Barry Jackson

Where UM ranks in ESPN’s greatest games in college history. And Cris Carter loses job

A six-pack of media notes on a Thursday:

▪ESPN’s blue-ribbon panel of 150 college football experts has produced a list of the top 150 games in college football history.

And not surprisingly, Miami is spotlighted heavily.

Hurricanes games hold four of the top six spots on the list. And there are 12 Hurricanes games overall on the list.

Nebraska’s 35-31 victory over Oklahoma in 1971 won the top spot. But Canes games fill four of the next five slots:

Second overall: UM’s 31-30 Orange Bowl victory against Nebraska for the Canes’ first national title in January 1984.

Fourth overall: Boston College’s 47-45 win over UM in November 1984, a game that ended on Doug Flutie’s “Hail Flutie” touchdown pass.

Fifth overall: Penn State’s 14-10 upset of Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.

Sixth overall: Notre Dame’s suspenseful 31-30 victory over Miami in October 1988.

Incidentally, the third spot on the list went to Appalachian State’s stunning 34-32 win over Michigan in 2007.

The other Canes games on the list:

No. 25: Ohio State’s 31-24 win over Miami in the January 2003 Fiesta Bowl, which featured a late bogus pass interference call against Miami and cost the Canes their sixth national title.

No. 27: UM’s 26-25 win over FSU in a battle of top five teams in 1987. UM rallied from a 19-3 deficit with 16 minutes left.

No. 41: Maryland’s 42-40 win over Miami in 1984, a game in which Frank Reich threw six second-half touchdowns to rally the Terrapins from a 31-0 halftime deficit

No. 48: Miami’s 17-16 win over Florida State in 1991. Florida State kicker Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard potential game-winning field goal wide to the right. It was the 26th meeting between the first- and second-ranked teams in the AP poll and only the second between top-ranked teams from the same state.

No. 58: Miami’s 27-24 win over FSU In 2000. FSU’s Chris Weinke threw for 498 yards in a losing cause. UM’s Ken Dorsey threw for 328. Florida State kicker Matt Munyon missed a field goal attempt again to the right to seal the Hurricanes’ victory. The game became “wide right three.”

No. 62: Undefeated Alabama beat undefeated UM, 34-13, in the January 1993 Sugar Bowl to win the national title. The memorable play from that game occurred when UM’s Lamar Thomas caught a deep pass from Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta and was sprinting for what seemed like would be an 89-yard touchdown, when Alabama’s George Teague caught him from behind, stripped the ball from him, and started running the other way before being tackled.

No. 84: Miami beat UCLA 49-45 in December 1998. Edgerrin James scored from one yard out with 50 seconds left, ending the Bruins’ 20-game winning streak.

The group of 150 voters includes current and former writers, broadcasters, administrators, sports information directors and ESPN personalities. Panelists with UM ties include UM deputy director of athletics Jenn Strawley and former Hurricanes coach Dennis Erickson, who won two national championships at Miami.

▪ Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who ended his career with the Dolphins in 2002, left Fox Sports under mysterious circumstances this week.

The Big Lead initially reported last Sunday that Carter was suspended from his morning show, First Things First on FS1, pending a Fox investigation.

Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports then reported that Carter was angry “about not being included on Fox’s Thursday Night Football studio coverage and berated Fox Sports bosses about it.” But The New York Post said that was not the reason for his departure, and the undisclosed matter was far more serious.

According to The Big Lead, “Carter cleaned out his desk at Fox Sports under supervision of security.”

Fox said only that he’s no longer with the company but offered no further comment.

Fox had given Carter a few NFL game assignments the past two years, including the Dolphins-Titans opener in 2018.

But Fox opted for Tony Gonzalez over Carter for its Thursday night studio show and had Reggie Bush - not Carter - fill in for Terry Bradshaw on last week’s show.

For the past week, Chris Canty has been filling in for Carter alongside Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe on the FS1 morning show.

▪ Amid the team’s strong start, Heat games on Fox Sports Sun are averaging a 2.9 rating, up 39 percent over last season’s rating to this point.

That equals 2.9 percent of Miami-Fort Lauderdale homes with TV sets. Last season, Heat games averaged 2.3.

▪ Several Atlantic Coast Conference basketball coaches weren’t pleased with the league’s decision to open the season with conference games as a way to create programming for ACC Network.

“You never want to play the elite games early. That’s stupid, it’s just a money grab,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said after his team lost 48-34 to Virginia on Wednesday.

“They got scheduled games for TV, for the TV contracts so you got to play games early and then somebody had the brilliant idea of opening up the first game with a league game.

“I just don’t think it’s good. I don’t think it’s smart. You want to build up to the league — the league’s the most important thing so why would you play the first game of the year in the league? Makes no sense to me, but that’s just what happens when you go to 20 games and somebody wants you to play early.”

UM coach Jim Larranaga has another reason for being annoyed: “We need Comcast to pick up ACC Network because I can’t watch the games,” he said.

▪ ESPN, paying $2.7 billion annually for NBA TV rights, has every right to be outraged after Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard sat out its past two Wednesday night telecasts. The Clippers says his absence relates to a knee issue, instead of merely rest, but that has been the subject of skepticism.

Even measured ESPN analyst Doris Burke said, on ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo show:

“It’s mind-boggling to me that Kawhi doesn’t want to play against the reigning MVP [Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo] and he would rather play [Thursday] against Portland on TNT. I believe the league has a longterm problem.

“Kawhi not playing is ridiculous at this point. The league should be concerned that their best players are not playing on nights they’re on national television. The NBA ratings took a hit last year. People tune in because they want to see the stars that are so compelling. To me, the league has a problem.”

On Thursday evening, the NBA fined the Clippers $50,000 for “statements, including by head coach Doc Rivers, that were inconsistent with Kawhi Leonard’s health status.”

▪ Quick stuff: CBS is sending Dolphins-Colts to 15 percent of the country, with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green on the call. Here are this week’s NFL TV maps…. Mark Jones and Dusty Dvoracek are working UM-Louisville on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, their third Hurricanes telecast of the season...Bad news for ESPN and TNT: They have a combined 29 appearances for the injury-ravaged Golden State Warriors games on their scheduled. Some of those games could be replaced.

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