Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Vindy's Picks 2009 Army-Navy

Navy over Army giving 14 (@ Philadelphia): The only thing that gives us cause for pause is Navy’s still-inexplicable outright loss at Hawaii. No disrespect to the ‘Bows high-octane passing game and we acknowledge Navy’s 119th-vs.-the-pass ranking , but this IS a Middies squad that coulda’ toppled Ohio State and did, in fact, beat Notre Dame (albeit a flaky one). While this annual clash of military academies was likely moved to this week from its previous spot on Championship Weekend to give both squads more national exposure and while our proud Army officers-of-tomorrow would never grumble about it publicly, we gotta’ wonder what the Black Knights, playing under first-year coach Rich Ellerson, think about their berth in the EagleBank Bowl being handed to Temple or UCLA when a victory over the Midshipmen (unlikely, but possible) would’ve given Army its sixth win and made it automatically eligible for the game being played in D.C...their first post-season trip since 1996. Middies are already locked into the Texas Bowl, but Navy could post its first double-digit SU win record since 1905. Only one team was worse against the pass than Navy....yep....the Cadets of Army! The Ensigns went just 4-5-2 ATS this season, but have gone 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS facing Army. The Soldiers beat the line just 3 times in 10 tries (3-4 ATS getting points) and were defeated at West Point by now 3-9 Tulane. The Middies strength, as always, is the ground game, which ranked third in the nation behind Nevada-Reno and ironically, Georgia Tech, now led by former Navy mastermind Paul Johnson. Army on the other hand, once a regular in the top five for rushing yards, has fallen to #20. The Sailors use the running backs to do most of the...if the Middies will pardon the phrase....”grunt work”, but both sides will have to look for the opposing QB when they near the goal line as both quarterbacks lead their respective teams in touchdowns scored. Freshman Trent Steelman is also the leading rusher for Army. Middies are slightly better (by 35 ypg) stopping the run. Few punts (collective average of 10 per game) and even fewer penalties (combined average of 9 hankies per match) should make for fast-moving game that we’ll give to...The Poop Deck 27 Not Quite Beaten All They Can Be Beaten 9

The Championship Week saw Vindicator open 2-0, hitting the Thursday nighter and Friday nighter, before struggling to finish 5-5 (140-118-1, .543) during a fortnight that had the underdogs taking at least 8 of the 10 games (9 if ya had West Virginia getting rather than giving points vs. Pitt)..

Even the usually very-reliable Boise State Broncos turned coat, winning by just 35 over New Mexico State, dropping the lock record to 5-9 (.357...a nice firearm, but a lousy betting percentage).

Vindy split his pair of “best bets” last week to move the season tally to 27-31 (.466)

In July, the Pentagon said it wouldn’t ban tobacco products in war zones. In related news, the NCAA won’t prohibit consumption of dehydrated pork patties from MREs (meals-ready-to-eat) in the huddle during Army football games!

Former West Point footballer Caleb Campbell, who got shut outta’ the NFL because of his military obligation, will get a shot at being brakeman for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team in 2010. He’s also qualified to return fire via the onboard 50-calibre machine-guns in the event of attack by hostile athletes from other nations during sled runs!

In May, Army Spc. Zachary Boyd got kudos from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for joining the fray vs. the enemy in Afghanistan wearing a K-pot, body armor and pink boxers bearing the phrase “I Love New York”. Vindy did likewise sporting Nittany Lion boxers during his service time in the 80's in Germany (OK, it was during a peace-time field exercise and we were actually wearing Bob the Builder Underoos).

We’ll back in about 10 days with the first set of bowl selections. Coming soon....Vin will also give his reasons why the TCU-Boise State bowl pairing is a conspiracy by the BCS! Stay tuned!

Now if you’ll pardon our hero, he’s off to swindle a co-worker outta’ some money as part of the office holiday grift exchange (and he’s still pondering what to buy for that whole “Secretion Santa” thing!)

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