Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 3-2008


FOXBORO, Massachusetts (UPI)....In an instant, the 2008 NFL season was rocked. A year-ending knee injury to New England quarterback Tom Brady, followed by a mere seven-point victory over the Kansas City Chiefs led by back-up QB Matt Cassell left the Patriots fans, players and front office scrambling this week to find a suitable replacement. Bookies tired of being bested, by even the most casual of bettors, by bets on New England to cover obnoxious pointspreads last season, had actually considered arranging an “accident” for Brady, but called off Jeff Gillooly at the last minute when the on-field incident happened. The Patriots are holding open try-outs this week and have actually invited such veterans as Art Schlichter, Ryan Leaf and Michael Vick. Vick declined the try-out because his “uh...schedule... wouldn’t permit it”, but did submit a videotaped workout shot in the prison yard. Other invitees included Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler and America’s Got Talent winner and Vegas-headlining ventriloquist Terry Fator. Said a team spokesperson, “Hey, if the guy can throw his voice 60 yards, he gets a shot with us!”. Insiders, however, say the edge may belong to now-Jets quarterback Brett Favre. Seems team officials noticed the former Packer while reviewing...uh...”game film”...of the Jets sideline coaches while Favre was tossing the pigskin back-and-forth with a waterboy in the background. Said the unidentified Pats staffer, “We didn’t know how really good Favre was until seeing him on tape.” If unable to grab the former Green Bay legend, the Patriots may simply select the best available athlete!

Meanwhile, in the blue corner...weighing 216 pounds...the Dancin’ Destroyer...the King of Sting...the Master of Disaster...oh, wait...that was Apollo Creed! Anyway, hoping to regain some of Week One’s momentum after Week Two’s 9-9 (18-14, .563 season), Vindy answers da’ bell with....

(now available with Colonel Sanders eleven secret herbs and spices)

#13 Kansas over #19 SOUTH FLORIDA taking 3 1/2:
The home team ruined Vindy’s Week Two lock pick by yielding not one, but TWO TDs to Central Florida in the final three minutes of da’ game, sending the game to OT and blowing what would’ve been at least a push. Based on early returns from the Big Creased conference, this could actually be South Florida’s final hurdle to an undefeated year and a trip to the BCS Title game. USF is 5-2 ATS as home chalk the last two years and has covered 4 of last 5 vs. ranked teams, winning the most recent three SU (all as dogs). Kansas has four seniors on the O-line and returns nine defenders from last year’s 12-1 squad. Jayhawks did not however face a team the caliber of South Florida during that run, nor during the first two games of this season. Kansas is a crapshoot the last four years as an away dog, going 7-7 ATS...Jayhawks 27 Bulls 24

#1 USC over #5 Ohio State giving 11:
While we wouldn’t be flabbergasted if Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel had simply been playing possum in last week’s less-than-impressive, come-from-behind victory over Ohio University to avoid giving away any football family secrets on game film to USC, the late narrow victory-by-rally might suggest State ain’t ready to contend in this one. Boys of Troy cover about 80% of their games off a bye week and are 3-0 SU and ATS in last three vs. the Big Tenuous (all in the post-season until now)...USC 24 Cecil and Da’ Bean(ie) 12

SOUTH CAROLINA over #2 Georgia taking 7: Last four between these two clubs have been reasonably close, low-scoring (highest total of 36 points) defensive battles, with the Gamecocks covering three of the four (including last year’s SU win). Gamehens QBs have tossed six picks over first two games of ‘08...Joja’ 19 SC 13

#3 Oklahoma over WASHINGTON giving 20: In February, Oklahoma recovered eight forfeited wins back from 2005 after the NCAA appeals committee partially reversed an infractions ruling involving ex-QB Rhett Bomar. Norman faithful would like the victories credited to 2008 season (well, okay...they can manage this one themselves). On the heels of a controversial celebration flag that may have contributed to the blocked XP that woulda’ sent BYU game to OT, if Vindy was a Husky, he’d be staring skyward, arms extended and asking “what in da’ world do we gotta’ do to win one?!” Third straight Top 25 opponent for the Sled Dogs...Sooners 45 Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhington 20

#4 Florida: IDLE (next @ Tennessee)

Nevada-Reno over #6 MISSOURI taking 26 1/2: Wolfpack better ATS (and SU) at home than away and the top rusher is gone for the season. Still, Reno’s loss to Texas Tech might be educational for this one and as evidenced by Illinois game since Tigers’ D might be suspect. UNR has big rivalry game on deck at UNLV and is 5-3 against the number over last two years as a road pup ... Mizzou 42 UNR 27

#7 LSU over North Texas giving 41 1/2: What the Green didn’t need here was for the Bengals to get an unexpected week of rest. Tigers have covered 10 of last 11 laying 24+ vs. out-of-conference teams. Lean Green now 2-11 ATS over previous 2+ seasons playing non-conference squads as the result of being smoked 45-6 by Kansas State...LSU 54 UNT 6

#8 TEXAS over Arkansas giving 24: ‘Horns had possession 14 fewer minutes than UTEP, who committed only a single turnover, yet the stats were about even in all categories. The scoreboard though, was definitely in favor of the Steers. Razorbacks have pocketed 7 SU wins in 8 tries dating back to 2007, but struggled to triumph in four-point and one-point victories this season over double-A Western Illinois and Weeziana-Monroe, respectively. In January ‘08, a pork shortage in China saw “pigjackers” charging off with truckloads of hogs. In fact, Chinese bandits were even seen stealing the Arkansas team bus!...Texas 51 Soooeeeeyyyy Pig 20

#9 Auburn over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 10 1/2: Until last year’s 19-14 outright win (at Auburn) by MSU, Bulldogs had been little more than an appetizer for the Tigers. State’s spread wins have increased by one in each of the previous two seasons. Aubie was careless with the pigskin last week, losing the ball four times, and...scoring only a FG over the final 15 minutes, while missing the cover by 4 points. Hmmm. The road loss by Mis-Statement to Sun Belt’s Weeziana Tech is uppermost in Vindy’s mind. A glutton for punishment (see Shoppe Talk section of this week’s forecast)., we say...War Eagles 23 Bulldogs 10

#10 Wisconsin over #21 FRESNO STATE giving 1 1/2 : Okay, we admit, we were surprised to see Bulldogs win outright at Rutgers two weeks ago. Bulldogs are rested, but we think all that “BCS Buster” silliness gets squelched right here. Line opened with Fresno as the fave. Seems cooler heads have prevailed...Badgers 24 “Any Juan, Any Thyme, Under Wear” 17

Western Kentucky over #11 ALABAMA taking 28: A couple things work against the Tide here. One...lack of interest with a two-game SEC road trip starting next week. Two...’Bama appears to be reverting to win-on-defense philosophy (two of Tide’s three touchdowns last week came via special teams) and three...Green Wave held the Tide offense to 172 total yards. Third straight away game for the Hilltoppers, with two more coming over next three games, but...Alabama 31 Western KY 7

#12 TEXAS TECH over Southern Methodist giving 36 1/2: Wouldn’t be a bad lock choice. Ponies got kicked around at Rice in a 28-point defeat and didn’t blow FCS team Texas State off the field, winning by just 11. June Jones will have a long night coaching a team that gave up 100 more ypg on defense last year than in 2006...Red Raiders 66 SMU 13

#14 East Carolina over TULANE giving 13: Second time in four regular season games that this pair has squared off vs. each other. Tulane defense that stifled Alabama, as previously mentioned, encounters a confident team on a roll that has beaten three straight ranked clubs back to last year’s post-season. Pirates haven’t thrown a shutout since 2000 opener vs. Duke...ECU 27 Green Wave 0

#15 ARIZONA STATE over Nevada-Las Vegas giving 23: Rebels may have given their best shot, if you can call it that, in three-TD loss at Utah, lost their starting middle LB and may look ahead to big rivalry game vs. Reno next week. ASU gave up 55 sacks last season, so unless UNLV gets a decent pass rush on Rudy Carpenter, they won’t be able to trade sixes with the Devils...ASU 42 UNLV 13

#16 Oregon over PURDUE giving 7 1/2: Ducks seem no worse for the wear after putting several young skill-position players on the offensive side of the ball. Purdue would love to give outbound, retiring coach Joe Tiller a nice win over a ranked team, but it ain’t happening. In the midst of an April campaign swing thru Indiana, Hillary Clinton was seen consuming a beer and a shot. Uh oh...kiss of death to... the Boilermakers!...Mallards 34 Purdue 17

#17 Penn State over SYRACUSE giving 27: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Lions enter the Carrier Dome for the first time in 19 years. Earlier this year, audio historian David Giovannoni uncovered what’s thought to be the oldest known recorded human voice on a phonautogram. Researchers believe the 10-second clip from 1860 to be JoePa singing the Penn State school song! Looks like everybody in the Big Least has, at minimum, a puncher’s chance to win the conference...except Syracuse...Lions 49 ex’Cuse me 10

Ucla over #18 BYU taking 8 1/2: Third meeting in last 12 months and Bruins covered both of last season’s matches, winning 27-17 in September and losing 17-16 in the bowl. Mormons here on potentially-borrowed time after blocking the controversial extra-long XP that woulda’ sent Washington game to OT...Coogs 20 UCLA 17

#20 Wake Forest: IDLE (next @ Florida State)

UTAH STATE over #22 Utah taking 24 1/2: Utes nothing special last four years as road favorites. Aggies making nice strides in recent years, scoring on average 10 more ppg, while allowing 5 fewer ppg from ‘06 to ‘07. State did cover the opener vs. UNLV. Aggies have missed the cover against its fellow Bee Hive Staters in four of last six tries, but we like the points anyway ...Utes 30 USU 9

#23 California over MARYLAND giving 14 1/2: Yielding the play-calling to a new offensive coordinator by Coach Friedgen doesn’t seem to be panning out given Maryland’s 14-7 win over Delaware (though, the Blue Hens did lose in last season’s FCS playoffs to eventual champ Appalachian State) and straight up loss to Sun Belt’s Middle Tennessee State last week. We considered this game for “lock” too...Bears 27 Box Turtles 7

#24 ILLINOIS over Louisiana-Lafayette giving 25: Trip to Happy Valley next week could be a distraction for the Illini, but the Ragin’ Cajuns got smoked by Southern Miss and won’t do much here either. UL will probably get a look from your humble host against Kent State next week and might make some noise in Sun Belt play...Illini 48 Cajuns 17

#25 West Virginia: IDLE (next @ Colorado 9/18)

Last week’s Penn State-Oregon State was sooooooooo interesting, ABC showed clips of people being asked “Who (or which) is older...Joe Paterno or _________?” Mozart or JoePa? Sliced bread or JoePa? The Dead Sea scrolls or JoePa? Gunpowder or JoePa? Ummmm...Joe, Joe, Joe and....uh....the coin likes...gunpowder?!

Upset alert: North Dakota State straight up over WYOMING. Cowboys struggled to a 21-20 home victory over Ohio and got blasted by an Air Force squad way short on returning starters. Bison beat Minnesota outright last season.

Like most other Americans, Vindicator put May’s economic stimulus check toward just the, fuel and a futures bet on the Patriots to win this season’s Super Bowl!

The Sporting News reported that in light of the Eagles league-low 19 take-aways and zero defensive scores last year, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson now requires his defenders to pick up any fumble, interception or incomplete pass during practice and return it for a touchdown___accompanied by the other 10 defensive players. Guess that explains Philly’s stoppers rushing into the crowd to chase down those thrown-away passes and mounting up the convoy outta’ bounds toward the end zone during Sunday’s opening romp over the Rams!!

In June, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden commenting on workouts of Bucs RB Carnell Williams (who is attempting a comeback) quipped “It rivals some of the great Rocky Balboa movies.” In fact “Cadillac” is still running his way up Interstate 95 and hopes to make it up the stairs of Philly’s Library of Congress and back in time for this weekend’s kickoff!

OOPS!: We inaccurately referred to Beavers WR Sammie Stroughter as Sammie Slaughter in last week’s forecast.

Earlier this summer, the Navy reclaimed newly-commissioned officer and St. Louis Cardinals draft pick Mitch Harris. The hurler must fulfill his five-year commitment, but the right-hander was 20-13 with a 2.51 ERA in four years at Navy. Maybe they really just want him in the event the President orders a pre-emptive strike-out!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Vin laid the ten-spot with South Carolina “but not without reservation”. Our prestigious prognosticator also had “somewhat of a tough time laying this many (30)...” with Alabama.

“Locked in a Box?”: The Bulls’ very late defensive collapse drops the lock record to 1-1 (.500).

Shoppe Talk: With cost of materials these days, it easier to stuff a war eagle than a tiger as we officially declare Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe open, courtesy of. ...Auburn (0-2), Wisconsin (0-2) and Alabama (0-2).

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 5-3 (.625)
Western Michigan -8 over IDAHO, Temple +6 ½ over BUFFALO, Arizona -10 over NEW MEXICO, Bowling Green +16 over BOISE STATE

Until next week...Vin’s off to try out the newest PS3 version of Hurdy-Gurdy Hero!


cheehee said...

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misterreereeder said...

Another rough week. AND NOT JUST FOR THE FOLKS IN IKE"S PATH. But at least tour alma mater did their thing again. So ... what's up with UNLV?