Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2012


LONDON, England (ITAR-TASS)…Occupation of the Oval Office seems to be correlated with the outcome of certain sporting events...sort of. According to the “Redskins Rule”, if D.C.’s NFL team is victorious in its final home contest prior to Election Day, the sitting party would carry on. Or….should the Redskins be defeated in the game-in-question, a new party will take over the White House. That premise held solid for 18 consecutive campaigns, but missed in 2012. Conversely, a World Series trend that saw the GOP in power following an American League title and Democratic rule after a National League World Series crown continues to be on the mark, given the San Francisco Giants 2012 sweep and Obama’s election triumph. However, a little known theorem, the Summer Games Axiom, should actually come into play. This law suggests that if multiple disgraced athletes are dismissed from the Olympiad ahead of the election, the Capitol building is occupied by an actor who played a president on TV or in the movies, such as Harrison Ford or Dennis Haysbert.

Last April, North Korea threatened to reduce the South Korean capital “to ashes” in minutes. The bookies did just that to our Week 11 picks, leaving the 6-14 (93-106, .467) rubble smoldering throughout the holiday weekend. And we ain’t usin’ it as an excuse, but a couple of sportsbook employees intentionally disrupted your host’s warm-up routine by walkin’ through our pre-forecast drills, talkin’ smack the whole time.

Meanwhile, Donald Pleasance takes over the West Wing (and all the adjoining rooms) this year after being rescued on post-apocalyptic Manhattan Island by Kurt Russell as Snake Plisskin in “Escape from…

(Da’ New Normal [or for readers in Colorado and Washington…da’ new NORML!)

SAT. NOV. 17
#14 Stanford (+21 ½) over #1 OREGON: We looked at season scores and history, and frankly, we’re backin’ Stanford here only on the premise that SU is the best D the Mallards have faced all year. The key will be Ducks’ Kenyon Barner, who leads the country’s best rushing offense vs. Cardinal’s top rush defense. There’s some value in that stat since Cardinal has blown-out only Duke and Colorado, so the other contestants were not forced to abandon the ground attack early. Stanford’s also allowing mere 17.2 ppg to opponents. SU hasn’t been good as a road dog, failing its last five tries. Only Arizona hit the board for more than 23 vs. the Birds, who will likely have to limit Drakes to all-season low in points-scored and pick-up their own offensive production to cover. Best guess for “wish we had it back” choice…Quack Attack 41 Redbirds 24

#2 Kansas State (-11) over BAYLOR: K-State 38 Bears 24

#3 NOTRE DAME (-24) over Wake Forest: We changed our initial pick here and we know what that means… Irish 31 Deacons 3

Western Carolina @ #4 ALABAMA: No line.

Georgia Southern @ #5 GEORGIA: No line.

#6 Ohio State (+3) over WISCONSIN: While State got the extra week to practice, resurgent Badgers were busy making upstart Indiana look like the porous Hoosiers of yore. Buckeyes have won this series four times in last five years, losing by 13 here in 2010. Wisky’s OT loss to Michigan State was its first since 3-point defeat at Nebraska in late September and just fifth home loss in almost eight seasons. RB Montee Ball will have difficulty running on the Big Ten’s second-best rush D. Neither side is quite as adept at defending the pass. Badgers have allowed 17 passing scores with just six INT. State shows a 13-13 ratio. Undefeated Buckeyes will be tested, but survive…OSU 20 Wisconsin 14

Jacksonville State @ #7 FLORIDA: No line.

Mississippi (+19) over #8 LSU: Bengals 27 Rebels 13

Sam Houston State @ #9 TEXAS A&M: No line.

#10 Florida State (-31 ½) over MARYLAND: Terps have been putting a linebacker under center of late with four injured quarterbacks unable to go. Clemson took a big lead then took mercy on Maryland, not scoring after the 11-minute mark of the second half. Having dodged an upset at Virginia Tech, look for ‘Noles to squander the first-quarter then take no prisoners and bash the Turtles…FSU 49 Maryland 10

#11 CLEMSON (-18) over NC State: Top CU-signee Robert Nkemdiche reneged on his commitment to the Tigers last week. No surprise. In July, he said he was pullin’ the plug on his agreement to play for the school unless it tendered a scholarship to prep-teammate Ryan Carter. Reminds us of a certain Godfather segment…”you come to me and say ‘Dabo Sweeney, give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Coach. Instead, you come into my office on the day my team is to be recruited and you ask me to commit NCAA violations. Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on your signing day.”...Clemson 41 NC State 20

Wofford @ #12 SOUTH CAROLINA: No line.

#13 Oklahoma (-11) over WEST VIRGINIA: Spooners 42 Mounties 27

California @ #15 OREGON STATE: OFF

Minnesota (+19) over #16 NEBRASKA: The Nitwit Lions did not play well enough to win in Lincoln, but did not deserve to lose at the hands of the zebras, who blew the late fumble call and levied a phantom penalty earlier that continued a Nebraska drive at State’s expense. Big Dread had its own issues with penalties and sporadic special teams play. Gophers became bowl-eligible by beating Illinois last week (and got first road cover in doing so), but have been belted by the better opponents it has seen. Gerbils have won two of last three games and might catch the Cornbread a little flat, especially if they stack the line of scrimmage vs. RB Abdullah and make Taylor Martinez beat them through the air…Nebraska 30 Minny 14

#21 Southern Cal (-4) over #17 UCLA: Oh great…a match-up of squads that have produced a combined 3-13 record in the Picks thus far. Last year, Bruins got trounced by USC then backed their way into the conference title game, getting whacked again, then made a bowl game with a losing record. In 2012, however, 8-win Uclans can legitimately represent the South vs. probable North-winner Oregon and play in the post-season with no guilt. Bruins are 7-3 as home dogs and have won both games outright in which they got points this season. Still, history shows USC manhandling the Bruins 106-21 the past three years and while UCLA may have been sand-bagging in the second-half last week to avoid injury for this one, mere 8-point victory over short-handed and distracted Wazzou team doesn’t inspire confidence…USC 34 UCLA 24

#18 Texas: IDLE (next vs. TCU)

#19 LOUISIANA TECH (+3) over Utah State: We’re big fans of the work done by the USU Aggies this season (and in recent seasons), having beaten Utah, lost by 3 at BYU and lost by a deuce at Wisconsin, but we just have a hard time laying points against one-loss (2-point defeat at Texas A&M) Weeziana Tech, even if it’s in midst of 1-4 spread skid. State is the one team that could that potentially keep up and ambush LT. Still this is a lotta’ faith in the road fave in game that will probably decide WAC title. If ya like scoring, watch this one… Bulldogs 48 USU 44

#20 Louisville: IDLE (next vs. UConn)

#22 Rutgers (+6 ½) over CINCINNATI: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. “UPSET” PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Big Fleece conference hosed us three times in three tries during Week 11 snafu. Then-#11 Louisville was exposed in 19-point loss at Syracuse, but we don’t think RU (8-3-1 road dog last 3+ years) will suffer the same fate. Knights, who scored three times in final nine minutes to pull away from stubborn Army, get the edge on defense while the quarterback battle between Gary Nova and Bearkats’ Munchie Legaux is pretty much a toss-up. Rutgers only defeat came vs. Kent State. UC lost at Toledo and at Louisville. Cincy had won five straight years in this series until NJ got a 20-3 decision in 2011. With Cardinals idle, ‘Kats could pull into a three-way tie atop the conference with a victory… Round Table 24 Cincinnati 20

OKLAHOMA STATE (-11) over #23 Texas Tech: Cowpokes 41 Red Raiders 21

Iowa @ #24 MICHIGAN: OFF

#25 Kent State (+3) over BOWLING GREEN: Much like the La Tech-Utah State analysis above, we look at the season and question why there’s a sudden shift in role for a team that been hot. Granted, Bee Gees are contending and hope to pull into a tie in the East Division with the visitors. Falcons, impressively for a MAC team, show a top six total yardage defense and occupy the 12-hole nationally in pass D. Unfortunately, Flashes do the grunt work on the ground well-enough to warrant 14th in the country. State, 9-1 SU (with bad September loss at Kentucky) has covered 7 of 9, including 5 of 6 road tilts already, including upset victory in Piscataway over damn-good Rutgers defense, scoring 35 along the way. Kent is now 15-2 outright in past 17 games. Streaking Falcons, who got crushed 37-0 at Virginia Tech early, are 6-0 SU/5-0 ATS and claim very-respectable 13-point loss in the Swamp to open the year, and got a bye off win over Ohio. BGU has burned bettors in 8 of last 9 tries after a break…Kent 24 Birds 23


BTW, the “Axiom” mentioned above, in the event no qualifying actor steps-up, does allow the White House to be had by someone who wasn’t actually a presidential candidate, “but did stay at a Holiday Inn Express” the night before the election!

The Sunshine State was too close to call on Election Night. In fact, officials are still tallying points from the Gators-Mizzou game!

Southern Cal canned a student manager for under-inflating pigkskins, reportedly giving his offense an advantage, by making the ball easier to catch and hold onto, in the first-half vs. Oregon. In related LA news, Lakers coach Mike Brown was sent packin’ following his team’s 1-4 start. Guess the Lakers’ balls weren’t blown up to regulation size either. (And given the double-digit win by the Ducks, we think the USC conspirator was standing on the wrong sideline!). Gotta’ wonder if under-inflated balls will become a feature in the EA Sports NCAA ’14 video game! (“If it’s in the game….!”)

A recent article by an AP writer suggested some NFL contests were being designated as “Homecoming” games, a la the high school and college traditions. In related news, a high-schooler in Iowa took a cardboard cut-out of Tim Tebow as her date to the May 2012 senior prom. Vindy spies say the two-dimensional likeness drove to-and-from the dance, was a perfect gentleman all night long and got the young lady home by the curfew-time requested by her parents! (She did, however, put a major crease in the figurative QB after attempting to make it conduct his signature-pose!). In related news, our fearless forecaster is planning to take let a little air outta’ his blow-up date to an upcoming holiday party just to test the theory mentioned above!

In the wake of some comments by Steve Spurrier, a local sports-writer recently posed a scenario in which college’s then- #1 team, Alabama, faced an NFL bottom-feeder, ie. Kansas City, and pondered who might win such a contest. There’s just one problem…da’ Chiefs ain’t good enough to finish as one of the top two in the BCS poll!

The San Diego Chargers were cleared last week of any wrong-doing when the league officially noted the “sticky towels” did not, in fact, contain any illegal adhesive substances, but rather were the results of players simply wiping the residue of mass-quantities of Halloween candy off their faces!

On the hardwood…2012 is 25th Anniversary of three-point shot. We feel funny tapping our whiskey glass on the bar a trio of times before drinking it or launching it toward the iron from beyond the arc, but okay…(Oh wait…!)

Black Shirt: The coveted tee goes to LSU safety Craig Loston for the 100-yard pick-six return with about a minute left, giving the Bengals the cover over Mississippi State and Vindy one of just six correct calls.

“Locked in a Box?”: The lock record falls to 2-9 (.181) after Weeziana Tech let itself get sucked into a track-meet with Texas State.

Shoppe Talk: The Trojans remain front-runners for Grill-Master Supreme at 2-8 (.200). The Florida State Seminoles draw our ire again at 2-6 (.250 and 1-5 in the past 6 tries). UCLA supported us last week, but still show 1-5 (.167). And if our “lock” picks were a team…boy, howdy!!!!!

Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3-1 Season: 27-25-1 (.519)
Purdue -6 ½ over ILLINOIS, Indiana +17 over PENN STATE, Northwestern +6 ½ over MICHIGAN STATE, Eastern Michigan +13 over WESTERN MICHIGAN, East Carolina -10 over TULANE, Middle Tennessee State -9 ½ over SOUTH ALABAMA

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