1. HURRICANES: UM hosts Georgia Tech for ACC lead: Finally beating Florida State last week was bigger for The U symbolically. But hosting Georgia Tech Saturday was a bigger game tangibly, as the No. 11 Canes sought sole possession of the ACC Coastal lead. The road to all the way “back” starts there.
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2. DOLPHINS: Fins carry off-field, on-field woes to Atlanta: The second-worst four-game scoring start in Dolphins history. An assistant coach resigned in a cocaine/stripper scandal. It all goes away Sunday if Dolphins can pull of the NFL upset of the week in Atlanta. You up to the challenge, Fins?
3. HEAT: It's Opening Week for Miami, NBA: The meaningless six-game exhibition schedule is done, now Miami opens its regular season Wednesday in Orlando, then has its home opener in six days, Saturday vs. Indiana. Soon we see if last season's 30-11 second half was a harbinger or a mirage.
4. SOCCER: Shocker! Embarrassed U.S. men fail to make World Cup: Team USA failed to qualify for men's World Cup for first time since 1986, thanks to humiliating, eliminating 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago that saw coach Bruce Arena resign in shame. Guys, can't you just be half as good as the U.S. women?
5. BASEBALL: AL, NL championship series underway: MLB's final four includes team that just won (Cubs), team that wins the most (Yankees) and team that spends the most (Dodgers). Your process-of-elimination independent rooting interest? Houston Astros, who’ve never won it all dating to 1962 Colt .45s.