Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Vindy's Picks 2013 Championship Week


On the eve of the Buckeyes’ annual rivalry-match on the road against the Wolverines last week, Ohio governor John Kasich signed-off on legislation putting in place “Scarlet Letter Saturday” and implored the citizens of the state to boycott the letter “M”, as in “Michigan”. The well-meant effort actually produced unintended consequences, generating ripples across the country. Locally, the collegiate football squad found itself located in “Colubus”, Ohio…leading campus mythology professors to draw comparisons to Clash of the Titans-miscreant/deformed-creature “Calibos”, and the sidelining of the usual head coach in favor of some guy named Urban Eyer, who started the pre-game locker-room speech by noting there’s no “M” in “team” and promised to beat “that tea up north!” Officials did express concern for safety when the Buckeyes took the field wearing helmets with…face-asks!

We lit a whole box of wooden-stick matches, but last week’s 8-10 (119-110-4, .520) outing never did set-off the airplane-restroom’s smoke-alarm. In fact, that “mile-high club” membership we expected was supplanted by a visit from the covert air-marshal instead, so we’re just gonna’ support restoration of the entirety of the alphabet, or at least the Greek one, nation-wide with…

(Knockin’ precocious 5th-graders outta’ spelling-bees everywhere!)

#19 Louisville (-3) over CINCINNATI:
A probable battle of bridesmaids looking to be Matron-of-Honor behind UCF in the AAC. Winner here will root for SMU to pull off the upset over the Golden Knights on Saturday in order to share the championship with the Golden Knights. .. Cardinals 21 Bearkats 16

MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)
#16 Northern Illinois (-3) over Bowling Green:
We like what the Falcons have done this season, despite three outright losses that came at Indiana (by 32), at Mississippi State (by 1) and home vs. Toledo (by 3). Huskies get the BCS berth with a victory and first perfect regular season in five decades. Bee Gees in first conference title game, while NIU enters fourth straight (either 0-3 or 0-2-1 ATS, depending on whose numbers ya look at). ‘Dogs giving up more points to opponents than Falcons, but posted season-low of 14 last week vs. WMU. Northern Illinois belted MAC-contender Ball State. Good enough for us to call the cover for…NIU 27 Bowling Green 17

ACC Championship (@ Charlotte, NC)
#1 Florida State (-29) over #20 Duke:
It’s “win and in” da’ National Title game for the Tribe. We’ve previously questioned FSU’s motivation to keep scoring, but to no avail and have several forecast losses because of it. ‘Noles’ QB Jameis Winston perseveres in the wake of allegations from last December, but it’s “not his first rodeo” with law enforcement. The Heisman-candidate was apparently charged with stealin’ soda from a fast-food restaurant last summer. What folks don’t know is that the Burger King-in-question was in New York City and the Big Apple’s finest were more-concerned that the player was in possession of a cup of said-beverage that exceeded the ounce-limit than the fact he was actually pilfering it! Much respect for Duke, who got a 99-yard kickoff return for a score and the game-winning FG late in the 4th Quarter (validating one of our two “upset” picks of da’ week!) and its eighth consecutive victory (ten altogether), but magic-carpet ride ends here…FSU 48 Blue Beezelbubs 14

Big Ten Championship (@ Indianapolis, IN)
#10 Michigan State (+5) over #2 Ohio State:
Do ya think Urban Meyer hasn’t pointed-out Alabama’s foibles vs. Auburn all week to his charges???!!! Coach will allow both OSU players (one of whom is a starter) ejected from coulda’-been-loss to Michigan fer throwin’-down to take the field in this one. Officials of the Big Tannenbaum Conference also refused to issue fines/suspensions/detention/2000-word essays to the Buckeyes-in-question for this one too. We smell conspiracy and think the conference wants OSU to be armed with all its faculties, given the potential opportunity to take home the BCS Trophy. Two straight seasons of perfection could come to a crashing halt here for Ohio State. Braxton Miller drew POY honors again, but he’ll face a mighty-fine Michigan State defense that has no qualms about winning-fugly!...Ohio State 17 MSU 16

SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)
#5 Missouri (+1 ½) over #3 Auburn:
Are ya kiddin’ us????!!! Auburn????!!! We ain’t seen the provision of that many divine-gifts to a single entity since…well…since the hero of the flick we referenced in our lead-story above! Tigers are mere seconds away from 9-3 instead of 11-1 and oughta’ be buying Powerball tickets right about now! Come to think of it, we noticed the pre-game, playing-field fly-by was made not by the traditional War Eagle, but rather by a golden, mechanical owl named Bubo! (Non-film-buffs/mythology-aficionados can Google that one!). Mizzou gets a look for the Big Show…Missouri 27 Auburn 20

#4 Alabama: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!) Tide floundered early, but scored a passing TD mid-second quarter following an Auburn turnover, to which we heard Mrs. Claus in the Year Without a Santa Claus respond, “Now thaaaat’s my ‘Bama!”

#6 OKLAHOMA STATE (-10) over #18 Oklahoma: The Big 12 Championship is the Cowboys’ to lose. We don’t consider Sooners’ minor upset of Kansas State prior to the bye enough to think they can hang with State. We’ve seen the rivalry games among the Top 25 go the dogs ATS, with one upset (Auburn over ‘Bama) and a pair of near-ones (Michigan and Oregon State each losing by one to the Buckeyes and Ducks, respectively). Sooners have taken two of last three, sandwiching wins around 34-point blowout loss here in 2011. OKSU, 9-1 ATS as home fave vs. the I-A schedule, buried sloppy Bears, as well as the other two ranked foes…Texas and Texas Tech. Oklahoma D will need a huge game. In the 2013 edition of Bedlam, it’s…Oklahoma State 35 Boomer-Spooner 17

PAC-12 Championship (@ Stanford, CA)
#7 STANFORD (+3 ½) over #11 Arizona State:
ASU 29 Trees 27

#8 South Carolina: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#9 BAYLOR (-14) over #23 Texas: Not unlike Thursday night’s Louisville-Cincinnati tilt, winner here gets the Big 12 championship in the event of an upset in the Oklahoma-OKSU game. Baylor narrowly-dodged a second straight defeat last week, at the hands of TCU, when the D picked off a Casey Pachall toss in the end zone with seconds to play that would’ve given the Toads the win despite four of their own turnovers and 15 hankies vs. the Bears. Steers do get the benefit of two extra days rest/practice off big Turkey Day victory over Texas Tech and two of last three years have been decided by single-digits, but Bears’ margin-of-victory over common-opponents has been substantially-better and RB Lache Seastrunk almost hit the century-mark in rushing yards his first game back from injury. Texas is in the lower-half of the conference in rushing defense. Bears top the Big 12 in ground yards and rushing touchdowns. ‘Horns have been a crapshoot as road-dogs the last three seasons and we expect a little more discipline from the Bears this week in Waco. Even if Bears take the field knowing the Cowboys own the conference crown…Baylor 41 Texas 20

#12 Oregon: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#13 Clemson: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#14 LSU: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#15 Central Florida @ SMU (OFF): Knights, despite turning it over five times vs. South Florida (following near-flawless-victory over Rutgers the previous week), already own a piece of the inaugural AAC crown and can put the hardware in their trophy case all to themselves with a victory, which also sends them to a BCS berth, a year after the OT loss in the C-USA conference championship to Tulsa.

#17 UCLA: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#21 Wisconsin: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#22 Texas A&M: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

Mountain West Championship
#24 FRESNO STATE (-3) over Utah State: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK.
Bulldogs host this one by virtue of having the best overall record of the two clubs. FSU may start slow after taking the guesswork outta’ the BCS buster slot last week. In the second-half, it was all San Josie, who finished with three receivers at 140 receiving yards or better. Like the recent U.S. violation of newly-claimed Chinese airspace, SJSU’s ongoing intrusion was met with basically no response. USU is 7-4 ATS with close losses at Utah (by 4) and at USC (by 3), but also showing double-digit home defeats to BYU and Boise State…Fresno 41 Aggies 34

#25 Georgia: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

C-USA Championship
RICE (+5) over Marshall: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.
Owls got the home-field ad via the BCS rankings, with both squads finishing 7-1 in conference play and 9-3 overall. From a betting-perspective, we’ve cashed and trashed tickets with each side. All three of Rice’s outright losses have come to teams hailing from the Lone Star State [A&M, Houston, North Texas] and all on hostile or neutral ground. Herd’s three in the “L”-column came at Ohio, at Virginia Tech and at Middle Tennessee. Marshall’s been flaunting the offense in its victories, though held six opponents to teens or less. Owls prefer defensive-battle, all limiting six foes to less than 20, but overall restricting other teams to more-reasonable number of points than Marshall. Herd dominates the pace, but last-laugh goes to…Rice 41 Marshall 37


BTW, some Ohio State locals took the initiative to substitute another letter for “M” in day-to-day tasks, leading a few people to wash their clothes at the nearby laundry-cat and shop at Wal-Cart! In addition, attorneys representing the James Bond movie-series, Sesame Street and The Wizard of Oz have filed formal protests/lawsuits vs. the Ohio politician for discrimination, as well as “pain-and-suffering”! Neither a certain well-known rapper nor the manufacturer of a popular chocolate-covered candy returned Vindy’s attempted-calls for comment!

And in a nod to last week’s lead story, we admit that Vindy’s Picks were featured in the catalog for… SkyMall!

We don’t remember the name of the player-beneficiary, but Auburn had someone on the sideline putting a name on a jersey with a sewing-machine. Given the ultimate outcome of the game, we expect an entire battalion of Singer machines down the whole Auburn sideline this week, right next to the Tigers Gatorade buckets!

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd got his wallet lightened by fitty-grand for basically-intentionally spillin’ a soft-drink on the court during the recent game vs. the Lakers. Wait’ll he gets the fine from Mayor Bloomberg’s office for also exceeding the ounce-limit. (BTW, no truth to da’ rumor that James Winston illegally-swiped Coach’s soda for him from the concession stand!)

We briefly mentioned the “’dogs howl week” in last week’s NIU-WMU analysis. Sure enuff…teams getting points covered 14 of the 18 Top 25 games! If yer scorin’ at home, you know we backed favorites in 10 of those 18!

Shortly after close-of-business on Monday, the independent accounting firm that tallies the votes (or at least some newbie intern at the Worldwide Leader) will know who won the Heisman Trophy. Several months from now, we may all know how many cartons of cigarettes ya can trade for said-hardware in a correctional facility!

Longtime Superman-proponent Cam Newton busted-out out a pair of cleats bearing Batman logos prior to Panthers’ 27-6 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Said head coach Ron Rivera after his team recorded an eighth-straight victory, “I don’t care if his pre-game waffle-irons pay tribute to Wonder Woman, Zatanna or Hawk-Girl, as long as we keep winnin’!” BTW, Vindy’s spies caught Cam viewing game-film of the Watchmen’s Silk Spectre this week!

Did anyone else out there watchin’ the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade see the irony of the NYC Police Department marching band performing a tune from “Rocky”, which was of course, filmed in Philadelphia rather than the Big Apple????!!! Appreciating the shameless plug, the City of Brotherly Love agreed to reciprocate and have one of the participating string-bands perform a rousing version of “New York, New York” during the annual Mummers’ Parade on New Year’s Day!


Best Weekly Effort: Week Two’s 8-5 (.613) wins percentage-wise over Week One’s 11-8 (.579)

Worst Weakly “F”-fort: Weak Eight’s 7-13 (.350…Uggggggggh!)

WEBER-FRIENDLIES (Best percentage on the predicted side of the spread; minimum 7 at-bats in the forecast): This year’s Allstate “Yer in Good Hands” award goes to (drumroll, please)…Central Florida (7-0, 1.000), Second-Place to Notre Dame (7-1, .875) and Honorable Mention to Texas Tech (7-2, .778)

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of the spread): Vindy wants a new wallet fer Christmas ‘cuz ya can still see the scorch-marks courtesy of Grill-Master Supreme award-winner South Carolina (2-7, .222)! Suckin’ Place goes to runner-up…Michigan (2-6, .250), and Dishonorable Mention to the Spooners of Oklahoma (3-8, .278), who nearly went first-to-worst after grabbing the 2012 “Yer in Good Hands” award!

Didn’t make da’ cut, but we’ll be watchin’: Fresno State was one trip to da’ plate shy of Grill-Master Supreme at 0-6 (.000). Also on the radar… Northern Illinois (2-5, .286) and Clemson (3-7, .300)!

Thanks for playing: Stay in touch next season… Missouri (5-1, .833), Florida (6-2, .750) and Joja’ (5-2-1, .714)!

Black Shirt: Goes to Blue Devils kicker Ross Martin for previously-noted late 22-yard FG that gave Duke the win, the cover and the “upset pick of da’ week”. Vindicator dons his own honorary ebony-undergarment for calling the exact 27-20 final score for Stanford’s triumph over the Irish!

“Locked in a Box?”: Baylor’s 3-point win at TCU drops the tally to 6-7-1 (.461).

Shoppe Talk: Patrons are askin’ “How much are those stuffed-Bulldoggies in da’ window?” after Fresno State hosed us for the sixth time in as many tries! Big Blew Wolverines make the menu on 0-6 slide, and the Tigers of LSU and Clemson make an entrance on 0-5 skids, despite the protests of Siegfried & Roy!

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 4-3 Season: 48-26-1 (.649)
Ohio State-Michigan State “under” 52, Utah State-FRESNO STATE “over” 60 ½, South Florida +6 over RUTGERS

On deck….Army-Navy!

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