GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7. On this date in 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, resulting in 1,500 deaths and a declaration of war. 2) R.I.P., Jose Orlando Padron, founder of Miami-based Padron Cigars. 3) It is holiday season, which can mean only one thing: Giving the Dolfans on your list the gift of my book on the club's first half-century. Click Fins At 50. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins clobber Denver with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
Saints-Falcons pick: Click Thursday Gem for my pick on tonight's Saints-Falcons Thursday night game. There's a (small) upset brewing.
Latest 'Back In My Day' video: Christmas Decorations!: From yesterday's LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio and TV: Click Christmas Decorations to watch.
Our most recent Dolphins, Canes columns: Click Dolphins Find Needed Joy for my column from Sunday's 35-9 Miami home trouncing of Denver. Click Seeing Past the Pain for my column on UM's ACC title game loss to Clemson.
BRADY ON TOP, RIVERS HOT, SIEMIAN DREADFUL / HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / WEEK 13: The Chargers' Philip Rivers wins his second title in a row in Week 13 with a 44.20-point game, second-lowest winning total of the season. Meanwhile the Patriots' Tom Brady’s overall season narrows but remains comfortable in the Miami Herald’s NFL quarterback rankings. The Dolphins' Jay Cutler holds steady in 24th place. This is the 20th season of our Passer Success System (PASS) rankings, which began in 1998. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. Most major ranking systems such as the NFL's and ESPN's are complicated and percentile based, allowing QBs who miss half a season to still win a title, while our system is cumulative, rewarding players who are consistently productive and avoid injury or benching. Pictured right: Brady and wife Giselle celebrate his first-place standing in the Herald rankings. [Click HERE to see the NFL rankings online].
RK LW Player, Team WK13 Season
1 1 Tom Brady, NE 26.90 459.55
2 2 Drew Brees, NO 37.45 421.90
3 3 Alex Smith, KC 35.30 392.95
4 5 Russell Wilson, SEA 34.35 366.80
5 4 Kirk Cousins, WAS 27.55 365.45
6 7 Matthew Stafford, DET 33.60 358.10
7 8 Carson Wentz, PHI 30.40 354.25
8 9 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 30.50 350.90
9 11 Philip Rivers, LAC 44.20 349.60
10 10 Jared Goff, LAR 30.00 343.45
11 6 Matt Ryan, ATL 11.65 341.85
12 13 Case Keenum, MIN 42.35 338.15
13 12 Josh McCown, NYJ 40.55 337.00
14 14 Derek Carr, OAK 30.35 302.55
15 16 Andy Dalton, CIN 23.70 275.30
16 15 Dak Prescott, DAL 16.10 272.60
17 19 Cam Newton, CAR 22.15 263.15
18 22 Blake Bortles, JAC 43.45 260.65
19 20 Joe Flacco, BAL 34.45 257.20
20 17 Eli Manning, NYG DNP 250.55
24 24 Jay Cutler, MIA 21.75 209.85
38 37 Matt Moore, MIA DNP 72.05
57t -- David Fales, MIA -1.00 -1.00
Bubble: Tyrod Taylor, BUF, 244.50. Week 13 Best: Rivers, LAC, 44.20 (31-43, 344, 1-0 in win). Week 13 Worst: Trevor Siemian, DEN, minus-2.00 (19-41, 200, 0-3 in loss).
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 13 RESULTS: Every week in the blog I tell you know how I did the previous NFL weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my Greg's Lobos team in the LeBatard Show fantasy league. WEEK 13: Herald picks: Finally! A big week in a down season! Went a sharp 13-3 straight-up and a solid 10-6 against the spread. Nailed our Upset of the Week with Seahawks over Eagles ("Aawwk!"), hit two other minor upsets with wins by Cowboys and Dolphins, and also had Giants covering. Greg's Lobos: The bad news: Ended regular season with a 143.8 to 104.8 loss to Mina Kimes. We were OK with six in double-figures led by Todd Gurley's 21.8, but Mina was en fuego. The good news: Lobos in the playoffs! We made it, at 7-6, barely, as the No. 8 and last seed. We open playoffs this week vs. No. 1 Chris Cote. Lobos currently are an 11.2-point underdog but we'll fiddle and shrink that, then shock the world. #GoLobosGo
RANKING THE STATE FBS-SCHOOL BOWL GAMES: Great season overall for the state' seven top-tier FBS schools. And what were the odds, heading into this season, that the FSU Seminoles and Florida Gators would be the least of them?:
2. Peach Bowl: No. 12 UCF vs. No. 7 Auburn, Jan. 1, Atlanta -- Well, 12-0 wasn't good enough for the College Football Playoff, so here's the consolation prize for the Knights of Orlando.
3. Birmingham Bowl: South Florida vs. Texas Tech, Dec. 23, Birmingham, Ala. -- Overshadowed by rival UCF but another strong season by the Bulls, who now must navigate their future without departed coach Charlie Strong.
4. Boca Raton Bowl: FAU vs. Akron, Dec. 19, Boca Raton -- Good for Lane Kiffin. Owls already have set school record for season wins with 10, and this would be The Atlantic's first bowl win since 2008. #FoulOwlOnTheProwl
5: Gasparilla Bowl: FIU vs. Temple, Dec. 21, St. Petersburg -- And good for Butch Davis,too, in his first season. Would be only FIU's second bowl win and first since 2010, and would set a school record for season wins with nine.
6. Independence Bowl: Florida State vs. Southern Miss, Dec. 27, Shreveport, La. -- A nothing bowl chasing the Seminoles' worst season since 1976? Marked by the departure of Jimbo Fisher? Seriously. If you are traveling to this game and are not related to or dating an FSU player, God bless you.
7. Oh, wait. Sorry Bowl: Florida Gators vs. Nobody -- No bowl for you, 4-7 UF. And based on the many Gator fans I know, the humbling will do you good.
SOPY RANKINGS / WEEK 14: BOWL GAMES WILL CROWN SEASON TITLE: [Click HERE to see the latest SOPY standings online] It will come down to the only games left — the bowl games — to decide the Herald’s 2017 state college Offensive Player of the Year winner. And that will come down to one of two quarterbacks: South Florida’s (and Miami Jackson High’s) Quinton Flowers, whose lead is narrow, or UCF’s McKenzie Milton, who drew close with a big 351-point game on Saturday. The two contenders are safely ahead of third-place Malik Rosier, with FAU running back Devin Singletary close enough to perhaps leapfrog Rosier into third place. Our weekly rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida. The rankings are based on average points per game: Total points divided by number of games a player's team has played. This keeps the comparison even because not all teams have played the same number of games at the same time. Our simple formula awards a half point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown.
SOPY Top 10 entering bowl games
RK LW Player, School-Pos. Average Total points (Games)
1 1 Quinton Flowers-SoFla qb 223.45 2,458 (11)
2 2 McKenzie Milton-UCF qb 220.54 2,646.5 (12)
3 3 Malik Rosier-Miami qb 173.17 2,078 (12)
4 4 Devin Singletary-FAU rb 166.62 2,166 (13)
5 5 Alex McGough-FIU qb 144.63 1,735.5 (12)
6 6 Jason Driskel-FAU qb 109.96 1,429.5 (13)
7 8 Cam Akers-FSU rb 99.13 1,189.5 (12)
8 9 Tre'Quan Smith-UCF rec 99.08 1,189 (12)
9 7 Travis Homer-Miami rb 97.83 1,174 (12)
10 10 Darius Tice-SoFla rb 87.00 957 (11)
Bubble: James Blackman-FSU qb, 85.04. Other team leader: Feleipe Franks-Florida qb, 71.27. Last week’s best: Milton-UCF qb, 351 points. Season best: Flowers-SoFla qb, 383.5 (W13).
Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. Miami (10-2); 2. UCF (12-0); 3. South Florida (9-2); 4. FAU (10-3); 5. Florida State (6-6); 6. Florida (4-7); 7. FIU (7-4).
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