QUANTICO, Virginia (AP)....Military officials here anxiously watched their radar screens as sorties from the former Soviet Union flew unescorted in the skies over Notre Dame during training exercises this past week. The Russians have fired up their air force lately in an effort to resurrect their international image as a global military power, setting off scrambles by British and other European interceptors in the past few months. In a bolder move, the Communist aircraft veered into U.S. territory this week and were quickly met by fighter pilots, but when the MiGs and bombers headed toward South Bend, U.S. pilots broke contact, saying, "Awwwww, let the comrades have some fun!" and did not pick the Russian planes up again until they resumed flight further south toward Louisville. Spectators say even the Touchdown Jesus statue headed for cover.
Displaying the kind of lateral mobility usually reserved only for NHL Playoff goalies, Vindicator diverted questions about Week Four’s disastrous forecast that saw him go 2-10 through the first dozen finals en route to a 7-12 week (33-39-1, .458) then offered only "Ummm....clean-up on Aisle Six" for the media before stealing off to his Man-Cave to produce...
THE WEBER KID’S 2007 WEEK 5 FORECAST
FRI. SEPT. 28
#5 West Virginia over #18 SOUTH FLORIDA giving 7: Contrary to the Weber Kid’s Week Four thoughts, neither side looked ahead enough to this one to fail against the line. Mounties would sure like to avenge loss to Bulls that sent ‘Eers to the Gator instead of a potential second-straight BCS bowl. WVU was first team this year to reach 4-0 ATS and is 13-4 as road chalk over the past four-plus seasons. USFs 28-13 home final vs. Elon just keeps wandering to the forefront of Vindy’s consciousness...Mountaineers 27 Souffle 13
SAT. SEPT. 29
#1 Southern Cal over WASHINGTON giving 21: UDUB looked early on like it was gonna’ finally get off the schnide with a pair of outright wins, then tumbled in the face of a difficult schedule. It won’t get any better hosting the top-ranked Trojans and their 79 returning lettermen...USC 54 Huskies 19
#2 Louisiana State over TULANE giving 40: Oklahoma didn’t succumb at Tulsa. Tigers won’t tank a cover in New Orleans (at least not THIS week). Tulane’s 21-point loss to Mississippi State and mere 8-point win over I-AA Southeast Weeziana suggests it has no shot. Is the "Green Wave" environmentally-friendly?! ...LSU 45 Toodles 0
#3 Oklahoma over COLORADO giving 22 1/2: Homecoming for the Bison, who cost Vindy a best bet pick by trouncing Miami-Ohio last week. Sooners are on probation because players got paid for work they didn’t actually do at a local car dealership. Apparently, in Norman, FORD is really just an acronym for "Faking Our Responsibilities, Dude!"...OK 51 Buffaloes 17
Auburn over #4 FLORIDA taking 18 ½: Gators suffered 127 penalty yards on 14 flags vs. Mississippi. UF also out-gained the Rebels by better than 100 yards on offense, but Tigers haven’t been blasted by the Gators since 2000. Auburn defense keeps ‘em in it...Florida 23 Auburn 20
#11 OREGON over #6 California giving 5: Huge game for both teams. Ducks 17-6 SU on the Pond since beginning of 2003 season. Gang Green defense ain’t quite what it once was and Berkeley will put up some points without question. Mallards get the nod based on what it did in Ann Arbor...Quack Attack 42 Cal 35
Kansas State over #7 TEXAS taking 15: UPSET SPECIAL #1. Tough to really gauge this year’s ‘Cats at the moment, but last three games between these two have been decided by 3, 4 and 3 points, including last season’s 45-42 shootout won by State in Manhattan. Steers were #4 team at the time. Longhorns have had a half-dozen players arrested on various charges since June. One more and UT at Austin becomes the official "farm team" of the Cincinnati Bengals!... Kansas State 30 Horns 27
#8 Ohio State over MINNESOTA giving 23: Buckeyes continue to show the strength of their reserve depth and answered lackluster effort vs. Akron earlier in September with solid covers over Washington and Northwestern. Minny is probably the best offense State has faced. It’s also likely the worst defense it’s faced. The +18 turnover ratio from 2006 is catching up to the Gophers...Ohio State 43 Gerbils 16
Michigan State over #9 WISCONSIN taking 7 1/2: UPSET SPECIAL #2. Badgers look less-than-invincible and may be ripe for the upset here. State actually toppled Wisky in 2004. It also opened 2005 at 4-0 SU and 2006 at 3-0 SU before the wheels fell off. Could happen again here under first-year commander Mark Dantonio. Spartans are 1-4-1 ATS in games against ranked teams. Who believes in trends?...Michigan State 29 Badgers 27
Maryland over #10 RUTGERS taking 16: We thought about this one for "lock". Terps D folded like a beach umbrella with Wake Forest game seemingly well in-hand only to lose in extra frames. First real test for the Knights after warming up vs. Buffalo, Navy and Norfolk State. This time last year, Box Turtles went on a 6-1 straight-up run, all decided by 6 or less...Rutgers 24 Maryland 20
Massachusetts @ #12 BOSTON COLLEGE: No line.
#13 Clemson over GEORGIA TECH taking 3: Recent history favors Clemson. Bees were quickly exposed, while Tigers are off to 4-0 start, with two conference victories already under their belts. ‘Jackets haven’t forgotten last year’s 31-7 thrashing by the Tigers in Carolina...
#14 KENTUCKY over Florida Atlantic giving 23: After years of fearing any team nicknamed "Owls" (i.e. Temple and Rice), our forecaster finds himself smitten by Florida Atlantic. The only two tickets Vin has cashed on the season have both been covers by FAU.. Despite a couple of crummy overall weeks, we take solace in calling the back-to-back upsets by Kentucky. Going back to last season, ‘Cats have been the play in 8 of last 9, so we go to the bluegrass well again ... Wildcats 48 FAU 20
#15 GEORGIA over Mississippi giving 15: In May, pictures of Bulldog QB Matthew Stafford holding a beer keg over his head while allegedly attending a NASCAR race appeared on the ‘Net. School officials said the photos could’ve been altered (Uh...YEAH...that keg coulda’ been EMPTY!). Can’t see Rebels duplicating last week’s home effort in cover against the Gators. Joja’ needs to press that advantage to make another statement akin to nice opening triumph over Oklahoma State...Dawgs 27 Ole Mist 8
Mississippi State over #16 SOUTH CAROLINA taking 14: Freshman Chris Smelley steps in to replace Cocks’ 5th-year senior QB Blake. Bulldogs aren’t world-beaters, but are playing well enough to post 3-1 outright record and have sufficient defenders to keep it close. Caught between a Gamecock and a hard place, we call... South Carolina 17 MSU 6
North Carolina over #17 VIRGINIA TECH taking 17 ½: Tarheels handed South Florida four interceptions and held the Bulls to three FGs for a decent stretch spanning the second- and third quarters. It would just be too easy to lay the juice with Tech, so we won’t...VT 20 UNC 7
#19 Hawaii over IDAHO giving 26 1/2: For a fleeting moment, we contemplated taking the points. Potato-heads looked more like the Idaho team we expected this season, as extremely rare I-A chalk role, in loss to Northern Illinois than team that covered opener vs. Southern Cal. Vandals’ previous opponents rushed as part of the game plan. The only running Idaho’s gonna’ see the ‘Bows do is to and from the tunnel!...Hawaii 49 Idaho 20
#20 Missouri: IDLE (next vs. Nebraska)
#21 Penn State over ILLINOIS giving 3: Some folks during the pre-season said this one had upset written all over it. Had the Lions actually won in Ann Arbor, we might’ve agreed. State dodged an early bullet on reversal of what Vindicator thought was a Lion turnover in 1st Quarter of Michigan game, but the third-down pass D was nowhere to be found....Lions 24 Illinois 16
#22 Alabama over FLORIDA STATE taking 2 ½: Tide’s played the tougher schedule. Injuns have logged more travel miles. State’s offense is not significantly better now than it was this time last year despite massive major coaching changes. On a "neutral" site in Jacksonville, it’s...’Bama 17 ‘Noles 16
#23 Arizona State over STANFORD giving 14 ½: Another choice we considered for lock pick. What in the world is with all the r-e-s-p-e-c-t the Cardinal’s getting of late from the lines-makers? When Coach Harbaugh pulls the strap that tightens his headband does he go all ninja or gain super-human strength or what? OK, certain trends favor Stanford. It’s covered 7 times in last 9 tries here. Alas, the Trees have allowed 45 to UCLA and 55 to the Mallards. First road game for Devils and fact that ASU has held only 5 opponents to 13 or fewer and 11 foes under 20 since start of 2004 campaign are Vin’s only remote clues to this spread...Arizona State 42 Stanford 19
#24 Cincinnati over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 14: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. In honor of the late-great Marcel Marceau, we’ll just act out our choice on this game. (Oh...ummm....for those not fluent in "mime"...that was a simulation of the ol’ "Aztecs-trapped-in-a-box").... Bearkats 31 SDSU 3
Iowa State over #25 NEBRASKA taking 22: A Nebraska soccer mom so upset with daughter’s game performance, left her on along the side of I-80. Big Red coach Bill Callahan had similar thoughts following Huskers’ 41-40 win over Ball State (in which the Cardinals blew an extra point and missed a 55-yard FG with 15 seconds left), but drove the Blackshirts somewhere near Des Moines, Iowa first!..Nebraska 24 ISU9
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
BTW, Vindicator was listening on the Russian radio frequency and thinks he heard one of the pilots quip, <<Talk to me, Goosekov!>>
This month’s ish of MAXIM delineates the "10 Worst 2007 BCS college football teams". In order from 10th-worst to worst: #10 Notre Dame, #9 Vandy, #8 Indiana, #7 Baylor, #6 Iowa State, #5 Mississippi State, #4 Washington, #3 Syracuse (who has toppled Louisville since that article was published!), #2 Stanford and the #1 team...are ya ready?...Raise yer hand if ya know this one...No surprise....Slap yerself if ya missed it...Duke!
In February, JoPa inked a deal with Pittsburgh-based R Super Foods to allow his likeness on boxes of Super Donuts and cinnamon Super Buns. Unknown to Coach Paterno, his Lions pass defense apparently signed on to make the cover of the brand’s package of donut holes!
Teams that are perfect or "perfect" in four lined opportunities thus far: Oklahoma, Oregon and West Virginia (4-0 ATS); Navy and Notre Dame (0-4 ATS); dishonorable mention to the Gilded Gerbils of Minnesota (0-3-1). Meanwhile, perennial doormats Duke and Temple are a combined 6-2 (.800)!
On a serious note for a moment, we tip our helmets to the New Mexico State University Aggies for being "tough enough" to don pink ribbons on their helmets and pink socks to promote breast cancer research during this week’s tilt against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Vindy walked 3 ½ miles last year in support of the same cause.
Britney Spears was seen chucking a baby bottle at paparazzi in August. After reviewing the video of that incident, Charlie Weis has been secretly allowing Spears to run the scout team during practice sessions and announced he will start the pop star under center this week at Purdue! (She might start under THE center as well, but that’s whole other story!)
The NY Jets trained with Mike Tyson’s first coach, Teddy Atlas, during the off-season. At 1-3, the Gliders ain’t tearing up the NFL, but they are proficient at biting ears and eating other people’s children!
George Clooney is recovering from injuries sustained recently during a motorcycle accident in Palisades, New Jersey. Not to worry, Ladies...Big George will be up and throwing touchdown passes for the Steelers in no time!
And finally....the National Champion men’s and women’s rifle teams from University of Alaska-Fairbanks recently were guests of President Bush in D.C. The shooters attributed at least part of their success to practices involving identification of targets as "friend or fowl"...a routine they refer to as the "Cheney Drill"!(BTW, shooting a teammate in the face is a mandatory two-tenths deduction during national competitions!)
"Wish I Had That One Back": The Florida-Mississippi game...just because Vindy is an idiot and typed the choice in wrong (we had Florida laying 21) despite favoring Ole Miss in the write-up and the score prediction.
"Locked in a Box?": The Mighty Ducks of Eugene boost the lock record to 3-1with an offense-filled, but defense-less cover against Stanford!
Shoppe Talk: Vindicator stocks the dental hygiene supplies at the Shoppe with anti-freeze-laden toothpaste from China for the Buckeyes, Huskers, Aggies and Gators...all with three forecast losses!
Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 7-9 (.437)
Temple +6 over ARMY, Buffalo +16 1/2 over BALL STATE, MIAMI-OHIO +2 over Syracuse, OHIO +1 over Kent State, VIRGINIA -7 over Pittsburgh, Washington State +2 1/2 over ARIZONA
Hey...despite the overall carnage, Vindicator’s preferred plays (lock pick and best bets) hit on four outta’ five (80%)! Now if you’ll excuse him, our perplexed prognosticator needs to go wipe the Domino’s oreo dessert pizza mustache off his...forecast!