Sounding Off: Tate, Smith To Have Dance Off In Iowa
by Drew Mangione and Jordan Adams - 09/28/2006
Every 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 are this week's topics:
Ohio State (-7) at Iowa
Drew: We're due. College football needs a little shake up. I'm sick of this wire-to-wire crap for the No. 1 team. So on principle, I'm taking Iowa. Sure, Ohio State is trouncing its opponents - which includes Texas and Penn State - by an average score of 31-8. However, Longhorns QB Colt McCoy wasn't ready for that match-up in just his second game and the Penn State game was at The Horseshoe. This is in Iowa with tickets selling for $1,000. We're due.
Prediction: Iowa 38, Ohio State 35, 2OT
Jordan: Quarterback play will decide the game. If the two signal callers were facing off in a Zoolander-type showdown then Drew Tate would win, hands down. However, in reality Troy Smith has it all when it comes to pigskin: shifty with his feet, a strong and accurate arm, and more weapons around him than a military base. The trio of Ginn, Gonzalez and Pittman will keep college football's top ranking in Columbus for at least one more week.
Iowa lost in 2005 to Ohio State but defeated them in '04 the last time the Buckeyes visited Kinnick Stadium. Not so fast my friend; the Hawkeyes are 0-7-1 when facing the No. 1 team in the country.
Prediction: Ohio State 27, Iowa 21
Alabama at Florida (-13.5)
Drew: I thought the Urban Flyer's running-back-by-humiliation experiment (open tryouts?) would lose to Tennessee straight up. I was wrong, but it was close. If J.P. Losman can look good in the NFL, I suppose J.P. Wilson can look good against a Gators team that has lost its last two against the spread. The Crimson Tide are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine and the over is 3-0 when the team is an underdog of 10.5 or greater.
Prediction: Florida 31, Alabama 24
Jordan: Favored by two touchdowns in one of the more difficult environments to play, Florida hosts Alabama in the Swamp. Skill wise, the Gators have 'Bama beat in most areas. However, Florida has not won against the Tide since 1998, including last year's beat down in Tuscaloosa, 31-3. Alabama boasts another terrific defense, but again lacks a big-time offense to throw punches if a shootout is required.
Prediction: Florida 30, Alabama, 13
Drew: It doesn't matter whether or not he tried to kill himself. This hurts The 'Boys. Not this week (Tennessee sucks) but right around the corner is the return to Philadelphia. We may find that if T.O. didn't attempt suicide on Tuesday, it could be in the cards after Oct. 8. As wrong as it is, I can see it now: Philly fans with nooses hanging T.O. jerseys in effigy, or maybe tossing around some big pills like beach balls, or carrying posters with a variety of not-so-tasteful attacks. Think big; this is the town that booed the recipient of an arm transplant for failing to reach the plate when throwing out the first pitch at a Phillies game.
But here's my question: Why let Kim Etheridge speak? She's clearly covering something up. T.O. was convincing. Even the most hardened addict wouldn't be able to take 35 generic Vicodin and look that good the next day. She sounded like Melissa Etheridge trying to say she's straight.
Prediction: The publicist again calls 911, this time after she finds T.O.'s agent Drew Rosenhaus unresponsive and staring into his bathroom mirror reliving the "good old days" of last year's Philadelphia debacle.
Jordan: Killing oneself is an awfully powerful concept to manifest. And leave it to the media to invoke this idea totally out of left field, even if it does revolve around TO. Regardless, this incident will have no effect on the Cowboys as a team. Play Owens, sit him or even rent him to the Titans this weekend, it wouldn't matter. Dallas is a very good football team and will have no lapses from this issue come Sunday. Tennessee's only chances of winning would have been if the starting 11 on the defensive side of the ball were the ones who committed suicide.
New Orleans at Carolina (-7.5)
Drew: Ok, the Saints players can breathe now. It's back to the road and time to face the most overrated team in football. It's not that the Panthers aren't good. They are. The problem is that I heard so many Super Bowl predictions I almost forgot there was a regular season. In weeks one and two, the once-dominant Panther defensive line let running backs through like water through the New Orleans levies. Sure, Tampa only averaged 2.6 yards per carry, but Cadillac looks like a Yugo right now. St. Deuce and St. Reggie should be enough to keep this close.
Prediction: Saints 19, Panthers 14
Jordan: No team will be riding the momentum wave any higher than the Saints are currently. This game will not be played in the Big Easy and as far as the rest of the NFL is concerned, the Saints had their moment in the sun. If Carolina is to win the division, they can't lose this game. They need this win like Titans' Kerry Collins needs another drink before his game. The Panthers will continue to reverse their 0-2 start and its defense will bring New Orleans down from Cloud Nine.
Prediction: Carolina 24, New Orleans 20
Seattle at Chicago (-3)
Drew: The four-deep receiving corps in Seattle looked good against the Giants, but I'd put money on your grandmother catching four balls for 41 yards lined up on Sam Madison. There's a reason the Bears let R.W. McQuarters go. He's garbage and they've got better players. Assuming Alexander's heel hasn't miraculously healed, Hasselbeck will look like his mentor Favre did in Week 1, throw three INTs with two bouncing out of Nate Burleson's hands.
Jordan: Who wants the Madden cover now? Mr. Seahawk is now Mr. broken foot. Without the league's reigning league MVP the Bears can now focus on stopping a red hot Matt Hasselbeck, as a more one-dimensional team comes to the Windy City.
Further updates are coming from Shaun Alexander stating he has suddenly been healed and wants to play this weekend. Shaun, you have a broken bone in your foot. It is not a bloody nose. And even if he is allowed to play -- which he won't -- he will be just as ineffective as the first three games of the season.
Prediction: Bears 16, Seattle 7