DES MOINES, Iowa (UPI)....The Vegas Vindicator took a little heat from John Edwards this week over fielding preset questions about his picks from "plants" among the audience while attending preliminary gatherings in preparation for January’s Democratic caucus. The embarrassed oracle came clean and fessed up to having camp aides provide questions ahead of time to shills in the seats rather than taking queries off-the-cuff. Edwards noted "bettors expect you stand in front of them and answer their tough questions about how you plan to fix your dismal ‘best bets’, not ramble on about your stellar ‘lock’ picks." Near-chaos erupted when Spanish king Juan Carlos chimed in and continued to lambast Vindicator regarding his poor overall season record and was told to "shut up" by the famous forecaster. Vindy also shot back at Edwards, yelling, "Answer this!" In a show of support for the Weber Kid, Wyoming coach Joe Glenn offered the Spanish monarch the same universally-recognized hand gesture he flashed at Utah coach Kyle Whittingham this past weekend after the Utes tried to pile on by attempting an onside kick, already ahead by 43 points!
Vindy borrowed Coach’s hand signal one more time as the weekend’s final scores came in and mired him in a 9-13 tally for Week 11 (93-104-5, .472), pushing his season record over the Benjamin line in losses. Trying to stay afloat through the homestretch, we offer...
THE WEBER KID’S 2007 WEEK 12 FORECAST
THURS. NOV. 15
#2 Oregon over ARIZONA giving 12 ½: All good things must come to an end as Vindy’s 3-0 forecast win run on Thursday nights came crashing down last week. Both terams got an extra fortnight to prepare for this. Ducks should benefit more with QB Dixon healing from recent injuries. Ducks were minus-six in turnover ratio against the ‘Cats last season. AZ has covered 3 of last 4, but those all came against teams whose seasons were flagging (USC, UDUB and UCLA)...Mallards 34 Arizona 17
FRI. NOV. 16
#13 Hawaii @ UNR: OFF (Warriors QB Brennan will probably be back from last week’s concussion. ‘Bows undefeated, but only 3-4 against the line and now travel to cold-climate Reno, where the Wolfpack is 17-8 ATS over last 25)
SAT. NOV. 17
MISSISSIPPI over #1 Louisiana State taking 18 1/2: Rebels off a bye and have a history of covering more times than not each year against ranked opponents (including 2-1 ATS this year and a 3-point OT loss last year in Baton Rouge). Bengals posted their first cover in last seven tries last week at home over non-conference Weeziana Tech... LSU 31 Ole Miss 19
#3 Oklahoma over TEXAS TECH giving 9: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Final tilt of the regular season for the Raiders, who stumble badly playing ranked teams (4-10 ATS since 2003, including 0-2 this year in only two dog roles of ‘07). Omitting 45-point spanking by Oklahoma in 2002, largest margin of victory for either team in this series has been 17. Tech is mere 2-4-1 ATS in last seven overall this season and won’t be able to whip the ball around the field like it did in bad loss at Austin...Sooners 41 TTU 20
Iowa State over #4 KANSAS taking 26: Grudgingly going against Kansas squad that’s perfect to-date against the number. State’s lousy at covering finales. After three-touchdown loss at Kansas State in 2006, Cyclones were on the wrong end of 31-point home loss to Kansas. Dust Devils avenged the K-State defeat earlier and are on 4-0 ATS run...Manginos 35 ISU 20
#21 CINCINNATI over #5 West Virginia taking 6 ½: Mounties put it on the ground three times in final 30 minutes last week to let Louisville recover from deep hole. Bearkats defense can fluster WVU’s offense. Each team is 7-2 ATS this year. Team Morgantown has covered 4 of 5 away and have dominated the series SU (13-1-1). Cincinnati was first team Vindy put a wager on this week...Cincy 20 West Virginia 17
#6 Missouri over KANSAS STATE giving 7: Line opened at 10 and the money says Wildcats cover. Hmmm... Mizzou took advantage of turnovers to blow-out State last season. KSU will be an angry, angry team following 73-31 humiliation by Nebraska (BTW, there were exactly ZERO turnovers in that game) and fared well in Manhattan over the last two-plus seasons (14-5 SU, 13-4 ATS with spread defeats to Kansas, Nebraska, Louisville and... gasp ... Florida Atlantic!). Mizzou’s smallest margin of victory since 6-point win over Illinois was 13...Tigers 31 KSU 20
#23 MICHIGAN over #7 Ohio State taking 3 1/2: First big rivalry game for Buckeyes frosh quarterback and State hasn’t had nearly as much time to deal with deflating loss as Michigan had to deal with its early-season demise. Buckeyes have won 6 of 7 straight up. A Michigan win probably sends State to a non-BCS bowl game in Florida, though BCS officials would obviously rather have a 11-1 OSU squad in the Rose than an 8-4 Wolverine team as Big Ten champ. In all honesty, we’d be happy with a FG in either direction here, but let’s call it... Big Blue 17 Buckeyes 16
#8 GEORGIA over #22 Kentucky giving 7 ½: The bookies have caught up to the Bluegrass Kitties, who faltered to 2-3 ATS over last 5 following 4-0 spread run to open the year. Woe to those who bet against Joja’ in November games. Georgia’s defense is too good to allow the type of comeback ‘Cats managed in losing effort against Florida ...’Dawgs 29 KY 14
#9 Arizona State: IDLE (next vs. USC 11/22)
#10 VIRGINIA TECH over Miami giving 17: Tech is 45-9 straight up in Blacksburg. Hurricanes managed only only 189 total yards against Virginia (five turnovers probably had something to do with that)...VT 27 Miami 7
#11 USC: IDLE (next @ Arizona State 11/22)
#12 Texas: IDLE (next @ Texas A&M 11/25)
#14 FLORIDA over Florida Atlantic giving 34: Third Sun Belt foe of the year for the Urban Meyer’s boys (though Western Kentucky is still just provisional). Crocs are 8-3 ATS in last 11 non-conference games. Not quite a Sunshine State rivalry and next week’s game at Florida International will be of more interest to the Owls. FAU lost to Big Six conference teams by 48, 45, 40 and 39, but have improved to 36, 28 and 12 this year...Florida 55 FAU 20
#15 CLEMSON over #18 Boston College giving 7: Winner gets to play next week’s Virginia-Virginia Tech winner for the ACC championship. These clubs have played three OT periods in last two games between them, both won and covered by the Eagles. Tigers on 4-0 ATS and have scored 191 points over that period. BC just 1-3 ATS in last four games (with a game that shoulda’ been lost to Virginia Tech)...Clemson 27 BC 17
#16 Virginia: IDLE (next vs. Virginia Tech)
#17 BOISE STATE over Idaho giving 34 ½: While the Vandals have covered the number 3 of last 5 against the Broncos, they’re 2-4 ATS in last six-pack vs. ranked teams and have one winning spread record in last seven seasons (ain’t happenin’ this year either since they’re already at 3-6. State’s hammered the wAC’s lower tier this season, including combined 10-0 wins over New Mexico State and Utah State. Idaho beat the line twice to open the year, but is 1-6 since...BSU 44 Idaho 6
#19 TENNESSEE over Vanderbilt giving 12: Vols could possibly be distracted by upcoming trip to Lexington, but we figure outright loss to the ‘Dores in ‘05 and mere 4-point victory in ‘06 should help keep UT focused. Tennessee players took out a full-page newspaper add supporting their coach. Funny...the bookies did likewise for Vindy (because let’s face it...Vin’s "best bets" have kept bettors a couple city blocks from the cashier’s cage!). All three of Tennessee’s spread losses came on the road, leaving UT 6-0-1 ATS in Knoxville. Vandy’s a live road dog, but..Rocky Top 28 Admirals 14
Northwestern over #20 ILLINOIS taking 13: This one got "lock" consideration. Illini off huge (and controversial) upset of then-#1 Ohio State and could be flat. The BCS is in a serious quandary, experiencing panic Vindy ain’t seen since the Peter Pan peanut butter recall for salmonella last Spring. NW has won four straight over UI. With Tony Hawk’s Sweet Shoes ... um..we mean...Sweet Sioux Tomahawk..at stake, Illini should be on upset alert...Illinois 27 Wildcats 26
#24 Wisconsin over MINNESOTA giving 14: Gerbils were 3-13 ATS playing Top 25 teams coming into this year and have simply been a sister-kisser, posting two pushes against OSU and Michigan thus far. Badgers showing signs of late of the kind of play we expected back in the preseason. Gophers playing out the string. Paul Bunyan’s Axe stays with...Wisky 38 Minny 7
#25 UCONN over Syracuse giving 18: Looked at this for lock too. Dogs have covered 9 of last 10 in Storrs and won’t be gracious hosts here either coming off major stinker in Cincinnati. UConn should reach the 40's and while only Maine failed to reach double-digits vs. the Huskies, only Cincinnati broke into the 20's...Sled Dogs 42 Excuse 13
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
It was revealed in April that three top NFL prospects, including WR Calvin Johnson, reportedly used a little wacky weed. Hey, they were just trying to emulate their hero Ricky Williams! But they’ll still need more playing time to match Williams’ career record for YAC (Yards After Cannabis). We suspect he "got by with a little hemp from his friends"!
University of Tennessee women’s hoops coach Pat Summitt has thrown in the towel on her marriage of 27 seasons ...um...years. We heard her hubby kept insisting she wear that cute little cheerleading number she donned last spring in support of the Vols mens basketball squad!
In related news, Shaq has also filed for divorce, claiming his missus stopped letting him "take it to the rack!"
Following up its recommendations for safe disposal of old medications last week, the FDA also suggested wrapping Vindy’s Picks in Notre Dame offensive game-plans to render them completely unattractive.
The City of Miami is looking for someone to demolish the Orange Bowl, now vacated by the Hurricanes. We’re thinking there’s a sweet 2-for-1 deal in the offing if they could dupe the Dolphins into holding practice there just about the same time the stadium gets blown up!
According to the latest issue of ESPN: Da’ Mag, Cards QB Jake Plummer has entered the U.S. Open of Handball. Guess that would explain the Snake constantly swatting the snap off his center’s behind this week during practice!
That same ish also noted the Colts recently raffled off five Super Bowl rings for charity. And when the five players from other teams realize their bling is gone, they’re gonna’ be really annoyed!
DNA analysis this week ruled out George Gipp as the father of a woman long-rumored to be his daughter. Researchers, however, have not yet excluded the late Ronald Reagan and your humble host as possible sires! (BTW, Vindy was the father of Anna Nicole’s baby!).
"Wish I Had That One Back": We would definitely like a do-over on the Oklahoma-Baylor call (though the Bears did score very late to get the backdoor!) and the Ohio State-Illinois prediction. Geez!
"Locked in a Box?": The Kansas Jayhawks raise the lock tally to a nifty 8-3 (.727).
Shoppe Talk: Gators slither away (for now) with a forecast win, but the Trojans hang around at 2-8.
Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 17-29-1 (.369)
TEMPLE +2 over Kent State, LOUISIANA TECH -6 over San Jose State, Central Florida -13 over SMU, Penn State -3 over MICHIGAN STATE, AIR FORCE -11 over San Diego State