Head-to-Head: Battle for Missouri and Manning Vs. Brady
by Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione - 11/02/2006
Each week two of Doc's Sports football aficionados will give their alternating perspectives on the key games and interesting issues in the game at both the college and professional levels. You may not agree, they may not agree, but it should be interesting!
Here's this week's topics:
No. 3 West Virginia at No. 5 Louisville (-1.5)
Drew: When Louisville running back Michael Bush was lost for the year, I thought for sure the Cardinals would lose. When quarterback Brian Brohm got banged up against Miami (Fl.), it seemed like a loss would come soon. The back up stepped in, and arguably played better, but Brohm is back and getting his groove. With that said, Steve Slaton has skills and is a pro among college stars.
Prediction: West Virginia 37, Louisville 34 (2 OT).
Jordan: If Ohio State and Michigan were battling for the Heavyweight Championship of Undefeateds on November 18, then the West Virginia/Louisville showdown this week would be classified as a title fight between top cruiserweights. Both Big East schools come in as top fives in the BCS, but when Thursday's game concludes just one's hopes for the National Championship will still be alive. Poor strength of schedule will ultimately be the downfall for the one-loss program and the main reason they drop below everyone else with a sole blemish on the year. The Mountaineers and Cardinals have defenses that are overshadowed by their respective offenses however the 'Ville has not been the same since Michael Bush's season ended in the team's first game. This week Steve Slaton makes a big statement.
Prediction: West Virginia 31, Louisville 27
Boston College at No. 9 Wake Forest (+3.5)
Drew: Road favorites have screwed me enough this year. The Demon Deacons have won despite injuries and done so in a vacuum of attention. The game against Clemson was my safest bet of the year when Wake got 14 and incurred their only loss of the season by 10. However, I'm going to challenge my better senses again and say the road favorite, which used last week's game against a hapless Buffalo squad to rest quarterback Matt Ryan, will overcome a good, but bruised, Wake Forest squad in a tight one.
Prediction: Boston College 27, Wake Forest 24
Jordan: One week ago Clemson looked like the best in the ACC. One road embarrassment later and it is Boston College with the vice grip hold on the Atlantic division. Granted, a loss this Saturday to Wake Forest and that hand is broken, but BC holds all the cards; if they win out they will be in a BCS game. As impressive as the Eagles have been, the Deacons have been one of the top surprises in the country at 7-1. Giving up just 15 per game defensively, Wake is legit and was a fourth quarter meltdown against Clemson away from being perfect. Same with BC, and had it not been for a last-second Hail Mary from N.C. State, the Eagles could be 8-0 and touting a top ten ranking. Wake Forest had its chance to prove they could win against a better team but choked against Clemson. Until they prove otherwise there is no reason to believe they can knock off B.C. in this spot.
Prediction: Boston College 24, Wake Forest 16
Will the Democrats take back the House (-300) or the Senate (+150)?
Drew: Republican head coach George W. Bush has made some poor choices with his strong advantage on the national political scene. Most notably he violated trust by using scouts to listen in on phone calls of innocent people and bundled special teams' performances in Afghanistan and Iraq. The squad has also fallen victim to costly turnovers by Rep. Mark Foley trying to recruit teenagers for his personal practice squad and other team members using their status as players to take gifts from boosters. However, the Democrats have struggled with several incompletion passes by minority leader quarterback Nancy Pelosi, but they should be able to pull it out.
Prediction: In the House, Democrats 225, Republicans 210. In the Senate, Republicans over Democrats 50-49-1, a virtual tie with leadership staying with Dubya & Co. holding on with Assistant Head Coach and GM Dick Cheney.
Jordan: Dennis Green and Larry Coker have a better chance to hang on to their jobs than many of the Republicans in the House and Senate. These guys make the New York Yankees look like overachievers. They have had every chance in the world to achieve something positive with their control of Congress. They are like New York up 3-0 in the '04 ALCS against Boston and then proceeding to shoot themselves in the foot with a semi-automatic. The Democrats will take the House back as if it were LeBron James waiting in a group for a pick-up game. Simply put, who's passing up on the Chosen One? The Senate is more of a toss-up, it could fall either way.
Prediction: Democrats take the House, but like the Yankees and Joe Torre the same power stays in Senate and a likely winds up flopping in next year's term.
Kansas City at St. Louis (-2.5)
Drew: Damon Huard has been great, with the exception of the Pittsburgh game, and St. Louis isn't exactly good (27th overall, 21st passing, 27th rushing). Look for another ball control game from Huard as LJ tears it up, but don't expect St. Louis to have much trouble against KC's defense either. It's ranked 9th overall in yards allowed, but let's face it, Seneca Wallace did well in a shootout last week and as much as I've railed against Marc Bulger with my friends in the past, he's much better than Mr. Wallace. The kickers will decide this one.
Prediction: St. Louis 33, Kansas City 31
Jordan: Despite Trent Green still being out, Damon Huard of the Chiefs continues to keep my hopes and aspirations alive. I originally went out on a limb (that's an understatement) and said Kansas City would be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl this year. And while that branch has weakened, it has not snapped and remains on the tree. And with Grandmamma running the pebble, there is always a chance. St. Louis comes in with Marc Bulger continuing to play on fire and a defense that has done reasonable well. Both teams have exceptional tailbacks but Larry Johnson has backed up his fantasy draft ranking as the third leading rusher in the league with eight scores.
Prediction: Kansas City 26, St. Louis 22
Indianapolis at New England (-3)
Drew: Vinatieri Bowl! Peyton Manning looked relaxed driving late against the Broncos. It's almost as if he knew his kicker wouldn't blow it. That was one of two situations that used to rattle Mr. Manning. The other: Pressure. Good thing he's got a great line. Tom Brady, on the other hand, is as relaxed as a pothead in his living room with 500 channels and an endless supply of Drakes cakes. New England is only in the middle of the pack in sacks, but Belichick knows how to aggravate the Colts' star.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Colts 28…and Vinatieri will actually miss a tying FG, throwing the Colts into a tailspin.
Jordan: Two of the best quarterbacks collide when the Colts visit the Pats. Is it just me or is Peyton always playing the Patriots on the road? When do the Colts get Brady at home? Nonetheless, this game, like all the Colts will play in the regular season, means nothing. They are 7-0 for the second straight year and could go 16-0 for all I care, but if Indy doesn't win in the playoffs then it's all null and void. Obviously this is a huge game for home field advantage purposes but even the Colts have proven that home field means nothing in a win-or-go-home scenario. Tom Brady has owned Indy's defense whenever they seem to get together. However, Peyton Manning owns every defense in the league. Just ask Denver.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, New England 26
Jordan and Drew will be going Head-to-Head every Thursday. If you have any comments or questions for them, or any topics that you'd like discussed, email us at email@example.com.