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Deke Bellavia

Join Deke and the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert for live, local talk about the Saints, LSU, Pelicans and much more on "Sports Talk!" 

Weekdays 4-8pm

Twitter: @dekebigchief
Email: bigchief@wwl.com

Big Chief's NFL Top 10

The GB Packers are ICE Cold, NE lost finally, Denver got a huge "ManningFULL" win, the Red Birds keep rolling, the Orange Cats bounced back and those Mountain Panthers from the Tar Heel State are the best in the land right now. Here is this week's top 10!

1. Carolina Panthers (11-0) – The question is not if they can go 16-0, the question to me is how many more games until they lock up the #1 seed? Two, three? Carolina not only has a huge cushion in their division, but these deadly Cats from the Carolina's are ahead of everyone else in the NFC too! Last week beat Dallas 33-14 / this week @ New Orleans.

2. New England Patriots (10-1) – Ok they lost a game! To me that means if the Pats do end up with the same record as the White Horses, they would have to play in high altitude. I don't think it will come to that! Last week lost to Denver 30-24/ this week vs Philly.

3. Arizona Cardinals (9-2) - The Red Birds from the Desert Sands are still perhaps the most complete team in the NFL, but if their signal caller goes down (Carson Palmer)... this team is just a hair above average on offense! Boy, they can't afford for that to happen again this season! Last week beat San Francisco 19-13 / this week @ St. Louis.

4. Denver Broncos (9-2) – No Peyton, no problem. The White Horses got their biggest win in the Manning era, and he was not even on the field. With that said, I still like my chances with #18 in their compared to not! Last week beat New England 30-24OT/this week @ San Diego.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-2) – The have lost two straight and now feel some heat within their own division for the first time since week two of the season. It's going to be interesting to see how these Orange Clad Cats from OHIO respond the last six weeks of the season. Last week lost to Arizona 31-34 / this week @ Arizona.

6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3) – The Vikings got a big road win over the struggling dirty birds and got some big Turkey help from the Monsters of the Midway. Now the Vikings can maintain their one game lead in the North and open more eyes if they can knock off the Seabirds. Last week beat Atlanta 20-10/ this week vs Seattle.

7. Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) - Andy Reid can just flat out coach. This team was 1-5 five weeks ago and now they are 6-5, have won five straight and are in control of the Wild Card in the AFC. I'm telling you this team is not out of the AFC West hunt yet and no one wants to play this team in January! Last week beat Buffalo 30-22 / this week @ Oakland.

8. Seattle Seahawks (6-5) - Well the Seabirds lost their 2nd best offensive weapon with TE Jimmy Graham going down. But as long as the Legion of Doom is in place and Russell W on offense the Birds have more, far more than a punchers chance to win. Last week beat Pittsburgh 39-30 / this week @ Minnesota.

9. Houston (6-5) & NY Jets (6-5) - I know GB has won more games, but the Packers are as cold as the frozen tundra they play on and the Texans and NY Planes are in a warming trent right now. Houston (JJ Watt) & NY (D. Revis) have two game changing defenders and with those type players you always have a shot to win.

10. Green Bay Packers (7-4) – Losers of four of five and now in a heated battle with three other North Foes, the Cheese Packers are not only in a little trouble but this team is going to have to dog fight to make the playoffs this post season. Last week lost to Chicago 13-17/ this week @ Detroit.
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Miles again puts LSU 1st, while Alleva gets it wrong AGAIN!

I may be dismissed by those higher educated persons. My voice will be talked about. Of course those who disagree will say, "Man he don't know what the hell he's talking about." But what I will tell you is factual, it's the truth and nothing hurts and hits close to home like the truth does.

Let me start off by saying that for the last 11 years I've spend every Monday afternoon interviewing LSU Football Coach Les Miles. I am not good friends with Coach Miles; we don't exchange Christmas gifts, and we don't call each other as friends do. All Coach Miles and I have is a working relationship, and that's it.

Now, truth be told do I like Les Miles? Man I have a deep respect, admiration and hope that one day I can handle tough situations like Les Miles has in the 11 years I've come to know him. Is Les Miles a good or great football coach, man y'all know me, I'm the last person that is qualified to answer that question. But I can tell you Les Miles is a damn good man. He did not deserve the treatment that an 11 year, successful, accomplished and respected employee of any business should receive.

I'm sure that there will be an email, call or text from someone from the land of Purple and Gold disagreeing and maybe even asking for me to take this piece down. Trust me, the higher ups do indeed listen. I can remember the Cajun Cannon and myself getting some feedback on our take and our approach on the LSU versus Alabama National Title Game, but I'm going to try and take the highest of roads in explaining and giving my take on what I've seen and heard go down the last three weeks.

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva is the center of the talks about his handling, or might I say mishandling, of another big time situation involving an athletic department. National media are treating Alleva like the Special Man at Frankie and Johnny's. That is the national media is saying, "let'em have it;" letting the AD have it!

The last two weeks have sadly reminded us that sometimes in life some people do not learn from mistakes that they make. I've always said that people deserve (depending on the individual and the situation) a second chance, hell even a third chance. When it comes to Alleva, though, should any of us be surprised at the black eye that he himself has given the LSU program and then entire university?

From the at very least somewhat incompetent way he handled the whole Duke University Lacrosse situation nearly a decade ago; to the last two weeks in which his moments of silence continuously turned into the sound of ignorance, Joe Alleva's performance needs to come into question.

For three weeks a man that has been in charge of two of the country's most prominent athletic departments in Duke and LSU once again did a bad job. Now some of you may not know how Joe Alleva handled the Duke Lacrosse situation.

Alleva was the AD at Duke from 1998 to 2008. He then took over in Baton Rouge as LSU AD in July of 2008. Alleva faced some criticism for the way the university handled the controversial Duke Lacrosse team rape allegations in 2006.

The end result was a finding that no sexual misconduct or allegations of rape and assault were ever found to have taken place in an incident that occurred back in 2006. One of the most respected and successful sports figures in the world took the high road when asked how the entire Duke Lacrosse situation was handled.

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in an interview with Real Sports on HBO that he had wished the student athletes would have had more support. In a quote from an ESPN Article posted back on June 28, 2006, Coach K said the following.

"What I've tried to do behind the scenes is say, 'We're with you. We'll see what happens, and whatever happened if you did it, you should be punished.'" He added, "Giving support does not mean you're choosing sides. Giving support is what a university should do ... because we're in the kid business."

Joe Alleva did not show public support for his athletes back in 2006, and he did not show support to his head football coach in 2015 in Baton Rouge. Back to Duke Lacrosse. Despite the three defendants being later exonerated of the charges against them, the head lacrosse coach who was winner of national coach of the year and at the time of the incident had Duke ranked in the top three in the nation, was forced to resign. Alleva, the Duke AD at the time also saw the Duke lacrosse Team have their 2006 lacrosse season canceled.

Did Joe Alleva rush to judgment? Yes! Did he do the right thing? No! Could he have shown more public support for his own student athletes? Yes! Man, I can apply similar questions to the current Les Miles situation in Baton Rouge, and the answers would be the same.

Alleva was later proved to have made, at the very least, a rushed decision for his lacrosse program. The investigation eventually found 43 of the 47 players accused, were not guilty of any wrongdoing. Despite that, the entire team was punished. Their season was cancelled due to a knee jerk decision under Joe Alleva's watch.

No I'm not saying this and was all on Joe. If we are going to be fair; we would have to say that maybe, perhaps that behind closed doors Aleva was not in favor of the harsh punishment handed down to his Lacrosse team. He could have been, but what we do know is that the handling of the Duke Lacrosse situation was not done properly. We know that Joe Alleva was in charge of athletics. In my own opinion, criticism was warranted.

Now fast forward to November 2015. The last three weeks fall squarely on the shoulders of Joe Alleva, and the way he has handled the Les Miles situation is flat out wrong. If you want to know the truth, Alleva has possibly done more harm to the LSU Football program moving forward than he could have ever done to help them get better.

Please don't give me that line that all Joe did is what the big money people wanted him to do. If that's your response, then Joe should stand up like a man and do what is right. He should do what is needed, what Louisiana State University hired him to do. Joe did not protect our (LSU) shield, he tarnished it. And that's not Deke Bellavia just talking. Listen, look and read what the rest of the country is saying!

Now by not sticking up (for coach Miles), sounding off and standing by the coach that is in charge of the most important sport in college athletics; Joe Alleva has put LSU in a bad spot. It's a spot that could have been avoided had Joe done what he was supposed to do. Now the LSU coaches face some tough battles pinned on them, and they did nothing to deserve the extra work they will now have to do.

Because Joe never opened his mouth, sent out an email or released a statement giving some type of indication on where he stood when it came to Miles; he has caused mass confusion. Alleva's clear lack of leadership has heaped a ton of negative, bad and critical feedback not only on Tiger Football, but all of Louisiana State University.

Folks the issue here is not whether or not Alleva thinks that LSU's program is not meeting expectations. LSU Football clearly is not currently meeting expectations. The issue is that a man that gets paid millions of dollars to do a job did nothing. If he did do something, he did not say anything!

You can be critical of the job that Les Miles has done, you can make valid points to why a change needed to be made. What you can't do is give Alleva a pass on this one. Folks Joe Alleva did not half step, hell he did not step at all!

Joe Alleva's role in all of the last three weeks is ugly, inexcusable and pitiful. I mean we are talking about a football coach (Les Miles) that is now the longest tenured head football coach in the SEC, a coach that is not coming off a three, four or five win season. We are talking about the 2nd winningest coach in school history, and a coach that has done far more good than bad in 11 seasons. Les Miles has never had a losing season in Baton Rouge, and the Tigers are going to a bowl for the 11th straight season under Coach Miles.

Do I like Les Miles? Absolutely! Do I think Les Miles is a good coach? Dam skippy! Is Coach Miles a great coach? I would say that he is a good coach that has not been able to produce the results needed to justify his pay, his staff's pay and the expectations of the LSU Football program the last four seasons. LSU is barely above five hundred in SEC play the last three seasons. The results are not what they should be.

Nonetheless, Les Miles deserved backing. Backing the football coach is done all the time. So why wasn't it done here? Miles deserved backing from his AD. Louisiana State University deserved to have their Athletic Director come out and make a strong statement. Les Miles got nothing! Les Miles was treated like a red headed step child, and he was hung out to try in front of the world while everyone watched.

In the past Joe was quick to send out a mass email to the Tiger fan base basically saying that the football program needed to do better. Joe Alleva has released statements to the Tiger faithful several times before. So why not this time? Did Joe really want to see Les fail? And to say that three games was the ultimate deciding factor in whether or not a change should be made is flat out embarrassing. Folks, LSU is bigger and better than three games. That three game let's wait and see he how does line is played out like a 45 record. Don't give me that crap!

How do you allow a man that has accomplished what Les Miles has done to go out and coach a game (Texas A&M) not knowing if he's going to be employed when that game is over? Les Miles was waving to the crowd before the game like it was his last night in Tiger Stadium! Les Miles did not know. The man had no clue. Folks you don't treat people like that. I'm sorry, that's a poor sign of how Alleva does business and how Joe Alleva represents LSU.

Les Miles was paraded in front of the media on at least three occasions (weekly press luncheon, post practice and his weekly radio show) without knowing the future of his job. The humility, being ridiculed and to have his family embarrassed all week long, and for nothing, is inexcusable. I ask you, who has done more harm to LSU Football? Les or Joe?

How does the rest of America view the LSU AD and his handling of this situation? How do we know that another, other or just one coach would want to come and work with Alleva after knowing how he handled this without giving support to his head football coach? How hard is it going to be for Les Miles, Frank Wilson, Ed Orgeron and Kevin Steele as they go out to recruit and have to defend the program? They have to spread the word that everything is okay and Coach Miles is going to be at LSU. Hell they don't KNOW that!

I ask you again, who has done more harm to LSU Football? Yes, Coach Les Miles was treated like garbage; and he did nothing to deserve it. Joe Alleva looks as bad as any AD has, maybe ever. The first and only words we heard from Joe was in a postgame news conference to say that coach Miles is and will be our coach!?! Man please, take that garbage and throw it away.

Had Joe handled the situation like Les Miles did, he (Joe) would have shown something that none of us know he has. And that is class! You see folks, Les Miles did nothing he hasn't already done. In good times and bad, player discipline, bad play, clock management problems poor losses, you name them all; and you've always gotten the same result from Les Miles and that is the HIGH road.

Coach Miles has never put the blame on anyone else. He has never pushed any coach or player under the bus. Even in this instance where he had more than a fair shot to take one at his AD, Les Miles did what Joe Alleva should have done and did not do. Les Miles did the right thing. He put LSU first!

As LSU fans ponder what has happened and what will happen moving forward, I leave you with this. If today you, the fan, the supporter, or just the casual follower of this continuing story had to make a hire for your athletic program; what would you do?

Would you hire a coach that has always put his players, his coaches, his team and his school first, front and center? Or would you hire an AD that did not say a thing, made the wrong moves and again left his own people hung out to dry?

Go back and do your own research and see what each of these two gentlemen have done in the past. Wherever Les Miles has been, he has always put everyone else above him and taken the high road.

Yes people Les Miles did what he has always done, and that is put his school first. While on the flip side, Joe Alleva has done what seems to be a disturbing trend that has followed him from Durham, North Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Joe Alleva got it wrong. Joe got it wrong AGAIN!

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Deke's NFL Top Ten, week eleven

1. New England Patriots (10-0) – They had a tough time with Buffalo but hey each week is going to get harder and harder with so many wins in a row stacking up. With that said, a win this week could very well be the nail in the coffin as far as landing the top seed in the AFC. And that basically guarantees the Pats back in the Super Bowl again. Last week beat Buffalo 20-13 / this week @ Denver.

2. Carolina Panthers (10-0) – Cam is on fire, their defense is as hot and this team could win at least 14 games this season. But still can they get to Super status? Perhaps the last big hurdle between the Cats and a serious run at 16-0 takes place this week in Big D! Last week beat Washington 44-16 / this week @ Dallas.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (8-2) – The have lost two straight and now feel some heat within their own division for the first time well since week two of the season. It's going to be interesting to see how these Orange Clad Cats from OHIO respond the last six weeks of the season. Last week lost to Arizona 31-34 / this week @ Arizona.

4. Arizona Cardinals (8-2) – They need some help to catch the Carolina Cats, but if there is a team that looks like a legit Super Sunday contender other than Carolina and GB it's the Red Birds from the desert. Last week beat Cincinnati 34-21/ this week @ San Francisco.

5. Minnesota Vikings (7-3) – Ok they failed to put the Cheese Packers in a huge hole and now face an uphill climb out of Wild Card status. I think this team could win 11 games and lead the pack of Wild Card contending teams! Last week lost to Green Bay 30-13 / this week vs Atlanta.

6. Denver Broncos (8-2) – The White Horses went to the Windy City and won a tough one against a good Bears Team. How long Peyton is out may not matter as the Broncos defense is good enough to hold serve while #18 gets well! Last week beat Chicago 17-15/this week vs New England.

7. Green Bay Packers (7-3) – Ok odds were in favor of the Cheese Heads as there was no way that Aaron Rodgers was going to lose four straight games. Now the Packers can continue working on locking down the NFC North with a Turkey Night date against the hated Bears. Last week beat Minnesota 30-13 / this week vs Chicago.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) – The Steelers had a break last Sunday with a day off. Good thing because going cross country to battle the Seabirds is a tough task indeed! Last week BYE / this week @ Seattle.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (5-5) – They are 4-1 in their last five and these KC Chiefs are quietly becoming the team that no one wants to see in the post season. Watch out this team is White Hot! Last week beat San Diego / this week vs Buffalo.

10. OPEN – I'm leaving this spot open and y'all can pick from a handful of teams like Seattle, Buffalo, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis and the NY Jets. All of those teams are 5-5 with the Black Birds at 6-4. Knee jerk reaction would be to place the Birds at #10 but Atlanta has dropped four of five and is in a tailspin!
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Deke: Les Miles says "Les Miles is fine"

OK, we all know what the talk of the town is. "I don't want to go there," said Les Miles when asked the first question at his weekly Lunch with Les. Miles told the media that he would take two questions about his job and then proceed with his presser as normal, breaking down the Tigers' next opponent in the Texas A&M Aggies.

"Les Miles is fine," Coach told me in our weekly meeting. "I've been here before and I know there are a lot of things swirling out there. Our team will go to work, prepare for a rival game and get ready to take on Texas A&M Saturday on Senior Day."

READ MORE: Kristian: Miles absolutely does not deserve another year at LSU

Yes, an uncomfortable feeling - to say the least - dawned upon me when the man I've worked closely with for over 10 years walked from the podium to Michael Bonnette's (LSU SID) office. All sorts of rumors and various reports have surfaced in the last week or so about Miles' future in Baton Rouge. Here's what know.

From all the people I've talked to, money is not a question. If the higher ups at LSU truly want to make a change, money will not be the reason they don't.

Who does LSU want? I can tell you that someone from LSU with strong ties to the football program did speak with current Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher. What exactly was discussed with Fisher, I'm not sure, but you draw your own conclusion on that one.

What if LSU does not get their "guy?" I've also heard that current D-Line Coach Ed Orgeron could be named the interim coach for the time being. How long Orgeron would be interim coach I have no clue. But I do know that Coach Orgeron was not pleased two years ago when he was not given a fair shot at the USC job after he took over for Lane Kiffin. So factor that into your thought process.

READ MORE: T-Bob: Why Les Miles should stay at LSU

So that's what I know. We all have people we talk too. I trust the ones I do. And I know that regardless of how emotional we get, how upset we are at the results of a team, coach and or players, the human side of things is what makes all of this so real.

Was today the last time I, Deke Bellavia, will meet Les Miles on a Monday during football season? Is Coach going to be here the rest of the day, week or year? Today gives us a brutal lesson in the harsh truth and reality that college football is a business. And this side of the business is not fun.

To hear the complete "Lunch with Les" conference, click the link below.

FULL AUDIO: 11-23 "Lunch with Les" conference

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Deke's college football top 10, week thirteen

Things are shaping up for teams and time is of the essence. Here is this week's college football top 10!

1. Clemson (11-0) – The Tigers are now just two wins away from being the #1 seed in the playoffs. Can they do it? I'm not quite ready to say it's a given. Last week beat Wake Forest 33-13 this week @ South Carolina.

2. Alabama (10-1) – RTR! Ah let's see, Alabama is ranked #1. Did anyone doubt they would ever get here? The Tide are in control of everything and their current play is as strong as their cemented status as the best program in America. Last week beat Charleston Southern 56-6 / this week @ Auburn

3. Iowa (11-0) – The more times I keep saying they are a fraud, the more times they just keep winning. Now the lone perfect team in the Big Ten is Iowa? CFB is crazy isn't it? Last week beat Purdue 40-20 this week @ Nebraska.

4. Notre Dame (10-1) – Their lone loss was a two point roadie to Clemson. How can you keep this Irish Team out if they run the table? I say you can't! Last week beat Boston College 19-16/ this week @ Stanford

5. Oklahoma (10-1) – The Sooners can now win at rival Okie State and then pump up all the reasons why a one loss team from a conference with no title game should get into the playoffs over a team that has won a conference title game. Last week beat TCU 30-29 / this week @ Oklahoma State.

6. Baylor (10-1) - They just keep hanging on week by week. And coming off their win over Okie State gives the Bears new hope and some life they are still alive. Barley! Last week beat Oklahoma State 45-35 / this week vs TCU.

7. Florida (10-1) – To say that the weakest team in my top 10 this week is Florida would probably be spot on. You know sometimes teams just win ugly all the time. Two more wins and the Gators will be playoff bound! Last week beat Florida Atlantic 20-14 OT / this week vs Florida State

8. Michigan State (10-1) – Say what you want about this team but they have two legit road wins and they are now the team to beat in the Big Ten. Last week beat Ohio State 17-14 / this week vs Penn State

9. North Carolina (10-1) – They have won 10 straight games and I say if they win two more then they deserve to be in the mix for that final spot. Well they do as much as a one loss champ from the Big XII does! Last week beat Virginia Tech 30-27 / this week @ N.C. State.

10. Oklahoma State (11-0) – Say what you want but the Cowboys got snubbed somewhat in 2011. How do you keep that from happening again? Just win this week and it won't! Last week beat Baylor / this week vs Oklahoma.

Getting close to the top 10 -

Michigan (9-2) – Man, how that loss to rival MSU is killing them right now. Could a handful of teams ahead of them lose? That would be the only way and of course a win over the Buckeyes that would help Jim and the striped ones land in the playoffs. Last week beat Penn State 28-16 / this week vs Ohio State.
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Deke's NFL Top Ten, week ten

The Bengals got popped, while the prettiest QB and QB with the prettiest teeth are both still perfect in Boston and Charlotte. Arizona is rising in the desert, the Cheese Packers are in a three game skid, the White Horses are two legs down and the Vikings are in the top spot in the NFC North. Let's take a look at this week's top ten!

1. New England Patriots (9-0) – Well check mastering the G-Men off the list of things to do for the beautiful one and the hood. Don't let that regular season mumbo jumbo fool you, the Pats wanted to beat the Giants badly! Last week beat NY Giants 27-26 / this week vs Buffalo.

2. Carolina Panthers (9-0) – They win at home, they win on the road and now they are in complete control of their NFC fate. But like the Bengals in the AFC many wonder can these Cats and the Cam one make it to Super Sunday! Last week beat Tennessee 27-10 / this week vs Washington.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (8-1) – Even though they lost their first game of the season, I think the Tiger Cats from Ohio are still an elite team. Man now they could lose their second straight game! Is this week's match-up a preview of the Super Bowl? Right now the odds lean more towards than answer being a yes instead of a no! Last week lost to Houston 6-10 / this week @ Arizona.

4. Arizona Cardinals (7-2) – These Red Birds are red hot and now they can lay the smack down on arguably the best team from the AFC! That seven point win over rival Seattle was huge in more ways than one including the mental approach of this young, talented defensive team. Last week beat Seattle 39-32/ this week vs Cincinnati.

5. Minnesota Vikings (7-2) – QB Teddy B, RB AP and the Vikings defense have quietly become a legit foe to the Cheese Packers in the North Division. Man look out now! A win this week and the Vikings become a legit SB contender and will be in contention for home field this post season in the NFC. Oh yes they got Adrian Peterson too. That helps! Last week beat Oakland 30-14 / this week vs Green Bay.

6. Denver Broncos (7-2) – Denver has to now wonder what life is going to be like with a subpar Peyton! Yes even the great ones struggle and Manning is having the worst stretch of his career right now in the Mile High City. And in other cities too! Last week lost to Kansas City 29-13 /this week @ Chicago.

7. Green Bay Packers (6-3) – Now the Green Bay Packers enter the DANGER ZONE! GB has lost three straight games and now they head to Minnesota with a must win situation. A loss to the Vikings not only means four straight L's but GB would fall behind three games in their own division. Last week lost to Detroit 18-16 / this week @ Minnesota.

8. Atlanta Falcons (6-3) – They are 1-3 in their last four games but are in good control for a Wild Card spot. I think the rest of the league is interested in seeing how the Falcons respond to their recent struggles and their play the second half of the season. Last week BYE / this week vs Indianapolis.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) – Man if the other so called banged up players took a cue from Big Ben, then the saying that some are stealing a check would not be used. I'm telling you I can see the Berg knocking out one of the big boys this post season. And no one wants to see the Black and Gold come to their town! Last week beat Cleveland 30-9 / this week BYE.

10. Buffalo & Chicago -- The Bills are 5-4 and came up with a much needed road win over Sexy Rexy's former club and Coach John Fox just flat out wins wherever he goes. I think the Bears (although they are 4-5) will turn into the Monster of the Midway very soon. Chicago stock is something I'm willing to buy. And a lot of it!

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Deke: Are the Saints the worst team in the league right now?

Are the Saints the worst team in the NFL? The Cajun Cannon says no, their offense is too good, and I think that has some merit to it. But on Sunday November 15th the New Orleans Saints were without question the worst team in the NFL - and it wasn't even close!

Each week on my post game feature I usually jot down the keys to the game, how the contest unfolded and what I think took place. But folks, now is not the day to use that formula. Simply put, the Saints sucked, and if that hurts their feelings, well, too damn bad.

We're not talking about amateur athletes here. We are talking paid professionals that looked pitiful on the defensive side of the ball, and in a team sport, it's one for all and all for one, and the overall team has to be held accountable here. This three game defensive stretch is by far the worst ever in Black and Gold history and ranks among the worst in NFL history - only their four game win total is somewhat easing the reality of how bad the New Orleans Saints really are.

Folks, I'm being whatever you say I am right now, but I think I speak on behalf of the Who Dat Nation. If your record says what you are and the numbers don't lie, then the Saints could make a case for being the worst team in the league at this point of the season. Now with 13 days until their next game we all want to know - what is the Saints' next move?

Is this team going to make any changes? Is the team just one coaching firing or hiring away from solving their problems? I mean, this is a team that has no true identity and if you don't point questions towards the man under the main headset then you're not coming to grips with the real issues with this team.

Regardless of who stays, who goes, who's already gone and who's needed, Sean Payton's once proud productive franchise has become a team that other clubs see and say "that's a game we should win," and those teams are right for thinking that way!

To me, the Saints are worse than their 4-6 record indicates, and the way they play on defense is as embarrassing as any phase of any team sport can be at this time and that is the flat out truth. If this were the NBA, NHL or MLB, the Saints would be last in the majority of defensive fronts. And I sadly remind you all that the Saints have not just been a bad defensive team this season. They've been terrible.

The last three games have been about as bad as they could have been, and the numbers are far more disturbing because they only tell half the story. Putting a #2 pencil to the Saints last three games does not look good folks. But hey, as coaches say - "it is what it is!"

In their last three games the New Orleans Saints have allowed 1,425 yards of total offense on 191 total plays. 1,001 passing yards have been racked up, another 424 rushing yards have been piled up, 76 first downs, 130 points and two losses in three games. Opposing teams are averaging 475 yards of total offense (333.7 passing/141.3 rushing), 25.3 first downs, 43.3 points and 63.7 offensive plays.

So the numbers are far uglier than the Saints halfway tolerable 4-6 record. Are the Saints in the class of NFL franchises that measure their success by could-have-been's, close calls, we-are-young-on-defense, and the dreaded we-are-better-than-our record-states?

After 10 seasons where one produced a Super Bowl win and four others ended in the post season, the Saints are a franchise that claims that they are in the elite class - but we all know the truth. Hey, slice it anyway you want. This franchise did not get bad overnight. No, the Saints are victims of their own doing and by the looks of things, the doing has been far more wrong than right.

Here's the main thing moving forward - are the Saints going to be able to fix things quickly or are we smack dab in the middle of a downward spiral? The Saints are 4-6 with six games left with a great QB who leads an OK offense and the worst defense in the land for the third time in four years.

Something has to change. Or should I say some things have to change. Because what is being done right now ain't working. And it has not for quite a while! So are the Saints the worst team in the NFL?

Just asking that question is flat out embarrassing. And it certainly puts the Saints in dat number!
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Deke: LSU season shaking out just like Vegas predicted

The over/under on the 2015 LSU Tigers win total was 8, according to Las Vegas. Now the Tigers still need one more win to obtain that total, but if not for the canceled game against McNeese State LSU would be right on schedule.

It's the numbers inside of the numbers that take shape throughout the course of a season - if I had told you LSU would finish the 2015 regular season with eight wins, many of you would not have liked that. And to compound that disdain if I had told you LSU would start the season 7-0 and go 1-3 in their last four you would have been highly upset.

Hey let's face it - LSU knew that the month of November would make or break their season and with two games left the Tigers look more broke than anything else. Not only has LSU dropped two straight, I think that they are the two worse back to back losses by a Les Miles team since he came here in 2005.

LSU was dominated in their last two games proving once again if you're going to do things your way, that way better be much greater than the team lining up across from you. The Tigers have either fallen apart in two weeks or they have revealed their true identity.

Now coaches and players alike will put their own spin on the last two games and make things have a sort of positive outlook. But I'm here to tell you that LSU after the last two weeks is much more hype than anything else.

If rushing the football is their strong point, then LSU is in trouble. I mean who has LSU beat this season? A one loss Florida team? Ok I'll agree with that. But outside of the win over the Gators, LSU's seven wins are pretty much veneer.

Auburn was fading as bad as LSU is right now when they came to Tiger Stadium and the other wins have really not been anything to brag about. Even with a rather so so showing in six other wins, LSU could have validated themselves with a win over Arkansas or Alabama but got hammered in both of those contests.

Now the Tigers last chance at one more decent win comes in Oxford, Mississippi to face a Rebels team that has squandered two back to back wins over Alabama in each of the last two seasons. However for the Rebels to say that the beat Alabama, LSU and rival Mississippi State in a season would be a nice feat for Hugh Freeze's team.

Folks, LSU winning one game, assuming that they beat Texas A&M next week, is not acceptable. I don't want to hear how young they are and they are going to be better next year. They will be better next year but is Alabama moving out of the SEC in 2016? Is Arkansas going to leave to return to the ole Southwest Conference too?

In the last two years both the Hogs and Tide have shown that their programs are ahead of LSU, and they look to continue that stretch in 2016 when the Tigers have to play both of those teams away from Death Valley.

Yes I am looking at the glass half empty because that's the real vision. Where LSU goes from here is anyone's guess. But two Januarys ago when I asked Les Miles about his 2014 recruiting class and the headline name in Leonard Fournette, Miles told me this is a group that has championship caliber talent in it.

Well, unless the Tigers somehow make their way to Atlanta this season, or LSU gets to the ATL or becomes a playoff team in 2016, then that #2 ranked class will leave out (many going to the NFL after their junior seasons) without accomplishing what they wanted to accomplish.

Maybe I am being a little negative. But tell me one thing I've written above that's not true! LSU needs to win their last two games to notch a 9-2 season and have the program feeling better about the next season. If that does not happen, LSU will not be better off, hell they might not be even worse. But what they will be is the same. And the same is just not good enough. And that is totally unacceptable for the highest paid coaching staff in the land!

Titles are to be expected and not wished for. It's been four seasons since LSU played for a league title and that's going to be five seasons in a matter of weeks. Is that an elite program? Some might think LSU is in elite status but when you bounce their numbers against other so called elite programs the so many consecutive seasons with eight or more wins only sounds good. It don't look good and it has not championship merit it to it.

Nothing hurts more than the truth. And that's hurting Tigers fans all over the world!
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Deke's SEC rankings, week twelve

The mighty SEC has weakened some over the last month. The second best team in the league has four losses. The East Champ is a few steps behind a few teams in the West and right now Alabama and UF are the league's best hopes to make the playoffs.

1. Alabama – They are the best! Until they are proven otherwise the best program in the nation continues to work its magic on the rest of the SEC!

2. Arkansas – Man if only the Hogs and Tide would play again! Arkansas is clearly the second best team in the SEC right now!

3. Florida – The Gators are the beast in the East but still several steps behind several Western Division Teams.

After Florida how do you rank the rest of the league? LSU, UGA, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Mississippi State all look pretty even to me. Vanderbilt has played the best of the bottom of the league teams the last few weeks. I still don't know what to make of a Texas A&M Team that was once #9 in the nation last month.

Missouri is a school that is a mess and now must replace the most consistent part of their program in outgoing coach Gary Pinkel. And Auburn, South Carolina and Kentucky are going to be hard pressed to make it to a bowl.

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Deke's college football top ten, week twelve

1. Ohio State (10-0) – The Buckeyes are three wins away from getting back to the playoffs to defend their title. Is it me or are the Buckeyes reminding you of the 2014 FSU Seminoles? Eerily similar I'd say! Last week beat Illinois 28-3/ this week vs Michigan State.

2. Alabama (9-1) – RTR! NOBODY wants any part of the Tide right now. Alabama is becoming more complete each week sound in all three phases of the game. Sho you right! Last week beat Mississippi State 31-6/ this week vs Charleston Southern.

3. Clemson (10-0) – they almost 'clemsoned" but were able to escape with a win over the Orange. The last time these Orange Clad Tigers were 10-0 was when ole Danny Ford was coach and the Tigers won the National Title. Good omen I'd say! Last week beat Florida Syracuse 37-27/ this week vs Wake Forest.

4. Notre Dame (9-1) – The Irish took care of the Freaking Deacons and now are two more wins away from being a playoff team - or are they? Mmm! Last week beat Wake Forest 28-7 42-20 / this week @ Boston College.

5. Oklahoma (9-1) – QB Bakers Mayfield has quietly become a Heisman dark horse and I think if the Sooners run the table they will make the playoffs. Last week beat Baylor 44-34 / this week vs TCU.

6. Iowa (10-0) – Regardless of if I think they are a fake or not, the Hawkeyes without question deserve to be among the elite teams. What happens if they run the table? Playoffs? Maybe! Last week beat Minnesota 40-35 / this week vs Purdue.

7. Oklahoma State (10-0) – They almost blew it again but came back to beat Iowa State. Now can these Pokes run the table? I think not! Last week beat Iowa State 35-31 / this week vs Baylor.

8. Florida (9-1) – I thought the Gators played much better this week against a scrappy South Carolina team. Hey it's simple - if the Gators win out they get into the playoffs. If not maybe they head to the Sugar Bowl! Last week beat South Carolina 24-14/ this week vs Florida Atlantic.

9. Baylor (8-1) – Hey all is not lost as the Bears can rebound this week at Oklahoma State. Lose that one and it's so long Bears! Last week lost Oklahoma 34-44 / this week @ Oklahoma State.

10. North Carolina (9-1) – Ok there are many of you saying what the hell is he saying at #10. Let me say I'm not putting a two loss team here and I'm not ranking a one loss team that I don't have a good feel for. So why UNC? Well, they have won nine straight games and should have beaten South Carolina the fist week of the season. None of you will be laughing in three weeks when this team is in the ACC Title Game. And if they win that won they will and should make the playoffs.

The Big Chief's Market Tips

Buy: The ACC, The Big Ten, Houston, North Carolina, Arkansas and Iowa.

Sell: Michigan State, TCU, LSU, Stanford and the SEC West!
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Deke: Saints need to prove they can find ways to win games

The 4-5 New Orleans Saints will try and get back to the five hundred mark for the second time this season. New Orleans missed a shot to be a game over the even mark last week in a disappointing 28-34 overtime loss to the then 1-6 Tennessee Titans.

The Saints now look to improve to 5-5 before they enjoy a week off followed by a road game at Houston on Sunday November 29. The obstacle is the 3-5 Washington Redskins, who lost last week to New England 27-10.

Drop it like it's hot!
The Redskins will hope they got all of their drops out of their systems last week against the Patriots. Not that New England needed any extra help, the Redskins offered some assistance to their foes in the form of dropping seven passes. QB Kirk Cousins will need his Wide Receivers as well as all pass-catching targets to up their game this week against the Black and Gold.

Quick on the trigger
We all know that Saints QB Drew Brees is one of the best QBs of all time. But many NFL fans aren't too familiar with Washington QB Kirk Cousins. Most would say "oh yes that's the dude that took RGIII's job away from him!"

Cousins is branding a reputation for himself in the form of being one of the game's best quick release quarterbacks. Currently Cousins has been sacked only nine times this season. Those nine sacks are the lowest through eight games in the last 20 years in Redskins history.

Cousins is also on par with some of the best signal callers in 'Skins history from a TD per game standpoint. Entering the ninth game of the season, Kirk has become just the fourth Redskins QB since 1960 that has opened a season with at least one TD pass in the first eight games. Hopefully Cousins won't make that nine of the Black and Gold's sake!

3rd down situations!
One key to the game will be which team can impose their third down strength. Say what Deke? Ok hold tight I'll explain. The Saints own the fourth best defense when it comes to third down conversions allowed. And the Washington Redskins have one of the league's best offensive units when it comes to third down conversions. The Redskins lead the NFL with a 63.2% conversion rate when faced with third down and six yards or fewer.

Home sweet home!
They are the Washington Redskins but they play their home games in Landover, Maryland. Hey I just type what the info states. I know that they are 3-5 overall on the season, but the Redskins have been one of the best teams in the NFL when it comes to protecting their house!

Washington is 3-1 at home this season winning three straight inside of FedEx Field. After a 17-10 setback to the Miami Dolphins in the first week of the season the Skins have won three straight. The Redskins most recent win was a huge come from behind victory over the Tampa Bay Bucs. In fact QB Kirk Cousins has engineered two come from behind wins at home this season against Philly in week four and again in week seven in a 31-30 win over Tampa.

Get that good-good!
In their four wins this season the Saints have gotten off to fast starts in those games. Last week the Black and Gold offense again got off to a hot start. But on the other side of the football the Saints defense allowed too many big plays and the Titans hung around. And yes, sadly the nine point underdog Titans snapped a six game losing streak in their 34-28 OT win over New Orleans.

So the Saints offense needs to get off to another good start and the defense would do well to follow suit and if given a lead, protect and play with it. Playing with a lead is a lot better than not.

The Big Chief's Final Analysis
Ok nine games in and the Saints have a shot to even up their mark at 5-5. 4-5 is what it is, but after losing three of their first four games had I told back you on October 12 if the Saints could get to five hundred by their bye week we would all have taken that.

Going into the bye week with a win and looking back at being winners in four of their last five not only gives the Saints hope, but it shows that regardless of how bad their defense is and how the teams shortcomings are still very much an issue, the Saints are becoming a team that is just finding ways to win games.

However a loss here is terrible. At 4-6 with six games left, the Saints would have to go on a six game win streak to end the season to make their mark 10-6 to even have a shot - and that still might not be enough.

The Saints are taking on a team that looks at them and says you know what, this is a game we can and should win. Washington is 3-1 at home this season and has won three straight at FedEx Field. I think the Saints will come up with a win and save their season at least for the time being.

The Big Chief Says: New Orleans 27 Washington 23
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Deke's NFL Top Ten, week nine

There are now just three perfect teams; the Cheese Packers have dropped two in a row, the White Horse from the Rocky Mountains are no longer perfect, the Vikings are making life interesting in the NFC North, and the Dirty Birds better clean up their act if they want to make the post season. Here we go!

1. New England Patriots (8-0) - The wins keep piling up and the Patriots have their sights set on home field throughout the playoffs. The team that is the Patriots slayer is on the schedule this weekend. Last week beat Miami 27-10 / this week @ NY Giants.

2. Carolina Panthers (8-0) – Believe it or not these Cats are for real. Real real if that can be said! QB Cam Newton is becoming an elite player in the NFL! And the Cats defense is all that and then some. Last week beat Green Bay 37-29 / this week @ Tennessee.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (8-0) – They once again dominated rival Cleveland. Now, what looks to be a rather easy test in the Houston Texans. Last week beat Cleveland 31-10 / this week vs Houston.

4. Denver Broncos (7-1) – Yes they lost last week, but I never thought they would go 16-0. I'm thinking 13-14 wins are an attainable goal. Last week lost to Indianapolis 24-27 /this week vs Kansas City.

5. Minnesota Vikings (6-2) – QB Teddy B has improved vastly since his rookie season and he wasn't bad at all last year. Oh yes they got Adrian Peterson too. That helps! Last week beat St. Louis 21-18 OT / this week @ Oakland.

6. Arizona Cardinals (6-2) – A week off and some much needed rest may come in handy in trying to win the NFC West. Man oh man, a playoff like match-up happens this week at Seattle! Last week BYE / this week @ Seattle.

7. Green Bay Packers (6-2) – Now with two straight losses the Cheese Packers, are in a heated battle within their own division against the Vikings. Last week lost to Carolina 29-37 / this week vs Detroit.

8. New York Jets (5-3) – The planes of New York escaped like Snake Plissken with a 28-23 win over the Jaguars. NY is in pretty good shape for a Wild Card spot. Well right now they are! Last week beat Jacksonville 28-23 / this week vs Buffalo.

9. Atlanta Falcons (6-3) – They are 1-3 in their last four games and lost for the second straight week. Is this a team figuring out who they are? Or are the Falcons about to sink and not rise up again? We shall see. Last week lost to San Francisco 16-17 OT/ this week BYE.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) - OK, really you could argue who to put here. But I'll just go with the Steelers. Last week beat Oakland 38-35/ this week vs Browns.
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Deke: Looks can deceive as LSU gets ready for Arkansas

Looks can be deceiving, and that holds true when looking at the 2015 Arkansas Razorbacks. Some would look at their 5-4 record and say 'man, that's not that good.' But let's dig a little deeper inside those numbers.

The Hogs came into the season as a sexy dark horse like pick in the SEC West. After losing 13 straight SEC games, Arkansas snapped out of a funk last season and became the first team since 1949 to shutout back to back ranked teams in a 17-0 win over LSU followed by a 31-0 win over Ole Miss.

Arkansas did not live up to their preseason hype earlier this season, but right now they are cashing in on some of those earlier predictions. Arkansas is 4-1 in their last five games including riding a season high three game win streak. The Hogs know they can salvage their season and have the nation again pumping them up if they can win out with victories over three straight ranked foes.

In their 53-52 upset win over Ole Miss, Arkansas again proved that they can move the ball on just about anyone. The Hogs five wins have come against UTEP, Tennessee, Auburn, UT Martin and Ole Miss. Their four losses were to Toledo, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Alabama.

Arkansas's offense ranks #2 overall in the SEC with 472.6 yards gained per game, 4th in scoring averaging 35 points per outing and the Hogs have good balance rushing and throwing the football.

Arkansas ranks 5th in the SEC in rushing offense with an average of 192.3 yards per game and the Hogs have the 3rd best pass offense with a 280.2 output each week.

And when it comes to prime time players, the Hogs are not short in that department either. Senior Quarterback Brandon Allen has emerged as the best QB in the league this season. In nine games Allen is 174-268 with 2,476 yards passing. Allen's TD to interception ratio is excellent with 21 TD's thrown to only five picks. Allen is tops in the league in pass efficiency with a 164.7 mark and he is 2nd in passing yards per game in the SEC.

RB Alex Collins ranks 3rd in the conference averaging 118.7 yards per game with 12 rushing TD's on the season. Collins has carried the ball 183 times for 1068 yards and he averages 5.8 yards per attempt.

The Hogs have one of the SEC's best pass catchers in Wide Receiver Drew Morgan. In nine games the junior target has 44 receptions for 620 yards with 9 TD's averaging 68.9 yards per game receiving.

In their upset OT win over Ole Miss, The Arkansas offense churned out some massive numbers. The Hogs racked up 605 yards of total offense on a whopping 84 plays.

Arkansas had 442 yards in the air and another 163 rushing yards on 39 carries. One eye glaring stat was the Hogs ability to cash in on third down conversions.

Arkansas was 7 of 13 on third downs in their win over the Rebels and the Hogs were prefect in the Red Zone going 5-for-5 in that area. And Arkansas did not turn the ball over against the Rebels.
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Deke: Ugly loss has Saints fans feeling down all over again

The 4-5 Saints missed a chance to win their fourth straight game in a 34-28 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Saints hit the road next week to take on the Washington Redskins before the Saints enjoy a bye week.

Damn! Again!
In 2007 the 4-4 Saints lost to the 0-8 Rams. Later that year, the 7-7 Saints lost to the Eagles 38-23. In 2012, the 5-5 Saints lost to the 49ers 31-21. In 2014, the 4-4 Saints lost 27-24 in OT to San Francisco. And sadly Sunday the 4-4 Saints lost 34-28 in overtime to the 1-6 Titans. In the words of Florida Evans - "Damn, Damn, Damn!"

Plenty of Offense
In their last two games, the New Orleans offense has churned out 80 points, 1,024 yards, and 64 first downs. The Saints only got one win of the last two games, all despite having those huge offensive numbers.

Rushing the football, rushing the passer
The Saints had been rushing the football as good as they had been all season long. In four wins, the Saints averaged over four yards per carry. But against the Titans, the Saints were not able to move the ball on the ground.

The Titans were allowing 4.3 yards per carry to their first seven opponents. But the Saints only gained 59 yards on 26 carries for an average of 2.3 yards per attempt. And on defense, the Saints were unable to get a decent pass rush on the Titans.

Tennessee had given up a total of 28 sacks (4 per game) but Tennessee did not give up a sack and allowed only two QB hurries in their win over the Saints. Tennessee played better against the Saints.

Where's the D?
It was as bad of a two game run that the Saints defense has had in perhaps franchise history. The Saints defense has been more like a piece of Swiss cheese with a lot of holes in it the last two outings. Get out a #2 pencil to add up these numbers. In the last two games the Saints defense has allowed 899 yards of total offense on 132 plays, 83 points scored, 53 first downs with an average of 6.8 yards per play surrendered.

Up next
The Saints travel next week to battle the NFC East Washington Redskins. The Skins are coming off a 10-27 loss to the New England Patriots and currently have a record of 3 wins with 4 losses
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Deke's SEC Rankings, week eleven

1. Alabama - RTR! They are, have been and until proven differently, they will remain the best team with the best coach over the best program in the land. Hey it's the damn truth!

2. Florida - The Gators are going to the ATL. For the SEC's sake better hope they get there with one loss!

3. LSU - Even with a loss to the Tide the Tigers are still pretty good. LSU should be more than satisfied if they win out.

4. Mississippi State - The Bulldogs are quietly 7-2 and have Alabama and Ole Miss at home the next three weeks. Win those and these Bulldogs could somehow find themselves in the ATL? Hey it sounds fun!

5. Arkansas - Anyone who thinks that Brett Bielema is not one of the nation's best coaches are not CFB savvy. Bielema is a legit coach and the Hogs could run the table. The most dangerous team in the SEC right now!

6. Ole Miss - Hotty Toddy! Man oh man these Rebels have again for the second straight season have wasted a huge win over the best program in the nation. And yes the top ever Rebels recruiting class is all about to head to the NFL!

7. Tennessee - The Vols have a shot to finish second in the East this season if they win out. That would be a big feat for Butch Jones and this Vols program going into 2016 in which the Vols should be among the national conversation!

8. Georgia - The Bulldogs program is better off with Coach Mark Richt. But another loss and the longest tenured coach in the league may be clipped between the hedges. Did I just say that?

9. Auburn - Guz got a big win over the Aggies and if the Tigers can muster up wins over Georgia and Alabama the rest of the way I would consider this season a success, considering all that has gone down on the plains this season.

10. Texas A&M - The Aggies have fallen on hard times since their loss to Bama. I don't know if they will win another game this season.

11. Kentucky - Time is running out on the Wildcats to get bowl ready!

12. Missouri - The Tigers aren't going to win the East for a third straight season!

13. South Carolina - Hey a win over Florida and rival Clemson would salvage their season. It won't happen though!

14. Vanderbilt - The 'Dores play hard as anyone in the league. But they lose like any other team in the league.
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Deke's college football top ten, week eleven

The SEC has beat itself up! Iowa is still the biggest fake in the land, the Baylor Bears are in a monster stretch and Clemson and ND could both be in the playoffs this post season. When it comes to two loss teams, keep a sharp eye on Mississippi State and Michigan. Both of these teams could put a big monkey wrench in the playoff picture!

1. Ohio State (9-0) – With the loss of Michigan State over the weekend, there is no way that the Buckeyes could make the playoffs with a loss this season. Unless it was before the Big Ten title game. And that still might be too much too overcome! Last week beat Minnesota 28-14/ this week @ Illinois

2. Alabama (8-1) – RTR! The Tide can win out and now control their own fate. Alabama crushed LSU. And who's the only team in the country that has three wins over three teams ranked in the top 9 in the country? THEY DO BELONG. Sho you right! Last week beat LSU 30-16/ this week @ Mississippi State.

3. Baylor (9-0) – The Bears' next three games will have them sink or swim in the post season. The Sooners, Cowboys and Frogs are the next three games. Win those and off to the playoffs you go! Last week beat Kansas State 31-24/ this week vs Oklahoma.

4. Clemson (9-0) – I'm telling yall if these Tigers and ND run the table, the so called weak, wack and garbage ACC could very well land two teams in the playoffs. Last week beat Florida State 23-13/ this week @ Syracuse.

5. Notre Dame (8-1) - Hate on the church if you want to, but the Irish by far have played the toughest schedule in the land. And their lone loss was a two point setback to perfect Clemson. And the Irish still have to play @ Stanford this season. Last week beat Pittsburgh 42-20 / this week vs Wake Forest.

6. Florida (8-1) - So what if they just got by? Hey it's the SEC and the Gators have crowned themselves in the East. Now run the table and it will be back to the playoffs for the Gator Nation! Last week beat Vanderbilt 9-7/ this week @ South Carolina.

7. Oklahoma State (9-0) - The Cowboys have served notice and they have as much if not more power on the back end of their schedule to more than have enough to land in the top four. It won't be easy. But if these Pokes run the table they deserve to be in the top four! Last week beat TCU / this week vs

8. Stanford (8-1) – They have now won 7 straight and they run the ball as good as any team in the land. The Cardinals have a smart group of players and QB Kevin Hogan and Christian McAffery are the best QB/RB tandem in the nation. The next three games are crucial with Ducks, Bears and Irish on the menu! Last week beat Colorado 42-10 / this week vs Oregon.

9. LSU (7-1) - The Tigers suffered their second worst loss in the last ten years versus the Tide. I never thought LSU was going to be perfect. But honestly I thought the Tigers would drop two games. That might happen this week! Last week lost to Alabama 16-30/ this week vs Arkansas.

10. Utah (8-1) - The Utes are still in good shape. Just need to win out and Stanford to be ranked real high in the Pac-12 title game. Last week beat Washington 34-23 / this week @ Arizona.

The Big Chief's Market Tips!

Hey picture me with all my teeth fixed, clean shave, and a nice suit standing on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. And my speciality is college football. So here's the advice i'm giving to my clients this week. Hey you don't have to like the person, it's the information that matters most!

Buy: The ACC, The Big Ten, Houston, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Mississippi State

Sell: Michigan State, TCU, Ole Miss
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Deke's NFL Top Ten, week eight

And then there were four! One in the NFC (Carolina) and three left in the AFC (Denver, NE and Cincy) are the last four perfect teams.

Now this weekend a huge playoff-implication tilt between Carolina and Green Bay goes down in Charlotte with a head to head tiebreaker at stake. Hell who knows, we could be watching a preview of the NFC Title Game this weekend between the Cats and Cheese Packers.

There are a lot of pretty good four-win teams right now with the Saints, Seabirds, Rams and Raiders all coming off wins. After all of these years with Peyton and Tom battling it out in the AFC we could be in store for the best match-up ever. And home field could be the deciding factor in to who goes to the Super Bowl out of the AFC. As we cross the halfway point of the season let's check out this week's Big Chief's Top Ten.

1. New England Patriots (7-0) – Every year as soon as it looks like someone in the AFC East is going to challenge the Pats, we all wake up and finally realize it ain't happening. I'm not saying 16-0. But a 14, possibly even a 15 win regular season looks realistic to me! Last week beat Miami 36-17 / this week vs Washington.

2. Denver Broncos (7-0) – I'm still shaking my head to why the odds makers had Peyton as a home underdog to the Packers. Folks this is the best overall team that Manning has ever been on, and the final chapter in the Brady vs Manning era could save their best for last! Last week beat Green Bay 29-19 /this week @ Indianapolis.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (7-0) – It was not a pretty day for Andy Dalton, but he found a way to lead his team to a come from behind win at the Berg. The Bengals have the North in hand and can now battle the Pats and White Horses for one of the top seeds in the AFC! Last week beat Pittsburgh 16-10 / this week vs Cleveland.

4. Carolina Panthers (7-0) – Their defense is for real, they can run the football and their QB is maturing nicely. These Cats could be a Super Team this season? Maybe! A win over the Packers this week is almost a must if they want home field this January! Last week beat Indianapolis 29-26OT/ this week vs Green Bay.

5. Green Bay Packers (6-1) – A road loss to Denver was not all that bad. But the Denver defense limiting the game's best QB to 77 yards passing was a major move. Was Green Bay off? Hell no! Denver is that good I think! Last week lost to Denver 10-29 / this week @ Carolina.

6. Arizona Cardinals (6-2) – The Red Birds are a couple of steps ahead of the Rams but the West is still deep and a tough road to travel. Six wins in their first eight going into the bye week is pretty darn good! Last week beat Cleveland 34-20 / this week BYE.

7. Minnesota Vikings (5-2) - The Vikings are a legit playoff team and don't look now but a win this week and some help from the Carolina Cats and first place is on the menu! But a tough one this week in the form of the Red Hot Rams from the Gateway City. Last week beat Chicago 23-20 / this week vs St. Louis.

8. Atlanta Falcons (6-2) – Hey 6-2 after eight weeks is not bad at all. This league is about close calls and the Falcons have won six close games. Hey they could have lost their last two. A road loss at SF would put this team in somewhat panic mode! Last week lost to Tampa Bay 20-23 OT/ this week @ San Francisco.

9. Oakland Raiders (4-3) – I'm telling you this team could easily, easily be 6-1. Oakland has the right man coaching is Jack Del Rio and this young Raiders squad is getting better and better each week. The NFL is better when the Silver and Black is back! Last week beat NY Jets 34-20 / this week @ Pittsburgh.

10. St. Louis Rams (4-3) – RB Todd Gurley is on fire and the young man has Rams fans more than optimistic this season. Of the all the teams with a four wins going into this week I'll go with the Rams. Now a big win this week would make St. Louis even better but it won't be easy against the Vikings! Last week beat San Francisco 27-6 / this week @ Minnesota.
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Deke: LSU vs Bama is as good as it gets!

They say in horse racing that the horses can sense when there is a lot on the line and the thoroughbreds give it their best on the track. I think that when it comes to football, particularly LSU versus Alabama, the coaches, players and even the fans show up and lay it all on the line.

This year's tilt again features a big game that has a lot on the line. The winner of the match-up will keep their SEC West Title hopes alive and remain ranked among the nation's top 10 teams.

The Crimson Tide have a controlling lead in the series history, but if you look inside of those numbers you will find some hotly contested games between these two SEC foes. The Tide own a 49-25-5 lead over LSU. Since Coach Les Miles' first season in Baton Rouge in 2005, this series has been one of the best in all of college football. Seven games have been decided by seven points or less in that stretch with three games going into overtime. In their last two wins in Baton Rouge, the Tide used a last possession drive to win the game over LSU.

Alabama can ill afford to lose this game, as the Tide suffered an early season SEC West loss in a 37-43 setback to Ole Miss. Alabama can win out and still not make it to the SEC Title game, which the Tide probably don't mind. The last time Alabama faced a similar situation, the Tide lost one regular season game in 2011 to LSU, only to meet and beat the Tigers the second time around capturing the 2011 BCS Title.

When it comes to the level of importance to each school's fan base, the annual Tigers-versus-Tide tilt has different meanings to different people. What I am saying is, in the pecking order of who each team wants to beat the most, the Tide has not only one, but two rival games each year. LSU's chief rival is up for debate.

Back some years before the Miles and Saban Tigers and Tide games, LSU had some very interesting and heated battles with the Tide's chief rival in the Auburn Tigers. Alabama's annual battle with Auburn in the Iron Bowl takes center stage from a historic standpoint. And second, the Tide's annual October date against the Vols of Tennessee is Alabama's second most meaningful game.

But when it comes to what have you done for me lately, the level of competition, the success of both programs and what has been on the line when the Tide and Tigers play each year in early November, I'm quite sure, to even some of the most loyal, die hard and traditional Tide Fans, Alabama has had their sights set on beating LSU more than the others.

I would think from the standpoint of fielding calls, e-mails and texts, the Tigers match-up with the Tide has become the most important among the LSU fan base. LSU's former chief rivals Tulane and Ole Miss have fallen off over the years.

LSU no longer plays Tulane, and the Tigers and Rebels Game has picked up some steam over the last few years but has lacked importance compared to LSU's battle with the Crimson Tide.

Again in 2015 there is something huge on the line for both teams, as Alabama looks to keep their SEC and college football playoff hopes alive and LSU can continues to be the lone team in the SEC without a loss.
The LSU versus Alabama game has become the marquee game in the SEC each year, being moved to prime time more than any other game over the last decade. In fact LSU has been the team in the SEC that has played in more CBS primetime SEC games than any other school in the conference. The LSU versus Florida game and now the Tigers and Tide games have all been the featured season game by CBS.

So when it comes to the most players being drafted to the NFL from this game more than any other game in CFB, to the national title success this game has led to, and to the nail biting moments that seem to come far more often than not - when it comes to LSU and Alabama, this battle has been as good as it gets!

LSU Offense #'s
Total Offense: 466 yards – 2nd in SEC
Scoring Offense: 38.9 (2nd)
Passing: 156.9 (14th)
Rushing: 309.1 (1st)
Top performers for LSU
Rushing: RB Leonard Fournette 176 carries 1352 yards 15 TD's 7.7 ypc 193.1 yards per game
Passing: QB Brandon Harris 75-128 1098 yards 9 TD's 153.9 passing Efficiency (2nd in SEC)
Receiving: Travin Dural 24 receptions 426 yards 2 TD's 60.9 yards per game average 17.8 yards per catch & WR Malachi Dupree 21 receptions 397 yards 5 TD's 18.9 yards per catch / 56.7 yards per game

Alabama's Offense
Total Offense: 421.9 yards – 7th in SEC
Scoring Offense: 33.5 (5th)
Passing: 233.4 (7th)
Rushing: 188.5 (5th)
Top performers for Alabama
RB Derrick Henry 180 carries 1044 yards 14 TD's 5.8 ypc 130.5 yards per game
Passing: QB Jake Coker 143-224 1623 yards 11 TD's 202.9 yards per game 9th pass effciency
Receiving: WR Calvin Ridley 45 receptions 525 yards 3TD's 65.6 yards per game
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Deke: Balance, patience, precision keys to Saints win over Giants

The Saints have now won four of five and three straight and New Orleans can get over the five hundred mark for the first time this season with a win over the Tennessee Titans next Sunday in the Superdome. In a game that featured 101 points and 1030 total yards of offense here are some of the things I thought stood out in the Saints win over the Giants.

Do the Drew!

Folks, since 2006, we've been fortunate, blessed, privileged and honored to watch the poised, pinpoint and precise passing of one Drew Brees. And on Sunday afternoon #9 was at his finest! Drew finished the game completing 40 of 50 passes for 511 yards with seven TD's and one interception for a QB rating of 140.5. Drew made 19 of 21, 300 yards and 4 TD's in the first half, and 21 of 29 with 211 yards and 3 TD's and one pick in the second half. How bout dat!

3rd Down Defense

The Saints 3rd down defense continues to be the best and strongest part of the entire team this season. In wins and losses the Black and Gold have come off the field when they are supposed to. In the first half the G-Men were 1-of-4 for 25% in the first half and the Saints did not allow a third down conversion in the second half with NY going 0-for-4. In their four wins this season the Saints defense has faced a third down situation 55 times. The Saints have allowed only 10 conversions - that's an outstanding total of 10-45 in four wins this season. In their last six games overall the Saints defense is 19-67 on third downs.

PHOTO GALLERY: Saints defeat Giants 52-49

Rushing the QB

The Saints again had good pressure on the opposing QB. The Saints recorded three sacks for minus 21 yards in their win over the Giants. Thats a total of 12 sacks in the last three games for the Saints.

Ground game!

The Saints' ability to maintain decent balance was key again this week. The Saints had 33 plays in the first half, rushing the ball 12 times for 31 yards. And in the second half the Saints had 14 rushes for 72 yards. So the breakdown of pass to rush plays was 50 pass attempts to 26 rush attempts with 103 yards on the ground. That's not bad balance, and again, in my opinion, a decent show of patience by Coach Payton in a game in which his QB could do no wrong!

Up next

The Saints face the lowest of lows in the 1-7 Tennessee Titans. Hey this is the NFL, and yes the "Any Given Sunday" will always apply at this level. But since a 42-14 Week One win over the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Titans have lost seven straight games and are coming off a loss to arguably the then-worst team in the league in the Houston Texans, who came out over Tennessee 20-6.
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Deke's SEC rankings, week 10

The last undefeated is going to catch hell staying that way. The team that won the league a season ago could get left out and still win out and not matter. While the West irons itself out the East is all but done with the Gators in complete control.

1. Alabama (7-1) - RTR! I could see the Tide running the table, being left out of the SEC Title Game and still winning it all. Can yall see that too? Hell it ain't like it ain't happened before. Last week OFF/ this week vs LSU.

2. LSU (7-0) – Is this where LSU rises? Or will this tough November stretch do the Tigers in? Hey if LSU comes out of the month 3-1 that would be huge to me! Last week OFF / this week @ Alabama.

3. Florida (7-1) – Florida can wrap up the SEC East and keep all of their title goals alive with a win this week over the 'Dores! Man the Gators have crashed the party as an unlikely contender. Last week beat Georgia 27-3/this week vs Vanderbilt.

4. Ole Miss (7-2) – The Rebels control their own fate. Imagine that an Ole Miss team with two losses can come to the playoff talk table as the only two loss conference champ and they would be a team that could have wins over three top 4 teams. And no one else could be able to say that! But would it be enough? Last week beat Auburn 27-19 / this week vs Arkansas.

5. Mississippi State (6-2) – While you're talking two losses champs if you're counting all the cards in the deck then you can't leave out these Dogs just yet! Hey they have two SEC losses. But MSU still has to play Alabama and Ole Miss! Dan and the Dogs still have enough on the back end of their schedule to make some things funky. Because it's the truth! Last week OFF / this week @ Missouri.

The rest of the SEC is mumbo jumbo so to speak. I mean right now is Arkansas the next best team in the SEC? Possibly! How good is Georgia? Their offense is terrible and looked just as terrible last week. Tennessee is not bad and now the Aggies are a team that could win nine maybe ten games and not sniff the SEC Title Game.

Is South Carolina better than Vanderbilt? How good is Auburn, Kentucky and last season's East Title Team in Missouri? The SEC is top heavy this season and the back end is still filtering out. All teams can still make a bowl and the last four weeks of the season will be fun to see who finishes up strong.
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Deke's college football Top Ten, week ten

The Big Ten and Big XII still have three perfect teams, but that will change this week. According to Vegas, the SEC will also no longer have a perfect team after this week - and could the ACC have two teams make the playoffs? Hey call me a fool, but if Clemson is perfect and ND runs the table I say hell yes they will! Here's this week's top 10.

1. Ohio State (8-0) – Good thing that the Buckeyes have a lot of QB's. The only team in the nation that can afford to lose a QB to suspension, injury and whatever else has done so this season. A tilt against a stubborn Sota team takes place before dates with the Michigan's the last few weeks of the season. Last week beat Rutgers 49-7 / this week vs Minnesota

2. Alabama (7-1) – RTR! The Tide can win out, be ranked as high as #1 and not win the SEC! Damn, wait hasn't this happened before? Sho you right! Last week OFF 19-14 / this week vs LSU.

3. Baylor (7-0) – One has to wonder how Baylor can respond at the most crucial time of the season with a back-up QB? We shall see! Last week beat OFF/ this week @ Kansas State.

4. LSU (7-0) The Tigers are the lone undefeated team in the SEC. Can LSU run the table and win it all? I don't think they will. But the month of November could be as wild as it was back in 2007 the last time the Tigers won it all. Last week OFF/ this week vs Alabama.

5. Clemson (8-0) – How bad is the ACC? Well put it this way what happens if Clemson runs the table and Notre Dame does too? Two teams from the so called WACK ACC would have legit credentials to be in the playoffs! Last week beat NC State 56-41/ this week vs Florida State.

6. TCU (8-0) – The Big 12 has yet to have one of their undefeated teams beat a top 25 Team. Now we shall see what cream rises to the top of the Big XII. Last week beat WVA 40-10/ this week @ Oklahoma State

7. Florida (6-1) - Simply put the SEC would like to see UF, LSU or Alabama run the table and have one of the SEC powers make it to the playoffs. A two loss Ole Miss Team could get clipped! Last week beat Georgia 27-3 / this week vs Vanderbilt.

8. Michigan State (8-0) – Ok Sparty now has their huge game with OSU in a couple of weeks. Is this team a fraud? Possibly! Last week OFF / this week @ Nebraska.

9. Stanford (7-1) – They have now won six straight and they run the ball as good as any team in the land. The Cardinals have a smart group of players and QB Kevin Hogan and Christian McAffery are the best QB/RB tandem in the nation. Last week beat Washington State 28-

10. Notre Dame (7-1) - Hate on the church if you want to but the Irish by far have played the toughest schedule in the land. And their lone loss was a two point setback to perfect Clemson. And the Irish still have to play @ Stanford this season. Last week beat Temple 24-20 / this week vs Pittsburgh.

The Big Chief's Market Tips!

Hey picture me with all my teeth fixed, clean shave, and a nice suit standing on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. And my speciality is CFB. So here's the advice i'm giving to my clients this week. Hey you don't have to like the person, it's the information that matters most!

Buy: The ACC, The Big Ten, American Athletic Conference, Houston and Notre Dame
Sell: The Big XII, Baylor, Big XII Defense and ACC Officiating
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