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Head-to-Head: Michigan Vs. Ohio State Predictions

By Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione of Doc's Sports Predictions

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. 2 Michigan at No. 1 Ohio State (-7)

Drew: Kudos to the Buckeyes for refusing access to poser Canadian rockers Nickelcrap, but as a resident of upstate New York, I once again have to give props to the man-child running the ball for the Wolverines. After scoring a ridiculous 204 touchdowns in 47 high school games for Onondaga High School on the reservation near Syracuse, Mike Hart brought his show to Michigan and now he's sixth in the nation in rushing on a team with a defense that allows less than 30 yards per game on the ground.

Prediction: Michigan 34, Ohio State 17

Jordan: As an Ann Arbor native and big time UM fan, admitting that Ohio State will win is sacrilegious. And frankly, I think Michigan has the horses to win as the road dog. I know Jim Tressel owns Lloyd Carr, especially in the Horseshoe, but the Wolverine defense is special. They're first in the nation in run defense and if they can shutdown Antonio Pittman and limit Troy Smith's ad-lib running, a one-dimensional Ohio State is not the same offense. As good as both these defenses have been, they have inflated stats from facing poor competition. The score will be higher than some expect.

Prediction: Michigan 24, Ohio State 20…Hail to the Victors

No. 17 California at No. 4 USC (-5.5)

Drew: I'm pulling for the one story that might bring us a national championship playoff: Rutgers winning out and only the loser of Michigan/Ohio State having a legitimate claim to the national championship game. So to make that happen, Cal must win this week and USC must win next week. Let's go Bears.

Prediction: Cal 37, USC 31

Jordan: Several weeks back we were asked who the most overrated college football team was and I said USC. I also said Cal would come into the Coliseum and win the Pac-10 title. Despite its loss to Arizona, a Golden Bears win on Saturday would still serve the same result. I'll admit the Trojans played their best game last week against Oregon, however we have yet to see USC play when they must score more than 30 to win. This week they'll have to do just that.

Prediction: California 33, USC 29

Who is the NFL's second-half sleeper?

Drew: The Jets could finish 10-6. The Packers have a small chance to ride the arm of Brett Favre into a playoff berth. The Eagles will win 10 games. However, my sleeper is the Seattle Seahawks. A good friend of mine, a 'Hawks fan from way back, enjoyed the Super Bowl appearance last year. Unfortunately though, he died last Sunday and won't get to see a repeat. Well, in honor of the late-great Ron Jones, I'm predicting a repeat. Go Seattle, bring one back and when Hasselbeck and Alexander come back, play strong Seahawks, play strong.

Prediction: Seattle knocks off the Bears in a furious conference final to represent the NFC a second time. Maybe, just maybe they'll bring it home for Ron.

Jordan: My sleeper for the second half is the Oak…wait, no. Truthfully, I see the Jaguars emerging from their mediocre 5-4 record to make the playoffs as a wildcard in the AFC. Whether they use Leftwich or Garrard, the defense was the reason for its hot start and the current skid. They lost their swagger somewhere but I think they'll get a firm reality check before their huge Monday night match-up with the Giants. The bottom line is there is way too much talent for this team not to be in the playoffs.

Prediction: Jacksonville finishes its final seven games 5-2 and its 10-6 record slips them through the playoff door.

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Indianapolis at Dallas (-1)

Drew: The oddsmakers are calling for this to be Indy's first loss, but I wonder if they've seen Roy Williams play football before. This hard-hitting safety is a beast for receivers over the middle and running backs squeezing out of the backfield. However, ask Santana Moss if you can beat the overrated Roy deep. Dallas's corners can be exposed and if it's past 30 yards, so can Roy. Look for Marvin and Reggie to score deep. Bad teams have played Indy close, but look for a good team to struggle. Romo is due to falter.

Prediction: Colts 35, Cowboys 17

Jordan: The linesmakers are suggesting that the Colts are one point better than Dallas. I'm not buying. Dallas' secondary has been beaten like the redheaded stepchildren they are on multiple occasions. The Eagles and the Giants both torched them and now Peyton and his weapons will do the most damage of all. Tony Romo has been nice but he'll crack. Dallas does have a balanced enough offense to make this game interesting, but its defense has not shown up when they most needed to. Indy's road to perfection stays for at least one more week.

Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Dallas 20

San Diego at Denver (-1)

Drew: I called the Chargers overrated. Will I admit I'm wrong? No, though I will concede that my prediction of them missing the playoffs again was wrong. LT is certainly not overrated and he has carried this team. I'm not a fan of Plummer and his turnovers, but Denver has allowed just two rushing touchdowns this year and ranks fifth in yards allowed. LT will get his TDs, he always does, but he won't do more than double what has been surrendered thus far by the Broncos D. Rivers shot all his ammo last week and this is a comedown game.

Prediction: Broncos 20, Chargers 14

Jordan: With all due respect to the Colts, the Chargers have the best offense in the NFL. LT has scored 15 touchdowns in his last five games and that doesn't even begin to describe his dominance. And while he continues to put up numbers, Philip Rivers is having an exceptional year in his shadow. The San Diego defense has been a little shaky without Shawne Merriman, but Jake Plummer has the cure for their ills. Denver's quarterback continues to give reason why rookie Jake Cutler should play. While the Bronco defense is stout, I can't go against this explosive offense.

Prediction: San Diego 23, Denver 17

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 service@docsports.com.

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Drew: The biggest poser in the NFL resides in the weakened AFC: The San Diego Chargers. Anything with Marty Shottenheimer's paws on it is overrated. LT is the best back in football, but Rivers will come to earth without any real threat at receiver other than Gates, who until last week's game had not gotten the attention Brees gave him. Merriman was crowned the second coming of the original LT, but his drugs aren't cocaine and without him, the defense is suspect with a weak secondary and a 3-4 scheme that will be exposed. The four teams they've beaten are just 6-18 this year.

Prediction: The Chargers lose at least five more games this season, dropping from a team the pundits wanted to crown the best-with-a-loss to out of the playoff chase.

Jordan: The Trojans of Southern California are as overrated and unnecessarily exploited as little leaguers on ESPN in summer. Pete Carroll is a dynamite recruiter and I praise him for his success there. He has the best job in all of sports. However, USC has no noteworthy wins. They routed Arkansas in the season opener and handily beat Nebraska back in September. However, the Razorbacks freshman Mitch Mustain was on the bench for that game and the Cornhuskers had a grossly passive game plan that doomed them from the start. It's still debatable how USC's remaining schedule will play out, but because of its strength of schedule all it will take is one loss to knock them out of the BCS title game.

Prediction: Cal beats USC and goes on to run the table in the Pac-10.

Indianapolis at Denver (-2.5)

Drew: This is a matchup of unofficial kings of running the ball over the last 10 years against the worst rushing defense in the league. This is a showdown of the NFL's most anemic offense against the most prolific QB of our generation. In the end, I think it will be the offense that wins out in this one. Plummer is due to break out or at least show that he's completely worthless after all. Oh, and the over of 39 is the safest part of my prediction.

Prediction: Colts 34, Denver 23

Jordan: The AFC's best offense faces the league's best defense. Denver is as stingy as it comes defensively, however with Plummer's inaccuracies under center the defense will need to hold Indy under 24 to win this game. And as good as Denver has been, the scout team cannot replicate Peyton Manning. He will get his and bring that Mile High defense down to reality. The Colts may be a little too one-dimensional, but Peyton's arm is always enough to win. The Colts' front four will pressure the quarterback formally known as Jake the Snake into several turnovers to make this game winnable.

Prediction: Indianapolis 26, Denver 20

Baltimore at New Orleans (-2)

Drew: I am a believer in Baltimore. The marriage of Ray Lewis's tenacity on defense and Steve McNair's stability on offense gives the Ravens two formidable units. I know you're thinking: "McNair does have 8 picks and just 6 touchdowns." Well, screw you with your facts. This is my gut and my gut gets me into trouble sometimes, but it also treats me right. My only concern is that the Saints are at home, where they seem to be on a saintly mission. My gut is pulling me both ways!

Prediction: Saints 23, Ravens 21

Jordan: It just may be that the Saints don't lose a game in the Superdome all year. Drew Brees has been exceptional to this point, but he gets his toughest test with Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense. New Orleans has too many weapons on offense to be contained and should provide enough points to win. Steve McNair is coming off a bye week and a concussion, however even before that his stats were so-so. He has won two games with late fourth quarter drives, but the Saints are in the midst of a magical season.

Prediction: New Orleans 23, Baltimore 20

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 service@docsports.com.

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