BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Vindy's Picks Week 13-2016
NFL ENCOUNTERS SPATE OF BLOWN XP
NEW YORK, New York (UPI)…Rule-changes in the offseason moved-back the distance for what-used-to-be the virtually-automatic PAT, which has recently become the “Pain-After-Touchdown”. Sunday saw a record one-dozen blocked or otherwise-failed extra-points. While the two-point conversion is still on the table, in a knee-jerk reaction, NFL officials are now permitting unpressured soccer-style corner-kicks from the pylon at the goal-line, allowing defenders to crowd the end-zone near the uprights while trying to box-out opponents trying to kick or head the pigskin over a much-lowered crossbar!Once again we were in plus-territory heading into last Saturday, but lost the mojo (though hit our “lock”, “upset” and “minor upset” selections!) and finished 11-9-1 (106-108-4, .495). Why risk physical injury amidst the Great Unwashed trying to acquire that heavily-discounted special present on Black Friday when ya can simply gift-wrap a copy of…
THE WEBER KID’S 2016 WEEK 13 FORECAST
(Recallin’ da’ Karate Kid and followin’ orders to “sweep’ da’ turkey-leg”!)THURS. NOV. 24
Louisiana State (-5) over #22 TEXAS A&M: Tigers have faced two of the best defensive teams in the nation in two of the past three weeks. A&M has yielded 24 or more points in five of seven SEC contests and average of nearly-34 ppg over past four conference games (losing three of ‘em). If it wasn’t a Thursday tilt, we’d consider this for “lock”…Bengals 26 bAggies 17FRI. NOV. 25
#5 Washington @ #23 WASHINGTON STATE (“over 64”): UDUB 41 Wazzou 34#15 Nebraska @ IOWA: OFF
Toledo (+9) over #18 WESTERN MICHIGAN: Broncos started slowly vs. Buffalo, but eventually pulled away to cover a five-touchdown spread, shutting out the Bulls in the process. Next-to-last obstacle to a New Year’s Six bowl for Western Michigan, who, according to Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.com, haven’t played in a conference-championship match in 15 seasons, nor won a MAC tiara in…(GASP!) 26! Broncos have 11 outright victories already after maxing-out at no more than nine in any season over the previous past decade. Space Shuttles have stealthily put together a 9-2 year, but the 5-point home-loss to the Bobblecats of Ohio took them out of big-money bowl discussion subsequent to 55-53 defeat at BYU in September. The past two meetings have been close…a one-point win by the Mudhens in 2014 and five-point margin by WMU last year. Toledo’s gone 2-4-1 ATS in past seven games of 2016 and 6-1 “under” in that span…WMU 34 Rockets 31AIR FORCE (+10) over #19 Boise State: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK...Aim High 34 Broncos 31
#21 Houston @ MEMPHIS: OFFNC State (+11 ½) over #25 NORTH CAROLINA: Wouldn’t be a bad choice for “lock”…’Heels 27 ‘Pack 24
SAT. NOV. 26#16 Auburn (+17 ½) over #1 ALABAMA: Changed our initial pick. Aubie RB Pettway will be on the field, but not likely at full-strength. Starting QB for da’ Tigers is unknown as we go to print. Tide played the fifth-string in 31-3 win over FCS then-#11 Chattanooga (Okay, not quite, but ya get the point). Sadly for Auburn, there’s no “A&M” after this Alabama following Tigers 55-0 rout of also-FCS-level (though unranked at 4-7) Bulldogs. Tigers have no shot to win here, with ‘Bama’s near-misses coming on the SEC road. Gus Malzahn has one Iron Bowl triumph in his three years as HC of Auburn (34-28 at home in 2013). Tide has failed to cover the last pair in the series, winning by 11 and 16. Aubie needs a stellar effort in all three phases. Assuming the usual defensive and special-teams scores for ‘Bama (because somewhat-surprisingly, Tide is just 86% successful scoring on Red Zone possessions…and the longtime kicking-woes continue at 71%-and-change), we’ll call it…Pachyderms 29 Tigers 14
#2 OHIO STATE (-6 ½) over #4 Michigan: Wolverines are doomed if Wilton Speight is on the pine or isn’t 100% at kick-off ‘cuz under-study QB John O’Korn ain’t cuttin’ it. Buckeyes need to recover from near-miss at East Lansing, but have toppled all three Top 25 opponents as opposed to Big Blue, which squares-off vs. just second ranked-foe. The only doubt in our mind is the specter of State’s 24-20 win over Northwestern at Da’ Shoe in late October. Coach Meyer will field his own guys. Harbaugh has gotten the most he can from his predecessor’s recruits. Vindy (and much of Happy Valley) will fly the Scarlet & Gray Friday night and early Saturday morning…THE Ohio State 31 Meeshigan 17South Carolina (+24) over #3 CLEMSON: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Gamecocks gained post-season eligibility with non-conference victory over FCS Western Carolina last week, their fourth victory in past five games for Will Muschamp. Pressure’s on the Tigers to keep winning to stay in the CFP top four. The Poultry has covered 6 of previous 7 facing Clemson and lost by just 5 in 2015. Expect a conservative game-plan here from CU…Tigers 27 Nuggets 12
Minnesota (+14) over #6 WISCONSIN: Wisky 21 Gophers 11#7 Oklahoma: IDLE (next vs. Oklahoma State)
Michigan State (+12 ½) over #8 PENN STATE (“under 55”): Another double-pick. Lions will know the results of “The Game” prior to taking the field for this one. That’s probably not good in either instance. But Alma Mater ain’t makin’ the playoffs in any case with two defeats. Teams that fought hard in narrow-wins or narrow-losses have not fared well spread-wise in their next game. Hope Sparty is physically-and-emotionally-depleted after tremendous defensive effort in one-point loss vs. da’ Buckeyes, but PSU just needs a victory and an OSU victory to have a chance at Big Tender crown...Lions 20 MSU 16#9 COLORADO (-10 ½) over #20 Utah: Wazzou coach Mike Leach must’ve seen something in game-film of the Buffs, foregoing a couple of mid-range FG attempts in efforts to convert on more-than-one 4th Down scenarios (albeit unsuccessfully). Bison benefitted from multiple drops by Coogs’ receivers in the first-half, including what shoulda’ been an easy TD. Both sides are comparable in offensive-balance. Utes face #2 pass-D and Buffaloes look a bit like the squads that always came down to wins or losses in late-season games vs. the Huskers for shots at the National Title a couple of eons ago. Utes have lost two of past three contests, most-recently to shadow-of-its-old-self Oregon…Colorado 27 Utes 14
#10 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next @ Oklahoma)#11 LOUISVILLE (-25) over Kentucky: Cardinals 54 Wildcats 20
#12 USC (-17) over Notre Dame: Leprechauns have just had their victories in 2012 and 2013 revoked due to academic shenanigans. This year’s Irish seniors might take that as motivation or just one more uninvited-weight in a bad season. Trojans 42 Not-So-Lucky Charms 20#13 Florida @ #14 FLORIDA STATE (“under 45 ½”): Gators D did what it does best, staving off LSU at the goal line…twice…in Death Valley…for the win and a fourth cover in five games. Can it muster enough to replicate the feat one more time to slow RB Dalvin Cook ahead of conference championship match vs. ‘Bama? Tribe has taken three straight in this series, including 27-2 last year, but has stumbled against the better-quality teams on this season’s schedule, losing to North Carolina and Clemson, both in Tallahassee and slipping away from NC State in Raleigh…FSU 19 Florida 16
#17 West Virginia @ IOWA STATE (“under 58”): ‘Eers 27 Dust Devils 20VANDERBILT (+8 ½) over #24 Tennessee: Rocky Top 23 Admirals 17
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
BTW, Tom Brady categorically-denied any knowledge of balls being deflated ahead of any Patriots’-opponents’ attempted extra-point tries to make them travel shorter-distances and lower-elevations.Last Spring, the NCAA put da’ kibosh on satellite camps because the SEC got its panties in a bunch over da’ B10 conducting them below da’ Mason-Dixon Line, but would later reinstate them, recruiting Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk as sponsor and naming them… “Shatellite Camps”!
Vindy’s Picks….bringin’ ya all the big rivalries…USC-UCLA, Oklahoma-Texas, Ohio State-Michigan, Florida-Florida State and…Vin Diesel-Da’ Rock!It’s now in stone…Sin City’s new NHL franchise will be called the Vegas Golden Knights. Personally, we (and other Monty Python & Da’ Holy Grail fans) woulda’ preferred “Black Knights” because “*None* shall *pass*… da’ puck!” BTW, Central Florida and Game of Thrones “The Mountain” have filed suits for copyright-violations!
An April newspaper article entitled “Bob Knight throws support behind Trump”, but upon further review, it turns out the fiery ex-hoops coach simply threw a folding chair… at Trump!“Wish We Had It Back”: In retrospect, we’d like to revise our choices of …Michigan -23 ½ over da’ HOOSIERS and A&M -7 over da’ Roadrunners, both of which we predicted as best guesses for “wish” pick.
“Locked in a Box?”: Rutgers was kind enough to hit the scoreboard for…oh, wait….it didn’t hit the scoreboard…vs. the Alma Mater, keeping the total well-“under” and upping the lock-tally to 7-5 (.583).Black Shirt: The coveted clothing goes to Cowboys CB Antonio Hull for deflecting an attempted two-point conversion pass with zeroes on the game-clock to bring home our Wyoming (+9) outright over San Diego State upset pick.
Shoppe Talk: Florida did us a pair of solids this week, not only covering in upset of LSU, but also keeping our other official call of “under” intact (but don’t slither too far away as yer still in the running for post-season “awards” at 3-7, .300!). Meanwhile, usual-suspects A&M (2-7, .222) and Clemson (3-7, .300) jobbed us again!Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-4 (now 3-7 the last 2 weeks) Season: 32-32 (.500)
Rutgers @ MARYLAND “under 51 ½”, SAN DIEGO STATE (-11 ½) over Colorado State (“under 55 ½”), Boston College @ WAKE FOREST “under 36 ½”, Wyoming -3 over NEW MEXICO, Virginia +18 over VA TECH, Charlotte +7 over UTSA, Arkansas State -6 over UL-LAFAYETTE