Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2008


HOLLYWOOD, California (MSNBC)....In the aftermath of the writers’ strike earlier this year and as networks pin their hopes for high ratings on returning series and new shows making debuts this week, one thing was clear.... football will be an integral part of this season’s Fall line-up. Perusing the TV Guide, we find...on FOX...a former Penn State linebacker battles another Happy Valley alum-turned forecaster-turned machine who stalks an athlete who could save the future in...”Vindicator: The Dan Connor Chronicles”! Turning to cable fare such as Bravo, it’s... Carson Kressley of Queer Eye For the Straight Guy fame helping quarterbacks feel better about their nude bodies on the gridiron as he hosts...”How to Look Good on a Naked Bootleg” and retired coaches trying to find appropriate on-and-off-the-field companionship for their old playbooks on the game show, “Date My X’s and O’s”. Flipping to ABC...athletes get the joy of playing in their new digs after major renovations to their stadiums in...”Extreme Makeover: Homefield Edition”. But hoping to win the November sweeps, the Peacock will counter its competitors’ drivel by airing “Lipstick Jungle”, which follows the trials and tribulations of the Arkansas Razorbacks; a nostalgic thriller in which The Hof goes back to college as a student at Rutgers University and fights crime with the help of a talking car in...”Scarlet Knight Rider” and its secret weapon...a reality/game show piece with children cheering on their fathers, who enjoy casual sports-betting, as they compete against each other with a handicap in various competitive events on...“My Dad’s Better Than Your Dad...Against the Spread!”

And just because inquiring minds wanna’ know...after posting a 9-7 record for Week Four (32-33-1, .492), the perplexing prophet traversed the red carpet at the Emmys this weekend wearing Converse, Wrangler jeans, Fruit of the Loom and NFL Pro Shop gear! Oh...and Michael Jordan’s underwear...uh...that MJ gave Vindy to wear...while carrying a draft version of....

(Now with “a little Captain” in them!)

OREGON STATE over #1 Southern Cal taking 25:
Trojans coming off second bye already this season and cover better than 75% of the time with a week’s rest (they certainly did against the Buckeyes!). Only concern here is USC’s 7-11 ATS track record last two years against other PAC-10 teams. Beavers have also covered Trojans’ last three visits to Corvallis. State’s new D has had three games together now to gel a bit and this could be a slight trap game with SoCal looking forward to the Ducks. Vindy suffered his first Thursday night loss last week. Will it be two?... USC 27 OSU 7

#24 Texas Christian over #2 OKLAHOMA taking 17 1/2:
Rested Sooners have dented the scoreboard for 52 or more points in all three games to-date. Horny Toads actually won SU Norman, when they last met (2005). Sooners on 11-3 ATS run laying points at home. Frogs have beat the line 8 straight times getting more than a TD out-of-conference. TCU’s number of spread wins has fallen each of the last two years, but it’s 3-0 so far. Looking for the Toads to play enough defense...OK 31 TCU 20

#8 Alabama over #3 GEORGIA taking 7: Joja dodged a couple bullets in narrow victory over South Carolina and really haven’t been challenged otherwise (sorry, iffy Arizona State team that lost to UNLV doesn’t count as a “challenge” at this point). Tide rushed for better than 9 ypc vs. Bumbling Boars of Arkansas and should be able to win this on defense. Your humble narrator has yet to pick Bama on the right side of the spread this season and the Dawgs have beaten the last five ranked squads they’ve faced...four by double-digits. What’s the worst that could happen? This one went to Joja in OT last year...Alabama 24 Georgia 19

Mississippi over #4 FLORIDA taking 23: Vols were sloppy last week and Gators took advantage. Rebels saw the Tebow Show last season and lost by only six with Florida laying more than three touchdowns. Ole Miss also defeated the Crocs on its last trip to the Swamp, 20-17, in 2003. Points here are too good to pass up... Florida 24 Mississippi 16

Mississippi State over #5 LSU taking 24: Last year’s 45-0 loss to the Bengals, failure to cover ten of last eleven against LSU and total of 19 points scored in three lined games this season do not bode well for the Bulldogs here, yet they seem to play more inspired ball in conference games, going 15-17 ATS the last four-plus seasons vs. the SEC... Tigers 27 MSU 9

#6 Missouri: IDLE (next @ Nebraska)

#7 TEXAS over Arkansas giving 27 1/2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Back in Week Three, Vin had the Steers tabbed to cover this one before Mother Nature forced a change of plans and nothing’s happened since then to make him rethink that choice, especially in light of Hogs embarrassing loss to Bama last weekend. Tide had four scoring plays of 62 yards or more...two on defense. Good news for Razorbacks seniors who don’t get selected in this Spring’s NFL draft...they can always star in make-up commercial between rounds...’Horns 51 Pigs 17

#9 Wisconsin over MICHIGAN giving 6 ½: Badgers ended Big Blew’s eight-game winning streak late last year and haven’t eaten a spread loss against Michigan since 1999. Wolverines are 10-4-2 ATS the past two years against the Big Tentative conference, but just 0-2-1 playing Wisky. Smallish line is either reflection of Badgers’ defensive struggle at Fresno or indication Michigan hasn’t been ruled out as a player in the conference...yet...Badgers 28 Michigan 16

#10 Texas Tech: IDLE (next @ Kansas State)

#11 BYU: IDLE (next @ Utah State 10/3)

#12 PENN STATE over #22 Illinois giving 14: Something has to give. Illini are just 6-10 ATS getting points on the road the last four years and have a suspect defense. Nifty Lions have covered only four of last 16 conference matches. Illinois is off a bye following 20-17 squeaker at home over...UL-Laugh-At-Us?...The Alma Mater 42 Illinois 20

NC STATE over #13 South Florida taking 8 ½: UPSET SPECIAL. Bulls have won their last three FBS games by 7, 3 and 8...all spread losses. Wolfpack has to feel good about beating ranked East Carolina team last week after otherwise poor start to this season. Big Least squads have definitely shown some vulnerability to lesser opponents ...NCSU 24 USF 21

Minnesota over #14 OHIO STATE taking 18: This game got “lock” consideration. Golden Gerbils seemingly have solved some problems on defense after yielding almost 100 yards per game more than in 2006 and have limited two stout offenses, Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic, to nominal points en route to current 4-0 SU record this season. Minny covered its first game vs. State in five tries last year...barely. Beanie’s back for the Bucks, but not 100%...OSU 29 Gophers 24

#15 AUBURN over Tennessee giving 6 ½: Tigers had the LSU game in-hand and let it get away...and Vindy watched the debauchery unfold in the second half. While Aubie looked good on defense, special teams play was horrific with the Tigers missing two opportunities to recover two muffed punts by the Bengals and two dismal punts of their own in the third and fourth quarters. Auburn can’t afford another conference loss. In a rematch of the 2004 SEC title game (won by Auburn 38-28), we like...War Eagles 24 Rocking Chair Top 14

#16 WAKE FOREST over Navy giving 15 1/2: Deacons are not-real-inspiring 4-10 ATS laying points at home last four-plus years, while the Ensigns are 12-6 as a road dog over the same time frame. Wake converted four of seven FG tries to beat Florida State last week. GOP candidate John McCain was on-hand to watch the Middies topple Rutgers last week while attending a class reunion. The senator was overheard reminiscing about his days at the Academy, wearing animal furs and iron helmets with horns while exploring the seas off Annapolis in ships powered by a dozen guys wielding oars in the water!...Wake Forest 29 Admirals 6

Weber State @ #17 UTAH: No line (and no relation!)

#18 Kansas: IDLE (next @ Iowa State)

#19 Boise State: IDLE (next at Louisiana Tech 10/1)

Maryland over #20 CLEMSON taking 11 ½: Tigers appear to be losing support quickly based on continuing drop of this line in favor of the Terps. Box Turtles already have one upset as a double-digit dog this season. We don’t think it’s gonna’ be two, but at 0-2 ATS plus a pair of wins over double-A teams, Tigers’ “Thunder & Lightning” is starting to look more like “Thumbellina & Light Weight”...Clemson 21 Maryland 15

#21 Vanderbilt: IDLE (next vs. Auburn)

#23 EAST CAROLINA over Houston giving 10 ½: This game also got some initial thoughts for “lock” by your host. Pirates were only 1-4 ATS as chalk in 2007 and are already 0-2 in that mode this year. Still, we prefer the Buckos’ season history that includes two ranked victims over that of the Houston Cougars, who, in a “best bet” role last week for Vindicator, not only failed to cover, they failed to even win against Colorado State squad whose most significant achievement to-date was a 23-20 squeaker over FCS team Sacramento State!...ECU 34 Houston 17

#25 Fresno State over UCLA giving 7: Bulldogs were out-gained 598-410 on offense in double-OT win over Toledo, and only snatched the victory when the Rockets failed on a 2-point conversion. Bruins are in disarray and scored their only touchdown on a one-yard fumble return last week in loss vs. Arizona. If Fresno D that held Wisconsin under two TDs shows up, UCLA could be shutout for second time in three games...FSU 20 UCLA 10

BTW, the latest reality show being shot in Vegas is... “Paris Hilton: BFF”...In the texting world, that’s Betting Friends Forever

And in a statement NOT made up by Vindicator, the man who was tasked to transform the “Knight Rider” movie into a TV series said it could potentially “go three (episodes) and out”!

In recognition of this week’s UNLV-UNR game, Vindicator bypasses the usual word-processing computer program this week and will just transmit the picks via text message on a State-funded gubernatorial cell-phone!

Analysis of the Irish intern’s laptop that was removed from the Notre Dame coaching booth this weekend over concerns of cheating revealed it was only used during the game to visit Facebook, My Space and World of Warcraft!

Last January, Britt Reid (son of Eagles coach Andy) pleaded guilty to DUI stemming from Aug 07 incident in which Reid drove his car into a shopping cart. Fortunately, the cart’s operator sustained only minor injury when the front and side airbags deployed!

Anticipating the foul stench of the performance of their teams this season, fans of the Detroit Lions, North Texas Eagles and Idaho Vandals conducted preseason tailgate practices in Beijing!

During the Simpson trial this week, jurors heard tape of a recorded phone call in which OJ was whistling the Wizard of Oz staple “If I Only Had a Brain” in the background. Alleged victims on the night of alleged (BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!) robbery were also heard asking “Are you a good witch...or a bad witch?” Personally, we think the former running back didn’t really give a damn about the jerseys, rookie cards and family photos, but was simply after the ruby cleats ....uh...we

Correction: Last week’s lead story made reference to Charlotte’s Web pig Wilson. The actual name of the porker in that story was Wilbur. We take solace in noting at least we had a sports tie-in since Wilson was the volleyball companion of Tom Hanks in Castaway! Wilson was actually available for comment...but made none!

Black shirt: Vindy awards his Black Shirt this week to the Pilots of Air Force for hanging tough (and just close enough for Vindy to get the spread win) against Utah last week.

“Locked in a Box?”: The Mormons appropriately blew out Wyoming, pushing the lock record up to 3-1 (.750).

Shoppe Talk: Vindicator pours a nice, big glass of Chinese milk for the Crimson Tide, who is now 0-4 and a major front-runner for post-season “honors” as “Grill-Master Supreme”! Several War Eagle beaks now adorn an entire Shoppe wall as Auburn also burned your fab forecaster for the fourth straight time in as many tries!

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-2-1 (ouch!) Season: 9-6-1 (.600)
Northern Illinois -6 1/2 over EASTERN MICHIGAN, Purdue +2 over NOTRE DAME, Bowling Green -3 1/2 over WYOMING, SAN DIEGO STATE -11½ over Idaho, RICE -18 over North Texas

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