Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2015

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)…As if the railings of Joshua Feuerstein against Starbucks for eliminating previously-included Christmas imagery on its holiday coffee cups wasn’t enough, followers of the evangelist have now targeted sports teams that have beverage-vendors serve java in plain red containers. On the current hit-list are the local Red Raiders, in addition to Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. Hockey’s Detroit Red Wings have also been put on notice that a certain population of the country will not tolerate the so-called “War on Christmas”! The protests, as far south as Alabama, have been met with satirical responses from Tuscaloosa faithful, who now refer to their team as the Crimson Yuletide!

In the two weeks following our stellar 16-6 result, we’ve quickly moved back to the norm, including the “meh” 8-7 outing in Week 12 (112-104-3 (.519), finally hittin’ the dreaded double-century milestone (at least 100 wins and at least 100 losses). As we give thanks this week, may yer bird be moist, yer cranberries jellied and yer heart full of…
(Relegatin’ Donald Trump, and other politicians followin’ da’ picks, to…a holding-pen!)
FRI. NOV. 27

#3 Iowa (-1 ½) over NEBRASKA: Hawkeyes will play for the conference championship and maybe more, despite 1-3 ATS skid. Iowa lost 37-34 last season in this one. Nebraska comes in rested and needs a victory to gain post-season eligibility. Iowa’s covered last 8 contests layin’ points on the road. Including big win over Michigan State, Corncobs have won just three of six this year in Lincoln…Iowa 34 Children of Da’ Corn 27
#15 TCU (+1 ½) over #7 Baylor: Toads went big, but ended up goin’ home anyway with failed two-point conversion that let Oklahoma hang on after TCU outscored da’ Sooners 22-6 in the second half last week. Froggies’ crazy 61-58 defeat by Da’ Bears in 2014 kept ‘em outta’ the inaugural CFP. Neither side is playin’ with a starter behind center. Tadpoles’ last loss in Ft. Worth came to these Bears in 2013, a span of 12 games. Baylor knocked-off 6 of last 8 Top 25 opponents. The Big 12 round-robin carnage continues…TCU 34 Baylor 31

#16 Navy (+1) over #21 HOUSTON: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We rarely go to the well in back-to-back weeks with the same team, but Cougars are coming off lowest scoring output since caressing the scoreboard for…um… um…well…12…vs. Central Florida early last year. Since loss at South Bend, Middies have been plowing through the competition, winning five straight by an average of better-than-21 points-per-game. Coogs were upset at (GASP!) UConn last weekend and back-up quarterback Kyle Postma is probably making just his second start across the field from Ensigns’ record-setting senior QB Keenan Reynolds. Even if Greg Ward can go for UH…Boat People 41 Houston 30
Oregon State (+35) over #18 OREGON: Second choice for “lock of da’ week”… Rubber Duckies 51 Beavers 27

#20 Washington State @ WASHINGTON: OFF
#24 TOLEDO (-8) over Western Michigan: We’re just happy we didn’t have to split a gut to analyze this one and post a selection on Monday night ahead of a Tuesday-tilt considerin’ da’ MAC’s penchant for late-season, early-week scrimmages!...Spaceships 44 WMU 34

SAT. NOV. 28
#1 Clemson @ SOUTH CAROLINA (Under 55 ½): Da’ Chicken Nuggets lost a 23-22 home-contest last week to I-AA Citadel. Can’t help but wonder if the Gamecocks have already given up on the Ol’-soon-to-be-retired Ball Coach. Tigers’ D continues to show fine form. A victory for Swinney’s Sabretooth’s certainly keeps them in the playoffs. A ho-hum win over struggling Poultry could cost ‘em the top-seed…Clemson 34 Nuggets 13

#2 Alabama (-14) over AUBURN: Tide 34 Tigers 14
#4 Notre Dame (+3 ½) over #13 STANFORD: Leprechauns have been lackluster the past few weeks and were sloppy with the ball last week (five turnovers that almost cost ‘em the game vs. Boston College), resulting in a spot outside the CFP Top 4 rankings. They need a win here and some help. Last season, Trees dropped two games in Palo Alto for first time since losing six at home in 2007. The host in each of the last four years has walked away with the Legends Trophy, but little voice in Vindy’s head is screamin’ “Our Lady!” and gettin’ more than a FG is attractive…Catholics 27 Cardinal 21

#9 OKLAHOMA STATE (+6 ½) over #5 Oklahoma: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Sooners are arguably one of the teams on fire right now and Bob Stoops will use current dis about not necessarily being worthy of a playoff spot to motivate his team going into this contest, despite near-miss against the Horny Toads. State absorbed first hit on the season by the Bears, who were minus-three miscues and led by a quarterback playing at less than 100%. After a solid start on defense that saw pretty-good improvement, Okie State has regressed, coughing up just shy of 40 ppg to last four opponents. Oklahoma has allowed a little over 21 ppg game, covered 5 of its last 6 games and seen a like ratio go “over” the total. Nonetheless, two of last three Bedlams took more than the first 60 minutes to decide…State 37 Sooners 34

#12 MICHIGAN (PK) over #8 Ohio State: We salute Jim Harbaugh, already up 12 with seconds to play and knockin’ on the door again at Penn State, for having the decency to tell his offense take a knee. All the good things Coach Harbaugh has done with his new team could be quickly forgotten by UM alumni with a poor-showing here…at home…vs. a bloodied-opponent…that’s squabbling within itself (though Urban Meyer offered some vague contrition). If Big Blue is smart, they’ll prep for a steady-diet of RB Zeke Elliot…Wolverines 34 OSU 27
#14 Florida State (-2) over #10 FLORIDA: Choice here has little to do with mere-six-point OT victory by the Gators over Florida Atlantic squad that was being spotted more than four touchdowns last week. Crocs haven’t been topped in Da’ Swamp this season in five chances after losing half their dozen home matches in the previous two years. Florida’s offense is not flourishing behind QB Treon Harris and ‘Noles have won four of last five in the series, with the one loss coming in Tallahassee. UF looked good in trashing Georgia team that again is not living up to preseason expectations and Ole Miss club that’s been an enigma…Tribe 23 Florida 16

#11 North Carolina (-6) over NC STATE: Tarheels 31 Wolfpack 20
#17 Northwestern (-3 ½) over ILLINOIS: NDUB 17 Illini 9

#19 Mississippi (-1) over #23 MISSISSIPPI STATE: In a comparison of common-foes…both scored and allowed fitty or more in one-point-decisions facing Arkansas and while State’s put five of last six games in the win-column, Ol’ Miss beat ‘Bama, with Bulldogs losing badly to the Tide by 25 in Starkville. Rebels smacked A&M by 20. MSU lost to the Aggies by 13. Visitor hasn’t won outright since 2010.  QB Dak Prescott gives the host a puncher’s chance, but that streak ends here. Egg Bowl trophy goes to…Mississippi 23 Mississippi State 14
#22 Ucla (+3 ½) over USC: Victor takes the 12-PAC South. Both teams continue to shuttle in-and-out of the rankings. Bruins have owned this series lately, winning each of the last three seasons by 10 or more. Ironically, both survived upset-attempts by improved-Colorado in recent weeks. Following dismissal of Steve Sarkisian, who won 3 of 5 before his plight, Trojans have gone 4-2 SU under Clay Helton, including home-victories over Utah and Arizona, but also eating a bad loss at Oregon. Southern Cal anticipates some previously-hobbled players to be on the field, but the post-sanction era at USC just ain’t workin’-out…UCLA 27 SoCal 24

BTW, The Donald recently proposed “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks?”, right before imploring fans to also avoid patronizing concession-stands at NFL and NCAA stadiums countrywide that don’t have the appropriate icons spray-painted in their red-zones! Meanwhile, even music-artist Helen Reddy (known for her famous tune “I Am Yuban”) has filed for a restraining-order to keep “Cup-Gate” fanatics away from her property!

An OSU alum wrote to Urban Meyer, pledging his three-week-old son’s commitment to da’ Buckeyes (complete with a pic of said-infant with a pigskin). Coach wrote back, “welcoming” the tiny tot to the class of 2033. Dad later qualified the statement of loyalty, noting it was ultimately his son’s choice of educational institution “as long as it’s not that school up north”.
In NFL news, the Patriots are at Denver this week, but…in August, it was revealed that Peyton Manning reportedly thinks the visitors’ locker room at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts contains hidden listening-devices and refuses to speak with coaches or teammates unless several shower-heads are spoutin’ H2O and a boom-box is cranked to eleven. Vindy’s spies have also noted an aluminum foil-lining in Manning’s helmet to keep da’ Pats from reading his thoughts!

In a clash of Vindicator’s two preferred pro football teams, Jameis Winston launched five (count ‘em, FIVE!) touchdown passes in whacking the bEagles. Winston didn’t get the game-ball, but was given a gift-card to Publix. Meanwhile, Chip Kelly was provided a Greyhound bus ticket back to Eugene, Oregon!
Last summer, MSN Sports featured the “Downright Strange Hobbies Off Da’ Field” of more than a dozen professional athletes. Among those, was the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, who apparently plays Dungeons & Dragons….in his own cellar…and shows up at Renaissance Fairs….all of which garner much-respect from yer humble host. Vindy’s spies say the All-Star baller prefers the role of “magic-user” in his adventuring party. Rumor has it that Duncan possesses a jersey of protection vs. flagrant fouls, a +1 knee-brace of FG shooting (+2 from beyond the arc) and a headband of free-throw completion. Duncan’s only worry might be the presence of officials on the court with similar interests and carry whistles of dispel magic and flop-detection! Duncan occasionally hits the hardwood sporting a cloak of protection vs. Hack-a-Shaq, leading his teammates to affectionately refer to him as Gandalf and Tim the Enchanter! (And for the “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” aficionados…”There are some who call meeeee…’Tim’?”). Duncan also performs as the mascot for the Washington Wizards in his off-time. Karl Malone has a CDL and drives an 18-wheeler! Sing it with us…”Was the dark of da’ moon on the sixth of June in a Kenworth..full o’ logsPistol Pete with a free-throw on and Da’ Mailman..hauling hogs…”

“Wish We Had It Back”: Yep, we tagged Colorado +15 ½ over WAZZOU for this one, noting the Bison may have left it all on the field in Boulder in narrow 3-point defeat by USC!
“Locked in a Box?”:  The Middies bashed Tulsa as predicted, bringin’ home just our 4th “lock” win in a dozen (.333) efforts!    

Black Shirt: We have co-awardees this week. We’re emblazoning the special-T with shamrocks with after Irish quarterback Kizer committed a pair of INTs inside the BC red zone, as part of Leprechauns’ five (count ‘em, five) miscues, to keep the total-scored below 42 ½! Getting’ the other fab undergarment…Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn for missing an XP following a 4th Quarter TD, allowing Purdue (+21) to cover rather than simply push for us!
Shoppe Talk: The Utes solidify their spot at the Shoppe following loss as 2-point chalk to UCLA for posting 5th forecast loss in past 7 opportunities (.285). We’re adorning the walls with stuffed Rebels and Badgers in light of 1-4 (.200) slide each for Ole Mist and Wisconsin. The Bayou Bengals also get an engraved invitation for ongoing 2-4 (.333) demise!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets:  Last Week:  3-4 (And we’re launching our own federal investigation into how UTEP limited potent Weeziana Tech (-24) to 17 points!)   Season: 35-30-1 (.538)
SAN JOSE STATE +7 ½ over Boise State, UMASS +6 ½ Buffalo, Tulsa -6 over TULANE, Southern Methodist +21 ½ over MEMPHIS, SOUTHERN MISS +6 over Weeziana Tech, Texas-El Paso +2 ½ over NORTH TEXAS, Colorado State -9 ½ over FRESNO STATE, Arizona State +4 over CAL

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