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