Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2012


PULLMAN, Washington (AP)...With the passing of marijuana-legalization legislation this month in Washington and Colorado on Election Day, the jury is still out on the impact for gridiron teams in those states. While there has been an increase in weekend trips to the Apple State by players from Eugene, Oregon and athletes from Ft. Worth trekking as far away as the Rocky Mountains, opinions vary on use, depending on the clubs-in-question. Reigning philosophies by media and coaches suggest the local Wazzou Cougars, Buffaloes of Boulder, and the Colorado State Rams have nowhere to go but up, so no harm-no foul. However, the Huskies of UDUB are bowl…er…um…post-season…-bound and should probably pass (the dutchie?) on the “herb superb”. As for the other club affected, the Falcons of Air Force, one cadet at the Academy, on condition of anonymity, laughingly said, “Don’t try this at home. These men are trained-professionals!”

We “rebounded” from the Week Eleven travesty with a middlin’ 7-7 (100-113, 469) for Week 12, and while Mike Leach has adamantly pooh-poohed allegations of abusing his players, he did fess up that the Washington State coaching staff would be more than happy to “belittle, intimidate and humiliate”…

(Preferred picks of shirtless FBI agents everywhere)

Texas Christian (+7 ½) over #18 TEXAS:
First meeting since 2008. Toads are 5-1 ATS in last six road dog chances, though 2-7 against da’ line facing fellow Lone Star squads (only once getting points). Usually, stout in the inaugural seasons in their new conferences, Froggies have lost 3 of last 4 in the Big 12 (covering only in the 2OT win at West Virginia). The ‘Legs have taken 4 of their 5 road games straight-up on the year. Might...emphasis on “might”…be a look-ahead game for Steers, who visit K-State next. Cattle QB David Ash has responded nicely following a little time on da’ pine in wake of consecutive defeats by West Virginia and Oklahoma, and narrow triumphs over Baylor and Kansas, tossing five scoring passes and rackin’ up 628 yards during pair of dubyas prior to the bye week. If the State of Texas makes good on its threat to secede, teams like the Steers and Frogs could still play south-of-da’-border in that other NCAA…”Need Corona Asap, Amigo!”…Texas 28 TCU 24

FRI. NOV. 23
#8 Louisiana State (-12 ½) over ARKANSAS:
We considered this for “lock”. What a difference a year makes?! This time last season, the Pork Chops were 10-1. They did however get smoked 41-17 in Baton Rouge. Unless the Hogs’ seniors rise up, because at 4-7 SU/2-8 ATS there’s nothing else to play for, this contest may be over early. Bengals big 4th Quarter rally to beat Ole Miss, who might be worthy of watching in 2013, prompted Les Miles’ Lifetime-worthy post-game commentary. No SEC Championship game for State to look ahead to, so the focus will be here. Pigs were hammered 45-17 at Mississippi State last week in a game that put Arkansas’ first losing ATS season in conference play since 2006 in stone…LSU 29 Arkansas 10

#17 Nebraska (-14 ½) over IOWA: Big Dread 27 Hawkeyes 7

Ohio (+10) over #23 KENT STATE: Flashes 34 Bobblecats 29

#24 Northern Illinois (-19 ½) over EASTERN MICHIGAN: MAC West cellar-dwellin’ Eagles have been competitive the past two weeks, losing by three to the Chippies and upsetting Western Michigan at Kalamazoo as nearly two-touchdown dogs, but we’ll chalk that up to the rivalry among the directional schools. EMU has been pelted by the better teams on its schedule and has allowed at least 23 points to everybody, with four opponents climbing into the 40’s or 50’s. Huskies have dominated conference play for almost three complete seasons, going 23-2, with one of those defeats coming in 2010 MAC Title contest. Eagles did play NIU close in 18-12 loss last year, getting about an 18-point handicap. Northern Illinois showcases QB Jordan Lynch, a dual-threat guy rated top-ten in passing and rushing nationally. ‘Dogs had been on 6-0 spread-run until missing cover week in win over Toledo… NIU 41 Eaglets 17

SAT. NOV. 24
#1 Notre Dame (- 6 ½) over USC:
Irish 23 USC 13

#2 ALABAMA (-31 ½) over Auburn: Are you freakin’ kiddin’ us???!!! Just when it looked like the SEC-presence in the National Championship game had finally come to a merciful end, Alabama has only to defeat…by 1at home… rival Auburn team havin’ a down year, to ensure it…or at minimum (barring upset by the ‘Ramblin’ Wreck)…fellow-conference squad Joja’…plays for the whole kit-n-kaboodle. ‘Bama has just one cover in five home games on the year, but given his borrowed-time, Nick Saban won’t hesitate to pile-on to avoid another slip-up. We’ll call for Elephants’ fourth shutout of 2012…Alabama 41 Auburn 0

Georgia Tech (+13 ½) over #3 GEORGIA: Joja’ 42 ‘Jackets 37

#4 OHIO STATE (-3 ½) over #20 Michigan: Buckeyes have nothing on the line except that tiny, little thing called an undefeated season…after the folks on Capitol Hill rebuked a plea from Columbus to pardon the program. (Obviously, the Commander-in-Chief’s allegiance lies with Northwestern). Michigan can still play for the Big Tenement tiara, but has put its fate in the hands of a back-up QB, with Denard Robinson elsewhere on the field due to injury-constraints. In light of the pic sent in May via Twitter, by Wolverine-signee Logan Tuley-Tillman (who was wooed by Urban Meyer well-after he committed to Big Blue) setting fire to what appeared to be OSU recruiting-literature, team captains will forego the usual coin-toss and meet at midfield, take 10 paces, wheel and burn each other’s playbook. The first player to be left holding a pile of ashes will have the choice of receiving the ball or deferring to the second-half!…OSU 17 Michigan 11

#16 OREGON STATE (+9 ½) over #5 Oregon: Quack Attack 35 Beavers 31

#6 Florida (+8) over #10 FLORIDA STATE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. We’re not convinced having starter Jeff Driskel under center woulda’ made much difference in Florida’s 23-0 win over AA Jacksonville State. It should make a difference here. ‘Noles are hitting the board for almost 43 ppg, but two of the top four defenses go at it this week and we expect little scoring. Gators have very remote national title game shot. State’s already sewn-up the ACC conference crown bid. Both play for possible at-large BCS bowl berths. Florida’s won and covered three of four games vs. ranked opponents, including A&M and LSU, while ‘Noles have one SU victory and one spread-loss in that category (vs. Clemson). State has both wins the last two years, with UF mustering no more than 7 points in each loss, while committing 8 turnovers over that span. Crocs are, however, plus-13 in turnover margin this season …Gators 19 FSU 17

#7 Kansas State: IDLE (next 12/1 vs. Texas)

#9 TEXAS A&M (-21 ½) over Missouri: Aggies 44 Mizzou 20

#11 Stanford (-1 ½) over #15 UCLA: Cardinal maybe caught a break to beat the Ducks in the extra frame, but still have the ground attack and defense necessary to get by UCLA. Both sides feature sophomore quarterbacks accompanied by senior rushers in the backfield. Bruins allowed about 8 yards a clip to USC’s McNeal. Redbirds’ Stepfon Taylor went for 161 vs. the Mallards. UCLA has won 10 of last 12 at the Rose Bowl and win or lose, Bruins have a date on November 30 for the 12-PACK crown…Stanford 20 UCLA 17

#13 South Carolina (+4) over #12 CLEMSON: Tigers 24 Poultry 21

#22 Oklahoma State (+7) over #14 OKLAHOMA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Cowboys rush defense should make Sooners one-dimensional and force them to try to match State’s pace. Sooners’ overall body-of-work is better and State did win in 34-point blowout in Stillwater last year following 8 consecutive losses to its rival. We’ll take Landry Jones 554-yard aerial extravaganza vs. Mounties’ wafer-thin defense with a grain of salt. Line looks about right for public perception in light of Sooners’ 5-point home loss to K-State and Cowpokes’ 14-point road loss in Manhattan. A victory by OKSU would contribute to a 3- or 4-team tie for the Big 12 crown…State 38 Sooners 31

Connecticut (+11 ½) over #19 LOUISVILLE: Cardinal 17 Huskies 9

#21 Rutgers (+2) over PITT: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Rutgers defense put the clamps on Cincy’s otherwise-potent offense, limiting the ‘Kats to a virtually-meaningless FG with 11 seconds to play. Can’t see the Panthers faring much better. It was announced the Knights will bolt for the Big Ten following Maryland’s green light for the Terps to do likewise, bringing the conference to 14 squads. Is it any wonder America’s “utes” lag behind the rest of the world in math????!!!...Paladins 16 Pitt 7

#25 (tie) UTAH STATE (-39) over Idaho: USU 54 Tater-Heads 10

MISSISSIPPI -1 1/2 over #25 (tie) Mississippi State: Ole Miss 31 Bulldogs 27


BTW, citizens in Colorado Springs report a sudden shift in the armament of unmanned-drone sorties…from Hellfire missiles to Twinkies and bags of Doritos!

In related news, the “gone fishin’” sign for Hostess should signal an end to certain early-season (or in the case of the SEC, November) non-conference contests by several FBS powerhouse teams! In defense of the SEC’s late-season pastry-party, we note that five of seven (count ‘em, 7!) I-AA opponents last week were currently or had been ranked in the FCS Top 25 sometime during the year! (Only Tide-foe Western Carolina had received no votes on the year and Gator-bait Jacksonville State had been no higher than #26).

As a follow-up to our Pitt-Rutgers comments…rather than learning world geography via the old tried-and-true method of making a “globe” by applying paper-mache to inflated balloons (or for the USC grads out there…under-inflated balloons) then adding outlines of the seven continents, today’s kiddies would better off forming land-masses over templates of the new NCAA conference realignments instead!

On the telly a couple times this week…Gone With the Wind. Our favorite quote from the film?...”We don’t know nothin’ ‘bout berthin’ no bowls!”

During OT of the Cowboys-Browns game, referee Ed Hoculi noted an incompletion/possible catch-and-fumble by a Cleveland WR was “under review”. Hoculi subsequently emerged and said “the previous play was not reviewable …and I didn’t review it.” Really? What play was the well-known official reviewing??!! Guys & Dolls? Fiddler on the Roof? Cats???!!! Speaking of that last one…did anybody else out there immediately think of the Broadway hit upon getting a gander (dander???!!!) at the Steelers’ striped unis in their game vs. Baltimore on Sunday???!!! We kept waitin’ for the tails to pop outta’ the pants!

For those who watched Green Bay’s ugly win over Detroit…yes…Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby and the alma mater’s Sam Fickens were twins separated at birth!

RG III became the first NFL player to wear Roman numerals on his jersey after a rule-change this season allowed it (along with the” jr.” or “sr.” designation). How ‘bout Esq., MSW, MD, attorney-at-law, PhD? Nicknames? Best thing to happen to pro uniforms since “He Hate Me”. Name on the front ain’t as important as da’ one on da’ back!?

Vin caught a headline yesterday proclaiming Tim Tebow has a “secret admirer” after the controversial back-up to Mark Sanchez got a delivery of “Yer Special!” balloons from an unknown source. We got an Andrew Jackson that says it’s…soon-to-be-divorced Danica Patrick!!!!

The NHL lockout reminds us that in May, the Bikini Hockey League came into existence. Women in skimpy outfits on inline skates, wielding sticks! Is the goalie also called the fishnet-minder??!! No “minor” penalties because the girls are all over 18!?? Now there’s a hip-check we’d like see replayed again and again! (And if Nevada had a team outside Clark and Washoe County, there’d be no penalty for hooking!)

Black Shirt: We split the gratuitous garment this week between Badgers’ teammates Kyle French, for missing an early 4th quarter FG try of 40 yards, and RB Montee Ball for a fumble near the Buckeyes goal-line late in the game, allowing State to eventually win in OT.

“Locked in a Box?”: We thank the Scarlet Knights for providing a rare lock win (3-9, .250) and bringin’ home our “upset” pick of da’ week over Cincinnati!

Shoppe Talk: The Bruins have 7 appearances and are now in the running for Grill-Master Supreme at 1-6 (.142), with fellow-hoser…USC…at 2-9 (.181) close-behind. Florida State’s hangin’ around at 2-7 (.222) and we’re puttin’ Louisville on notice at 3-6 (.333) overall, but 1-6 in last 7!!!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-4 (3-7-1 last two weeks) Season: 29-29-1 (.500)

CINCINNATI -13 over South Florida, West Virginia +1 over IOWA STATE, Maryland +24 over NORTH CAROLINA, UTSA +1 ½ over Texas State, OLE MISS -1 ½ over Mississippi State, Tulane +12 ½ over HOUSTON, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE -2 ½ over Troy

May all the turkeys be the ones you bet against this Thanksgiving!

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