Deke Bellavia

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Deke: NFL concerns over player safety is a bunch of BS

First of all let me say that YES I want the Saints to win.  When the Saints win WE ALL BENEFIT!  So I’m speaking from the heart and the head here.  The NFL talks a big game when it comes to the safety of its players.  But how in the hell could the most powerful league in the history of sports be so damn dumb?

The New Orleans Saints played a full four quarter football game on Sunday October 26 and then turned right back around and played on the following Thursday night.  What the hell NFL?  I mean if the Saints were going to play a Thursday night game how about giving them a home game on that following Thursday.  Or how about allowing the Saints to come off a noon game before playing on the following Thursday night. 

Now listen to this - by the time the Saints got off the field and away from the Superdome, it was after midnight on Monday morning.  Then the Saints had basically less than two days before they had to get on a plane and play another game on a Thursday.  So yes, I’m saying it was about three days in between two games. 

The schedule makers should be ashamed of themselves, and at the very least please explain to those of us who can’t seem to make sense of why the Saints had to play two games in basically three days?  Remember it’s not me who’s been preaching how important the safety of its players is.  It’s the mighty NFL that has been doing all of that safety talk.

The late great Vince Lombardi said that fatigue makes a coward of any man.  Simply put, asking the Saints to play two games in three days is absolutely asinine.  Yet I’m quite sure that Mr. Goodell will give us some highly touted, fancy-word, over-educated response.  And then of course we can expect all the major networks (NBC, ESPN/ABC, FOX and CBS) to all go along with what Mr. Roger the Dodger says because yes all of those networks sleep in the same bed as Roger does!

“It’s crazy. It’s silly. It shouldn’t happen.”  Those are some of the things that Saints Coach Sean Payton when asked about the challenge of playing two games in three days.

Yes I’m probably being a little over the top.  But I’ll flat out tell you the truth, when I see an opportunity to lash out and give the NFL and their overrated boss a good peel-the-paint-off-the-wall piece of my mind, you damn right I am gonna make the most of it!

Hey Roger, if you want to try to teach then you need to practice what you preach.  Making the Saints or any team play two games in three days is dumb, stupid and something that should never occur especially when you consider the education level of the higher ups. 

What Roger Goodell has once again proven is those high priced words he learned at those big time schools he went to don’t amount to a hill of beans.  It don’t take no Rhodes Scholar to understand that players safety is not really at the forefront of the NFL.  Because if player safety was that important, NO player would EVER be asked to put their body at risk in that short of a time span.
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Deke: CFB Top Ten, week nine

The Magnolia State is still on top!  Auburn has a brutal stretch to end the regular season, could we be in store for an all Bulldogs SEC Title game?  And the best team in the nation not from the SEC is Kansas State.  And their only loss was to, well, an SEC Team!  Enjoy this week's CFB top 10!  

1.  Mississippi State - The Bulldogs are still sitting pretty and they currently hold all the cards in the SEC.  Beating Auburn earlier this season will come in handy down the line somewhere.  QB Dak Prescott is the player of the year while Franklinton's Josh Robinson may be the hardest runner in the land.  Last week beat Kentucky 45-31 / this week vs Arkansas

2.  Auburn - The Tigers have a brutal stretch run that will allow them to virtually ensure themselves a spot in the four team playoff should they run the table.  This week a trip to face Ole Miss, then the deep south's oldest rivalry vs Georgia, Texas A&M and then the Iron Bowl.  Yes that's brutal.  Last week beat South Carolina 42-35 / this week @ Ole Miss.

3.  Alabama - WR Amari Cooper is a legit Heisman Candidate.  The Tide, to me is still one of the best three teams in America.  Alabama has the week off before wrapping up with LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn.  Dayum that's tough!  Last week beat Tennessee 34-20 / this week BYE.

4.  Florida State - Well we know at least one overrated team will be in the four team playoff.  Man Notre Dame got shafted in the Sunshine State two weeks ago.  I'm hoping that the Noles will get dealt one loss so they won't make the playoffs.  I'm serious!  Last week BYE / Thurs @ Louisville.    

5.  Kansas State - Wildcats Coach Bill Snyder is a classy guy and as good as a human being as you'll find.  And his team is pretty damn salty.  If and I do say if, these Cats run the table, I can't think of any other team that is more deserving a playoff of spot.  KSU has to finish up with Oklahoma State, @ TCU, @ West Virginia and Baylor.  Yep that's the toughest stretch to end the season of anyone!  Last week beat Texas 23-0 / this week vs Oklahoma State.  

6.  Georgia - The Dogs are well rested and have become a quiet playoff contender.  Can UGA get RB Todd Gruley back this weekend?  It would sho help out!  Last week BYE / this week vs Florida.  

7.  Notre Dame - The Irish proved a lot to me when they outplayed and should have beaten the Noles two weeks ago.  Notre Dame has enough bite left in their schedule to be among the playoff conversation I think.  Last week BYE / this week vs Navy.  

8.  Oregon - The Ducks just don't put any fear in me.  I mean for years the West Coast Media has been geeking these Ducks up only to falter at the end of past seasons.  Why should I believe any different in 2014?  I don't!  Last week beat Cal 59-41 / this week vs Stanford.  

9.  Ole Miss - Bo knows how to beat Alabama, but Bo don't know when to shut up and focus on his team.  The best second half QB in CFB got punked by the fans in Death Valley and they got in his head.  And the Bayou Bengals Defense in turn got in his ACE!  Hey it happens!  Last week lost to LSU 10-7 / this week vs Auburn.  

10.  Michigan State - Whew Wee!   The North East Media has one team left to call a contender!  Man Michigan State scares me about as much as one of those old Godzilla Moives.  Not too much!  It would be a shame if any team from the Small Ten makes it to the four team playoff!  Last week beat Michigan 35-11 / this week BYE.  
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Deke: Saints must balance offense to beat Lions

New Orleans Saints vs Detroit Lions
Sunday October 19, 2014
Noon Kickoff Ford Field in Detroit

 
Last week’s results:  New Orleans was off while the Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-3.

Series History:  Saints lead 11-9-1

What they are saying:
Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan on what he did during the bye week to improve the defense:
“We took a long look at about everything.  Our situational football’s been really poor on defense.  So we did that.  The lack of sacks, we did go back and look at that.  The pressures are up but the sacks are down.  But there are a lot of things on the bye week as coaches that you have to look at yourself first.  It is scheme first when you look at it, what your players do well, what are they not doing well, so you have to address those and then go forward and get better.”
 
Saints Coach Sean Payton on Lions QB Matthew Stafford
“He has exceptional arm strength.  He’s a guy that is very confident and you can see that.  I think he is a good leader.  He gets rid of the ball.  He has good size, (and) good pocket awareness.  There are plays in each game that I have watched where he is flushed and all of a sudden he has gained four yards.  So he can run.  I do not know that you would start with saying that he’s a scrambler but he has good athleticism and speed.  I think with Joe (Lombardi) there (as offensive coordinator) you can see the work that they put in the offseason.  You can see a lot of it on film.”
 
 The breakdown:
Detroit is hot right now and the Lions are looking to continue to prove that the Lions are a legit player in the NFC North Division.  With a 4-2 mark a earlier season win over Green Bay, Detroit has been led by the play of their defense.

The Lions have good front seven and the defense is doing an excellent job of pressuring the quarterback.  The Lions will get after Saints QB Drew Brees.  New Orleans has to have some balance on offense in this game. If the Saints don’t’ have balance on offense the Lions will feast on New Orleans.

Simply put the Saints will have to play their best football of the season in order to come home with a win.  If the Saints could come out early in the game and rush the football with success that allows Coach Payton the opportunity to open up his playbook.

On offense the Lions have not put up the kind of numbers as they have in the past.  The Saints need to come up big getting after the opposing QB. New Orleans does not have a great defensive secondary and the more the pressure their front puts on the QB the better the secondary will play.

Folks it all boils down to the road games when looking at the Saints.  New Orleans has been flawless at home under Sean Payton.  But the when the Saints are on the road, they have not done well as of late.  I look for the Saints to play much better than they have all season long.

Both teams want to run the ball and both teams have good passing QB’s.  But each of the coaches in this battle will tell you that have to run the football.  Whichever team runs the ball better will win this game.  I think that the Saints match-up well with the Lions. 

To me the key in this game is the play of the big fellows!  The Lions have a very good O-Line and the Saints front seven faces another big challenge this weekend in Detroit.  I don’t really have a feel on this game when it comes to making a pick.  I think the Saints can still win the NFC South but I like the Lions to win the game 31-24 over the Saints.
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Deke: SEC Rankings, week eight

For the first time in well, forever, the state of Mississippi is the best when it comes to college football.  In round one of the battle of Southern States, Mississippi swept Alabama with the Rebels and Bulldogs earning wins over Alabama and Auburn.  Now which regular season bowl will be the biggest?  Egg or Iron?  If the right things fall into place, both games could be for the SEC West title!  LSU got a much needed win, Arkansas may be the best 0-3 SEC Team we’ve seen in quite some time, Auburn and Mississippi State have the weekend off.  And the final leg of the Will Muschamp on-his-way-out 2014 tour could be in its final stages.  

This week’s big games:

Texas A&M @ Alabama – The Tide almost fell again and their highest paid head coach is 5-3 in his last eight games coached.  But looking at the Aggies I don’t know if they have enough to go into Bryant Deny and beat the Tide.  The next four game stretch is huge for the Tide as they may need to go a perfect 4-0 to keep their SEC Title hopes on the line.  Facing the Aggies this week, Vols and Tigers on the road and then Mississippi State at home should let us know how big or not big he 2014 Iron Bowl will be!   On the A&M side of things a win over one of the remaining three West Biggies (Alabama, LSU and Auburn) would have to be considered another solid season for A&M.  Aggies fans should take note that the majority of this team’s offensive stars are freshmen!

Georgia @ Arkansas – Man if if’s and but’s were candy and nuts, well y'all know the rest.  Arkansas could be and probably should be 2-1 in league play.  Arkansas has no one to blame but themselves for their loss to A&M and Alabama.  A win over the best team in the East would be a benchmark win for a program that looks like it’s going in the right direction.  But a big win or two is needed to sell the fan base on that last line!  I would not be surprised if the Bulldogs sweep Eastern foes and still not get to the SEC Title game.  UGA looks like the class of the East but with dates at Arkansas and at home later in the Deep South’s oldest rival against Auburn could be the only thing that keeps the Bulldogs from getting back to the ATL!

Missouri @ Florida – This looks like an elimination game in the East between two teams that have been hard to get a feel for this season.  Just when I thought that the Tigers would rise above the rest in the East they laid an egg at home against the Bulldogs.  Now Missouri faces a must win if they are going to get back to the SEC Title Game in 2014.  The Gators need a big win.  Beating Missouri would be good.  But hell Gators fans can’t relate to Missouri.  Simply put, Will Muschamp must beat UGA or he’s out!  

Kentucky @ LSU – The battle of Cats will see either LSU or Kentucky leave the field becoming bowl eligible.  That would be a great feat for one program but not nearly enough for the other.  Guess which is which.  LSU finally gave their fans something to be excited about moving forward other than touting that the Tigers have played 17 freshmen.  The next three weeks are set up good for LSU.  Two wins in the next three weeks would be huge and in my mind a successful season for Les Miles.  Losses to Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M may place the Mad Hatter on the hot seat going into the 2015 season.  Give credit to UK Coach Mark Stoops.  It’s late October and people are still thinking about Wildcats football and not just hoops at the Rupp!

Tennessee @ Ole Miss – It’s Homecoming in Oxford and man I can only imagine how pretty the ladies will look on campus this Saturday.  Oh the sweet southern smiles, the beautiful HC Court, I digress.  The Rebels are a damn good team and a win over the Vols would continue to see Hugh Freeze and the Rebels victory tour.  I think we all felt like the Rebels would be better but did anyone think Ole Miss would be this good?  
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Deke: NFL Top Ten, week seven

Denver reclaims the top spot!  The Silver Stars are shining bright deep in the heart of Texas, the Bolts got a scare from the Silver and Black while the Birds from the City of Brotherly Love were as impressive as their rivals from the NFC East.  There are some good teams that are not in this week’s top ten but the Colts could change that with a win over the Bengals this weekend.  Here’s this week’s top 10!  

1.   Denver Broncos (4-1) – Denver looks like an elite team in the AFC once again.  But can the White Horses win their own division?  Look for Peyton to eclipse another record this weekend as Denver hosts the Gold Rush!  All dem records Peyton got sho could use the company of another Lombardi I'm guessing! Last week beat NY Jets 31-17 / this week vs San Francisco.     

2.   San Diego Chargers (5-1) – The Bolts got a much tougher test against Oakland last week but bottom line is a win is a win.  People are already pointing to a showdown with Denver looming soon.  But don’t overlook the scrappy Chiefs from KC!  Last week beat Oakland 31-28 / this week vs Kansas City.   

3.   Dallas Cowboys (5-1) – They are for real!  They are the real deal.  And yes this is the most excited Dallas fans have been in a very long time.  You think maybe Jerry went back and looked into his old notes and figured out that the best way to build a champion is starting up front on the O-Line?  Dallas has the best offensive line in the game.  And they beat down the bullies from Seattle.  But will #9 shine or shade in the post season?  Only time will tell!  Last week beat Seattle 30-23 / this week vs NY Giants.  

4.  Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) –The Eagles looked like a legit NFC Title contender last weekend as they dominated a hot Giants team.  The Birds of Prey don’t need much defense.  But when they get some they are hard to beat!  Last week beat NY Giants 27-0  / this week BYE.

5.  Arizona Cardinals (4-1) – Arizona had a nice bounce back win over the Redskins last weekend.  Who would have thought that right now the Cards are the best team in the stout NFC West?  Maybe they did huh?  Last week beat Washington 30-20/ this week @ Oakland.

6.  Seattle Seahawks (3-2) – Seattle got a dose of their own meds last weekend as the Silver Stars out muscled the Seabirds.  Seattle is still damn good.  But one has to wonder can they get back the Super Game without home field?  We may see!  Last week lost to Dallas 23-30 / this week @ St. Louis.

7.  Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) –Man Damn!  Five quarters and still no winner!  Hell there ain’t no ties in football.  What a waste of time. But just think if that non-loss is the difference in the Bengals winning the AFC North?  It could happen you know!  Last week tied Carolina 37-37 / this week @ Indianapolis. 

8.  Green Bay Packers (4-2) – The Packers know as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center they have a chance to win.  And the rest of the NFL knows it too!  Green Bay is going to be a hard out in the NFC playoffs this January!  Last week beat Miami 27-24 / this week vs Carolina.    

9.  New England Patriots (4-2) – How much more can the Pats handle?  Losing LB J. Mayo and RB Steven Ridley hurts bad.  But if one team can overcome those kind of losses it’s the Hood and his good looking QB.  Last week beat Buffalo 37-22 / this week vs NY Jets.  

10.  Baltimore Ravens (4-2) – Four TD’s in the first quarter and five in the first half.  Man QB Joe Flacco has the Purple Birds riding high right now.  And with the other gimpy birds from the South limping into town, looks like ole Joe could have another monster game this weekend.  I’m just saying you know!  Last week beat Tampa Bay 48-17 / this week vs Atlanta. 
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Deke: CFB Top Ten, week eight

The Egg Bowl Tickets keep getting more and more in demand on Stubhub!  The overrated bowl will be played this week, and the game between the Noles and Irish features two talented and issue-plagued QB's.  Baylor came up big with a 24 point run while the Tigers and Tide still have everything in front of them.  Hey is it me, or would the rest of you like to see this four team playoff.  #1 Mississippi State vs #4 Alabama and #2 Ole Miss versus #3 Auburn?  Hell oh wait this is going to happen over the next several weeks.  And I'd love to see it again, somehow squeezing the Bulldogs of UGA in that SEC title mix as well.  You know honestly, the Southeastern Conference could break off into their own post season format and still demand a ton of money.  I would!  
 
1.      Mississippi State (6-0) – They DESERVE to be ranked #1.  Their QB is leaps and bounds better than any other QB in the nation.  And this humble program is about to continue to stomp mud holes in other higher society asses!  Hell Yes!  When you get your ace kicked in Starkvegas everybody knows!  Last week beat Auburn 38-23 / this week BYE. 

2.   Ole Miss Rebels (6-0) – QB Bo Wallace is seeing his stock rise with back to back impressive showings for the Rebels.  I personally was more impressed with this weeks win over the Aggies considering what the Rebels had to do.   Last week beat Texas A&M / this week vs Tennessee.  

3.  Florida State (6-0) - The Noles are another sloppy win away from being out of my top five.  Out of respect this team is in my current top five.  FSU seems to think that they can play when they want to play.  The Noles look like a team that is still toasting the last title and not worried about the one they are pursuing.  Last week beat Syracuse 38-20 / this week vs Notre Dame.  

4.       Baylor Bears (6-0) – The Bears went on a hoops-like run in a high scoring game.  Closing a game on a 24-0 run is damn impressive.  Can you imagine if the Bears and Bulldogs play in the Sugar Bowl?  Ah damn, the Dome scoreboard might blow-up!  True Dat!  Last week beat TCU 61-58 / this week @ West Virginia. 

5.   Auburn Tigers (5-1) – The Tigers lost but have no reason to worry.  With remaining games against the likes of Ole Miss, UGA and Alabama those are three top 8 eights the Tigers still have left to play.  Win those and Auburn should be right back in the ATL Mix.   Last week lost to Mississippi State 23-38 / this week vs South Carolina. 

6.       Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1) – The Tide almost had another slip-up.  Man it seems like to the Tide Fan Base that Alabama lost.  HEY they WON!  Sometimes in life things don't always go as planned.  Alabama is having some learning issues right now but other former powers in the SEC are too.  I'd keep my cool and remain on board with this Alabama team.  They will knock off somebody big before it's over with!  BET on that!  Last week beat Arkansas 14-13 / this week vs Texas A&M.

7.       Notre Dame Fighting Irish – (6-0) – The Irish are OVERRATED once again!  Man if Notre Dame was in the Pac-12 or SEC West they would be at best 3-3 right now.  Hey EVERY school in the world wishes they had the clout and power the Church has.  That is true!   Last week beat North Carolina 50-43 / this week @ Florida State.  

8.      Georgia Bulldogs (5-1) - The Bulldogs have their own fate in their hands.  That fate is not only the SEC East, but also includes the SEC Title and the national title.  Hey win out and it will happen.  This team and their seemingly under appreciated coach have one of the most stable and consistent programs in the nation.   I'm a Mark Richt fan!  UGA is pretty damn good too!  Last week beat Missouri 34-0 / this week @ Arkansas.  

9.       Oregon Ducks (5-1) – The Ducks dominated what many thought was the best team out West with a beat down of the Bruins.  You score watchers don't let that final margin of victory fool you.  The Ducks called off the Ducks on the Little Los Angeles Bears after going up 42-10.  In true arrogant JL Mora Fashion he did some window dressing.  Hey L.A. get real.  There is only one program in town that will ever have and has already been a nation power.  Oh it hurt to say it's USC don't it!  Now the Ducks are back in good shape.   Last beat UCLA 42-28 / this week vs Washington.  

10.   Oklahoma Sooners (451) – The Sooners beat their rivals and now face a seasons defining stretch with games against the Wildcats and Baylor Bears over the last two weeks.  You know when Billy the Kid use to say "I'll make you famous?"  That's exactly what happened when the Sooners beat Alabama.  That one win made them famous.  Now can they build off that?  I don't know!    Last beat Texas 31-26 / this week vs Kansas State. 
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Deke: Tigers showing improvement in win over Florida

I'm human.  I mess up.  I talk bad, I get too frustrated and I let my emotions get the best of me from time to time.  We all know this.  But it does bother me sometimes when folks that analyze the LSU Tigers do not do so in a fair way.  

Now I'm talking LSU here.  But I could take out the Tigers name and put in Alabama, Arkansas and Florida and the title and theme would apply the same to all of those schools.

In 2011, the final week of the regular season had LSU #1, Alabama #2 and Arkansas #3.  Alabama has been able to maintain their higher status the most consistently but even the most die hard Tide Fan will tell you that the 2014 version of the Crimson Tide is not as strong.  LSU and Florida used to rule the roost.  They have both taken steps back and Arkansas looks like they are climbing their way back to respectability.  

The past is the past, the future will be coming up, but right now we are in the present.  And other than the play of the Dogs and Rebels and sometimes the Bulldogs from Athens, the rest of the SEC is kind of unknown.

When it comes to LSU you have to look at where the Tigers currently are.  I think sometimes we get caught up in wins and losses a little too much.  Sometimes teams win and look terrible.  Sometimes teams win and they look great and then there are the in between times when teams kind of leave us scratching our heads.  

LSU has a lot of young players.  The Tigers had to replace over 95 percent of their offense from last season.  And right now, nearly 90% of the Tigers TD's in 2014 have come on the shoulders of freshmen and sophomore players.

There has to be somewhat of a drop off expected in all fairness due to the fact that the Tigers lost so much on offense.  But a drop off and getting physically manhandled are two different things.

My point is that even had LSU lost to Florida, I saw improvement.  I saw a team that played hard for four quarters, a team that did not dig themselves a big hole like they did in their first two SEC Games.  And I saw a team that learned how to win by any means necessary.

The 2014 Tigers will not blow anyone out.  They will not win as many games as teams in the past have.  But that does not mean the 2014 Tigers can't be a pretty good club.

If LSU fights hard and plays in a manner that shows growth and steady improvement from game to game.  Then those who claim that the future is championship bright will closer to being right than wrong.

2014 tells us that the mighty SEC could send two teams to Atlanta with at least one loss each.  And the likelihood of an SEC team being undefeated is not too good.  And then there are those teams that are clawing and scratching their way to trying to become a solid more consistent team that competes for the title.

There are five games left in the season with the Tigers holding a 5-2 overall mark.  I'm more interested in how the Tigers win games and lose games at this point than I am more concerned how many games the Tigers win or lose.  You get it?  
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Deke: Where the Saints at, where dey pose to be, where dey goin

It is the bye week for the Black and Gold, and New Orleans is a surprising 2-3 after their first five games of the 2014 season.  The Saints lost their first two games of the season on the final play of the game, dropping back to back road games at Atlanta and Cleveland.

“I think if the Saints win 10 games this season that would be a great feat. Considering where the Saints are right now at 2-3, 10 wins would be good to me,” said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert.

The Saints will get some much needed rest this week before a tough stretch with a trip to Motown to face the Lions of Detroit, followed by a Sunday night prime time home date against the Packers.  Then on a very short week, the Saints will face Carolina on the road on a Thursday night game.

To me, that stretch is huge, considering that the Saints have two of the next three on the road where they have yet to win a game, then they face a divisional foe on one day’s practice in that very same stretch.

Bobby and I talked with former Saints LB Scott Shanle.  I asked Scott why he thought the Saints would be able to turn things around this season.  “I think when you look at the overall talent level of the Saints you see they have as much talent as any team in the NFL.  The talent level, the coaching and the leadership on the team leads me to believe that the Saints will turn things around.”  

The Saints have had trouble creating turnovers this season.  The Saints have forced just two turnovers in five games and the Black and Gold is a dismal minus -8 in the turnover ratio.  Coult the Saints be thinking too much about creating turnovers?  

“I think so much of the game at any level there is talent everywhere.  And you tend to press from time to time in trying to make plays.  And when you don’t make plays it is frustrating.  But you have to keep playing your game and not try to press too much,” Shanle said.  

So to be real about the Saints, they are supposed to be (according to the national media and me and the Cajun Cannon) 4-1 or 5-0.  The Saints are at 2-3.  Where the Saints are going?  Well if the team does not make the post season, 2014 would be a huge disappointment.  

And honestly if the Saints don’t go deep in the playoffs this season, that would be just as disappointing.  After all the Saints are what many feel is a team of “now” meaning that they are a contender.  Or at least that’s what we all thought!

The Saints ain’t where dey pose to be.  We know where dey at.  And where dey go from here will determine how good or how bad 2014 will be!  
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Deke: SEC rankings, week seven

Hail State!  Hotty Toddy!  Man oh man what a weekend it was in North Mississippi.  First the Bulldogs beat the Aggies into submission, and then over in Oxford the Rebels saved their best for last in a huge win over the Tide.  Now two more huge games take place this week for the Rebs and Dogs.  I think one will win and one will fall.  The Tide are now in a must-win situation at Arkansas, the SEC has a good tilt between Georgia and Missouri and a cross conference match-up features two teams that don’t look too good between the Gators and Tigers.  And give some love to the UK Wildcats.  I ain’t talking hoops either!  Here goes this week’s SEC Rankings.

1.     Mississippi State – The play of QB Dak Prescott is incredible.  And the front seven of the State defense is the best in the conference right now.  A win this week would put the Dogs in the driver’s seat in the SEC West.  Oh how the ticket takers will be looking the other way when those Starkvegas fans smuggle those loud ass cowbells into Davis Wade Stadium!  Last week beat Texas A&M 48-31 / this week vs Auburn. 

2.    Auburn – The Tigers dismantled LSU and now continue a stretch of ranked foes.  Auburn already has a big road win in a tough venue with their win over Kansas State.  But there are now loud ass Cowbells in Manhattan.  Kansas that is.  Last week beat LSU 41-7 / this week @ Mississippi State 

3.    Ole Miss – Man give it up to Hugh Freeze, Bo Wallace and the Rebels.  Ole Miss played their tails off till the final horn sounded.  This week is going to be tough.  As the Rebels face a team they have never beaten.  UPSET ALERT!  Last week beat Alabama 23-17 / this week @ Texas A&M. 

4.    Alabama – The Tide lost on the road and now face another road trip to take on the upstart Hogs.  Could Little Nicky drop his second straight?  Man could the natives in Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge both be claiming a rebuilding year?  Possibly!  Probably not in Alabama that is!  Last week lost to Ole Miss 17-23 / this week @ Arkansas. 

5.    Missouri – Gary Pinkel is one of the most underrated coaches in the nation.  A win this week over the Bulldogs would put the Tigers in the drivers seat to get back to Atlanta for a second straight year.  Last week BYE / this week vs Georgia. 

6.    Texas A&M – Man the Aggies got their Aggies handed to them last week in Starkvegas.  Now A&M can bounce back and handle the Rebels once again.  I think it will happen.  Last week lost to Mississippi State 31-48 / this week vs Ole Miss. 

7.    Georgia – The Bulldogs control their own fate in the SEC East.  But they have to beat Missouri this week.  I expect to see a lot and then some more of RB Todd Gurley this week from the UGA Offense.  Last week beat Vanderbilt 44-17 / this week @ Missouri. 

8.    Kentucky – Man these Wildcats are a hair away from being undefeated.  I told you earlier this season that this team was not going to be bad.  I had no idea they would be good.  Honestly!  Last week beat South Carolina 45-38 / this week vs UL Monroe. 

9.    Arkansas – The Hogs had the week off and can now really mess up the SEC with an upset win over Alabama.  Alabama has owned the Hogs the last three years.  Can the Tide make another route of this game?  Last week BYE / this week vs Alabama. 

10.    South Carolina – The Gamecocks have already lost three SEC Games.  Can they get enough help to get back into the mix? I don’t think so.  Last week lost to Kentucky 45-38 / this week BYE. 

11.    Florida – The Gators are bad.  In fact they are not that good. But they can get their third and perhaps last SEC win of the season this week against LSU. Last week beat Tennessee 10-9 / this week vs LSU

12.    LSU – The Tigers look worse than the Gators do. But can LSU win perhaps their only SEC game of the season?  Maybe!  Last week lost to Auburn 41-7 / this week @ Florida. 

13.    Tennessee – The Vols had the Gators and let them off the hook.  Now another step towards bowl contention takes place with UT-Chattanooga.  Last week lost to Florida 9-10 / this week vs UT-Chattanooga.
 
14.    Vanderbilt – The season is halfway over.  Hell what else you want me to say about the doors?  Last week lost to Georgia 17-44 / this week vs Charleston Southern.  
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Deke: NFL Top Ten, week six

Seattle has the most complete team with an incredible QB.  Denver is awfully good.  And San Diego could very well be the best team in the NFL right now.  And Here is my top ten as we enter the sixth week of the 2014 NFL Season.  

1.    Seattle Seahawks (3-1) – Right now it would be hard to say who the MVP of the league has been through the first quarter of the 2014 season. One player who certainly would be on the list is Seattle QB Russell Wilson.  In the game against Denver he willed the Seahawks to a win and in the 27-17 road win over Washington, Wilson gave one of his signature plays that helped his team win again.  Seattle is going to be good for a long time.  They are to me the only team in he NFL that has a tenacious defense and a superstar QB.  Now a home game against 4-1 Dallas looks pretty interesting!  Last week beat Washington 27-17/ this week vs Dallas 

2.  Denver Broncos (3-1) – Another record is near for the great Manning to surpass.  Peyton tossed four TD passes in the White Horses big win over the Red Birds.  With 503 career TD passes Peyton is closing in on Brett’s record of 508.  And speaking of records how about WR Demaryius Thomas?  DT had eight grabs for a whopping 226 yards and 2TD’s.  Not bad for an afternoon of work.  You know Denver will be in the post season.  The Broncos will more than likely be the top seed.  And Denver wil probably get back to the Super Bowl. But will they win it?  Remember in the history of the NFL there have been maybe two, possibly three teams that were tabbed as Super Bowl win or bust.  Denver is one of those!  Last week beat Arizona 41-20 / this week @ NY Jets.     

3.   San Diego Chargers (4-1) – The Chargers are looking more and more like one of the premiere teams in the AFC this season.  And don’t look now but a 5-1 start is highly likely with a trip to Oaktown this weekend looming!  I’m telling you the Bolts are for real.  Anytime an NFL team limits another professional team to 151 total yards and keeps them off the scoreboard that is damn hard to do.  QB Phillip Rivers is having arguably his best season ever.  Don’t sleep on this team.  Last week beat NY Jets 31-0 / this week @ Oakland.   

4.    Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) –The Eagles got a scare from the Rams and now have a big NFC East battle with those Giants from the Big Apple.  You know for a division that was supposed to be garbage the East is pretty damn salty right now.  Last week beat St. Louis 34-28 / this week vs NY Giants.

5.  Dallas Cowboys (4-1) – Ok it’s safe to say that Dallas is a huge surprise so far this season.  Now a road win over the Seabirds this week would mean that the Silver Stars are major players in the NFC this season.  I ain’t lying y'all.  Last week beat Houston 20-17OT / this week @ Seattle.  

6.  Arizona Cardinals (3-1) – Arizona hung tough with Denver before Peyton and the Horses pulled away with a 17-0 run in the final stanza.  The Cardinals are OK, but they need to bounce back this week at home against the Redskins.  Last week lost Denver 41-20/ this week vs Washington. 

7.  Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) – I don’t think the Bengals or any other team with the exception of maybe Seattle that could have handled a ticked off Tom Brady last week.  Brady shredded the Bengals and now Cincy has to regroup against a pretty good Carolina team.  That loss to NE could come back and haunt the Bengals for home field this post season.  Last week lost New England 43-17/ this week vs Carolina.

8.  Green Bay Packers (3-2) – The Packers have stormed back into the NFC post season picture with back to back convincing wins.  QB Aaron Rodgers is on fire right now and the Cheese Heads are starting to gel.  Last week beat Minnesota 42-7 / this week @ Miami.  

9.  New England Patriots (3-2) – Let’s face it, no matter how much you try to avoid things these days, it can’t be done.  What I’m saying is that Tom had to hear all week long had bad he’s looked and if his career is nearing an end in Clam Chowder Land. The smooth operator went to work and tossed two TD passes in a blowout win over the previously unbeaten Bengals.  QB Brady, RB Ridley and TE Gronk are as good as a trio in the NFL on offense as any team has.  And the hooded wearing coach don’t like to be called out either.  Hey the best way to respond to stuff you don’t like to hear is the way the Patriots did the other night on national TV.  Last week beat Cincinnati 43-17 / this week @ Buffalo.  

10.  Nine 3 and 2 team’s (3-2) – Ok in order to make things fun I figured I would mention a handful of teams that are 3-2 after five games.  The NY Giants have quietly crept back into contention behind the strong play of QB Eli Maning.  San Fran is back to 3-2 and the Buffalo Bills got a 58 yard FG to knock off another 3-2 team Detroit last week in the Motor City.  Other 3-2 teams in the mix are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Houston.  Right now the NFL looks pretty wide open with no one team just that much better than these handful of 3-2 teams.  Or that’s what I think anyway!  
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