SURPRISE VISITS THEME OF THE WEEK
CAMP TANGO, Iraq (AP)... Post commanders anticipating the arrival of the Secretary of State at this secret base after reading headlines on a recent edition of Stars & Stripes that screamed "Rice To Drop In on Iraq" were thrown for a loop when several Blackhawk helicopters descended on the camp carrying the Houston-based Owls football team instead! Players hung out briefly with American servicemen and servicewomen, talking about the college pigskin season and tossing footballs with some of the soldiers. Said one member of the 895th Transportation Battalion, "Hey..that’s really cool. I’m grateful. But next time, how ‘bout sendin’....the Longhorns or the Trojans, OK?!!!"
Meanwhile back home, England’s Prince Charles and Camilla finished their U.S. tour at a shelter for the homeless and abused in San Francisco, but showing the class for which the Britons are known, the royal couple didn’t depart until shaking hands and getting autographs from each and every player in that 49ers locker room!
After three solid weeks of forecasting by the Vindicator, lines-makers resorted to the dreaded horse-collar and caused the Weber Kid to go 7-11-1 last week (93-94-3, .495 season) despite a 3-0 record going into last Saturday’s games. Hurtling at warp speed toward the double-century mark (100 wins, 100 losses) this week, Vindy presents...
THE WEBER KID’S 2005 WEEK 12 FORECAST
#16 Fresno State over #1 USC taking 24: Have to admit, there hasn’t been much doubt during Trojans’ last three wins. Granted, Bulldogs’ schedule hasn’t been special, but they’ve been appropriately blowing out their opponents. State can (and will) score on Troy’s suspect defense...USC 40 FSU 24
#2 Texas: IDLE (next @ Texas A&M 11/25)
#3 MIAMI over Georgia Tech giving 18: ‘Jackets have little to show for season-opening win over Auburn. Longhorns are probably outta’ reach, but Hurricanes need to keep pressing in case Fresno or UCLA manages to drop the Trojans. Miami has beaten two better defenses by at least this much...’Canes 38 Bees 13
MISSISSIPPI over #4 Louisiana State taking 17: Rebels have lost only once this year by this many (24-point defeat at Auburn) and have played better recently. Bengals are off the very close win over ‘Bama...LSU 21 Ol’ Miss 7
#5 Penn State over MICHIGAN STATE giving 7: This one scares Vindy to no end, but it should be Lions’ first conference crown since 1994. The overtime loss vs. Michigan seems to have deflated MSU, who has lost 5 of last 6. Lions have covered 4 of last 5 in this series. Spartans scored only 18 against Gophers’ porous defense...PSU 35 MSU 10
#6 Virginia Tech over VIRGINIA giving 7 ½: Cavs are unbeaten at home, but Marcus Vick has had his one fall-on-his-face game and isn’t going to commit another six turnovers here. Take that to the bank. With only Miami left on Virginia’s slate, Al Groh ain’t gonna’ get his signature seven-win season...VT 29 UVA 14
#7 NOTRE DAME over Syracuse giving 35: A Syracuse season that started with a "promising" 1-2 record (big win over Buffalo sandwiched by close losses to the Cavs and the Mountaineers) quickly tanked. Irish are eyeing a BCS spot. Orange has quit. Leprechauns haven’t broken into the 50's yet. Looks like a good place to do it...Irish 51 Syracuse 3
#8 Alabama over #12 AUBURN taking 7: The annual Iron Bowl. Can’t blame Mike Shula for the poor execution by his team last week (a missed punt block, a missed field goal and several dropped passes). Tide has come too far to let it get away now...Alabama 16 Auburn 13
#9 Ohio State over #17 MICHIGAN giving 3: Buckeyes have been the better team all season, while Wolverines have played on the edge all year. Winner likely goes to the Capital One Bowl. Ted Ginn will be the difference for State...OSU 16 Michigan 10
Oregon State over #10 OREGON taking 13: Shaky call. History favors the home team and the Decoys are 3-2 ATS this year on The Pond. Of the Beavers’ three spread wins, a pair of ‘em came on the road and were outright victories over Cal and...um..well...Washington. Nonetheless, we call it...Mallards 28 Beavers 24
#11 UCLA: IDLE (next @ USC 12/3)
#13 West Virginia: IDLE (next vs. Pitt 11/24)
Kentucky over #14 GEORGIA taking 27: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Mildcats are 6-2 against the line, including 3-0 run over the last three games (with two straight wins to boot!). ‘Dawgs are 1-3 ATS at home. They could take out their frustrations in this one. Vindy just can’t lay four touchdowns with Joja’ here...Georgia 38 KY 17
#15 Texas Christian: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)
#18 Louisville: IDLE (next vs. Syracuse)
Oklahoma over #19 TEXAS TECH taking 7 ½: Both of Red Raiders’ two spread losses in final home games over the last two decades came to the Sooners. In retrospect, none of Tech’s eight victims this year sports a winning record. Okies have won four straight games since thrashing by Texas...OK 34 Texas Tech 31
#20 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Florida State)
#21 SOUTH CAROLINA over Clemson taking 1 1/2: Tommy Bowden’s team would grab a ranking with a victory and this is the time of the year Clemson takes it up another notch. In game vs. Florida, SC was out-rushed, out-passed, out-first-downed and had less time of possession. Gators suffered only one turnover. Super Steve has Columbia rockin’! We’ll stay with hot Gamecocks...Birds 35 Tigers 28
#22 Florida State: IDLE (next @ Florida)
#23 Boston College over MARYLAND giving 2: Terps used pass plays of 67 and 80 yards for TDs to beat Carolina. Eagles were burned on a 96-yard scoring throw by NC State. BC probably won’t need the extra help, but Pat Robertson will be standing by to call down a meteor storm on the Maryland sideline if necessary...BC 28 Box Turtles 24
#24 Wisconsin: IDLE (next @ Hawaii 11/25)
Alabama-Birmingham over #25 UTEP taking 7 ½: Having watched the Blazers play a couple of weeknight games this year, Vindy thinks UAB has enough talent on both sides of the ball to pull off the upset over the Miners, who struggled vs. Rice and Tulsa and lost outright to Memphis...UAB 30 UTEP 27
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Speaking recently on his dislike of cell phones and computers, Coach Paterno said he "couldn’t even download a jar of peanut butter." Not to worry, Joe! After you win this week to snag a BCS berth, fans , assistant coaches and alumni will deliver more cases of Skippy to your door than you could possibly use in a lifetime!
Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman wants to cut the thumbs off those responsible for graffiti here in Sin City. Yo, Oscar! Save the "Casino" tactics for the Rebels football team, okay?!!!
TO’s apologetic response to last week’s season suspension was so slow, he’s being heavily recruited by FEMA!
Name a sandwich after Terrell Owens and call it whatever ya want. Just make sure it comes with a big bottle of whine!
Back in June, Russian president Vladimir Putin swiped a Super Bowl ring from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who later said it was a gift. Bullfeathers!...Putin took it intentionally as payback for the 1980 Miracle on Ice!
Earlier this year, Marquette sought to change its team moniker. One name up for consideration was the Marquette Gold. Coulda’ been worse. Voters in the Bay Area could’ve dominated the voting and decided on other colors...like "The Cream" or "The Clear"!!!!.
"Locked in a Box?": Holy Cow! Back-to-back "lock" wins for Weber as Fresno finally lowered the boom on Boise State! (4-7, .364)
Shoppe Talk: Those UCLA Bruins return after Louisville vacates following its first forecast "W". The LSU Bengals slide in with 4 forecast losses in their last 5!
Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-3 Season: 19-20-1 (.487)
Central Florida -11 over RICE, Middle Tennessee State +17 ½ over NC STATE, Washington State -2 ½ over WASHINGTON