INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (BBC)....The Vegas Vindicator launched into rhetoric about "acts of aggression by the NCAA" this week after getting diplomatic heat from the governing body of college sports to "cease and desist" on production of his weekly forecast. A defiant Weber Kid said he wouldn’t consider stoppage of the forecast "until 25 million dollars of frozen margaritas..er..uh..accounts...was released". Experts say the picks could lead to escalation of a prediction race in an already-unstable southwest region of the country. The NCAA wants inspectors to have full access to dice, crystal balls, darts, tea leaves and other prognosticating components by bowl season and is sending in Condi Rice, a former member of Vindicator’s preseason forecasting strategy team, as an envoy to try to resolve the conflict peacefully. The two will meet at a high-profile ice rink in the Vegas Valley and Vindicator is reportedly "sharpening his skates" for the Secretary of State’s visit.
It’s all moot anyway because in the wake of Week Seven’s 8-12-1 (57-71-3 .445), in which Vin picked 17 faves in 21 games and opened 0-2 again heading into Saturday’s games, the Sin City Soothsayer wandered down to San Diego, where he buried his crystal ball (and the Ferret up to his neck) in the sand, launched his darts into the Pacific, poured his tea leaves into Shamu’s mouth and tossed his dice across the border into Tijuana (where our perplexed prognosticator also underwent surgery to have his stomach stapled to avoid anymore of those "gut feeling" choices!). Unable to believe his eyes or ears any longer, Vindy spent this week in a sensory -deprivation chamber, preparing for...
THE WEBER KID’S 2007 WEEK 8 FORECAST
THURS. OCT. 18
RUTGERS over #2 South Florida taking 2 1/2: Bulls were responsible for one of two straight up losses for the 2006 Knights. Does anyone want to win the National Title? Anyone? Anyone?!! Vindy’s now 2-5 on Thursday night. What’s the worst that can happen?!...Garden State Parkway Paladins 24 USF 23
SAT. OCT. 20
#1 OHIO STATE over Michigan State giving 17: UDUB is the only Buckeyes opponent to put double-digits on the scoreboard. Spartans haven’t beaten OSUsince ‘99. Barring those nasty turnovers that have tripped up other Top Ten squads to-date...Buckeyes 38 MSU 17
#3 Boston College: IDLE (next @ Virginia Tech 10/25)
#4 Oklahoma over IOWA STATE giving 28 ½: Sooners need to get the kicking game squared away, having not one, not two, but three (count ‘em, THREE) failed extra point attempts in win over Mizzou. Shouldn’t hamper Oklahoma here though...OK 45 Cyclones 9
#18 Auburn over #5 LSU taking 11: Last three Tigers-Bengals matches were decided by 1, 3 and 4 points. Aubie took it last year 7-3 and has won 12 of last 16 games outright when the final margin was 7 or less. SEC West suddenly looks tenuous...LSU 13 Auburn 10
#6 SOUTH CAROLINA over Vanderbilt giving 13: Vin throws his forecaster’s challenge flag on the sportsbook counter after Gamehens failed to cover a mere 6-point line at North Carolina. The South was up 21-3 at halftime, then suddenly went dormant offensively and defensively, coached by someone who revels in running up the score, with superior athletes and limited players to substitute since they were on the road???!!! ‘Heels posted 12 points in the final 15 minutes???!!! Meanwhile, THIS week...the Admirals are 8-3 ATS in last 11as road dogs ... Poultry 29 Vandy 13
#7 Oregon over WASHINGTON giving 11: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Only hint to this smallish line is Huskies’ fine effort two weeks ago while hosting the Trojans and fact that four of last five between these clubs were played in Eugene...Decoys 37 Dogs 17
#8 KENTUCKY over #14 Florida taking 7: The State of Florida decided to restore felons’ rights immediately after sentences are served. The news was met with cheers by the Crocs, ‘Canes and ‘Noles; and the Cincinnati Bengals saw a major surge in requests for trades to the Dolphins!...Wildcats 29 Gators 27
#9 WEST VIRGINIA over Mississippi State giving 23 1/2: Mountaineers have beaten the line in 8 of last 11 in Morgantown, including last season’s win as 21-point chalk over these Bulldogs (what a strange non-conference scheduling, BTW). West Virginia 4-0 ATS against non-conference foes in 2007. Big trip to New Joisey up next, but... Mounties 34 State 6
#10 California @ UCLA: OFF
#11 Virginia Tech: IDLE (next vs. Boston College 10/25)
#12 Arizona State: IDLE (next vs. Cal)
NOTRE DAME over #13 Southern Cal taking 18: Irish have piled up one outright shocker and three point-spread victories via multiple flags and turnovers by the opposition, but Troy is in a major funk...USC 24 ND 16
#15 (tie) MISSOURI over #22 Texas Tech giving 3 ½: Red Raiders are 5-12 ATS since ‘02 when playing ranked teams. Tigers have been making nice annual strides in reducing points allowed and were gradually doing so this season until hitting Oklahoma. Tech has yielded only 31 total points over the last three, but those all occurred at home vs. NW State, Iowa State and Texas A&M...Mizzou 38 Texas Tech 29
#15 (tie) Kansas over COLORADO giving 4: CU’s probation for providing extra meals to players probably got reduced following win over Oklahoma. Another victory would give the Bison back their burgers and scholarships altogether (and would secretly transfer the probation to Colorado State!). History favors the Buffs, but it’s been a Bizarro world of college football this year...Jayhawks 30 Rocky Mountain Heimlich Manuever 24
#17 Hawaii: IDLE (next vs. New Mexico State)
#19 Texas over BAYLOR giving 25: Steers just walloped Iowa State, who shows more improvement than Baylor. Including last season’s 63-31 game, the average final score for last 8 meetings is Texas 53-7. Adjusting for ‘Horns regressions and Bears very nominal gains, we’ll call it... TX 43 Baylor 13
ALABAMA over #20 Tennessee giving 1: Our apologies to Tennessee, who got left off of last week’s forecast because Ferret posted teams in the Coaches Poll not the AP Poll! Coach Saban was 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS in his only two games with LSU vs. Rocky Top. Tide hasn’t covered since 9/8 trip to Vanderbilt and last four games do not inspire great confidence in ‘Bama. The road has been unkind to Tennessee though.. In OT...Alabama 23 Vols 20
#21 Georgia: IDLE (next vs. Florida @ JAX)
#23 Cincinnati over PITT giving 10: A shipwreck was found recently off the Alaskan coast. Turned out to be the Panthers football team! Not sure if pass play called (and converted) by Dave Wannstedt on 4th-and-1at Pitt’s own 20 in a tie game with three minutes left against Navy was attempt to show faith in his team or a sign of resignation for the year. Might be a different choice if this was the NFL. It ain’t...Bearkats 31 U.S.S. Panthers 16
ILLINOIS over #24 Michigan taking 3: Illini have their best shot this decade to upend the Wolverines. Michigan is no bargain as road favorites and failed in its only away-chalk role this year. If Illinois can protect the pigskin... Illini 17 Big Blue 16
#25 Kansas State over OKLAHOMA STATE taking 3: Thought about this for "lock". Curious line, though the Cowpokes do have two SU wins and three covers in the Big 12. We think the wrong side is laying points here...K-State 41 Oklahoma State 34
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
I-AA UPSET ALERT: North Dakota State outright over MINNESOTA! Bison (6-0 thus far) lost 10-9 last year to the Gophers and belted Central Michigan 44-14 on the road earlier this season.
Among the taunts e-mailed this week by Charlie Weis to Pete Carroll: "Don’t make me go all ‘Stanford" on your butt!"
Last week’s issue of ESPN Da’ Mag noted Giants LB Chase Blackburn hurt his eardrum after being bumped by a reporter while using a Q-Tip. Thank goodness the New York defender wasn’t using a suppository instead (which would’ve resulted in a flag for illegal blockage in the backfield and a penalty of half the distance to the gonad!)
Cardinals QB Matt Leinart suffered a season-ending injury last Sunday. That’s okay, he can fall back on his endorsement deal with Polaroid. Guess he’ll only be lining up in the snapshot gun formation!
Michael Vick’s jersey just got ousted from a glass display shelf at his old high school. Seems Vick’s attorneys can’t even win a trophy case for him these days!
In March, NFL team owners meeting tweaked some game rules, including removal of the penalty for unintentionally hitting a lineman with a pass (but doing so intentionally is still considered a personal foul). Also, a player can no longer score a TD without the ball going over the pylon (so the base of the pylon has been enlarged to three square yards!)
In February, players for the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch promised to shave their heads if Britney Spears accepted a free trip to upstate NY to watch them play. They also offered free game tix to any woman who shaved her head. How ‘bout a similar deal for fans or players who show up panty-less??!!
"Wish I Had That One Back": Yep, Vindicator said, "Looks almost too easy" before picking South Carolina to cover at UNC.
"Locked in a Box?": South Carolina’s failed cover drops the tally to 5-2 (.714).
Shoppe Talk: It’s Californication in the Shoppe this week as USC hangs around at 1-5!
Vindy’s Week 8 Best Bets: Last Week: 0-4 (0-7-1 last two weeks...MEDIC!!) Season: 9-20-1 (.310)
ECU -4 over North Carolina State, Nevada-Reno -7 over UTAH STATE, NEBRASKA -2 over Texas A&M, Army +25 ½ over JOJA’ TECH