What was biggest national sports story of 2017? Annual poll. Ten finalists, you pick top 3. Last day to vote!; plus final Herald NFL QB rankings, final college SOPY standings, latest Back In My Day video (Apple Watches) & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It's THURSDAY, JANUARY 4. How long should one keep saying "Happy new year." I say one week. Speaking of the new year, what a perfect time to treat the Dolfans in your life to my book on the club's first half century! Click on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and check out Fins At 50. 2) So honored to have received the 2017 Orange Bowl Edwin Pope Media Award over the weekend. Thanks again, OB. 3) Watch for our season-ending college State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) final rankings later today. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins lose finale to Buffalo with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.
Rest in peace, Mae Riback: I'm sorry to say that the dear reader and "my oldest fan" whom I wrote about in March passed away peacefully a few days ago at age 104. Click here for the tale of how me came to meet. R.I.P., Tiny.
YOU PICK THE 2017 NATIONAL SPORTS STORY OF THE YEAR: Welcome to our annual year-in-review vote on the biggest sports story in America. The top 10 stories in this poll are not mine; they are from The Associated Press official annual ranking for the calendar year. I list them alphabetically here, not in the 1 through 10 order of The AP's selection, so as not to prejudice the jury. I want this to be your independent vote and not influenced by The AP's rank. I am purposely not including a synopsis of each story, because if the ballot phrase alone is not sufficient, the story mustn't have been that big or important to you. VOTE FOR YOUR TOP THREE and check back often to monitor evolving results. And remember, this is a national list, so please consider your vote in that broad context. Soon, following our national vote, we'll offer a separate poll to choose 2017's biggest Greater Miami/South Florida sports story. For now, let's go nationwide. A year ago, you voted the Cubs' World Series win the No. 1 national sports story, followed by LeBron James leading Cleveland to the NBA title and the death of Muhammad Ali. What will reign for '17? You decide. Vote now. We'll keep the poll open three days and announce results on Friday as we present the local poll.
Vote for the top three (3) biggest national sports stories of 2017 in the poll below. You may also vote online by clicking HERE:
Deciphering a 3-vote ballot: A three-vote ballot means that, theoretically, if everyone cast the maximum three votes, no one story could receive more than 33.3 percent of the vote. It also means the vote totals can be tripled to give an indication of how many ballots that story is included on. In other words, a story drawing 20 percent would have been included on about 60% of ballots.
BRADY EDGES BREES IN CLOSEST FINISH EVER FOR HERALD NFL QB CROWN: The Patriots' Tom Brady edges the Saints' Drew Brees by less than one full point, 554.80 to 553.90 — the closest finish in our rankings' 20-year history — to win the Miami Herald's 2017 NFL quarterback championship. The season title is Brady's second and first since 2007. Brees is the all-time leader with seven crowns. Dolphin Jay Cutler finishes in 24th place, just making our final Top 25 chart. The Chargers' Philip Rivers wins Week 17 to end in sixth place overall. Our Passer Success System (PASS) rankings began in 1998 and the formula has been 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.
The final Top 25 for 2017:
Rk Lw Player, Team Wk17 Season
1 1 Tom Brady, NE 19.50 554.80
2 2 Drew Brees, NO 29.25 553.90
3 5 Matthew Stafford, DET 41.15 501.30
4 3 Alex Smith, KC DNP 487.10
5 4 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT DNP 473.55
6 9 Philip Rivers, LAC 52.35 469.75
7 8 Case Keenum, MIN 30.45 450.35
8 10 Russell Wilson, SEA 24.05 438.15
9 6 Kirk Cousins, WAS 1.90 435.65
10 11 Matt Ryan, ATL 34.85 433.75
11 7 Jared Goff, LAR DNP 424.45
12 12 Carson Wentz, PHI DNP 386.80
13 14 Joe Flacco, BAL 16.15 370.05
14 13 Blake Bortles, JAC -2.10 365.35
15 15 Dak Prescott, DAL 20.95 363.85
16 16 Derek Carr, OAK 22.15 362.80
17 18 Eli Manning, NYG 3.60 339.40
18 21 Andy Dalton, CIN 27.10 338.00
19 17 Josh McCown, NYJ DNP 336.30
20 20 Jameis Winston, TB 22.15 336.20
21 19 Cam Newton, CAR -3.00 328.10
22 23 Tyrod Taylor, BUF 29.20 315.95
23 22 Marcus Mariota, TEN 17.70 309.60
24 24 Jay Cutler, MIA 0.30 278.30
25 25 Jacoby Brissett, IND 18.70 275.90
Week 17 Best: Rivers, LAC, 52.35 (28-37, 387, 3-0 in win). Season Best: Roethlisberger, PIT, 58.30 (Wk14). Record Best: Roethlisberger, PIT, 80.10 (2014).
Week 17 Worst: Nick Foles, PHI, minus-4.05 (4-11, 39, 0-1 in loss). Season Worst: Nathan Peterman, BUF, minus-13.70 (Wk 11). Record Worst: Tim Hasselbeck, WAS, minus-23.20 (2003).
Most championships: Brees, NO, 7; Peyton Manning IND/DEN, 6.
Season record: Manning, DEN, 714.85 (2013). Dolphins season record: Ryan Tannehill, 481.25 (2014).
FLOWERS TOPS MILTON FOR HERALD STATE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR!: [Click HERE to see this online] South Florida Bulls quarterback Quinton Flowers (pictured, from Miami Jackson High) edges UCF counterpart McKenzie Milton as the Miami Herald’s 2017 State Offensive Player of the Year — the “state Heisman” for our seven top-level Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college teams. Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier finishes third in the final rankings, followed closely by FAU running back Devin Singletary. The top-finishing receiver, eighth overall, is UCF’s Tre’Quan Smith. The do-it-all, dual-threat Flowers passed for 2,911 yards and 25 touchdowns, while running for 1,078 yards and 11 TDs. The final Top 25 shows balance among the seven schools, with five players from UCF and South Florida making it, and three each from Miami, Florida State, Florida, FAU and FIU. Our weekly SOPY rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state’s seven FBS teams. The rankings are cumulative but based weekly on average points per game, or total points divided by the number of games a player’s team has played. This keeps the comparison even because not all teams play the same number of games. 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.
The 2017 FINAL TOP 25 (including bowls):
RK Player, School-Pos. Avg. Total (Games)
1. Quinton Flowers, SoFla qb 229.13 2,749.5 (12)
2. McKenzie Milton, UCF qb 223.19 2,901.5 (13)
3. Malik Rosier, Miami qb 171.27 2,226.5 (13)
4. Devin Singletary, FAU rb 165.79 2,321 (14)
5. Alex McGough, FIU qb 135.08 1,756 (13)
6. Jason Driskel, FAU qb 118.25 1,655.5 (14)
7. Cam Akers, FSU rb 100.27 1,303.5 (13)
8. Tre’Quan Smith, UCF rec 98.31 1,278 (13)
9. Travis Homer, Miami rb 95.69 1,244 (13)
10. James Blackman, FSU qb 91.54 1,190 (13)
11. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, SoFla rec 85.75 1,029 (12)
12. Darius Tice, SoFla rb 85.17 1,022 (12)
13. D’Ernest Johnson, SoFla rb 83.58 1,003 (12)
14. Adrian Killins, UCF rb 79.62 1,035 (13)
15. Jacques Patrick, FSU rb 73.92 961 (13)
16. Thomas Owens, FIU rec 72.73 945.5 (13)
17. Feleipe Franks, Florida qb 71.27 784 (11)
18. Alex Gardner, FIU rb 69.00 897 (13)
19. Otis Anderson, UCF rec 68.23 887 (13)
20. Lamical Perrine, Florida rb 63.36 697 (11)
21. Tyre McCants, SoFla rec 63.17 758 (12)
22. Willie Wright, FAU rec 59.86 838 (14)
23. Dredrick Snelson, UCF rec 58.46 760 (13)
24. Braxton Berrios, Miami rec 57.00 741 (13)
25. Malik Davis, Florida rb 54.18 596 (11)
Cote’s State of the State final rankings: 1. UCF (13-0); 2. Miami (10-3); 3. South Florida (10-2); 4. FAU (11-3); 5. Florida State (7-6); 6. FIU (8-5); 7. Florida (4-7).
LATEST BACK IN MY DAY: APPLE WATCHES!: Here it is, from yesterday's LeBatard Show:
Select recent columns: Canes' Late Swoon, OB Loss Don't Erase the Progress. Also: Where The Swagger Was Born. Stanton Had All the Power -- And Used It. Do We Trust Jeter To Fix Marlins?. Adam Gase Must Find A Way. Truex Jr. Takes Trophy, But Dale Jr. Wins The Day. A QB, a Crisis & a Father's Love. The Hurricanes Are Back; Deal With It, America. Canes-Irish: Game For The Ages. Appreciate Perfection -- Period. The Godfather Speaks. Latest Drama in Bizarre, Trying Season. Back On Track & Ready To Roar. Jeter Betting On Jeter. Hope That Wasn't Goodbye. Wade Will End Where He Belongs. Larranaga Has Canes Flying High, Now This. Regret, Tears & a Legacy's Dark Shadow. Specials: Thank You, Mae Riback. Thank You, Edwin Pope.
Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.