Head-to-Head: Irish-Trojans Grudge Match
by Robert Ferringo and Jordan Adams - 11/21/2006
Each week two of Doc's Sports football aficionados will give their alternating perspectives on the key games and interesting issues in sports at both the college and professional levels. You may not agree, they may not agree, but it should be interesting!
Drew is rotting away in some Malaysian jail this week, so Robert Ferringo has stepped in to fill his place until Drew posts bail. No worries, Mr. Mangione will be back next week. Here are this week's topics:
Notre Dame at Southern Cal (-7.5)
Robert: The Irish are the most overrated team in college football. We all know this, but the public and Beano Cook refuse to admit it. I gave them credit for almost shocking the Trojans last year, but this time they won't have the home crowd and they won't be playing on three-feet-tall grass. The bottom line here is that USC can hit people and Notre Dame can't. And as dreamy as Brady Quinn is, this is still a physical, violent game.
Prediction: USC 38, Notre Dame 23
Jordan: I started an anti-USC campaign at the beginning of the year, boldly expressing how overrated I think the Trojans are. And with the exception of the Oregon State game they have proved me wrong in every game. The Trojans looked exceptional against Cal and now control their own destiny for a chance to reach Glendale. The one facet of this game that separates these two teams is that USC has a defense, led by the best linebacking corps in the country. Their speed and playmaking abilities will be the difference maker.
Prediction: USC 31, Notre Dame 26
What is your favorite sports-holiday marriage?
Robert: I absolutely love the fact that over the course of the past few years the start of the NCAA men's basketball tournament has coincided with St. Patrick's Day. What more can you ask for than a 24-hour bender of beers, buckets and bracket busters? The mornings are generally spent with kegs and eggs at some Buckhead pub, by midday I'm a babbling idiot screaming at my waitress about missed free throws, and at halftime of the late round of games I'm usually hanging on by a thread in some dive bar hoping that I have enough cash left to clear what will be an astounding tab. Good times.
Prediction: St. Patrick's Day will be the start of Round 2 this year. I'll be in Savannah rocking Irish Car Bombs while I put together a perfect 8-0 day!
Jordan: Give me a month's worth of college bowls to coincide with the Holiday Season. Granted I could do without the 'insert your company.com' bowl or the fact that they've expanding the bowls to Canada. I mean it's random enough to have the Sun Belt winner and MAC runner-up play for a nice six-figure check, but how about we just keep these contests in-house. Trust me, the CFL alone is too much bootleg football for my liking. However, if I had my way and could have the ultimate sports-holiday collaboration it'd be this simple: college football playoff system. NCAA president Miles Brand should really feel good about himself that both the D-II and D-III postseasons are light years ahead of the top dog. And yes, sarcasm is like a second language to me.
Prediction: No matter how much I bash all these worthless bowls I will still be in front of the tube for every play to see who covers every one of these match-ups.
Chicago at New England (-3)
Robert: God, you have no idea how badly I want to see the Chicago defense maim and maul poor Tom Brady as the Bears set fire to Foxboro. But I'm afraid it's not going to happen. The Bears have posted double-digit wins in back-to-back road trips against winning teams. They are the class of the NFC, for certain, but the odds of them strapping it on and hammering a winning home team for a third week in a row is very slim. Play in Chicago and Brady is crippled. Play in Mass. and I just hope the Bears leave with all their limbs.
Prediction: New England 31, Chicago 17
Jordan: The Bears are back on track with a sweep of the Giants and Jets in consecutive weeks. New England responded by routing Green Bay in Lambeau after back-to-back losses. The Pats will host Chicago and this will be only the second time in ten games this year that Chicago is an underdog. For someone that calls Chicago home and the Bears my team, Grossman's play still worries me and I will be over-anxious before every big game until we either win the Super Bowl or are ousted in the playoffs. But with the Bears continuing to play lights out defensively, confidence always holds over more than not with this team.
Prediction: Chicago 24, New England 18
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.