Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Vindy's Picks 2015-16 Bowl Predictions Part III

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP)…After the visitors rallied to send the contest into extra-frames, Steve Harvey, donning the referee’s striped-uniform, oversaw the overtime coin-toss of the Jets-Patriots game this Sunday, noting “It’s heads…New England has won the toss and has elected to receive”. Moments later, Antonio Cromartie returned the kick-off 89 yards for a seemingly come-from-behind, game-winning score. But as the teams started to shake hands and jog off the grid-iron, Harvey hustled onto the field, turned-on his mic and said, “Oh, wait…I must apologize…it’s tails.” A flustered officiating crew gathered and conferred. And after reviewing indisputable video-evidence that the currency did, in fact, land on “tails”, nullified the touchdown and re-positioned the teams for the Jets to receive the ensuing kick, leading to an end zone reception by the Jets’ Eric Decker and the triumph!

With today’s slate yet to be finalized as we go to press, we’ll add the results to our next forecast, but through the games of December 29, we went 6-7 thus far for Part II (11-14 currently on the bowl season).
As part of a Secret-Santa thing, Quentin Tarantino, famous, of course, fer “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and the sequel “Kill Bill: Vol. 2”, among other twisted-flicks, left a “Magic Crazy-88’s Ball” as a present under yer nifty-narrator’s Christmas tree Vindy reciprocated by giving the director-in-question a Hattori Hanzo sword (forged from, fer da’ Game of Thrones fans, Valyrian steel), and a sneak-preview of…

(More lethal than the five-point-palm exploding-heart technique!)
DEC. 31

#14 Houston (+7) over #9 Florida State: Tribe QB Everett Golson didn’t make the trip to Atlanta fer Da’ Noles. Sean Maguire, who’s been da’ Man since early November is an adequate substitute, though less of a running-threat, which means it might be a battle of ground-games featuring State’s RB Dalvin Cook against Coogs QB Greg Ward, who leads the club in passing yardage, rushing yardage and can catch the ball as well, making us wonder if Coach Tom Herman and/or OC Major Applewhite might draw-up some sort of pass-play to Ward! Cougars mysteriously lost at…UConn…in surprisingly-minimal-scoring tilt. Everett Golson is still in Tallahassee. If Maguire goes down, it’s all on Cook. Chief Osceola and da’ guys lost by 10 at Clemson and…hmmm…6 at down-Joja’ Tech. Both sides stop the rush effectively. FSU’s seeking redemption for an ugly CFP semi-final loss last year. But in da’ Chic-Philly Bowl, do they care enough?...Renegade 29 UH 27

CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL (CFP semi-final) (@ Miami Gardens, FL)
#1 Clemson (+3) over #4 Oklahoma: Following loss to Texas, Oklahoma was considered by many to be the hottest team, in I-A ball, completing the regular-season. We’ll not challenge that assessment.  No doubt Coach Stoops will play-up last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl’s 40-6 demise at the hands of Clemson (who was +5 in turnovers), however we can’t really invest in the “revenge” factor, given that contest meant little for either side. Both teams were balanced in scoring touchdowns, with basically an equivalent number of rushing and passing sixes. Each club allowed an average of 20-and-change points per games against, though Sooners did so against 4 teams that finished in the top 9 in scoring points per contest, while only North Carolina represented the ACC in the top 11. Tigers have been ‘dogs in each of the last three years’ bowl-outings…and won all of ‘em outright. The Tigers bested three Top-25 opponents...all are still currently Top 10. Boomer-Schooner got past five ranked opponents…three retain their hashmarks…all at #11 and below (though TCU holds the #10-spot in the Coaches Poll). In a duel of star sophomore quarterbacks …Deshaun Watson and…Mayor Augustus Maywho…er…um…Baker Mayfield…we’ll take… Clemson  27 Oklahoma 24  

GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC (CFP semi-final) (@ Arlington, TX)
#3 Michigan State (+10) over #2 Alabama: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Tide gets another semi-final crack at a Big Tentacle team, but instead of trying to defend a lower-string QB like last year, Senior starter Connor Cook is behind center for the Spartans. Nobody on the State sideline remembers the last meeting between these two squads, which ended in a 49-7 rout by ‘Bama in 2010.  Saban’s team has notched all its victories vs. everyone other than Tennessee by double-digits. Like Clemson, MSU has won and covered post-season outings in each of the previous three years…all in the ‘dog role.   Sports Illustrated botched a recent mag cover, naming Spartans coach as “Mike” rather than “Mark” D’Antonio. Coulda’ been worse. Coulda’ been “Monk” or…(Gasp!)...”Mork”! We’ll side with recent history and give the dog a look outright since we’re taking the generous points...Nanu-nanu 23 Elephants 21

JAN. 1

#12 Northwestern (+8 ½) over Tennessee: Vols 27 Wildcats 24

#17 Michigan (-4) over #19 Florida: Seniors for Michigan will remember a 33-28 loss to South Carolina in the 2012 post-season. Harbaugh would be happy to belt an SEC team in his first year. Florida’s got a new OC, but these aren’t his guys on the field. Vindy’s spies say Gators will try to get UM off its game by running a series of insurance company commercials/videos on YouTube featuring Jake Ruddock from Ohio State Farm!...Maize (and Blue) Runner 27 Crocs 12

#8 Notre Dame vs. #7 Ohio State (“under 56”): OSU was doing the unthinkable with less this time last season. Only Virginia Tech and…(Acckkk!)...Maryland…???!! reached 20 points or more vs. da’ Buckeyes. Sole Irish- defeats came by 2-each…at CFP #1 Clemson and, in surprising shoot-out, at Stanford. In August, Columbus fans fans hoofed it by shoe-leather express 19 miles to spell out the trademark- script “Ohio” on Google Maps. We just wanna’ know who still had the moxie left to dot the “I” after that trek!!! ! In da’ Saddleflog…um…Bramblebog… er…Cattlegrog…Balrog (?!) bowl...State 27 Who’s Yer Laddie?! 20

#6 Iowa (+6 1/2) over #5 Stanford: Hawkeyes lost one game…the Big Tensor Conference championship…by 3. Iowa covered just 7 of 12, but were favored in all but two ‘em. Coach Kirk Ferentz was runner-up for coach of Da’ Year. Iowa prefers to play defensive, low-scoring contests (35 to Minnesota notwithstanding). Trees’ D not quite as efficient in 2015 (23+ ppg allowed) as it was in the prior three seasons (all teens), but Cardinal rang-up 37+ ppg, most since 2011. We didn’t think Nebraska could beat UCLA. We have faith in Iowa’s ability to knock off Stanford. The SU band was forbidden in May to travel to road games due to using illicit drugs, traditionally giving a member a drink intended to make him/her toss his/her cookies in the open and choosing prospects based on inappropriate inquiries about matters of intimate contact. Given the “neutral” site here, we expect somebody from the tuba-section to smoke some weed and hurl on someone’s private parts during the halftime performance!… Iowa 26 Stanford 20

#16 Mississippi (-7 1/2) over #13 Oklahoma State: We changed our initial pick here. Consider yerselves duly-advised. We ain’t supportin’ a lotta’ favorites in this edition, but thought Ole Miss worthy. Motivation goes to the Rebels, who were blasted by TCU in last season’s Peach Bowl. State has been vulnerable to the pass. Mississippi will however, face the Cowboys (who took ten straight before defeats by Baylor and Oklahoma), without talented DT Robert Nkemdiche, who gets to ride the pine for possession of Mary Jane and falling (twice?!) from a hotel window. The All-American avoided significant injury when he landed on the oversized doobie he was smokin’ at the time… Ole Miss 41 ‘Pokes 31
JAN. 2

TAXSLAYER BOWL (@ Jacksonville, FL)
Georgia vs Penn State (“under 42”): Former Vandy coach James Franklin is no stranger to the Bulldogs, having been blasted 48-3 between da’ hedges in 2012 and winning 31-27 at home in 2013. Lions went 7-5 outright, Joja’ absorbed just 3 defeats in 12 games, but winds up here (though at least it’s after the ball fell in Times Square!). Other than lotsa’ stupidity by the PSU offense in 39-point loss at CFP-contender Michigan State, the D was pretty good. The Alma Mater finished losing 4 of last 6 and three straight. Thrifty Lions went under in four of five non-conference tilts. ‘Dawgs went under in 8 of their games as well. Happy Valley’s football team took the gridiron this season sans player names. SoCal and Our Lady of Quasimodo are the only other squads to do so. Queue-up Cat Stevens and sing it with us…”I’ve been..through the end zone on a back with no naaaame…It felt good to be out of…the plaaaaay.”…Canines 20 Felines 13

Kansas State vs. Arkansas (“over 55 ½”): Razorbacks 49 Purple Persians 27

#15 Oregon (+1 1/2) over #11 Texas Christian: Almost formally-chose the “over 78 ½” here too. Oregon gets relegated to this one a year removed from national championship loss to Ohio State. A loss to Wazzou punctuated a poor 3-3 beginning for the Mallards, but Drakes finished with six consecutive wins. No worries about the lengthy lay-off for OR because high-scoring, low-D matches are Oregon’s usual MO. Vernon Adams improved over the second-half, adjusting to I-A play. Horny Toads split their last four games of the season vs. the titans of the Big 12 and can bang the scoreboard too. Ducks will field their usual stick-figure defense and Texas Christian has contacted Discover Card to ensure it has “frog-protection”, “fraud-protection”, “frog”, “fraud”, “frog”….Quack Attack 44 TCU 38

West Virginia vs. Arizona State (“over 63 ½”): BTW, next year, not to be outdone by a rival hotel, one of the San Diego post-season match-ups will be the Holiday Inn Holiday Bowl!...Mounties 48 Spun Devils 30

If Olivia Newton-John reprised her role in Grease for da’ presidential-election or da’ College Football Playoffs committee, would she admit, “Hope-lesslyyyy…we voteddddd…fer you!”

SB Nation revealed an excerpt from the new biography of Nick Saban, who said he’d only commit adultery with “Hillary F… Rodham Clinton”, going on to further explain that “Ultimately you never want to sleep with anybody who has less to lose than you do.” Guess which SEC coach got himself the Democratic nom for Veep on the “Clinton 2016” ticket! Meanwhile, Vindy’s plans to bed Kim Kardashian, Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus have since been scuttled!
Having a little fun with the name-snafu, D’Antonio had his school photo-shop the same cover to feature a certain combination-utensil image and use the same font to spoof the magazine as “Sporks Illustrated”!

Last summer, the Princeton Review announced its Top Twenty Party Schools. Settin’ the bar….University of Illinois. Oh sure…like a hometown of Champagne, Illinois wasn’t a dead giveaway??!!! Helping garner a top-three hat-trick for the conference…Iowa and Wisconsin at #2 and #, 3 respectively! And to make matters worse… the Alma Mater checks-in at unlucky #13, to give the Oktoberfest Tent-Peg Conference four teams among the Top 20…to which we here at Vindy’s Picks responds “Party on, Ft. Wayne!” (Oh wait…that’s in Indiana!). While a preponderance of the guilty parties dot the map of the northeastern part of the U.S., da’ SEC did make its presence known, offering #8 Joja’, #12 Ole Miss and #14 Florida. In the 17-hole was…DePauw???!!!
Arrrghhhh! Much to our chagrin, all three 5-7 bowlers (San Josie, Nebraska and Minnesota) won outright in their respective games! Kill us now!!!!!! Couldn’t we mimic the college hoops system and have some sorta’ play-in games (Raise yer hand if ya remember when there was just one of these!) for sub-.500 teams?! That would at least reduce the number of clubs with losing records from 3 to 2 (while giving a fourth 5-7 team full of Poindexters a chance!). Uggghhhh!!!!! Surely for the qualifiers-in-question, “APR” stands for Average Punt Rate!

Overheard lyrics on a classic AC/DC vinyl during the holidays….”Suck on my Big Ten-Grinch...Record!”
Black Shirt: We’re personally monogrammin’ the tee for Indy kicker Griffin Oakes fer missin’ a 38-yard FG in OT to give Duke (+2 ½) the straight-up win we predicted! Honorable Mention to Virginia Tech LB Leon Clarke, who started 11 games, posting 77 tackles for da’ Hokies and then got himself suspended for the Independence Bowl, contributing, we suspect, to not only Tulsa’s cover, but near-victory vs. VT (who apparently-played [Justin] Bieber-Ball in the shoot-out victory, instead of customary Beamer-Ball [defense and special-teams excellence])!

Bowls Part III Best Bets: Last Week: 1-0   Season: 43-34-1 (.558)
Michigan vs. Florida “under 39 ½”, West Virginia PK over Arizona State

Next up…the final post of the season…containing our thoughts on the National Championship match-up, the annual bowl recap…and lotsa’ Leftover Hash!


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