Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2013


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (Reuters)…”Holy penalty flag, Batman!” Ahead of its 2013 season debut, the No Fashion-Statement League has clamped down on players violating standardized uniform requirements, forbidding the so-called “Bane mask”, which given its modifications, strikes a resemblance to the Batman movie-villain of the same name. The league also invoiced RGIII to the tune of $10,000 for donning an unauthorized T-shirt bearing the words “Operation Patience”…or what SEC cheerleaders would know as “Operashun Patients”… referencing the Redskins’ strategy to keep the quarterback on the pine until the start of live-fire games, during warm-ups prior to the exhibition game vs. the Steelers. Critics say the moves are attempts to turn attention away from bigger issues such as substance abuse and ongoing legal difficulties regarding player concussions. Recommendations include allowing one position, perhaps the quarterback or the field-goal kicker, to wear some sort of uniform variance, a la the NHL’s goalie-masks or a soccer goalie’s jersey showing different colors than his teammates’ garb.

Vindicator, who finished 11-8 (.579) after hitting 10 of Saturday’s 15 games, had planned to return to campus this week, but was also quickly thwarted after school officials claimed he violated the zero-tolerance policy by nibbling his Pop-Tart into the shape of…

(Now with more twerking than a Miley Cyrus appearance!)


#1 Alabama:
IDLE (next @ Texas A&M) Coach Saban, and Saban alone apparently, wants a nine-game league schedule. Funny…his detractors would suggest he’s happy with a 6-6-6-game conference slate! Maybe the Tide faithful secretly conduct Sabanic rituals! Nick Saban made me do it! The Saban’s in the details? Nick Saban Wears Prada?

#2 Oregon (-22 ½) over VIRGINIA: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Cavs stole a victory after being out-played by BYU except in return yards and TOP because of late mistakes by the Cougars. Mallards, now led by Mark Helfrich, previously the OC of Drakes’ juggernaut, averaged three-points per minute of possession in 66-3 win over then FCS #8 Nicholls State. Wahoos have been dismal home-dogs and we think Uncle Si takes da’ field for Oregon in the second half…Duck Dynasty 51 Virginia 20

San Diego State (+27 ½) over #3 OHIO STATE: Aztecs, who progressed on both sides of the ball in Rocky Long’s second year as head coach, scored three times in the opening stanza, but contributed to last week’s Mountain Jest debauchery, falling to AA Eastern Illinois 40-19, as the conference collectively-dropped 9 of 12 games outright and went 2-8 ATS. QB Braxton Miller accounted for more than half of Buckeyes 460 yards of total offense vs. Buffalo. We prefer “under” 60, but we’ll call it…OSU 35 SDSU 13

SC State @ #4 CLEMSON: No line.

San Jose State (+26) over #5 STANFORD: Inaugural tilt for the Cardinal, while San Josie at least got to warm-up with live-fire 24-nada game vs. AA Sac(k) State, despite losing all statistical categories except TOP (plus-12 minutes) and points-scored. Led by now-third-year coach Shaw, Trees have posted 19-7-1 spread record and look to be long-shot national crown possibilities. Spartans play third consecutive year at Palo Alto (???!!!) and bring back a bunch of guys that nearly took out last season’s Rose Bowl winners, losing just 20-17 in 2012. State’s covered 11 of last 12 out-of-conference games and sports 18-6 ATS tally the past two seasons…Trees 31 SJSU 17

#6 South Carolina (+3 ½) over #11 GEORGIA: We underestimated the impact of few returning starters on both sides when we proposed our final score prediction for Week One’s Joja-Clemson battle in the Not-Two-Chicks-fil-A Kickoff Classic. Aaron Murray and his UGA support team face a second-straight Top Ten opponent, including all-whatever QB Connor Shaw. Gamehens’ rushing game hasn’t missed a beat after Marcus Lattimore’s departure, with RB Mike Davis posting a buck-fifteen vs. the Tarheels. Poultry gets advantage of a few extra days rest/practice off Thursday-nighter and goes fer 4th outright victory in a row in this series…Nuggets 34 ‘Dawg Pounded 27

Sam Houston State @ #7 TEXAS A&M: No line.

Eastern Kentucky @ #8 LOUISVILLE: No line.

#9 LSU (-34 ½) over Alabama-Birmingham: Bayou Bengals 45 UAB 9

#10 Florida State: IDLE (next vs. Nevada)

MIAMI (+3) over #12 Florida: Unlike last week, Gators anticipate the presence of starting RB Matt Jones. The Pelicans look great on paper with a boatload of returning starters, tons of lettermen and coming off self-imposed two-year bowl ban, and will be eager to show effort vs. the big guys. We are a tad disappointed with non-cover last week vs. Florida Atlantic. QB Jeff Driskel did see action for the Crocs, but it was a staunch running game and defensive play that led to low-scoring win over Toledo…Miami 24 Florida 20

#13 Oklahoma State (-24) over UT-SAN ANTONIO: OKSU 49 UTSA 20

#17 MICHIGAN (-4) over #14 Notre Dame: Irish racked up 500+ yards of offense vs. da’ Owls and scored just 28 points. Big Blue had won three straight in this series until 13-6 loss in South Bend last year. UM just 2-6 SU/1-5-2 ATS vs. Top 25 foes last two seasons. Wolverines ripped Central Michigan with Chippies starting backfield gone early. In the days leading up to what may be a “great and historic rivalry” in his mind…or not…Brian Kelly swiped a line from a semi-family-friendly version of Blurred Lines, calling the Wolverines’ head coach “the hottest Hoke in this place!”…Michigan 31 ND 23

BYU (+6 ½) over #15 Texas: We changed our initial choice here. Never a good sign. Coogs let one get away at Virginia, while Texas lit-up a still-hapless NMSU squad despite scoreless 1st Quarter. Mormons blew a 13-0 halftime edge in 17-16 loss to Texas in 2011. The BYU staff initially abandoned last names on the backs of jerseys in favor of “tradition”, “honor” and “spirit”, Great. Twelve guys on defense all named “honor”. Staff eventually relented and decided to leave the uniforms as is, but not before displeased fans and players came to their own consensus on the three words they’d like to see sewn on the unis…”Sex” “Lies” and “Videotape”, “Truth”, “Justice” and “The American Way”!. Also receiving votes…”Kukla”, “Fran” and “Ollie” and “Me”, “Myself” and “Irene”…Steers 24 BYU 20

#16 OKLAHOMA (-21) over West Virginia: Potent 2012 version of the Mounties squandered a 5-0 start last season to finish 7-6 and lose most of their offensive production. WVU was down 10 before rallying to beat AA William & Mary by a touchdown in the season debut. Sooners tossed first shut-out since early 2010 vs. Weeziana-Monroe despite a rush defense that had been deteriorating until last year. Scoring defense has been a problem last three years for each side. Could be another 50-49 shootout like last season or simply…Boomer Schooner 38 Mountaineers 14

#18 UCLA: IDLE (next @ Nebraska)

Syracuse @ #19 NORTHWESTERN: OFF

#20 Washington: IDLE (next vs. Illinois @ Chicago)

Tennessee Tech @ #21 WISCONSIN: No line.

#22 NEBRASKA (-28) over Southern Miss: With upset loss in punt-fest vs. Texas State, who also beat Houston in its first year of FBS competition, Southern Missed has now been defeated 13 straight times. Big Dread permitted two scores in a 4 1/2 minute span of the 4th Quarter to let Wyoming pull within 3, but hung on to win 37-34. Huskers have UCLA on-deck, but strong NU ground game should grind out the cover…Corn Cobs 41 USM 7

Buffalo (+26 ½) over #23 BAYLOR: Baylor 45 Buffalo 23

SE Louisiana @ #24 TCU: No line.

Washington State (+16) over #25 USC: Wazzou did not adjust well to Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense last year. As expected, rushing yards took a nose-dive, but there was no significant change in passing yards and points-scored fell about 10 per game. This year, however, Coogs gave Auburn a run, losing by just 7 on the road while suffering ongoing turnover problem, three interceptions, including one inside their own 20 and one at the Auburn 8 that killed a potential game-tying TD late in the final quarter. Troy scored just one offensive touchdown in each half and yielded a safety vs. ‘Bows team not known for defense…USC 31 WSU 21


BTW, Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has declared RGIII “ready for Tay cough!” We also think Major League catchers should get to paint different designs on their headgear, which closely resembles those of hockey net-minders!

In other education-related news…The Mexican government recently provided school kids with new textbooks containing at least 117 mistakes (punctuation, grammar, etc.), including a city located in the wrong state. In defense of our friends from south-of-the-border, it took us awhile to find places like DeKalb, Illinois; Durham, North Carolina and Waco, Texas on the map too! It’s also gonna’ be a few weeks until Vindy gets the stickers in the right places in our new NCAA conference-realignment coloring book!

The upsets perpetrated last week by Football Championship Series teams have been well-documented. BTW, all the FCS teams were ranked in the FCS poll last week, except McNeese (who got some votes, but not enough to make the Top 25). Here’s a few non-upset scores involving AA squads we thought note-worthy…Boston College 24-14 over Villanova, Kent State 17-10 over Liberty (Golden Flashes rallied with strong 4th Quarter to win), Eastern Michigan 34-24 over Howard and West Virginia 24-17 over William & Mary. Looking over this week’s inter-subdivision play, we place the following teams on “upset alert”: Colorado (hosting FCS #5 Central Arkansas, though Buffs’ pasting of rival Colorado State gives us pause for this one), Central Michigan (hosting FCS #8 New Hampshire) and Akron (hosting FCS #15 James Madison)!

Earlier this summer, former Texas star and NFL player Ricky Williams was announced as running backs coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, based in San Antonio. The Catholic school Cardinals got their…er… um…ashes …handed to ‘em in 58-7 loss in opener vs. Central Arkansas. Clearly, Ricky and his charges were rollin’ more than Tide! Perhaps an institution in Washington or Colorado woulda’ been more appropriate. In a nod to the 1998 Heisman-winner’s college venue, we say…”Hookah, ‘Horns!”

Back in January, we caught a headline that read, “Ryan Fired”. We quickly envisioned NY Jets Rex Ryan relegated to a street corner sporting a tattoo proclaiming “Will coach for foot…er…um…food!” Turns out, it was his brother Rob Ryan, who got canned as defensive coordinator by the Dallas Cowboys! Our bad!

After being recently dismissed by the Patriots, Tim Tebow has petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility and hopes to attend Harvard and spend his time in the role of personal pocket-protector for the Crimson’s punter!

Black Shirt: The first highly-coveted ebony tee of 2013 goes to Hawaii QB Taylor Graham, whose 60-yard TD pass vs. USC with 30 seconds left stole the cover and a forecast win for Vindicator on the season’s opening night!

“Locked in a Box?”: We’re off to a good start at 1-0 (1.000) as Oklahoma State covered nicely in win over Mississippi State.
Shoppe Talk: Last season’s “Grill-Master Supreme” award-winner USC did us a solid vs. Hawaii, but UCLA (now 0-1 on the season and 3-8 over last 11 appearances in the picks) and Florida State (0-1 on the season and 4-9 over last 13 at-bats) picked up where they left off!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 2-3 (.400) Arizona -11 over UNLV, Toledo +16 ½ over MISSOURI, Bowling Green -8 over KENT STATE, Minnesota -15 over New Mew Mexico State, New Mexico +6 ½ over UTEP

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