Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2010


QUANTICO, Virginia (CNN)....Months after the major bust of a “deep-cover” spy ring in the northeastern U.S., intelligence analysts assessing the damage came upon a startling prognosticator Vegas Vindicator had inadvertently played a role in the communist mission. Thought to be centered around penetrating U.S. government policymaking circles, the real intent was to “infiltrate and disrupt, as much as possible with extreme prejudice, the method by which the “Capitalists” determine a national college football champion”...or what one detainee described as “how you say in English...da’ Bolchevik Chawmpeeyoncheep Seeereees”. The Weber Kid fell prey to Anna Chapman, who used her feminine wiles to gain access to Vindy’s Picks and called the duped soothsayer by the pet name “Lance”. Chapman convinced him it was a complementary comparison to bicyclist Lance Armstrong, but another Russian in the midst of interrogation revealed it was really just a derogatory reference to Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp of 1970's Saturday morning cartoon fame. Said an embarrassed Vindicator, “Hey..I bought it. She’s one hot babushka!”

Failing to reach .500 for the third straight week in light of Week Four’s 8-9-1 (29-40-2, .420) that saw Vindicator get the wrong end of the half-point twice, our protagonist doffs the Transformers Underoos (that become a fire engine when a hidden button is pushed) in exchange for a strategically-placed hammer & sickle and Stalin mustache, and poses for his spot as "Mr. Oktober" in the Heroes of the Motherland 2011 calendar. In the meantime, Homeland Security is advising citizens to “just say ‘nyet’” to..

(It’s a’s a’s both!)

#7 Florida over #1 ALABAMA taking 9: Tide looks vulnerable after having to rally vs. Arkansas squad still workin’ out the defensive bugs. The past two pairings (‘08 and ‘09) have been for conference supremacy and the accompanying BCS bowl bid. From Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com, Gators are 11-0-1 in last dozen getting points in the SEC. Timmy What’s-his-name couldn’t save the Crocs last year in ‘Bama’s 32-13 win and the Red Elephants have beaten the line in five of the last six years. Gators are Top 20 vs. the run and have some experience on offense, probably not enough though, so we’ll say...’Bama 27 Florida 23

#2 Ohio State over ILLINOIS giving 17 ½: Several trends support the Illini here (maybe explaining the line’s serious move in favor of UI). Spread looks like a bit of a compromise or average between State’s 10-point victory here in ‘08 and 30-0 whitewash at da’ Shoe last year. Illini covered in a 10-point neutral site loss vs. Missouri to start the season and chalked up a spread loss with 6-point home win over Northern Illinois last week. UI hasn’t lost by this many in Champaign since a 63-10 beat-down in October 2005 by your haggard host’s alma mater. Buckeyes are the only I-A team at 4-0 ATS, are also 10-2-1 ATS in the last 13 road matches and we just put our first OSU tilt in the forecast win-column last week, layin’ just huuuuuuuuge numbers. Dare we go against that?! Nyet! Unless Vegas needs to stifle some parlays...OSU 44 Illini 14

#3 Boise State over NEW MEXICO STATE giving 42 ½: Aggies have covered just two of last 10 getting points at home and only one of last ten taking three touchdowns or more. Boise won by 45 at Wyoming, whom we consider better than NMSU, who is switching from a pass-first offense to a running game under second-year coach Dewayne Walker. Aggies will likely have to abandon the ground plan quickly, but will have its best shot at an SU win next week while hosting rival Lobos...Boise 56 NMSU 10

#9 Stanford over #4 OREGON taking 7: Teams are basically equally-matched statistically, but the Mallards could not (or elected not/were instructed not to) cover last week despite 7 (count ‘em, seven!) giveaways by the Sun Devils. Could be a quick-moving game if both sides play conservatively and put the ball in the hands of their more-than-adequate running backs. Trees won 51-42 last year. Stanford has balanced its offense enough on the way to a 3-2 SU/4-1 ATS record in last five facing ranked teams. Autzen ain’t what it used to be (at least ATS). Gotta’ take the points and at no extra charge, the upset... Stanford 27 Oregon 24

#5 Texas Christian over COLORADO STATE giving 33 ½: Don’t know what kinda’ bad juju the Rams conjured up to beat Idaho outright last weekend, but TCU has taken the money four of the last five vs. CSU, including last season’s 44-6 win in Ft. Worth. In Rams’ favor are losses by 6 in ‘08 and 12 in ‘07, but Toadies ripped Baylor by 35 and SMU on the road by 17. Frogs dropped a notch in the AP Poll during their bye week. Can’t imagine a rested Andy Dalton doing anything other than opening a can of you-know-what in Colorado Springs to try to make up some ground... Horny Toads 48 CSU 10

#6 Nebraska: IDLE (next @ K-State 10/7)

#21 Texas over #8 Oklahoma taking 4 (@ Dallas, TX): Sooners’ bend-but-don’t-break second half strategy isn’t going to work here (in fact, we’re wonderin’ which Sun Belt squad suited-up as the Seminoles on 9/11). The neutral site spread woes continue for Oklahoma and if ‘Horns rush D neutralizes RB Murray, the pass D edge goes to Texas. Steers have won 4 of last 5 straight-up (4-0-1 ATS) in the Red River Shootout, but haven’t shown Vindy much love this year. We’ll forgive them if it turns out to be...Steers 20 Oklahoma 19

Louisiana-Monroe over #10 AUBURN taking 35: With Tigers having escaped, again, with a tough comeback victory vs. South Carolina and playing at home vs. a non-conference squad that just edged I-AA Southeast Weeziana 21-20 with a trip to Kentucky up next, this looks like a prime place to take a big lead early then insert the reserves long enough for the Warhawks to grab a backdoor cover or for Auburn to throw a lower-scoring shutout. ULM did cover at Arkansas earlier in a 34-7 loss...Tigers 30 ULM 0

#24 MICHIGAN STATE over #11 Wisconsin taking 1 ½: A clash of mid-tier titans, who spent last week smoking FCS opponents to the combined tune of 115-10. Wisconsin is a blocked kick away from being further down the chain, while Sparty is here on the strength of an overtime gadget play vs. Notre Dame. Collectively, these clubs are a collective 1-5 against the line. State, going back to last season, is on 1-7-2 ATS skid. Badgers are lousy road faves, but have found a way to win 10 of last 14 when the final margin was a FG or less. Wisky has walked off with victories in high-scoring affairs in two of the last three years. Should be a grind-it-out, run-first strategy on both sides...MSU 31 Cheeseheads 27

Tennessee over #12 LSU taking 16: We say this for some team at least once each season, but “Will the real Tigers please step forward???!!!” Geez! Bengals survived a sloppy game on the strength of special teams in narrow win vs. West-By Golly-Virginia. A tuba player from LSU’s marchin’ band just walked onto the hoops team. We’re wonderin’ if he’s got a friend in the wood-wind, percussion or harpsichord sections who stands in at about 6'5"-215 lbs. and wants to be a tight end or receiver???!!! Two final tallies in the teens in significant losses and a double-OT win that just cleared last year’s average scoring output vs. UAB isn’t comforting for Vols fans. State seems to be beating the conference spread curse, covering both SEC games to-date, but Florida looms...Tigers 26 Vols 12

#13 Utah: IDLE (next @ Iowa State)

#14 Arizona: IDLE (next vs. Oregon State)

#15 Arkansas: IDLE (next vs. Texas A&M @ Arlington, TX)

#16 Miami over CLEMSON giving 3 ½: Despite the predictable passes thrown by Jacory Harris to guys wearing blue & gold, ‘Canes still managed to beat mistake-prone Panthers. Miami no bargain in conference, going just 8-16 ATS in Coach Shannon’s previous three years, but should get revenge for 2009's 40-37 loss to the Tigers. Clemson has defeated only two ranked teams in last eight tries...Miami 27 Clemson 20

#17 IOWA over #22 Penn State giving 7: Another big road game for State’s freshman QB and he’ll face another stout defense. The Lions’ top scorer is kicker Colin Wagner, with 10 field goals and 8 points-after. That could be a problem vs. the Hawkeyes, who put up 27 in a loss at Arizona, which has allowed only 17 total points in its other three games thus far. Iowa’s gone 10-5-1 ATS in Big Tenderized play, but has been so-so 8-12-1 giving points at home. Birds edged Penn State by 1 here in 2008, won by 11 last year at Happy Valley and have rewarded bettors in 5 of last 6 in this series...Iowa 24 Penn State 13

Washington over #18 USC taking 10: Jake Locker has not been the answer for struggling Sled Dogs (1-2 SU/ATS) , whose only victory came at home over Syracuse, whose only I-A victory was over still-winless Akron. Huskies, however, did beat the Trojans 16-13 last season as a significant underdog. USC won and covered against mannequin-like Wazzou, but might find the going more difficult here...SoCal 24 UDUB 17

#19 South Carolina: IDLE (next vs. Alabama)

#20 Michigan over INDIANA giving 10: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wolverines, even after Denard Robinson was hurt and left in the 2nd Quarter, made Vindy’s wager on Bowling Green +24 look pretty foolish. Hoosiers continue their usual early-season success at 3-0 SU for the third time in five years, but have gone 0-4 SU/1-3 ATS in Big Tentacle openers. It was close last year at the Big House as Indy lost just 36-33. Both teams are averaging just over 41 points per game and Big Blue is just 4-12 ATS in conference play, but can’t see why it can’t cover this one...Michigan 35 Indiana 16

#23 NC STATE over Virginia Tech taking 4: Tough pick. Which Hokies team shows up? State dominated Cincinnati and Joja’ Tech and is riding first four-game SU win streak since 2003. A strange, mid-season 0-4 SU collapse derailed what coulda’ been a good year for State. Perhaps, the Wolfpack is ready to go (#20 nationally in points-scored behind a strong air game showing an 11-1 TD-to-INT ratio)...just a year later than expected...NCSU 24 Virginia Tech 22

#25 Nevada-Reno over UNLV giving 21: Hope the Rebels enjoyed their 45-10 blow-out win over New Mexico ‘cause they’re gonna’ be on the wrong end of one this week. This year’s Wolfpack is more seasoned and more potent than the squad that won by 22 in Sin City in 2008 and by 35 up north in 2009 and it owns two of the top 18 scorers in the country. The only comforting thought for Vegas backers is that UNR beat Eastern Washington at home by only 24 to open 2010. Reno savors its first ranking in six decades and the Fremont Cannon remains blue ...UNR 49 UNLV 23

BTW, employing outdated Cold War methods, such as using lemon juice to write messages that required holding a lit match nearby to read text and swapping picks at train stations, the Russian spies got little, if anything, of value ( though one operative was proud of acquiring <<“da’ playbook for da’ Weeziana-Lafayette ‘Ragin’ Cage-Mens’>>”.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal made a point of noting QB Omar Clayton’s decision to cut off his dreadlocks prior to the Rebels’ victory over New Mexico as representing “a new beginning” for the club. Line-up fellas and meet this week’s team-barber...Sweeney Todd!

Just prior to the start of the new season, Lobos’ coach Mike Locksley was quoted as saying, “I see the tell-tale signs of a program that’s right on track.” We’ve seen that track. It’s the same one to which Snidley Whiplash used to tie Nell Fenwick with the big freakin’ locomotive bearing down during those old Dudley Do-Right cartoons!!

A 14th century BC fragment found in Jerusalem this year bears the oldest known writing. Researchers have determined that the partial text reads, “We ARE....!.”.

Last summer, Carrie Prejean married Oakland QB Kyle Boller. Did the bride wear silver & black??!! Do the honeymoon pics show the former Miss USA sporting spikes, leather and....a skull mask!

In June, Prince Harry threw out the first pitch of a Mets-Twins game after firing an M4 rifle during field exercises at West Point. His Royalness coulda’ combined the two and discharged the weapon into the NY catcher’s mitt or at least pelted the Cadets with baseballs as they negotiated a faux minefield.

Black Shirt: An autographed obsidian tee goes to Stanford kicker Nate Whitaker, who booted four chip-shots and a 41-yarder to help the Cardinals belt Notre Dame, evening up the Weber Kid’s lock record.

“Locked in a Box?”: Vindy goes to 2-2 (.500) behind Stanford’s pasting of the Irish.

Shoppe Talk: The Buckeyes (1-3) and Longhorns (1-3) get released on probation after posting forecast dubyas, but are asked not to leave the state. Meanwhile, joining the fray are the Nitwit Lions and the Mountaineers, both at 0-3. Crowding the doorstep (Easy, fellas...there’s plenty of formaldehyde for everybody) are the Gators, Bayou Bengals and Trojans, all at 1-3 (.250).

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-3 Season: 7-10 (.412)
Northwestern -4 ½ over MINNESOTA, East Carolina +13 over NORTH CAROLINA, Idaho -3 over WESTERN MICHIGAN, Texas Tech -7 over IOWA STATE, Florida Atlantic +22 over SOUTH FLORIDA

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