Thursday, September 29, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 3


HOUSTON, Texas (UPI)…Explanation of dark spots the size of a small state on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan has eluded scientists for several months. But after viewing more photos from the Cassini spacecraft, researchers have narrowed down the possibilities to Randy Moss’ afro or Barry Bonds’ ego. Fly-bys also revealed clouds that gathered then dissipated after several hours. Scientists have reportedly linked the clouds to Ricky Williams and something about a "blue moon".

In related news, had Deep Impact missed the comet it was targeting earlier this year in an effort to learn about more the beginning of the solar system, NASA revealed its back-up plan was to launch a similar probe into the side of Joe Paterno to collect core samples! Having tracked JoPa’s movements for several weeks, NASA would have launched the probe on August 23rd, expecting a planned impact with the coach on September 17th as he made his way back across campus from Beaver Stadium following this week’s Central Michigan game!

Vindicator embraced his inner forecaster and rebounded from Week One to go 8-6 (14-18, .438 on da’ season) and offers…


#1 USC over Arkansas giving 31½: Vindy nearly changed his initial pick here after noting Hogs lead the league in rushing yardage and rush yards per game, but almost 70% of that came vs. lower-level Mizzou State. Up 11 starting the 4th Quarter, Arkansas must’ve glanced at the schedule and panicked when they saw Trojans on-deck, ultimately losing to Vandy. In any case, Matt Leinart has promised to show-off some nifty ballroom moves at halftime…USC 47 Arkansas 13

Rice over #2 TEXAS taking 40: Horns are at home and Toads were away, but Vindy paid the price for noting then ignoring intra-Texas battle and letdown spot for TCU. He won’t make the same mistake here…Steers 51 Owls 17

#3 LSU: IDLE (next vs. Tennessee)

#4 VIRGINIA TECH over Ohio giving 35: Best candidate for "wish I had it back" this week. MAC teams have history of covering or upsetting BCS conference squads. Hokies’ last spread loss in a home opener was 2001, laying almost half-a-century vs. up-and-coming UConn club. Bobblecats stuck it to Pitt last week, but this is Blacksburg…VT 51 Ohio 6

#5 Tennessee over #6 FLORIDA (GASP!) taking 4 1/2: And the winner is…Steve Spurrier…who will have his TiVo in full swing to catch these teams against each other well-before he actually faces them. If his Gamecocks don’t go into OT vs. ‘Bama, Steve could watch it live. Gotta’ take the dog here as Meyer faces his inaugural huge SEC tilt…Vols 24 Gators 23

#7 GEORGIA over Louisiana-Monroe giving 38 1/2: Indians don’t fare well getting at least 4 TDs on the road, have a new defensive coordinator and have only 5 returning defensive starters. It shows. Vindy had UL-Monroe as projected Sun Belt champ, but it’s nothing more than personal growth here. In last Saturday’s 38-Zippo loss to Wyoming, Monroe QB Jyles was 13 of 32 (15 of 32 if ya count catches by guys in the other jersey) for a completion rate of 40.65%. Not great, but higher than Bush’s approval rating this week…Joja’ 49 UL-Monroe 9

#17 BOSTON COLLEGE over #8 Florida State giving 1: Three and a half point swing on this match in favor of BC. Still a tough call, but Eagles have long-term coaching stability, the homefield on da’ Hill and a precedent indicating former-Big Least teams wreak havoc during their first year in the ACC …oh,…and an opponent that knows they got VERY lucky last week…BC 24 FSU 19

#9 OHIO STATE over San Diego State giving 27: "LOCK OF DA’ WEEK". SDSU is 11-3-1 getting double-digits on the road, including a 16-13 loss at Columbus in 2003 and a 3-point loss at Ann Arbor last year. Unfortunately, a total of four returning defensive starters has already seen the Aztecs yield 85 points in first two matches. Buckeyes wanna’ pound somebody off loss to Texas…OSU 45 SDSU 3

Michigan State over #10 NOTRE DAME taking 7: Irish have struggled ATS vs. Michigan State, covering only 2 of 9 and are in letdown spot after upsetting Wolverines. Spartans always quietly threaten to surprise the Big 10. In a season of early upsets already, another one here wouldn’t shock Vindy, but let’s say…Leprechauns 20 MSU 17

Oregon State over #11 LOUISVILLE taking 13: The off-season appearance of two Beavers’ players on Judge Judy for an assault over a property damage issue doesn’t seem to have affected OSU’s field performance. Redbirds haven’t exactly flashed the form everybody’s expecting en route to an undefeated season. Possible pothole for Louisville…Cardinals 24 OSU 16

#12 Purdue over ARIZONA giving 8: Second choice for lock. Boilers have tough games on the horizon at Minnesota and against the Irish and the Hawkeyes, but Vindy isn’t buying into Wildcats’ giant improvement this season under Coach Stoops. Ten points looks very feasible…Purdue 27 AZ 12

#13 Miami over #20 CLEMSON giving 7 1/2: How many times can the Tigers muster 4th Quarter comebacks? (And those were a whole lot easier vs. the Aggies and the Box Turtles than they would be against the ‘Canes!). Wouldn’t want to have been a Miami player this week (on any squad) during the film session of the Florida State game!!!!…Miami 31 Clemson 14

Eastern Michigan over #14 MICHIGAN taking 30 1/2: Vindy vacillated on this pick repeatedly before settling here. Eagles were expected to be more competitive this season…and have been, losing by only a bucket at Cincinnati then whacking UL-Lafayette. They are, however, in a spot similar to the San Diego State team noted above. Could the Wolverines open the year 0-3 ATS?…Michigan 34 Ypsilanti 6

#15 CAL over Illinois giving 21 1/2: Last time the Illini visited Berkeley in 2001, they won outright…44-17! It was fun in Champagne while it lasted. For those who’ve seen the latest Right Guard commercial… "Red Rover, Red Rover…we call Ron Zook over!" …Bears 44 UI 20

Connecticut @ #16 GEORGIA TECH: OFF

#18 ARIZONA STATE over Northwestern giving 14 ½: We’re laying the lumber, but have to wonder what the Sun Devils have in the tank following crazy game vs. the Bengals last week. Not to be outdone by the NW women’s lacrosse team, Wildcats have already purchased the sandals they’ll wear to the White House if they win the national title!…ASU 34 NW 13

Sam Houston State @ #19 TEXAS TECH: No Line.

#21 Oklahoma over UCLA taking 7: Sooners are still decent on defense, but look seriously confused on the other side of the ball. If it wasn’t for 48-yard INT return for TD with 3 seconds left, the final margin of Sooners’ victory over Tulsa woulda’ been single-digits! With or without Peterson…UCLA 17 Still Not OK 14

Northern Iowa @ #22 IOWA: No Line.

OREGON over #23 Fresno State giving 2 ½: Mallards haven’t covered in three tries vs. the Bulldogs, who are also 20-7 against the number vs. non-conference teams. Vindy was taking Fresno when the spread was 6. We’ll take the Quack Attack spotting less than a FG at home, even with USC on-deck…Ducks 24 Dogs 20

#24 Iowa State: IDLE (next @ Army 9/23)

#25 Virginia over SYRACUSE giving 8 ½: Orange is tough in the Dome. If they stay this close though, it’s because of the defense. ‘Cuse won’t be able to trade TDs on offense while learning a new system… Cavs 27 Syracuse 10


Against the lines in Vindy’s Picks, the underdogs have gone 20-11-1 thus far. As reflected in his picks, Weber expects more chalk covers this week.

Given ESPN’s coverage of blueberry pie-eating contest in Maine, ring "jousting" in Maryland and senior racquetball in New Mexico, Vin would rather follow sportscaster Stuart Scott and wingman Kenny Mayne as they try to pick up chicks in sports bars across America on "50 Dates in 50 Days!"

"Meet the Fockers"….and other teams in the new Conference USA!

With an ever-growing barrage of reality TV shows, isn’t it just a matter of time before we see "So You Think You Can Date My Quarterback’s Mom?"

The Saints are slated to play their first "home" tilt at the Meadowlands, followed by home games at Baton Rouge and San Antonio. If that all goes to hell-in-a-handbasket, Weber expects them play all their home games in Puerto Rico then move next season to D.C., where they’ll change the team name to "Nationals" and compete for a wild card spot!

In June, Eagles’ kicker David Akers clocked six laps at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at 100 mph or better in Richmond, Virginia. Musta’ thrown off his equilibrium given two missed FGs vs. the Falcons on MNF!

The aforementioned sandals worn by Northwestern to the visit at the White House were eventually auctioned off for charity. Vindicator thinks autographed under-things worn during that visit or during the title game would fetch more booty (um…pardon the pun!)!

The NFL has changed the rules for "horse collar" tackles. Mirroring that change, bookies can still collar bettors near the sportsbook counter, but once in the open casino, such a tackle results in a 15-yard unsportswriterlike conduct penalty!

Vindy’s travel agent recently handed him his Southwest Airlines tickets…then doused him with a Gatorade bucket! "Must be football season!"

"Locked in a Box?": Weber’s 0-2 after Army got belted by BC.

Shoppe Talk: With last week’s cover vs. Louisiana Tech, the Gators slither out (though not far away), while the Ohio State Buckeyes, now 2-8 in the last 10 going back to 2004, stumble in!

VINDY’S WEEK 3 BEST BETS: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 4-3

Kentucky +2 1/2 over INDIANA, Toledo –30 1/2 over TEMPLE, Central Michigan + 23 1/2 over PENN STATE (Oh, the shame!), Rutgers –22 1/2 over BUFFALO, KANSAS –14 over Louisiana Tech

Vindy's Picks Week 2


NEW YORK, New York (Reuters)…Stock values in all of Martha Stewart’s holdings have skyrocketed recently as the announcement banning Stewart from betting with Vindy’s Picks continues to reverberate throughout Wall Street. As conditions of her ongoing probation, Martha also agreed to refraining from getting drunk, owning a gun and being outside the federal court jurisdiction of New York. Originally scheduled to shed her electronic tracking device in early August, the domestic diva conceded some additional weeks of house arrest after unspecified violations, thought to be placing parlay bets with her bookie while roaming the vast expanses of her ranch. Recently, Stewart uttered one word to the media…"hideous". "The ankle bracelet?" queried one reporter. "No," quipped the homemaking maven, "Vindy’s picks!…I lost a ton of money this past weekend!"

Having recovered from self-inflicted shotglass wounds endured as Weber tallied the results of his 6-12 Week One prognostication, Vindy tries again with…


#1 Southern Cal:
IDLE (next vs. Arkansas)

#4 OHIO STATE over #2 Texas (PK): No question…game of da’ week, possibly game of da’ season! Buckeyes’ D dominated a solid Miami-Ohio offense, but the offense for State also bogged down frequently in the red zone. Meanwhile, ‘Horns trashed UL-Lafayette, but Texas also made the Cajuns look like Virginia Tech on special teams, giving up two blocked extra points. Too early in the season for Steers to get this game… Ohio State 24 Texas 20

#20 Notre Dame over #3 MICHIGAN taking 7: Dog has won ATS 15 of the previous 19 and 8 of last 9. Wolverines had 11 more minutes time-of-possession and got 5 turnovers vs. NIU, yet did not cover. Charlie Weis has possibly awoken the X’s and echoes and would become Da’ Man in South Bend with a win here. Ummmm…no…but we like the points….Michigan 17 ND 14

#15 ARIZONA STATE over #5 Louisiana State taking 7: Crushing Temple at home isn’t much of a gauge for the Sun Devils, but it appears they’ve lost nothing at QB with Sam Keller rather than Andrew Walters. No telling what the psyche is of the Bengals following devastation of New Orleans and now the game has been moved to Tempe…LSU 31 ASU 29

#6 Tennessee: IDLE (next @ Florida)

#7 Virginia Tech over DUKE giving 20: Hokies get the nod here only because Duke got yet another offensive coordinator…Richard O’Brien…who’s numbers as RB coach at Maryland are not inspiring (though he had a few less starters each of his two years). Vick won’t stay outta’ trouble all season, but he’s good here…VT 33 Devils 10

#8 Iowa over IOWA STATE giving 8 ½: Hawkeyes pummeled Ball State, who was short 6 or 7 starters, who rode the pine for illegally getting textbooks???? (Athletes and academics…what a concept!), though Iowa likely would’ve scored one less TD vs. those starters! Cyclones obviously were looking ahead to this during mere 14-point win over I-AA Illinois State…Iowa 24 ISU 13

South Carolina over #9 GEORGIA taking 17: Putting some major faith in the Ol’ Ball Coach to minimize damage to his undermanned team. Only one of the last four games between these two clubs has been decided by more than 6 points. Let the thrown-visor count begin….Joja’ 21 Gamecocks 10

#10 FLORIDA (GASP!) over Louisiana Tech giving 29: OK, Wyoming is much-improved and expected to contend for a conference crown. Coach Meyer won’t tolerate mistakes made by Gators’ offense last week. Expect a better effort vs. the Bulldogs…Florida 45 LT 3

Citadel @ #11 FLORIDA STATE: No line.

#12 Louisville: IDLE (next vs. Oregon State) Cards were +3 in turnovers and up by 21 at the half, only to win by a single TD???!!! Yeah, Rich Brooks’ job is on the line, but suddenly the Wildcats develop an offense????!!! And a defense that limits the #12 team in the country to a second-half FG???!!! Can you say…."fix!"????!!!!

Akron over #13 PURDUE taking 34 ½: This line reflects an awful lotta’ confidence in the Boilers, who by the estimation of some forecasters, could win the Big Ten based on number of returning starters and a schedule that sees no Buckeyes and no Wolverines. Purdue has covered 10 of last 14 home openers, but only 3 of last 5 and Boilers squeaked by the 18-point line vs. Akron in 2001, winning by 19…Purdue 37 Akron 13

#14 Miami: IDLE (next @ Clemson) Ahhhh, Miami….how does Vindy hate thee? Let Weber count da’ ways: 2 dropped passes, 1 dropped INT, 2 missed field goals, another late FG botched on a bad snap and 9 sacks-against!!!!!

#16 California over WASHINGTON giving 9: Bears lost their starting quarterback to a broken leg vs. Sacramento State. Huskies squandered an 11-point 4th quarter lead to Air Force. Cal needs to not cough up the pigskin four times this Saturday. Looks like another a long year at UDUB…Cal 27 Washington 14

#17 GEORGIA TECH over North Carolina giving 12: If Reggie Ball maintains consistency and Bees don’t go into usual bi-polar mode, Tech gets revenge for 2004 loss at Chapel Hill…Buzzz 27 ‘Heels 10

Tulsa over #18 OKLAHOMA taking 31: Vindicator changed his initial pick here. Hurricane catches Okies at a bad time off upset by TCU. Sooners’ offense looked seriously confused vs. the Horny Toads and they won’t face the same defensive schemes or same quality athletes here. Tulsa’s run D isn’t that good, but if Oklahoma’s QB can’t make it happen, Hurricane can stack the box vs. Peterson…Not OK 41 Tulsa 14

Army over #19 BOSTON COLLEGE taking 27 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. ESPN has agreed to televise every Army home game to fans and our military servicemen and servicewomen worldwide. By the end of the season, it will be the only network with airborne-Ranger-scuba-qualified sportscasters and cameramen. If the Black Knights lose, ESPN personnel also get to do push-ups on Sunday morning until the cadre gets tired!…BC 28 Army 9

Florida International @ #21 TEXAS TECH: No line.

#22 Texas Christian over SMU giving 16: Intra-Texas battle and possible letdown spot for Terrible Toads. Ponies validated one of Vindy’s Week 1 "best bets" by tanking a two-point conversion with 19 seconds left, allowing Baylor (-4) to win by 5. Bucking the potential…Froggies 44 SMU 10

#23 Virginia: IDLE (next @ Syracuse)

Weber State @ #24 FRESNO STATE: No line.

MARYLAND over #25 Clemson giving 1: Bowden should lose sleep at night over a team that needed 6 (count ‘em…6!) field goals and a punt return for TD to win last week. Terps had to rally with two 4th quarter TDs to beat Navy…Maryland 24 Clemson 20


ABC musta’ had a redshirt freshman working the graphics of the Ohio State/Miami-Ohio game ‘cause it was the second half before down-and-distance was displayed with the omni-present scoreboard on the screen!

Buckeyes kicker Jonathan Skeete was arrested for trafficking marijuana in May. Coaches got suspicious when Skeete split the uprights from 50 yards during practice…with a kilo bag!
Randy Moss admitted to ongoing marijuana use "every blue moon". Is that what we’re calling bye weeks now?!!!! BTW, the "over/under" on the height of Randy’s afro following his first TD of the year is 9 ½ inches!

Terrell Owens isn’t concerned about what people think of him because "people hated on Jesus too." Jesus didn’t show up late for training camp over a contract dispute or refuse autograph sessions. Yeah, Philly fans would’ve booed the Son of God too, but Jesus would’ve just turned the other shoulder pad.

Vikes running back Onterrio Smith never had a chance. Sure…he would’ve beaten the drug test, but the shrinkage of the fake testicles on his Original Whizzinator would’ve quickly tipped off officials to the steroid use!

It’s "NFL Players Week" on Wheel of Fortune and Kurt Warner keeps asking for X’s and buying O’s.

In April, Pete Rose, Jr. joined the Long Island Ducks and was subsequently banned from baseball for betting on his own team. Yep, Junior correctly had the "over" on number of ethnic epithets hurled by then-Ducks’ teammate John Rocker!

"Locked in a Box?": Vindy opens at 0-1 following Clemson’s late rally over A&M.

"Wish I Had That One Back": Weber knew he shoulda’ taken Western Michigan over Virginia!

Shoppe Talk: Florida slithers into the taxidermy shop and provides Weber with yet another gator-skin belt, hat, boots, seat covers and car bra as Weber’s record now stands at 1-9-1 in last 11 tries! (2-14-2 over the last season plus). A pox on all their playbooks!

VINDY’S WEEK 2 BEST BETS: Last Week: 2-1 Season: 2-1
UCLA –24 over Rice, SYRACUSE –24 over Buffalo, NAVY +2 ½ over Stanford, UL-Monroe +18 over WYOMING

Vindy's Picks Week 1

For those just tuning in...Vindicator reprints the three weeks of predictions he made before actually starting this blog. Enjoy!


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (ITAR-Tass)…Following the college crackdown on use of mascots and logos "hostile" and "offensive" to Native Americans, representatives from the National Audubon Society and PETA (Punters for the Ethical Treatment of Avians) petitioned the NCAA powers to include bans on those that are insulting to birds. Citing such caricature-type mascots as the Kansas Jayhawk, one member of Audubon noted "These kinds of representations are mockeries of some of our most majestic creatures and belittle their importance in our world". PETA activists have threatened to steal the offending mascot costumes and to defile the logos. While several school officials have refused to relent, at least one unidentified athletic director said, "Fine. If that’s what they really want…we’ll just give ‘em the bird!"

Fresh from flunking outta’ the Miller Beer Camp and putting his 2005 Preseason Forecasting Strategy Team of Hillary Swank, Martha Stewart, Jose Canseco, "Deep Throat", Dan Rather, Camilla Parker-Bowles; former Connecticut governor John Rowland and some guy named "Ron Mexico" thru its paces, Vindicator settles in for a long season and presents…

Temple over #20 ARIZONA STATE taking 26:
Owls have covered 11 of last 15 road games. Just in case Coach Wallace doesn’t like the officiating, he’s borrowed Temple hoops goon Nehemiah Ingram to send in to pick up some hard personal fouls…ASU 27 Owls 6

HAWAII over #1 Southern Cal taking 32 1/2:
The last back-to-back-to-back championships under any system were acquired by Army squads in ’44, ’45 and ’46. Trojans will not Three-Pete, Paul, John or Mary! Vindy doesn’t even have SC winning the PAC-10. Warriors are much better covering on the Island than on the mainland…USC 51 ‘Bows 24

#2 TEXAS over Louisiana-Lafayette giving 39 ½: Longhorns better enjoy the blowout this week because things get real interesting for Mack Brown’s squad next week in Columbus!…Steers 54 UL-French Guy 10

#3 TENNESSEE over Alabama-Birmingham giving 23: Assuming Knoxville’s finest are through knocking on the Vols’ locker room door, UT should cover this. Incidentally, those lovely electronic bracelets made fashionable by former Vols’ RB Jamal Lewis and Martha Stewart have been proven to reduce chances of serious ankle injury…Tennessee 41 Blazers 13

#4 MICHIGAN over Northern Illinois giving 18 ½: Wolverines make up half of Weber’s predicted Rose Bowl pairing and have had little trouble with even the better teams in the MAC, going 5-1 ATS over the previous five seasons…Michigan 42 Huskies 20

#5 LSU over North Texas giving 33 ½: Bengals’ loss of top running back Alley Broussard gives Weber some cause for concern over this pick, but Mean Green’s last three season openers have resulted in losses by 0-65, 3-37 and 0-27 against Big 12 clubs…LSU 48 North Texas 7

Miami-Ohio over #6 OHIO STATE taking 15 ½: Buckeyes’ starting quarterback was a bad boy and will be ridin’ the pine for this one. State has huge game coming up against Texas and Redhawks’ offense is good enough to keep Buckeyes’ D occupied all afternoon…OSU 24 Miami-Ohio 17

Texas Christian over #7 OKLAHOMA taking 26 ½: More of a nod to a healthier team of Horny Toads than against a Sooner club in a "down" year…OK 31 TCU 17

#10 FLORIDA (GASP!) over Wyoming giving 22: Cowpokes got the #25 spot in Playboy magazine’s preseason rankings, but coming from the Mountain West Conference, new Gators’ coach Urban Meyer, is no stranger to Wyoming’s strategies. Gators should be anxious to show the new coach what they got. Good things are on deck for Wyoming this year, but not here. The real question is…how will Weber fare picking Florida games this season (see Between the Hashmarks later in this forecast)…UF 42 Wyoming 17

#11 IOWA over Ball State giving 38 1/2: Hawkeyes’ D won’t be quite as stout as it was last year with an influx of newer, younger faces and picking against MAC teams when playing outta’ conference early is risky, but we’ll chance it since we like Coach Ferentz…Iowa 45 Ball State 3

#13 GEORGIA over #18 Boise State giving 7: Yes, they’re a good, solid team and of late, a BCS-buster. But the Broncos have the team with the best chance of falling outta’ the rankings this week. They haven’t faced anyone of this caliber since 41-14 shellacking at Arkansas in 2002. ‘Dawgs have covered only three of the last 11 home openers (0-4 ATS last four), but most of the lines have been much higher than a TD… Joja’ 24 Boise 10

#15 Purdue: IDLE (next vs. Akron)

Georgia Tech over #16 AUBURN taking 7: Figure both offenses to struggle. Bees could get their often-rollercoaster season off to a nice start and give Reggie Ball some much-needed confidence with a big road win. Conservatively though, let’s just say…Auburn 14 Wreck 13

#17 Texas A&M over CLEMSON giving 1: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Please…Aggies are in their third season under Coach Fran and have Weber’s vote to win the Big 12. Tigers’ coach Tommy Bowden, who has more lives than a cat, again tempts fate and begins his annual trek toward the unemployment line … Aggies 17 Tigers 10

Sacramento State @ #19 CAL: No Line

#21 Texas Tech: IDLE (next vs. Florida International)

BYU over #22 Boston College taking 4: Eagles have started slowly spread-wise, going 1-4 ATS, over the last 5 season openers. Conversely, Cougars have beaten the line (ATS and outright) four straight years. Is there some magic in the throwback unis BYU will wear this season?…BC 24 BYU 22

#23 PITT over Notre Dame giving 3 ½: Tough to ignore fact that Leprechauns have won and covered 8 of last 10, but Charlie Weis is used to having an "automatic" kicker. DJ Fitzpatrick ain’t bad, but he’s not Adam Vinatieri…Panthers 23 Irish 17

#24 Fresno State: IDLE (next vs. Weber State)

#25 VIRGINIA over Western Michigan giving 32 ½: Weber isn’t completely sold on the Cavs and this is Vindicator’s best shot at a "Wish I had it back" selection. Have to think Broncos might be more interested in keeping everybody healthy for conference game next week at Toledo…Virginny 49 WMU 10

NC STATE over #8 Virginia Tech taking 5 ½:
State was –17 in turnovers a season ago and ‘Pack must protect the ball to win this. Hokies kicker Brandon Pace would love to atone for missed FG that cost VT the win (Tech’s sole conference loss) last year. Vindy would rather play an "under"…VT 17 NCSU 13

#12 Louisville over KENTUCKY giving 21 1/2: Wildcats’ only cover in last 6 matches was 2002 outright win (22-17). Cards’ D is down a bit this time, so Kentucky probably won’t be shutout. Coach Brooks should form a support group with aforementioned Coach Bowden however, and should start cleaning out his desk…Louisville 37 KY 7

#9 Miami over #14 FLORIDA STATE giving 3:
Miami goes for (and gets) a 7th straight triumph over FSU. The good: Seminoles’ kicker Gary Cismesia converted seven of his nine FG tries in 2004. The Bad: Five of those seven were put up against Duke. The Ugly: It wasn’t one of his misses that cost FSU this game last year, but based on history, he’s next in line to miss one and lose it this season! … ’Canes 19 Injuns (oh sorry, that wasn’t very sensitive of Vindy, was it?) ‘Noles 13

By the way, have you guys seen Georgia Tech’s yellow-jacket mascot???!!! Vindy’s appalled!! Somebody get the National Entomological Society on the horn!!!!

Come to think of it, if Vindy gets some bad beats on his picks, he might send Nehemiah Ingram into the sportsbook!

Upon further review…Vindicator has spent so much time focusing on problematic Purdue that the Florida Gators have quietly taken Vindy to the cleaners! Since Weber’s last .500-or-better season against the Gators in 2000 (7-5 record), he’s gone 1-11, 3-9, 5-7 and 1-8-1 predicting games involving UF!!!!! Guess what school just claimed arch-rival status!!!

As if bettors needed yet another statistic to consider, a 2005 British study indicates athletes wearing red triumph more frequently than those in blue and that the results possibly apply to team sports as well (American Revolution notwithstanding!). But in sports betting, it’s not whether ya win or lose…it’s what you’re wearin’ when ya beat da’ spread, so Vindy looked at stats since the 2000 NCAA season and crunched a few numbers…10 of the 119 Division I-A (or provisional I-A) pigskin teams have "red" as a designated team color, 38 others sport a shade of red. Take the following red-clad teams ATS vs. other red-clad opponents: Boston College (15-4, .789), Northern Illinois (13-4, .765), Stanford (14-5, .737), Louisville (10-4, .714), Arkansas State (14-7-1, .667), Nebraska (14-7, .667) and Utah (15-8, .652), Bet against these teams ATS playing other red-clad foes: Central Michigan (3-9, .250), UNLV (6-16, .273) and Maryland (5-10, .333). Take these reddish warriors ATS vs. teams wearing colors other than reddish: Maryland (29-12, .707), and Texas Tech (17-8, .680), New Mexico (18-10-1, .643), USC (32-18, .640), Louisville (26-16, .619) and Miami-Ohio (30-19, .612). Avoid these teams ATS vs. other-colored unis: Indiana (11-27, .289), Houston (14-29, .325), SMU (15-27, .357), Arizona (11-18, .379), Arkansas State (11-18, .379) and Weeziana Tech (17-27, .386).

‘Noles QB Wyatt Sexton was arrested earlier this summer after shouting at police he was God. Turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. And by the way, what was Steve Spurrier doing in Tallahassee anyway ????!!!

In honor of their Heisman-winning QB’s single-class course load this Fall, sound staff at the Coliseum are now playing "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet every time Matt Leinart leads his offense onto the field!

Bill Callahan said if Motley Crue rocker-turned-student Tommy Lee keeps his nose clean, he could see a few snaps in the Huskers’ backfield this week during Nebraska’s opener vs. Maine!

Playing away from home this week, Notre Dame won’t have access to Touchdown Jesus for inspiration. Not to worry, Irish fans…Terrell Owens has offered to stand in!

VINDY’S WEEK 1 BEST BETS: Last Week: 0-0 Season: 0-0

Baylor –4 over SMU, Ucla –7 over SAN DIEGO STATE, MARYLAND –8 over Navy

And now, a few words from our sponsors. When we come back…a few thoughts on the NFL and some of the off-season silliness!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 5


Officials at the National Collegiate Athletic Association expressed displeasure this week with the latest changes to the TOEFL- the Test of English as a Forecasting Language. The test is used by hundreds of sports betting services across the nation to gauge the ability of international citizens wanting to be prognosticators in the U.S. to correctly apply the English language while pitching spreads to bettors. In addition, a new verbal comprehension section has been included, which requires test-takers to listen to a College Game Day broadcast, discuss it with the proctor then actually place a bet verbally at a mock sportsbook counter. The NCAA is upset with recently added questions referencing college sports teams. Proponents of the new version say mastery of the college content on the test is necessary for a well-rounded sports tout.

Vindicator fell below .500 for Week Four (7-9, 26-39, .400 season) when LSU blew a late three-touchdown advantage vs. Tennessee. Expecting the favorites to have a breakout week against the number…

(Now available without MSG!)

#1 Southern Cal over #14 ASU giving 17: Ducks had a TD called back on a personal foul that would’ve put Oregon up 17-0. Blown 21-point, 4th Quarter lead over Vols somewhat diminishes ASU’s near-win over the Bengals last week. We like Trojans’ offense better than Devils’ D…SoCal 48 ASU 24

#2 Texas over MISSOURI giving 14: This is a scary line. Angles and spread-movement both favor the Tigers. Both are coming off bye weeks. With Vince Young vs. Brad Smith at quarterback, line looks a bit low. Surely, after what we’ve seen from Oklahoma, the Steers aren’t peeking ahead. Are they?!…Texas 38 Mizzou 20

#3 Virginia Tech over WEST VIRGINIA giving 11: Despite having only a grand total of eight returning starters from last year’s Gator Bowl team, Mountaineers have posted four straight wins, including road victories over Syracuse and Maryland. Can’t see them stopping Tech here though. Vick will screw it up somewhere, but not here. Weber’s picked the Hokies on the right side of the spread 9 times in last 10 tries…Hokies 42 WVU 21

#4 Louisiana State over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 15: Bayou Bengals off delayed Monday-nighter. If this were the NFL, conventional wisdom would say go against LSU (but then, the move to Monday again negates that thought). As Vindy predicted last week, MSU grabbed an early 3-point edge then went dormant…unfortunately not long enough for Joja’ (and Weber) to get the spread win...LSU 34 MSU 17

#5 Florida (GASP!) over #15 ALABAMA giving 4: Almost changed this selection, but if any first-year Florida coach can beat Tennessee and ‘Bama in the same season, it would be Urban Meyer. Coach can’t be happy about his second-half defense (or lack thereof) that let Kentucky pull to within 21 after leading 49-7. Weber calls "bad beat" on that game as Vindy was laying 21…AND A HALF!…UF 31 Tide 21

Syracuse over #6 FLORIDA STATE taking 21: ‘Cuse leaves the cozy confines of the Carrier Dome and still gets the vote to "git ‘er done" against the ‘Noles or at least to keep it interesting long enough…FSU 41 Orange 24

#7 Georgia: IDLE (next @ Tennessee)

#8 Ohio State: IDLE (next @ Penn State)

South Florida over #9 MIAMI taking 21: Bulls barely broke a sweat in huge upset of Louisville team that appears a bit over-rated by some (sadly, including this prognosticator) and USF now faces a Miami club whose cover last week raised their record to 4-11 when giving 10 or better…’Canes 24 Bulls 13

Mississippi over #10 TENNESSEE taking 20: Vindicator did not see LSU’s three-touchdown meltdown so he doesn’t know what happened to Bengals defense. Still not sold on the Vols…UT 24 Ol’ Miss 8

Michigan over #11 MICHIGAN STATE taking 5 1/2: How weird is it to see the Wolverines without a ranking this early in the season?! Wolverines caught a few bad breaks in loss to the Badgers (though UM kicker Jose Rivas took a dive on a missed field goal and converted the second try), but the flea-flicker they executed for a TD was a thing of beauty! If Spartans have ambitions of Big Ten championship, now is the time. Spartans dropped a triple-OT decision in Ann Arbor last season…MSU 17 Michigan 16

#12 CAL over Arizona giving 16: Wildcats improving, but Bears continue to roll…for now…Cal 40 Arizona 20

#13 Notre Dame over #22 PURDUE taking 3: Charlie Weis’ offense is racking up big yardage. Both clubs have recently suffered tough OT defeats and this is the fourth away game already for ND. We put more stock in Leprechauns’ wins over Pitt and Michigan than Boilers triumphs against Akron and Arizona…Tired Irish 17 Purdue 14

#16 TEXAS TECH over Kansas giving 17: Weber welcomes the Red Raiders to competition in Division I-A (and it’s only October!!!). Tech demolished a pair of I-AA squads and a Florida International team that might regret leaving Double-A this year. Jayhawks’ schedule hasn’t been very intimidating either. Tech might attempt 70 aerials this week…Texas Tech 38 Kansas 20

#17 WISCONSIN over Indiana giving 18: Michigan has enlisted Chief Justice John Roberts’ assistance to overturn no-call on a Badgers’ fumble deep in Wisconsin territory last week. Thanks to changes in observation of daylight savings time in Indiana, this game will be broadcast in the Hoosier State beginning at 1:00 PM…uh, no…make that 2:00 PM…wait…11:30 AM?…Wisky 29 Indy 7

#18 Minnesota over PENN STATE giving 2 1/2: Golden Gerbils held the pigskin 17 minutes more than Purdue and still had to rally to win in extra frames. Minny might be on borrowed time, but it’s 4-0 ATS. Even if Lions D gets the ball back regularly, not sure the offense can keep pace. State’s season could start to unravel right here, prompting creation of!…Gophers 24 Lions 20

MARYLAND over #19 Virginia taking 3 1/2: OK, fine…the Weber Kid and his friend Ima Koyn like the Terps…Box Turtles 23 Cavs 21

#20 UCLA over Washington giving 22: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. A late trash-time score was the only thing keepin’ Sled Dogs within three touchdowns of Notre Dame. Cal looming for UCLA, but Bruins win and cover or Ty trying…UCLA 42 UDUB 10

#21 BOSTON COLLEGE over Ball State giving 36: Eagles host a terrible Ball State team. BC will have to step up the offense though and there’s a major chance of a backdoor cover. No confidence in this one and the game is now "off" as we go to print, however… Boston College 54 BSU 14

NEBRASKA over #23 Iowa State giving 4: What’s the difference between these two teams? There’s no "O" in "Nebraska"! Of the 63 points scored by Big Red in three games, 35 came via the offense (3 TDs and 5 FGs), while 28 points were provided by the D (4 returns for touchdown). Looks like Tommy Lee has seen more than his share of snaps in the Huskers backfield! The real Cyclones were exposed in near-loss at Army last week. Tough to lay points with Nebraska, but…Huskers 17 ISU 10

Florida Atlantic over #24 LOUISVILLE taking 38: Vindy would’ve accepted Louisville’s loss in a shootout at South Florida. Loss by blowout is unthinkable. No longer trusting the Cardinals, who could put up 60 but probably won’t, Schnellenberger’s FAU Owls have our vote…Louisville 51 FAU 17

#25 Georgia Tech: IDLE (next vs. NC State 10/6)

Are you ready for some college football???!!! Due scheduling quirks as a result of Katrina, there’s college pigskin (Division I-A) being played 10 straight days (and 11 of 12) from September 22 thru October 3!

This week on the big screen….Anakin Skywalker turns to the Dark Side of the University of Florida and becomes…Darth Gator!

Ricky Williams no longer eats meat. Is he "Dolphin-safe"? Could he potentially be the first player sidelined with a case of turf tofu?

In its continuing over-the-top efforts to clean up its image, the NFL commissioner is now known as Paul Gliabue and pre-game parking lot gatherings will be called "ilgate parties" because according to an anonymous NFL spokesperson, "the league simply can’t afford to be associated with ‘T&A’!"

Dick Cheney underwent knee surgery this week, ending his quest for the Oval Office passing records and leaving Condi Rice to step up and quarterback the White House team (and she might even take a few snaps on the playing field!)

In May, Carlos Zambrano was told to lay off the computer time because it was contributing to his elbow problems. Vin just wants to know if the Cubbies’ pitcher responded to ads promising to "add three inches naturally overnight" to his ERA. Did he submit a 60-second application to get his contract refinanced?

"Locked in a Box?": FINALLY….Vindy posts a "lock" victory behind Arkansas to go to 1-3 (.250).

Shoppe Talk: Virginia did Weber that way again and now stands at 1-9. Florida’s still here too at 2-11-1 after handing Vindy the half-point ATS loss vs. Kentucky!

VINDY’S WEEK 5 BEST BETS: Last Week: 2-0 Season: 7-7 (.500)
Brigham Young –2 ½ over SAN DIEGO STATE, Arkansas State –2 over UL-MONROE, TCU –3 over New Mexico

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Vindy's Picks Week 4

Roberts Dodges Tough Questions

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AP)…The chalk by the name of the next likely Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, on the betting boards in Vegas sportsbooks didn’t make it any easier as he endured a barrage of difficult queries from Democrats this week. Faced with his own party’s conundrum over allowing President Bush’s nominee to take the position in hopes of a more favorable appointee to Sandra Day O’Connor’s vacant roster spot, Senator Arlen Specter asked Roberts if he would overturn a landmark decision on a woman’s right to choose…teams against the spread…and if he favored the use of instant replay at the college level. While media expected the conservative Republican candidate Judge Dredd" Stallone-like "I am the Law!", Roberts calmly retorted, "Precedent plays an important role in stability and evenhandedness". Roberts added, "And if the referee gets it wrong, instant replay can fix it!

It was like picks in a wood chipper as Vindy hobbled to a 5-12 Week Three result (19-30, .388). With nowhere to go but up…

#13 California over NEW MEXICO STATE giving 25:
Bears back-up QB Ayoob has had a couple games to get used to being the man. Aggies have already played their biggest game of the year last Saturday against the Lobos. NMSU covered last season at Berkeley as a 34-point dog…Bears 38 Aggies 6

#22 Iowa State over ARMY giving 18: Second choice for "lock". The real question is whether or not State will care enough to rout the Hudson River regiment given a listless 11-point win over Illinois State in the opener. Can’t see ISU losing concentration over pending visit to Lincoln. Black Knights lost by 10 last week to Baylor. Gotta’ think Cyclones are at least a few scores better than that…Iowa State 31 Army 3

#24 OREGON over #1 Southern Cal taking 19 1/2: Ducks have lost only 7 games at the Pond over last 5+ seasons. Mallards did spot Fresno a 17-point cushion before remembering they were playing home and rallying to win. Would love to see an upset here. We’re takin’ the points, so at no extra charge…Oregon 31 USC 30

#2 Texas: IDLE (next @ Missouri)

#3 LSU over #10 Tennessee giving 6: Had Vols’ defense (2 dropped INTs and allowed a 3rd-and-19 conversion) and special teams (punt muff) played a bit better, last week’s outcome might’ve been different. Still, we like the Rose-bound Bengals layin’ less than a TD at home…LSU 23 Tennessee 15

#15 Georgia Tech @ #4 VIRGINIA TECH: OFF

#5 Florida (GASP!) over KENTUCKY giving 21 ½: Wildcats have covered three straight vs. the Crocodiles and as previously noted, UF caught a few breaks vs. Tennessee. Meyer’s entering his 1st SEC road game, albeit the easiest of the five on the schedule. Will it be the Wildcats that stayed within a TD of Louisville… or the Mildcats that lost by 14 at Indiana?…Florida 48 KY 24

#6 Florida State: IDLE (next vs. Syracuse)

#7 Georgia over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 16: UGA’s meeting with Tennessee is still two weeks out after this one. Vindy predicts Joja’ will spot MSU an early FG-lead then take control the rest of the way… Georgia 24 Mississippi State 3

#8 OHIO STATE over #21 Iowa giving 9 ½: Zero faith in this choice and Vindy changed his original pick here. Buckeyes are slogging along at 1-2 ATS (and three consecutive forecast losses for Weber!). The efforts thus far just don’t scream dominance. Hawkeyes outgained Iowa State in yardage, but had 5 turnovers. Vindy just knows he’s gonna’ eat this one! State gets revenge for ugly loss in ’04 at Iowa…OSU 21 Iowa 10

#9 Louisville over SOUTH FLORIDA giving 23: The only doubt in Vindy’s mind here is Bulls’ 10-point loss at Happy Valley. Lions were still discovering their offense. Cards have had theirs all along…Louisville 54 USF 23

MINNESOTA over #11 Purdue giving 2: Boilermakers kicker Ben Jones tanked on 8 of his 18 FG tries last year. In his defense, two were blocked. All four of Purdue’s conference losses were by 3 or less. Purdue D must hold powerful Gophers below 5 yards per carry to have a chance to win…Minny 31 Purdue 27

Colorado over #12 MIAMI taking 15: Until Hurricanes can prove they can stay outta’ their own way, we’re grabbing the points. No Miami turnovers last week, but they did draw yellow laundry 14 times for 117 penalty yards…Miami 24 Buffs 17

WISCONSIN over #14 Michigan taking 3: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. In home loss to Notre Dame, Wolverines out-gained the Leprechauns by 93 total yards. Down big early to Bowling Green, Badgers continued to run and eventually won handily. Wisky D has settled in nicely to give up only 3 points in its last two games. Another parting gift for Coach Alvarez…Wisconsin 17 Michigan 14

#16 Notre Dame over WASHINGTON giving 13 1/2: The Willingham Bowl. Sled Dogs have shown absolutely nothing to-date and unless they can upend Wazzou in mid-November, they saw their only victory last week vs. Idaho…Irish 34 UDUB 17

ILLINOIS over #17 Michigan State taking 11: The Zooker has the Illini playing over their heads, including 17 straight unanswered points against Cal. Spartans should suffer enough Irish hangover to allow Illinois to go 4-0 ATS…MSU 21 Illinois 13

#18 Arizona State over OREGON STATE giving 5 ½: Louisville put up 428 passing on the Beavers. Sun Devils throw with reckless abandon and should do likewise…ASU 31 OSU 20

Indiana State @ #19 TEXAS TECH: No Line.

Arkansas over #20 ALABAMA taking 16 1/2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Razorbacks have looked terrible in losses to Vandy and Southern Cal, but Houston Nutt will have the boys fired up for this one. Effects of the recent probation are dwindling, yet Vindy would still have more confidence in the Tide if they were still under Franchione or Price instead of nice-guy Mike Shula…’Bama 20 Hogs 16

Duke over #23 VIRGINIA taking 23: Homecoming for the Wahoos. Blue Devils last pair of jaunts to Charlottesville have resulted in losses by 27 and 21, both spread losses as well. Weber last correctly picked Virginia ATS the week of October 7, 2004. Like a kick returner watching an unwieldy punt, he starts waving his hands and yelling "Get away! Get away!" to fellow bettors…VA 31 Duke 13

#25 UCLA: IDLE (next vs. Washington)

By the way, for those East of the Mississippi, it’s after Labor Day…NO WHITE CLEATS!
Holy Cow! Vanderbilt is 3-0 (straight up!). Commo-Doormats No More!

UNLV’s team GPA went from 2.28 in the Fall of ’04 to 2.65 in the Spring of ’05. Vindy’s stockbroker said, "When it gets to 3.0, sell!"

Eastern Michigan plays at Central Michigan this week. Last week, the directional Michigans (including Western Michigan) collectively were outscored 103-41. EMU was shutout, CMU posted a field goal and WMU eventually won its game 34-28 after being down 21-17 at the half to…Southern Illinois! Who wants to hop in the Winnebago and trek to Mt. Pleasant???!!!! C’mon! Who’s WITH me???!!!

Ex-Cowboys’ OB Gary Hogeboom is competing this month on Survivor: Guatemala. Sure, he’ll throw a coconut 50 yards with a prettier spiral than anyone else, but with a career ratio of 49 TDs to 60 INTs, a couple of picks to the wrong tribe’s howler monkeys and he’s history!

Coming this Fall to NBC…"Law & Order: Special Vigorish Unit", "CSI: Criminal Spread Investigation" and "My Name is Earl…Campbell!"

Former Dolphins’ RB Larry Czonka, recently rescued from the Bering Sea, drew comparisons earlier this year between football and sled dog racing in the Iditarod. You should see those huskies pick up blitzing snowmen!

As regular place-kicker David Akers sat on the sidelines with a pulled hammy and having missed 3 of 4 FG tries this year, Eagles LB Simoneau booted an extra-point this past Sunday vs. the 49ers with plenty of leg to spare. Can’t wait to draft him next season for the fantasy team!

Pick like nobody’s looking. Forecast like nobody’s listening. Bet like you’ve never been hurt!

"Locked in a Box?": Weber falls to 0-3 as the Buckeyes fell short vs. San Diego State.

Shoppe Talk: The Gators are back at 2-10-1 and the Cavs, who escaped Vindy’s notice last week, come in at 1-8 over the last 9 since the 2004 season! Northern Illinois is below the ranked radar for now, but hang around at 1-12 the last two seasons!

VINDY’S WEEK 4 BEST BETS: Last Week: 1-4 (OUCH!) Season: 5-7 (.416)
TULSA (PK) over Memphis, Navy –4 over RICE, ARKANSAS STATE –6 over Florida International

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Welcome to Vindy's Picks

Vindy's Picks is a semi-serious, semi-tongue-in-cheek forecast of the weekly AP Top 25 college football teams against the Las Vegas pointspread. Vindicator is, however, a fan of most major sports and frequently tries to include his thoughts on various happenings year-round! I started this blog for the first time this season already a couple of weeks into the 2005 college football campaign. Keep in mind, this all just good-clean fun and I apologize in advance to anyone taking offense to what's written here, but hey...I'm just trying to make it a little entertaining. The "news stories" are, of course, bogus...but see what fun ya can have with current events!? I usually finish my weekly forecast (which I've been doing since about 1994) on/by Wednesday night (Pacific time out here in Vegas). Feel free to comment or question. It's just a hobby, I'm not a "professional" with a mystical mathematical formula to predict winners! Enjoy!