Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vindy's 2007-08 Bowl Predictions


DALLAS, Texas (MSNBC)...American youths are once again behind as many as 10 other industrialized nations throughout the world in reading test scores (though three of said "countries" were actually the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Based on the exchange rate, that’s really only 1.99 countries!). The football players of Southern Methodist University aim to fix that through expansion of its summer youth literacy program, known as "Milk and Cookies with the Mustangs". SMU plans to make it a traveling literacy medicine show and take the program around the United States. Independent observers of the program aren’t certain "who’s teachin’ who to read." Another anonymous educator noted, "The kids’ ability to handle Seuss and Potter is questionable, but they can read X’s and O’s with the best of ‘em! It’s gratifying to hear a child who couldn’t read a lick before the program rattle off ‘96 Z-Out, Split Left Whiskey 7 Post’".

In related news, with the No Child Left Behind legislation on-deck for renewal again five years after George W. signed it into law, the Weber Kid joins the fray and starts up "Beer and Doritos with the Vindicator". The perplexing prognosticator hopes to teach kids how to read betting boards and parlay cards, but also wants to increase math skills by showing students how to convert point-spreads to money lines and vice-versa!

Trying to improve upon a career-best 19 bowl-forecast dubyas for 06'-‘07, Vin dons a pair of Lisa Novak’s astronaut diapers so he doesn’t have to miss a minute of any of this year’s 32 games! Risking a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct flag, the fab forecaster calls back-to-back timeouts to ice the bookies and recalls "nothing is certain but death and taxes", fruitcake and...

(Lines of December 19, over/under totals in parentheses)

DEC. 20

Utah over Navy giving 7 ½ (65): Having watched the Army-Navy game, put no stock in Navy’s big win over Army. The Cadets played well on D, but the offense was disheartened after a dropped pass in the end zone and subsequent missed 28-yard FG on Army’s opening drive, much like the deflation that occurred when the Cadets fumbled away the ball after driving deep into Air Force territory on its opening possession. Army’s kick coverage teams weren’t real special either. Utah had BYU on the ropes. It’s lovely weather for a bowl game together with Utes. Another rare go-against-da’-Middies by the Weber Kid...Utah 39 Navy 27

DEC. 21

Memphis over Florida Atlantic taking 2 1/2 (67): While Owls were nothing more than appetizers playing Big Six Conferences, Tigers also struggled early. Tigers played seven regular-season games decided by 4 or less and went 5-1-1 ATS in those contests. Four of those games came away from home. While Memphis managed only a single SU victory in its first four (over an FCS team), Tigers did take 6 of its last 8 (though one of the losses came at home to FAU’s fellow Sun Belt squad, Middle Tennessee). Owls’ early-season triumph over Minnesota was tarnished a bit by Gophers loss to North Dakota State (an upset called by your humble narrator!)... Memphis 24 Florida Atlantic 21

DEC. 22
#20 Cincinnati over Southern Miss giving 11 (55):
Eagles losses at home by 17 to Central Florida and by 22 at Boise State are only minimally tempered by mere 20-point defeat at Tennessee. Only real knock on the Bearkats is penchant to draw penalties (almost 10 per match for about 81 ypg). If Cincy can help the officials keep the yellow laundry in their pockets and SoMiss doesn’t develop an Air Coryell offense during bowl practices...Cincinnati 40 USM 20

Nevada-Reno over NEW MEXICO taking 3 (58):
Uh oh! Vin changed his initial choice on this one. Lobos are just 2-3 ATS this season in the home-confines of Albuquerque, though they were just a point away from a push against mighty BYU as a 7-point ‘dog. New Mexico’s eight victories matches its highest win total since 2003, but how stoked can the team be to play in its own backyard for the second straight post-season?! Nothing exciting about Reno’s six wins this year either, but ‘Pack hung tough in losses to Minnesota, Boise and Hawaii and worked hard to actually get here. New Mexico plays its 5th bowl in last 6 seasons, but has failed to cover the last four. UNR posted one of Vindy’s bowl wins last season by losing only 21-20 to listless Miami. Reno will want this win more... Wolfpack 26 Lobos 23

#19 Brigham Young over Ucla giving 5 1/2 (47):
Bruins coach Karl Dorrell is history, maybe unfairly considering five bowls in five seasons at UCLA. Former DC-now-HC DeWayne Walker needs to find an offense to keep up rather than game-plan a defense here. Probably, the only person disappointed with Cougars’ presence in Sin City is Vindy himself, who had BCS hopes for BYU back in August. Coogs should delight the Mormon-heavy audience at Sam Boyd once again, though maybe not to the extent they did last year vs. listless Ducks...BYU 34 UCLA 20

DEC. 23
East Carolina over #24 Boise State taking 10 ½ (OFF): UPSET SPECIAL.
Wow! How many Mainland teams get to play back-to-back matches in the Hawaiian paradise??! Broncos won’t be pullin’ off any of that Statue-of-Liberty silliness that got ‘em nationwide cheers and their playbook some votes as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World earlier this year! State lost by two TDs at UDUB, really hasn’t played anybody other than that except the ‘Bows and is now minus it’s top receiver . Pirates are 25-11 ATS last three seasons and lost by only 10 at Blacksburg...Arrrggghhhh 34 BSU 31

DEC. 26
Purdue over Central Michigan giving 8 (71):
We changed our minds twice on this, leaning initially toward Purdue, then toward the Chippies then back to the Choo-Choos. And as of this publication, we still ain’t sure. Purdue’s only SU bowl victory was win over UDUB in the ‘02 Sun Bowl. That was also Boilermakers’ only spread win in last 7 post-season appearances. This is a rematch of Purdue’s 45-22 win over CMU in West Lafayette in mid-September. Boilers stagger in here, having finished the regular season 0-3/0-2-1 against the number. Chippewas by comparison won 4 of 5 SU, with four of ‘em away from home...Purdue 44 ChiPs 33

DEC. 27
#12 Arizona State over #17 Texas taking 2 1/2 (62):
Ending the regular-season at 109th in pass defense (allowing 275.5 yards per game), perhaps the Longhorns defensive backfield should be sponsored by "Easy Bake Oven". Both teams like to throw. State is a little better in scoring defense. The Sun Devils are in the details...ASU 34 Texas 31

DEC. 28:
#14 Boston College over Michigan State giving 3 ½ (57):
First bowl in four years for Sparty. Eagles have won six consecutive bowl games (and 9 of last 10, covering 8...with the latest ATS miss coming last year against Navy). BC defense won’t allow much of a ground game by State and the advantage at QB definitely goes to senior Matt Ryan ...BC 27 MSU 20

Houston over Texas Christian taking 4 (59 ½):
The Cougar offense seems no worse for the wear after losing four-year starting QB Kevin Kolb, but the defense took a bit of a step backwards. East Texas faces West Texas here and because the Toads didn’t live up to potential BCS-buster expectations, we figure interest in this will be low outside of the Lone Star State. Nearly a home game for the Coogs. If TCU’s defense dictates the pace, the Froggies win easily. If a shootout ensues, it’s...TCU 38 Houston 36

Oregon State over Maryland giving 5 (48 ½):
Vindy hasn’t been this excited since watching hundreds of inmates in the Philippines dance choreographed moves to "YMCA" and "Thriller" on You Tube! Beavers’ only loss since September was game at USC...OSU 24 Box Turtles 14

DEC. 29
Wake Forest over Connecticut giving 3 (48 ½):
Huskies didn’t fare well against teams with a solid ground game, nor did they play well away from Storr. Deacs are susceptible to the pass. Wake lost only one game in which it was out-rushed by its opponent (at Clemson). Oddly, both teams lost 17-16 to Virginia...The Forest 24 UConn 17

Mississippi State over Central Florida taking 3 (57 ½):
Among the many items from China that got slapped with a recall was Curious George. We can think of a few "Georges" that are worthy of recall long before Knights Coach O’Leary (Jeff, Steinbrenner and of course...Dubya...for starters!). UCF smacked the defense-poor squads of Conference USA, while Mississippi State finally came around for Sly Croom and relied on its staunch defense to get past some powerful SEC offenses, including Auburn and Kentucky (both on the road). We think the Bulldogs do so again here...MSU 20 UCF 17

Penn State over Texas A&M giving 5 ½ (51 ½):
Collectively, these two have recorded 10 straight bowl game "unders". Whaddaya think they’ll do playin’ each other??? Lions finished only behind Army and Navy for fewest penalties, so they won’t beat themselves. The alma mater also finished 6th nationally in rush D. A&M’s primary MO is the ground game. Nifty Lions celebrate Coach Paterno’s 500th the helm for State! JoPa’s not pleased that his $500K annual salary is now common knowledge. That would be one grand for each game he’s ever coached. Hey look, ya don’t make Nick Saban-ish dollars until ya whup the bejeezus outta’ Tennessee then lose to Weeziana-Monroe!...PSU 25 Aggies 16

DEC. 30
Colorado over Alabama taking 3 ½ (51):
Speakin’ of St. Nick...while many of ‘Bama’s losses were close, have to wonder whether switch to Saban was too extreme for some players, given that the Tide only really went all-out against heated-rival Tennessee. Bison weren’t world-beaters either, but showed some improvement as season went on and do own a win over Oklahoma. We foresee GetNickonDaStick.Com real soon (maybe prior to kickoff!)...Buffs 17 Tide 16

DEC. 31
California over Air Force giving 3 ½ (54):
Bears come limping into bowl season having dropped 6 of 7 outright (and 0-6 vs. the line!), but do have two signature wins over Tennessee and at Oregon (before injury to Dixon). Last year, Cal had a pair of late defeats, but spanked Texas A&M in the Holiday. Troy Calhoun could grab a few votes for Coach of Da’ Year if he helps USAF acquire the victory here with only 10 returning starters at the beginning of 2007 in his first year at the Academy. Berkeley gets "painted"? No...Cal 27 Pilots 20

#23 South Florida over Oregon giving 6 ½ (52):
Both teams held the #2 ranking at some point this season. While the underdogs have seriously owned this bowl, we think a victory will mean more to the Bulls as they continue to establish themselves as a team to beat and attempt to post their first 10-win season since joining the FBS. Decoys have failed to cover three of last four post-season games and if they didn’t like Vegas last year, they’ll hate the "booming metropolis" of El Paso this year...USF 34 Mallards 17

Fresno State over Georgia Tech taking 5 ½ (55):
Bulldogs have shorter commute, won 3 of last 4 regular season games and might want this more than the Bees, who’s only spread win in last five came at Duke. Former Tech DC Jon Tenuta assumes the head-coaching duties for the game, but he may be distracted too by uncertainty in his own future. Fresno hasn’t covered any of last three visits to Boise, but at least they won’t be weirded-out by the blue field. Known for survival in extreme cold, koi were seen being shuttled in and out between plays to Georgia Tech’s lines during pre-bowl practices...Fresno State 34 Wreckage 30

Florida State over Kentucky: OFF.
Unquestionably, the Injuns went through some growing pains adjusting to a whole new bevy of assistant coaches this year, including losses to both Miami and Florida. Not many coaches know how to win in the post-season better than Bobby Bowden, whose ‘Noles have won and covered three straight. Rich Brooks got his second bowl victory in five tries last year. Third straight appearance in this game for the Wildcats, who had higher aspirations after toppling LSU. Late-breaking news has State without the services of about two dozen players due to academic problems (See...just one more reason for Vindy and the Mustangs to take their respective "educational" programs to the masses!)... FSU 29 Kentucky 27

Oklahoma State over Indiana giving 4 (68 ½):
Tough pick. Hoosiers make 1st bowl since 1993. Okie State in 5th bowl over last 6 seasons. A very unconfident vote to the Cowpokes offense here...OSU 39 Indy 32

#22 Auburn over #15 Clemson taking 2 (47 ½):
Auburn’s security procedures underwent review after a guard dog in the end zone bit a player on the hand. As the result of the review, the Warhawks have asked the Chick-Fil-A Bowl committee to allow their guard dogs to wander the red zone when Clemson gets close and as the designated home team for this game, have requested that Clemson players all wear the number "7" on their jerseys!...Aubie 19 Clemson 16

JAN. 1
#18 Wisconsin over #16 Tennessee taking 3 (60):
Vols have been a risky bet in the bowls, covering only one of last four and are losing their offensive coordinator David Cutliffe to the head coaching job at (GASP!) Duke! Badgers have gotten points in last five, covered four of ‘em and won three of them outright (including last season’s win over Arkansas). Not certain UT has any motivation here having lost the SEC championship...Wisky 31 Tennessee 27

#7 Missouri over #25 Arkansas giving 3 (59):
Okay...the State of Michigan paid the price for holding an earlier-than-authorized caucus and lost their national convention delegates. We’re thinkin’ the folks in the Show-Me State asked for the Big 12 Conference Championship game to be held in November and subsequently got stripped of their poll voters, leading to the Tigers exclusion from the BCS bowls.... Mizzou 34 Sooooeeeyyy Pigs 27

#21 Virginia over Texas Tech taking 6 (60): LOCK OF ‘DA BOWLS.
While the Red Raiders eight wins came via lighting up the likes of SMU, Rice and Baylor (we think the Sooners lost focus in season-ending L at Lubbock), the Cavs garnered nine W’s going toe-to-toe with ACC clubs and Big East contender Connecticut (do ya think they’d like another shot at Wyoming??!!). Granted, Tech will be the most prolific passing offense Virginia has faced, but the D should handle the one-dimensional Raiders well-enough...Wahoos 30 Texas Tech 28

#9 Florida over Michigan giving 10 ½ (59):
Wolverines have lost 4 straight bowl outings, three of ‘em right here. Rematch of ‘02 Outback Bowl, won by Big Blue 38-30. The Heisman Trophy curse seemingly only applies to NFL careers and BCS Title games, so Gators should be safe here. Candidates on the short list just prior to UM’s hiring of Rich Rodriguez: Tila Tequila, A-Rod, Billary, Vindicator, Vladimir Putin, Senator George Mitchell and Osama Bin Laden (not really, but even an Al-Qaida leader couldn’t pass on a shot at the head coaching job in Ann Arbor and when he shows up for the interview, we’re gonna’ nail the bastard!)...Crocs 44 Michigan 28

#6 Southern Cal over #13 lllinois giving 14 (50 ½):
Hats off to Ron Zook for getting the Illini to a BCS bowl. As much as we’d like to see Troy get dumped on its collective keister, have to think Coach Carroll will have the Trojans fired up to defend the Rose Bowl in light of multiple collapses by a number of PAC-10 teams formerly above them... USC 41 Illinois 17

#10 Hawaii over #4 Georgia taking 7 ½ (69 ½):
Joja’ coach Mark Richt has been singin’ that "‘somebody done somebody wrong’ song" after his ‘Dawgs were snubbed by the BCS for the title shot and may have his team wanting to prove a point. Not-quite-Cinderella Rainbow Warriors have been shedding the "weak schedule" critique all season and will come out ready to test their mettle vs. an SEC squad. Double-digit bowl dogs have been covering at an almost-60% clip (2-2 last year)...Joja’ 35 Hawaii 29

JAN. 2

#3 Oklahoma over #11 West Virginia giving 7 ½ (64): Hmmm...was R-Rod’s defection already in the wind when Mounties blew a National Title shot by losing at home to four-touchdown underdog Pitt? While White and Slaton may try to use this game to showoff for potential NFL draft spots, a senior-laden defense (which had been much-improved this year) may feel betrayed...Sooners 34 WVU 20

JAN. 3
#5 Virginia Tech over #8 Kansas giving 4 (53 ½):
Rock, Jock, Jayhawk! A nice season for the Fightin’ Manginos and Kansas surprisingly has better turnover ratio (tied for 1st nationally in that department) than the Hokies. We think this gets decided by some Beamer Ball on special teams and should stay well-under the total. Hokies no strangers to BCS berths. Jayhawks could be star-struck...Tech 23 Kansas 17

JAN. 5
Rutgers over Ball State giving 10 (60):
Only fourth-ever bowl game for the Cardinals (1st since ‘96). Ball State went 5-2 ATS away from Muncie. When Vindy hears the word "Toronto", he immediately thinks of a Canadian hotbed for January college football! Yeah right. The Oprah-Obama connection couldn’t put enough butts in seats here to give either side a reason to play hard, though like our note on South Florida, this will simply go toward Rutgers continuing rise. Last May, NBC cut away from the overtime period of Game Five of the NHL Playoffs to bring viewers coverage of the hour-and-a-half before the race. We won’t be crushed if The Deuce dials up a replay of that horse race about 30 minutes into this...Knights 30 BSU 7

JAN. 6
Tulsa over Bowling Green giving 4 ½ (75 ½):
Could be fairly entertaining if ya like scoring. Golden Dust Devil was a paltry 4-9 ATS, while being favored in 10 of the 13 games. Only Weeziana-Monroe and, ironically, Houston scored less than 23 on Tulsa. Falcons were decent 7-4 against the line and were a bit more stalwart on defense. In Tulsa’s favor was a good win over BYU...Hurricane 38 BGU 31

JAN. 7
#1 Ohio State over #2 Louisiana State taking 4 (50):
With Bengals’ coach already signed through 2012, Buckeyes faithful, in effort to create more distraction on LSU’s side of the field, have launched a rumor campaign that Les Miles will jump to Michigan in 2013! OSU has won and covered 4 of last 5 post-season matches. Could the underdog win the national title game SU for third straight year? Last time Bucks were getting points in a title game, they won it. OSU posted almost 31/2 sacks per game (5th in the U.S.), while Tigers were #84 in sacks allowed (almost 2.5 per game). Buckeyes can take it outright if they can get to Matt Flynn. We think OSU will capitalize on a second chance to play for it all. This season’s Bowel Colonoscopy Series champion is...Ohio State 28 LSU 24

Just in case the consecutive time-outs don’t suffice, the Weber Kid also does his best bush-league A-Rod impression and runs up behind the sports ticket-writer just as he settles in under Vindy’s picks and yells, "MINE!"

After getting the Dalai Lama himself to write "Victory to the Blue Bombers" on some of its team’s equipment, Winnipeg won its first-round Canadian Football League playoff game 26-24. Vindy has asked the exiled religious leader to scribe "20 bowl wins to Vindicator" on his crystal ball!

Another note on the lead late August, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran an ad targeting local teachers for ready-made lesson plans for "pigskin geography" (we kid you not, sports fans!). The intent was to help students learn geography based on the cities of the 32 NFL football teams. Vindy thinks the program could be expanded to include all 119 FBS college football teams...or even the 300-plus NCAA hoops teams! If we’re competing with the world, let’s give the little buggers a fightin’ chance, by golly!!!! (And give yourself extra credit if ya knew Jonesboro, Arkansas was home to the Arkansas State Indians and could quickly point to that location on a U.S. map!).

For those who remember the commercial that aired earlier this year...
Driver: "Hey look. A hitch-hiker. Should we stop?"
Girlfriend: "But he’s got Vindy’s Picks.
Driver: "Yeah, but he’s got Bud Light".."
Girlfriend: "But he’s got Vindy’s Picks."
Driver: "Hey Buddy, what’s with the picks?"
Hitchhiker: "They’re...uh...birdcage liners."
Driver: "Hop in!"

Creator of Gatorade and University of Florida professor, Dr. J. Robert Cade, passed away last month at the age of 80. We’re told the good doctor’s final wish was to have his ashes put in a trademark bucket of his brand and dumped over some unsuspecting coach following a special on-field win!

The name "America" turned 500 this year....almost as old as the name "Joe Paterno" (and slightly older than "Greg Oden").

For those still scoring at home, the Weber Kid managed a nifty 8-3 on the official games of the championship week and a "why-did-I-bother" 1-6 record for his "guess at da’ rest"!

Face-painted fans that just need to get lives
Punters who drop the kicks inside the fives
Team-logo key-chains and rear-window clings
These are a few of Vin’s favorite things.

Little Brown Jugs and those banned end-zone dances
Paul Bunyan’s axes and onside-kick chances
Bobblehead dolls that are not from Beijing
These are a few of Vin’s favorite things.

Roughing the kicker and Hail Mary tosses.
Over-turned fumbles and tackles-for-losses.
Underdogs winning their Sugar Bowl rings.
These are a few of Vin’s favorite things.

At the NFL Combine this Spring, Vindy impressed coaches by turning in a 4.4 forty...yep, the multi-talented tout downed a 40-ounce beer in 4.4 seconds!

The Notre Dame offense will take an extra class this coming semester...ESL. Uh...End zone as a Second Language! In fact, the latest ish of ESPN Da’ Mag reports a study by Sports Business Journal found the NFL’s Browns to have the least effective logo (while the Cowboys have the top logo). In Vin’s opinion, the Not-So-Frightenin’ Irish get the NCAA vote for least effective emblem (at least for this season!)!

Becoming a big fan of Apolo Ohno after watching the speed-skater compete on "Dancing With the Stars", Santa shaved his beard down to a soul patch! (BTW, Vindy saw mommy taunting Santa Claus!)

Staying with rumors about the traditional end-of-season coaching carousel, officials in Durham, North Carolina have agreed to rename the school Dukla if former Bruins coach Karl Dorrell signs on to lead the Blue Devils!

A place of worship known as The Church of Men uses a shot-clock to limit the length of sermons. If the priest goes over the allotted time and commits a clock violation, does the Devil get possession?

In another effort to go "green" (thereby pleasing the tree-huggin’, tofu-scarfin’, rabble-rousin’ folks at Berkeley), each of Vindy’s bowl picks this year was made from recycled blog entries! In the words of Triumph the Insult-Comic Dog....we keeeeed, we keeeeed!

The Poinsettia, Holiday and Orange Bowls are (GASP!) Thursday-nighters! Consider yourselves forewarned!

The L.A. Dodgers and Anaheim Ducks will enter their respective first-ever floats in the Rose Parade. If we have the quote from Boone in National Lampoon’s Animal House correct..."A bunch of zombies get to ride a box of tissues down the street. Rah-rah."

U.S. News & World Report mistakenly ranked Montpelier High School the #5 public high school in the country this month. No big deal...a week later Montpelier fell to an unranked high school and dropped outta’ the Top 25 altogether anyway!

"Locked in a Box?": Vindy matches his lock record from this time last season at 9-5 (.642) courtesy of Central Florida’s romp over Tulsa!

Shoppe Talk: The championship week saw the Weber Kid get past tilts with USC and Boston College, but Vin took another one in the shorts from those Warriors of Hawaii!

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets: Last Week: 0-2 Season: 20-37-1 (.351)
Penn State-Texas A&M under 51 ½, Cincinnati -11 over Southern Miss, BC -3 ½ over Michigan State, Mississippi State-Central Florida under 57 ½

Vindicator offers his traditional holiday greetings to all his readers...Pass on Earth, Goodwill Toward Linemen. On top of ‘dat, we extend...Crimson Tidings of Southern Comfort and joy! Be sure to stop back a few days after completion of the BCS Championship game to check Vindy’s bowl recap and publication of his leftover "hash"!

Now if you’ll excuse him, he needs to go do something about the tongue he got stuck to a frozen parlay card on a triple-dog dare!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Post-Season Picks Not Quite Done Yet

Unforeseen events have temporarily delayed publication of Vindy's 2007-08 Bowl Predictions, but keep checkin' back! Hope to have them up early this week!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vindy's 2007 Championship Week Picks


MONTE CARLO, Monaco (CNN)....Facing a permanent transcript of the worst preferred-picks record of his career, the Vegas Vindicator this week did what any reasonable forecaster in his (or her) position would do... throw a deposed track-and-field legend under the bus. Citing a regular-season "best bets" tally of 20-35-1, the Sin City Soothsayer went to the International Association Athletics Federation claiming Marion Jones was an active member of his forecasting team, hoping the sports-governing body would annul Vindy’s 2007 record from the history books, just as it recently did to not only Jones, but to the records of athletes who joined her during Olympic relay races.

Those "bounties" from last week musta’ been really good because the bookies stacked eight in Pandora’s box score, daring Vindy to throw and leaving our flustered forecaster on the wrong end of a season-worst 5-12 record for Week 13 (106-124-5, .461). Raising the last time before da’ bowls, it’s....


Pittsburgh over #2 WEST VIRGINIA taking 28:
Mounties FB Ryan Mundy was recently asked "if your sport had at-bat music, what song would you choose?". Ryan said he favors oldies, but those couldn’t be used for used for that purpose. Challenging that assertion, Vindy suggests the following: Backfield in Motion (1969), Ballroom Blitz (1975) or maybe Born to Run (also 1975; and those are just choices from very early in the alphabet!). Should WVU lose here, the choice might be 96 Tears (1966)! Mountaineers have covered 4 of last 5 vs. Pitt. Panthers are 1-5 ATS in last 6 against ranked teams, but the one spread win was also a straight-up victory over Cincinnati this season. Despite recent success, West Virginia is still actually 22 games under .500 in this Backyard Brawl. Team Morgantown just needs a win to play for the big one...’Eers 34 Pitt 17

#13 ARIZONA STATE over Arizona giving 7: Wildcats have put together a three-game win streak (SU and ATS). Devils are struggling through 1-2 SU/0-3 ATS slide. State has gone 4-1-1 vs. the number in Tempe this year. We’ll take Rudy Carpenter over Willie Tuitama... barely....Pitchforks 26 ‘Cats 17

Ucla over #8 USC taking 20: Bruins are 29-18 against the number over the past four seasons, including 6-4 this year even with rash of injuries they’ve suffered. USC has covered 4 of last 5, but are only 4-4 against the PAC-10 this season. Have to look for a single-digit Trojans win or outright loss...Troy 24 UCLA 17

#11 HAWAII over Washington giving 14: UH obviously has a lot to play for. ‘Dogs have only a long Seattle winter ahead. Hawaii’s players reportedly do a haka dance on a regular basis, as does the Jefferson High School team in Portland. Oregon’s high school association considers it taunting. The high schoolers dance anyway and just eat the accompanying 15-yard penalty. Las Vegas bookies do likewise when Vindy turns in his wagers each week and simply absorb a 15-point adjustment to one of Weber’s "best bets"!...’Bows 38 UDUB 21

Oregon State over #18 OREGON taking 4 1/2: It’s painfully obvious the Mallards miss their Heisman-calibre quarterback....Beavers 16 Decoys 15

#21 Brigham Young over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 15: This one got rescheduled from original late October date as result of California’s wildfires. Aztecs can’t be feelin’ too good about themselves after tanking early 17-0 lead over the Horny Toads to not only lose, but also to blow a cover. Vin liked the Coogs as preseason BCS-buster and figures State won’t hold off the Mormons, who shoulda’ lost to Utah...BYU 30 SDSU 13

MAC Championship @ Detroit, Michigan
Miami-Ohio over Central Michigan taking 4:
Chippies are 6-1 SU vs. other MAC teams in 2007, but home losses to Eastern Michigan and FCS division North Dakota State are troublesome. On the other side of the field, Redhawks are on 0-3 ATS spiral. Three-point win over Akron and 7-0 squeaker over Buffalo at home before road loss to Ohio inspire no confidence either. No choice but to take the points and hope for a FG decision either way...CMU 27 Miami-Ohio 24

ACC Championship @ Jacksonville, Florida
#Virginia Tech over #12 Boston College giving 5:
WR/KR Eddie Royal will need to avoid the mistakes he made early last week, but we can’t pass on Hokies squad that’s getting Weber-Friendly honors (see SEASON RECAP below) and showing six covers in last seven games of what should be a 7-0 SU streak. Tech is 1-6 ATS over last 7 playing the Eagles, but should be motivated to pull out the trickery and put this away early after blowing this match late a few weeks ago...VT 28 BC 17

SEC Championship @ Atlanta, Georgia
#14 Tennessee over #5 Louisiana State taking 7 ½:
Following Tigers’ other triple-OT defeat, LSU won but did not cover vs. Auburn in Baton Rouge. In fact, Bengals’ only spread win in last nine tilts was blowout over Weeziana Tech. If Vols can keep it close for four quarters, they can win it outright, but what does Rocky Top have left on the heels of 4OT game last week? UT won SU in ‘05 and pushed as a dog in ‘06. We think they bring enough to ATL... Tennessee 29 Down on the Bayou 28

Big 12 Championship @ San Antonio, Texas
#9 Oklahoma over #1 Missouri giving 3:
Short-handed Spooners had little problem dispatching high-powered in-state rival Okie State and get the edge on defense here. Tigers would like to make amends for regular-season 10-point loss in Norman. Mizzou has already posted winning covers twice on neutral turf this year (vs. Illinois and Kansas). Ohio State to the BCS title game?...Okie-Dokie 40 Didn’t Quite Show-Me State 35

C-USA Championship @ Orlando, Florida
Central Florida over Tulsa giving 6 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK.
Golden Hurricane was embarrassed last month by the Knights in Orlando. We don’t see much different here. UCF beat NC State, nearly knocked off Texas and subsequently bulldozed its way through the conference...Central Florida 45 Tulsa 24

A Guess at Da’ Rest:
Rutgers +2 ½ over LOUISVILLE:
Who woulda’ thought both teams would be unranked at this point?...Knights 24 Cards 20

Fresno State -13 ½ over NEW MEXICO STATE: Bulldogs not the feared world-beaters of yore, but plenty potent enough to get by NMSU...Bulldogs 27 Aggies 10

Army +14 over Navy: Vindy takes a rare leap against the Boat People here. Cadets win-loss record doesn’t really reflect it, but the Knights have been more competitive this season than in recent years. Middies are down a notch and the USN defense seems to be yielding more points than previous seasons, even as the air game has opened up a tad for the offense. Look for a high-scoring game...Sailors 34 Soldiers 30

Louisiana Tech +8 over NEVADA-RENO: Winner has decent shot at a bowl berth. While we sincerely thank the boys from north of Vindy’s locale for being one of his personal-record 19 bowl-forecast wins last year, we give the nod to the visitors. La Tech 38 Wolfpack 30

California -13 ½ over STANFORD: Surely, even the injury-riddled, tree-huggin’ Bears of Berkeley should grab a cover en route to the win sending ‘em to the post-season over Cardinal team that apparently is resting on its laurels since the upset over USC. Any club that loses outright to this year’s"echoes"...of Notre Dame is not worthy of a vote here. On the 25th anniversary of "Da’ Play", we like...Bears 27 Team Harbaugh 3

Florida Atlantic +15 ½ over TROY: Owls could grab a tie for the Sun Belt conference with an upset and a surprise appearance in the New Orleans Bowl...Trojans 24 FAU 21

North Texas -2 ½ over FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: No fan of the Mean Green by any stretch, but FIU is just a bad, bad ballclub. The Panthers were competitive maybe twice all season and first-year coach Mario Cristobal will have all winter to figure out what to do with the leftovers he inherited...UNT 17 FIU 6

Vindicator blames his poor record this season on a previously-undisclosed torn ACL (antique crystal-ball ligament)! It was all Vin could do to keep that piece of information outta’ Dennis Franchione’s weekly secret newsletter!

Army and Navy are the least-penalized teams in the country (at 4.2 and 4.3 per game, respectively). Vindicator sets a prop bet on the over/under for total flags this weekend at 8 ½!

After every season, one special player receives the Vincent dePaul Draddy Award for the best combo of schoolwork, on-field play and service to the community. The obvious question, then, to the award voters is..."Who’s Your Draddy??!!"

Defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday of the now 0-11 Miami Dolphins recently quipped, "Who’s the guy from Charlie Brown who has the gray cloud following him around? Pig Pen? We’re like Pig Pen." Can’t wait to see an updated version of A Charlie Brown Christmas in which Pig Pen says, "We’re like those guys from the NFL with the gray cloud following them around? The Miami Dolphins? We’re like the Miami Dolphins."

Said New England Patriots offensive lineman of Philly’s NFL team, "There’s a reason they call them the Screaming Eagles.". Screamin’ Eagles? Hmmm...when Donovan and da’ boys pack their own chutes and jump outta’ perfectly good airplanes into hot landing zones a la the 101st Airborne, we’ll talk!

The Miami Heat’s senior dance team, the Golden Oldies, are celebrating their 4th season with the NBA club. Did anybody tell Greg Oden he’s finally got cheerleaders of his own generation to date??!!

Best Weekly Effort:
Right outta’ the gate...Week One’s 11-6 (In like a lineman....).

Worst Weekly "Effort": Vin saved the worst for last, going 5-12 in Week 13 (...out like a lamp!).

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 Scarlet Nuts of Rutgers at 6-1 (.857). Second place to the Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1-1, .833) and Honorable Mention to those Hokies of Virginia Tech (9-2, .818).

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of ‘da spread): The bookies loved the smell of napalm in the morning...afternoon...and night...courtesy of this year’s "Grill-Master Supreme Award" winner Southern Cal (2-9, .182). "Suckin’ Place" goes to surprise guest Boston College (2-7, .222) and "Dishonorable Mention" to the ‘Blows of Hawaii (2-6, .250).

Below the official radar, but we’ll be watchin’: The FSU Steamin’ Holes (0-6, 000) and the Spooners of Oklahoma (3-8-1, .272).

"Locked in a Box?": Nothin’ like havin’ your +11 "lock" team lose by forty-!@%$#@!!-five!!! The Oklahoma State Cowpoked registers Vin’s first back-to-back lock losses and drop the record to 8-5 (.615)

Shoppe Talk: Trojans thwart Vindy’s Thursday night try again! The Gators return after brief (very brief) hiatus!

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 0-fer-fugheddaboutit Season: 20-35-1 (.363)
Louisiana Tech +8 ½ over NEVADA-RENO, North Texas -2 ½ over FLORIDA INT’L

Vindy now takes a much-needed TV time-out to heal the aforementioned injury and clear the cobwebs. But fear not, loyal readers, your hero will return circa December 15 with his infamous bowl predictions! Don’t touch that dial!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2007


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (ITAR-Tass)....The saga continues for the embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency. In the wake of long-standing rumors that fraudulently-spent disaster-relief dollars have paid for everything from imported Barbie dolls from China to 50-yard-line Super Bowl tickets, FEMA is once again under fire for backing out of a promise to pay salaries of new players acquired by the New Orleans Saints. A spokesperson for the organization, however, has noted that players gained through the April NFL Draft do not meet FEMA regs requiring the players be picked up via free agency. Under the Stafford Act, FEMA can only pay for restoration of football teams to pre-disaster conditions, not improvements over-and-above those conditions. Apparently, the youthful talent signed from the college ranks by the Saints does not meet this stipulation.

Despite your host’s 8-8 record last week (101-112-5, .474 season), local bookies have adamantly denied being offered "bounties" by casino management to hold Vindicator’s forecast win total below .500! Tell those loved ones, human or animal (hey, pets are people too!), in your lives how thankful you are for them, enjoy your tofurky or turducken or whatever seasonal mystery meat floats your boat and wash it all down with your favorite beverage, but be sure to save some room for a nice big slice of...


#7 ARIZONA STATE over #11 Southern Cal taking 3 ½:
Six straight Thursday night covers have gone to the teams getting points. So be it. Vin will dispense with the customary statistical and situational analyses and simply defer to the prognostication deities that be...Sun Devils 30 USC 27

FRI. NOV. 23
#1 LSU over Arkansas giving 12:
A new bomb-shaped Japanese piggy-bank "explodes" (spewing the contents all over da’ place!) when coins aren’t inserted daily. In a psychological ploy, coaches have rigged the ‘Hogs mascot costume do likewise when Arkansas fails to stick the ball in the end zone on any given drive!...LSU 41 Arkansas 17

TEXAS A&M over #13 Texas taking 5 ½: Aggies have covered three of last four vs. the Steers in College Station, but only one of those (2002 outright victory) would cover a number this short. A&M did lose by only 8 vs. Kansas and trounced UL-Monroe, who whacked ‘Bama away last week, by 40 in September...’Horns 27 A&M 24

#17 Boise State over #14 HAWAII taking 3 ½: The ‘Bows have let themselves get caught up in shootouts this year vs. teams that have any kind of decent offense whatsoever. Broncos haven’t fallen to Hawaii outright since 1999, a span of six games. The streak continues and the BCS breathes a sigh of relief...Boise 38 HI 37

SAT. NOV. 24
#2 KANSAS over #3 Missouri giving 2:
Regarding this game, Tigers defensive lineman Lorenzo Williams was quoted as saying "A storm is coming. I don’t know who’s bringing it, but a storm is coming." Vindicator consulted the folks at the Weather Channel and his own staff meteorologist. They said expect several days of rain and cold temps, followed by...Jayhawks 24 Mizzou 19

#20 Connecticut over #4 WEST VIRGINIA taking 17: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. De Facto Big East title game. Sled Dogs were erased by the Bearkats defense. Mounties’ D just ain’t of the same quality. Vindy’s preseason BCS title game match-up prediction of WVU-LSU is still alive...’Eers 24 UConn 17

#5 Ohio State: IDLE (next: Rose Bowl)

#6 Georgia over GEORGIA TECH giving 3 1/2: Dawgs need a Vols loss to play for the conference title. Meanwhile, the Bees are happy to have taken warm showers and worn clean uniforms that didn’t have to be beaten on a riverside rock. Mark Richt has consistently had an answer for the Wreck, even prior to the Reggie Ball years... Joja’ 16 Yellow Jackets 5

#8 Virginia Tech over #16 VIRGINIA giving 3 1/2: Hokies were efficient in demolition of Miami, scoring a point for approximately every 8 yards of offense. Vin picked the Cavaliers to win the ACC last August, but is really struggling to hang on that conviction here. Cavs have been living seriously on the edge, winning by 2 at North Carolina, 2 at Middle Tennessee and 1each over UConn, Maryland and Wake Forest. We would gladly take the forecast loss here to see Virginia play for ACC crown, but...Beamer Ball 17 Cavs 12

#9 Oregon over UCLA giving 2: Mallards are down to their second-string QB. Bruins are mired in three-game SU losing streak and still looking for elusive 6th win that’ll send ‘em to the post-season...Decoys 28 UCLA 24

Oklahoma State over #10 OKLAHOMA taking 12: Sooners lost stud running back DeMarco Murray for the duration. That might be enough of a dent in Oklahoma’s game-plan to give the potent Cowpokes offense a couple of extra possessions...OK 28 State 26

Florida State over #12 FLORIDA taking 14: Gators have hammered opponents in the Swamp by an average margin of 36 points this year and have beaten the Injuns three years running. After wobbly start that saw the ‘Noles even lose to struggling Miami team, State’s won 3 of last 4 coming in...Crocs 28 FSU 24

#15 BOSTON COLLEGE over Miami giving 14 ½: More of a vote against Miami than for Boston College. BC at least showed promise of a good season early in the campaign. Eagles haven’t beaten the ‘Canes in over 20 years. Eagles get a little long-overdue revenge against Coral Gables squad that has seemingly thrown in the towel... BC 34 Miami 14

#18 Illinois: IDLE (next: Da’ Bowls!)

#19 Tennessee over KENTUCKY taking 3: Tennessee’s only road win was at Mississippi State and Vols probably should’ve fallen to Vandy. BC lost outright at home to the Seminoles following a missed Virginia Tech FG that saved the Eagles late 4th Quarter rally. Could a similar scenario occur here? ‘Cats didn’t take full advantage of four Joja’ turnovers to beat the Dawgs in Athens...Rocky Top 31 KY 28

#21 Clemson over SOUTH CAROLINA giving 3: Gamehens win this one about once every five seasons. SC won straight-up in 2006. Rivalry alone should help Tigers put blown ACC title opportunity on the back-burner for a couple of hours...Clemson 19 Carolina 13

#22 Wisconsin: IDLE (next: Da’ Bowls!)

Utah over #23 BYU taking 4 1/2: Comparing a common foe, Coogs beat UNLV by 10, Utes lost a 27-0 shutout to those same Rebels. According to the January 29 ish of ESPN: Da’ Mag, a Utah teen found a porn video inside his Madden ‘07 video game case. That following April, scientists in Atlanta revealed orangutans were addicted to video games. Coincidence? (And why the teen journeyed all the way to Georgia to dispose of the skin flick in the primate cage of Zoo Atlanta is still under investigation!)...Utah 24 BYU 22

#24 Cincinnati over SYRACUSE giving 20: Warning...this game may include some content that is disturbing to some viewers. Bookies’ discretion is advised...Cincy 44 Orange Crushed 3
Alabama over #25 AUBURN taking 6: A victory over the Tigers would help ‘Bama faithful forget about the home loss to the Sun Belt’s Warhawks of Weeziana-Monroe as faves of better than three touchdowns. Tide turned it over four times and handed ULM 10 first-downs via penalty. ‘Bama gets back five previously-suspended players, including a pair starters from the offensive line...Tide 13 Auburn 12

OJ’s lawyers this week argued that Juice was really asking his co-defendants to bring cans of Sterno in the event the hotel room was cold when he asked them to "bring some heat just in case things get out of hand".

Ole Miss put 20 football players on probation this week for twice boosting radios and pillows (Pillows? Goose-down or what???!!) from local hotels, nearly putting Oxford, MS on the list of most dangerous U.S. cities. DC spin doctors, however, put the kibosh on that because the presidential debates will be held at University of Mississippi in September ‘08!

A new series of First Lady coins were recently released by the U.S. Mint. Vin always has been a proponent of recognizing wives of coaches who take their teams to BCS bowls!

Federal judges are considering redesign of U.S. paper currency to allow the blind to distinguish between the various denominations. Referees’ rights advocacy groups nationwide are applauding the decision!

Ozzy Osbourne sang at the Madden NFL ‘08 release party this summer. The crowd reportedly went nuts when the former Black Sabbath front man opened his first set with, ""

Back in February , marijuana and psychedelic ‘shrooms confiscated by cops from a vehicle occupied by two Gonzaga hoops players needed to be analyzed by the crime lab before charges could be considered. So did the lab staff do a little tokin’ and jokin’ to decide if the contraband was Gonzaga Ganja, Seattle Sinsimilla or Panama Red?!

Local Las Vegas writer Cory Levitan played goalie for ECHL hockey team the Las Vegas Wranglers last April and noted "a stereo speaker probably be a more successful goalie." We’re thinking maybe a Keno machine! Vin’s spies say Cory warmed up between the pipes by having players slap poker chips at him, a la Goldberg in The Mighty Ducks!

"Wish I Had That One Back": We "grudgingly" went against Kansas, even after noting Iowa State was "lousy at covering finales".

"Locked in a Box?": The Sooners snafu takes the lock record down a notch to 8-4 (.667).

Shoppe Talk: The previously-noted "Spooners" along with the Illini and the Golden Eagles of BC have combined to go 1-18-1 for the forecast over the past seven weeks!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 20-31-1 (.392)
MEMPHIS -7 ½ over Southern Methodist, Miami-Ohio +2 ½ over OHIO, Wyoming +3 over COLORADO STATE, Kansas State PK over FRESNO STATE

For those making their way to Vindicator’s locale for the Thanksgiving holidays...We’re coming in for our final descent into Las Vegas. Please return your seats and parlay cards to their full, upright and locked position...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2007


DES MOINES, Iowa (UPI)....The Vegas Vindicator took a little heat from John Edwards this week over fielding preset questions about his picks from "plants" among the audience while attending preliminary gatherings in preparation for January’s Democratic caucus. The embarrassed oracle came clean and fessed up to having camp aides provide questions ahead of time to shills in the seats rather than taking queries off-the-cuff. Edwards noted "bettors expect you stand in front of them and answer their tough questions about how you plan to fix your dismal ‘best bets’, not ramble on about your stellar ‘lock’ picks." Near-chaos erupted when Spanish king Juan Carlos chimed in and continued to lambast Vindicator regarding his poor overall season record and was told to "shut up" by the famous forecaster. Vindy also shot back at Edwards, yelling, "Answer this!" In a show of support for the Weber Kid, Wyoming coach Joe Glenn offered the Spanish monarch the same universally-recognized hand gesture he flashed at Utah coach Kyle Whittingham this past weekend after the Utes tried to pile on by attempting an onside kick, already ahead by 43 points!

Vindy borrowed Coach’s hand signal one more time as the weekend’s final scores came in and mired him in a 9-13 tally for Week 11 (93-104-5, .472), pushing his season record over the Benjamin line in losses. Trying to stay afloat through the homestretch, we offer...


#2 Oregon over ARIZONA giving 12 ½:
All good things must come to an end as Vindy’s 3-0 forecast win run on Thursday nights came crashing down last week. Both terams got an extra fortnight to prepare for this. Ducks should benefit more with QB Dixon healing from recent injuries. Ducks were minus-six in turnover ratio against the ‘Cats last season. AZ has covered 3 of last 4, but those all came against teams whose seasons were flagging (USC, UDUB and UCLA)...Mallards 34 Arizona 17

FRI. NOV. 16
#13 Hawaii @ UNR:
OFF (Warriors QB Brennan will probably be back from last week’s concussion. ‘Bows undefeated, but only 3-4 against the line and now travel to cold-climate Reno, where the Wolfpack is 17-8 ATS over last 25)

SAT. NOV. 17
MISSISSIPPI over #1 Louisiana State taking 18 1/2:
Rebels off a bye and have a history of covering more times than not each year against ranked opponents (including 2-1 ATS this year and a 3-point OT loss last year in Baton Rouge). Bengals posted their first cover in last seven tries last week at home over non-conference Weeziana Tech... LSU 31 Ole Miss 19

#3 Oklahoma over TEXAS TECH giving 9: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Final tilt of the regular season for the Raiders, who stumble badly playing ranked teams (4-10 ATS since 2003, including 0-2 this year in only two dog roles of ‘07). Omitting 45-point spanking by Oklahoma in 2002, largest margin of victory for either team in this series has been 17. Tech is mere 2-4-1 ATS in last seven overall this season and won’t be able to whip the ball around the field like it did in bad loss at Austin...Sooners 41 TTU 20

Iowa State over #4 KANSAS taking 26: Grudgingly going against Kansas squad that’s perfect to-date against the number. State’s lousy at covering finales. After three-touchdown loss at Kansas State in 2006, Cyclones were on the wrong end of 31-point home loss to Kansas. Dust Devils avenged the K-State defeat earlier and are on 4-0 ATS run...Manginos 35 ISU 20

#21 CINCINNATI over #5 West Virginia taking 6 ½: Mounties put it on the ground three times in final 30 minutes last week to let Louisville recover from deep hole. Bearkats defense can fluster WVU’s offense. Each team is 7-2 ATS this year. Team Morgantown has covered 4 of 5 away and have dominated the series SU (13-1-1). Cincinnati was first team Vindy put a wager on this week...Cincy 20 West Virginia 17

#6 Missouri over KANSAS STATE giving 7: Line opened at 10 and the money says Wildcats cover. Hmmm... Mizzou took advantage of turnovers to blow-out State last season. KSU will be an angry, angry team following 73-31 humiliation by Nebraska (BTW, there were exactly ZERO turnovers in that game) and fared well in Manhattan over the last two-plus seasons (14-5 SU, 13-4 ATS with spread defeats to Kansas, Nebraska, Louisville and... gasp ... Florida Atlantic!). Mizzou’s smallest margin of victory since 6-point win over Illinois was 13...Tigers 31 KSU 20

#23 MICHIGAN over #7 Ohio State taking 3 1/2: First big rivalry game for Buckeyes frosh quarterback and State hasn’t had nearly as much time to deal with deflating loss as Michigan had to deal with its early-season demise. Buckeyes have won 6 of 7 straight up. A Michigan win probably sends State to a non-BCS bowl game in Florida, though BCS officials would obviously rather have a 11-1 OSU squad in the Rose than an 8-4 Wolverine team as Big Ten champ. In all honesty, we’d be happy with a FG in either direction here, but let’s call it... Big Blue 17 Buckeyes 16

#8 GEORGIA over #22 Kentucky giving 7 ½: The bookies have caught up to the Bluegrass Kitties, who faltered to 2-3 ATS over last 5 following 4-0 spread run to open the year. Woe to those who bet against Joja’ in November games. Georgia’s defense is too good to allow the type of comeback ‘Cats managed in losing effort against Florida ...’Dawgs 29 KY 14

#9 Arizona State: IDLE (next vs. USC 11/22)

#10 VIRGINIA TECH over Miami giving 17: Tech is 45-9 straight up in Blacksburg. Hurricanes managed only only 189 total yards against Virginia (five turnovers probably had something to do with that)...VT 27 Miami 7

#11 USC: IDLE (next @ Arizona State 11/22)

#12 Texas: IDLE (next @ Texas A&M 11/25)

#14 FLORIDA over Florida Atlantic giving 34: Third Sun Belt foe of the year for the Urban Meyer’s boys (though Western Kentucky is still just provisional). Crocs are 8-3 ATS in last 11 non-conference games. Not quite a Sunshine State rivalry and next week’s game at Florida International will be of more interest to the Owls. FAU lost to Big Six conference teams by 48, 45, 40 and 39, but have improved to 36, 28 and 12 this year...Florida 55 FAU 20

#15 CLEMSON over #18 Boston College giving 7: Winner gets to play next week’s Virginia-Virginia Tech winner for the ACC championship. These clubs have played three OT periods in last two games between them, both won and covered by the Eagles. Tigers on 4-0 ATS and have scored 191 points over that period. BC just 1-3 ATS in last four games (with a game that shoulda’ been lost to Virginia Tech)...Clemson 27 BC 17

#16 Virginia: IDLE (next vs. Virginia Tech)

#17 BOISE STATE over Idaho giving 34 ½: While the Vandals have covered the number 3 of last 5 against the Broncos, they’re 2-4 ATS in last six-pack vs. ranked teams and have one winning spread record in last seven seasons (ain’t happenin’ this year either since they’re already at 3-6. State’s hammered the wAC’s lower tier this season, including combined 10-0 wins over New Mexico State and Utah State. Idaho beat the line twice to open the year, but is 1-6 since...BSU 44 Idaho 6

#19 TENNESSEE over Vanderbilt giving 12: Vols could possibly be distracted by upcoming trip to Lexington, but we figure outright loss to the ‘Dores in ‘05 and mere 4-point victory in ‘06 should help keep UT focused. Tennessee players took out a full-page newspaper add supporting their coach. Funny...the bookies did likewise for Vindy (because let’s face it...Vin’s "best bets" have kept bettors a couple city blocks from the cashier’s cage!). All three of Tennessee’s spread losses came on the road, leaving UT 6-0-1 ATS in Knoxville. Vandy’s a live road dog, but..Rocky Top 28 Admirals 14

Northwestern over #20 ILLINOIS taking 13: This one got "lock" consideration. Illini off huge (and controversial) upset of then-#1 Ohio State and could be flat. The BCS is in a serious quandary, experiencing panic Vindy ain’t seen since the Peter Pan peanut butter recall for salmonella last Spring. NW has won four straight over UI. With Tony Hawk’s Sweet Shoes ... um..we mean...Sweet Sioux stake, Illini should be on upset alert...Illinois 27 Wildcats 26

#24 Wisconsin over MINNESOTA giving 14: Gerbils were 3-13 ATS playing Top 25 teams coming into this year and have simply been a sister-kisser, posting two pushes against OSU and Michigan thus far. Badgers showing signs of late of the kind of play we expected back in the preseason. Gophers playing out the string. Paul Bunyan’s Axe stays with...Wisky 38 Minny 7

#25 UCONN over Syracuse giving 18: Looked at this for lock too. Dogs have covered 9 of last 10 in Storrs and won’t be gracious hosts here either coming off major stinker in Cincinnati. UConn should reach the 40's and while only Maine failed to reach double-digits vs. the Huskies, only Cincinnati broke into the 20's...Sled Dogs 42 Excuse 13

It was revealed in April that three top NFL prospects, including WR Calvin Johnson, reportedly used a little wacky weed. Hey, they were just trying to emulate their hero Ricky Williams! But they’ll still need more playing time to match Williams’ career record for YAC (Yards After Cannabis). We suspect he "got by with a little hemp from his friends"!

University of Tennessee women’s hoops coach Pat Summitt has thrown in the towel on her marriage of 27 seasons We heard her hubby kept insisting she wear that cute little cheerleading number she donned last spring in support of the Vols mens basketball squad!

In related news, Shaq has also filed for divorce, claiming his missus stopped letting him "take it to the rack!"

Following up its recommendations for safe disposal of old medications last week, the FDA also suggested wrapping Vindy’s Picks in Notre Dame offensive game-plans to render them completely unattractive.

The City of Miami is looking for someone to demolish the Orange Bowl, now vacated by the Hurricanes. We’re thinking there’s a sweet 2-for-1 deal in the offing if they could dupe the Dolphins into holding practice there just about the same time the stadium gets blown up!

According to the latest issue of ESPN: Da’ Mag, Cards QB Jake Plummer has entered the U.S. Open of Handball. Guess that would explain the Snake constantly swatting the snap off his center’s behind this week during practice!

That same ish also noted the Colts recently raffled off five Super Bowl rings for charity. And when the five players from other teams realize their bling is gone, they’re gonna’ be really annoyed!

DNA analysis this week ruled out George Gipp as the father of a woman long-rumored to be his daughter. Researchers, however, have not yet excluded the late Ronald Reagan and your humble host as possible sires! (BTW, Vindy was the father of Anna Nicole’s baby!).

"Wish I Had That One Back": We would definitely like a do-over on the Oklahoma-Baylor call (though the Bears did score very late to get the backdoor!) and the Ohio State-Illinois prediction. Geez!

"Locked in a Box?": The Kansas Jayhawks raise the lock tally to a nifty 8-3 (.727).

Shoppe Talk: Gators slither away (for now) with a forecast win, but the Trojans hang around at 2-8.

Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 17-29-1 (.369)
TEMPLE +2 over Kent State, LOUISIANA TECH -6 over San Jose State, Central Florida -13 over SMU, Penn State -3 over MICHIGAN STATE, AIR FORCE -11 over San Diego State

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Vindy's Picks Week 11-2007


NEW YORK, New York (BBC)....With Writers Guild members leaving their respective buildings to strike this week, nightly talk shows such as Leno and Conan, as well as the "world-wide leader" ESPN, have made pitches to the Vegas Vindicator to provide material for monologues and highlight collages. NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman said "Vindy’ll never earn a living pickin’ games, but his rather-twisted perspective on things could be a life-saver for several of our shows right now". The Sin Soothsayer however noted his own writers support the Guild and walked out too, but that he had enough items in reserve to get him through bowl season, then recanted that statement, saying "Oh wait...I forgot...I do my own stuff!" Daytime talkies such as The View are expected to eventually take a hit as well and may also be willing to use the forecaster’s talents. Vindy said he "always wanted to swap picks with Whoopi and Baba Wa Wa."

The chalk finally got more covers than the dogs again for the first time since September 22nd, helping Vindicator go 12-7-1 for last week (84-91-5, .480). Hopin’ to stave off the dreaded century mark in losses for at least one more fortnight, Vindicator battens down the hatches, turns on the nightlight and hides under...

(Now biodegradable in honor of national "Green Week")

#6 WEST VIRGINIA over Louisville giving 16:
Mounties’ pass defense has improved nicely since early season and has them ranked #4 nationally. Cards have won three of last five this season on the strength of its own defense. ‘Eers have missed only one home cover in last dozen. In 2006, Redbirds knocked then-#3 West Virginia. We attempt to reel in a 4th straight Thursday night forecast win...WVU 34 Louisville 16

SAT. NOV. 10
#1 OHIO STATE over Illinois giving 15:
One more straight-up UI triumph would equal the total number of wins acquired by the Illini over the previous four years. Illinois has been money for bettors when playing at The ‘Shoe. Only concern for State here is impact of physical game against the Badgers and the fact State didn’t pull away for the cover until late last week...Buckeyes 33 Illini 16

#2 LSU over Louisiana Tech giving 36: Bengals nearly did themselves in again against ‘Bama, drawing 14 yellow hankies for 130 penalty yards. Tigers were also -1 in turnovers. We don’t foresee such lack of focus here. Bengals on 0-6 ATS run while Ragin’ Cajuns are 6-2 against the number. State typically covers lines of 24 or better vs. non-conference squads. Tech’s season is over, even if they manage to win final two after this to achieve 6 wins...LSU 45 LT 6

#3 Oregon: IDLE (next @ Arizona 11/15)

#4 OKLAHOMA over Baylor giving 38: Bears playing their 11th consecutive game without a break and getting outscored by fellow Big 12 teams 143-23 on the road. Ouch! Sooners haven’t defeated Baylor by this many since ‘02, with largest margin in Norman being 31 since then. Kansas and K-State did beat Baylor on their respective homefields by 48 each. No harm in a few style points... Sooners 48 Baylor 8

#5 Kansas over OKLAHOMA STATE giving 5 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. This could be a replay of last week’s demolition of Nebraska by the Jayhawks. Okie State has had little problem the past several years with Kansas, but Fightin’ Manginos bring a defense that should keep State in check easily enough to cover this...Kansas 48 OKSU 30

#7 MISSOURI over Texas A&M giving 19: Aggie backers better hope for an outright upset because A&M has covered only one of its last 34 SU road losses (we thank nationally-known tout Marc Lawrence for that nifty little tidbit!) and have lost by 17, 28 and 28 away from College Station this season. Aggies were held scoreless until the 4th Quarter for second straight week by the Sooners and have posted 14 or fewer points in 3 of last 4 games. Line probably reaches 21 by game time...Tigers 38 A&M 13

#8 Boston College over MARYLAND giving 5 1/2: BC just two points from 3-0 ATS road record in 2007. Terps have fallen into the doldrums. Maryland only 2-5-1 vs. the pointspread and mere 1-3 in College Park. Eagles still up for BCS consideration and the Box Turtles’ 26th-ranked pass D will have its hands full keeping Matt Ryan under wraps for all four quarters...BC 27 Maryland 17

#9 Arizona State over UCLA giving 6 ½: Injuries have really clobbered what could’ve a special season for UCLA. We don’t think banged-up Bruins can hold the line at home against potent Devils offense...ASU 27 UCLA 9

#18 Auburn over #10 GEORGIA taking 1: Tigers have taken out Top Ten clubs in 9 of last 10 opportunities and won 10 of last 12 tilts in which the spread was plus or minus 7 or less...Auburn 13 Joja’ 10

#11 VIRGINIA TECH over Florida State giving 6: Last pairing of these clubs cost the Hokies a conference crown back in 2005. Seminoles notched their best win of the season last week, dropping BC, who was careless with the ball...Tech 21 FSU 10

#24 CAL over #12 Southern Cal taking 4: Bears on 0-4 SU/0-3 ATS slide since beating the Ducks. Being persona non grata at all the Vegas hotels and needing somewhere to hang his we mean... helmet...O.J. Simpson has gotten the offer for three hots and a cot on campus at his alma mater this week. The school has, however, removed all of Juice’s memorabilia from the university property and temporarily cancelled all nearby know...just in case!....Berkeley 16 USC 14

#13 Michigan over WISCONSIN giving 2 1/2: Badgers, minus top runner PJ Hill, took a brief Third Quarter lead on the Buckeyes, then gave up 21 unanswered points. Wisky has yielded no less than 31 points in five of last eight games. Michigan has been a go-against in Madison, but not this time...Wolverines 35 Badgers 19

#14 HAWAII over Fresno State giving 17: Bulldogs are 5-6 ATS playing ranked teams since ‘03 season, including this year’s triple OT loss at Texas A&M and overall 3-1 on the road. While most of Fresno’s defense consists of upperclassmen, only four defensive starters returned this year and both safeties are sophomores...’Bows 51 Fresno 30

Texas Tech over #15 TEXAS taking 6 1/2: The Cowpokes hung 430 passing yards (and almost 600 total offensive yards) on the ‘Horns last week. Red Raiders QB Harrell could do that all by himself this week. Tech doesn’t have a guy that can rush for 100 yards, but their defense is better than Oklahoma State’s. Not sure UT-Austin’s got another big comeback in it if the Steers get well-behind early again...Texas Tech 37 Texas 34

#16 Connecticut over CINCINNATI taking 5 ½: Wow. A victory over faltering South Florida on the strength of 8 (count ‘em, 8!) turnovers gets the Bearkats home-chalk status?! Huskies collapsed late in Storrs last year to give Cincy the win. Just can’t pick against the Sled Dogs here as they go for first-ever SU win over Cincinnati in four tries...UCONN 21 UC 19

#17 Florida over SOUTH CAROLINA giving 6: Spurrier has split the two games he’s played against his old school since returning to the college ranks and nearly won last year too (losing 17-16). The rubber game of the match goes to...Gators 30 Cluck-Cluck 14

UTAH STATE over #19 Boise State taking 24 1/2: We considered this for lock when the line opened at 27. Aggies return of 18 starters from 2006 has paid dividends (at least for bettors) as USU has already surpassed last year’s spread wins (5-3-1 overall, 3-2 in the WAC vs. last season’s 3-9/2-5 respectively). Broncos just 2-4 last 6 on the conference road. Aggies just a missed XP vs. UNLV away from 6-3.....BSU 37 USU 19

#20 CLEMSON over Wake Forest giving 8: No shame in missing a 48-yard FG on the road as time expires to lose by a single point. Unfortunately, that was the second missed kick of the game for Wake. Deacons need a victory here and next week vs. NC State, along with two losses by BC to have a shot at ACC title game. Tigers have taken 7 of 10 in this series, but covered only 3 of ‘em...Clemson 29 WF 19

MISSISSIPPI STATE over #21 Alabama taking 4 ½: Vindicator made a handwritten notation last summer in one of his preseason mags that the Tide’s only tough road game was regular-season ender at Auburn. Perhaps that notation was a bit hasty. An upset is not outta’ the realm of possibility here with Bulldogs needing one more win for a bowl berth and having already beaten Auburn and Kentucky away...’Bama 19 MSU 17

#22 TENNESSEE over Arkansas (PK): Win over depleted Gamecocks adds a little credibility (emphasis on a little) to ‘Hogs win-loss record. Tennessee doesn’t defend the run all that well, but then neither does Kentucky, who spanked Arkansas earlier. Arkansas has qualified for the post-season, but four of the requisite six-pack of victories came over three Sun Belt teams and I-AA Tennessee-Chattanooga. They are, however, just five total points in losses to Auburn and ‘Bama from 8 wins. Vols in the middle of four-game homestand and need a cover to lock in first back-to-back winning spread seasons since ‘98 and ‘99. UT is 4-0-1 ATS at home this year. Vols laying nothing at home is the right side... Tennessee 24 Pigs 21

#23 Virginia over MIAMI taking 3 1/2: With the OT loss at NC State, ‘Canes obviously aren’t quite there yet under new coach Randy Shannon. Cavs are only here on the good fortune of aforementioned missed 48-yard FG by Wake with nothing left on the clock. Minor upset that establishes nice Cavs-Hokies finale to decide the ACC Coastal Division winner...Virginia 18 Miami 14

#25 Kentucky over VANDERBILT giving 3 ½: Curious line supported only by Commodores’ valiant three-point defeat to Georgia in Nashville. Unless ‘Cats fail to protect the football or let themselves get into a track meet... KY 35 Admirals 24

And now...Vindy grabs his picket sign, but first reprints some of his favorite "hash" items from 1997....NOT!

As a demo of his skills, Vindicator submits the following rewrite of the opening to a well-known daytime soap... "Like sandwiches through the shotglass, so are the College Game Days of Our Lives"! (Hey...we just write... Somebody else is gonna’ have to figure out how to stuff the hoagie into the jigger, okay??!!)

A judge in Gate City, Virginia got removed from the bench for among other things, deciding a child’s Christmas visitation between divorced parents by flipping a coin. Good news though...the judge has been offered the ceremonial coin toss at this year’s Meineke Car Care Bowl.

The Guvenator this past Friday said he learned to negotiate while sitting with his wife, Maria Shriver, in their Jacuzzi. Vindy extends an invitation to Cal’s first lady to sit with him in the hot tub and help our fearless forecaster negotiate next week’s picks!

While we often lambast the specific teams that the Weber Kid struggles regularly to pick on the right side of the line, little attention is typically given to the squads that come through week-to-week. Up for post-season awards of the positive kind are: Rutgers (6-1); Oregon, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin (all at 5-2). Not enough plate appearances yet, but probably going to meet the minimum at-bats (7): Arkansas (4-0-1) and Kansas (4-1).

Welcoming the 2007 college hoops season: What Don Imus actually meant to utter about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last April..."snappy, threaded clothes".

Senator John McCain invited visitors to his presidential campaign website last March to join him in picking winners in the 2007 NCAA tourney. We heard he had Texas A&M-Corpus Christi winning it all and AZ going out in the 1st round!

To ensure proper disposal and avoid misuse, the FDA recommended this week that expired medications be placed in sealed plastic bags with coffee grinds, dog poop or Vindy’s Picks to make the meds unpalatable to small children and animals rummaging through trash cans or dumpsters! (Hope you’ve enjoyed this public safety announcement!)

The Collegiate Bass Anglers Association wants to make fishing a recognized competitive college sport (Oh for goodness sake...go ahead and tack a "national" to the beginning and make the acronym NCBAA!). Can’t wait to see the opinions on these "athletes"..."Well, Bob...he’s good on the ‘dink and dunk’ but just can’t get the lure down-pond on a consistent basis". What about fishermen with unorthodox casting motions? Will there be penalties for illegal lures or forfeit of wins for using an angler with an expired fishing license? Rod and highlight reels? On a team desperately needing a victory, might we hear a talking head quip..."it’s time to fish or cut bait". Do they pump in crowd noise when practicing for away tournaments? Are there starters and back-ups in event of casting-shoulder injuries? What does the "scout team" do? Would the spread be based on total catches or poundage? Would an angler expected to go high in the first round decline a trip to New York to spend his traditional National Fishing League Draft Day playing football with his father? (Time for Vin to refill his meds again, isn’t it??!!)

"Locked in a Box?": It took a TD with 5 seconds left in the game, but those Troy Trojans pulled it out and boosted Vin’s lock percentage to .700 (7-3).

Shoppe Talk: The !@%$#@!!! Gators (1-7) had the intestinal fortitude to toy with our humble host for 15 minutes of game time, allowing Vandy to stay within two TDs, then quickly ripped his heart out with a huge 2nd quarter and never looked back! The USC Trojans will again stand guard at the Shoppe with a 2-7 forecast record!

Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: Feel free to call the fumbling forecaster "Magnum, P.I." (Prognosticating Idiot) because the "best bets" now stand at .357 (15-27-1).
New Mexico State +3 over SAN JOSE STATE, East Carolina -8 over MARSHALL, NORTH TEXAS +15 ½ over Navy, San Diego State +2 ½ over UNLV

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vindy's Picks Week 10-2007


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (REUTERS)....For a few fleeting, glorious moments this year, there was hope...hope of good things on the field in Tampa, Florida; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; Lawrence, Kansas and even in Durham, North Carolina. But on the brink of All Hallow’s Eve, the 2007 college football campaign was exposed for what it truly is...fake, bogus, a grand illusion. Criss Angel of the TV series "Mind Freak" said he’s been conducting the elaborate hoax, using smoke & mirrors, nearly-invisible wires, mass suggestion and stadiums with trap doors and false walls to dupe fans, coaches, players, even the media into believing wins and losses that didn’t actually occur. In reality, USC and LSU are undefeated and trying to hold on for post-season spots in Baton Rouge, Duke and Temple are a combined 1-14 SU with a spread record of 3-12, South Florida is a middle-of-the-back Big Least team and Michigan whacked Appalachian State by nearly three touchdowns to open its season. Said one member of Angel’s camp, "If ya think this was out there, wait ‘til ya see which traditional doormats make the Sweet 16 next March!"

Vindicator managed a second straight Thursday night win, but even Criss Angel couldn’t help our hero do better than 8-7-1 for Week Nine (72-87-4, .453). On the Night of the Living Spread, beware of...


#11 Virginia Tech over GEORGIA TECH taking 2 1/2:
How deflating will very late loss to Boston College be for the Hokies? Doing its part to help conserve water in drought-stricken Georgia, the NCAA has mandated that the Bees can’t wash their unis until they become bowl-eligible!...Virginia Tech 17 Wreck 14

#1 OHIO STATE over Wisconsin giving 15:
Before turning the game off when State went up 24-7 on Vin’s alma mater early second half, he watched the Buckeyes pass their way easily, barely breaking a sweat, up and down the field in the "hostile" "white-out". Badgers lost to the Lions by 31. Lions lost by 20 to the Buckeyes. Badgers have allowed 6 total points over last two games. State puts that up more that on first drive here...OSU 27 Wisky 7

#2 BOSTON COLLEGE over Florida State giving 6 ½: Eagles lucky to escape Blacksburg with a win, but that’s the kinda’ good fortune that carries teams to the title game. The "under" is probably a better call than a side...BC 20 ‘Noles 10

#17 ALABAMA over #3 Louisiana State taking 7 1/2: Ya think the Tigers’ll be up for getting their first crack at former coach Nick Saban since he left Baton Rouge following 2004 season? History suggests State will cover if they win outright. Bengals are only 1-1 ATS facing the Tide since beginning of ‘05...Bengals 21 'Bama 16

#4 OREGON over #6 Arizona State giving 7: Decoys on a 24-14 spread run vs. PAC-10 colleagues. First real road test for the Sun Devils. Vindy’s previous calls for shootouts have failed miserably, so...Mallards 38 ASU 24

Texas A&M over #5 OKLAHOMA taking 21: Baggies were kept off the board by Kansas until the 7:20 mark of the 4th Quarter and face a better (and rested) defense here. Looks like a lot of points though, given A&M’s lost by this many only once and Sooners’ biggest conference game margin is 10...OK 29 A&M 13

#7 West Virginia: IDLE (next vs. Louisville 11/8)

#8 KANSAS over Nebraska giving 19: Huskers lost starting QB Sam Keller for the duration and need to win out to go somewhere in December. They won’t. Fightin’ Manginos have beaten the line seven times in a row and almost got the "lock" designation last week (and in 20-20 hindsight...they shoulda’!). It’s a big number, not big enough to back Big Red....Jayhawks 44 Nebraska 20

COLORADO over #9 Missouri taking 4: Over last 29 conference matches, Mizzou is 11-15-2 against the number and are barely 1-1 ATS this season in its only two road games (a total of 1 ½ points separates the Tigers from 2-0 or 0-2). Buffs need one more victory for a post-season berth, are 3-1 ATS at home this year, own Oklahoma’s only SU loss in ‘07 and were competitive in close losses to FSU and Kansas. Field goal fest... Missouri 16 Buffs 15

Troy over #10 GEORGIA taking 16 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Troy is 22-15 ATS since beginning of Division I-A play in 2001, including a nifty 5-2 spread record against the SEC. Trojans coach Larry Blakeney said he plans to send HIS whole team to the end zone to cheer Troy’s first TD of the game (and has T.O. and Chad Johnson on standby just in case his boys don’t draw a flag for excessive celebration!)...Joja’ 24 Troy 13

#12 Hawaii: IDLE (next vs. Fresno State)

Oregon State over #13 USC taking 15: Beavers have covered last two vs. the Trojans (and those squads were obviously better than this year’s edition) and fare well in general playing other PAC-10 teams. Booty may return under center for SC...Trojans 24 OSU 17

#14 Texas over OKLAHOMA STATE giving 3: Steers have only two spread wins in last trips away from Austin, but somehow we still don’t have the warm-and-fuzzies over Cowpokes back-to-back SU wins over Nebraska and K-State, which followed a one-point defeat at College Station . State’s last four games vs. the Longhorns have been losses by 26, 19, 21 and 39. Bowl-eligibility will probably wait until finale at Baylor...Texas 38 OKSU 31

#15 Michigan over MICHIGAN STATE giving 4 1/2: The UM solar car team was in Australia last week trying to return the Panasonic World Solar Challenge trophy to the U.S. for the first time since the inaugural challenge back in ‘87. Wolverines gridiron squad ran on solar power last week without its star RB and QB, and still managed a push on a 24-point line. Spartans in usual late-season slide...Big Blue 29 MSU 17

#16 UCONN over Rutgers taking 3: Nice to see Huskies gettin’ some pollster love after flying well-below the radar while compiling 7-1 SU record (and just a one-point road loss away from being undefeated). Knights’ only away tilt resulted in a cover at Syracuse as 16 1/2-point chalk. UConn has allowed no opponent more than 17 points and averages only 13.4 points-against. First of three away games in final four for NJ State...Dogs 23 Paladins 16

Vanderbilt over #18 FLORIDA taking 16: Commodores have covered nine of last dozen getting points on the road.. Back in May, the UNC Center for Study of Retired Athletes declared that NFL athletes who had three or more concussions were three times as likely to suffer clinical depression. And here Vindy attributed his industrial-strength blues to all those forecast losses by the Gators over the past few years. Turns out it was all those times he banged his head on the sportsbook counter after losing bets instead!...Crocs 28 Admirals 14

Tennessee Tech @ #19 AUBURN: No line.

#20 SOUTH FLORIDA over Cincinnati giving 5: These two are a combined 0-4 straight over last two weeks. Somebody’s once-promising season goes into the tank here. After buckling under pressure being hunted on the conference road, we like the Bulls to recover nicely at home. ..USF 24 Bearkats 17

#21 BOISE STATE over San Jose State giving 26: Broncos getting back in the swing of things. Spartans haven’t covered well away from home the last four-plus years. SJSU has one road spread win in five tries and posted zeroes on the scoreboard in two of ‘em...BSU 37 SJSU 7

VIRGINIA over #22 Wake Forest taking 1: Might come down to who can more successfully work in a few aerials into their run-first game-plan. Cavs were Vindy’s pick to win the ACC and need a victory to stay one-up on the Hokies in the Coastal Division...Cavaliers 24 Deacons 20

ARKANSAS over #23 South Carolina giving 3 ½: Wear-and -tear of failed late comeback at Tennessee might be the back-breaker for South Carolina. Hogs have dug in, allowing more than 10 points to only one of last five foes (oddly, that exception was I-AA UT-Chattanooga!)... Sooeeeeeeeey Pigs 17 Poultry 12

#24 TENNESSEE over UL-Lafayette giving 30: Cajuns have a single win on the year and have nothing to lose. Vols need this one to lock in bowl-eligibility ‘cause there’s no guarantees among the next three games to finish out the regular season...Rocky Top 41 UL-Laugh-at-us 6

#25 Clemson over DUKE giving 16: Dukies are 4-1 ATS on the road this year, but only 1-2 thus far in Durham and a paltry 3-10 as home dogs. Website about Duke’s coach sponsored by Vegas bookies this season: RaisetheRoof.Com; sponsored by Duke alumni: RazetheRoof.Com and sponsored by Californians who know nothing about the Blue Devils: RaisintheRoof.Com. ...Tigers 35 Duke 10

A bunch of NBA refs were caught gambling. Hey...even professional hoops officials like Vindy’s Picks!

A Baylor assistant resigned recently after citation for urinating on the bar in Waco. So much for the joke about a Bear doing you-know-what in the woods!

Division III Trinity University pulled off 15 (count ‘em, 15!) laterals on the game’s last play to beat Millsaps last week. Hmmmm...eleven players, fifteen laterals. Did they shovel the ball to coaches, cheerleaders, from the stands????

NFL commish Roger Goodell wants to expand the NFL to, among other cities, Beijing. First 5000 to the stadium get lead paint decorated bobble-head dolls!(And don’t forget to try the shellfish nachos, guys!).

Among other pay-the-celeb-to-attend-games mishaps for the Miami Dolphins this year was P. Diddy’s cancellation because he wanted (and didn’t get) a private jet. Note to the ‘Fins PR folks....our humble forecaster would gladly accept a ticket for Greyhound or Amtrak for an all-expenses-paid trip to Dolphin Stadium! Call me!!!! (Whaddaya mean Vindy’s not a celebrity???!!!)

The Minnesota Vikings defensive ends are calling themselves "Salt and Pepper". Meanwhile, the Golden Gophers defensive ends are being referred to as "Saffron and Coriander"!

Indy Racer Danica Patrick wants more women’s items endorsements, including fragrances. We’re thinkin’ Midnight on Pit Row, Skoal #5 and Burning Rubber aren’t gonna’ be big marketing winners!

"Wish I Had That One Back": Yep...we called the "wish" pick on the Kentucky-MSU game!

"Locked in a Box?": Vin took it in the "lock" shorts again as Virginia lost SU to NC State (6-3, .667).

Shoppe Talk: Gators now 1-6 after having their cocktail glasses shattered by Georgia.

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 12-25-1 (.324)
BOWLING GREEN -7 over Akron, Ball State +6 ½ over INDIANA, East Carolina -5 over MEMPHIS, Texas El-Paso -7 over RICE, Weeziana Tech -4 over IDAHO

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2007


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (UPI)....The U. S. Air Force gave the boot to seventy servicemen and servicewomen this past weekend in the wake of a recent, highly-publicized mishandling of Vindy’s Picks. Several weeks worth of the Weber Kid’s live forecasts were flown the width of the country from North Dakota to Louisiana secured to the underside of a B-52 bomber while traditional transport protocol was basically ignored. Of particular concern were Vindy’s “Best Bets” picks, though USAF officials indicated the general population was never truly in jeopardy because the rubber bands and wax seals that prevent the forecasts from unfurling prematurely and being used for wagering remained in place and were undamaged during the flight, but the incident was serious enough to warrant mandatory notification of the President, the Secretary of Homefield Security and the head of the Gaming Control Board in Vegas. How the picks, clearly marked with skull-and-crossbones and the internationally-recognized “radioactive” symbol, were mistakenly identified as harmless, outdated picks scheduled for decommission and loaded onboard is still under investigation.

The prophets’ pantheon smiled down upon your host in Week Seven as Vin registered a Thursday night forecast dubya with his upset call of Rutgers over South Florida en route to a 7-9 finish (64-80-3, .444). Musta’ been the sacrifice of that Pina Colada, that is...and the numerous other libations Vindicator poured right in the middle of the sportsbook floor (of course, then security came and hauled the Weber Kid downtown and it wasn’t real pretty after that. Vin was, however, eventually released on his own recognizance [because nobody else at the station recognized our famous forecaster!] and got home in time for kickoff! People know Vindy’s name, but not always his face. That’s why he carries this...the American Express card)...but we digress, so let’s get back to...


#2 Boston College over #8 VIRGINIA TECH taking 3 1/2:
Eagles held the Hokies to a mere FG in last year’s 22-3 win and have no fear of Blacksburg. If BC’s gonna’ falter, its best chance to do so is right here (though a dangerous trek to College Park awaits). Figure the odds of back-to-back Thursday forecast wins for your humble narrator...BC 24 Tech 23

SAT. OCT. 27
#24 PENN STATE over #1 Ohio State taking 4:
While the Buckeyes have taken five of the last seven straight up from PSU, but both Lions’ wins came at home and OSU’s last cover in Happy Valley was 1997. Vindicator would absolutely delight in the BCS chaos that would ensue should the Nifty Lions pull yet another major upset in a season littered with the unthinkable... Lions 13 Buckeyes 12

#3 Louisiana State: IDLE (next @ Alabama)

#4 Oklahoma: IDLE (next vs. Texas A&M)

#5 OREGON over #9 (tie) Southern Cal giving 3: SoCal has beaten the Mallards the last two years by a combined 80-23 and is seemingly immune to the atmosphere at the Autzen Zoo, covering 5 of last 6 there. These aren’t your older cousin’s Trojans and the Ducks have plenty of speed on defense and firepower on offense to finally get past USC ...Quack Attack 34 Troy 29

#25 RUTGERS over #6 West Virginia taking 6: Upon further review, Vindy incorrectly attributed one of Rutgers’ two SU losses in 2006 to South Florida. Those two losses actually came at Cincinnati and at Morgantown to these Mountaineers! WVU is now 13-5 against the line as road chalk since start of 2002 season, though only 1-1 on the Jersey Turnpike...WVU 27 Scarlet Knights 24

#7 ARIZONA STATE over #18 California giving 3: Bears have bent State’s collective pitchfork four straight times, winning (and covering) by 17, 28, 27 and 28 points, respectively. Devils come in off a bye, Berkeley comes in off loss to UCLA. Devils’ defense is improving. After holding only 5 opponents below three touchdowns last season, State has already kept 6 of 7 foes under 21 points to-date...ASU 29 Cal 24

#9 (tie) Florida over #20 Georgia giving 9 (@ Jacksonville): While Kentucky committed some tactical and execution errors, Gators put 45 on the scoreboard without the benefit of a single Wildcats turnover. Lotsa’ luck to Dawgs defenders as they attempt to drag down Mack Truck-dressed-in-quarterback’s-clothing Tim Tebow... Florida 35 Joja’ 20

CONNECTICUT over #11 South FLORIDA taking 4 1/2: Sled Dogs have covered 7 of last 8 at home vs. conference teams and 5 of 6 overall this year. Bulls yielding almost 18 ppg. UConn giving up a little over 13 ppg. Having reached BCS #2 spot, how will the youngsters from Tampa handle the balloon-popping loss to Rutgers and yet another trip to cold New England? With an outright victory, Sled Dogs would remain alone atop the Big Least, one game ahead of WVU-Rutgers winner. With or without a controversial punt return...USF 25 Huskies 22

#12 Kansas over TEXAS A&M giving 2: Even in close games between these two since 1998, ‘Hawks have come up just short. Baggies clobbered Huskers team that may have quit on Coach Callahan, but never got off the bus two weeks at Texas Tech, costing Vindy a three-team wager. Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino said he first learned about Dennis Franchione’s secret newsletter to Aggies boosters from Dick Cheney, forgot it, then learned about it again from NBC News reporter Tim Russert. Ridin’ Kansas’ 6-0 ATS win streak...Kansas 23 A&M 17

#13 MISSOURI over Iowa State giving 28: ‘Clones actually took this one straight-up last season as a two-TD dog (one of three total ATS wins for State in 2006) to close last year in the wake of six previous outright defeats. A cover by the Tigers locks in their first winning spread record sine 2003...MO 44 ISU13

#14 KENTUCKY over Mississippi State giving 13 ½: Best guess for “wish I had it back”. We’d have given the Bulldogs a chance here had the Wildcats actually succeeded in their late comeback effort vs. Florida. Another long day for State...KY 48 MSU 16

#15 South Carolina over TENNESSEE taking 3: Gamecocks are 62nd nationally in passing offense, but 98th in rushing O. Tennessee has all of 9 sacks and 5 picks thru 7 games (102nd and 99th, respectively). Not sure what’s with the Chickens on offense of late, but we figure they’ll come to play against a major threat to their shot at SEC East crown...Chick-Fil-A 19 Rocky Top 16

New Mexico State over #16 HAWAII taking 27 1/2: Aggies have already been smoked on the road by Auburn and Boise. We’;re not sure, however, that Brennan can go the whole game on the bad ankle and ‘Bows aren’t as prolific with back-up Tyler Graunke at the helm. Aggies have enough to swap sevens with Hawaii...for awhile...Aloha 52 NMSU 27

Nebraska over #17 TEXAS taking 21: If the Corn Flakes can tack on a FG (or two) to recent mediocre performances and the Black & Blue Shirts can hold the Steers around the mid-30's...’Horns 36 Big Dread18

#19 MICHIGAN over Minnesota giving 23 1/2: Do ya think these two Big Tenuous conference teams will hold a joint pre-game pow-wow to swap horror stories about losing to I-AA teams?!!! Three of last four have been decided by a FG (last season’s game finished with a 14-point margin). Gerbils defensive woes suggest Wolverines could breach 50. UM goes for the Little Brown Jugular... Big Blue 49 Minny 7

#21 Virginia over NC STATE giving 3: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wolfpack off it’s inaugural win of da’ season for Tom O’Brien, who probably looks in the mirror each morning and chides himself for leaving Chestnut Hill...Cavs 27 NCSU 17

#22 Alabama: IDLE (next vs. LSU)

Mississippi over #23 AUBURN taking 17: Tigers on 5-0 ATS run but return home after pair of bruising tilts on the road at Arkansas and Baton Rouge. Four picks hurt the Rebels last week. Ole Miss has recent history of covering nicely when playing a Top 25 team and were competitive in home losses to Mizzou, Florida and ‘Bama...Auburn 24 Mississippi 13

Vindy takes a bow and signs a few autographs after the Bison of I-AA North Dakota State fulfilled his Week Seven prophecy by beating the Gilded Gerbils of Minnesota straight up...27-21!

After drawing 15 flags for 131 penalty yards in Notre Dame game, BC spent off-week adopting yellow as an official team color. Eagles first year coach Jeff Jagodzinski took a page from Red Sox player Manny Ramirez and created a stir among the Eagles Nation by saying , “Winning the National Title ain’t everything!”

Trojans’ plane to South Bend last week dropped like a shoulda’-been-Terrell Owens-pass-reception! BTW, given the number of intentional throws into the stands made by Jimmy Clausen vs. Boston College, we’re not surprised Coach Weis changed QBs for the USC game last week!

Coach Paterno allegedly exchanged a few “niceties” with another motorist who did him wrong on a campus road recently. Did the Weber Kid happen to mention that 2007 is the 50th anniversary of Cat In Da’ Hat, the 100th anniversary of the invention of plastic (consumers of unbreakable stadium bottles of brew rejoice!) and the bi-centennial celebration of JoPa’s first driver’s license???!!!

This summer, the Russians split a gut racing to plant a flag on the Arctic Ocean floor to stake their claim to the North Pole. Imagine their surprise when the Comrades discovered the offenses of Florida International and Notre Dame had already beaten them to it!!!!

The ex-girlfriend of BoSox pitcher Josh Beckett sang the national anthem to open Game Five of the American League Championship Series. Country singer Danielle Peck looked Beckett square in the eye and belted out, “Ohhhhh....whennnnn... willlll.... Iiiiiiiiii... seeeeeee....any allllllll-iiiii-moohhhh-neeeeeeee?!!!!”

With the World Series between the Red Sox and Rockies being played in two very cold-weather climates this year, Games 6 and 7 could hinge on which hurler’s got the more-effective snowball!

Last January, a hit-and-run driver veered into Shaquille O’Neal’s SUV. He was chased and eventually caught by the NBA star, but that’s takin’ Hack-a-Shaq just a bit to the extreme, dontcha’ think??!

“Locked in a Box?”: Those Eugene Decoys run Vindy’s lock record to 6-2 (.750) after whackin’ the Huskies.

Shoppe Talk: So many swords and shields, so little time as the Trojans hang around at 1-6. The Gators and Gamehens make the menu at 1-5 each!

Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 10-23-1 (.303)
Last Spring, The Sporting News used Maggie the monkey to pick each round of the NHL playoffs (via wheel spin). Guess who’s pickin’ this week’s “best bets”!!!!!
ECU -14 over Alabama-Birmingham, Central Michigan -2 1/2 over KENT STATE, Michigan State -3 ½ over IOWA, MARYLAND +3 ½ over Clemson