January 18, 2021

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now!; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated)! See who or what reigns; also, MLK Day, NFL Divisional Round playoff picks & more

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

Mlk1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 18. It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in America, a time to celebrate the life and works of the slain civil rights leader and to keep on the work of moving his dream forward. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Wild Card Weekend playoff picks, Hot Button Top10, Dolphins' recommitment to Tua, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

NFL Divisional Round playoff picks!: Four games, one upset. Off a 5-1 playoff start last week, find all our latest picks at NFL Divisional Round Gems.

Say cheese! Packers' Rodgers wins elusive first Herald NFL QB season title: The details including the final season Top 35, here: Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings.

Alabama, king Saban reign in Miami with CFP title: For our full column off the 52-24 rout of Ohio State at Hard Rock Stadium: Saban the New G.O.A.T. as Alabama Reigns in Miami.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our new No. 3 episode of 2021 (45th overall) is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 45 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new Ep3 of '21, we welcome in friend of the pod (FOP) Amin El Hassan, who explains why he left ESPN after eight years and is betting on Dan Le Batard. Amin also talks Heat, James Harden and NBA. Also, a new listener song, "Greg Cote Killed the Radio Show," the last Mount Gregmore topic you'd ever expect, and a new edition of the popular segment, "Greg Doesn't Know Movies." Hear all of that and more in our third new episode of the new year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 17-18): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUTOur 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. NFL: It's Bills-Chiefs, Pack-Bucs in final four set today: The weekend's NFL Divisional Round results have sent Green Bay and Tampa Bay to the NFC final and Buffalo and Kansas City in the AFC. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes. Gee, you get the feeling quarterbacks matter a lot in this sport or what?

2. NBA: Blockbuster Harden trade shakes up basketball: James Harden traded from Houston to  the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal, joining Kevin Durant and (when he's agreeable to be an adult and play) Kyrie Irving. The Beard dropped a 30-point triple-double in his debut vs. Magic Saturday night. Yay, a new Super Team to hate!

3. PANTHERS: Yandle sparks Cats' win in delayed season opener: Puck drops on Florida's 27th NHL season Sunday night with a 5-2 win over Chicago in the Sunrise home rink, a season opener delayed when Thursday and Friday games vs. Dallas were postponed due to the Stars' COVID outbreak. Florida defenseman Keith Yandle scored his 100th career goal and kept his consecutive games streak alive at 867, fourth longest in NHL history, when earlier in week it seemed he might be a healthy scratch.

4. INTER MIAMI: Beckham hiring former teammate as new coach: David Beckham and Inter Miami have agreed to terms to hire as new coach Beckham's former Manchester United teammate, Phil Neville, to replace departed Diego Alonso for Miami's upcoming second MLS season. Neville most recently coached England's national women's team.

5. DOLPHINS: Speculation around QB enlivens offseason: Coach Brian Flores has re-confirmed his re-commitment to Tua Tagovailoa amid swirling rumors that disgruntled Deshaun Watson may want out of Houston and into Miami. Then there's that Herald story in which three unnamed Dolphins questioned how good Tua is. Those three players' names? Lame, Weak and Cowardly.

6. HEAT: Reeling Miami loses third straight: Heat, reigning NBA Finals runnerup, fell to 4-7 with Saturday's 20-point home loss to Detroit a third straight L. Miami hosts Pistons again Monday, needing to get healthy and prove last season's postseason run introduced a team on the rise ... and wasn't an aberration or fluke.

7. NFL: Former star college coach headed to Jaguars, NFL: Urban Meyer, former Florida and Ohio State championship coach, has entered the NFL fray with Jacksonville. Less splashy but arguably a better hire: the New York Stinkin' Jets landed prized 49ers defensive chief Robert Saleh.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Things go right when Canes men go Wong!: Victory of the year Saturday night for Miami's men's team: a 78-72 home upset of No. 16 Louisville, led by Isaiah Wong. Jim Larranaga's guys are now 6-6, with some tailwind. UM women are 6-5 after Sunday's loss at No. 24 Syracuse.

9. HURRICANES: Diaz finalizes '21 football coaching staff: The Miami Hurricanes hired Jess Simpson as defensive line coach and promoted DeMarcus Van Dyke to cornerbacks coach as Manny Diaz finalized his 2021 staff. Three other new additions led by new defensive coordinator Blake Baker previously had been announced. Also notable: Diaz said he'll call defensive plays from now on, after horrible D in the last two games ended 2020's 8-3 season sourly.

10. TENNIS: COVID already shadowing Australian Open: Three coronavirus cases were detected among charter flights carrying tennis players, coaches and officials to Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, the year's first major set to begin February 8. A total of 47 players from the two affected flights are now in a tightly enforced 14-day quarantine.

Missing the HB10 cut: Josh Gordon has been suspended again. Or did that go without saying? ..... After 17 years with Coca-Cola, LeBron James is signing with rival Pepsi. Hey, a man's tastes can change! ..... As MLB free agency continues, like a lifeguard surveying a crowded pool, I am looking for a big splash from the Marlins. Bring back J.T. Realmuto? Just sayin' ..... Former Hurricane LB Dan Morgan made the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame -- which lets in way too many people, but, somehow, shamefully, not Howard Schnellenberger ..... Still can't wrap my head around it: Nick Saban crowned college football's all-time G.O.A.T. coach in Miami, of all cities ..... Dolphins coaches will be on one sideline for the January 30 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. What'd they do, lose a bet? ..... A Mickey Mantle baseball card sold at auction for $5.2 million. Sounds like a good deal, if the card was attached to a check for $5.1 million made out to cash ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 45 (No. 3 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,989 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other mots recent columns: Dolphins' Re-Commitment to Tua is Smart, And Well-Timed / Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing CollapseIt Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / and Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

xxx

January 10, 2021

NFL Wild Card Weekend playoff picks: We were 3-0 Saturday. Today's picks here!; plus new Hot Button Top 10, What Dolphins' smart re-commitment to Tua means for '21 draft, first Greg Cote Show podcast of new year, final Herald 2020 NFL QB rankings & more

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

1) It's SUNDAY, JANUARY 10. Happy anniversary to my wife! To the best person I know, and the luckiest decision I've ever made! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins miss playoffs with collapse in Buffalo, Hot Button Top10, NFL Week 17 picks, Orange Bowl column, Greg Cote Show podcast's new first episode of 2021 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Say cheese! Packers' Rodgers wins elusive first Herald NFL QB season title: The details including the final season Top 35, here: Final Herald NFL 2020 QB Rankings.

PicksNFL WILD CARD WEEKEND PLAYOFF PICKS: WE WERE 3-0 SATURDAY, INCLUDING THE UPSET!: Week 17 was better to us than it was to the Miami Dolphins. We finished the regular season strong, with a 12-4 mark lifting us up over the .650 plateau overall for the year, and a 9-6-1 finish against the point spread leaving us at .520 for the year ATS, a tick better than last year despite this strangest, most unpredictable of pandemic seasons. We kept our hot hand on Upset of the Week picks, nailing another with Rams over Cardinals (“Aawwk!”). This our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for joining us on the ride! Now it’s time to surf a hot streak all the way to the Super Bowl as the playoffs begin with Super Wild Card Weekend -- super because there are three games Saturday and Sunday this year, not two as usual. As in the regular season, our postseason picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. Our Wild Card Weekend picks include five favorites all covering cover ... but one big upset. (And probably not the one you'd imagine). For all of our latest picks, visit NFL Wild Card Playoff Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANUARY 10-11): 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. NFL: It's Super Wild Card Weekend on road to Super Bowl: As top seeds Kansas City and Green Bay enjoy their bye week off, the remaining 12 teams in the expanded NFL playoffs compete Saturday and Sunday in three wild card games each day. Miami of course failed to make it at 10-6, a record better than two teams that advanced. Who again said life was fair? 

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 'Bama, Ohio State in Miami for CFP finale: No.1 12-0 Alabama and No. 3 7-0 Ohio State duel for the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium. Gamblers with a bet and folks in and around Tuscaloosa and Columbus have  a favorite. For the rest of us: Who do we hate least?

3. DOLPHINS: Miami parts ways with OC Gailey: Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, hauled out of retirement by the Dolphins this past season, resigned in a mutual parting. Defensive line coach Marion Hobby also will not return. Dear Fins: Hire somebody who can fully unlock Tua.

4. PANTHERS: Cats' season opener postponed by opponent's COVID issues: Florida was scheduled to open the NHL season vs. Dallas in Sunrise this Thursday and Friday, but those games were postponed by the Stars' COVID issues. The Panthers' now will open the season at home vs. Chicago with games January 17 and 19.

5. POLITICS: Sports world reacts to insurrection at U.S. Capitol: We can all agree the pro-Trump mob invited to assault the Capitol are criminals who should be held accountable. But as anger in sports reflected, so should law enforcement who either were slow to stop the almost entirely white crowd and in some cases even enabled the attack.  

6. HEAT: Anybody up for a two-game winning streak? Please?: The defending NBA Finals runnersup were 3-4 entering a four-game road swing that began Saturday in Washington. The Heat, still searching to recapture its misplaced mojo, had yet to win consecutive games.

7. MLB: Mets make noise with major trade for Lindor: Four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco are New York Mets now after a blockbuster trade with Cleveland. Hey Marlins and new GM Kim Ng: Feel free to make an offseason move or two.

8. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men looking for a little luck: Miami's men were 4-5 and 0-4 in the ACC, after a 3-0 start, entering Saturday's game at NC State -- with four of the losses by 4, 2, 1 and 2 points. Miami's women, also once 3-0, are 5-4/2-4 entering Sunday's game at North Carolina.

9. NBA: Spurs Becky Hammon makes history: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon made history in becoming the first woman to take on head coaching duties after Gregg Popovich was ejected during a game against the Lakers. Just part of one game, but still a big deal.

10. ESPN: Hey McShay had his first mock draft!: Todd McShay's first of 6,445 mock draft leading to April notably had the Dolphins selecting two wide receivers in the first round: Alabama's DeVonta Smith third overall and Minnesota's Rashod Batemen 18th. Smith makes big sense, but I'd be shocked by two WRs to Miami in 1R. 

Missing the HB10 cut: Dodgers Legend Tommy Lasorda, gone at 93. R.I.P. ..... Urban Meyer inching closer to coming out of retirement and joining the NFL. Look around the league and see he fits all the prequisites: Proven winner, and white ..... Jim Harbaugh signed an extension with Michigan. Quick thought: WHY!?? ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 44 (No. 2 of 2021) is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 1,996 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

DOLPHINS' RE-COMMITMENT TO TUA: WHY IT WAS SMART, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR '21 DRAFT: It took about 10 seconds for Chris Grier to render the Miami Dolphins’ offseason a heck of a lot less interesting. There had been tendrils of smoke beginning to arise from the fan base, wanting to catch fire. Your Friend the Media sat happily ready to fan them into flames. Into a Tuabonfire. Grier, the Dolphins’ general manager, snuffed all that out, mashed it out as neatly as a cigarette smoker crushed a butt into an ashtray (back when people smoked cigarettes). “Tua we’re very happy with,” Grier said simply, in this week’s season post-mortem media availability via Zoom. “He’s our starting quarterback.” That’s when the air left the offseason — when what might have been became a non-factor. All the tweets and other social media posts about how the Dolphins should set an NFL record for collective impatience by moving on from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. All of the media pundits, far and near, opining on who Tagovailoa’s replacement should be with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft on April 29. We might have looked forward to almost four months of juicy debate and speculation (lifeblood of sports, I remind you), had Grier and coach Brian Flores been anything but unequivocal this week about where Tagovailoa stands with the franchise moving forward. “We need to improve at every position.” Something as banal or vague as that from Grier or Flores, when asked about satisfaction with Tagovailoa, might have been enough to fan the flames and leave the door ajar in the buildup to the draft. Instead? The Dolphins did not the interesting or fun thing, but the right thing and the smart thing, in publicly recommitting to Tagovailoa. For our full latest column: Dolphins' Re-Commitment to Tua is Smart, And Well-Timed.

Our most recent other columns: Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse / It Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB / 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / and Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our new No. 1 episode of 2021 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 43 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the latest Ep1 of '21, ESPN star Sarah Spain discusses the Le Batard Show as Dan leaves the network, Greg and Chris chat up the Dolphins' massive collapse in Buffalo and, oh no, Mount Gregmore is back! Hear all of that and more in our first new episode of the year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

January 04, 2021

G16: Buffalo 56, Dolphins 26: Collapse! Miami finds a way to miss playoffs. Our column off game; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated), our Orange Bowl column, NFL Week 17 picks, Greg Cote Show podcast new episode out! & more

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

1) It's MONDAY, JANUARY 4. The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes Rally But Fall in Cheez-It Bowl, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy Week 16 results, Greg Cote Show podcast's Holiday/Year-End episode & more. 3) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

'Greg Cote Tuesdays' era ends on ESPN: Last week was our final Tuesday cohosting on the Le Batard Show under the ESPN umbrella. Thank you all much for the outpouring. The show's next and final day on ESPN will be Monday January 4. It will continue as a pirate ship on January 5 until it finds a new home. Will my role on the show continue? Ya neva know! (Stay  tuned...).

No. 5 Texas A&M makes its case in 87th Orange Bowl game: For or column off A&M's OB win over North Carolina: It Was the Overshadowed Bowl, but A&M and UNC Deliver An Exciting OB. Other most recent columns: 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again / The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / and For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

MiabufG16: BUFFALO 56, DOLPHINS 26: MIAMI FINDSWAY TO MISS PLAYFFS: Fins finish a credible 10-6 but miss postseason. Our column off the game: Promising Season For Dolphins, Tua Ends In Crushing Collapse ..... Original post: Buffalo. Early January. Temps in the 30s. Snow showers likely. That’s the Dolphins’ opponent today (1 p.m., CBS). Oh, and the AFC East champion Bills, too. The point spread, given the weather, should be favoring Buffalo by maybe double the 3 points it is. Heck, Bills were only favored by a mere 1 1/2 before Miami lost insurance-QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a COVID test-positive Thursday and the bet-line doubled. So what gives? 1) Bills are locked into AFC’s No. 2 or 3 seed, with no clear advantage to either. Makes it likely or at least very possible Buffs will rest key starters. As a template for what we might expect: When Week 17 didn’t matter much one year ago, QB Josh Allen played only seven snaps. 2) Dolphins make playoffs with a win, or if either the Ravens, Browns or Colts lose. No guarantees there, though, so Fins looking at this as must-win. Buffs at full strength, in this climate, are clear faves. But Bills’ big edge is on the attack, and fall from Josh Allen to backup Matt Barkley is steep, so that’s a difference maker if indeed Allen plays little or at all. Having said that, it’s all-or-nothing with Tua Tagovailoa Sunday, because the backup goes now from super-reliable Fitzpatrick to thoroughly untested Jake Rudock. It’s an all-Sunday, all-division games schedule to wrap this NFL regular season, and the slate is a minefield of games like this where the pick is at the mercy of who starts and who plays how much. Bottom line? If Sean McDermott goes all-out and Allen is slinging 40 passes, I may be in trouble picking Miami. If it plays out as I imagine, the weather will limit the score and play into the Fins' defense-first modus operandi. The league’s most improved D has gotten the Fins this far. Time to bring it home. (P.S., please do take the day off Josh Allen. You earned the rest!). My pick: Upset! Dolphins (+3), 20-17. For all of our latest picks: NFL Week 17 Gems

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JANJUARY 3-4): 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: With playoffs on line, Miami suffers monumental collapse: The Dolphins would have made the playoffs Sunday with a win, or if either the Ravens, Browns or Colts lost. Sorry, none of it happened. Leaves Miami as the NFL's only 10-win team to not reach the postseason. Sad ending to an otherwise upbeat season. 

2. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 'Bama, Ohio State coming to Miami for CFP finale: No Doubt I: Alabama over Notre Dame 31-14. No Doubt II: Ohio State over Clemson 49-28. Result: Crimson Tide an early 7-point favorite over Buckeys in College Football Playoff national championship game January 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Oh, and Dabo Swinney keeps insisting he doesn't regret voting Ohio State 11th in the coaches' poll. Admit it or not, Dabo, you were your own team's worst enemy with that motivation-on-steroids for the opponent.

3. HEAT: Embarrassment vs. Bucks tops Miami's slow start: Defending NBA Finals runnerup Miami is only 2-3 entering Monday's game vs. Oklahoma City. Lowlight: A 144-97 blowout home-loss to Milwaukee as the Bucks avenged its playoff ouster by the Heat three months earlier. Milwaukee made an NBA-record 29 3-point shots (of 51 tries) in burying the Heat. Miami allowed fans in the arena (about 100 family and friends of players) for the first time. Pity they had to witness such a night. 

4. HURRICANES: Cheez-It Bowl loss continues UM's recent bowl woes: The Canes fought nobly from an early 21-0 deficit in losing 37-34 to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl to finish 8-3. That's 'A' for effort but still a failing grade overall, with two straight losses to end the season, and a 10th defeat in the past 11 bowl games dating to 2008. (Also, when you are a five-time national champion whose season ends in the Cheez-It Bowl, sorry, but you cannot call that a successful year.

5. ORANGE BOWL: Texas A&M beats North Carolina in overshadowed OB: The No. 5-ranked Aggies handled No. 13 North Carolina, 41-27, in he 87th Orange Bowl game Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium, the same city and stadium that will host the CFP title game next Monday. Did A&M make its case that it should have been in the the four-team playoff. Not convincingly.

6. PANTHERS: Cats set to open camp as NHL season nears: Florida opens preseason training camp today/Monday with a 39-man roster. The Panthers begin their 27th season with a four-game homestand starting January 14 vs. the Dallas Stars.  

7. LE BATARD: ESPN era ends for Miami-based personality: The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz bids farewell to ESPN's airwaves on Monday, then continues Tuesday as an independent enterprise before announcing its next destination. Exciting times ahead!

8. MARLINS: Back to earth for Fish in first '21 rankings: Miami unexpectedly made the expanded MLB playoffs last season and won a series, yet the Marlins are ranked only a mid-pack 17th in MLB.com's initial 2021 pre-spring rankings. Miami also ranks fourth of five in the NL East, ahead of only the Nationals. Still waiting for new GM Kim Ng to make some splash moves.

9. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women try to shake doldrums: Both UM teams began the new season 3-0. Now the Miami men are 4-4 after Saturday's 1-point home loss to Clemson, and the women are 5-3 with Sunday's win, also vs. the Tigers. 

10. MLB: Did someone forget to turn on the Hot Stove?: Yeah, pitchers Blake Snell and Yu Darvish have been traded. Otherwise there hasn't been a lot of major action in the major league offseason.

Missing the HB10 cut: Happy New Year, all! Hot Button Top 10 happy to be back after a week off ..... Johnny Manziel is coming out of retirement to play in something called the Fan Controlled Football league. The FCF is to debut with four teams in February. Over/under on the startup league folding: June 1 ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast's new Episode 43 is out Monday! ..... Update: Countdown now 2,003 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup. 

PicksNFL WEEK 17 PICKS: DOLPHINS-BILLS, 4 BIG UPSETS, PLAYOFFS ON LINEWeek 16 holiday-gifted us a nice bounceback from a recent lull. We went 12-4 overall and 10-6 against the spread — solid on both. We bull’s-eyed yet another Upset of the Week with Steelers over Colts (“Aawwk!”), nailed a second outright upset with Cowboys over Eagles, and also hit on a trio of ‘dog-covers by 49ers, Falcons and Bengals. This is our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for following along! Now comes the tough part as Week 17 is wrought with games where it isn’t certain to what degree one team will be resting starters vs. playing to win — Bills-Dolphins one of those. No excuses, though. Let’s finish strong to toast 2021! Topping our Week 17 marquee: Fins at Buffalo, an unusual Game of the Week, four (!) upsets and a slew of game that will shape who's in the playoffs and out. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print. For all of our latest picks to wrap the regular season, visit NFL Week 17 Gems

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our No. 1 episode of 2021 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 43 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the latest Ep1 of '21, ESPN star Sarah Spain discusses the Le Batard Show on Dan's last day at the network, Greg and Chris chat up the Dolphins' massive collapse in Buffalo and, oh no, Mount Gregmore is back! Hear all of that and more in our first new episode of the year! Thanks as always for the support. Please listen, rate, review and subscribe.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

December 31, 2020

Bowl: Hurricanes' bowl-woes continue with Cheez-It loss. Our column; plus Greg Cote Show podcast's Year-End Extravaganza, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy 16 results, newest Dolphins, Heat columns & more

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

Newyeareve1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31. Happy New Year's Eve, everybody! And by happy I mean this cursed year is almost over. Now stay home and celebrate quietly. There's a pandemic, in case you hadn't heard. 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' miracle win at Las Vegas, 'Greg Cote Tuesdays' bid farewell on ESPN, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy Week 15 results, Greg Cote Show podcasts' holiday edition coming & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

'Greg Cote Tuesdays' era ends on ESPN: Last week was our final Tuesday cohosting on the Le Batard Show under the ESPN umbrella. Thank you all much for the outpouring. The show's next and final day on ESPN will be Monday January 4. It will continue as a pirate ship on January 5 until it finds a new home. Will my role on the show continue? Ya neva know! (Stay  tuned...).

Dolphins and Heat: Our most recent columns: The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats / Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener / and For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

MiaosuBOWL: HURRICANES RALLY BUT FALL 37-34 TO OKLAHOMA STATE IN CHEEZ-IT BOWL: Miami ends season 8-3 with Tuesday's 37-34 Cheez-It Bowl loss to Oklahoma State in Orlando, making it 10 losses in past 11 bowls for The U. Miami rallied from a fast 21-0 deficit, with N'Kosi Perry ably replacing injured D'Eriq King. My column off the game: 'A' For Effort, But King Hurt As Hurricanes' Bowl-Woes Continue yet Again ..... Original post: Today, 5:30 p.m., Orlando, ESPN -- the first Power 5 conference matchup of bowl season. That bad news? It's the Cheez-It Bowl. It's a consolation bowl for two teams that Cheez-itexpected more. Oklahoma State began this pandemic season thinking Big 12 championship. Miami late in the season was top-10 and thinking Orange Bowl. Then ... the Cheez-It Bowl. OSU lost three times. UM got embarrassed 62-26 by North Carolina, giving up 554 rushing yards. So, here we are, in only these schools' second-ever meeting (1991). Miami opened a slight favorite but money on the Cowboys made OSU a 1 1/2-point pick by this afternoon. OSU averages 194.7 yards rushing per game so it'll be trouble for UM if the same Canes run-D that got run over by UNC shows up again. QB D'Eriq King will be the best player on the field, which makes us lean Hurricanes. Two caveats: 1) Canes sack men Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche opted out of this bowl to prepare for the NFL draft; i.e., to avoid getting injured. That erases a big UM advantage here. 2) Miami tends to crap the bed in bowl games. (Sorry for the candor). UM has lost nine of its past 10 bowls, including that beyond-embarrassing 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech last year. It makes likely Miami here tough. I'm doin' it anyway. My pick: Upset! Hurricanes, 31-27.

Coteshow YearendGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW HOLIDAY/YEAR-END EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our new Episode 42 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. You can find all 42 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free; please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the new Ep41, it's a festive, song-filled romp as Greg and Chris review the past year (actually, 10 months) of this grand podcast experiment and share their favorite and least-favorite bits from the show — as well as their least- and most-favorite guests, and the most- and least-popular episodes based on listener downloads. Fun snippets from throughout the past year are included. Also in the the new podcast: Greg and Chris discuss their holiday gifts, rhapsodize about Saturday’s miraculous Miami Dolphins win at Las Vegas (spawning a spur-of-the-moment tribute jingle for Ryan FitzMagic, and also discuss the Miami Hurricanes’ upcoming bowl game. There also is big news on the future of the love-it-or-hate-it Mount Gregmore. Hear all of that and more in the new podcast out now!

Picks LoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 16 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Good and good!: Week 16 was a nice bounceback from a recent lull. We went 12-4 overall and 10-6 against the spread -- solid on both. We bull's-eyed yet another Upset of the Week with Steelers over Colts ("Aawwk!"), had a second outright upset with Cowboys over Eagles, and also hit on a trio of 'dog-covers by 49ers, Falcons and Bengals. This is our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for following along! Greg's Lobos: The good news? It's over: Lobos finished 6-10 with a 141-88 loss in the consolation playoffs of our 10-team PPR friends 'n  family PFPI Fantasy league. Finished eight of 10, bitten by terrible injury luck (Dak Prescott, Michael Thomas). Our MVL? The Most Valuable Lobo? Aaron Jones! Slim pickins', but, still.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

December 28, 2020

Do you believe in (Christmas) miracles? Dolphins win at Las Vegas, 26-25, as Fitzpatrick leads rally; plus NFL Week 16 picks, Heat and Dolphins columns, my last Le Batard Show for ESPN, Greg Cote Show podcast news & more

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

Xmas201) It's MONDAY, DECEMBER 28. Hope y'all had enjoyed the long Christmas Weekend! 2) Hot Button Top 10 had Sunday off. See you back here next Sunday. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins handle Patriots, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 41 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

The 'Greg Cote Tuesdays' era ends on ESPN: Today was our final day cohosting on the Le Batard Show under the ESPN umbrella. Thank you all so much for the outpouring. The show's next and final day on ESPN will be Monday January 4. The show will continue as a pirate ship on January 5 until it finds a new home. Nothing is official, but I hope my role on the show might continue. Stay  tuned.

Miami Heat a Disrespected Returning Finalist, and Opening Loss Won't Help: My column off Wednesday night's season-opening Heat loss to the Magic in Orlando: Heat Are Getting No Respect, But Didn't Earn Much In Opener.

MialvG15: DOLPHINS 26 @RAIDERS 25: MIAMI GREATLY INCREASES PLAYOFFS CHANCES WITH MIRACLE RALLY!: The Christmas Weekend miracle in one word: FitzMagic ..... Original post: I of little faith picked Dolphins to lose to New England last week and took a big L. Well, I’m nervous for Miami again in this prime-time end to NFL Week 16’s Saturday tripleheader (8:15 p.m., NFL Network). High stakes for sure. Miami hangs onto seventh and last AFC playoff ticket and can ill afford a loss here. Vegas, with more time to prepare after playing last Thursday, needs a win and a miracle. A wrench in this pick: QB Derek Carr (groin) is cleared to play, but there has been some thought Jon Gruden may surprise and go with Marcus Mariota, who offers more of a dual-threat with the run. Either way, Raiders’ offense will struggle vs. Fins D. And Vegas’ defense should be little match for a Dolphins attack that hopes to have back RB Myles Gaskin as well as top receivers DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki and Jakeem Grant. That could make it a big-numbers night for rookie Tua Tagovailoa. So why am I nervous for Miami? A) Vegas is home and Gruden is as desperate to win as a man can be. And B) Following the Dolphins closely the past 20 years has made me mistrust the idea of good things happening. Still, there are two comparatively productive offenses in this game but only one quality defense — one great defense vs. one awful one, actually. That’s enough to steer any pick with some confidence. My pick: Dolphins (-3), 30-20. For all of our latest picks: NFL Week 16 Gems. Our column as rookie QB navigates his most telling month: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

FinsneTHE KING IS DEAD! DOLPHINS VICTORY SUNDAY ENDS DYNASTY FOR BELICHICK, PATRIOTS: The king is dead. There when it happened Sunday, causing it, the Miami Dolphins — the once downtrodden-now-rising franchise that had suffered so long under the ruler’s iron hand. Miami’s 22-12 home victory against the New England Patriots advanced the new-era Fins, now 9-5, closer to an NFL playoff ticket and continued the fresh bloom on the blossoming era of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It did more than that, though. It ended Bill Belichick’s Patriots dynasty. The loss eliminated the now 6-8 Pats from postseason contention, ending a run of 11 consecutive playoff appearances for Belichick, and a run of Super Bowl championship-gilded excellence going back ever further. Tom Brady left Belichick during the offseason. The greatest epoch in football history left the old coach Sunday, becoming a thing of memory, of history. Of used to be. The postgame handshake might as well have been a symbolic passing of a baton as Belichick met his protege, Brian Flores, who in his second season here, ahead of schedule, has transformed the Dolphins with a winning culture and should be NFL Coach of the Year. For our complete column off Sunday's Miami win, visit The King Is Dead! Dolphins Win Signals End of Era For Belichick, Pats.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 15 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Mixed, but another tough hit ATS: Week 15 was another tough one as the late-season sledding turns rocky. We were an OK 10-6 overall but (ouch) only 4-9-3, as the Colts, Cardinals and Chiefs wins all pushed. Missed two other games by 1 and 2 points against the spread. We did bull's-eye another Upset of the Week with Cowboys beating 49res ("Aawwk!"), and Washington covering over Seattle, but not much else went right. Nothing to do now but shake it off and finish strong! This is our 30th season of picks in the Herald and we thank you for following along! Greg's Lobos: A win, but no joy: Lobos improved to 6-9 with a playoff win, 108-99, thanks to 28 point from Marvin Jones and 25 from Aaron Jones. But it's the consolation playoffs, so no celebrating here.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: WHAT'S AHEAD AFTER HOLIDAY WEEK OFF: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and our latest Episode 41 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. We're taking this holiday week off but you can find all 41 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. It's a great week to catch on up on what you've missed so please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In the latest Ep41 we welcome in a renowned animal psychologist who talks about how to raise happy dogs and cats in an informative, fun conversation. Also, Greg and Chris discuss the Dolphins, Canes and Heat. And the Mount Gregmore Name Game reaches its end with the X's, Y's and Z's. (But will it be the end of Mount Gregmore? Listen to find out!) Hear all of that and more in the latest podcast -- and stay tuned for a special new year-end episode dropping December 28! Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out our latest Ep41 now.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

December 19, 2020

The Road to Miami: On college football's Championship Weekend, CFP, bowl outlooks for Canes and OB; plus NFL Week 15 picks: Dolphins-Patriots, Chiefs-Saints, 3 big upsets and the rest; also, latest Greg Cote Show podcast a must-hear for pet owners & more

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

1) It's SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19. 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! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 41, Chargers-Raiders pick, NFL Week 14 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB rankings & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

THE ROAD TO MIAMI COMES CLEAR ON SATURDAY: Miami and Hard Rock Stadium will host the College Football Playoff national championship game on January 11, following New Year's Day semifinals in Pasadena and New Orleans. Here are the five games on Saturday (chronologically) that will have an impact in determining the Chosen Four teams invited into the CFP: 

CfpNo. 14 Northwestern (6-1) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (5-0): Big Ten championship, noon, Indianapolis -- It's simple. The Buckeyes, favored by 20, must win to get in.

No. 5 Texas A&M (7-1) at Tennessee (3-6): Regular season, noon -- Aggies, 14-point faves, will look to win resoundingly and pray Ohio State loses.

No. 10 Oklahoma (7-2) vs. No. 6 Iowa State (8-2): Big 12 championship, noon, Arlington -- With an upset, 6-point 'dog Iowa State would have a case for leapfrogging A&M into the top four should Ohio State lose.

No. 3 Clemson (9-1) vs. No. 2 Notre Dame (10-0): ACC championship, 4 p.m., Charlotte -- The big one. Irish beat Tigers 47-40 in double-OT November 7 -- but Clemson was missing star QB Trevor Lawrence. Not this time, so Tigers are 10 1/2-point favorites. Chances are good, though, that both will be in the CFP with even the loser likwly not dropping lower than fourth.

No. 1 Alabama (10-0) vs. No. 7 Florida (8-2): SEC championship, 8 p.m., Atlanta -- Crimson Tide are 17-point favorites and quite possibly would remain in top four even with an unlikely loss. The better question: Would a shocking upset lift the Gators into the CFP assuming Ohio State won?

Prediction on CFP semifinal after Saturday's results: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Notre Dame; No 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State. 

BOWL OUTLOOK FOR HURRICANES, OTHER STATE FBS TEAMS, ORANGE BOWL: Eleven bowl games have canceled because of COVID but 32 are still being played. Here's the is the outlook for the Orange Bowl, the Miami Hurricanes and other state FBS teams:

CheezOrange Bowl: January 2, Miami -- Oh, what might have been! December began with the OB looking like Frida Gators vs. Miami Hurricanes. Oh well. Settle for what's looking like North Carolina vs. Texas A&M. Canes fans and OB officials ate crestfallen.

Miami Hurricanes -- All indications are it'll be UM vs. Oklahoma State in the December 29 Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando. The good news? Big step up for Miami from the ignominy of last year's sad matchup with Louisiana Tech in the minor Independence Bowl after a 6-6 season. The bad news? With one spectacularly ill-timed, lay-down loss to North Carolina the Canes fell from the Orange Bowl to ... the Cheez-It Bowl. Which alone and in and of itself is a resounding, irrefutable answer to the ubiquitous question, "Is The U back?"

Florida Gators -- Pending Saturday results it's looking like Gators vs. Oklahoma in the December 30 Cotton Bowl.

FAU Owls -- Confirmed: Owls vs. Memphis in the December 23 Montgomery Bowl.

UCF Knights -- Confirmed: UCF vs. BYU in the December 22 Boca Raton Bowl. 

FSU Seminoles -- There is speculation FSU may face Louisiana in the December 26 Gasparilla Bowl. Yes, the Seminoles are 3-6 entering Saturday's finale vs. Wake Forest, but pandemic rules have waived minimum-wins requirement. Still, geez have a little pride, 'Noles! Your season deserves no reward. Stay home.

PicksNFL WEEK 15 PICKS: DOLPHINS-PATRIOTS, CHIEFS-SAINTS (GOTW), 3 BIG UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: Week 14 was rough on us, folks. We staggered in at 9-7 overall and [censored] against the spread. I cannot say what it was here because there are no obscenities allowed in the blog. Although you can un fortunately find it in the link below. We move on! Topping our Week 15 marquee: Patriots at Dolphins, a.k.a. rookie-killer Bill Belichick vs. Tua Tagovailoa. Miami at 8-5 is hanging onto the seventh and last AFC playoff spot going in and can ill-afford a loss in its regular season home finale. Also in this week's picks we highlight our Chiefs-Saints Game of the Week and our Upset of the Week among three upset picks in total. 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 16 games, visit NFL Week 15 Gems. Our week got off to a luckless start Thursday night. Wehad the Raiders (-3 1/2) winning and covering at home over the Chargers, but the Bolts prevailed 30-27 in overtime. Luckless? Vegas QB Derek Carr's early injury-exit. Hey, no complaints, as the Luck Door swings both ways. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print.

Coteshow PetsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: ATTENTION PET OWNERS! NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 41 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 41 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep41 we welcome in a renowned animal psychologist who talks about how to raise happy dogs and cats in an informative, fun conversation. Also, Greg and Chris discuss the Dolphins' Sunday loss to Kansas City, the Canes' awful defensive collapse and the Heat/James Harden rumor. And the Mount Gregmore Name Game reaches its end with the X's, Y's and Z's. But will it be the end of Mount Gregmore? Listen to find out! Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep41 now!

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / 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 / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

December 17, 2020

New Greg Cote Show podcast: Animal psychologist on dogs and cats, Dolphins, mysterious future of Mount Gregmore; plus tonight's Chargers-Raiders pick, NFL Week 14 Pix 'n Fantasy results and updated QB rankings & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17. 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! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall to Chiefs, Hot Button Top 10, Greg Cote Show podcast new Episode 41 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Tonight's Chargers-Raiders pick: Watch for a Justin Herbert-Derek Carr shootout and not a lot of defense. our pick: NFL Week 15 Thursday Gem.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: A rookie wins Week 14. (No, unfortunately not that rookie). And the overall season lead is getting close! Check out Herald NFL Week 14 QB Rankings.

Coteshow PetsGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 41 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 41 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep41 we welcome in a renowned animal psychologist who talks about how to raise happy dogs and cats in an informative, fun conversation. Also, Greg and Chris discuss the Dolphins' Sunday loss to Kansas City, the Canes' awful defensive collapse and the Heat/James Harden rumor. And the Mount Gregmore Name Game reaches its end with the X's, Y's and Z's. But will it be the end of Mount Gregmore? Listen to find out! Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep41 now!

PicksLoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 14 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Ouch. Took a hit against the spread: Week 14 was unkind to us, delivering a subpar 9-7 mark overall and a far worse 5-11 against the spread, our worst this season ATS. We had some nice plays. Nailed our Upset of the Week with Denver winning at Carolina ("Aawwk!"). Had a second outright upset bull's-eye with Washington winning at San Fran, and also had Dolphins-with-points covering vs. Kansas City. The rest we won't mention. Wrong side of too many point spreads. We move on. Glad you're along for the ride on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: A loss in (consolation) playoffs: Lobos almost made main playoffs even at 5-8 but fell short, then lost in first rou d of consolation playoffs 188-73. (How in hell does a team capable of 188 points not make the Championship Playoffs? But 73 points won't win much, either; neither will 18 points (Chris Carson) for a leading scorer. This is PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. We'll keep you posted on the big finish.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach / Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

December 11, 2020

NFL Week 14 picks: Dolphins-Chiefs, Game of Week, 6 (!) big upsets and all the rest; plus Tua's telling month (new column), Greg Cote Show podcast & more

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

1) It's FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11. 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! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Telling month ahead for Dolphins' Tua, NFL Week 13 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB rankings, Greg Cote Show podcast & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

On Tua's telling month. Our latest column: For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach. Also: Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 40 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 40 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep40 we welcome in special guest Harvey Greene, the Dolphins' PR guy for almost 30 years who began his career being fired five times by George Steinbrenner. Hear his great behind-the-scenes stories. Also, Greg and Chris talk over the wild Dolphins-Bengals game, Greg opines on the Le Batard-ESPN divorce, and of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (the W's). Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep40 now!

PicksNFL WEEK 14 PICKS: DOLPHINS-CHIEFS, GAME OF THE WEEK, 6 (!) BIG UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: The Week 13 picks were an unsatisfactory 9-6 overall and a just-OK 8-7 against the spread. Time to start our climb. Topping our Week 14 marquee: Chiefs at Dolphins, a.k.a. Patrick Mahomes vs. Tua Tagovailoa. Miami has two paths to an upset win: A) Tua outguns Mahomes in a shootout, or B) the Dolphins' defense is a result-steering force. Better hope for B. Also in this week's picks we designate a Game of the Week and offer up six big upsets, which may be a personal record for one week. 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 16 games, visit NFL Week 14 Gems. Alas, our week got off to a rotten start Thursday night. We had the Patriots (+5) upsetting the Rams. Neither the game nor my pick were close. Rams dominated. Hey, it happens. Time to bounce back! Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print.

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

THE ARCHIVES:

Select other recent columns: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / 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 / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

Heat NBA Finals last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

Select other 2020 columns: 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 / 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).

December 10, 2020

The telling month. Now is when we begin to find out if Dolphins' Tua has greatness in his reach. New column; plus latest Greg Cote Show podcast, Thursday's Patriots-Rams pick, Herald Week 13 NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results & more

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

1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10. 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! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Bengals, Canes rout Duke, Le Batard leaving ESPN, NFL Week 13 picks, Week 12 Pix 'n Fantasy results and QB rankings, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 39 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

New: Thursday night Patriots-Rams pick: Do we smell an upset cooking?: NFL Week 14 Thursday Gem.

Updated Herald NFL QB rankings: A Bill wins the week and a Packer passes a Seahawk to narrow a Chief's lead: Herald NFL Week 13 QB Rankings. 

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 40 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 40 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep40 we welcome in special guest Harvey Greene, the Dolphins' PR guy for almost 30 years who began his career being fired five times by George Steinbrenner. Hear his great behind-the-scenes stories. Also, Greg and Chris talk over the wild Dolphins-Bengals game, Greg opines on the Le Batard-ESPN divorce, and of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (the W's). Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep40 now!

TuatIT IS THE TELLING MONTH. FOR DOLPHINS' TUA, WE BEGIN TO SEE IF GREATNESS IS IN HIS REACH: Though Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has impressed, the proving has just begun. And now it elevates to a whole new level. See, it shouldn’t be Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert who Tagovailoa is judged against. Aim higher. If Dolphins fans truly believe/hope Tagovailoa is the long-sought answer for real, the conduit to sustained winning and winning big, then aim higher they must. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They are Tagovailoa’s competition now if a path back to the Super Bowl is how high Miami dares dream. Which brings us to the next month that closes the NFL regular season as the 8-4 Dolphins try to not only reach the postseason but to win the franchise’s first playoff game in two decades, since December 30, 2000. Tagovailoa must lead them there. Here is his gauntlet. To read our full latest column, please visit For Dolphins' Tua, Now Is When We Begin to See If Greatness Is In His Reach.

Picks LoboslogoNFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 13 RESULTS: NFL Pix--A head-above-water week: Some nutty Week 13 outcomes -- Giants over Seattle? Washington over Steelers? -- but we weathered the storm to go 9-6 straight-up and 8-7 agains the point spread. That included a trio of 'dogs-with-points in covers by the Jaguars, Jets and Washington. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: A win ... but no miracle: Lobos ended a six-game losing streak by closing regular season with a 123-92 win fueled by 24 from Aaron Jones, 22 from Cam Newton and 20 from Michael Thomas. But it wasn't enough to make the 6-team playoffs in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. At 5-8 we finished in seventh place. Oh well, at least we're in the consolation playoffs. We'll announce our MVL -- Most Valuable Lobo -- after the season. Our three finalists are Amari Cooper, Jones and Newton. So stay tuned.

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

THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / 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 / 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 last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

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).

December 08, 2020

New Greg Cote Show podcast out now! It's Radio Tuesday, too!; plus Dolphins and Tua club Cincy 19-7, Hurricanes roll at Duke 48-0, Le Batard leaving ESPN, NFL Week 13 picks, Pix 'n Fantasy Week 12 results and updated QB rankings & more

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

1) It's TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8. 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! 2) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beat Stinkin' Jets, Hot Button Top 10, new Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 39 & more. 4) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

It's Radio Tuesday!: Me. Today. Le Batard Show With Stugotz. 10 a.m. to noon nationally on ESPN Radio. Catch it while you can.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 HAD THE DAY OFF. SEE YA NEXT SUNDAY!

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 40 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 40 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In new Ep40 we welcome in special guest Harvey Greene, the Dolphins' PR guy for almost 30 years who began his career being fired five times by George Steinbrenner. Hear his great behind-the-scenes stories. Also, Greg and Chris talk over the wild Dolphins-Bengals game, Greg opines on the Le Batard-ESPN divorce, and of course there's a new Mount Gregmore (the W's). Hear all of that and more in the new podcast. Appreciate you all listening each and every week and check out the new Ep40 now!

CinmiaG12: @DOLPHINS 19, CINCINNATI 7: TUA'S BACK, D'S STRONG AGAIN ... AND A BRAWL!: Tua threw for 296 yards, Miami's defense came up big again and there was an ejections-strewn brawl as playoff-chasing Fins improved to 8-4 ..... Original post: You had been savoring a tantalizing platter of Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa 1.0 in the maiden head to head duel of the two high-drafted quarterbacks today at 1 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium. You will be settling for Brandon Allen vs. Tua, with Allen subbing for the injured Burrow. Tagovailoa also was iffy with his thumb injury but is now expected to start. Would not heave been surprised by another Ryan Fitzpatrick start, because he is capable and the opponent is lousy. Though the job should be and will be Tagovailoa’s when healthy, one advantage of another Fitz start on Sunday would have been his superior chemistry with top WR DeVante Parker. In any case Miami should be able to get it’s modest ground attack going against a really poor Cincy run defense, especially with Myles Gaskin back from injury. The greatest mismatch might be on the other side. Cannot see the Gals’ offense and Allen, in his fifth career start, doing much at all against Miami’s pass rush and stout secondary. Fins are on a 9-1 roll when favored at home and should keep that streak going without much fret. They'd better as they chase the playoffs, because the schedule closes tougher after today, with home games vs. Chiefs and Patriots and then roadies at the Raiders and Bills. My pick: Dolphins (-11 1/2), 26-0. For all of our latest picks, visit NFL Week 13 Gems.

UmdukeG9: NO. 10 HURRICANES 48, @DUKE 0: KING'S 4 TD'S LEAD ROUT: D'Eriq King threw for three TDs and ran for one and the defense forced five Duke turnovers in Saturday night's 48-0 rout as No. 10 Canes improved to 8-1 ..... Original post: Saturday night at Duke (8, ACCN) will be Miami's first game since November 14 because of COVID-related schedule upheaval. And it should be a fun evening for The U. D'Eriq King's offense should feast on a Blue Devils defense that has been trampled for 112 points in its past two losses. Cam'Ron Harris should run wild, as Duke allows 200 opponent rushing yards per game. And bad defense isn't the only thing the Hurricanes should be able to take advantage of. Duke's offense has committed a nation-leading 30 turnovers, including 13 interceptions by Chase Brice. It's a bit of a surprise Miami isn't bigger than a 14 1/2-point favorite; perhaps that's because Duke has won the past two meetings, in 2018 and '19. This one looks a mismatch, though. Duke's best shot at a home upset might be using its strong ground game to keep the ball out of King's hands. RBs Mataeo Durant and Deon Jackson have 1,276 combined rushing yards, so UM's front seven best be ready. Miami hasn't had a great track record under Manny Diaz performing after time off, so a fast start by UM will be a key. The Canes also may need to shake off the disappointment of officially being eliminated from ACC Championship Game contention. No. 2 Notre Dame is in, and No. 3 Clemson will qualify Saturday night assuming it wins at heavy underdog Virginia Tech. Means the Canes could fly home disappointed, even in victory. My pick: Hurricanes, 45-16.

Other state FBS games this week (in order; all Saturday):

No. 6 Florida beats Tennessee 31-19: Gators are headed to SEC Championship Game vs. Alabama but this win as 17 1/2-point favorites won;t impress rankings voters much. Vols have now lost six straight but put up a fight.

Georgia Southern beats FAU 20-3: Disappointing road effort for the now 5-2 Owls, who were only 2 1/2-point 'dogs.

Off this week: FIU, Florida State, South Florida and UCF. FIU was scheduled on Saturday to make up a postponed game at Charlotte, but that game will not be played. FIU has had six games postponed for COVID-related reasons this season, and only two will have been made up with the other four canceled. 

LE BATARD ERA AT ESPN DRAWING TO A CLOSEWhat has long been rumored and speculated became official Thursday with the news Dan Le Batard and ESPN are Danlebmutually parting ways in one month. The final day on air will be Monday, Jan. 4, for both ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz and the televised Highly Questionable show that Dan hosted. Le Batard immediately assured his legion of fans and listeners that he is not retiring and he will be heard from again soon. "Thank you, Disney and ESPN, for a quarter century of absurd blessings," Le Batard said. "To our loyal army of concerned fans, and to everyone who walked along and played an instrument in our Marching Band to Nowhere, know that it is a very exciting time for us, not a sad one. And that you’ll be hearing our laughter again soon enough." Greeny with Mike Greenberg will fill ESPN’s 10 a.m. to noon radio slot beginning Jan. 5. Highly Questionable will remain on the network’s TV lineup with a contributing team of hosts and guests. Le Batard and the network had grown apart in recent months with several moves that disappointed Le Batard or caught him by surprise. One was the national show being reduced from three hours to two. Another, more recently, was when Chris Cote, one of the show’s producers, was included among ESPN’s massive layoffs without Le Batard ever being informed or consulted. For this story in full, visit Le Batard Leaving ESPN, But Assures Fans They'll Hear From Him Again Soon.

PicksNFL WEEK 13 PICKS: DOLPHINS VS. BENGALS, GAME OF THE WEEK, 2 UPSETS AND ALL THE REST: The Week 12 picks were a sizzling 13-3 straight-up and an unlucky 8-8 against the spread. Now, like Bob Seger, we turn the page. Topping our Week 13 marquee: It won't be Tua Tagovailoa vs. Joe Burrow 1.0, but Dolphins try to stay hot vs. Cincinnati Bengals. We designate a Game of the Week from among a thin list of contenders. Two big upsets. And a tightening AFC East. 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 15 games, visit NFL Week 13 Gems. There was no Thursday night game this week. Tampa Bay and Carolina are off for the final byes of the season. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 12 RESULTS: NFL Pix--Mix of good ... and bad luck: We were a robust 13-3 overall in elongated Week 12 -- our second-best week of the season straight-up -- but an unlucky 8-8 against the point spread. Unlucky? We had Denver covering at home vs. Saints -- before all the Broncos QBs went on the COVID list and a wide receiver took snaps to abysmal Loboslogoresults. Unlucky II: Lost another cover when our pick came before Ravens lost QB Lamar Jackson to COVID and the line changed dramatically. Could-a/should-a been 10-6 ATS, but we don’t change/update picks. Such is the peril of predicting NFL games on Thursday afternoons in a pandemic-rocked season. Still, we nailed our Pats over Cardinals Upset of the Week (“Aawwk!”), bull’s-eyed another outright upset with Redskins over Cowboys, and had a trio of ‘dogs-with-points in covers by Bengals, Jaguars and 49ers. Glad you're with us on our 30th season of picks in the Herald! Greg's Lobos: Do you believe in miracles?: Lobos lost a sixth game in a row, this one 112-105. Got 24 from Amari Cooper and 20 from Dallas Goedert and not much else. So we slid to 4-8 in PFPI Fantasy, our friends 'n family 10-team PPR league. Astoundingly we still have a mathematical shot at the sixth and last playoff spot, but it will take a big final-week win coupled with a bunch of other results falling just right. Won't happen. We're done. Sad.

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

THE ARCHIVES:

Select recent columns: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / 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 / 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 last column: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals.

Marlins postseason run last column: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead.

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).