INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (UPI)…Officials at the National Collegiate Athletic Association expressed displeasure this week with the latest changes to the TOEFL- the Test of English as a Forecasting Language. The test is used by hundreds of sports betting services across the nation to gauge the ability of international citizens wanting to be prognosticators in the U.S. to correctly apply the English language while pitching spreads to bettors. In addition, a new verbal comprehension section has been included, which requires test-takers to listen to a College Game Day broadcast, discuss it with the proctor then actually place a bet verbally at a mock sportsbook counter. The NCAA is upset with recently added questions referencing college sports teams. Proponents of the new version say mastery of the college content on the test is necessary for a well-rounded sports tout.
Vindicator fell below .500 for Week Four (7-9, 26-39, .400 season) when LSU blew a late three-touchdown advantage vs. Tennessee. Expecting the favorites to have a breakout week against the number…
THE WEBER KID’S 2005 WEEK 5 FORECAST
(Now available without MSG!)
#1 Southern Cal over #14 ASU giving 17: Ducks had a TD called back on a personal foul that would’ve put Oregon up 17-0. Blown 21-point, 4th Quarter lead over Vols somewhat diminishes ASU’s near-win over the Bengals last week. We like Trojans’ offense better than Devils’ D…SoCal 48 ASU 24
#2 Texas over MISSOURI giving 14: This is a scary line. Angles and spread-movement both favor the Tigers. Both are coming off bye weeks. With Vince Young vs. Brad Smith at quarterback, line looks a bit low. Surely, after what we’ve seen from Oklahoma, the Steers aren’t peeking ahead. Are they?!…Texas 38 Mizzou 20
#3 Virginia Tech over WEST VIRGINIA giving 11: Despite having only a grand total of eight returning starters from last year’s Gator Bowl team, Mountaineers have posted four straight wins, including road victories over Syracuse and Maryland. Can’t see them stopping Tech here though. Vick will screw it up somewhere, but not here. Weber’s picked the Hokies on the right side of the spread 9 times in last 10 tries…Hokies 42 WVU 21
#4 Louisiana State over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 15: Bayou Bengals off delayed Monday-nighter. If this were the NFL, conventional wisdom would say go against LSU (but then, the move to Monday again negates that thought). As Vindy predicted last week, MSU grabbed an early 3-point edge then went dormant…unfortunately not long enough for Joja’ (and Weber) to get the spread win...LSU 34 MSU 17
#5 Florida (GASP!) over #15 ALABAMA giving 4: Almost changed this selection, but if any first-year Florida coach can beat Tennessee and ‘Bama in the same season, it would be Urban Meyer. Coach can’t be happy about his second-half defense (or lack thereof) that let Kentucky pull to within 21 after leading 49-7. Weber calls "bad beat" on that game as Vindy was laying 21…AND A HALF!…UF 31 Tide 21
Syracuse over #6 FLORIDA STATE taking 21: ‘Cuse leaves the cozy confines of the Carrier Dome and still gets the vote to "git ‘er done" against the ‘Noles or at least to keep it interesting long enough…FSU 41 Orange 24
#7 Georgia: IDLE (next @ Tennessee)
#8 Ohio State: IDLE (next @ Penn State)
South Florida over #9 MIAMI taking 21: Bulls barely broke a sweat in huge upset of Louisville team that appears a bit over-rated by some (sadly, including this prognosticator) and USF now faces a Miami club whose cover last week raised their record to 4-11 when giving 10 or better…’Canes 24 Bulls 13
Mississippi over #10 TENNESSEE taking 20: Vindicator did not see LSU’s three-touchdown meltdown so he doesn’t know what happened to Bengals defense. Still not sold on the Vols…UT 24 Ol’ Miss 8
Michigan over #11 MICHIGAN STATE taking 5 1/2: How weird is it to see the Wolverines without a ranking this early in the season?! Wolverines caught a few bad breaks in loss to the Badgers (though UM kicker Jose Rivas took a dive on a missed field goal and converted the second try), but the flea-flicker they executed for a TD was a thing of beauty! If Spartans have ambitions of Big Ten championship, now is the time. Spartans dropped a triple-OT decision in Ann Arbor last season…MSU 17 Michigan 16
#12 CAL over Arizona giving 16: Wildcats improving, but Bears continue to roll…for now…Cal 40 Arizona 20
#13 Notre Dame over #22 PURDUE taking 3: Charlie Weis’ offense is racking up big yardage. Both clubs have recently suffered tough OT defeats and this is the fourth away game already for ND. We put more stock in Leprechauns’ wins over Pitt and Michigan than Boilers triumphs against Akron and Arizona…Tired Irish 17 Purdue 14
#16 TEXAS TECH over Kansas giving 17: Weber welcomes the Red Raiders to competition in Division I-A (and it’s only October!!!). Tech demolished a pair of I-AA squads and a Florida International team that might regret leaving Double-A this year. Jayhawks’ schedule hasn’t been very intimidating either. Tech might attempt 70 aerials this week…Texas Tech 38 Kansas 20
#17 WISCONSIN over Indiana giving 18: Michigan has enlisted Chief Justice John Roberts’ assistance to overturn no-call on a Badgers’ fumble deep in Wisconsin territory last week. Thanks to changes in observation of daylight savings time in Indiana, this game will be broadcast in the Hoosier State beginning at 1:00 PM…uh, no…make that 2:00 PM…wait…11:30 AM?…Wisky 29 Indy 7
#18 Minnesota over PENN STATE giving 2 1/2: Golden Gerbils held the pigskin 17 minutes more than Purdue and still had to rally to win in extra frames. Minny might be on borrowed time, but it’s 4-0 ATS. Even if Lions D gets the ball back regularly, not sure the offense can keep pace. State’s season could start to unravel right here, prompting creation of givejoetheheave-ho.com!…Gophers 24 Lions 20
MARYLAND over #19 Virginia taking 3 1/2: OK, fine…the Weber Kid and his friend Ima Koyn like the Terps…Box Turtles 23 Cavs 21
#20 UCLA over Washington giving 22: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. A late trash-time score was the only thing keepin’ Sled Dogs within three touchdowns of Notre Dame. Cal looming for UCLA, but Bruins win and cover or Ty trying…UCLA 42 UDUB 10
#21 BOSTON COLLEGE over Ball State giving 36: Eagles host a terrible Ball State team. BC will have to step up the offense though and there’s a major chance of a backdoor cover. No confidence in this one and the game is now "off" as we go to print, however… Boston College 54 BSU 14
NEBRASKA over #23 Iowa State giving 4: What’s the difference between these two teams? There’s no "O" in "Nebraska"! Of the 63 points scored by Big Red in three games, 35 came via the offense (3 TDs and 5 FGs), while 28 points were provided by the D (4 returns for touchdown). Looks like Tommy Lee has seen more than his share of snaps in the Huskers backfield! The real Cyclones were exposed in near-loss at Army last week. Tough to lay points with Nebraska, but…Huskers 17 ISU 10
Florida Atlantic over #24 LOUISVILLE taking 38: Vindy would’ve accepted Louisville’s loss in a shootout at South Florida. Loss by blowout is unthinkable. No longer trusting the Cardinals, who could put up 60 but probably won’t, Schnellenberger’s FAU Owls have our vote…Louisville 51 FAU 17
#25 Georgia Tech: IDLE (next vs. NC State 10/6)
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Are you ready for some college football???!!! Due scheduling quirks as a result of Katrina, there’s college pigskin (Division I-A) being played 10 straight days (and 11 of 12) from September 22 thru October 3!
This week on the big screen….Anakin Skywalker turns to the Dark Side of the University of Florida and becomes…Darth Gator!
Ricky Williams no longer eats meat. Is he "Dolphin-safe"? Could he potentially be the first player sidelined with a case of turf tofu?
In its continuing over-the-top efforts to clean up its image, the NFL commissioner is now known as Paul Gliabue and pre-game parking lot gatherings will be called "ilgate parties" because according to an anonymous NFL spokesperson, "the league simply can’t afford to be associated with ‘T&A’!"
Dick Cheney underwent knee surgery this week, ending his quest for the Oval Office passing records and leaving Condi Rice to step up and quarterback the White House team (and she might even take a few snaps on the playing field!)
In May, Carlos Zambrano was told to lay off the computer time because it was contributing to his elbow problems. Vin just wants to know if the Cubbies’ pitcher responded to ads promising to "add three inches naturally overnight" to his ERA. Did he submit a 60-second application to get his contract refinanced?
"Locked in a Box?": FINALLY….Vindy posts a "lock" victory behind Arkansas to go to 1-3 (.250).
Shoppe Talk: Virginia did Weber that way again and now stands at 1-9. Florida’s still here too at 2-11-1 after handing Vindy the half-point ATS loss vs. Kentucky!
VINDY’S WEEK 5 BEST BETS: Last Week: 2-0 Season: 7-7 (.500)
Brigham Young –2 ½ over SAN DIEGO STATE, Arkansas State –2 over UL-MONROE, TCU –3 over New Mexico