Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vindy's Picks 2014-15 Bowl Predictions Part I

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MSNBC)…One AD’s trash is another CEO’s treasure. During a post-pink slip team meeting diatribe, during which, he turned the air blue, lambasting Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst, former Huskers coach Bo Pelini said he’d “rather f*****’ work at McDonald’s than work with some of those guys. Not that there’s anything wrong with working at McDonald’s.”. Fans of the Y-Town State Penguins expecting to see the new head coach around campus actually encountered Pelini taking drive-thru orders at a local Mickey D’s. Given Pelini’s record as a proven winner, leading his team to at least nine wins in each of his seven seasons and as many bowl appearances, the announcement of his hire by the fast-food giant immediately sent stocks in the company soaring.  

Farther west, the real reason Sony Corp was unhappy with the hack by North Korea is that it exposed sensitive e-mails detailing the company’s plan to produce a film about…
(Consciously-uncoupling bettors from their money on a weekly basis!)
DEC. 20

Texas-El Paso +10 ½ over Utah State: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Behind a big rushing attack and a scoring D that improved from more than 38 points per game through their first six contests to just over 20 ppg over the last six, Miners will make the post-season for first time in four years. We cashed a few tickets with UTEP this year and according to an article by SB Nation.Com, the Miners tied three other teams for most-overachieving ball-club, reaching 4 ½ more outright victories (7) than the opening Vegas over/under (2 ½ ). USU has beaten 8 opponents already by double-digits (though over no one special, save for Air Force) and may look to erase the 50-19 pounding it got in the Mountain Jest title game by Boise State, who made a statement that contributed to its Fiesta berth. The two scoring offenses are within a point of each other and UTEP shows a decent 12-5 passing TD-to-INT ratio as well. Over the past few bowl seasons, ‘dogs who cover the game also win SU more than 50% of the time. Don’t be shocked to see UTEP do so here…UTEP 31 Aggies 28

DEC. 23
BOCA RATON BOWL (@ Boca Raton, FL)

Marshall-Northern Illinois “over” 66: Have to admit, Marshall’s scoring defense was stellar, minus the previously-noted 67 points it yielded to Western Kentucky, but none of its other foes were offensive powerhouses and Herd lit up the board for at least 41 points in all but three games in 2014 and are 5th nationally in scoring behind four of the CFP’s top six squads.  Huskies gave up 34 at UNLV, 52 at Arkansas, 34 to Central Michigan and 41 to Miami-Oh-No! Additionally, Northern Illinois +11 might be a feasible choice. Herd hadda’ know it was never truly under consideration for a playoff spot, but one of the other big New Year’s Day outing would’ve been likely with a perfect season. Instead, Marshall is relegated to early December “Rat’s Mouth” Bowl” (actually, the translation is “Thieves Inlet”, but Herd doesn’t care!). NIU went 12-0 in road dog spot coming into this season and went 6-2 ATS away from DeKalb this year too. Sled Dogs have 11 victories for fifth consecutive time and would hit even dozen with the upset…Marshall 41 NIU 32

Navy +2 ½ over SAN DIEGO STATE: Rematch of the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl (won 35-14 by State) and yep, Aztecs play a post-season contest in their backyard…again (Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z). Not sure if Army-Navy game just 9 days prior to this one will help the Middies (live-action execution of game-plan) or hurt them (bruised and battered off tough 17-7 win vs. very-physical Cadets). We think the former. State’s no stranger to option-football, facing Air Force in conference-play yearly (and beating the Flight Platoon 30-14 this season as part of a four-year win-streak) and Aztecs held 7 opponents or 21 or less while all five defeats came when the other team scored at least 24. “Under” 54 would also be worth a look. Sudzu went 6-0 SU during the regular-season here. However, the nearby naval base negates any homefield-edge the Aztecs might otherwise have…SDSU 21 Swabbies 20
DEC. 24

POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL (@ Nassau, Bahamas)
Western Kentucky -3 ½ over Central Michigan: Chippies’ video-taped response to learning they were headed here instead of Ford Field in Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl went viral. If you’ve seen it, you know it looks like they made the field of 68 for March Madness as an at-large #11 seed playing its first game in-state! Hilltoppers come into this one happy for a different reason. Western Kentucky finished the year triumphant in five of their last six contests, including the wild 67-66 upset of then-undefeated Marshall…on the road…and shows a solid 3-1 ATS record vs. non-conference teams this year (10-4 over the last three). 7-5 Chippewas played well against MAC bottom-feeders, but the defense will be outmatched here vs. Western Kentucky scoring O that’s #6 in the country (#3 in passing offense with 44 aerial touchdowns and just 10 picks-against) …WKY 41 CMU 24

BTW, there’s no truth to the rumor that McDonald’s new motto would change to “You deserve a broken-play today!”

Iggy Azalea meets Hanukkah meets the Commodores football team…”LaChaim… so…*Vannnnndyyyy*”!
Navy’s three-and-outs on  its first three possessions (despite the blocked punt return for TD by Army) was a harbinger that the game would finish well-under the total (56) instead of “over” as we predicted, ending up just 17-7.

Steelers’ top receiver Antonio Brown showed up for the game at Cincinnati earlier this month sporting a suit from the classic flick “Tron”. Shortly afterward, Penn State coach James Franklin came out in favor of throwback alternate unis. Cool. Can’t wait to see the Lions take the field wearing the raccoon outfit from Super Mario Brothers or dressed as Link from Legend of Zelda or Scorpion from Mortal Kombat! Pittsburgh got a three-TD road win over the Bengals, so maybe an NFL QB will don a big yellow Pac-Man outfit (which would, of course, require the use of the words “Wocka-wocka-wocka-wocka” during signal-calling for at least one play on each offensive possession!)
Speaking of throwback, “remember how excited you were the first time you got Vindy’s Picks in yer stocking??!!!”

As a follow-up to last week’s lead story for those familiar with “Army of Darkness”, can anybody else out there see LeBron standing atop a desk at the local S-Mart quipping, “Name’s ‘James’…Not-in-My-Housewares.”
In the errata department, we incorrectly referred to Kate Middleton as “Princess” when in fact her title is Duchess. Oops. Beggin’ the royal pardon!

Back next week around Christmas Day with more bowl predictions!


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