November 20, 2018

See the major impact of Monday night's Mahomes/Goff air show on our updated (and expanded) Herald NFL QB rankings; plus Radio Tuesday, Pix 'n Fantasy results, our college State of the State rank, column links & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20. Find the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter result in the blogpost right below this one, or directly here. 2) Football is raging and the holidays are upon us. That means it's the perfect time to delight Dolfans you know with the gift of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes win at Virginia Tech with CSM poll, LeBron torches Heat, Logano wins NASCAR, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

It's Radio Tuesday! (and Wednesday): I'm in-studio today for my regular Tuesday co-host spot on the Dan LeBatard Show With Stugotz. It airs 8:55 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Miami's 790 The Ticket and 10-1 nationally on ESPN Radio affiliates coast to cost and on ESPNews. This week I'll also be filling in on Wednesday's show. Join us!

LebronOur latest columns: LeBron/Heat, NASCAR, Wade's paternity leave, Gase/Richt: LeBron James won in Miami on Sunday night for the first time since leaving the Heat in 2014. His Los Angeles Lakers won, but oh did he win personally, too. James majestically dropping 51 points on his former team was enough to make Heat fans wistful: Oh What We Had, And What We Lost. Also: NASCAR Needs A Next Big ThingWade's World Bigger Than Hoops, And Good For Him. And Honeymoon Over: How Collapsing Seasons Put Heat on Gase, Richt.

MahgofOH DID MAHOMES AND GOFF PUT ON A SHOW! / MIAMI HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS (EXPANDED) / WEEK 11: With Thanksgiving Week signalling the start of the NFL playoff push, we're expanding our weekly Herald NFL quarterback rankings from a Top 15 to a Top 25 beginning now. The Rams' epic 54-51 win over the Chiefs on Monday night was driven by the QB play. Chief Patrick Mahomes' 52.90-point game wins the Herald's Week 11 title and moves Mahomes less than one point behind overall leader Drew Brees. Ram Jared Goff was secodn for the week at 50.65 to bump up one spot to third place. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season. This is our 21st season of Passer Success System (PASS) NFL QB rankings. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception in 1998, 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 Top 25 table (plus Dolphins) entering Week 12:

MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 11
RK    LW    Player, Team                       WK11          Season

1       1       Drew Brees, NO                    49.15         445.20

2       2       Patrick Mahomes, KC            52.90         444.40

3       4       Jared Goff, LAR                   50.65         422.35

4       3      Matt Ryan, ATL                     28.55          402.25

5       5      Kirk Cousins, MIN                  27.10          379.85

6       6      Ben Roethlisberger, PIT         24.70          362.10

7       7      Andrew Luck, IND                 45.85          361.45

8       9      Philip Rivers, LAC                 33.05          336.00

9      10     Aaron Rodgers, GB                34.60          321.15

10      8     Tom Brady, NE                       BYE`          315.40

11     11    Cam Newton, CAR                 36.85          315.15

12     12    Eli Manning, NYG                  38.55           313.80

13     15    Derek Carr, OAK                   27.60           297.65

14     16    Matthew Stafford, DET         28.00           297.25

15     14    Mitch Trubisky, CHI               19.25           290.45

16     17    Deshaun Watson, HOU          20.40           284.85

17     19    Russell Wilson, SEA              33.25           278.60

18     13    Carson Wentz, PHI                3.80            275.20

19     20    Andy Dalton, CIN                 18.55           262.30

20     22    Case Keenum, DEN              21.25           249.25

21     18    Joe Flacco, BAL                   DNP             246.25

22     25    Dak Prescott, DAL               27.40           238.90

23     21    Alex Smith, WAS                  -2.25           236.00

24t    24    Blake Bortles, JAC               7.20            225.30

24t    23    Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB            4.35            225.30

29    29     Brock Osweiler, MIA             BYE             126.35

31    30     Ryan Tannehill, MIA             BYE             112.60

Bubble: Baker Mayfield, CLE, 199.20. Week 11 best: Mahomes, KC, 52.90 (33-46, 478, 6-3 in loss). Week 11 worst: Smith, WAS, minus-2.25 (12-27, 135, 0-2 in loss).

Picks LobosNFL WEEK 11 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: PRETTY BAD, BAD: Every Tuesday in the blog I update you on how I did the past weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my LeBatard Show/League Of Lobos fantasy team. The latest: Herald picksPretty bad. I'm having a strong season but it didn't show in last week's stumble. We opened with an exact-score bull's-eye on Seattle beating Green Bay Thursday night, ended perfectly Monday night (Rams winning, Chiefs) covering), but nosedived in-between. We ended 7-6 overall and 5-7-1 against the spread, with Bengals-Ravens off the board for the tie. I guess as bad weeks go, we can live with that one. We're on the rebound this week so look out! Greg's LobosBad. Lobos fall to 4-7 with a 145-113 loss to Allyson. We got a gargantuan 43.5 points Monday night from Tyreek Hill. Alas, Allyson added to her big week from almost that many from Patrick Mahomes. With only two weeks left in the regular season the 'Bos still are mathematically alive to make the playoffs, but I'll need to win out from here, hope  the right other teams all lose and maybe still need luck from tiebreakers. Not looking good, in other words. Nevertheless: #WeAreTheLobos!

StateCOTE'S STATE OF THE STATE RANKINGS: Each Tuesday I rank the state's seven FBS-level college football teams. The latest: 1. UCF (10-0); 2. Florida (8-3); 3. Miami (6-5); 4. Florida State (5-6); 5. South Florida (7-4); 6. FIU (8-3); 7. FAU (5-6).

Select other recent columns: Moving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For DolphinsDolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To LoveNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 16, 2018

NFL Week 11 pick$ for Chief$-Ram$ and the rest; plus our NASCAR-in-trouble column, your verdicts on Gase/Richt (oy!), Marlins' new logo, Hassan's gun & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16. Visit Greg Cote Friday for the podcast from today's LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio. 2) Football is raging and the holidays are upon us. That means it's the perfect time to delight Dolfans you know with the gift of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Gase/Richt support-level polls, Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, college State of the State rank & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

NascarLatest column: NASCAR celebrates, but under cloud: For the 17th straight year Homestead-Miami Speedway hosts NASCAR's Championship Weekend, and it's a quality Championship Four gunning for the top-series season title Sunday. But a celebratory weekend cannot hide the issues confronting the sport, including decreasing attendance and TV ratings and a loss of starpower. We explore. To read, visit NASCAR Needs A Next Big Thing.

Other select recent columns: On Dwyane Wade's extended paternity leave: Wade's World Bigger Than Hoops, And Good For Him. And Honeymoon Over: How Collapsing Seasons Put Heat on Gase, Richt.

PicksUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: NFL WEEK 11 PICKS FOR CHIEFS-RAMS AND ALL THE REST: The Dolphins are off this week on a bye. So is the rest of the AFC East. In keeping with division patterns, anybody doubt Bill Belichick will find a way to dominate the bye week? With Miami off, the Game of the Week, Chiefs at Rams in a battle of 9-1 teams, tops my latest NFL selections. Visit Week 11 Gems. Included are my Upset of the Week ("Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is rockin' hot. Entering the week we were at a .699 winning percentage overall and a big .587 against the spread. And we bull's-eyed last night's game (Thursday Gem), not only calling Seattle's 27-24 win, by getting the score on the nose for a rare Exacto!

GaserichtYOUR VERDICTS ON GASE, RICHT: With both their teams slumping, we wanted to gauge your level of support for Dolphins coach Adam Gase and Canes coach Mark Richt. We asked, "Do you support Adam Gase?" You said: Yes, fully 10.32 percent; Yes, but wavering 36.90%; and Nope 52.78%. Overall Gase support: 47.22%. We asked, "Do you support Mark Richt?" You said: Yes, fully 18.75%; Yes, but wavering 41.07%; and Nope 40.18%. Overall Richt support: 59.82%. I'm surprised both results were so damning, but timing is everything in polls, and the timing of these ones admittedly worked against both men. I'm especially surprised the Gase verdict was so negative, given that his starting quarterback has missed 25 of the past 30 games injured. To make clear to those who misinterpreted my recent Gase/Richt column (Honeymoon Over: How Collapsing Seasons Put Heat on Gase, Richt) or these polls (love you anyway, Uncle Luke), I support both coaches and would have neither on any hot seat. 

MarlinslogoONE WORD FOR MARLINS NEW LOGO: As Derek Jeter continues to distance himself from anything to do with Jeffery Loria with a broad rebranding of the franchise, the Marlins yesterday unveiled a new logo and uniform colors that eliminate the orange but have blue, black, red and gray as the new colors. The logo depicts a leaping marlin above red baseball seams and the word Miami in script. One logo variation features the Miami skyline, including the Freedom Tower, in the background. The Freedom Tower is notable because the Jeter regime makes unequivocal the overt appeal to Hispanic fans in the makeover. Example: the announcement of the new colors uses the Spanish spelling, "colores." Initial thoughts on the new logo? It's fine. OK. But one word jumps out. Dark. I mean, a black background!? Looks like a retro flyer for Disco Night at a South Beach club.

Hassan M16JUST ANOTHER CHAPTER IN THE BOOK OF HASSAN: Mercurial Heat center Hassan Whiteside has done it again: Made news for reasons dubious. Whiteside bought a $50,000 M16 assault rifle, ammunition, a rifle bag, and a silencer in Miami on July 5, all of which were immediately stolen from his unlocked car, 640 AM radio's Andy Slater reported. Whiteside, 29, in a statement issued through the team: "I have a license for the gun that was stolen from me over the summer. I should have secured it better and I’m glad it was recovered. It won’t happen again. It is now locked in a safe and I only use it at the gun range." Whiteside apparently did not violate any team rule, except perhaps the one about using common sense. Dear Heat: Please consider a team rule on the wisdom of players owning military-grade assault weapons such as mass killers tend to favor. Just a thought.

Select other recent columns: Moving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For DolphinsDolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To LoveWade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 15, 2018

Your support of Dolphins coach Adam Gase and Canes' Mark Richt: 2 polls, last chance to vote!; plus my ne With my coach Gase/Richt homeymoon's-over column; plus Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, college State of State rank & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

Marvel1) It's THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15. R.I.P. Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics co-creator, gone this week at 95. I was a huge comic book reader as a kid, long before Comic-Cons and the nerd-trendiness of it. 2) Visit Greg Cote Tuesday for the podcast from this week's LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio. Included is my latest Back In May Day. 3) Football is raging and the holidays are upon us. That means it's the perfect time to delight Dolfans you know with the gift of our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins lose in Green Bay with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Newest column: Wade paternity leave helps his legacy, not hurts it: Some Heat fans think Dwyane Wade's week-plus paternity leave (he'll miss at least seven games and maybe more) is too much. I sat no and tell why in my latest column. To read it, visit Wade's World Bigger Than Hoops, And Good For Him.

Tonight's Packers-Seahawks pick: Good Thursday night game between two desperate, better-than-their-records NFC teams. Visit Thursday Gem for the pick.

GaserichtYOUR SUPPORT LEVEL FOR ADAM GASE AND MARK RICHT IS WHAT? TWO NEW POLLS. VOTE NOW!: The Dolphins and Hurricanes both are 5-5 in once- promising seasons gone bad. Both teams and head coaches are seeing downward-trending results even predating this year and each coach is the subject of some fan disenchantment on social media and fair criticism in his third season in Miami. I explore the job status, the criticism and the future of both in my latest column. To read, visit Honeymoon Over: How Collapsing Seasons Put Heat on Gase, Richt. Don't get this wrong: These polls do not presume either coach is unpopular with fans. I anticipate overall support for both. This is just for fun, to gauge strength of support relative to each other as much as anything. Read the column and then vote in both polls!

Select previous columns: Bill James Struck A Nerve, But He's More Right Than WrongMarino Set the Blueprint For MahomesState of Shock For Canes, Gators and Noles.

BIG BEN TAKES WEEK, BREES REGAINS SEASON LEAD / MIAMI HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / WEEK 10: The Saints' Drew Brees nudges ahead of Chief Patrick Mahomes to regain the overall Bigbenseason lead in the Miami Herald's latest NFL quarterback rankings. Week 10 honors go to Steeler Ben Roethlisberger (pictured) with a big 55.40-point game on Thursday night, lifting him one spot to sixth place overall. Lower in the chart, Dolphin Brock Osweiler bumps up one spot to 29th, finally surpassing Ryan Tannehill. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season. This is our 21st season of Passer Success System (PASS) NFL QB rankings. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception in 1998, 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 Top 15 table (plus Dolphins) entering Week 11:

MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 10
RK    LW    Player, Team                        WK10          Season

1       3      Drew Brees, NO                     46.25          396.05

2       1      Patrick Mahomes, KC             37.45          391.50

3       5      Matt Ryan, ATL                     46.50           373.70

4       4      Jared Goff, LAR                    43.90           371.70

5       2      Kirk Cousins, MIN                  BYE           352.75

6       7      Ben Roethlisberger, PIT         55.40           337.40

7       8      Andrew Luck, IND                 38.25           315.60

8       6      Tom Brady, NE                      13.70           315.40

9       9      Philip Rivers, LAC                 29.15           302.95

10    11      Aaron Rodgers, GB               30.95           286.55

11    12      Cam Newton, CAR                29.65           278.30

12    16      Eli Manning, NYG                 30.40           275.25

13    18      Carson Wentz, PHI               41.00           271.40

14    20      Mitch Trubisky, CHI              47.75           271.20

15    14      Derek Carr, OAK                  23.15           270.05

15    13      Matthew Stafford, DET        21.70           269.25

29    30     Brock Osweiler, MIA              16.65          126.35

30    29     Ryan Tannehill, MIA                DNP          112.60

Bubble: Matthew Stafford, DET, 269.25. Week 10 best: Roethlisberger, PIT, 55.40 (22-25, 328, 5-0 in win). Week 10 worst: Josh McCown, NYJ, 0.75 (17-34, 135, 0-2 in loss).

Picks LobosNFL WEEK 10 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: WIN, WIN!: Every Tuesday in the blog I update you on how I did the past weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my LeBatard Show/League Of Lobos fantasy team. The latest: Herald picksWin! We were a decent 9-5 straight-up but on the right side (again) at 8-5-1 against the spread in Week 10, with the Colts win pushing at 3 for the tie. We nailed yet another Upset of the Week with Giants winning in San Fran last night ("Aawwk!") and also had four big 'dogs-with-points in Titans, Cardinals, Seahawks and Cowboys. (See Week 10 Gems to check my bookkeeping). Greg's LobosWin! Lobos rise to 4-6 on the year with a 147.7-48 crushing of Domonique Foxworth. He played three guys out injured -- not sly, Fox! -- but I'd have won anyway led by a huge combined 73.2 points from Zach Ertz and Tyreek Hill. (Zach making a case for season MVL honors; we'll see). Three weeks left in the regular season and the 'Bos are rallying for a playoff ticket! #WeAreTheLobos

StateofCOTE'S STATE OF THE STATE RANKINGS: Each Tuesday I rank the state's seven FBS-level college football teams. The latest: 1. UCF (9-0); 2. Florida (7-3); 3. Miami (5-5); 4. South Florida (7-3); 5. Florida State (4-6); 6. FAU (5-5); 7. FIU (7-3).

Select other recent columns: Moving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For DolphinsDolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To LoveWade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 10, 2018

Poll: Will Dolphins make playoffs? Last chance to vote. Do it now!; plus NFL Week 10 picks for Fins-Packers and the rest, our Bill James/replaceable athletes column, congrats D.Wade!, the Mahomes/Marino parallel & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

Wadebaby1) It's SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10. Congratulations to Heat star Dwyane Wade and wife Gabrielle Union on the birth this week of their baby girl via surrogate. A name was not immediately shared. Union-Wade had been honest about her struggle to have a child, including previous miscarriages. "Our miracle baby," said Wade. 2) Visit Greg Cote Tuesday for the podcast from this week's LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio. Included: the latest 'Back In My Day.' 3) Football season means it's the perfect time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Herald NFL QB rankings, Dolphins' '72 Perfection reaffirmed, Pix 'n Fantasy results, college State of the State rank & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

On Bill James and replaceable athletes: The sabermetrics ace and Red Sox fell into hot water this week by saying baseball players were replaceable, likening their importance to that of beer vendors. By extension he  meant athletes in general. But  here's the thing. He has a point. He may be right. I discuss in my latest column. To read it, visit Bill James Struck A Nerve, But He's More Right Than Wrong.

Picks W10pixUPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: NFL WEEK 10 PICKS FOR DOLPHINS-PACKERS AND THE REST: It's the Dolphins making a rare visit to Lambeau Field in Green Bay this Sunday, and there is bad news on two fronts. 1) The temps will be in the 20s. 2) Opponent points will be in the 30s. Dolphins-Packers tops my latest NFL selections. Visit Week 10 Gems. Included are my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is rockin' hot. Entering the week we were at a .705 winning percentage overall and a big .585 against the spread. Mixed start last night as we had Steelers but winning but blew it thinking Panthers would cover. See Thursday Gem for that pick.

MahmarMARINO SET THE BLUEPRINT FOR MAHOMES: What the NFL is seeing this season from Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City  is the most instantly dynamic impact by a young quarterback since what Dan Marino brought to Miami, and to football, in 1983-84. The arrival and prolific output of the two (pictured right) are among the many similarities in the two passers 35 years apart. I explore in a column from earlier this week. Read it by visiting Marino Set the Blueprint For Mahomes.

Select other recent columns: UM, Florida and FSU have a current combined seven-game losing streak, indicative of broader struggles and challenges for the state's erstwhile Big 3. Read State of Shock For Canes, Gators and Noles. Also: Dolphins Win, But Under Cloud, Not RainbowTime For Faith In Richt, And PatienceMoving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For DolphinsDolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To LoveSnakebit AdamFamily Tradition. And Victor-y, Miami!

DologoPOLL: WILL THE DOLPHINS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?: Miami is a better than expected 5-4 entering NFL Week 10, and currently sits seventh in the jockeying for six AFC playoff sports. The Dolphins are well in the hunt. But will they make it? What is the confidence level of fans? That's why this poll is here. Try to cast a dispassionate vote -- not what you hope happens, but what you honestly predict will. What you'd bet on. Go!

Other select recent columns: Wade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 07, 2018

There's a new No. 1 in Herald's NFL QB rankings!; plus quick political comment, latest Pix 'n Fantasy results, ESPN 'Greg Cote Tuesday' link, my 'State Of Shock' column, Cote's State of the State rank, still-Perfect '72 Fins & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7. Visit Greg Cote Tuesday for the podcast from yesterday's Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio. Contained therein: the latest 'Back In My Day.' 2) Football season means it's the perfect time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins beats Jets wirh DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10, your most-disappointing-team verdict & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

"I try to avoid overt political comments here. Let's just say that, with the mid-term election results, I'm grateful that so much of the country is so much more progressive than my own state of Florida, which apparently is OK continuing to slide into the embrace of 'Deep South' beyond geography. You are free to disagree. God bless America!" --Greg Cote

ShulaSTILL PERFECT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: Quietly came an annual rite of football passage on Sunday. The NFL's last unbeaten team (the L.A. Rams) lost, preserving the 1972 Dolphins' 17-0 as still the only Perfect Season in NFL history. That's 46 years and counting weathering the storm and standing alone for Don Shula and his boys. In honor of the accomplishment, a photo (at right) taken before Sunday's Dolphins-Jets game at Hard Rock Stadium. Far left and right are iconic fullback Larry Csonka with the thumbs-up sign and of course Shula in his mustard Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket. In between them: Joe Namath and Shula's wife, Mary Anne. #StillPerfect

LATEST COLUMN: Canes, Gators, Noles make dubious history: Miami, Florida and Florida State have a current combined seven-game losing streak, the first time in almost a half-century that each has simultaneously lost at least two in a row. It's an historical quirk, but indicative of the broader struggles and challenges for the state's erstwhile Big 3. To dive into my latest column, visit State of Shock For Canes, Gators and Noles.

Select other recent columns: From the stadium on Sunday's game: Dolphins Win, But Under Cloud, Not Rainbow. Also: Time For Faith In Richt, And PatienceMoving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For DolphinsDolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To Love (fans vent). Snakebit Adam (on Gase). Family Tradition (N'Kosi Perry's $$ video). And Victory-y, Miami! (Marlins sign Victor Victor Mesa).

MahomesBREES WINS WEEK BUT MAHOMES OVERTAKES SEASON LEAD / MIAMI HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / WEEK 9: The Saints' Drew Brees scored a 48.30-point game to win Week 9 honors in the Herald's latest NFL quarterback rankings. The bigger news: The Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (pictured) overtakes Viking Kirk Cousins for the season lead in what evolves for now as a three-man race along with Brees. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season. Dolphin Brock Osweiler, filling in again for injured Ryan Tannehill, did not play well (again) and languishes in 30th place. This is our 21st season of Passer Success System (PASS) NFL QB rankings. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception in 1998, 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 Top 15 table (plus Dolphins) entering Week 10:

MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 9
RK    LW    Player, Team                        WK9          Season

1       2       Patrick Mahomes, KC            43.75         354.05

2       1       Kirk Cousins, MIN                  27.20        352.75

3       3       Drew Brees, NO                    48.30        349.80

4       4       Jared Goff, LAR                    41.55        327.80

5       5       Matt Ryan, ATL                     45.50        327.20

6       7       Tom Brady, NE                      31.70        301.70

7       9       Ben Roethlisberger, PIT         33.50        282.00

8       6       Andrew Luck, IND                  BYE          277.35

9       8       Philip Rivers, LAC                 22.40         273.80

10     12     Deshaun Watson, HOU           31.65        264.45

11     13     Aaron Rodgers, GB                23.95        255.60

12     18     Cam Newton, CAR                 36.35        248.65

13     17     Matthew Stafford, DET          23.95        247.55

14     15     Derek Carr, OAK                    19.55        246.90

15     16     Joe Flacco, BAL                    19.30        246.25

29     28     Ryan Tannehill, MIA                DNP         112.60

30     32     Brock Osweiler, MIA               17.95        109.70

Bubble: Eli Manning, NYG, 244.85. Week 9 best: Brees, NO, 48.30 (25-36, 346, 4-0 in win). Week 9 worst: Sam Darnold, NYJ, 2.45 (21-39, 229, 0-4 in loss).

Picks LobosNFL WEEK 9 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: SOLID AGAIN, BAD AGAIN: Every Tuesday in the blog I update you on how I did the past weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my LeBatard Show/League Of Lobos fantasy team. The latest: Herald picksSolid again. We went 9-4 straight-up and a stout 9-4 against the spread in Week 9. That included yet another Upset of the Week bull's-eye with Steelers winning in Baltimore ("Aawwk!"), a mini-upset with Texans winning in Denver, and Titans-with-points last night. Also hit the Dolphins' seven-point winning margin on the button. (See Week 9 Gems for proof I ain't lyin'). Greg's LobosBad again. Got spanked by Guillermo 134-71, a score too brutal to mention, really, for a second straight loss dropping us to a disappointing 3-6 on the year. Got 20.3 points from Deshaun Watson and not much else of note. With four weeks left in the regular season I may need to run the table or at least win three to make the playoffs. So let's do it then! #WeAreTheLobos

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE RANKINGS: Each Tuesday I rank the state's seven FBS-level college football teams. The latest: 1. UCF (8-0); 2. Florida (6-3); 3. Miami (5-4); 4. South Florida (7-2); 5. Florida State (4-5); 6. FAU (4-5); 7. FIU (6-3).

Other select recent columns: Wade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 05, 2018

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: 12.1%; plus UM loses at home to Duke 20-12, falls to 5-4; also, Biggest Disappointment Poll, NFL Week 9 picks. other state Collball & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4. Happy new month, all! Welcome, November. Seems like we've been waiting a year! 2) Football season means it's the right time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Defending Mark Richt column, Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's college State of State rank & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

In defense of Mark Richt and our other most recent columns: The Canes coach is feeling some heat for first time in his 2 1/2 seasons with UM. For my latest column, visit Time For Faith In Richt, And Patience. Also: Moving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For Dolphins. Dolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To Love (fans vent). Snakebit Adam (on luckless Adam Gase). Family Tradition (on N'Kosi Perry's $$$ video). And Victory-y, Miami! (on Marlins signing Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Jr.)

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G9: 12.1%: Results are certified in the latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 12.1 percent overall approval --the combination of "very" and "satisfied" votes -- in the wake of Saturday night's 20-12 home loss vs. Duke putting Miami's season record at 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the ACC. The CSM is your invitation after every Canes football game -- no matter the result or opponent -- to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, the season as a whole, the program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 10:30 a.m. today/Monday. (The CSM also takes place on my Twitter site @gregcote. The approval vote there was 21%).

2018 CSM game-by game results

G1: 9.2% following 33-17 loss to LSU.

G2: 73.8% following 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State.

G3: 76.7% following 49-24 victory at Toledo.

G4: 84.0% following 31-17 victory vs. FIU.

G5: 98.7% following 47-10 victory vs. North Carolina.

G6: 91.1% following 28-27 victory vs. FSU.

G7: 13.0% following 16-13 loss at Virginia.

G8: 7.8% following 27-14 loss at Boston College.

G9: 12.1% following 20-12 loss vs. Duke.

Next poll: Nov. 10 following game at Georgia Tech.

G9: DUKE 20, @HURRICANES 12: WE SAW HOW RICHT, UM DEALT WITH THE PRESSURE. NOT WELL!: Postgame thoughts: A 20-12 home loss to Duke is worse than the two previous road losses (at Virginia and at Boston College). Miami at 5-4 is a clear regression from last season, the offense struggling. Standing out, dubiously: the continued waffling by coach Mark Richt on the use of quarterbacks Malik Rosier and N'Kosi Perry. Richt doesn't seem to have a clue as to who his QB is. Worse, neither does Miami's offense. Original post: Blog readers know that I warned y'all with a Nervous-Night Alert before the game at DukemiaVirginia. Then I directly called Miami's loss at Boston College. Duke is not quite as good, and the home game is well-timed for Miami (7 p.m. Saturday at The Rock ) -- but I must say the Blue Devils are decent and will require The U's utmost attention. Both teams are 5-3 and trending wrong, after Duke once was 4-0 and Miami 5-1. UM's two straight losses have heaped some fan criticism on coach Mark Richt and his play-calling, while the Dukesters have dropped three of the last four games. So the desperation factor is close in this ACC bout. More of it though is on Miami, a 9 1/2-point favorite off a line that opened at 8 and grew with money poured onto the Canes. That may be because The U has dominated Duke all-time, leading the series 13-2 including four wins in a row. Pressure is squarely on QB Malik Rosier, who could be an interception or a scoreless quarter away from being benched for N'Kosi Perry, because Richt seems to be lacking a clear conviction on who his QB should be. Duke, though not as good as Virginia or Boston College, is far from the pushover it once was. An outright upset would surprise but not shock. The Devils are well-coached by David Cutcliffe and have a troublesome offense led by QB Daniel Jones, who some see as a potential future first-round NFL draft pick. I like Canes riding the home field to snap that two-game skid, but until Miami shows it is firing on all pistons again Duke seems like a fair play against the spread getting near-double digits. My pick: Hurricanes, 31-23.

OTHER STATE COLLBALL: There are seven FBS-level college teams in Florida. Here's chronological Week 10 schedule for the rest (all Saturday unless noted otherwise):

No. 12 UCF (8-0) beats Temple (5-4), 52-40: As predicted, Thursday night battle for first place in American conference East went to hometown Knights, but not easily.

Tulane (4-5) beats South Florida (7-2), 41-15: Bulls were stinging from first loss and suffered a second even worse.

North Carolina State (6-2) beats FSU (4-5), 47-28: Noles, crushed by Clemson last week, continued their downward spiral this week.

Missouri (5-4) beats No. 11 Florida (6-3), 38-17: Facing Swamp letdown after mega-loss to Georgia, Gators got flat-out swamped.

FiufauFAU (4-5) beats FIU (6-3), 49-14: The 17th annual Shula Bowl found FIU only a 3-point home favorite as Butch Davis' ButchCats fought to reach Conference USA title game. Owls, who preened last year, had little to play for other than an uphill climb to bowl eligibility and Lane Kiffin's wounded pride. FAU led all-time series 11-5 but FIU had won four of past six before FAU won last year. ButchCats were having better season and we thought should have prevailed at home, but we knew Owls would have talons out and that an upset would not surprise.  

Week 10 national Top 25 matchups (4): No. 6 Georgia beats No. 11 Kentucky, 34-17; 12-West Virginia beats 15-Texas, 42-41; 5-Michigan beats 14-Penn State, 42-7; and (whoa, Nellie!) 1-Alabama beats 4-LSU, 29-0.

BigdisaANYBODY AROUND HERE WANNA WIN, PLEASE!?: You may have noticed. It's pretty obvious. Things are not good. South Florida's Big 5 sports teams -- the four major pro teams plus UM football -- are struggling to varying degrees. Each of their fans have cause for a degree of disenchantment. But what fans are entitled to be the most disappointed at the moment? I offer five choices and give you two (2) votes. Try to vote not as a fan of any one team in particular but as someone stepping back and seeing the big picture. Remember, vote for the top TWO biggest disappointments right now. Go!

VOTE FOR YOUR TOP TWO (2)


PicksUPSET BIRD TIME!: HERE'S DOLPHINS-JETS, OTHER NFL WEEK 9 PICKS: It's the Stinkin' Jets at the Stumblin' Dolphins to see who'll be the least-bad on Sunday at The Rock. Jets Week used to seem big around here. This one sort of just arrives as another game. That's the residue of two franchises that don't matter a lot in the NFL right now. Can you remember when the Dolphins and Jets were both good at the same time? Me neither. So I looked it up. The last three seasons both made the playoffs: 2001, 1998 and 1985. Who'll win Sunday? That pick tops my latest NFL selections. Visit Week  9 Gems. Also included are my Game of the Week (big week for King Sport), Upset of the Week ("Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is sailing very well, thanks. Entering the week we were 84-35-2 (.706) overall and a very solid 67-50-4 (.573) against the spread. Alas, our Week 9 got off to a crash of a start Thursday night as we foresaw an upset win by the Raiders only to watch as Jon Gruden and his entire team took a giant [bleep] all over the godforsaken turf. We'll rally. Our season totals say so. #Rally

Other select recent columns: Wade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

November 01, 2018

Time for faith in Canes' Richt, and patience, not doubt. My latest column; plus Dolphin-slayer wins week in Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, Fins' Tannehill dilemma, Cote's college State of State rank & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

Haphall 1) It's THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1. Hope y'all had a safe and happy Halloween. Happy new month, all! Welcome, November. Seems like we've been waiting a year! 2) Visit Greg Cote Tuesday for the best-of podcast of this week's LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio/ESPNews. 3) Football season means it's the right time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Newest column: Defending Mark Richt. Two losses in row not time to recalibrate faith: The Hurricanes coach is feeling a little heat for the first time in his 2 1/2 seasons with UM. It is unwarranted. For my latest column, visit Time For Faith In Richt, And Patience.

Our other most recent stuff: Moving Beyond Tannehill Smart But Not Easy For Dolphins. Also: Dolphins fans vent frustration: Dolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To Love. On Fins head coach: Snakebit Adam. On N'Kosi Perry's lap-cash video: Family Tradition. And on Marlins signing Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Jr.: Victory-y, Miami!

DwatsonDOLPHIN-SLAYING WATSON WINS WEEK / MIAMI HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / WEEK 8: The Texans' Deshaun Watson (pictured) scored a 43.95-point game Thursday night in beating Miami and it held up for Week 8 honors (edging Chief Patrick Mahomes by less than one point) in the Herald's latest NFL quarterback rankings. Viking Kirk Cousins maintains his season lead and Mahomes rises to second overall. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season. Dolphin Brock Osweiler, filling in for injured Ryan Tannehill, slumped to his worst game of three and sticks in 32nd place. This is our 21st season of Passer Success System (PASS) NFL QB rankings. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception in 1998, 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 Top 15 table (plus Dolphins) entering Week 9:

MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 8
RK    LW    Player, Team                        WK8          Season

1       1       Kirk Cousins, MIN                 41.95         325.55

2       4       Patrick Mahomes, KC            43.15         310.30

3       3       Drew Brees, NO                   24.00         301.50

4       5       Jared Goff, LAR                   31.75         286.25

5       2       Matt Ryan, ATL                     BYE           281.70

6       7       Andrew Luck, IND                38.95         277.35

7       8       Tom Brady, NE                      34.20         270.00

8       6       Philip Rivers, LAC                 BYE           251.40

9       10     Ben Roethlisberger, PIT        32.85         248.50

10     9       Eli Manning, NYG                  25.80         244.85

11     13     Andy Dalton, CIN                  33.00         235.10

12     17     Deshaun Watson, HOU          43.95         232.80

13     12     Aaron Rodgers, GB                23.30         231.65

14     14     Carson Wentz, PHI                37.30         230.40

15     15     Derek Carr, OAK                   35.20         227.35

28     27     Ryan Tannehill, MIA              DNP           112.60

32     32     Brock Osweiler, MIA             14.05           91.75

Bubble: Joe Flacco, BAL, 226.95. Week 8 best: Watson, HOU, 43.95 (16-20, 239, 5-0 in win). Week 8 worst: Jameis Winston, TB, 5.80 (18-35, 276, 1-4 in loss).

Picks LobosNFL WEEK 8 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: EXCELLENCE AND HEARTACHE: Every Tuesday in the blog I update you on how I did the past weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my LeBatard Show/League Of Lobos fantasy team. The latest: Herald picks: Excellence! Spun a terrific 12-2 mark straight-up and an even more impressive 11-3 against the spread in Week 8. That included another Upset of the Week bull's-eye on Seahawks winning at Lions ("Aawwk!"), a pair of 'dogs-with-points in Packers and Bucs, and a couple of mini-upsets with wins by Cardinals and Saints. Also was spot-on with Dolphins' Thursday loss. (See Week 8 Gems for proof). Greg's Lobos: Heartache. Built a 22-point lead over Roy entering Monday night led by 31 from Deshaun Watson and 26.6 from Adrian Peterson -- only to see Roy get a combined 27 on MNF from Tom Brady and Stephen Gostkowski for a 122.7 to 117.3 win. We're 3-5 now, but still only one game off playoff pace with five weeks left in the regular season. #WeAreTheLobos

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE RANKINGS: Each Tuesday I rank the state's seven FBS-level college football teams. The latest: 1. UCF (7-0); 2. Florida (6-2); 3. Miami (5-3); 4. South Florida (7-1); 5. Florida State (4-4); 6. FIU (6-2); 7. FAU (3-5).

Other select recent columns: When the Dolphins D Was A Letter GradeWade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackKid QB Passes His Big TestWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

October 27, 2018

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 5.8%; plus Fins defense crushed in Houston 42-23 as Miami falls to 4-4 at midyear with our thoughts; also, NFL Week 8 picks, defending Adam Gase, Radio Friday & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26. Watch a for a new blogpost featuring a preview of tonight's Canes game at Boston College to post here by late afternoon. 2) Red Sox lead World Series 2-0. Homer Me very happy! 3) Football season means it's the right time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Confessions of a Red Sox homer, Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's State of State rank & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

It's Radio Friday!: My role at ESPN is expanding a bit to include occasional LeBatard Show appearances beyond my regular every-Tuesday gig. So I'm co-hosting today, 10 to 1 on ESPN Radio and ESPNews, with the local 9-10 hour on Miami's 790 The Ticket. Join us! 

COTE'S COLUMN TROIKA FOR THE WEEK (SO FAR...):

The Dolphins' head coach is more than competent, he's just ... Snakebit Adam.

N'Kosi Perry's cash video isn't a Canes outrage,  it's a ... Family Tradition.

The Marlins signing Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Jr., it's ... Victory-y, Miami! 

DsmDOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G8: 5.8%: Results are certified in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show a season-low 5.8 percent overall approval -- the combination of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied votes -- in the wake of Thursday night's 42-23 Dolphins loss at Houston putting Miami's season record at 4-4. The DSM is a continuous weekly gauge of how Dolfans are feeling about the team and its direction. Right after each game I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9:45 a.m. today/Saturday. (The DSM also takes place on our Twitter site @gregcote. The vote there was 20% approval).

2018 DSM game-by-game results

G1: 86.8% following 27-20 victory vs. Tennessee.

G2: 93.4% following 20-12 victory at N.Y. Jets.

G3: 96.2% following 28-20 victory vs. Oakland.

G4: 17.2% following 38-7 loss at New England.

G5: 6.4% following 27-17 loss at Cincinnati.

G6: 75.0% following 31-28 OT victory vs. Chicago.

G7: 8.9% following 32-21 loss vs. Detroit.

G8: 5.8% following 42-23 loss at Houston.

Next poll: Nov. 4 following game vs. N.Y. Jets

G8: HOUSTON 42, DOLPHINS 23: ANOTHER DEFENSIVE NIGHTMARE RUINS MIAMI: Postgame thoughts: Dolphins 4-4 at midseason after 42-23 loss that was somewhat competitive for awhile but ultimately not really. Osweiler wasn't very good but defense doomed Miami for second straight week. Fins gave up 188 rushing yards (5.4 per carry) and 11.9 yards per pass attempt as Watson threw for five TDs. I hope Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke doesn't have an exit-row seat on the flight home. He might jump ..... Fourth quarter: HOU 42-23 on Watson-Hopkins 2-yard TD -- Watson's fifth scoring pass. Miami defense abysmal for second week in row, including 38-yard interference penalty on McCain ... MIA 23-35 on 46-yard FG ... HOU 35-20 on Watson-Hopkins 49-yard TD -- Watson's fourth scoring pass of game. Miami defense being gouged all over field for second week in row ..... Third quarter: MIA 20-28 on 41-yard FG it make it 1-possession game in last minute of quarter. DeVante Parker 46-yard catch off deflection spearheads drive ... HOU 28-17 on Watson-Fuller 73-yard TD pass that victimized McCain in coverage ... MIA 17-21 on Amendola 28-yard trick-play TD pass to Drake. Strong Gore running led the drive ... HOU 21-10 on Watson-Thomas 2-yard TD and game slipping away from Fins. Miller 58-yard run keyed drive, second straight week of awful run defense by Miami ..... Halftime thoughts: Very encouraging half for Miami, which I thought was in jeopardy of a blowout loss ..... Second quarter: Huge break for Miami when Texans return sack-fumble by Osweiler for TD and apparent 21-10 lead only to have call reversed and called incomplete pass ... MIA 10-14 on 37-yard FG. Game much more competitive than I foresaw. Encouraging for Fins thus far ... HOU 14-7 on Deshaun Watson 13-yard TD to Jordan Thomas right after Brock Osweiler interception. Bad luck on INT, though. Danny Amendola seemed interfered with but no call. Officiating crew having a nightmare ..... First quarter: HOU 7-7 on 2-yard TD run by ex-Fin Lamar Miller late in quarter. A 34-yard catch by Will Fuller led the drive ... MIA 7-0 on Drake 12-yard TD run after penalty against HOU wiped a FG off board ... The 18th straight game with no opening-drive TD for Miami. Right decision but wrong call on 4th-and-1; a pass with about a foot to go ... Any Dolfans out there feeling lucky? ..... Original post: Two 4-3 teams but Houston is home, hot and a 7 1/2-point favorite for the prime-time game. That's Miahoubecause NFL Week 8 launches with the Dolphins on the road battling not only the Texans but also The Curse of Thursday Night. Miami has lost its two Thursday games under Adam Gase, both also on the road, by a combined 62-7 score. The Fins lost the Thursday before that away from home by 36-7. In all Miami has lost five Thursday road games in a row since last winning under Chad Henne (!) at Carolina in 2009. Fast forward nine years and it don’t look good, Dolfans. Just about every measurable skews heavily Houston. Miami has lost eight of its past nine road games dating to last season and is on a 1-7 series skid vs. the Texans, while hot Houston has won four games in a row. The Fins’ erratic offensive line gave up four sacks last week and now faces J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, a pass-rush super-duo "horrible to go up against," admitted Gase. Deshaun Watson is a dynamic dual-threat to Miami’s defense, and elite receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be a handful, while Miami will be missing two of its most dynamic playmakers in injured Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills. (That’ll mean a DeVante Parker sighting!) Bonus sidelight: RB Lamar Miller, facing his ex-Fins, had to love watching Miami’s run-D last week, and ex-Bronco Brock Osweiler, in his third start for ailing Ryan Tannehill, confronts his toughest test yet. OK I’ll admit that’s a lot of gloom piled on Miami. Now three reasons a Dolfan might be hopeful: 1) Law of averages says Miami’s Thursday road-hell will end sometime, right? 2) Watson can be error-prone (seven picks, seven fumbles), so if Miami can rattle his cage and coax a turnover or two, therein lies the upset key. 3) This is the NFL, where ‘dogs are barking every week. (Visit Thursday Gem for the full Dolphins predix capsule as it appears online). My pick: Houston, 30-16.

PicksIT'S UPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: ALL THE REST OF OUR NFL WEEK 8 PICKS: The once 3-0 Dolphins stumble to midseason at 4-4 after last night's defensive abomination in Houston, but rather than canceling the remaining Week  8 schedule in mourning for Miami, the NFL plays on! And so do we. My latest NFL picks include my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is sailing well. Entering the week we were a stout 72-33-2 (.686) overall and a more solid 56-47-4 (.544) against the spread. And our Week 8 got off to a great start albeit at Miami's expense. We we won-and-won as we had the Texans both winning and covering the 7 1/2-point line. Visit here for that Thursday pick, and dive into Week 8 Gems for all of our latest other selections.

Other select recent columns: When the Dolphins D Was A Letter GradeWade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss HimNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackKid QB Passes His Big TestWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

October 24, 2018

Osweiler's (modest) climb in Herald Week 7 NFL QB rankings; plus Radio Tuesday, Go Red Sox!, Pix 'n Fantasy results (Go Lobos!), Cote's college State of the State rank & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24. Football season means it's the right time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins fall at home to Detroit with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10, your Perry vs. Rosier verdict & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

Most recent columns: On Marlins' big signings, Dolphins' defensive collapse, Wade's home debut: On Monday's big Marlins signings: Victor-y as Marlins Land Victor Victor and Victor! On Sunday's Dolphins home loss: When the Dolphins D Was A Letter Grade. And on Saturday's home-opening Heat loss: Wade Reminds Us Why We'll Miss Him.

WsGO RED SOX! BEAT THE DODGERS!: This is a perfectly impartial note from a neutral journalist as the World Series begins tonight at Fenway Park. Please understand. Though I'm a South Floridian since early childhood, I was born in Massachusetts. The Patriots were never big with me as a kid. Neither were the Bruins. The Celtics were second. But it was the Red Sox, clearly, that had me. Carl Yastrzemski and that 1967 Impossible Dream season hooked me. I named my first cat Yaz. That season and that team and that man kindled the love of sports that would, somehow, lead to a lifelong career writing about it. So, yeah: Go Red Sox!

RYAN SNATCHES WEEK FROM MAHOMES / MIAMI HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / WEEK 7: Falcons' Matt Ryan (pictured) scored a 49.95-point game Monday night to narrowly win Week 7 honors Mryanover Chief Patrick Mahomes' 48.90 in the Herald's latest NFL quarterback rankings. Viking Kirk Cousins maintains his season lead and Ryan bumps up into second ahead of Saint Drew Brees. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over the course of a season. Dolphin Brock Osweiler, filling in for injured Ryan Tannehill, scored a 30.95-point game tto move up three spots to 32nd overall. This is our 21st season of Passer Success System (PASS) NFL QB rankings. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception in 1998, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. (Formula detailed below). 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 Top 15 table (plus Dolphins) entering Week 8:

MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 7
RK    LW    Player, Team                        WK7           Season

1       1       Kirk Cousins, MIN                  33.05         283.60

2       3       Matt Ryan, ATL                     49.95         281.70

3       2       Drew Brees, NO                    35.60         277.50

4       5       Patrick Mahomes, KC            48.90         267.15

5       4       Jared Goff, LAR                   33.10          254.50

6       7       Philip Rivers, LAC                 38.30         251.40

7       9       Andrew Luck, IND                 35.80         238.40

8       10     Tom Brady, NE                      38.85         235.80

9       14     Eli Manning, NYG                  38.95         219.05

10     6       Ben Roethlisberger, PIT          BYE           215.65

11     13     Joe Flacco, BAL                    26.95         215.35

12     8       Aaron Rodgers, GB                 BYE           208.35

13     11     Andy Dalton, CIN                    8.40          202.10

14     21     Carson Wentz, PHI                44.50          193.10

15     12     Derek Carr, OAK                     BYE           192.15

27     27     Ryan Tannehill, MIA                DNP          112.60

32     35     Brock Osweiler, MIA               30.95         77.70

Bubble: Matthew Stafford, 191.10. Week 7 best: Ryan, ATL, 49.95 (31-39, 379, 1-0 in win). Week 7 worst: Sam Darnold, NYJ, minus-3.70 (17-42, 206, 1-3 in loss). Points formula: Accuracy—Completions times two minus attempts. Ex: 17 for 28 = 6 points. Yardage—Five percent of total. Ex: 202 yards = 10.10 points. TD-interception ratio—Difference times three. Ex: Four TDs and one pick = 9 points. Team result—Winning QB of record = 5 points.

Picks LobosNFL WEEK 7 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: STUMBLE, RISE: Every Tuesday in the blog I update you on how I did the past weekend with my Miami Herald predictions and with my LeBatard Show/League Of Lobos fantasy team. The latest: Herald picks: Stumble. Endured our worst showing both ways in Week 7, going 8-6 overall and 4-9-1 against the spread, with the Bucs win pushing at 3. Miserable misfire on our Upset of the Week (Jets) and also blew the Dolphins game. Not much to do but move on. Fast! Greg's Lobos: Rise. Improved to 3-4 and ended a 4-game losing streak with a 132.4 to 95.5 obliteration of Dan's team. The Lobos got 24 points from the Rams defense, 22.8 from Zach Ertz and 20.6 from Tyreek (Money) Hill to lead the parade. Still time for that majestic run to the playoffs! #WeAreTheLobos

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE RANKINGS: Each Tuesday I rank the state's seven FBS-level college football teams. The latest: 1. UCF (7-0); 2. Florida (6-1); 3. Miami (5-2); 4. South Florida (7-0); 5. Florida State (4-3); 6. FIU (5-2); 7. FAU (3-4).

Other select recent columns: Dolphins Are Fun For A Change, and Playoff-GoodNo More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A QuarterbackWith All D.Wade Has Meant, One Year to Say Goodbye Might Not Be EnoughKid QB Passes His Big TestWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

October 19, 2018

Will 'Mr. Brocktober' lead a Dolphins upset of Detroit on Sunday? All our latest NFL Week 7 picks, right here!; plus your detailed verdict of Miami Heat season expectations, The List (career TD passes) & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.

1) It's FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19. Football season means it's the right time to delight Dolfans you know with our 'Fins At 50' book. Check it out on Amazon. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat open season with expectations poll, Dolphins turn exciting and fun, Herald NFL QB rankings, Pix 'n Fantasy results, Cote's college State of the State rank & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.

IT'S UPSET BIRD DAY IN AMERICA!: DOLPHINS-LIONS AND ALL THE REST OF OUR NFL WEEK 7 PICKS: An exhilarating, exciting, comeback home win over the mighty (we thought) Bears last Picks
Detmiaweek left Miami 4-2 and ebullient. The bad news? The wins gotta keep comin' for the playoffs to loom into view. In a very-crowded-at-the-top AFC, six teams have two losses and five others have three. ESPN'S Football Power Index today slots Miami ninth in line for six playoff tickets, with a 20.9 percent postseason likelihood. So the Dolphins must keep winning games within reach of them. Enter Detroit on Sunday. Detroit is a road favorite, perhaps because Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) is out again and Brock Osweiler is in. Will the "Mr. Brocktober" magic continue? Read the full Fins-Lions predix capsule at the top of my latest NFL predictions. They include my Game of the Week, Upset of the Week ("Aawwk!") and all the rest. Our 28th season of Friday NFL picks (online Thursdays) is sailing well. We are a stout 64-27-2 overall (.703) and more importantly a strong 52-38-3 against the spread (.578) entering Week 7. (Unfortunately our week got off to a shaky start Thursday night with badly misplaced faith on the miserable, cowardly Cardinals. Not that I'm bitter!). Dive into Week 7 Gems for all of our latest picks.

Select other recent columns: Dolphins Are Fun For A Change, and Playoff-Good. Also: No More Excuses, Florida PanthersTannehill: Requiem For A Quarterback. And With All D.Wade Has Meant, One Year to Say Goodbye Might Not Be Enough.

POLL RESULTS: YOU SET HEAT EXPECTATIONS AT MODEST, BUT PLAYOFFS: Miami is 1-1 entering Saturdays home opener. Before the first game we asked, "What is the most likely number of Miami Heat regular-season wins in 2018-19?" Your results:

44.07% -- 45 to 49 wins,a solid playoff number.

28.81% -- 40 to 44 wins, a marginal/maybe playoff number.

11.86% -- 50 or more wins, top-four-seed territory.

10.17% -- 35 to 39 wins, no postseason for you.

5.08% -- 34 or fewer wins, thinking draft lottery.

THE LIST: NFL TOUCHDOWN PASS LEADERS: With Drew Brees on the doorstep of a milestone, the top 10 NFL career leaders in TD passes

1. Peyton Manning                       539

2. Brett Favre                                508

3. Tom Brady, Patriots                 501

4. Drew Brees, Saints                  499

5. Dan Marino                               420

6. Philip Rivers, Chargers          357

7. Eli Manning, Giants                 345

8. Fran Tarkenton                         342

9. Ben Rothelisberger, Steelers   341

10. Aaron Rodgers, Packers         325

Note: Next among active players are Falcons' Matt Ryan (274), Lions' Matthew Stafford (226) and Ravens' Joe Flacco (209).

Other select recent columns: Kid QB Passes His Big TestWhatever Happened to Kenyan Drake? NFL 2018 Team RankingsDolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This TownNFL Enters Year 3 Of Anthem-Protest QuagmireTo The Good-Guy Grinder In The ShadesTime to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports TownCan Riley Rescue Heat From Purgatory? When 3 World Cup Legends Were Ours.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote