Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2010


CINCINNATI, Ohio (Reuters)...From the CEO down to the line-workers who toil to bottle shampoo, employees at Procter & Gamble were in a collective state of panic and scrambling to do damage-control today as investors pulled out in droves and stock values on the NYSE plummeted while coaches, teammates and fans were left aghast upon learning Troy Polamalu had shorn off his hair and donated it to the “Locks of Love” charity so it could be made into wigs for cancer-stricken patients. The generous-but-stunning move comes less than two weeks after Head & Shoulders insured Polamalu’s trademark mane for $1,000,000 with Lloyd’s of London. Opposing players also mourned the decision that now leaves them with few options for blocking or tackling the defensive superstar. Asked if the non-profit organization had solicited the gift, the Steelers’ safety noted he was not directly approached, but “they asked with their eyes.”

Given how hard the bookies rode our prophet’s butt to start the season, they could’ve at least pulled Vindy’s hair! Including the loss of his Northern Illinois “best bet” pick, Vindicator went 0-fer-Thursday! After an unanswered hat-trick by the bookies that put the Weber Kid in an 0-3 hole and left for dead, our hero rose up and hit 9 of 11 on Saturday en route to Week One’s 9-5-1 (.643).

Barack Obama recently said he “can’t spend all (his) time with (his) birth certificate plastered to (his) head.” The Commander-in-Chief, however, said he had “no problem using double-sided Scotch tape” to adorn the presidential cranium with a copy of..

(Now available in the “vortex” bottle with a “cold activation window”)

#21 Auburn over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 2 1/2:
We get burned every time we jump on the Auburn bandwagon and the Tigers have gone just 4-9 ATS away the last three years (getting points in 11 of those games) and 5-11 in conference play since ‘08. State’s been 6-2 in last 8 as a home dog and needs to take advantage of the homefield here if it’s going to make noise in the division because the road slate is definitely unfriendly. Line reflects something closer to Auburn’s 3-2 win here in 2008 than its 49-24 victory last season at Jordan-Hare...Warhawks 23 Miss State 19

#23 West Virginia over MARSHALL giving 13 ½:
Line suggests a bit more effort than we had in mind when we noted in Week One’s picks that we anticipated “more fervor” from Marshall while hosting the Mounties this week. ‘Eers do have a new quarterback and took a mediocre 10-0 halftime lead against I-AA Coastal Carolina to the locker room last week and the line is not without historical precedence. WVU started slowly last season, edging another I-AA squad, Liberty, by 13, East Carolina by 15 and Colorado by 11 (all at home). Herd is a thunder-less 1-2-1 ATS the last 4 years playing its in-state rival, but the gap has been closing (a la UNLV-Wisconsin) and MU lost by just 17 last season in Morgantown...West Virginia 30 Marshall 13

#18 Penn State taking #1 ALABAMA taking 11 1/2:
Tide has won 15 straight home games, but is just 8-6 (pending SJSU) covering them. Lions allowed the first start by a true freshman in an opening game in school history last week vs. Y-Town State. The absence of Tide’s top defender Marcell Dareus and 2009 Heisman winner RB Mark Ingram (who would take his first real-world hit this week after sitting out ‘Bama’s opener while recovering from knee surgery) gives this loyal-but-realistic alum the cliche-ridden “glimmer of hope”. Only six of Tide’s previous 29 games have seen a final margin of less than double-digits. The Weber Kid busts open a bottle of Miller Genuflect Draft, drops to his knees in front of his Joe Pa shrine, gives it the ol’ “Vindy’s not worthy” wave and predicts .... ’Bama 20 Penn State 10

#12 Miami over #2 OHIO STATE taking 9 1/2: ‘Canes aren’t likely to cough up the pigskin on the opening kick-off nor throw passes right into the teeth of the OSU defense like Marshall did (then again, Miami QB Jacory Harris has been known to so such a thing). If Buckeyes win here, they likely cruise into Madison with an unsullied SU record in mid-October. State has now gone 14-3-1 ATS in last 18 games back to November of 2008 and 9-3 in last dozen against other ranked teams (including 3-1 facing Top 25 non-conference squads)...OSU 23 Miami 17

#3 Boise State: IDLE (next @ Wyoming)

Tennessee Tech @ #4 TCU: No line.

#5 TEXAS over Wyoming giving 29 1/2: Cowboys, who now mourn this weekend’s death of freshman LB Ruben Narcisse, squeaked by the line for the ATS win last year in 41-10 loss to the ‘Horns en route to a nice 9-3 spread season. Schedule-makers did Wyoming no favors for 2010 and it’ll probably need to sweep its last four games to be bowl-eligible. UT had covered 4 straight spotting less than 31 to teams outside the Big 12 before Rice broke through in Week One. Cowboys allowed Southern Utah to close within 8 with about six minutes left. If Olivia Newton-John serenaded the Steers with a show-tune from Grease, would it be “Hopelessly Bevo-ted To You”???!!!...’Horns 38 Wyoming 7

#6 NEBRASKA over Idaho giving 28 1/2: Rising Vandals recorded more straight-up triumphs in 2009 (8) than in the prior three years combined (7) and more spread wins (8) than the previous two years combined (also 7). We saw what happened last week when another veteran WAC squad visited Norman. Nebraska is now 9 of 11 covering games when non-Big 12 opponents get double-digits...Huskers 44 Idaho 14

TENNESSEE over #7 Oregon taking 13: These two combined to blast their foes by combined 122-zippo last week. Vols were expected to run the ball more this season, even before losing their top pass-catcher last week. Tennessee is young in the middle of their offense line and the Ducks were plus-23 in sacks last year, so throwing should be an after-thought. Rocky Top did cover against all three Top 25 opponents in 2009, losing at Florida by 10, losing by 2 at ‘Bama and beating South Carolina straight-up...Mallards 34 Vols 27

#8 FLORIDA over South Florida giving 16 1/2: Skip Holtz’ first year at the helm for USF team, which is celebrating its 10th season in I-A ball. Bulls return 10 starters on offense and good depth from last year’s 8-5 team, but have gone just 2-4 ATS in last six vs. ranked teams. Gators are 7-1-1 against the number playing other Sunshine State clubs. UF is planning to honor its trio of Heisman winners, Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tiki-Bar with statues. Hmmm...Touchdown Tebow?! Wouldja’ believe...”Tebow De Milo”????!!!.... Crocs 38 Bulls 20

Iowa State over #9 IOWA taking 13 1/2: Even though the Cyclones clobbered our opening “best bet” selection, their convincing defeat of a Northern Illinois team that we expect to be competitive in the MAC gives us great hope for yet-another cover vs. the Hawkeyes, who broke a string of ATS losses (2-10 in last dozen) to their in-state rivals last season on the strength of six miscues by State. An Iowa bow-hunting couple got married this spring in a tree-stand while wearing camouflage. Hmmm...”You may now skin the bride”????!!!!.....Birds 20 Dust Devils 12

#17 Florida State over #10 OKLAHOMA taking 8: The good news here (for FSU betting-backers anyway) is that all of the wins in ‘Noles 4-8 spread record came away from Tallahassee. Jimbo Fisher takes over in earnest for retired/deposed coach Bobby Bowden. Of concern for the Sooners is that even with a pair of scores from DeMarco Murray and a plus-2 turnover margin, the now-31-game home winning streak was in jeopardy late. Including bowls, OU is just 7-9-1 ATS vs. other ranked teams. After the final score rolled in on Jacksonville State’s upset of Ole Miss, there hadda’ been a collective sigh of “Whew! Been there, almost done that.” from the Injuns. ACC has the opportunity to make a major statement this week with big non-conference victories and ‘Noles did ambush BYU last year in Provo... Oklahoma 24 FSU 23

#11 WISCONSIN over San Jose State giving 37 1/2: This got a lotta’ consideration for “lock”. After getting crushed by Alabama, Spartans are now on 1-10-1 death spiral against the line. Given Southern Utah’s respectable loss at Wyoming last week and a trek to Utah in two weeks, San Josie and the Pussycats State could end up 0-fer-September...Badgers 45 SJSU 3

James Madison @ #13 VIRGINIA TECH: No line.

#14 Arkansas over Louisiana-Monroe giving 34 (@ Little Rock, AR): Warhawks will play their first game under Todd Berry, who raised UNLV’s scoring by 6 points per game and got the Rebels within a game of bowl-eligibility the past two seasons in his three-year assignment as offensive coordinator. Hogs’ coach Bobby Petrino hasn’t forgotten 2008 comeback win over ULM, just 28-27, in his first year leading Arkansas. Monroe has covered 2 of 4 games vs. ranked teams and just 2 of last 7 out-of-conference. Best guess for “wish I had it back” pick because of Arkansas’ defense and we almost changed this one, but...Soooooeeeeyyy Pigs 45 Weeziana-Monroe 9

#15 Georgia Tech over KANSAS giving 12 1/2: The Jayhawks’ outright loss to FCS squad North Dakota State comes as no surprise to those of us who remember the Bison knocking off Minnesota 27-21 in 2007 and losing by just 3 to Wyoming last season. Kansas rushing defense has deteriorated fairly steadily each of the last five years. That doesn’t bode well facing one of 2009's top ground games. KU is 9-2 ATS in last 11 lined non-conference games, but just 1-4 against ranked teams....Bees 34 Birds 19

Virginia over #16 USC taking 20: Trojans went into the 4th Quarter at Hawaii holding a 19-point edge, but yielded big scoring passes of 30 and 65 yards. UVA got the dubious distinction of being called the second-worst team in college football for 2010 by MAXIM magazine. Cavs have made the money in 7 of 8 games as road dogs the last 3 years, but now have a new coach in part because opponents have been able to run increasingly more in each of the past two seasons and have posted 6 more ppg. Virginia did, at least, beat its FCS opponent Richmond this season after falling to I-AA William & Mary home by 12 to open 2009...USC 34 Virginia 16

VANDERBILT over #19 Louisiana State taking 10: Tigers fell asleep at the wheel after building a 20-point lead at the intermission and they almost paid the price, holding off two throws into the end zone in the waning seconds vs. UNC team that left a bunch of suspended players home and whose WR dropped a sure game-winning touchdown late. Bengals have been miserable ATS in conference play the past 4 seasons (8-20-5). Commodores lost close, see-saw battle vs. Northwestern last week...LSU 17 Admirals 9

Nevada-Las Vegas over #20 UTAH taking 22 1/2 : LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. It’s been six seasons since Utah beat the Rebels by more than 21-22 points. Utes were probably fortunate to walk away with OT victory over Pitt in light of shanked punt that put Pitt at midfield to pursue the tying FG and the INT thrown on the first play of extra frames by Panthers young QB, in a game that coulda’ been sponsored by Grauman’s Chinese Laundry given the 24 yellow hankies that hit the field. Rebels hitting paydirt three times against the Badgers is a good sign, if even if one of those scores came on defense. Coach Whittingham won’t need to ice the kicker with back-to-back timeouts, but...Utah 31 Rebels 13

#24 SOUTH CAROLINA over #22 Georgia giving 2 1/2: Gamecocks did not manage the two-minute drill well just before the half in game against SoMiss. It didn’t cost ‘em there, but could cost him here in what is usually a tight, low-scoring match (last year’s shootout notwithstanding). Dawgs have won 7 of last 8 years, with 6 of the 8 being decided by a TD or less. Carolina hasn’t been chalk in this series since 2001. Joja’s been dismal 4-12 ATS in the SEC the last two years. BTW, Steve Spurrier’s statue in Gainesville will come with a detachable and throwable visor! ... Poultry 20 Joja’ 16

#25 Stanford over UCLA giving 6 ½: Bruins ran for better than 5 yards per carry and closed to within 2 points of K-State before yielding another touchdown to Wildcats RB Thomas, who finished with 234 rushing yards of his own. Trees will probably rely more on QB Andrew Luck’s arm since former Heisman candidate Toby Gerhart has gone to the Sunday League. Stanford had lost six straight years to UCLA before breaking through with a victory last season. Uclans are on 13-3 ATS run vs. ranked teams, but went 0-2 last year...Stanford 28 UCLA 20


BTW, if there’s any aspiring film students or advertising moguls in the readership, we think there’s fame-and-fortune in a parody-of-a-parody of the original Mean Joe Green-Coke commercial....culminating in Troy ripping a wig off his head in the stadium tunnel and tossing it back to his young fan after rattling off the famous quip, “Hey, kid!...Catch!” (Get on that, folks. With some luck, it could be ready for debut during this season’s Super Bowl!)

The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee is requiring plant production workers to go thru a “fitness program” to become “industrial athletes”. Gotta’ love a car company whose employees have to run through tires before being allowed to mount them. Do workers get timed in the 40-car dash??!!! Are the tackling dummies equipped with front- and side-deploying airbags???!!! Do workers drive blocking sleds into brick walls at speeds of up to sixty mph during safety tests or do tackling dummies sit in the cars during those?!

Another upcoming rule change makes taunting on the way to the end zone a spot-foul and negates the touchdown. Likewise, taunting bookies from the casino floor will also cost bettors the payout of the winning ticket!

Luv for the Little Guys: Big ups to the FCS North Dakota State Bison for toppling Kansas 6-3 as previously-noted and to Jacksonville State for dropping Ole Miss in extra frames! Other notable end-of-1st Quarter scores from Saturday include...Miami-Ohio 3-0 over Florida, Rice 3-0 over Texas, Tennessee Tech 3-0 over Arkansas and Youngstown State 7-3 over those Nifty Lions!

Brett Favre reportedly sent text photos of”little Brett” then-Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger in 2008. Was he...a) just showing her his definition of “4th-and-long”, b) proving he could still stand tall in the pocket or c) demonstrating the proper technique for holding a yard-marker???!!

World (hic)Cup Part II- With no matches scheduled on July 4th, World Cup fans in South Africa whiled away the day by participating in Nathan’s Famous Vuvuzela-Eating Contest!. If Jimmy J.J. Walker rattled off the Dutch soccer team motto, would we hear... “We’re red...we’re white...we’re Danish DYN-O-MIIIIIIIIIITE!!!!!!”. Hotel staff at England’s base camp, known as the “Fortress of Boredom”, reportedly stole cash, a U.S. shirt an England player received in a post-match trade, a medal awarded by FIFA and...underwear. No word regarding whether the medal and skivvies were also acquired in a post-game swap!

Black Shirt: This year’s first ebony undergarment awarded weekly to the player(s) whose performance (or “performance”) benefitted Vindy’s Picks goes to.....UNLV corner Will Chandler for the INT for TD and 82-yard fumble return that preceded another Rebels score that allowed UNLV to squeak by the line and cap a 9-2 Saturday for the fab forecaster!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yep, we’d like a mulligan on the Marshall +29 pick after noting “we expect more fervor from Herd next week when West Virginia visits” in Week One’s forecast!

“Locked in a Box?”: Big Red made Vindy sweat a bit, but Nebraska eventually brought home the lock in the 4th Quarter vs. Western Kentucky to start the season at 1-0 (1.000).

Shoppe Talk: Shocker...the Buckeyes open Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe this year, picking up right where they left off...with a forecast “L” (0-1 this season, 3-11 back to last year). Joining them as a stuffed animal display are the Pitt Panthers, whose OT loss to Utah puts them at 0-1 on the year, but adds to current 0-6 slide back to 2009!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 2-3 (.400)
Eastern Michigan +16 over MIAMI-OHIO, Syracuse +12 ½ over WASHINGTON, Arkansas State +1 1/2 over LOUISIANA (Lafayette), ARMY -2 over Hawaii

Now if you’ll excuse him, Vindy’s off to mix himself up a nice, big pitcher of “purple drank” before settling in to watch this week’s fare with JaMarcus Russell! Yo, J...where’d ya leave that bag of Jolly Ranchers???!!!

1 comment:

misterreereeder said...

Last Thursday was a disapointment but the rest of the weekend made up for it. If I were a betting man (slots don't count) I would see your first Thursday "W" tomorrow.