Thursday, September 24, 2020

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2020

NFL FOOTBALL OPENS IN SIN CITY

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (TMZ)...The team formerly-known-as the Oakland Raiders made its debut this past Monday at the newly-constructed Allegiant Stadium against the New Orleans Saints. With the blessing of other organization big-wigs, the venue was recently nicknamed the “Death Star” by team-owner Mark Davis. Head Coach Jon Gruden was quoted as saying, in his best Clark Gable voice, “Frankly, Boba Fett...I don’t give a damn about Star Wars”. Davis eventually confronted Gruden, referring to him as Obi Jon Kenobi, in his best Darth Vader-voice, telling the coach, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” (though he was unable to make Gruden submit to the unseen throat-choking-grip). Viewers, during the Monday Night Football match, saw replicas of Stormtroopers, Ton-Tons and droids in the stands. In fact, eagle-eyed fans caught a glimpse of a Yoda-likeness barely peering just-above the stadium-seat in front of it! Sadly, we did a little choking of our own, managing just a sub-par 2-3 outing last week (6-2, .750). We’re lettin’ da’ clock run down to the two-mask warning ahead of...

THE WEBER KID’S 2020 WEEK 4 FORECAST

(“These aren’t the spreads yer lookin’ for.”)

SAT. SEP. 26

Kansas State (+26 ½) over #3 OKLAHOMA: In an earlier week of da’ Picks, we foresaw Clemson coming-out guns-blazing to erase the bad-taste of the national-title contest loss to LSU. That prediction didn’t pan-out. Likewise, Sooners suffered a similar-demise in the CFP vs. the Bayou Bengals. We’re reversing-course. Wildcats had the dubious-distinction of being one of a trio of B12 clubs that got their passes handed to ‘em by Fun Belt squads on September 12, dropping a 35-31 decision vs. Arkansas State. Okies weren’t tested in 48-0 blow-out of I-AA Mizzou State and line-up fer their real contest this Saturday...OK 37 KSU 21

Mississippi State @ #6 LSU (“over 54 ½”): Our initial-look at Burrow-less Bengals. Ed Orgeron made no friends amongst the LSU administration after blabbing that “most” of his team had contracted the ‘Rona. Not many first-stringers back from last season’s national championship squad, but Coach O, in his fourth year at the helm, has his guys on the field. We read an SEC preview somewhere online in which the writer labeled the Bulldogs campaign a “tire-fire”. Mike Leach takes over as HC for the Bulldogs, who’ve covered one of last seven getting points away from Starkville. Tygahs have only a trek to Vandy on-deck. In 2019, MSU permitted 56 @ Auburn, 49 at A&M, 38 @ ‘Bama and 38 vs. Louisville in the bowl-loss...LSU 41 Canines 20

#9 Texas @ TEXAS TECH (“under 69”): Under now-4th-year HC Tom Herman, Steers have made steady progress in ppg on O. Unfortunately, the scoring-D has gone bizarro-world opposite direction, but should be solid in 2020, as represented by 59-3 triumph vs. UTEP to begin the season. Guns Up tallied only four wins last year, but like UT, is expected to be better on the stop-side. Mere 35-33 victory over I-AA Houston Baptist (on the failure of HBU’s late missed two-point conversion) does not give us the warm-and-fuzzy, but we’re not comfortable layin’ da’ juice with the Cattle...Hook ‘Em 35 Red Raiders 24

#22 Army (+11 ½) over #14 CINCINNATI: POSSIBLE UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Keydets already have two decisive victories notched (though both at home and neither against anyone special [Middle Tennessee and Weeziana-Cornrow]), but the I-A live-fire contests would seem to give to them the advantage over Bearkats’ squad, who was not challenged in lone game vs. FCS Austin Peay (55-20). Army is 2-0 SU/ATS, with two “unders” (both posted-totals in mid-fifties). Long Grey Line is poised for nice return after putting just five wins in the straight-up column in 2019. Cincy, who’s won 22 of last 27 on the scoreboard, but gone just-okay 15-10-2 ATS last two campaigns, needs more discipline after being a season-long flag-fest last year. Two of Bearkats’ three outright defeats coming-in came vs. Memphis. Having played Navy in the Arkham Asylum Conference, Cincinnati has seen Navy’s version of the option, but...UC 28 Platoon 27

#20 VIRGINIA TECH (-3 ½) over NC State: Tech takes the field fer da’ first-time in earnest after previous match went away under public heath-conditions that pushed-out the original 9/12 match-up. Pack was fortunate to dodge defeat at hands of majorly-inexperienced Demon Deacons offense that bashed da’ scoreboard fer 42 in 45-42 win. Hokies have been lousy home-chalk, showing 3-8 in that role the past two-outings, but bring back 18 returning-starters while State shows just 5 back on defense from 2019 squad...VT 34 NC State 17

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS

BTW, a late change-of-plans saw local Las Vegas musical group The Killers replaced by the Mos Eisley Cantina Band as the halftime-show! Following-up on last week’s lead story...we made a killing selling our decades-old collection of Chuck-E-Cheese tokens! Excitement and anticipation quickly turned into panic as Vin damaged the ceiling of the currently-shuttered locals' Eldorado casino, that includes a small-sportsbook, after use of helium balloons went awry during a virtual Vindy’s Picks- Reveal Party! The control-nozzle on a helium machine used to fill balloons announcing the selections inexplicably broke-off, saturating the venue with gas and over-inflating balloons to the point of bursting, sending our flustered-forecaster and his camera-crew rushing to exits while sounding like a Munchkin-scene from “Wizard of Oz”! Thankfully, no injuries were reported. Film at Eleven!

Wake Forest’s host-match this weekend vs. da' Frightenin’ Irish has been postponed due to an outbreak of...well...you know...in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus. Vindy’s spies report the confessionals in South Bend are now being occupied by appropriately-clothed mannequins behind the screens, while students fess-up to their errant- ways, saying things like...”Forgive me, Father...for I have sinned...I wore my face-covering below my nose at Saturday’s game.”

Given the usual-plethora of COVID-19 assessment questions, are athletes, before being admitted to practice-facilities or the actual field-of-play, being asked “Have you been outside the United States in the past 14 plays”???!!!

Pardon our previous-ignorance, but when we saw one of the Cleveland MLB team’s nicknames back in the day as Naps, we pictured a club that instead of the 7th-inning stretch, busted-out towels/blankets on the diamond to catch forty-winks! Based on the fact that the nickname originated from a top-player whose name was “Napoleon”, we can also surmise its hurlers always kept one hand inside their uniform while deliverin’ a pitch!

Back in February, Knights owner Bill Foley declared the Henderson-based minor league squad could potentially be called “Silver Knights”. He did not, however, rule-out “Tin” or “Aluminum” Knights! The latter, of course, woulda’ facilitated a sponsorship by Reynolds Wrap!

Wish We Had It Back: Yep, we called it! LOUISVILLE –2 ½ over Miami, as the Redbirds lost outright 47-34!

Black Shirt: This week’s Terrific Tee goes to Navy kicker Daniel Davies fer 33-yard-FG with about two-minutes left to give the Middies (+8) the serious-comeback win at Tulane, validating one of two correct “best bet” choices!!

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 6-2 (.750) Kansas @ BAYLOR “over 59 ½”, Tulane –3 over SUDDEN MISSED, Duke @ VIRGINIA “under 45 ½” (Yeah, we know. Generally, we offer four wagers here, but we just didn’t find anything else we were at least semi-confident in.)

Next Week...our musings on...the 2020 NFL Draft! (Yer gonna’ like that one!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Vindy's Picks Week 3-2020

LEGAL TENDER DEFICIT ALTERS GRIDIRON PROCEDURE 

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (UPI)…The current pandemic led the Department of the Treasury, which oversees the local U.S. Mint, to declare a national coin-shortage. As a result, referees at various levels have been left scrambling and scurrying to find suitable replacements to determine the initial-possession at any given football game. Grocery stores, banks and fast-food establishments, among other vendors and businesses, have implemented debit/credit card or exact-change-only policies. In fact, some referees have resorted to tossing dollar-bills or wooden nickels. At least one officiating-crew was spotted scouring an antiques store in search of vintage soda-bottle caps and Las Vegas casino managers have anonymously-confirmed multitudes of high schools, colleges, and even the National Football League, have contacted them regarding acquisition of poker chips!

Our not-so-prestigious prognosticator opened the 2020 campaign with a “meh”-rated 2-2 (.500) try, but those who put any faith at all in our “best-bets” enuff to fork-over some paper-moolah were duly-rewarded as those choices went a sparking 4-0! Featuring Mike Perrera in da' booth, it’s...

THE WEBER KID’S 2020 WEEK 3 FORECAST 
 (Now available for delivery and curb-offside-pick-six-up!)

SAT. SEPT. 19

South Florida @ #7 NOTRE DAME (“under 50 ½”): Vaunted Irish QB Ian Sportsbook and company floundered early on offense against Duke (see our “Black Shirt” segment below), while Bulls didn’t exactly overwhelm I-AA Citadel in 27-6 snoozer. The bottom fell outta’ USF’s offense last season by more than 100 ypg, resulting in 4-8 campaign. No indication that’s been fixed. If ya like takin’ da’ points (+25 as we go to press), Marc Lawrence has South Florida covering last 8 getting more than 7 away vs. a non-conference foe. BTW, Vindy’s spies have revealed that the banner over the tunnel that leads into Notre Dame Stadium now reads “Wash Yer Hands Like A Champion Today”! ...Leprechauns 29 USF 13 

Tulsa @ #11 OKLAHOMA STATE (“Over 66”): We erroneously had this one being played in Week 2. So be it. Nothing has occurred (not even the increased total) to make us change our thoughts, so we’ll just re-print that puppy... Golden Hurricane has steadily improved it’s SU-win total the past few seasons from 2 in 2017 to 3 in 2018 to 4 in 2019 and Marc Lawrence shows Tulsa covering eleven of past dozen versus a better-than-.600 opponent. Cowpokes look poised to make a significant jump and bring back 10 on the stop-squad, but Tulsa D looks like swiss-cheese early, while a solid-O awaits its turn... State 44 Gilded Blow-Hards 30 

#14 Central Florida (-7 ½) over GEORGIA TECH: Bees’ (+11 ½) upset at Florida State did not get them enough recognition to crack the AP Top 25 (#28 with 69 votes; though Coaches Poll was a bit kinder, stranding Wreck at #26 with 97 tallies). No diss to the Insects, but Seminoles have lost on the scoreboard three straight openers facing better-opposition. Tech has 19 returning starters back following three-win campaign that included a 2019 defeat at the hands of FCS Citadel. Golden Knights of UCF have pocketed 22 of last 26 under third-year Coach Heupel. Jackets, meanwhile, will spend the week focusing on the kicking-game in light of Tribe rejecting a pair of three-point-tries!...UCF 44 Wasps 27

#18 LOUISVILLE (-2 ½) over #17 Miami: No faith in this pick. Best guess fer “wish we had it back”. With Brigham Young @ ARMY being deferred to another time, this is the lone contest between two ranked squads. We seriously-contemplated the “under 62”. Both covered double-digit spreads in their 2020 starts (though neither impressively). ‘Canes off first SU-losing year since 2014 as the ground-game suffered a nose-dive. Redbirds have had this one circled since 52-27 loss in 2019 to the Pelicans. Coach Satterfield directed Cardinals from 2-10 to 8-5 in his rookie-outing as HC...Sluggers 21 ‘Canes 17 

GEORGIA STATE (+17) over #19 UL-Lafayette: Cajuns managed their first-ever away-triumph against a ranked-opponent, decisively, behind some nice kick-returns over then-#25 Dust Devils of Iowa State. The victors’ joyful-response on the field was subdued because “we expect that”. We cry “Horse-hockey!” Early pass-drops doomed ISU (though at –10 ½, the lines-makers weren’t all-in on the pre-season hype for the Cyclones). Behind closed-doors, ya know it was Mardi Gras 2.0! Panthers bring back 16 starters and should be much-improved over D that granted 36 ppg and dropped 4 tilts by more than this in 2019. Lafayette now 12-3 SU in past 15 contests and per Marc Lawrence, has covered six-straight laying points on the road. Something has to give...ULL 34 Joja’ State 24 

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS 

BTW, is anybody else out there waiting to hear...”Good afternoon, Gentlemen. Today, we’ll be using a commemorative 2020-‘coin’. The Coronavirus particle represents ‘heads’, the Asian Murder-Hornet will represent ‘tails’......the host-team has won da’ toss and will defer the pandemic to the second-half.”

With social-distancing protocols in-place on the field, will linemen need to maintain a six-foot buffer between each other? Talk about a spread-offense! Will every snap then predictably come from da’ shot-gun?! Will there be “face-covering penalties”???!!!...”Unsportsmanlike-conduct, number 54..
defense...taunting...lowering da’ face-covering after da’ play.” 

During Sunday’s NFL season-opener, Derek Carr included the name of Coach Gruden’s wife in his signal-calling on a play vs. the Panthers. Sources close to the team have confirmed the Raiders’ QB will bark-out “Vindy’s Picks” as an audible in the upcoming Monday-Nighter against Da’ Saints! 

 Is it just a matter of time before proactive-vendors start offerin’ to buy advertising-space on the masks work by coaches, officials and team-staffers?! 

 Last month, former Olympic speed-skater Eddy Alvarez assumed the diamond for the first time fer the Marlins. While ice-skates don’t function nearly as well on dirt as they do on ice, the Sochi silver-medalist turned a bloop-single into three runs-scored, all on his own, before the ball was even fielded

 In July, a Magic City dancer claimed she performed for Lou Williams, disputing the Clippers guard’s assertion he was “in-and-out" of the establishment, merely acquiring some chicken wings. Once back on the court, did the player hit “nothin’ but nylons”...”nothin’ but fishnets”?! Did Coach punish him by making him run extra lap-dances?! 

Given the excessive-number of penalty-calls during the Carolina Hurricanes- NY Rangers play-in round of the NHL in August, we’re inclined to believe the *officials* on the ice were cardboard cut-outs on skates and whose raised-hands were manipulated by team-staffers in the stands! Akin to what used-to-be the automatic “clipping- penalty on any NFL kick-off! 

Hooray Fer Da’ Little Guy: Guns-Up of Texas Tech survived a failed late 4th-Quarter two-point conversion to escape FCS Houston Baptist 35-33, while Joja’ Sudden went all-Matrix and dodged the bullet in 27-26 win vs. Campbell! 

Black Shirt: This season’s inaugural exceptional ebony-tee goes to Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees for orchestrating a consecutive trio of three-and-outs to open the match vs. Duke, helping keep the final tally “under 53 ½”! In fact, the Blue Devils out-yarded (is that a word?!) Our Lady on offense 151-13 in the first-stanza! 

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-0 (1.000) Season: 4-0 (1.000) Liberty @ WESTERN KENTUCKY “under 53 ½”, Navy +7 ½ over TULANE, Troy @ MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE “over 64 ½”, Southern Methadone –14 over NORTH TEXAS

Friday, September 11, 2020

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2020 Forecast

SIN CITY SOOTHSAYER EJECTED FROM COURT-ROOM

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (REUTERS)...Leaked-records, months after-the-fact, reveal the Vegas Vindicator, on-site in the Nation’s Capital to watch Supreme Court-proceedings involving an age-discrimination case, got himself ousted from the gallery. Immediately-after John Roberts spouted the phrase “Okay, Boomer.”, never-previously-heard in said-venue, the prestigious-prognosticator briefly-interrupted the Chief Justice, asking if the reference was to former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Esiason, ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman or Oklahoma’s covered-wagon Schooner! Not-amused, Roberts quickly held the Vindicator in contempt of tennis-court and instructed the bailiff to escort the obnoxious-oracle to a nearby holding-cell. Rarin’-to-go following an offseason spent recovering from the Daytona500virus while washin’ his hand-offs and flattening his curve-ball between cameo appearances on Detroit Tiger King and no ranked teams playing until now, Vindy breaks the huddle with his 2020 Preseason Forecasting Strategy Team of...fired former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora; Ryan Diaz, Mayor of Seltzer, Pennsylvania; the Houston Astros, Sonic da’ Hedgehog, Darryl the Progressive Insurance Big-Foot, Joe Exotic, NFL 5th-round draft-pick from Marshall Kicker Justin Wahrwasser, Quickbooks’ Koala-Kai Dojo, U.S. astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, Liberty Mutual’s Limu da’ Emu, Baby Shark, Baby Yoda, First Presidential Sister Maryanne Trump Barry and GEICO’s “Aunt Joanie” to present...

THE WEBER KID’S 2020 WEEK 2 FORECAST

  (Now available in China on TikTok!)

SAT. SEPT. 12

#1 Clemson (-32 ½) over WAKE FOREST: The Revenant Reverends will bear the brunt of an offseason-long frustration brewing since Clemson’s epic melt-down, especially on defense, as the Tigers collectively coughed-up 42 points in loss to LSU in the National Championship game (For those who’ve forgotten, Vindy correctly had the Bayou Bengals -6 in that one!). That was the most points-allowed by CU since 2016 mid-season 43-42 defeat at Pitt and to further put that in perspective, Tigers were allowing paltry 11.5 ppg in the previous 14 matches ahead of the contest vs. State. Deacs lost 55-3 last year and return just 3 on offense. “Under 60 ½” would be worth a look here too...Spiccoli & Company 49 Devils 0

#3 Alabama: IDLE (next @ Missouri 9/26)

#4 Georgia: IDLE (next @ Arkansas 9/26)

Missouri State @ #5 OKLAHOMA: No line.

#6 LSU: IDLE (next vs. Mississippi State 9/26)

#8 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Ole Miss 9/26)

Duke @ #10 NOTRE DAME (“under 53 ½"): Hard-pressed to lay about three-touchdowns with Our Lady here, despite the early-season hype for an improved running-game. Irish are also a bit short on returning defensive starters, but yielded just 18 ppg in each of the past two seasons, as they seek 4th-straight year of DD outright wins. Devils went 5-7 in 2019 and hopefully there’s been some focus on ball-security during practices as Marc Lawrence noted Blue Beezlebubs were 4th-worst nationally in fumbles-lost last season...Leprechauns 29 Duke 10

#11 Auburn: IDLE (next vs. Kentucky 9/26)

#13 Texas A&M: IDLE (next vs. Vanderbilt 9/26)

Texas-El Paso (+43) over #14 TEXAS: Horns’ have improved points-scored but points-permitted has also gone up in each of the past previous two campaigns. Just can’t, in all good conscience, lay this many with Steers squad that has covered da-spread-in-question by this many just one time in last 10 years, factoring-in a fire-sale on assistant coaches during the lay-off, besting perennial punching-bag New Mexico State 56-7 in 2016, and haven’t been within grenade-range of covering in the other nine. As poor as they’ve been outright (back-to-back one-victory seasons, preceded by a winless-outing in 2017), Miners, in their third-year under Coach Dama Dimel, show reasonable 6-10-2 away-dog ATS record and haven’t been on the wrong-end of this kinda’-margin since mid-2016 66-14 home-loss to Army!...Cattle 41 UTEP 10

Tulsa @ #15 OKLAHOMA STATE (“over 61”): Golden Hurricane has steadily improved it’s SU-win total the past few seasons from 2 in 2017 to 3 in 2018 to 4 in 2019 and Marc Lawrence shows Tulsa covering eleven of past dozen versus a better-than-.600 opponent. Cowpokes look poised to make a significant jump and bring back 10 on the stop-squad, but Tulsa D looks like swiss-cheese early, while a solid-O awaits its turn...State 44 Gilded Blow-Hards 30

#18 NORTH CAROLINA (-20 ½) over Syracuse: Carolina’s re-signing of HC Mack Brown produced instant results in the form of a five-game SU-win improvement over 2018! Heels almost (our father used to say “Almost is only useful in ‘horseshoes and hand-grenades'”) toppled national-championship runner-up Clemson in 21-20 demise last season while making definitive-strides in ultimate 7-6 outing. UNC bettered the offensive-output by 6 ppg and trimmed points-permitted by 10 ppg. Carolina dropped all half-dozen defeats by a single-possession. Last meeting was a 40-37 triumph by the Orange at the carrier Dome in 2018. That should provide sufficient bulletin-board material inn Chapel Hill for this one. ‘Cuse are down defensively this time-around and have new coordinators on both sides of the ball...UNC 40 Orange 16

#20 Cincinnati: IDLE (next vs. Austin Peay 9/19)

#21 Central Florida: IDLE (next @ Georgia Tech 9/19)

Louisiana-Lafayette @ #23 IOWA STATE (-10 ½) (56 ½): Pass.

#25 Tennessee: IDLE (next @ South Carolina 9/26)

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS

BTW, not long after his incarceration, Vindy ran a post-bail route and got released on his own-recognizance!

Fer inquiring-mimes that wanna’ know...our preseason forecasting strategy-team practices were held without spectators at an otherwise-abandoned Mar-a-Lago, graciously-donated to us by the POTUS after taking some heat fer originally-planning a G-7 Summit at said-resort! (BTW, there were plenty of separate rooms, so meetings via Microsoft Teams or ZOOM weren’t necessary!)

As we note this time each year, from 1993-2008, at least two teams unranked in the AP preseason poll finished in the final AP poll that same season. In 2009, only Cincinnati did so, and in 2010, only Stanford pulled that off. 2011 saw no qualifiers! But 2012 saw a return-to-form, with Notre Dame (#26 preseason) and Texas A&M (no votes in the preseason poll) finishing 4th and 6th, respectively, after opening the season without a hashtag by their names. 2013 had four (count ‘em, four!) make da’ cut...title-game loser #2 Auburn, #3 Michigan State (which was #26 in the preseason poll), #5 Mizzou and #10 Central Florida. TCU ended the 2014-15 season at #3, while Joja’ Tech came in at #8. Da’ Coogs of Houston and da’ Iowa Hawkeyes, who grabbed no votes whatsoever in da’ 2015 initial poll, finished at #38 and #9, respectively. In 2016, the Wisky Badgers were unranked in the #28-hole (21 tallies), but closed at 39, while da’ Alma Mater warranted zero “Ayes”, yet went home to #7. In 2017, neither Central Florida nor TCU (opened at #26 with 98 votes) got any August-love, but closed-out at #6 (second time in five years fer da’ Golden Knights!) and #9, respectively. In 2018, initially-sportin' da’ Romulan cloaking-device, Florida and Wazzou stood-in at #7 (again!) and #10 respectively in the final AP rankings! Last season, the Gilded Gerbils of Minnesota, started the year more than a Baker’s Dozen from the rankings, but made the cut at #10 in the final rankings! And upon further review...goin’ back to 2002, a minimum of one team in the AP Preseason Top Ten each season has finished outside da’ rankings in the final AP Poll fer that year. Then-#8 Miami AP Preseason Top 10 finished with nary-an-*aye* in 2019 Final AP Poll! Then-#9 Auburn finished at #32 garnering 15 tallies, while then-#4 Wisconsin got all of two ballots. Yer mission...should ya’ choose to accept it, is to figure-out who da’ posers are among…Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Penn State, Florida, Oregon and Notre Dame! (Disclaimer: the Buckeyes, Nifty Lions and Ducks have already thrown in the towel on a Fall season, so that narrows the choices!)

FYI...publication of this year’s AP preseason-rankings were held-up temporarily due to the use of Shadow, the same app that flustered results of the Iowa caucus!

Takin’ a page from the Oregon Ducks’ playbook, Vindy will use a quad of signs featuring a variety of symbols and images, includin’ Hollywood Squares, to signal-in betting-plays. In fact, spoiler-alert, we’re offerin’-up Paul Lynde for da’ kick-block!

Vindy comes to the position of attention and renders a warm-salute to Army...which notched its first shut-out in 2 ½ years with 42-0 over Middle Tennessee and second in 8 ½ years since 2012 season-finale. Making it all the more-impressive...da’ Blue Raiders haven’t been white-washed on offense since 2012 finale!

BTW, this week on the Silver Screen...FBI-agent Keanu Reeves pursues Patrick Swayze as a rogue Keydet/surfer in “West Point-Break" COVID-19 has created new statistical-categories...success on down-and-social distance, as well as yards-after-contact-tracing! More thoughts on the topic in Week 3!

No fans were in attendance for this year’s delayed Run Fer Da’ Roses as “Authentic” upset race-fave “Tiz Da’ Law”, but there were plenty of lovely cut-outs of oversized-bonnets and mint-juleps in da’ stands!

Hooray fer Da’ Little Guy: Hats-off to FCS-preseason-unranked Stephen F. Austin for mere 24-14 loss at UTEP and Da’ Bears of then #11 Central Arkansas for shootout-defeat 45-35 at UAB. Up next: Eastern Kentucky @ WEST VIRGINIA, Citadel @ SOUTH FLORIDA, Campbell @ JOJA’ SUDDEN, Austin Peay @ PITT, Mizzou State @ #OKLAHOMA and Houston Baptist @ TEXAS TECH.

In February, two Little League baseball teams in California banned the “Astros”-moniker in light of the whole sign-stealin'-thing. Both clubs, did however, reportedly-adopt the nickname Ass-Trolls!

The pandemic left bettors with little to wager on except Korean baseball and Russian Periodic-Table Tennis!

Shoppe Talk: Last Season: Wisconsin (1-6, .142), Florida (2-6, .250), Utah 2-5 (.285), Auburn (2-5-2, .285). With the Badgers and Utes on the bench until further notice, the Tigers and Gators are now officially on notice! We’ll be watchin’!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Season: 32-67 (.561) UL-Monroe @ ARMY “under 55 ½”, Coastal Carolina +4 over KANSAS, Texas-San Antonio +7 over TEXAS STATE, SOUTH ALABAMA +9 over Tulane

Up next...more offseason silliness, commentary on playoffs for other sports and some thoughts on...the No Face-Covering League!

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Vindy's Picks 2019-2020 National Championship Prediction

BID FAILS TO LAND NEW TEAM MEMBER 
 
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP)…Mere-days before his stay at Jerry Jones’ luxury-digs, the newly-anointed Dallas Cowboys’ head-guy, Mike McCarthy, spent a night at the modest personal-residence of the Vegas Vindicator, who was vying for the loyalty of the well-known coach to his 2020 Pre-Season Forecasting Strategy Team. The famous-forecaster pulled-out all the stops, showing his hoped-for recruit a snowy-cabin at Mt. Charleston, a tandem bungi-jump from atop the Strat, Elvis-impersonators, and even a venture on the Slot-Receiver-Zilla zip-line in Downtown Vegas, before returning to Chez Vindy for a hearty-meal of chicken-flavored Ramen ahead of some hot-chocolate and a game of Monopoly: The Wayne Newton Edition. With Vindicator, donning his Frozen Too pajamas, the outing ultimately-ended in McCarthy anxiously-crashing on the sofa in the man-cave” while Vindicator cuddled with his Carrot-Top plush-doll!  
Half-a-century after being scribed, a message was found in a bottle off the coast of Canberra, Australia in July 2019. Turns out it was a precursor to...
 
THE WEBER KID’S 2019-20 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTION 
(Being perpetually-stopped-short on 4th-and-goal from the Twilight End-Zone!)
 
MON. JAN. 13 
 
CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PRESENTED BY AT&T (@ New Orleans, LA)  
 
#1 Louisiana State (-6) over #3 Clemson: Be advised...we’ve made incorrect-calls on the title-game back-to-back (taking “under” da’ total on both occasions) after correctly-predicting ‘Bama-Clemson “over 50 ½” in 2017). Honestly, Weeziana State looks unstoppable. Granted, Sooners played as little-defense as most other B12 squads, but LSU QB Burrow and his receivers made Oklahoma look like something closer to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (with all-apologies to da’ Golden Norsemen). He was spot-on throwing and his receivers made some seriously-nice catches in the rout. Admittedly, Spooner-penalties and some officiating-blunders helped. Clemson recovered from being 16-points-in-da'-red to win and cover. Buckeyes might have a beef for lost-TD, but water-under-da'-bridge at this point! Looking at statistical-comparisons, not a lot of significant-differences until we get to 1) opponent outright win-loss records...Bengals’ foes tallied 76-66 (ten-games over .500, .535 overall, six teams over .500, five with eight or more victories). CU squared-off vs. cumulative 65-76 (eleven-contests below .500, .458 overall, four teams over .500, exactly two-clubs with eight-wins). Clemson leads the nation at stonewall-worthy 10.6 ppg-allowed. State yielded nearly 11-ppg-more at 21.2 (though bottom fell outta’ that number to 15 ppg over last three games). Tigers prevent ground-games at 106.2 ypg, but that may be deceptive considering only two-victories by less than 17 or fewer. The real-measure will be CU’s pass-D at138.5 yards per contest vs. Burrow, who’s tossinfer damn-near 400 yards-per-game. LSU gave-up 20 aerial-scores and grabbed 17 INT. Clemson ceded just 8 passing-TDS vs. 17 picks, but let’s face it, it sat dead-red on throws up-big early! Venue likely puts more Bengals’-backers in the stands at the Superdome than Clemson-fans. CU ain’t takin’ da’ gridiron vs. opponent from the Also-Competed Conference. Clemson has now dodged a bullet twice with Buckeyes missing-out on controversial-TD in 6-point-loss. Burrow and his wide-outs won’t be shooting fish-in-a-barrel this time... nonetheless, we think asking less-than-a-touchdown is reasonable...LSU 41 Clemson 31 
2019-20 BOWL RECAP 
We never established any traction in what was basically a rugby-scrum between us and da’ bookies throughout Parts I & II, culminating in a 5-5 preferred-picks tally and our “best bets” for that period were anything-but at 1-5 (.167) didn’t improve much ongoing (see Between Da’ Hashmarks below). Part III, however, in particular Cincinnati’s cover (-7 ½), secured a minimum .500 on the bowl-campaign with two contests to be decided and resulted in a 4-1 record and cumulative-not-too-shabby 9-6 (.600)! Looking at conference-performance (or ”performance”) of-note...the Mountain Jest won 4 of 7 outright and beat the line in 5 of those 7. Conversely, the Big Twelve was essentially a no-show, going 1-5 SU/ATS.  The lines-makers were once-again on-fleek. Chalk covered 21 of the 39 played thus-far, and 21 of those tilts went “under” the total. ‘Dogs who won ATS were also-victorious straight-up in 10 of the 18 (.556). 
 
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
 
BTW, McCarthy, when pressed fer what he took-away from his “thorough-review” of Vindicator’s weekly-analysis, would later cop to the mistruth he told the Weber Kid that he’d “read every 2019 blog-post fer Vindy’s Picks”, conceding “Um...no...I hadn’t done that. I said I did because, “at the time, I was still interested in the position.” 
 
In early December, Burrow asserted “...we’ll play anybody, anywhere...you can take us to Canada, and we’ll play on a gravel-lot". This just in...two weeks after the National Championship game, the Tigers will face the defending-CFL-champion Winnepeg Blue-Bombers...in Manitoba...on specified-rocky-surface! 
 
Is it just us or does Jambalaya Joe resemble Criminal Minds-regular Dr. Spencer Reid?! Change the hairstyle a bit and...boom...local Las Vegas-product Matthew Gray-Gubler!
 
If the aforementioned-quarterback was to inexplicably-fall into the hands of the New England Patriots on Draft-Day, would he be forever known as “Joe Foxborough”???!!! 
 
Nick Saban’s recent-appearance with a duck in an insurance-company's ad leads us to utter... ”Alabamaffflaaaaac!” 
 
The Minnesota Golden Gophers coach PJ Fleck has emphasized the mantra “Row Da’ Boat”. Minny played the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following the team’s victory, staffers have commandeered the Buccs’ vessel and are sailing-home...up the Atlantic Coast into the Great Lakes, eventually-docking in Minneapolis! 
 
In related news, if Fleck was at the helm fer Louisiana State, would said-motivational-chant be “Reaux Da’ Beuaxt”???!!! 
Has anyone else noticed that the Rose Bowl, known as the “Granddaddy of Them All”, ie. GOTA, is just one dyslexic-moment-away from the...GOAT???!!!! 
 
BTW, Outback offered to give-away free Bloomin’-Onions if the SEC club, Auburn, won its namesake bowl...coconut-chips if the B10-contestant was victorious. Because coconuts are abundant in the nation’s “bread-basket”!!!!???!!! 
Congrats to the Liberty Flames who won (and covered) their bowl-game in their first season of FBS-eligibility. FightinFalwells are enjoying a nice campaign on the hardwood at 16-1. Likewise, we salute the Alma Mater’s hoops-squad, showing 12-3 SU to-date. 
 
No word yet if a film-crew vetted-by New England will shoot covert-video of the Cincinnati war-room in April to help the Pats gain an unacknowledged-advantage during the NFL Draft! 
 
If Tyrion Lannister meets Tennessee’s NFL-team, would he hear a reference to “the God of Titans and wine”???!!! GoT-fans will know that reference! 
 
On New Year’s Day, SyFy ran its annual “Twilight End-Zone" marathon! 
 
Also hitting the small-screen...a reboot of “Party of Five-Yard Penalty”! 
 
At the theatre...Da’ Rock returns to his gridiron days in...”Jumanji: The Next Level-Da-'Playing Field!” 
 
Takin’ some liberties with a quote by Martin Luther King, the historical-figure-in-question being recognized this month, we propose...”A measure of a man is not where he picks, but how he picks.” 
 
Vindy drew rave-reviews for donning a pair of Vera Wang cleats and matching-uni at the recent 2020 Golden Globes Awards! And with Ricky Gervais making it clear he would not do so again, our odious-oracle was invited to host next year’s gala event! 
 
Shakira will be one of two performers doin’ the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Can‘t wait to hear belt-out “Hip-Checks Don’t Lie” and  “Underneath Yer Clothesline-Tackle”! 
 
(We actually have some other stuff that are more-generic, so we’ll keep emfer next year!) 
 
Black Shirt: Part III’s colossal-cloth goes to Middies’ K Bijan Nichols fer 23-yard-chippie-FG with :02 left to bring-home our Best Bet of Navy –2 ½ over Kansas State! Honorable-mention to UL-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier for letting his Ragin’ Cajuns just run out the clock, up by 10 with two-minutes to play and already deep in Miami-O territory. (And a tip-da'-hemet to Georgia DB Richard LeCounte for snagging two picks vs. Baylor in the waning-moments, keeping the Bears at-bay enuff to allow the ‘Dawgs’-cover.) 
 
Vindy’s Bowl Predictions Part III Best Bets: 2-2  Bowl Season: 3-7 (.300) Season: 32-27 (.561) 
 
LEFTOVER HASH (Yes, we know that’s redundant. Vindicator now conducts the yearly “emptying of the arsenal” and expends all the stuff he had at his disposal throughout the season that didn’t previously-find its way into the forecast...until now.) In no particular order... 
 
In May,huge fan” Nick Saban predicted the end of Game of Thrones, calling “Jon Snow is going to wiggle his way in there (to sit the Iron Throne)”. Nice try, Coach. Meanwhile, Vin erroneously took Arya Stark +3 kingdoms.  St. Nick went on to quip, “We’d go North and try to recruit some of those guys (White Walkers).” Your prestigious prognosticator, however, got (GoT?!) da’ last laugh, signing some Free-Folk giants and a couple five-star-prospect Thenns, garnering a higher-ranked 2019-recruiting class than the Tide! Hello...are ya listening, Big Ten???!! UAB would, at minimum, recruit dragons and da’ Red Witch! 
 
If said-fantasy/drama-series meets football...Vindicator stands-behind Jon Snow...the King of Da' North Carolina...uh...Northern Illinois...er...Northeastern???!!!! 
 
If a certain episode of Game of Thrones had been filmed in Happy Valley, would we have heard..."A Nittany Lion doesn't concern itself with the opinions of the sheep"???!!! 
 
Come to think of it...reading the online Penn State Alumni News, Vindy noticed the headline...Alumni Association Launches Alumni Plaza”. We initially saw that as “Alumni Pizza”!
 
Little-known fact fer appropriate-fans...Vindy was Best-Man at the real-life June-wedding of Kit Harrington (AKA Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie (AKA Ygritte)! 
 
Last Spring, Rocky Top professor Molly McCanta was in the midst of a three-year study of previously-unopened moon rocks acquired decades ago. In related news, she will also provide analysis of Volunteers playbooks, written but unused from that same timeframe! 
 
Similarly, a couple of months later, a Rocky Mountain State collaborative discovered 900-year-old inscriptions at some ruins in New Mexico and will try to make some sense of the X’s and O’s left by Lobos coaches that long-ago! 
 
At one-point in the season, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks busted-out a trick-play and lined-up in the fidget-spinner formation, protecting the ball-carrier in the center while teammates evolved around him, much like a buzz-saw cuts through trees. The play was a major-success, but was called back as the team flagged for illegal procedure/formation for not enough spinners on the line-of-scrimmage! 
 
A judge ruled against Georgia, noting it has to phase-out paperless voting machines by 2020. AP and Coaches Poll-voters from the Peach State immediately filed a formal-complaint!
 
Prior to the start of Super Bowl 53, Sam Adams honored Tom Brady with a brewski called “Too Old, Too Slow, Still Here.” Patriots officials have adamantly-denied rumors that the carbonation of the beer was intentionally-deflated to make the bottles easier to grasp!
 
Bruce Willis was booed by the crowd after horrible first-pitch at Phillies’ game in May. Undaunted, Will turned to the stands and reprised a famous-line from “Die Hard”, stating “Yippee-ki-yay, Mutha-F**ka'.” 
 
Had Tyrion Lannister met Tennessee’s NFL-squad, would we have heard a reference to da’ “Gods of Titans and Wine”???!!! 
 
If a summer-blockbuster Marvel Comics-flick meets football meets a popular HBO series in...”Avengers: Tight-End-Game of Thrones” 
 
In May 19, Vindy caught a headline asking “Is Carolina’s Flex-Friday just a way to show Cam is still in shape?” Said-media source’s journalist-piece is inquiring if Vindy’s “Flax-Friday” is merely a publicity-stunt showin’-off your narrator’s Howdy-Doody physique!!!! 
 
That same month, Adam “Pac-Man” Jones ended a career following 14 seasons. Our response...”Wocka-wocka-wocka-wocka-wocka!” 
 
July 20, 2019 marked the 50th-anniversary of Apollo 11 moon-landing! One Euro-step for Man-to-man coverage, one giant-leap-year fer Mankind! 
 
And finally...as we head-off to replace Taylor Swift’s character in a sequel to the big-screen version of “Cats”, we leave the loyal-readership with our annual Irish blessing...”May da’ road-’dog rise up to beat you.” (Sumthin like that!) 
 
Until next August...Air Forecast One has gone wheels-up!