Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 10: The Prequel


LONDON, England (CNN)....
After losing 35-7 in London to the Patriots last weekend and being told by Commissioner Roger Goodell their poor showing only hurts efforts to expand the league’s play into Europe, several members of the Tampa Buccaneers hopped their pirate ship and defeated the British Royal Navy in a sea skirmish to take control of the English Channel! Tampa players boarded two British aircraft carriers, devoid of planes due to recent cuts in the defense budget, after peppering the surprised ships with cannonballs before boarding the enemy boats brandishing flintlock pistols and cutlasses. The NFL team’s “skulls & swords” then briefly replaced jolly old England’s “Union Jack”. Believing Jon Gruden to still be at the helm of the pro club, a couple of British fans said they still didn’t understand the rules of American football, but traveled more than 300 kilometers just to see, and hopefully get an autograph from, Chucky because they “loved him in the Child’s Play movie series!”

Our hero survived a 1-5 start that saw Vindy drop the Thursday nighter, Friday nighter and three of four early Saturday morning games, before a 10-4 rally salvaged an 11-9 (96-71, .575) finish in Week Nine’s 20-game marathon. Featuring more games than the upcoming Winter Olympics, it’s....

(Hermetically-sealed for your protection)

EAST CAROLINA over #22 Virginia Tech taking 13:
Hokies dropped a 20-17 decision last Thursday to North Carolina after a late fumble allowed the ‘Heels to score the second of two field goals in the final minutes to win it. Tech is conspicuously absent from its usual highly-ranked spots in national offensive and defensive categories. Collectively, these two squads are 7-19 ATS in non-conference matches. Pirates are on 3-1 spread run and have won four of their past five games outright. ECU also beat Tech 27-22 last year...VT 24 ECU 19

LOUISIANA TECH over #5 Boise State taking 21:
Bulldogs let Idaho wriggle off the hook in a tough loss last week. Broncos have covered four of last five in this series, may want to grab some style points for the BCS and have a significant edge in the passing game. Tech is on 0-3 ATS slide facing ranked teams including 38-3 loss on the blue carpet last year, but lost to Boise here by just 14 and 17 in ‘05 and ‘07...BSU 37 LT 20

Vanderbilt over #1 FLORIDA taking 35:
Gators just need to stay healthy between now and the SEC Championship game, having locked up the conference East division last week. Florida’s just 1-2 ATS this season at home and the best bet here is that the ‘Dores, who’ve covered both games as road dogs this year, won’t be doin’ any of the showboatin’ at the Swamp that got Georgia a beat-down...UF 34 Vandy 6

#2 TEXAS over Central Florida giving 35 1/2: Steers might ring it up more than usual here just to protect against any potential drop in the BCS rankings, slight though it might be, on the Golden Knights, who come in after a short week (rallying for two touchdowns in the final period to beat Marshall 21-20). UCF is just 2-6 ATS in last eight vs. ranked clubs. ‘Horns secondary could grab another pick-six or two against pass-heavy Knights...Texas 49 UCF 10

#9 Louisiana State over #3 ALABAMA taking 7 1/2: Bengals’ cover record vs. the SEC continues to suck (2-3 in ‘09, 0-1 on the conference blacktop, 10-26-3 the last four-plus campaigns) and State’s gone just 4-9-2 against the number facing ranked teams (with a pair the wins coming in bowls). Tigers also hit Vin with a bad beat, posting the covering tally with 1:12 left over scoreless Tulane last week. Tide won by 6 at Baton Rouge in ‘08. Bengals have no spread losses in last six visits to Birmingham. Obama’s choice for Surgeon General still goes to patients’ homes in Alabama to provide services...or what Crimson Tide faithful refer to as “Nobody pushes us around on OUR house-calls!”. Should be a defensive battle...’Bama 16 LSU 10

Connecticut over #4 CINCINNATI taking 14: Zach Collaros was efficient last week, missing just 6 of 28 throws, but the Bearkats’ defense gets the credit for UC’s third straight cover, keeping the ‘Cuse scoreless over the last three quarters. We love UConn in a dog role and Huskies haven’t lost by more than 4 all season en route to 6-1 ATS record. UConn’s four conference opponents to-date have averaged 26 ppg, while Cincy’s quad of Big East foes has managed only 12+. Huskies faced Pitt and West Virginia on the road...’Kats 27 Dogs 19

#6 Texas Christian over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 24 1/2: The Weber Kid wasn’t completely a victim of the late score by the fave to bring home the moola, getting the seven from the Froggies vs. UNLV with just over 90 seconds to play. Not sure what the Aztecs were thinking, allowing arguably the worst team in the nation, New Mexico, to take an early 10-0 edge before rallying in the 4th to pull out the victory. SDSU had been 5-1 ATS before that. Amphibians have yielded a total of 13 points over the last three games. We’ll stay on TCU until they prove they’re going to let off the pedal...TCU 38 Aztecs 9

#7 Oregon over STANFORD giving 6: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Hmmmm, this would be one helluva’ letdown by UO. Cardinal rested last week and is one win away from bowl-eligibility. Decoys building a head of steam, winning seven in a row outright and six straight against the line behind a strong offense. Six of Mallards’ seven wins were by a touchdown or more. Stanford’s covered just 2 of last 8 against the Top 25 and 2 of last 3, but the spreads in question were +24, +14 and +41...Quack Attack 34 Cardinal 17

Northwestern over #8 IOWA taking 16: Ricky Stanzi launched 5 interceptions, but the Hawkeyes can thank an incompetent officiating crew for their 8th outright victory and for the cover that had your still-fumin’ forecaster contemplating never watching college football ever again after turning the game off in disgust with just over a minute to play. The AP voters, however, weren’t havin’ any of that silliness and dropped Iowa a couple notches despite the victory. Wildcats (2-6 ATS) hung with the Nifty Lions for three quarters...Iowa 27 NW 17

Wake Forest @ #10 GEORGIA TECH: OFF

#11 PENN STATE over #15 Ohio State giving 4: The Buckeyes tagged Vindicator with another Week Nine bad beat, scoring the covering touchdown and PAT on a 53-yard run with 5 seconds left in a 45-0 romp over New Mexico State, while the Lions offense hung out in the locker room until the 4th Quarter at Northwestern. Buckeyes are on 7-1 spread run and allowing just over 12 ppg. Nifty Lions lead the nation in scoring defense at 9 ppg. Joe Pa and the boys have not covered in four tries at Beaver Stadium this season and the outright victory will likely come down to a turnover. Lions get their first crack at a Top 25 opponent. Buckeyes make their first visit to a ranked opponent’s field and we’ve seen what happens to Terrell Pryor in a big game. We’re hopin’ the PSU pass rush can create a fumble or force an untimely pick. Could be 10-7 either way, but...Lions 19 Buckeyes 13

ARIZONA STATE over #12 Southern Cal taking 10 1/2: Following bad loss in Eugene, Trojans could come out smokin’ and blow State off the field. More likely, however, is a more plodding effort, with the team’s success in the questionable hands of QB Barkley as ASU limits opponents to about 80 rushing yards per game. Troy has been on the wrong side of the line six times in the past seven games. Sun Devils beat UDUB by 7, but lost by 19 at Stanford. Trojans took a 28-0 victory last year in L.A. Devils were sloppy last week, turning the ball over three times and drawing 11 yellow hankies for 123 yards as Cal mustered a last minute FG for 23-21 win...USC 30 ASU 24

Stay tuned. We'll back tomorrow night with the rest of the selections, including our upset pick of da' week, and the usual assortment of "hash"!

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