Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Vindy's Picks 2009 Championship Week


CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters)...Throw out the records. Shred the polls. New Mexico State versus Louisiana-Lafayette for the National Title?! It could happen. Fed up with the current system and having the blessing of President Obama, longtime champion of the underdog and advocate of a college football playoff, Oprah Winfrey will alter the post-season landscape two years from now by giving away berths to the five BCS bowls during the final airing of her talk show in 2011. The most powerful woman in the U.S., and arguably the world, has purchased the rights to the BCS and in the wake of what’s being dubbed the “HARPO Championship Series”, head coaches from all 120 Division I-A teams, as well as assistants and coordinators who could be at a team’s helm by then, lined up immediately to buy spots in the audience for the daytime diva’s finale. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch hailed the decision as “a significant blow struck on behalf of the little guys”. One of the show’s producers said there was hope of seeing a joyous coach pull a “Tom Cruise” and jump up and down on Oprah’s sofa.

Vindicator never really got any traction last week, slipping and sliding to a mere 7-11 (135-113-1, .544). (The only week in which we had less than 9 forecast victories). No doubt, the result of fatigue. After all...Vindy won’t get a bye until after...


#13 Oregon State over #7 OREGON taking 10:
The PAC-10's Rose Bowl spot up for grabs here. Ducks hung 65 on State (at Corvallis) last year and now have just five defeats on the Pond in as many seasons. Beavers almost lost at UNLV, but are 4-1 ATS (5-0 SU) on the road this season, with three of those wins as dogs. We expect an exciting game featuring State’s Rodgers brothers keeping it close against Decoys’ rushing game. The NCAA pooh-poohed a recently-done rap song touting the Mallards, but how can ya not like a song that includes “Holy Moly”, “Masoli” and “ravioli” in the same stanza???!!!...Oregon 31 Beavers 29

MAC Championship @ Detroit, Michigan
Ohio over Central Michigan taking 13 1/2:
Chippies’ only two losses came at Arizona and at Boston College, and got a nice upset win over Michigan State getting two touchdowns, then posted its first-ever perfect conference regular season tally (8-0). Only two of CMU’s opponents have held it under 20 points in any game. First appearance in the picks this season for both teams as neither has faced a ranked foe, but it’s the third trip in four years to the conference title game for Central Michigan and second in three years for Ohio. CMU beat the Bobblecats 31-28 last year at home and 31-10 in 2006 MAC Championship. OU, 9-3 outright and on 7-2 spread run, knocked off Temple 35-17 last week in a minor upset to get here and we remember Buffalo’s upset of heavily-favored Ball State this time last year...CMU 29 Ohio 24

SEC Championship @ Atlanta, Georgia
#1 Florida over #2 Alabama giving 5 1/2:
No surprise that a pair of Heisman candidates meet up in this one...Tim Tebow and Mark Ingram, who was as much a factor in ‘Bama’s win over Auburn as Mike Vick has been in Eagles games. Gators could take a page from the Tigers ground game to effectively chew up yardage. In addition, poor punting and even poorer punt coverage by Auburn allowed Tide to come back from early 14-point deficit in the Iron Bowl. Gators just 3-4 ATS in past seven this season, though have gone 2-0 the past pair. Florida beat the Tide 31-20 last year and 28-13 in 2006. UF has 3 covers in eight SEC games, but all of those lines were much bigger than this one. First dog role for ‘Bama in 2009. Gators barely beat the line in only other tilt vs. a ranked foe (LSU, 13-3). Tide 1-1-1 in three tries vs. the Top 25. Vindy joins readers who offered tongue-in-cheek “compliments” to Tim Tebow at this week, noting “Tim Tebow is so awesome...(altogether now...HOW AWESOME IS HE?!)...he’s the one who got uninvited couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, past security at the recent White House dinner event.” ...Crocs 20 Elephants 10

Big 12 Championship @ San Antonio, Texas
#3 Texas over #21 Nebraska giving 13 1/2:
We think the Steers were looking ahead, letting A&M hang around long enough to get the cover (and it could’ve been closer had Texas not managed a mid-4th Quarter kickoff return for a 95-yard score!) and yielding (GASP!) 532 yards to the Aggies. Children of the Corn are mired in 2-5 ATS slide, but have won five consecutive games since ugly 9-7 home loss to Iowa State. Last meeting was 2007's 28-25 victory by the ‘Horns in Austin over nearly-three-TD underdog Nebraska. A comparison of the two squads vs. common Big 12 opponents shows significant edge to Texas, who edged Oklahoma by 3 on a neutral field, beat Texas Tech by 10 and hammered Baylor, Kansas and Mizzou. Big Dread dropped the Sooners at home by 7, lost by three scores to Tech, beat Baylor by 10, Kansas by 14 and the Tigers by 15. While the Steers can play for the big crystal with a one-point victory, there IS that pesky Heisman thing for Colt McCoy. The (Big 12) North shall rise again...someday...Longhorns 34 Nebraska 17

#5 Cincinnati over #14 PITT giving 1 1/2: De Facto Big East championship game. While Pitt RB Lewis outdid his West Virginia counterpart, Noel Devine, 155-134 in rushing yards, the remainder of Devine’s teammates chipped in and helped WVU beat the Panthers in last week’s field goal party, while the Illini got basically a backdoor cover vs. Cincy with a very late touchdown. Pitt had won three straight vs. the Bearkats before Cincinnati’s 28-21 win in 2008. ‘Kats have kept most of their opponents’ scoring in the teens, but gave up 45 to UConn (no shame in that) and 36 to the Illini (?????!!!!!). Cincy beat could-be-PAC-10 champion Oregon State by 10 on the road. Pitt’s best victory might’ve been over Navy by 13 at home. Bearkats’ secret weapon could be former QB-turned-WR Guidugli, who re-emerged last week with a couple scoring catches at WR...Cincinnati 27 Pitt 20

#6 BOISE STATE over New Mexico State giving 48: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Our apologies to the Broncos as we erroneously noted last week that Boise State’s spread record this season was 6-5, when in fact, that record belonged to last week’s opponent, Nevada-Reno (BSU actually stands tall at 8-3). Fresh off acquiescing to Vindy’s predicted ATS loss vs. the aforementioned Wolfpack, Broncos get back to the regularly-scheduled opening of “a can” on the Aggies in one final effort to impress BCS pollsters enough to garner an at-large spot in one of the big dollar games. Aggies have been on the business end of back-to-back shutouts by Boise, to the tune of 107-0 and has scored 7or less five times this season vs. lesser competition... Boise State 56 NMSU 3

C-USA Championship @ Orlando, Florida
#18 Houston over East Carolina giving 2 1/2:
This is an awful lotta’ love being given to the Pirates and it could be based on a couple of things: ECU’s ability to knock off ranked teams last year as a dog (but lost SU and ATS in both opportunities this season vs. Virginia Tech and North Carolina), ECU’s conference title game victory in 2008 over Tulsa as a big dog and maybe Houston’s one-point win at Tulsa this season. Houston will break the 7000 yard mark on offense with the first two yards it gains this week. Coogs only two defeats came at UTEP and at Central Florida. Neutral field here may give the Bucs some hope, but they’ll have to do it on D because they won’t win a shootout vs. this powerful offense...Houston 31 ECU 24

WASHINGTON over #19 California taking 7: With its once-promising season now in the tank, Huskies at least got the satisfaction of 30-0 triumph over rival Wazzou (costing Vindy a “best bet” wager). Bears smoked UDUB in Berkeley last year, 48-7. On the plus-side for Washington (or at least its betting backers)...the Sled Dogs are 4-2 ATS near the Space Needle (including upsets of USC and Arizona) and though Cal’s won five of its last six coming in, Bears have not covered one-touchdown spreads in three tries to-date. Last Spring, Joe Montana’s son, Nick, committed to Washington, where he’ll compete at QB. In related news, Nick’s sibling, Hannah Montana, still a junior, will also play ball on scholarship at UDUB and will vie for the starting spot at free safety!...Cal 20-17

Arizona over #20 USC taking 7: ‘Cats are off hard-fought, last-second win over Arizona State for just their second road victory in five away games. AZ defends the run well enough to force Matt Barkley into making some plays with his arm. Cats could be tired starting third road tilt in four weeks. Trojans won 17-10 last year and 20-13 in 2007. Including bowls, USC has covered 6 of last 7 following the UCLA game, but are 2-6 ATS vs. the PAC-10 in 2009 and 12-22-1 the past four years. Whatever the outcome, at least there won’t be any of that silliness that nearly led to an on-field melee between the Trojans and Bruins...Troy 20 AZ 14

ACC Championship @ Tampa, Florida
#21 Georgia Tech over #25 Clemson giving 1:
Both come into this game suffering outright defeats at the hands of SEC rivals, with both favored to win those games. The Gamehens allowed CJ Spiller to rip off the opening kick for an 88-yard score then held him to 37 total rushing and receiving yards the rest of the way. Wanna’ bet GT was studying THAT game-film???!!! The Bees have won four of last five against the Tigers, covering three of those wins. Second trip to the conference title game for Tech, who lost 9-6 to Wake Forest in 2006. Clemson busts its ACC championship cherry this year. Tigers 49th vs. the rush, but have yielded just six TDs on the ground...’Jackets 30 Clemson 27

New Lincoln pennies were minted and the USPS released four new Lincoln stamps in 2009...and none of ‘em honored the Huskers!

Who needed tryptophan when Thanksgiving viewers could watch the somnambulistic offenses of Detroit, New York and Oakland, who collectively scored 25 points on Turkey more than the lowest-scoring winning NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys (24).

Chad Ochocinco jokingly sought a job application for the off-season at Target last week. Maybe he should try Walmart for the highly-coveted “greeter” position. Oh wait...that’s already been promised to Brett Favre!

Over the holiday weekend, at least one report had Tiger Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, taking a golf club to the windows or windshield of the golf icon’s car in the aftermath of a domestic quarrel. Against the advice of her caddy, she used a five-wood rather than a nine-iron, but the ball took a favorable bounce and she saved par when it dropped off the hood onto the road and rolled down the nearby street drain!

In light of the Ducks-Beavers pairing this week, we note that some members of Oregon’s Ultimate Frisbee team dropped trou, and the unmentionables as well, during an April match at Oregon State, whose players went shirtless. The violations eventually cost UO its season, but not before the game in question was dubbed as “Peeking Duck vs. Topless Beaver”!!!!

Best Weekly Effort:
Week Eight’s nifty 15-7

Worst Weekly “Effort”: In July, astronaut Koichi Wakata spent a solid month aboard the International Space Station sporting a single pair of high-tech, odor-less undies. His crewmates reportedly had nary a clue. In a recent follow-up study, the famous forecaster did likewise, but was ferreted out after just a few days. Seems the quickly-detected foul aroma wasn’t emanating from Weber’s experimental Underoos. It was coming from his Week 13 picks!

WEBER-FRIENDLIES (Best percentage on the predicted side of the spread; minimum 7 at-bats in the forecast): This season’s “You’re in Good Hands Award” goes to...drum roll, please...the Boise State Broncos, who at 10-1 (.909) did not disappoint Vindicator the rest of the regular season after posting an “L” for the season-opening Oregon game. We have a tie for bridesmaid between Alabama and TCU (both at 8-3, .727). Sharing Honorable Mention, it’s Mississippi and Georgia (who took home the Good Hands hardware last season), both whom reached post-season award eligibility with their respective 7th appearances last week to finish at 5-2 (.714).

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of ‘da spread): This year’s “Grill-Master Supreme Award” winner is Ohio State (3-9,.250) A surprising “Suckin’ Place” to Nebraska at 2-5 (.286). Big Dread sneaked in undetected while we were busy lamenting the aforementioned Suckeyes and “Dishonorable Mention” recipient, LSU (4-8, .333)

Didn’t make the cut, but we’ll be watchin’: the Pelicans of Miami (4-7, .364) and longtime Vindy PITA....Texas Tech, who posted four losses and a push in five tries this year, a little short of qualifying for post-season ass-colades, following the much-maligned 2-9 last season.

Thank you for playing: The Vandy Commodores went 5-0 in as many at-bats for your humble host!

Black Shirt: This week, we present the great garment to Nevada-Reno WR Tray Session for grabbing the Wolfpack’s covering touchdown pass with a buck-sixteen on the clock vs. Boise State.

Shoppe Talk: The Florida Gators, South Carolina Gamehens and West Virginia Mounties have burned Vindy three straight times each!

“Locked in a Box?”: We can’t buy a lock this year as North Carolina fell outright to NC State, lowering the lock tally to 5-8 (.385).

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 26-30 (.464)
UCONN -7 ½ over South Florida, USC-Arizona UNDER 49 1/2

Vin takes a breather and heads out to water the Shaqtus before logging on to World of Warcraft in search of his free Night-Elf mohawk grenade! Not to worry....we’ll return circa December 18 with our infamous bowl predictions (and we might even provide some bonus coverage this time next week with our thoughts on the Army-Navy game!)

1 comment:

misterreereeder said...

WOW!!! What a weekend!!!! Sure were a lot of suprises.