Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2011


MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (MSNBC)…Call it “Ball 2, Politicians 0” with yet-another Republican presidential candidate falling to an off-the-cuff question. Herman Cain was caught behind the basketball last week during an interview when he responded to a question about his thoughts on Obama’s handling of the NBA labor dispute. After clearly struggling to formulate an answer, Cain responded “He supported the lock-out, correct?...I have all this stuff twirling around in my head.” That statement prompted media to wonder if Cain was envisioning drum majorettes… or perhaps the Harlem Globetrotters spinning balls on their fingers…in his mind’s eye. The politician tried to explain the goof on having just “four hours sleep”, leading one reporter to query, “Just four hours? We thought you owned a pizza joint, not a donut shop! How late does that place of yours stay open anyway?!”

Vindy wasn’t getting a lot of shut-eye either when he penned Week Twelve’s picks, that went 11-9 (93-124-1, .429), but for a few Washingtons, you can get a French Cruller, a cold brew and a hot slice of pie that’s half-pepperoni and half…

(Cowering behind the candied yams!)

FRI. OCT. 25
#3 Arkansas over #1 LSU taking 12 ½:
The SEC West holds the top three spots in this week’s AP Poll...and the BCS. Hogs bring the third-best offense the Bengals have faced to Baton Rouge, where the Tigers are 2-2 ATS. Fourth true road game for the Razorbacks, who squeaked by both lightweight Mississippi and rising Vanderbilt. Pigs’ only SU defeat came at ‘Bama (by 24). LSU takes on seventh Top 25 opponent after holding four of the previous six to 11 points or less, while yielding 20’s to the other pair. Hogs face their fifth ranked foe, going 3-1 ATS in the prior four. At what point, if at all, will Les Miles go into “play not to lose” and/or “no injuries” mode? Neither team was challenged last week as they combined to belt the two Magnolia State schools by collective 96-20…Bengals 24 Pork Chops 20

#8 Houston over TULSA giving 3: No question Golden Hurricane has one of the few offenses that could hang with the Cougars, scoring about 34 points a game behind a nice rushing attack. Tulsa’s won six straight, going 5-1 ATS, taking all but one by margins of at least 17. ‘Cane is, however, just 2-3 ATS at home this season, 1-1 vs. ranked teams and won last year, 28-25. Both squads are unbeaten in the conference at 6-0 and winner goes on to the CUSA title match against probably Southern Miss. UH is 3-2 as road chalk, with only one spread in single-digits. Despite the major upsets of late, we just can’t go against Case Keenum with a line this short…Houston 34 Tulsa 27

#22 NEBRASKA over Iowa giving 9 ½: Big Red 27 Iowa 16

SAT. OCT. 26
#2 Alabama over AUBURN giving 21:
Both teams come in after uninspired wins over I-AA teams. Tide was up just 10 at the half vs. Joja’ Southern before pulling away with scores late in each of the third- and fourth quarters, while the Tigers got by Samford , 35-16. With the exception of 2008 ‘Bama win by 36-0, the Iron Bowl has been tightly-contested and Tide is just 1-5 ATS the past six years in this one, but ‘Bama had Auburn on the ropes last season and let them off, leading, of course, to the Tigers’ eventual national title. Tigers have been whacked hard by the better teams on their slate and scored only 10 vs. LSU. They may not hit double-digits here. Tide’s had two games to get over the one that got away…Alabama 34 War Eagle 9

#4 STANFORD over #23 Notre Dame giving 6 ½: Stanford 34 I-Wish 17

#5 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next vs. Oklahoma)

#24 VIRGINIA over #6 Virginia Tech taking 5: Cavs are hot and escaped FSU with the upset on the heels of yet-another blown high-pressure kick. UVA can steal a chance to play for ACC championship with the victory, but in any case, we like the home-dog getting’ almost a TD from Tech team whose defense is not up to traditional Beamer Ball standards, allowing North Carolina to nearly obliterate its 17-point 3rd Quarter lead two weeks ago. Tech did manage to stave off Joja’ Tech’s late rally to cover last week. With admittedly a little malice aforethought, we’ll call it…Virginia 20 Hokies 19

Wyoming over #7 BOISE STATE taking 32 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We’d be surprised to see Boise garner anything better than a post-season trip to Vegas at this point. Cowboys are having a nice year, already grabbing seven SU wins (four in the Mountain Jest), including upset victories over Bowling Green, San Diego State and Air Force, with a likely eighth at Colorado State following this game. Wyoming has been a strong road dog the last two-plus seasons, going 12-3, 3-1 this season) and should be able to stay within the generous number behind conference’s #3 rushing game. Broncos-backers have torn up their tickets four times in as many home tilts for Boise…Taters 41 Wyoming 27

Oregon State over #9 OREGON taking 28: Mallards 37 Beavers 13

Ucla over #10 USC taking 14 ½: Bruins are in “save Coach Neuheisel’s job” mode…again, and have won and covered three of their last four games (losing badly in only road game of that span…at Utah). Trojans have played their “bowl game”, upsetting Oregon, but could still win the 12-PACK South and the conference, both of which get ‘em…home for the holidays (but could send a message for next season). Troy has won this series in each of last four years by margins of 14, 21, 21 and 17 (2-2 ATS). UCLA is already bowl-eligible, but would certainly savor a victory here, which would send it to the conference championship game. Bruins are lousy as road dogs, mired in current 5-15 ATS skid in that role…USC 27 UCLA 16

NORTHWESTERN over #11 Michigan State taking 6 ½: MSU 31 NW 27

Iowa State over #12 OKLAHOMA taking 28: Sooners 37 ISU 17

#13 Georgia over #25 GEORGIA TECH giving 6: UGA 30 Bees 21

#18 Clemson over #14 SOUTH CAROLINA taking 4: Yeah, Clemson was clearly apathetic about NC State game with ACC title game berth in pocket, but geez…20-point loss??!!! There will be more fervor this week, facing rival South Carolina. QB Connor Shaw continues to be the offense for the Poultry, who has pounded the Tigers the past two years despite small lines like this one. Chicken Wings had a feisty Citadel on their hands last week, but won eventually by three scores. Tigers have dropped two of last three and are struggling to score points (0-3 ATS and allowing 36 ppg over last five)…Clemson 17 KFC 14

#20 Penn State over #15 WISCONSIN taking 14 ½: Pass D on down-and-distance continues to plague the Lions and it’s gonna’ be a long day if Russell Wilson starts converting those opportunities consistently to open up the run. When State has the ball, they’ll need their own ground game that went for 6 yards per carry vs. the Buckeyes to keep Wisky’s O on the sidelines and will need to avoid turnovers. Badgers aren’t invincible by any means, getting burned for big numbers in losses at Michigan State and Ohio State and could’ve lost outright to Illinois, rallying from double-digit holes. Badgers just 2-3 ATS over last 5 games. Lions are poor as road dogs at 2-5 the last three-plus seasons. The inaugural Big Tentacle title game vs. Sparty awaits the winner. Again, we think the “under” is the best wager, given State’s games have finished “under” the total in nine of their ten outings (We cashed an “under 39” ticket last week, sweating the final half-hour following the 34 points scored in the first half of the PSU-OSU game). The alma mater might pull this off with a flawless game and obviously, we hope they do, but we’ll just conservatively say… Wisconsin 23 PSU 14

#16 Kansas State: IDLE (next vs. Iowa State)

#17 MICHIGAN over Ohio State giving 7 ½: Big Blue’s complete domination of Big Dread probably has Huskers fans wondering why they bolted the Big 12, and we’re still wondering how Michigan lost to Iowa. Wolverines finally have an opportunity to regain some respect after losing seven straight years to the Buckeyes. Both come in with defenses ranked the mid-teens nationally, but UM can score points in bunches. Win or lose, State will record its lowest SU victory total in over a decade. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com had OSU with country’s best November SU tally since 2005 at 16-1, but Buckeyes are already 1-2 this month. Given the chance, Michigan will pile on…UM 31 OSU 13

#19 TCU: IDLE (next vs. UNLV)

Texas Tech (GASP!) over #21 Baylor taking 12 (@ Cowboy Stadium): Kudos to the Bears for signature-win over Oklahoma. We wonder though how many folks remember Tech also lowered the boom on the Sooners…in Norman. Red Raiders haven’t been the same since though, losing four straight (1-3 ATS, averaging 15 ppg). Last three in the series have gone to Tech, all by 7. Bears and Raiders boast #5 and #8 passing offenses, respectively and with both sides yielding big points to opponents, “shootout” is written all over this, so the only one likely to doink a punt off the low-hanging Jumbo-Tron at Jerry World is…Vindicator!...Bears 42 Texas Tech 37


We’d been waiting on the dogs to post their annual domination week and they did so, covering 15 of the 20 Top 25 games last week. Eight teams getting points won outright (and your humble host called 3 of the 8 upsets).

Rich Rodriguez seems to be making his way westward across the country. The former head man of the Mountaineers took his wares to Michigan, and will now call Tucson, Arizona his home. We predict RichRod will be doing the coaching thing at Aloha Stadium to start the 2014 season and could be leading the provisional-Sun Belt North Koreans onto the field 36 months later!

Lee Corso dropped the F-bomb on live TV over the weekend while giving his pick for the Houston-SMU tilt. Rumor has it U2 front-man Bono will take his place for next Saturday’s presentation of “College Game Day”!

Vindy’s attention was caught by a February AP news article hawking the headline, “Obama laments anew about ‘bubble’”. Your humble host was unaware that the White House was potentially fielding a team, at the time, in the NCAA Tournament! Apparently, the Capitol squad was eventually relegated to the NIT or CBI, but hey, with the expansion to 68 teams and the “First Four”, we encourage them to keep swingin’!

Last May, Oprah reserved the United Center in Chicago to host one of her final shows the same day as the potential initial contest of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and the Bulls. The good news? Everybody in the audience went home with an NBA title!!!!

A few months later, 11-year-old twins duped a Minnesota insurance company outta’ a $50K prize when the wrong brother took…and scored…a 90-footer during intermission of a charity hockey game. The kids’ daddy fessed up to the bait-and-switch. What next?...Arnold Schwartzenegger standing-in for Danny DeVito during a whiffle-ball version of Home-Run Derby???!!!

Rinks over links? Good call!...In this morning’s Las Vegas Review-Journal sports section was a nice piece on Judd Blackwater, a kid who’s leading the East Coast Hockey League in scoring, as a member of the Las Vegas Wranglers, after passing up a promising career in golf. Hmmm…let’s see...blasting Titleist golfballs from the blue line past opposing goalies or using a wedge to chip a puck uphill outta’ da’ sand-trap on the 16th Hole?! No-brainer!

Black Shirt: The obsidian undergarment goes to FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins for missing what woulda’ been the game-winning 42-yard FG in the waning seconds, making Vindy look like a genius for calling the outright victory for a Virginia squad getting 17 points!

“Locked in a Box?”: Arkansas brought home the bacon vs. Mississippi State, raising the lock record to 5-7 (.417)

Shoppe Talk: On Vindy’s Thanksgiving table this week…the Spartans (0-7, .000), the Hokies (1-9, .100), the Cowpokes of Okie State (3-8, .272) and some Badger Fricassee (3-7, .300)!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 28-30-1 (.483)
Boston College +14 ½ over MIAMI, Rutgers -3 over UCONN, Tulane +18 over HAWAII, Alabama-Birmingham -6 over FLA ATLANTIC, UTAH STATE -1 ½ over Nevada-Reno

Save some room after the bird and da’ trimmings for a nice big bowl of the latest fruit-flavored offering from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream …Berry Yer Bookie!

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