Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 3-2009


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (ITAR-Tass)...Apparently forgetting the fallout from his previous utterance of the phrase, President Obama let it be known he thought the Weber Kid “acted stupidly” selecting Oklahoma State, not only laying 15 ½ points, but also as his “lock of da’ week” selection over Houston, who upset the Cowboys this past weekend. Obama later said he could’ve “calibrated those words more carefully...again!” Vindy, in fact, was accused in many sectors of “conference-profiling” (C-USA). The White House subsequently conducted its second “beer-summit” since July. Vindy, the offended Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, the Commander-in-Chief and Vice President Joe Biden, who as former senator in Delaware, Vindy’s one time home, was there in support of the lambasted forecaster, knocked back a few brewskis. Observers of the event say Vindy got a tour of the White House as did Coach Sumlin, and the two adversaries got a little time alone together before Obama, taking advantage of his Windy City ties, led the group in an SNL-like toast to “Da’ Bears!” The President opted for Bud Light, while the Weber Kid “went all international on his NCAA butt” with a Schneider Weiss German wheat brew, but Sumlin settled for a near-beer because of “tomorrow’s 4:30 AM practice start time”! Vin mumbled “What a wuss.”, but as the Cougars O-line, also on-hand, closed in, our fab forecaster quickly retreated, noting “...Uh...What a wuss I am...for not being able to get up that early to go to the sportsbook!” There was no reported tension, yet no apologies were publicly offered.

The Sin City Soothsayer continued his decent start, going a nifty 13-6 (22-12, .647) in Week Two and hopes to avoid the traditional Week Three disaster by baffling the bookies again with parlor tricks and shiny baubles! By the way, Congressman Joe Wilson interrupted the aforementioned meeting by blurting out “You lie!” after Vindicator said illegal immigrants would not benefit directly from....


#14 Georgia Tech over #20 MIAMI taking 4:
Bees blew a second-quarter 24-zippo lead to miss the spread win vs. Clemson and hung the second Thursday night forecast L on Vindy on his three opportunities to-date. Tech yielded scoring passes of 63, 9 and 77 in the near SU loss. ‘Canes receiver Travis Benjamin racked up 128 yards and a TD in Labor Day win over FSU, who stopped at Miami’s goal line late... Tech 24 Miami 20.

#10 Boise State over FRESNO STATE giving 7 1/2:
Broncos are young on both sides of the ball, but seem to be carrying on the Boise State tradition. Not sure Bulldogs can keep up after tanking a 21-17 lead after three quarters at Wisconsin before falling in double-OT. Fresno quarterback Ryan Colburn threw for four scores, but also for three picks. FSU won SU seven times, but covered only twice in all of 2008...Broncos 20 FSU 10

#1 FLORIDA over Tennessee giving 29:
Vols new head coach Kiffin uttered some preseason falsehoods regarding Urban Meyer in an alleged effort to “excite” fans and alumni. Call us crazy, but we think the Gators are the last team ya wanna’ provide with bulletin board material. In its last visit to the Swamp, UT lost in a 59-20 beatdown led by Tim T-Square. Florida’s covered 11 of last 13 at home... Florida 52 Rocky Toppled 20

#2 TEXAS over Texas Tech giving 17 1/2: Uh....that screaming you hear is the result of recurring night terrors Vin has been experiencing following the onset of PTSD just a couple months ago, well-after last season’s trauma at the hands of the Red Raiders, who entered the bowls with just one forecast win in 10 tries. Tech pulled off the last minute stunner that would be only blemish on Steers’ record last season. Think the 'Horns didn’t circle this one???!!!...Steers 41 Raiders 20

WASHINGTON over #3 Southern Cal taking 20 1/2: Huskies were horrible 1-5 ATS last year as home dogs, but have shown some promise this season with close loss to LSU and 19-point win over Idaho. Sled Dogs may also get a few extra pointers from head coach Steve Sarkisian, who had previously been Trojans’ OC. Men of Troy not real impressive ATS vs. rest of PAC-10 last 3 years (10-16-1), have one cover in last four vs. UDUB and could be drained after tough last second victory at Da’ ‘Shoe....USC 31 UDUB 13

North Texas over #4 ALABAMA taking 35: Tide now 4-8 against the line laying points at home under Nick Saban. Alabama’s appealing NCAA penalties requiring forfeiture of 21 victories from 2005, 2006 and 2007 as the result of players using their scholarships to get free textbooks for other students (like that’s a bad thing?!). That’s still more 14 wins than North Texas had combined over that period! Mean Green hasn’t topped four ATS wins since grabbing 7 in 2004, but have a pair already this year with a victory over Ball State and an OT loss to Ohio....’Bama 38 North Texas 7

Southeast Louisiana @ #5 (tie) MISSISSIPPI: No line.

Temple over #5 (tie) PENN STATE taking 29: Owls 0-3 SU and ATS last three vs. the Lions and Temple’s only match this season resulted in outright loss to I-AA Villanova. Lions 0-fer-2 ATS thus far, allowing Akron and Syracuse to hang around long enough to beat the line. Playing possum for next week’s game vs. Iowa? Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea has been voted the next site for Earth’s largest telescope. The visual device will “see 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the earliest years of the universe.”...Hey, look....there’s Joe Pa as a freshman at Brown!!!! State hasn’t shown the killer instinct thus far...Lions 34 Owls 7

Florida State over #7 BYU taking 7 1/2: We recognize FCS Jacksonville State is led by a former LSU quarterback, but ‘Noles finally erased a 9-7 deficit with 35 seconds to play. State’s senior-heavy defense didn’t get it done vs. Miami and FSU may not hit the scoreboard against Coogs counterparts. Then again, Injuns could be over the post-loss-to-arch-rival funk and come to play....BYU 27 FSU 24

#8 California over MINNESOTA giving 12: Only four opponents scored fewer than 20 points vs. the Gophers last season. Orange scored exactly 20 and Air Force was held to 13 in Week Two. Minny on 4-2 run against the number when facing ranked teams. Cal recorded just it’s second ATS win laying double-digits vs. non-conference teams in nine tries, pounding Maryland in the opener. Bears would’ve been bigger faves this week, but half the first-string is on one of their three mandatory furlough days for this game and had to stay home!...Bears 34 Minny 13

Louisiana-Lafayette over #9 LSU taking 26: With missed cover at UDUB, Bengals on 1-4 ATS slide vs. non-conference teams and are also 0 for their last 3 vs. Fun Belt squads. Wonder if maybe State’s missing former troubled QB Ryan Perilloux, who led Jacksonville State to that near-upset of the Seminoles. Seriously run-heavy Ragin’ Cajuns, off 17-15 of Kansas State, could make it interesting long enough in I’m-Not-Quite-Dead-Yet Valley....LSU 31 UL-Lafayette 7

Toledo over #11 Ohio State taking 20 1/2 (@ Cleveland, OH): Buckeyes off the heartbreaking loss to USC after controlling most of the game and are just 2-3 ATS vs. MAC teams the past three seasons. Toledo bashed Colorado last week, forcing Buffs head coach Dan Hawkins to replace son, QB Cody Hawkins, with MLB relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins this week against Wyoming!...OSU 23 Rockets 6

#12 OKLAHOMA over Tulsa giving 16 1/2: Golden Hurricane won’t be an easy out here and covered its last trip to Norman (2005), but wasn’t playing its third consecutive road game at the time either. The offense and rush D have both improved under the tutelage of Todd Graham. BYU dominated TOP vs. Oklahoma, holding the ball for nearly an entire quarter more than the Sooners...and did so behind the passing game. Tulsa’s grabbed 7 covers in last 10 vs. non-CUSA clubs, but is also 4-7getting points away. Okies on 13-4-1 ATS run as home chalk....OK 34 Tulsa 14

#13 VIRGINIA TECH over #19 Nebraska giving 4: Huskers have looked good so far in trashing a pair of Datsun Belt cupcakes, but Hokies got battle-tested right outta’ the chute in loss to ‘Bama after leading the Tide through three quarters. Tech now 3-10 ATS in last Baker’s Dozen vs. non-conference, but a win gets it back in the title hunt and maybe garners back a little respect for ACC conference down on its luck this season...VT 20 Big Red 14

Texas State @ #15 TCU: No line.

#16 OKLAHOMA STATE over Rice giving 32: Second choice for “lock” despite getting burned last week. Hooters entered this year on 7-2 ATS run after racking up 10 straight up victories, but most of that offense is gone and it has shown in losses by 20 and 45 (0-2 ATS) thus far in 2009. Rice hasn’t covered against a Top 25 club since 2004 (and that was facing then-#23 UTEP). Even without the starting State QB, It’s “Smoke ‘Em if Ya Got ‘Em time in Stillwater with Cowpokes off the upset by Houston. ...Okie State 48 White Owls 10

#17 Cincinnati over OREGON STATE taking 1: You’d never know the Bearkats only brought back one defensive returning starter from last year’s bowl-win squad in light of just 15 points allowed to Rutgers and a FG to I-AA Southeast Mizzou State in romps over both teams. They’ll need that kind of effort to contain Beavers’ Rodgers brothers, each of whom scored a TD on UNLV. State, who returns only 3 stoppers itself, is 9-4 as a home fave the past three seasons. Cincy won 34-3 in 2007and has a single spread loss in last 8 tries against non-conference foes (that loss coming at Oklahoma in 2008)....Cincinnati 24 Beavers 20

OREGON over #18 Utah giving 4: Some have called Ducks QB Jeremiah Masoli “Tim Tebow West”,but ending the first half against the Broncos with five (count ‘em, FIVE!) three-and-outs does not speak well of a Mallards team expected to challenge USC in the PAC-10 this year, nor does squeaking by the Big Tenderfoot’s Purdue. Decoys are without the services of senior RB LeGarrette Blount after he went “Tom Cable” on a Boise State instigator post-game. It’s after Labor Day, so we’re just hopin’ the Ducks have the good fashion-sense to not wear the same white unis with feathers they sported in the opener! Utes off to slow (winning, but slow) start and this pair has combined to go 0-4 ATS. Somethin’ has to give...Quack Attack 27 Utah 13

#21 Houston: IDLE (next vs. Texas Tech)

#22 KANSAS over Duke giving 22: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Blue Devils rebounded nicely from opening loss to FCS Champion Richmond to belt Army on the road last week. Points-for went up and points-against went down in Coach Cutliffe’s first year. Duke is just 1-8 ATS in last 9 vs. ranked teams (last faced in 2007) and haven’t big this big a dog since mid-‘07, but has certinly lost by more than this since then. Jayhawks are 8-1 ATS vs. non-Big 12 opponents and will throw a whole lot more than Army did (the ground game’s pretty good too)...Kansas 33 Duke 7

#23 Georgia over ARKANSAS (PK): First meeting since Joja’s 23-20 win between the hedges in 2005. Smallish line suggests Dawgs may be headed for another early demise. Penalties and turnovers nearly cost ‘em the victory vs. South Carolina. A lot of sophomores will return to start in Bobby Petrino’s second season at the Hogs’ helm. Again, referencing Joja’s tendency to win SU and no points to cover here, we like....Joja’ 17 Razorbacks 13

East Carolina over #24 NORTH CAROLINA taking 7 1/2: ‘Heels were lucky to get by UConn in yet-another Carolina game decided by 5 or less and get Joja’ Tech next in ACC opener. Sixteen returning starters and a shipload of returning lettermen have turned in not-real-pirate-worthy results, easing past Appalachian State, then suffering a two-score loss at West Virginia after being giant-killers in 2008. ECU has a lotta’ senior starters and needs to start playing like it...UNC 21 Swashbucklers 18

Eastern Michigan over #25 MICHIGAN taking 24 1/2: This got a look for “lock” too. Is it just your omniscient oracle or has anybody else out there noted this year’s trend of the smaller, in-state rivals rising up to wreak havoc against the bigger division/conference? A very late rally by Big Blue over Notre Dame will keep the alumni off RichRod’s back for a bit, but can the Wolverines get up again to decisively whack the Eagles, who forced Northwestern to boot a 49-yard FG with 11 seconds left to survive? Michigan has already matched the two ATS wins it had all of 2008...Wolverines 27 EMU 10

The preceding beer-fest was sponsored by ...Dos Equis..”As the most-interesting man in the world, I don’t gamble on sports often. But when I do...I prefer... Vindy’s Picks. Stay thirsty for spread-wins, my friends!”

By the way, after flubbing the original attempt by speaking one word outta’ order, the president conducted a “do-over” of the Bears toast later that day in the White House Map Room in front of just Commissioner Goodell and a handful of reporters!

Speaking of summits, Obama participated in the “Three Amigos” summit in Guadalajara this summer...and why the president decided to meet with a trio of former Denver Broncos’ wide-receivers about issues in Mexico and Canada is anybody’s guess!

This week’s menu specials at Vindy’s Bet & Breakfast....Bet on how many total number of minutes it will take to make the meal today by ordering the “eggs over/under easy” or how ‘bout trying...“The Option”, for which the ordering customer, upon receipt of the meal, can 1) eat it himself 2) hand it off to another member of his party or 3) pitch it to another customer at a nearby table behind him! And regardless of the choice, it’s guaranteed to produce nothing but the runs!

Tennessee turned the ball over four times in last week’s SU home defeat to UCLA. Given the fact a bunch of players bailed on the team in the off-season, we wonder if the gaffes were mistakes or “mistakes” and if Kiffin might become this year’s Rich Rodriguez.

After knocking off San Diego 35-24 in the AFC Divisional playoff match last season, Troy Polamalu called Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau “the Marlon Brando of our team”. Guess that explains the horse’s head found by Chargers QB Phillip River under his sheets on the morning of that game!

In related news, John Madden will be a consultant to Roger Goodell. Said da’ Commish, “He made us an offer we couldn’t refuse”. Aha! We always suspected the Godfather was John Madden, not that Corleone guy! In light of recent swine flu concerns, the traditional French kiss on both cheeks was recently compared to the “kiss of death”. That explains why the bookies keep laying a smooch on each side of Vindy’s parlay card!

Phelps-Part Deux: Playing this week on Mike’s iPod....Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water! Seems the Olympic swimmer was just augmenting his Beijing gold with a little Acapulco Gold! Vindy’s spies leaked his new agents would be Cheech & Chong. He just may star in a remake of Dracula, who smokes a little of the “herb-superb” before killing his victims, called...”Vlad the Inhaler”. Rumor has it his next endorsement deal is for Baked Lay’s. We heard he took up competitive skateboarding after hearing they spend a lot of time with a half-pipe. Are there plans for a whole new “Be Like Mike” campaign for high school swimmers being photographed while holding bongs (because according to South Carolina police, there’s “no law against that” )! He’s already assured his fans he won’t be a “one-hit wonder”! Part Three next week!

More man-love for the little guys: I-AA James Madison (lost 38-35 in OT at Maryland), Jacksonville State (lost 19-9 at FSU after leading 9-7 in the 4th Quarter), Prairie View (lost 21-18 at New Mexico State) and New Hampshire (23-16 winner at Ball State).

Black Shirt: Goes to Gamecocks LB Eric Norwood, whose 35-yard INT return for TD would be the ATS-deciding score vs. Joja’ and a forecast win for Vindicator. Honorable mention to Trojans teammates K Jordan Congdon, who clanged a 44-yard attempt off the crossbar and P Billy O’Malley for missing a high snap in the end zone that led to safety (a collective 5-point turnaround that kept Ohio State in the game and landed Vindicator’s 13th and final forecast victory of the weekend).

“Locked in a Box?”: The record falls to 1-1 (.500) after the Cowboys fell at home to Houston.

Shoppe Talk: The Texas Longhorns officially open Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe this week after consecutive forecast losses! Stuffed Bevo burgers anyone? Anyone?!

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3Season: 2-6 (.250)
UCLA -12 over Kansas State, Bowling Green -3 over MARSHALL, Connecticut +10 over BAYLOR, Middle Tennessee State +6 ½ over MARYLAND

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