Head-to-Head: Horns Expected to Hook the Huskers
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. 5 Texas at No. 16 Nebraska (-6.5)
Drew: Texas has won five of the last six match-ups with a 4-1-1 ATS record. I'm sold on Colt McCoy who is operating efficiently (175.27 rating) and effectively, including a two-touchdown performance in a ball-control game against Oklahoma. I'm swayed by the early start-11 a.m. local time-considering that half of home field advantage in college and the NFL is the drunken insanity that flows through the stomach, into the blood stream and amplified through the vocal chords. Less passion looks good for the road favorites.
Prediction: Texas 28, Nebraska 13
Jordan: Can anyone in the Big Ten give Texas a game? Texas' Colt McCoy has 18 touchdowns and three interceptions, while Nebraska's Zac Taylor has gone for 14 scores and two INTs. Both teams are in the top ten in scoring, but no way Nebraska puts up more than 24 against that tough 'Horns defense. Texas is giving up just two TDs per game and has done everything right in their title defense - except beat the No. 1 Buckeyes. Nebraska's only win against Texas since 1996 came in '99 at home, 22-6. The Longhorns have covered just one spread in their last six meetings, however they'll get the all-important victory.
Prediction: Texas 27, Nebraska 20
No. 13 Georgia Tech at No. 12 Clemson (-7.5)
Drew: Yellow Jackets versus Tigers. At first blush, one might say the Tigers are clearly going to win this match-up. But while Tigers have all the muscle and sharp appendages, the Yellow Jacket is quick, annoying and travels in packs. I, for one, have been stung more often by those pesky insects than I've been bitten by Tigers. Oh, as for the football game, this match-up is always close and Tech has less pressure. Even with a loss, they are in good shape to win the ACC Coastal.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 24, Clemson 22
Jordan: Finally, two of the better ACC programs that never get any of the spotlight. No one wants to see the Miami Hurriconvicts go UFC on their opponents or watch Florida State meltdown on ESPN because of its anemic offense. I can never get enough of Yellow Jacket wide out Calvin Johnson. There just aren't enough superlatives to describe his physical abilities. Clemson has its own talent on offense with one of the more exciting young duos at running back in sophomore James Davis and true freshman C.J. Spiller. With athletes all over the field, this is going to be a great game to decide the ACC conference favorite.
Prediction: Clemson 23, Georgia Tech 17
Better meltdown: John L. Smith or Denny Green?
Drew: Both are classic, but as hilarious as it was to see Smith smack himself and walk off in agony, you gotta love the crescendo of Green's tirade. He started calmly, but then the first curse word came out and it was small: Hell. Then it went on to: "like it's Bullshit. Bullshit!" It's not his fault. The box was opened and the words of curse had to be let loose. He only punched the microphone because he didn't need it anymore. He was yelling just fine. My only letdown was this: No F-Bombs. Denny, come on. Hal McCrae is disappointed too.
Prediction: Arizona realizes that they played the best team in football tough and rally behind their coach, who everyone wants fired. They beat Oakland, Green Bay, Minnesota, Detroit, St. Louis and San Francisco to finish 8-8. Leinart is the ROY
Jordan: Dennis Green's actions: justifiable. John L. Smith's actions: borderline psychotic. The Cardinals had the Bears done in and then snatched defeat from the hands of victory. Michigan State was and still is in one of its mid-season tailspins and to lose to Illinois at home as four touchdown favorites was shocking. But to tell you the truth, I still have no reason why Smith went Mike Tyson like his face was Robin Givens. Overall, Green's was the better meltdown. It was if he was a little chubby adolescent upset he didn't get his daily chocolate fix and was throwing a well-deserved temper tantrum.
Prediction: Green exits stage right. Christmas comes early for whoever gets to take over this talent-laden team.
Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Atlanta
Drew: Judging by the lines last week and this week, the oddsmakers appear to think that Pittsburgh is back. I'm not sold, but the Michael Vick Experience will need to pass to win this week and we all know what happens when he is forced to throw. Case in point: the Giants game last week. New Orleans figured it out and the Giants followed suit-use the D-Line to focus on Dunn and the backers to watch Vick. This means Atlanta will beat teams with holes on the D-Line or in the LB corps. Pittsburgh is not that kind of team.
Prediction: Steelers 17, Falcons 13
Jordan: Horray! Ben Roethlisberger had a game without an interception! Now do it against a good defense. While Mike Vick and Atlanta have been far from pretty on offense as well, they have an athletic defense that will get all over Big Ben and force him into split-second decisions. Falcons corner DeAngelo Hall is the best in the NFL and he'll let you know about it every chance he gets. Tightly played, this one comes down to the defense that makes the most plays and which running game is more effective.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Atlanta 20
Carolina at Cincinnati (-3)
Drew: Did the Bengals really lose to Tampa Bay? That's incredible. However, it doesn't matter how good Willie Anderson is, a good line that loses a quality tackle like Levi Jones and its 10-year mainstay at center in Rich Braham is hard pressed to maintain any kind of pass protection and consistently run block. The faster Panthers will slice and dice the banged up Bengal Tigers. Steve Smith will go off on a tired defense.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Bengals 12
Jordan: Could a wide receiver be more valuable than a quarterback or running back? In the case of Steve Smith the Panthers would say definitely. Carolina scored just 19 points without Smith, but topped that in every game he's suited up in. Conversely, the Bengals have lost two straight and their offense looks inconsistent - getting shut down by New England and looking even sketchier against the miserable Bucs. To make things worse, they can't stop the run to save their lives. Chad Johnson will never been shown up as the pre-game entertainer, but Smith will torch the Cincy secondary for two scores and lead his team to their fifth straight win.
Prediction: Carolina 24, Cincinnati 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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