LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN)...A wax figure of Sin City’s own college football forecaster, the Vegas Vindicator, was attacked and damaged by an unidentified patron at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum yesterday. Video cameras captured the surprising assault on the figure and show the man charging the figure, knocking it to the ground and pummeling it with his fists before bolting out a fire exit. A facility spokesperson said most of the damage to the figure was sustained by the coins, dice, darts, Tarot cards and magic-ball that the real-life soothsayer uses to predict the weekly games. The aggression comes on the heels of a similar pre-Election Day defilement of the likeness of President Bush. Authorities have postulated theories that the incident is the work of a copycat, a jealous bookie seeking symbolic revenge for Weber’s 7-3 “best bet” record the past two weeks or a bettor fed up with losing money on Vindy’s regular Top 25 selections! Originally located in the museum among Gary Coleman, “Mini-Me”, Michael J. Fox and Richard Simmons, a rattled Weber Kid asked that his repaired wax statue be placed behind likenesses of the Wisconsin Badgers offensive line!
Vindy’s 13-8-1 tally for Week Eleven (101-102-6, .497) gives him hope and has our fearless forecaster hangin’ on to the prospect of finishing over .500 on the season tighter than former BoSox 1B Doug Mientkiewicz to the final out of the 2004 World Series as he presents...
THE WEBER KID’S 2006 WEEK 12 FORECAST
(Sponsored by Vonage...a couple of smart picks...among many, many stupid ones!)
#8 West Virginia over PITT giving 10 1/2: Panthers allowed UConn to run for 317 yards in double-overtime loss last week. Not a good omen when hosting one of the top ground games in the country this week. Vindy thanks the Mounties for allowing two fourth quarter TDs to Cincy, salvaging a push from the jaws of a forecast loss for Weber. In the Backyard Brawl, it’s...West Virginia 28 Pitt 14
SAT. NOV. 18
#2 Michigan over #1 OHIO STATE taking 6 1/2: A story by the Associated Press recently revealed the Big Blue defensive backs bond by playing chess. Ironically, the Buckeyes do a little bonding themselves by playing “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots!” (If you’re a reader under 40-years-old, look it up on the ‘Net!). Potentially a great game. Not sure Big Blue can stop Troy Smith and the Bucks’ air game...OSU 20 Michigan 17
West Carolina @ #3 FLORIDA: No line.
#17 California over #4 USC taking 5 ½: Both teams have recently suffered shocking losses. Minus the ugly season-opening defeat to Tennessee, Bears had been on a mission and looked like the team to beat in thePAC-10. We still believe that’s the case...Cal 19 Trojans 16
#5 Arkansas over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 14 1/2: Average margin in Bulldogs’ games this season is 9 and less-than-5 over last 3. State comes in off the bye week. Vindy senses no letdown in charging Hogs though and expects this final to be closer to State’s 42-18 loss to West Virginia than its 34-31 loss to Kentucky...Arkansas 27 Mississippi State 3
#6 NOTRE DAME over Army giving 32 1/2: How in the world Army beat Kent State at home and Baylor on the road is still a mystery. Brady Quinn has reportedly been asked to star in a remake of “Win One for the Gipper”. Given Weber’s inability to correctly pick the Irish ATS, we’d simply ask him to “Win One (ATS) for the Vinder!” Catholics have covered against the other two academies, why not here?...Irish 48 Cadets 7
#7 Rutgers over CINCINNATI giving 7: Depending upon whose stats ya look at, Bearkats are either 6-1-2 or 7-1-1 ATS. Cincinnati turned it over four times in Morgantown and were down big early. Knights’ defense is certainly capable of forcing Bearkats into similar situation this week...Piscataway Paladins 27 Cincy 13
Mississippi over #9 LSU taking 27 1/2: Despite 3-7 SU record (including recent “W” over I-AA Northwestern State), Rebels are 3-1 ATS in their last 4 (maybe they didn’t like being embarrassed in an earlier publication of Vindy’s Picks!). Bengals are playing extremely well on defense and stuffed Kentucky’s offense altogether. We like the rested Rebels...Tigers 28 Ol’ Miss 7
South Florida over #10 LOUISVILLE taking 16 1/2: Oh sure. Allow the Knights to rally from early 18-point deficit. Where was that defense when Vindy was calling an outright West Virginia victory, hmmmmm?????!!! USF should’ve beaten Rutgers, but that was at home. Bulls did lose by 17 at Cincinnati...Birds 29 USF 22
#11 Texas: IDLE (next vs. Texas A&M 11/24)
#12 WISCONSIN over Buffalo giving 38: Vindicator watched the Badgers-Iowa game on the telly. The NCAA Cheese-Heads were fortunate to get by Iowa in the wake of un-Badger-like poor tackling and a blown officiating call that allowed Hawkeyes 1st TD drive to continue. Wisky breaks half-a-century here...Badgers 54 Buffalo 10
#13 BOISE STATE over Utah State giving 37: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. The latest issue of ESPN: Da’ Mag notes Broncos running back Ian Johnson crochets (shades of former Rams defensive star Rosie Greer!), plays trombone and wields a nifty pipe-wrench. And that’s just in the huddle! Finally, a team that Boise can clobber ATS...BSU51 USU 6
#14 WAKE FOREST over #19 Virginia Tech taking 1 1/2: With blowout (and shutout!) over the Injuns, Deacons posted their first-ever 9-win season. Weber is hard-pressed to go against streaking Wake squad, especially at home. Unless there’s a breakdown on Wake’s special teams...The Forest 24 Hokies 16
#15 Auburn over ALABAMA giving 3: Four picks and hobbling Kenny Irons helped create Auburn’s disaster vs. Joja’. Tide sporting a nice defense but miss Brody Croyle’s leadership on offense and Tigers are still far-and-away better on that side of the ball...Auburn 19 ‘Bama 10
#16 Oklahoma over BAYLOR giving 20: Vindy oscillated badly on this pick. Bears have dropped five straight against the line and are 3-7 ATS overall. Sooners haven’t had to spot this many since late September vs. Middle Tennessee. Baylor has allowed 152 points in its last three games, all outright losses...OK 38 Bears 14
Duke over #18 GEORGIA TECH taking 27: Nope. Vin just can’t bring himself to lay nearly 30 with Bees off very physical 7-0 win over the Tarheels and a Duke squad that’s 4-5 ATS. ‘Jackets only beat Samford 38-6...GT 38 Duke 12
#21 Maryland over #20 BOSTON COLLEGE taking 7: Eagles are perfect SU and ATS in four games at Chestnut Hill. Last seven matches for the Terps have been decided by an average of 3 points, with Box Turtles winnin’ six of ‘em outright...MD 17 BC 15
VANDERBILT over #22 Tennessee taking 8: Volunteers are in revenge mode for 2005 loss to Commodores that cost ‘em a bowl berth. Vandy’s record of very close conference games this year gets it Vindy’s nod... Tennessee 22 Admirals 17
#23 BYU over New Mexico giving 26: The only question here is how motivated the Coogs will be given a likely less-than-deserved berth in the Las Vegas Bowl, where they will probably get points vs. whatever PAC-10 also-ran they face. We’d maybe consider the Lobos in Albuquerque. We like the Mormons to name the score in final home appearance for seniors that have suffered mightily the previous three seasons...Cougars 44 New Mexico 13
#24 Nebraska: IDLE (next vs. Colorado 11/24)
#25 Clemson: IDLE (next vs. South Carolina)
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
In news related to the lead story, witnesses noted the museum assailant bore a “striking resemblance” to Texas Tech hoops coach Bobby Knight! Eye-witness accounts have the unknown attacker jamming a finger under the figure’s chin in an effort to get the wax figure to look at him, yelling at the figure then getting frustrated and shoving it to the floor!
BTW, the Hurricanes player bond by challenging each other to ...Grand Theft Auto! (...they sometimes play the video game version too!!)
Columbus officials have asked three near-campus convenience stores to stop selling bottled domestic brews for the rest of the year so inebriated fans don’t hurl empties at one another. One official said something akin to “Our fans drink cheap beer so foreign ones aren’t an issue.” Well by golly, sounds like an opportunity to expand the fans’ cultural horizons by lowering prices on imports!
To reduce the incidence of rabies, the Chinese have implemented a “one dog policy”. Fine. Let’s offer the folks in Beijing...Duke, Temple or UNLV!!!
“Locked in a Box?”: Vindicator bumps up the record to 7-4 behind Wake Forest’s 30-0 trouncing of the Injuns.
Shoppe Talk: Steers and Irish both dig in at 2-8!
Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 28-24-1 (.538)
Nevada-Reno -20 over LA. TECH, Oklahoma State +6 over TEXAS TECH, East Carolina -2 ½ over RICE, SOUTH CAROLINA -15 1/2 over Middle Tennessee State