Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2015

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)…As if the railings of Joshua Feuerstein against Starbucks for eliminating previously-included Christmas imagery on its holiday coffee cups wasn’t enough, followers of the evangelist have now targeted sports teams that have beverage-vendors serve java in plain red containers. On the current hit-list are the local Red Raiders, in addition to Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. Hockey’s Detroit Red Wings have also been put on notice that a certain population of the country will not tolerate the so-called “War on Christmas”! The protests, as far south as Alabama, have been met with satirical responses from Tuscaloosa faithful, who now refer to their team as the Crimson Yuletide!

In the two weeks following our stellar 16-6 result, we’ve quickly moved back to the norm, including the “meh” 8-7 outing in Week 12 (112-104-3 (.519), finally hittin’ the dreaded double-century milestone (at least 100 wins and at least 100 losses). As we give thanks this week, may yer bird be moist, yer cranberries jellied and yer heart full of…
(Relegatin’ Donald Trump, and other politicians followin’ da’ picks, to…a holding-pen!)
FRI. NOV. 27

#3 Iowa (-1 ½) over NEBRASKA: Hawkeyes will play for the conference championship and maybe more, despite 1-3 ATS skid. Iowa lost 37-34 last season in this one. Nebraska comes in rested and needs a victory to gain post-season eligibility. Iowa’s covered last 8 contests layin’ points on the road. Including big win over Michigan State, Corncobs have won just three of six this year in Lincoln…Iowa 34 Children of Da’ Corn 27
#15 TCU (+1 ½) over #7 Baylor: Toads went big, but ended up goin’ home anyway with failed two-point conversion that let Oklahoma hang on after TCU outscored da’ Sooners 22-6 in the second half last week. Froggies’ crazy 61-58 defeat by Da’ Bears in 2014 kept ‘em outta’ the inaugural CFP. Neither side is playin’ with a starter behind center. Tadpoles’ last loss in Ft. Worth came to these Bears in 2013, a span of 12 games. Baylor knocked-off 6 of last 8 Top 25 opponents. The Big 12 round-robin carnage continues…TCU 34 Baylor 31

#16 Navy (+1) over #21 HOUSTON: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We rarely go to the well in back-to-back weeks with the same team, but Cougars are coming off lowest scoring output since caressing the scoreboard for…um… um…well…12…vs. Central Florida early last year. Since loss at South Bend, Middies have been plowing through the competition, winning five straight by an average of better-than-21 points-per-game. Coogs were upset at (GASP!) UConn last weekend and back-up quarterback Kyle Postma is probably making just his second start across the field from Ensigns’ record-setting senior QB Keenan Reynolds. Even if Greg Ward can go for UH…Boat People 41 Houston 30
Oregon State (+35) over #18 OREGON: Second choice for “lock of da’ week”… Rubber Duckies 51 Beavers 27

#20 Washington State @ WASHINGTON: OFF
#24 TOLEDO (-8) over Western Michigan: We’re just happy we didn’t have to split a gut to analyze this one and post a selection on Monday night ahead of a Tuesday-tilt considerin’ da’ MAC’s penchant for late-season, early-week scrimmages!...Spaceships 44 WMU 34

SAT. NOV. 28
#1 Clemson @ SOUTH CAROLINA (Under 55 ½): Da’ Chicken Nuggets lost a 23-22 home-contest last week to I-AA Citadel. Can’t help but wonder if the Gamecocks have already given up on the Ol’-soon-to-be-retired Ball Coach. Tigers’ D continues to show fine form. A victory for Swinney’s Sabretooth’s certainly keeps them in the playoffs. A ho-hum win over struggling Poultry could cost ‘em the top-seed…Clemson 34 Nuggets 13

#2 Alabama (-14) over AUBURN: Tide 34 Tigers 14
#4 Notre Dame (+3 ½) over #13 STANFORD: Leprechauns have been lackluster the past few weeks and were sloppy with the ball last week (five turnovers that almost cost ‘em the game vs. Boston College), resulting in a spot outside the CFP Top 4 rankings. They need a win here and some help. Last season, Trees dropped two games in Palo Alto for first time since losing six at home in 2007. The host in each of the last four years has walked away with the Legends Trophy, but little voice in Vindy’s head is screamin’ “Our Lady!” and gettin’ more than a FG is attractive…Catholics 27 Cardinal 21

#9 OKLAHOMA STATE (+6 ½) over #5 Oklahoma: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Sooners are arguably one of the teams on fire right now and Bob Stoops will use current dis about not necessarily being worthy of a playoff spot to motivate his team going into this contest, despite near-miss against the Horny Toads. State absorbed first hit on the season by the Bears, who were minus-three miscues and led by a quarterback playing at less than 100%. After a solid start on defense that saw pretty-good improvement, Okie State has regressed, coughing up just shy of 40 ppg to last four opponents. Oklahoma has allowed a little over 21 ppg game, covered 5 of its last 6 games and seen a like ratio go “over” the total. Nonetheless, two of last three Bedlams took more than the first 60 minutes to decide…State 37 Sooners 34

#12 MICHIGAN (PK) over #8 Ohio State: We salute Jim Harbaugh, already up 12 with seconds to play and knockin’ on the door again at Penn State, for having the decency to tell his offense take a knee. All the good things Coach Harbaugh has done with his new team could be quickly forgotten by UM alumni with a poor-showing here…at home…vs. a bloodied-opponent…that’s squabbling within itself (though Urban Meyer offered some vague contrition). If Big Blue is smart, they’ll prep for a steady-diet of RB Zeke Elliot…Wolverines 34 OSU 27
#14 Florida State (-2) over #10 FLORIDA: Choice here has little to do with mere-six-point OT victory by the Gators over Florida Atlantic squad that was being spotted more than four touchdowns last week. Crocs haven’t been topped in Da’ Swamp this season in five chances after losing half their dozen home matches in the previous two years. Florida’s offense is not flourishing behind QB Treon Harris and ‘Noles have won four of last five in the series, with the one loss coming in Tallahassee. UF looked good in trashing Georgia team that again is not living up to preseason expectations and Ole Miss club that’s been an enigma…Tribe 23 Florida 16

#11 North Carolina (-6) over NC STATE: Tarheels 31 Wolfpack 20
#17 Northwestern (-3 ½) over ILLINOIS: NDUB 17 Illini 9

#19 Mississippi (-1) over #23 MISSISSIPPI STATE: In a comparison of common-foes…both scored and allowed fitty or more in one-point-decisions facing Arkansas and while State’s put five of last six games in the win-column, Ol’ Miss beat ‘Bama, with Bulldogs losing badly to the Tide by 25 in Starkville. Rebels smacked A&M by 20. MSU lost to the Aggies by 13. Visitor hasn’t won outright since 2010.  QB Dak Prescott gives the host a puncher’s chance, but that streak ends here. Egg Bowl trophy goes to…Mississippi 23 Mississippi State 14
#22 Ucla (+3 ½) over USC: Victor takes the 12-PAC South. Both teams continue to shuttle in-and-out of the rankings. Bruins have owned this series lately, winning each of the last three seasons by 10 or more. Ironically, both survived upset-attempts by improved-Colorado in recent weeks. Following dismissal of Steve Sarkisian, who won 3 of 5 before his plight, Trojans have gone 4-2 SU under Clay Helton, including home-victories over Utah and Arizona, but also eating a bad loss at Oregon. Southern Cal anticipates some previously-hobbled players to be on the field, but the post-sanction era at USC just ain’t workin’-out…UCLA 27 SoCal 24

BTW, The Donald recently proposed “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks?”, right before imploring fans to also avoid patronizing concession-stands at NFL and NCAA stadiums countrywide that don’t have the appropriate icons spray-painted in their red-zones! Meanwhile, even music-artist Helen Reddy (known for her famous tune “I Am Yuban”) has filed for a restraining-order to keep “Cup-Gate” fanatics away from her property!

An OSU alum wrote to Urban Meyer, pledging his three-week-old son’s commitment to da’ Buckeyes (complete with a pic of said-infant with a pigskin). Coach wrote back, “welcoming” the tiny tot to the class of 2033. Dad later qualified the statement of loyalty, noting it was ultimately his son’s choice of educational institution “as long as it’s not that school up north”.
In NFL news, the Patriots are at Denver this week, but…in August, it was revealed that Peyton Manning reportedly thinks the visitors’ locker room at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts contains hidden listening-devices and refuses to speak with coaches or teammates unless several shower-heads are spoutin’ H2O and a boom-box is cranked to eleven. Vindy’s spies have also noted an aluminum foil-lining in Manning’s helmet to keep da’ Pats from reading his thoughts!

In a clash of Vindicator’s two preferred pro football teams, Jameis Winston launched five (count ‘em, FIVE!) touchdown passes in whacking the bEagles. Winston didn’t get the game-ball, but was given a gift-card to Publix. Meanwhile, Chip Kelly was provided a Greyhound bus ticket back to Eugene, Oregon!
Last summer, MSN Sports featured the “Downright Strange Hobbies Off Da’ Field” of more than a dozen professional athletes. Among those, was the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, who apparently plays Dungeons & Dragons….in his own cellar…and shows up at Renaissance Fairs….all of which garner much-respect from yer humble host. Vindy’s spies say the All-Star baller prefers the role of “magic-user” in his adventuring party. Rumor has it that Duncan possesses a jersey of protection vs. flagrant fouls, a +1 knee-brace of FG shooting (+2 from beyond the arc) and a headband of free-throw completion. Duncan’s only worry might be the presence of officials on the court with similar interests and carry whistles of dispel magic and flop-detection! Duncan occasionally hits the hardwood sporting a cloak of protection vs. Hack-a-Shaq, leading his teammates to affectionately refer to him as Gandalf and Tim the Enchanter! (And for the “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” aficionados…”There are some who call meeeee…’Tim’?”). Duncan also performs as the mascot for the Washington Wizards in his off-time. Karl Malone has a CDL and drives an 18-wheeler! Sing it with us…”Was the dark of da’ moon on the sixth of June in a Kenworth..full o’ logsPistol Pete with a free-throw on and Da’ Mailman..hauling hogs…”

“Wish We Had It Back”: Yep, we tagged Colorado +15 ½ over WAZZOU for this one, noting the Bison may have left it all on the field in Boulder in narrow 3-point defeat by USC!
“Locked in a Box?”:  The Middies bashed Tulsa as predicted, bringin’ home just our 4th “lock” win in a dozen (.333) efforts!    

Black Shirt: We have co-awardees this week. We’re emblazoning the special-T with shamrocks with after Irish quarterback Kizer committed a pair of INTs inside the BC red zone, as part of Leprechauns’ five (count ‘em, five) miscues, to keep the total-scored below 42 ½! Getting’ the other fab undergarment…Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn for missing an XP following a 4th Quarter TD, allowing Purdue (+21) to cover rather than simply push for us!
Shoppe Talk: The Utes solidify their spot at the Shoppe following loss as 2-point chalk to UCLA for posting 5th forecast loss in past 7 opportunities (.285). We’re adorning the walls with stuffed Rebels and Badgers in light of 1-4 (.200) slide each for Ole Mist and Wisconsin. The Bayou Bengals also get an engraved invitation for ongoing 2-4 (.333) demise!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets:  Last Week:  3-4 (And we’re launching our own federal investigation into how UTEP limited potent Weeziana Tech (-24) to 17 points!)   Season: 35-30-1 (.538)
SAN JOSE STATE +7 ½ over Boise State, UMASS +6 ½ Buffalo, Tulsa -6 over TULANE, Southern Methodist +21 ½ over MEMPHIS, SOUTHERN MISS +6 over Weeziana Tech, Texas-El Paso +2 ½ over NORTH TEXAS, Colorado State -9 ½ over FRESNO STATE, Arizona State +4 over CAL

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2015

ATHENS, Georgia (MSNBC)…Still in game-time pads, Louisiana State running back Leonard Fournette awaits an NCAA ruling on whether or not his family-enterprise, BUGA Nation, constitutes some unallowable activity. Meanwhile, “between the hedges”, the Bulldogs-faithful have misinterpreted the acronym to mean “Beat University of Georgia” rather than the actual message, “Being United Generates Attitude” and have implored ‘Dawgs’ fans nationwide to rebel. Elsewhere, clothing-retailers in Norman and Eugene, as well as locally, fear a significant drop in holiday sales as others boycott various department stores advertising “Buy One, Get One”, also known as “BOGO” or “Beat Oklahoma, Georgia and Oregon”! 
Enjoying a second straight week of double-digit wins and single-digit losses, we went 12-9 (104-97-3, .517) for Week 11 and are now puttin’ out an APB (All Point-spread Bulletin), tryin’ to locate…

(As seen on the sides of specially-marked Starbucks holiday coffee cups!)
Wake Forest (+30) over #1 CLEMSON: No faith in this pick, given change-of-mind…twice! Didn’t actually toss a coin, but magically-pulled one outta’ our bookie’s ear, just in case. Second-best guess for “wish we had it back”. Wake is now 1-13 in second of consecutive away-tilts and got smoked in 49-point defeat last time visiting Clemson in 2013. Da’ Forest’s youth continues to be apparent, but a non-stellar victory here, lest a serious blow-out of Michigan State, likely yields no damage to CU’s standing atop the CFP rankings with Buckeyes already being perceived as vulnerable and Tide hosting Double-A Charleston Sudden this weekend and down-but-not-out rival South Carolina steppin’ up to the plate vs. Tigers, who beat defense-heavy Boston College by 17 at home, next week…Tigers 31 Deacons 9

#9 Michigan State (+13 ½) over #2 OHIO STATE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Buckeyes are averaging less than 9 ppg-allowed over past four and are second nationally at 13.8 ppg, just behind Wisconsin on the year. State’s defense carried it to a cover vs. Maryland, getting five turnovers. QB Connor Cook was injured for the final 30 minutes but is expected to take the gridiron here. Last three in the series have seen scoring extremes….from 17-16 in 2012 to last year’s 49-37 win by Sparty. Considering the other goofy things that have occurred in 2015… Michigan State 24 OSU 23 
Charleston Southern @ #3 ALABAMA: No line.

#4 OKLAHOMA STATE (PK) over #10 Baylor:  Cowboys 38 Bears 31
#5 Notre Dame vs. Boston College (@ Fenway Park, Boston, MA) (under 42 ½): We also lean toward takin’ 16 ½ with BC. Wake Forest, on the road in South Bend, kept the Irish, who needed a pick-six and a 98-yard scoring run to take an early lead, off-balance enough to result in 35-point total and a serious “under” last week. Essentially a home-game for Boston College, we expect the Eagles to take copious notes from the Demon Deacons game-film and force similar results. Irish back-up backfield continues to manage the games efficiently while the stop-squad dominates. Golden bEagles have 7 “under” games in as many FBS contests so far and Phil Steele’s mag notes the past 11 games between these two have ended with an average of 36 total points, dimly-lightin’ the scoreboard. In the shadow of da’ Green Monster, it’s…Leprechauns 24 BC 9

Purdue (+21) over #6 IOWA: Hawkeyes 34 Boilermakers 16
#11 Texas Christian @ #7 OKLAHOMA: OFF

Florida Atlantic (+31) over #8 FLORIDA: With division crown and SEC title game spot already lining their pockets, it would seem to us that keeping guys healthy for finale vs. Florida State next week would take precedence over style-points in this one. Owls are just 2-8 outright and averaging 19 or fewer in each of last six tilts. Until Gators pasted Eastern Kentucky 52-3 in 2014, the three previous opponents (all FCS) ahead of the FSU match all stayed within this number. FAU has gone 2-2 ATS in past four vs. SEC teams, but lost by at least 33 in all of ‘em. UF has covered just 2 of previous 10 as chalk in Gainesville and the D-line is short-staffed due to injuries. Hopin’ there’s some in-state pride motivatin’ the Barnyard Birds’ sideline…Crocs 31 FAU 7
#12 North Carolina (-6) over VIRGINIA TECH: ‘Heels have been on a tear since that opening loss to disappointing Gamecocks, show nice 6-2 ATS run and had a pair of running backs break the century-mark in romp over Miami. Hokies have consecutive road-wins (barely) after losing shootout to Duke. Venerable coach Frank Beamer has announced he’ll call it a career after this season. UNC had tallied only 6 away-victories in 16 tries coming into the year…Carolina 28 VT 14

#13 Houston @ UCONN: OFF
PENN STATE (+4 ½) over #14 Michigan: PSU QB Christian Hackenberg got some early-July love from Gaming Today contributor and longtime football prognosticator Chris Andrews, who expected NFL first-round draft pick-potential from Hackenberg if his then-healthy O-line and fully-scholarship-stocked teammates (just 46 of max 85 last season) helped keep his jersey clean this year! Sadly, heading into Week 12, Lions are tied for #120 in sacks-allowed at 34, ahead of just four other FBS squads. Nits, off a bye last weekend, have given up less than 10 ppg in Happy Valley, including 7 to potent Indiana squad, which allowed Michigan to tie as the clock expired last week, and lose in double-overtime. A few other angles defy backing the Wolverines here too. We always get hosed when picking against the Alma Mater ATS, so we’ll chant “Let’s Go, State!”, dream of the upset and suggest…Michigan 20 Penn State 18

#15 STANFORD (-11) over California: Cardinal 38 Cal 21
Chattanooga @ #16 FLORIDA STATE: No line.

#17 Louisiana State (+4) over #25 MISSISSIPPI: Bengals 21 Rebels 19
#18 UTAH (-2) over Ucla: Utes 24 Bruins 20

#19 Navy (-11 ½) over TULSA: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Golden Hurricane lost by just 11 at Cincy (cashing one of our Week 11 best bets), lost at home to division co-leader Houston at home by a dozen in early October and sports decent 4-2 ATS run. First of three contests away from the home-harbor for the Ensigns, but Midshipmen show 3-0 ATS run, includin’ upset of Memphis on the road, and though showdown vs. aforementioned Cougars for likely AAC title-game berth is forthcoming, Tulsa, like nearly all of its fellow conference-members, are unfamiliar with the option-attack, and  lost at home by 24 to da’ Tigers!...Salty Dogs 41 Tulsa 24
#20 Northwestern @ #21 WISCONSIN (“over 40”): Badgers 29 ‘Cats 19

#23 OREGON (-4) over #22 Southern Cal: Drakes 34 Men of Troy 29
Colorado (+15 ½) over #24 WASHINGTON STATE: Best guess for “wish we had it back” with Buffs possibly draining themselves in Boulder in light of 27-24 loss to USC last week, but Bison have been competitive in other losses…by 4 at UCLA and by 7 to Arizona, as well as covering 4 of last 5 games overall. Wazzou, who toppled da’ Bruins last week to bring about our “upset pick of da’ week”, now finally move from hunter to hunted and have Apple Cup tilt at Seattle next. Coogs are on very nice 7-0 spread run, but have lost games ahead of UDUB outright in each of past three seasons…Cougars 33 Colorado 20

BTW, DVR stands for…Doesn’t Vindy Rule?!

Vindy sent a pizza-emoji to Domino’s…they delivered an extra-large parlay-card with pepperoni and mushrooms!
Jay Paterno cut a deal with Latrobe Brewing Company to create and sell Paterno Legacy Series beer, tipping his helmet to his famous dad, JoePa. For the long-time readership…we’re still layin’ awake at night doin’ anagrams of coaches’ names and discovered that an alternate rearrangement of “Jay Paterno” yields “Party on, Jae!”

The sole NCAA Division I Independent men’s basketball squad, New Jersey Institute of Technology, garnered itself a berth in the 2015 CollegeInsider.Com postseason tourney. The motto for the NJIT “Highlanders” was, of course, “There can be only one…shining moment!”
Back in June, the Chicago Blackhawks polished off Tampa Bay to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup for the third time in six seasons, making them the Alabama Crimson Tide of the NHL!

“Locked in a Box?”:  The Utes’ loss in 2OT drops the record to 3-8 (.273)     
Black Shirt: This week’s cloth sought-after-spoils is awarded to Wazzou wide-out Gabe Marks for his TD-catch with seconds left to upend UCLA and cement one of Vin’s predicted upset-choices! A Hallmark card, because we care to send da’ best to Spartans’ LB RileyBullough for his 44-yard interception-return for touchdown to lead Sparty to the cover and forecast-win for your nebulous-narrator!

Shoppe Talk: The Spartans (2-4, .333) get a weekend pass following predicted win and cover, but coming back are the Utes on 2-4 slide after loss to AZ in extras cost us a “lock” pick as noted above!
Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets:  Last Week:  4-4    Season: 32-26-1 (.552)

Indiana +3 over MARYLAND, TEMPLE +1 ½ over Memphis, Weeziana Tech -24 over UTEP, SMU -3 over Tulane, Fresno State-BYU “under” 56, JOJA’-Joja’ Sudden “over” 50 ½, KENTUCKY-Charlotte “under” 55 ½

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Viindy's Picks Week 11-2015

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (REUTERS)…College hoops has gone to a 30-second shot-clock. Double-and-Triple-A baseball-clubs are experimenting with twenty-second pitch-clocks. Hurlers are mandated to start their windups in twenty seconds or less following the preceding pitch or yield a “ball” count to the batter. In related news, customer-service be damned, casinos in Sin City have adopted a similar pick-clock, forcing sports-gamblers at the counter to announce their choices or be given the bookies’ selections at random… meaning a square looking to put a $22 straight bet on Central Florida, for example, could be forced to accept an eight-team parlay of equal value if the bettor’s original single-team wager isn’t verbalized within the required timeframe! By the way, local fast-food restaurants are exercising the same option….patrons must decide on a burger/sandwich/value-meal while Final Jeopardy music plays or simply pay for whatever menu-item the fast-food restaurant-in-question has over-prepared and needs to get rid-of!

Nearby, we rode a 4-0 advantage into Saturday before the usually-scheduled squads even tee’d-up da’ pigskin to what might be a best-in-recent-memory 16-6 final tally (92-88-3, .511). With precious seconds tickin’ away at the sportsbook counter, we’re badgerin’ bettors into choosin’ between cuttin’ the red wire, black wire or yellow wire to avoid detonatin’…
(Jackin’ up three-team parlays from beyond the arc!)

SAT. NOV. 14
SYRACUSE (+27 ½) over #1 Clemson: Probable letdown spot for CU, who didn’t salt away the win over Florida State until the final 2 ½ minutes and gets a breather here. ‘Cuse is 3-1 against the number at the Dome this season, including respectable 10-point defeat to LSU. Orange has lost by 24 in each of the past two games (at Tallahassee and at Louisville). There might not be 28 total points scored in this one, but we’ll offer…Clemson 27 Syracuse 8

ILLINOIS (+17) over #2 Ohio State: Buckeyes left the Gophers within striking-distance with two minutes to play last Saturday and the QB-carousel has led State to rely on the D to bail it out vs. lesser-competition. Illini have yielded 52 or better to Ohio State in the past three meetings, but have shown improvement, losing to Iowa by 9 and da’ Badgers by 11. Michigan State looms for OSU. Collectively, these clubs are 11-6 “under” the total so far. Illinois is one victory shy of bowl-eligibility and have two home-opportunities to try to get there (along with a roadie at Minnesota). Doesn’t mean they won’t go all-out here…State 28 Illini 16
#3 Alabama (-8) over #20 MISSISSIPPI STATE: Tide 27 Bulldogs 17

#12 Oklahoma (+3) over #4 BAYLOR: MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Sooners have been bullet-proof since loss to Texas. Bears countered late rally at K-State to stay unblemished and Baylor’s offense gets all the press, but Okie-Doke has outscored common opponents by 202 points, versus the 136-point margin set by the Bears. Freshman Jarrett Stidham will make his second start at QB for BU. Boomer Schooner’s looking for payback after lighting the bulbs for only 26 total points over past two years in this series. Baylor, who’s now won 26 of last 27 games in Waco, claims victories over I-AA Lamar and 53-point triumph over…um…Rice. UO beat Tennessee…in Knoxville …Oklahoma 34 Bears 24
#5 Oklahoma State (-14) over IOWA STATE: Cowpokes 38 Dust Devils 19

Wake Forest @ #6 NOTRE DAME (“over 51 ½”):  Irish now sit precariously as the #4 seed in the playoffs. Deacons are rested and have been involved in several games “under” the total, but those opponents weren’t offensive juggernauts. CJ Prosise may not take the field this Saturday, but stand-in RB Scott Adams went for a buck-forty-seven vs. Pitt. Meanwhile, Leprechauns have given up 20 or more to everybody but Texas. Wake lost 50-17 at North Carolina…ND 42 Deacs 19
Oregon (+10) over #7 STANFORD: We changed our initial pick here. Consider yerselves duly-advised…Trees 27 Mallards 24

Minnesota (+11 ½) over #8 IOWA: Best guess fer “wish we had it back”. Not sure Gilded Gerbils can keep givin’ the current level of effort off tight ones vs. Big Blue and da’ Buckeyes, but…Iowa 20 Minny 12
#9 LSU (-8) over Arkansas: Bengals 37 Pigs 23

#10 Utah (-5 ½) over ARIZONA: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Short line probably reflects Arizona’s 8-point loss at USC, who caught Utah on a bad day earlier and beat the Utes decisively (Utah’s only SU and ATS loss in four road tilts this year). In addition, Utah took advantage of four Huskies’ miscues get 11-point win in Seattle. ‘Cats also played Wazzou tough, but despite UCLA being on-deck for Utah, AZ has yielded an average of 41 ppg over its past four games and has beaten Utah by double-digits in each of the previous three seasons. As long as Booker and Wilson stay healthy, there’s no reason to think the fave won’t cover…Utes 41 ‘Cats 24
#11 Florida @ SOUTH CAROLINA (“Under 46 ½”): Gators 24 KFC 13

#13 TCU (-45 ½) over Kansas: Presidential-wannabe Jeb Bush offered a mia culpa to administrators in Republican-heavy Lawrence after likening day-to-day operations of da’ Senate to “a Jayhawks gridiron work-week”. Honorary Black Shirts all-around fer da’ Newts in wake of our predicted loss to Oklahoma State! Blue Birds supporters have already embraced basketball season!...Frogs 57 Flayed-Hawks 10
#14 MICHIGAN STATE (-14 ½) over Maryland: Sparty 31 Box Turtles 13

INDIANA (+13) over #15 Michigan: Jim Harbaugh was seen shirtless while conducting drills at a Prattville, Alabama satellite summer camp. ESPN reported Coach was also sportin’ khakis, which leads us to contemplate yet-another commercial for a certain insurance company…”Jim…from Michigan? At three in da’ morning? What are you wearing ‘Jim from Michigan’?” “Uhhhhh….khakis?” “She..sounds..hideous.” “Well…she’s da’ Wolverines football coach, sooo….”…Wolverines 34 Hoosiers 27
#25 Memphis (+7) over #16 HOUSTON: Coogs gave up 523 passing yards to Gunner Kiel, but played good D for the final five minutes last week to stave-off upset-bid by Cincinnati. Tigers had committed just six turnovers all year, but picked a bad time to add three more vs. Navy. Houston, no bargain as home-chalk, needs a win to keep pace atop the AAC West with aforementioned Middies and should use nation’s #9 rushing game to accomplish that, but Memphis, who has just 6 fewer ground scores than UH and country’s #9 passing attack, will put it up enough to stay close…if they protect the ball…Houston 41 Tigers 38

#17 NORTH CAROLINA (-12) over Miami: Tarheels 34 ‘Canes 16
Washington State (+9) over #18 UCLA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Since 2015-opening victory over currently 2-7 Virginia (whose pair of wins includes on over FCS William & Mary), the Rose Bowl has not been a place of comfort for the home team as Bruins show a 16-point triumph vs. then-ranked Cal, flanked by narrow-escapes from BYU and Colorado and a two-touchdown defeat by ASU. UCLA got its whitewash on last Saturday, smoking Oregon State (led by a quarterback starting under center for just the second time), but Wazzou has won 3 of 4 road matches thus far , losing by 2 at current-#7 Stanford…Cougars 41 UCLA 34

#19 FLORIDA STATE (-10) over NC State: Seminoles 29 Wolfpack 17
#21 Temple (-2 ½) over SOUTH FLORIDA: Second choice for “lock of da’ week”. Might be sorry we didn’t designate this one as our primary selection in that category…Owls 27 USF 20

Southern Methodist (+21 ½) over #22 NAVY: Ensigns 41 Ponies 31
#23 Wisconsin: IDLE (next vs. Northwestern)

#24 NORTHWESTERN (-14 ½) over Purdue: NW 34 Boilermakers 17

BTW, the closest best-effort we could find in the not-too-distant past was the 12-3-1 outing we recorded in Week 12 of 2010!
Late last month, with tongue-in-cheek, Jeb Bush expressed his desire to rule Marvel Comics before subsequently espousing his affinity for Supergirl and identification with da’ Caped Crusader. As the comic-book geeks in the readership know, both those folks live their adventures as part of the DC Comics universe. Campaign staffers were quick to determine if da’ presidential candidate knew da’ Gators played in the SEC rather than the ACC or…the Sun Belt!

On this Veterans’ Day, we remember that back in April, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson upgraded a U.S. Army serviceman to first-class on a flight back to Seattle. Three words…Classy. Thank you!
During the off-season, RG III was quoted as sayin’, “They (the New England Patriots) operate like a high school team …players take a knee and look at Coach like what he’s saying is the most important in the world.” Kinda’ like John Travolta’s friends at Rydell High in “Grease”!?

With the college basketball regular-season underway, we note that if the NCAA Tournament meets Walk the Moon,  “One Shining Moment” gets replaced by “Shut Up and Big Dance With Me”!
Rumor has it Louisville staffers forked-over a few Benjamins to employ hookers to entertain possible basketball recruits. Did the players-in-question ultimately end-up with Cardinal knowledge of their partners???!!! Independent investigator Ted Wells found that Coach Pitino was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” and has been subsequently suspended for the first four games of the season!

“Locked in a Box?”:  Following a tight first-half, Mississippi State clocked Mizzou as predicted, raising our record to 3-7 (.300).     
Black Shirt: Will be gift-wrapped this week for Northwestern kicker Jack Mitchell for missing two field goals and a point-after, allowing best bet Penn State (+3) to finish within 2! And fer the second time this season, Honorable Mention to the quarter we flipped to get our ‘BAMA -6 ½ over Weeziana State!

Shoppe Talk: The Spartans make an appearance this week on current 1-4 slide (.200). Joining the ‘Noles (who get a hall pass for posting a forecast win…barely) at 2-5-1 (.285) are the Aggies of A&M (which mercifully fell outta’ the rankings this week!).
Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets:       Last Week:  5-1-1        Season: 28-22-1 (.511)

LOUISVILLE-Virginia “under” 49, Washington +3 over ARIZONA STATE, AIR FORCE-Utah State “over” 51 ½, RUTGERS-Nebraska “under” 64, Southern Miss -8 over RICE, Florida International +11 ½ over MARSHALL, Brigham Young -5 ½ over MISSOURI, Tulsa +18 over CINCINNATI

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 10-2015

GAINESVILLE, Florida (REUTERS)…With the injury-bug hampering Florida’s special-teams, future dental-ceramist Neil MacInnes responded to the university’s mid-year “S.O.S.” (“Save Our Split-da-uprights”) and was chosen as back-up kicker. While MacInnes, whose last live-fire boot came as a high school senior in 2011, risks NCAA investigations for being generally-aware that his pigskins were being under-inflated with nitrous-oxide, commonly-known as “laughing gas”, vowed to kick into the wisdom-teeth of the defense to hit the tying field goal in regulation and launch the game-winning three in overbite-time, if necessary! Neil also offered his sidelines services to repair oral-damage inflicted by opponents favoring “smash-mouth football”!

Over a Halloween-weekend that saw us get mostly tricks from the lower-half of the rankings (just three correct spread-selections in nine tries) versus mostly treats from the Top 12 (six correct outta’ seven opportunities), we finished in the black again, going 9-7 (76-82-3, .481) and had our preferred-choices (lock of da’ week and best bets collectively go 5-2! Attempting to avoid that whole “wide right” thing and bangin’ erasers in hopes that the chalk doesn’t have a big week, we’re gonna’ “kick ball, get check” with…
(Strong enough to watch da’ College Football Playoffs with Bo)

Northern Illinois (+7 ½) over #20 TOLEDO: Best guess for “wish” pick, but takin’ the Rockets here would be far too easy. Huskies have put this one in the win-column five consecutive years and haven’t lost by this many since 70-21 annihilation here eight years ago. Last year’s 27-24 victory accounted for Spaceships’ only conference-defeat. While having dropped 3 of 4 on the road in 2015, Sled Dogs are 3-1 ATS in those matches and have been solid 7-3 in this role over past two-plus seasons. They did lose by 10 at Central Michigan earlier and NIU hasn’t suffered more than one MAC SU “L” in any season since absorbing three in 2009.  Rockets lead the MAC in scoring D at just north of 16 per game, though UMass found a way to dent that stop-squad for 35 last weekend. Huskies are 4th at 24.5. Both clubs are well-balanced on offense and scoring capability is basically equal at 37 ppg each. Canines are just a game back of West Division-leading Toledo. Signature game for Apollo 13 was 37-24 neutral-site triumph over Ol’ Miss. Signature game for NIU?...Seven-point loss at #1 Ohio State. NASA-North stays perfect, but… Mudhens 34 Huskies 31 This one’s already in da’ books as a forecast -win as NIU upset Toledo 32-27!

KANSAS STATE (+17 ½) over #2 Baylor: Loss of starting quarterback Russell for Da’ Bears in lieu of reserve Jarrett Stidham eliminates BU’s red-zone, dual-threat capability (Russell had 402 ground yards and 6 rushing scores, Stidham’s tallied 26 yards on a dozen totes and…uh…wellno touchdowns by land). Bad timing for Bears’ first real road-challenge (having previously visited two of the worst teams in the nation in…SMU and Kansas!). Mildcats have floundered of late, losing four straight games, including two ugly defeats to Oklahoma and Texas over past pair of outings. ‘Cuz we’re big fans of the Purple Persians’ band-geeks, and though the new man-under-center for Baylor negates our ability to call this a look-ahead game with OK on-deck, still seems to be a tenuous spot for…Baylor 41 KSU 31  
#24 Mississippi State (-7 ½) over MISSOURI: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Tigers QB Maty Mauk is spendin’ time-out on da pine for the duration. Tigers, when it’s all said-and-done, are prolly better for it! Kudos to Mizzou defense, which has provided its offense a puncher’s chance, but somebody give us the logic of supporting a club that’s posted four field goals over its past four matches! Yeah, ‘Bama looms for Mississippi State, who’s rocked no-namers Troy and Kentucky, as well as respectable Group O’ Five Weeziana Tech recently, but…really???!!!... Bulldogs 23 Mizzer Magoo 9

#23 Temple (-12 ½) over SMU: Though Temple has defeated only Charlotte, Tulane and (GASP!) Penn State by this many, minus likely first-half hangover from all-out effort that nearly netted the Barnyards Birds the upset we predicted over Da’ Leprechauns on national TV, we don’t see Owls letting one of the country’s single-win squads (Ponies beat North Texas) hang-around this long. With Memphis-showdown still two weeks following conclusion here...TU 34 Hobby Horses 20

Minnesota (+23 ½) over #1 OHIO STATE: Buckeyes QB JT Barrett will sit this one (and more) out for getting a DUI. The OSU Marching Band played the halftime gig at Wembley Stadium when London hosted the Bills-Jags game last month. Local fans were especially-impressed when the drum-major dotted the “I Am Da’ Walrus” in “Script Ohio”! Gophers hung with rested-Wolverines last week in three-point loss following resignation of ill-coach Jerry Kill. We’ll put our faith in Minny to not let State run away with it too early…OSU 34 Minnesota 17

#17 Florida State (+11 ½) over #3 CLEMSON: Then-AP #3 Utah got throttled by USC team with something to prove. If CFP started today, said-poll #3 Tigers are in. ‘Noles have been shaky at times but second-string backfield held serve last week vs. Syracuse and the first-stringers will probably see action here. In the immediate future, berth in the conference title game is at stake for both sides. Tribe has gone 0-5 ATS in last five vs. ranked teams, but was favored by 4 or more in four of ‘em and pockets a tie-break in the event of a victory…CU 24 FSU 17
#7 ALABAMA (-6 ½) over #4 Louisiana State: In the 2014-iteration, Bengals had a chance to put the Tide away with a little over a minute to go and possession inside Tide 10-yard-line but drew an unsportsmanlike flag and settled for a three. Tide rallied to pull even in regulation and win in extra frames. First CFP ranking came out this week and has Bayou Bengals at #2, with Elephants in the #4-hole. Only better motivation for Tide, which hasn’t covered a Tuscaloosa-match in five tries to-date, woulda’ been #5-spot. Da’ coin likes…Alabama 24 LSU 16

#12 OKLAHOMA STATE (+5) over #5 Texas Christian: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK…Cowboys 38 Toads 34
#6 Michigan State (-5) over NEBRASKA: With QB Ryker Fyfe standing in for Tommy Armstrong and tossing four picks, Big Dreadlock coughed-up Purdue’s first FBS SU win on the year last Saturday in 10-point loss that wasn’t even that close! See more on that topic in our “hashmarks” section below. Boilers ran for nearly 5 ypc in win vs. Nebraska. An ABC broadcaster said “Michigan State looks like Texas Tech” vs. Indiana, ie. no running game! Corncobs, under 1st year coach Mike Riley, are getting points in Lincoln for first time since State beat them here in 2013. NU also hasn’t defeated a Top 25 foe in last three regular-seasons, covering just one of those losses. Nebraska (just 3-6 SU and 2-6-1 ATS) needs to sweep MSU, Rutgers (in NJ) and Iowa to avoid first bowl-less year since 2007. Line might reflect fact that Children of da’ Corn have had five games this season decided by five or fewer points...Spartans 27 Husker-Don’t 17

#8 Notre Dame (-7 ½) over PITT: Irish 29 Panthers 20
COLORADO (+16 ½) over #9 Stanford: Trees 34 Buffs 20

#10 Iowa (-6 ½) over INDIANA: We considered this one for “lock”…Hawkeyes 35 Indy 19
Vanderbilt (+20 ½) over #11 FLORIDA: The kicking woes for Florida, who ruined (barely) Georgia’s status as the only team to have not allowed a first-quarter touchdown, continued vs. Joja’, with a missed FG early and a blocked XP, but won handily anyway. If MacInnes actually goes on to play baseball in the Majors, will we hear fans, during the 7th-Inning stretch, warble, “Root, root, root-canal fer da’ hommmmme teeeeth!!!???…” UF 19 Admirals 6

#13 Utah (+1) over WASHINGTON: Utes 23 UDUB 19
#14 OKLAHOMA (-25 ½) over Iowa State: Sooners 44 Dust Devils 14

Navy (+8 ½) over #15 MEMPHIS: Somebody here falls outta’ three-way tie atop AAC West with Houston when clock shows all zeroes. Tigers, who won as many games in 2014 as they did for the previous four seasons combined, are undefeated but just 3-3 vs. da’ line. Ensigns weathered just loss at Notre Dame and have covered 4 of last six (and six of last nine getting road points). QB Paxton Lynch has been Da’ Man fer Memphis, but having tied the record last week while providing one of Vin’s “best bets” dubyas vs. South Florida, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds will surely bust the league rushing-TD record with option-look that should confound the opposition enough. Memphis on nifty 9-1 SU victory tally in previous 10 home-tilts, but we’ve been on the Midshipman all season and won’t scuttle ‘em now. Don’t discount an upset, but we’ll just say…Memphis 37 Boat People 34
#16 MICHIGAN (-24) over Rutgers: Wolverines 42 Knights 17

Cincinnati @ #18 HOUSTON (“Under 72 ½”): Coogs 38 Bearkats 24
#19 MISSISSIPPI (-11) over Arkansas: Rebels 29 Hogs 13

Duke (+8 ½) over #21 NORTH CAROLINA: The bad news fer Duke? They got robbed of a victory vs. Miami. The good news? Da’ Blue Devils get to use the ACC officiating crew that cost ‘em the game as blocking-dummies for the next two weeks while the ref and his associates serve their conference-imposed suspension! Sponsored by the employees of FootLocker this week, it’s...’Heels 23 Devils 21
OREGON STATE (+17) over #22 Ucla: UCLA 31 Beavers 20

#25 TEXAS A&M (-7) over Auburn: Aggies 33 Tigers 24

BTW, like “Herbie” in “Rudolph Da’ Red-Nosed Reindeer”, Neil “doesn’t like to make toys”!
The KSU Wildcats’ band was at it again this week, forming the face of a certain Klingon character from Star Trek: The Next Generation while playing an Edwin Starr classic. Sing it with us…”Worf…huuh…yeah. What issssss he gooooood for? Absolutely nut-thing.”

Following up our thoughts on the Nebraska loss to Purdue, we note North Texas (now 1-7 in FBS play) got its first I-A victory last week vs. Texas-San Antonio, tying said-Roadrunners along with Hawaii, UMass, Miami-Ohio, SMU and New Mexico State, who needed OT to salvage its first win last week against Idaho. Other teams of notoriety include Eastern Michigan and Wyoming (both at 1-8, though one of the Cowboys defeats came to I-AA North Dakota). In the “hang yer head in shame” category…Weeziana-Monroe shows up at 0-7, Kansas comes in at 0-8 (with a I-AA loss to South Dakota State) and…drum-roll, please…the Rusty Knights of Central Florida take a bow at 0-9, including FCS loss to Furman and a 1-7 spread-record to-date!
This week’s TV Week (ie. TV listings) published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal seemingly in conjunction (?) with Century Link noted the Wednesday night NCAA game as “Ohio Dominican vs. Bowling Green”! ODU (no, not Old Dominion) is a Catholic uni located in Columbus, Ohio versus the actual-opponent Ohio U. based in Athens! Sounds like a job-opening to Vindy!

Football fans rejoice! We’ve reached that time of the season when there is at least one college and/or NFL game for a span of 17 straight days! Had it not been fer the absence of a pigskin-match on Tuesday 11/17, the streak woulda’ been 25 days in a row!
As New England continues to crush opponents, a la Thursday night’s 36-7 win over Miami, we recall  approximately a hundred-fitty folks showing up to an organized gathering called “Free Tom Brady” at Gillette Stadium “to protest the unjust football arrest of half-man, half-god Tom Brady”. “Half-man, half-god”???!!! Great...  yet-another Clash of Da’ Titans remake, featuring the Patriots’ QB as “Perseus”!!! (And maybe Roger Goodell as… “Da’ Kraken”!) 

Discussing the presence of female Jen Welter as Cardinals inside-linebackers coach last July, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians was quoted as quipping (from the player-perspective), “ If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man. I’ll listen.” To which we respond, ”No offense, Coach, but we prefer to get our professional-development mentoring from…Kato!” And BTW, “Blocking-dummies…don’t hit back!”
In related news, we watched former-Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar escape an initial rear-naked choke by Bruce Lee in Game of Death, but he wasn’t smart enough to tap-out in the midst of the second one!

Vegas officials have designated “performance zones” at the Fremont Street Experience downtown to limit “buskers” to a number of identified 6-ft-diameter circles in the area. A few thoughts immediately come to Vindy’s mind…did someone actually misspell “Huskers” as in Nebraska? “Who ya’ gonna’ *call*?....Ghostbuskers?!” Is the limited area akin to the NHL goalies’ trapezoid???!!!
“Locked in a Box?”:   Da’ Tarheels of North Carolina vetted just the second “lock” victory of the year fer Vindy in the Thursday-night triumph over ranked-at-da’-time Pitt to boost the season tally to 2-7 (.222)!   

Black Shirt: Terps DB William Likely is bein’ fitted this week for the terrific-tee after returnin’ a kick-off a hundred yards for a TD that helped Maryland cover at Iowa. Honorable mention to Irish safety Elijah Shumate, who drew a hanky for targeting that set-up a Temple touchdown in Owls cover and near-predicted-upset of Notre Dame!
Shoppe Talk: Given Clemson’s prediction-win, Florida State hangs around courtesy of da’ 1-5 (.167) downward-spiral! On watch status…Memphis at 0-3 (.000) and (surprisingly)…Utah at 1-3 (.250) in last four!

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets:       Last Week: 4-2   Season: 23-21 (.523)
SAN JOSE STATE +12 over Brigham Young, Penn State +3 over NORTHWESTERN, Texas Tech +7 ½ over WEST VIRGINIA, TULSA -17 over Central Florida, NC State -4 ½ over BOSTON COLLEGE, Marshall +3 over MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE, New Mexico State +17 over TEXAS STATE