Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2013


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (BBC)…Back in February, wrestling got the boot from the Olympic Games for low ratings, but along with baseball-softball and squash, was given a reprieve via second-chance voting in May, leading to this past Sunday’s final opportunity to make the cut. The IOC, with the sport’s supporters outside its venue toting signs bearing the image of Will Farrell’s late-movie character in “The Ladies’ Man”, gave the nod to wrestling over its competitors to be a medal-event in the 2020 Toyko Games. One of the five other sports getting the axe was the martial art of wushu. Officials learned too late that the initial-round ballots contained a typo…listing the sport as “the martial art of mu shu!”…and while the food imagery may have been appealing, the thought of watching athletes kung-fu fighting armed with pork chops and pancakes was not!

Meanwhile, in Sin City, Vindy finds himself perched atop the turnbuckle, ready to pounce, on the heels of Week Two’s 8-5 finish (19-13, .594 season) and hopin’ to put da’ bookies in da’ half-Nelson Riley with…

(As retrieved from the e-mails and phone records of Eric Holder)

#24 Texas Christian (-3) over TEXAS TECH:
Toads come in off semi-listless, three-TD win over SE Weeziana and Pachall won’t play in this one after being hurt in that game, but Boykin has established himself as a capable back-up. This one went to triple-OT last year in a 56-53 Tech win. Red Raiders are led by former TTU QB Kliff Kingsbury, in his first year at the helm and haven’t been tested in easy wins at SMU and vs. AA Stephen F. Austin. TCU coaches’ first clue that QB Casey Pachall had a marijuana problem last year was his insistence that coordinators abandon the Frogs’ trade-mark 4-2-5 defense in favor of the 4-2-0!...Frogs 27 Guns Up 20

#1Alabama (-7) over #6 TEXAS A&M:
Hats off to the Alabama wide-outs for the nifty footwork that led to narrowly-completed catches along the sidelines while the Hokies’ receivers dropped a number of balls that coulda’ changed the complexion of the game. ‘Bama’s down-playing the whole “revenge” thing, let’s face it, it’ll want a little payback for only defeat of 2012 season. If Aggies are to have a shot to win, Manziel needs to shut his pie-hole other than barking signals at the line-of-scrimmage and limit his hand-gestures to pointing out blitzing linebackers to his O-line. Tide’s covered 7 of 9 as road chalk and 7 of 10 vs. the Top 25, but just 4 of last 7 games with single-digit spreads. ‘Alabama got four sacks vs. A&M last year, but was minus-three in turnovers…Tide 29 A&M 17

Tennessee (+27 ½ ) over #2 OREGON: Ducks, with the aid of four (count ‘em, four!) miscues by the Cavs, pulled away in the second-half to win huge at Virginia, while Vols were busy whacking handicapper-darling Western Kentucky. Rocky Top has beaten 11 of last 13 non-SEC foes, but Oregon obviously ain’t yer standard-issue non-conference opponent. UT, playing first game in an ugly away-slate, does boast a senior-laden O-line and experience on the stop-side as well. Last meeting resulted in 38-13 Mallards victory in 2010…Drakes 41 UT 20

#3 Clemson: IDLE (next @ NC State 9/19)

#4 Ohio State @ CAL: OFF

#5 Stanford (-29) over ARMY: This got consideration for “lock of da’ week”. Trees let San Josie, who scored in each of the first three quarters, hang around long enough to get the cover, as predicted. Keydets got smoked at Ball State 40-19 and have lost 44 fumbles in 2+ years (including 2 last week). The run D needs to improve as well or, off a 2-10 SU season, Coach Ellerson might find himself HALO-jumping into the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula! Black Knights are just 6-15 ATS facing non-service academy clubs and the scoring-defense has regressed steadily since 2009…Stanford 41 Army 9

#7 Louisville (-13 ½) over KENTUCKY: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. UK has two covers in last three years vs. Da’ Ville, but we foresee Kentucky’s young secondary getting’ torched by Teddy Bridgewater…Redbirds 31 Mildcats 10

Kent State (+36) over #8 LSU: LSU 41 Flashes 13

#9 Georgia: IDLE (next vs. North Texas)

#10 FLORIDA STATE (-31) over Nevada: FSU 44 UNR 10

#11 MICHIGAN (-36) over Akron: Big Blue 49 Zips 6

Lamar @ #12 OKLAHOMA STATE: No line.

#13 SOUTH CAROLINA (-13 ½) over Vanderbilt: SC defensive coaches are hatin’ themselves after watchin’ game-film of the Georgia tilt. Gamehens failed vs. Joja’ because they had basically no perimeter defense. Almost every play UGA ran to the sidelines went for positive yardage. A bunch of high snaps from the new center didn’t help either. Poultry special teams also need a little work. (And we’ll credit ‘Dawgs D for keepin’ the Tenders outta’ the end zone over the final 13:55). Admirals hosted now-ranked Ole Miss to 4-point loss and dispatched AA Austin Peay last week by 35. Da’ White Meat won 17-13 in Nashville to open 2012 and is on 13-5 home fave streak… Carolina 29 Vandy 13

#14 OKLAHOMA (-24) over Tulsa: Sooners 37 Tulsa 10

#15 Miami: IDLE (next vs. Savannah State)

#16 Ucla (+5) over #23 NEBRASKA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. If Tide-Aggies tilt is a runaway, this could be the most intriguing match-up of the week. Huskers took advantage of a pair of pick-sixes in the opening quarter to hand SoMiss its 14th consecutive SU loss and will be donning all-black uniforms for this one…Bruins 27 Big Dread 24

Western Michigan (+31) over #17 NORTHWESTERN: Tough to go against powerhouse Wildcats, who jumped out to big lead early with a pair of Orange’s four turnovers leading to 10 of its first-half points, before swapping sixes with Syracuse in the final 30 minutes. Broncos lost respectably at Michigan State before becoming yet-another AA-victim, falling 27-23 to Nicholls State in Week Two. WMU has a big passing attack, but enough of a ground game to compliment it. Tallying covers in first two games this season, Wildcats now show 11-5-1 ATS vs. non-conference teams, but while Broncos are young on offense, they’re experienced at the skills and we think they stay close enough unless they cough it up like Syracuse did…NW 37 WMU 17

#18 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Tennessee)

Illinois (+10) over #19 Washington (@ Chicago): Huskies made depleted Boise State team look like mere 1996 or 1997 shadow of itself before getting a bye week. Illini had lost 10 of previous 11 games heading into 2013, but squeaked by FCS Salukis then belted Cincinnati 45-17. Sled Dogs are profitable with rest. UI has journeyman on offense and a young defense…UDUB 21 Illini 17

#20 Wisconsin (+4 ½) over ARIZONA STATE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. These teams have collectively played three games this year, resulting in three shutout victories. Having noted our choice, we also think this is best guess for “wish I had back”. Our concern is Badgers’ road history the last two seasons (4-9 ATS), though four of Wisky’s five true road defeats were by 4 or less. UW also needs to figure out how to win the close ones….having sputtered to 1-6 SU/ATS record in games decided by 7 or fewer last season. Gary Andersen’s high-octane offense from the WAC is questionable vs. BCS competition, but we were skeptical of Chip Kelly’s ability to do likewise at the NFL level (see our Eagles comments below). Sun Devils get almost twice as many starters back as last year, remain just outside the Top 25 and have seen a more balanced plan on offense under Todd Graham… Badgers 27 ASU 24

PURDUE (+21) over #21 Notre Dame: We looked at this for “lock” too. Tommy Rees threw for over 300 yards, but Irish, who reportedly penciled-in the BCS Title contest on their schedule in August, were never really in it until late vs. Michigan, in game that wasn’t as close as it ultimately appeared and are now 0-2 against the line. Boilers were hammered at Cincinnati and beat FCS Indy State 20-14 last week. Purdue lost by three in South Bend in 2012 as Leprechauns won six games by single-digits. Touchdown Jesus is mere 5-11-3 under Coach Kelly…ND 27 Choo-Choos 12

#22 Baylor: IDLE (next vs. Weeziana-Monroe)

#25 Mississippi @ TEXAS: OFF


BTW, in an effort to help ensure a greater viewership for wrestling, the IOC will permit the use of metal folding chairs and pile-drivers!!!

With potential NCAA sanctions looming, the local Sin City football team, cellar-dweller for the Mountain Jest conference in fans-per-game attendance in 2012, has gotta’ average 15,000 butts in da’ stands per game. The school conjured up a motto of “Sam Jam 2013” for its home-opener vs. the Wildcats of Arizona. Given the 58-13 loss, perhaps “Scam-Jam”, “Slim-Jim” or “Scram-Jam” woulda’ been better. The Hawaii game will be hyped as “Spam-Jam” . And if they’re short going into home-finale and need to exceed capacity for that one…”Cram-Jam”. This summer, Coach Bobby Hauck said his desired result was to get Rebels to the post-season for first time in 13 years. Who knew he was talkin’ about an FCS playoff spot??!!!

Tom Brady referenced Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s comments while addressing Johnny Manziels’ foolery, advising the young Aggies QB against being a “turd”. Vindy’s spies say the Crimson Tide band has been practicing a rendition of the Rolling Stones “Turd on the Run”, and for the fans of the legendary musical group who are familiar with the lyrics, “Sweet Virginia”, which it will strike-up every time Johnny takes da’ field!

Possible NY Giants and NY Jets defensive schemes: blitz, zone, man-to-man and…”stop & frisk”?! (Yeah, YEAH…we know they both play home games at the Meadowlands in New Jersey!)

Given the Broncos’ romp over defending NFL champion Baltimore last week after fans, team personnel and a certain Hall-of-Fame QB got their panties in a bunch subsequent to the NFL marketing folks hanging banners of Ravens QB Joe Flacco in Denver to promote the start of the 2013 pro football season, Broncos officials will now put up similar banners of opposing star-players prior to each home game! Come to think of it, so will all the teams on ‘Bama’s road schedule!

In related news, the advertising folks at University of Nevada-Lost Vagrants managed to outsource an effort that ultimately resulted in a billboard for UNLV ticket sales featuring current pigskin coach Bobby Hauck and former-Rebels-but-now-basketball head coach-at-Oklahoma Lon Kruger! That’s basically tantamount to Florida doing likewise with images of hoops coach Billy Donovan and…Urban Meyer!

Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal included the AP summary of the Wyoming-Idaho game, calling the Vandals an “FCS squad”. Idaho is, in fact, an FBS independent! Sounds like somebody else out there needs one of those NCAA conference-realignment coloring-books we noted back in Week One!

After watchin’ the MNF Eagles-Redskins game, we’re thinkin’ Chip Kelly not only brought his playbook from Eugene to the City of Brotherly Love, he brought his whole team! Can’t wait to see Philly play Ohio State in this season’s Rose Bowl…or lose a close one to Auburn in the Super Bowl!!! The Eagles are gonna’ need more uniform-combinations!

In August, NBC Nightly News guy Brian Williams went off-air soon for a few weeks to have surgery to repair an old knee-injury incurred during a prep football game. Vindy’s spies say the patella problem was re-aggravated when the well-respected journalist was subjected to an illegal chop-block near the anchor desk by a jealous intern!

Black Shirt: Goes to Lobos senior RB Kasey Carrier (an apt name for a running back, dontcha’ think?!) who went nearly 300 ground yards and scored the winning touchdown in extras to help Vindy cash the third of three tickets and post a perfect best-bets tally this week. Honorable mention to LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. for returning a missed-FG attempt 100 yards for a touchdown that prevented what coulda’ been a 49-20 victory and a failed forecast pick for your humble narrator!

“Locked in a Box?”: We’re 2-0 (1.000) behind the Ducks’ second-half throttling of Virginia!

Shoppe Talk: We were on the right side of USC again and the UCLA-FSU tag-team was thankfully idle last week, but Vindy’s linin’ the walls of Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe with Mounted Eers after West Virginia (0-1 season and 2-8 [.200] in last 10 at-bats) struck again. We’re also serving notice to Oklahoma and the Nuggets of South Carolina, both at 0-2 to start the 2013 campaign!

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 5-0 Season: 7-3 (.700)
Maryland -7 over UCONN, COLORADO +10 over Fresno State, Northern Illinois -28 over IDAHO, Florida Atlantic +13 over SOUTH FLORIDA, Texas-El Paso -6 over NEW MEXICO STATE

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