November 22, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins beat Jets, Canes bowl-bound, Alcantara's payday, Heat, Cats, Gators sad, FIU sadder. See who's No. 1, what else falls where; plus my columns from Fins and UM wins, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22. Happy Thanksgiving Week! I'll be in with the Le Batard Show on Tuesday ... with a special surprise. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 11 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast, latest columns, NFL Week 10 results for picks/Lobos/QB rank & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 45th episode of 2021 and 87th overall is out now! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 87 we've done HERE, free. In our newest episode: Meet orange-bearded Marc Angelo, the Miam Dolphins' nominee for 2021 NFL Fan of the Year. And Greg, Chris and Yeti share their picks for worst Thanksgiving foods -- the ones that should be kicked off the table. Plus, Chris' empty bags vs. Greg's umbrella misuse; Chris rips Scottie Pippen, Dolphins keep rollin', Lobos update and Quirk Line for you to call in. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Most podcasts are off this week for the holiday. NOT US!!! Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 11 PICKS: DOLPHINS-JETS, GAME OF THE WEEK, 3 BIG UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: NFL Week 11 is upon us and we started off with a double win Thursday night (NFL Week 11 Thursday Gem) because we had Patriots winning and covering a 7-point spread and they did both, beating Falcons, 25-0. Hope that's a harbinger for a big week! The rest of our picks include Dolphins at Jets, our Game of the Week, three big upsets and all the rest. Find all of our latest picks here: NFL Week 11 Gems.

Column from Sunday's Dolphins win: They're Alive! Dolphins, Tua Beat Jets For 3rd Straight As Revival Continues.

Column from Saturday night's Hurricanes win: Diaz Smiles Through Rain & Pain As Canes Win,  Reach Bowl Game He May Not Be Around To Coach.

Our most recent other columns: Hurricanes, Too Beholden to Past and UM Family, Need to Go Outside for new AD HireUM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / and How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention and Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 21-22): 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. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua excels as hot Fins win at Jets for 3rd straight: Tua Tagovailoa is past his finger injury, started Sunday and was great, including two TD passes, in 24-17 Miami win at rval Jets. Dolphins are now 4-7 with three straight wins, and three straight winnable home games ahead. (Playoffs? Playoffs!?)

2. HURRICANES: UM wins, earns bowl trip on bittersweet night for Diaz: Miami led throughout in a 38-26 win over Virginia Tech last night in a rain-soaked home finale at Hard Rock (see my column link below). Canes at 6-5 are now bowl-eligible entering next week's finale at Duke. But will Manny Diaz be around to coach in the bowl game? Questionable to doubtful as UM ssearches for the new athletic director who'll likely choose his replacement.

3. HEAT: Four-game win streak ends but Butler is making MVP case: Miami is 11-6 after last night's narrow loss at Washington but Jimmy Butler continues making his case for league MVP, already leading the team in scoring eight times. Past week's highlights included Dwyae Wade's first return to home arean this season. Heat is back in play Tuesday in Detroit.

4. PANTHERS: Cats are hot again, maintain East lead: Florida is 13-2-3 and still atop the NHL East after last night's home win over Minnesota. That's three wins in a row after a four-game skid that found plenty of Cats fans pouncing way to soon on interim coach Andrew Brunette. Panthers are back at it Wednesday vs. Philly.

5. MARLINS: Fish extend Alcantara with $55 million deal: Miami Marlins locked up ace pitcher Sandy Alcantara with a $55 mllion extension announced Monday. Also, club made four additions to club’s 2022 Major League coaching staff, notably Marcus Thames as hitting coach and Al Pedrique as third base and infield coach. Marlins also had a piece of MLB awards week, as pitcher Trevor Rogers finished second in NL rookie of year voting.

6. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators lose again, Butch falls in FIU home finale: Florida Gators are a bowl-shy 5-6 after Saturday's 24-23 loss to Missouir that furthers imperils coach Dan Mullen. And FIU is 1-10 after a 49-7 home loss to North Texas in Butch Davis' final home game; he won;t return next season. Elsewhere in state FBS play (non-UM division): FSU beat Boston College 26-23, FAU got clobbered by Western Kentucky, UCF routed UConn and South Florida fell hard to Tulane.

7. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Loss by No. 3 Oregon shakes up CFP final four: No. 3 Oregon's crushing 38-7 loss at No. 23 Utah Saturday will shake up the College Football Playoff and likely see Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State welcoming in interloper Cincinnati to the select four in the next CFP rankings. Does it also make Mario Cristobal likelier to leave the Ducks for, say ... Miami? Other Top 25 losses were by No. 7 Michigan State, 10-Wake Forest and 21-Arkansas.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Good starts but big tests await for Canes men, women: UM men are 3-1 after Sunday's win over Florida A&M, and play three more before their ACC opener. Canes women are 4-0 and next play Thanskgiving Day vs. Washington State. First major tests for UM women are next Saturday vs. No. 4-Indiana and December 2 at 3-Maryland.

9. MLB: Ohtani the talk of baseball's Awards Week: MLB handed out hardware for ML and AL MVP, Cy Young, manager and rookie of the year this past week, and at the top was the unanimous AL MVP vote for the Angels' Shohei Ohtani. He is legitimately the sports' greatest two-way hitter/pitcher since one Babe Ruth circa 1915-18.

10. OLYMPICS: U.S. mulling diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games: President Joe Biden thi week said the United States is considering a diplomatic boycott of next year's Winter Olympics in Beijing over China's human rights abuses. That would keep American dignitaries -- but not athletes -- from attending the Games.

Missing the HB10 cut: The USMNT's 1-1 draw with Jamaica leaves the American men in good shape in World Cup qualifying. There's a pause now, with the next U.S. qualifier, vs. El Salvador, not until January 27 ..... MLS playoffs (Inter Miami is on the couch watching) are almost down to the final eight and the conference semifinals, with New England Revolution the clear title pick based on season form ..... Antonio Brown is accused of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. Or did that go without saying? ..... The new biopic King Richard is out, about Richard Williams and tennis daughters Serena and Venus, starring Will Smith in the title role ..... The new Tom Brady docuseries is called Man In The Arena, because all of the good titles were already taken. (Quick note: Brady plays in stadiums, not arenas) ..... Garbiñe Muguruza won the WTA Finals in tennis. Alexander Zverez and Daniil Medvedev go for the ATP Finals crown Sunday .....  The Washington Spirit won the NWSL title with a 2-1 extra time victory over the Chicago Red Stars ..... The Cleveland Indians' name-change to Cleveland Guardians is now official. Insulting nickname to a just plain bad one. Upgrade? ..... The rapper Ludacris is narrating MLB's offcial Braves World Series film out December 14 ..... Homestead-Miami Speedway is hosting a "Magic Of Lights" drive-through holiday display through January 1. Good idea. But it'd be even more magical if they weren't charging $20 and up per car ..... NFL Pro Bowl tickets are now on sale and Pro Bowl voting is underway, and nobody cares ..... R.I.P., Sam Huff ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,681 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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Select other recent columnsOh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse / Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight. Also: Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / Dolphins Sabotaging Tua Season Over Misguided Infatuation With Watson / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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.

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

November 20, 2021

Canes-Virginia Tech tonight: Column coming; plus NFL Week 11 picks, latest Greg Cote Show podcast with SI's NBA expert on Heat and pod-bomb by Jessica Smetana; also, latest columns, NFL Week 10 results for picks/Lobos/QB rankings & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast, Dolphins stun Baltimore, Canes fall at FSU & more.

Coteshow Rohan Nadkarni JessGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our 44th episode of 2021 and 86th overall is out now! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 86 we've done HERE, free. In our new episode: Meet the Prince of Mumbai, Rohan Nadkarni (pictured), NBA writer for Sports llustrated and an old cigar-bar buddy. Rohan tells us why the Heat’s Jimmy Butler is an NBA MVP contender, how Kyle Lowry has made Miami better, and why LeBron James might finally be showing "past-his-prime vibes." But, wait! WHOA! Who is this interloper? Jessica Smetana (also pictured) pod-bombs the episode to reunite with her former SI stable-mate. The chat devolves into an argument over Rohan’s support of Greg’s pumpkin-carving over Jess’. Also in the new ep: Rohan and Jess discuss whether Greg looks more like Tom Cruise or the guy on the green Flanigan’s cup; Rock, Paper, Scissors is the worst thing ever and Greg explains why; Greg takes a victory lap with Tua Tagovailoa after Dolphins’ huge win; new episode of Hard Knocks/Greg’s Lobos; and James Taylor/Jackson Browne concert review. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

PicksNFL WEEK 11 PICKS: DOLPHINS-JETS, GAME OF THE WEEK, 3 BIG UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: NFL Week 11 is upon us and we started off with a double win last night (NFL Week 11 Thursday Gem) because we had Patriots winning and covering a 7-point spread and they did, beating Falcons, 25-0. Hope that's a harbinger for a big week! The rest of our picks include Dolphins at Jets, our Game of the Week, three big upsets and all the rest. Find all of our latest picks here: NFL Week 11 Gems.

Canes-Virginia Tech: Watch for our column from Hard Rck Stadium online late tonight, moments aftre the 730 p.m. game ends. 

This week's columns:

Hurricanes, Too Beholden to Past and UM Family, Need to Go Outside for new AD Hire

UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU

How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention

Also: On UM loss at FSU: Just Another Cursed, Heartbreak Finish for Diaz And Hurricanes and Thursday's big Dolphins win: Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore

NFL WEEK 10 RESULTS:

(*) OUR PICKS: BETTER. AND THAT'S A START: Tough season for us so far, but saw an upswing last week with a 9-4-1 mark overall and 7-7 against the spread. Highlights: We nailed a second straight Upset of the Week pick with 49ers beating Rams Monday night, and had a second outright upset call with Vikings winning at Chargers. Also has Washington-with-points covering vs. Tampa Bay.

(*) GREG'S LOBOS: IF WE WERE ANY HOTTER WE'D BE ON FIRE!: Lobos won 99-96 last week over family friend Brandon. Ezekiel Elliott led us with 20 points but we had six in double figures to win the low-scoring affair. That makes is 8-2 and alone in first place (!) in the PFPI Fantasy regular season, our 10-team friends 'n family league.

(*) HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS: MAHOMES IS BACK! (DID HE EVER LEAVE?): The Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes wins Week 10 with an elite 60-point game and makes it a three-way season race with Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford in the Herald's updated rankings. Details and the latest Top 20: NFL Week 10 QB Rankings.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Oh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse / Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight. Also: Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago ScandalDolphins Sabotaging Tua Season Over Misguided Infatuation With Watson / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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.

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

November 15, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins' huge win, Canes' latest heartbreak, Butch Davis out at FIU, Heat 'n Cats, viva U.S. men! See who's No. 1 and what else lands where this week; plus NFL Week 10 picks, new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14. Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, Dolphins end skid in win over Texans, Is Manny Diaz saving himself after 3rd straight win?, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE DROPS MONDAY!: Our 44th episode of 2021 and 86th overall is out now! New pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 85 we've done HERE, free. In our most recent episode: Hear Greg's live on-stage routine and more from Le Batard Show's mini-Mas Miami fan event. Also: Toy Hall of Fame inductees, Yeti live report from Braves' championship parade, how to pronounce "Tuesday," an homage to Villa Rose (R.I.P.), Big Bird gets the vaccine, NFL's wild weekend, Greg's Lobos update, stern message from the National Respect The Pumpkin Foundation & more. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).

My column off Saturday's UM loss at FSU: Just Another Cursed, Heartbreak Finish for Diaz And Hurricanes

Column off Thursday's Dolphins upset win: Miracles Happen: Huge Defense, Tua Off Bench Help Fins Stun Baltimore

Our other most recent columns: Oh Brother! Heat-Nuggets' Family Feud Spices Season / Fins End 7-Game Skid -- But Only Because Texans Were Even Worse / Is Manny Diaz Saving Himself? Coach, Comeback Canes Win 3rd Straight. Also: Dolphins' Watson Lust Ruined Season, Damaged Tua. And That Starts With Owner Ross / Buffalo's Late Classlessness Aside, Miami Out Of Answers In 7th Straight Loss / U-Turn: UM Season, Diaz Future Looking Up With 2nd Straight Big Win / and Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal.

PicksNFL Week 10 picks: Week 10 began with Dolphins hosting Ravens Thursday night and winning, 22-10. That result blindsided me; didn't think the Fins had it in 'em. Hope the rest of my week goes better! Here are our picks for our Game of the Week and Upset of the Week along with an additional upset and all the rest: NFL Week 10 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 14-15): 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. The latest HB10:

HButton1. DOLPHINS: Stunner! Miami shocks Ravens with big defense, Tua off bench: Awesome defense and a late lift from Tua Tagovailoa in relief were plenty as the Dolphins stunned Baltimore, 22-10, Thursday night. Lest we forget, play of the game honors to 330-pound guard Robert Hunt for his TD that didn't count ... except as fabulous! The second straight win puts Fins 3-7 and with schedule softening, starting with the Jets next Sunday. Late miracle-rally to playoff contention, anyone?

2. HURRICANES: UM trails, leads, blows it in wild loss at FSU: An early 14-0 hole. A late 28-20 lead. An eventual 31-28 last-second. Ho hum, just another hear-attack finish for Canes and their fans -- the seventh game decided by four points or fewer. Miami now 5-5, 3-3 in ACC, out of the Coastal race and still not bowl-eligible with two games left.

3. HEAT: Miami cools off but wins in Utah: Heat started 6-1 but was 7-5 before Saturday's 111-105 win in Utah fueled by Duncan Robinson's six 3's, despite Jimmy Butler missing second straight game with ankle injury. Miami ends its wesern roadie Monday at Oklahoma City. Meantime NBA's probe into possible pre-free agency tampering by Miami in the Kyle Lowry signing is  nearly complete. (League also is investigating Chicago's Lonzo Ball deal).

4. FIU: Longtime AD Garcia steps down, Butch Davis headed out, too: Veteran FIU athletics boss Pete Garcia stepped down after 15 years, not a huge surprise and good news to many on campus. Now comes word that the school already is advertising to replace football coach Butch Davis after this season. Davis is 1-9 this season and 1-16 since shocking the Hurricanes late in 2019. 

5. SOCCER: U.S. scores huge win over Mexico in WC qualifying: The U.S. men's national team won its third straight over rival Mexico, 2-0, in a World Cup qualifier in Cincinnati. The Americans next CONCACAF-region qualifier is Tuesday vs. Jamaica. U.S. men sit pretty to reach next year's World Cup in Qatar.  

6. PANTHERS: Hot Cats cool with fourth straight loss: Florida's 10-2-3 record still shines, but it's four losses in a row now, the past two in added time including 3-2 in OT Saturday in Tampa. Team was 7-0-0 when coach Joel Quenneville stepped down. Panthers begin four-game homestand Tuesday vs. New York Islanders. 

7. MLB: Looming lockout, free agency on the plate: The CBA is expiring and a possible lockout looming as baseball enters free agency. The question in South Florida: Will the Marlins break recent tradition and be big spenders for the bat(s) they need to augment solid pitching? They say yes. Let's see. They swung a minor deal for reliever Louis Head, but offene is the need.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women await early big tests: UM men are 1-1 after Saturday's 95-89 home loss to UCF, while Canes women are 3-0 after beating Stetson Sunday. The men play six games before ACC play begins. The women's first big tests are November 27 vs. No. 8-Indiana and December 2 at 4-Maryland.

9. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators win, but rather embarassingly: Florida limped to 5-5 with 70-52 win over Samford. How do you give up 52 to Samford!? Tough week for state FBS teams (non-UM division), with losses by FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida.

10. INTER MIAMI: MLS playoffs start (sans Miiami) this week: The 14-team Major League Soccer playoffs begin this coming Friday. Inter Miami ended its second season a disappointing 12-5-17 (that's 12 wins in 34 matches), and well out of the playoff hunt.

Missing the HB10 cut: Tennis' ATP and WTA Finals are going on. Woemn finish up this Wednesday and the men next Sunday ..... Rams signed Odell Beckham Jr. ..... Jon Gruden is suing the NFL saying he was forced out as Raiders coach. Dear Jon: WHo wrote those hateful emails? The NFL? Or you? ..... Six more Top 25 football teams lost, but none higher than No. 8 Oklahoma ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,688 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Dolphins Sabotaging Tua Season Over Misguided Infatuation With Watson / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Loss In Tampa Has Dolphins Season In Free Fall As Embarrassments Pile Up / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Year Of Reckoning, And Impatience, For Slow-Starting Dolphins & Canes / With Ghosts Of Glory Days Watching, Dolphins Showed Inept Effort in Third Straight Loss / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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.

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

September 13, 2021

Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins win opener at Pats (with my column), Canes barely escape App State, Hall time for Jeter, Bosh; plus the burden on Tua (new column), new Greg Cote Show podcast out Monday & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. Twenty years ago this past weekend, the world changed, and an attacked America stood strong. NEVER FORGET! 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 1 picks, Tua's heavy lifting starts now, 9/11 remembered, Our Orlando vacation, Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: FINS-PATS, SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR GREG IN NEW EPISODE OUT MONDAY!: Our 35th episode of 2021 and 77th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 77 we've done HERE, for free. In our new episode: A cavalcade of stars from Le Batard Show, ESPN and elsewhere, including special surprises, drop by the podcast to wish Greg a happy birthday. Also, Greg and the guys discuss Dolphins win at Patriots, NFL Week 1 and the Canes two weeks in. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

My Dolphins column from Foxborough: In my column on Miami's 17-16 win at New England, I discuss the problem with the Fins offense as a secondary topic. Mostly I focus on how fitting it ewsas that the player who spent the offsesaon seeking more monbey and respect proved in the opner why he deserved both. For the full column, visit Xavien Howard Deserved the Money and Respect He Wanted -- This Was Why.

PicksNFL Week 1 picks: The Upset Bird and I are back for (hard to believe) our 31st season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald. It's debut week! Visit NFL Week 1 Gems for our pick for Dolphins-Patriots, our Game of the Week, Upset of the Week and all the rest. We peg three big upsets out the gate. Is a Fins win one of them? Got off to a mixed start Thursday night. Had Patriots beating Dallas and covering 8 points. They won but failed to cover.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 12-13): 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: Year 2ua launches with big win at New England -- thanks to D: Hopes were high, coming off a 10-6 season, that Year 2 of the Tua Tagovailoa era and Year 3 for coach Brian Flores would see Miami a playoff team on the crest of sustained winning. Well, a good start: 17-16 over Pats, thanks to Xavien Howard's big play late, and first place in AFC East.   

2. HURRICANES: UM narrowly escapes App State: Losing the opener to No. 1 Alabama was excusable (although the 44-13 final was a bit much). But losing Saturday's night's home opener to Appalachian State would have had Canes fans marching with torches and pitchforks and after the head of coach Manny Diaz. Exhale. Calamity avoided. Or at least delayed. Barely. Down from 14th to 22nd in The AP poll, UM stemmed the bleeding (sort of) by surviving Appalachian State 25-23 at home. 

3. MARLINS: Jeter inducted in Cooperstown as season wanes: Marlins president Derek Jeter, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this week after being voted in on 396 of 397 ballots, thanked writers -- "All but one of you," he said, smiling, of the still-anonymous cretin who denied him 100 percent. Alas, Jeter's Marlins are a disappointing 60-83 in midst of a six-game homestand.

4. HEAT: Bosh inducted into Hall of Fame: Chris Bosh took his place Saturday in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. He's the eighth inductee with Miami Heat ties (Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning at the forefront), and the first since Ray Allen 2018.

5. DON SHULA: Dolphins announce 'Celebration of Life': The Dolphins announced an event to celebrate the ife of legendary coach Don Shula would take place at  at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 2 at Hard Rock Stadium -- the first public ceremony honoring Shula since his passing on May 4, 2020. Registration is open at https://www.miamidolphins.com/don-shula/. The event will be the day before the Dolphins Alumni Weekend game vs. Indianapolis.

6. TENNIS: U.S. Open's unexpected championship weekend: Sunday's men's final? Unexpected: Top-seed Novak Djokovic falling to to second-seed Danii Medvedev. Saturday's women's final? Really unexpected: Emma Raducanu defeating Leylah Fernandez in a thoroughly and refreshingly unexpected duel of little-known, unseeded teenagers. Raducanu, an 18-year-old Brit, became the youngest Grand Slam champion in 17 years and the first player in the pro era to make a major final after playing her way in through qualifying rounds.

7. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons win again, close in on MLS playoffs: Inter Miami is 8-9-5 but on a 6-1-3 hot streak and now only two points off playoff pace with 10 games left after Saturday night's 1-nil home win over Columbus Crew on a Higuain tally.

8. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators angling to crash top 10: The Week 2 Saturday slate (besides Appalachian State at Miami) found No. 13 Florida winning 42-20 at South Florida atop the state FBS marquee. The rest: Jacksonville State stunning FSU at Doak, FIU denied a 2-0 start in home loss to Texas State, FAU routing Georgia Southern, and UCF routing Bethune-Cookman.

9. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): Early shakeup as No. 3 Ohio State loses: Only two Top 25 duels for Week 2 but both worth a watch as No. 3 Ohio State hosted and lost to No. 12 Oregon, 35-28 -- one week after No. 3 Clemson also lost. And one entire state took Saturday off as 10-Iowa visited and defeated 9-Iowa State.  

10. BOXING : Old boxers and Trump -- Oh God no!: Evander Holyfield, 58 (!), looked his age Saturday night at Hard Rock in a first round TKO loss to former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in what was to be eight two-minute rounds atop a four-fight card. Fight was moved to Miami after California wouldn't sanction it (with reason, apparently). Adding to the spectacle, former President Donald Trump was a ringside commentator. Can't make this s--- up, folks.

Missing the HB10 cut: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice Saturday in in his return to Manchester United in a 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United ..... College football's upheaval continues as BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Orlando's UCF accepted invitations to join the decimated but rallying Big 12 conference ..... Miami politicians announced plans to build an 820,000-square foot indoor multi-sports complex called Destination Sport Miami on a 20-acre site just west of the Turnpike and Dolphin Mall ..... U.S. men's national team sits solid with a win and two draws in Word Cup qualifying entering its next match October 7 vs. Jamaica ..... The 43rd Ryder Cup begins September 24 in Wisconsin, and captain Steve Stricker completed the 12-man U.S. team with a blend of experience and youth including six Ryder Cup rookies ..... Denny Hamlin won the first event in the 10-race NASCAR playoffs that continued Saturday at Richmond ..... The Heat announced the retirement of veteran broadcaster Mike Inglis, the team’s radio play-by-play voice for 23 seasons. He'll be replaced by Jason Jackson ..... Florida Panthers announced they have offered NIL (name-image-likeness) contracts to over 200 female athletes at FAU. Each athlete is invited to attend Panthers games and get a free t-shirt (!) ..... Less ridiculous, the Panthers' four-day developmental camp runs through Tuesday in Coral Springs ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,751 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Other most recent columns: Canes Can Shock the World and Beat Alabama. Here's How [Update: Oops!] / Belichick Must Be Smiling As Dolphins Deal With Rumors And Tua With Doubt / and Fins' Faith In Tua Will Be A Lie If They Sell Soul, Spend Big For Watson. Also: There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2ua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami

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ARCHIVES

Bobby  Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

Hall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Select other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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.

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

September 03, 2021

Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Canes get schooled by Bama, Dolphins prep for Pats, Bosh's big day. See who's No. 1 (well no duh) and what else falls where as football takes over the world; plus Greg Cote Show podcast update & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY-TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3-7. We're off on a (rather spectacularly ill-timed) holiday for a few days. Back early next week. 2) Was back on the Le Batard Show this past Tuesday. Check out that day's show podcasts. 3) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): The Hurricanes' best shot at beating Alabama, 2 columns on Dolphins' hell week fighting Watson rumors, Latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more.

Lobos CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: GREG'S LOBOS AND PFPI FANTASY DRAFT OUT NOW: Our 34th episode of 2021 and 76th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 76 we've done HERE, for free. In our most recent episode: Join the Cote family and friends and hear all the fun banter during the PFPI Fantasy Draft featuring Greg's Lobos, and emceed by Greg, followed by pool time and a Paella Party. You'll feel like you were there! Also: Greg discusses the resurfaced Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins rumors, and we debut a new song revealing Greg's Lobos on HBO's Hard Knocks. No new episode this coming week because we're on vacation. Perfect time to catch up with our whole catalog. Watch for a new episode September 13! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Featured recent columns: Canes-Bama, Dolphins drama & more

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (SEPTEMBER 3-7): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive (usually) 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. HURRICANES: Canes clobbered by Bama in season opener: The No. 14-ranked Canes were 19 1/2-point underdogs to reigning national champion and No. 1 Alabama Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta -- and the odds were underlined in the Crimson Tide's 44-13 rout. Bryce Young thoroughly outplayed D'Eriq King  in the QB battle and it was men against boys on defense. So is The U "back'?" Next question, please.

2. DOLPHINS: Fins prepare for Pats, Mac Jones in opener as Watson rumors ebb: Miami prepares to visit AFC East rival New England in its September 12 NFL season opener. And it'll be Tua Tagovailoa vs. Mac Jones in a duel of ex-Alabama quarterbacks as the Pats cut Cam Newton and the Fins' reported interest in Deshaun Watson has borne nothing but ill-timed rumors as fruit.

3. HEAT: Bosh gets his due with Hall of Fame induction: Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 -- including former Miami Heat star Chris Bosh -- is honored next Saturday (the 11th) in Springfield, Mass. Pat Riley and Ray Allen will present Bosh. Other notable inductees include Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace, Bill Russell (as a coach), Chris Webber, Rick Adelman, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffth and Lauren Jackson.

4. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators, Noles, FIU debut; Orange Blossom Classic returns: In sequence: Thursday--FIU routed Long Island University 48-10; UCF rallied past Boise State 36-31; and South Florida got embarrassed at N.C. State 45-0. Saturday--FAU lost predictably at No. 13 Florida 35-14. Tonight/Sunday--No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State. Non-FBS-level but also notable Sunday: Deion Sanders' Jackson State vs. FAMU at Hard Rock in a welcome renewal of famed Orange Blossom Classic for HBCU teams, last played in 1978.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): Week 1 begins in full with Clemson-Georgia atop marquee: FBS-level college football had a soft opening with "Week 0" last week but began in full Saturday. Besides UM-Alabama, biggest Week 1 matchup nationally was No. 5 Georgia at No. 3 Clemson on Saturday -- and the Bulldogs were upset winners in a 10-3 defensive gem.

6. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons rally into MLS playoff chase: Inter Mia is 7-9-5 but on a 5-1-3 hot streak after a 1-0 win at Cincinnati Saturday night. The Herons' run of late -- one loss in past nine matches -- has drawn them within four points of playoff pace with 11 matches left. Meanwhile David Beckham signed his son Romeo, 19, to the club's Fort Lauderdale minor league team.

7. MARLINS: Fish escape NL East cellar!: Miami is 57-80 but a warm 6-4 lately and (for now) out of the NL East cellar. Miami continues a six-game homestand with three games vs. the Mets starting Tuesday.

8. GOLF: Cantlay wins FedEx Cup playoffs: The Tour Championship in Atlanta Sunday crowned the winner of the PGA Tour's three-event FedEx Cup playoffs -- and it was Patrick Cantlay protecting his lead to win the $15 million prize. Jon Rahm was runnerup as the PGA Tour completed its season.

9. OLYMPICS: Paralympic Games wrapping up in Tokyo: The 16th Paralympic Summer Games end today/Sunday in Tokyo, and the U.S. team finished fourth in overall medals and third in golds, with China easily atop both categories. U.S. is the all-time Paralympic medals leader but last led in gold and overall medals in 1996.

10. TENNIS: U.S. Open reaches its midpoint: The year's final tennis major is on in flash-flood-bothered New York and scheduled to end next Sunday, with notable stars including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams not playing due to injuries. No. 1 seed and betting favorite Novak Djokovic remains alive, But women's faves Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka both are eliminated.

Missing the HB10 cut: U.S. men's national soccer team played El Salvador to a 0-0 draw Thursday night in its first World Cup qualifying match -- but without star Christian Pulisic, who is recovering from a positive COVID test despite (he says) being vaccinated ..... ESPN gets duped by nationally televising a high school football game involving a fake team, "Bishop Sycamore." That's B.S. High, for short. Hilarious! ..... The course for the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix debuting in 2022 will be called the Miami International Autodrome. So there ..... Canada beat the U.S., the five-time defending champion, 3-2 in overtime to win gold in the women's hockey world championship ..... The Mets made Francisco Lindor and Javer Baez pretend to be sorry for giving thumbs-down gestures to fans after getting booed recently ..... Beginning to think creepy Trevor Bauer may never pitch again, and pretty damned happy about that ..... Honduran club Olimpia and Mexican club Pachuca meet Sunday in a soccer friendly at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale ..... Florida Panthers' developmental camp begins this Friday September 10 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,758 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Bobby  Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

Hall of Fame quartet: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

Select other columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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.

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

August 30, 2021

New Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Fins/Watson rumors return, Canes-Bama week, Messi/Ronaldo, hot Fish. See who's No. 1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show podcast out now (!) & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, AUGUST 30. Was back on the Le Batard Show last week for first time in awhile, the holdout suspended, not ended. Unsure about this Tuesday. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on TwitterInstagram and now TikTok, too! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Only one way ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance can out-SEC the SEC, Time to start believing in Tua and Dolphins, Greg Cote Show podcast, R.I.P. Charlie Watts & more.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE -- GREG'S LOBOS AND THE PFPI FANTASY DRAFT -- OUT NOW!: Our 34th episode of 2021 and 76th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 76 we've done HERE, for free. In our newest episode: Join the Cote family and friends on a fun-filled Saturday. Hear all the banter during the PFPI Fantasy Draft featuring Greg's Lobos, and emceed by Greg, followed by pool time and a Paella Party. You'll feel like you were there! Also: Greg discusses the return of Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins rumors, and we debut a new song revealing Greg's Lobos being featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

Our most recent columns: There Is Only One Way an ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Can Out-SEC the SEC / Time to Finally Start Believing in Tua, Flores and Miami Dolphins / and Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated. Also: An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / Dolphins' 'Big Picture' Begins To Emerge With Unveiling Of Year 2 Tua / Unraveled: The Story Behind Who Aubrey Huff Became / and What Lionel Messi's Sudden, Stunning Move Means For Inter Miami.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (AUGUST 29-30): 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: Watson talk resurfaces, ill-timed, as Fins close preseason: Miami ended the preseason 2-1 with a 29-26 win at Cincinnati Sunday, with Tua Tagovailoa not playing and Joe Burrow throwing one pass. Third-stringer Reid Sinnett led Fins with 343 yards passing. Meanwhile, with season starting in two weeks, distraction-with-a-capital-D-speculation about DeShaun Watson landing in Miami resurface with a Saturday Yahoo Sports report that Fins and Denver are the two finalists to trade for him. Houston wants three first-round pick and two seconds. That's a ton, given his well-known legal situation and the specter of a major league suspension apart from the civil/legal cloud.

2. HURRICANES: Football! Countdown 5 days 'til Saban and No. 1 Alabama: The No. 14-ranked Canes open Year 3 for Manny Diaz and QB D'Eriq King's senior season vs. No. 1 reigning national champion Alabama and Nick Saban next Saturday in Atlanta. King hasn't blinked, said, "I expect to finish No. 1. I don't expect to lose to any team." It's the ultimate statement game right out the gate. The statement one way or the other: "The U is back!" Or, "Not yet, Miami."

3. SOCCER: Messi makes PSG debut, Ronaldo back to Man U: Big week for the two greatest active players in international futbol. Lionel Messi made his debut for Paris Saint-Germain Sunday in a league match at Reims, setting viewing records in Spain. And Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to the Premier League and Manchester United, the team that turned him into a global superstar.

4. INTER MIAMI: Hot Herons continue playoff chase Friday at Orlando: MLS All-Stars including Inter Miami's Rodolfo Pizarro beat Liga MX all-stars on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Los Angeles this week, with the game halted briefly as Mexican fans (as is their notorious, embarrassing custom) broke into homophobic chants. Inter Mia (6-9-4 but on a 4-1-2 hot streak) plays at Orlando Friday night as MLS league plays resumes.

5. STATE COLLEGES (NON-UM): Gators, Noles, FIU and return of Orange Blossom Classic: In sequence: Thursday--Long Island University at FIU; Boise State at UCF; and South Florida at North Carolina State. Saturday--FAU at No. 13 Florida. Next Sunday--No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State. Not FBS-level but also notable next Sunday: Deion Sanders' Jackson State vs. FAMU at Hard Rock in a welcome renewal of the famed Orange Blossom Classic for HBCU teams, last played in 1978.

6. MARLINS: Fish heat up after 8-game skid: Miami is 55-76 having won four of past five after an eight-game losing skid with Sunday's 2-1 win over visiting Cincinnati to end a six-game homestand. Marlins now play three games at Mets.

7. TENNIS: Depleted U.S. Open begins on Sunday: The year's final tennis major began Sunday in New York -- but with notable stars including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams all out injured. Betting favorites are Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (NON-STATE): We have liftoff! Six Saturday games just opened 2021 season: FBS-level college football kicked off Saturday/yesterday with five games, none involving a Top 25 team. Besides UM-Alabama, biggest Week 1 matchup nationally is No. 5 Georgia at No. 3 Clemson next Saturday. Three other Top 25 Week 1 matchups that day are 19-Penn State at 12-Wisconsin, 17-Indiana at 18-Iowa and 23-Louisiana at 21-Texas. 

9. OLYMPICS: Paralympic Games underway in Tokyo: The 16th Tokyo Paralympic Olympics Summer Games began this week and continue through next Sunday. U.S. has lagged early in the medal count. The U.S. is third in golds and overall medals, trailing China and Great Britain in both categories.

10. YOUTH SPORTS: Michigan teams reigns in Little League World Series: The Little League World Series ends Sunday with Taylor, Michigan beating Westside, Ohio from the same Great Lakes Region in the championship game. South Dakota pitcher Gavin Weir, who dominated the LLWS with two no-hitters and struck out almost everybody -- his team fell one win short of the title game.

Missing the HB10 cut: Patrick Cantlay won the BMW Championship on Sunday and goes to the Tour Championship next week with a 2-shot lead over Tony Finau in the final of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs ..... Honduran club Olimpia and Mexican club Pachuca meet next Sunday in a soccer friendly at Inter Miami's stadium in Fort Lauderdale ..... The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix debuting in 2022 named veteran F1 race promoter Richard Cregan as chief executive officer ..... Upcoming: Florida Panthers' developmental camp opens September 10 ..... Also on deck: Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame induction September 11 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is out with a new episode Monday at 7 a.m. ET ..... Update: Countdown now 1,765 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

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ARCHIVES

Bobby  Bowden tribute column: College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden

Hall of Fame quartet: Columns on the four men with strong South Florida ties enshrined last week in Canton: Biggest Victory Of Hall Of Famer Jimmy Johnson's Life Was Getting His Son Back / Hurricanes' Edgerrin James / Dillard High's Isaac Bruce / and Coral Springs High's Steve Hutchinson.

Additional recent other columns: Xavien Howard Right To Feel Disrespected, And Dolphins Need To Fix This Mess / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Top 10 NFL Storylines Entering Training Camp (Where's Tua?) / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / It's Selfish, Me-First Athletes Who Are Refusing the COVID Vaccine / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again But It's Too Late. Why? Money / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

Select other columns: Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? / It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished / Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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.

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

July 17, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast: A rollicking Tahoe Special!; plus Hot Seat scale for 10 biggest Miami coaches; also, Should Heat try to fix Ben Simmons?, Exhibition losses were Team USA's wakeup call, Tokyo Olympics should be delayed yet again & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, JULY 17. I was back in-studio on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Thursday. Check out  that day's show podcasts for way too much of me. Will be back in my regular Tuesday slot next week. 2) Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast now on Twitter and Instagram. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW 'TAHOE SPECIAL' EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our new 27th episode of 2021 and 69th overall is out now! A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 69 we've done so far HERE, for free. In our newest episode Greg and Chris (and Chris Wittyngham, and Mardy Fish, and the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, and a pinch of Stugotz) come to you from Lake Tahoe with a rollicking review of their golf and casino trip. Fun! Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow! (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM, too, every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET on Channel 145).

NevilleHOT SEAT SCALE: RANKING 10 BIGGEST COACHES IN SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS BY MOST TO LEAST JOB SECURITY: Like a wine paired to a certain meal, we can recommend a musical accompaniment to what you are about to read. It is the 1980s song, “Under Pressure,” by Queen and David Bowie. Pressure, pushing down on me, pressing down on you ... We identified the 10 most prominent teams in the Greater Miami/South Florida sports market (no offense, FIU hoops, Miami FC soccer and others who just missed) and then came up with a Hot Seat scale to rank which of the teams’ head coaches (or manager) are under the most pressure in terms of job security. The scale is 0 to 10 — 0 meaning the coach’s job presently could not be safer, 10 meaning the firing line is in view and the blindfold and cigarette are being offered. Our summer of ‘21 Hot Seat rankings include (alphabetically) FIU football's Butch Davis, UM football's Manny Diaz, Dolphins' Brian Flores, UM men's basketball's Jim Larranaga, Marlins' Don Mattingly, UM women's basketball's Katie Meier, Inter Miami's Phil Neville (pictured), Panthers' Joel Quenneville, Heat's Erik Spoelstra and FAU football's Willie Taggart. For our full latest column, visit Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security.
BensimmonsPERIL VS. POSSIBILITY: SHOULD MIAMI AND HEAT 'CULTURE' RISK TRYING TO FIX BEN SIMMONS?: This is a delicious dilemma for the Miami Heat, one fraught with peril and possibility. Ben Simmons. The Heat should avoid him like the proverbial plague. The Heat should inquire aggressively about his reported availability. The case for either polar direction is pretty strong. I know, I know. Here we go again, right? A prominent NBA player is out there dangling, either in free agency or via trade, and Miami always seems to get sucked into the conversation. There is hardly a rumor whispered that doesn’t somehow involve the Heat. It is because Pat Riley is a deal-maker loathe to stand pat. He is forever after the next big asset, the next whale making the next splash. Relevance. Another title shot. Part of it is also because half the fun of the NBA is what’s happening off the court. To most fans, the July 28 draft and the free agency/trade season that follows is more interesting than the Suns-Bucks NBA Finals going on. In Simmons’ case, Miami is a natural link because of the club’s culture-driven reputation as a place where broken players are repaired. Come to Miami, and be healed by the Heat Way! Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston, as an example, recently said, of Simmons, “The Miami Heat could fix him. Erik Spoelstra as a coach could fix Ben Simmons.” The question is, "Should they try?" The positives and negatives on Simmons both are huge. For our full recent column, visit Peril vs. Possibility: Should the Heat Gamble and Try to Fix Ben Simmons? 
REDEEM TEAM: EXHIBITION LOSSES JUST THE FUEL TEAM USA NEEDS HEADING TO TOKYO: Concern. Worry. Panic? Isn’t it great? Ain’t it fun! There was plenty we expected from Team USA men’s basketball in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, but drama and adversity — and losing and being mocked on social media — were not among those things. Ten days from the start of TeamusaOlympics hoops, America’s Dream Team suddenly is cast as the Redeem Team, needing to reestablish itself as the (literal) gold standard against unexpected doubts. Exhibition losses first to Nigeria (a 28-point underdog) and then Monday night to Australia (a 17-point ‘dog) have superstar-laden Team USA, full of NBA max contracts, on its heels. And the losses have superstar coach Gregg Popovich in the unaccustomed position of looking for silver linings in defeat. “I thought we got better tonight,” he said after the loss to Australia in Las Vegas. Speaking of Vegas, the Americans remain betting favorites to win a fourth consecutive Olympic gold despite the rocky preamble, ahead of national teams like Spain and the Aussies. To most gamblers it’s still a safe bet that Popovich is going to figure it out — heck, that you or I could stand courtside and win gold with a roster that includes Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum (and the Heat’s Bam Adabeyo, too, of course). Team USA’s talent and pedigree are why the consecutive exhibition losses have been, well, shocking. Consider: This is Durant’s fourth Olympic team and before this 0-2 stumble his teams had been 39-0 in the three previous Olympic seasons (including exhibitions). Team USA had been 54-2 overall since NBA players were first allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1992. That gold-gilded track record has fomented an almost jingoistic attitude surrounding Team USA, an assumption of dominance. Losses to Nigeria and Australia are reminders that things have changed, which is a good thing for Olympic basketball. For our full recent column, visit Exhibition Losses Give Team USA Wakeup Call It Needs Headed to Olympics

TokyoTOKYO OLYMPICS SHOULD BE DELAYED AGAIN, BUT IT'S TOO LATE. WHY? MONEY!: Sports amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a strange thing to experience over the past 16 months. Games postponed, seasons shortened, events canceled or delayed. No spectators to cardboard-cutout or digital fans to limited attendance and mask mandates. A whole new connotation to the word “bubble.” The importance of sports, the role of it in our lives, has been subject to reexamination. The notion of people playing games has seemed somewhat meaningless in the context of a global coronavirus pandemic whose death toll has now topped 4 million worldwide including some 606,000 Americans. Yet, at the same time, sports — the resumption of them, the continuation of them — have felt vitally importance as a symbol of normalcy, a signpost we’re on the road to that, at least. Games and the comforting routine of seasons as a life preserver of sorts. All of which brings us to the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The Games will begin July 23, ready or not — and whether they should or not. Sports’ place in a pandemic and the question, “Sports at what cost?” are open for fresh debate as the Olympics go on despite Tokyo just declaring a state of emergency due to a surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant. For our full recent column, visit Tokyo Olympics Should Be Delayed Again, But It's Too Late. Why? Money.  

Other most recent columns: May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Injury-Wrecked Playoffs, Asterisk Champion: Why Greedy NBA Is Getting What It Deserves / Better 2 Years Late Than Never, Panthers Get 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend / Time For Sports To Quit Hiding, Stand Up And Lead The Pro-Vaccine Fight / and Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History.

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ARCHIVES

Select other recent columns: Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Here's What Else Must Go Right (Besides Tua) For Dolphins To Continue Momentum / Rumors, Speculation and the Truth on Spoelstra, Lillard and Heat / Wanted: A 'Next Big Thing' In Men's Tennis, GolfWhere's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / As Teams Like Miami Pray For Right QB, Packers' Disrespect Of Rodgers Is Galling / Messi-to-Miami Is Shot of Hope David Beckham's Troubled Soccer Club Needs / Miami Heat, With No Answers, Put Out of Misery In Game 4 Loss To Milwaukee / Another Early Panthers Playoff Exit Ends An Encouraging Season Too Soon / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / The Curious, Complicated Drama Of Naomi Osaka's French Open Withdrawal / Hall of Fame Snubbed Chris Bosh Last year. Time To Make it Right / Aging Ex-Dolphins Reflect On Own Mortality One Year After Shula's Death / Aaron Rodgers' Packers Drama Involves Miami (Of Course). But Here's Why It Won't Happen / Grade-A Draft Feeds Momentum For Team-On-the-Rise Dolphins /  Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / What Would Jackie Robinson Think About Race In America Today? /  It Won't Fix the World, But Matsuyama's Masters Win Lifts Japan In Time Of Anti-Asian Hate / Talk Of U.S. Olympic Boycott A Reminder Sports, Politics Are Entwined -- And That's Good / How And Why the Miami Heat Landing Kawhi Leonard This Summer Could Happen / Even After Playoffs In '20, Marlins Still 'Bottom Feeders' Fighting For Respect / Special Opening Day as Marlins Welcome Back Fans, Feeling Of Hope / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Beckham Keeps Name-Dropping Messi, Ronaldo For Inter Miami. Can He Deliver? / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Phil Reflects on 25-Year Rivalry/Friendship With Tiger As Honda Classic Tees Off / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Heat Should Parts Ways With Meyers Leonard Over Anti-Semitic Slur / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Quit Lecturing LeBron On Activism And His Own Conscience / Michael Jordan, Pitbull Signal Needed New Era as NASCAR Returns to Homestead / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Loss at Aussie Open Leaves Serena's Legacy Firm Yet Still Unfinished /  Inter Miami's Beckham Risks Stepping Into Massive, Avoidable Mess / Put Brady In Sports' All-Time Pantheon. But He Has Company / Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / and What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.

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

November 30, 2020

G11: Dolphins crush N.Y. Stinkin' Jets, 20-3: Tua out, Fitz starts as Miami rebounds; plus the latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated) is loaded as Fins, Heat, Maradona joust for No. 1; also, new Greg Cote Show podcast out now & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30. Hope y'all are having a nice, safe, long holiday weekend! 2) Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 12 picks, CFB Week 13 for state FBS teams, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 38 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

MianyjG11: DOLPHINS 20, @N.Y. STINKIN' JETS 3: NO TUA, NO PROBLEM AS MIAMI REBOUNDS VS. WINLESS FOE: Original post: Let’s get this out of the way quickly because it has been discussed to death: Coach Brian Flores should not have benched Tua Tagovailoa last week. It reeked of panic. Flores should have conveyed faith and given his rookie starting QB a chance to win the game late — just as Tua had done at Arizona only two weeks earlier. OK. Moving on. No chance of another benching today because Tagovailoa is out with a thumb injury, meaning Ryan Fitzpatrick and his glorious Game of Thrones beard are back in the saddle. Last week’s loss in Denver was a useful wakeup slap for those who’d been fooled by five wins in a row into thinking the Dolphins were a fully arrived, full-fledged good team. They are getting there, but the work is in progress (just as Tua’s development is). Miami is not in a position to take any opponent lightly — no, not even the winless New York Jets up there Sunday at 1 p.m. (CBS). Don’t get me wrong. The Jets stink, and Adam Gase still having a job now ranks among the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries. NYJ has scored the fewest points of any team, given up the second most and lost by an average of 15.3 points per game. Still, if Gase and the Planes could choose to get off the schneid versus any team, surely it would be against the division foe Gase once coached. Jets have lost their past two games by one score, and now get QB Sam Darnold back from injury Sunday. If Fins arrive in auto-pilot mode, they can lose. If they arrive having banked the lesson learned in Denver, it shouldn’t be close. My pick: Dolphins (-6 1/2), 31-13. For all of our latest King Sport picks, visit NFL Week 12 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 29-30): 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: Tua out, Fitz in as Miami wins big at rival N.Y. Stinkin' Jets: Fins needed that comfortable 20-3 win Sunday afternoon vs. winless Jets to restore fans' faith in a playoff run. Losing in Denver as road favorites was bad. Losing to Adam Gase and dysfunctional NYJ would have been far worse. Ryan Fitzpatrick start at QB for Miami as Tua Tagovailoa was out with a thumb injury.

2. HEAT: Team extends Adebayo as training camp nears: The Heat and rising star Bam Adebayo agreed to a five-year max contract extension with clauses that could take the total to $195 million -- richest in total value in franchise history, topping the $141 million deal given Jimmy Butler last offseason. Miami opens preseason training camp on Tuesday with individual workouts, with full team practices beginning the following week. Exhibition games are set December 14 and 18 vs. New Orleans and Toronto. Season opens Christmas Day.  

3. SOCCER: Argentine great Maradona passes away unexpectedly: Argentine soccer treasure Diego Maradona died of a heart attack at age 60, less than three weeks after his release from a hospital surgery to remove a brain clot. The "hand of God" works in mysterious ways. R.I.P. to an international futbol legend.

4. NFL: COVID continues to batter the season: Ravens-Steelers was moved from Thanksgiving Day to Tuesday after Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson tested positive for COVID. The situation in Denver may be worse. Every Broncos quarterback was out of Sunday’s game vs. New Orleans because one tested positive and the others had close contact with him, so Denver started Kendall Hinton, a wide receiver on the practice squad who was a high school QB and started two games there as a freshman at Wake Forest in 2015.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Hurricanes, other state schools hit hard by virus: Miami learned its already postponed December 5 game with Wake Forest would be canceled and instead, that night, the No 9 Canes will play at Duke before closing the regular season with home games vs. No. 19 North Carolina Dec. 12 and Georgia Tech Dec. 19. This past weekend, Florida State's game with Virginia was postponed, the FIU- Louisiana Tech game was canceled and FAU-Middle Tennessee was postponed.

6. PRO FOOTBALL: Zach makes semifinalists, tries again for Canton: Pro Football Hall of Fame trimmed to 25 semifinalists its list of candidates for 2021 induction, a group headed by certain first-time-eligible inductee Peyton Manning. Among the survivors: Former Hurricanes WR Reggie Wayne and beloved Dolphins LB Zach Thomas.

7. UM BASKETBALL: Hurricanes men open season with win: Under the shadow of a pandemic, college basketball got underway this week. Jim Larranaga's Miami men opened their season Sunday on campus vs. North Florida with a 77-59 win. Katie Meier's UM women are 2-0 after beating Jacksonville 74-58 Wednesday and North Florida 81-39 Saturday, both at home. Neither Miami team is ranked.

8. SARAH FULLER: Vandy kicker makes SEC history: Vanderbilt soccer goalkeeper-turned-football placekicker Sarah Fuller on Saturday became the first female to play in a Power 5 conference football game. Fuller made history when she kicked off to begin the second half as the winless Commodores fell 41-0 at Missouri. 

9. GOLF: Mickelson, Barkley win 'The Match': Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley beat Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning 4 & 3 on Friday in Arizona in "The Match: Champions for Change,” a charity event to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Gee, what a shock that the team with the actual PGA Tour player would win. Highlight: Barkley debuted what looked very close to being actual golf swing.

10. BOXING: Tyson-Jones Jr. party like it's 1999: Once-great fighters Mike Tyson (age 54) and Roy Jones Jr. (51), both now two decades past their primes, went at it Saturday night and fought to a draw in an exhibition bout in Los Angeles. Call it A Fight for the (Old) Ages.

Missing the HB10 cut: Shoppers waited on line for hours for Black Friday sales, evidently unaware the Internet and online shopping was a thing ..... MLS playoffs are down to the final eight and expansion Nashville (unlike fellow newbie Inter Miami) is still alive. Conference semifinals are Kansas City-Minnesota and Dallas-Seattle in the West, and New England-Orlando and Columbus-Nashville in the East ..... U.S. Women's National Team dominated a very good Netherlands team, 2-0, in a soccer friendly in Holland Friday, the USWNT's first match since March ..... Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Barcelona are the only remaining teams perfect at 4-0 as the EUFA Champions League moves on in its group stage ..... It just occurs that the surname of Heat top draft pick Precious Achiuewa is pronounced like the sound of someone sneezing ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 39 drops Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,038 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 39 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 39 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep39 we welcome in special guest Ray Hudson, the soccer voice, to discuss the passing of the great Maradona and also to review Inter Miami's first season. Also, Greg and Chris chat up the Dolphins' win in New York, Heat training camp opening, and turkey soup. Singing, too. And the new Mount Gregmore (V's) and more. Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

Some of our other most recent stuff: Herald NFL Week 11 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / and In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives.

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / 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.

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 2020 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).

November 28, 2020

NFL Week 12 picks! Dolphins-Jets, G.O.A.T. Bowl GOTW, 2 big upsets and all the rest; plus State FBS Week 13: Canes idle, FIU canceled; also, a revealing new Greg Cote Show podcast, happy long Thanksgiving weekend & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28. Remembering former Canes and NFL football star Sean Taylor, killed 13 years ago yesterday, November 27, 2007, at age 24. 2) Hope y'all are enjoying the long holiday weekend with safety in mind. Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Our Thanksgiving Day message to readers and listeners, NFL Bird Day picks, NFL Week 11 Pix 'n Fantasy results, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 38 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

PicksNFL WEEK 12 PICKS: DOLPHINS ATJETS, G.O.A.T. BOWL GAME OF THE WEEK, 2 BIG UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: The Week 11 picks were a rough 8-6 straight-up for us but a better 9-5 against the spread. Last week we failed miserably on our Lions-Panthers Upset of the Week, “Aawwk!” turning to “Aawwful.” But plenty else went right. Called Houston’s mini-upset of New England, and also had a pair of ‘dogs-with-points in covers by the Jets and Cowboys. Highlighting our new Week 12 picks: Can Tua and the Dolphins rebound at the winless but nemesis Jets? Who'll prevail in the Game Of the Week G.O.A.T. Bowl between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes? And our big Upset of the Week involves the AFC East ... but which team? This is our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald, and we thank you for joining us on the journey. For our latest picks for the entire slate of games, visit NFL Week 12 Gems. Our week got off to a rousing start on Thanksgiving Day as we went 2-0 both straight-up and against the spread, calling both Houston's big win in Detroit and Washington's upset at Dallas. We're on an ATS roll the past two-plus weeks, on a 22-8 run vs. the betting line. Can we keep it up? Let's see. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print, after the Thursday night pick(s) appear separately Wednesdays online and Thursdays in print.

Some of our other most recent stuff: Herald NFL Week 11 QB Rankings / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / and In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: REVEALING NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 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 38 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Ep38 we welcome in special guest Christie Cote to share family secrets and embarrassing stories about her husband Chris and father-in-law Greg. She also talks about being a fan of the winless Jets -- the Dolphins' next opponent. Greg and Chris also chat up Sunday's Fins loss in Denver. And of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (U's) and more. Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

CFB WEEK 13: HURRICANES REMAIN IDLED BY COVID, FIU GAME CANCELED: The 10th-ranked 7-1 Miami Hurricanes -- like much of college football and increasingly the NFL -- have seen their seasons directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. with all three remaining regular season games re-scheduled. And 0-5 FIU's scheduled Saturday game vs. Louisiana Tech has been canceled. UM's readjusted remaining schedule: December 5 at Wake Forest, December 12 vs. North Carolina and December 19 vs. Georgia Tech -- although the Ga-Tech game will be played only if Miami is not in the ACC Championship Game, which is also that day. To reach the conference title game, the Canes must win out and hope No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson loses. Irish visit No. 19 North Carolina today. Can the Tar Heels do UM a huge favor? FIU's remaining schedule is December 5 at Charlotte and December 11 vs. Marshall. 

State FBS games this week (in order; all Saturday unless noted):

UCF (5-3) at South Florida (1-7), 3:30 p.m. Friday: Annual midstate rivalry figures lopsided as visiting Knights are favored today by 25.

Kentucky (3-5) at No. 6 Florida (6-1), noon: Gators, favored by 25 in the Swamp, try to keep College Football Playoff hopes alive.

FAU (5-1) at Middle Tennessee (3-6), 1:30 p.m.: Owls a 6 1/2-point road pick.

Virginia (4-4) at Florida State (2-6), 8 p.m.: UVA favored by 9 1/2. But are we feeling a home-'dog upset by beleaguered 'Noles?

Off this week: Miami. Canceled by COVID: Louisiana tech (4-3) at FIU (0-5).

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / 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.

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 2020 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).

November 23, 2020

G10: Dolphins fall at Denver 20-13. Tua benched but still starter; plus 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, NOVEMBER 23. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas 57 years ago yesterday. Never forget. 2) Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I'm burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 11 picks, Hurricanes season rocked and postponed by COVID, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 37 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Some of our most recent stuff: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Herald Week 10 NFL QB Rankings / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / and In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 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 38 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Ep38 we welcome in special guest Christie Cote to share family secrets and embarrassing stories about her husband Chris and father-in-law Greg. She also talks about being a fan of the winless Jets -- the Dolphins' next opponent. Greg and Chris also chat up Sunday's Fins loss in Denver. And of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (U's) and more. Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

MiadenverG10: DOLPHINS FALL AT DENVER 20-13. TUA BENCHED BUT STILL STARTER: Miami was due a loss after five straight wins, and Tua was due a less than stellar start. Both happened Sunday as the Dolphins missed a great chance to tie for the AFC East lead and solidify their playoff hopes. Original post: Tua Tagovailoa is 3-0 as a starter with five touchdown passes and zero interceptions — only the second rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era (Carson Wentz, 2016) to start 3-0 with zero picks. If Tagovailoa bags a fourth consecutive victory Sunday to begin his career he will be only the second rook since 1976 to do that, and the first since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Heady stuff, the way the Golden Samoan has introduced himself to Miami. He has helped make the Fins one of 15 teams with six-plus wins, the most ever entering Week 11. He also is a win in Denver Sunday (4:05 p.m., CBS) from hoisting Miami into a tie for the AFC East lead with idle Buffalo. This might give us pause: Miami somehow has lost 10 consecutive road games vs. teams with losing records. Except: Denver has lost eight of the past nine at home vs. teams with winning records. Mile High is no longer a scary visit. The Broncos are in shambles. QB Drew Lock (ribs) is iffy to play and has 10 interceptions in past five games when he does play. The once-proud Denver defense has allowed an average of 36 points during the past four games. The Broncos’ decline and the way Miami is playing are a stark contrast. Can’t recall when last I said what I’m about to: Miami losing on the road Sunday would be a huge surprise. My pick: Dolphins (-3), 27-13. For all of our latest King Sport picks (we're coming off an 11-3 week against the spread), visit NFL Week 11 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 22-23): 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:

1HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua Train pulls into Denver, gets derailed in loss: Favored at Denver Sunday and with Jets and Bengals next, we thought Miami could very plausibly be 9-3 after a dozen games. Now, maybe 8-4? The playoffs still loom realistically, by Miami likely must win the next two to have a cushion entering a much tougher four-game stretch to end the regular season. A bit of pressure on Tua Tagovailoa now, too, after his benching late in Sunday's 20-13 loss.

2. HEAT: Miami nabs Memphis forward in NBA Draft, re-signs Dragic: The Heat selected Memphis 6-9 forward Precious Achiuwa 20th overall, seeing him as a big who'll back up Bam Adebayo. Precious has sisters named Grace and Peace, and brothers named Promise, God'sgift, God'swill and God’slove. If Precious is as good at basketball as his family is at naming babies, Miami just won the draft. Free agency opened two days after the draft and Miami quickly re-signed Goran Dragic and role player Meyers Leonard, but is lsing Jae Crowder to Phoenix.

3. HURRICANES: COVID outbreak disrupts, postpones UM season: No. 12 Canes -- how do you win and then drop three spots in The AP poll? -- were supposed to host Georgia Tech Saturday night. But the global coronavirus pandemic had something to say about that. A COVID outbreak got in the way, with much of the UM team including coach Manny Diaz in isolation after positive tests. Presuming no further outbreak, Hurricanes won't play again until December 5 at Wake Forest.

4. INTER MIAMI: Quick playoff exit ends strangest of rookie years: Inter Miami has finished its inaugural expansion season in Major League Soccer with a 7-14-3 record after Friday night's 3-0 loss at Nashville in the first round of the expanded playoffs. Miami had won its final regular season match to clinch the 10th and last spot in the East playoffs. Inter Miami starters Gonzalo Higuain and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez did not play Friday after ill-timed COVID test-positives.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: First CFP ranking due as virus ravages season: The first College Football Playoff raking is out Tuesday and good luck to the committee making sense of this season. Nineteen more games were canceled (12) and postponed (7) this week, including ppd's for Miami-Georgia Tech (see above) and FSU-Clemson. Some games were played. Among results: Gators beat Vandy, FAU won and FIU lost (again).

6. NBA: Crazy week as free agency rolls out two days after draft: A whirlwind: Chris Paul to Suns. Jrue Holiday to Hornets. James Harden turns down $50 million to stay as he attemts to broker deal to join Nets. Anthony Davis not recommitting to Lakers just yet. Giannis mulling options. Toronto re-signs Fred VanFleet. Oh, and Raptors will open season in Tampa after Canada says no home games in Toronto just yet. 

7. UM BASKETBALL: It's opening week for Canes and college hoops: Under the shadow of a pandemic, college basketball gets underway Wednesday, with Gonzaga (AP) and Baylor (coaches) No. 1 in the men's polls and South Carolina dominant in the women's rankings. It's a season of low expectations for UM, with neither team ranked or receiving votes. Canes women open Wednesday at home vs. Jacksonville; Miami men launch next Sunday vs. North Florida.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Champion LSU rocked by scandal: Ed Orgeron's reigning national champion LSU Tigers program is under fire after a USA Today investigative report found systemic mishandling of sexual misconduct and dating violence complaints against the school's football team. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was "deeply troubled" and has called for an investigation, and the NCAA won't be far behind.

9. SOCCER: Champions League play resumes this week: UEFA Champions League group play continues Tuesday toward a winnowing to the round of 16. Barcelona, one of four team that are a perfect 3-0 thus far, plays Tuesday. The other three perfectos, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool, get back at it Wednesday. Two more weeks of play will follow to complete the group stage.

10. THANKSGIVING: Time to give thanks, if at all possible: Thursday we eat (a lot), watch football (a lot), and enjoy the company of loved ones (but not too close). Many of us, when we say grace before the Thanksgiving banquet, count the blessings of the year. In cursed 2020, that could make for a record-short grace. "Thank God this !@#$%in' year is almost over! Let's eat."

Missing the HB10 cut: Waiting for that first big Marlins offseason deal to trumpet GM Kim Ng's arrival ..... R.I.P., Jake Scott, Dolphins career leader in interceptions. Free safety, free spirit, gone at 75 ..... As MLB free agency rolls out, sport suspended Mets 2B Robinson Cano an entire season for PEDs. So long, Cooperstown ..... Baseball Hall of Fame ballots have been mailed, and I (a voter) received mine. Rudy Guiliani is standing by to contest the results of the election ..... The wife of Lions QB Matthew Stafford on Instagram called Michigan a "dictatorship" for its COVID lockdown rules, was shouted down by rational people aware there is a pandemic, and had to apologize ..... LaVar Ball vs. Michael Jordan 1-on-1? Yes, please. But only if it is guaranteed MJ will crush and humiliate the world's most annoying sports dad ..... Florida Panthers have entered into an affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Minor-league nicknames rule! ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 38 drops Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,045 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.

Select other most recent columns: Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / 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.

-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --

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 2020 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).