MALIBU, California (AP)...Mad Max was at it again following an alcohol-fueled Thanksgiving dinner that saw the actor-producer shouting obscenities at a TV during the Boston College-Miami game and led to a second arrest for DUI. Mel Gibson became verbally aggressive with arresting officers, screaming the “F*cking BCS...the BCS is responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Bowl Championship Series voter, officer?!” Pollsters were up in arms following release of Gibson’s insensitive comments. Gibson offered a public apology the following day, but NCAA officials weren’t satisfied. The Reverend Jesse Jackson has invited the beleaguered actor to appear on a live airing of College Game Day, which Jackson himself will host in order to discuss “conference isolation in the sports industry”. In addition, the Braveheart star will conduct 400 hours of community service, delivering speeches about the hazards of drinking and driving while acting as a tackling dummy for several teams, BCS and non-BCS, headed into the bowl season!
Vindy was definitely in the holiday spirit and thankful as his Week 13 picks finished at a mighty fine 10-5-2 (117-118-8, .498 season). Once more into da’ breach before Da’ Bowls with....
THE WEBER KID’S 2006 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PICKS
THURS. NOV. 30
MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)
Central Michigan over Ohio giving 3: Tough pick. Bobcats have run off seven straight victories (covering 6 of ‘em). Chippies have won 6 of last 7 and lost respectably to Boston College and Kentucky. Bobblecats beat the Illini on the road. CMU was plus-3 in turnovers while routing Ohio last year 31-10. A little closer now...Central Michigan 31 Ohio 24
FRI. DEC. 1
C-USA Championship (@ Houston, TX)
Southern Miss over HOUSTON taking 4 1/2: While Vindicator elects to stay with his preseason choice to win Conference USA, he points out the Cougars squeaked past Rice in its opener and lost earlier this year at USM 31-27. The Eagles have rediscovered their offense of late after struggling in mid-season. Houston did nearly beat Miami on the road... Houston 31 Southern Miss 30
SAT. DEC. 2
#1 Ohio State: IDLE (next: da’ BCS Title game)
#2 Southern Cal over UCLA giving 13 ½: Other than 5-point loss by UCLA in the 2004 version, Trojans have dominated this series in recent years by 20-30 points. Bruins come in off a bye and back-to-back wins before that (following a 4-game slide before THAT). UCLA’s only loss in six home games on the season was to Wazzou. Trojans could possibly afford a ho-hum win, but won’t settle for one...USC 38 Bruins 16
#3 Michigan: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)#8 Arkansas over #4 Florida taking 3: Gators still have a “snowball’s chance” at National Title game berth, but kickoff is around halftime of the USC-UCLA match and Florida might be busy watching the scoreboard. Gators don’t have the kind of D that LSU put on the field to beat Arkansas. Pigs bounce back. In Little Rock, First Lady Huckabee smiles and changes the Piggly-Wiggly brand batteries in her new clock...Oink Oink 19 Crocs 17
#5 LSU: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
#6 LOUISVILLE over Connecticut giving 27: Don’t know how the Huskies covered a mere 3 ½ point spread vs. Cincinnati. Scarlet Knight hangover by the ‘Kats maybe. UConn’s best weapon is the run. We saw what Louisville did to West Virginia’s much-ballyhooed ground game. Cards’ worst enemy will be the new clock rules...Louisville 48 Dogs 13
#7 Wisconsin: IDLE (next: da’ Capital One Bowl)
Big 12 Championship (@ Kansas City, MO)
#19 Nebraska over #9 Oklahoma taking 4: Finally, a game that won’t result in body bags for one side or the other! In past years, that “one side” has been the representative from the North Division. Sooners are 6-1 ATS in the last 7. Big Red has gone 5-2 vs. the number. Vindy’s a slow learner. The North shall rise again...Nebraska 31 OK 29
#10 Boise State: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
#11 Auburn: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
#12 Notre Dame: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
#13 Rutgers over #15 WEST VIRGINIA taking 8: Mounties got whacked...at home...by an ever-improving South Florida Bulls team courtesy of four turnovers, while the Knights posted a basically-flawless victory over Syracuse. Five years ago, WVU hung 80 (count ‘em, 80!) on Rutgers. We’ll take the team with more to play for...holy crap!...a Big Least title for...Rutgers 31 ‘Eers 28
#14 Virginia Tech: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
ACC Championship (@ Jacksonville, FL)
#16 Wake Forest over #23 Georgia Tech taking 3: Bees have won 3 of last 4 (2-2 ATS). Deacons continue amazing run without preseason-projected starting backfield. Jackets QB Reggie Ball had a bad game vs. Joja’, which means he’ll probably rock the house this week. Or not...Wake 14 Insects 10
#17 Texas: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
#18 Tennessee: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
#20 BYU: IDLE (next: da’ Las Vegas Bowl)
#21 CAL over Stanford giving 29: The Trees have dented the scoreboard for more than 10 points only twice all year, both times on the road. Off consecutive defeats, Bears get well for the post-season. Traditionally, the away team in this series has owned the spread. Not this time...Cal 41 Cardinal 3
#22 Texas A&M: IDLE (next: da’ Bowls)
Oregon State over #24 HAWAII taking 8: UPSET SPECIAL. ‘Bows Colt Brennan’s passing has been slicker than the NBA’s new micro-fiber ball and he should get the three touchdowns he needs to reach the NCAA single-season TD record. Hawaii has only two spread losses, both at home. This will be the best defense the Rainbow Warriors have faced since opening seven-point loss at ‘Bama...Oregon State 28 Aloha 24
#25 Boston College: IDLE (next da’ Bowls)
The rest of the field...
NEW MEXICO STATE over Louisiana Tech giving 10 ½: Aggies have the second-best passing attack behind only Hawaii. Not good news for a Weeziana Tech team that got outscored by aforementioned ‘Bows and Nevada-Reno 103-17 before beating Fresno last week...NMSU 31 La Tech 13
Air Force over TEXAS CHRISTIAN taking 16 1/2: The Best Little Horned-Toad House in Texas is already headed for the Poinsettia Bowl. Pilots should be ashamed of themselves for losing outright at UNLV. And as punishment, Vindicator will supervise early morning strafing runs on elementary schools in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey on Saturday until Vindy gets tired! Nation’s third-best rushing offense meets the nation’s third-best rushing defense. Toads can also run the ball...Frogs 34 USAF 31
Army over Navy taking 20 ½: Middies are still good, but are shadows of teams past. Weber watched the Cadets march easily down the field on its opening possession against Air Force, then fold up like origami when they fumbled at the Pilots 2-yard line and yielded a 98-yard return for TD. Also in the back of Vindy’s mind is the Black Knights’ stalwart effort in 4-point loss to Texas A&M. Neither side throws the ball except for token plays. Should be a quick scrimmage that allows Army to stay within three touchdowns...Navy 24 Army 13
Louisiana-Monroe over LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE taking 3: Nothing at stake here except braggin’ rights among the former directional-Weezianas. Lafayette has the better conference win-loss record, but has been actually been outscored by 6 total points against Sun Belt opponents. Cajuns finally won outright in ‘05 following three straight defeats at the hands of UL-Cornrow...Louisiana-French Guy 17 UL-Monroe 16
SAN JOSE STATE over Fresno State giving 4 ½: Nice to see perennial-WAC doormat-poster team San Jose State posting a 7-4 record....with only a pair of defensive starters returning from last year! Hats off to coach Dick Tomey, who should be nominated for Coach-of-da’-Year honors in this prognosticator’s humble opinion. Spartans have won 9 of last 13, going back to last year, and nearly dropped probably-Fiesta-bound Boise. The Bulldogs ...who might’ve beaten Oregon in previous years...and certainly would’ve defeated UDUB...continue to disappoint, bottoming out with earlier 13-12 loss to (GASP!) Utah State!...SJSU 30 Fres-not-no, but HELL-no! 20
Troy over FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL giving 12 1/2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Panthers are winless...and will stay that way. With a victory, Troy ties Middle Tennessee for Sun Belt title, but goes to the New Orleans Bowl on basis of defeating MTSU just a week ago. Troy is only 2-3 ATS as chalk and has only one conference outright loss. FIU is 3-8 against the line and probably should’ve established one of those “exploratory committees” to determine if there was any interest in actually supporting it as a I-A football team...Trojans 31 FIU 10
Colorado State over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 3: Two NASA attempts from Pasadena to contact the Mars Global Surveyor failed this past week. Funny, coaches at San Diego State and Colorado State must be using the same equipment to reach their respective teams’ offenses. Rams are averaging 11 ppg over last five. Aztecs are lightin’ it up for 7 ppg over last pair...Rams 17 SDSU 10
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Shortly before the Longhorns were eliminated from the conference championship race, President Bush blasted Oklahoma, noting , “the Sooners should not be trusted to play well in a BCS bowl because they have no idea how to win in the Big 12 Title game!”
In local news, there is talk about scuttling the UNLV football program. Vindy and one of his co-workers decided the answer was not dissolution, but rather better scheduling. A few proposals for the non-conference slate...Duke, Florida International, Stanford, Temple, Utah State and after last Sunday’s 4th quarter collapse...the New York Giants! (Thanks for the idea, Ken!)
Around the horn...Philadelphia Mayor John Street called National League MVP Ryan Howard “Ron” several times in a speech commending the ballplayer last week. Ryan has likely never uttered the phrase “Sit on it, Potsie!”, but it would’ve perhaps been an appropriate response from the Phillies player after the third or fourth reference from His Honor to the wrong moniker!
Best Weekly Effort: The Sin City Soothsayer saved his best for last, logging a decent 10-5-2 record in Week 13!
Worst Weekly “Effort”: Weber’s Week 1 picks (5-14) were such a crime, Michigan high school cheerleaders turned them into a cheer so they could remember them long enough to report them to police!
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...drum roll, please...the Boise State Broncos at 8-1(.889). Second place to Nebraska (8-2, .800) and a surprise Honorable Mention to the Injuns of Florida State (6-2, .750)! Combined, the aforementioned trio posted 22 forecast wins in 26 tries!
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 !!@&*$#! Frightenin’ Irish (3-9, .250...ironically, the pesky Leprechauns got “Honorable Mention” honors last season at 7-3!!!). “Suckin’ Place” to the Steers of Texas (3-8, .273) and “Dishonorable Mention” to (Holy Crap...a tie!) the Oregon Decoys and the Joja’ Tech Bees, both at 3-6 (.333).
“Locked in a Box?”: The Mormons went flat in mere two-point win over rival Utes to send the lock record down to 8-5!
Shoppe Talk: Wow! Da’ Irish and Da’ Longhorns both registered forecast dubyas (as opposed to Dubyas) in Week 13!
Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3-1 Season: 31-28-3 (.525)
Last week’s bragging obviously caught up to our flustered forecaster. Army +20 ½ over Navy, NEW MEXICO STATE -10 ½ over Louisiana Tech
Vindicator takes his annual hiatus to change the points and plugs on the tea leaves, but fear not, loyal readers...the Weber Kid promises to return circa December 16 with his infamous bowl picks! Don’t touch that dial!