Welcome to The Pulse, the place to find out what the sports world is thinking. Every day on ESPN.com, SportsNation registers its opinion on a wide range of topics by casting votes and offering opinions. We'll collect the daily highlights and create a running file throughout the week to measure The Pulse of SportsNation on a wide variety of issues. Check this page every day for an update of what the 'Nation is saying.
Friday's Big Question
Which teams will win Week 5's biggest NFL games?
Many believe Terrell Owens will reach the end zone in his return to PhillyJust two days until Terrell Owens finally makes his return to Philadelphia, which is guaranteed to be a wild scene. Week 5 in the NFL presents a handful of tough games to handicap. While two unbeatens - Indianapolis and Chicago - play home games in which they are favored by double digits, the league's other unbeaten, Baltimore, must travel to Denver. It's proven to be the most difficult game for SportsNation to pick. Scouts, Inc.'s experts weighed in on Week 5's best games as well.
SportsNation's Key Week 5 Selections
69% San Diego will defeat Pittsburgh
63% Philadelphia will defeat Dallas
57% N.Y. Giants will defeat Washington
52% Baltimore will defeat Denver
Matt Williamson: It's going to be real tough (for Pittsburgh to run). I am very impressed with San Diego's front 7 and its DL is awesome for the 3-4. Ben will have to really step up for Pittsburgh to win.
Chuck Knox, Jr.: This is the best all-around team the Eagles have faced this season. If the Eagles are for real they have to play well against Dallas. I would be concerned if I was an Eagles fan because the Cowboys have two good receivers and the Eagles backups, if forced to play, will not fare well.
Chuck Knox, Jr.: I think the Redskins have a good chance to win on Sunday. Both teams have good offenses and poor defenses, with the Redskins defense being the better of the two. Even with the bye I do not think the Giants have solved all their problems.
Matt Williamson: (Do the Ravens have a) snowball's chance? Yes. Will it happen? No...What would worry me if I was a Broncos fan is how they will move the ball against Baltimore. Running room is going to be very hard to come by for both teams and I don't see Tatum Bell doing a lot. A lot of pressure on Jake can lead to bad things. I still like Denver at home after a bye...Broncos 17, Ravens 10.
Thursday's Big Question
Which teams will win critical games on the college gridiron this weekend?
Will Marshawn Lynch run wild against Oregon like Adrian Peterson did?Week six of the college football season is already underway, and time is flying! This week, there are four games in which both teams are ranked. In fact, all those teams are in the top 16. These games look very close on paper, but how will they play out? SportsNation made its picks, and experts Joe Schad, Todd McShay and Kirk Herbstreit broke down the four best games in chat today.
69% No. 13 Tennessee will beat No. 10 Georgia
62% No. 9 LSU will beat No. 5 Florida
58% No. 7 Texas will beat No. 14 Oklahoma
52% No. 11 Oregon will beat No. 16 California
50.1% Texas Tech will beat No. 23 Missouri
Todd McShay: Road victories are tough to earn in the SEC, but I think LSU will knock off Florida in The Swamp, and I also think Tennessee will knock off Georgia between the hedges. LSU's defense is the best all-around unit in the country right now and I think it will match up well with the three-and-four receiver sets that the Gators will throw at them, especially without Wynn at RB to balance things out. And look for JaMarcus Russell to continue his outstanding play in what could be the signature game of his career this Saturday.
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Joe Schad: I believe in Colt McCoy. As in, he's really talented and composed. He'll play better than Rhett Bomar did last year. I am surprised Jamaal Charles hasn't had a huge game but maybe this is the game where he does. As for Oklahoma's offense, I know Adrian Peterson is healthy but I'm not sure they will throw it effectively against Texas. In fact, I am sure they will not. I see Thompson ending this game like 11-for-26 or something. Texas 28, Oklahoma 16.
Todd McShay: For the most part, the Red River Rivalry has been won by the better team recently. I think Mack Brown has the better all-around team and should prove so in a low-scoring but somewhat convincing win.
Kirk Herbstreit: I'm anxious to see how the insertion of Joe T. at QB effects the Dawgs' offense. The last couple of weeks have been painful to watch. If nothing else, you expect a more experienced Tereshinski to provide stability and solid decision-making. The matchup I can't wait for is Erik Ainge and his talented group of receivers led by Meachem and Swain matchup against one of the best scoring defenses in the country. Can Ainge continue to play with such confidence? And can the Vols continue to come up with big plays on offense on the road against the suffocating Georgia defense?
Kirk Herbstreit: Oregon's defensive line concerns me with the injuries they've sustained. The injury to Cole Linehan puts even more pressure on the inexperienced interior. I think they'll have a hard time shutting down Cal's running game with Marshawn Lynch. I think Oregon's best chance will be the combination of Dennis Dixon to Jaison Williams and the running of Jonathan Stewart to not only outscore Cal, but to eat up as much clock as possible to keep the ball away from Nate Longshore and the Cal offense. I don't think Oregon's defense can stop Cal. I think they'll have to win in a shootout or keep the ball away by winning time of possession. I like Oregon in that game.
Tuesday's Big Question
Has your view of Terrell Owens changed over the last seven months?
Terrell Owens had a hand in the Cowboys' victory in Tennessee, but didn't find the end zone.It's finally here: T.O. Week. It's safe to say that the city of Philadelphia is ready to rudely welcome him back.
While SportsNation's level of dislike for T.O. is nowhere near that of Philly's, there is definitely plenty of anti-Owens sentiment. Last November, after an arbitrator upheld the team-imposed suspension of Owens, 53 percent felt that he was not worth the risk for a contending team in need of more offense. Here is how the 'Nation felt about Dallas signing Owens in March:
Is signing Terrell Owens a good move for the Cowboys?
Will Terrell Owens be able to coexist peacefully with Bill Parcells?
Despite the distractions that come with having T.O. on the roster, the Cowboys offense has certainly benefitted from his presence. Terry Glenn has enjoyed single coverage and scored three touchdowns in as many games. And while Parcells calls Owens "the player" when asked about him, there haven't been any definitive signs that the coach/player relationship has been a huge negative thus far.
Four months ago, we asked SportsNation how long they thought Owens would be a Cowboy. And, just out of curiosity, we asked again today. The results are very similar, with slightly more of the 'Nation leaning toward a "one and done" for T.O. in Big D.
How many years of Terrell Owens' three-year contract will he play for Dallas?
38% All three
9% He won't last through this season
35% All three
9% He won't last through this season
Is everyone sick of hearing about Terrell Owens? The answer was a resounding "yes" last November, and when prodded about the topic of T.O. in chat today, most of SportsNation feigned memory loss or was simply disinterested.
Are you tired of Terrell Owens?
Before anyone replies...next topic...no one cares...move on...spare us...etc.
Brian (Madison, WI)
What is this T.O. you speak of? I am unfamiliar.
Chris (Lexington, KY)
While 78 percent of SportsNation says that everything Owens does is overscrutinized by the media, it's very difficult to not address the many storylines leading into this Sunday's matchup between the Cowboys and Eagles. Contributions from the 'Nation in chat and polling note that anything goes at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday; and they think Owens will find the end zone at least once as well.
Just in from CNN, record sales for batteries and pill bottles expected in the Philadelphia area for the rest of the week.
It may be the single craziest Sunday in regular-season history...the Linc is going to literally be moving during that game.
Jeremiah Trotter is gonna hit T.O. so hard he's not gonna get up for about a minute. Then T.O. is gonna break one for 80 yards the next play.
Gene (New Haven)
How will Terrell Owens fare in Sunday's game in Philadelphia?
69% He will score at least one touchdown
41% He will have at least 100 yards receiving
Is it a surprise that Pennsylvania - and a couple states bordering it - predict no end zone celebrations for Owens this Sunday? Click on the map to the right.
Monday's Big Questions
1. Was Albert Haynesworth's suspension too lenient?
2. Which teams will reach the LCS?
Albert Haynesworth lost his cool - and five game checks.All the talk regarding the Cowboys-Titans matchup before Sunday's game focused on either Terrell Owens or Vince Young. But by the time it was over, it was all about Albert Haynesworth - and for all the wrong reasons. He stomped on the head of Cowboys lineman Andre Gurode - not once, but twice - and was ejected from the game. On Monday, the NFL handed down a five-game suspension for Haynesworth. SportsNation felt it wasn't enough.
What are your thoughts on the NFL's five-game suspension of Albert Haynesworth?
54% Too lenient
42% Just right
4% Too harsh
Here's a summary of what else consumed SportsNation's mind after another NFL Sunday:
78% Cardinals are right to name Matt Leinart the starter for Week 5
72% Laurence Maroney will outgain Corey Dillon this season
53% New Orleans Saints will not make the playoffs this season
22% Oakland Raiders will not win a game this season
Are David Wright and the Mets still the favorites in the NL?October baseball is here. But things aren't as they were supposed to be in the National League, where the Mets' loss of Pedro Martinez has raised questions about their chances of winning the NL pennant. And in the American League, the Yankees look extremely dangerous on paper, but how will it play out on the diamond? SportsNation says we'll see Padres-Mets and Yankees-Twins in the LCS.
Padres vs. Cardinals
76% Padres have a better starting rotation
89% Padres have a better bullpen
72% Cardinals have a better lineup
56% Padres will win the series
Mets vs. Dodgers
76% Dodgers have a better starting rotation
67% Mets have a better bullpen
81% Mets have a better lineup
57% Mets will win the series
Yankees vs. Tigers
94% Yankees have a better lineup
94% Yankees enter the series with more momentum
53% Randy Johnson will be a negative for the Yankees
76% Yankees will win the series
Twins vs. Athletics
52% Twins have a better rotation
82% Twins have a better bullpen
87% Twins have a better lineup
81% Twins will win the series