Head-to-Head: Another Big SEC Clash
by Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione - 11/29/2006
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. 8 Arkansas at No. 4 Florida (-2.5)
Drew: It's no secret to anyone who has read this column that I hate the Florida Gators. However, the one thing I might hate more is the illegitimacy of NCAA Division I football and the BCS system. Arkansas took itself out of the running by failing to man-up against LSU, leaving just Florida and Michigan to challenge USC for the No. 2 slot. So if Urban Meyer is going to keep bitching about the system, then go Gators because I want to hear the former Utah coach run his mouth. A Grranimals win would be the sixth straight.
Prediction: Arkansas 28, Florida 17, thus disappointing me and making the BCS look good.
Jordan: The Gators are favored but they have more to prove. For as much talent as they have on offense, they sure look anemic over the past month. Outside of their 62-0 punishment of high school program Western Carolina, Florida has yet to score four touchdowns since late September. I don't know if he gets dressed in a phone booth but Darren McFadden sure looks like the closest thing to Superman these days. Only a sophomore, his recent play should have secured him a seat in New York. I've been on the Razorbacks all year and I think they continue to roll with the SEC title in hand.
Prediction: Arkansas 24, Florida 20
No. 19 Nebraska at No. 9 Oklahoma (-4)
Drew: Two programs that also aggravate me. Without a playoff system, the programs with history seem to hang around the top 25 when they falter, while upstarts are cast aside with their first setback. No wonder the good coaches at small programs run for the storied places without writing their own story. They can't. The polls take the pen out of their hand. Despite a bad loss to Arizona, three-loss Cal would whoop on both of these schools.
Prediction: Oklahoma 7, Nebraska 3
Jordan: Just think, what should have been a win against Oregon could have left them 11-1 and with a good argument for the BCS title game. Nonetheless, Oklahoma's defense will create havoc for Zac Taylor just like he saw against Texas. Bob Stoops is on a mission and while this may not be his most talented team, has he ever done a better coaching job? No Rhett Bomar, no Adrian Peterson for half the year and an underachieving defense. No problem. Big 12 coach of the year? Yes please.
Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 20
Who is your sleeper team in the bowl season?
Drew: Well, this is my playoff edition of Head-to-Head. I realize a sleeper is supposed to be a team that might be under the radar now, but will make a bang later. Well, there are no sleepers in college football because there is no playoff. There is no medium for a team to sneak up and win a national championship like Syracuse did in the men's basketball tournament a few years back. So my sleeper is USC. I've seen them called overrated, but this is a team with a fast defense, high-powered offense and NO OPTION PLAYS!
Prediction: USC beats UCLA and Ohio State to steal the national championship, prompting coaches Urban Meyer, Lloyd Carr and Chris Peterson to file a lawsuit against the BCS.
Jordan: While everyone is making noise about the BCS title game or who plays Michigan in the Rose Bowl, I certainly haven't forgotten about Oklahoma. A win this Saturday will send them to a BCS game. They won't be one of the more touted teams in these top bowls, so I see them matched up against undefeated Boise State. And I see them making short work of the Broncos. Adrian Peterson will be back and healthy and only 150 yards stands in his way of surpassing Billy Sims and becoming Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher. Not only will he get those 150 or so but he'll also be around 250 as he makes a statement to the NFL that he is ready for the next level.
Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Boise State 21
Baltimore at Cincinnati (-3), Thursday
Drew: Seriously? The Bungles are favored? I know they're at home, but they're 2-3 at home and the Ravens are looking like the Super Bowl team they just might be. The harbingers of death are circling around the weakened tigers, having picked away at some flesh four games ago in Baltimore during their five-game winning streak. But let's face it: I've had the sadiM touch of late, anything gold I touch turns to crap. Just ask my girlfriend, who flew to Malaysia on Thanksgiving just to bail me out. DON'T BET ON FOREIGN SHOOT FIGHTING!
Prediction: Cincinnati 24, Baltimore 22, making it harder for my Jets to sneak in the Wild Card.
Jordan: Despite playing on the road this week I say Baltimore stays perfect in the division. The Ravens defense will serve as a sturdy roadblock for the white-hot Chad Johnson. At 9-2 we're seeing a team to be reckoned with, especially in the playoffs. Who would want to draw this team in a win-or-go home scenario? Baltimore is the most well rounded team in the conference and they will outscore Carson Palmer and company. Look for Ray Lewis, now healthy, to help take over the game with his fellow defensive menaces and change the game with a key turnover.
Prediction: Baltimore 24, Cincinnati 20
Seattle at Denver (-3)
Drew: At some point this quarterback shuffle has to bite a team in the ass. Romo had three seasons to learn. Rivers had two. Palmer had one. Leinart and Young have played well, but not exceptional. Roethlisberger is the exception, but teams seem to think he's the rule. Will Jay Cutler be like a rookie Eli or a rookie Big Ben? My guess is Eli, but the way Plummer has played, it might be enough. Still, Plummer or Cutler, Seattle wins this one with a healthy Hasselbeck and Alexander.
Prediction: Seattle 24, Denver 13
Jordan: O Jake, where art thou? Thou are parked on the bench. Finally we get to see what the young kid has. And make no mistake about it; this team is 7-4 when we saw the switch. So if Denver falls flat on its face and misses the playoffs completely you can bet Mike Shanahan will get the axe. However, I still like the Broncos here because Seattle is a one-dimensional team. And by that I mean they are not good on the road, only at home.
Prediction: Denver 23, Seattle 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 email@example.com.