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On Tap In Sports 1/6/11

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(Steeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Steeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Brought to you by: Ivan Drago’s new diet-busting restaurant….”I Must Break You!”

Big Story:
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has gone all-in to land Jim Harbaugh as the next head coach of the Fins. Ross flew to the West Coast to woo Harbaugh to become the next Dolphins coach. Harbaugh was close to a deal with the 49ers for $5 million per season, but the 49ers were only willing to go as high as $4.5 million. That means Ross has to be willing to pony up around $20-25 million for a four to five year contract to land Harbaugh. Put aside the fact that Harbaugh has never been a head coach in the NFL, but I ask you this: if you’re going to spend that much on Harbaugh, why not start over with the staff and bring in Cowher, a Super Bowl winning coach?

But, I digress.

Heat: next game @Milwaukee (1/7/11)
The Heat are 9-1 in their last ten games and are near the top of the Eastern Conference with 28 wins. Led By DWade and LeBron, the Heat have won 7 in a row and are on an 11 game road winning streak. The Heat record for consecutive road wins is 14 and that’s close to the all-time record for road wins in NBA history as well.

While the players are getting credit, give credit to both Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra. Riley stuck to his guns with Spoelstra when everyone said to fire him and it’s paying off. Spoelstra has the team clicking on all cylinders, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

An interesting part of the team aspect of the game…DWade is 5th in the league in scoring, but no other player on the Heat is in the top five of any other major statistical category.

Dolphins:
Obviously, the coaching search is taking precedence over everything else. And you really have to feel sorry for Sparano. He’s got to go about his business knowing that he will be fired if a better coach comes along. It’s almost like he’s dating a supermodel telling him, yeah, you’ll do until something better is there.

But Ross’ man-crush on Harbaugh seems to be going full-speed ahead. Harbaugh and Ross should meet asap and my guess is Ross is willing to put up the necessary cash to get a guy from Michigan to be the new head coach. If Harbaugh keeps Nolan and works with the offense, it could work. Then again, who’s to say Nolan will want to stay under a new regime?

Oh yeah, the Ricky and Ronnie show are done in Miami. Brandon Marshall is on thin ice and could possibly be trade bait based on how his contract is written, and the Fins need a QB….BAD.

Panthers: next game vs. Carolina Hurricanes (1/6/11)
While it’s only January, the Panthers are just 7 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern conference. Yes, those Panthers. Who’d have thunk it? Course on the flip side, the Panthers are only 1 point ahead of being in the 12 spot in the Eastern Conference. We’ll keep an eye on it, but hey, it’s January and they’re not already so far behind that they can’t get in the playoffs. For them, that’s a heckuva accomplishment.

Marlins: off-season…but…
Here’s something scary to think about: the Florida Marlins are only 43 days from opening spring training. Yup, February 18 is the date when pitchers and catchers report for the opening of camp.
But, much like the Cubs, the Marlins have already been eliminated from the playoffs.

I kid.

College:

Football:
Recruiting season is in full swing at the collegiate level and it’s good to be an FSU fan. The Seminoles have one of the top 3 classes in the nation and are bringing in studs to fill in the gaps in their system. Combine that with a returning quarterback who has started big games and the Noles look like a potential top team in 2011.

Florida is holding onto recruits after the coaching change, which is good for them. Muschamp will convince a few more players to defect to the Gators and once Charlie Weis starts talking to offensive players, the Gators will be sitting pretty on National Signing Day.

Meantime, the U has a total of 6 recruits and are behind Duke, yes that Duke, in recruiting ranking in the ACC. That will most likely change, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a long rebuilding process in the Gables.

Basketball:
The Canes basketball team is off until 1/8 when they tangle with the Clemson Tigers. FSU also plays that day, but have lost 2 of their last three games. The Noles take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The Gators play on Saturday against Ole Miss. It’ll be the first game of the SEC schedule for the Gators.

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