Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Vindy's Picks Army-Navy 2010

Navy over Army giving 7: Nice to know that both the Middies and the Cadets are off to bowls following this one this year. First post-season game for Army since ‘96. Have to figure a plus-11 turnover ratio had something to do with it. Soldiers were plus-five last season and in the red in 2008. West-Pointers have six straight-up victories, including victories over I-AA VMI, as well as against Tulane and Eastern Michigan, both on the road, but the best win perhaps came by two touchdowns at Duke, who beat Navy. Black Knights also lost by three at the base camp to now-ranked Hawaii. Middies have certainly been the money play in this series, covering 10 of the past 13 years, battering the Soldiers in most seasons, but won just 17-3 in 2009 as 16-point chalk. Army’s last outright triumph over the Sailors came in 2001. Army losses in 2010 campaign have been by double-digits, including 20 to Air Force and 24 to Notre Dame squad on a neutral site trying to make a bowl. Navy 1-1 SU/ATS in neutral site tilts on the year, belting the aforementioned Leprechauns 35-17 at the Meadowlands and losing 17-14 to open 2010 after being stopped on 4th-and-goal in a game we saw vs. Maryland with about a minute left to play. Ensigns have 9 SU wins, but are 6 points away from 11. Oddly, the Middies seem a bit off from last year and maybe aren’t quite as good as their record? Rush defense comparison is pretty-much a wash, but Army gets the advantage stopping the pass (allowed 18 passing scores and less than 142 ypg, with 12 INT) over the Midshipmen (18 pass TDs and 228 ypg allowed, with 8 picks) and as one might expect from a pair of highly-disciplined squads, Navy and Army are the second- and third-least penalized teams in the country (39 and 47 [one fewer than the Nitwit Lions]) total flags, respectively [behind Wisconsin’s 35]). Neither club could get past Air Force, with Army losing by 20 at home and Navy losing by 8 in Colorado, but Middies have dropped just one game since that defeat (the aforementioned 3-point loss at Duke). Annapolis, disregarding 76-point Wisconsin-like outing at East Carolina, is averaging just over 25 ppg...down 3 ppg from 2009. Win-loss records of Army’s victims total 20-51. Records for the Middies losing opponents...44-48, including 3 with winning records and three bowlers. We salute the Cadets for their progress, but we don’t think they’ve caught-up quite this much. If Sarah Palin gave a pre-game pep talk to the troops, would it include the phrase, “Drill Sergeant, Baby! Drill Sergeant!”????...Rear Fleet 23 Ground-Pounders 12

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKSDisgusted early in the second-half with South Carolina’s poor tackling, especially on 3rd-and-long and with the Poultry’s Stephen Garcia just missing wide-open receivers, we tuned into ABC Family to watch Harry Potter and the Chambermaid of Victoria’s Secrets!

A high school running back was flagged last week for unsportsmanlike conduct when he dropped to one knee and pointed skyward following his touchdown scamper. Funny...the official who tossed that hankie has been mysteriously triggering extra pat-downs by airport security, Wal-Mart loss-prevention personnel and baggers as he comes and goes through local grocery stores scanners! Coincidence? You decide!

Depending on whether ya had certain games as wins or ties for the chalk, a 7-3 finish for the favorites (again, potentially 5-3-2) led to a 5-5 Championship Week for your pooped prognosticator (119-124-3, .489; well off last year’s 140–118-2, .542).

UCF(-9 over SMU) didn’t impress, but did bring home Vindicator’s lock pick in a 17-7victory, evening the record at 7-7 (.500...a notch or two better than 2009's 5-9, 357).

Similarly, UConn (+1 ½) won outright by 3 over USF in Weber’s only “best bet” call of the championship weekend, lifting that tally to 28-32-1 (.467...close to last season’s 27-31, 465).

Vindy will return in a little over a week with the first installment of this season’s bowl predictions, but not before taking a breather to visit his fave holiday toy store...Build-A-Beer! Stay tuned!

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