Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Vindy's Picks 2015 Championship Week

STATESBORO, Georgia (REUTERS)…Will Ferrell played all 10 Major League baseball positions in a 14-hour trek thru Arizona during spring training, drumming-up an estimated $1M in donations toward cancer research. Having spent a couple weeks practicing against Pop-Warner competition, the former-SNL star hopes to reprise that event and play all 22 football positions in a like-timeframe this weekend, strapping-on the pads and cleats in a variety of Sun Belt tilts, starting with the local Georgia Southern-Georgia State match, and performing on the field at halftime and in the end zones, flaunting his choreographed- moves while famously-quoting from his cheerleader skit with Cheri Oteri…”I am a Spartan… so check me out!”
We didn’t quite top the pyramid with Week 13’s final record of 9-6 (121-110-3, .523), but we’ll take it. Dustin’ off our own skirt and pom-poms, we’re enticin’ the sportsbook crowd to make some noise for…

(Bustin’ more doors than Black Friday and Cyber Monday!)

MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)

Northern Illinois (+11) over Bowling Green: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. We’ve seen this movie! Third consecutive-pairing of these two clubs in the conference-crown game. Huskies have gone 3-0 ATS in ‘dog role this season, includin’ 7-point defeat at Da’ Shoe earlier and reeled-off six straight SU wins prior to last week’s mysterious 26-21 loss to the Bobblecats of Athens, layin’ nearly  two-touchdowns. Falcons have tallied 6 of 7 MAC triumphs by 14 or more, but lost to the Mudhens at home by 16. Sled Dogs ambushed then-#24 Toledo on da’ road, winning by 5. Yeah, same Huskies let 3-win UNLV stay within 8 in season-opener, but also topped Western Michigan, who’s Broncos upended BGU by 5. Norton Illinois has more than one conference-“L” since suckin’-up three in 2009…Canines 41 Birds 35

ACC Championship (@ Charlotte, NC)

#1 Clemson vs. #8 North Carolina (“Under 67”): Best guess for “wish we had it back”. Second time in as many outings we’ve picked a Clemson-match to go “under”. Didn’t pan-out fer us last weekend. You’ve been duly-advised. Lettin’ KFC hang-around waaaaay-too long didn’t impact CU’s spot atop the CFP rankings. The Tigers lose the turnover-battle about half the time and that alone could come back and bite us here. Clemson’s lost four consecutive games to the spread, but all of those were double-digits. Carolina used a stout ground game to get past rival Wolfpack. We anticipate the Tigers’ defense will dig-in here, as it did in low-scoring victories over Notre Dame and Florida State. ‘Heels beat only ranked opponent it faced (Pitt) 26-19…Tigers 27 UNC 20
SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)

#2 Alabama (-17 ½) over #18 Florida (“Over 39 ½”): Gators’ horrific 2-point outing in loss to da’ Tribe last week led to installation of a new OC for this one. While the teams have collectively gone 14-3-1 “under” da’ total recently, Tide has averaged 31 ½ ppg vs. SEC competition while allowing double-digits-against in 7 of 8 conference games. Florida has finished 7 games on the year below this total, but has scored an average of 23+ points-per-match in SEC play. UF couldn’t stop FSU’s Dalvin Cook. ‘Bama boasts Heisman-candidate Derrick Henry at RB. Hopin’ to do no worse than a split of our two picks here. This ain’t the hated-rivalry of da’ Iron Bowl…Pachyderms 34 Crocs 13
B10 Championship (@Indianapolis, IN)

#4 Iowa (+3 ½) over #5 Michigan State: Hawkeyes went unbesmirched 12-0 and enter with just second ‘dog-designator all season. Iowa beat the Huskers sans a single third-down conversion in nine tries. They’ll need to move the chains here in a few of those situations to have a chance to take the conference title. Spartans have lived on the edge in a few games this year and lost track-meet to Nebraska for only “L”. State has taken its last four neutral site melees…two by a lone point, another by four. Minus da’ 35 posted by da’ the Gophers, Hawkeyes’ have been good on scoring-defense. Coaching and experience edge to Dantonio, whose squad has covered 5 of 6 following 0-6 ATS start and to Senior QB Connor Cook, but…MSU 19 Iowa 17
PAC-12 Championship (@ Santa Clara, CA)

#24 Southern Cal (+4 ½) over #7 Stanford: Rematch of Stanford’s 41-31 win in September. Cardinal probably shoulda’ fallen to the Irish, staying alive on a Leprechaun penalty. SoCal was in a good one vs. UCLA until Bruin turnover shifted the Mo.  USC has been an enigma all year, using home-field to topple Utah and aforementioned UCLA, while submitting to Notre Dame and Oregon away. Filadelphia Fleegles’ Chip Kelly has pooh-poohed rumor-intelligence that he chatted with USC about a coaching spot, but we fully-anticipate Chipster to be clutterin’-up the chalkboard for the Centurions come next Spring! Bob Ross would be paintin’ “happy trees”, but Stanford’s barely-squeezed by several opponents to-date…Palo Alto 23 USC 21 
#12 BAYLOR (-21) over Texas: Bears are workin’ with a lower-stringer at quarterback and have lost two of last three games outright, but against a conference murderer’s row of Oklahoma, Okie State and TCU. Just can’t support Steers squad that was shutout in 24-point defeat at Iowa State and may have spent itself in 48-45 loss to Texas Tech …BU 44 Texas 20

AAC Championship
#20 Temple (+6) over #17 HOUSTON: As the Owls hit first 10-win season since yer frenetic forecaster graduated high school in…GASP!...1979…we won’t discount the upset here, but several angles support a Coogs’ victory, not the least of which is Temple’s ugly loss at South Florida. TU beat UConn team missing its starting QB, a week after Houston somehow lost 20-17 to the Huskies. Barnyards were decent 4-2 ATS outside Philly and hosts survived a shoot-out with Memphis…Houston 30 Temple 27

Conference USA Championship
Southern Miss (+8) over WESTERN KENTUCKY: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Golden Eagles have been revitalized in third-year under Coach Todd Monken, winning already more than twice as many games this year (9 and counting) as they did collectively over the previous three seasons (4, including an 0-fer in 2012). USM put up just 19 ppg in 2014, but are averaging 41.7 this season, less than 3 ppg fewer than the Hilltoppers, who come in tied for 4th nationally at 44.2 per contest. WKY beat Weeziana Tech by 3 at home. SoMiss crushed the Bulldogs by 34…in Ruston…last week (and LT OC Tony Petersen still ain’t returning our calls about mere 17-point effort at UTEP two fortnights ago!)…Southern Miss 41 ‘Toppers 34

Mountain West Championship
SAN DIEGO STATE (-4½) over Air Force: The only thing in favor of USAF here (despite money pouring in on the Academy, reducing the line from 6 ½ to current spread) is a 2-1 road dog record after going just 3-7 the previous three campaigns. The Aztecs show very-nice 7-0-1 ATS run, haven’t allowed more 17 points to any opponent since late September non-conference skirmish while scoring minimum of 28 in all but one contest since then and have won and covered vs. the Flyboys five straight years. Flight Platoon had taken 6 of 7 ahead of 12-point loss at improved-New Mexico in Week 13. State sports gaudy 23-7-2 spread record in MWC play since start of 2012! Not-showing this week on da’ big screen…Star Wars: The Air Force Awakens! ...SDSU 27 Pilots 17

BTW, at mid-June, a member of the KC Royals led All-Star balloting in 8 of 9 positions! Only Angels’ OF Will Ferrell prevented a monopoly!

Offering a few follow-up thoughts on last week’s holiday cup lead story…also under siege by fanatics…Red Ryder (leading us to suggest, “You’ll shot-gun yer I-formation out! “) and all those Major League batters “sittin’ dead-red!”. Elsewhere, Nebraska, AKA Big Red, did some damage-control, emblazoning beverage cups with images of Yukon Cornelius! Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton took offense to JJ Watts’ comments about turning said “Red Rifle” into the “Red BB Gun”! But that’s better than da’ “Red Waffle-Iron” (and fer the GoT fans…better than the “Red Wedding”!)!
Like last year, the Idaho Vandals started this season staring down the barrel of a mandatory post-season sit-out after compiling a four-year Academic Progress Rate average of 896, below the 930 Mendoza line. Teams not clearin’ the bar by much included Oklahoma State (934), Florida International (933) and New Mexico State (931…Phew!!!). The alma mater came in at 956, 8 points below Purdue! (BTW, Vindy has been asked to cease-and-desist with his spelling of “Nittany” as “N-i-f-t-y” and “N-i-t-w-i-t” in order to bring the Lions’ score up a notch or two!)

During the preseason, the Dallas Cowboys trained its QBs using virtual-reality headsets that provide the experience of any given play from the quarterback’s point-of-view. The technology was, however, developed by ex-Stanford kicker Derek Belch and in a cruel-prank, the Cardinal special-teamer programmed the scenarios to show nothing but the O-line, the angle of the goal-posts and the snap to the holder. Explains a lot about the 2015 win-loss tally of America’s Team’s thus far, don’t it????!!!!

Best Weekly Effort:  The stars, planets and a Gazillion other inter-galactic entities were aligned when Vindy managed to go 16-6 (.727) in Week 10!
Worst Weakly “F”-fort:  Weak Two’s 6-11-1 (.353)!

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)…da’ Iowa Hawkeyes…but wait…there’s more! And the Florida Gators….both at 7-1 (.875)! Second-Place to da’ Stanford Cardinal at 7-2 (.778), with Honorable Mention to the Horny Toads of TCU (6-4, .600)!
FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side-of the spread; again, minimum 7 at-bats in the forecast): Vindy wants a new wallet fer Christmas ‘cuz ya can still see the scorch-marks on the current-one courtesy of Grill-Master Supreme award-winner…er…um…well…Vindy himself, who was a terrible 4-9 (.308) pickin’ “lock of da’ week” selections! Suckin’ Place is presented to Utah (3-6, .333)! And we’ve got an unprecedented three-way tie at .400 fer Dishonorable Mention, going to Texas A&M (2-5-1), Ohio State (4-6-1) and LSU (4-6)!

Didn’t make da’ cut, but we’ll be watchin’: Joja’ at 2-4 (.333)!
Thanks for playing: Stay in touch next season… Kansas State (4-0, 1.000), Oregon (5-1, .833) and Minnesota/Mississippi State, both at 4-1 (.800)!

“Wish We Had It Back”: In retrospect, we kinda’ wish we could revisit the Oklahoma State over Oklahoma (outright) choice, considering that we noted the Sooners’ momentum, State’s win over short-staffed and error-prone Baylor and poor-play by State’s D of late!
“Locked in a Box?”:  Now we remember why we don’t go to the same team as “lock” in back-to-back weeks as Navy (+1) got crushed by Houston, sending the “lock” tally to…ugghhh…the previously-mentioned 4-9 (.308)!   

Shoppe Talk: We’re feasting on bear-meat this week at the Shoppe cafeteria in light of UCLA’s current 2-4 debacle!
Black Shirt: We’re emptyin’ out da’ whole wardrobe this week, providin’ prestigious-tees to…’Bama RB Derrick Henry, not for his 271 rushing yards, but simply for the TD he scored with 26 seconds to play that allowed Tide to win ATS vs. Auburn; ironically to Nebraska (home of the original Black Shirt) QB Tommy Armstrong for throwin’ four (count ‘em, four) interceptions in Iowa’s 8-point victory and to Irish QB DeShone Kizer  for a late scoring rush that gave the Leprechauns the cover vs. Stanford!

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets:  Last Week: 5-3 Season: 40-33-1 (a profitable .548!)
Joja’ State +20 ½ over JOJA’ SUDDEN, Appalachian State -18 over SOUTH ALABAMA

On-deck, our annual thoughts on…Army-Navy!

No comments: