Thursday, September 29, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 3

NASA SOLVING TITAN MYSTERY, ANNOUNCES COMET STUDY CONTINGENCY

HOUSTON, Texas (UPI)…Explanation of dark spots the size of a small state on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan has eluded scientists for several months. But after viewing more photos from the Cassini spacecraft, researchers have narrowed down the possibilities to Randy Moss’ afro or Barry Bonds’ ego. Fly-bys also revealed clouds that gathered then dissipated after several hours. Scientists have reportedly linked the clouds to Ricky Williams and something about a "blue moon".

In related news, had Deep Impact missed the comet it was targeting earlier this year in an effort to learn about more the beginning of the solar system, NASA revealed its back-up plan was to launch a similar probe into the side of Joe Paterno to collect core samples! Having tracked JoPa’s movements for several weeks, NASA would have launched the probe on August 23rd, expecting a planned impact with the coach on September 17th as he made his way back across campus from Beaver Stadium following this week’s Central Michigan game!

Vindicator embraced his inner forecaster and rebounded from Week One to go 8-6 (14-18, .438 on da’ season) and offers…

THE WEBER KID'S 2005 WEEK 3 FORECAST

#1 USC over Arkansas giving 31½: Vindy nearly changed his initial pick here after noting Hogs lead the league in rushing yardage and rush yards per game, but almost 70% of that came vs. lower-level Mizzou State. Up 11 starting the 4th Quarter, Arkansas must’ve glanced at the schedule and panicked when they saw Trojans on-deck, ultimately losing to Vandy. In any case, Matt Leinart has promised to show-off some nifty ballroom moves at halftime…USC 47 Arkansas 13

Rice over #2 TEXAS taking 40: Horns are at home and Toads were away, but Vindy paid the price for noting then ignoring intra-Texas battle and letdown spot for TCU. He won’t make the same mistake here…Steers 51 Owls 17

#3 LSU: IDLE (next vs. Tennessee)

#4 VIRGINIA TECH over Ohio giving 35: Best candidate for "wish I had it back" this week. MAC teams have history of covering or upsetting BCS conference squads. Hokies’ last spread loss in a home opener was 2001, laying almost half-a-century vs. up-and-coming UConn club. Bobblecats stuck it to Pitt last week, but this is Blacksburg…VT 51 Ohio 6

#5 Tennessee over #6 FLORIDA (GASP!) taking 4 1/2: And the winner is…Steve Spurrier…who will have his TiVo in full swing to catch these teams against each other well-before he actually faces them. If his Gamecocks don’t go into OT vs. ‘Bama, Steve could watch it live. Gotta’ take the dog here as Meyer faces his inaugural huge SEC tilt…Vols 24 Gators 23

#7 GEORGIA over Louisiana-Monroe giving 38 1/2: Indians don’t fare well getting at least 4 TDs on the road, have a new defensive coordinator and have only 5 returning defensive starters. It shows. Vindy had UL-Monroe as projected Sun Belt champ, but it’s nothing more than personal growth here. In last Saturday’s 38-Zippo loss to Wyoming, Monroe QB Jyles was 13 of 32 (15 of 32 if ya count catches by guys in the other jersey) for a completion rate of 40.65%. Not great, but higher than Bush’s approval rating this week…Joja’ 49 UL-Monroe 9

#17 BOSTON COLLEGE over #8 Florida State giving 1: Three and a half point swing on this match in favor of BC. Still a tough call, but Eagles have long-term coaching stability, the homefield on da’ Hill and a precedent indicating former-Big Least teams wreak havoc during their first year in the ACC …oh,…and an opponent that knows they got VERY lucky last week…BC 24 FSU 19

#9 OHIO STATE over San Diego State giving 27: "LOCK OF DA’ WEEK". SDSU is 11-3-1 getting double-digits on the road, including a 16-13 loss at Columbus in 2003 and a 3-point loss at Ann Arbor last year. Unfortunately, a total of four returning defensive starters has already seen the Aztecs yield 85 points in first two matches. Buckeyes wanna’ pound somebody off loss to Texas…OSU 45 SDSU 3

Michigan State over #10 NOTRE DAME taking 7: Irish have struggled ATS vs. Michigan State, covering only 2 of 9 and are in letdown spot after upsetting Wolverines. Spartans always quietly threaten to surprise the Big 10. In a season of early upsets already, another one here wouldn’t shock Vindy, but let’s say…Leprechauns 20 MSU 17

Oregon State over #11 LOUISVILLE taking 13: The off-season appearance of two Beavers’ players on Judge Judy for an assault over a property damage issue doesn’t seem to have affected OSU’s field performance. Redbirds haven’t exactly flashed the form everybody’s expecting en route to an undefeated season. Possible pothole for Louisville…Cardinals 24 OSU 16

#12 Purdue over ARIZONA giving 8: Second choice for lock. Boilers have tough games on the horizon at Minnesota and against the Irish and the Hawkeyes, but Vindy isn’t buying into Wildcats’ giant improvement this season under Coach Stoops. Ten points looks very feasible…Purdue 27 AZ 12

#13 Miami over #20 CLEMSON giving 7 1/2: How many times can the Tigers muster 4th Quarter comebacks? (And those were a whole lot easier vs. the Aggies and the Box Turtles than they would be against the ‘Canes!). Wouldn’t want to have been a Miami player this week (on any squad) during the film session of the Florida State game!!!!…Miami 31 Clemson 14

Eastern Michigan over #14 MICHIGAN taking 30 1/2: Vindy vacillated on this pick repeatedly before settling here. Eagles were expected to be more competitive this season…and have been, losing by only a bucket at Cincinnati then whacking UL-Lafayette. They are, however, in a spot similar to the San Diego State team noted above. Could the Wolverines open the year 0-3 ATS?…Michigan 34 Ypsilanti 6

#15 CAL over Illinois giving 21 1/2: Last time the Illini visited Berkeley in 2001, they won outright…44-17! It was fun in Champagne while it lasted. For those who’ve seen the latest Right Guard commercial… "Red Rover, Red Rover…we call Ron Zook over!" …Bears 44 UI 20

Connecticut @ #16 GEORGIA TECH: OFF

#18 ARIZONA STATE over Northwestern giving 14 ½: We’re laying the lumber, but have to wonder what the Sun Devils have in the tank following crazy game vs. the Bengals last week. Not to be outdone by the NW women’s lacrosse team, Wildcats have already purchased the sandals they’ll wear to the White House if they win the national title!…ASU 34 NW 13

Sam Houston State @ #19 TEXAS TECH: No Line.

#21 Oklahoma over UCLA taking 7: Sooners are still decent on defense, but look seriously confused on the other side of the ball. If it wasn’t for 48-yard INT return for TD with 3 seconds left, the final margin of Sooners’ victory over Tulsa woulda’ been single-digits! With or without Peterson…UCLA 17 Still Not OK 14

Northern Iowa @ #22 IOWA: No Line.

OREGON over #23 Fresno State giving 2 ½: Mallards haven’t covered in three tries vs. the Bulldogs, who are also 20-7 against the number vs. non-conference teams. Vindy was taking Fresno when the spread was 6. We’ll take the Quack Attack spotting less than a FG at home, even with USC on-deck…Ducks 24 Dogs 20

#24 Iowa State: IDLE (next @ Army 9/23)

#25 Virginia over SYRACUSE giving 8 ½: Orange is tough in the Dome. If they stay this close though, it’s because of the defense. ‘Cuse won’t be able to trade TDs on offense while learning a new system… Cavs 27 Syracuse 10

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS

Against the lines in Vindy’s Picks, the underdogs have gone 20-11-1 thus far. As reflected in his picks, Weber expects more chalk covers this week.

Given ESPN’s coverage of blueberry pie-eating contest in Maine, ring "jousting" in Maryland and senior racquetball in New Mexico, Vin would rather follow sportscaster Stuart Scott and wingman Kenny Mayne as they try to pick up chicks in sports bars across America on "50 Dates in 50 Days!"

"Meet the Fockers"….and other teams in the new Conference USA!

With an ever-growing barrage of reality TV shows, isn’t it just a matter of time before we see "So You Think You Can Date My Quarterback’s Mom?"

The Saints are slated to play their first "home" tilt at the Meadowlands, followed by home games at Baton Rouge and San Antonio. If that all goes to hell-in-a-handbasket, Weber expects them play all their home games in Puerto Rico then move next season to D.C., where they’ll change the team name to "Nationals" and compete for a wild card spot!

In June, Eagles’ kicker David Akers clocked six laps at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at 100 mph or better in Richmond, Virginia. Musta’ thrown off his equilibrium given two missed FGs vs. the Falcons on MNF!

The aforementioned sandals worn by Northwestern to the visit at the White House were eventually auctioned off for charity. Vindicator thinks autographed under-things worn during that visit or during the title game would fetch more booty (um…pardon the pun!)!

The NFL has changed the rules for "horse collar" tackles. Mirroring that change, bookies can still collar bettors near the sportsbook counter, but once in the open casino, such a tackle results in a 15-yard unsportswriterlike conduct penalty!

Vindy’s travel agent recently handed him his Southwest Airlines tickets…then doused him with a Gatorade bucket! "Must be football season!"

"Locked in a Box?": Weber’s 0-2 after Army got belted by BC.

Shoppe Talk: With last week’s cover vs. Louisiana Tech, the Gators slither out (though not far away), while the Ohio State Buckeyes, now 2-8 in the last 10 going back to 2004, stumble in!

VINDY’S WEEK 3 BEST BETS: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 4-3

Kentucky +2 1/2 over INDIANA, Toledo –30 1/2 over TEMPLE, Central Michigan + 23 1/2 over PENN STATE (Oh, the shame!), Rutgers –22 1/2 over BUFFALO, KANSAS –14 over Louisiana Tech

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