Sunday, December 26, 2010

Vindy's 2010-11 Bowl Predictions: Part II

A woman in New York was recently profiled as knowing no fear because of a brain disorder. No fear???!!! Ha! Wait’ll she gets a load of....

THE WEBER KID’S 2010-11 BOWL PREDICTIONS: PART II(As filmed in the format of “The Blair Witch Project”! AP rankings; lines of December 26, over/under totals in parentheses)

DEC. 31
MEINEKE CAR CARE (@ Charlotte, NC):
Clemson over South Florida giving 5 ½ (40 ½):
Bulls went 4-7 against the line and struggled mightily on offense vs. I-A squads (averaging just over 20 ppg [down 3.5 ppg from 2009] and settling for teens or single-digits five times). They did edge Miami and Louisville on the road, but also barely beat Rutgers by 1. Have to consider the offensive production a disappointment, given 9 returning starters on that side of the ball, including entire O-line. Sixth consecutive bowl for USF (3-1 SU/ATS in last four) and Coach Skip Holtz took ECU to four bowls (losing 3, covering 2). Tigers lost in OT at finalist Auburn and wilted to lose 5 games by 26 total points. Both clubs are stout defensively...only the Gamecocks posted more than 16 in Clemson’s final seven tilts, only three South Florida foes tallied more than 21. CU had a number of close losses to better teams than those faced by the Bulls...Tigers 20 USF 12

BRUT SUN (@ El Paso, TX):
Notre Dame over Miami taking 3 (47):
Brian Kelly has the Irish making outright wins and three losses by 4 or less this season. Unfortunately, however, a pair of those defeats came at South Bend. Irish did cover 3of 4 getting points, winning two and losing the other in extra frames. ‘Canes spent much of the year in the Top 25, but lost 3 of last 5 to fall out of the rankings, were just 4-7 ATS overall (6th straight losing spread season) and have dropped bowls in each of the last four seasons (three as chalk). A clemency board in Tallahassee recently, at the behest of Florida governor Charlie Crist [no relation to the ND quarterback [who, BTW, won’t play in this one]) gave Jim Morrison a posthumous pardon for dropping trou and exposing the crowd at a Miami concert over 30 years ago. Vindy may have to wait for 31 years for the Guv to give post-demise forgiveness for picking... Notre Dame 23 Pelicans 16

Georgia over Central Florida giving 6 ½ (55 ½):
Joja’, with three early conference losses before September ended and an early October loss at unheralded Colorado, fell quickly off the radar, but took 5 of final 7 to get here. ‘Dawgs did however give up at least 31 in four of last five. Georgia can boast four straight bowl victories and covers and did fare much better with the return of Ahman Green. Knights posted 10-3 straight-up record with losses by 7 to NC State, 4 at K-State and 10 to Southern Miss. UCF allowed 33 points a game over three-game stretch in November. First choice is the “over”. A former UCF alum held her Playboy photo shoot in the Golden Knights locker room. The Central Florida quarterback initially lined up in the shotgun, but thought better of it and decided to take a few snaps from under centerfold!...UGA 41 Central Florida 31

CHICK-FIL-A (@ Atlanta, GA):
#19 South Carolina over #23 Florida State giving 3 (54 ½):
Poultry looked poised to have a special year and made the SEC conference title game, but lost three of five to ranked opponents, so they’re not quite over the hump (we note, however, that a pair of those defeats came vs. title finalist Auburn). Gamehens attending 5th bowl in 6 years (1-3 SU/ATS). Injuns ran off three straight wins to close out the regular season, but still ended up an 11-point victim of Virginia Tech in ACC title match en route to current 2-5 ATS skid. ‘Noles won nine games this season and lost a pair to BC and NC State by total of 6 points. FSU has covered six consecutive post-season appearances, taking 4 outright, and was the dog in four of ‘em...Fightin’ Fowl 31 FSU 24

JAN. 1
TICKETCITY (@ Dallas, TX):
Texas Tech (GASP!) over Northwestern giving 9 ½ (60 ½):
Tech, now under Tommy Tuberville...who was let go by Auburn, continues good pace vs. non-conference teams (3-1 SU/2-1 ATS this year), though it has beaten the spread just once in past five bowls (3-2 SU). Raiders have won the money in two outta’ tries laying at least 9 ½ in 2010. Northwestern has dropped two straight bowls, both in overtime. ‘Cats grabbed 7 victories this year, including shocker over Iowa, but promising season withered upon loss of QB Dan Persa to injury and NW was dismal 2-8-1 ATS overall. Does it really matter which side we take here???!!! Queue up Elvis...”You look like an angellllllllll .....walk like an angelllllllllll.....block like an angelllllllllll....but Vin got’re Red Raiders in disguiiiise!”...Tech 30 NW 19

CAPITAL ONE (@ Orlando, FL):
#7 Michigan State over #15 Alabama taking 10 (52 ½):
Spartans have lost three straight bowls, covering just one, but this year’s squad lost only a single game (by 31 at Iowa). Tide’s strength has been its defense. Only 4 opponents hit the board for more than 13 points. Sparty scored less than 28 just twice this season. ‘Bama’s offense, rushing and passing, finished in the top five of the SEC. As noted in Part One of our bowl selections, teams laying 10 or more cover less than 50% and lose better than a third of those tilts outright. Hawaii’s already fallen. Will Tide have forgotten about letting Auburn off a major hook in the finale?...”Roll Tide” 27 MSU 24

OUTBACK (@ Tampa, FL):
Florida over Penn State giving 7 ½ (48):
The change at quarterback for the alma mater came way too late and Lions never came through in any of the big games on the schedule. Gators had an off-year as well (just 8th in scoring in the SEC, 10th in offensive yardage and 2nd most penalized in the conference), but defeated five bowlers anyway. State’s been a strong play in last five bowls, winning 4 outright and are getting points for 4th time in past five. Crocs also have won and covered 4 of their last five bowls, but covered just 1 of 3 non-conference games this season after enjoying 20-4 ATS run the previous six seasons. BTW, anagrams of Urban Meyer include “Yer a Number”, “Meaner Ruby”, “Rub Me Yearn” and our personal fave... “A Merry Bun E”. No wonder he’s retiring!...Florida 27 PSU 17

KONICA MINOLTA GATOR (@ Jacksonville, FL):
#21 Mississippi State over Michigan giving 5 (60):
Bulldogs recorded 8 wins and had 2 close home defeats to Auburn and Arkansas (in double OT). Four of their wins came by 8 or less. Wolverines opened 3-0 SU/ATS then finished on the wrong side of the spread eight straight times, including 0-4 SU/ATS skid vs. ranked teams, losing by an average of 19 points per game in those. RichRod is getting Big Blew to the bowls for first time since 2007, but a defeat may signal his departure. UM has gone just 10-24 ATS under Rodriguez and the scoring defense ranks 101st nationally (33.8 ppg), second-worst among bowlers behind just East Carolina ...Mississippi State 41 Michigan 27

ROSE Presented by CITI (@ Pasadena, CA):
#4 Wisconsin over #3 Texas Christian taking 3 (58 ½):
Finally....another chance to see how a BCS-buster really stacks up against one of the best teams in the country. The key match-up will be in the trenches with Wisky’s big, physical offensive line against Toads’ defense. Badgers only defeat was by 10 at Michigan State and Cheeseheads are currently on 6-0 spread run. BCS would love a romp by Wisconsin and the Badgers obviously aren’t shy about running up the score. UW has split its last 8 bowls straight up, covering five. Froggies beat Oregon State by 9 on a neutral field and ripped Baylor 45-10 at home to account for their only previous games this year vs. teams from Big Six conferences. Toads ran for 39 touchdowns. Badgers allowed just seven scores on the ground. TCU’s perfect season comes to an end....Wisconsin 20 TCU 17

TOSTITOS FIESTA (@ Glensdale, AZ):
#9 Oklahoma over #25 Connecticut giving 17 (55):
Huskies are here as Big Least champs but did not face an opponent ranked in the Top 25 at the time...perhaps an indictment of the type of season that their conference had in 2010. By contrast, Sooners knocked off four of the five ranked teams they played. Still, Oklahoma won its three previous neutral site games this season by 2,8 and 3 respectively and have been poor in the post-season, losing five of last seven bowls and 0-4 ATS the past four years. UConn is decent defensively, averaging 19.8 points-against per game while letting 3 teams post more than 27, and did finish second in the conference in scoring offense (26.9 ppg). Sooners QB Landry Jones is the second-leading passer in the country (329.9 yards per game, 35-11 passing touchdown-to-INT ratio) and has been sacked just 11 times. Dogs could be out-manned...OK 38 Huskies 17

JAN. 3
FED-EX ORANGE (@ Miami, FL):
#12 Virginia Tech over #5 Stanford taking 3 (57 ½):
Trees were a good road squad, winning 5 of 6 away from Palo Alto, covering 4. The lone loss? three touchdowns. Cardinal can play D as well, pitching 3 shutouts, two in the last five games vs. conference opponents. With Jim Harbaugh at the helm, Stanford continues to improve the win-loss record. Cards won 9 of 11 by double-digits (by 2 at USC, by at Arizona State). Just the second bowl since 2002 for Stanford. Tech beat three of four ranked opponents by at least 11 points and lost opener to Boise State on neutral ground by just 3. Hokies get points in a bowl for just the third time in eleven appearances. Frank Beamer’s coached in 17 post-season tilts, winning 8. Harbaugh’s been to one....and lost it. Stanford’s strength is passing. VT has allowed 15 aerial scores while picking off 22 throws. Neither team permits much scoring (17.8 by Stanford, 19.1 by Tech). Beamer needs to say just 2 little words to his team pre-game...”James Madison”...VT 24 Trees 20

JAN. 4
ALLSTATE SUGAR (@ N’awlins, Weeziana):
#8 Arkansas over #6 Ohio State taking 3 ½ (58):
OSU hasn’t beaten an SEC team in nine tries. Buckeyes did go 9-2-1 against the line but just 1-2-1 in only four games outside Da’ Shoe. Buckeyes #4 pass defense will have to corral Arkansas’ #4 passing offense. Hogs will have to play more disciplined than they did in drawing 97 penalty flags. Pigs were also money-makers for bettors, going 9-2 ATS and suffered just two defeats all 4 to ‘Bama and by 22 at Auburn. QB Ryan Mallett transferred to Arkansas from Michigan. Wonder if that’ll just stoke the fire even more...OSU 33 Arkansas 30

JAN. 6
GODADDY.COM (@ Mobile, AL):
Miami-Ohio over Middle Tennessee State giving 1 (48 ½):
MTSU was yet-another team to win three straight at the end to reach the post-season. Blue Raiders somehow managed to beat co-Stun Belt champion Florida International during that stretch. Middle Tennessee won by 10 over Southern Miss in a 2009 bowl, but that squad had ten wins. Miami-Ohio didn’t know it at the time, but mere 22-point loss in opener would portend the rest of Florida’s season. Redhawks went 8-5 ATS and toppled Northern Illinois as 17-point dogs. Nice turnaround for Miami-O following 1-11 year in 2009. MTSU gave up 51 points to Arkansas State. Miami did Mizzou. The MAC team improved its points-scored this year by 4 ½ per game, while lowering points-against by 11 and have good depth on the roster. BTW, there’s no bowl swag,, but players from each team do get to take a turn with Danica Patrick...uh ... left a race car! (Oh, the hell with it...who are we kiddin’???!! Schwing!!!!!)...Miami-Ohio 27 MTSU 17

JAN. 7
AT&T COTTON (@ Dallas, TX):
#11 Louisiana State over #18 Texas A&M giving 1 (49):
Bengals have won 4 of 6 games vs. ranked opponents (facing 4 of them away from Baton Rouge), but 28.9 ppg scoring average is deceptive given offensive yardage that came in 92nd in the country, so it’s been the defense that’s kept State competitive. A&M has flourished since switching to Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. Aggies bowl history recently has been horrible, producing no wins or covers in last four post-seasons. TAMU scored 25 passing touchdowns with just 12 interceptions, but gave up 35 sacks. Only 11 teams let their quarterback get dirty more times than that. Despite stout defenses on both sides, 5 of LSU’s games exceeded this total, while 7of A&M’s games did so. Tough call and frankly, we’d like to pass altogether, but with a gun to our head, we think the Tigers find a way to pull it out and we tilt a tad to the “over” ... LSU 27 TAMU 24

JAN. 8
BBVA COMPASS (@Birmingham, AL)
Kentucky over Pittsburgh taking 3 (52):
We can’t think of a single reason to watch this one. Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt has been canned and Kentucky’s first-string quarterback has been suspended. Like Penn State, the Panthers did not find a way to win the important games, as evidenced by OT loss at Utah to start the year. Kentucky staggered late, taking just 2 of last 5 (1-3 ATS and a win over I-AA Charleston Southern) and struggling badly in SEC play (upset of South Carolina notwithstanding). Wildcats have won 3 of last 4 bowls (2-2 ATS). KY went just 6-6 straight-up in Joker Phillips first season. Back-to-back 7-6 SU seasons got former Kentucky coach Rich Brooks kicked to the curb. As an olive branch for recent events, North Korea has offered to send 300 “carefully selected ‘fans’” to cheer politely at this game...Kentucky 16 Pitt 13

JAN. 9
KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER (@ San Francisco, CA):
Boston College over #13 Nevada taking 8 (55):
No swag for participants in this one either, just pictures and profiles of impoverished kids in third-world countries! If ya had told Reno coach Chris Ault that his Wolfpack would lose just one game, not to Boise State, and end up in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, would he have believed you???!!! How badly do ya think UNR would like to have the Hawaii game back right about now???!!! The signature win that ruined Boise’s BCS berth was, of course, lucky....but credit UNR for staying close enough to be in a position to win it in OT. Nevada hasn’t been a good play in the post-season, losing 4of 5. It did win all of its games, other than Fresno and Boise, by at least two touchdowns. Golden Beagles were virtually non-existent the first half of the year, but came on strong to win four of last five (and beat the line in 5 of final 7), allowing a total only 59 total points. BC has split bowls SU the past 4 years and was favored in 3 of ‘em (covering none). It’ll be up to Eagles scoring defense (19th nationally at 19 ½ ppg) to rein in potent Reno offense (42.6 ppg and 535 yards per game). An upset by BC wouldn’t shock us, but we’ll make the conservative pick...’Pack 33 BC 27

JAN. 10
#2 Oregon over #1 Auburn taking 3 (74 ½):
Admittedly, the choice is prejudiced just a little by Vindy’s preseason futures bet on the Mallards (18-1), but the selection is not without merit. Tigers did have some near-misses (OT vs. Clemson, at Mississippi State, at Kentucky and the miracle at Tuscaloosa). Ducks, beak and shoulders above the rest of the PAC-10 at 49.3 ppg, will be the most prolific offense that Auburn has met and was challenged just once (by Cal and its General Hospital act). War Eagle covered three of four road opportunities. Mallards covered 3 of 6, winning all of ‘em by at least 11 points. Neither side will likely run well against the opposing D. Drakes have taken 8 of last 9 vs. Top 25. Ducks allow 18.9 ppg, Tigers slightly more at 24.5 ppg. Alabama’s Mark Ingram broke the Heisman curse last year after four straight post-season games were lost by the award-winner’s team (Texas QB Colt McCoy was lost early to injury though). Vindy’s spies say Auburn plans to use a pair of defensive tackles named Pierce and Honeycutt to slow any rhythm gained by Oregon (and if we were Gene Chizik, we’d send the team captains out for the coin-toss dressed in scrubs and lab coats!)...Mighty Ducks 34 Auburn 30

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKSExperiencing paranoia following the recent FBI raid, your felonious forecaster was arrested after a toy store rampage spent gouging out the eyes of Barbie dolls...until learning the camera of the Barbie Video Girl was hidden inside the necklace! (Vin, did however, originally consider just drawing little smiley faces on the pupils with an ultra fine-tip Sharpie, but has simply watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds!)

A line of Missouri -2 ½ over Iowa (and a total of 47) has been posted on the Insight Bowl (off the board when Vindy published his pre-New Year’s Eve picks). So be it. We’ll stick with the original call and take the Hawkeyes with the points.

Hogs Sports Radio reporter Renee Gork got fired by her employer in August after sporting a Gators hat to a post-game conference and inadvertently annoying Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino. Likewise, a Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist received a pink slip for producing a microphone from inside a Phil Steele tote bag during a post-forecast Q&A with the Vindicator. Ironically, the prestigious prognosticator was wearing a pair of boxers autographed by his nationally-known forecasting rival at the time!

Thirty-five (count ‘em...35!!!!) post-season match-ups this season and not one damn Vuvuzela Bowl sponsored by BP! What’s up with ‘dat???!!!

Will the halftime speeches of the Kraft Hunger Bowl include: “Get back out there! If you don’t wanna’ play in this bowl, there are plenty of starving kids in Africa who’d love to be in the post-season!”

“Every idiot with ‘Vindy’s Picks’ on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding.”...Ebenezer Scrooge

Five Ohio State players, including Terrell Pryor, have been busted for getting tattoos at a discount because of the player status. Hmmm...whaddaya’ suppose a heart surrounding the name of your coach (or your agent) goes for these days, anyway???!!

MTSU QB Dwight Dasher was suspended early in the year after charges of duping an elderly man outta’ money the athlete eventually bet in a poker game. We just wanna’ know one thing....did he go “all in”???!!!!

JoePa had laser vision surgery last January and no longer needs his glasses. One pair of his trademark Coke-bottles was auctioned-off for charity. A second pair went to the Smithsonian and a third set will be kept on-hand at Palo Alto in case the Hubble Telescope needs emergency lens-replacement! Who knows...there might be a new star discovered and tagged “Alpha-Paterno!” Meanwhile, Penn State is now hawking photo-shopped pics of Coach sporting Geordi glasses, Cyclops’ shades or John Lennon specs!

TCU is building a new stadium that will be half-to-three-quarters completed when next season starts. The Toads will be able to play in it before completion. At what? Arena League dimensions???!!!

Twenty-six Tennessee football players were allowed into a bar free gratis while others had to pay a cover charge. Here in Sin City, we simply call that Ladies Night!

If the military wanted to keep quiet who among themselves played football, would the policy be called “Don’t Mask, Don’t Tell”???!!!!

Ralph “The Fridge”Friedgen has been given his walking papers, effective the end of the Military Bowl. If he’s replaced by Vern Troyer, will they nickname the new Maryland coach... “The Mini-Bar”???!!!!

NY Jets coach Rex Ryan did not openly pooh-pooh allegations that his missus has appeared in foot-fetish videos. Gives a whole new connotation to film “footage”, don’t it???!! Higher-ups in the Jets organization have pledged their “full-support” to Ryan. Sounds more like the harbinger of an endorsement deal with Dr. Scholl’s or Pay-for-Less shoes! Would a thorough review of Coach’s video library reveal a preponderance of kickers booting field-goals minus their socks and cleats???!!!

Star light, star bright
First spread I see tonite
Wish I may, wish I might
Win this pick I make tonite!

BTW, TBS ran 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” over the weekend. We only caught 23 hours of it and still need to watch the final 60 minutes that we taped to find out how it ends. No spoilers, please! (BTW, there’s no “I” in “team” because Ralphie shot it out with his Red Ryder [which sounds dangerously close to “Red Raider”! GASP!!!!]).

Vindy’s Best Bowl Bets Part II: Georgia-Central Florida “over” 55 ½, Mississippi State -5 over Michigan, Miami-Ohio -1 over Middle Tennessee State, Kentucky-Pittsburgh “under” 52

Vindicator hopes all his faithful readers had a very Mary Carey Christmas! Pass on Earth, Goodwill Toward Linemen. On top of ‘dat, we extend...Crimson Tidings of Southern Comfort and joy! May all the wide-receivers of your choice drop their balls as we ring in the New Year! Be sure to visit us one more time a few days after completion of the BCS Championship game to check Vindy’s bowl recap and publication of his leftover “hash”!

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