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Golden NFL Rankings - after 7 Weeks
Golden NFL Top Ten
Opp. wins
16 1
13 2
New England
17 4
4 Green Bay 4-2 16.95 12 3
10 14
Seattle 4-1-1
10 7
7 New York Giants
13 8
11 6
14 15
10 Pittsburgh
13 11
"Opponent wins" means the total number of wins
by the teams the ranked team defeated.

Philadelphia jumps back into the Top Ten at #5.
Atlanta and Washington fall out of the Top Ten.
In the Division Rankings, NFC South falls to the bottom .

Complete Golden NFL rankings

Division Rankings
Rank Division Average Last Week
1 NFC East 16.609 1
2 NFC North 16.391 2
3 AFC West 16.265 3
4 AFC East 16.089 4
5 AFC South 15.940 5
8 NFC South 15.542 6
7 AFC North 15.554 7
6 NFC West 15.675 8

Overall: NFC 15.923, AFC 15.914
How about that Tiger defense!
  • Holding Ole Miss scoreless the second half was quite a feat considering the Rebels were averaging 39.7 ppg against the likes of Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, and Arkansas.
  • And I can say that I was present for the previous ypg record by an LSU RB - Alley Broussard vs. Ole Miss 2004 - as well as the new record - Leonard Fournette vs Ole Miss 2016.
  • But Broussard gained his 250y on 26 carries whereas Fournette broke the record on just his 8th carry of the night thanks to runs of 78, 76, and 59y. After the third long run, he had an average of 35y per carry!
  • And all that after missing the last two games with a bad ankle.

But as the second half progressed and it became more and more obvious that LSU would win, I couldn't help but think ahead to Alabama.

  • None of LSU's seven foes this year has scored more than 21 points.
  • The Tiger defense is capable of holding Alabama to 21 or less.
  • But two questions:

Can LSU keep Alabama from scoring a non-offensive TD? The Tide has 12 TDs for the season and has tallied at least one in ten consecutive games going back to last season.

Can LSU's offense score 21 points against Bama's defense?

  • No one wants to excel against the Tide more than Fournette, whose Heisman hopes died on the Bryant-Denny Stadium field last year when Nick Saban's defense (with help from Les Miles's unimaginative offense) held him to just 31y in 19 carries.
  • Alabama's defense suffered a blow when senior all-SEC S Eddie Jackson fractured his leg against Texas A&M and will miss the rest of the season. Eddie had scored three of Bama's 12 non-offensive TDs with two punt returns and an INT.

First time I've ever sat in the southwest corner, lower deck of the South end zone at Tiger Stadium.
Good view when the action was on our end; not so good when at the far end.
Two of Fournette's TD runs came right at us. Also Ole Miss's TD right before halftime.
Notice in the righthand photo from the 1st half how the East lower and upper decks are packed.
For once, the announced attendance of 101,720 was accurate.
My Live Game This Saturday: Ole Miss @ LSU - WITH FOLLOW-UP
Rivalries in the SEC are interesting.
  • Mississippi State's archrival is Ole Miss.
  • But the Rebels consider LSU the foe they most want to beat.
  • LSU, on the other hand, ranks Alabama as its most hated opponent.
  • But the Tide, of course, list cross-state Auburn as their chief rivals.
  • Finally, the circle is closed as Auburn reciprocates Bama's hatred for them.

So tonight the Rebels get a chance to beat their archrival for the first time in four tries in Tiger Stadium, where each of the three defeats has been an exciting, down-to-the-wire contest.

  • 2010: Jordan Jefferson threw for a career-best 254y and Stevan Ridley ran for three TDs as the #5-ranked Tigers came back three times in the final 20 minutes to beat Ole Miss, 43-36. View the highlights ...
  • 2012: Odell Beckham Jr. brought back memories of Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween night punt return of the same distance against the Rebels with a dazzling 89y punt return to spark another Q4 comeback, 41-35. View the highlights ...
  • 2014: "You might have thought it was a middle-1970s game," said Les Miles after LSU's 10-7 homecoming victory the day after his 91-year-old mother died. Anthony Jennings hit TE Logan Stokes with a 3y TD pass with 5:07 remaining to give the Tigers the lead. But the victory was not secured until Ronald Martin intercepted Bo Wallace's desperation pass in the EZ with two seconds to go. View the highlights ...

I don't care if the game is exciting as long as LSU wins. But chances are it will be exciting, especially since in Chad Kelly Ole Miss has a better QB than in any of its three previous visits to Baton Rouge.

  • The Reb defense is not nearly as good as last year after the loss of several key players to the NFL.
  • So LSU should be able to keep Kelly & Company on the sidelines by running the ball, especially with Leonard Fournette expected to be back in action. There's also rumors that the Tigers will run some no-huddle, hurry-up offense themselves. BUT FOURNETTE SCORED SO QUICKLY THAT THE LSU DEFENSE GOT LITTLE REST!
  • We also have the added intrigue of Coach O going against the school where he was head coach for three not-so-great seasons. IT WAS A SWEET VICTORY FOR LSU'S INTERIM COACH AND ANOTHER STEP TOWARD THE POSSIBILITY OF "INTERIM" BECOMING "PERMANENT."
  • Overall, this year's Rebels don't seem to be as good a team as last year's Sugar Bowl champs.
  • With LSU ranked #25 and Ole Miss #23, this game is in my Yahoo Pick'Em groups list. I took the Tigers over the Rebels +6.

LSU 27 Ole Miss 20

Golden College Rankings after Eight Weeks
In the two years of the College Football Playoffs, the Golden Rankings has gotten the Final Four correct each time. And in 2014, Golden had the teams in the correct order at the end of the regular season, with Ohio State (committee's #4) first and Oregon second.
  • Washington drops out of the Top Ten after defeating a weak Oregon State squad by only 17 points.
  • Penn State moves up to #10 after upsetting #3 Ohio State.
  • American Conference swaps places with the Big 12 for the second straight week.
Golden Rankings Top Ten
Average Opp.
34 108 8.06 43 1
28 82 6.47 54 2
28 49 2.96 52 4
Western Michigan
27 62 5.24 72 8
21 50 5.70 67 6
Boise State
25 59 3.02 70 10
Tennessee 5-2
24 65 2.40
8 Ohio State 6-1 14.30 21 55 4.37 55 3
Texas A&M
21 70 2.59 51 5
Penn State
23 59 2.22 38 17
  • "Opps. wins" is the number of victories by the teams the ranked team defeated.
  • "Opp. opps". is the number of victories by the teams the defeated teams beat.
  • "Score value" is a measure of the margin of victory in relation to the defeated team's number of wins coupled with the margin of defeat in relation to the victorious team's number of losses.
  • "Schedule Strength" is the average of the rankings of the opponents the team has played so far. So the smaller the number, the stronger the schedule.
Team that made the highest jump in Week 8: SMU - up 32 places to 64 after defeating Houston
Team that dropped the furthest in Week 8: Ole Miss - down 26 spots after losing to LSU.
Golden Conference Rankings
Impressive Non-Conference Wins
North Carolina, TCU, UCLA, USC, Va.Tech
Big Ten
Colorado, Duke, Iowa State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon
Auburn, Illinois, Indiana, Ole Miss, Penn St., Vanderbilt
BYU, Kansas St., Notre Dame, Rutgers, Texas, Texas Tech, UVa
American Athletic
Cincinnati, Kansas, N.C. St., Oklahoma, Purdue. Syracuse, UVa
Big 12
BYU, Missouri, Notre Dame, Pitt
Sun Belt
Akron, Army, Miss.State, New Mexico, Ohio, San Diego State
Mtn. West
N. Illinois, Wash. St.
Fresno St., Illinois, Kansas, Marshall, Okla. St., UNLV, Wyoming
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri

Complete Golden Rankings

Synopsis of the ranking system: Each team starts with 12 points for each game. The winning team goes up from there depending on the number of wins of the defeated opponent and the margin of victory. The loser goes down from 12 depending on the losses of the opponent and the margin of defeat. Teams can gain bonuses for road wins against good teams or penalties for home losses to weak teams. Read complete rules.

Compilation of Dozens of Rankings

Week 8 Picks 8-11
Home team in CAPS. Rankings are from the AP poll.

Top 25

  • #1 Alabama over #6 Texas A&M +18.5
    Best two lines in the country prevail again.
  • #2 Ohio State over Penn State +19.5 X
    Buckeyes roll on the road.
  • #3 MICHIGAN over Illinois +35.5 X
    Harbaugh runs it up again.
  • #5 WASHINGTON over Oregon State +36.5 X
    Beavers down to their 3rd string QB.
  • #7 LOUISVILLE over North Carolina State +19
    Wolfpack down after tough loss to Clemson.
  • Purdue +24 over #8 Nebraska
    Interim coach makes enough changes to keep it close.
  • #10 Wisconsin over IOWA +3.5
    Badgers win at Iowa City again.
  • #11 Houston over SMU +21 X
    Cougars break loose after two frustrating weeks.
  • Texas Christian +6.5 over #12 West Virginia X
    WVU tries to go 6-0.
  • #16 Oklahoma over TEXAS TECH +14 X
    Tech D just can't stop Sooners.
  • #17 Arkansas +9.5 over #21 AUBURN X
    Too many points to give Hogs even on the road.
  • #19 Utah over UCLA NO SPREAD
    No spread because Bruins' QB has been injured.
  • #20 WESTERN MICHIGAN over Eastern Michigan +23.5 X
    Undefeated Broncos keep rolling.
  • Virginia +8.5 over #22 North Carolina X
    Improving Cavaliers cover at home.
  • #25 LSU over #23 Ole Miss +6
    Tigers' running game keeps Kelly & Company on sidelines.
  • #24 Navy +2.5 over Memphis
    Tigers can't stop Midshipmen option.

Additional Big Ten Games

  • Minnesota over Rutgers +17 X
    Gophers cover on the road.
  • Northwestern over Indiana +1.5
    Wildcats playing better lately.
  • Michigan State over Maryland +2.5 X
    Spartans desperate for a win.
Intriguing Numbers
3 Consecutive games Ole Miss has lost in Baton Rouge
16 Total points Ole Miss lost the three games by
1 FBS teams that have held every opponent to 20 or fewer points this season - LSU
3 Consecutive times Wisconsin has won at Iowa
Michigan's national rank in scoring defense (10.3 ppg), total defense (212.8 ypg), and passing defense (113.7 ypg).
51 Rushing yards for Michigan State against Northwestern last week
2,579 Passing yards by Texas Tech's Pat Mahomes, tops in the FBS
1 Times this season that Texas Tech has been held under 50 points at home - last week against West Virginia (17 points)
2004 Last time Oklahoma started Big 12 play 4-0
1 Times UCLA has been 1-3 in its first four Pac-12 games in Jim Mora's five seasons as coach
91.1 Rushing yards per game for UCLA, third worst in the FBS

Record after eight weeks: 84-75

Did You Notice? NFL Week 6
  • A Rare Event
    The Saints had a dubious distinction Sunday. They were called for not one, not two, but three interference calls in or near the EZ that gave the Panthers first-and-goal at the 2. Carolina scored a TD each time to fight back from a 21-0 deficit. Fortunately, Drew Brees registered his 15th 400y game to break a tie with Peyton Manning for most all time in the regular season to help the Saints send the spiraling Panthers to 1-5 41-38. Carolina has replaced three members of its vaunted defensive backfield from last year's NFC champs with rookies. One of the departed DBs is Josh Normand. Another, S Roman Harper, is back with the Saints.
  • Take That, Coach!
    LeSean McCoy gained 2926y for two seasons in 2013-14 for the Philadelphia Eagles. But coach Chip Kelly, who brought McCoy to The City of Brotherly Love, traded him to the Bills in March 2015. The puzzling move was one of many that led to Kelly's firing after six games of the '15 season. Sunday, Kelly's new team, the 49ers, visited Buffalo. McCoy gleefully (at least on the inside) burned the Eagles for 140y on 19 carries as the Bills blasted SF 45-16. LeSean was somewhat magnanimous when asked whether he had any bitter feelings toward his former coach. "To sit here and tell you that it didn't affect me last year, I would be lying. But I'm past that."
  • Dak's Streak Ends
    Dak Prescott's record streak of 176 pass attempts without an INT at the start of a career ended when Packer S Morgan Burnett made a diving INT on a throw from the Dallas EZ with 20 seconds left in Q3. Prescott broke the record set by none other than Tom Brady. The pride of Mississippi State continued to show tremendous poise in leading the Cowboys to their fifth straight victory, this one on the hallowed turf of Lambeau Field. The loss dropped Green Bay's record to 3-2 and broke their streak of eleven straight victories in October. The rabid Packer fans actually booed their offense at times in their frustration. Despite Aaron Rodgers going 31-for-42 for a sesaon-high 294y, the Pack didn't get into the EZ until Aaron connected with Randall Cobb on a 6y TD pass with 6:53 left to pull to within 27-16. Along the way, the two-time MVP QB accounted for two turnovers with an INT and a fumble, the latter occuring on 1st-and-Goal at the Dallas 1. While Prescott has gotten the lion's share of the credit for the Cowboys' surprising start with veteran QB Tony Romo on the shelf, another rookie, RB Ezekiel Elliott also deserves credit for his contribution. He gained 157y on 28 carries to give him 703y so far - the second-most in a player's first six career games behind only the great Eric Dickerson (787). Elliott also became the only rookie to rush for at least 130y in four consecutive games.
Intriguing Numbers
8 TD receptions of 50+y by Odell Beckham, the highest total in the NFL since he entered the league in 2014.
65.3 Passer-rating of QBs against the 5-0 Vikings - the lowest in the NFL.
The two longest pass receptions this season, both by Saints WR Brandin Cooks
2 Career starts by Steelers backup QB Landry Jones, who will replace Ben Roethlisberger during his recovery from an operation on a torn meniscus
346 Weight of KC DT Dontari Poe who scored a rushing TD against Oakland
-3 Green Bay's turnover differential, its worst mark with Aaron Rodgers as the healthy starting QB
8 Number of QBs who have thrown 300 career TD passes with the addition of Eli Manning, who joined the elite group Sunday
8 Chiefs' winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium going into the game with the Saints Sunday
9 Consecutive losses by the Titans at the hands of the Colts
52 Penalties against the Ravens, most in the NFL and a pace that would establish a franchise record with 139.
5 Consecutive games in which an opposing RB has eclipsed 100y rushing vs San Francisco
15-3 Seattle's prime time record under Pete Carroll as they prepare to play the Cardinals Sunday night
Did You Notice? NCAA Week 7
  • One-Point Games
    Five games were won by the scantest of margins, three of which were C-USA contests.
    Western Kentucky 44 Middle Tennessee 43
    Florida International 27 Charlotte 26
    Texas San Antonio 14 Rice 13
    The other ones were:
    Temple 26 Central Florida 25
    Vanderbilt 17 Georgia 16
  • Big 12 Unbeatens
    Before the season started, if someone had predicted two Big 12 teams would be undefeated after seven games, you probably would have guessed that one of them would be Baylor. But odds are slim that you would have chosen West Virginia as the other one.
    Of the eleven that have yet to taste defeat, the Mountaineers, who've played only five games because of two byes, would be at or near the top of anyone's list of least likely to be undefeated. Here's my listing of the unbeatens in order of most surprising to least.
    1. Western Michigan (7-0)
    2. West Virginia (5-0)
    3. Texas A&M (6-0)
    4. Nebraska (6-0)
    5. Boise State (6-0)
    6. Washington (6-0)
    7. Baylor (6-0)
    8. Michigan (6-0)
    9. Clemson (7-0)
    10. Ohio State (6-0)
    11. Alabama (7-0)
    The list is not based solely on the teams' relative strengths but also takes into account their schedules. So Baylor is in the middle of the pack because of their usual weak non-conference slate.
    Conspicuous by their absence from the list are the Houston Cougars, whom many predicted to go unbeaten this season and give the CFP Committee a tough decision as to whether Houston should be in the playoff and, if so, which Power Five Conference champion they replace.
  • The Depths
    On the other end of the spectrum, Rice and Miami (OH) remain winless. A missed PAT cost the Owls a chance to defeat UTSA in OT last Saturday. The same kicker missed a 42y FG with 1:27 remaining.
  • What Happened to the Spartans
    A season after making the CFP, Michigan State is a shocking 2-4 after losing to Northwestern at home 54-40. After beating Notre Dame 36-28, the Spartans seemed to be ready to contend for the Big Ten title again but they have lost four straight, starting with a 30-6 smashing at the hands of Wisconsin that was considered an upset at the time but in retrospect was not. Since then they've lost to Indiana and BYU as well as Northwestern. Amazingly, MSU, which won 36 games and two conference titles the last three seasons, must win four of their last six games to become bowl eligible. Considering that two of their upcoming foes are Michigan and Ohio State, they must defeat Maryland, Illinois, Rutgers, and Penn State. That is doable but by no means a sure thing. A logical question to ask is this: Is Michigan's resurgence under Jim Harbaugh a major factor in MSU's struggles?
  • Surprise of the Day
    While Alabama's 39-point trouncing of Tennessee surprised only by the margin, Syracuse's 31-17 victory over Virginia Tech ranks as the shocker of Week 6. Tech came into the game following their shocking 34-3 thumping of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On the other side, the Orange were 2-4 with one of the wins coming against FCS Colgate. But new coach Dino Babers got his "signature win." He got the job because of his offensive prowess at Bowling Green. And the Orange gained an astounding 561y and 32 first downs against the nation's #3 defense.
  • End of a Streak
    North Dakota State had not lost since October 17, 2015. Their win streak included a 23-21 triumph over Iowa September 17. But South Dakota State rallied from 14 down as Taryn Christian threw a 2y TD pass to Jake Wieneke with one second left Saturday to win 19-17. A look at the statistics show that the game was not as close as the final score seems to indicate. The Jackrabbits, who hung 41 on TCU in a road loss last month, won the first down battle 28-16 and gained 523y compared to 304 for NDSU. They had to pull out the game in the last second because they twice had gone for it on 4th down inside the 5 and failed.
Baseball Playoffs
I haven't said much about MLB on this site this season.
  • I didn't start following day-to-day until September 1 when I checked the standings and found that my Cardinals were in the running for a wild card spot.
  • But any enthusiasm that engendered dissipated when the Redbirds finished a game behind the Giants for the 2nd NL wild card position.
  • I've watched the playoffs some - usually the last few innings - when there was nothing else on that interested me (my regular prime time shows or a football replay).
  • I'm rooting for the Indians and Cubs to make the World Series. That way, one of the two suffering cities will claim the elusive championship.
  • Cleveland hasn't won the World Series since 1948 although they have at least gotten to the Fall Classic in '54, '95, and '97. That would top a banner year for the city after the Cavaliers upset the Warriors in the NBA finals to bring the city its first major pro title since '48.
  • As is well known by baseball fans, the Cubs have not even been to the World Series since 1945 and haven't won it since 1908. As Cubs fans say, "Any team can have a bad century."
  • I'm rooting for Chicago to go all the way. That will stop the whining from Cubs fans. I also want to see how many who say they root for the "lovable losers" stop rooting for them once they've won the Series.
  • Another reason I'm rooting for the Cubs in the NLCS is because I hate the Dodgers - nemeses of the Cardinals since I started following baseball 65 or so years ago.
  • I watched the entire NLCS game Sunday night because I wasn't interested in the Texans-Colts game.

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About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

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