Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 14-2008 Regular Edition


DEVILS TOWER, Wyoming (BBC)....The contents of a toolbag thought to be long gone following a spacewalk mishap led to an historic meeting between extraterrestrials and mankind at this northwestern landmark last week. Apparently, grease guns weren’t the only items in the bag that accidentally got away from astronaut Heidemarie Stephanyshyn-Piper during a recent repair mission outside the International Space Station. The aliens recovered the backpack-like container and upon discovering a copy of Vindy’s Week 13 picks (which the Endeavour crewmember hoped to peruse during a mid-spacewalk break) inside, made a bee-line for Earth in hopes of placing a few wagers. The alien craft hovered over the mesa-like rock formation for which the town is named and attempted to communicate with local inhabitants through a repetitive sequence of tones and percussion sounds that bore an uncanny resemblance to the Sportscenter theme. Eventually emerging from the mother ship, the other-worldly creatures made their peaceful intentions known through telepathy, and though quickly returned the lost toolbag and grease guns, the visitors would not part with the college pigskin prognostication!

After Week 13's tally of 5-7-1 (114-109-3, .511), befitting a puny human, it’s “ET phone homefield” to call in....


Western Michigan over #15 BALL STATE taking 11:
What is it with these early-week MAC games?! Are conference teams allergic to Thursdays and weekends or what??!! With Utah now firmly-entrenched as the automatic BCS Buster, the Redbirds are merely playing for the pride of the undefeated season and a post-season trip to Mobile, Alabama or, considering travel arrangements for fans, a cold-weather vacation in either Detroit or Toronto following its first-ever conference title match against the MAC East winner. Ball State has taken three of last four outright from Western Michigan, including 5OT 60-57 game just four seasons ago. Broncos sporting a nine-win record, including a neutral-site triumph over Illinois, have grabbed some Top 25 votes the past few weeks and could conceivably head into the bowls with a ranking if they can pick up their 10th win of the season (after totaling just 13 combined wins the previous two years). WMU unfortunately has only one SU victory in its last three tries against teams with winning records. It does, however, have six covers in its last eight lined affairs (4 of 6 away from Waldo Stadium). Given a passing game that’s produced 33 touchdowns against only 6 interceptions and 11 sacks, Broncos can hang offensively with Ball State, but it may be the defense that keeps ‘em in this one. Broncos have allowed only two opponents more than 28 points (not bad by MAC standards). State had beaten every foe this season by at least 12 until last week. Birds looked a little vulnerable, snagging a red zone INT in the final minute vs. the Chippewas to hang on. And since this isn’t a designated “rivalry” game and BSU obviously isn’t part of the directional-Michigans triumvirate, there’s no real motivation to run-up a score...Ball State 35 Western Michigan 27 (Birds made this prognosticator look like an idiot again, whacking WMU by 23 last night!)

Texas A&M over #4 TEXAS taking 35:
As we celebrate the annual holiday, we’re simply thankful there’s only one ranked game on this Thursday! Steers are fourth in the AP, but first runners-up in the poll that counts after being idle last week and still need some help from Oklahoma State to keep the Sooners from jumping them. Each of the last four games between these two have been decided by less than 10 points and the Aggies won 38-30 in 2007, but lost this year by 28 at Oklahoma State, 38 vs. Oklahoma and 20 at Baylor. A&M has scored at least 21 in all but opening 18-14 loss to Arkansas State...Longhorns 52 Aggies 24

FRI. NOV. 27
#9 BOISE STATE over Fresno State giving 21:
Broncos were one of only two favorites backed by your narrator last week and rewarded the famous forecaster, barely, with one of only five dubyas. Broncos tossed three picks (two of which went for Wolfpack scores) in the 3rd quarter to let Reno back in the game or it would’ve been another blowout victory. Gotta’ figure BSU to be relegated to hosting the Humanitarian Bowl (again!), while Bulldogs simply look to close out a disappointing regular season that was expected to be a BCS run. FSU has seven wins, but picked up its first spread victory since season opener last week. Fresno has a lone cover in past seven games against the Broncos...Boise 48 FSU West 21

Mississippi State over #25 MISSISSIPPI taking 14: Kudos to first-year Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt for taking a squad that went 3-9 in 2007 and recording seven wins (and counting!), including victories over Florida and LSU, while losing by just 4 at now-#1 Alabama. State’s just 1-3 ATS as a road dog coming into this one after going 8-3-1 in that role the previous two seasons and shows a mere 2-6-1 ATS in last 9 Egg Bowl bouts. Bulldogs are home for the holidays regardless of this outcome, but could’ve gone bowling had they not suffered one-point losses to Auburn and Kentucky. State accounted for Vindy’s only “best bet” loss last week, beating Arkansas by 3 after spotting the Pigs a two-touchdown lead in the 1st Quarter and has thwarted the Weber Kid three times in four tries besides that one... Ole Miss 20 MSU 10

SAT. NOV. 28
#1 ALABAMA over Auburn giving 14:
War eagles have taken the Iron Bowl six straight years and could take the sting out of their first bowl-less year in nine seasons with a victory. Only two of Auburn’s defeats this year were by more than five points. Make it three...Tide 23 Auburn 6

#2 Florida over #23 FLORIDA STATE giving 16 1/2: Line must be based on historical results from games played in Tallahassee (covered by the Injuns in five of last six here) because this year, Gators are leaving little doubt about their national title game worthiness by hammering SEC opponents and out-of-conference foes by an average margin of 23 points (BTW, we think Florida’s 10th TD vs. Citadel was caught by the UF team physician, who was open way downfield!). ‘Noles need a cover here or in a bowl to continue three-season streak of exactly six spread wins...Gators 38 Florida State 17

#3 Oklahoma over #11 OKLAHOMA STATE giving 7: Until being manhandled by Texas Tech, Cowpokes’ road record would support taking the points, especially in light of improvements on both sides of the ball this season, but State lost by 36 to the Raiders, who lost by 41 to Oklahoma. No, the final margin here won’t be 77, but gotta’ figure it’s bigger than this line. Cowboys haven’t beaten the Sooners since the turn of the new Millennium, but have losses in Stillwater since then by just 6 and 3. First true road challenge for Oklahoma...Sooners 38 Cowboys 24

#5 USC over Notre Dame giving 30 1/2: The Vatican forgave John Lennon this week for comments a few decades ago about the Beatles exceeding the popularity of Jesus, but insiders say absolution for Notre Dame’s loss to Syracuse ain’t happenin’! Adding to the irony of the timing of that pardon is the presence of a freshman QB on the roster named...Crist!...Troy Boys 52 Leprechauns 10

#6 Penn State: IDLE (next...da’ Rose Bowl)

#7 TEXAS TECH over Baylor giving 20: Following public humiliation by the Sooners, in which Tech allowed not one, but TWO 100-yard rushers, at a clip of over five yards per carry, Raiders could come out unfocused and flat after falling from the AP two-hole, but frankly, we think they’ll just be mad. Bares are 4-3 ATS facing conference teams this year, but lost by 24 at Texas and 32 to Oklahoma. Tech no bargain laying points at home, going just 1-2 in ‘08 and only 9-7 the previous four years. Best guess for “wish I had it back”, but... Guns Up (we mean it this time!) 51 Baylor 27

#8 Utah: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls!)

#10 Ohio State: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls!)

Kansas over #12 Missouri (@ Kansas City, MO) taking 14: Potential upset. Tigers have covered the line in 6 of last 8 neutral site games and won this tilt outright last year (also on a neutral site) by just 8. Have to go back to 2004 to find last time Jayhawks dropped three straight ATS in November and Kansas lost by just 14 in Norman earlier. If the defense plays well, the Birds can win this straight up...Mizzou 31 Maybe We Kansas 28

#18 Georgia Tech over #13 GEORGIA taking 8 1/2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. UPSET SPECIAL. Bees whacked Miami to take the Coastal Division lead, but can only watch the rest of the ACC games play out and hope they get to the conference title game for a possible BCS berth. ‘Jackets used a monster running game to get to this point and the voice in Vindy’s head is screamin’ “upset” again. Wreck’s last defeat of in-state rivals came in 2000 (between the hedges, no less). Couldn’t pull the trigger on the Kansas-Mizzou game, but we’ll do it here. In OT... Bees 19 ‘Dawgs 16

#14 TCU: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls!)

#16 CINCINNATI over Syracuse giving 22: Congrats to the Orange for extending the length of Sunday’s South Bend confession session with a late rally to post their third outright win on the season. And now back to our regularly-scheduled reality TV. ‘Cuse is probably good for a ten-spot and Bearkats haven’t wandered into the 30's since first week of October. They’ll do so here, wrapping up the Big Ceased conference and the commensurate Orange Bowl bid...Cincy 38 Syracuse 10

#17 OREGON STATE over #19 Oregon giving 3 ½: As good as the Mallards have been, the Beavers have pocketed the last two outright and 4 of last 5 ATS against them. State uses its air attack and enough defense to chug into Rose Bowl rematch of early-September disaster in Happy Valley...OSU 38 Decoys 28

#20 BYU: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls!)

Maryland over #21 BOSTON COLLEGE taking 7: Taking da’ points in ACC match-ups the past two weeks has been a lucrative strategy, with the conference dog winning and covering 4 of the 5 games appearing in Vindy’s forecast. Terps will have to do a better job protecting the ball, however, since BC is +15 this season in turnovers and four giveaways did the Box Turtles in last week during 37-3 loss the ‘Noles...Eagles 20 Maryland 16

#22 Michigan State: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls!)

#24 Northwestern: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls!)

BTW, the space travelers offered up 126, 500 Druzpheks (roughly equivalent to 24 U.S. dollars) and a handful of shiny, but dangerous alien trinkets to buy Manhattan....uh...the university, not the island! The folks in Wyoming politely turned down the bid, but did invite their guests to hang around long enough to watch the Longhorns host the Aggies and the annual Thanksgiving Day NFL fare!

$100, 000 for a toolbag???!!! Who’s makin’ these things for NASA... Gucci???!!! Heidemarie coulda’ got herself a nice one with her favorite team logo on it just for buyin’ a subscription to Sports Illustrated!

Even the pontiff is calling for Charlie Weis’ resignation! (And hey....the Fab Four never lost to the Orange layin’ almost three touchdowns!). There’s no snow in L.A., but Irish “fans” making the flight to the game this week are said to be checking coolers full of snowballs!

Just hours before we posted this week’s picks on the blog, Florida State had two more players hauled off to the hooskow on battery charges. FSU may or may not win the ACC, but they’ll lead the conference in all-perpetrator yards!

Among the pardons granted by President Bush this week....Bill Belichick (Sorry, still no slack for Notre Dame!). In fact, ya know those infamous Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton tapes......??!!!

Black Shirt: Goes to Wazzou kicker Nico Grasu for booting two of his three field goals on the day in OT (with the other coming as time expired in regulation to get there!) of last week’s Scrapple Cup melee to give the Cougars at least twice as many wins as their rivals at UDUB will record this season, regardless of the results of their respective finales this week!

“Locked in a Box?”:The Beavers used a late FG to beat Arizona outright and raise the lock record to 11-2 (.846), besting Vindy’s previous high of 10 lock wins in each of the past two seasons!

Shoppe Talk: Red Raiders bombed again vs. Oklahoma to fall to 1-8, while the Mormons rolled over in the second vs. Utah to go 2-8!

Vindy’s Week 14 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 35-23-1 (.603)
Nevada-Reno -4 over LOUISIANA TECH, NC STATE +1 1/2 over Miami, RICE +3 over Houston, Tulsa -14 over MARSHALL, Florida International +5 over FLORIDA ATLANTIC

No comments: