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