Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2008


ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN)....Presumed Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is no stranger to the sports world and her experience might just impact the remainder of her career. The one-time-Sarah Heath played point guard for her high school’s girls basketball team. Should the electoral vote end in a tie on November 4th, the next presidency could be decided on the hardwood in a game of one-on-one or “HORSE” against Dem representative Barack Obama. Upon hearing news of that possibility, former-president Bill Clinton said he hoped the pair would “consider playing that one as ‘wet T-shirts and skins’”. The Alaskan governor also spent some time as a sportscaster, covering hoops and hockey for the local KTTU television station. She joked, “If the White House thing doesn’t pan out, there’s always ESPN. Ya know? ‘Sarah! Duh-duh-DUM, duh-duh-DUM!”

Meanwhile back in Sin City, pleased with a decent 9-5 (.643) opening week, Vindicator heads off to local Sam Boyd Stadium to lead his mai-tai chi class, but not before offering...

(Where ya can still check the first parlay card onto the plane at no extra charge!)

#25 South Carolina over VANDERBILT giving 10:
Damn...Vindy was one ranking away from not having to pick another Thursday-nighter! We watched the Gamehens open their season last week and they didn’t really drop the hammer offensively on NC State until the second half. The Boat People apparently took offense to going into Miami-Ohio game as a dog (and frankly, we didn’t give Vandy any preseason love either) and whacked the Redhawks. Commodores are 4-9 ATS getting points at home the last four years. We’re putting our faith in Steve Spurrier, but not without reservation having watched his QB throw three first-half INTs last week...SC 21 Vandy 10

#1 USC: IDLE (next vs. Ohio State)

Central Michigan over #2 GEORGIA taking 23 1/2: First of three away games for the Chippies, who have their highest number of returning starters (8 on each side of the ball) since ‘04 and are expected to contend for MAC Championship hat trick. Have to wonder if drop in rankings after giving up two late meaningless scores to Joja’ Southern will inspire Coach Richt to run up the score a bit if given the chance. Initial thought was take da’ points. We’ll go with that...Dawgs 34 CMU 20

Ohio over #3 OHIO STATE taking 34 ½: Final 43-0 score of Buckeyes game vs. Youngstown State might be just a bit deceiving. Buckeyes booted five FGs, including two from 50 yards or more. Bobblecats had a dozen flags for 115 yards in one-point loss to Wyoming and could grind out a cover if OSU starters get early showers with USC up next. OU has improved to 14-10 ATS the last two seasons after being 7-14 in ‘04 and ‘05...State 34 ‘Cats 7

#4 OKLAHOMA over Cincinnati giving 21: Bearkats have a senior-laden defense and did appropriately dispatch its I-AA opponent, Eastern Kentucky, with little doubt. UC has also gone 7-1-1 ATS in last nine against ranked teams, with six of those nine on the road. Cincy does have its lowest number of starters coming back since 2005. In the wake of recent “work program” problems in Norman, local businesses are now limited to employment of only five Sooners. Players are getting around the new policy by disguising themselves as illegal immigrants!...Okie-Dokie 45 Cincinnati 17

#5 FLORIDA over Miami giving 21 ½: ‘Canes have beaten the Gators outright six straight times, but the last game came in 2004 B.T....”Before Tebow!”. Somebody under center for Da’ U is gonna’ throw his first career live-fire pass and Florida expects to get some injured players back this week...Florida 41 Miami 14

SE Missouri @ #6 MISSOURI: No line.

Troy over #7 LSU taking 24: Troy will show no fear of the Bengals and we like the 5-2 spread record vs. BCS teams in the last two seasons, including 2-1 vs. the SEC in 2007. With only 5 offensive starters back last season, Trojans upped their offensive output by 137 ypg! Local Vegas transplant Andrew Hatch did a nice job in Tigers’ win over App State, but we’ll ignore State’s current 11-1-1 spread run vs. non-conference teams the past three years ... LSU 24 Troy 10

EAST CAROLINA over #8 West Virginia taking 8 1/2: Mounties, not unlike Joja’, also gave up a pair of meaningless 4th quarter touchdowns to Villanova, but it didn’t cost ‘em a spot in the polls. WVU does, however, have only four returning starters on D, while Georgia has nine. With the upset victory last week over the Hokies, Pirates have pocketed their second straight SU win as double-digit dogs (taking into account ECU’s outright bowl win over Boise State last season). It’s not quite DD here and we don’t think the Bucs have a trifecta in ‘em anyway (though we’d love to see it), but...WVU 30 ECU 24

#9 AUBURN over Southern Miss giving 18: Banged-up receiving corps or no, we’re supporting Auburn here. Various spread trends (away dog, non-conference and ranked foes) overwhelmingly go against the Golden Eagles. Six of this season’s SoMiss opponents had four or fewer wins in 2007. Aubie ain’t one of ‘em...War Eagles 29 Southern Miss 6

#10 Texas over UTEP giving 26 ½: Miners defense has deteriorated over each of the past three years and going back to last year, UTEP has dropped seven straight games straight up. ‘Steers handled more-potent Florida Atlantic team last week as predicted. Can’t see that changing here...’Horns 51 UTEP 20

Marshall over #11 WISCONSIN taking 20 1/2: Gerbils blew the cover late last week, yielding a trash TD to Akron with 38 seconds left. Herd showed some life in whacking AA team Illinois State by 25. Badgers seem to play to the level of their competition and are good-but-not-great 14-9 ATS as faves at Camp Randall...Wisconsin 31 Marshall 13

NEVADA-RENO over #12 Texas Tech taking 10: With rumors of PAC-10 expansion with teams like BYU, Wolfpack could be auditioning to help backfill the Mountain West. UNR is 23-14 ATS the last three years, but just 2-4 ATS against last six ranked foes. Best bet here might be the “over” as both teams combined for better than 1260 yards of offense and 98 points last week. Shootout...Red Raiders 41 UNR 35

#13 ALABAMA over Tulane giving 30: We’re having somewhat of a tough time laying this many with a Tide team that’s only covered 2 of the last 16 as home chalk (1-1 with a spread this big), but given what it did to Clemson on neutral turf and Wave’s failure to cover its last four season openers, we’ll give Saban and the boys a shot. With only Sun Belt-wannabe Western Kentucky on deck for ‘Bama...Tide 37 Tulane 0

#14 KANSAS over Louisiana Tech giving 20 1/2: Upset wins by Fresno State and these Weeeziana Tech Bulldogs have folks in the WAC all excited, though Mississippi State relies mostly on its defense. Jayhawks inexplicably called off the dogs up by 30 late in the 3rd quarter against Florida International. They can’t afford to do that this week...Fightin’ Manginos 45 La Tech 20

#15 ARIZONA STATE over Stanford giving 14: OK...under Coach Harbaugh, Cardinal has knocked off the Trojans, increased scoreboard tallies by 9 points per game and decreased opponents’ scoring by 3 points per game. Stanford also reduced its turnovers last year. Stanford rescued a victory from the jaws of defeat via two late Beavers miscues. We’re not buyin’ it this week...Devils 37 Trees 17

#16 Brigham Young @ WASHINGTON: OFF

#17 South Florida over CENTRAL FLORIDA giving 14: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Curious line that seems to more reflect UCF’s mere 7-point loss to the Bulls at home in 2006 rather than the 17- and 52-point beatings it took at South Florida in ‘05 and ‘07, respectively. Knights did manage to take much better care of the football in the second half of last season, going -11 in turnovers through the first six, but +12 through the final eight. Not gonna’ help them here (and that whoppin’ 17-0 win over SC State last week doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence either!)...USF 42 UCF 17

#18 OREGON over Utah State giving 35 1/2: Up by 27 vs. Washington with under a minute left, the Decoys kept pressing and scored another TD. Aggies are a veteran team that hung around vs. UNLV, but the QB just completed his first career game in a 10-point loss. Hmmm...let’s see. Are the Huskies at least two points better than USU? Questionable sometimes, but we think they are...Mallards 51 Utah State 7

#19 PENN STATE over Oregon State giving 16 ½: Major concern for the Lions here is keeping WR Sammie Slaughter, who had 157 yards and a couple of scores in loss to Stanford, under wraps. PSU is 7-2 ATS against non-conference teams the past two seasons. Back in May, JoePa spent a couple hours in a local State College hospital, suffering from dehydration. At Coach’s request, the attending physician simply dumped a Gatorade bucket on his head and sent him back to the practice field!...The Alma Mater 35 Beavers 16

#20 WAKE FOREST over Mississippi giving 8: With Clemson’s demise, the heir-apparent to the ACC crown might just be Wake Forest. We thank Jim Grobe and his team for starting Vin’s season with a Thursday night forecast win! First-year Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has some talent to work with, but the non-conference spread record leaves something to be desired...Deacons 27 Rebels 13

#21Fresno State: IDLE (next vs. Wisconsin)

#22 UTAH over Nevada-Las Vegas giving 22: Those who watched the Utes topple Michigan 25-23 know the game was not nearly that close. Utah will want to avenge a 27-0 white-wash in Sin City last year. Rebels won, but not convincingly over Utah State squad considered by some as the nation’s worst club. Rebels only 6-15 against the line as road dogs the last four seasons and RB Frank Summers made some disparaging post-game remarks last year about the Utes defenders not really wanting to tackle him. Gotta’ figure those nifty quotes are going up on somebody’s bulletin board ....Utah 42 UNLV 9

#23 UCLA: IDLE (next @ BYU)

Eastern Illinois @ #24 ILLINOIS: No line.

Last week, an Obama camp spokesperson called McCain’s selection of Palin as running mate “a Hail Mary pass”. While the Democrats do not believe the Republican front-runner has the arm-strength to actually heave Palin that far, Obama will take no chances and plans to drop eight players into the end zone to bat her away if she makes it that far!

This summer, UNLV held its annual “Let’s Get Physical” clinic, designed to teach women about the game of football. Vindy wandered down to the presentation at Sam Boyd Stadium in hopes of catching a glimpse of some celebrity impersonator bustin’ out her best vintage Olivia Newton-John act!

During off-season practices, Rebels coaches awarded a black jersey to the best player from the previous practice session as a reward/motivator. Vindy gives his black jersey (autographed and authentic forecast-worn, complete with beer stains and Doritos remnants) to Arkansas State for last week’s performance. As one of Vindy’s “best bets”, the Red Wolves not only covered 19 ½ points, they actually beat Texas A&M outright!

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver formerly-known-as Chad Johnson just had his last name legally altered to “Ocho Cinco”. Not to be upstaged, just-reinstated Dallas Cowboys DB/KR Adam “Don’t Call Me ‘Pac-Man’” Jones just had his surname legally changed to “Wocka-Wocka-Wocka-Wocka”!

The Baltimore Ravens retained the services this summer of a wildlife expert to train actual ravens to fly outta’ the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium, starting this coming Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Nice, but how cool would it be if he trained ‘em to come “gently rapping, ...tapping” on the windows of the visiting teams’s bus as it arrives!

A 60-year-old Chinese acupuncturist pierced his body (including his head and face) with 2008 decorative needles showing patriotism for the then-upcoming Olympics. But a real man woulda’ got 2008 ring piercings and hung a replica gold, silver or bronze medal from each one! Of course, that woulda’ doubled the holes to 4016! (And who was the sick individual that designed and marketed the “decorative” acupuncture needle?!). Gotta’ wonder...with that many acupuncture needles, was he completely numb for the duration of the Games? Did his earlobes explode? Was he considered an honorary porcupine?!

In August, Vin caught this headline in the local newspaper...”Johnson Wins Gold on Beam”. We just wanna’ know which assistant coach slipped a little whiskey to the underage gymnast just before the event and why she was given Cuervo tequila as a prize for her efforts!

Team Latvia upended the U.S. pair in beach volleyball! Are there beaches in Latvia??! Until this summer, the only Latvian of note Vindy knew about was Victor Von Doom, who ruled the tiny kingdom in the Fantastic Four comics in 1970's!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yep, Vindy called it. One of the few mistakes he made in Week One was backing Weeziana-Monroe against Auburn.

“Locked in a Box?”: The Mallards of Oregon hammered Washington and opened Vin’s lock record at 1-0 (1.000).

Shoppe Talk: Correction to this section from last week...we noted USC as not playing until Week Two and had Boston College actually in the forecast. Obviously, Troy blew out Virginia and the Eagles weren’t ranked. The good news...we had USC and Hawaii on the correct side of da’ spread, meaning the Taxidermy Shoppe remains vacant ...for now!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 2-2 (.500)
FLORIDA ATLANTIC -13 ½ over Alabama-Birmingham, Rice +3 ½ over MEMPHIS, Northwestern -6 ½ over DUKE, Akron +5 over SYRACUSE


misterreereeder said...

Rough Week!!! At least your Alma Mater did you proud.

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