GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It's THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6. Visit Greg Cote Tuesday for the link to this week's LeBatard Show best-of podcast. 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): Dolphins beat Bills with DSM poll, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.
Tonight's Jaguars-Titans pick: Visit Thursday Gem for tonight's Jacksonville-at-Tennessee pick.
Most recent columns: College Football Playoff got it right and more: Why the CFP got it right with Oklahoma for the final spot -- and why the continuing debate is great for the sport. Visit Oklahoma, College Football Win the Day for my latest column. Other recent stuff: Why A Canes Defender Snubbed by ACC Deserves All-America Honors / Inside Lane on Road to Canton, Cooperstown / Tannehill's Litmus Test Is Pass or Fail / Oh What We Had, And What We Lost / Wade's World Bigger Than Hoops, And Good For Him / Honeymoon Over: How Collapsing Seasons Put Heat on Gase, Richt.
RANKING THE SEVEN BOWLS PLAYED LOCALLY OR INVOLVING STATE TEAMS: Seven of the 39 college football bowl games either being played in South Florida (2) or involve state FBS teams (5). Here they are, based on our interest level:
1. Orange Bowl Dec. 29: No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) at Hard Rock Stadium -- College Football Playoff national semifinal features the two Heisman Trophy favorites in QBs Tua Tagovailoa of th Crimons Tide and Kyler Murray of the Sooners. What's not to love? 'Bama a huge 13 1/2-point favorite, but does Tide's struggle in SEC title game foreshadow an upset?
2. Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 27: Miami (7-5) vs Wisconsin (7-5), Yankee Stadium, New York -- A glamorous venue but a middling bowl game finds The U a 3 1/2-point favorite as both teams come in off disappointing seasons. One year ago this same matchup graced the Orange Bowl. What a comedown.
3. Peach Bowl Dec. 29: No. 10 Florida (9-3) vs. No. 7 Michigan (10-2), Atlanta -- Michigan a big 7-point favorite. Gator defense will try to keep it close, but can that offense and erratic quarterbacking keep up with the Wolverines?
4. Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1: No. 8 UCF (12-0) vs. No. 11 LSU (9-3), Glendale, Ariz. -- The team that saddled Miami with a season-opening loss vs. the team trying to complete a second straight perfect season. LSU a 7 1/2-point pick -- fat because Knights are without injured star QB McKenzie Milton.
5. Bahamas Bowl Dec. 21: FIU (8-4) vs. Toledo (7-5), Nassau -- Holy Toledo a 6-point pick but FIU is gunning for a school-record ninth victory of the season to cap Butch Davis' second year. Never underestimate the ButchCats!
6. Gasparilla Bowl Dec. 20: South Florida (7-5) vs. Marshall (8-4), Tampa -- Thundering Herd a 2 1/2-point favorite despite being de facto visiting team, because USF, once 7-0, has stumbled in off five consecutive losses.
7. Boca Raton Bowl Dec. 18: UAB (10-3) vs. Northern Illinois (8-5), FAU Stadium -- Conference USA champ vs. MAC daddies. 'Bama-Birmingham a 1 1/2-point pick. But does anybody outside of these two campuses care even a little? (And do they even care?)
LATEST 'BACK IN MY DAY': NAIL-CLIPPING!: Here's the new BIMD that debuted Tuesday on the LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio and ESPNews:
CARR DRIVES TO WIN, TOP TIGHTENS / MIAMI HERALD NFL QB RANKINGS / WEEK 13: The Raiders' Derek Carr (pictured) takes Week 13 honors with a 43.25-point game (a season-low for a win), while Saint Drew Brees' overall season lead shrinks to around six points in the Miami Herald's NFL quarterback rankings. Our rankings are cumulative, but with bye weeks finished the playing field has leveled for the stretch run. 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 14:
MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 13
RK LW Player, Team WK13 Season
1 1 Drew Brees, NO 14.35 490.10
2 3 Patrick Mahomes, KC 39.75 484.15
3 2 Matt Ryan, ATL 15.55 462.65
4 4 Kirk Cousins, MIN 27.05 458.00
5 5 Jared Goff, LAR 16.35 438.70
6 7 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 30.05 438.25
7 6 Andrew Luck, IND 23.40 433.00
8 8 Philip Rivers, LAC 41.95 431.90
9 10 Tom Brady, NE 36.55 386.10
10 9 Cam Newton, CAR 24.00 374.95
11 12 Aaron Rodgers, GB 26.65 366.70
12 11 Eli Manning, NYG 16.00 359.65
13 14 Deshaun Watson, HOU 32.20 352.55
14 16 Derek Carr, OAK 43.25 351.60
15 15 Russell Wilson, SEA 31.25 350.80
16 17 Carson Wentz, PHI 38.30 345.30
17 13 Matthew Stafford, DET 19.25 340.30
18 19 Dak Prescott, DAL 40.40 317.75
19 20 Case Keenum, DEN 18.55 290.65
20 18 Mitch Trubisky, CHI DNP 290.45
21 21 Andy Dalton, CIN DNP 270.30
22 23 Baker Mayfield, CLE 28.85 269.95
23 27 Marcus Mariota, TEN 27.10 247.40
24 22 Joe Flacco, BAL DNP 246.25
25 24 Alex Smith, WAS DNP 236.00
29 29 Ryan Tannehill, MIA 25.85 163.65
31 31 Brock Osweiler, MIA DNP 126.35
Bubble: Blake Bortles, JAC, 229.65. Week 13 best: Carr, OAK, 43.25 (29-38, 285, 3-0 in loss). Week 13 worst: Josh McCown, NYJ, 7.40 (17-30, 128, 0-1 in loss).
NFL WEEK 13 PIX 'N FANTASY RESULTS: GOOD 'N GOOD!: 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: Good. ... again! Our strong season continues. We were a solid 11-5 straight-up last week and a stout 10-5-1 against the spread, with Dolphins' win pushing at four points for the tie. Nailed yet another Upset of the Week with Jaguars over Colts ("Aawwk!") and had a big four 'dogs-with-points in Cardinals, Giants, Bucs and Jets. Greg's Lobos: Good ... for a change. Lobos finished the regular season 5-8 with a 97.5 to 81.1 win over Mina Kimes, with five in double figures led by Zach Ertz's 17.3 points. The ''Bos missed the league's championship-round playoffs but we'll be climbing the consolation ladder. What else is there to do? #WeAreTheLobos!
Select other columns: NASCAR Needs A Next Big Thing. Dolfans, Your Team Is Not Easy To Love. No More Excuses, Florida Panthers. NFL 2018 Team Rankings. Dolphins? Heat? Nope. UM Football Owns This Town. To The Good-Guy Grinder In The Shades. Time to Flip the Old Narrative On Miami As a Sports Town. Can 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.