1) It is WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22. Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins win in Chicago, DSM poll, World Series rooting result, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
3 ex-Canes on Hall ballot: The 2015 College Football Hall of Fame ballot is out. Ex-Hurricanes on it are defensive greats Jerome Brown, Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp.
FORTUNE .500: DECIPHERING DOLPHINS' PLAYOFF CHANCES FROM HERE: In my latest column I write that Miami is only 1-7 on making the playoffs seasons when it is 3-3 after six games. Hasn't happened since 1983, Y.O.M. (Year of Marino). And so trusting and believing in the Dolphins is very tough; fans are wary. Click on Make Us Believe for the full column. We analyze Miami's 2014 playoff shot with a look at the remaining schedule:
At Jaguars Oct. 26 -- Miami isn't good enough to have a "trap" game or to look past anybody. Jax is 1-6 but plays pretty stout D and is capable of an upset. Miami win = 4-3.
Vs. Chargers Nov. 2 -- Home-field upset possible, but Philip Rivers a tough hurdle anywhere. Loss = 4-4.
At Lions Nov. 9 -- Very good Detroit defense, although Matthew Stafford's inconsistency and Calvin Johnson's health give Dolphs a big shot. Loss = 4-5.
Vs. Bills Nov. 13 -- Buffs defense is so-so and Kyle Orton is no answer. Win = 5-5.
At Broncos Nov. 23 -- Peyton Manning at Mile High. The one remaining game that feels like Miami has no real shot. Loss = 5-6.
At Jets Dec. 1 -- For NYJ, bad defense plus Geno Smith equals a current 1-6. Win = 6-6.
Vs. Ravens Dec. 7 -- Baltimore looking very good but home field counts here. Win = 7-6.
At Patriots Dec. 14 -- Tom Brady, in Foxborough, in winter, still sounds like a bad result. Loss = 7-7.
Vs. Vikings Dec. 21 -- No gimmies, but this could be surest win left on schedule. Win = 8-7.
Vs. Jets Dec. 28 -- Farewell, Rex Ryan! Win = 9-7.
Will 9-7 be good enough for a wild card playoff spot? Doubtful. As of right now, eight AFC teams have better records than Miami and two others also are 3-3. That's a 10-team scrum for six spots. But getting to 10-6 is doable. In the scenario above, a split of the Chargers/Lions games would do it.
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: THE GOOD AND BAD OF WEEK 7: We update you briefly every Tuesday on how we did the previous NFL weekend with our published predictions and with our fantasy-league team. Pix: The good. Went strong at 11-4 overall and 9-6 against the spread, and stayed hot on Upset of the Week calls by bull's-eyeing Jaguars over Browns ("Aawwk!"). Fantasy: The bad. Greg's Lobos fell to 2-5 with a 138-72 blowout loss. Not a good sign when your leading scorer (DeAndre Hopkins) has only 15 points.
SOPY: FSU'S WINSTON LEAPS TO TOP IN STATE COLLBALL RANKINGS: Florida State's Jameis Winston leaps to No. 1 this week in our latest blog-exclusive State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings -- "the State Heisman." This is a cumulative weekly list of the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from Florida's seven FBS college football teams: Miami, FSU and Florida, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. Our past two season SOPY winners have been FSU QB Winston (2013; 2,107 points) and Canes QB Stephen Morris (2012; 1,900.5 points). 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. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week (like the Canes) take a temporary hit that evens out over course of season. The SOPY Top 10 entering Collball Week 9:
SOPY WEEK 8 TOP 10
Rk (LW) Player, team-pos. Wk8 Season
1 (3) Jameis Winston, FSU-qb 156.5 1,076
2 (4) Jacquez Johnson, FAU-qb 287.5 1,028.5
3 (1) Duke Johnson, Miami-rb BYE 1,010
4 (2) Brad Kaaya, Miami-qb BYE 923
5 (8) Marlon Mack, SoFla-rb 166 819
6 (5) Rashad Greene, FSU-rec 114 813
7 (7) Justin Holman, UCF-qb 60.5 726
8 (9) Alex McGough, FIU-qb 94 720
9 (6) Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb (-) 4 667
10 (--) Alex Gardner, FIU-rb 101 636
Bubble: Phillip Dorsett, Miami-rec, 580. Season's best week: Mack, SoFla-rb, 304 (Wk1). Note: UCF and Florida have played 6 games; FAU, FSU, Miami and USF have played 7; FIU has played 8.
Cote's State of the State rank entering Collball Week 8: 1. FSU (7-0); 2. Miami (4-3); 3. UCF (4-2); 4. Florida (3-3); 5. SoFla (3-4); 6. FIU (3-5); 7. FAU (3-4).
WORLD SERIES: ROOTING FOR ROYALS: Main reason for fans of neither team to root for Kansas City over San Francisco in the 110th World Series starting tonight: Giants won it all as recently as 2012 and 2010, while Royals are in the postseason for the first time since 1985. Secondary reason: Silly San Fran radio deejays refusing to play the popular Lorde song, Royals. Seriously. Kansas City DJ's should fire back by refusing to play anything by the alt-rock group They Might Be Giants, although I don't know that TMBG has ever had a radio hit. Anyway, to protest San Fran's protest, here is Royals by Lorde:
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