Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vindy's Picks 10-2008


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (UPI)....What was supposed to be nothing more than a non-partisan, friendly ceremony this past Friday turned out to be yet-another Palin public appearance gone horribly wrong. As part of the ESPN travel series, called “50 Pucks in 50 Days”, Republican vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has been dropping the first puck at various NHL venues across the country. But when Blues goalie Manny Legace fell after stumbling on the carpet used by Palin to get to center ice, teammate Paul Kariya skated to the aid of his net-minder, dropping his gloves along the way. Reacting to the charging Blues winger, the Alaskan governor dropped her glasses, hunting rifle and hair out of its bun as she prepared to defend herself. The politician then traded weak, off-balance blows with the 5' 10", 180-pound player before they tumbled to the ice, where the two were separated by officials. Legace started the game vs. the L.A. Kings, but would leave with a hip flexor, caused by the earlier tussle. Kariya finished the game, and Palin was treated for minor cuts and bruises in the Kings locker room and is expected to suit-up for Tuesday night’s election.

Back in Vegas, down 6-10 late in Week Nine, Vin needed to pocket all three remaining Saturday nighters and Sunday’s Tulsa-UCF game to break even. Vindy took the snap and looked for an open receiver deep. Finding none, he pulled it down and called his own number, scrambling enough to grab the final four games, salvaging a 10-10 fortnight (78-77-1, .503).

Your nifty narrator’s fresh outta’ candy, so ya better have the kiddies check their Halloween goodie-bags for Ex-Lax squares, Franken-spreads and...

(May cause elections lasting longer than four hours. In the event of such an occurrence, immediately discontinue use of Vindy’s Picks and call your doctor)

CINCINNATI over #24 South Florida taking 3:
Oh goody! Another chance to open the week in the red with a Thursday-nighter! We’ve contacted the folks who publish the atlas, because, by golly, there apparently IS a Louisville, Florida! Does anyone wanna’ win the Big Least this year?! Bearkats defense has led the way for Cincy this year. Until UConn laid 40 on UC last week, opponents had averaged just 12 ppg...USF 24 Cincinnati 23

#1 Texas over #6 TEXAS TECH giving 6:
With minor letdown game outta’ the way vs. Oklahoma State, we feel pretty good about this choice. Cowboys had nice rushing game to compliment the passing game. Red Raiders primarily use their backfield to pass-block until Tech reaches the red zone. Raiders’ lone cover in past four vs. Texas came in a 35-31 loss at Lubbock in 2006. Tech looking for first SU win in six tries. It’s up to the Steers defense to keep this one from rivaling last year’s combined total of 102 points...Longhorns 49 Tech 41

Arkansas State over #2 ALABAMA taking 24: Coming into ‘08, Arkansas State has gone 4-1 ATS last 5 vs. ranked teams, including 2007 21-13 loss at then-#4 Texas. This game won’t help ‘Bama in the BCS polls. We’ll be really happy when the election is finally over because those McCain robocalls extolling the reasons the Crimson Tide should play in the national title game while slingin’ mud at the Nittany Lions’ strength-of-schedule are seriously annoying! ...Tide 31 ASU 13

#3 Penn State: The Lions sleep tonight (next @ Iowa)

#4 OKLAHOMA over Nebraska giving 21 1/2: Big Reddi-Whip on 3-0 spread run, including loss to Texas Tech in the bonus round, but that game “raised” the road dog ATS record to 5-10. Sooners on 12-4 home chalk run and covered both spreads this high this season. Improved Okie kick-coverage teams held K-State to net 6 yards... Sooners 51 Huskers 24

#5 Florida over #8 Georgia giving 5 ½ (@ Jax): ‘Dawgs defeated last five of last six ranked opponents (5-1 ATS), but won’t be facing a true freshman QB this week. Summing up his prediction on Gators-Wildcats game last week (won 63-5 by UF), we offer this commercial: “Beeeeeeep. Hi. This is Vindy’s phone. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have AT&T, so he’s got zippo bars in this offshore Carribean sportsbook. So thanks for those persistent calls you made to tell him about the Wildcats losing their top wideout and starting running back while both were suiting up in the locker room, but “smart guy” here is about to drop a mortgage payment on Kentucky plus da’ points!”...Crocs 24 Joja’ 17

#7 USC over Washington giving 43: UDUB ain’t quite as bad in the points-against department as in-state rival Wazzou, but failure to score until 2:59 left in the game vs. the Frightenin’ Irish prompted the administration to announce Coach Willingham’s departure at the end of this season. Trojans D could put a third shutout in four games in Sunday’s box score. Foliage in the Evergreen State’s lookin’ mighty black-and-blew these days...Troy 52 Sled Dogs 3

#9 OKLAHOMA STATE over Iowa State giving 30: For tilts in Ames, the Cyclones enter the field by running through a cloud of smoke. Preceding the Nebraska game, one of the ISU players rushed headlong into a goal post. OK, who was the Einstein that let Dolphins RB Ricky Williams generate the smoke that day???!!!... Cowpokes 54 ISU 20

#10 Utah over NEW MEXICO giving 7 1/2: Lobos have beaten the Utes outright four of the last five times and do own a September home victory over Arizona, but Utes are still in the hunt for an automatic BCS berth and beat Air Force by 7 in Colorado Springs...Utes 24 New Mexico 12

#11 Boise State giving NEW MEXICO STATE 20 1/2: Looks like the Land of Enchantment has its hands full this week (or at least its stadiums). Broncos teamed up with San Jose State last week to draw 22 hankies for over two football fields in penalty yards! A June ish of Sporting News reported NMSU was at risk of losing it’s BCS status if it failed to average 15,000 fans this season. This should help that cause, but betting backers won’t find any love in a team that’s gone 4-7-2 as a home dog under Hal Mumme and 2-8-1 in its last 11 WAC games...Boise 45 NMSU 7

#12 Texas Christian over UNLV giving 13 ½: This got lock consideration. Toads managed just a 13-7 win at Colorado State, but other than that, how can the Rebels possibly have anything left emotionally or physically to face the country’s top defense (only 2 of 9 opponents have scored more than 7) after consecutive heartbreakers to Air Force and BYU. If you officially had UNLV’s victory over Iowa State as a push, then the Rebels still have not had a 3-0 spread run since mid-2001 (as noted back in Week Four)...Froggies 34 Sin City 13

#13 Ohio State: IDLE (next @ Northwestern)

BAYLOR over #14 Missouri taking 20 1/2: Bares 2-2 ATS at home, 0-3 vs. ranked foes in 2008 (though 3-0 in Vindy’s Picks on the season!). Bison had just a single turnover and 28 penalty yards. Do ya think Mizzou was just a tad annoyed by nationally-televised 25-point loss in Austin two games ago?! Baylor’s conference spread record woes continue, now standing (crawling?) at 5-15. Tigers beat MAC’s Buffalo at home by 21. Are the Bears better at home than Buffalo is away?...Mizzou 42Bares 24

#15 LSU over Tulane giving 25 1/2: This line opened around 30 and took a major dive in favor of Green Wave, who got clobbered 42-17 last week, bringing home the bacon as the victim in one of the Weber Kid’s “best bets”! Bengals can’t get off the schnide vs. other SEC teams, but have won ATS in 11 of last 14 non-conference match-ups...Tigers 41 Surf’s Up 9

GEORGIA TECH over #16 Florida State taking 1: Ramblin’ Wreck ran into a sizzlin’ Virginia team last week and squandered an early 11-point advantage, while the Injuns overcame 10-0 hole against Hokies second- and eventually third-string quarterbacks. Tech is still 5-1 ATS. A recent study by Aussie scientists concluded honeybees can count to four. Smashing! At least the Yellowjackets will know what down it is!...Bugs 20 FSU 16

COLORADO STATE over #17 Brigham Young taking 14 1/2: Mormons have dropped four straight against the line and have yielded 67 points over last two games. Rams can still be bowl-eligible with two wins in final four games. Vindy is sooooooooooooo hangin’ up those topless calendars we mentioned last week! An upset wouldn’t shock your less-than-omniscient oracle...BYU 24 Colorado State 20

#18 Ball State: IDLE (next vs. Northern Illinois 11/5)

#19 Tulsa over ARKANSAS giving 7: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Hurricane is simply a points-machine, registering less than 45 just once all season (and that 37-31 win cost ‘em their first spread loss a couple weeks ago at SMU). Pigs covering the line on defense lately (3-0 spread run), but not winning outright (margins of 3, 1 and 2 over last three games at Auburn, at Kentucky and vs. Ole Miss, respectively...none of whom are noted for its respective offensive prowess)...Tulsa 38 Razorbacks 21

Northwestern over #20 MINNESOTA taking 6: Gophers haven’t dropped one vs. the line since season premiere over Northern Illinois. Despite nice increase in points-scored from ‘06 to ‘07, Wildcats doing it more on defense than offense this year too. Best guess for “wish I had it back”, but we like...Gerbils 20 NW 17

#21 North Carolina: IDLE (next vs. Joja’ Tech)

#22 MICHIGAN STATE over Wisconsin giving 5: Badgers rose up from the ashes to whack the Illini last week, but at best are gonna’ finish 6-6 and play in some lower-tier pre-New Year’s Day extravaganza sponsored by some household cleaning product. Spartans on the other hand are just one game off the conference lead and won’t meet those Nifty Lions for another couple weeks. Javon Ringer won’t repeat the 194-yard performance he got rushing in Ann Arbor, but he’ll get enough... MSU 24 Wisky 10

#23 Oregon over CAL taking 3: Seattle Times writer Dwight Perry recently pondered the hubbub over Sarah Palin’s $150K fashion makeover, noting he generally didn’t give a flyin’ rat’s until her wardrobe caught up to the Ducks available gameday threads. On a positive note, the White House wanna-be still outshines most of the Mallards players in the swimsuit competition and is still farther down the late Mr. Blackwell’s worst-dressed list than a half-dozen of Oregon’s green-and-yellow home-tilt combos!...Quack Attack 29 Berkeley Bears 23

#25 Maryland: IDLE (next @ Virginia Tech 11/6)


BTW, the vending machine in the Cyclones locker room was immediately sold-out of brownies and Twinkies right after the first half ended!

NASA noted an unusual alignment of Jupiter and Mars last week as Vindicator called the exact score in Ball State’s 38-16 win over Eastern Michigan!

We’re thinking the Obama camp could’ve locked in the NFL and college pigskin fan votes by tweaking the campaign motto just a bit to...”Change-of-possession we need!”

Those who actually wagered with Vindicator’s Week Nine preferred picks (lock and/or best bets) are doin’ the happy dance this week because they won some money (or what Mrs. Palin would refer to as “moose pelts!”).

The Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson took a $10K hit to his wallet recently as the result of repeatedly striking Kansas City pep band drums following his long TD run vs. the Chiefs earlier this month. Gotta’ figure opposing stadium operators on the Titans road schedule will be blaring Todd Lundgren’s “Bang the Drum All Day” each time Johnson gets a touch (or at least Little Drummer Boy as the season moves into December!)! Meanwhile, the creators of Guitar Hero are now planning a Drum Hero: The NFL Tour. Folks like Tommy Lee, Charlie Watts, John Henry Bonham and, yes...even Ringo Starr....should be afraid....very...afraid!

This week on the silver screen....Peyton Manning, in between singing show tunes, hones the craft of checking off at the line of scrimmage in his final prep season before going to off to college in...”High School Audible 3"!

Note to self: Do not back the Buffaloes! Do not back the Buffaloes! Do not back the Buffaloes!

Earlier this year, Barack Obama, who said his “first love” is basketball, scrimmaged with the North Carolina Tarheels hoops team. If he’s injured as president, there’d be a distinct drop-off in points and boards with Joe Biden comin’ in off the bench! As previously-noted, Palin played some half-court ball too. If behind late on Election Day will she foul and send Obama to the charity stripe? BTW, there’s no truth to the rumor Obama briefly considered Tyler Hansbrough as a running mate.

As the NBA season gets underway, we revisit the story of former official Tim Donaghy, who was to sentenced to 15 months last summer. Damn...Vindicator had money on the “under 13 ½"!!!

Jose Canseco apologized last week for blowin’ the whistle and namin’ names of steroid-using players in his book. In April, the Feds wanted to question the former Bash Brother about a 1998 photo of Roger Clemens at a pool party at his house. The person in that photo turned out to be...the Weber Kid! (Oh the title of Canseco’s book, “Vindicated”, was a coincidence???!!)

Black Shirt: For the second straight week, the Nittany Lions’ Pat Devlin grabs the coveted Black Shirt for coming in off the pine to quarterback the Alma Mater to the winning TD at the Horseshoe! Also snaring a few votes...Fresno State kicker Kevin Goessling, who hit a 58-yard FG as time expired, on the road, to rally the Bulldogs over feisty Utah State and Idaho kicker Tino Amancio, who split the uprights from 52 and 51 in the second half to give the Vandals their first FBS win on the year!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Vindicator called himself “a glutton for punishment” as he took Colorado and the points at Missouri! We’d also like to revisit (though not nearly as much as that Bison prediction!) the Texas -13 over Oklahoma State call as the Steers left Vindy wondering “about a fatigue....factor”

“Locked in a Box?”: Many thanks to the Arizona Wildcats, specifically the UA defense, for taking USC to the wire and taking our “lock” tally up to 8-1 (.888).

Shoppe Talk: Texas Tech returns to join BYU, both at 1-5. Vindicator stuffs a Florida State Seminole full of Cuban cigars (which were actually rolled by Hondurans! [Seinfeld fans in the readership will follow that one!]) for posting a 7th forecast loss in the last 8 appearances going back to ‘07!

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets: Last Week: 6-0 (That bears repeating...six-and-freakin’ ohhhhh!) Season:
27-14-1 (.659)
VIRGINIA +1 over Miami, San Diego State +3 over WYOMING, Rice -2 over UTEP, Florida International +7 over UL-LAFAYETTE

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2008


STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (REUTERS)....Previously living in relative obscurity outside the world of college football, JoePa the Plumber, whose real name is Joe Paterno, hit the national political radar in a big way after having his name uttered a collective 26 times during the third and final presidential debate last week. Paterno first got noticed when he told Illinois senator Barack Obama that he had hoped to actually purchase the university which has employed him for the past several decades, but could not afford the accompanying taxes under Obama’s plan. In the wake of that encounter, JoePa has come to represent America’s “everyman”. Local residents, however, were surprised to hear that the beloved head coach of their currently third-ranked Lions football team also had been moonlighting for Penn State, fixing clogged or leaky pipes in Beaver Stadium and various other facilities around the campus. Ever-modest, the Happy Valley legend questioned why he was “getting all the attention when there are others out there with similar concerns who are much more deserving, like Bob the Builder, Frank the Tank, Felix the Cat and Jabba the Hutt!”

Already down 0-2 headed into Saturday, your haggard host went 6-13 (68-67-1, .504) and knew he shoulda’ kept Giambi’s lame thong another week!!!! Val Kilmer, reprising his role as Ice Man in Top Gun, told Vindicator...”It’s not your picking. It’s your attitude. I mean... whose side are you on?”. Back in the cockpit with Goose and Maverick (What?! How’d she get in there??!!) , Vindy just hopes the bookies don’t have “missile lock” on....

(Trust Vindy...he’s a doctor. He’s also a PC!)

FRI. OCT. 24
SAN JOSE STATE over #13 Boise State taking 7 1/2: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.
The Bulldogs are only 3-2 against the line this season and couldn’t cover on the blue turf against Da’ Bows despite a plus-three turnover margin last week. Boise offense apparently hit the showers early after scoring a trey just 90 seconds into the 4th Quarter. Spartans have covered 3 of last 4 vs. the Potato-Heads, with prior pair of SU losses in San Jose coming by 3 and 7. SJSU is 5-1 against the line to-date this year and on 14-5 spread run vs. the WAC. Broncos held Hawaii to one score, so BSU opponents still have scored more than 7 just once...until now....San Jose State 28 Boise State 24

SAT. OCT. 25
#1 TEXAS over #7 Oklahoma State giving 13:
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant reeled in 11 grabs for 212 yards against Baylor. ‘Horns were vulnerable to Oklahoma’s passing game in the first half and intercepted Mizzou’s Chase Daniels just once. Tough to go against hot State team, but in the last four meetings between this pair, the final margin was close only in the two games played in Stillwater (Both won by the ‘Horns...38-35 last year and 17-15 in 2005). We like UT’s level of competition over that of Okie State, but wonder about a fatigue (and luck) factor...Steers 49 OKSU 34

#2 Alabama over TENNESSEE giving 7: Tide jumped out to a big lead before letting Ole Miss chip away in the second half. Good news, Elephants fans...’Bama posted three offensive touchdowns last week! Tide’s covered three of last four vs. the Vols, who were locked in a close one with Mississippi State before returning a pair of picks for scores (one of which occurred with the Bulldogs deep in Tennessee territory) in the second half to pull away. Rocky Top wants to avenge one of last year’s four outright losses...a 41-17 defeat in Birmingham. Not happenin ’... Alabama 27 UT 13

#3 Penn State over #10 OHIO STATE giving 2: If this line holds up ‘til kickoff, this will be only the second time in five seasons the Buckeyes have been dogs in Columbus and OSU has won 24 of last 26 SU at the ‘Shoe (losing only to Illinois in ‘07 and Texas in ‘05). But Lions whacked a previously near-invincible Wisconsin team at Camp Randall (a week after the Buckeyes did so). Ohio State has won 7 of last 10 SU vs. the Lions and Penn State is 0-fer- Columbus since at least 1993. OSU is 0-4 ATS at home this season (though the spreads in those tilts were 18 or more). Michigan State coughed it up five times last week to help Buckeyes get the win. “Just win, Baby!”...Nifty Lions 19 OSU 13

#4 Oklahoma over KANSAS STATE giving 19: Wildcats could be flat off tough loss last week at Colorado and lack of returning defensive starters really shows. Not a good sign for team going against an Oklahoma scoring- machine that’s lit up the board for 45 or more in five of seven and haven’t tallied less than 35 all year. ‘Cats pass D is ranked 92nd nationally, yielding 14 passing scores while snatching only four INTs. The “letdown” vs. Kansas is over, and though Sooners are still just 7-7 in last 14 laying points on the road, unless the special teams give up good field position repeatedly to K-State...Sooners 48 K-State 20

Kentucky over #5 FLORIDA taking 24 1/2: ‘Cats are now without their starting RB as they continue to negotiate a schedule that sees only four opponents who had fewer than seven SU wins last year. Kentucky’s lost their last three in the Swamp by margins of 7, 17 and 19. We think the D will be good enough to hang long enough with the Gators, who were idle last week, so they haven’t had the post-LSU-blowout letdown yet. Gators on 11-4 ATS run as home faves, but... Florida 41 KY 24

ARIZONA over #6 Southern Cal taking 16: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Trojans were busy shredding Wazzou’s rice-paper defense with three 100-yard rushers, while ‘Zona was rallying from a 10-point hole to whack Cal. AZ has covered last three vs. USC and lost by just 6 in L.A. last season...USC 27 Arizona 17

#19 KANSAS over #8 Texas Tech (PK): Tech had difficulties on special teams (allowing two kick-blocks) and three turnovers vs. A&M. Jayhawks have covered last three vs. Tech, but last played in 2005 was got points in all three of those games. Kansas didn’t play too badly in loss to Oklahoma. Vindy’s Week 8 forecast got caught in a tornado...and a house dropped on it... Kansas 29 Red Raiders 24

#9 Georgia over #11 LSU taking 2 1/2: Rematch of 2005 conference title game...won 34-14 by Joja’. ‘Dawgs can’t afford to look ahead to Florida and are currently on 0-3 spread run. Tigers have been dismal SEC home faves and haven’t covered either home game this year. Bengals got six sacks and three turnovers to pull out win over South Carolina. Have to figure Georgia can win behind it’s experienced backfield...Joja’ 13 LSU 10

#12 Utah: IDLE (next @ New Mexico) (Guess we gotta’ shelve the concept boards for that “Strumpets of Salt Lake City” day-planner we were workin’ on!....See BYU-UNLV write-up below!)

#14 South Florida over LOUISVILLE giving 5: This one got “lock” consideration. Interesting line considering Cards lost only other Big East game this year by 5 to UConn at home, though these two do seem to trade ass-whuppings at their respective home parks. Bulls let Syracuse hang around for a half before blasting the Orange (uh...did we forget to note last week’s prediction that Syracuse could cover with a FG was meant for the first half????!!!! OK, not!) Cards at home for the 6th time in 7 games, but unless there’s a Louisville, Florida (see Sunday’s UCF-Tulsa breakdown below)...USF 35 Louisville 17

#15 TCU over Wyoming giving 32: TCU player had a tackling dummy with the BYU logo in team weight room since last year. The dummy had no sacks or tackles for loss, but did draw a personal foul for unnecessary roughness! Cowboys are 0-7 ATS and haven’t even come close to a cover. How they actually beat Ohio U. in the season opener is still a mystery...Froggies 45 Wy are we still playing? 7

Colorado over #16 MISSOURI taking 21 1/2: Tigers are in midst of 2-2 SU/1-3 swoon with back-to-back defeats by Texas and Oklahoma State. Buffs in 0-4 ATS slide themselves, but held on to an early eight-point lead to ease by K-State by 1. CU is now 3-12-1 against the number getting points away from Boulder. Buffaloes were embarrassed 55-10 last year at home. Mizzou beat Buffalo by 20 at home. Always a glutton for punishment, Vindy grabs the extra point-and-a-half...Tigers 38 Bison 19

#17 PITT over Rutgers giving 9 1/2: Panthers just 3-7-1 laying points at home in last 11 tries under Coach Wannstedt, but updating a nice stat from Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com, Pitt has now covered 34 of last 35 when winning outright with revenge. Knights victimized Pitt 20-16 in ‘07 in New Jersey. Pomegranite Paladins have scored more than 12 points only twice this year (three times if ya count game vs. I-AA Morgan State!) and have a fair-to-middlin’ rush defense. They’ll need more that to win or cover here...Pitt 28 Rutgers 10

#18 BYU over Unlv giving 23: Had the Coogs actually beaten TCU, or at least not been blown out, we woulda’ considered taking the points here. Rebels lost a must-win game to Air Force (but stayed close enough to kill Weber’s second parlay, wasting a cover by his lock pick, Ole Miss) in the final minutes and could be flat as a pancake. BYU recently revoked the diploma of a Vegas-based August graduate for producing a calendar featuring topless Mormons called “Men on a Mission” There goes Vindy’s calendar showing topless kickers, called “Punters of Provo”!... Cougars 42 UNLV 17

Eastern Michigan over #20 BALL STATE taking 24: EMU has one cover in six games so far (and how did they beat Bowling Green on the road??!!), but are scoring an average of 24 points per game in last three. Powerful Ball State offense got some R&R last week and Birds are 6-0 ATS to-date. BSU won handily last season 38-16 and have covered past three vs. EMU, but those spreads were only -4, -5 and +6. Much-improved Northern Illinois team, just one game behind Ball State in the MAC West, is up next...Redbirds 38 Eagles 16

Virginia over #21 GEORGIA TECH taking 11 1/2: 2008 version of the Cavs has more faces than Eve! Riding a 3-0 SU/ATS run, it’s a shame they waited this long to realize the season was really underway. Virginia is 0-2 (SU and ATS). We think the spread record changes for the better here. Behind the triple-option he ran until last year at Annapolis, Paul Johnson could potentially go undefeated or maybe 10-2 (with trips to Raleigh and Athens looming) and garner Coach of Da’ Year nominations. We don’t know what the 10-7 home win over I-AA Gardner-Webb was about...Bees 21 Cavs 17

NORTH CAROLINA over #23 Boston College giving 3: Collectively, this pair was minus-seven in turnover margin in their losses last week. If Tarheels are to stay close in their division and continue the ACC changing-of-the-guard, they need to win. BC probably should have lost to Virginia Tech last week...UNC 20 Eagles 16

Virginia Tech over #24 FLORIDA STATE taking 4 1/2: Just another installation of ACC’s revolving door of teams near the bottom of the rankings! Tech’s reeling a bit and generally doesn’t cover in games following Boston College, but Bowden-coached teams aren’t getting it done either. Injuns on Vindy’s Shoppe radar at 1-6 in their past seven forecast appearances going back to last year...VT 21 FSU 20

PURDUE over #25 Minnesota (PK): Boilermakers have yet to record a straight-up conference win this year and their only outright victories have come over I-AA Northern Colorado and Central Michigan, yet the line has moved from Gophers -2 to current “pick ‘em”, suggesting a lot of other folks out there agree with Vindy’s earlier assessment that Purdue could win out with a few fortunate bounces or calls. Choo-Choos have defeated Minny in seven of last eight. Gophers have covered only 1 of 9 spread tries vs. Purdue. Boilers have covered of two of three this year vs. ranked teams (and should’ve covered vs. Vindy’s Lions!)...Purdue 20 Gerbils 17

SUN. OCT. 26
#22 TULSA over Central Florida giving 22 1/2:
The top scoring team in the nation is...USC? Please. Oklahoma? Nope. Not even...Texas? Uh-uh. It’s... Tulsa! In fact, the Golden Hurricane puts up over 8 ppg more than the runner-up Longhorns (with an average TOP of just 28:22). UCF leans more on its defense (26 points per game allowed), but vs. top-notch teams, has really only shown up against other Sunshine State squads (losing by just 7 to South Florida and by 6 to Miami), so unless coaches can convince the Knights that the city across the bridge from St. Petersburg is Tulsa, not Tampa...Hurricane 44 UCF 20

Pundits aren’t sure which way JoePa the Plumber will actually cast his vote in a couple weeks, but noted Paterno did decline the opportunity to meet Bill Clinton during his visit to Happy Valley earlier this year to stump for Hillary (whose father and brother played ball at Penn State). Seems the former First Lady not only lied about coming under enemy fire when she visited Bosnia in the late 90's, she also made up a story about toting the rock against hostile linebackers and safeties upon arriving at Beaver Stadium!

BTW, the newest addition to the BCS formula is votes from the Super Delegates...which means, despite the actual rankings following the various conference championship tilts, the BCS Title game in January will pit a team from a red state vs. one from a blue state!

All six of the Weber Kid’s correct picks last week involved teams in the Top Ten, with only Vandy (then at #22) coming through (but the Commodores held the line vs. #10 Joja’!)

Correction department: We mistakenly wrote PSU would beat Michigan for the first time in nine tries. It was actually first time in ten!

Before blasting Mizzou last week, the Steers symbolically buried the hype of the upset over Oklahoma by literally burying that game ball. Vindicator wishes he had done likewise with Week Seven’s forecast!

The streets of Lancaster, California are being grooved to play the Lone Ranger theme song, AKA the William Tell Overture, when cars drive over it. In related news, the streets of Ann Arbor are being grooved to play tunes from the soundtrack of Titanic!

A recent medical study revealed Bee Gees classic Stayin’ Alive has the same rhythm as the famous CPR procedure, helping potential life-savers keep the correct pace. A Mallards coach, upon condition of anonymity, said Disco Duck helps Oregon QB Jeremiah Massoli with his timing and footwork!

Baylor paid students to retake SATs to bolster the school’s national average. Meanwhile, the NFL is considering paying bonuses to draft picks to retake the Wonderlic test to improve the league’s standings among the AFL, CFL and NFL Europe!

With the NFL taking its act to the U.K., Saints coach Sean Payton allegedly had some trouble explaining the premises of American football to the locals, including why absent Naw’lins RB Reggie Bush was not the illegitimate child of the currently-sitting U.S. president. London reporters, however, tried repeatedly to tell Payton “Bangers and Mash” was not really a pair of defensive ends who would be harassing his quarterback this weekend! Can’t wait to see video on You Tube of players doing end zone dances and spiking the football in front of the Buckingham Palace Guards!

Technical difficulties experienced by the Turner Broadcast System on Saturday night delayed live TVcoverage of the ALCS Game Six between Boston and Tampa Bay for the first 20 minutes of the contest. Meanwhile, Bill Belichick is considering suing ABC-ESPN after similar problems prevented the Pats coach from TiVoing the Broncos’ defensive signals during the first half of MNF’s New England-Denver game!

Who are those guys playing in the St. Louis unis and what did they do with the Rams???!!!

Black Shirt: The Black Shirt this week goes to Lions’ Pat Devlin, whose only catch of the game went for an 80-yard score with about two minutes left to give the alma mater the cover over Michigan, salvaging just one of six correct choices for your flabbergasted forecaster last week.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Vindy correctly tabbed the Hokies +2 ½ over BC selection as his “best guess for wish...” pick!

“Locked in a Box?”: A nice second-half surge by Ole Miss takes our “lock” record to 7-1 (.875)

Shoppe Talk: Red Raiders leave after picking up their first forecast W and Badgers aren’t on the Top 25 slate this week, but the Mormons of BYU are wiping their cleats on the welcome mat with three straight forecast losses and a 1-4 overall record!

Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-2 Season: 21-14-1 (.600)
ARMY -1 1/2 over Weeziana Tech, Rice +2 ½ over TULANE, NAVY -12 ½ over Southern Methodist, Michigan State -4 ½ over MICHIGAN, Middle Tennessee State +11 1/2 over MISSISSIPPI STATE, Troy -24 over NORTH TEXAS

Now if you’ll pardon the Sin City Soothsayer, he’s off to rehearse lines for his role in an upcoming Shakespeare production, sponsored by Coors....”Hark!...What light beer through yonder window breaks?!”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 8-2008


MADISON, Wisconsin (BBC)....Well-hidden from public view for the past few months and amidst rumors of poor-health and speculation his rogue nation had acquired Romulan cloaking-device technology, North Korean president Kim Il Jong II was spotted taking in the Badgers-Buckeyes game two Saturdays ago at Camp Randall. After panning the stadium section normally reserved for the suspended University of Wisconsin band and noticing the difference in uniform colors, a quick-thinking network cameraman tipped off the FBI to the location of the communist dictator, who was surrounded by several members of his military forces. In fact, the North Korean test-firing of short-range missiles, originally scheduled for October 7, was moved up at Jong’s request and took place at halftime to fill the void left by the Wisky band’s absence. However, the missiles, launched from midfield, fell way-short of their intended target, Maple Bluff Golf Course on the far side of Lake Mendota, and did minimal damage to a portion of the football venue vacated minutes before by fans heading for the concession stands as the whistle sounded at the intermission! U.S. satellite imagery confirmed the reported presence of the foreign leader, who, until then, had been more secretive than Mata Hari, James Bond and Batman combined!

Back in Sin City, the Weber Kid was agog as final scores started rolling in on the way to Week Seven’s 13-5 (62-54-1, .534) and admits he got a few good bounces as a few of his winning picks squeaked past the line. Still sporting the gold lame thong he borrowed from the Yankees’ Jason Giambi, who wore the silky, tiger-striped under-thing to break batting slumps, Vindicator steps up to the plate carrying a Marla Maples bat and tries to just make contact with...

(The difference is the pickability!)

#9 Brigham Young over TCU giving 1:
Both clubs sport 4-2 spread records for 2008 and both are respectively 1-2 ATS in their last three games. Mormons are suddenly winning on defense?!! Horny Toads offense went into hibernation last week with 6:52 left in the second quarter. Even on a short week, have to think BYU can cover a number this small, even on the MWC road. Toads are 1-5 SU in last six-pack of Thursday nighters (we feel their pain!)...Cougars 27 Frogs 17

FRI. OCT. 17
#15 BOISE STATE over Hawaii giving 25:
‘Bows have shown some life of late with back-to-back SU/ATS victories, but got 4 turnovers from Weeziana Tech to overcome 127 penalty yards last week. Broncos scored all 24 of their points last week in the second quarter at SoMiss. Boise’s covered both home fave chances this year and are now 19-6 in that role the last four-plus seasons. Only one of the Broncos 2008 opponents (Oregon at Eugene in an SU loss) have scored more than seven points...BSU 45 Rain-woes 10

SAT. OCT. 18
#1 TEXAS over #11 Missouri giving 6 1/2:
First meeting since UT pounded Mizzou 51-20 in 2005 at Columbia. We’re not convinced ‘Horns deserved the outright victory over Oklahoma given poor tackling and even poorer officiating, though we do admire the pretty catches made by the Texas receivers. Two words for success against the Steers...”middle-screen”, which the Sooners ran several times for big plays. In a de facto preview of the Big 12 championship game, it’s...Texas 34Tigers 24

Mississippi over #2 ALABAMA taking 13 1/2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Rebels draw Vindy’s straight doggie choice for “lock’...not solely on the basis of Florida upset, but rather on generally-improved all-around play this year and Tide’s ongoing strategy of field-position-over-offense philosophy. ‘Bama’s off a week of rest, but Ole Miss has lost the last three years to the Crimson Tide by a total of nine points and the Elephants are only 2-2 ATS laying double-digits this year (with two of those games coming at home)...Alabama 21 Rebels 13

#3 PENN STATE over Michigan giving 23 1/2: Lions look like they’ll finally beat Big Blew for the first time in 9 matches. Vin paid the price for his lack of faith in the Alma Mater last week. We won’t do that again here. Anticipating a loss in Michigan, John McCain has removed his ads from the Wolverine State and moved resources to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Maine. Oddly, having already won in Wisconsin and expecting a loss this week, UM is trying to pull out of Saturday’s game and schedule a road match vs. the I-AA Black Bears!... Nifty Lions 37 Michigan 10

#4 OKLAHOMA over #16 Kansas giving 19: For basically three quarters at the Red River Rivalry, Oklahoma was clearly the better team, though it did benefit from multiple missed tackles. Okies are still 4-1 against the line this year and covered both home chalk opportunities easily. Jayhawks struggled with the Bison before pulling away in the 4th Quarter and are last week’s safety (in which the CU QB ran backwards about five yards into his own end zone) away from mere 0-1-1 spread record vs. the Big 12 this year...Oklahoma 41 Kansas 19

#5 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Kentucky)

WASHINGTON STATE over #6 Southern Cal taking 42 1/2: Long year in Pullman and that’s before we mention the 170 penalty yards Wazzou absorbed in 66-13 loss to the Beavers. Nonetheless, Trojans committed five turnovers, but finished the ASU game just plus-one in that category and were lucky to cover, raising the PAC-10 spread record to 9-12 last two-plus seasons. Coogs have yielded more than 60 three times already, but Troy has hit the fifties just once. State’s 0-6 ATS, but we see this as replay of last week’s Idaho at Fresno tilt. Trip to Arizona up next for Troy... USC 48 Washington State 12

TEXAS A&M over #7 Texas Tech taking 21: Having covered both away games this season, Raiders are still just 7-12 the last 19 giving points on the road. Huskers nearly pulled the major upset by playing ball control and keeping possession nearly 21 more minutes than Tech last week. Aggies have scored less than 21 only once so far, but are yielding an average of 40 ppg over the past four. TTU has beaten the line 12 of last 14 vs. A&M, but while blasting the Aggies in Lubbock, games in College Station have been much, much closer...Red Raiders 35 A&M 24

#8 OKLAHOMA STATE over Baylor giving 16 1/2: Bears are improving, but still on 5-13 spread run vs. the rest of the conference, including just two of nine vs. the Cowboys. State managed the upset of Mizzou on defense, odd for a team more known for its prolific (and balanced) offense. Pokes have road game at Austin next, but we think they won’t let down and will go to 6-0 ATS here...OKSU 44 Baylor 20

#22 Vanderbilt over #10 GEORGIA taking 14 1/2: Joja’ also took advantage of a ball-control offense to keep the pigskin 25 more minutes than Tennessee, who, down big at the start of the second half, abandoned the run while netting 1 yard on 15 carries. Admirals are changing QBs to bolster a passing offense near the bottom of the national charts. Should be enough to rebound from first spread loss (and first SU defeat) last week...Dawgs 19 Vandy 14

#20 MICHIGAN STATE over #12 Ohio State taking 3 1/2: MSU’s Javon Ringer is 1st nationally in total rushing yardage and second in yards per game (at nearly 160 per match). Buckeyes have covered four of last five vs. the Spartans, but the conference spread record continues to fall annually and OSU’s only touchdown last week came on a blocked punt. They’ll need more than three-pointers to win here...Spartans 24 OSU 17

SOUTH CAROLINA over #13 Louisiana State taking 3 1/2: Gotta’ figure 30-point shellacking in the Swamp last week was a confidence-buster for Bengals freshman QB Lee, who tossed two for touchdowns (three if ya count the pick that went for a Gator six!). Gamehens are on a four-game SU win-streak and if Vindy was Steve Spurrier’s DC, he’d bring the house on the first five or six plays of Lee’s first offensive series, regardless of the yardage gained, just to send a message. Even after losing in Florida, Mitt Romney vowed to stay in the race earlier this year...kinda’ like LSU!...Pugilistic Poultry 24 Tigers 20

Colorado State over #14 UTAH taking 22: Utes no sure thing this year ATS and took advantage of five Wyoming turnovers (two for cores) and a blocked punt to cement Vindy’s correct spread selection. Rams have just a tie and four ATS losses vs. Utah, but have covered three outta’ four lined tilts in 2008 and hung tough to lose by just six to TCU despite three turnovers of their own. Utes haven’t covered either chance as home faves and just one of the three vs. the Mountain West this season...Utah 31 CSU 17

#17 Virginia Tech over BOSTON COLLEGE taking 2 1/2: Best guess for “wish I had it back” pick, but a previously-dormant Hokies team showed some moxie rallying to beat Nebraska then dropping North Carolina on the road.. Tech has not fared well against the line in games vs. the Eagles, going just 2-6 in last 8, but with letdown game vs. Western Kentucky outta’ the way, we’ll give VT a shot vs. BC team that’s posted two shutouts already (but Eagles gave up 31 to NC State)...Tech 17 BC 16

#18 North Carolina over VIRGINIA giving 5 1/2: Line looks reasonable given two consecutive outright victories by the Cavs. Where the hell was this Virginia team earlier this season??!!! Who’s the real team in this match-up this week?...Tarheels, who’ve increased average point scoring by 11 and reduced points-against by 4 from last season or Virginny squad that’s scored 31and 35, respectively, the past two weeks after averaging 10 ppg through the first four games?...La Brea 32 Cavaliers 20

Syracuse over #19 SOUTH FLORIDA taking 24: How long will the Orange will stick with Coach Robinson, who has led the ‘Cuse to a straight-up tally of 8-33. Syracuse has, however, posted back-to-covers, mainly behind its defense, after an 0-3 spread start (and was down only 1 to the Mounties at halftime last weekend). Bulls are just 1-4 ATS, though have covered last three vs. Syracuse. USF lost at home to Pitt by 6. ‘Cuse lost at home to the Panthers by just 10. Not sure we’ve seen enough to justify a nearly three-touchdown differential. Orange can cover with a FG...South Florida 24 ‘Cuse 3

#21 Wake Forest over MARYLAND giving 1: We considered this game for lock. This line shows a lot of respect for Terps team that lost at Middle Tennessee State and was blanked 31-0 at Virginia, who’s only win until then was a 16-0 home victory over I-AA Richmond. Box Turtles got a full week of rest, while Wake played last Thursday, so they got a couple extra days to prepare. Both sides squeaked by Clemson, though we credit Maryland for doing so on the ACC road. Maryland also beat now-ranked Cal, but we still prefer Deacons’ level of competition overall. Wake is 24-8 SU in last 32 games and winning this year on D....The Forest 13 Maryland 9

NAVY over #23 Pittsburgh taking 3: A Georgian sailor (the Eastern European variety, not the U.S, southern Bulldog variety) has been at sea recently on the USS Mason, undergoing training. In addition to naval issues, the sailor also got some reps with the triple-option offense and is expected to see at least one series in the Middies backfield this weekend vs. the Panthers. The Ensigns finished the 2007 season last in pass efficiency defense, but with wins at Wake Forest and at Air Force, we like...Navy 23 Pitt 19

#24 Ball State: IDLE (next vs. Eastern Michigan)

#25 California over ARIZONA giving 1 ½: ‘Cats lost a field-goal fest last week to Stanford despite a +3 turnover margin. ‘Zona 4-2 ATS, but Cal is 4-1, off a bye and frankly, we put more stock in Bears opening victory over Michigan State than UA’s win at hobbled UCLA...UC-Berkeley 24 Arizona 17

BTW, an unidentified concessionaire, hoping to get her 15 minutes of fame, said she had visual proof of Kim Il Jong actually buying a beer, bratwurst and Bucky Badger plush toy, on video, which she hopes to sell to the National Enquirer!

Officiating in the Longhorns-Sooners game was sooooooo bad (all together now...”How bad was it??!!”)...the officiating was so bad...that during a perfectly-executed Oklahoma punt, a fan in the stands wearing a red jersey tripped, hurting himself, and the Longhorns were flagged for running into the kicker!

Opening a couple weeks ago in Vegas at Mandalay Place was Minus 5, the first American ice lounge. The club’s ambient temperature is 23 degrees Fahrenheit and the bar, seats and cocktail-ware are all sculpted from blocks of ice. The Packers are reportedly renting the venue to host a “home game” this week vs. Da’ Colts!

Making its small screen debut this week on TNT...prosecutors and public defenders take turns holding the goalposts up just a few feet higher while their respective opposing clients attempt field goals and extra points to win their court cases on...”Raising the Crossbar”!

Honda is now the “official car” of the National Hockey League. Uh.... because hockey’s so popular in Japan???!! Anybody out there actually lookin’ forward to seeing Ichiro or Yao Ming lace-up the skates and tee one up from the blue line??!!!

Earlier this Spring, Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis pleaded guilty to reckless driving, as opposed to the initial DUI charge, based on a December incident in which he also answered Nature’s call (but avoided a public urination charge). Did he “shake off” his catcher? Was the arresting officer’s call “high” and “outside”?

Black Shirt: Our prestigious Black Shirt goes to the SoCal’s Fili Moala for blockin’ a pair of Sun Devils field goals, either of which woulda’ ruined the Trojans’ cover vs. Arizona State! And also up for “Shirt” consideration was the Ball State defense, which kept Western Kentucky off the scoreboard until under a minute remained in the game to bail out a struggling Cardinals offense!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Colorado taking 14 over Kansas. Vindy noted he had “no faith” in that pick and revisits his statement from earlier this season, noting he gets burned “every time he hops on the Buffaloes bandwagon”.

“Locked in a Box?”: Purdue didn’t even need to hit the scoreboard to post Vindy’s 6th “lock” win in 7 tries, but put up a FG vs. the Buckeyes anyway!

Shoppe Talk: We officially welcome (read: “stuff”) the Badgers (and their band!) this week at 1-5 and the Red Raiders at 0-4!

Vindy’s Week 8 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 17-12-1 (.586)
Air Force -4 ½ over UNLV, Mississippi State +8 over TENNESSEE, RICE -3 1/2 over Southern Miss, Oregon State -14 over WASHINGTON, San Jose State -2 1/2 over NEW MEXICO STATE, UL-LAFAYETTE -4 over Arkansas State

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vindy's Picks Week 7-2008


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN)....Tied, but tiring in the final twenty minutes of last week’s closely-fought Vice Presidential debate on national television with her opponent trying to play up-tempo, “America’s most-famous hockey mom” threw a vicious check, out of frustration, that sent Joe Biden crashing dangerously head-long into the plexi-glass plates surrounding his podium and got whistled for boarding on the play. During the two minutes Palin would spend in the penalty box before leaving the stage with a debate-misconduct , Biden would pull his own speech-writer from between the Democratic party pipes to get the extra attacker on and pepper the empty Republican podium with multiple shots during the man-advantage and finally sneaked the winning point in on the short-side and into the back of the net as several helpless Palin-camp staffers sprawled on the stage in the butterfly . MSNBC officials vowed to review the hit and could impose a fine on Palin, cutting into some of her campaign contribution money! The Republican running mate of John McCain later called Biden a “wuss” and said the Russians, against whom she said she had playing experience because she watched the Red Army team skate from across the Bering Strait via telescope, would “never have called a penalty on that play!”

Having gone well-past his normal shift, starting last Wednesday and surviving a 1-3 work-week record to finally achieve that elusive double-digit wins week, going 10-9 (49-49-1, .500), Vindicator’s just sucking wind and elects to merely ice the puck and await the results of ...

(Making da’ world a better pick at a time)

#21 WAKE FOREST over Clemson giving 2 1/2:
Both teams come in off bye weeks following tough upset in the case of Wake and in the case of Clemson, a defeat by a Maryland team, who as a Week Six best bet, humiliated the Vindicator by being shutout 31-0 at Virginia! Deacons’ SU loss to the Middies puts the home fave spread record at 4-11. Clemson won last year 44-10, but are 0-3 ATS in their three lined games in 2008. Off not one, but TWO (count’ em, TWO) Thursday night forecast losses, we give the nod to...WF 24 Tigers 14

SAT. OCT. 11
#5 Texas over #1 Oklahoma (@Dallas) taking 7:
There is no such thing as a “clear Number One” this time of the year and as good as the Sooners look currently, the key match-ups here will include the Longhorns’ O-line (which gave up 4sacks in last year’s 28-21 loss) vs. Oklahoma’s pass D and #5 Texas’ run defense (which has yet to yield a rushing TD) vs. Sooners’ RB (and local Vegas product) DeMarco Murray...Texas 24 Oklahoma 21

#2 Alabama: IDLE (next vs. Mississippi)

#17 Oklahoma State over #3 MISSOURI taking 13 ½: Given Tigers’ 35-point demolition of Nebraska, in Lincoln, this number suggests the lines-makers think the betting public thinks (and Vindy thinks) the potent Cowboys offense can draw Mizzou into a shootout. Tigers played a nearly-flawless game vs. turnovers, zero punts and a lone yellow hanky! The last two meetings (‘04 and ‘05) were decided by 3 and 7 points. Tigers have a trek to Austin up next...Missouri 37 OKSU 31

#11 FLORIDA over #4 Louisiana State giving 5: The Bengals have been resting on the lucky laurels that got ‘em by Auburn (“boosting” the SEC spread record to 7-17-4 the last three-plus seasons). Gators are now 13-7-1 ATS under Coach Meyer laying points at the Swamp, but lost 28-24 last year and are 1-2 SU (though 3-0 ATS) vs. State. Crocs are 4-1 against the line in ‘08, with two covers on the SEC road...UF 24 LSU 17

WISCONSIN over #6 Penn State taking 5: Arrrrrggghhh! We hate being in a position to have to pick against the Alma Mater. Lions are one of four teams without a spread loss in five lined games (Texas, Ball State and [gasp!] Vandy are the others), but did not look good in win [and cover] at Purdue, keeping a few Boilermaker drives going with untimely penalties and dodging some bullets via missed kicks (see “Black Shirt” in Between the Hashmarks later in this forecast) and questionable officiating. With Wisky’s outright defeat to Ohio State last week, what are the odds the Varmints will drop back-to-back home games?!! Badgers have blown half-time leads to rack up consecutive Big Ten losses...We are... Penn State 16 13

#7 TEXAS TECH over Nebraska giving 21: Vindy doesn’t have a warm-and-fuzzy with this pick. First away game after five-home game stand for Huskers, who sport 4-10 ATS record as road puppies the last four seasons. Almost as impressive is Tech’s 9-8-2 spread tally the last four-plus as home chalk. Raiders won most recent two...70-10 in 2004 and 34-31 in 2005.’s Homecoming in Lubbock!...”Air Raid” 45 Corn Cobs 21

#8 USC over Arizona State giving 26 1/2: Devils QB Rudy Carpenter was State’s best hope in this one...and he’s now questionable to play. Israeli scientists, this week, have figured out how to make the smell of roses better through genetics. Rose Bowl committee members hope they can make that aroma more attractive to the Trojans, who entered the campaign dreaming the post-season smell of Dolphins or at least stale oranges...USC 48 ASU 20

#9 BYU over New Mexico giving 23 ½: With cover vs. Wyoming, Coogs have covered 17 of last 25 Mountain West games, but up 34-0 in the 4th Quarter at Utah State, we just wanna’ know which...uh...upstanding citizen and er....sports capitalism entrepreneur....put in a call to the Mormons’ sideline to allow two TDs in a span of 4:30 that gave the dog cover to the Aggies last weekend! Lobos on a 3-1 spread run and 6-5 as road dogs, but lost by 42 at Tulsa earlier...BYU 44 New Mexico 17

Tennessee over #10 GEORGIA taking 13: Vols have been disappointing this year and struggled in 13-9 win over Northern Illinois. ‘Dawgs have stewed for an extra week over loss to ‘Bama and want revenge for 35-14 loss last season in Knoxville. UGA’s covered only 2 of last 7 giving double-digits...Joja’ 19 Rocky Top 9

Purdue over #12 OHIO STATE taking 19: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Looks like too many points to lay with Buckeyes team that squeaked by Wisconsin in a physical game. Boilermakers moved the ball well last week, with a little help from the Lions, but hurt themselves in the kicking game. Coach Tiller’s imminent retirement should continue to serve as motivation and Vindy thinks Purdue could win four (maybe even five) of its final six with a few breaks...OSU 23 Purdue 16

#13 Vanderbilt over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 2 ½: Commodores 5-0 SU and ATS and lay points for only the second time this season. Bulldogs come in off the bye week, but the break may hurt more than help since State had finally rediscovered the ability to score points in game at LSU before the intermission...Vandy 13 MSU 7

#14 Utah over WYOMING giving 23 ½: No shame in Utes’ narrow victory over seemingly-underrated Oregon State. Cowboys have failed to cover this year (0-5) and have scored a total of three points over its past three games. Only real question here is how many fingers Wyoming’s Coach Glenn will flash at Utah’s Coach Whittingham this year!...Utah 35 Wyoming 7

#15 Boise State over SOUTHERN MISS giving 12: Eagles are 3-2 ATS on the year but are still having problems with points-against. USM allowed an average of 5 more ppg last season than in ‘06 (24 per game) and are allowing 29.2 to-date this year. Boise is basically a crap-shoot when laying points on the road, but we’ll back a team that can win outright in Eugene, Oregon. A dozen looks do-able for... Boise State 31 USM 17

Colorado over #16 KANSAS taking 14: No faith in this pick either. Counting neutral site games/bowls, Buffs are just 2-9-1 ATS the last two-plus years away from Boulder, but Jayhawks just don’t seem to be the same bunch they were last year. With trip to Norman looming and having overcome a four-turnover-laced 20-point deficit to beat Iowa State late last week, Kansas isn’t gettin’ the respect from Vindicator this time...KU 24 Bison 17

#18 Virginia Tech: IDLE (next @ Boston College)

#19 South Florida: IDLE (next vs. Syracuse)

Arkansas over #20 AUBURN taking 19: We considered this for “lock”. Those who watched last Saturday morning’s College Gameday broadcast may have heard Kirk Herbstreit utter, “Vindy...I mean Vandy...could win this game (against Auburn)”. Freudian slip?? Karma??! Hmmm. Razorbacks haven’t logged a spread win and Auburn’s on an 0-5 run. In common foe comparison, we find Arkie beating UL-Monroe at home (OK, Little Rock, not Fayetteville, but still...) 28-27, while Aubie whacked those same Warhawks at home 34-0. Pigs have averaged just over 10 ppg through the past three matches this season, meaning Auburn needs about 30 to cover. Can the War Eagles even muster 19? The little voice in Vindy’s head is screamin’ ”Soooooooeeeyy Pig, Pig, Pig!”...Auburn 17 Arkansas 5

Notre Dame over #22 NORTH CAROLINA taking 7: We changed our initial choice here and frankly, we’d be happy with a push when it’s said and done. Irish are mediocre 9-9-1 against the line away from South Bend under Charlie Weis. Tarheels blocked three punts and got three more turnovers from the Huskies to win last week. Anybody else out there think the respective political primary schedules earlier this year kinda’ resembled Notre Dame’s football slate???!!!Trip to Maine, anybody??? No shocker here if ND pulls the upset, but we’ll just call it...UNC 24 Catholics 20

#23 Michigan State over NORTHWESTERN giving 2 ½: Wildcats have made significant strides on scoring defense, dropping from last season’s 31 ppg allowed to current 12.4 ppg allowed and have been nice 9-3 ATS as home dogs the last four-plus years. NW won the OT shootout 48-41 in 2007, but of Penn State’s remaining opponents this year, it’s Michigan State he fears the most...Spartans 19 NW 13

#24 Pittsburgh: IDLE (next @ Navy)

#25 Ball State over WESTERN KENTUCKY giving 16: On just 8 first-downs and around 13 flags for 113 penalty yards, the Hilltoppers kept Virginia Tech off the scoreboard in the 4th Quarter (in Blacksburg) and helped Vindy get his 10 forecast wins in Week Six. But Western KY could be beat up after five straight road games vs. I-A teams without a break and scored more than 13 only once in those five. Cardinals need to hit the thirties to cover. Not including the 48 they laid on I-AA Northeastern, they’re posting 38 per game...Birds 41 WKU 17

It’s been announced that The Lion King will replace Mamma Mia on stage here in Vegas following the end of the ABBA-based musical. Guess the success of the new show will depend on whether the “Lion King” in question is of the NCAA’s Nittany variety or the NFL’s Detroit variety!

JoePa was absent from the sideline this past week as a sore knee forced him into the coaches’ booth high above the field for the Purdue game. Seems Coach injured himself demonstrating the onside kick during practice in August. Apparently, the venerable coach not only made the appropriate kick, he also leapt high into the air among the “good-hands teams” from both sides and recovered the ball!

The Badgers get their suspended band back this week. Good thing was really weird watching the Buckeyes’ marching band run back-and-forth across the field between possessions and listening to it play Wisconsin’s fight song last week at half-time!

Red Sox hurler Dice-K was honored with a Japanese postage stamp earlier this year. Rumor has it that envelopes bearing the gyro-baller’s likeness move so quickly through the mail-sorting machines that they actually disappear temporarily, then re-appear on the other side.

Secretary of the Swedish Academy Horace Engdahl dissed American writers last week, noting, ”...Europe still is the center of the literary world...not the United States”. Your humble host wasn’t havin’ any of that crap and immediately faxed over a copy of Vindy’s Picks! Upon reviewing the material, Engdahl held his ground, but the remaining members of the panel that awards the Nobel prize for literature this week broke into a chant of “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”

In related news, the Pope has initiated a week-long reading marathon to boost popularity of the Bible. Coincidentally, the Weber Kid has kicked-off a similar fortnight event marathon to plug Vindy’s Picks!

Black Shirt: Your not-quite-omniscient narrator awards his weekly Black Shirt to Chris Summers, Lee Tiffin and Wes Bynum...kickers of Purdue, ‘Bama and Auburn, respectively, for botching multiple FGs and/or PATs that likely preserved covers by Penn State, Kentucky and Vanderbilt (also respectively)!

“Locked in a Box?”: OK...the Cowpokes made Vindicator sweat a bit, not scoring the covering TD until the final 1:48, but they came through vs. A&M, raising the lock record to 5-1 (.833).

Shoppe Talk: The Auburn War Eagles finally fall from their Shoppe perch with a forecast “W” by appropriately losing SU to Vandy (but the GPS bands on their tiny little feet give Vindy the ability to locate them quickly!). Moving into “watch” status...Wisconsin (1-4), Mizzou (with three straight forecast losses) and the Decoys of Oregon (also with the recent hat-trick of forecast “L”s!)

Vindy’s Week 7 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-2 Season: 15-9-1 (.625)
FRESNO STATE -32 1/2 over Idaho, Tulsa -25 over SMU, Temple +8 1/2 over CENTRAL MICHIGAN, Toledo +17 over MICHIGAN, ARMY -1over Eastern Michigan

Vindicator’s super-power of locating and using a losing best bet pick on a parlay, dormant during Week Five (musta’ been that red sun that found its way into Earth’s orbit), re-activated last week on full alert and cost Vin another winning two-team ticket (by half-a-freakin’-point!)