Friday, December 15, 2006

Vindy's 2006-2007 Bowl Picks

Lineman Reports Illicit Attempts to Keep Him Sidelined

OAKLAND, California (Reuters)...Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp told media he doesn’t eat out anymore when playing games away from home, citing deliberate efforts to keep him out of games by tampering with his meals. Sapp pointed to particular difficulty during pre-game culinary experiences in the City of Brotherly Love. "Come to think of it," reflected Sapp, "that last minute ‘team-mom’ substitute sure resembled McNabb’s mother. I never did like her and that whole ‘Chunky soup’ thing!" Shortly after Sapp’s meeting with reporters on the topic, a revised edition of "If I Did It" by O.J. Simpson hit the bookstore shelves and presented a hypothetical, detailed account of how the former Southern Cal Heisman-winning rusher would’ve poisoned Warren Sapp, had he actually done so. Investigators teased media with a little international intrigue, suggesting the alleged incidents may relate back to the Cold War and intimating the Russian government mistook Sapp for a KGB agent, with president Vladimir Putin ordering the tampering. The Kremlin has unconditionally refuted the charges as "Amerikan kapitalist horse-hockey!"

"Rocky Balboa" premieres on December 22nd. Insiders say a Cornish hen was hung on a hook in the famous meat-locker scene to protect Sly’s aging hands and it was made to look like a side of beef thru special effects (Can’t ya just hear Burgess Meredith yelling, "Eye of the lap cat, Rock! Eye of the lap cat!"??!!). In honor of the movie’s release, Vindy hung a parlay card on a hook as he trained for the bowl picks! the card landed a couple of solid body shots! Vindy gets up off da’ mat before the ten-count expires, calls out "Adriannnnnnn (Peterson)" and offers...

(Lines of December 14; over/under totals in parentheses)

DEC. 19
Northern Illinois over Texas Christian taking 12 ½ (47): Toads got "lock of da’ bowls" honors last season and failed miserably. The latest college football all-star game is being played in El Paso and being nicknamed "Texas vs. the Nation". Didn’t we already see this one when Frogs played in C-USA??!! These teams are evenly matched on offense. Edge on run defense goes to TCU, but Huskies have aerial options if once-Heisman-candidate RB Garrett Wolfe is ineffective...Ribbit U. 27 NIU 20

DEC. 21
PIONEER PURE VISION LAS VEGAS: #19 BYU over Oregon giving 4 (59 1/2):
Decoys are a controversial officiating call away from 6-6. Mormon fans are not known for dropping dollars in Sin City and the Coogs’ first flag will be "delay of spending"! What is the motivation for the Drakes, who had visions of much loftier bowls? Ducks lost (and failed to cover) last four games away from Autzen Stadium. The "over" looks good here too...BYU 38 Mallards 29

DEC. 22
NEW ORLEANS: Rice over Troy giving 6 ½ (51 1/2):
"Break up the Owls!" was sarcastically uttered by an announcer earlier this year in reference to Temple’s team, but Vin steals the phrase and applies it to the Rice contingent that reeled off six straight victories and seven wins in its last eight. Trojans have had time to rest after playing 8 of their 12 regular season games on the road. First Rice bowl (rice bowl?) in 45 years!...Rice 24 Troy 11

DEC. 23
PAPAJOHNS.COM: South Florida over East Carolina giving 3 ½ (43 1/2):
This was a tough call. Vindy has been a big fan of the Pirates this season (and is tickled to see ECU alum David Garrard directing the offense for the Jags on Sundays!). USF humiliated the Bucs 41-17 in ‘04 regular season game and fell flat on its face in a 14-0 loss to NC State in its first-ever bowl game last season. Common foe for these clubs was West Virginia. Pirates lost 27-17 at home, while Bulls won 24-19 in Morgantown. We’ll take the second-best I-A team in the Sunshine State (this season, in this forecaster’s humble opinion)...USF 24 Avast, Ye Landlubbers 17

NEW MEXICO: San Jose State over NEW MEXICO taking 4 ½ (49): LOCK OF DA’ BOWLS. Few teams get excited to play in their own backyard during the post-season. Lobos are no exception. Spartans continue nice turnaround from last three seasons of 3-8, 2-9 and 3-8 by adding another Mountain Jest squad to the list of victims... SJSU 31 New Mexico 17

ARMED FORCES: Utah over Tulsa giving 2 (49 1/2): Rumors have Donald Rumsfeld showing up to this one just before kickoff to urge "adjustment" in Tulsa’s bowl strategy and to recommend pulling Golden Hurricane safeties and corners outta’ "vulnerable positions"! Utes found their second wind in late October and just missed upset of MWC champ Cougars in finale...Utah 30 Tulsa 24

DEC. 24
HAWAII: Hawaii over Arizona State giving 8 (74 1/2):
ASU yielded only 17 ppg in final three matches after allowing 26 ppg through first nine. Two of the last three were in Tempe however. Other than contest against San Jose State, ‘Bows’ opponents with a pulse scored 30 or better. Collectively, these two teams brought back a total of nine starters on defense in the preseason. A nod to the "over"...Hawaii 44 ASU 35

DEC. 26
MOTOR CITY: Central Michigan over Middle Tennessee State giving 10 (51):
Interesting to see a second Sun Belt team bowling other than conference champ Troy (32 bowls will do that!). Chippies are a nifty 11-2 against the line, though only 1-1 laying double-digits. Blue Raiders just 1-3 ATS getting double-digits (against bowl teams on all four occasions)... Central Michigan 31 MTSU 17

DEC. 27
EMERALD: UCLA over Florida State giving 4 ½ (40 1/2):
Bobby Bowden put Drew Weatherford under center at the beginning of the Florida game after indicating QB Xavier Lee is better coming off the bench. Does that mean FSU has two quarterbacks, neither of whom is good enough to start, so Weatherford handled the opening possessions as the lesser of two evils because Lee is the better relief pitcher????!! Bad times in Tallahassee. Bruins clearly have the motivation to beat a traditional powerhouse and will carry momentum of huge win over then-#2 Southern Cal into this one...UCLA 24 Injuns 16

DEC. 28
INDEPENDENCE: Oklahoma State over Alabama giving 2 ½ (50 1/2):
Tide averaged just over 22 ppg on offense this season and posted more than 2 offensive TDs in regulation only twice (vs. Duke and Florida International). Former United Nations Weapons Inspector Hans Blix is off to join the International Ski Federation Ethics commission. Maybe he can make a stop in Tuscaloosa and try to find ‘Bama’s offense (Vindy’s intelligence network tells him they keep moving it around on trucks or other mobile platforms to prevent detection)...OKSU 27 Hans Tide Behind Their Backs 20

PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY: #21 Texas A&M over #20 Cal taking 5 (51 1/2): Bears are playing in a lower-tier bowl...again...following uninspired efforts vs. Southern Cal and Stanford. Aggies are total of two points against both Big 12 Title game contestants away from 11-1 record. A&M has already beaten Texas and win this one too for Coach Fran...Aggies 20 Cal 13

TEXAS: #16 Rutgers over Kansas State giving 7 ½ (45): Knights know they have the commitment of Coach Schiano to stay in the Garden State. In gratitude, Rutgers struts its best ground attack and best defense on national TV and flattens K-State squad that upended Texas and Oklahoma State at home...Knights 34 Wildcats 14

DEC. 29
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY: Clemson over Kentucky giving 10 (57 1/2):
Wildcats are making nice strides and lighting up the scoreboard, but there are still too many issues on defense. Tigers’ average margin of victory, even disregarding 63-9 blowout of Temple, was still 40-9. The Clemson also rises...Tigers 44 KY 24

BRUT SUN: #24 Oregon State over Missouri giving 3 ½ (52): Tigers are Top 20 in pass D. Beavers will showcase WR Sammie Stroughter, who pulls in better than 5 catches for almost 100 yards per game. Mizzou lost of four of their final six-pack coming in but miraculously overcame an early three touchdown hole in last year’s Independence Bowl vs. South Carolina off a similarly slow regular-season finish. Beavers beat USC, Oregon and Hawaii en route to this game. Maybe Brut pitchman Broadway Joe will make an appearance... sober!...Oregon State 24 Missouri 20

AUTOZONE LIBERTY: South Carolina over Houston giving 7 (55 1/2): This will be determined by the play of the Cougars defense. A narrow regular season road loss and subsequent home win over Southern Miss support Houston’s chances here. Still, we have to take the stronger defensive team from the SEC...Gamecocks 31 Houston 20

INSIGHT: Minnesota over Texas Tech taking 6 ½ (66): If ya like the big "O", particularly lotsa’ passing, this game’s got your name written all over it! Together, Gophers and Raiders average nearly 60 ppg per game and better than 800 yards of offense, much of that through the air. In what figures to be a shootout, Weber gladly takes the points... Gophers 35 Tech 32

CHAMPS SPORTS: Maryland over Purdue giving 1 (52): In order to personally frustrate Kim Jong Il, the U.S. has imposed a trade ban on high tech toys, cigars and other luxury items the North Korean president has taken a shine to. In a related move, the Boilermakers have asked the NCAA to establish an embargo on Krispy Kremes to Terps coach Ralph Friedgen. Turtles beat five consecutive ACC foes, while Purdue’s conference wins were over the Big Ten bottom tier. Here, Coach...donut’s on the Weber Kid!...Maryland 28 Purdue 20

DEC. 30
MEINEKE CAR CARE: Navy over #23 Boston College taking 6 ½ (47):
Middies have won and covered back-to-back bowls , garnering "lock" honors from the Weber Kid in ‘04 and lock consideration last season. As one would expect from a highly-disciplined group of Uncle Sam’s servicemen, the Boat People average only just over four penalties per game. Army did everything it could to hand Navy the cover of 20 ½ points, but the Midshipmen just weren’t havin’ any of it. Navy’s first completed pass in that game came on the last play of the third quarter. Something has to give here as BC has won and covered five straight bowls, including a defeat of Boise on its home blue turf last year. Middies lost starting FB on first play vs. Army and lost starting QB during Rutgers game...BC 23 Admirals 20

MASTERCARD ALAMO: #18 Texas over Iowa giving 11 (53): Hawkeyes quarterback Drew Tate was not permitted to accept a new car as a prize after completing a hole-in-one at a charity golf tourney this summer. Geez, do ya know how hard it is to throw a football 275 yards into a tin cup???!!! Vindicator obviously badly overestimated Iowa’s capabilities in the preseason...’Horns 38 Iowa 14

CHICK-FIL-A: #14 Virginia Tech over Georgia giving 3 (38): Dawgs finished with a small flurry, hammering Auburn on the road and beating rival Joja’ Tech after floundering earlier with outright losses to Vandy and Kentucky. VT allowed double-digits to only one of last six opponents, averaging only four points-against during that span...Hokies 24 Georgia Not On My Mind 9

DEC. 31
MPC COMPUTERS: Nevada-Reno over Miami taking 3 (43):
‘Canes, more or less, backed into this when Virginia lost in the finale to Virginia Tech. Have to figure less-than-"U"-standards season and pending loss of head coach Larry Coker will be distracting, even with former DC taking over as the new head guy. Not unlike Florida State, Miami may simply mail it in and look to next season. A Florida man recently repelled an attacker by pummeling his would-be assailant with a football helmet. Miami coaches immediately offered the man a scholarship. Winner gets a PlayStation 3 in place of an actual bowl trophy!... Miami 20 UNR 19

JAN. 1
OUTBACK: Penn State over #17 Tennessee taking 4 (41):
Researchers from Montana State found dinosaur fossils this summer in the northeast part of the Las Vegas Valley. Reports note found items at the two-and-a-half mile site included elongated femurs, triceratops horns.....and a raptor-skin-bound high school yearbook signed by Joe Paterno! Rematch of 1992 Fiesta Bowl and 1993 Citrus, both won big by State...Nifty Lions 21 Vols 17

AT&T COTTON: #10 Auburn over #22 Nebraska giving 3 (44 1/2): Reportedly, the recently-auctioned junior-high book report by Britney Spears was acquired by an Auburn player who plagiarized it as his own project for one of those "directed reading" independent study classes (editor’s note: Vindy’s Hollywood spies tell him Spears is purportedly hopping on the publishing bandwagon and putting out (?) ..."If I Did It Again"!)...Tigers 30 Big Red 21

GATOR: #13 West Virginia over Georgia Tech giving 7 (49): Will Reggie Ball go out in a blaze of glory...or just go down in flames?!’Eers recovered well from untimely loss to South Florida by keeping Rutgers from the Big Least crown. Rich Rodriguez showed his loyalty to the team and the conference, turning down head coaching job at ‘Bama, and Vindy thinks we’ll the see the Mounties that were headed for the BCS Championship...WVU 29 ‘Jackets 14

CAPITAL ONE: #12 Arkansas over #6 Wisconsin giving 1 ½ (45): Special teams’ play killed the Pigs in SEC Championship match. Hard to go against beef of the Wisky lines, but we’ll favor the strength of schedule for the Razorbacks over that of the Badgers. Should be quick-moving, defensive battle with lotsa’ three-and-outs...Pigs 17 Wisconsin 13

ROSE: #3 Michigan over #8 Southern Cal giving 1 (47): Prompted by BCS snub to play rematch against the Buckeyes, Wolverines will come out loaded for bear and beat down a vulnerable USC team that squandered a chance to play yet again for the Grail. We like the "under" here too...Michigan 24 Trojans 13

TOSTITOS FIESTA: #9 Boise State over #7 Oklahoma taking 8 (51): Sooners get Adrian Peterson back for this one! Ian Johnson’s ribs should be better too for the Broncos attack. "Then Stoops said, with his playbook nervously spinning, ‘I must find a way to keep Boise from winning!’"...OK 30 BSU 27

JAN. 2
FED-EX ORANGE: #15 Wake Forest over #5 Louisville taking 9 ½ (52):
Deacons ran for 19 TDs in 13 games, while allowing only 9 rushing scores (20 total, many opponents had to throw early being down big). Cards allowed 12 rushing TDs in 12 games and ran for 33 rushing TDs alone. No question...Louisville is an offensive juggernaut. It’ll be up to Wake’s defense to control the pace...Cards 24 Wake 20

JAN. 3
ALLSTATE SUGAR: #4 Louisiana State over #11 Notre Dame giving 8 ½ (55):
Curt Schilling’s image was being used by online role-playing game EverQuest II to raise $$ to cure Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sony donated $5 for every player who beat Schilling during a three-day stretch in June. Curt would continue to make appearances in the game thereafter. Had it been Charlie Weis’ likeness, Vin would’ve gotten addicted and never left the computer...Bengals 42 Irish 20

JAN. 6
INTERNATIONAL: Western Michigan over Cincinnati taking 8 (41 1/2):
Bearkats beat both the other MAC teams they faced this year (and covered both at home). Broncos lost by 8 at Tallahassee and have enough on offense to keep Cincy defenders busy. Played in Toronto, the McKensie brothers will perform their version of "12 Days of Christmas" (yes, well-after the fact!) And teams must adhere to CFL rules. Take off, you hoser!...Cincinnati 23 WMU 17

JAN. 7
GMAC: Southern Miss over Ohio giving 6 ½ (42):
Eagles defense struggled against Houston’s powerful attack but have fewer concerns with Bobblecats ground game. Ohio probably needs to force a couple turnovers to stay close. USM owes Vindicator for posting Weber’s 100th bowl loss last season...Birds 31 Cats 16

JAN. 8
BCS TITLE: #2 Florida over #1 Ohio State taking 8 (48):
During Spring practice, Coach Meyer threatened to go without a running back on offense if no one stepped up. Gators did manage to improve on ‘05 average of 144.7 rushing ypg to 160.3 and took the overall offensive yardage up another notch from 366.7 to 398.1. UF has chance to bring home national crowns in men’s hoops and football in less than 10 months. Maybe Joaquim Noah could suit up! He’d be a great target at wide-out for Chris Leak! Florida claims wins over 9 of this year’s bowl squads (combined record 71-39), while State has victories over 7 (54-30). Buckeyes boast more recent national title game experience with controversial 2OT triumph against Miami in 2002, as well as three Fiesta Bowls, including that one. State’s won and covered 4 straight post-season appearances. Obviously, Tressel has been here before. If any coach can keep pace with the X’s and O’s, it’s Meyer. Here’s hopin’ for another thriller. Scrooge said, "Ohio State is what it is. Florida is what it is. And the a humbug!"...OSU 27 Florida 24

BETWEEN THE WHO-HASHMARKS ("Why...that coach even took the last can of Who-hash!")

Weber registered Championship Week totals of 10-7 and has been on a 20-12-2 "tear" last two forecast weeks (127-125-8, .504 season [or roughly equivalent picking winners by coin toss!])

"The games, Spirit...are they real or are they shadows?"
"The bowls are real. We are the shadows."

Prince is slated to do this year’s halftime show at the Super Bowl. The Purple One will warm up at halftime of the Texas Bowl in the K-State locker room!

Vindy caught the following headline in this week’s edition of Gaming Today..."Seminoles to Buy Hard Rock Chain". If ya can’t beat the spread, buy the rights to set the spread!

Last month, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb released his own clothes line, called Super Five. Former teammate Terrell Owens has had his own line out for several years. We believe it’s called ...Pampers (Maybe we can get T.O. adopted by Madonna or Angelina Jolie!)

To ensure safety, Olympic athletes’ food will first be fed to mice during the 2008 Games in Beijing. Maybe Mr. Sapp oughta’ play in the CFL (uh...that’s Chinese Football League!). Or get himself a road mouse!

In recent weeks, Art Shell accused a Raiders’ organization member of trying to undermine the team, saying the unidentified person made calls to media across the country and criticized coaches. Shhhhhhh....don’t tell Coach Shell, but that unidentified person is actually...Vindy!

Jags coach Jack Del Rio recently dispelled rumors he was leaving the team, saying "I love working for (owner) Wayne Weaver and I’m not interested (in leaving)". We think Wayne’s dry-cleaning Jack’s suits!

Also last month, Michael Vick had to shell out $20K for flashing the international sign for"we’re Number 1" with both hands following heckling from a fan in the stands in the aftermath of the loss to the Saints. Upon further review, the fan was actually Italian soccer star Marco Materazzi, who was on the wrong end of a headbutt during the World Cup final. Too bad, it wasn’t the Super Bowl. Vick could’ve head-butted his antagonist in the chest and received nothing more than a red card! (We heard Materazzi told Vick his "mother bets with Vindy’s Picks!")

At the start of the December 4th Monday Night Football game, the Eagles and the Panthers took the wrong sides of the field following the opening coin toss. Just more evidence that the tools of ignorance are not sole-domain of catchers!

Weber showed his forecast to Paris Hilton, who responded, "Vindy’s Picks? That’s hot!" Then he showed them to those two old-time scientists in the Guinness beer commercials. They responded, "Vindy’s Picks...brilliant! ... Brilliant!"

Weber has also printed his own version of "If I Did It" with a detailed account of how he would pick Iowa and West Virginia to play for this season’s national title. Oh, wait....!

"Locked in a Box?": Now 9-5 following Troy’s cover over Florida International.

Shoppe Talk: The Joja’ Tech Bees were the only "flame-thrower" in action during the championship week and they posted a forecast win! (But the bowls cometh!)

Vindy’s Best Bowl Bets: Last Week: 2-0 Season: 33-28-3 (.541)
Michigan -1over USC, Navy +6 ½ over Boston College, Texas A&M +5 over Cal, Arkansas/Wisconsin under 45

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