Head-to-Head: X-Factor to Make Difference In Oklahoma/Missouri Tilt
By Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione of Doc's Sports Picks
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. 19 Oklahoma at No. 23 Missouri (-1.5)
Drew: This game has an unknown X-factor: a certain lucky young man, a graduate student and good friend of mine that we'll just call MBP. The cops booted him from last week's Kansas State game in the rain for knocking back a pair of Chivas pints, despite claiming he consumed it on doctor's orders to treat a nervous condition. The Tigers haven't lost with him in the stands and he said he's prepared to adhere to a strict regimen of Bloody Marys in the morning ("for the nutritional content"), Miller High-Life on the ride in, and Rum & Coke mixers ("for energy") during the contest.
Prediction: Missouri 31, Oklahoma 14 and I'm taking the under on whether the MBP makes it to the fourth quarter.
Jordan: The Sooners handled hapless Colorado, however on the road against Mizzou will be Oklahoma's first real test without 'All Day.' The Sooner defense was supposed to be lights out this year but they have looked sketchy at times. Tigers quarterback Chase Daniel will be the single deadliest weapon in front of the Oklahoma defense, and while the Tigers offense is turning out over 33 points per game, the defense has been just as good, allowing 14.6. Oklahoma can't win a shootout, but then again they won't win period.
Prediction: Missouri 27, Oklahoma 20
Georgia at No. 9 Florida (-14)
Drew: JT3 is out and the future is now for this team behind freshman Matthew Stafford. The Gators are sure to be rusty after a two-week layoff and the Bulldogs are coming off an emotional 3-point victory over Mississippi State. Ok, never mind. The Bulldogs are overrated and falling apart since losing to Vandy before squeaking by last week. I said I'd pick against the Gators and their Grranimal logo and arrogant fans, but now they have a loss. That's good enough.
Prediction: Florida 31, Georgia 10
Jordan: Networks have asked ESPN and CBS not to refer to this as the 'World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.' Well, they may get their wishes in that regard but as much drinking that goes on in the pre-game, you might as well have Brian Flanagan there tending bar. Florida wins this game hands down. Georgia continues to put quarters in the merry-go-round that is their quarterback rotation and that simply doesn't work. Yes, Florida does use two signal callers themselves, but Urban Meyer has already established how much playing time Leak and Tebow get. Oh and by the way, it works because Florida has quarterbacks that are actually good.
Prediction: Florida 24, Georgia 16
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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