NEW YORK, New York (BBC)....With Writers Guild members leaving their respective buildings to strike this week, nightly talk shows such as Leno and Conan, as well as the "world-wide leader" ESPN, have made pitches to the Vegas Vindicator to provide material for monologues and highlight collages. NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman said "Vindy’ll never earn a living pickin’ games, but his rather-twisted perspective on things could be a life-saver for several of our shows right now". The Sin Soothsayer however noted his own writers support the Guild and walked out too, but that he had enough items in reserve to get him through bowl season, then recanted that statement, saying "Oh wait...I forgot...I do my own stuff!" Daytime talkies such as The View are expected to eventually take a hit as well and may also be willing to use the forecaster’s talents. Vindy said he "always wanted to swap picks with Whoopi and Baba Wa Wa."
The chalk finally got more covers than the dogs again for the first time since September 22nd, helping Vindicator go 12-7-1 for last week (84-91-5, .480). Hopin’ to stave off the dreaded century mark in losses for at least one more fortnight, Vindicator battens down the hatches, turns on the nightlight and hides under...
THE WEBER KID’S 2007 WEEK 11 FORECAST
(Now biodegradable in honor of national "Green Week")
THURS. NOV. 8
#6 WEST VIRGINIA over Louisville giving 16: Mounties’ pass defense has improved nicely since early season and has them ranked #4 nationally. Cards have won three of last five this season on the strength of its own defense. ‘Eers have missed only one home cover in last dozen. In 2006, Redbirds knocked then-#3 West Virginia. We attempt to reel in a 4th straight Thursday night forecast win...WVU 34 Louisville 16
SAT. NOV. 10
#1 OHIO STATE over Illinois giving 15: One more straight-up UI triumph would equal the total number of wins acquired by the Illini over the previous four years. Illinois has been money for bettors when playing at The ‘Shoe. Only concern for State here is impact of physical game against the Badgers and the fact State didn’t pull away for the cover until late last week...Buckeyes 33 Illini 16
#2 LSU over Louisiana Tech giving 36: Bengals nearly did themselves in again against ‘Bama, drawing 14 yellow hankies for 130 penalty yards. Tigers were also -1 in turnovers. We don’t foresee such lack of focus here. Bengals on 0-6 ATS run while Ragin’ Cajuns are 6-2 against the number. State typically covers lines of 24 or better vs. non-conference squads. Tech’s season is over, even if they manage to win final two after this to achieve 6 wins...LSU 45 LT 6
#3 Oregon: IDLE (next @ Arizona 11/15)
#4 OKLAHOMA over Baylor giving 38: Bears playing their 11th consecutive game without a break and getting outscored by fellow Big 12 teams 143-23 on the road. Ouch! Sooners haven’t defeated Baylor by this many since ‘02, with largest margin in Norman being 31 since then. Kansas and K-State did beat Baylor on their respective homefields by 48 each. No harm in a few style points... Sooners 48 Baylor 8
#5 Kansas over OKLAHOMA STATE giving 5 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. This could be a replay of last week’s demolition of Nebraska by the Jayhawks. Okie State has had little problem the past several years with Kansas, but Fightin’ Manginos bring a defense that should keep State in check easily enough to cover this...Kansas 48 OKSU 30
#7 MISSOURI over Texas A&M giving 19: Aggie backers better hope for an outright upset because A&M has covered only one of its last 34 SU road losses (we thank nationally-known tout Marc Lawrence for that nifty little tidbit!) and have lost by 17, 28 and 28 away from College Station this season. Aggies were held scoreless until the 4th Quarter for second straight week by the Sooners and have posted 14 or fewer points in 3 of last 4 games. Line probably reaches 21 by game time...Tigers 38 A&M 13
#8 Boston College over MARYLAND giving 5 1/2: BC just two points from 3-0 ATS road record in 2007. Terps have fallen into the doldrums. Maryland only 2-5-1 vs. the pointspread and mere 1-3 in College Park. Eagles still up for BCS consideration and the Box Turtles’ 26th-ranked pass D will have its hands full keeping Matt Ryan under wraps for all four quarters...BC 27 Maryland 17
#9 Arizona State over UCLA giving 6 ½: Injuries have really clobbered what could’ve a special season for UCLA. We don’t think banged-up Bruins can hold the line at home against potent Devils offense...ASU 27 UCLA 9
#18 Auburn over #10 GEORGIA taking 1: Tigers have taken out Top Ten clubs in 9 of last 10 opportunities and won 10 of last 12 tilts in which the spread was plus or minus 7 or less...Auburn 13 Joja’ 10
#11 VIRGINIA TECH over Florida State giving 6: Last pairing of these clubs cost the Hokies a conference crown back in 2005. Seminoles notched their best win of the season last week, dropping BC, who was careless with the ball...Tech 21 FSU 10
#24 CAL over #12 Southern Cal taking 4: Bears on 0-4 SU/0-3 ATS slide since beating the Ducks. Being persona non grata at all the Vegas hotels and needing somewhere to hang his knife...uh....gun...um we mean... helmet...O.J. Simpson has gotten the offer for three hots and a cot on campus at his alma mater this week. The school has, however, removed all of Juice’s memorabilia from the university property and temporarily cancelled all nearby weddings...you know...just in case!....Berkeley 16 USC 14
#13 Michigan over WISCONSIN giving 2 1/2: Badgers, minus top runner PJ Hill, took a brief Third Quarter lead on the Buckeyes, then gave up 21 unanswered points. Wisky has yielded no less than 31 points in five of last eight games. Michigan has been a go-against in Madison, but not this time...Wolverines 35 Badgers 19
#14 HAWAII over Fresno State giving 17: Bulldogs are 5-6 ATS playing ranked teams since ‘03 season, including this year’s triple OT loss at Texas A&M and overall 3-1 on the road. While most of Fresno’s defense consists of upperclassmen, only four defensive starters returned this year and both safeties are sophomores...’Bows 51 Fresno 30
Texas Tech over #15 TEXAS taking 6 1/2: The Cowpokes hung 430 passing yards (and almost 600 total offensive yards) on the ‘Horns last week. Red Raiders QB Harrell could do that all by himself this week. Tech doesn’t have a guy that can rush for 100 yards, but their defense is better than Oklahoma State’s. Not sure UT-Austin’s got another big comeback in it if the Steers get well-behind early again...Texas Tech 37 Texas 34
#16 Connecticut over CINCINNATI taking 5 ½: Wow. A victory over faltering South Florida on the strength of 8 (count ‘em, 8!) turnovers gets the Bearkats home-chalk status?! Huskies collapsed late in Storrs last year to give Cincy the win. Just can’t pick against the Sled Dogs here as they go for first-ever SU win over Cincinnati in four tries...UCONN 21 UC 19
#17 Florida over SOUTH CAROLINA giving 6: Spurrier has split the two games he’s played against his old school since returning to the college ranks and nearly won last year too (losing 17-16). The rubber game of the match goes to...Gators 30 Cluck-Cluck 14
UTAH STATE over #19 Boise State taking 24 1/2: We considered this for lock when the line opened at 27. Aggies return of 18 starters from 2006 has paid dividends (at least for bettors) as USU has already surpassed last year’s spread wins (5-3-1 overall, 3-2 in the WAC vs. last season’s 3-9/2-5 respectively). Broncos just 2-4 last 6 on the conference road. Aggies just a missed XP vs. UNLV away from 6-3.....BSU 37 USU 19
#20 CLEMSON over Wake Forest giving 8: No shame in missing a 48-yard FG on the road as time expires to lose by a single point. Unfortunately, that was the second missed kick of the game for Wake. Deacons need a victory here and next week vs. NC State, along with two losses by BC to have a shot at ACC title game. Tigers have taken 7 of 10 in this series, but covered only 3 of ‘em...Clemson 29 WF 19
MISSISSIPPI STATE over #21 Alabama taking 4 ½: Vindicator made a handwritten notation last summer in one of his preseason mags that the Tide’s only tough road game was regular-season ender at Auburn. Perhaps that notation was a bit hasty. An upset is not outta’ the realm of possibility here with Bulldogs needing one more win for a bowl berth and having already beaten Auburn and Kentucky away...’Bama 19 MSU 17
#22 TENNESSEE over Arkansas (PK): Win over depleted Gamecocks adds a little credibility (emphasis on a little) to ‘Hogs win-loss record. Tennessee doesn’t defend the run all that well, but then neither does Kentucky, who spanked Arkansas earlier. Arkansas has qualified for the post-season, but four of the requisite six-pack of victories came over three Sun Belt teams and I-AA Tennessee-Chattanooga. They are, however, just five total points in losses to Auburn and ‘Bama from 8 wins. Vols in the middle of four-game homestand and need a cover to lock in first back-to-back winning spread seasons since ‘98 and ‘99. UT is 4-0-1 ATS at home this year. Vols laying nothing at home is the right side... Tennessee 24 Pigs 21
#23 Virginia over MIAMI taking 3 1/2: With the OT loss at NC State, ‘Canes obviously aren’t quite there yet under new coach Randy Shannon. Cavs are only here on the good fortune of aforementioned missed 48-yard FG by Wake with nothing left on the clock. Minor upset that establishes nice Cavs-Hokies finale to decide the ACC Coastal Division winner...Virginia 18 Miami 14
#25 Kentucky over VANDERBILT giving 3 ½: Curious line supported only by Commodores’ valiant three-point defeat to Georgia in Nashville. Unless ‘Cats fail to protect the football or let themselves get into a track meet... KY 35 Admirals 24
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
And now...Vindy grabs his picket sign, but first reprints some of his favorite "hash" items from 1997....NOT!
As a demo of his skills, Vindicator submits the following rewrite of the opening to a well-known daytime soap... "Like sandwiches through the shotglass, so are the College Game Days of Our Lives"! (Hey...we just write... Somebody else is gonna’ have to figure out how to stuff the hoagie into the jigger, okay??!!)
A judge in Gate City, Virginia got removed from the bench for among other things, deciding a child’s Christmas visitation between divorced parents by flipping a coin. Good news though...the judge has been offered the ceremonial coin toss at this year’s Meineke Car Care Bowl.
The Guvenator this past Friday said he learned to negotiate while sitting with his wife, Maria Shriver, in their Jacuzzi. Vindy extends an invitation to Cal’s first lady to sit with him in the hot tub and help our fearless forecaster negotiate next week’s picks!
While we often lambast the specific teams that the Weber Kid struggles regularly to pick on the right side of the line, little attention is typically given to the squads that come through week-to-week. Up for post-season awards of the positive kind are: Rutgers (6-1); Oregon, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin (all at 5-2). Not enough plate appearances yet, but probably going to meet the minimum at-bats (7): Arkansas (4-0-1) and Kansas (4-1).
Welcoming the 2007 college hoops season: What Don Imus actually meant to utter about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last April..."snappy, threaded clothes".
Senator John McCain invited visitors to his presidential campaign website last March to join him in picking winners in the 2007 NCAA tourney. We heard he had Texas A&M-Corpus Christi winning it all and AZ going out in the 1st round!
To ensure proper disposal and avoid misuse, the FDA recommended this week that expired medications be placed in sealed plastic bags with coffee grinds, dog poop or Vindy’s Picks to make the meds unpalatable to small children and animals rummaging through trash cans or dumpsters! (Hope you’ve enjoyed this public safety announcement!)
The Collegiate Bass Anglers Association wants to make fishing a recognized competitive college sport (Oh for goodness sake...go ahead and tack a "national" to the beginning and make the acronym NCBAA!). Can’t wait to see the opinions on these "athletes"..."Well, Bob...he’s good on the ‘dink and dunk’ but just can’t get the lure down-pond on a consistent basis". What about fishermen with unorthodox casting motions? Will there be penalties for illegal lures or forfeit of wins for using an angler with an expired fishing license? Rod and highlight reels? On a team desperately needing a victory, might we hear a talking head quip..."it’s time to fish or cut bait". Do they pump in crowd noise when practicing for away tournaments? Are there starters and back-ups in event of casting-shoulder injuries? What does the "scout team" do? Would the spread be based on total catches or poundage? Would an angler expected to go high in the first round decline a trip to New York to spend his traditional National Fishing League Draft Day playing football with his father? (Time for Vin to refill his meds again, isn’t it??!!)
"Locked in a Box?": It took a TD with 5 seconds left in the game, but those Troy Trojans pulled it out and boosted Vin’s lock percentage to .700 (7-3).
Shoppe Talk: The !@%$#@!!! Gators (1-7) had the intestinal fortitude to toy with our humble host for 15 minutes of game time, allowing Vandy to stay within two TDs, then quickly ripped his heart out with a huge 2nd quarter and never looked back! The USC Trojans will again stand guard at the Shoppe with a 2-7 forecast record!
Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: Feel free to call the fumbling forecaster "Magnum, P.I." (Prognosticating Idiot) because the "best bets" now stand at .357 (15-27-1).
New Mexico State +3 over SAN JOSE STATE, East Carolina -8 over MARSHALL, NORTH TEXAS +15 ½ over Navy, San Diego State +2 ½ over UNLV