is not ready to be the starter ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick. So to you fans with your "We want Tua!" chants, shhh please. And to my fellow media members on the "Tua now!" soapbox, eschew the easy clickbait and find something a little more original (and realistic) to espouse. It’s Tua when it’s Tua time, and the won-lost record or how Fitzpatrick played last game should not matter an iota. It’s Tua time when there is a synchronicity of his complete fitness, his mentality and confidence, his utter knowledge of the offense and the faith his O-line can protect him. It’s Tua time then, not a moment before. Quick update: Looking more and more like Garoppolo will return from a two-game absence. That makes my pick (Fins with points) a bit less secure. My pick: 49ers (-9) over Dolphins, 27-20. Visit NFL Week 5 Gems for this and all of our other latest previews and picks.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCTOBER 11-12): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

HButton1. HEAT: Miami falls in Game 6 as LeBron, Lakers win NBA Finals: Heat fell 106-93 Sunday night as LeBron won a fourth championship with a third different team. Miami's unexpected deep playoff run ended two wins shy of a title, but respect for a surprising, exhilarating postseason that saw Jimmy Butler elevate from mere star to something closer to elite.

2. HURRICANES: Clemson shows (again) that The U isn't 'back' yet: In 2015 it was 58-0. In 2017 it was 38-3. Last night it was 42-17. Progress, I guess? Miami keeps losing big to ACC nemesis Clemson, and last night's latest loss to the top-ranked Tigers was the latest comeuppance for No. 7 UM.

3. DOLPHINS: Fins crush 49ers on road. Wow. Did that really just happen?: It wasn't that Miami won. But 43-17? Fins were nine-point 'dogs Sunday afternoon in the club's first trip since 2012 to The City by the Bay. Niners had QB Jimmy Garoppolo back after a two-game absence but Miami made him look so  bad he was benched. Dolphins at 2-3 now and bubbling with promise. (Miami will host Jets next Sunday as NFL rejiggers its schedule due to COVID-related issues).

4. MARLINS: Miracle season ends with Miami swept from NLDS: It ended with the thud of a three-game sweep by the Braves in the NL Division Series. Still, this truncated MLB season marked Miami's first winning record in nine years and first postseason in 17 years. The Derek Jeter rebuild is justified three years in, and Marlins fans are left with this odd, unfamiliar feeling. It is called optimism.

5. INTER MIAMI: Higuain pays off with a winning first MLS goal: In only his third match with Inter Miami former Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain lifted the expansion club past New York Red Bulls 2-1 on a gorgeous free kick bent over the wall. Then Saturday Miami made it two straight wins with a 1-0 decision over Houston Dynamo. Miami is now 5-10-2, a credible turnaround after an 0-5 start to the season. Next up: Atlanta United visits Wednesday.

6. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 4 Gators bounced on road: No. 4 Florida will fall in polls after Saturday's 41-38 loss at No. 21 Texas A&M. Gators were only top 10 team (besides Miami) to los this week. UF coach Dan Mullen credited A&M's crowd and said he wants 90,000 fans at The Swamp. In a pandemic. Idiot. Fans don't win or lose games, Dan.

7. PANTHERS: Cats take Finnish center first in NHL Draft: With free agency now underway, Florida and new GM Bill Zito made full-ice center Anton Lundell from Finland the 12th overall of eight Panthers picks in the NHL Draft, the haul earning a B-grade in ESPN's analysis. New York Rangers made left wing Alexis Lafreniere the overall No. 1 pick as expected. 

8. TENNIS: Nadal takes heavyweight men's final as French Open ends: Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic on Sunday for his 13th French Open win and record-tying 20th men's major title. The final could not have been higher wattage on star power. No so Saturday's women's final, in which unseeded Iga Swiatek, 19, of Poland defeated little-known fourth seeded Russian-American Sofia Kenin.

9. NFL: Second week in row for COVID disruptions to schedule: In Week 5 one game was delayed until Monday night and another until Tuesday night -- then the game delayed o Monday (Broncos-Patriots) was postponed to a later week. That was one week after one game was postponed entirely and another moved to Monday. Test positives around the league are having an impact as King Sport confronts the risk of traveling and having some fans at games instead of the bubble format that worked well for the NBA and NHL.

10. NASCAR: Playoffs pare from 12 drivers to eight: Sunday's run at Charlotte left eight men still contending for the NASCAR Cup season title, with Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick the drivers to catch as the playoffs get serious. The four drivers eliminated Sunday included reigning champion Kyle Busch.

Missing the HB10 cut: Bad home loss for FIU to a Middle Tennessee team that had been 0-4 ..... What were the odds of Tom Brady forgetting it was fourth down? Only time Greg Cote gets mixed up on small numbers is when he shoots a six on a golf hole and "mistakenly" writes five on his scorecard ..... Seattle Storm are celebrating their fourth WNBA title and Sue Bird, 40 next week, is the remarkable ageless athlete who gets way too little appreciation ..... UEFA Champions League group-stage play begins October 20, running into early December. Among the 32 clubs Bayern Munich and Manchester City are co-favorites at most books just head of Liverpool. ..... xxxxx ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 32 drops Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,087 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. Ticket line forming yet?

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE 32 OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and the new Episode 32 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 32 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep32, 'Growing Up Cote,' we welcome in my older brother, a.k.a. Uncle Dick, and share memories of me as a (strange) child. Greg and Chris also discuss Dolphins' big win over Niners, Canes' crushing loss, and Heat. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the O's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

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THE ARCHIVES:

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 Cote: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 10, 2020

G4: Hurricanes at Clemson: Tonight, we find out how good UM really is. Our preview and pick; plus Heat beat Lakers, get to Game 6 Sunday in NBA Finals. My column off huge win; also, Marlins eliminated, NFL Week 5 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10. Peruse NFL Week 4 QB Rankings for the latest Top 20. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Miami on the brink with Heat and Marlins both facing playoff elimination, NFL Week 4 Pix 'n Fantasy results, NFL Week 4 QB rankings, Bears-Bucs Thursday pick, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 31 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

HeatPLAYOFFS! HEAT WIN, SURVIVE FOR GAME 6 IN NBA FINALS!: Miami still trails 3-2 but is alive for Game 6 after beating the Lakers 111-108 Friday night in the best-of-7 NBA Finals. The Heat now still must win two games in a row starting Sunday night in the Orlando bubble. Our column off the huge Game 5 win: They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Column off Game 4: Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Off Game 3: Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Off Game 2: NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Off Game 1: Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

FishPLAYOFFS! MIRACLE MARLINS ELIMINATED BY BRAVES IN NLDS SWEEP: Marlins were ousted by Braves in a three-game sweep of the best-of-5 NL Division Series with Thursday's 7-0 loss in the Houston bubble. Our column off the season-ending Game 3: Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Off Game 2: Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Off 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.

MiaclemG4: NO. 7 HURRICANES (3-0) AT NO. 1 CLEMSON (3-0): HERE COMES THE ULTIMATE MEASUREMENT OF UM: A perfunctory 31-14 home win over smaller UAB. A big 47-34 road triumph at ranked Louisville. A 52-10 home smothering of rival Florida State. Those results have Miami 3-0 and ranked No. 7 nationally this weird college season. Now, Saturday night at 7:30, for the first time, we really measure how good the Canes are, or aren't. And it happens on Qbsa major prime time, national stage on ABC. "At Clemson." The two scariest words in the sport these days. UM is really good, but the Tigers seem on a different planet. Clemson is a 14-point favorite and you almost wanna think, "That's all?" UM coach Manny Diaz rightly calls it, "A great opportunity for us to test ourselves." Essentially, Clemson is what the Canes used to be in the glory years, and what they strive to be again. "We've got to get our program where it's the same way," says Diaz. Expect an offensive show led by Heisman-candidate QBs in Trevor Lawrence and D'Eriq King. Two big running games as well led by Clemson's two-time ACC Player of the Year Travis Etienne and Miami's Cam'Ron Harris. Two top defenses here as well. They key for a Miami upset may be the pass rush and secondary bothering Lawrence, the Heisman favorite who has passed for 848 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for three TDs. He has thrown 314 straight passes without an interception, and it's hard to envision Miami winning without forcing at least one turnover. Miami feels like a bigger 'dog than two touchdowns partly because Clemson has won the past two meetings between the schools by a combined 96-3. Diaz, the second-year head coach, was Miami's defensive coordinator when the Canes got clobbered by Clemson 38-3 in the 2017 ACC Championship Game. How much have things changed? How much has Miami's program advanced? We find out tonight. My pick: Clemson, 30-23.

Other state FBS games today:

No. 4 Florida (2-0) at No. 21 Texas A&M (1-1), noon: Gators a 6 1/2-point road favorite but is UF over-ranked at No. 4? Saturday may tell.

Middle Tennessee (0-4) at FIU (0-1), 4: Panthers a 5-point fave in much-delayed home opener, but Butchers need be wary despite foe's record.

East Carolina (0-2) at South Florida (1-2), 7: Bulls are favored by 4 1/2 points in Tampa. 

Florida State (1-2) at No. 5 Notre Dame (2-0), 7:30: Irish a huge 21-point pick. But 'Noles can't be as Canes made 'em look (Can they?).  

Off this week: UCF (2-1). Postponed: FAU (1-0) at Southern Miss (1-3).

PicksOUR NFL WEEK 5 PICKS: DOLPHINS-49ERS AND ALL THE REST: Week 5 begins the second quarter of a season increasingly impacted by COVID. Last week one game had to be postponed and one delayed to Monday. This week one game is delayed to Monday and another to Tuesday. But our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald? Always on time! Not always right. But always punctual! Here are our Week 5 selections for Dolphins at 49ers, for our Game of the Week and Upset of the Week (they're one in the same) and for all the rest on the 15-game slate. For all our latest game by game previews and picks visit NFL Week 5 Gems. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. (Our Thursday night pick appears Wednesdays online and Thursdays in print). We lost to start Week 5. Thought Bucs would narrowly cover as 3 1/2-point faves, but they lost at Chicago on a late field goal 20-19. Tom Brady had a chance late but game expired on a fourth down play he thought was third down. Hey, Tom. One, two, three, four -- those are pretty small numbers to keep track of. The only time small numbers always seem to confuse me is when I have a six on that hole in golf and I sometimes mistakenly write five on the scorecard.

Coteshow GilGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: BILLY GIL DROPS BY EPISODE 31, OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and the new Episode 31 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 31 we've done RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep31 we welcome in guest Billy Gil (pictured) from ESPN Radio's Le Batard Show to talk Miracle Marlins and other fun stuff. Also, Greg demands everyone please shut up about playing Tua now. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the N's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

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THE ARCHIVES:

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 Cote: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

October 08, 2020

On the brink: Marlins try to stay alive today, Heat try to do the same Friday. Our 2 latest playoff columns; plus tonight's Bucs-Bears pick, Billy Gil drops by new Greg Cote Show podcast, NFL Week 4 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB rankings & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins fall to Seattle, Marlins reach NLDS, Heat shows life in NBA Finals, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 31 & more. 2) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

Thursday night's Bucs-Bears pick: Will Tom Brady leave Soldier Field smiling? Answer here: Week 5 Thursday Gem.

It's the Russell 'n Dak Show at quarter mark of our NFL quarterback rankings: Peruse NFL Week 4 QB Rankings for the latest Top 20.

FishPlayoffs! Miracle Marlins down 2-0 in NLDS, face elimination today: Marlins and Braves continued best-of-5 NL Division Series in the Houston bubble Wednesday with a 2-0 Atlanta win on a pair of solo homers. Column off NLDS Game 2: Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Off Game 1: Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Column of NLWC-clinching Game 2 vs. Cubs: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs. Off Game 1: Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.

HeatPlayoffs! Heat down 3-1 to Lakers, face elimination in NBA Finals: Miami hoped to get even Tuesday night but instead lost 102-96 to fall into a 3-1 hole in the best-of-7 NBA Finals. Game 5 is Friday night. Column off Game 4: Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Column off Game: 3: Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Off Game 2: NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Off Game 1: Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 4 RESULTS: NFL Pix: Mad scramble for a decent week: Hardly boast-worthy, but we toughed out a 9-6 Week 4 record overall and went an even 7-7-1 against the Picks Loboslogospread (with Bucs' 7-point win a push for the tie). Missed on our Upset of the Week -- you gamble on Vegas, you lose -- but had a trio of 'dogs-with-points on covers by the Browns, Vikings and Eagles. Join us in our 30th season of picks in the Herald. (Our Tampa Bay-Chicago pick to kick off Week 5 will be online later today). Greg's Lobos: Big win in fantasy!: Lobos got even at 2-2 in our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league with a big, rollicking 143-126 win. How 'bout them Cowboys! Got 39 points from Dak Prescott and 34 from Amari Cooper. (They can keep losing as long as they keep producing like that). Four men carried the 'Bos as we also got 25 points from Chris Carson and 22 from Aaron Jones. We're a 1-point loss from being 3-1 despite missing our top draft pick. Come back soon, Michael Thomas! 

CoteshowBilly GilGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: BILLY GIL DROPS BY NEW EPISODE 31, OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote, debuted in March and new Episode 31 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 31 we've done RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep31 we welcome in guest Billy Gil (pictured) from ESPN Radio's Le Batard Show to talk Miracle Marlins and other fun stuff. Also, Greg demands everyone please shut up about Tua. A new Mount Gregmore, too -- the N's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

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THE ARCHIVES:

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

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-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

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 Cote: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).