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Let college football begin and NCAA torture end

 

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Today: Hurricanes against state schools. In opening the football season against FAU in the teams’ first-ever meeting this week, Miami will be facing the ninth different in-state opponent in its history. UM’s record against state schools, listed by most all-time meetings:

Opponent Games (UM record) Last met
Florida State57 (31-26)2012
Florida54 (28-26)2008
Stetson12 (5-5-2)1952
Florida A&M9 (8-1)2010
USF5 (4-1)2012
Bethune-Cookman2 (2-0)2012
UCF2 (2-0)2009
FIU2 (2-0)2007

Note: State opponents on Miami’s 2013 schedule are FAU on Aug. 30, Florida on Sept. 7, USF on Sept. 28 and Florida State on Nov. 2.


What South Florida sports teams are talking about:

1. HURRICANES

Countdown is five days till UM opens season of high hopes: Anticipation is high for a return to prominence and possible ACC championship as Miami opens its 88th season of football, and third under coach Al Golden, on Friday against FAU. The biggest opponents in a position to stop Miami appear at this point to be FSU and the NCAA.

2. DOLPHINS

Tampa game is dress rehearsal: NFL teams regard the next-to-last preseason game as closest to a real game in which the starters play longest, and for Miami that was Saturday against Tampa Bay in the first exhibition at home. So how was the Dolphins’ dress rehearsal? Did they have their lines down? Were they acting like a playoff team?

3. WHITE HOUSE

Dolphins’ Perfect Season team honored by Obama: All of the living 1972 Dolphins except three enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a White House ceremony in their honor. Manny Fernandez, Bob Kuechenberg and Jim Langer boycotted over President Barack Obama’s policies. For those three, the decision marked their biggest loss in 41 years.

4. MARLINS

Team ends homestand with signs of life in attendance: Marlins wrap up 10-game homestand Sunday with a surge in attendance, including eight of the season’s 10 biggest crowds coming in August. No, you are not imagining things. You really DID just read a positive, encouraging item about Marlins attendance in this column.

5. TENNIS

U.S. Open begins in N.Y.: Tennis season’s final Grand Slam starts Monday with Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams the No.1 seeds. But top story going in might be Roger Federer seeded seventh — his first time outside the top three in any major since 2002. We have a pronunciation change on first syllable of Roger’s last name, from “fed” to “fade.”

gcote@miamiherald.com

The Dodgers announced that legendary broadcaster Vin Scully would return next year for a 65th season. To put that in perspective, Scully’s career has lasted almost as long as the NCAA’s investigation of Miami.

That reminds me. It’s college football season! Week 1 kicks off Thursday for some schools, and the Miami Hurricanes open Friday night at home against FAU. Then on Saturday it’s FIU at Maryland and Florida at home against Toledo, with FSU opening Monday night at Pitt.

Nationally, the big story in college football is the reign of two-time defending champion and preseason favorite Alabama, a dynasty that has coach Nick Saban so proud he feels 5-feet tall.

Another big story line is the turmoil surrounding Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, under investigation for reportedly being paid for autographs. He now goes by the nickname Johnny Signed Football.

Of course, the major story locally continues to be that the bumbling NCAA continues to delay a verdict in its probe of UM in the case of renegade booster Nevin Shapiro.

I don’t wanna say this investigation has been going on an absurdly long time now, but the improper benefits Shapiro is alleged to have provided Canes players included bootleg booze during Prohibition, parties with flappers and free use of his Model T.

• The Little League World Series championship game is Sunday on national TV. History indicates that 1 percent of all boys who reach this stage go on to big-league careers, while the other 99 percent find it’s all downhill from here and spiral into unfulfilled lives of broken relationships, dead-end jobs and alcoholism.

• I truly enjoyed accompanying the 1972 Dolphins on last week’s White House visit. And everything would have gone fine if I hadn’t been swarmed by Secret Service after playfully blindsiding the president.

• The Dolphins lose tight end Dustin Keller to an injury and there is wailing about how crushing that is. The Patriots lose one tight end to an injury and another to a murder charge, and they’re still a Super Bowl contender. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

• As a security measure, NFL stadiums now require bags carried by fans to be of the clear plastic variety. Officials worry bad guys will in turn develop guns that look like ham sandwiches.

• We don’t look very good, apparently. ESPN’s 2013 Uni Watch, a ranking of the 122 team uniforms in the Big Four sports based on aesthetics, has the Heat ranked 26th, the Panthers 58th, the Dolphins 70th and the Marlins 110th.

• Ryan Fraud I mean Braun finally admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during his 2011 MVP season. His MVP award will now be called the MVPED.

• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): Marlins rookie reliever Arquimedes Euclides Caminero was named after the Greek mathematicians Archimedes and Euclid.

• An ESPN poll of NBA experts named the Heat the best team in the Eastern Conference entering the coming season. “No duh,” said the rest of the country.

• Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave a pep talk to the Tennessee Vols football team coached by friend Butch Jones. I hear Spo said the keys to a great season were hard work, dedication and LeBron James.

• That reminds me. The Miami-Dade policeman who gave LeBron an unauthorized escort to JayZ/ Justin Timberlake concert will undergo “informal counseling” as his only discipline. Counselor: “Next time, ask LeBron to please not post a video about it on Instagram.” Cop: “Good idea. We done?”

•  Allen Iverson plans to formally announce his retirement. Dear A.I.: You last played in 2010. I think the NBA already made that decision for you.

Dolphins guard Richie Incognito

• The NFL denied it pressured broadcast partner ESPN to cease involvement in a documentary that portrays the league as slow to address head injuries. “Yeah, right,” said America.

Ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez and South African blade runner Oscar Pistorius both were formally charged this week with first-degree murder and impersonating a role model.

• Someone told me Brian Wilson debuted with the Dodgers last week. I’m glad they specified it was the pitcher with the black beard. I was picturing a 71-year-old Beach Boy taking the mound.

• Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is teaching a “general principles of coaching” course at Akron. Lesson 1: Embrace the nerd look with a closet full of sweater vests.

• The Arizona Rattlers won a second consecutive Arena Football League title, surprising analysts who were unaware the arena league still existed.

• In women’s golf, Europe retained the Solheim Cup, and even Solheim barely cared.

• American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay

• NASCAR teamed with actress Alyssa Milano to create a line of fashionable apparel for women race fans. I am picturing a tastefully sequined Confederate flag.

• I read that Calder and Gulfstream are at war, running concurrent dates and fighting for bettors. And it’s true. The other day I saw armies of jockeys from both tracks on horseback, jousting.

The Harlem Globetrotters exhibition basketball franchise is for sale. Assets include a pail that you think is full of water but actually only contains confetti!

• The Association of Nigerian Prostitutes has offered free sex to the national soccer team for winning the African Cup. I feel like that association would have interesting board meetings.

• NFL plans to place cameras inside locker rooms and start airing video to fans inside stadiums. It will be a good idea until the moment a horrified crowd is accidentally shown a 365-pound guard with no pants.

•  Parting thought: You’ve heard of NFL fantasy drafts? I plan to hold an NFL reality draft. In my league, you select players and score points based on how often they test positive or get arrested, suspended or fined.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote, on Instagram/upsetbird and on Vine/Greg Cote.

Read more Greg Cote stories from the Miami Herald

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Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade signals a big three pointer in the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the Miami Heat's NBA Playoff matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 20, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Miami Heat needs Dwyane Wade of Game 1 to three-peat

    The Heat this season put together videos featuring every player that are shown on the home arena’s giant scoreboard screen during games. The one on Dwyane Wade happened to air Sunday during a timeout in the second half of the playoff victory over Charlotte that opened Miami’s postseason bid for a third consecutive NBA championship.

  •  
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, and center Chris Bosh watch from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Miami. The 76ers defeated the Heat 100-87.

    IN MY OPINION

    Greg Cote: Dynasty or dismantling for the Miami Heat?

    A Heat playoff run is the annual gift we slowly unwrap together, our two-month emotional thrill ride ever since LeBron James grandly announced he was “taking my talents to South Beach” that summer night in 2010. Well, buckle up again, South Florida. Prepare for exhilarating highs and work-productivity lows. Prepare for late nights walking drained from the downtown bayside arena. Prepare for hearts to soar or plunge on whether a basketball swishes through a nylon net or bonks off a painted rim.

  •  
Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson, left, drives past Miami Heat's Shane Battier, right, to dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Miami Heat sweep would challenge rosy outlook by Bobcats’ Al Jefferson

    I think that Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson, not a star in the NBA but a good player, must lead the league in seeing the bright side, in trying to find the best in a bad situation. This talent figures to come in particularly handy in the next week-plus as his hopeless underdogs try to avert being swept in four games by the two-time, defending-champion Heat.

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