Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2006


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MSNBC)...No longer threatening to lop off thumbs, Sin City mayor Oscar Goodman went from mob to medieval this summer, implementing a face-painting penalty for people caught "tagging" in Las Vegas. Under the new plan, taggers are placed in public stockades and passers-by are permitted to "dab paint" on the offenders’ faces. But four weeks into the NCAA season and three into the NFL campaign, that strategy is being reconsidered as football fanatics from around the entire country have been flocking to Las Vegas and blatantly spray-painting the beloved desert tortoise statues that stand guard below the Vegas freeways in order to be caught and have people dab their faces with their respective favorite teams’ colors! Fans from as far away as New England have managed to get leaked information right from the mayor’s office about the colors scheduled for use each day as much as a week in advance and plan their trips accordingly. Violators have been seen actually standing in line behind other taggers, spray-cans in-hand, awaiting their turns. Mayor Goodman said he would now have to take counter-measures by determining randomly each morning which colors would be used or by providing the public with colors for arch-rival teams after making the offenders declare a favorite club!

Week Four’s 10-10-1 (29-41-3, .414) leaves Vindicator feeling that guy in the beer commercial being trained by the ancient master to never spill a Bud know... "AGAIN!"...

(Vindy’s Picks are typed up in front of a live studio audience)

SOUTH CAROLINA over #2 Auburn taking 14:
Tigers definitely showed wear-and-tear of LSU game, not getting untracked until second half against improving-but-still-outclassed Buffalo squad. Spurrier may not have the talent base (yet) to win outright, but we’ll expect the ‘Cocks to go all out and make it interesting ...Auburn 17 SC 7

#17 TCU over Brigham Young giving 5: Toads will field same pass D here that they used to stuff Texas Tech air attack. Coogs might be the one team with enough firepower to unseat TCU in the Mountain Jest conference (though pesky Pilots team awaits the Frogs in December). BYU playing second game in five days. Frogs last played a week ago Thursday...TCU 28 BYU 17

#23 Rutgers over SOUTH FLORIDA giving 3:
Scarlet Kaaaaannnigggetttts get a "#" for the first time in 30 years! Bulls win about two outta’ every three at home, but don’t cover the number that well. USF has already beaten ‘05 MAC title-game participant Central Florida and didn’t play badly in close loss to Kansas. Knights looking to get payback for last year’s two TD loss that came as a result of very sloppy play...State Uni of New Joisey 24 USF 17

#13 IOWA over #1 Ohio State taking 7:
The OSU-PSU game was a lot closer than final score would indicate as Buckeyes returned two desperation passes for TD in the final two minutes to cover the number. Vindy hopes there’s a big, fat check in the da’ mail for Penn State’s Anthony Morelli. Vindy picks this one under protest and at no extra charge, we’ll try the upset...Iowa 23 OSU 20

#3 Southern Cal over WASHINGTON STATE giving 17: Troy waltzed all over Wazzou last year in a 42-point victory. Allowing for a few adjustments, returning/leaving players and homefield for the Cougars, we see the margin in the 30's this time...USC 44 Dubya State 13

#4 West Virginia: IDLE (Next @ Mississippi State)

Alabama over #5 FLORIDA taking 14: Gators were #5 this time last year too when Tide trashed ‘em 31-3. ‘Bama couldn’t take advantage of Arkansas’ freshman quarterback and a +2 turnover advantage. Both of Florida’s SEC wins have been uninspired...UF 17 Alabammy 13

#6 Michigan over MINNESOTA giving 7 ½: While not as good as road blowout over Notre Dame would suggest, Wolverines should certainly be able to keep about a 10-point buffer between themselves and the Gerbils. If Minny isn’t careful coming out, this could get away early...Big Blue 27 Gophers 17

Sam Houston State @ #7 TEXAS: No line. (And we ain’t crushed about that.)

#8 Louisville: IDLE (Next @ Middle Tennessee State)

#9 LSU over Mississippi State giving 30: Don’t know how the hapless Bulldogs pulled the OT upset at UAB. They’ll be fortunate to dent the scoreboard this week. Only caveat is pending visit by the Gators next week...LSU 44 MSU 3

#10 Georgia over MISSISSIPPI giving 16: We thought about giving this one "lock" status. Following scare from disappointing Buffaloes, Richt will have the ‘Dawgs focused here. Joja’s thrown two white-washes already. Might be a third here...Georgia 24 Ol’ Missed 0

#24 Georgia Tech over #11 VIRGINIA TECH taking 8 1/2: Bees have had since last Thursday night’s win over Virginia to plan for this. GT nearly toppled Notre Dame, but Irish look more and more over-rated. Hokies squeaked by the line against Duke and did not cover last week against Cincy. Looks like a great chance for Reggie Bell to choke in another big game. Tech wants to avenge 51-7 clobbering it got last season...VT 17 GT 16

Purdue over #12 NOTRE DAME taking 17: Frightenin’ Irish continue look entirely beatable each week. Boilers and Gophers were virtually even in every category except turnovers. Ball State loss to I-AA North Dakota State makes Purdue’s 10-point victory over the Cardinals that much less impressive. We find out here what the Boilermakers really have...ND 31 Purdue 24

#14 Oregon over ARIZONA STATE giving 1 ½: ASU coaches got bad news earlier this week when they were informed the officiating crew would forego the traditional black and white uniforms in favor of green and yellow ones! Expecting masses of passes....Decoys 34 Devils 31

#15 Tennessee over MEMPHIS giving 15: Tigers haven’t defeated a I-A team yet thus far. Vols break a six-game ATS-loss streak in their first road tilt of the season...Tennessee 34 Memphis 17

#16 Oklahoma: IDLE (next vs. Texas)

#18 CLEMSON over Louisiana Tech giving 31: Just can’t find any reason to back the Bulldogs here. Tigers get in a little target practice before facing Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem next week...Clemson 49 LT 10

#19 Florida State: IDLE (Next @ NC State 10/5)

#20 California over OREGON STATE giving 10: Another game considered for lock. Line appears somewhat smaller than Vindicator expected. Even with potential letdown by ‘Da Bears from the ASU game, Beavers have done nothing to garner this type of support...Cal 28 Oregon State 7

#21 NEBRASKA over Kansas giving 15 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. After floundering a couple seasons under Bill Callahan, Big Red seems to have it all figured out. At least they’re blasting teams they should be blasting. Fightin’ Manginos are just slidin’ by week to week...Nebraska 31 Kansas 3

#22 Boise State over UTAH taking 4: Vindicator was on Hawaii in Boise-Land last week for sure, but Potato-Heads might’ve been in bend-but-don’t-break mode, taking 13-point edge into the final period. Boise’s race to the BCS gets derailed, just not this time...Broncos 27 Utes 13

Colorado over #25 MISSOURI taking 19: Buffaloes finally showing some life, though haven’t learned how to close out a game. Nonetheless, we like Colorado’s 0-4 record better than Mizzou’s 4-0. Tigers might just overlook Bison toward next week’s game at Texas Tech...Mizzou 20 Colorado 10


Just a follow-up to Week Four’s presidential dinner story. Coach Saban reportedly forgot his wedding anniversary this past summer. Hmmmm...just wondering if Mrs. Saban had a chat with the Vice President about issuing a little payback!

With his Lions backed up in their own territory early in the second quarter vs. the Buckeyes, JoPa suddenly sprinted from the far sideline, behind the PSU formation, across the end zone and down the tunnel into the locker room. Broadcasters eventually reported Joe was suffering from "flu-like symptoms". Vin just wants to know which assistant coordinator was responsible for apprizing Paterno about the whole "spinach" thing! NFL scouts clocked the ancient coach at a sub-4.4 forty and may invite Joe to next year’s Combine! Vindy wondered if JoPa just thought the half was over or if he would actually turn up-field toward the line of scrimmage as a man in motion, a la Arena League rules! Officials nearly flagged the Nitwit Lions for 12-men on the field!

Astronauts recently completed construction of a 17 ½ ton addition to the International Space Station. NASA says that brings the seating capacity to over 110,000 fans and it plans to add luxury suites by the 2008 season!

On ABC alien with no bellybutton uses his tummy as a chalkboard and draws up plays for the local high school football team in..."Kyle X’s and O’s"

Terrell Owens racked up over 100 yards this past weekend...then coaches chased him off the stationary bike! By the way, does T.O. now stand for "Tried Overdose"???!!

The city of San Francisco uses bluegills to provide early detection of toxins in its drinking water supply. Maybe Vin should get an aquarium and let his picks float.

The Transportation Security Administration is relaxing restrictions for carry-ons aboard aircraft. Can’t wait to see team staffers load up all those 3-ounce Gatorade buckets!

Coming soon to the big screen...Sean Connery stars as a bookie with lines for all of next month’s games aboard a Russian submarine being pursued by the Vindicator in..."Hunt for Spread October"!

"Wish I Had That One Back": Vindy shoulda’ thought twice on the Auburn pick after noting he’d "feel better...if Auburn had lost to LSU".

"Locked in a Box?": Big Red’s 59-0 romp over Troy bumps Vin’s lock tally to 3-1.

Shoppe Talk: Vindicator adds a little Steer meat to his Irish stew as Notre Dame and Texas earn the inside track to Vindy’s post-season "Grill-Master Supreme Award" after burning our fearless forecaster four straight weeks!

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 8-9 (.470)
PENN STATE -16 ½ over Northwestern, Nevada-Reno -3 over UNLV, Navy +3 over UCONN, Idaho -2 ½ over UTAH STATE, Eastern Michigan +3 ½ over UL-LAFAYETTE

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2006


CRAWFORD, Texas (UPI)...Originally rebuking an invitation from President Bush in July to join him for dinner, stating team responsibilities as a priority, Dolphins’ head coach Nick Saban eventually relented under pressure and agreed to break bread recently on Dubya’s Texas ranch. But hob-knobbing with the Commander-in-Chief over some barbeque came with a price as Saban barely dodged a load of birdshot that narrowly missed his face. Fearing an assassination attempt, Secret Service agents immediately dove to protect the President, that is ...while ranch security quickly swarmed a nearby tree-line, only to discover Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney apologized, noting he was aiming at some quail and didn’t notice his boss and the coach, (who was wearing a bright Miami orange shirt) due to shrubbery surrounding the Presidential picnic area, partially obscuring the dining duo. Wire services were initially unaware of the event for three days because the local newspaper elected to sit on the story temporarily. To-date, the Veep still hasn’t taken responsibility for the incident. Said one Secret Service agent, "This is what happens when ‘the Ferrari of hunting rifles’ is wielded by the Edsel of hunters."

Speaking of Edsels, Weber turned in a coyote ugly 5-9-1 (19-31-2, .380) for Week Three. Of Vin’s five wins, two were by way of a half-point, a third by a single point. And now, a word from our sponsor..."Vindy’s’s a’s a vacuum’s BOTH!"

(Special NRA Collectors’ Edition)

#24 Penn State over #1 OHIO STATE taking 16 1/2: Even during the down years in Happy Valley, four of the last five between these two have been decided by a touchdown or less. The one game not falling into that category still finished with only an eleven-point difference. Lions brought on their own misery at Notre Dame...Buckeyes 23 Penn State 17

#2 AUBURN over Buffalo giving 43: Bills making a little progress and we’d feel better about this choice if Auburn had lost to LSU. Short week for Aubie as they go to South Carolina next Thursday. They’ll have to break into the 50's to prevent the backdoor cover...Tigers 52 Buffalo 6

#3 Southern Cal over ARIZONA giving 21: Not the worst case of "looking ahead" we’ve ever seen, but Wildcats’ 18-point win over Stephen Freakin’ Austin last week is deceiving. AZ was down 10-7 early and only ahead by 4 going into the final quarter...USC 45 ‘Cats 17

#4 West Virginia over EAST CAROLINA giving 21: First away game of the year for the Mounties, who should be fresh, having last played last Thursday. Pirates posted their only cover in five tries vs. WVU last year in a 20-15 loss at Morgantown. ECU has yielded 20 fewer points to-date than they did thru first three games (including aforementioned trip to West Virginia) of ‘05. Iffy call...’Eers 34 Harrrrr, me Maties 10

Kentucky over #5 FLORIDA taking 23: Gator-backers got hosed last season when Florida D allowed a furious late comeback by the Wildcats who pulled within three touchdowns as a 24-point dog. Gator starters should see some early rest with ‘Bama on the horizon...UF 34 UK 13

Wisconsin over #6 MICHIGAN taking 14: Wisky has covered the number three straight times against Big Blue, including last season’s outright 23-20 victory at home. They’ll need to lean on the defense here. Frankly, the outright upset wouldn’t faze this forecaster...Michigan 17 Badgers 10

#7 TEXAS over Iowa State giving 24: Some might still see this as a preview of Big 12 Conference crown game. Cyclones are a one-man team and were probably fortunate to survive visit from upset-minded UNLV. ‘Horns were flagged 19 times for nearly one-and-a-half football fields worth of yardage and still hung half-a-century on Rice... Texas 38 ISU 7

#8 Louisville over KANSAS STATE giving 14 1/2: Yes, the Cards lost the starting quarterback AND the starting running back. Reserve QB Cantwell racked up 113 yards on 4 pass attempts (one of which was incomplete) in a little over a quarter last week. Wildcats on the way up after barely escaping I-AA Illinois State in the opener... Louisville 27 KSU 7

Colorado over #9 GEORGIA taking 27: What was that depressing movie in the late 60's starring Jane Fonda? Oh, yeah..."They Shoot Buffaloes, Don’t They?" So much for Dan Hawkins re-energizing the CU offense. The best college or pro pigskin team in the Rocky Mountain State right now might be...Air Force!...Joja’ 24 Buffs 7

#10 LSU over Tulane giving 36: Homecoming for the Bayou Bengals. Tigers couldn’t hold on last week against Auburn and came away empty on five occasions on the Auburn side of the field. We look for State to skunk the visitors and to probably score on its first five possessions this week. Third straight road trip for the Green Wave ...LSU 41 Tulane 0

#11 VIRGINIA TECH over Cincinnati giving 26 1/2: Conference game vs. the Bees is coming up for Tech. Seemingly, there are no ill-effects from the departure of Michael Vick’s little brother. Bearkats get whacked again. The Weber Kid considered this one for lock... Hokies 38 Cincy 7

#12 Notre Dame over MICHIGAN STATE giving 4 ½: NTSB officials are still examining the black box found in the Irish locker room following last week’s tilt against Michigan. Spartans have had Notre Dame’s number over the past decade. State won’t be repeating 2005 Iwo Jima flag-planting after this one though...Catholics 29 MSU 24

#13 Oregon: IDLE (next @ Arizona State)

#14 Iowa over ILLINOIS giving 21: With big in-state rivalry outta’ the way, Hawkeyes can get back to business and warm up for Ohio State. Illini are just going nowhere...Iowa 41 Illinois 10

Marshall over #15 TENNESSEE taking 22: Vols playing to the level of their competition. Herd is 6-2 ATS in last 8 against ranked teams. ‘Dogs haven’t had a big week...yet...Tennessee 28 Marshall 10

#16 TCU: IDLE (next vs. BYU 9/28)

#17 OKLAHOMA over Middle Tennessee State giving 29: Sooners lost to the zebras, not the Decoys. Conference battle vs. North Texas might be of more importance to Blue Raiders than this one. Okies should be getting their act together by now...OK 44 MTSU 10

#18 FLORIDA STATE over Rice giving 29 1/2: Owls catch the Injuns off a bad loss just like they caught Texas. State’s offense is still struggling. Might be a nice game to see it break out. At least the special teams are coming around and we foresee those squads providing the covering scores...’Noles 31 Rice 0

North Carolina over #19 CLEMSON taking 16 1/2: Will the Tigers be drained after beating Florida State? Tarheels will be drained following wild 45-42 victory over...GASP!...I-AA Furman! The strength-and-conditioning coach at UNC made Tarheels players run up and down stadium steps carrying bags of cement. Similarly, Vindy increased his stamina in the preseason by doing likewise with full cases of beer at local Rebels’ venue Sam Boyd Stadium!...Clemson 24 North Carolina 17

#22 CAL over #20 (tie) Arizona State giving 7 1/2 : Devils’ D making strides but Bears are still second-best club in the PAC-10...Berkeley 28 ASU 17

NC STATE over #20 (tie) Boston College taking 7: UPSET SPECIAL. Eagles clearly have the better team, though they continue to win with difficulty. Looking for the Wolf Pack to be up for ACC conference opener at home. In OT...NC State 23 BC 20

#23 NEBRASKA over Troy giving 22: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Trojans covered against a flat team of Seminoles recovering from Miami and travel for the third consecutive game...Big Red 35 Troy 6

Hawaii over #25 BOISE STATE taking 14 ½: Vindicator briefly thought about an upset here too, but Mainland record for Hawaii doesn’t inspire quite that much confidence and Broncos are virtually invincible on the blue field. BSU teetered on the brink at Wyoming...Boise 33 ‘Bows 30


Upon learning the Miami coach turned down his supper invitation this summer, the President said "Fine. See if the Hurricanes get my vote for the preseason Top 25!" Asked by local game wardens to produce his Duck Stamp, Cheney asked if season tickets to Oregon games would suffice! Comments from the Democratic camp included a claim that Al Gore actually invented the Duck Stamp!

The CU Bison players need to give back the I-Pods they got for playing in last year’s Champs Sports Bowl and play some ball for cryin’ out loud!!!!

Nine of the Big Ten (Eleven) Conference teams beat their out-of-conference foes last week. The two offenders? ...Illinois, who lost to Big Least lower-tier squad Syracuse, and Indiana, who lost to I-AA Southern Illinois!

USC is unhappy with ABC broadcaster Brent Musberger for revealing the meaning of QB John Booty’s "hang-loose" hand-gesture during the Nebraska game last Saturday. Don’t be surprised if Booty’s next hand-gesture in Brent’s presence involves a thumb on his nose and four waving fingers!

Maurice Clarett was arrested in August after a traffic violation for having loaded weapons, including an AK-47, on the front seat of his car. The former running back will now do 3 ½ years at the Grey Bar Hotel, but officials at the local post office said they would keep Clarett’s job application on file.

In July, Miami Hurricanes’ safety Willie Cooper took a bullet in the behind from an unknown assailant. One of his teammates pulled a pistol from his own pants and fired back. No big deal. Cooper was just a safety anyway. And by the way, where was Dick Cheney when all this went down?!

Marcus Vick was arrested in January for waving a gun in a McDonald’s. Guess that qualifies him for All Con-Ference honors? was no toy in his Happy Meal or what? Recently, after being originally cut by Miami, Vick was later signed to the Dolphins practice squad. Clarett gladly accepted when he thought they said "target-practice squad."

Bizarre random thought of the week: when players go to the grocery store for dairy snacks, do they have look for 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-string cheese?

On the auction block...autographed baseballs on which Pete Rose wrote "I’m sorry I bet on baseball." Coming soon to E-Bay: autographed footballs on which the Weber Kid wrote "I’m sorry you bet on football using Vindy’s Picks!"

"Wish I Had That One Back": The Week 3 forecast noted Texas-Rice as a "definite ‘wish’ pick"

"Locked in a Box?": Vin grabs his second lock win against one loss courtesy of the Hokies squeaking past the line by pitching the shutout over Duke!

Shoppe Talk: The Irish, Red Raiders and Steers officially open this year’s Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe, all at 0-3. (C’mon in, fellas! Help yourselves to some nice packaged spinach while Vindicator sharpens his ax!)

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 6-7 (.461)
Arkansas State +6 ½ over SMU, UAB -10 over Mississippi State, SYRACUSE -6 1/2 over Miami-Ohio, ‘Bama +2 over ARKANSAS

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Vindy's Picks Week 3-2006

‘Hawks Off ‘Madden’ Hook

SEATTLE, Washington (ITAR-Tass)...Speaking through a megaphone from atop the Space Needle, the Vegas Vindicator spoke to (and annoyed) tourists, sports afficionados and anyone else within a five-mile radius, trying to allay fears of Seahawks fans regarding the mysterious "Madden curse". The Weber Kid noted it was actually he, not Seattle running back Shaun Alexander, in the photo on the cover of the Madden 2007 video game, released this summer. Vindy said he strapped on pads and helmet (and a little make-up) and struck the pose featured on the game cover. The Sin City soothsayer further explained he, himself, was the victim of the curse, pointing out his 5-14 record in Week One as evidence. Weber implored fans to not panic over the Seahawks’ 9-6 lackluster victory over the Detroit Lions and reassured them their beloved team would still be going to playoffs. Officials at EA Sports confirmed Vindy’s claim, explaining the actual player was too busy practicing to attend the photo shoot. As Vindy teetered precariously on the edge of the outdoor observation deck, an unidentified person on the ground yelled, "Jump, you !@!&$#@!! I lost a bundle on your Week Two ‘best bets’!!

Before being "helped" over the rail by security, Vindicator quickly notes his Week Two count of 9-8-1 (14-22-1, .389 on the season), whips out a Sharpie on his way down and scribbles...

(Vindy’s Picks are recorded before a live studio audience...and the bar appreciates the patronage!)

#5 WEST VIRGINIA over Maryland giving 15 1/2 :
Box Turtles opened at 2-0, but didn’t win impressively over either lower-tier foe. Is it just Vindy or do you guys think Mark Mangino, Rick Majerus and Terps’ coach Ralph Friedgen have a future in sumo-wrestling?!...’Eers 38 Maryland 13

Cincinnati over #1 OHIO STATE taking 30 ½:
Buckeyes are in a sandwich spot between critical triumph over Texas and visit by those Nitwit Lions next. Bearkats stayed close to State, losing only 23-19, during Buckeyes’ 2002 undefeated regular season...Ohio State 31 Cincy 9

#2 NOTRE DAME over #11 Michigan giving 7: Irish took advantage of several Nitwit Lions miscues early in the first half (Vindy didn’t bother viewing whatever second-half debauchery occurred!). Irish receiver Jeff Samardzija signed a five-year contract with the Cubbies as a hurler and wants to go pro in both football and baseball. Will we see a deluge of "Jeff knows..." commercials??? Does that make him a "pitcher" or a "catcher?!" Still voting against Big Blue...Leprechauns 24 Michigan 13

#6 Louisiana State over #3 AUBURN taking 3 ½: The last two seasons these clubs have battled in tight, tight games, including Bengals’ OT win last year. LSU is 2-5-2 ATS against ranked teams over the past two seasons. Aubie has covered 16 of last 20 regular season tilts... Bengals 17 Tigers 16

#19 Nebraska taking #4 USC taking 18 ½: Trojan Express seems to have lost little steam since 2005, thrashing Arkansas and stifling a good Wazzou offense, but there’s a little voice in Weber’s head (which raised its hand before speaking) suggesting "Take Big Red, take Big Red!"...Troy 29 Huskers 27

#7 Florida over #13 TENNESSEE giving 3 1/2: In an article this summer on anagrams, Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin noted Florida Gators could be rearranged to spell "‘Fro Gladiators". A couple bowl seasons ago, Vindy revealed an anagram of Urban Meyer to be "Yu R Beerman", and now discovers Chris Leak is also "Rich Lakes", "Slick Hare" and "I Crash Elk". Vols dodged a bullet when USAF blew a very late 2-point conversion...Florida 28 Vols 20

RICE over #8 Texas taking 30: Owls 0-2 outright but 2-0 ATS. Texas suffered the bad home loss to the Buckeyes. Have to consider the Lone Star rivalry. Rice is responding (still losing, but competitively) to new coach Todd Graham. Definite "wish" pick, but...Steers 35 Rice 9.

Clemson over #9 FLORIDA STATE taking 4 1/2: Injuns got 45 yards on 28 carries vs. Troy. Those kinda’ numbers won’t get it done here. Lack of a ground game finally catches up to State...Clemson 24 Chop 20

Alabama-Birmingham over #10 GEORGIA taking 17 1/2: Dawgs’ starting quarterback Joe Tereshinski (da’ Third) is out for this one. His replacement, freshman Stafford played adequately for 3+ quarters in his absence last week on the road, but still showed himself to be a freshman. ‘Dawgs don’t cover the number well outside the SEC...Joja’ 24 Blazers 13

#17 Miami over #12 LOUISVILLE taking 3: Vindy expected Cards’ QB Brohm to go down before starting RB Bush, but we’ll take it. ‘Canes need to produce some decent points on a I-A team. They will...Miami 27 Redbirds 24

#14 VIRGINIA TECH over Duke giving 35: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Playing at theatres in Blacksburg this week (both of ‘em! [And one of ‘em is still a drive-in!])..."The Blue Devils Wear Prada!"...Hokies 45 Duke 3

#18 OREGON over #15 Oklahoma giving 4: How many folks in the preseason, outside Eugene, woulda’ called the Decoys five-point chalk in this one?! Rematch of last season’s Holiday Bowl thriller. No faith in this choice... Drakes 27 Sooners 21

Iowa State @ #16 IOWA: OFF. (Hawkeyes have won 30 of last 33 at home [25-5-1 ATS per recent issue of Gaming Today] last 5+ years. Two of the three "L"s came to Michigan, the other to...Iowa State!)

#24 Texas Tech over #20 TCU giving 2: Raiders look vulnerable on defense, as they have in the past. Can’t gauge Horny Toads just yet based on wins over Baylor and UC-Davis. Da’ coin likes...Texas Tech 28 TCU 24

Portland State @ #21 CAL: No line. (Remember, sports fans, Portland State beat...New Mexico!!!!?)

COLORADO over #22 Arizona State taking 10: Just after the New Year, former Colorado Buffs RB Eric Bienemy joined the Minny Vikes as an assistant coach. Anybody else out there see the irony in that???? Devils covered last week, but the " D" is still an albatross. What’s goin’ in on in Boulder???!!!...Pitchforks 34 Gilded Bison 27

Brigham Young over #23 BOSTON COLLEGE taking 7: Coogs only managed a FG in last year’s tussle in Provo. 2-0 BC is only 8 points from being 0-2 and struggled against Central Michigan. Might be some emotional fall-off for Eagles following OT victory over Clemson. BYU is 2-5 ATS in last 7 vs. ranked teams, but 7-4 ATS overall on the road last two seasons...Boston College 20 BYU 19

Youngstown State @ #25 PENN STATE: No line. (Just win, baby!)


By the way, a flag bearing the number "12" flew atop the Space Needle last January, saluting the "12th Man" home crowd that helped the Seahawks go 10-0 last season at Qwest Field. A similar "12" flag flew atop the Space Needle-like Stratosphere Casino in Vegas...mocking the number of correct picks in Vindy’s 28-game bowl forecast!

Roger Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL commish. If it had been Jane Goodall instead, would we have seen a book and a movie entitled ...."Linemen In the Mist"?

Bengals fans can report unruly behavior in the stands to security by calling 513-381-JERK. If Vice President Cheney gets outta’ hand, they can also dial 800-555-DICK!

Diminutive former Boston College/CFL/NFL QB Doug Flutie has been working as an analyst for ABC/ESPN...and ya can’t see the booster chair he sits on to the reach the mike, can ya???!

Out on DVD...two Denver rushers spend the off-season on a farm in the Rockies running plays outta’ the brown-eye formation in..."Broncoback Mountain"! (Funny, the lines-makers were running those same plays with Vindy in Week One!)

On the small screen as part of the Fall line-up.......Jennifer Love-Hewitt brings justice to spirits of wronged uprights in..."Goalpost Whisperer"

A recent poll for favorite male golfer, to no one’s surprise, named Tiger Woods as the top choice. Vindy’s pick, however, is Carl Spackler (played by Bill Murray in "Caddyshack"). "Last year, just a groundskeeper...about to become...this year’s...Masters’ champion!...It’s IN the’s in the hole."

"Locked in a Box?": The Orange cover against Iowa in OT brings the lock record to 1-1 (.500).

"Wish I Had That One Back": Vindy called it last week.....Florida State-Troy as a "wish" pick!

Shoppe Talk: Several teams have logged back-to-back forecast losses. We’ll sort ‘em out next week (but Louisville and Florida both got in the prognostication win column!)

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-4 Season: 4-5 (.444) (In a bizarre twist of fate, Vindy gave the book the number supporting RUTGERS -10 ½ rather than Illinois +10 ½ and gets to cash that ticket! The betting deities will, however, have their revenge later in the season!). Ball State +16 over PURDUE, NORTHWESTERN -16 over Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan +10 ½ over VIRGINIA, UCONN -6 over Wake Forest

Until next week...Vindicator’s just here for the Bud Light! (Now if you’ll excuse him, Vindy’s gotta’ pray to the magic fridge!)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2006


DETROIT, Michigan (CNN)...Federal authorities apparently weren’t too a far off the mark when they originally dug up a farm in nearby Milford Township earlier this year in search of the remains of notorious Teamster boss, Jimmy Hoffa. Lions’ wide receiver Roy Williams cut a deal recently to provide the location of Hoffa’s body to the FBI, as long as the Feds allow the often-brash pass-catcher to score his inaugural home touchdown of the year. While it’s unknown how Williams acquired knowledge of the location or the body, parameters of the deal suggest Williams may have Hoffa stashed in the padding below one of the Detroit Lions’ stadium goalposts or that the body itself is encased in the concrete base of one of the uprights.

And speaking of bodies, local law enforcement officials in Las Vegas appropriately drew an outline around Vindicator’s Week 1 forecast in chalk as the favorites went an astounding 15-4 ATS, walloping the Weber Kid’s picks (5-14, .263). Vindy hops outta’ the shower after scrubbing the monster truck tread marks off his face and proposes...

(Vindy’s Picks shouldn’t be used if you’re nursing, pregnant or could become pregnant!)

#2 TEXAS over #1 Ohio State giving 2 1/2: Match-up of Longhorns’ defense vs. Buckeyes’ Ted Ginn and Troy Smith! We like the Steers with the home-field ad. No revenge for OSU...Longhorns 27 Buckeyes 17

#3 USC: IDLE (next vs. Nebraska)

#19 Penn State over #4 (tie) NOTRE DAME taking 8: Unimpressive outing by Irish against the Bees has to give Lions-faithful hope. Surely, State’s Anthony Morelli is a better QB than Tech’s Reggie Bell! Joja’ Tech stymied Irish offense with only five returning starters on D. Lions’ defensive backfield is still a question mark, but we think they’ll come through...ND 23 PSU 20

#4 (tie) Auburn over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 20: Bulldogs played some decent defense vs. South Carolina, but had nothing on "O". Tigers’ stop-squad forces State into second straight goose egg. Another long season comin’ up in Starkville...Auburn 31 MSU 0

Eastern Washington @ #6 WEST VIRGINIA: No line.

#7 FLORIDA over Central Florida giving 23: On June 26, an AP story ran the following headline: "Kidman, Urban Tie Knot in Australia". Hey...way to go Coach Meyer, snagging actress Nicole...oh, wait...! Hate to lay this many against O’ Leary’s Golden Knights but...Gators 41 UCF 13

#8 LSU over Arizona giving 14 ½: Vindy just knows this one’s comin’ back to bite him. Of Wildcats’ five losses by a TD or less last year, none of those were to teams known for defense (well, maybe Utah, but that’s it). Bengals were 1-4 ATS (but all to SEC foes) at home in 2005 and have plenty of room for improvement in several areas...LSU 31 AZ 14

#9 FLORIDA STATE over Troy giving 31: Best guess for "wish I had it back" pick. The ground game is still absent for the Injuns and many of the pass completions vs. Miami were deep-out patterns...pretty, but tough to sustain. ‘Noles are off a short week. Troy starts an ugly four-game road trip...’Chop 41 Troy 7

Central Michigan over #10 MICHIGAN taking 27 ½: Bettors have taken this line up a notch, but perhaps Vindy was overly-optimistic of Big Blue’s desire for a convincing win. Wolverines still in disarray on offense. Chippies gave Boston College a run for its money...Michigan 29 CMU 13

Air Force over #11 TENNESSEE taking 20: Vols got their big victory over Cal courtesy of turnovers and dropped passes. Flyboys excel in away openers in the dog role. Back-to-back sub-.500 records for USAF means the Pilots will knock themselves out against an opponent ranked this high. Rocky Top might be a little flat and just might look ahead to Florida...Tennessee 24 Flight Platoon 9

#12 Georgia over SOUTH CAROLINA giving 3: The word " landmine" is written all over this! Three of the last four between these clubs have been decided by 6 or less, all in favor of Joja’. ‘Cocks struggled to put up points on Mississippi State. Talent edge still goes to UGA. We’ll try the Dawg Pound and hope for a push at worst...Georgia 17 SC 13

#13 Louisville over TEMPLE giving 38 ½: Loss of Louisville star RB Bush won’t be a problem here. Temple isn’t the NCAA version of Pluto, but it oughta’ be...Cards 61 Owls 16

#14 Iowa over SYRACUSE giving 19: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Orange hung around after Wake’s QB broke his leg. Arch-rival Iowa State on deck for the Hawkeyes, but can’t see a distraction there with huge Big Ten game vs. Ohio State still a few weeks away...Iowa 38 ‘Cuse 12

#15 OKLAHOMA over Washington giving 17: We’ll chalk up the single-score win over the Blazers last week to opening game jitters. Expect Adrian Peterson to respond with a monster game following this week’s criticisms. UDUB is still floundering, as evidenced by narrow win over San Jose State...Sooners 35 Washington 7

#16 Virginia Tech over NORTH CAROLINA giving 11 1/2: Frank Beamer’s VT special teams are already in fine form with a couple of kick-blocks under their belts last week!...Hokies 28 UNC 9

Florida A&M @ #17 MIAMI: No line.

#18 Clemson over BOSTON COLLEGE giving 2 ½: This game has gone "off", but we’ll go with last known line. Tigers looked to be in good shape behind 5th-year senior QB Will Proctor. We’re about to find out if Clemson is worthy of Weber’s ACC Title (and very darkhorse national title) pick...Clemson 28 BC 17

FRESNO STATE over #20 Oregon taking 5: This forecaster was willing to spot the Bulldoggies two (per the opening spread), but not a fiver. Mallards often fizzle away from home. Oregon won last year by 3 and in ‘02 by 4, both on the Pond. The preseason experts have already presented the WAC trophy to Boise. We like Fresno...Decoys 31 Fresno 28

Nicholls State @ #21 NEBRASKA: No line.

#22 CAL over Minnesota giving 8 ½: After the Bears’ major disappointment at Rocky Top last week (Vindy got so disgusted with Vols’ quick TD at the opening of the 3rd Quarter, he switched to baseball and vowed to watch no more pigskin until Labor Day!), we’ll give them another try. If Cal isn’t plagued by drops and turnovers, Minny D won’t be able to keep up...Berkeley 38 Gophers 17

UC-Davis @ #23 TEXAS CHRISTIAN: No line.

#24 Texas Tech over UTEP giving 7: Curious line. Somebody doesn’t have a lot of faith in Raiders’ non-5th-year-starting QB. Frankly, we expected a line closer to 17! OK, Tech has a mostly, brand-new secondary, but the defense is getting better. Can’t see Mike Price’s Miners (we luv ya, Mike!) trading enough sixes...Texas Tech 35 UTEP 21

Nevada-Reno over #25 ARIZONA STATE taking 14 1/2: ASU didn’t go out front of I-AA Northern Arizona until the 4th Quarter and the Sun Devils alumni didn’t need any more fuel on the fire after former trigger-man Sam Keller was named starter and demoted in the same week before he transferred to...(GASP!)...Nebraska! Pass defense is a problem on both sidelines...ASU 38 UNR 34


More on Hoffa...Weber thinks the whole thing might be a prank set up by Ashton Kutcher just to "punk" Geraldo, a la the Capone tomb thing! Can ya see Geraldo standing by with a camera crew waiting to see the contents as Williams slugs away at the concrete base of the goalpost with a sledge-hammer to reveal...nada, zip, zilch!!!??!!!

One more thought on ESPN’s programming for Baby First TV...would great defensive plays be featured on a segment called "Crib Gems"???!!!

On the big screen...the Catholic Church tries to cover up Mary Magdalene’s bets on Notre Dame in..."The Da’ Vindy Code" (Oh, please, all the religious zealots in the readership need to just take a seat...longtime readers of this forecast had to have known THAT was comin’!!!!)

Week 1 disasters: Let’s hear it for the little guys (translation: I-AA clubs that toppled teams from the "Championship Division!")- Montana State 19-10 over COLORADO, Portland State 17-6 over NEW MEXICO and Richmond 13-0 over DUKE (oh...and..uh...Vindy’s first Saturday prediction tally of 5-14)!

Week 1 Near-disasters: KANSAS ST. 24-23 over Illinois State

Week 1 Bad Omens: WASHINGTON 35-29 over San Josie State and despite a huge blowout win, UNLV gives up two blocked kicks to Idaho State (and pulls a redshirt freshman in street clothes from the stands to come into the game at kicker).

Vindicator kept seeing the phrase "Dominate your draft" on those fantasy football sites, so he stocked up on chips & dips and chains and whips, and other leather accessories....and simply got laughed at by his fellow fantasy team owners!

In May 2006, Paul Gleason passed away. Fans of "The Breakfast Club" remember him as the principal. Las Vegas sports bettors might remember him as the face of the local Coast Casinos "Pick-the-Pros" contest. The actor was once overheard saying "If I have to come back into the sportsbook, I’m bustin’ skulls!"

Last month, the Chargers held practice on deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan at Coronado Naval Base in San Diego. No word as to whether or not President Bush showed up in helmet and uniform to declare "Practice Accomplished". Looking at sailors, for the first time in football history, a coach said "The name on the back of the uniform is more important than the one on the front of the uniform".

In late January, BaseballSavvy.Com encouraged readers to send in songs swapping the word "glove" for the word "love". That was too good to pass up, so our fearless prognosticator submitted Radar Glove, I’m in Glove With My Car, Muskrat Glorv and All You Need is Glove!

The Tampa Bay D-Rays are contemplating a name change including removal of the word "Devil". What if Webster’s Dictionary did likewise...We might have...Ray-may-care, the Arizona State Sun Rays, the Duke Blue Rays, Hostess Ray Dogs, Ray-to-pay, NJ Rays, Ray’s Advocate, Ray’s Island, Ray’s Triangle and that infamous appetizer...Rayed Eggs!

"Locked in a Box?": The Mallards of Oregon posted a nice 25-point victory over Stanford to start Vindy’s lock record at 1-0.

Shoppe Talk: Those !!@&%#!!! Louisville Cardinals whacked Vindy for the 10th time in the last 12 opportunities!!! The Gators give Weber a forecast win, but has John Edwards standing by to channel in the late Steve Irwin if needed!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 3-1 (.750)
IOWA STATE -14 over unlv, Illinois +111/2 over RUTGERS, NEW MEXICO STATE +9 over New Mexico, COLORADO +2 1/2 over Colorado State, ALABAMA -16 over Vanderbilt