September 29, 2018

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.7%;plus UM crushes North Carolina 47-10 as QB Perry plays whole game; also, our latest Canes/Dolphins/Heat columns, NFL Week 4 picks & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29. Football's back and that means it's the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): D.Wade emotional on farewell season, Herald Week 3 NFL QB rankings, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's State of the State rankings, latest Back In My Day video & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Our columns from this week:

HURRICANES: A coach, still looking for his magic man: It wasn't Brad Kaaya. Evidently isn't Malik Rosier. Is it N'Kosi Perry? Finding a great quarterback remains Mark Richt's elusive Holy Grail. That column: Finding Great QB Defines Canes' Season.

DOLPHINS: Defining moment in modern club history is at hand: Unbeaten Fins can stake claim to a power shift in AFC East but to do so must do Sunday what hasn't been done: Beat Tom Brady in Foxborough. That column: For Fins, Moment Of Truth Is Here.

HEAT: On Wade's farewell year: From Heat Media Day as training camp began, an emotional Dwyane Wade discusses his final Heat season.That column: With All D.Wade Has Meant, One Year to Say Goodbye Might Not Be Enough.

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G5: 98.7%: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show a season-high 98.7 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Thursday night's 47-10 home victory vs. North Carolina putting No. 16 UM's season record at 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. The CSM is your invitation after every Canes football game -- no matter the result or opponent -- to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 10 a.m. today/Saturday. (The CSM also takes place on my Twitter site @gregcote. The vote there was 70%).

2018 CSM game-by game results

G1: 9.2% following 33-17 loss to LSU.

G2: 73.8% following 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State.

G3: 76.7% following 49-24 victory at Toledo.

G4: 84.0% following 31-17 victory vs. FIU.

G5: 98.7% following 47-10 victory vs. North Carolina.

Next poll: Oct. 6 following game vs. FSU.

G5: NO. 16 HURRICANES 47, NORTH CAROLINA 10: PERRY AT QB, BUT HARDLY NEEDED: Canes have the national stage to themselves Thursday night at 8 vs. North Carolina before ESPN
Uncmiacameras at The Rock. It's an ACC Coastal Division game -- UM's conference opener -- so, as much as the season-opening loss to LSU hurt, losing this one would hurt Miami more tangibly in terms of eventually getting back to the ACC Championship Game. With UM an 18-point favorite over the weaker-than-usual Tar Heels, such a loss isn't seen as likely. The U's quarterback situation will be squarely in the spotlight tonight, after N'Kosi Perry replaced Malik Rosier early in last week's win over FIU and played well. Who is Miami's starter from here? Perry? Rosier? Some of both? Whomever has the hot hand? Richt declined to say on Wednesday. Surely we'll know more after tonight. (UNC's QB situation also is up in the air, pun intended, with a likelihood Nathan Elliott and Chazz Surratt both might play). For Miami, dynamic big-play receiver/returner Jeff Thomas should be good to go after dehydration issues last week, but safety Jaquan Johnson and WR Ahmonn Richards are battling knee concerns. Richards' draft stock slips by the day as he continues to display proneness to injury. My pick: Hurricanes, 34-16.

OTHER STATE COLLBALL: There are seven FBS-level college teams in Florida. With Thursday night's Miami game above, here's chronological Week 5 schedule for the rest (all Saturday):

No. 13 UCF (4-0) beats Pittsburgh (2-3), 45-14Knights rolled big to make a run at top 10.

FSU (3-2) beats Louisville (2-3), 28-24: Seminoles (UM's next foe) rallied to get a little mo' going for Willie Taggert.

Florida (4-1) beats No. 23 Mississippi State (3-2), 13-6: Huge defensive road upset should get Gators ranked.

Middle Tennessee (2-2) beats FAU (2-3), 25-24: Bad last-second loss for Owls continues rough sophomore year for Lane Kiffin.

FIU (3-2) beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-4), 55-9: A no-worries home win for Butch Davis' Panthers.

Off this week: South Florida (4-0).

Week 5 national Top 25 matchups (5): No. 12 West Virginia beats No. 25 Texas Tech, 42-34; 4-Ohio State beats 9-Penn State, 27-26; 8-Notre Dame beats 7-Stanford, 38-17; 11-Washington beats 20-BYU, 35-7; and 19-Oregon beats 24-Cal, 42-24.

PicksUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS AND ALL THE REST OF OUR NFL WEEK 4 PICKS: The Dolphins are going into dreaded Foxboro on Sunday and beating Tom Brady, who is 14-0 starting at home vs. Miami. It will be a watershed road win that signals a power shift in the AFC East. Well, at least that's what I think! I say why at the top of my latest NFL predictions. They include my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aaawwwk!") and all of the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is off to a solid start. We are a stout 30-16-2 overall and more importantly a strong 27-20-1 against the spread entering Week 4. Now let's keep it going! Dive into Week 4 Gems for all of my latest picks. (Included within is a separate link to Thursday night's Vikings-Rams pick, or find it directly here. Pictured at right, our "How the Darts Landed" shield, the bull's-eye representing the height of giddy optimism.

Other select recent columns: Give Dwyane Time And He'll Make Right CallWhy Drake/Gore Will Work, And Why That's Crucial to FinsSomehow, Dolphins Make A 7-Hour Wait Worth ItSoft Stretch In Schedule Is About Improving At QBNFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

September 24, 2018

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 84.0%; plus UM handles FIU 31-17 as N'Kosi Perry comes off bench to star. Our thoughts on UM's QB situation: also, why Dolphins will beat Raiders and rest of our NFL Week 3 predictions & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. Football's back! That makes this the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with the surprise of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Herald NFL Week 2 QB Rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's State of the State, Marlins Man, the real FitzMagic & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Personal update: As many know from following me on Twitter, I had recent thoracic surgery to remove a tumor from my chest and am in recovery mode. I'm on pain meds and on rest and no-drive orders this week. That's why I've cut back on a bunch of stuff such as a temporary reduction in Herald workload, no LeBatard Show and so forth. Thanks for the understanding. Hope to be back at it starting Monday.

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G4: 84.0%: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show a season-best 84.0 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday's 31-17 home victory over FIU putting No. 21 UM's season record at 3-1. The CSM is your invitation after every Canes football game -- no matter the result or opponent -- to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8 a.m. today/Monday. (The CSM also takes place on my Twitter site @gregcote. The vote there showed 51% overall approval).

2018 CSM game-by game results

G1: 9.2% following 33-17 loss to LSU.

G2: 73.8% following 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State.

G3: 76.7% following 49-24 victory at Toledo.

G4: 84.0% following 31-17 victory vs. FIU.

Next poll: Sept. 27 following game vs. North Carolina.

Battle305G4: NO. 21 HURRICANES (3-1) BEAT FIU (2-2), 31-17Final: Miami, 31-17. Synopsis: On the day UM honored its 1983 championship team, the men who set the template, Miami may have found its next quarterback. N'Kosi Perry was pretty great Saturday in the 31-17 rout of FIU, replacing Malik Rosier with the game scoreless and taking impressive charge (17-25, 224 yards, 3 TDs), one interception his only blemish. I say rout because the final score does not reflect the lopsidedness. Miami never trailed and was never in jeopardy. But! This was FIU for Perry, a game where the idea of losing was no real concern. This coming Thursday night in prime time vs. North Carolina -- the season's ACC opener -- will tell more about The U's QB situation than Saturday did. The Tar Heels are not great, but, unlike FIU, they are a team UM's size. A fair fight. A challenge. Who starts that game at QB for Miami -- and how he performs -- will shape Mark Richt's ultimate decision more than what we just saw ..... 3Q: Miami, 31-0. Synopsis: An even bigger mismatch than imagined, but the story of the game is N'Kosi Perry replacing Malik Rosier and QB and lighting it up, although his third-quarter interception was a youthful mistake ..... Half: Miami, 24-0. Synopsis: Score doesn't show it even show UM's utter dominance. FIU has no shot, cannot move the ball (13 total net yards) on this Canes defense. N'Kosi Perry is 12-for-13 for 170 yards, two TD passes and all four scoring drives in relief of Malik Rosier. Mark Richt has himself a decision to make moving forward. Or, maybe it's already made? .....  1Q: Miami, 7-0. Synopsis: N'Kosi Perry in at QB for Malik Rosier is the news. Perry looks sharp. Travis Homer 35-yard TD for the score. Earlier 78-yard Jeff Thomas punt-return TD negated by penalty. FIU offense doing nothing. Miami in charge ..... I'll be semi-live blogging here throughout today's game, with up-to-the-minute scoring updates plus quick thoughts after every quarter ..... Original post: Here we go today/Saturday at 3:30 at Hard Rock, in front of ESPN2 cameras, the Hurricanes coming off a solid win at Toledo that failed to move them up in the polls, and crosstown neighbor FIU having hung 63 points on UMass and (as always) looking for respect. Emotion frames the matchup, of course, because so many players on either team grew up friends in MiafiuMiami, and mostly because of what happened when they met 12 years ago, in the 2006 season. BRAAAWWWLLL!!! Both benches emptied, a melee ensued, eight Panthers and five Canes were ejected, and 31 players from both teams were later suspended. Both coaches (Larry Coker, Don Strock) would lose their jobs after that season. The Backyard Brawl obviously was not the sole reason, but it was a shared embarrassment that helped shelve the natural rivalry as a regular series. UM won the brawlgame 35-0. The schools met the next season without incident, Miami winning 23-9. Today is the schools' first meeting since, the first in 11 years and only the third ever. Nobody anticipates an ugly reprise of '06. Said UM coach Mark Richt: "There will be guys getting their blood pumping. But I don't really anticipate anything foolish. I've not mentioned one thing [about the '06 brawl]to our guys." Second-year FIU coach Butch Davis, formerly with UM, of course, recruited the players who would win the 2001 national championship (Miami's most recent), but has a long way to go to hoist FIU onto a competitive par with UM. As we'll likely see Saturday. My pick: Hurricanes, 41-20.

OTHER STATE COLLBALL: There are seven FBS-level college teams in Florida. With Saturday's Miami-FIU game previewed above, here's chronological Week 4 schedule for the rest:

No. 16 UCF (3-0) beats FAU (2-2), 56-36: Teams got the national ESPN spotlight Friday night with Knights coming off an unexpected bye after Hurricane Florence erased last week's game at North Carolina. UCF, a 2-TD fave, used big second half to crush Lane Kiffin's Owls.

FSU (2-2) beats Northern Illinois (1-3), 37-19: Most recent years this would have been a walkover for Seminoles, but now-struggling FSU was a rather modest 9 1/2-point home favorite as new coach Willie Taggert bought an ounce of patience.

Florida (3-1) beats Tennessee (2-2), 47-21Gators seem to be finding their groove, and this was impressive road win in a big SEC matchup.

South Florida (4-0) beats East Carolina (1-2), 20-13: A win is a win, but this one likely won't be enough vault Bulls up into the Top 25.

Week 4 national Top 25 matchups (2): No. 1 Alabama beats No. 22 Texas A&M, 45-23; and and 7-Stanford beats 20-Oregon, 38-31 in OT.

PicksUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: DOLPHINS-RAIDERS AND ALL THE REST OF OUR NFL WEEK 3 PICKS: The Dolphins are going to defend The Rock and beat the Raiders here Sunday to forge a 3-0 start for only the fourth time since 1998. I explain why at the top of my latest NFL predictions. They include my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aaawwwk!") and all of the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is off to a solid start. We were a stout 20-10-1 overall and more importantly a strong 19-12-1 against the spread entering Week 3. Now let's keep it going! Dive into Week 3 Gems for all of my latest picks. (Included within is a separate link to Thursday night's Jets-Browns pick, or find it directly at Week 3 Thursday Gem. Got off to another win-win start to our new week, only one point off a rare Exacto on the final score. Thank you, Baker Mayfield!) Pictured at right, our "How the Darts Landed" shield, the bull's-eye representing the height of giddy optimism.

Select recent columns: Give Dwyane Time And He'll Make Right CallWhy Drake/Gore Will Work, And Why That's Crucial to FinsSomehow, Dolphins Make A 7-Hour Wait Worth ItSoft Stretch In Schedule Is About Improving At QBNFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

September 17, 2018

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 76.7%; plus No. 21 Hurricanes ride Rosier's 5 TDs at Toledo, NFL Week 2 picks, Bachelor Dan gets engaged & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. Football's back meaning it's the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with the surprise of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Herald debuts weekly NFL QB rankings, Week 1 Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's State of the State rankings, new Back In My Day video & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Newest columns: On D.Wade's decision, Dolphins running game: Dwyane Wade is taking longer than most (including Pat Riley) would like to make his Heat-or-retire decision. I explore the delay, why it isn't bad and what Wade will do: Give Dwyane Time And He'll Make Right Call. And: Ryan Tannehill is better when he throws less, and running more leads to Dolphins success. Enter Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore. To read: Why Drake/Gore Will Work, And Why That's Crucial to Fins.

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G3 76.7%: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 76.7 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday's 49-24 road victory at Toledo putting No. 21-ranked Miami's season record at 2-1. The CSM is your invitation after every Canes football game -- no matter the result or opponent -- to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 10:45 a.m. today/Monday. (You may also vote on my Twitter site @gregcote; the CSM vote there for this game was 62%).

2018 CSM game-by game results

G1: 9.2% following 33-17 loss to LSU.

G2: 73.8% following 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State.

G3: 76.7% following 49-24 victory at Toledo.

Next poll: Sept. 22 following game vs. FIU.

G3: NO. 21 HURRICANES (2-1) WINS AT TOLEDO (1-1), 49-24: Original Post: Guaranteed: Saturday's noon matinee in Ohio will not be nearly the breeze Miami enjoyed Toledo Theuwith last week's 77-0 home rout of woefully overmatched Savannah State. Toledo is an actual competitive team. Smaller than The U. But competitive. Miami is only a 10-point favorite. Toledo's little 26,000-seat stadium will be jammed and this will be a season-maker for them. As Canes coach Mark Richt said: "We'll get everything they've got." His Toledo counterpart John Candle: "I think everybody on our team wanted to play this game on June 1. This is not just another game." Toledo beat VMI 66-3 in its opener and is coming off a craftily positioned bye week. In last year's meeting at Hard Rock the Canes trailed Toledo 16-10 at the half and were only up 38-30 in the middle of the fourth quarter before pulling away to win 52-30. None of this is to suggest Miami should be worried. As Candle put it: "Whoever made that saying up, 'You always get better from Week 1 to Week 2,' didn't have to play the Hurricanes in Week 2." Still, unlike last week, this is not a game where Richt will likely enjoy the luxury of playing all four quarterbacks. Malik Rosier will start and I doubt any other QB will play unless Rosier is struggling. Richt: "Bottom line is we're going to play who we think gives us the best chance of winning. As long as [Rosier] is that, he'll start. If we think someone else gives us a better chance, we'll start that guy." Not exactly a resounding vote of confidence for Malik. This is a game that must not slip away from UM if the Canes are to rebound from that opening loss to LSU and still make this a special season. My pick: Hurricanes, 34-23.

OTHER STATE COLLBALL: There are seven FBS-level college teams in Florida. With Saturday's Miami game previewed above, here's chronological Week 2 schedule (all Saturday) for the rest:

No. 18 UCF (2-0) at North Carolina (0-2), POSTPONED: No game as scheduled on account of Hurricane Florence. Schools are discussing makeup date.

Syracuse (3-0) beats FSU (1-2), 30-7: After barely beating lowly Samford, humbled 'Noles were mere 3-point road faves. Can Willie Taggert survive this?

South Florida (3-0) beats Illinois (2-1), 25-19: Off nice win over Georgia Tech, Bulls should be headed for Top 25 od at least rappin' on the door.

Florida (2-1) beats Colorado State (1-3), 48-10: Gators seem to be finding their a feet after slow start.

FAU (2-1) beats Bethune-Cookman (1-2), 49-28, 6: Fowl Owl on the Prowl! The Lane Train is back on track.  

FIU (2-1) beats UMass (1-3), 63-24: Panthers off nice win at Old Dominion were narrow home faves but showed up big.

Week 3 national Top 25 matchups: No. 12 LSU beats No. 7 Auburn, 22-21; 24-Oklahoma State beats 17-Boise State, 44-21; and 4-Ohio State beats 15-TCU, 40-28.

PicksDOLPHINS-JETS AND ALL THE REST OF OUR NFL WEEK 2 PICKS: The Dolphins are going to go on the road and upset the Jets on Sunday. I explain why at the top of my latest NFL predictions. They include my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aaawwwk!") and all the rest. Our 28th season of Friday (but online Thursday) NFL picks launched with a bang last week as we rolled a nifty 10-5-1 mark against the spread. That's solid. Strong. Now we need to keep it going. Dive into Week 2 Gems for all my latest picks. (Included there is a separate link to Thursday night's Ravens-Bengals pick). Pictured at right, our "How the Darts Landed" shield, the bull's-eye representing wishful thinking.

DanvalerieBACHELOR DAN FINALLY GETS ENGAGED!: As you may know I broke the news on Thursday of Dan Le Batard's recent engagement to girlfriend Valerie Scheide. Go to Le Batard Headed to the Altar for the controversial full story -- controversial in the sense that I didn't warn Dan I was writing it or get his permission and he was less than pleased at being scooped on his own announcement. (Oops!) I think he'll forgive me. I may have to rethink that if you don't hear me on the air this coming Tuesday. Meantime here is the lovely couple and congrats to them both!  

Other select recent columns: Somehow, Dolphins Make A 7-Hour Wait Worth ItSoft Stretch In Schedule Is About Improving At QBNFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

September 09, 2018

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter (G2): 73.8%; plus UM routs Savannah State 77-0 as all 4 QBs play in home opener, with my game column; also, rest of state Collbal, NFL Week 1 picks, R.I.P. Burt, farewell Elton & more

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

Ejohn1) It's SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9. Elton John kicked off his three-year farewell tour last night. Elton's farewell tour will last longer than most others' entire music careers. 2) R.I.P., Burt Reynolds, gone at 82. Saw him as Vic Edwards in "The Last Movie Star" last year. A real actor. Forget the cheeky "Smokey and the Bandit" stuff. Check out the serious roles. He'll be missed. Also was an FSU running back in the '50s. 3) Football's back and that means it's the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with the surprise of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): LeBatard Show/League Of Lobos fantasy draft poll and results, MLS Miami gets name and logo, latest Back In My Day & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

NEW: Tonight began soft stretch in Canes schedule that's all about the quarterback: Don't be overly impressed with Saturday's 77-0 UM win, considering the utterly outmanned opponent. Be more impressed that coach Mark Richt played all four quarterbacks in a newly introduced effort to find a better Malik Rosier ... or his replacement. That's my new column. To read it: Canes Need Better QB; Auditions Underway. Other most recent columns: Don't Bail On Canes Yet, But... and NFL 2018 Team Rankings.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G2: 73.8%: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 73.8 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of 1aa1csmSaturday night's 77-0 home victory over Savannah State putting No. 22-ranked Miami's season record at 1-1. The CSM is your invitation after every Canes football game -- no matter the result or opponent -- to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday. (You may also vote on my Twitter site @gregcote; the unofficial approval there was 40%).  

2018 CSM game-by game results

G1: 9.2% following 33-17 loss to LSU.

G2: 73.8% following 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State.

Next poll: Sept. 15 following game at Toledo.

SavumG2: NO. 22 HURRICANES (1-1) 77, SAVANNAH STATE (0-2) 0: A PAUSE TO CORRECT THE FLAWS AS ALL FOUR QBS PLAY: For my column from the stadium off Saturday's UM home opener: Canes Need Better QB; Auditions Underway ..... Original post: Here are two teams that could play, "Who's Coming Off the Worse Loss?" Savannah State, a second-tier FCS-level school, lost 52-0 to Alabama-Birmingham. But Miami's loss, given the stage and stakes, was worse: the 33-17 neutral-site collapse against LSU that sent the Canes cascading down the charts from a No. 8 national ranking to 22nd. Savannah State can't offer redemption this evening/Saturday at 6 p.m. at Hard Rock, but it is a chance for UM to get a little bit of feelgood back after a deflating opener. With the game off the betting boards because of its expected lopsidedness, it would be a bit concerning if Miami didn't cruise by a margin of at least 40 or 50 points. College coaches have it easy. Unlike in the NFL there are games like this one where winning is not a question, so you have the luxury to just flex your roster, tinker with what needs tinkering and not worry the least about the opponent or final score. In this case quarterback play will be under the microscope for coach Mark Richt, with starter Malik Rosier coming off an inaccurate opener that included a pick-six, and with at least two younger QBs expected to see action along with Rosier. The enthusiasm for this Hurricanes season took a huge hit with the opening-week loss. You don't get it back against an opponent like this one. But an impressive rebound win is a necessary first step. My prediction: Hurricanes, 62-3.

OTHER STATE COLLBALL: There are seven FBS-level college teams in Florida. With Saturday's Miami game previewed above, here's chronological Week 2 schedule (all Saturday) for the rest:

South Florida (2-0) defeats Georgia Tech (1-1), 49-38: Bulls had no problem with a small opening opponent (Elon) but now took a  big step up in competition with slightly favored Ga-Tech. And delivered.

FAU (1-1) defeats Air Force (1-1), 33-27: Lane Kiffin got spanked at Oklahoma in a 49-point loss but here was a comfy 9 1/2-point pick in the Owls' home opener.

No. 19 UCF (2-0) defeats South Carolina State (0-2), 38-0: Knights throttled UConn and now got another softy in an off-the-board mismatch. 

FSU (1-1) defeats Samford (1-1), 36-26: Noles tumbled from rankings (19th) after a 24-3 spanking by 20-Virginia Tech that ended new coach Willie Taggert's honeymoon right quick. Now they get to take it out on poor lil' Samford, Bobby Bowden's alma mater. Except they almost lost! Lucky Noles needed a late rally to avoid a monumental embarrassment.

Kentucky (2-0) defeats No. 25 Florida (1-1), 27-16: Gators entered poll, albeit barely, after 53-6 rout of Charleston Southern but their stay will be short-lived after terrible loss as 14-point Swamp favorites.  

FIU (1-1) defeats Old Dominion (0-2), 28-20: FIU opened with 10-point loss to Indiana but was 1-point road fave in this conference game, and neatly rallied from 17 down to win behind James Morgan's three TD passes. Of more gravity, two FIU players -- top RB Antonio Jones and OL Mershawn Miller -- were shot in a drive-by shooting in Opa-locka, a calamity for the families and the last thing coach Butch Davis needed. Miller's wound was minor. Jones' wounds are serious but non-life threatening and Davis said "encouraging reports" suggest a recovery.

Week 2 national Top 25 matchups: The only two: No. 3 Georgia defeats No. 24 South Carolina, 41-17; and 10-Stanford defeats 17-Southern Cal, 17-3.

Picks RtannyWELCOME BACK, UPSET BIRD! OUR NFL WEEK 1 PICKS: Oh lord here come our 28th season of Friday (but online Thursday) NFL picks. When we started this endeavor in 1991 Ryan Tannehill was a 2-year-old toddling around Lubbock, Texas and (if memory serves) Tom Brady was an NFL rookie. All these years later we haven't been fired yet are still at it. For Kickoff Weekend we bring you our picks for Dolphins-Titans, our Game of the Week, our Upset of the Week and more. Dive into Week 1 Gems for the whole package. (It includes a link to last night's Falcons-Eagles pick. Atlanta led much of the way toward our upset call; alas, Philly prevailed late). By the way, the Upset Bird is back. But please follow our picks, anyway. Pictured at right, our "How the Darts Landed" shield. At left, Tannehill is shouting at you, "Hey, read Greg Cote's picks, everybody. But only when he picks us to win!"

Other select recent columns: Canes Have the Hype. Now the Proving StartsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownDolphins Must Make Us BelieveFinally, a Chance to Say Thanks (Stanton's return). NFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireGore Back In Miami Is The Perfect End RunDolphins Need a Better Tannehill, Not Just A Healthy OneTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The Shades (death of Tony Sparano). Soccer Stadium Progress, But Much Work LeftReasons For Hope As Jeter Plan Takes RootTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

September 04, 2018

G1: Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 9.2%: plus Radio Tuesday!, UM drops opener to LSU, 33-17 with my game column, Opening Week for rest of state collball, latest Hot Button Top 10 & more

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

Labor1) It's TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4. Hope y'all  had a Happy Labor Day, the date on which we all celebrate work by not working! 2) Football's back and that means it's the perfect time to delight the Dolfans in your life with the surprise of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out here on Amazon. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): What team owns this town with poll, latest Back In My Day video, your verdict on No. 1 fantasy pick & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Radio Tuesday!: I'm back in-studio today on the Dan LeBatard Show With Stugotz, 9 to 1 on Miami's 790 The Ticket and 10-1 nationally on ESPN Radio and ESPNews. Join us! 

DON'T BAIL ON CANES, BUT TIME FOR MIAMI TO REMIND US WHY WE THOUGHT THE U WAS BACK: NEW COLUMN: To read my column of UM's 33-17 season-opening loss to LSU Sunday night: Don't Bail On Canes Yet, But... Other most recent Canes football columns: Canes Have the Hype. Now the Proving StartsCanes Could Go 12-0 and Still Have Mountain to ClimbNow We See How Hurricanes Handle Burden Of ExpectationsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This Town.

Annual NFL team rankings: Dolphins higher than you think: My annual NFL Team Rankings are out, and who's No. 1 might surprise you. So might how low the Patriots are ranked, how high the Dolphins are, and a bunch of other stuff, too. Check it out, 1 through 32: NFL 2018 Team Rankings.

CsmG1: CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: 9.2%: Results are certified in the season-first Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 9.2 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Sunday night's season-opening 33-17 Miami Hurricanes loss to LSU in Arlington, Texas. The CSM is your invitation after every Canes football game to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 7 a.m. today/Tuesday. (You may also vote on my Twitter site @gregcote).

 

CaneslsuG1: NO. 25 LOUISIANA STATE DEFEATS NO. 8 HURRICANES, 33-17: RUGGED OPENER FOR UM'S SEASON OF HIGH HOPES: Turnover Chain made no appearance and Malik Rosier was pretty bad until a late spurt in Miami's 33-17 loss to LSU. [Find link to my game column above] ..... Original post: Miami opens its much-anticipated season a slim 3 1/2-point favorite over LSU in this nationally televised, neutral-site matchup at the Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas. Will LSU fans turn the joint into Death Valley? Or will RichtCanes fans win the crowd? In either case a loss out the gate will feel devastating, while the winner gets to feel like a national contender. Said third-year UM coach Mark Richt: "Until you play somebody, you really don't know. There are no warm-up games here. We will be physically and mentally tested. It will be a gut check." Veteran Canes quarterback Malik Rosier will be expected to outplay LSU transfer Joe Burrow, making his first college start against Miami's havoc-wreaking, Turnover Chain-getting defense. But the Tigers' defense figures to be a big challenge for Rosier, too. I feel like the two team's rankings are accurate, that UM is better all-round, including Richt's coaching edge over Ed Orgeron. And I'll be surprised if that Turnover Chain doesn't change hands at least twice. My prediction: Hurricanes, 24-16.

OTHER STATE COLLBALL WEEK 1: There are seven FBS-level college football teams in Florida. With Sunday's Miami game previewed above, here's Week 1 chronological schedule for the rest:

No. 21 UCF defeats UConn, 56-17: Strong Thursday night debut for self-proclaimed 2017 national champs and new coach Josh Heupel, behind McKenzie Milton's five TD passes. 

No. 7 Oklahoma defeats FAU, 63-14: Sooners, a three-TD home fave, absolutely spanked Lane Kiffin to open his second Owls season, after last year's 11-3 gem.

South Florida defeats Elon, 34-14: Bulls roll comfortably here but will have tough time matching last year's 10-2 season.  

Indiana defeats FIU, 38-28: FIU was a 10-point home underdog and played to the odds as Year 2 began for Butch Davis following progress of last year's 8-5 season.

Florida defeats Charleston Southern, 53-6: Gators with a big Swamp debut for new coach Dan Mullen as Feleipe Franks tosses 5 TD passes.

No. 20 Virginia Tech defeats No. 19 Florida State, 24-3, 8 Monday: Seminoles a 7-point pick as new coach Willie Taggert debuts and Week 1 wraps up.

Week 1 national Top 25 matchups: In addition to Miami-LSU and Virginia Tech-FSU, there was No. 9 Auburn beating No. 6 Washington 21-16, and 12-Notre Dame beating 14-Michigan, 24-17.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (UPDATED): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature, updated Mondays, 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:

Hotbutton1. HURRICANES: Ouch! UM crushed by LSU tonight as season of high hopes begins: Ready, set ... hype! Hurricanes fans had the swagger back. An ESPN prediction model had UM going 12-0. The College Football Playoff was the goal. All Mark Richt's Canes had to do was not lose Sunday night to keep that buzz going. Instead, a buzz-kill opener: 33-17, LSU.

2. DOLPHINS: Ready or not, Fins, here come the real games: An encouraging 34-7 win in Atlanta closed a 1-3 preseason for Miami, but forget that. All that matters now is the season opener next Sunday here vs. Tennessee. Opposite UM, it's a season of low expectation for the Dolphins. Can they erase the prevailing doubts?

3. GATORS/SEMINOLES: Florida coasts in opener, FSU on deck: Florida began the Dan Mullen era with a 53-6 Swamp rout of Charleston Southern, meaning Mullen ain't done nuthin' yet. Willie Taggert takes his first bow Monday night for No. 19 FSU vs. No. 20 Virginia Tech. Now that's an opener.

4. HEAT: We're still waiting, Mr. Wade: With the first preseason game coming at the end of this month, it might be an opportune time for free agents Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem to inform the Heat whether they'll be re-signing with Miami. Wade says it's Heat or retire. We know you'll be back, guys. So say it, already!

5. SOCCER: Miami MLS team to unveil name, colors: A source, whom I prefer to call "a Little Birdie," tells us the Jorge Mas/David Beckham group's Miami Major League Soccer team set to begin play in 2020 will unveil its name, colors and other details this week. Alas, despite my suggestion, they won't be the Miami Lobos.

6. FIU/FAU: Davis, Kiffin both fall in openers: Years 2.0 for FIU's Butch Davis and FAU's Lane Kiffin began with losses Saturday. Panthers fell to Indiana 38-28, after Owls got crushed at No. 7 Oklahoma, 63-14. A little humbling isn't a bad thing, Lane.

7. TENNIS: U.S. Open reaches midpoint: Men's No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal and 17th seeded woman (but favored -- c'mon) Serena Williams are in action today/Sunday as tennis' fourth major of the year. Serena routed sis Venus. Even more impressive: Serena's purple tutu dress.

8. MARLINS: Fish win but continue mired in elongated slump: Miami beat Toronto Saturday as Martin Prado returned from the DL with three RBIs before losing Sunday. Fish are only 8-22 since July 30 as homestand continues. Latest from the 100-Loss Meter: Current pace 64-98. 

9. COLIN KAEPERNICK: His grievance will go to trial: Kaepernick's collusion grievance against the NFL will go to trial, a big legal win for the quarterback blackballed (though not officially!) because he instigated the anthem-kneeling protests now in their third year. His best evidence? Still unemployed! 

10. NFL: It's fantasy draft weekend: Has your league had its fantasy draft yet? Better get to it, with NFL season opening this Thursday night. Only sure bet with fantasy drafts? You'll think your team is a lot better than it really is. Me, too.

Missing the HB10 cut: You know outspoken Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is doing something right when I can't decide if the NFL needs more players like him or I want him to shut up ..... The national group, People Who Feel Sorry For Urban Meyer is meeting tonight at the Waffle House. Corner booth ..... Just to torment Marlins fans, Giancarlo Stanton became the fifth-fastest to 300 career home runs ..... Marlins released their 2019 spring and regular season schedules. Based on this year -- can't wait!! ..... In the WNBA playoffs, four teams are alive in the conference finals entering Sunday games, and I can't name any of them ..... The Big 3 basketball league crowned a champion, and nobody cared ..... Headlines I Never Imagined Seeing (one in a series): "Usain Bolt Makes Pro Soccer Debut In Australia" ..... Update. Countdown now 2,850 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in the 2026 World Cup.

Other select recent columns: Dolphins Must Make Us BelieveFinally, a Chance to Say Thanks (Stanton's return). NFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireGore Back In Miami Is The Perfect End RunDolphins Need a Better Tannehill, Not Just A Healthy OneTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The Shades (death of Tony Sparano). Soccer Stadium Progress, But Much Work LeftReasons For Hope As Jeter Plan Takes RootTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 26, 2017

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 54.9% Huge falloff, but positivity remains; plus unbeaten No. 2 UM falls at Pitt 24-14 in regular- season finale, my column on game; also, epic UCF win and other state Collball (updated), NFL Week 12 picks & more

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

1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25. Hope y'all had a fantastic and happy Thanksgiving! 2) Holiday season! Give the Dolfan on your list the gift of my book on the club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Happy Thanksgiving wishes with holiday video, NFL Bird Day picks & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

Our Canes-Pitt column: Perspective, please!: Miami losing at Pitt 24-14 Friday was a bad loss, terribly timed. No whitewashing that. But 10-1 is 10-1, and a win over Clemson in the ACC title game next will give UM a fighting chance to get back up into the College Football Playoff. Click on One Bad Loss Doesn't Spoil All The Good for my column.

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G11: 54.9%: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 54.9 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday's 24-14 loss by No. 2-ranked Miami at the Pitt Panthers putting UM's final regular-season record at 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the ACC. That is a drop to a season low. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9:30 a.m. today/Sunday. 

 2017 CSM results

G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman
G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo 
G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke
G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State
G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech
G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse
G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina
G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech
G9: 98.6% following 41-8 victory vs. Notre Dame
G10: 95.4% following 44-28 victory vs. Virginia
G11: 54.9% following 24-14 loss at Pitt
Next poll: Dec. 2 following ACC Championship Game vs. Clemson
 
G11: PITT 24, HURRICANES 14: UM'S PERFECT SEASON ENDS IN REGULAR-SEASON FINALE: Click One Bad Loss Doesn't Spoil All The Good for my column on the game ..... MIA 14-24 (4Q/Final): Rosier-Berrios 39-yard pass .....  PIT 24-7 (4Q): Pickett 24-yard run ..... PIT 17-7 (3Q): Pickett-Ollison 5-yard pass ..... Halftime thoughts: Canes have run only 27 offensive plays to Pitt's 38, and have produced zero points off of two Turnover Chain gets. Miami also has been unable to mount a running game thus far. Too soon to worry, though, let alone panic. The Canes are unbeaten because of resilience, and will show it again today in the second half ..... PIT 10-7 (2Q): Pickett 6-yard run ..... MIA 7-3 (2Q): Rosier-Richards 23-yard pass ..... PIT 3-0 (1Q): Kessman 46-yard FG ..... We'll have live, as-they-happen score updates here throughout the game today, as well as halftime and postgame thoughts. Original post: Yes, No. 3 Clemson is on deck for No. 2 Miami in the ACC 

Miapit Miapittitle game in Charlotte -- what looks as of now like a play-in game for the College Football Playoff. We all know it. But the Canes had better not know it -- at least not show it today at Pitt for a noon start in the regular-season finale. The 10-0 Canes look to complete their first unbeaten regular season since 2002 but they need to get undistracted past a 4-7 Pitt team on its Senior Day, with a make-our-season chance to ruin UM's dreams. This is no gimmie. Miami is a modest 12-point favorite, down from an opening 14. The Canes have a nation-leading 15-game win streak dating to last season, but everything crumbles with a loss today. The U theoretically could lose here, beat Clemson for the ACC crown and climb back into the CFP top four, but that's very iffy. Temps in the 40s today should not make a weather a big factor. A solid game from Malik Rosier and more dominance on defense will carry the day. The Turnover Chain has changed hands 19 times in the past five games. If UM keeps it moving today, they win. My pick: Hurricanes, 34-20.

All state FBS Week 13 games (chronologically):

Pitt 24, No. 2 Miami 14: Column, game blog, preview and postgame poll directly above.

No. 15 UCF 49, South Florida 42: UCF stays unbeaten at 11-0 with 49-42 home win over a SoFla team that was 9-1 coming in. The "War on I-4" lived up to and exceeded its billing. Knights advance to the AAC title game and a chance at a major bowl game. If these were two bigger, more established programs people would be calling this one of the greatest games in college football history. Im serious, too.

FIU 41, Western Kentucky 17: WKU was 2.5-point road pick but (as I predicted) Butch Davis' guys bounced back with a nice home win to make it a 7-4 record. 

Florida State 38, Florida 22: Seminoles now 5-6 and Gators 4-7 after a rivalry-renewal that usually has two good teams and big stakes but this year offered hardly anything but the ebbing of two disappointing seasons.

FAU 31, Charlotte 12: Hootin' Owls breezed at home to rise to 9-3 entering next week's C-USA title game. A hugely successful regular season for first-year coach Lane Kiffin.

National Collball Week 13 overview: Four national Top 25 matchups led by the one that has shaken up the College Football Playoff outlook: No. 6 Auburn beating No. 1 Alabama 26-14. The others: No. 3 Clemson beat No. 24 South Carolina 34-10; 21-Stanford upset 8-Notre Dame 38-20; and 18-Washington defeated 13-Washington State 41-14.

FripixUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA! NFL WEEK 12 PICKS: GIVING DOLPHINS A SHOT (OK, HALF A SHOT) AT NEW ENGLAND: I see the Dolphins beating the spread, if not quite the Patriots, on Sunday in New England. Click on Week 12 Gems for my full Dolphins-Patriots predix capsule, my Game of the Week (Saints-Rams), Upset of the Week (Titans-Colts: "Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our week got off to a humbling start yesterday with our Thanksgiving Day picks. We went 1-2 both straight-up and against the spread. Really liked the Lions at home, and the Cowboys let me down big-time. Better luck Sunday, I hope (and Monday).

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 20, 2017

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 95.4%. Still buoyant at 10-0 despite scare; plus No. 3 UM rallies, mints first 10-win season since 2003!; also, my new Canes column from stadium, FAU spanks FIU, other state Collball (updated) & more

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

1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18. Holiday season! Give the Dolfan on your list the gift of my book on the club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ferdie Pacheco R.I.P., Stanton wins NL MVP, NFL Week 11 picks & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

NEW! Game column from Canes' 44-28 Saturday win: Click on Heart and Fight Keep Canes' Perfect Dream Alive for my column from the stadium on today's UM comeback win.

Canes QB Malik Rosier: A family crisis and a father's love: In my previous column I write about all that quarterback Malik Rosier is dealing with off the field as he leads the unbeaten Hurricanes on it. Click on A QB, a Crisis & a Father's Love to read.

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G10: 95.4%: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 95.4 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday Csmafternoon's 44-28 home victory by unbeaten No. 3-ranked Miami over the visiting Virginia Cavaliers putting UM's season record at 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the ACC. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9 a.m. today/Monday.

 

You may also vote in poll online by clicking HERE.

2017 CSM results

G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman

G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo 

G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke

G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State

G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech

G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse

G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina

G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech

G9: 98.6% following 41-8 victory vs. Notre Dame

G10: 95.4% following 44-28 victory vs. Virginia

Next poll: Nov. 24 following game at Pitt. 

VaumG10: VIRGINIA @ NO. 3 HURRICANES: UNBEATEN MIAMI RALLIES, TAKES CARE OF BUSINESS ON SENIOR DAY IN HOME FINALE: MIAMI WINS 44-28, STAYS UNBEATEN FOR FIRST 10-WIN SEASON SINCE 2003. Click on Heart and Fight Keep Canes' Perfect Dream Alive for my column from the stadium ..... MIAMI 44-28 (4Q): Homer 19-yard run .....  MIAMI 37-28 (4Q): Rosier 8-yard run ..... MIAMI 31-28 (3Q): Badgley 44-yard field goal ..... MIAMI 28-28 (3Q): Johnson 30-yard interception return ..... MIAMI 21-28 (3Q): Rosier-Cager 9-yard pass ..... UVA 28-14 (3Q): Benkert-Hamm 26-yard pass ..... UVA 21-14 (2Q): Benkert-Levrone 33-yard pass ..... MIAMI 14-14 (2Q): Rosier-Harris 36-yard pass ..... MIAMI 7-14 (1Q): Rosier-Richards 10-yard pass .....  UVA 14-0 (1Q): Benkert-Reed 75-yard pass ..... UVA 7-0 (1Q): Benkert-Zaccheaus 33-yard pass ..... Original post: The intensity and  atmosphere will be dialed back a bit for Saturday's noon matinee vs. mediocre-but-decent 6-4 Virginia, after consecutive wins over ranked Virginia Tech and Notre Dame had TochainThe Rock filled and rocking. Or will it? The home-finale emotion of Senior Day, another expected huge crowd and UM 9-0 and gunning for its first 10-win season since 2003 should keep that intensity ratcheted up. Canes also know an upset loss would send them tumbling from their coveted No. 3 spot in the College Football Playoff ranking. The intensity surely will be there for QB Malik Rosier as well, with his father here and watching one game after missing the Notre Dame after suffering a stroke. (See my column on that, linked above). Miami cannot let down against a bowl-eligible ACC opponent with a decent offense led by QB Kurt Benkert. Miami is favored by 19 points. Of course there's always that magical Turnover Chain if things get a little quiet. UM has 24 takeaways, tied for fourth-most in the country, including eight in the past two huge wins. My sense of Saturday? The Cavaliers defense won't be up to the challenge of stopping Rosier, Travis Homer and Braxton Berrios et al, and a huge crowd thanking the Canes for this season will keep the team revved up. My pick: Hurricanes, 31-16.

Other state FBS Week 12 games (chronologically, all Saturday unless noted):

South Florida 27, Tulsa 20: Bulls now 9-1 after less-than-impressive Thursday home win, with rival UCF on deck and amid rumors Charlie Strong may be candidate for Florida Gators opening.

No. 3 Miami 44, Virginia 28: See preview above.

No. 15 UCF 45, Temple 19: Never-a-doubt road win puts Knights at 10-0 with rival South Florida on deck in play-in game for spot in American conference title game.

Florida State 77, Delaware State 6: Seminoles now 4-6. This is called "taking out your frustrations."

Florida 33, Alabama-Birmingham 7: Gators now 4-6 after beating lesser team. Whooooo!

FaufiuFAU 52, FIU 24: C-USA regional rivals met in 16th annual Shula Bowl, and who'd have believed they'd do so as a combined 13-6? That's a testament to two veteran, smart-hire first-year coaches in Panthers' Butch Davis and Owls' Lane Kiffin. FAU was a huge 14 1/2-point home fave due to an explosive offense, and verified that. Owls, 8-3, now on a seven-game winning streak in which they've averaged 49 points, and clinched spot in conference championship game with the win. FAU now leads Shula Bowl series 11-5. 

National Collball Week 12 overview: After a plethora of CFP Top 25 matchups the past two weeks there is only one Saturday: No. 5 Wisconsin handled 24-Michigan 24-10. Looks like no Top 10 will lose this week.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 13, 2017

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.6%. Another season-high approval rating for unbeaten UM!; plus Hurricanes rout Notre Dame 41-8 in epic night to put national-title shot in play, our column from game

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

1) It is SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12. Know any people who are serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 10 picks, Herald NFL quarterback rankings, updated SOPY standings, Pix 'n Fantasy results & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

NEW: COLUMN FROM STADIUM ON CANES' EPIC WIN: Click Championship In View For Soaring Canes. Also: The Hurricanes Are Back; Deal With It, America (column advancing game) and Canes-Irish: Game For The Ages (earlier column listing Top 10 UM wins since glory days, and why this tops them all).

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G9: 98.6%: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 98.6 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday Pic98.6night’s 41-8 home victory by unbeaten No. 7 Miami over No. 3 Notre Dame putting UM's season record at 9-0. That's another season high -- and about as close to 100% as you'll ever see in an online poll. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:30 a.m. today/Monday. Votes came directly below and also online here.

2017 CSM results

G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman
G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo
G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke
G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State
G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech
G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse
G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina
G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech
G9: 98.6% following 41-8 victory vs. Notre Dame
Next poll: Nov. 18 following game vs. Virginia  

 

G9: NOTRE DAME @ HURRICANES: UNBEATEN UM SLAYS A GIANT, MAKES MOVE ON CFP TOP FOUR: MIA 41, ND 8 (Final). Click Championship In View For Soaring Canes for my column from the stadium .....  MIA 41-8 (4Q): Dallas 5-yard run ..... ND 34-8 (3Q): Winbush-Mack 14-yard pass ..... MIA 34-0 (3Q): Dallas 4-yard run ..... MIA 27-0 (2Q): Bandy 65-yard interception return ..... MIA 20-0 (2Q): Badgley 30-yard FG ..... MIA 17-0 (2Q): Badgley 23-yard FG ..... MIA 14-0 (1Q): Rosier 16-yard run ..... MIA 7-0 (1Q): Rosier-Berrios 7-yard pass ..... Original post: It was 1989, the season of Miami's third of five national championships, when the Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish last played a football game in Miami. Omen? History repeating? Let's find out as 8-1, No. 3- Miandranked Notre Dame and 8-0, No. 7 UM play Saturday night at 8 at a filled-up Hard Rock Stadium before a national audience on ABC. That was after ESPN's College Gameday did its show from the Coral Gables campus earlier in the day -- yet another indication this is the Game of the Week and the Canes are top-tier-relevant again in the sport. That the TochainIrish are higher-ranked and favored (by 3 points) despite being the road team is no shock, nor is it an injustice or insult. Notre Dame has won seven straight games, all by double digits, since losing by one point to now-No. 1 Georgia. Miami by contrast had won its previous five games by a combined 18 points prior to last week's impressive 28-10 home dismantling of Virginia Tech in its first 2017 win over a ranked opponent. The onus is on the underdog Canes to prove their defense can penetrate a premier Irish Chainsrosariesoffensive line that bulldozes the way to a 325-yard rushing average per game. UM already has allowed 200-plus ground yards to three opponents this season, so that's the matchup that most makes the visitor the betting favorite. Apart from that 20-19 loss Leprechaunto Georgia, Notre Dame has averaged 44 points per game. This gives UM hope, though: ND's defense gave up 37 points to Wake Forest last week. The stakes could hardly be higher. The game's winner will be in the driver's seat to be in the College Football Playoff as one of the top four teams, while the loser will be a longshot. "It's single-elimination for both teams," as Irish coach Brian Kelly put it. I get why Notre Dame is favored, but I also think intangibles weigh heavily and favor Miami. The crowd and ambience and noise vs. Virginia Tech created a palpable, difference-making home field advantage for UM, and Saturday's crowd will be even more electric. UM expects more than 300 former players and coaches at the game, a record. It figures as one of the biggest nights in Miami sports history, any team, any time. Pictured left: Dueling magic. Lucky Turnover Chain vs. Lucky Leprechaun. My pick: Hurricanes, 30-27.

Other state FBS Week 11 games (chronologically, all Saturday):

No. 18 UCF 49, Connecticut 24: Knights, now 9-0, were favored by 40 1/2 over 3-6 UConn, so this won't impress poll voters much.

South Carolina 28, Florida 20: Gators can't climb from early 14-0 hole they dug on road, sink to 3-6 (and 0-2 under interim coach Randy Shannon).

No. 4 Clemson 31, Florida State 14: Tigers were big 16-point home favorites but only led 17-14 before two late scores verified their CFP status and clinched a spot in ACC title game as FSU tumbles to 3-6.

FAU 48, Louisiana Tech 23: Bowl-bound Owls are now 7-3 after another impressive win for Lane Kiffin's resurgent program.

Old Dominion 37, FIU 30: Butch Davis' Panthers were 9 1/2-point home favorites but forgot to bring their defense to the stadium, fall to 6-3.

No. 7 Miami 41, No. 3 Notre Dame 8: Epic. See above.

Off this week: South Florida (8-1).

National Collball Week 11 overview: Five more CFP Top 25 matchups Saturday along with Miami-Notre Dame. No. 10-Auburn stunned No. 1 Georgia 40-10, 13-Ohio State routed 12-Michigan State 48-3, 15-Oklahoma State beat 21-Iowa State 49-42, 5-Oklahoma beat 6-TCU 38-20, and 2-Alabama survived 16-Mississippi State 31-24.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 10, 2017

Ranking Top 10 Hurricanes wins since last national championship, and why beating Notre Dame would be No. 1; plus Dolphins-Panthers and other NFL Week 10 picks, Cutler wins Week 9 passing title, Owl crashes SOPY party, Pix 'n Fantasy results & more

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

1) It is FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10. Know any people who are serious Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall to Oakland with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

MiandMiami-Notre Dame Week: In my latest column I name the Top 10 Miami Hurricanes football wins of the post-dynasty era (since the last national title in 2001) and declare that beating the Fighting Irish here Saturday night would top them all. Click on Canes-Irish: Game For The Ages.  

FripixUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA! NFL WEEK 10 PICKS: I THINK I SPRAINED AN ANKLE JUMPING OFF THE DOLPHINS BANDWAGON: After mistakenly picking the Dolphins to win the past two games, I'm done thinking they'll rise to the prime-time occasion. Click on Week 10 Gems for my picks on Dolphins-Panthers Monday nighter, Game of the Week (Saints-Bills), Upset of the Week (Jets-Buccaneers: "Aawwk!") and the rest. Our week got off to a nifty start last night. We said Seahawks would cover a 5-1/2-point line at Arizona, 24-16, and Seattle won 22-16.

SMOKIN'!: DOLPHINS' CUTLER WINS WEEK 9 PASSING TITLE / HERALD QB RANKINGS / WEEK 9: The Dolphins’ Jay Cutler scored a 50.55-point game to lead Cutlerall passers in Week 9 of the Miami Herald’s NFL quarterback rankings, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smith overtook Patriot Tom Brady for the overall season lead. This is the 20th season of our Passer Success System (PASS) rankings, which began in 1998. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. Most major ranking systems such as the NFL's and ESPN's are complicated and percentile based, allowing QBs who miss half a season to still win a title, while our system is cumulative, rewarding players who are consistently productive and avoid injury or benching. Because the rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week (such as Brady in Week 9) take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season.

HERALD NFL WEEK QB RANKINGS / Top 20 plus Dolphins

RK  LW  Player, Team                        WK9     SEASON

1     2    Alex Smith, KC                     32.15    318.20

2     1    Tom Brady, NE                      BYE       302.05

3     3    Drew Brees, NO                    41.15    287.70

4     4    Carson Wentz, PHI                29.95    268.10

5     7    Kirk Cousins, WAS                 28.35     250.35

6     6    Josh McCown, NYJ                23.00     250.00

7     5    Russell Wilson, SEA               17.85     246.25

8   11    Matthew Stafford, DET          48.05     235.60

9   10    Matt Ryan, ATL                     28.65     223.85

10  12   Dak Prescott, DAL                 32.45     218.90

11  13   Derek Carr, OAK                    32.00     217.70

12  21   Jared Goff, LAR                    38.55     209.75

13  22   Tyrod Taylor, BUF                  38.25     202.40

14   8    Philip Rivers, LAC                  BYE       197.40

15   9    Ben Roethlisberger, PIT          BYE       197.10

16 14    Cam Newton, CAR                 13.85     196.90

17 19    Eli Manning, NYG                   18.00     192.00

18 15    Aaron Rodgers, GB                 DNP       182.25

19t 25   Jacoby Brissett, IND              36.40      181.50

19t 16   Case Keenum, MIN                 BYE        181.50

26  29   Jay Cutler, MIA                      50.55      169.30

39  37   Matt Moore, MIA                    DNP          29.20

Bubble: tie, Carson Palmer ARI and Deshaun Watson HOU, both 180.95. Week 9 Best: Cutler MIA 50.55 (34-42, 311, 3-0 in loss). Week 9 Worst: Jameis Winston TB 4.35 (7-13, 67, 0-0 in loss).

FripixNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 9 RESULTS: Every week in the blog I tell you know how I did the previous NFL weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my Greg's Lobos team in the LeBatard Show fantasy league. WEEK 9Herald picks: Mixed results. Went an awful 6-7 straight-up as my struggles there continued, but fashioned a solid 7-5-1 against the spread  including two exact-score bull's-eyes in Titans winning 23-20 and Panthers 20-17. Greg's Lobos: Win! Lobos rose to 6-3 with a 120.3-78.3 rout of Billy, fueled by 25.6 points from Matt Forte and 24.4 from Todd Gurley. #ReturnOfTheGurleyMen #GoLobosGo

SOPY STANDINGS / WEEK 10: AN OWL CRASHES THE PARTY, ENTERS 'STATE HEISMAN' RACE: It's been a three-man race all season for the Herald's 2017 State SopyOffensive Player of the Year award -- the "state Heisman." Well, make it four now. Add Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary to the quarterback troika of South Florida's Quinton Flowers, UCF's McKenzie Milton and Miami's Malik Rosier. All had huge Week 10 performances, with Flowers overtaking the No. 1 spot with a season-high 341.5-point game, Singletary scoring 287, Milton 262 and Rosier 215.5. Also in the 200 club: Florida State RB Cam Akers with 229. Our weekly rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida. The rankings are cumulative but based weekly on average points per game: Total points divided by number of games a player's team has played. This keeps the comparison even because not all teams have played the same number of games at the same time. Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown.

SOPY Top 10 entering Week 11:

RK   LW Player, School-Pos.                            Average / Total (Games)

1      3   Quinton Flowers-SoFla qb                  208.06 1,872.5 / 9

2      1   McKenzie Milton-UCF qb                    205.06 1,640.5 / 8

3      2   Malik Rosier-Miami qb                       197.00 1,576 / 8

4      4   Devin Singletary-FAU rb                     173.11 1,558 / 9

5      5   Alex McGough-FIU qb                        132.00 1,056 / 8

6      9   Cam Akers-FSU rb                             113.94 911.5 / 8

7      6   Thomas Owens-FIU rec                      107.31 858.5 / 8

8      7   Travis Homer-Miami rb                      105.88 847 / 8

9     --    Marquez Valdes-Scantling-SoFla rec     96.11 865 / 9

10   --    Adrian Killins, UCF rb                          95.63 765 / 8

Bubble: Darius Tice-SoFla rb, 94.11. Other team leader: Malik Davis-Florida rb, 74.50. Week 10 best: Flowers-SoFla qb, 341.5. Season best: Flowers-SoFla qb, 341.5 points (W10).

Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. Miami (8-0); 2. UCF (8-0); 3. South Florida (8-1); 4. Florida State (3-5); 5. Florida (3-5); 6. FIU (6-2); 7. FAU (6-3).

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 06, 2017

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 98.0%. Another season high approval rating follows UM's 28-10 whipping of Va-Tech to go 8-0; also, NFL Week 9 picks, FIU wins again, hoot-hoot for the Owls, your clear verdict on Ajayi trade & more

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

NOTE: DUE TO A COMPUTER GLITCH OUR BLOGPOST INCLUDING DOLPHINS-RAIDERS LIVE BLOG AND HOT BUTTON TOP 10 WAS DELETED. APOLOGIES...

1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4. Know any people who are serious Dolfans despite last Thursday? Surprise and delight them with our book on club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Ajayi trade with poll, Ross wins big with 2021 CFP title game, Herald NFL QB rankings, updated SOPY standings, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, newest BIMD video (Halloween!) & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

My Canes-Virginia Tech game column: Click Everything Is In Play Now for my column from the stadium.

Troika! Our 3 most recent columns: Miami Wins Again: Hard Rock Stadium awarded 2020-season college football national championship game. How to Make a Bad Offense Worse: Dolphins trade Jay Ajayi. Appreciate Perfection -- Period: Quit finding fault with Canes at 7-0.

CsmCANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G8: 98.0%: Results are certified in the latest edition of the Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 98.0 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Saturday night's 28-10 home victory by No. 10 Miami over No. 13 Virginia Tech putting UM's season record at 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the ACC. That's a season high and as much consensus as you'll ever see in an online poll. The CSM polls are your invitation after every Canes game to share your overall degree of satisfaction with the team. Criteria for voting is your own, but we suggest you consider the latest performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the direction of the program and your overall sense of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Poll results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:30 a.m. today/Monday.

2017 CSM results
G1: 69.5% following 41-13 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman
G2: 83.9% following 52-30 victory vs. Toledo
G3: 96.5% following 31-6 victory at Duke
G4: 97.6% following 24-20 victory at Florida State
G5: 96.0% following 25-24 victory vs. Georgia Tech
G6: 93.0% following 27-19 victory vs. Syracuse
G7: 64.3% following 24-19 victory at North Carolina
G8: 98.0% following 28-10 victory vs. Virginia Tech
Next poll: Nov. 11 following game vs. Notre Dame. 

G8: NO. 13 VIRGINIA TECH @ NO. 10 HURRICANES: IT'S BIGGEST GAME OF RICHT ERA (UNTIL NEXT WEEK...): Final: Huge win for Canes. Click Everything Is In Play Now for my column from game. 4Q: UM interception is fourth takeaway of game by Cabnes' defense ..... Turnover Chain! Again. UM recovers another fumble. Hokies killing themselves ..... Miami now in complete control at 28-10 on 13-yard scoring run by Rosier ..... 3Q: Interception (and Turnover chain) by UM's Johnson late in quarter. Every time Va Tech threatens to get back in game, Canes' defense steps up ..... Miami back in charge, 21-10, on Rosier 43-yard catch and run by Herndon. Much needed ..... UM is so fortunate that only one of Rosier's three INTs have proved costly ..... Rosier suffers third interception. QB is giving away this game! ..... Va Tech within 14-10 on 1-yard Jackson TD run, a direct result of Rosier INT ..... Rosier suffers second interception of game ..... Halftime thoughts: At 14-3, the half was all Miami, bearing in mind the Canes squandered an early 1st-and-goal opportunity with no points. Miami led in total yards, 260-149. And yet Canes have not pulled away. Hokies are one score from making it anxious game for The U ...... 2Q: McIntosh recovers VT fumble. Turnover chain! ..... Rosier intercepted ...... Va Tech within 14-3 on 50-yard FG ..... Miami 14-0 on Homer 64-yard TD run ..... Miami 7-0 on Rosier-Berrios 8-yard scoring pass finishing 87-yard, 9-play drive. All Canes thus far ..... 1Q: Oh My. Rosier 36-yard run to VT 2, but Miami fails to score, stuiffed on 4th-down gamble by Homer. Should UM have kicked short FG? Probably. But early enough in game to like the bravado ...... Pregame: Losses today by No. 6 Ohio State and 7-Penn State really enhance UM's bid to move up closer to coveted CFP top four -- if UM can win ..... Original post: All rankings you see here beginning this week are those of the College Football Playoff, whose ultimate top-four is all that matters now for big-dreaming teams -- and this game features two of those. It 

Vtmiasays much about skepticism surrounding Miami that the Hurricanes have a better record than Virginia Tech, are higher-ranked and are home, yet were 2 1/2-point underdogs to the Hokies before a late wave of bets made Miami the favorite by one point, still less than the typical home-field edge. Teams prone to having sharp antenna for disrespect might be a little insulted by that. That is why this 8 p.m. prime-time game on ABC is such a wonderful stage for UM to declare itself for real ... that, or to prove the skeptics right. Miami is 7-0 and Va-Tech 7-1 and it's a huge game not only in the national CFP context but also in the ACC. A Miami win would all but assure the Canes a spot in the conference championship game. There are reasons the Canes are not clear favorites, of course, even at home. UM has won its past four games by combined 18 points after last week's 24-19 escape in Chapel Hill against a North Carolina team that Virginia Tech had recently manhandled 59-7. The Hokies also have been a bit of a nemesis for The U, with Canes only 5-8 against this opponent since both schools moved from the Big East to the ACC in 2004. Miami hosts No. 3-ranked Notre Dame next week but better have blinders on because Va-Tech will demand all of UM's attention and best effort and then some. This may be UM's biggest game of the season because of the ACC importance, and also because a win here could put Canes in position to vault into the CFP's coveted top four by also then beating the Fighting Irish. OK. Deep breath. One game at a time, please. Virginia Tech first. My pick: Hurricanes, 28-24.

Other state FBS Week 10 games (chronologically, all Saturday unless noted):

FAU 30, Marshall 25: Big home win Friday night for Owls, now 6-3 and bowling. Devin Singletary's 203 yards rushing fueled it as FAU closes in on shot at Conference USA title in Lane Kiffin's first season.

Missouri 45, Florida 16: Ugh. Gators now 3-5 and the misery continues as Randy Shannon makes an unsuccessful interim-coach debut for sacked Jim McElwain.

Florida State 27, Syracuse 24: Noles win! Noles win! FSU now 3-5, led by Cam Akers' 199 yard rushing. Rare, sort-of bright spot in midst of Season From Hell for the Seminoles.

South Florida 37, Connecticut 20: Newly unranked Bulls are now 8-1 and likely to climb back up into polls.

FIU 14, Texas-San Antonio 7: Butch Davis' Panthers were 4 1/2-point home 'dogs, but Cats, now 6-2, have been surprising everybody all season.

No. 18 UCF 31, Southern Methodist 24: Closer than expected for the Knights, now 8-0.

National Collball Week 10 overview: A season-high seven big Top 25 Saturday matchups this week including No. 10 Miami throttling No. 13 Virginia Tech 28-10. The others: 24-Michigan State upset 7-Penn State 27-24; 4-Clemson beat 20-North Carolina State 38-31; 25-Washington State beat 21-Stanford 24-21; 5-Oklahoma beat 11-Oklahoma State 62-52; 2-Alabama beat 19-LSU 24-10; and 17-Southern Cal beat 22-Arizona 49-35.

UPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA! NFL WEEK 9 PICKS: I LIKE DOLPHINS OVER OAKLAND. THE WAY MY SEASON IS GOING, THAT MIGHT NOT BE GOOD NEWS: I am Fripixhaving a rough season with my NFL predictions at around midseason, maybe the single worst, in fact, in 27 years of doing it. My .555 win percentage straight-up and .420 against the spread are figures I'd normally only admit under oath. And that was before I blew last night's game, failing to call the Jets' win over Buffalo. So when I tell you the Dolphins will beat the Raiders, 24-20, Sunday night, that might mostly be seen as good news in and around Oakland. Still, we sally forth, undeterred, and hell-bent to rally from here. Click Week 9 Gems for our full predix capsules on Fins-Raiders, our Game of the Week (Chiefs-Cowboys), Upset of the Week (Rams-Giants: "Aawwk!") and all the rest. I keep saying, "It can only get better from here." We'll see...

POLL RESULT: MIXED FEELINGS, BUT STRONG MAJORITY DON'T LIKE AJAYI TRADE: We asked, "What do you think of the Dolphins trading RB Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a 4th-round draft pick?" And 62.8 percent voted "against it." Another 26.2% voted "for it," while the remaining 11.0% were "undecided." That's a thumbs-down by better than a 2-to-1 margin among those who had a clear opinion.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote