AUDUBON, PETA HOP ON BAN WAGON
WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (ITAR-Tass)…Following the college crackdown on use of mascots and logos "hostile" and "offensive" to Native Americans, representatives from the National Audubon Society and PETA (Punters for the Ethical Treatment of Avians) petitioned the NCAA powers to include bans on those that are insulting to birds. Citing such caricature-type mascots as the Kansas Jayhawk, one member of Audubon noted "These kinds of representations are mockeries of some of our most majestic creatures and belittle their importance in our world". PETA activists have threatened to steal the offending mascot costumes and to defile the logos. While several school officials have refused to relent, at least one unidentified athletic director said, "Fine. If that’s what they really want…we’ll just give ‘em the bird!"
Fresh from flunking outta’ the Miller Beer Camp and putting his 2005 Preseason Forecasting Strategy Team of Hillary Swank, Martha Stewart, Jose Canseco, "Deep Throat", Dan Rather, Camilla Parker-Bowles; former Connecticut governor John Rowland and some guy named "Ron Mexico" thru its paces, Vindicator settles in for a long season and presents…
THURS. SEPT. 1
Temple over #20 ARIZONA STATE taking 26: Owls have covered 11 of last 15 road games. Just in case Coach Wallace doesn’t like the officiating, he’s borrowed Temple hoops goon Nehemiah Ingram to send in to pick up some hard personal fouls…ASU 27 Owls 6
SAT. SEPT. 3
HAWAII over #1 Southern Cal taking 32 1/2: The last back-to-back-to-back championships under any system were acquired by Army squads in ’44, ’45 and ’46. Trojans will not Three-Pete, Paul, John or Mary! Vindy doesn’t even have SC winning the PAC-10. Warriors are much better covering on the Island than on the mainland…USC 51 ‘Bows 24
#2 TEXAS over Louisiana-Lafayette giving 39 ½: Longhorns better enjoy the blowout this week because things get real interesting for Mack Brown’s squad next week in Columbus!…Steers 54 UL-French Guy 10
#3 TENNESSEE over Alabama-Birmingham giving 23: Assuming Knoxville’s finest are through knocking on the Vols’ locker room door, UT should cover this. Incidentally, those lovely electronic bracelets made fashionable by former Vols’ RB Jamal Lewis and Martha Stewart have been proven to reduce chances of serious ankle injury…Tennessee 41 Blazers 13
#4 MICHIGAN over Northern Illinois giving 18 ½: Wolverines make up half of Weber’s predicted Rose Bowl pairing and have had little trouble with even the better teams in the MAC, going 5-1 ATS over the previous five seasons…Michigan 42 Huskies 20
#5 LSU over North Texas giving 33 ½: Bengals’ loss of top running back Alley Broussard gives Weber some cause for concern over this pick, but Mean Green’s last three season openers have resulted in losses by 0-65, 3-37 and 0-27 against Big 12 clubs…LSU 48 North Texas 7
Miami-Ohio over #6 OHIO STATE taking 15 ½: Buckeyes’ starting quarterback was a bad boy and will be ridin’ the pine for this one. State has huge game coming up against Texas and Redhawks’ offense is good enough to keep Buckeyes’ D occupied all afternoon…OSU 24 Miami-Ohio 17
Texas Christian over #7 OKLAHOMA taking 26 ½: More of a nod to a healthier team of Horny Toads than against a Sooner club in a "down" year…OK 31 TCU 17
#10 FLORIDA (GASP!) over Wyoming giving 22: Cowpokes got the #25 spot in Playboy magazine’s preseason rankings, but coming from the Mountain West Conference, new Gators’ coach Urban Meyer, is no stranger to Wyoming’s strategies. Gators should be anxious to show the new coach what they got. Good things are on deck for Wyoming this year, but not here. The real question is…how will Weber fare picking Florida games this season (see Between the Hashmarks later in this forecast)…UF 42 Wyoming 17
#11 IOWA over Ball State giving 38 1/2: Hawkeyes’ D won’t be quite as stout as it was last year with an influx of newer, younger faces and picking against MAC teams when playing outta’ conference early is risky, but we’ll chance it since we like Coach Ferentz…Iowa 45 Ball State 3
#13 GEORGIA over #18 Boise State giving 7: Yes, they’re a good, solid team and of late, a BCS-buster. But the Broncos have the team with the best chance of falling outta’ the rankings this week. They haven’t faced anyone of this caliber since 41-14 shellacking at Arkansas in 2002. ‘Dawgs have covered only three of the last 11 home openers (0-4 ATS last four), but most of the lines have been much higher than a TD… Joja’ 24 Boise 10
#15 Purdue: IDLE (next vs. Akron)
Georgia Tech over #16 AUBURN taking 7: Figure both offenses to struggle. Bees could get their often-rollercoaster season off to a nice start and give Reggie Ball some much-needed confidence with a big road win. Conservatively though, let’s just say…Auburn 14 Wreck 13
#17 Texas A&M over CLEMSON giving 1: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Please…Aggies are in their third season under Coach Fran and have Weber’s vote to win the Big 12. Tigers’ coach Tommy Bowden, who has more lives than a cat, again tempts fate and begins his annual trek toward the unemployment line … Aggies 17 Tigers 10
Sacramento State @ #19 CAL: No Line
#21 Texas Tech: IDLE (next vs. Florida International)
BYU over #22 Boston College taking 4: Eagles have started slowly spread-wise, going 1-4 ATS, over the last 5 season openers. Conversely, Cougars have beaten the line (ATS and outright) four straight years. Is there some magic in the throwback unis BYU will wear this season?…BC 24 BYU 22
#23 PITT over Notre Dame giving 3 ½: Tough to ignore fact that Leprechauns have won and covered 8 of last 10, but Charlie Weis is used to having an "automatic" kicker. DJ Fitzpatrick ain’t bad, but he’s not Adam Vinatieri…Panthers 23 Irish 17
#24 Fresno State: IDLE (next vs. Weber State)
#25 VIRGINIA over Western Michigan giving 32 ½: Weber isn’t completely sold on the Cavs and this is Vindicator’s best shot at a "Wish I had it back" selection. Have to think Broncos might be more interested in keeping everybody healthy for conference game next week at Toledo…Virginny 49 WMU 10
SUN. SEPT. 4
NC STATE over #8 Virginia Tech taking 5 ½: State was –17 in turnovers a season ago and ‘Pack must protect the ball to win this. Hokies kicker Brandon Pace would love to atone for missed FG that cost VT the win (Tech’s sole conference loss) last year. Vindy would rather play an "under"…VT 17 NCSU 13
#12 Louisville over KENTUCKY giving 21 1/2: Wildcats’ only cover in last 6 matches was 2002 outright win (22-17). Cards’ D is down a bit this time, so Kentucky probably won’t be shutout. Coach Brooks should form a support group with aforementioned Coach Bowden however, and should start cleaning out his desk…Louisville 37 KY 7
MON. SEPT. 5
#9 Miami over #14 FLORIDA STATE giving 3: Miami goes for (and gets) a 7th straight triumph over FSU. The good: Seminoles’ kicker Gary Cismesia converted seven of his nine FG tries in 2004. The Bad: Five of those seven were put up against Duke. The Ugly: It wasn’t one of his misses that cost FSU this game last year, but based on history, he’s next in line to miss one and lose it this season! … ’Canes 19 Injuns (oh sorry, that wasn’t very sensitive of Vindy, was it?) ‘Noles 13
By the way, have you guys seen Georgia Tech’s yellow-jacket mascot???!!! Vindy’s appalled!! Somebody get the National Entomological Society on the horn!!!!
Come to think of it, if Vindy gets some bad beats on his picks, he might send Nehemiah Ingram into the sportsbook!
Upon further review…Vindicator has spent so much time focusing on problematic Purdue that the Florida Gators have quietly taken Vindy to the cleaners! Since Weber’s last .500-or-better season against the Gators in 2000 (7-5 record), he’s gone 1-11, 3-9, 5-7 and 1-8-1 predicting games involving UF!!!!! Guess what school just claimed arch-rival status!!!
As if bettors needed yet another statistic to consider, a 2005 British study indicates athletes wearing red triumph more frequently than those in blue and that the results possibly apply to team sports as well (American Revolution notwithstanding!). But in sports betting, it’s not whether ya win or lose…it’s what you’re wearin’ when ya beat da’ spread, so Vindy looked at stats since the 2000 NCAA season and crunched a few numbers…10 of the 119 Division I-A (or provisional I-A) pigskin teams have "red" as a designated team color, 38 others sport a shade of red. Take the following red-clad teams ATS vs. other red-clad opponents: Boston College (15-4, .789), Northern Illinois (13-4, .765), Stanford (14-5, .737), Louisville (10-4, .714), Arkansas State (14-7-1, .667), Nebraska (14-7, .667) and Utah (15-8, .652), Bet against these teams ATS playing other red-clad foes: Central Michigan (3-9, .250), UNLV (6-16, .273) and Maryland (5-10, .333). Take these reddish warriors ATS vs. teams wearing colors other than reddish: Maryland (29-12, .707), and Texas Tech (17-8, .680), New Mexico (18-10-1, .643), USC (32-18, .640), Louisville (26-16, .619) and Miami-Ohio (30-19, .612). Avoid these teams ATS vs. other-colored unis: Indiana (11-27, .289), Houston (14-29, .325), SMU (15-27, .357), Arizona (11-18, .379), Arkansas State (11-18, .379) and Weeziana Tech (17-27, .386).
‘Noles QB Wyatt Sexton was arrested earlier this summer after shouting at police he was God. Turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. And by the way, what was Steve Spurrier doing in Tallahassee anyway ????!!!
In honor of their Heisman-winning QB’s single-class course load this Fall, sound staff at the Coliseum are now playing "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet every time Matt Leinart leads his offense onto the field!
Bill Callahan said if Motley Crue rocker-turned-student Tommy Lee keeps his nose clean, he could see a few snaps in the Huskers’ backfield this week during Nebraska’s opener vs. Maine!
Playing away from home this week, Notre Dame won’t have access to Touchdown Jesus for inspiration. Not to worry, Irish fans…Terrell Owens has offered to stand in!
VINDY’S WEEK 1 BEST BETS: Last Week: 0-0 Season: 0-0
Baylor –4 over SMU, Ucla –7 over SAN DIEGO STATE, MARYLAND –8 over Navy
And now, a few words from our sponsors. When we come back…a few thoughts on the NFL and some of the off-season silliness!