Friday, December 16, 2005

Vindy's 2005-06 Bowl Picks


MIAMI, Florida (BBC)...In an unprecedented display of holiday cheer, two American sports institutions have reached out to two of the world’s most notorious figures. After being "honored" by Fidel Castro’s reference to him as President Bush’s "fat, little brother in Florida", Sunshine State governor, Jeb Bush sent a ticket to the Cuban leader for the governor’s luxury suite at Miami’s Dolphin Stadium, which will host this year’s Orange Bowl between the LSU Tigers and the Miami Hurricanes. No word on whether the communist dictator will accept the offer.
Meanwhile, the West Point Military Academy opened its stadium locker room to Saddam Hussein after the former Iraqi president complained at his trial that he had been denied the opportunity to shower. Members of the Golden Knights football team escorted Saddam to the showers and after Hussein emerged rather bruised and battered, an anonymous trainer said, "Damnedest thing I ever saw. That Hooosane fella’ kept slippin’ and slidin’ on that bar of soap. Musta’ been...two-...three hundred times!"

The sound of linemen driving on blocking sleds made entirely of discarded packages of fruitcake can signal only one thing.....the return of...

(Using lines of Dec. 15; over/under totals in parentheses. Known side effects include: fresher breath, lower cholesterol, world peace, nuclear disarmament, clean politics, natural male enhancement, natural female enhancement, brighter smile, better satellite reception, a stronger economy, cheaper oil prices and relief of painful itching & burning)

NEW ORLEANS: Southern Miss over Arkansas State giving 17 (51): Nice to see a different Sun Belt squad here after four straight years of North Texas. Unfortunately, the song remains the same and the opponent wins by a bunch. Win or lose, Eagles played a lot of close games, but in a better conference. Indians may not reach double-digits, but we’ll call it...USM 34 Arkie State 10

Dec. 21
GMAC: Toledo over Texas-El Paso giving 2 ½ (62):
Miners’ poor ground game makes them one-dimensional and Toledo ain’t bad at defending the pass (15 TDs allowed, 13 interceptions, 57% pass completion allowed). Over/under on total punts here is about 6 ½ as neither team averaged more than 4 punts per game. Rockets run to the win and the cover...Toledo 31 UTEP 24

Dec. 22
LAS VEGAS: California over Brigham Young giving 7 (62):
Could be a great game. Bears suffered some tough losses. Mormons are 8 points from 8-3 record. Lee Corso will be the keynote speaker at the bowl’s kickoff luncheon on December 21. No word on whether Mayor Goodman will be on-hand to give Cal and BYU the big thumbs up! (What happens in Vegas.... often shows up in Vindy’s Picks!). In a track meet, the advantage goes to the Coogs. "Not so fast, my friend!"...Cal 28 BYU 20

POINSETTIA: Navy over Colorado State giving 2 1/2 (60): Vindy is simply disappointed he wasn’t in the stands when Rams’ fans started tossing potted Christmas plants onto the field following CSU’s 4-point victory (and spread loss) over dismal UNLV team to get here. Middies were last year’s bowl lock for Weber. Navy could beat any Mountain Jest team, except maybe (maybe!) TCU...Navy 30 CSU 24

Dec. 23
FT. WORTH: Houston over Kansas taking 3 (49):
Jayhawks only here on strength of finale OT win over Iowa State that also sent Colorado into the wood-chipper against Texas. Kansas D needs to shut down Houston offense, but it allowed a nearly 62% pass completion rate. Not a good stat facing Houston club that throws early and often (and ranks 23rd nationally in pass offense)...Houston 28 Kansas 24

Dec. 24
HAWAII: Central Florida over Nevada-Reno taking 2 (63 1/2):
Wolf Pack got five turnovers from Fresno to pull out the win, but no other victories standout on Reno’s slate. Knights have faced (and beaten) higher-quality competitors playing in the MAC. UCF will also be better-prepared to play in the Hawaiian weather...Knights 31 Nevada 23

Dec. 26
MOTOR CITY: Memphis over Akron giving 5 1/2 (48):
Tigers were 3-2 straight up when their opponents posted more total offensive yards. Zips could certainly do just that with potent air game. Expect Memphis RB DeAngelo Williams to keep the chains moving and the clock running though. Barring Tiger turnovers...Memphis 29 Akron 20

Dec. 27
CHAMPS SPORTS: #23 Clemson vs. Colorado: OFF
Tigers come in with momentum of three regular season wins and usual late-season save-the-coach’s-job mode. Buffs come in with an interim coach and a football camp auditing scandal. Bison offense couldn’t get out of its own way, racking up nearly 10 flags per game just on its own side of the ball...Clemson 24 Colorado 10

INSIGHT: Rutgers over Arizona State taking 11 1/2 (62): After a strong spread start, Devils have dropped four of last six. Scarlet Nuts no bargain ATS either at 4-6 but may be more inclined to take advantage of first bowl appearance since 1978 (ironically, that also was against Arizona State). ASU is simply playing across town from its home park...boring!. An outright upset wouldn’t shock this forecaster...Arizona State 34 Rutgers 30

Dec. 28
MPC COMPUTERS: #19 Boston College over BOISE STATE (Pick ‘Em) (54 1/2):
Vindy considered this for lock. Yeah, it’s on the blue carpet of Broncos’ home stadium (where Boise is 4-1 ATS this year) but Eagles have to take exception to "pick ‘em" status against BSU team that hasn’t been anywhere near as impressive as Boise teams of the past few seasons. Offensive and defensive stats are nearly equal, except BC did it against the ACC, while Broncos got their numbers vs. "mighty" WAC...BC 30 BSU 24

ALAMO: Nebraska over #20 Michigan taking 12 (46 1/2): The really sad thing about this game is that even the victorious coach probably gets sent to the waiver wire following mediocre seasons by both sides... Wolverines 24 Big Red 16

Dec. 29
EMERALD: #24 Georgia Tech over Utah giving 8 ½ (46):
Most likely to be the "wish I had it back" bowl pick. Vindy is still very wary of what kinda’ performance the Bees will get from QB Reggie Bell, but this also ain’t Urban Meyer’s Utes and we like Tech’s road triumphs at Auburn and Miami more than we like Utah’s away wins at UNLV and BYU. The "under" looks easy here...GT 23 Utah 14

HOLIDAY: #6 Oregon over Oklahoma giving 3 (55): Vindicator’s good name probably got smeared all over after he took the Beavers and da’ points in Oregon’s season-ender against Oregon State. Ducks might appeal to Congress about recent BCS snub with only loss being a defeat to #1 USC. Sooners got it together after 2-3 start...Mallards 31 Oklahoma 27

Dec. 30
MUSIC CITY: Minnesota over Virginia giving 3 (58 ½): Gophers will run the ball for at least 30 points. Unfortunately, the Minny defense will also give up a ton to the Cavs. The "over" might be the best call... Gerbils 34 Virginia 30

SUN: Northwestern over #17 UCLA taking 3 1/2 (74 1/2): Bruins lost outright to Wyoming in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl as 12-point chalk. NW is 6-2 against the number in its last 8. UCLAns are only 2-4 ATS in their last 6. Bruins are still a young team with some work to do and even disregarding 66 points by USC, UCLA still allowed average of almost 38 points-per-game-against in five games prior to Troy. ‘Cats can light it up. Bruins’ place-kicker Justin Medlock was arrested this past week for DUI. Was he unable to kick in a straight line during the field-sobriety test on the freeway or what?...NW 41 UCLA 35

INDEPENDENCE: South Carolina over Missouri giving 4 (51): With drastic turnaround Spurrier has created in Columbia, it’s only fitting that he leads the Cock-N-Fun to a bowl victory in his return to the NCAA. Reeling Mizzou team has underachieved all year and lost three of four straight up to close out the regular season campaign. Again, the preference is the "under"...SC 23 Tigers 13

PEACH: #9 Miami vs. #10 Louisiana State: OFF

Dec. 31
MEINEKE CAR CARE: South Florida over NC State taking 6 (42):
Vindy doesn’t think USF can win this outright, but it’s 5th-ranked pass defense should keep it close to Wolf Pack, which also relies on strong defense and a decent passing attack...NCSU 20 Bulls 17

LIBERTY: Fresno State over Tulsa giving 7 (62): Bulldogs consecutive losses to Reno and Weeziana-Teck were part of conspiracy to keep Fresno from at-large BCS bid. Vindy understands smallish line given Fresno’s collapse, but if they play with trademark "anybody, anytime, anywhere" (something like that) attitude and protect the pigskin, they’ll blow the Hurricane off da’ field...FSU 42 Tulsa 20

HOUSTON: #14 Texas Christian over Iowa State giving 4 (48 1/2): LOCK OF DA’ BOWLS. For second straight year, Cyclones melted down in regular-season finale to miss out on conference title game berth. Unlike last year, however, ISU will not pull out a bowl win. These two teams collectively registered 45 interceptions, but Froggies can win (and cover) this on the ground even if passing game misfires. Looks like an easy "over"... TCU 45 Iowa State 24

Jan. 2
COTTON: #13 Alabama over #18 Texas Tech taking 2 1/2 (47 1/2):
Raiders’ potent air offense collapsed against top-tier contestants and the 511 yards-per-game average was a bit inflated by crushing victories over Florida International, Sam Houston State and Indy State. Tech defense wasn’t bad, yielding only 15.5 ppg over last four. Tide can control the ball and the clock enough to grind out the win. Getting Prothro back on special teams would help, but even without him...’Bama 24 TTU 21

OUTBACK: #25 Iowa over #16 Florida taking 2 1/2 (48): Tough call. Urban Meyer has his first SEC regular season under his belt and is no stranger to post-season planning. Hawkeyes can win it outright though if they execute on special teams and win the turnover differential. Hope Fidel enjoys the game ... Gators 21 Iowa 20

GATOR: #12 Virginia Tech over #15 Louisville giving 7 ½ (55): Battle of pretenders? Cards lost their starting QB and the back-up struggled a bit in win over Uconn. Hokies never got it together in defeat at Florida State. Does Marcus Vick have another bad game in him? Louisville probably has a branding iron warming up for Weber’s behind...VT 34 Redbirds 13

CAPITAL ONE: #7 Auburn over #21 Wisconsin giving 10 ½ (53): Badgers nine-win total is a bit deceptive given three Big Ten conference wins over Illinois, Indiana and a Purdue squad having a down year. War Eagles send Wisky coach Barry Alvarez into the twilight with a bowl loss...Auburn 34 Cheeseheads 21

FIESTA: #5 Notre Dame over #4 Ohio State taking 4 (55): Catholics were out-rushed by nine opponents but have only two losses and are 5-0 against the number away from South Bend. If the Rose turns into a runaway by one side or the other, this match becomes potentially the best game on the board. Buckeyes have offensive balance while Irish throw to off-set the 50th-ranked running game. Average points for- and against each team certainly support the noted total, but Vin thinks this will more resemble Irish’s 17-10 triumph at Michigan. "Under" is a good choice...ND 17 Ohio State 16

SUGAR: #11 West Virginia over #8 Georgia taking 8 (45): Mounties’ 5th-ranked running game should keep this a nice tight contest, if not win it straight up for WVU against Dawgs’ 40th-ranked rush defense (and, a couple of games notwithstanding, it ain’t because Joja’ spent a lot of time way out front of opponents and forcing them to throw to catch up)...’Eers 23 UGA 20

Jan. 3
ORANGE: #22 Florida State over #3 Penn State taking 8 (47 1/2):
74-year-old Bobby Bowden faces off against 78-year-old JoPa in the Methuselah Bowl. Losing coach has to lace up the gloves and play Sly Stallone’s opponent in upcoming Rocky VI flick! Injuns will have more fans in the stands at Jacksonville and if the run D that played against the Hokies shows up again here, there’s an upset on-deck...Lions 26 ‘Noles 20

Jan 4
ROSE: #2 Texas over #1 Southern Cal taking 7 (71):
‘Horns will be the best offense Troy has faced and the Trojan D has been a liability. Last chance for somebody to validate Vindy’s rather-adamant pre-season statement that USC will not three-peat...Texas 41 USC 38


In news related to this week’s lead story, Condi Rice is investigating allegations detainees have been flown to secret CIA prisons and forced to watch Temple football game film!

Vindy’s bowl picks are full of MILFs. (Oh, behave! That’s..."Match-ups I Liked Forecasting!")

When handing out his post-season "Flame-Thrower" awards, Weber missed those UCLA Bruins, who were 2-6 at the time and now 2-7. They did, however, receive a presidential pardon and were subsequently sent to the petting zoo at Disneyland!

Earlier this month, a panel of scientists lambasted the practice of using cartoon characters to market junk food to children. Does this mean Weber’s plan to hawk brewskis at the Las Vegas Bowl while dressed as SpongeBob is a big no-go???!!!

On da’ big screen, just in time for Christmas.,..a young wizard hits the gridiron and must drop-kick a football between Voltemort’s 20-yard-line and a flaming end zone in..."Harry Punter and the Goal Line of Fire!"Also...a professional hoops league imposes a dress code on its players in..."The Chronicles of the NBA: The Line-Up, The Rich and The Wardrobe". And finally...Ice-T stars as a replay official in South Central Los Angeles in..."Boyz Under Da’ Hood".

The New Orleans Saints were recently kicked to the curb (literally) from the Alamo Dome to the parking lot in favor of a women’s college volleyball team. Guess we know who has the more important group of hitters!!!!

Joe Paterno was named the Home Depot Coach of Da’ Year! JoPa gets a year’s supply of free wood paneling and help actually installing the award in his trophy case!

"Locked in a Box?": 4-10 after MTSU lost outright to I-A rookie Florida International!

Shoppe Talk: Louisville stands currently at 1-9 after missing the cover against UConn.

Vindy’s Bowl Season Best Bets: Championship Week: 1-2 Season: 22-27 (.449)
Ohio State/Notre Dame under 55, West Virginia +8 over Georgia, South Carolina/Missouri under 48 ½, Boston College (PK) over BOISE STATE, Navy -2 ½ over Colorado State

Vindy extends his annual holiday greetings to all of his readers..."Pass on Earth. Goodwill toward linemen."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Vindy's 2005 Conference Championship Picks


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (UPI)...The Homefield Security Department has been accused of exaggerating intelligence leading to installation of the Miami Hurricanes as 18-point favorites over Georgia Tech two weeks ago and again last week, causing lines-makers to lay 35 points with Louisville over Syracuse. Analysts allegedly "bigged-up the offensive threat potential" of the Hurricanes based on unreliable information provided by a University of Miami defector, code-named "Curveball", so government-sponsored sportsbooks would benefit from an underdog cover. A spokesperson for the HSD adamantly denied the claims, indicating the department acted appropriately on information as it was originally acquired.

Winning two of the first three picks in Week 13, Vindy then watched his forecast come crashing down like an M&M Candies Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon and finished at 2-8 (102-109-3, .483). Fortunately, no human beings or animals were actually harmed in the making of...


MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)
Akron over Northern Illinois taking 13: Huskies have had a stout rushing game all season and used it to subdue an improving Western Michigan team last week. Zips have covered 3 of last 4. In a rematch of September’s 48-42 Akron win, NIU gets revenge but Akron hangs around...Huskies 27 Akron 23

#23 FRESNO STATE over Louisiana Tech giving 22:
Tech’s offense was held to 13 by less-than-previously- juggernaut Boise at home. Yet another revenge spot, this time for Fresno, who lost 28-21 last year. Despite paying the price for laying big points with Miami following a major upset, Vindy expects FSU to atone for last week’s disaster at Nevada-Reno...FSU 45 LT 19

C-USA Championship (@ Orlando, FL)
Central Florida over Tulsa taking 2:
Green Wave’s victories over the last month or so have been more decisive than those of the Knights. This is a match-up of two teams picked by at least one preseason mag to finish 5th in their respective divisions of the conference. A big Vindicator salute to UCF coach George O’Leary for landing something he can legitimately put on his resume....a C-USA title...Central Florida 29 Tulsa 26

SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)
#13 Georgia over #3 LSU taking 2 ½:
Bengals are on borrowed time with two overtime victories and a 2-point triumph over Arkansas. Should be a good, close game with the win going to...Joja’ 20 LSU 17

Big 12 Championship (@ Houston, TX)
Colorado over #2 Texas taking 27 ½:
OK, it would be entirely too easy to lay the lumber with Steers’ team that really just needs a "W" to play in Pasadena for the National Title. Since belting Missouri, Bison have been outscored 60-19 and will hear all week about how they backed into this game, how they don’t belong and how the Longhorns’ win here is a done deal. That should be plenty of motivation for CU club that’s been here 4 times in last 5 seasons, including 2001's win over Texas 39-37...Texas 42 Colorado 30

ACC Championship (@ Jacksonville, FL)
#5 Virginia Tech over Florida State giving 14:
Spread seems to reflect consideration of the stupid personal foul penalties by FSU on 3rd Down that allowed Florida to continue early scoring drives after the Injuns had them stopped. Honestly, Vindy would rather see his Lions face State in perhaps the Orange Bowl than take on the Hokies, but Tech should shut down FSU running game. Special teams edge obviously goes to VT...Tech 31 FSU 13

#11 Ucla over #1 USC taking 21: Last hurdle between Trojans and yet another title opportunity. Troy was Vindy’s "lock of da’ week" this time last year, layin’ 22. USC is 11-0 SU but only 5-6 ATS. Bruins are only 3-4 against the number vs. PAC-10 foes. Will a three-week layoff hurt the Bruins? Trojans are off a one-week bye...USC 42 UCLA 27

#12 West Virginia over SOUTH FLORIDA giving 4 ½: Bulls recently had higher hopes than a 6-5 season and a mid-tier bowl. Have to wonder if USF can bring it’s A-game to this one now that BCS bid is no longer on the line. Mounties riding 5-0 SU and ATS streak. Stayin’ with scorchin’ WVU running attack...’Eeers 24 South Florida 14

#16 Louisville over CONNECTICUT giving 15: Cardinals’ starting QB Brohm is lost for the rest of the season. Vindicator has been right on Louisville only once in nine attempts this season, but Weber thinks Huskies caught South Florida looking ahead to West Virginia...Redbirds 42 UConn 20

NAVY over Army giving 6 1/2: Middies’ post-season is already decided, as they will face Colorado State in the Poinsettia Bowl. Navy coach Paul Johnson did a nice job with a grand total of 6 returning starters from last year. Black Knights have a 4-game (SU) win streak in progress after opening 0-6...Boat People 24 Ground Pounders 13

HAWAII over San Diego State giving 3 1/2: Aztecs would be eligible for the post-season with a win. ‘Bows are 2-4 outright at home, 3-2 ATS in the WAC and have dropped three outta’ last four ATS. SDSU’s defense ain’t bad, but three of Hawaii’s four losses are to bowl-caliber teams...’Bows 23 Aztecs 16

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE over Florida International giving 7: "LOCK OF DA’ WEEK". FIU is in its inaugural season as a I-A club. Two of Golden Panthers’ four wins were against I-AA teams. FIU was 3-7 overall SU last year as a I-AA team. Blue Raiders at least own a 17-15 road victory at Vanderbilt and lost by only 10 to possible MAC champ Akron...MTSU 20 Panthers 10


Ain’t no "mystery" to the weeping Virgin Mary statue in Sacramento. She merely got a peek at the 49ers’ record (or Vindy’s Week 13 results!)

The June 05 issue of ESPN: The Magazine made comparisons of how long it would take champs in various sports to cross/span 100 meters. 2005 Iditarod winner Robert Sorlie would do that in 48.10 seconds. Maybe Maurice Clarett shoulda’ borrowed/rented a dogsled for the 2005 NFL Combine! He was eventually cut by Denver because the presence of the sled in the backfield tipped off opponents.

Do what ya want to Vindy, but leave the forecast alone!

With Seattle up 14-13 during Sunday’s Seahawks-Giants tilt, one of FOX’s announcers noted at least twice before someone corrected him that a Giants’ FG would make it a "two-possession game". many points are those touchdowns worth again?????!!!

After usually-reliable Giants’ kicker Jay Feely missed three consecutive field goals late in regulation and OT in the aforementioned Seattle-New York game, his helmet was fitted with On-Star to help him find the uprights!

Yet another college hoops coach at Cincinnati was arrested this week for DUI. "UC" is quickly becoming the University of Cocktails!

Heidi Fleiss recently noted a spawn of her coupling with Pete Rose would be the "most determined kid in the world". Vin thinks said child would grow up to be the editor of a gentlemen’s magazine called "Charlie Hustler"!!!

"Locked in a Box?": Fresno’s outright loss to Reno leaves Vindy’s lock record at 4-9 (.308)!

Shoppe Talk: The NFL’s Green Bay Packers put a second loss on Vindy’s NFL No-Point contest card and cost Weber a nice three-team parlay win after covers by the Chargers and the Dolphins!


Best Weekly Effort: Week Eight’s 13-5

Worst Weekly "Effort": Weeks Three and Six’s 5-12

WEBER-FRIENDLIES (Best percentage on the predicted side of the spread; minimum 7 at-bats in the forecast): This season’s "You’re in Good Hands" Award goes to...(Holy Cow! We got a tie!)...Vindy’s Nifty Lions and the Fresno State Bulldoggies, both at 6-1 (.857). Second place to Virginia Tech (8-2, .800) and Honorable Mention to the Frightenin’ Irish of Notre Dame (7-3, .700)!

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of da’ spread): This year’s "Grillmaster Supreme" Award (the scorch marks are still on Weber’s wallet!) goes to those !!@&*$#! Louisville Cardinals at 1-8 (.111). "Suckin’ Place" to Alabama (2-6-1, .250) and (Holy Cow! We got another tie for...) "Dishonorable Mention" to those Florida Gators (who took "Grillmaster" honors last season) at 4-6 (.400) and Tennessee at 2-5 (.400)

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 21-25-1 (.457)
Akron +13 over Northern Illinois, Central Florida +2 over Tulsa, MTSU -7 over Florida International

Vindicator takes a much-needed break to get the annual 3,000-mile maintenance done on his crystal ball, but promises to return circa December 16 with his infamous bowl picks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 13


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (Reuters)...Local prognosticator Vegas Vindicator got a couple weeks vacation-without-pay following his lambasting of the NCAA for not publicly-recognizing his 100th forecast win of the season. Weber finally hit the century mark in spread wins this past Saturday night as the Fresno Bulldogs threatened to unseat #1 Southern Cal. After Vindy’s outburst Saturday night to the media, the NCAA released a statement indicating it did not recognize individual achievements, then noted Weber would be banned from making his picks for an undisclosed amount of time for "conduct detrimental to the organization." Vindicator said he would appeal the suspension and would seek release to conduct forecasts for the National Football League should the NCAA decide to sit him for the remainder of the college season.

As projected, Weber hits the double-century mark at 100-101-3 (.498) following a 7-7 effort in Week 12. Determined to finish the regular season over .500, Vindy looks into his Magic 8-Ball and offers...


#12 WEST VIRGINIA over Pitt giving 13:
Line’s already moved three points in favor of West Virginia. This time last season, Mountaineers were floundering on all cylinders. This year, they’re rushing their way into a BCS slot (though South Florida still looms)...WVU 28 Pitt 13

FRI. NOV. 25
#2 Texas over TEXAS A&M giving 26 1/2:
Aggies have only one home loss this year, but that was a 28-point beating by Iowa State. The other home opponents? SMU, Texas State and Baylor. Steers have dominated the series over the last decade, both outright and against the number. Can’t believe that’s going to change this year... Longhorns 45 Aggies 17

Arkansas over #3 LSU taking 17: Arkansas is better than its record reflects, losing by 11 at ‘Bama, 3 at Joja’ and 4 to the Gamecocks. With Weber’s Nifty Lions at #3 in the BCS poll, Bengals might try to blow Razorbacks out, but frankly, LSU simply needs a "W" to get into the SEC title game. While USC and Texas have been 1-2 all season, the AP #3-hole has been a problem spot...LSU 24 Hogs 13

HAWAII over #24 Wisconsin taking 6 ½: Scary line and Vindy can only point to Hawaii’s 27-13 loss to Fresno at home as justification. Let’s face it, ‘Bows don’t have the D to shut down the Badgers, so Hawaii will have to stay close in a shootout. After back-to-back losses, the Rodents will want to send Coach Alvarez out with a regular-season win. Rainbows do have 3 outright victories at home over last 6 Big Ten tilts in the Pacific, including 2004 victims Northwestern and Michigan State...Wisky 34 UH 30

SAT. NOV. 26
#1 USC:
IDLE (next vs. UCLA 12/3)

#4 Penn State: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

North Carolina over #5 VIRGINIA TECH taking 23: ‘Heels have won or been competitive in every game except blowout loss at Louisville. These two played a great one last year, with Hokies pulling out a 27-24 win. Here’s hoping for bad weather in Blacksburg and a semi-low-scoring slopper...VT 24 UNC 10

#6 Notre Dame @ STANFORD: OFF

#7 Ohio State: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#8 Oregon: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#9 Auburn: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls?)

#10 MIAMI over Virginia giving 18: Hurricanes’ loss at Joja’ Tech was more obscene than any rap song the players could produce! Coach Coker said Miami’s image as an outlaw school has changed since his arrival. Um....did they alter the color of the electronic ankle bracelets or what? Vin thinks he saw Martha Stewart out behind the Orange Bowl foraging for dandelions to spice up the food at the student cafeteria....Hurri-cons 45 Cavs 20

#11 UCLA: IDLE (next @ USC 12/3)

#20 GEORGIA TECH over #13 Georgia taking 3 1/2: Vindicator changed his initial pick, then went with best two outta’ three coin tosses to settle on the Bees. Joja’ Tech faces two years of probation after half-a-dozen star athletes continued to play after getting grades of "D", when the requirement for their respective majors was "C" or better. What a great football recruiting tool!!..."Come to Georgia Tech....where ‘D’ means ‘downfield’"!!!!...’Dawgs 19 ‘Jackets 17

#14 Alabama: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#15 Texas Christian: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#16 Fresno State over NEVADA-RENO giving 15 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wolfpack is 4-1 straight up at home and has covered 5 of last 7 overall. Unless Bulldogs stay flat for more than the first half, they win and cover handily...FSU 38 UNR 13

#17 LOUISVILLE over Syracuse giving 35 1/2: Second choice for "lock". Irish were sloppy on offense last week and Orange garnered a trash-time TD to get the undeserving cover (3rd overall and 1st away from the Dome). This is a weak foe the Cardinals can pound...Louisville 57 Syracuse 10

#18 Texas Tech: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#23 Florida State over #19 FLORIDA taking 4 1/2: This is an ugly spot, with both clubs coming off disappointing road defeats. If Seminoles drop a third straight match (which would be the fourth in last six tries), the next website to pop up in Tallahassee might be ShowBobbyTheLobby.Com... Gators 20 Injuns 17

#21 Boston College: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#22 Michigan: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#25 Clemson: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)


The U.S. Postal Service is planning another 2-cent (as opposed to Fifty-Cent) rate hike. Fine. In exchange, Vindy wants a stamp series called "Girls of the Big Ten"! (OK, OK!!! Weber will settle for "Mascots of the Big Ten"!!!)

New Jersey’s governor is taking suggestions for new State slogans. How ‘bout..."New Jersey: We Got Yer BCS... Right Here!" or "New Jersey: Nets, Knights and Giants- Next Three Exits!"

Tulane’s punter was shot in the stomach recently while on a hunting trip. Talk about "roughing the kicker"! Guess he shoulda’ worn the bright orange road jersey, huh?!

The federal government has a plan to subsidize millions of digital cable TV boxes by 2007. Great. Now even the impoverished can watch such stellar pigskin match-ups as Duke-Temple!

Following the Vikings’ win over Green Bay this past Monday night, Vanilla Ice plans a comeback album featuring a title track about the Minnesota coach called.... "Tice, Tice, Baby!"

"Locked in a Box?": Vindy’s lock win streak ends at two (4-8, .333) as Kentucky could not stay within four touchdowns of Joja’!

Shoppe Talk: The Bayou Bengals hang around with 5 forecast losses in last 6 games and are joined by the ‘Jackets of Joja’ Tech (1-4 in their last 5 forecast at-bats!)

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-2 Season: 20-22-1 (.476)
Arizona +9 over ARIZONA STATE, Alabama-Birmingham -5 ½ over EAST CAROLINA, Rice +16 ½ over HOUSTON, UL-MONROE -3 over UL-Lafayette

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 12


CAMP TANGO, Iraq (AP)... Post commanders anticipating the arrival of the Secretary of State at this secret base after reading headlines on a recent edition of Stars & Stripes that screamed "Rice To Drop In on Iraq" were thrown for a loop when several Blackhawk helicopters descended on the camp carrying the Houston-based Owls football team instead! Players hung out briefly with American servicemen and servicewomen, talking about the college pigskin season and tossing footballs with some of the soldiers. Said one member of the 895th Transportation Battalion, "Hey..that’s really cool. I’m grateful. But next time, how ‘bout sendin’....the Longhorns or the Trojans, OK?!!!"

Meanwhile back home, England’s Prince Charles and Camilla finished their U.S. tour at a shelter for the homeless and abused in San Francisco, but showing the class for which the Britons are known, the royal couple didn’t depart until shaking hands and getting autographs from each and every player in that 49ers locker room!

After three solid weeks of forecasting by the Vindicator, lines-makers resorted to the dreaded horse-collar and caused the Weber Kid to go 7-11-1 last week (93-94-3, .495 season) despite a 3-0 record going into last Saturday’s games. Hurtling at warp speed toward the double-century mark (100 wins, 100 losses) this week, Vindy presents...


#16 Fresno State over #1 USC taking 24: Have to admit, there hasn’t been much doubt during Trojans’ last three wins. Granted, Bulldogs’ schedule hasn’t been special, but they’ve been appropriately blowing out their opponents. State can (and will) score on Troy’s suspect defense...USC 40 FSU 24

#2 Texas: IDLE (next @ Texas A&M 11/25)

#3 MIAMI over Georgia Tech giving 18: ‘Jackets have little to show for season-opening win over Auburn. Longhorns are probably outta’ reach, but Hurricanes need to keep pressing in case Fresno or UCLA manages to drop the Trojans. Miami has beaten two better defenses by at least this much...’Canes 38 Bees 13

MISSISSIPPI over #4 Louisiana State taking 17: Rebels have lost only once this year by this many (24-point defeat at Auburn) and have played better recently. Bengals are off the very close win over ‘Bama...LSU 21 Ol’ Miss 7

#5 Penn State over MICHIGAN STATE giving 7: This one scares Vindy to no end, but it should be Lions’ first conference crown since 1994. The overtime loss vs. Michigan seems to have deflated MSU, who has lost 5 of last 6. Lions have covered 4 of last 5 in this series. Spartans scored only 18 against Gophers’ porous defense...PSU 35 MSU 10

#6 Virginia Tech over VIRGINIA giving 7 ½: Cavs are unbeaten at home, but Marcus Vick has had his one fall-on-his-face game and isn’t going to commit another six turnovers here. Take that to the bank. With only Miami left on Virginia’s slate, Al Groh ain’t gonna’ get his signature seven-win season...VT 29 UVA 14

#7 NOTRE DAME over Syracuse giving 35: A Syracuse season that started with a "promising" 1-2 record (big win over Buffalo sandwiched by close losses to the Cavs and the Mountaineers) quickly tanked. Irish are eyeing a BCS spot. Orange has quit. Leprechauns haven’t broken into the 50's yet. Looks like a good place to do it...Irish 51 Syracuse 3

#8 Alabama over #12 AUBURN taking 7: The annual Iron Bowl. Can’t blame Mike Shula for the poor execution by his team last week (a missed punt block, a missed field goal and several dropped passes). Tide has come too far to let it get away now...Alabama 16 Auburn 13

#9 Ohio State over #17 MICHIGAN giving 3: Buckeyes have been the better team all season, while Wolverines have played on the edge all year. Winner likely goes to the Capital One Bowl. Ted Ginn will be the difference for State...OSU 16 Michigan 10

Oregon State over #10 OREGON taking 13: Shaky call. History favors the home team and the Decoys are 3-2 ATS this year on The Pond. Of the Beavers’ three spread wins, a pair of ‘em came on the road and were outright victories over Cal Nonetheless, we call it...Mallards 28 Beavers 24

#11 UCLA: IDLE (next @ USC 12/3)

#13 West Virginia: IDLE (next vs. Pitt 11/24)

Kentucky over #14 GEORGIA taking 27: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Mildcats are 6-2 against the line, including 3-0 run over the last three games (with two straight wins to boot!). ‘Dawgs are 1-3 ATS at home. They could take out their frustrations in this one. Vindy just can’t lay four touchdowns with Joja’ here...Georgia 38 KY 17

#15 Texas Christian: IDLE (next...Da’ Bowls!)

#18 Louisville: IDLE (next vs. Syracuse)

Oklahoma over #19 TEXAS TECH taking 7 ½: Both of Red Raiders’ two spread losses in final home games over the last two decades came to the Sooners. In retrospect, none of Tech’s eight victims this year sports a winning record. Okies have won four straight games since thrashing by Texas...OK 34 Texas Tech 31

#20 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Florida State)

#21 SOUTH CAROLINA over Clemson taking 1 1/2: Tommy Bowden’s team would grab a ranking with a victory and this is the time of the year Clemson takes it up another notch. In game vs. Florida, SC was out-rushed, out-passed, out-first-downed and had less time of possession. Gators suffered only one turnover. Super Steve has Columbia rockin’! We’ll stay with hot Gamecocks...Birds 35 Tigers 28

#22 Florida State: IDLE (next @ Florida)

#23 Boston College over MARYLAND giving 2: Terps used pass plays of 67 and 80 yards for TDs to beat Carolina. Eagles were burned on a 96-yard scoring throw by NC State. BC probably won’t need the extra help, but Pat Robertson will be standing by to call down a meteor storm on the Maryland sideline if necessary...BC 28 Box Turtles 24

#24 Wisconsin: IDLE (next @ Hawaii 11/25)

Alabama-Birmingham over #25 UTEP taking 7 ½: Having watched the Blazers play a couple of weeknight games this year, Vindy thinks UAB has enough talent on both sides of the ball to pull off the upset over the Miners, who struggled vs. Rice and Tulsa and lost outright to Memphis...UAB 30 UTEP 27


Speaking recently on his dislike of cell phones and computers, Coach Paterno said he "couldn’t even download a jar of peanut butter." Not to worry, Joe! After you win this week to snag a BCS berth, fans , assistant coaches and alumni will deliver more cases of Skippy to your door than you could possibly use in a lifetime!

Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman wants to cut the thumbs off those responsible for graffiti here in Sin City. Yo, Oscar! Save the "Casino" tactics for the Rebels football team, okay?!!!

TO’s apologetic response to last week’s season suspension was so slow, he’s being heavily recruited by FEMA!

Name a sandwich after Terrell Owens and call it whatever ya want. Just make sure it comes with a big bottle of whine!

Back in June, Russian president Vladimir Putin swiped a Super Bowl ring from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who later said it was a gift. Bullfeathers!...Putin took it intentionally as payback for the 1980 Miracle on Ice!

Earlier this year, Marquette sought to change its team moniker. One name up for consideration was the Marquette Gold. Coulda’ been worse. Voters in the Bay Area could’ve dominated the voting and decided on other "The Cream" or "The Clear"!!!!.

"Locked in a Box?": Holy Cow! Back-to-back "lock" wins for Weber as Fresno finally lowered the boom on Boise State! (4-7, .364)

Shoppe Talk: Those UCLA Bruins return after Louisville vacates following its first forecast "W". The LSU Bengals slide in with 4 forecast losses in their last 5!

Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-3 Season: 19-20-1 (.487)
Central Florida -11 over RICE, Middle Tennessee State +17 ½ over NC STATE, Washington State -2 ½ over WASHINGTON

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 11


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (ITAR-Tass)...The "Gang of 14", consisting of seven Las Vegas Strip sportsbook managers and seven from a coalition of downtown casinos and "locals’ hangouts" across the Vegas Valley will convene this week to go over options relating to the Vegas Vindicator’s planned release of the 2005-06 Weber Bowl Predictions this December. One of the bookies, speaking on condition of anonymity, suggested that while there are concerns Weber will bring a bias toward Big Ten teams in the post-season picks, there are no early indications that a filibuster might occur. The linesmakers are inclined to watch and wait to see Vindy’s final regular season results first before resorting to extreme measures, noting Weber would likely continue application of fair and objective standards to his forecast. The Nevada State Gaming Control Board remains on the sidelines for now, but has not ruled out implementation of the so-called "nuclear option", denying the bookies their right to filibuster Vindy’s Picks if they violate bipartisan gambling agreements.

A little extra pressure to get the picks out early last week due to a Wednesday night game featuring a ranked team seems to have been good for Vindy, who went a nice 12-4-2 (following an 0-2 start) to claw his way back over .500 at 86-83-2 (.509) for the year! On a three-week tear of 37-14-2 (.725) ATS, the Sun City Soothsayer offers...


#16 West Virginia over CINCINNATI giving 13 ½:
Vin considered this choice for "lock". Bearkats have played better lately, beating Syracuse and UConn, while barely missing a third cover, losing by 24 at Louisville as a 22-point puppy. Mounties are 3-0 ATS on the road and Cincy will have problems stopping West Virginia’s Top 20 rushing attack. Mountaineers were very efficient last week, scoring a point every 8.27 yards of offense vs. Connecticut...WVU 38 Cincinnati 13

#20 FRESNO STATE over Boise State giving 7: "LOCK OF DA’ WEEK".
Boise certainly hasn’t been the team it was in the past few seasons and this one ain’t on the dreaded blue carpet. Broncos haven’t knocked off anyone with a defense. Bulldogs have allowed only two opponents more than 17 points. Fresno visits SoCal next week, but the focus will be here...Fresno 37 Boise 20

FRI. NOV. 11
#23 LOUISVILLE over Rutgers giving 22:
No faith in this pick. Cardinals are 4-0 against the line at home while Scarlet Nuts are 1-3 ATS away. Rutgers is already bowl-eligible and has an off-week followed by very winnable home match against Cincinnati. Louisville has more to prove and has been trashing the opposition since blowout loss to South Florida...Redbirds 45 Rutgers 20

Sat. NOV. 12
CAL over #1 Southern Cal taking 19:
Bears are without a lot of the starters that played in the last three season games vs. the Trojans, which were decided by 2, 3 and 6 points. However, we’ll side with history and Berkeley coach Jeff Tedford is no stranger to the ‘dog role in this one...USC 31 Bears 21

#2 TEXAS over Kansas giving 33: Longhorns take on the Big 12's 4th best defense and Kansas stoppers accounted directly for 16 of the Jayhawks’ 40 points last week in romp over Nebraska. They also held potent Texas Tech offense to 30 points on the road. Kansas had scored a total of 32 points over four games prior to the Husker tussle. That won’t cut it this week...Texas 48 Fightin’ Manginos 13

WAKE FOREST over #3 Miami taking 14: Hurricanes are in a letdown situation following big road win over Virginia Tech, albeit with the assistance of six Marcus Vick turnovers. Deacons have enough of a running game to burn the clock and keep it within a pair of touchdowns...Miami 23 Wake 13

#4 ALABAMA over #5 Louisiana State taking 1: Have to chalk up Bengals’ ho-hum 24-0 triumph vs. Appalachian State to lack of interest and the coaches evaluating next year’s potential starters. If Trojans or Steers falter, ‘Bama could end up in the title game in its first year off probation. Tide has momentum, the home field and mostly importantly, a healthy squad...Alabama 17 LSU 13

#6 Penn State: IDLE (next @ Michigan State) Lions get their first bye all season!

Navy over #7 NOTRE DAME taking 24: Inaugural clash of Independents in 2005. Midshipmen will likely chalk up its 42nd consecutive defeat to the Leprechauns, but Navy has covered 11 of last 15 in the series, including three outta’ the previous four. The Boat People can still end up 7-4 by whacking Temple and Army later, but a good showing here could enhance their bowl opportunities...Irish 41 Sailors 24

#8 Virginia Tech: IDLE (next @ Virginia)

#9 GEORGIA over #15 Auburn giving 4: Fourth road trip in last five tilts for the Tigers. Nothing about Auburn’s accomplishments this season screams "take da’ points". On the other sideline, ‘Dawgs have been in a bunch of close games and should get starting QB Shockley back this week. Auburn is still in it for the SEC West crown and this could be a preview of the conference title match...Joja’ 24 Auburn 16

#25 Northwestern over #10 OHIO STATE taking 18: ‘Cats have struggled a bit last couple of games. Still this is a team that should’ve beaten Vindy’s Lions and the Buckeyes defense is commensurate with Penn State’s. If NW goads State into a shootout, they could win outright...OSU 34 Northwestern 24

#11 Oregon over WASHINGTON STATE giving 3: Mallards are 6-2 ATS overall, 3-1 ATS away from the Pond. Good enough for this forecaster, who called for the Ducks to win the PAC-10 in the preseason. Coogs three home losses have all been by a trey. In overtime...Decoys 27 Wazzou 20

SOUTH CAROLINA over #12 Florida taking 24: Gators face ex-coach, though Weber doesn’t think there’s anyone left on the Gainesville club that remembers Steve Superior as the Ol’ Ball Coach. Gamecocks are 4-1-1 ATS over last 6, including back-to-back upsets on the road and Vindy thanks Super Steve for helping him cash one of two winning tickets this past week. Might be less about the players and more about the coaching match-up of Meyer vs. Spurrier. Crocs players are hurting. Is there yet another shocker up Steve’s sleeve?...Florida 16 Poultry Nation 13

#13 Texas Tech over OKLAHOMA STATE giving 24: Yet another pick nearly selected as "lock". Cowpokes’ average margin of loss at home is 20 (and that’s skewed by mere 7-point loss to Mizzou). T’was a mighty effort put forth in leading Texas by 19 at the half last week, only to lose big. Can’t think of any other reason to back State here. No-longer-to-be-feared Sooner squad is only remaining game on Tech’s slate...Red Raiders 54 OKSU 20

Arizona State over #14 UCLA taking 4: Recent photos from the Cassini spacecraft found a "heavily cratered surface but no hint of atmosphere." But enough about the Bruins game-plan last week at Arizona. Sun Devils turned around a struggling season with a sweep of the Apple State. They get the nod here...ASU 28 UCLA 27

#17 Florida State @ CLEMSON: OFF (And Weber ain’t real upset about that!)

#18 TCU over Unlv giving 27: The Weber Kid considered this one also for "lock". At first glance, this appears to be an awful lotta’ juice to lay with the Frogs. Rebels, however, seemingly have thrown in the towel. UNLV has done little outside surprising win over the Aztecs. Despite losses by 25, 35 and 41 at Wyoming, at Air Force (who’s having a down year) and versus BYU, respectively, members of the Las Vegas Bowl committee secretly smiled following last week’s result. CSU Rams turned it over 4 times in last week’s loss to the Cougars. Rebels will probably match or surpass that...TCU 47 Rebels 10

#19 WISCONSIN over Iowa giving 3: Hawkeyes are 15-4 ATS in last 19 November battles. Last spread loss in November? Yep, those four spread losses! NBC Universal will air a new cable channel called "Sleuth" in January 2006, directed at fans of crime and mystery. The premiere episode reportedly will feature the Badgers’ defense... Wisconsin 31 Iowa 24

Indiana over #21 MICHIGAN taking 24: Wolverines are making mad charge to save Lloyd Carr’s job following three early season losses. Will 7-4 be enough? Hoosiers are 4-4 outright, but have been blasted by the conference’s upper-tier teams. Vin just knows he’s gonna’ regret takin’ Indy...Michigan 35 Hoosiers 16

#22 Colorado over IOWA STATE giving 2 ½: Woo-hooooo! Winner gets inside track to play body-bag game vs. Texas in early December...Bison 24 Cyclones 20

#24 Georgia Tech over VIRGINIA taking 5: Bees have a three-game win streak going. No consistency from either sideline. Initial selection was Virginia. ‘Yellowjackets get the vote...GT 21 Wahoos 17


Vindicator takes a bow for calling the exact 45-7 final score of Fresno’s victory over San Josie State in Week 10!!!

John Madden accepted an invitation this week from California Gubbahnah Arnold Schwarzenegger to accompany him aboard Arnie’s tour bus, the Reform to Rebuild Express. Madden said he would enjoy the travel and promised to post pictures of the MVPs (most valuable politicians) on his horse-trailer along the way!

Da’ Niners recently picked up former "Bachelor" star, QB Jesse Palmer. Can’t wait to see clips of the weekly rose ceremony in the San Fran locker room as Palmer whittles down an initial group of 25 players to select his starting five offensive linemen!

The Stardust this week banned 15-team bets on ½-point parlay cards following seven (count ‘em, seven!) successful 15-team cards! Holy crap!!! 15-teamers!!!!???? Vindy struggles mightily to put two teams correctly ATS on a bet much less 15!!!!

Dialed In: Weber went 13-1 picking NFL winners straight up this past weekend in the Coast Casinos "Pick The Pros" contest, missing only Indy’s win over the Pats on Monday night. Upon further review, Weber is almost glad he didn’t submit a perfect card for the second time in four weeks this season as 330 other contestants were 14-0 and 329 of ‘em received a mere $60.29 for their efforts!

A pirate attack on a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia ended without injury this week as the cruise-liner crew gladly joined the marauders to escape yet another pleasure trip chartered by the Vikings! In related news, the Minnesota organization hired two former Carolina Panthers cheerleaders almost immediately following their dismissal from the team after being busted for engaging in..ohhhh, let’s call it..."illegal contact" in a Tampa bar bathroom stall! Now there’s a video Vindy wouldn’t mind seeing on SportsCenter!

Neuheisel Trial Part II: Rick indicated he didn’t consider laying $6400 on an office pool to be "gambling". Did anyone get the license plate of the turnip truck he fell off???!! Neuheisel eventually got a $4.5 million settlement for his illegal termination. His only regret?...He didn’t get da’ cash in time to put it on the Tarheels in this past year’s Big Dance!!!!!

In July, Terrell Owens was denied the opportunity to play for Sacramento Kings’ summer hoops team. Bummer. But with Owens’ recent dismissal for the rest of the year, maybe Dallas will give him a shot. Vin anticipates seeing TO get speared by...hmmm..let’s say..Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzski after spiking the ball on the Dallas logo at center court following a slam dunk!

"Locked in a Box?": Lock record is now 3-7 (.300) behind those Red Raiders of Texas Tech!

Shoppe Talk: The Seminoles get a weekend pass after posting their first forecast win of the season. Louisville has been a royal pain in the Astroturf with nothin’ but seven forecast losses this year!

Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2-1 Season: 16-17-1 (.485)
VANDERBILT -13 over Kentucky, East Carolina +11 ½ over TULSA, KENT STATE -11 ½ over Buffalo, Nevada-Reno -10 ½ over NEW MEXICO STATE, Central Florida +9 over UAB, North Texas +7 over FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 10

Vindy Dropped From Whiskey Endorsement

DEERFIELD, Illinois (UPI)...Just after Reebok ended an endorsement deal with Falcons defensive back DeAngelo Hall for violating provisions of his contract by wearing the wrong brand of shoes during a nationally televised game, representatives of Jim Beam did likewise, putting in a phone call to the Vegas Vindicator, advising him his endorsement contract too had been terminated. An unidentified employee of the widely-marketed whiskey noticed Weber in a local Vegas sportsbook drinking from a shot-glass clearly emblazoned with a Jack Daniels logo. Vindy’s contract legally allowed him to do so provided he covered the competitor’s logo with paint or duct tape. Weber told media he tried to comply, but after several shots simply ended up spraying paint on the bookie or taping the shot-glass to his hand!

Leading off with a Thursday night forecast victory by the Hokies, Weber posted a nice 12-5 record in Week 9 (74-79, .484 season). Inching closer to the .500 mark, it’s...


Connecticut over #18 WEST VIRGINIA taking 14 1/2:
Mountaineers haven’t played since October 15 due to the scheduled bye and the hurricane postponement of the South Florida game. WVU is 1-2 ATS at home this year and this looks like too many points to lay against a Huskies squad that has history of playing well ATS in November... West Virginia 27 UConn 17

Pittsburgh over #24 LOUISVILLE taking 17 ½:
During the preseason, this clash was frequently expected to determine the winner of the Big Least. At this point, it looks like it might decide who the bridesmaid of the conference will be behind the aforementioned Mounties (and maybe behind those Scarlet Knights!). Panthers have come on last three games since losing to Rutgers...Louisville 34 Pitt 24

Stanford over #1 USC taking 34:
Risky picking against the Trojans at home. But until Cardinal runs outta’ steam from giving it everything it’s got, we like Stanford...USC 44 Cardinal 14

#2 Texas over BAYLOR giving 28 ½: Longhorns will need a convincing win to stay at #2 in the BCS with Hokies charging hard behind them. Bears haven’t covered against anyone with a potent offense, but sure gave it a great shot for three quarters last week vs. Texas Tech. (By the way, Vindy ain’t takin’ no more "lock" picks from Mike Martz!) ...Texas 49 Baylor 17

#5 Miami over #3 VIRGINIA TECH taking 5: Probably the game of the week. A dubya here and Hokies cruise rest of the way to go undefeated, including the ACC title game. ‘Canes would like to reach the conference championship too and avenge loss to the Injuns in season opener. BCS wants the number of undefeated clubs to dwindle. Guess who’ll they’ll cheer this week...VT 17 Miami 14

#4 Alabama over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 17: In May, the NCAA revised APR scores. Those going from passing to failing included Tennessee and...Mississippi State. A long season in Starkville gets longer. First and droll for... Alabama 33 Bulldogs 9

Appalachian State @ #6 LSU: No Line (Rumor has it Nick Saban has asked the schedule-maker to marry him after lining up North Texas and Appalachian State back-to-back this late in the year!)

ARIZONA over #7 Ucla taking 8: Had the Wildcats not dropped the Beavers last week in Corvallis, this would have "upset of da’ week" (again) written all over it...UCLA 20 AZ 16

Tennessee over #8 NOTRE DAME taking 9: Tough pick, but Vindy won’t believe Vols have quit and with three winnable tilts after this one, even a 6-5 record would be a major disappointment. Either Irish win this in a rout or UT stays close. Lookin’ for one last (unsuccessful) push from Rocky Top...ND 24 Tennessee 20

NC State over #9 FLORIDA STATE taking 13 ½: Only the third away game on the year for NC State. The much-hyped Wolfpack defense that seemingly checked out right after September win over astern Kentucky should return for this one. Over the last four years, NCSU has either won outright or lost by only 6...FSU 23 NCSU 17

#10 PENN STATE over #14 Wisconsin giving 10: This one probably crowns the Big Ten champ. Lions will be the best defense Badgers have faced. In June, maps identifying the New World as "America," believed to be made in 1507, were put up for auction by Christie’s in London. Critics were skeptical until someone pointed out one of the maps clearly marks the location of Joe Paterno’s childhood home....PSU 27 Wisky 10

#11 Georgia: IDLE (next vs. Auburn)

#12 OHIO STATE over Illinois giving 35: Best chance to be "wish I had it back" pick of the week, but Buckeyes should be able to name the score unless they yank the first two strings after halftime in prep for next game vs. Northwestern...OSU 55 Illini 10

Vanderbilt over #13 FLORIDA taking 18: Gators posted a forecast win for the Weber Kid and a straight up victory for themselves, but Joja’s two missed field goals and three dropped long passes were not the fault of ‘Dawgs QB Joe Tereshinski. Expect the ‘Dores to bring their A-game while Florida contemplates a historic match vs. former-mentor Steve Spurrier. Chris Leak’s uniform was clean following the Georgia game. Vandy needs to change that... Florida 29 Vandy 14

#23 California @ #15 OREGON: OFF

#16 TEXAS TECH over Texas A&M giving 11 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Surely the Texas rivalry thing won’t keep the game this close. Kansas had a better defense than A&M and Tech beat the Jayhawks by 13. Baggies’ secondary was torched for touchdown throws of 53-and 63 yards by Iowa College Station...Tech 48 A&M 24

#17 Auburn over KENTUCKY giving 22: Tigers better enjoy this since rest of November is full of Joja’ and ‘Bama!...Auburn 48 Mildcats 17

NORTH CAROLINA over #19 Boston College taking 3 1/2: UNC has become East Coast answer to Stanford. Tarheels had BC on the ropes late in 2004 game and collapsed defensively to allow Eagles to pull one out of! If they play defensively like they did vs. Wisconsin and Virginia, they can win...North Carolina 15 Boston College 13

#20 TEXAS CHRISTIAN over Colorado State giving 7: The Weber Kid likes Sonny Lubbick’s Rams and honestly, CSU was Vindy’s preseason choice to take the Mountain Jest conference. Until last week’s win at the Pit, the road had not been kind to Colorado State. While Vin’s confidence in the Froggies was shaken (not stirred) just a bit by non-cover at SDSU, we’ll take ‘em at home with only the finale vs. the lowly Rebels to come...Horny Toads 24 CSU 14

#21 FRESNO STATE over San Jose State giving 34: Makers of the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series came under fire again this week as the latest installment contains yet another modified "hot coffee" chip leading to a secret level showing SJSU game film!...Fresno 45 San Jose State 7

#22 Michigan: IDLE (next vs. Indy)

Missouri over #25 COLORADO taking 12: Can’t argue with the line. Buffaloes’ home wins have been decisive and Tigers have struggled, losing to New Mexico at home and at Kansas last week following injury to Brad Smith. Going against logic, we like...Bison 30 Mizzou 24


"Vini, Vidi, Vindy"..."I came, I saw, I forecast!" Sporting a 25-10 record the last two weeks, Vindicator has cut the prognosticators’ "Mendoza Line" (.500) deficit to only 5 games!
By the way, Vindicator plans to make up lost revenue from the endorsement deal by becoming a "prime vendor" for the federal government, allowing Vindy to sell his picks to White House staff at an amazing 20%-over-normal cost!

Neuheisel Trial Part I: College hoops will officially be under way again November 8. This past February, Rick Neuheisel testified rather tearfully at his trial for gambling on the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Obviously, nobody told Rick "There’s no crying in basketball!". He told UDUB president Barbara Hedges, in code, he was interviewing for the 49ers head coaching position. He also reportedly told her he was "in Vegas drinkin’ OJ", which was code for "Tell the Weber Kid to bet da’ ranch on Syracuse." Vin never got the message. That witch!

This week, Denver will decide whether or not to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults. Ricky Williams has already expressed his desire to be traded to the Broncos if the measure passes!

Back in August, Diamondbacks broadcaster Mark Grace uttered a few profanities during an Arizona-Florida game. It’s too bad the World Series didn’t go a few more games because the Chicago White Sox coulda’ invited the former 13-year Cubbies veteran to sing "Take Me out To The !!@$&*#@! Ballgame!" during the 7th-inning stretch!

"Locked in a Box?": "Mike Martz’" Steers came up considerably short, leaving Vin’s "lock" record at 2-7 (.222).

Shoppe Talk: Vindicator has himself a nice BBQ beef brisket courtesy of those Texas Longhorns, who wander into the Shoppe with 6 losses in last 7 forecast appearances!

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-1 Season: 14-15-1 (.483)
South Carolina +4 ½ over ARKANSAS, Wyoming +4 over UTAH, Hawaii +7 over NEVADA-RENO, Arizona State -3 over WASHINGTON STATE, MIAMI-OHIO -28 ½ over Buffalo

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 9


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (MSNBC)...You just can’t keep a good coach down and the Rams’ Mike Martz proved that this past Sunday. After the coach, recovering at home from a heart problem, had his attempted call to his offensive coordinator, Steve Fairchild, thwarted by team president John Shaw during Sunday’s game against the Saints, he decided he would not be denied. Within minutes, Martz dialed up famous forecaster Vegas Vindicator and told him to select the Texas Longhorns as his "lock" pick this week against Oklahoma State. An excited Weber Kid confirmed the call had been made, noting "Coach certainly knows offense and I couldn’t argue with the choice." Vindy later phoned Martz, who is reportedly a fan of Weber’s weekly forecast, and asked, "Can you cheer me now??!" Shaw explained to reporters that Martz’ call had been intercepted simply because "Steve would’ve exceeded his cell phone minutes and those overage charges are killers!"

Weber attributes the success of his 13-5 Week 8 (62-74, .456 season) to the forecast implants he got recently, making his picks bigger and more attractive!


#3 VIRGINIA TECH over #13 Boston College giving 13:
With Hokies’ win and cover last Thursday night, Tech is now 11-0 outright and 10-1 ATS on Thursdays. Can’t buck that record here. Tech has taken care of business thus far. Eagles at 6-1 SU are only 8 total points away from 4-3 and were fortunate to get past Clemson and Wake Forest...VT 41 BC 20

SAT. OCT. 29
#1 USC over Washington State giving 30:
Coogs have endured three consecutive tough Stanford by 3, to UCLA by 3 and at Cal by 4...and have four straight defeats altogether to keep them winless in the PAC-10. Trojans’ D is still its weak point, but it was Leinart’s back-up who tossed the INT that cost USC the cover last week...Troy 54 WSU 17

#2 Texas over OKLAHOMA STATE giving 36 ½: "LOCK OF DA’ WEEK". Cowboys can’t possibly stop this offense and even Texas Tech’s scoring machine couldn’t stay close to the Steers. Vindy finally yields to Mighty Longhorns. (Besides...Mike Martz said so!)...Texas 62 OKSU 6

#4 Georgia over #16 FLORIDA (at Jacksonville) taking 4 ½: Florida’s new "No Retreat Law" allows individuals to "stand their ground and meet force with force" should they decide that’s necessary. Guess that means Gators’ Chris Leak can now operate outta’ the shotgun...literally. (That oughta’ cut down on those blitzing linebackers, huh?) ‘Dawgs Shockley is out and Joe Tereshinski, formerly the punter’s personal protector, will step in at quarterback ... Joja’ 19 Florida 16

Utah State over #5 ALABAMA taking 34: Tide could be a bit flat following very lucky victory over Tennessee. Lack of third-down pass protection won’t be an issue here and the schedule-makers were kind to ‘Bama, but Aggies won’t be a complete push-over...Tide 34 USU 6

North Carolina over #6 MIAMI taking 20: Tough pick. Tarheels have held their own against the quality teams on their slate (except in demolition at Louisville). ‘Hurricanes will be rested but maybe a tad rusty having not really been challenged in over a month...Miami 24 UNC 10

North Texas over #7 LSU taking 44: Not unlike Alabama, Bengals needed a breather after back-to-back close wins. Not-so-Mean Green couldn’t come in at a better time for LSU. Vin considered layin’ the lumber, but there’s a good chance of a backdoor cover unless State pitches a shutout...Tigers 45 North Texas 7

STANFORD over #8 Ucla taking 7 1/2: This might be an overreaction to Stanford’s recent success, but the Cardinal has quietly strung together a three-game win streak. Undefeated Bruins have given up only four turnovers in seven games and aren’t likely to stumble entirely, so let’s say...UCLA 27 Stanford 24

#9 Notre Dame: IDLE (next vs. Tennessee)

Maryland @ #10 FLORIDA STATE: OFF

#11 PENN STATE over Purdue giving 15: Though Purdue’s defense is not living up to expectations, the O takes the heat for last week’s loss as the Boilers drove deep twice into Wisky territory only to have two interceptions returned 62 yards and 84 yards for touchdowns. Still, we can’t see them covering this many in Happy Valley...PSU 37 Purdue 13

#12 Ohio State over MINNESOTA giving 4: Buckeyes can stop the run, but can they do it for four quarters? Gophers D has more leaks than the CIA. State should post enough points to hold off late Minny charge...OSU 27 Gerbils 20

#14 Oregon: IDLE (next vs. Cal)

ILLINOIS over #15 Wisconsin taking 19: Curious line that seems to reflect Badgers’ luck more than Illini’s futility of late. Suspicious of the number, we’ll try...Wisky 36 Ilinois 20

#17 Texas Tech over BAYLOR giving 11: No faith in this call. Bears have lost last four in this series by average score of 57-15. Not this time. Baylor is 5-1 ATS and at 4-3 straight up, could go bowlin’ with a victory here or at Mizzou then over Oklahoma State later in the season. Bears haven’t faced this kind of passing game...Tech 35 Baylor 20

#18 West Virginia: IDLE (next vs. Connecticut 11/2)

#19 AUBURN over Mississippi giving 20: Rebels have been competitive this season and before 2004's Auburn win by 21 points, previous four games between these clubs were decided by 8, 6, 7 and 4. Rebels lost by 17 at Tennessee. Tigers missed five (that’s right, sports fans...five!) field goals in three-point OT loss to LSU...Auburn 34 Ol’ Miss 10

#20 Texas Christian over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 6: Aztecs, though improved, are hosting Toads team looking to win at least a share of yet another conference (having already done so in the now-defunct SWC, the WAC and Conference USA) in its first year...TCU 24 SDSU 14

#21 NORTHWESTERN over #25 Michigan taking 3: Wildcats are rolling and look like they want a conference title. Could be Lloyd Carr’s swan song for Michigan team that looks like Big Ten version of bi-polar Georgia Tech Bees...NW 19 Wolverines 16

#22 Fresno State over HAWAII giving 12 ½: Home on the Islands or not, ‘Bows defense, allowing 37 points per game (including shutout of Idaho), is no match for the Bulldogs...FSU 42 Hawaii 17

#23 TENNESSEE over South Carolina giving 14: Vols just can’t catch a decisive break. Gamecocks have a little momentum with three wins in last four. Tennessee special teams are in absolute disarray. A better job by the suicide squads and a reduction of stupid penalties would allow Vols to win and cover here...Rocky Top 34 South Carolina 14

#24 California: IDLE (next @ Oregon)


First 10,000 Lions fans thru the gate at Beaver Stadium this week get a lovely set of Joe Paterno nesting dolls!

Vikes’ coach Mike Tice plans to punish "Love Boat" participants by forcing THEM to scalp his World Series tickets this year!

Elsewhere in Vikings’ news, troubled RB Onterrio Smith has been accused of sexual battery. The alleged victim never saw the player’s face, but identified distinguishing features on Smith’s Whizzinator during a recent line-up!

With 39 yards on 17 touches, Ricky Williams’ return to the Dolphins hasn’t exactly been a stellar one. And now, this public service announcement... "Go ahead. Tell your quarterback you forgot to pass-protect for him because you were getting stoned. He’ll understand."

Even before Weber’s unique NHL marketing strategies were announced, an ice rink was already under construction at Fenway Park. If they can move the visitors’ dugout to left center field, they could have the world’s largest air hockey table!

"Locked in a Box?": Holy cow! Mark it down! Weber grabs his second "lock" victory behind Northwestern’s upset of Michigan State and stands at 2-6 (.250).

Shoppe Talk: With the Gators idle and Virginia falling to UNC as predicted, the Florida State Injuns have the taxidermy shoppe all to themselves this week at 0-6 following a 31-point decision over Duke (+30).

Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-1-1 Season: 12-14-1 (.461)
Ohio -3 over BUFFALO, WESTERN MICHIGAN -3 over Kent State, Navy +6 over RUTGERS

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 8

NCAA Names "Enshrined" On Mars Maps

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, California (BBC)...International Astronomical Union members received permission from the NCAA this week to use references to college football to name rock formations and other landscape features and regions on the surface of Mars. The names, though, unofficial, will provide convenient labels for scientists here at the Jet Propulsion Lab charged with mapping the topography of the Red Planet as photos come back from various Martian rover missions. With thousands of other names already exhausted, certain depressions on Mars will be labeled as "The Swamp" and "The Horseshoe", while a yet-standing short, stout rock formation showing signs of damage from passing meteors and asteroids will bear the name "Rudy". Perhaps punctuating the newly-named region will be the oldest known hill, which scientists will simply call... "JoPa".

In related news, Weber went 7-10 in Week 7 (49-69, .415 season) and will allow the IAU to honor his forecast by tagging a series of Martian sinkholes as "Vindy’s Picks!" Heyyyyyy...WAIT a minute!!!!!!

(More evidence against "intelligent design". Although, natural selection can’t explain the complexities of the BCS!)


#3 Virginia Tech over MARYLAND giving 11: Hokies throttled the Terps 55-6 last year. Both clubs come in rested off a bye week and Marcus Vick continues to lead Tech much the way his brother Michael did. Barring fumbles, can’t see VT faltering here. Tech has been one of the few bright spots in Weber’s forecast, producing wins 10 times in last 12 appearances in the picks...Virginia Tech 34 Box Turtles 13

SAT. OCT. 22
WASHINGTON over #1 Southern Cal taking 30 1/2: Best guess for "wish I had it back". Trojans have dropped three consecutive outings vs. the line. While Huskies are having a dismal year, they’ve lost only once in 2005 by this much. UDUB scored 17 on Notre Dame...USC 40 Sled Dogs 20

#10 Texas Tech over #2 TEXAS taking 16: Red Raiders showed no mercy vs. K-State, continuing to throw long despite having the game well in-hand late in the 4th Quarter. Expect a ton of points. Frankly, Vindicator was shocked (SHOCKED!) to see 25 rushing attempts by Tech in last week’s boxscore...Texas 45 Texas Tech 38

Arkansas over #4 GEORGIA taking 19: ‘Dawgs have covered only two of last five prior to World’s Largest Cocktail Party game vs. Florida. Joja’ is no bargain at 3-3 ATS. If ‘Hogs have any pride left, they’ll show it here... UGA 27 Razorbacks 13

#5 ALABAMA over #17 Tennessee giving 3 ½: According to Sports Illustrated, ‘Bama QB Brody Coyle bears a striking resemblance to Ringo Starr. Apparently Brody and his teammates played like the former Beatles drummer as Tide eked out a last second 13-10 victory over Ol’ Miss. Alabama needs this to stay ahead of LSU in the SEC West. Vols need the "W" to get back in the conference race...Tide 24 Vols 17

#6 MIAMI over Georgia Tech giving 16: Bees fizzled after impressive opening win over Auburn en route to 3-0 start. Yes, they ultimately beat up on Duke, but not before being down 10-7 to the Blue Devils at the intermission. ‘Canes will be rested having scored...uh... zippo... against Temple in the second half last week. If they aren’t delayed by Wilma...Miami 30 GT 9

#16 Auburn over #7 LSU taking 6 ½: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Aubie stole a 10-9 triumph in 2004. Bengals are 0-2 ATS "at-home" thus far. LSU managed to survive 5 turnovers versus Florida...Auburn 24 LSU 17

Oregon State over #8 UCLA taking 9 1/2: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Bruins are one of the most fortunate 6-0 teams Vindy’s ever seen and the youth finally rears its ugly head. Beavers ambush UCLA to grab back-to-back upsets...OSU 34 Bruins 31

#9 NOTRE DAME over Brigham Young giving 20: Irish know they had a huge win get away and with 2-2 Mountain West record, Cougars might be more interested in next week’s tussle vs. Air Force. BYU has covered 8 of last 11 when getting road points, however...ND 42 BYU 10

DUKE over #11 Florida State taking 30: Take away 58-yard touchdown run and Seminoles got all of 37 yards on 20 carries vs. Virginia. Cavs only posted 20 yards on 28 carries in that game. Until the Injuns decide to execute some offense during the first 30 minutes of a match, we’ll grab da’ handicap...FSU 41 Duke 17

#12 Penn State over ILLINOIS giving 17: Lions can certainly take some of the blame for loss at Michigan last week due to poor tackling, poor kick coverage and two missed field goals, but for those who didn’t see the game, the zebras were definitely on the Ann Arbor payroll, missing a face-mask penalty and badly spotting the ball three times vs. State...Lions 31 Illini 10

#13 Boston College: IDLE (next @ Virginia Tech 10/27)

#14 Ohio State over INDIANA giving 15 1/2: Only second time Buckeyes have played away from the Horseshoe this season. State could probably bench the offense and win this simply with defense and special teams. Throw in the "O" and we like...OSU 24 Indy 0

#15 Oregon over ARIZONA giving 9: Wildcats’ loss to Stanford shows they ain’t quite there yet under Mike Stoops. Cal has to visit Autzen Stadium next week, so nothing to suggest Mallards can’t handle this...Ducks 34 AZ 16

#18 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Georgia)

#19 WISCONSIN over Purdue giving 7 1/2: Cheese-heads are lucky to still be wearing the "#"! Up 3 over Wisky with half-a-minute left and punting from his own end zone, did Gophers coach Mason simply not think about taking an intentional safety or did he not trust his own swiss-cheese defenders? With the Badgers’ special teams and recently-discovered Arena League stop-squad of its own allowing 109 points the last three weeks and Purdue allowing nothing less than 24 all season, the "over"(60) might be the best call...Rodents 41 Boilers 30

#20 West Virginia over SOUTH FLORIDA giving 2: Bulls get a home game sandwiched between four away contests. Somebody might be makin’ too much of USF’s demolition of Louisville. Mountaineers suddenly look like the class of the Big Least. With only a home game vs. Pitt, gotta’ think West Virginia has the inside track to the conference crown and the BCS berth...WVU 20 South Florida 13

#21 Texas Christian over AIR FORCE (Pick ‘Em): Wouldn’t surprise Vin to see Falcons win this...big! Toads have found way to win the close ones. Pilots haven’t. USAF can bowl with three wins in last four. No dis to Colorado State or SDSU, but this looks like Frogs’ toughest barrier to MWC crown...TCU 27 Jet Jockeys 24

Northwestern over #22 MICHIGAN STATE taking 12: "LOCK OF DA’ WEEK". Badgers and Boilermakers have fallen to NW. Vindy’s Lions probably should have too. Teams are too evenly matched on offense. Have to take the points. Upset is possible. We’ll just call it a shootout...MSU 34 ‘Cats 31

NORTH CAROLINA over #23 Virginia (Pick ‘Em): Key game for the bowl hopes of both sides. Cavs got by Florida State on the strength of five ‘Noles turnovers and 13 Injuns penalties. Backin’ the ‘Heels at home...UNC 24 Virginia 20

#24 Fresno State over IDAHO giving 29: Even UNLV beat the Vandals...FSU West 45 Idaho 3

Washington State over #25 CAL taking 12: Both squads have suffered consecutive
heartbreaking defeats the last two weeks and are collectively 16 total points away from a combined 11-0 record! Right now, Cal just needs a win, not a convincing one...Bears 27 Wazzou 20


The ‘dogs in Weber’s forecast have covered 60% on the year and 66% over the last three weeks. Chalk? Is there any chalk in the house?? Anywhere at all? How ‘bout a piece of limestone?!! Anyone?...ANYONE???!!!

Vindy’s Picks have been so cold lately, the Korean Baseball Organization now knows what happened to all the iced cabbage leaves it banned its players from using earlier this year!

This season’s bizarre string of losses: Florida State lost to Virginia, who lost to Maryland, who lost to Clemson, who lost to Wake Forest, who lost to Vanderbilt, who lost to Middle Tennessee, who lost to Akron, who lost to Central Michigan! Following the logic, FSU would lose to...Central Michigan!!!????

Miami was recently awarded the 2010 Super Bowl. Halftime entertainment will include then-16-year-old Elian Gonzales receiving his driver’s license, but not before hitting both pylons while parallel parking in the end zone!

Weber read an article referring to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as "the Vatican’s theological enforcer". "Theological enforcer?" Did he lead the Vatican hockey team in penalty minutes or what? Was he sent to the ice as a goon to rough up sinners on the opposing team when his club needed an emotional lift?!!!

Back in March, Twins catcher Mike Redmond was caught taking batting practice au natural! No word yet on whether Big Mike will get a promo gig for Desperate Housewives, replace Mickey Rooney for a Super Bowl commercial or land a detective role on NYPD Blue!

Touch ‘Em All!...While Vindy’s college picks far exceed anything Hoover or Electrolux ever put out, for the second time in as many seasons, Weber wins a piece of the Coast Casinos "Pick The Pros" contest pie, going a perfect 14-0 over this past Sunday and Monday. Normally, Vindicator would be ecstatic, but as his luck would have it, there were 91 (count ‘em, 91!!) other !@&$!@#!!!! sons-o’-beachballs who also went 14-0 on this week’s NFL games, severely reducing the amount of rubles Vindy will pocket!!!!

Regarding the recent Minnesota "Love Boat/Booze Cruise" scandal, Vin just wants to know how the Colorado Buffaloes got those Vikings uniforms and how they managed to move their recruiting parties that far East of Boulder! By the way, the body of water involved will be heretofore known as...Lake Minniskirta!

"Locked in a Box?": Ummmm...doesn’t "lock" mean the selected team is all but certain to beat the spread??? Buffaloes got crushed by Texas and Weber’s schlock of da’ week record continues to free-fall at 1-6!!!!!

Shoppe Talk: Gators bit Vindy again (and Weber happily accepts Florida’s bye this week!). So did Louisville (who mercifully falls outta’ the rankings this week!). Virginia returns to haunt our flabbergasted forecaster! The FSU Injuns are also nearby, whacking Weber 5 times in 5 at-bats!

Vindy’s Week 8 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 11-13 (.458)

Nebraska +3 over MISSOURI, Hawaii -7 over SAN JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS STATE, OHIO -7 ½ over Ball State

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 7

BCS Dumps Harris for Cardinals

ROME, Italy (ITAR-Tass)...Less than a week before the Bowl Championship Series publishes its first 2005 season poll, BCS officials showed Harris Poll the exit in favor of the Conclave of Cardinals! An anonymous BCS spokesperson noted it was rumors indicating Harris pollsters actually gave votes to 1-4 Idaho that led to the change and acknowledged the cardinals would face little difficulty selecting teams in an environment permitting weekly voting changes after appointing the world leader of the Catholic religion for years to come in less than 24 hours. In addition, white smoke will emanate from the Sistine Chapel each time a new Number One team is chosen. Opponents’ only fear is that Notre Dame will receive a ranking every week regardless of its win-loss record!

The ‘dogs claimed 13 of 17 and left Vindy 5-12 for last week! Even’s staffer "Clucko the Chicken" (actually just a coin toss) has a better spread record than Weber’s season total of 42-59 (.416).

Drawing more boos than Ashley Simpson at last year’s Super Bowl, it’s...


#9 NOTRE DAME over #1 Southern Cal taking 11 1/2: Leprechauns have not beaten a team whose season hasn’t come crumbling down around its cleats thus far, but Trojans still look very lucky and very beatable. We like ND’s chance at the upset...Irish 24 Troy 23

#24 Colorado over #2 TEXAS taking 17 1/2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Congratulations to Mack Brown for finally reeling in the elusive "big one"! Line is understandable given Buffs two big wins came vs. two of the Big 12's most disappointing teams, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State and given Colorado’s 20-point loss at Miami. Nonetheless, we like the letdown situation for Texas, who now deals with hearing their strength of schedule isn’t good enough for a Rose Bowl bid...Texas 38 Colorado 27

#3 Virginia Tech: IDLE (next @ Maryland 10/20)

#4 Florida State over VIRGINIA giving 7: Injuns have definitely been a second-half team this year. Vindicator will forgive the ‘Noles for yielding a Wake Forest touchdown with 20 seconds left to give Deacons the backdoor cover last week if they just pound the bejeezus outta’ the Cavs... FSU 34 Virginia 17

VANDERBILT over #5 Georgia taking 15 ½: Vindy tips his helmet to the Boat People for three quarters of ferocious defensive effort vs. LSU last week. They get Vindy’s vote again here with Joja’ off big win over the Vols...Georgia 23 Vandy 12

#6 Alabama over MISSISSIPPI giving 12 1/2: With the first BCS poll due out, ‘Bammy needs a convincing win. Just to annoy the Rebels, Tide defenders will count to "three Mississippi" before rushing the passer! Tide won the toss for the first time all season in game vs. the Gators, making its record 1-3 ADC (Against Da’ Coin!)...’Bama 29 Ol’ Missed 13

TEMPLE over #7 Miami taking 41: Best choice for "wish I had it back". Owls are 0-6 outright but 2-4 ATS. ‘Canes called off the dogs vs. Duke with about 10 minutes to play and still covered. Will Miami still care enough to continue pressing past the third quarter?...Miami 51 Owls 13

#8 Penn State over MICHIGAN taking 3 1/2: Earlier this year, Coach Paterno deferred to the university powers to decide whether or not to reveal his annual financial compensation. As far as Weber knows, that information is still a military secret, but at 6-0 and Illinois yet to come, if Lions don’t go bowling, JoPa’s salary’s gonna’ be $5.15 an hour plus tips!...Lions 17 Wolverines 15

#10 LSU over #11 Florida (GASP!) giving 6: Not sure whether to attribute Bengals’ four turnovers and 14 penalties last week to LSU’s sloppiness or to Vandy’s improvement. Nonetheless, former coach Nick Saban wouldn’t tolerate that. Neither will current coach Les Miles. Expect more focus and better execution this time from the Tigers...LSU 24 Gators 16

#12 Ucla over WASHINGTON STATE giving 6: OK, it’s Homecoming for the Coogs, but this is a scary line. Wazzou’s victories came vs. I-A foes with a collective 4-7 record and Grambling State. Bruins easily could’ve lost to Cal, but didn’t...Bruins 28 WSU 17

#13 TEXAS TECH over Kansas State giving 13 1/2: The offenses were so backward in last week’s Kansas State 12-3 victory over Kansas, a witch fell on a house in Manhattan and killed it! Red Raiders just happy to have escaped Lincoln with a late win. ‘Cats have done little since losing Sproles to the NFL...Texas Tech 34 KSU 17

Wake Forest over #14 BOSTON COLLEGE taking 14: Contrary to Weber’s prediction, Demon Deacons used their rushing game to negate Florida State’s team speed for three quarters. Eagles rush defense is better. Wake averages 4 ½ yards per carry and has 11 rushing touchdowns. BC allows 2 ½ yards per carry and only two touchdowns on the ground. A little voice (and da’ coin) keeps whispering "Deacons"...Eagles 21 Wake Forest 13

#16 Michigan State over #15 OHIO STATE taking 6 ½: Buckeyes had a couple chances to beat Penn State deep last week and just missed. If Spartans can bottle up Ted Ginn like Lions did, they could win too. After Ginn was held to 40 yards on three catches vs. PSU, Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel asked the NCAA to "Pimp my wide...receiver!" In overtime... Ohio State 24 MSU 21

#17 Tennessee: IDLE (next @ Alabama)

#18 CAL over Oregon State giving 16: Can’t really criticize Cal’s decision to call a pass play from its own10 with 1:35 left to try to move the ball into FG range, but doing a little Sunday-morning quarterbacking, Vindy wonders just a bit why Bears didn’t stick with running game that was getting 7 yards a pop. Cal must stop Beavers’ wideout Hass. Cal defense does have more INTs (6) than aerial TDs allowed (4)...Cal 41 OSU 20

#19 Louisville over WEST VIRGINIA giving 7: For picking North Carolina, who lost 69-14 to the Cardinals, as his "upset pick of da’ week", Weber wins a cameo appearance in 49er’s next "diversity training" video! Cardinals’ two spread losses have come on the road, but they were laying three touchdowns or more in both cases...Louisville 34 WVU 24

#20 OREGON over Washington giving 15 1/2: Gang Green defense put the clamps on Arizona State after spotting the Sun Devils a 10-point cushion. We think UDUB caught UCLA looking ahead to Cal. Ducks should light it up frequently...Decoys 42 Sled Dogs 17

#21 Auburn over ARKANSAS giving 7 1/2: Home team has fared well against the line and Auburn hits the road for the first time all year. Hogs’ struggles, however, give Vin little hope of Arkansas staying this close. Following criticism for trying to justify a BCS spot given its soft non-conference schedule in 2004, Tigers have cancelled 2006 games vs. ESPNU, the College of Cardinals and Gene Simmons’ Rock School...Auburn 24 Razorbacks 10

#23 Wisconsin @ #22 MINNESOTA: OFF

#25 TEXAS CHRISTIAN over Army giving 23: Yes, the Toads got seven (count ‘em, seven!) turnovers from Wyoming and have generally squeaked by its other competition to-date. Keydets have covered only once in five attempts and Iowa State seems to have folded after belting rival Iowa. Vin would take the (West) points if this were in New York...TCU 45 Army 13


With last week’s outright win over Iowa State, Baylor is now 4-1 straight up this year and 11-2-1 ATS in its last 14 games! Bears also got a vote in this week’s AP Poll and cashed Vindy’s only winning ticket last week!

After Colorado State stuffed the Utes in a goal line situation last week, Karl Rove admitted revealing the meaning of Utah signals as calling the "QB sneak", but contends he did nothing wrong since he did not name a specific player!

UNLV kicker Sergio Aguayo converted not one, but two 52-yard field goals in win over San Diego State. Maybe the Philadelphia Eagles would like to borrow his services while David Akers recuperates on the sidelines!!

Part of Weber’s NHL marketing strategy also includes building a few open-air venues near bodies of water so fans can rent kayaks, listen to the games on the radio and retrieve pucks shot high over the wall into the water, akin to San Francisco’s McCovey Cove! To save a few dollars in a time when gas prices are prohibitive, Zamboni machines will stay parked and arenas will go to the grounds crew concept, having several individuals side-by-side dragging women’s heating pads along the ice surface to groom it between the periods! (No pun intended!)

If, as reported, steroids lead to shrinkage of the testicles, Jose Canseco should be able to have his set in a lovely pair of earrings! At least, then, if he looked in a mirror, he could still see them dangling!

More diamond August, Reds’ hurler Jung Keun Bong was arrested on charges of domestic battery following an altercation with his wife. Potential headlines the next day coulda’ read, "Police Respond to Home After Bong Hit!"

"Locked in a Box?": Now 1-5 courtesy of last play TD by UCLA to cover vs. Cal.
Shoppe Talk: Gators now 2-14-2 in their last 18 forecast at-bats! Louisville Cardinals now 0-5 this year!

Vindy’s Week 7 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-1 Season: 10-10 (.500)
SYRACUSE -2 over Rutgers, Tulsa -7 over RICE, NORTHERN ILLINOIS -19 over Eastern Michigan, Oklahoma State +18 ½ over TEXAS A&M

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 6


NEW YORK, New York (Reuters)...Fearing sagging attendance following loss of an entire season to a labor dispute, NHL officials turned to a surprising source for help and hired the Vegas Vindicator as Director of Marketing. The Weber Kid is expected to bring innovative ideas to promote the new league and to keep within the theme of fewer stoppages and higher offensive output. Vindicator will not only reduce the size of goaltenders’ equipment, but will leave the net-minders armed with only potholders and curtain rods! Vindy also proposed drawing more fans by giving several arenas their own distinctive features, such as higher glass in a certain corner of the rink a la Fenway Park or covering the boards with ivy like Wrigley Field in Chicago. With removal of the two-line pass rule, Weber likes the new slogan, "More puck don’t suck!" and predicted that in a few months, "NHL" would come to be known as the "Numerous Hat-trick League!"

Speaking of "Don’t Suck", Vindicator managed to go 11-8 for Week 5 ( 37-47, .440 season) and in honor of the late Don Adams of "Get Smart" fame, "wouldja’ believe...."

#24 GEORGIA TECH over NC State giving 4 1/2: Bees got smoked at Virginia Tech two weeks ago. No shame in that. Wolfpack stayed close in home loss to the Hokies to open the year before VT got rolling. ‘Jackets have owned the spread in this series and have gone win, loss, win, loss ATS this year. If the pattern holds...Tech 31 NC State 20

#1 USC over Arizona giving 37 1/2:
Had Trojans won handily the last two weeks, we’ would’ve considered the points, but USC has been in trouble two weeks running on the road. No such issues this time at the Coliseum...Troy 48 AZ 10

Oklahoma over #2 TEXAS taking 13 1/2: Longhorns have squeaked by in their last two big-game wins (last season’s Rose Bowl and this year at Ohio State). All week, Texas will hear about its five straight losses to the Sooners. The number is too high. We give the victory to Texas (finally), but the psychological advantage and the spread to Oklahoma...’Horns 27 OK 24

#3 VIRGINIA TECH over Marshall giving 35: Second choice for "lock". Marshall has fewer returning starters (7) than Mountaineers had (8) and are no better than Georgia Tech and Ohio U., both of whom were crushed in Blacksburg. Hokies are perfect 5-0 ATS and have a bye next. Michael Vick’s behavior is faltering as he made an inappropriate hand gesture to the West Virginia crowd, but unless he sits (and assuming usual quota of blocked kicks and interceptions)..Tech 45 Marshall 3

#4 FLORIDA STATE over Wake Forest giving 20 ½: Seminoles’ speed outclasses Deacons’ efforts to keep the clock moving with the ground game...FSU 31 Wake 7

#5 Georgia over #8 TENNESSEE taking 3: Vindy wants to pick this one almost as much as he’d wanna’ pick a Florida/Virginia match-up! Bulldogs have flown below the radar thus far with all the attention on Vols and Gators’ issues. Looks like a good spot for the ‘Dawgs, maybe in overtime...Joja’ 20 Tennessee 17

#16 PENN STATE over #6 Ohio State taking 3: Home team has covered last 7 and Lions can really use the friendly surroundings of Beaver Stadium here. Nice to see JoPa opening the playbook a bit with an end-around that went for a TD last week. Average margin over victory over last four years has been 5 points. With these defenses, have to figure the over/under on total field goals is 6 ½...Lions 19 Buckeyes 16

#7 Alabama: IDLE (next @ Ol’ Miss)

#9 MIAMI over Duke giving 35: Blue Devils have yet to cover the spread in four tries this year and this is usually the time of the season when Duke starts to warm up the hardwood for a little roundball. ‘Canes D could keep Duke outta’ the end zone and probably off the scoreboard altogether...Miami 44 Duke 0

#10 California over #20 UCLA taking 2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We’re about to find out which side has the best shot at bringin’ down the Trojans. Cal walloped Washington on the road. UCLA dodged a bullet vs. UDUB last week. Bears did lose at UCLA in 2003, but we think Cal should be the chalk...Bears 24 Bruins 17

VANDERBILT over #11 Louisiana State taking 14 1/2: Best candidate for "wish I had it back!". Bengals dropped seven notches in the rankings after laying a 30-point victory on Mississippi State???!! In years gone by, Vandy’s loss to Sun Belt’s Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders wouldn’t have been that big a shocker. But this year, Commodores were looking competitive. A very shaky vote for Vanderbilt in the home harbor...LSU 24 Admirals 15

#12 Notre Dame: IDLE (next vs. USC)

#13 FLORIDA over Mississippi State giving 27 1/2: Florida’s pass defense vs. ‘Bama was terrible! No faith in their D here either, but MSU is a good team to turn things around on. With the Meatloaf CD cued up in the background ... Weber croons "I would do annnny thinnng for love, but I wonnnnn’t do that... No, noooo...I won’t do...THAT!" It was finally revealed this week "that" is picking Gator games!...UF 48 MSU 17

#14 Wisconsin over NORTHWESTERN giving 7: Indiana scored a meaningless touchdown with 1:22 left on the Wisky reserves, backdooring Wisconsin (and Weber) last week. Having gotten by Michigan, Badgers’ toughest remaining game on the slate appears to be visit to Happy Valley on November 5. Win there and Wisconsin goes undefeated in the Big Ten... Badgers 30 NW 17

#15 Texas Tech over NEBRASKA giving 4: Huskers can grab a ranking if they pull this out. Asking the Huskers’ defense to stop potent Red Raiders’ passing attack this much with little help from the offense might be a bit unrealistic!...Tech 27 Big Red 17

#25 Oregon over #17 ARIZONA STATE taking 9: Ducks and Devils both have to be wondering what it really takes to beat USC. Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS including 3-1 at home. Mallards have covered both their away tilts. Initial thought was go with State, but given defensive meltdowns by both defenses vs. the Trojans, we’ll grab the points and the Ducks in a shootout...ASU 37 Oregon 34

#18 BOSTON COLLEGE over Virginia giving 7: Maryland hung 570 yards of total offense on Virginia two weeks ago. Cavs won’t be able to run on BC’s #2 rush defense...Eagles 31 Virginia 16

#19 Michigan State: IDLE (next @ Ohio State)

#21 MICHIGAN over Minnesota giving 7: Gophers paper-thin run-stoppers have been exposed. Both Purdue and Penn State lit up Minny’s D for about 6 yards per carry on the ground. Michigan posted better than 5 yards per carry vs. Michigan State. Wolverines were victimized by a couple of big 4th Quarter plays in both losses. If they play some defense the last 15 minutes here...Michigan 24 Minny 14

#22 Auburn: IDLE (next @ Arkansas)

North Carolina over #23 LOUISVILLE taking 12: UPSET SPECIAL. Line has moved in favor of UNC, so bettors weren’t impressed by Cards’ 61-10 thrashing of FAU. Neither was the Weber Kid. Cardinals now 0-4 for Vindy’s 2005 picks! Louisville was heavily penalized, but also only had one more turnover in bad loss to South Florida...Tarheels 29 Louisville 27

By the way, Vindy also plans to establish Jack Daniels as the official sponsor of the NHL and will replace the traditional plastic water bottle atop the goal net with a quart of whiskey and the requisite glassware. Play-by-play commentary would then take on a whole new connotation as the announcer calls..."Shot! Save! Shot! Save! Shot...SCORRRRRRRRRE!!" (Yep...that one’s for you, Dan!). More on hockey next week!

Correction Dept.: Weber wrongly identified Michigan’s kicker as Jose Rivas. His correct name is Garrett Rivas. Also, there were no Monday night college pigskin games played contrary to Vindy’s original belief LSU and Tennessee had been moved again to Monday night. So, college football was simply played 10 straight days, not 11 of 12 (though it started up again Tuesday this week and will be played Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday!)

Las Vegas continues to celebrate 100 years! Almost as many as Joe Paterno has spent patrolling the sidelines in Happy Valley!

After bashing the "directional Michigans" a couple weeks ago, Vindy is man enough to collectively salute those same teams this week as the Eagles, Chippewas and Broncos all posted victories over I-A clubs!

Following an encounter with IRS last Spring, Vindy recommends the following name change for a certain NY Giants wide-receiver: Tax-He-Owe Burress!

With certain shows airing season premieres on FOX this past weekend, one particular commercial featured a rhododendron seductively convincing Terrell Owens to miss the big game, dropping its towel and leaping into the arms of the befuddled Eagles receiver in a shameless plug for... "Desperate House Plants!"

The Major League Playoffs are underway! This week’s ESPN: The Magazine reveals 37% of men leaving bathrooms at Turner Field in Atlanta don’t wash their hands. What they don’t tell ya is that the other 63% either missed and elected to wash off their shoes instead or simply didn’t have any hands to begin with!

On March 24, a swarm of yellow-jackets caused an early end to a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies...but not before fans got see a 6-to-4-to-bee double-play!

On the NCAA hardwood...Texas Tech announced this week Bobby Knight’s son, Pat, will replace him at the helm after the ‘09 season. Bobby then proudly displayed photos of Pat as a toddler, hurling his potty chair onto the driveway basketball court!

"Locked in a Box?": Now 1-4 (.200) as the Bruins tanked vs. UDUB!

Shoppe Talk: It ain’t a week of college football without the standard forecast loss courtesy of those Florida Gators (now 2-13-2 in Vindy’s last 17 attempts!)

Vindy’s Week 6 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-2 Season: 8-9 (.470)
Baylor +9 /2 over IOWA STATE, San Diego State -8 over UNLV, EAST CAROLINA -5 over Rice