COACH DOES PREZ DINNER AFTER ALL; NEARLY SHOT
CRAWFORD, Texas (UPI)...Originally rebuking an invitation from President Bush in July to join him for dinner, stating team responsibilities as a priority, Dolphins’ head coach Nick Saban eventually relented under pressure and agreed to break bread recently on Dubya’s Texas ranch. But hob-knobbing with the Commander-in-Chief over some barbeque came with a price as Saban barely dodged a load of birdshot that narrowly missed his face. Fearing an assassination attempt, Secret Service agents immediately dove to protect the coach...er..um...the President, that is ...while ranch security quickly swarmed a nearby tree-line, only to discover Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney apologized, noting he was aiming at some quail and didn’t notice his boss and the coach, (who was wearing a bright Miami orange shirt) due to shrubbery surrounding the Presidential picnic area, partially obscuring the dining duo. Wire services were initially unaware of the event for three days because the local newspaper elected to sit on the story temporarily. To-date, the Veep still hasn’t taken responsibility for the incident. Said one Secret Service agent, "This is what happens when ‘the Ferrari of hunting rifles’ is wielded by the Edsel of hunters."
Speaking of Edsels, Weber turned in a coyote ugly 5-9-1 (19-31-2, .380) for Week Three. Of Vin’s five wins, two were by way of a half-point, a third by a single point. And now, a word from our sponsor..."Vindy’s Picks...it’s a forecast...it’s a vacuum cleaner...it’s BOTH!"
THE WEBER KID’S 2006 WEEK 4 FORECAST
(Special NRA Collectors’ Edition)
#24 Penn State over #1 OHIO STATE taking 16 1/2: Even during the down years in Happy Valley, four of the last five between these two have been decided by a touchdown or less. The one game not falling into that category still finished with only an eleven-point difference. Lions brought on their own misery at Notre Dame...Buckeyes 23 Penn State 17
#2 AUBURN over Buffalo giving 43: Bills making a little progress and we’d feel better about this choice if Auburn had lost to LSU. Short week for Aubie as they go to South Carolina next Thursday. They’ll have to break into the 50's to prevent the backdoor cover...Tigers 52 Buffalo 6
#3 Southern Cal over ARIZONA giving 21: Not the worst case of "looking ahead" we’ve ever seen, but Wildcats’ 18-point win over Stephen Freakin’ Austin last week is deceiving. AZ was down 10-7 early and only ahead by 4 going into the final quarter...USC 45 ‘Cats 17
#4 West Virginia over EAST CAROLINA giving 21: First away game of the year for the Mounties, who should be fresh, having last played last Thursday. Pirates posted their only cover in five tries vs. WVU last year in a 20-15 loss at Morgantown. ECU has yielded 20 fewer points to-date than they did thru first three games (including aforementioned trip to West Virginia) of ‘05. Iffy call...’Eers 34 Harrrrr, me Maties 10
Kentucky over #5 FLORIDA taking 23: Gator-backers got hosed last season when Florida D allowed a furious late comeback by the Wildcats who pulled within three touchdowns as a 24-point dog. Gator starters should see some early rest with ‘Bama on the horizon...UF 34 UK 13
Wisconsin over #6 MICHIGAN taking 14: Wisky has covered the number three straight times against Big Blue, including last season’s outright 23-20 victory at home. They’ll need to lean on the defense here. Frankly, the outright upset wouldn’t faze this forecaster...Michigan 17 Badgers 10
#7 TEXAS over Iowa State giving 24: Some might still see this as a preview of Big 12 Conference crown game. Cyclones are a one-man team and were probably fortunate to survive visit from upset-minded UNLV. ‘Horns were flagged 19 times for nearly one-and-a-half football fields worth of yardage and still hung half-a-century on Rice... Texas 38 ISU 7
#8 Louisville over KANSAS STATE giving 14 1/2: Yes, the Cards lost the starting quarterback AND the starting running back. Reserve QB Cantwell racked up 113 yards on 4 pass attempts (one of which was incomplete) in a little over a quarter last week. Wildcats on the way up after barely escaping I-AA Illinois State in the opener... Louisville 27 KSU 7
Colorado over #9 GEORGIA taking 27: What was that depressing movie in the late 60's starring Jane Fonda? Oh, yeah..."They Shoot Buffaloes, Don’t They?" So much for Dan Hawkins re-energizing the CU offense. The best college or pro pigskin team in the Rocky Mountain State right now might be...Air Force!...Joja’ 24 Buffs 7
#10 LSU over Tulane giving 36: Homecoming for the Bayou Bengals. Tigers couldn’t hold on last week against Auburn and came away empty on five occasions on the Auburn side of the field. We look for State to skunk the visitors and to probably score on its first five possessions this week. Third straight road trip for the Green Wave ...LSU 41 Tulane 0
#11 VIRGINIA TECH over Cincinnati giving 26 1/2: Conference game vs. the Bees is coming up for Tech. Seemingly, there are no ill-effects from the departure of Michael Vick’s little brother. Bearkats get whacked again. The Weber Kid considered this one for lock... Hokies 38 Cincy 7
#12 Notre Dame over MICHIGAN STATE giving 4 ½: NTSB officials are still examining the black box found in the Irish locker room following last week’s tilt against Michigan. Spartans have had Notre Dame’s number over the past decade. State won’t be repeating 2005 Iwo Jima flag-planting after this one though...Catholics 29 MSU 24
#13 Oregon: IDLE (next @ Arizona State)
#14 Iowa over ILLINOIS giving 21: With big in-state rivalry outta’ the way, Hawkeyes can get back to business and warm up for Ohio State. Illini are just going nowhere...Iowa 41 Illinois 10
Marshall over #15 TENNESSEE taking 22: Vols playing to the level of their competition. Herd is 6-2 ATS in last 8 against ranked teams. ‘Dogs haven’t had a big week...yet...Tennessee 28 Marshall 10
#16 TCU: IDLE (next vs. BYU 9/28)
#17 OKLAHOMA over Middle Tennessee State giving 29: Sooners lost to the zebras, not the Decoys. Conference battle vs. North Texas might be of more importance to Blue Raiders than this one. Okies should be getting their act together by now...OK 44 MTSU 10
#18 FLORIDA STATE over Rice giving 29 1/2: Owls catch the Injuns off a bad loss just like they caught Texas. State’s offense is still struggling. Might be a nice game to see it break out. At least the special teams are coming around and we foresee those squads providing the covering scores...’Noles 31 Rice 0
North Carolina over #19 CLEMSON taking 16 1/2: Will the Tigers be drained after beating Florida State? Tarheels will be drained following wild 45-42 victory over...GASP!...I-AA Furman! The strength-and-conditioning coach at UNC made Tarheels players run up and down stadium steps carrying bags of cement. Similarly, Vindy increased his stamina in the preseason by doing likewise with full cases of beer at local Rebels’ venue Sam Boyd Stadium!...Clemson 24 North Carolina 17
#22 CAL over #20 (tie) Arizona State giving 7 1/2 : Devils’ D making strides but Bears are still second-best club in the PAC-10...Berkeley 28 ASU 17
NC STATE over #20 (tie) Boston College taking 7: UPSET SPECIAL. Eagles clearly have the better team, though they continue to win with difficulty. Looking for the Wolf Pack to be up for ACC conference opener at home. In OT...NC State 23 BC 20
#23 NEBRASKA over Troy giving 22: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Trojans covered against a flat team of Seminoles recovering from Miami and travel for the third consecutive game...Big Red 35 Troy 6
Hawaii over #25 BOISE STATE taking 14 ½: Vindicator briefly thought about an upset here too, but Mainland record for Hawaii doesn’t inspire quite that much confidence and Broncos are virtually invincible on the blue field. BSU teetered on the brink at Wyoming...Boise 33 ‘Bows 30
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Upon learning the Miami coach turned down his supper invitation this summer, the President said "Fine. See if the Hurricanes get my vote for the preseason Top 25!" Asked by local game wardens to produce his Duck Stamp, Cheney asked if season tickets to Oregon games would suffice! Comments from the Democratic camp included a claim that Al Gore actually invented the Duck Stamp!
The CU Bison players need to give back the I-Pods they got for playing in last year’s Champs Sports Bowl and play some ball for cryin’ out loud!!!!
Nine of the Big Ten (Eleven) Conference teams beat their out-of-conference foes last week. The two offenders? ...Illinois, who lost to Big Least lower-tier squad Syracuse, and Indiana, who lost to I-AA Southern Illinois!
USC is unhappy with ABC broadcaster Brent Musberger for revealing the meaning of QB John Booty’s "hang-loose" hand-gesture during the Nebraska game last Saturday. Don’t be surprised if Booty’s next hand-gesture in Brent’s presence involves a thumb on his nose and four waving fingers!
Maurice Clarett was arrested in August after a traffic violation for having loaded weapons, including an AK-47, on the front seat of his car. The former running back will now do 3 ½ years at the Grey Bar Hotel, but officials at the local post office said they would keep Clarett’s job application on file.
In July, Miami Hurricanes’ safety Willie Cooper took a bullet in the behind from an unknown assailant. One of his teammates pulled a pistol from his own pants and fired back. No big deal. Cooper was just a backside..er..um..back-up.. safety anyway. And by the way, where was Dick Cheney when all this went down?!
Marcus Vick was arrested in January for waving a gun in a McDonald’s. Guess that qualifies him for All Con-Ference honors? So...like...there was no toy in his Happy Meal or what? Recently, after being originally cut by Miami, Vick was later signed to the Dolphins practice squad. Clarett gladly accepted when he thought they said "target-practice squad."
Bizarre random thought of the week: when players go to the grocery store for dairy snacks, do they have look for 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-string cheese?
On the auction block...autographed baseballs on which Pete Rose wrote "I’m sorry I bet on baseball." Coming soon to E-Bay: autographed footballs on which the Weber Kid wrote "I’m sorry you bet on football using Vindy’s Picks!"
"Wish I Had That One Back": The Week 3 forecast noted Texas-Rice as a "definite ‘wish’ pick"
"Locked in a Box?": Vin grabs his second lock win against one loss courtesy of the Hokies squeaking past the line by pitching the shutout over Duke!
Shoppe Talk: The Irish, Red Raiders and Steers officially open this year’s Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe, all at 0-3. (C’mon in, fellas! Help yourselves to some nice packaged spinach while Vindicator sharpens his ax!)
Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 6-7 (.461)
Arkansas State +6 ½ over SMU, UAB -10 over Mississippi State, SYRACUSE -6 1/2 over Miami-Ohio, ‘Bama +2 over ARKANSAS