Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2008


STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (REUTERS)....Previously living in relative obscurity outside the world of college football, JoePa the Plumber, whose real name is Joe Paterno, hit the national political radar in a big way after having his name uttered a collective 26 times during the third and final presidential debate last week. Paterno first got noticed when he told Illinois senator Barack Obama that he had hoped to actually purchase the university which has employed him for the past several decades, but could not afford the accompanying taxes under Obama’s plan. In the wake of that encounter, JoePa has come to represent America’s “everyman”. Local residents, however, were surprised to hear that the beloved head coach of their currently third-ranked Lions football team also had been moonlighting for Penn State, fixing clogged or leaky pipes in Beaver Stadium and various other facilities around the campus. Ever-modest, the Happy Valley legend questioned why he was “getting all the attention when there are others out there with similar concerns who are much more deserving, like Bob the Builder, Frank the Tank, Felix the Cat and Jabba the Hutt!”

Already down 0-2 headed into Saturday, your haggard host went 6-13 (68-67-1, .504) and knew he shoulda’ kept Giambi’s lame thong another week!!!! Val Kilmer, reprising his role as Ice Man in Top Gun, told Vindicator...”It’s not your picking. It’s your attitude. I mean... whose side are you on?”. Back in the cockpit with Goose and Maverick (What?! How’d she get in there??!!) , Vindy just hopes the bookies don’t have “missile lock” on....

(Trust Vindy...he’s a doctor. He’s also a PC!)

FRI. OCT. 24
SAN JOSE STATE over #13 Boise State taking 7 1/2: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.
The Bulldogs are only 3-2 against the line this season and couldn’t cover on the blue turf against Da’ Bows despite a plus-three turnover margin last week. Boise offense apparently hit the showers early after scoring a trey just 90 seconds into the 4th Quarter. Spartans have covered 3 of last 4 vs. the Potato-Heads, with prior pair of SU losses in San Jose coming by 3 and 7. SJSU is 5-1 against the line to-date this year and on 14-5 spread run vs. the WAC. Broncos held Hawaii to one score, so BSU opponents still have scored more than 7 just once...until now....San Jose State 28 Boise State 24

SAT. OCT. 25
#1 TEXAS over #7 Oklahoma State giving 13:
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant reeled in 11 grabs for 212 yards against Baylor. ‘Horns were vulnerable to Oklahoma’s passing game in the first half and intercepted Mizzou’s Chase Daniels just once. Tough to go against hot State team, but in the last four meetings between this pair, the final margin was close only in the two games played in Stillwater (Both won by the ‘Horns...38-35 last year and 17-15 in 2005). We like UT’s level of competition over that of Okie State, but wonder about a fatigue (and luck) factor...Steers 49 OKSU 34

#2 Alabama over TENNESSEE giving 7: Tide jumped out to a big lead before letting Ole Miss chip away in the second half. Good news, Elephants fans...’Bama posted three offensive touchdowns last week! Tide’s covered three of last four vs. the Vols, who were locked in a close one with Mississippi State before returning a pair of picks for scores (one of which occurred with the Bulldogs deep in Tennessee territory) in the second half to pull away. Rocky Top wants to avenge one of last year’s four outright losses...a 41-17 defeat in Birmingham. Not happenin ’... Alabama 27 UT 13

#3 Penn State over #10 OHIO STATE giving 2: If this line holds up ‘til kickoff, this will be only the second time in five seasons the Buckeyes have been dogs in Columbus and OSU has won 24 of last 26 SU at the ‘Shoe (losing only to Illinois in ‘07 and Texas in ‘05). But Lions whacked a previously near-invincible Wisconsin team at Camp Randall (a week after the Buckeyes did so). Ohio State has won 7 of last 10 SU vs. the Lions and Penn State is 0-fer- Columbus since at least 1993. OSU is 0-4 ATS at home this season (though the spreads in those tilts were 18 or more). Michigan State coughed it up five times last week to help Buckeyes get the win. “Just win, Baby!”...Nifty Lions 19 OSU 13

#4 Oklahoma over KANSAS STATE giving 19: Wildcats could be flat off tough loss last week at Colorado and lack of returning defensive starters really shows. Not a good sign for team going against an Oklahoma scoring- machine that’s lit up the board for 45 or more in five of seven and haven’t tallied less than 35 all year. ‘Cats pass D is ranked 92nd nationally, yielding 14 passing scores while snatching only four INTs. The “letdown” vs. Kansas is over, and though Sooners are still just 7-7 in last 14 laying points on the road, unless the special teams give up good field position repeatedly to K-State...Sooners 48 K-State 20

Kentucky over #5 FLORIDA taking 24 1/2: ‘Cats are now without their starting RB as they continue to negotiate a schedule that sees only four opponents who had fewer than seven SU wins last year. Kentucky’s lost their last three in the Swamp by margins of 7, 17 and 19. We think the D will be good enough to hang long enough with the Gators, who were idle last week, so they haven’t had the post-LSU-blowout letdown yet. Gators on 11-4 ATS run as home faves, but... Florida 41 KY 24

ARIZONA over #6 Southern Cal taking 16: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Trojans were busy shredding Wazzou’s rice-paper defense with three 100-yard rushers, while ‘Zona was rallying from a 10-point hole to whack Cal. AZ has covered last three vs. USC and lost by just 6 in L.A. last season...USC 27 Arizona 17

#19 KANSAS over #8 Texas Tech (PK): Tech had difficulties on special teams (allowing two kick-blocks) and three turnovers vs. A&M. Jayhawks have covered last three vs. Tech, but last played in 2005 was got points in all three of those games. Kansas didn’t play too badly in loss to Oklahoma. Vindy’s Week 8 forecast got caught in a tornado...and a house dropped on it... Kansas 29 Red Raiders 24

#9 Georgia over #11 LSU taking 2 1/2: Rematch of 2005 conference title game...won 34-14 by Joja’. ‘Dawgs can’t afford to look ahead to Florida and are currently on 0-3 spread run. Tigers have been dismal SEC home faves and haven’t covered either home game this year. Bengals got six sacks and three turnovers to pull out win over South Carolina. Have to figure Georgia can win behind it’s experienced backfield...Joja’ 13 LSU 10

#12 Utah: IDLE (next @ New Mexico) (Guess we gotta’ shelve the concept boards for that “Strumpets of Salt Lake City” day-planner we were workin’ on!....See BYU-UNLV write-up below!)

#14 South Florida over LOUISVILLE giving 5: This one got “lock” consideration. Interesting line considering Cards lost only other Big East game this year by 5 to UConn at home, though these two do seem to trade ass-whuppings at their respective home parks. Bulls let Syracuse hang around for a half before blasting the Orange (uh...did we forget to note last week’s prediction that Syracuse could cover with a FG was meant for the first half????!!!! OK, not!) Cards at home for the 6th time in 7 games, but unless there’s a Louisville, Florida (see Sunday’s UCF-Tulsa breakdown below)...USF 35 Louisville 17

#15 TCU over Wyoming giving 32: TCU player had a tackling dummy with the BYU logo in team weight room since last year. The dummy had no sacks or tackles for loss, but did draw a personal foul for unnecessary roughness! Cowboys are 0-7 ATS and haven’t even come close to a cover. How they actually beat Ohio U. in the season opener is still a mystery...Froggies 45 Wy are we still playing? 7

Colorado over #16 MISSOURI taking 21 1/2: Tigers are in midst of 2-2 SU/1-3 swoon with back-to-back defeats by Texas and Oklahoma State. Buffs in 0-4 ATS slide themselves, but held on to an early eight-point lead to ease by K-State by 1. CU is now 3-12-1 against the number getting points away from Boulder. Buffaloes were embarrassed 55-10 last year at home. Mizzou beat Buffalo by 20 at home. Always a glutton for punishment, Vindy grabs the extra point-and-a-half...Tigers 38 Bison 19

#17 PITT over Rutgers giving 9 1/2: Panthers just 3-7-1 laying points at home in last 11 tries under Coach Wannstedt, but updating a nice stat from Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com, Pitt has now covered 34 of last 35 when winning outright with revenge. Knights victimized Pitt 20-16 in ‘07 in New Jersey. Pomegranite Paladins have scored more than 12 points only twice this year (three times if ya count game vs. I-AA Morgan State!) and have a fair-to-middlin’ rush defense. They’ll need more that to win or cover here...Pitt 28 Rutgers 10

#18 BYU over Unlv giving 23: Had the Coogs actually beaten TCU, or at least not been blown out, we woulda’ considered taking the points here. Rebels lost a must-win game to Air Force (but stayed close enough to kill Weber’s second parlay, wasting a cover by his lock pick, Ole Miss) in the final minutes and could be flat as a pancake. BYU recently revoked the diploma of a Vegas-based August graduate for producing a calendar featuring topless Mormons called “Men on a Mission” There goes Vindy’s calendar showing topless kickers, called “Punters of Provo”!... Cougars 42 UNLV 17

Eastern Michigan over #20 BALL STATE taking 24: EMU has one cover in six games so far (and how did they beat Bowling Green on the road??!!), but are scoring an average of 24 points per game in last three. Powerful Ball State offense got some R&R last week and Birds are 6-0 ATS to-date. BSU won handily last season 38-16 and have covered past three vs. EMU, but those spreads were only -4, -5 and +6. Much-improved Northern Illinois team, just one game behind Ball State in the MAC West, is up next...Redbirds 38 Eagles 16

Virginia over #21 GEORGIA TECH taking 11 1/2: 2008 version of the Cavs has more faces than Eve! Riding a 3-0 SU/ATS run, it’s a shame they waited this long to realize the season was really underway. Virginia is 0-2 (SU and ATS). We think the spread record changes for the better here. Behind the triple-option he ran until last year at Annapolis, Paul Johnson could potentially go undefeated or maybe 10-2 (with trips to Raleigh and Athens looming) and garner Coach of Da’ Year nominations. We don’t know what the 10-7 home win over I-AA Gardner-Webb was about...Bees 21 Cavs 17

NORTH CAROLINA over #23 Boston College giving 3: Collectively, this pair was minus-seven in turnover margin in their losses last week. If Tarheels are to stay close in their division and continue the ACC changing-of-the-guard, they need to win. BC probably should have lost to Virginia Tech last week...UNC 20 Eagles 16

Virginia Tech over #24 FLORIDA STATE taking 4 1/2: Just another installation of ACC’s revolving door of teams near the bottom of the rankings! Tech’s reeling a bit and generally doesn’t cover in games following Boston College, but Bowden-coached teams aren’t getting it done either. Injuns on Vindy’s Shoppe radar at 1-6 in their past seven forecast appearances going back to last year...VT 21 FSU 20

PURDUE over #25 Minnesota (PK): Boilermakers have yet to record a straight-up conference win this year and their only outright victories have come over I-AA Northern Colorado and Central Michigan, yet the line has moved from Gophers -2 to current “pick ‘em”, suggesting a lot of other folks out there agree with Vindy’s earlier assessment that Purdue could win out with a few fortunate bounces or calls. Choo-Choos have defeated Minny in seven of last eight. Gophers have covered only 1 of 9 spread tries vs. Purdue. Boilers have covered of two of three this year vs. ranked teams (and should’ve covered vs. Vindy’s Lions!)...Purdue 20 Gerbils 17

SUN. OCT. 26
#22 TULSA over Central Florida giving 22 1/2:
The top scoring team in the nation is...USC? Please. Oklahoma? Nope. Not even...Texas? Uh-uh. It’s... Tulsa! In fact, the Golden Hurricane puts up over 8 ppg more than the runner-up Longhorns (with an average TOP of just 28:22). UCF leans more on its defense (26 points per game allowed), but vs. top-notch teams, has really only shown up against other Sunshine State squads (losing by just 7 to South Florida and by 6 to Miami), so unless coaches can convince the Knights that the city across the bridge from St. Petersburg is Tulsa, not Tampa...Hurricane 44 UCF 20

Pundits aren’t sure which way JoePa the Plumber will actually cast his vote in a couple weeks, but noted Paterno did decline the opportunity to meet Bill Clinton during his visit to Happy Valley earlier this year to stump for Hillary (whose father and brother played ball at Penn State). Seems the former First Lady not only lied about coming under enemy fire when she visited Bosnia in the late 90's, she also made up a story about toting the rock against hostile linebackers and safeties upon arriving at Beaver Stadium!

BTW, the newest addition to the BCS formula is votes from the Super Delegates...which means, despite the actual rankings following the various conference championship tilts, the BCS Title game in January will pit a team from a red state vs. one from a blue state!

All six of the Weber Kid’s correct picks last week involved teams in the Top Ten, with only Vandy (then at #22) coming through (but the Commodores held the line vs. #10 Joja’!)

Correction department: We mistakenly wrote PSU would beat Michigan for the first time in nine tries. It was actually first time in ten!

Before blasting Mizzou last week, the Steers symbolically buried the hype of the upset over Oklahoma by literally burying that game ball. Vindicator wishes he had done likewise with Week Seven’s forecast!

The streets of Lancaster, California are being grooved to play the Lone Ranger theme song, AKA the William Tell Overture, when cars drive over it. In related news, the streets of Ann Arbor are being grooved to play tunes from the soundtrack of Titanic!

A recent medical study revealed Bee Gees classic Stayin’ Alive has the same rhythm as the famous CPR procedure, helping potential life-savers keep the correct pace. A Mallards coach, upon condition of anonymity, said Disco Duck helps Oregon QB Jeremiah Massoli with his timing and footwork!

Baylor paid students to retake SATs to bolster the school’s national average. Meanwhile, the NFL is considering paying bonuses to draft picks to retake the Wonderlic test to improve the league’s standings among the AFL, CFL and NFL Europe!

With the NFL taking its act to the U.K., Saints coach Sean Payton allegedly had some trouble explaining the premises of American football to the locals, including why absent Naw’lins RB Reggie Bush was not the illegitimate child of the currently-sitting U.S. president. London reporters, however, tried repeatedly to tell Payton “Bangers and Mash” was not really a pair of defensive ends who would be harassing his quarterback this weekend! Can’t wait to see video on You Tube of players doing end zone dances and spiking the football in front of the Buckingham Palace Guards!

Technical difficulties experienced by the Turner Broadcast System on Saturday night delayed live TVcoverage of the ALCS Game Six between Boston and Tampa Bay for the first 20 minutes of the contest. Meanwhile, Bill Belichick is considering suing ABC-ESPN after similar problems prevented the Pats coach from TiVoing the Broncos’ defensive signals during the first half of MNF’s New England-Denver game!

Who are those guys playing in the St. Louis unis and what did they do with the Rams???!!!

Black Shirt: The Black Shirt this week goes to Lions’ Pat Devlin, whose only catch of the game went for an 80-yard score with about two minutes left to give the alma mater the cover over Michigan, salvaging just one of six correct choices for your flabbergasted forecaster last week.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Vindy correctly tabbed the Hokies +2 ½ over BC selection as his “best guess for wish...” pick!

“Locked in a Box?”: A nice second-half surge by Ole Miss takes our “lock” record to 7-1 (.875)

Shoppe Talk: Red Raiders leave after picking up their first forecast W and Badgers aren’t on the Top 25 slate this week, but the Mormons of BYU are wiping their cleats on the welcome mat with three straight forecast losses and a 1-4 overall record!

Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-2 Season: 21-14-1 (.600)
ARMY -1 1/2 over Weeziana Tech, Rice +2 ½ over TULANE, NAVY -12 ½ over Southern Methodist, Michigan State -4 ½ over MICHIGAN, Middle Tennessee State +11 1/2 over MISSISSIPPI STATE, Troy -24 over NORTH TEXAS

Now if you’ll pardon the Sin City Soothsayer, he’s off to rehearse lines for his role in an upcoming Shakespeare production, sponsored by Coors....”Hark!...What light beer through yonder window breaks?!”

No comments: