Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2009


BRIGANTINE INLET, New Jersey (Reuters)....Russian subs were recently spotted again off the East coast, as they were this past August, and were escorted to the Jersey shore by U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The Soviet sailors initially told officials they were simply filming a re-make of “20,000 Leagues under the Sea”, then later admitted they had heard T.O. was traded to Buffalo and entered U.S. waters seeking some autographs. In addition, the Kremlin issued a formal statement indicating the seamen were planning to take in a few Major League playoff games to determine if a Russian-born player could lead his team to the World Series....or what the media would dub “The Hunt for Mr. Red October”! The Communist sailors later defected, turning themselves over to bookies from the Atlantic City “consulate”, who offered them <>. The newly-freed submariners saluted their newfound freedom, shouting <<“Better ‘spread’ than ‘red’”>>, then broke into a rousing version of the Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk” before chowing down on a meal of pizza and saltwater taffy!

Vindy suffered his first losing outing, going 9-12-1 (41-34-1, 547) in Week Four. By the way, after meeting with the Russian leader in July, President Obama said he “looked Putin in the eye and I saw a reflection of JFK and....

(Now without 3G dead-zones)

Utah State over #20 BYU taking 24:
Coogs took out frustration of unbelievably bad loss to Florida State on the Rams, but were outdone in all statistical categories by Colorado State except rushing yardage and gave up 156 receiving yards to WR Tyson Liggett. USU lost by just 20 last season and though the Aggies are traveling on a short week, the distance is only 104 miles. State covered its first two road games this season, losing by 18 at Utah and just 8 at Texas A&M to bump its current ATS run to 6-0-1 and 16-8-2 over the past 2+ years (including an 11-5 spread record as a road dog). Will Coach Mendenhall care much about this one with trek to Sin City for a MWC game up next? Taking a few creative liberties with a June 09 Conan O’Brien joke...”In a recent speech, Benjamin Netanyahu called for the Palestinians to have their own state. Unfortunately, what the Israeli Prime Minister had in mind was...Utah State!” Aggies get the call in yet-another missionary melee...BYU 38 USU 17

#1 Florida:
IDLE (next @ Kentucky)

#2 Texas: IDLE (next vs. Colorado)

#3 Alabama over KENTUCKY giving 16 ½: Under Nick Saban, Tide is 5-3 laying points away from home and just 3-3 ATS facing teams from the SEC East. Kentucky mopped up the neutral gridiron with Miami-Ohio, but haven’t been impressive otherwise. ‘Bama travels to Oxford next week and QB McElroy ain’t Tim Tee-Shot, but... Alabama 34 KY 13

#18 (tie) GEORGIA over #4 Louisiana State giving 3: OK, ‘Dawgs have to actually cover a number here, but it’s a small one and Bengals appear ripe for a loss given near-misses at Washington and at Mississippi State, in which Tigers were +4 turnovers in narrow 4-point victory...Joja’ 23 LSU 17

UC-Davis @ #5 BOISE STATE: no line.

#6 Virginia Tech over DUKE giving 16 ½: Hokies ran for better than 5ypc vs. Miami and implemented the usual Beamer-Ball, scoring a TD on a punt return. Duke blasted Army on the Hudson, but that’s about it. Without blowout loss at Kansas earlier, Devils now have a lone cover in last ten vs. ranked teams and have scored 3, 14 and zippo the past three years against Tech....VT 37 Duke 13

#24 CAL over #7 Southern Cal taking 5: Can’t argue much with the line considering the Ducks limited Cal RB Jahvid Best to mere 55 yards rushing, but the Troy offense is struggling under direction of its freshman QB Barkley, as evidenced by almost 34-minute scoring drought vs. Wazzou following early 20-point 1st Quarter lead. Third road game in four weeks for USC, who will miss it’s leading scorer, RB Johnson, who is out after a freak weightlifting accident. We expect a low-scoring affair...USC 13 Bears 10

#17 MIAMI over #8 Oklahoma taking 7 ½: Status of Sooners’ Heisman Trophy candidate QB, Sam Bradford, for this one is unknown. Per Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com, Miami is 4-1 ATS following Virginia Tech, but three of those games resulted in SU losses at Joja’ Tech, Boston College and Maryland. Okie defense has posted consecutive shutouts vs. Tulsa and I-AA Idaho State and Tech held Jacory Harris to 150 yards and a pick, but Sooners are just 2-4 ATS in last 6 taking on other Top 25 teams...OK 24 ‘Canes 20

#9 Ohio State over INDIANA giving 17: We waffled on this choice. Buckeyes on 3-0 spread run and have back-to-back shutouts. Hoosiers 3-1 SU and have already matched last season’s win total, limiting three of four foes to 21 or less after yielding 42 points twice by this time last year. Best guess for “wish I had it back”, but we like the Ohio State to grab a few turnovers and keep Terrell Pryor on a short field...OSU 30 Indy 10

MIAMI-OHIO over #10 Cincinnati taking 29: Bearkats haven’t beaten anybody in the I-A ranks by this many since early October 2007. Redhawks (0-4 ATS) have been white-washed twice already to-date, but have to post a spread win at some point right? Why not in their first home game of 2009? Both teams will throw a lot. Cincy pass D is better, but not significantly...UC 34 Miami-Ohhhhhhhhh, noooooooooooooooo 7

#11 TCU over Southern Methodist giving 28: Toads get a home game sandwiched between last week’s winning visit to Clemson and next week’s trip to Air Force for the conference opener. Frogs outdid Clemson in everything but flags and punts to capture nice four-point win and keep the BCS buster talk alive. Ponies lost 48-7 last year, are currently 2-10 ATS on the non-conference road and barely got by I-AA Stephen F. Austin and UAB...TCU 42 SMU 10

UTEP over #12 Houston taking 16 ½: Upstart Cougars will find themselves swapping scores with UTEP squad ( whose only score vs. Texas was first quarter INT return) who lost 42-37 two years ago and 34-31 last season in El Paso. UTEP is crapshoot-worthy 8-8 ATS vs. rest of Conference USA the past two seasons (1-3 overall this year). Both teams are pass-heavy with average defenses...Houston 34 Miners 24

#13 IOWA over Arkansas State giving 21: Red Wolves coming off tough home loss to Troy. Hawkeyes took advantage of four turnovers by the Lions to get big road win and should face little resistance here...Iowa 33 ASU 7

#14 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next @ Texas A&M)

#15 Penn State over ILLINOIS giving 7: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Seven days after being nearly locked-against, Penn State gets Vindy’s vote for best call in one of just four games away from Happy Valley this season. Illini QB Juice Williams, a force last year, has been unable to carry his team by himself and Lions did lead Iowa for three quarters before special teams and QB Daryl Clark came unraveled. State responded to 2008's loss to Iowa by whacking (though not covering against) Indiana, who was +35...Alma Mater 27 Illinois 10

#16 OREGON over Washington State giving 32 ½: Ducks have put together two solids wins after stumblin’, bumblin’ and tumblin’ early on and have looked much more like the team everyone expected in Eugene. Cougars got a cover against floundering USC offense with six total points and smoke & mirrors...Decoys 51 Wazzou 13

#18 (tie) Kansas: IDLE (next vs. Iowa State)

#21 Mississippi over VANDERBILT giving 8: Rebels minor-upset loss to South Carolina coulda’ been worse as dropped passes and penalties plagued the Gamecocks in the red zone a few times. Admirals have covered 7 of 8, winning outright over Ole Miss 31-14 in ‘07 and 23-17 in ‘08 (behind a +4 turnover ratio). Third away tilt in four games for the Rebels...Mississippi 20 Vandy 10

#22 Michigan over MICHIGAN STATE taking 2: Wolverines have been living right in going 3-1 against the line this season behind a couple late comebacks, including last week over Indiana, who won all the categories except final score despite having a RB and WR both over 100 yards. Sparty lost at home to Central Michigan and dropped a pair of shootouts at Notre Dame and Wisconsin. UM wants to avenge last year’s 35-21 loss. They will...Big Blue 35 MSU 31

#23 Nebraska: IDLE (next @ Missouri 10/8)

#25 Georgia Tech over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 6: This got a long, hard look for lock pick. Bees did nice job playing keep-away from North Carolina, holding the ball for more than 42 minutes while having nearly two backs rush for over 100 yards each. ‘Jackets ripped State last year 38-7. The Bulldogs have improved 25 points since then???!!! MSU almost took out LSU, but we can’t see that kinda’ effort here...Tech 24 Miss State 14

“Unnnnnnderrrrr the boarrrrrrrdwalk, down by the seeeeeeeeeeeeeeaa.
On a blanket with Vin’s bookieeeeeeeeeeeeee...
is where I’lllllllllllllllllllllllll beee...”

Michael Vick was finally eligible to play a live down last week, but during his provisional reinstatement, he was prohibited from attending games of UDUB, UConn and Northern Illinois Huskies, or Joja’, Fresno State or Weeziana Tech Bulldogs. In fact, just to be safe, the Fightin’ Blue Hens of Delaware, Gamecocks of South Carolina and even the Rhode Island Terriers filed a temporary restraining order!

The NFL is allowing teams to trade-in older, salary-cap guzzling wide-outs whose best years are behind them in exchange for up to 4500 reception yards. It’s being called...”Catch for Clunkers!”

This week’s lunch-special.... “The Offside”. Side dishes are brought to the table before the main entree is delivered. The customer gets $5 off the bill and the waiter is forced to retake the order!

That stack of cash with the eyeballs on it???!!! That’s just the money the Weber Kid could be saving with GEICO. (Poor little fella. He’s probably been back there picking up blitzing linebackers all game.) ...”Vin always feeeeeeeeeels like...somebody’s waaaaaaaaaaaatchin’ hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmm!”

Black Shirt: The highly-coveted ebony tee goes to Houston QB Case Keenum for the 4-yard TD run with 49 seconds left that preserved a push against (GASP!)Texas Tech! The Cougar triggerman edged out Nitwit Lion QB Daryl Clark, whose three second-half INTs led to the rally that allowed Iowa to not only cover the spread, but also to beat the alma mater outright and Hawkeyes DL Adrian Clayborn, who blocked a PSU punt and returned it for a TD!

“Locked in a Box?”: Colorado State could not stay close enough to an angry bunch of Mormons, dropping the lock record to 2-2 (.500)

Shoppe Talk: Texas continues to graze at the Bar-V Ranch after chalking up a fourth straight forecast loss (0-4, .000). Hanging out in the gulf off the Shoppe coast are the Tropical Depressions of Miami at 0-3 (.000)! On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Joja’ ‘Dawgs, who’ve posted four forecast wins in as many tries!

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 8-8 (.500)
SYRACUSE +6 ½ over South Florida, IOWA STATE -3 over Kansas State, Tulsa -16 over RICE, Auburn +2 over TENNESSEE

Vindicator needs to go update his status on a well-known social-networking site that’s popular among sports-gamblers...Facebookie!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2009


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (UPI)...Just two weeks into its existence, Vindy’s B&B was caught“behind the line of sausage” (which is about to be added to the menu in the form of several foot-long pork links on an elongated plate) by officials from the Clark County Health District, who lowered the health department rating from “A” to “B” after issuing citations for ”Illegal Touching” or “Ineligible Line-Cook Downfield” upon discovering the one person on Vindy’s crew handling food who doesn’t have a valid “green card”! The Weber Kid got a few demerits too for “slime on the Gatorade bucket nozzles”. There was also some staff turnover in wake of the inspection as a waiter was cut after he drew multiple personal-foul calls for “roughing the cashier” and “late hit” after giving an extra shove to a patron who was already outta’ the restaurant! Adding insult to injury was an unexpected visit by Hell’s Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsey, who made such comments as “You call this a #$!&%@*!! pancake block???!!!! You’re !@@(^%#@!! bookie can make a better $!!#(#$@!” pancake block than this!!!”

Vindicator avoided the usual Week Three debauchery, going a harmless 10-10 (32-22, .592), but with 22 (count ‘em, 22!) games on tap this time, we’re feeling the need to change the pace by calling to the bench and trotting out Sarah Boyle, who lines up in the Wildcat to take the direct snap for...

(“Tailgate-tested, tailgate approved” [OK, it was Vindy’s own tailgate])

SOUTH CAROLINA over #4 Mississippi taking 3:
The Poultry opened 2007 with six straight-up wins in seven tries and five in seven last year (and coulda’ been 7-0 with a couple breaks). One of the Rebels four losses in ‘08 came vs. the Gamecocks. Carolina has beaten the line three times to-date this year (2-1 SU). Spurrier’s fielding a very young team this season, at least at the skill positions, but hey, it almost got by Joja’. We wouldn’t be totally shocked by an upset. In fact, let’s call it...Gamecocks 23 Ole Miss 21

#1 Florida over KENTUCKY giving 22:
First of four games away from the Swamp in six weeks for UF, who actually gets a rest after this one. Gators humiliated the Wildcats 63-5 last season, but while winning the last five outright, have also gone just 3-2 ATS. Kentucky returns just four defensive starters and is on 6-10 ATS slide against other SEC clubs, but has gone 7-4 ATS as a home dog. Tim Tea-Garden did not get a score thru the air for the first time in over two seasons. That’ll change here....Flu-rida? 44 Kentucky 20

Texas-El Paso over #2 TEXAS taking 36: ‘Horns won 42-13 in 2008. UTEP hosts upstart Houston next. Like Vindy’s alma mater, Texas has not been prone to crushing the competition, instead simply being satisfied with a victory. Being in the #2 hole affords the ‘Horns that mentality....Steers 40 Texas El-Pastrami 10

#3 ALABAMA over Arkansas giving 17 : Hogs have covered last three in Tuscaloosa, but are generally a 50-50 proposition vs. the conference. Razorbacks need to sure up the pass protection after yielding 46 sacks last year... Tide 27 Pigs 7

Iowa over #5 PENN STATE taking 9 1/2 : We almost “locked” Iowa here. Oddly, Lions have beaten the Hawkeyes just once in the past seven years. Iowa’s covered 4 of last 5 vs. State, including the only loss PSU would suffer in 2008. All four of Iowa’s losses came by 5 or less last season. Lions just 15-11 ATS giving points at Beaver stadium. Hawkeyes were Vindy’s darkhorse pick to win the Big Tenuous conference. Just win, baby!...Lions 13 Iowa 10

#6 California over OREGON giving 5 1/2: Bears have fired up the scoreboard for more than 50 twice already and covered last three tries vs. the Mallards. Decoys are 21-6 SU on the Pond and have a seeming “gimme” vs. Wazzou next, but Cal hosts USC after this one. Drakes have committed 8 turnovers through 3 games. Bears finished 2008 at +15 in turnover ratio and have bested the Ducks three years running...Berkeley 27 Oregon 20

#7 Louisiana State over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 13 1/2 : This got a brief look for lock. MSU floundering thru a 2-6 ATS spiral, but upset Vandy last week. Bengals are dismal facing the rest of the SEC, but have brought home the money in six of last seven against the Bulldogs, winning by an average of 42-6 (other than last year’s 10-point victory in Baton Rouge, laying 24). Safety and reliever for the Bengals national title baseball squad Chad Jones had two picks in win over the Ragin’ Cajuns. He also had 3 K’s and hit a batter!...LSU 24 MSU 7

#8 Boise State over BOWLING GREEN giving 17: Broncos had a pair of 100-yard rushers and two scoring plays of 60 or more yards in winning cover at Fresno, but themselves gave up three TD runs of 60+ to Ryan Matthews on his way to 234 yards on the ground. Falcons tend to be more pass-heavy. State won 20-7 last year but had Oregon on-deck at the time. Boise’s obviously already dispatched the Ducks. Bowling Green is 2-1 ATS and the one loss accounted Vindy’s only “best bet” in Week Three. Falcons have 7 covers in last 8 as home dogs, but other than this year’s opener vs. Troy, ya gotta’ go back to November 2003 to find last time Bee Gees were in that role...Boise 40 BGU 20

#9 Miami over #11 VIRGINIA TECH giving 2 ½ : Hokies lost 16-14 last year, but have 7 covers in 8 tries. Third ACC game already for Miami, who had been terrible ATS in conference play, but has two wins and covers this season. ‘Canes QB Jacory Harris has the hot hand. We’ll stay with the surging Pelicans...Miami 24 VT 17

#10 Oklahoma: IDLE (next @ Miami)

#12 USC over Washington State giving 46 : Wazzou entered the year on a 3-0 spread-win run, covering two hefty lines in losses and beating UDUB outright, getting about a touchdown. But unlike their Apple State brethren in Seattle, Coogs have shown no sign of improving on last year’s 2-11 SU campaign, losing by 26 at home to Stanford and by 18 to shaky Hawaii squad on neutral turf, before beating Southern Methadone OT last week. Troy visits Berkeley next week, but we think the Trojans regain some composure here....USC 48 Wazzou 0

Illinois over #13 OHIO STATE taking 14 : Last three years, the bouts between these two have been decided by 7, 7 and 10. Illini off a bye week and have just one winning SU season under Coach Zook. Turnover-margin could be the key for the Buckeyes with Illini losing 6 of 7 games last year in which they were -1 or -2 in turnovers. State now just 4-8 ATS laying points at the Shoe the past two-plus seasons. UI on 1-5 ATS slide back to 2008...OSU 29 Illini 17

#14 CINCINNATI over Fresno State giving 16 : We gave some solid consideration for lock here. Another tough outing for Fresno, who travels again after letting Boise pull away late to get the cover in Bulldogs’ 17-point loss. Wisconsin and Boise were both younger on at least one side of the ball than Fresno. Not so with the Bearkats. FSU West beat Rutgers last year on the Jersey Turnpike, but that Knights squad dropped its first five FBS games straight up...Cincy 38 Fresno 17

#15 Texas Christian over CLEMSON taking 2 : Tigers are 3-0 ATS this season, yet just 2-5 vs. non-conference teams the past two years. Toads are 8-5 ATS vs. non-conference and have only a pair of SU losses to BCS conference schools (Texas and Oklahoma). With BYU and Utah fallen, Frogs get to carry the Mountain Best banner toward a BCS bowl...Horny Toads 20 Tigers 17

Grambling @ #16 OKLAHOMA STATE: No line.

#17 HOUSTON over Texas Tech giving 1: First meeting in over a decade. Tech was 11-2 SU last year, but just 5-5-1 against the number (thus Vindy’s nightmare).Coogs got a bye following the upset of Oklahoma State and this has shootout written all over it. Hope Coach Sumlin isn’t still miffed over that whole “lock of da’ week” thing from Week Two!...Houston 45 The Boogie Man 42

#18 FLORIDA STATE over South Florida giving 14 1/2: Yeah, five BYU turnovers helped, but it seems the ‘Noles are done sulking over loss to Miami. Bulls’ season just took a major downturn with the loss of QB Matt Grothe. First challenge of the year for USF, who had beaten only a pair of double-A teams and Sun Belt’s Western Kentucky, who fell last week to I-AA Central Arkansas...Injuns 35 USF 16

Colorado State over #19 BYU taking 15 : LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Break up the Rams! On the strength of opening road upset over the Buffaloes, Colorado State has posted three wins, all as dogs, and lost a shootout to the Cougars last season. With BCS talk done, Coogs can get back to usual run to post-season berth in Sin City. State’s been a more reliable wager at home than away, but...Mormons 30 CSU 24

#20 KANSAS over Southern Miss giving 13 1/2 : Golden Eagles own three outright victories, but no spread wins this year. SoMiss went 3-1 ATS getting points on the road in 2008, but one of those came at Arkansas State and another came vs. very wobbly Auburn team. Jayhawks now 11-1 ATS as home faves. Duke actually led 7-0 midway thru the first quarter last week vs. KU. Unless Reesing goes down with an injury, two scores looks doable...Jayhawks 34 Eagles 17

Arizona State over #21 GEORGIA taking 12 1/2 : Where in the world did the vaunted Joja’ D go after holding Oklahoma State to 24 points???!!! ‘Dawgs and Hogs combined for 193 penalty yards, yet finished with a combined offensive yardage total over the 1K mark! Final totals on Georgia’s last two games have been 78 and 93! Sun Devils have averaged 44 ppg thru their first two (albeit vs. the C-listers). Track meet...Joja’ 35 ASU 33

GEORGIA TECH over #22 North Carolina giving 2 1/2 : Against Miami, the Bees D went quietly back to the hive in the second half for the second straight game. Tech 0-2 ATS thus far and haven’t covered last five vs. the ‘Heels (including last year’s 28-7 loss). Meanwhile, Carolina’s covered five straight vs. ranked teams, including three outright wins in ‘08. Somebody wanted the total to go “under 54" in the Tech-Miami game. The game finished at 50 courtesy of two missed Miami FGs and a procedure call that made the Jackets go for 1 instead of 2 following its own 4th Quarter score. Bees have gone 18-5 SU at home since start of 2006. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, twice...uh...won’t get fooled again (we think we heard a president say that once!). Fool me a third’s “Get the RAID”!...Wreck 19 UNC 13

#23 MICHIGAN over Indiana giving 20 1/2: Wolverines did not succumb to the letdown last week vs. EMU and appear to have the rushing game in fine form. Hoosiers have three victories in three tries this year (2-0 ATS) and could end up bowl-eligible by season’s end, but have gone 7-11 ATS as road doggies. Indy last faced Big Blue in 2006's 34-3 Michigan win in Bloomington and has exactly one winning SU season and one winning spread season this decade despite being nearly even in turnover ratio the past two years. Michigan had been on 11-4-1 spread run vs. the rest of the conference before last year’s 2-6...UM 38 UI 13

#24 Washington over STANFORD taking 7: Cardinal’s covered four of last five vs. UDUB and can relate to the post-USC-upset mode. Trees suffered a 38-36 home loss to TCU the week after dropping the Trojans in 2007. Stanford got the cover as a 6-point dog. How will the Sled Dogs handle their success going on the conference road? Steve Sarkisian has UDUB believing in itself....Huskies 23 Trees 20

#25 NEBRASKA over Louisiana-Lafayette giving 26 : Two turnovers killed the Huskers in last minute, one-point loss during the field-goal fest at Virginia Tech, but Children of the Corn should have no problem whacking their third Sun Belt foe in last four games....Big Red 41 UL-Lafayette 9

Checking out this week’s menu at the B&B, we find...A quad of dishes for the primadonnas in the family...”The Terrell Owens”, The Randy Moss”, “The Keyshawn Johnson” and the “Ocho Cinco”....all consisting of...hotdogs and whine! The All-Out Blitz”...the entire wait-staff brings everything they got to your table! And if you’re thirsty, try a nice, piping hot “Under the Salary Cappucino” (caution: this one may necessitate cutting or trading a person your table to keep it affordable!)

Following the Vols’ loss to the Gators, there was no auditory evidence of Lane Kiffin singing “Rocky Top”, though neighbors in Knoxville say it might have been the coach belting out the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” and select tunes from Rocky Horror Picture Show! (And we’re guessing mere 10-point victory didn’t exactly leave Urban Meyer crooning “We Will Rock You”!)

Bears LB Brian Urlacher has been lost for the season with an injury. Not to worry, Chicago signed Aretha Franklin’s presidential inauguration hat to a one-year contract! BTW, the headgear was credited with four tackles and half-a-sack in Bears’ 17-14 over the Steelers last Sunday!)!

Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Awards, noting the award should’ve gone to Beyonce, who was also nominated in the Best Female Video category for “Single Ladies”. Hey! We know that one. The lyrics go “If ya liked it, then ya shoulda’ put a Super Bowl ring on it.”, right???!!

This spring, the Dolphins renamed their home park to Landshark Stadium as part of the partnership with Jimmy Buffett. In related news, the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders have also gone SNL-retro and changed the monikers of their gridiron venues to Roseanne Roseannadanna Field and Coneheads Park, respectively (with the commensurate concessionaire motto of “consume mass quantities”!). Be sure to stop by the Samurai Deli for a Schwetty Wiener!

Michael Phelps: Part Three- Phelps passed up an August audience at the Vatican to reportedly rest up for an upcoming race. We think he simply backed out after learning the rendevous was to be with a pope, not a pipe! His teammates picked up his slack to win gold at the world championships in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Coulda’ been the hit he stopped to take in the final turn of his part of the relay...just a thought! In July, a medical marijuana facility in the City of Angels was ablaze in a big way. Upon hearing the news, Michael selflessly hopped a jet, flew across the country and dashed into the burning building to...uh... “look for folks trapped inside”! Come to think of did Ricky Williams! Following a comment made by the president related to bed-wetting over healthcare reform, Mike took up residence in our nation’s capitol because all he heard Obama say was “...going into September, everybody in Washington gets weed!”

Last week, Las Vegas Oscar Goodman let it be known he was considering a run for governor next year. Earlier, the Las Vegas mayor actually discussed the possibility with Jesse Ventura, who did so successfully running as “The Body”. We figure Hizzoner, a reputed former mob lawyer, will make a gubernatorial run campaigning as Oscar “Hide Da’ Body” Goodman! (OK, wrestling is a stretch as a “sport”. Work with me here!)

Black Shirt: goes this week to Oregon safety John Boyett for snaring an INT at his own 5-yard line to keep the final margin at 7, preserving a forecast W for Vindy.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: We’d like to rescind our pick of Joja’ Tech over Miami after noting Bees’ vulnerability to the big pass play and pass-catching prowess of ‘Canes WR Travis Benjamin.

“Locked in a Box?”: The Kansas Jayhawks hung enough points on Duke to bump the lock record to 2-1 (.667).

Shoppe Talk: The Cattle of Texas hang around with their third straight forecast loss. Joining them...the team they failed to cover against...(GASP!) Texas Tech (0-1, but now 2-11 back to last season!). We’re also getting a cloth calendar and stuffing the crap outta’ Thursday nights (1-3)!

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 5-7 (.417)
Rutgers -2 ½ MARYLAND, Buffalo +2 ½ over TEMPLE, Vanderbilt -8 over RICE, UL-Monroe +4 over FLA ATLANTIC

Until next week...”No shirt, no shoes, no spreads.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 3-2009


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (ITAR-Tass)...Apparently forgetting the fallout from his previous utterance of the phrase, President Obama let it be known he thought the Weber Kid “acted stupidly” selecting Oklahoma State, not only laying 15 ½ points, but also as his “lock of da’ week” selection over Houston, who upset the Cowboys this past weekend. Obama later said he could’ve “calibrated those words more carefully...again!” Vindy, in fact, was accused in many sectors of “conference-profiling” (C-USA). The White House subsequently conducted its second “beer-summit” since July. Vindy, the offended Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, the Commander-in-Chief and Vice President Joe Biden, who as former senator in Delaware, Vindy’s one time home, was there in support of the lambasted forecaster, knocked back a few brewskis. Observers of the event say Vindy got a tour of the White House as did Coach Sumlin, and the two adversaries got a little time alone together before Obama, taking advantage of his Windy City ties, led the group in an SNL-like toast to “Da’ Bears!” The President opted for Bud Light, while the Weber Kid “went all international on his NCAA butt” with a Schneider Weiss German wheat brew, but Sumlin settled for a near-beer because of “tomorrow’s 4:30 AM practice start time”! Vin mumbled “What a wuss.”, but as the Cougars O-line, also on-hand, closed in, our fab forecaster quickly retreated, noting “...Uh...What a wuss I am...for not being able to get up that early to go to the sportsbook!” There was no reported tension, yet no apologies were publicly offered.

The Sin City Soothsayer continued his decent start, going a nifty 13-6 (22-12, .647) in Week Two and hopes to avoid the traditional Week Three disaster by baffling the bookies again with parlor tricks and shiny baubles! By the way, Congressman Joe Wilson interrupted the aforementioned meeting by blurting out “You lie!” after Vindicator said illegal immigrants would not benefit directly from....


#14 Georgia Tech over #20 MIAMI taking 4:
Bees blew a second-quarter 24-zippo lead to miss the spread win vs. Clemson and hung the second Thursday night forecast L on Vindy on his three opportunities to-date. Tech yielded scoring passes of 63, 9 and 77 in the near SU loss. ‘Canes receiver Travis Benjamin racked up 128 yards and a TD in Labor Day win over FSU, who stopped at Miami’s goal line late... Tech 24 Miami 20.

#10 Boise State over FRESNO STATE giving 7 1/2:
Broncos are young on both sides of the ball, but seem to be carrying on the Boise State tradition. Not sure Bulldogs can keep up after tanking a 21-17 lead after three quarters at Wisconsin before falling in double-OT. Fresno quarterback Ryan Colburn threw for four scores, but also for three picks. FSU won SU seven times, but covered only twice in all of 2008...Broncos 20 FSU 10

#1 FLORIDA over Tennessee giving 29:
Vols new head coach Kiffin uttered some preseason falsehoods regarding Urban Meyer in an alleged effort to “excite” fans and alumni. Call us crazy, but we think the Gators are the last team ya wanna’ provide with bulletin board material. In its last visit to the Swamp, UT lost in a 59-20 beatdown led by Tim T-Square. Florida’s covered 11 of last 13 at home... Florida 52 Rocky Toppled 20

#2 TEXAS over Texas Tech giving 17 1/2: Uh....that screaming you hear is the result of recurring night terrors Vin has been experiencing following the onset of PTSD just a couple months ago, well-after last season’s trauma at the hands of the Red Raiders, who entered the bowls with just one forecast win in 10 tries. Tech pulled off the last minute stunner that would be only blemish on Steers’ record last season. Think the 'Horns didn’t circle this one???!!!...Steers 41 Raiders 20

WASHINGTON over #3 Southern Cal taking 20 1/2: Huskies were horrible 1-5 ATS last year as home dogs, but have shown some promise this season with close loss to LSU and 19-point win over Idaho. Sled Dogs may also get a few extra pointers from head coach Steve Sarkisian, who had previously been Trojans’ OC. Men of Troy not real impressive ATS vs. rest of PAC-10 last 3 years (10-16-1), have one cover in last four vs. UDUB and could be drained after tough last second victory at Da’ ‘Shoe....USC 31 UDUB 13

North Texas over #4 ALABAMA taking 35: Tide now 4-8 against the line laying points at home under Nick Saban. Alabama’s appealing NCAA penalties requiring forfeiture of 21 victories from 2005, 2006 and 2007 as the result of players using their scholarships to get free textbooks for other students (like that’s a bad thing?!). That’s still more 14 wins than North Texas had combined over that period! Mean Green hasn’t topped four ATS wins since grabbing 7 in 2004, but have a pair already this year with a victory over Ball State and an OT loss to Ohio....’Bama 38 North Texas 7

Southeast Louisiana @ #5 (tie) MISSISSIPPI: No line.

Temple over #5 (tie) PENN STATE taking 29: Owls 0-3 SU and ATS last three vs. the Lions and Temple’s only match this season resulted in outright loss to I-AA Villanova. Lions 0-fer-2 ATS thus far, allowing Akron and Syracuse to hang around long enough to beat the line. Playing possum for next week’s game vs. Iowa? Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea has been voted the next site for Earth’s largest telescope. The visual device will “see 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the earliest years of the universe.”...Hey, look....there’s Joe Pa as a freshman at Brown!!!! State hasn’t shown the killer instinct thus far...Lions 34 Owls 7

Florida State over #7 BYU taking 7 1/2: We recognize FCS Jacksonville State is led by a former LSU quarterback, but ‘Noles finally erased a 9-7 deficit with 35 seconds to play. State’s senior-heavy defense didn’t get it done vs. Miami and FSU may not hit the scoreboard against Coogs counterparts. Then again, Injuns could be over the post-loss-to-arch-rival funk and come to play....BYU 27 FSU 24

#8 California over MINNESOTA giving 12: Only four opponents scored fewer than 20 points vs. the Gophers last season. Orange scored exactly 20 and Air Force was held to 13 in Week Two. Minny on 4-2 run against the number when facing ranked teams. Cal recorded just it’s second ATS win laying double-digits vs. non-conference teams in nine tries, pounding Maryland in the opener. Bears would’ve been bigger faves this week, but half the first-string is on one of their three mandatory furlough days for this game and had to stay home!...Bears 34 Minny 13

Louisiana-Lafayette over #9 LSU taking 26: With missed cover at UDUB, Bengals on 1-4 ATS slide vs. non-conference teams and are also 0 for their last 3 vs. Fun Belt squads. Wonder if maybe State’s missing former troubled QB Ryan Perilloux, who led Jacksonville State to that near-upset of the Seminoles. Seriously run-heavy Ragin’ Cajuns, off 17-15 of Kansas State, could make it interesting long enough in I’m-Not-Quite-Dead-Yet Valley....LSU 31 UL-Lafayette 7

Toledo over #11 Ohio State taking 20 1/2 (@ Cleveland, OH): Buckeyes off the heartbreaking loss to USC after controlling most of the game and are just 2-3 ATS vs. MAC teams the past three seasons. Toledo bashed Colorado last week, forcing Buffs head coach Dan Hawkins to replace son, QB Cody Hawkins, with MLB relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins this week against Wyoming!...OSU 23 Rockets 6

#12 OKLAHOMA over Tulsa giving 16 1/2: Golden Hurricane won’t be an easy out here and covered its last trip to Norman (2005), but wasn’t playing its third consecutive road game at the time either. The offense and rush D have both improved under the tutelage of Todd Graham. BYU dominated TOP vs. Oklahoma, holding the ball for nearly an entire quarter more than the Sooners...and did so behind the passing game. Tulsa’s grabbed 7 covers in last 10 vs. non-CUSA clubs, but is also 4-7getting points away. Okies on 13-4-1 ATS run as home chalk....OK 34 Tulsa 14

#13 VIRGINIA TECH over #19 Nebraska giving 4: Huskers have looked good so far in trashing a pair of Datsun Belt cupcakes, but Hokies got battle-tested right outta’ the chute in loss to ‘Bama after leading the Tide through three quarters. Tech now 3-10 ATS in last Baker’s Dozen vs. non-conference, but a win gets it back in the title hunt and maybe garners back a little respect for ACC conference down on its luck this season...VT 20 Big Red 14

Texas State @ #15 TCU: No line.

#16 OKLAHOMA STATE over Rice giving 32: Second choice for “lock” despite getting burned last week. Hooters entered this year on 7-2 ATS run after racking up 10 straight up victories, but most of that offense is gone and it has shown in losses by 20 and 45 (0-2 ATS) thus far in 2009. Rice hasn’t covered against a Top 25 club since 2004 (and that was facing then-#23 UTEP). Even without the starting State QB, It’s “Smoke ‘Em if Ya Got ‘Em time in Stillwater with Cowpokes off the upset by Houston. ...Okie State 48 White Owls 10

#17 Cincinnati over OREGON STATE taking 1: You’d never know the Bearkats only brought back one defensive returning starter from last year’s bowl-win squad in light of just 15 points allowed to Rutgers and a FG to I-AA Southeast Mizzou State in romps over both teams. They’ll need that kind of effort to contain Beavers’ Rodgers brothers, each of whom scored a TD on UNLV. State, who returns only 3 stoppers itself, is 9-4 as a home fave the past three seasons. Cincy won 34-3 in 2007and has a single spread loss in last 8 tries against non-conference foes (that loss coming at Oklahoma in 2008)....Cincinnati 24 Beavers 20

OREGON over #18 Utah giving 4: Some have called Ducks QB Jeremiah Masoli “Tim Tebow West”,but ending the first half against the Broncos with five (count ‘em, FIVE!) three-and-outs does not speak well of a Mallards team expected to challenge USC in the PAC-10 this year, nor does squeaking by the Big Tenderfoot’s Purdue. Decoys are without the services of senior RB LeGarrette Blount after he went “Tom Cable” on a Boise State instigator post-game. It’s after Labor Day, so we’re just hopin’ the Ducks have the good fashion-sense to not wear the same white unis with feathers they sported in the opener! Utes off to slow (winning, but slow) start and this pair has combined to go 0-4 ATS. Somethin’ has to give...Quack Attack 27 Utah 13

#21 Houston: IDLE (next vs. Texas Tech)

#22 KANSAS over Duke giving 22: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Blue Devils rebounded nicely from opening loss to FCS Champion Richmond to belt Army on the road last week. Points-for went up and points-against went down in Coach Cutliffe’s first year. Duke is just 1-8 ATS in last 9 vs. ranked teams (last faced in 2007) and haven’t big this big a dog since mid-‘07, but has certinly lost by more than this since then. Jayhawks are 8-1 ATS vs. non-Big 12 opponents and will throw a whole lot more than Army did (the ground game’s pretty good too)...Kansas 33 Duke 7

#23 Georgia over ARKANSAS (PK): First meeting since Joja’s 23-20 win between the hedges in 2005. Smallish line suggests Dawgs may be headed for another early demise. Penalties and turnovers nearly cost ‘em the victory vs. South Carolina. A lot of sophomores will return to start in Bobby Petrino’s second season at the Hogs’ helm. Again, referencing Joja’s tendency to win SU and no points to cover here, we like....Joja’ 17 Razorbacks 13

East Carolina over #24 NORTH CAROLINA taking 7 1/2: ‘Heels were lucky to get by UConn in yet-another Carolina game decided by 5 or less and get Joja’ Tech next in ACC opener. Sixteen returning starters and a shipload of returning lettermen have turned in not-real-pirate-worthy results, easing past Appalachian State, then suffering a two-score loss at West Virginia after being giant-killers in 2008. ECU has a lotta’ senior starters and needs to start playing like it...UNC 21 Swashbucklers 18

Eastern Michigan over #25 MICHIGAN taking 24 1/2: This got a look for “lock” too. Is it just your omniscient oracle or has anybody else out there noted this year’s trend of the smaller, in-state rivals rising up to wreak havoc against the bigger division/conference? A very late rally by Big Blue over Notre Dame will keep the alumni off RichRod’s back for a bit, but can the Wolverines get up again to decisively whack the Eagles, who forced Northwestern to boot a 49-yard FG with 11 seconds left to survive? Michigan has already matched the two ATS wins it had all of 2008...Wolverines 27 EMU 10

The preceding beer-fest was sponsored by ...Dos Equis..”As the most-interesting man in the world, I don’t gamble on sports often. But when I do...I prefer... Vindy’s Picks. Stay thirsty for spread-wins, my friends!”

By the way, after flubbing the original attempt by speaking one word outta’ order, the president conducted a “do-over” of the Bears toast later that day in the White House Map Room in front of just Commissioner Goodell and a handful of reporters!

Speaking of summits, Obama participated in the “Three Amigos” summit in Guadalajara this summer...and why the president decided to meet with a trio of former Denver Broncos’ wide-receivers about issues in Mexico and Canada is anybody’s guess!

This week’s menu specials at Vindy’s Bet & Breakfast....Bet on how many total number of minutes it will take to make the meal today by ordering the “eggs over/under easy” or how ‘bout trying...“The Option”, for which the ordering customer, upon receipt of the meal, can 1) eat it himself 2) hand it off to another member of his party or 3) pitch it to another customer at a nearby table behind him! And regardless of the choice, it’s guaranteed to produce nothing but the runs!

Tennessee turned the ball over four times in last week’s SU home defeat to UCLA. Given the fact a bunch of players bailed on the team in the off-season, we wonder if the gaffes were mistakes or “mistakes” and if Kiffin might become this year’s Rich Rodriguez.

After knocking off San Diego 35-24 in the AFC Divisional playoff match last season, Troy Polamalu called Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau “the Marlon Brando of our team”. Guess that explains the horse’s head found by Chargers QB Phillip River under his sheets on the morning of that game!

In related news, John Madden will be a consultant to Roger Goodell. Said da’ Commish, “He made us an offer we couldn’t refuse”. Aha! We always suspected the Godfather was John Madden, not that Corleone guy! In light of recent swine flu concerns, the traditional French kiss on both cheeks was recently compared to the “kiss of death”. That explains why the bookies keep laying a smooch on each side of Vindy’s parlay card!

Phelps-Part Deux: Playing this week on Mike’s iPod....Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water! Seems the Olympic swimmer was just augmenting his Beijing gold with a little Acapulco Gold! Vindy’s spies leaked his new agents would be Cheech & Chong. He just may star in a remake of Dracula, who smokes a little of the “herb-superb” before killing his victims, called...”Vlad the Inhaler”. Rumor has it his next endorsement deal is for Baked Lay’s. We heard he took up competitive skateboarding after hearing they spend a lot of time with a half-pipe. Are there plans for a whole new “Be Like Mike” campaign for high school swimmers being photographed while holding bongs (because according to South Carolina police, there’s “no law against that” )! He’s already assured his fans he won’t be a “one-hit wonder”! Part Three next week!

More man-love for the little guys: I-AA James Madison (lost 38-35 in OT at Maryland), Jacksonville State (lost 19-9 at FSU after leading 9-7 in the 4th Quarter), Prairie View (lost 21-18 at New Mexico State) and New Hampshire (23-16 winner at Ball State).

Black Shirt: Goes to Gamecocks LB Eric Norwood, whose 35-yard INT return for TD would be the ATS-deciding score vs. Joja’ and a forecast win for Vindicator. Honorable mention to Trojans teammates K Jordan Congdon, who clanged a 44-yard attempt off the crossbar and P Billy O’Malley for missing a high snap in the end zone that led to safety (a collective 5-point turnaround that kept Ohio State in the game and landed Vindicator’s 13th and final forecast victory of the weekend).

“Locked in a Box?”: The record falls to 1-1 (.500) after the Cowboys fell at home to Houston.

Shoppe Talk: The Texas Longhorns officially open Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe this week after consecutive forecast losses! Stuffed Bevo burgers anyone? Anyone?!

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3Season: 2-6 (.250)
UCLA -12 over Kansas State, Bowling Green -3 over MARSHALL, Connecticut +10 over BAYLOR, Middle Tennessee State +6 ½ over MARYLAND

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2009


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (BBC)...
As professional football players start to take the field in earnest and fans enter stadiums around the country to watch games that count in the standings this week, a sign on the door of a small, local shop reads, “Welcome to Vindy’s Bet & Breakfast”. Nope, that’s not a typo. No overnight stays, but patrons can enjoy flapjacks and a cup of Frightenin’ Irish coffee or a tall glass of Syracuse Orange juice while placing their wagers each morning. Think IHOP with a sportsbook. Previewing some of the menu items, we note the 3rd-and-short stack, a blue plate full of pancake blocks, some Arkansas Sooooeeey Pigs-in-a-Blanket with a side of Cleveland Hash Browns and “The Belichick”...any number of dishes made from recipes illegally acquired from videotapes of chefs at other restaurants! Restaurant-goers can keep their options open with “The Peyton Manning” (the customer can change the order at the last minute after quickly looking over the staff in the kitchen!), but should beware of “The Audible” (the chef has the option to change your order just before the server brings it out to you after surveying the people at your table). Truly adventurous eaters can request “The Safety”...what the order really becomes after the original meal is fumbled by the cook in his own kitchen and he falls on it himself or kicks it out the back of the restaurant before anyone else takes possession (By the way, the cook then gets to make whatever he wants from his own 20-yard line without pressure from the receiving customer!). Vindicator said if all goes well with the new endeavor, he plans to campaign for an eventual spot on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” on the Food Network!

Following Week One’s 9-6 (.600) to kick-off the year, Vindy avoids having to go to detention and clap erasers. Meanwhile, principals around the Vegas Valley this week agreed that students not wanting to listen to Obama’s 18-minute “back-to-school” speech could move into the cafeteria, where they would participate in an alternative class assignment, do other homework or improve their vocabulary and literacy skills by reading.....

(shovel-ready and still awaiting stimulus funds)

#15 GEORGIA TECH over Clemson giving 5:
Seven of last ten between these squads have been decided by 10 or less (six of ‘em by 5 or fewer). OK, RB C.J. Spiller returns for Coach Sweeney’s first full campaign at the helm, but Tech’s won four of past five, going 3-2 ATS. Tigers gotta’ do something about last season’s overall minus-20 sack differential. Bees 24 Name That Bowden (oh wait...) 17

#1 FLORIDA over Troy giving 36:
Trojan defense made some nice strides last season stopping the run. Unfortunately, the offensive production fell too. UF has had little trouble covering vs. out-of-conference foes in the Swamp (or anywhere else for that matter), going 7-1 ATS in the last 8 and 16-4 against the line since 2004. Troy, as the flagship of the Sun Belt in recent seasons, is an inspirational 5-2 ATS vs. ranked teams over the last three seasons (but lost to a MAC to open 2009). Volunteers up next for UF, but we like...Crocs 52 Troy 10

#2 Texas over WYOMING giving 33 1/2: Sixteen starters return for the Cowpokes, but Wyoming is dismal 4-18-1 against the number the past two seasons, have new faces at head coach and offensive coordinator and have gone 0-fer-four ATS against the Top 25. ‘Horns allowed a meaningless TD to Weeziana-Monroe last week with about three minutes left to give up the backdoor cover. It ain’t that cold in Laramie yet...Steers 45 Wyoming 7

#8 OHIO STATE over #3 Southern Cal taking 7: As always, this week’s Game of Da’ Year. Troy embarrassed State in 35-3 rout last year at the Coliseum. USC is 11-1 ATS in last dozen facing non-PAC-10 opponents. Terrell Pryor showed good touch on most of his passes and for three-quarters, State always seemed to be one step away from blowing it open. SoCal will, however, field bigger and better tacklers on defense than Navy did and contrary to Weber’s Week One analysis, the Sailors did uncharacteristically turn the ball over three times to give more State additional touches on offense. The pressure will be on the USC true freshman QB in his first big game on the road on national TV. That might be enough for the Buckeyes to turn the tables. ESPN will be trying out a 3D broadcast of the game at theaters in LA, Dallas and Columbus. Nice. If it works out, you’ll eventually be able to experience being sacked by a defensive end, catching a bag of peanuts tossed by a vendor in the stands and having cheerleaders fall from the top of da’ pyramid into your lap while shaking their...uh...pom-poms...right in your own livingroom! Let’s hope one of the two teams doesn’t end up being one-dimensional...USC 29 OSU 24

Florida International over #4 ALABAMA taking 34: In Coach Mario Cristobal’s second outing, Golden Panthers beat the line in 8 outta’ 12 and have covered a five of last eight tries against Big Six clubs in the month of September. Might be a letdown spot and too much to ask from Tide facing rising , run-first FIU....’Bama 35 Florida International 7

#5 OKLAHOMA STATE over Houston giving 15 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Cougars D, never a strength to begin with, took a step backward in Kevin Sumlin’s first year, but the offensive production, almost always a positive aspect for the team, increased. State’s gotten the money in 9 of last 11as home chalk. Houston hadn’t squared off against a Top 25 team in over three seasons before meeting...and beating...then-#23 East Carolina (by 17 away) and then-#25 Tulsa at home (by [GASP!] 40!)...Cowboys 45 Coogs 20

#6 Mississippi: IDLE (next vs. SE Louisiana)

#7 PENN STATE over Syracuse giving 28 1/2: Lions won 55-13 last season at the Carrier Dome and ‘Cuse has one cover in six tries against ranked foes over the past two years. New Orange coach Doug Marrone came from the NFL. We know how well that transition works, don’t we??!! Former Blue Devil hoopster Greg Paulus managed to keep his team in the game despite a negative assist-to-turnover ratio by apparently hitting all ten of his free-throws in the OT loss to Minnesota! Happy Valley faithful breathed a sigh of relief after Obama recently reassured them that under his proposals for healthcare reform, he “wouldn’t pull da’ plug on JoePa”!...Lions 42 ‘Cuse 7

#9 Brigham Young over TULANE giving 17 1/2: After getting blasted by Tulsa, Green Wave is carrying a 2-8 spread-loss slide. Tulane is another club that floundered to 2-10 SU record in 2008 and gets starting RB Andre Anderson back from injury (Wave managed decent 4-3 ATS prior to losing him). Tulane brings the A-game for Top 25 opponents, covering last five tries over past three seasons. Coogs just 3-6 ATS vs. non-Mountain Best teams over past two years. Yeah, it’s a letdown spot for the Mormons, but BYU gets a chance to show-off that explosive offense this week...Cougars 40 Green Waifs 10

Eastern Washington @ #10 CAL: No line.

Vanderbilt over #11 LSU taking 14 1/2: Early conference match-up for these two. Bengals have been seriously ugly 8-22-4 ATS facing other SEC squads, while Commodores have been mighty respectable 17-5 getting points on the road and have 18 guys back from team that beat Boston College outright in a bowl last season. Tigers didn’t exactly put the big hurt we predicted on UDUB, yielding almost 500 yards of offense in the 8-point victory...LSU 27 Commodores 13

#12 BOISE STATE over Miami-Ohio giving 36 1/2: Broncos were sloppy, but got the win and the cover against an ineffective Oregon offense. Redhawks coming off opening whitewash loss to Kentucky following last season’s 2-10 disaster. Miami-O plays six of its first seven away. Ugghh!...BSU 48 Miami-Oh, nooooooo 3

Idaho State @ #13 OKLAHOMA: No line.

#14 VIRGINIA TECH over Marshall giving 20 ½: Herd has yet to post more than 4 spread wins in any of Coach Snyder’s four season’s at the helm (and more than four straight-up victories more than once). Marshall is horrible as a dog away from home coming off an SU win and not real impressive getting points on the road altogether (6-15 ATS). Hokies won’t be happy about yielding Tide rally to lose the opener...VT 27 Marshall 0

#16 Texas Christian over VIRGINIA giving 11: We looked at this for “lock”. Toads are down to four returning defensive starters after making seriously-good strides on that side of the ball in 2008, but have lotsa’ lettermen back to provide some depth. TCU was idle in Week One and Cavs have covered seven of last ten getting points at home. Cavs try to rebound on heels of 12-point loss to FCS club William & Mary. Froggies travel cross-country and struggle thru first quarter of first game, then it’s...TCU 28 Virginia 9

#17 Utah over SAN JOSE STATE giving 14: This got major consideration for “lock”. Utes were minus-2 in turnovers and got a fight from in-state rival Aggies. SJSU will open 0-3, but will be in decent shape for WAC play. Per Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com, Utah, who has a trip to Eugene on-deck, is 17-3 against the number after playing Utah State. Gotta’ figure opening game jitters are gone for Utah QB Terrence Cain and even if SJSU holds Utah to half what it granted USC and triples its own points-scored, it’s still...Utes 28 Sparse 9

MICHIGAN over #18 Notre Dame taking 3 1/2: Here’s this week’s “no faith” selection and another good candidate for “wish I had it back”. Wolverines just 5-13 ATS the past four-plus seasons vs. non-Big Tepid clubs. While RichRod gets 10 of 11 offensive starters back in his second year as coach, the newbie is....taking snaps under center! UM did hammer Western Michigan team in the opener, while the Catholics pitched the goose-egg vs. pretty good Reno offense. One of the Big Blew’s nine (count ‘em, NINE!) straight-up defeats in ‘08 came in South Bend. A little ball-security this year would go a long way in avenging that loss.... Leprechauns 13 Wolverines 10

CONNECTICUT over #19 North Carolina taking 5: We flipped-flopped a couple times on this one. Third-year head coach Davis gets to work with a seasoned defense, but has a whole new offensive backfield. Huskies just 2-4 ATS last six vs. ranked teams, but are solid 8-2 versus the line in home dog role. Tarheels won it 38-12 last season, laying 7 ½ (and belted Rutgers in NJ taking 6). Sled Dogs brought home Weber’s only “best bet” victory last week, though not decisively. One more thought...UNC was involved in six games decided by 5 or fewer last season...UNC 19 Dogs 16

#20 Miami: IDLE (next vs. Joja’ Tech 9/17)

South Carolina over #21 GEORGIA taking 7: Another early SEC pairing. Games have been decided by a TD or less in four of the last five years (with average margin of 4.25 points). Dawgs have won four of those outright, but covered just one. Joja’ owns one winning spread season in past five despite DD SU victories in six of last seven years. Gamehens have a winning spread season in last seven. Something has to give. Pick yer poison. Even though, the Wolfpack had a TD pass dropped in the end zone and another deflected late in loss to SC, we’ll take KFC and da’ points. BTW, Sandra Bullock in “All About Steve” took a backseat at the cinema to “Final Destination” over the Labor Day weekend. We’re thinking box-office gold coulda’ been raked-in had the title been “All About Steve Spurrier” (or for the UDUB fans out there, “All About Steve Sarkisian!”)!....’Dawgs 17 Poultry 13

Arkansas State over #22 NEBRASKA taking 23 ½: Senior-heavy Red Wolves won’t be intimidated by the Chitlins of the Corn having upset Big Twelve’s Texas A&M, 18-14, on the road last year and losing just 21-13 at then-#4 Texas in 2007...Not-Quite-Big-Enough Red 30 ASU 20

SE Missouri State @ #23 CINCINNATI: No line.

#24 Kansas over UTEP giving 11: Miners are a crapshoot ATS, but with just a dozen returnees last year, they missed a cover in Austin by just a field goal. The Weber Kid has a futures bet on the Jayhawks, led by senior QB Todd Reesing, to win the National Title at 150-1 (yes...we know that means beating Texas and Oklahoma, then likely knocking off one of those two again in the conference championship game just to get a shot. We ain’t oblivious, just aware of the fact that college pigskin happens!)...Kansas 31 UTEP 10

Bowling Green over #25 MISSOURI taking 18 1/2: Tigers got 110 more passing yards and two more turnovers than Illinois in 37-9 win with all other categories being mighty close. Falcons also coming off nice dog win by more than two scores over favored Troy and have covered twelve of last 15 road games. Not a lotta’ returning starters on the stop-squad, but a ton of ‘em are seniors..QB Sheehan has also been around and led the Bee Gees to an upset of then-#25 Pitt in the Keystone State last season’s debut...Mizzou 34 BG 20


And the Sylvester Stallone boxing fans on a diet who patronize Vindy’s fining dining establishment can order da’ “Rocky”, so they can “eat lightning...and crap thunda’” no extra charge!!!!

Yeah, Vindy had “quarterback scrambled eggs” too, but since the actual IHOP folks did the commercial with Eagles QB Donovan McNabb first, we’ll concede THAT one!

Let’s Hear It for Da’ “Little Guys” (FCS/I-AA squads that made da’ “big guys” reconsider their choices to schedule them this past week)...”YOU DA’ MEN”: Richmond 24-16 over DUKE (“Mr. Paulus...Mr. Greg the white courtesy phone!), Villanova 27-24 over TEMPLE and William & Mary 26-14 over VIRGINIA. “SERIOUS ACCOLADES” in light of: EAST CAROLINA 29-24 over Appalachian State (no shame in this one!), HAWAII 25-20 over Central Arkansas, INDIANA 19-13 over Eastern Kentucky, IOWA 17-16 over Northern Iowa (whom we know for hoops more than gridiron), KANSAS STATE 21-17 over UMass, MARSHALL 31-28 over Southern Illinois (see our reference to Northern Iowa above), SMU 31-23 over Stephen F. Austin (yep, free throws, not free safety!) and WYOMING 29-22 (yet-another team we associate more with hardwood than hard-count). Honorable-mention to...WEST VIRGINIA 33-20 over Liberty!

In addition, we salute the service academies for stellar performance last weekend....Army, getting points, beat Eastern Michigan 27-14 on the road, Air Force strafed FCS Nicholls State 72-0 and the Ensigns of Annapolis nearly netted a major upset over Ohio State in a 31-27 loss1

Vindy just missed an opening week perfect-score call as the Utes beat Utah State 35-17 (your fab forecaster said 34-17) and didn’t mss the Penn State-Akron tilt by much, calling 31-10 (31-7 actual)!

The NCAA is promoting pre-game exchange of handshakes. Florida State and Miami simply exchanged pre-game handcuffs on Labor Day!

In the “Sorry, no relation” department....some guy named Weber kicked five field goals and five XP for Arizona State...and earlier in the day led the Golden Gophers to the aforementioned victory in extra frames over Syracuse by throwing for 248 yards and a pick. (And while we’re at it....Kansas has a reserve QB named “Pick”. Yeah...THAT’S da’ guy Vindy wants slingin’ da’ rock!!!!

A June 09 ish of Sports Illustrated indicated Matt Leinart was training in mixed martial arts. Great. The first blitzing safety that puts Leinart on his back will experience the Arizona QB’s full-butterfly guard followed by a guillotine choke until he submits by tapping out! Matt won’t be leading his teammates outta’ the huddle...he’ll be leading them outta’ the Octagon!

Comcast viewers in Arizona caught 30 seconds of porn during the 4th quarter of last season’s Super Bowl. Steeler fans laying the points, to include your humble host, thought the two final-period touchdowns by Larry Fitzgerald were obscene enough! (But Vin is considering uploading half-a-minute of sex-on-film to his blog site just to expand the readership!).

This summer, the four major sports leagues filed and eventually won an injunction to prevent Delaware from implementing sports betting. Two thoughts...1) betting is allowed only on a parlay of at least 3 NFL games. So, we can plunk down a mortgage payment on da’ Raiders, Lions and Niners, but an attempt to drop a Jackson on any given individual side results in “security” launching said bettor thru a pane-glass window????!!! Wussies! 2) Industry-insiders say opponents of the sports-betting legislation have stirred-up a (Del State) Hornets’ nest and da’ First (Half) State ain’t goin’ down without a (University of Delaware) Fight(in’ Blue Hen!)!!!!!

Thoughts on Michael Phelps (Part One of a Three-Part Miniseries): In February, a pic of Phelps smoking a bong while visiting the University of South Carolina was published by British tabloid News of the World, causing sponsor Kellogg’s to dump him. Kelloggs did, however, donate the already pre-printed boxes to a food bank (thank goodness all that cereal wasn’t wasted...even if the guy pictured on the box was!), but passed up the opportunity to target an unusual market by putting Mike on their box of Rice Krispies with Smack, Crackhead and Puff. (BTW, Rice Krispies treats are handy when those attacks of the munchies occur...or so we’re told!). Fellow sponsor Rosetta Stoned stock increased as thousands bought the language software to learn how to utter a few words while holding in their smoke and how to say, “Dude, pass the roach” in various dialects. Phelps claimed he had water in his ears and thought someone at University of South Carolina offered to show him his “stroke”. Playing on his iPod right now? War’s “Why Can’t Weed Be Friends?”

Black Shirt: The highly-coveted ebony tee given to the individual(s) for most outstanding performance on Vindicator’s behalf the previous week goes to....the officiating crew that changed the momentum of the Ohio State-Navy tilt by not calling a blatant Middies face-mask penalty that would’ve extended a late Buckeyes drive into the red zone with State already leading 29-15 and could’ve cost Weber a forecast win and lock of da’ week pick! “Honorable Mention” to Crimson Tide RB Mark Ingram, who rushed for 150 yards and caught the spread-win-deciding 18-yard touchdown pass vs. Virginia Tech!

“Locked in a Box?”: Following last year’s 13-3 lock record, Vindy opens 1-0 behind the Ensigns’ near upset of Ohio State!

Shoppe Talk: Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe remains closed this week as last season’s forecast troublesome Red Raiders of Texas Tech (2-9 in 11 forecast appearances) and Wisky Badgers (1-7) did not enter the season ranked (but we’ll be watchin’!), while BYU (2-9) came through with the nice upset (despite Vindy’s Week One note that Coogs were “not BCS-busters”).

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 (OUCH!) Season: 1-3 (.250)
UAB -12 over Southern Methodist, Stanford +2 1/2 over WAKE FOREST, Ohio -3 over NORTH TEXAS, NAVY -7 ½ over Weeiziana Tech

Next week...more on (moron???!!) Mr. Phelps and a look at Vindicator’s expanded menu! (Meanwhile, it’s “no shirt, no shoes, no spreads!”)