Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Vindy's Picks Army-Navy 2016

ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN)…The University of Central Florida was okay with it. Clarkson College was okay with it. But the Army took exception to the naming of the new professional hockey team in Las Vegas as the “Golden Knights”, given that its elite parachute squad already bears that moniker. Owner Bill Foley continues to contend that registration and trademarking of the name was done legally on the up-and-up, but out of respect for his alma mater, for whom he himself was part of the “long, gray line” almost a half-century ago, agreed that in exchange for keeping his NHL team’s name intact, players will jump out of perfectly-good airplanes into opponents’ rinks ahead of road games.  Team members will also go through the Army’s Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia prior to the initial puck-drop on the 2017 season!
Meanwhile…the wingers, centers, defensemen and goalies are still proactively tryin’ to figure out how to fit their chutes into duffle bags already full of pads, helmets, hockey-sticks and…
(Drawin’ more protesters than the Dakota Access Pipeline!)
Army (+6) over #Navy (“under 47”) (@ Baltimore, MD): Line’s dropped from opening 8 ½ and could be lower than pair of field goals by kickoff. Middies were uncharacteristically in trouble even before starting QB Will Worth was sidelined with an early ankle problem during AAC Conference Championship game. It’s been a reversal-of-fortune in the turnover-arena for both teams this year. The Platoon was minus-8 this time last year, while the Ensigns strolled in at plus-15. Those numbers are now minus-3 and even, respectively. Worth’s departure contributed to Navy’s lowest scoring-output of the year (10) and first home-defeat since early-October of 2014 (loss to pretty-good 8-5 Western Kentucky). No surprise there. Worth was top-passer and top-rusher for the team, accounting for 8 aerial scores and 25 rushing scores. Next best rusher has half his yardage (almost a century-mark per game) per game and 20-fewer touchdowns (in 3 fewer games). Middies’ likely-starter under center has no starts, no touchdowns and two picks and will make first start of the year in a game of this magnitude (not nationally, but rivalry-wise). Some interesting stats emerge here. Marc Lawrence notes Navy has beaten the line just once in past seven after losing outright as a favorite and Army hasn’t covered last five tries getting less than 16 off a bye. Phil Steele notes Army has lost three of the four played in Baltimore, with the lone victory coming 92 seasons ago. As always, this contest features two of the best ground-games in the country (brides-maids to just New Mexico) and should keep the clock moving, limiting possessions and scoring-opportunities, particularly on the Army sideline, which has adopted traditionally a Joja’ Tech- or Gandalf-like (fer our fellow Lord of the Rings geeks out there) “You…shall not….pass….!” philosophy (FBS-last 79.9 ypg) Army also stops the run well. Navy does too, but those stats might be a tad-deceiving given Navy’s often large-leads that cause opponents to forego the run and try to throw to stay close. Soldiers have gone 7-2 “under” (including an “under” in OT) in FBS play. Boat People show 7-4 “over” but again, a significant portion of their scoring-potential is on the pine here. Comparing a common academy-foe, Black Knights lost by 19 on da’ Hudson River to Air Force, while Swabbies went down by 14 at Falcon Stadium. Neither has been exciting ATS…Army’s gone 5-4 in FBS play, Middies show slightly-better 6-4-1. President-Elect Trump will be in da’ stands on game-day. There’s prolly something clever we could say about that, but it escapes us currently. West Point could gain a sweep of AAC division-winners with the victory in light of season-opener road-triumph at said-conference champion Temple (by 15!). One knock on Army is fact that just two of five losses were decided by 7 or less in 2016, following four of five defeats by same margin last year. Momentum is a basically a push…Salty Dogs come in at 9-4 SU, Cadets have lost 5 of last 8. Army, averaging again-misleading-30 ppg, posted 60 or more three times…at UTEP, vs. UL-Lafayette and vs. FCS Morgan State, otherwise remaining eight matches show max of 31, with six of those at 21 or less. Vindy’s Picks has been on the right side ATS or total ho-ho-hum 3-2 over last five meetings (correctly backing Army twice and Navy once, failing on Navy once and over-under once). If it comes down to a FG to win it, ‘vantage Annapolis because Army’s kicking-game has been “not just a job, it’s been an adventure” (6 of 12 for mere fitty-percent success rate). No reason Army can’t can walk away triumphant, but little voice in Vindy’s head says win goes to…USNA 19 West Point 17

BTW, Vindy ain’t even qualified to para-sail!

As opposed to what the military branch-in-question sarcastically-refers to as “five-jump commandos”, Sin City skaters could actually have “jump-master” wings by the end of the regular-season! (And could be called upon to reinforce the 101st Airborne Screamin’ Iggles in the event of foreign or domestic hostilities!!)
Last April, members of da’ 173rd Airborne Brigade, on a training-mission in Germany, dropped supplies, vehicles, commo equipment and indirect weapons systems a long, long way above the Earth’s surface. A trio of Hummers was demolished after inadvertently wriggling-free of rigging as chutes opened. Investigators concluded the incident “was no accident”, but rather “a practice-run for retribution” in the event the Vegas hockey team used an unauthorized “Knights”!

Takin’ a few liberties with a Clint Eastwood quote from “Heartbreak Ridge”…”We pick swift. We pick silent. We pick deadly.”
If a Middies hockey player makes a big hit on an opposing-player, would it be “a ship-check and a beauty!”? If the player-in-question was part of Akron’s hockey team, would it be “a Zip-check and a beauty!”???!!!

Vindy caught a quick-glance at a headline last week referencing the “Fight for 15” and immediately wondered why folks were protesting in favor of personal-foul penalties!
Black Shirt: Sewing 11 of ‘em for the Penn State defense in light of late goal-line stand that completed da’ Lions’ rally and sent the Alma Mater to the Rose Bowl. Honorable-mention to New Mexico State QB Conner Cramer’s 35-yard scoring-throw with about a half-minute left to give the Aggies the cover over South ‘Bama and recording our first winning “best bets” tally in four weeks!

“Locked in a Box?”:  Navy’s loss to Temple drops the “lock” record to 7-7 (.500). (This time last year, we went 2-8 in championship week and were meager 4-10 (.286) for the lock tally).
Shoppe Talk: Vindy’s Army-Navy Best Bets: none    Last Week:  3-2 Season:  37-39 (.487)

Don’t touch that dial! We’ll be back circa December 16 with Part One of our infamous bowl predictions!

No comments: