Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 10-2015

GAINESVILLE, Florida (REUTERS)…With the injury-bug hampering Florida’s special-teams, future dental-ceramist Neil MacInnes responded to the university’s mid-year “S.O.S.” (“Save Our Split-da-uprights”) and was chosen as back-up kicker. While MacInnes, whose last live-fire boot came as a high school senior in 2011, risks NCAA investigations for being generally-aware that his pigskins were being under-inflated with nitrous-oxide, commonly-known as “laughing gas”, vowed to kick into the wisdom-teeth of the defense to hit the tying field goal in regulation and launch the game-winning three in overbite-time, if necessary! Neil also offered his sidelines services to repair oral-damage inflicted by opponents favoring “smash-mouth football”!

Over a Halloween-weekend that saw us get mostly tricks from the lower-half of the rankings (just three correct spread-selections in nine tries) versus mostly treats from the Top 12 (six correct outta’ seven opportunities), we finished in the black again, going 9-7 (76-82-3, .481) and had our preferred-choices (lock of da’ week and best bets collectively go 5-2! Attempting to avoid that whole “wide right” thing and bangin’ erasers in hopes that the chalk doesn’t have a big week, we’re gonna’ “kick ball, get check” with…
(Strong enough to watch da’ College Football Playoffs with Bo)

Northern Illinois (+7 ½) over #20 TOLEDO: Best guess for “wish” pick, but takin’ the Rockets here would be far too easy. Huskies have put this one in the win-column five consecutive years and haven’t lost by this many since 70-21 annihilation here eight years ago. Last year’s 27-24 victory accounted for Spaceships’ only conference-defeat. While having dropped 3 of 4 on the road in 2015, Sled Dogs are 3-1 ATS in those matches and have been solid 7-3 in this role over past two-plus seasons. They did lose by 10 at Central Michigan earlier and NIU hasn’t suffered more than one MAC SU “L” in any season since absorbing three in 2009.  Rockets lead the MAC in scoring D at just north of 16 per game, though UMass found a way to dent that stop-squad for 35 last weekend. Huskies are 4th at 24.5. Both clubs are well-balanced on offense and scoring capability is basically equal at 37 ppg each. Canines are just a game back of West Division-leading Toledo. Signature game for Apollo 13 was 37-24 neutral-site triumph over Ol’ Miss. Signature game for NIU?...Seven-point loss at #1 Ohio State. NASA-North stays perfect, but… Mudhens 34 Huskies 31 This one’s already in da’ books as a forecast -win as NIU upset Toledo 32-27!

KANSAS STATE (+17 ½) over #2 Baylor: Loss of starting quarterback Russell for Da’ Bears in lieu of reserve Jarrett Stidham eliminates BU’s red-zone, dual-threat capability (Russell had 402 ground yards and 6 rushing scores, Stidham’s tallied 26 yards on a dozen totes and…uh…wellno touchdowns by land). Bad timing for Bears’ first real road-challenge (having previously visited two of the worst teams in the nation in…SMU and Kansas!). Mildcats have floundered of late, losing four straight games, including two ugly defeats to Oklahoma and Texas over past pair of outings. ‘Cuz we’re big fans of the Purple Persians’ band-geeks, and though the new man-under-center for Baylor negates our ability to call this a look-ahead game with OK on-deck, still seems to be a tenuous spot for…Baylor 41 KSU 31  
#24 Mississippi State (-7 ½) over MISSOURI: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Tigers QB Maty Mauk is spendin’ time-out on da pine for the duration. Tigers, when it’s all said-and-done, are prolly better for it! Kudos to Mizzou defense, which has provided its offense a puncher’s chance, but somebody give us the logic of supporting a club that’s posted four field goals over its past four matches! Yeah, ‘Bama looms for Mississippi State, who’s rocked no-namers Troy and Kentucky, as well as respectable Group O’ Five Weeziana Tech recently, but…really???!!!... Bulldogs 23 Mizzer Magoo 9

#23 Temple (-12 ½) over SMU: Though Temple has defeated only Charlotte, Tulane and (GASP!) Penn State by this many, minus likely first-half hangover from all-out effort that nearly netted the Barnyards Birds the upset we predicted over Da’ Leprechauns on national TV, we don’t see Owls letting one of the country’s single-win squads (Ponies beat North Texas) hang-around this long. With Memphis-showdown still two weeks following conclusion here...TU 34 Hobby Horses 20

Minnesota (+23 ½) over #1 OHIO STATE: Buckeyes QB JT Barrett will sit this one (and more) out for getting a DUI. The OSU Marching Band played the halftime gig at Wembley Stadium when London hosted the Bills-Jags game last month. Local fans were especially-impressed when the drum-major dotted the “I Am Da’ Walrus” in “Script Ohio”! Gophers hung with rested-Wolverines last week in three-point loss following resignation of ill-coach Jerry Kill. We’ll put our faith in Minny to not let State run away with it too early…OSU 34 Minnesota 17

#17 Florida State (+11 ½) over #3 CLEMSON: Then-AP #3 Utah got throttled by USC team with something to prove. If CFP started today, said-poll #3 Tigers are in. ‘Noles have been shaky at times but second-string backfield held serve last week vs. Syracuse and the first-stringers will probably see action here. In the immediate future, berth in the conference title game is at stake for both sides. Tribe has gone 0-5 ATS in last five vs. ranked teams, but was favored by 4 or more in four of ‘em and pockets a tie-break in the event of a victory…CU 24 FSU 17
#7 ALABAMA (-6 ½) over #4 Louisiana State: In the 2014-iteration, Bengals had a chance to put the Tide away with a little over a minute to go and possession inside Tide 10-yard-line but drew an unsportsmanlike flag and settled for a three. Tide rallied to pull even in regulation and win in extra frames. First CFP ranking came out this week and has Bayou Bengals at #2, with Elephants in the #4-hole. Only better motivation for Tide, which hasn’t covered a Tuscaloosa-match in five tries to-date, woulda’ been #5-spot. Da’ coin likes…Alabama 24 LSU 16

#12 OKLAHOMA STATE (+5) over #5 Texas Christian: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK…Cowboys 38 Toads 34
#6 Michigan State (-5) over NEBRASKA: With QB Ryker Fyfe standing in for Tommy Armstrong and tossing four picks, Big Dreadlock coughed-up Purdue’s first FBS SU win on the year last Saturday in 10-point loss that wasn’t even that close! See more on that topic in our “hashmarks” section below. Boilers ran for nearly 5 ypc in win vs. Nebraska. An ABC broadcaster said “Michigan State looks like Texas Tech” vs. Indiana, ie. no running game! Corncobs, under 1st year coach Mike Riley, are getting points in Lincoln for first time since State beat them here in 2013. NU also hasn’t defeated a Top 25 foe in last three regular-seasons, covering just one of those losses. Nebraska (just 3-6 SU and 2-6-1 ATS) needs to sweep MSU, Rutgers (in NJ) and Iowa to avoid first bowl-less year since 2007. Line might reflect fact that Children of da’ Corn have had five games this season decided by five or fewer points...Spartans 27 Husker-Don’t 17

#8 Notre Dame (-7 ½) over PITT: Irish 29 Panthers 20
COLORADO (+16 ½) over #9 Stanford: Trees 34 Buffs 20

#10 Iowa (-6 ½) over INDIANA: We considered this one for “lock”…Hawkeyes 35 Indy 19
Vanderbilt (+20 ½) over #11 FLORIDA: The kicking woes for Florida, who ruined (barely) Georgia’s status as the only team to have not allowed a first-quarter touchdown, continued vs. Joja’, with a missed FG early and a blocked XP, but won handily anyway. If MacInnes actually goes on to play baseball in the Majors, will we hear fans, during the 7th-Inning stretch, warble, “Root, root, root-canal fer da’ hommmmme teeeeth!!!???…” UF 19 Admirals 6

#13 Utah (+1) over WASHINGTON: Utes 23 UDUB 19
#14 OKLAHOMA (-25 ½) over Iowa State: Sooners 44 Dust Devils 14

Navy (+8 ½) over #15 MEMPHIS: Somebody here falls outta’ three-way tie atop AAC West with Houston when clock shows all zeroes. Tigers, who won as many games in 2014 as they did for the previous four seasons combined, are undefeated but just 3-3 vs. da’ line. Ensigns weathered just loss at Notre Dame and have covered 4 of last six (and six of last nine getting road points). QB Paxton Lynch has been Da’ Man fer Memphis, but having tied the record last week while providing one of Vin’s “best bets” dubyas vs. South Florida, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds will surely bust the league rushing-TD record with option-look that should confound the opposition enough. Memphis on nifty 9-1 SU victory tally in previous 10 home-tilts, but we’ve been on the Midshipman all season and won’t scuttle ‘em now. Don’t discount an upset, but we’ll just say…Memphis 37 Boat People 34
#16 MICHIGAN (-24) over Rutgers: Wolverines 42 Knights 17

Cincinnati @ #18 HOUSTON (“Under 72 ½”): Coogs 38 Bearkats 24
#19 MISSISSIPPI (-11) over Arkansas: Rebels 29 Hogs 13

Duke (+8 ½) over #21 NORTH CAROLINA: The bad news fer Duke? They got robbed of a victory vs. Miami. The good news? Da’ Blue Devils get to use the ACC officiating crew that cost ‘em the game as blocking-dummies for the next two weeks while the ref and his associates serve their conference-imposed suspension! Sponsored by the employees of FootLocker this week, it’s...’Heels 23 Devils 21
OREGON STATE (+17) over #22 Ucla: UCLA 31 Beavers 20

#25 TEXAS A&M (-7) over Auburn: Aggies 33 Tigers 24

BTW, like “Herbie” in “Rudolph Da’ Red-Nosed Reindeer”, Neil “doesn’t like to make toys”!
The KSU Wildcats’ band was at it again this week, forming the face of a certain Klingon character from Star Trek: The Next Generation while playing an Edwin Starr classic. Sing it with us…”Worf…huuh…yeah. What issssss he gooooood for? Absolutely nut-thing.”

Following up our thoughts on the Nebraska loss to Purdue, we note North Texas (now 1-7 in FBS play) got its first I-A victory last week vs. Texas-San Antonio, tying said-Roadrunners along with Hawaii, UMass, Miami-Ohio, SMU and New Mexico State, who needed OT to salvage its first win last week against Idaho. Other teams of notoriety include Eastern Michigan and Wyoming (both at 1-8, though one of the Cowboys defeats came to I-AA North Dakota). In the “hang yer head in shame” category…Weeziana-Monroe shows up at 0-7, Kansas comes in at 0-8 (with a I-AA loss to South Dakota State) and…drum-roll, please…the Rusty Knights of Central Florida take a bow at 0-9, including FCS loss to Furman and a 1-7 spread-record to-date!
This week’s TV Week (ie. TV listings) published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal seemingly in conjunction (?) with Century Link noted the Wednesday night NCAA game as “Ohio Dominican vs. Bowling Green”! ODU (no, not Old Dominion) is a Catholic uni located in Columbus, Ohio versus the actual-opponent Ohio U. based in Athens! Sounds like a job-opening to Vindy!

Football fans rejoice! We’ve reached that time of the season when there is at least one college and/or NFL game for a span of 17 straight days! Had it not been fer the absence of a pigskin-match on Tuesday 11/17, the streak woulda’ been 25 days in a row!
As New England continues to crush opponents, a la Thursday night’s 36-7 win over Miami, we recall  approximately a hundred-fitty folks showing up to an organized gathering called “Free Tom Brady” at Gillette Stadium “to protest the unjust football arrest of half-man, half-god Tom Brady”. “Half-man, half-god”???!!! Great...  yet-another Clash of Da’ Titans remake, featuring the Patriots’ QB as “Perseus”!!! (And maybe Roger Goodell as… “Da’ Kraken”!) 

Discussing the presence of female Jen Welter as Cardinals inside-linebackers coach last July, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians was quoted as quipping (from the player-perspective), “ If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man. I’ll listen.” To which we respond, ”No offense, Coach, but we prefer to get our professional-development mentoring from…Kato!” And BTW, “Blocking-dummies…don’t hit back!”
In related news, we watched former-Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar escape an initial rear-naked choke by Bruce Lee in Game of Death, but he wasn’t smart enough to tap-out in the midst of the second one!

Vegas officials have designated “performance zones” at the Fremont Street Experience downtown to limit “buskers” to a number of identified 6-ft-diameter circles in the area. A few thoughts immediately come to Vindy’s mind…did someone actually misspell “Huskers” as in Nebraska? “Who ya’ gonna’ *call*?....Ghostbuskers?!” Is the limited area akin to the NHL goalies’ trapezoid???!!!
“Locked in a Box?”:   Da’ Tarheels of North Carolina vetted just the second “lock” victory of the year fer Vindy in the Thursday-night triumph over ranked-at-da’-time Pitt to boost the season tally to 2-7 (.222)!   

Black Shirt: Terps DB William Likely is bein’ fitted this week for the terrific-tee after returnin’ a kick-off a hundred yards for a TD that helped Maryland cover at Iowa. Honorable mention to Irish safety Elijah Shumate, who drew a hanky for targeting that set-up a Temple touchdown in Owls cover and near-predicted-upset of Notre Dame!
Shoppe Talk: Given Clemson’s prediction-win, Florida State hangs around courtesy of da’ 1-5 (.167) downward-spiral! On watch status…Memphis at 0-3 (.000) and (surprisingly)…Utah at 1-3 (.250) in last four!

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets:       Last Week: 4-2   Season: 23-21 (.523)
SAN JOSE STATE +12 over Brigham Young, Penn State +3 over NORTHWESTERN, Texas Tech +7 ½ over WEST VIRGINIA, TULSA -17 over Central Florida, NC State -4 ½ over BOSTON COLLEGE, Marshall +3 over MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE, New Mexico State +17 over TEXAS STATE

No comments: