WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (UPI)....The U. S. Air Force gave the boot to seventy servicemen and servicewomen this past weekend in the wake of a recent, highly-publicized mishandling of Vindy’s Picks. Several weeks worth of the Weber Kid’s live forecasts were flown the width of the country from North Dakota to Louisiana secured to the underside of a B-52 bomber while traditional transport protocol was basically ignored. Of particular concern were Vindy’s “Best Bets” picks, though USAF officials indicated the general population was never truly in jeopardy because the rubber bands and wax seals that prevent the forecasts from unfurling prematurely and being used for wagering remained in place and were undamaged during the flight, but the incident was serious enough to warrant mandatory notification of the President, the Secretary of Homefield Security and the head of the Gaming Control Board in Vegas. How the picks, clearly marked with skull-and-crossbones and the internationally-recognized “radioactive” symbol, were mistakenly identified as harmless, outdated picks scheduled for decommission and loaded onboard is still under investigation.
The prophets’ pantheon smiled down upon your host in Week Seven as Vin registered a Thursday night forecast dubya with his upset call of Rutgers over South Florida en route to a 7-9 finish (64-80-3, .444). Musta’ been the sacrifice of that virgin...uh...virgin Pina Colada, that is...and the numerous other libations Vindicator poured right in the middle of the sportsbook floor (of course, then security came and hauled the Weber Kid downtown and it wasn’t real pretty after that. Vin was, however, eventually released on his own recognizance [because nobody else at the station recognized our famous forecaster!] and got home in time for kickoff! People know Vindy’s name, but not always his face. That’s why he carries this...the American Express card)...but we digress, so let’s get back to...
THE WEBER KID’S 2007 WEEK 9 FORECAST
THURS. OCT. 25
#2 Boston College over #8 VIRGINIA TECH taking 3 1/2: Eagles held the Hokies to a mere FG in last year’s 22-3 win and have no fear of Blacksburg. If BC’s gonna’ falter, its best chance to do so is right here (though a dangerous trek to College Park awaits). Figure the odds of back-to-back Thursday forecast wins for your humble narrator...BC 24 Tech 23
SAT. OCT. 27
#24 PENN STATE over #1 Ohio State taking 4: While the Buckeyes have taken five of the last seven straight up from PSU, but both Lions’ wins came at home and OSU’s last cover in Happy Valley was 1997. Vindicator would absolutely delight in the BCS chaos that would ensue should the Nifty Lions pull yet another major upset in a season littered with the unthinkable... Lions 13 Buckeyes 12
#3 Louisiana State: IDLE (next @ Alabama)
#4 Oklahoma: IDLE (next vs. Texas A&M)
#5 OREGON over #9 (tie) Southern Cal giving 3: SoCal has beaten the Mallards the last two years by a combined 80-23 and is seemingly immune to the atmosphere at the Autzen Zoo, covering 5 of last 6 there. These aren’t your older cousin’s Trojans and the Ducks have plenty of speed on defense and firepower on offense to finally get past USC ...Quack Attack 34 Troy 29
#25 RUTGERS over #6 West Virginia taking 6: Upon further review, Vindy incorrectly attributed one of Rutgers’ two SU losses in 2006 to South Florida. Those two losses actually came at Cincinnati and at Morgantown to these Mountaineers! WVU is now 13-5 against the line as road chalk since start of 2002 season, though only 1-1 on the Jersey Turnpike...WVU 27 Scarlet Knights 24
#7 ARIZONA STATE over #18 California giving 3: Bears have bent State’s collective pitchfork four straight times, winning (and covering) by 17, 28, 27 and 28 points, respectively. Devils come in off a bye, Berkeley comes in off loss to UCLA. Devils’ defense is improving. After holding only 5 opponents below three touchdowns last season, State has already kept 6 of 7 foes under 21 points to-date...ASU 29 Cal 24
#9 (tie) Florida over #20 Georgia giving 9 (@ Jacksonville): While Kentucky committed some tactical and execution errors, Gators put 45 on the scoreboard without the benefit of a single Wildcats turnover. Lotsa’ luck to Dawgs defenders as they attempt to drag down Mack Truck-dressed-in-quarterback’s-clothing Tim Tebow... Florida 35 Joja’ 20
CONNECTICUT over #11 South FLORIDA taking 4 1/2: Sled Dogs have covered 7 of last 8 at home vs. conference teams and 5 of 6 overall this year. Bulls yielding almost 18 ppg. UConn giving up a little over 13 ppg. Having reached BCS #2 spot, how will the youngsters from Tampa handle the balloon-popping loss to Rutgers and yet another trip to cold New England? With an outright victory, Sled Dogs would remain alone atop the Big Least, one game ahead of WVU-Rutgers winner. With or without a controversial punt return...USF 25 Huskies 22
#12 Kansas over TEXAS A&M giving 2: Even in close games between these two since 1998, ‘Hawks have come up just short. Baggies clobbered Huskers team that may have quit on Coach Callahan, but never got off the bus two weeks at Texas Tech, costing Vindy a three-team wager. Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino said he first learned about Dennis Franchione’s secret newsletter to Aggies boosters from Dick Cheney, forgot it, then learned about it again from NBC News reporter Tim Russert. Ridin’ Kansas’ 6-0 ATS win streak...Kansas 23 A&M 17
#13 MISSOURI over Iowa State giving 28: ‘Clones actually took this one straight-up last season as a two-TD dog (one of three total ATS wins for State in 2006) to close last year in the wake of six previous outright defeats. A cover by the Tigers locks in their first winning spread record sine 2003...MO 44 ISU13
#14 KENTUCKY over Mississippi State giving 13 ½: Best guess for “wish I had it back”. We’d have given the Bulldogs a chance here had the Wildcats actually succeeded in their late comeback effort vs. Florida. Another long day for State...KY 48 MSU 16
#15 South Carolina over TENNESSEE taking 3: Gamecocks are 62nd nationally in passing offense, but 98th in rushing O. Tennessee has all of 9 sacks and 5 picks thru 7 games (102nd and 99th, respectively). Not sure what’s with the Chickens on offense of late, but we figure they’ll come to play against a major threat to their shot at SEC East crown...Chick-Fil-A 19 Rocky Top 16
New Mexico State over #16 HAWAII taking 27 1/2: Aggies have already been smoked on the road by Auburn and Boise. We’;re not sure, however, that Brennan can go the whole game on the bad ankle and ‘Bows aren’t as prolific with back-up Tyler Graunke at the helm. Aggies have enough to swap sevens with Hawaii...for awhile...Aloha 52 NMSU 27
Nebraska over #17 TEXAS taking 21: If the Corn Flakes can tack on a FG (or two) to recent mediocre performances and the Black & Blue Shirts can hold the Steers around the mid-30's...’Horns 36 Big Dread18
#19 MICHIGAN over Minnesota giving 23 1/2: Do ya think these two Big Tenuous conference teams will hold a joint pre-game pow-wow to swap horror stories about losing to I-AA teams?!!! Three of last four have been decided by a FG (last season’s game finished with a 14-point margin). Gerbils defensive woes suggest Wolverines could breach 50. UM goes for the Little Brown Jugular... Big Blue 49 Minny 7
#21 Virginia over NC STATE giving 3: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wolfpack off it’s inaugural win of da’ season for Tom O’Brien, who probably looks in the mirror each morning and chides himself for leaving Chestnut Hill...Cavs 27 NCSU 17
#22 Alabama: IDLE (next vs. LSU)
Mississippi over #23 AUBURN taking 17: Tigers on 5-0 ATS run but return home after pair of bruising tilts on the road at Arkansas and Baton Rouge. Four picks hurt the Rebels last week. Ole Miss has recent history of covering nicely when playing a Top 25 team and were competitive in home losses to Mizzou, Florida and ‘Bama...Auburn 24 Mississippi 13
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Vindy takes a bow and signs a few autographs after the Bison of I-AA North Dakota State fulfilled his Week Seven prophecy by beating the Gilded Gerbils of Minnesota straight up...27-21!
After drawing 15 flags for 131 penalty yards in Notre Dame game, BC spent off-week adopting yellow as an official team color. Eagles first year coach Jeff Jagodzinski took a page from Red Sox player Manny Ramirez and created a stir among the Eagles Nation by saying , “Winning the National Title ain’t everything!”
Trojans’ plane to South Bend last week dropped like a shoulda’-been-Terrell Owens-pass-reception! BTW, given the number of intentional throws into the stands made by Jimmy Clausen vs. Boston College, we’re not surprised Coach Weis changed QBs for the USC game last week!
Coach Paterno allegedly exchanged a few “niceties” with another motorist who did him wrong on a campus road recently. Did the Weber Kid happen to mention that 2007 is the 50th anniversary of Cat In Da’ Hat, the 100th anniversary of the invention of plastic (consumers of unbreakable stadium bottles of brew rejoice!) and the bi-centennial celebration of JoPa’s first driver’s license???!!!
This summer, the Russians split a gut racing to plant a flag on the Arctic Ocean floor to stake their claim to the North Pole. Imagine their surprise when the Comrades discovered the offenses of Florida International and Notre Dame had already beaten them to it!!!!
The ex-girlfriend of BoSox pitcher Josh Beckett sang the national anthem to open Game Five of the American League Championship Series. Country singer Danielle Peck looked Beckett square in the eye and belted out, “Ohhhhh....whennnnn... willlll.... Iiiiiiiiii... seeeeeee....any allllllll-iiiii-moohhhh-neeeeeeee?!!!!”
With the World Series between the Red Sox and Rockies being played in two very cold-weather climates this year, Games 6 and 7 could hinge on which hurler’s got the more-effective snowball!
Last January, a hit-and-run driver veered into Shaquille O’Neal’s SUV. He was chased and eventually caught by the NBA star, but that’s takin’ Hack-a-Shaq just a bit to the extreme, dontcha’ think??!
“Locked in a Box?”: Those Eugene Decoys run Vindy’s lock record to 6-2 (.750) after whackin’ the Huskies.
Shoppe Talk: So many swords and shields, so little time as the Trojans hang around at 1-6. The Gators and Gamehens make the menu at 1-5 each!
Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 10-23-1 (.303)
Last Spring, The Sporting News used Maggie the monkey to pick each round of the NHL playoffs (via wheel spin). Guess who’s pickin’ this week’s “best bets”!!!!!
ECU -14 over Alabama-Birmingham, Central Michigan -2 1/2 over KENT STATE, Michigan State -3 ½ over IOWA, MARYLAND +3 ½ over Clemson