Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2009


NEW YORK, New York (UPI)...After banning the Captain Morgan pose recently, it turns out the National Football League is not anti-alcohol, but anti-maritime. The discovery of a secret rule book at NFL headquarters has led to revelations about the league’s objections to all references to sea-faring things. Forbidden in any stadium or promotion of any team are references to Sinbad or Popeye, the showing of film clips of Johnny Depp in his role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Cap’n Crunch on the teams training tables and the playing of such songs as ”In the Navy” by the Village People, “Brick House” by the Commodores or “Muskrat Love” by the Captain & Tennille. The book even outlaws whistling the Old Spice theme tune. There were also plans to covertly pressure the Raiders and Buccaneers into changing their objectionable team monikers. One anonymous official said if current members of the Nautical Fuggheddaboutit League oversaw the Massachusetts Port Authority at the time, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria would’ve never landed on American shores!

A 2-0 record before Saturday’s games kicked off helped our hero overcome a pair of bad beats and propelled the pretentious prognosticator to 11-9 (128-102-1, .557) in Week 12. A local fisherman, while cleaning out his nets today, threw back an old tire, some license plates and a small chest full of gold doubloons, but held on to....

(Official picks of the Spanish Armada and the Harvard-Yale Regatta)

#3 Texas over TEXAS A&M giving 21:
Steers are in good shape at the #3 spot in the BCS and need to stay healthy for the Big 12 title game. UT has covered four of last five games in ‘09, but while points-scored has increased over the last three (35-47-51), points-allowed has also gone up (3-14-20). Aggies have covered 4 of last 5 vs. Texas in College Station and while having covered five of last six games this year, including easy SU win at Texas Tech, A&M has been clobbered by the better teams on its schedule. ‘Horns won 49-9 last year and recorded another blow- out in ‘03, but the games in-between have been decided by 13 or less. Colt McCoy logged almost 400 yards vs. Kansas. The Heisman trek continues... Cattle 41 A&M 17

FRI. NOV. 27
AUBURN over #2 Alabama taking 10:
Tigers have seven SU wins on the season and would love nothing more to register the eighth at the expense of Iron Bowl rival ‘Bama. We see this as another OSU-Michigan, with the favorite winning, but the dog taking home the moolah. Other than last year’s 36-zippo Tide win, the previous six years were won SU by Aubie, by 10 or fewer. Tigers in rare home dog spot and have covered 2 of the last three as such. Two of Auburn’s four defeats this year were by 21, while the other pair was by 7...Alabama 21 Auburn 12

#5 CINCINNATI over Illinois giving 20 ½: After last week’s bye, Tony Pike is expected to start this week at QB (following a couple of cameo appearances in which he came in deep on a couple drives vs. West Virginia and accounted for 14 of Cincy’s 24 points). Bearkats blew the cover in the game via an early lost fumble (first on the year) and a missed FG. Illini don’t have much to play for, while UC is trying to surpass TCU in the BCS poll. Illinois did not cover vs. Penn State or Ohio State. ‘Kats can bang the scoreboard...Cincy 38 Illinois 13

Nevada-Reno over #6 BOISE STATE taking 13 1/2: Broncos have kindly faltered when Vindy has previously predicted a spread loss. We’re hopin’ they oblige once again. State needs a big win (and probably unlikely outright losses by TCU and/or Cincinnati) to grab a BCS berth. BSU has 7 covers, a push and a loss in last 9 vs. Reno. Broncos giving up 4 more points per game than last year. Wolfpack has topped 50 in five games already and has three players over 1000 yards each, but has failed in its last 7 vs. ranked teams. Tater-Heads are just 6-5 ATS this year...BSU 38 UNR 33

#8 Pittsburgh over WEST VIRGINIA (PK): Panthers seem to finally have it all together and will counter Mounties’ RB Joel Devine with their own workhorse, RB Dion Lewis (129 ypg). Pitt’s only outright loss came surprisingly at NC State in late September. West Virginia looks to payback close 19-15 loss in last season’s edition of the Backyard Brawl...Pitt 24 WVU 20

SAT. NOV. 28
Florida State over #1 FLORIDA taking 24 1/2:
Earlier this summer, the NCAA Committee on Infractions responded to Florida State’s appeal of sanctions, but kept its answer classified, allowing the school 15 days to respond . Dick Cheney wasn’t responding to media calls and Nancy Pelosi said the CIA misled her on that too! Tebow played into the 3rd Quarter of rout vs. FIU before giving way to his back-up, Brantley. How long will he go this week with SEC title game next? Gators have won each of the last two years by at least 30...Crocs 38 ‘Noles 16

#4 TCU over New Mexico giving 44 1/2: Almost locked the Amphibians for a second straight week. Toads covered and landed Vindy’s first lock win in five tries last week, but need to take it up a notch to hold paper-thin lead over Cincinnati in the BCS rankings. In September, the FDA verified that remains found in a can of Diet Pepsi belonged to a frog or a toad....and officials in Ft. Worth still ain’t talkin’ ...TCU 54 Low-bos 6

#7 GEORGIA TECH over Georgia giving 7: Rested Bees are looking to post their first 11-win season since 1990's National Co-Champion squad, while ‘Dawgs, who wasted a 20-7 halftime lead and lost by 7 to Kentucky last week, are potentially going to have worst SU win total since 1996's 5-6 campaign that was led by Mike Bobo at QB. Joja’ has three covers in ten games on the year and this is only the second time in six seasons that UGA isn’t ranked for this match-up...GT 28 Georgia 7

#9 Ohio State: IDLE (next...da’ Rose Bowl)

#10 Oregon: IDLE (next vs. Oregon State 12/3)

#11 Oklahoma State over OKLAHOMA taking 9 1/2: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. QB Zac Robinson is expected to return from the injury that knocked him outta’ Texas Tech game and start the 2009 Bedlam. Even if he doesn’t or can’t go the distance, 3rd stringer Brandon Weeden can keep the pressure on the Sooners D. OU will start a new center this week. That’s got “botched snap” written all over it. Shootout that should give State its first Bedlam cover in five years and its first outright victory since 2002...Cowpokes 34 Sooners 31

#12 Penn State: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls)

#13 Iowa: IDLE (next...da’ Bowls)

#14 Virginia Tech over VIRGINIA giving 15 1/2: Hokies haven’t beaten the Cavs by this many since 2006, but are on 3-0 SU/ATS run since losing to North Carolina, giving up a total of 22 points in those tilts. Tech RB Williams went for 120 rushing yards and three scores, with WR Boykin pitching in 164 yards on 6 catches. Virginia won’t be able to throw effectively vs. stout VT pass defense if it gets down early...Tech 28 Cavs 10

#15 Clemson over SOUTH CAROLINA giving 3: Gamehens got a much-needed bye last week following 10-point loss to Florida and are floundering in 2-4 ATS skid after opening 4-0. Tigers won 31-14 at home in ‘08, but won only 13-9 and 23-21 the past two visits to Columbia. Clemson building a head of steam as it rolls into the ACC Championship game next week having won six straight following defeat by the Terps. Can Steve Spurrier gameplan for CJ Spiller? (We are, however, rather puzzled by Tigers’ sudden lack of scoring, taking a 13-point lead into the 4th Quarter vs. Virginia, who had 21 points of their own. Did Cavs defense suddenly come to play? Did Clemson elect to put the game in the hands of its own D? Did someone in Vegas make a phone call to the sideline?). It’s a rivalry, so Clemson won’t be looking ahead...Clemson 20 Poultry 13

#16 Oregon State: IDLE (next @ Oregon 12/3)

Arkansas over #17 LSU taking 3 1/2: No faith in the Tigers since they can’t seem to get out of their own way of late, losing two of three SU and scraping by Weeziana Tech. Hogs take their busload of super sophomores and their scoring machine (48.5 ppg over last four) into Not-Quite-Dead-Yet Valley...and win for the second straight season (Pigs took it 31-30 in 2008)...Arkansas 27 LSU 24

#22 Utah over #18 BYU taking 7 1/2: Coogs got four uncharacteristic turnovers from Air Force, making your humble host look like a Nostradamic ninny for tagging the Flyboys as his upset pick of da’ week. Winner is likely off to Sin City for the post-season and the key match-up should be Max Hall’s passing (300 yards per game) against Utah’s pass defense (100 yards per game). Utes won 48-24 last season and have permitted just two opponents to score more than 17 (Oregon and TCU, both on the road)...BYU 20 Utah 17

#19 Miami over SOUTH FLORIDA giving 6: We looked at this for lock status. Okay, this pits a bunch of former Sunshine State high school teammates (and rivals) against each other, but again, we reference USF’s resume. Yes, they’ve won 7 of 10 games straight-up to-date, but have just a lone cover in last five. ‘Canes did give up 300 passing yards to Duke, but it was a 73-yard INT return for TD by Miami that kept Devils’ defeat closer to three touchdowns than to mere 4 points. As long as Jacory Harris doesn’t toss a couple to the guys in the wrong-colored unis...Miami 27 USF 17

MISSISSIPPI STATE over #20 Mississippi taking 8: Rebels stole one last week. Bulldogs’ strength is the defense. We’re hopin’ to see the one that helped State lose by 10 vs. Florida, not the one that helped ‘Bama win by 28. Rebels 2-2 SU/ATS on the road this year, losing at South Carolina and at Auburn. Bulldogs have the running game to burn the clock even if they don’t score often. We wouldn’t be surprised by an upset, but let’s just say...Ole Miss 13 MSU 9

#21 California: IDLE (next @ Washington 12/5)

#23 North Carolina over NC STATE giving 6: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wolfpack won this one 41-13 in 2008, but are 2-6-1 ATS this season and were crushed at home by Duke and Clemson. ‘Heels currently on nice 4-0 SU/ATS run that includes victories vs. Miami and at Virginia Tech, both of whom were ranked. Tarheels’ defense is on par with, if not better than, Virginia Tech’s, in most categories. Hokies got 4 turnovers from State last week, holding the Wolfpack below 20 points for first time since opening 7-3 loss to South Carolina....UNC 27 NC State 13

Ucla over #24 USC taking 13: We ain’t crushed about USC’s conference dynasty finally tumblin’ down. Trojans have had the extra week to think about thrashing by Stanford. Bruins are 3-5 ATS vs. the PAC-10 this season, but 3-1 the last 4. Rick Neuheisel already has two more wins than he had all last year when he took over UCLA and has his team bowl-eligible. Bruins have covered the last three vs. USC, but only SU win in last 10 years came in 2006 at UCLA...Southern Cal 23 UCLA 12

Rice over #25 HOUSTON taking 29 ½: Another cross-town rivalry like USC-UCLA above. The Owls, who’ve had a down year after doing good things in ‘08, have four covers in five tries vs. the Coogs, including last year’s 56-42 win and 56-48 loss in ‘07. Rice finally showing some oomph, winning back-to-back games and losing by just 3 at SMU after the first eight matches of 2009 saw the Hooters on the wrong end of an average margin of 46-15... Houston 48 Rice 24


BTW, draft-eligible players from the Navy Midshipmen and the Vandy Commodores are planning to boycott the NFL Combine this Spring.

Gator fans are expected to wear eye black, with or without messages, in honor of Tim Tebow, known for sporting bible verses on his, during Saturday’s Florida State game. Vindy plans to don the facial accouterment bearing the words “Love Boat” during Sunday’s trip to the sportsbook, just to spite the NFL!

In reporting on Sarah Palin’s recent book-signing, Fox News said the ex-vice presidential candidate was “continuing to draw huge crowds”, showing “live” video of the alleged crowds. Unfortunately, the film in question was actually from her campaign more than a year ago. In a related story, Fox blew it again last week, showing a game reel of Michigan’s last victory over the Buckeyes in 2003, while in fact State was beating the Wolverines on Saturday.

On the big screen, an adaptation of a book by Maurice Sendak in which a young boy named Max escapes a disappointing home life and finds himself in the middle of a trademark Miami Dolphins offensive formation in...”Where the Wildcat Things Are”. (In related news, Vin grabs bottle of whiskey and draws up X’s and O’s to run the Wild Turkey formation!)

A judge threatened to let Cincy QB Nick Collaros spend a little post-season time in the pokey if he didn’t finish a court-ordered program after flashing a fake ID at a bar near the UC campus. The ID looked so authentic, defenders on the Bearkats scout team tackled a cardboard cutout with the card glued to it while Collaros himself lined up unnoticed at wide receiver during practice last week.

Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini has levied charges of faking injury (which he has since recanted) against the Detroit Lions late in last Sunday’s game, won barely by Detroit. Uhhhh....Cleveland squandered a 27-6 lead, so we’re thinking the Browns were faking being a pro football team!

After hobbling thru mid-season, Vindy’s preferred picks (lock choices and best bests) have gone a collective 8-3 the past two weeks.

Black Shirt: goes this week to Connecticut Huskies RB Andre Dixon, whose 4-yard touchdown run in 2OT gave UConn the upset victory over Notre Dame and Vindy one of his Week Twelve best bet wins.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Vindy wishes he’d put a little more confidence in Virginia’s ability to lose by less than three touchdowns over the past three years following the Cavs’ cover at Clemson.

“Locked in a Box?”: The Horny Toads of TCU stop the bleeding and raise the record to 5-7 (.417)

Shoppe Talk: The Miami Hurricanes remain off the coast and below the radar and the Weeziana State Tigers get a weekend pass for shoulda’-been win over Ole Miss, but the OSU Buckeyes have now dropped nine forecast picks in the past 10 appearances!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-1 Season: 25-27 (.481)
Central Florida -3 over ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM, Southern Methodist -17 ½ over TULANE, Washington State +24 1/2 over WASHINGTON, Navy -9 over HAWAII

Now if you’ll excuse the Weber Kid, he’s off to do some holiday shoppin’ at one of his favorite stores...Tays-R-Us!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2009


MANHATTAN, New York (ITAR-Tass)....As Bernie Madoff’s estate continues to get sold off this month, noted items up for bid include a boogie board bearing the disgraced investor’s name, a baseball mitt, a Wayne Gretsky action figure and....copies of Vindy’s Picks! In a twist of fate, the Ponzi scheme felon who bilked investors out of billions, was himself taken to the cleaners as recently-discovered records indicate Madoff gambled away tons of money wagering on Vindy’s 2009 lock of the week choices and his best bet selections, which have combined to go just 25-33 (and falling). As his thirst for the outrageous spiraled out of control, an opportunistic bookie duped Madoff into believing he was betting with the advice of nationally-known touts such as Phil Steele, Jim Feist and Marc Lawrence. The soon-to-be jailbird even went so far as to wear an exorbitant replica chronograph watch, used by German POWs to time prison patrols for possible escape attempts, to ensure he placed his already-doomed bets by kickoff!

The Sin City Soothsayer posted just his second losing effort on the season in Week Eleven, going 9-13 (117-93-1, .557) and pulled a Mike Singletary by dropping trou in the locker room in an effort to get his assistant prognosticators to focus on....


Colorado over #12 OKLAHOMA STATE taking 17 ½:
Bisons’ rushing defense has gotten worse each year since Dan Hawkins took over as coach (allowing 4.4 ypc last season and currently around 4.1 ypc this year). Not good news against Oklahoma State team running for better than 200 yards per game. CU just playing out the string, having only three outright wins. State defense had three INTs last week to turn away Texas Tech. Six of Colorado’s 10 foes have put up at least 30, while the Buffs have scored in the teens or less in three of last four. Still, Cowpokes can be streaky and yield more points than expected...OKSU 33 Colorado 18

FRI. NOV. 20
#6 Boise State over UTAH STATE giving 23:
Okay, both of Boise’s ATS defeats came on the road and Utah State is 7-2 ATS on the year, including covers at in-state rivals BYU and Utah. “In-state rivals” may be the key words here. Aggies boast nice 15-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but have also given up 26 sacks. Boise’s QB Kellen Moore has a 32-3 ratio. USU is 21-10-2 ATS in last 33 overall games, but we just can’t pass up the Broncos right now....BSU 48 USU 20

SAT. NOV. 21
Florida International over #1 FLORIDA taking 45:
FIU covered smaller lines at ‘Bama and at Rutgers. Crocs, en route to 9-0 ATS run as double-digit faves vs. non-conference teams, blew out Troy 56-6. In May, the Dalai Lama donated $100K to Florida International after getting a letter from a friend on the FIU staff requesting assistance. Officials quickly dumped the contribution into the financially-strapped Department of Religious Studies, but the religious leader quickly responded, saying “No, no, NO! That money goes toward scholarships for the Panthers gridiron team!”...Florida 48 FIU 6

Tennessee-Chattanooga @ #2 ALABAMA: No line.

#3 TEXAS over Kansas giving 27 1/2: KU’s pass offense behind Todd Reesing hangs around the nation’s Top 10 and the Jayhawks ain’t bad in total offense either, but those positives did not translate into a BCS title shot as Vindy (and folks in Lawrence) hoped. Steers allowing less than 100 passing yards per game, have covered 6 of latest 7 in this series and won 35-7 last year. Kansas still seeking an elusive sixth win toward the post-season...UT 45 KU 14

#4 Texas Christian over WYOMING giving 32: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Cowboys’ only spread losses in 9 lined tilts came in shutouts at Colorado and BYU. Wyoming’s been whitewashed in two of its last three, somehow rallying last week at SDSU from a three-touchdown deficit. Toads left no doubt they’re on a mission by annihilating Utah. Wyoming is near the bottom of the conference in most offensive categories and fair-to-middlin’ defensively...Frozen Frogs 42 Wyoming 7

#5 Cincinnati: IDLE (next vs. Illinois 11/27)

#7 Georgia Tech: IDLE (next vs. Georgia)

#8 Pittsburgh: IDLE (next @ West Virginia 11/27)

#9 Ohio State over MICHIGAN giving 12: Big Blew’s on 1-6 ATS skid and only outright win in past seven games came at the expense of Vindy’s first college venue, I-AA Delaware State. Buckeyes, already locked into the Rose Bowl, could be flat. Then again, they may want embarrass freshman QB Forcier in his first taste of this rivalry and rub a little salt in the gaping Wolverine wounds. Bruce Springsteen mistakenly greeted his recent Michigan concert audience with “Hello, Ohio!” and uttered a few more references to that state to the East before being advised of his boo-boo. Motor City’s Ted Nugent plans revenge by going into Bruce’s hometown of Asbury Park, NJ and opening with “How ya doin’, Philadelphia!”...OSU 27 Michigan 10

#10 Louisiana State over MISSISSIPPI taking 4: Bengals still struggling to cover vs. SEC squads, but got the shaft in ‘Bama game. The switch at QB to former starter Jarrett Lee did not go overly-well in mere 8-point home win over Weeziana Tech, but while the last 3 games between the Bengals and Rebels in Baton Rouge have been decided by 3 or less, Tigers belted Ole Miss in Oxford by 17 in 2007 and by 33 in 2005. All things considered, Fightin’ Magnolias’ best win might actually have been the 30-17 triumph over Arkansas rather than 25-point victory vs. Rocky Top in Week Eleven. If State can put the same D on the field that stymied the Tide most of the game, they’ll win here...LSU 16 Mississippi 13

ARIZONA over #11 Oregon taking 6: ‘Cats should be hungry after letting Cal score on a 61-yard run with 90 seconds to play to lose the game. Ducks have lost the money four of their last five tries prior to facing the Beavers, but have two weeks before that game. AZ is 9-3 ATS in last dozen vs. Top 25 teams. Mallards win a close one... Decoys 30 Arizona 27

#13 Penn State over MICHIGAN STATE giving 3: Turnovers continue to plague the alma mater. Four giveaways were off-set only by Navarro Bowman’s 73-yard pick-six that kept feisty Indiana from taking a third quarter lead. Sparty’s biggest loss was by 8 at Notre Dame and MSU stayed within 2 of Iowa here in East Lansing. Holy cow! Lions actually playing outside Happy Valley! Lions have won and covered the previous three away treks by average of 21 points. In that case, we gotta’ lay da’ points and hope for a New Year’s Day berth for...Penn State 28 Michigan State 12

#14 STANFORD over California giving 7: Do back-to-back upsets by the Cardinal mean they beat the letdown curse that foiled PAC-10 brethren Arizona and Oregon or does it mean Stanford’s twice as likely to fall on its face here? Bears have won six of last seven battles outright vs. the Trees. Cardinal has hit the board for better than fitty each of the last two weeks. Tiger Woods will be an honorary captain on the Stanford sideline this week and plans to quietly chip or drive golf balls into Cal players to induce offside penalties or procedure calls during third-and-short situations!... Stanford 31 Cal 20

Minnesota over #15 IOWA taking 10: The line’s droppin’ like a rock in favor of the Gophers, who edged FCS squad South Dakota State 16-13 in Week Eleven. Golden Gerbils have lost four of last seven this year, going 2-4 ATS over that span and got blown out 55-0 at home last year by Iowa. Yet, the betting public (and perhaps the sharps out there) continue to distrust the Hawkeyes laying double-digits. The loss to the Buckeyes ended the Rose Bowl hopes and though there’s a remote shot of an at-large spot, Iowa can basically only look forward to some non-Orange Bowl game in Florida around the New Year. Minny no bargain vs. ranked teams, going 0-3 SU/ATS, losing by 13, 20 and 31...Iowa 20 Vermin 12

NC State over #16 VIRGINIA TECH taking 21: Disappointing year for NC State team that Vindicator expected to flourish in Tom O’Brien’s 3rd year as coach. How did these guys beat Pitt earlier?! Maryland’s only six vs. Tech came via a fumble in the end zone. These clubs haven’t met since 20-16 Hokies win in 2006. Tech just 3-2 ATS in Blacksburg and little voice in your host’s head is screamin’ take da’ points...Tech 28 Wolf Pack 13

NORTHWESTERN over #17 Wisconsin taking 7: Wildcats in midst of 3-2 SU/ATS run that includes straight-up wins over Iowa and Illinois. Badgers lousy as road favorites, covering just 4 of last 15. NW is making it happen on defense, but they haven’t posted more than 17 points in 4 of last 6 games...Wisky 20 NW 16

#18 CLEMSON over Virginia giving 20 ½: C.J. Spiller looks to be rolling for the Tigers after rushing for almost triple-digits and reeling in a pair of scoring catches last week. Cavs on 0-3 ATS slide after being battered by bi-polar Hurricanes. Clemson has four wins by 20 or more. This would be only 5th loss by three touchdowns or more in almost three full seasons for the Cavaliers...Clemson 34 Virginia 10

Air Force over #19 BYU taking 10: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. WTH?????!!!! Mormons managed just a 5-point win at New Mexico???!!!! Lobos kicker James Aho drew nothin’ but iron on two field goal tries and a PAT or BYU woulda’ had itself another one in the loss column. The Flight Platoon lost to TCU by 3 and to Utah by 7 in extra innings and have covered 16 of their last 22 MWC contests. Mormons have beaten the line the past five tries against the Pilots, handling USAF rather easily. Cougars are minus-three in turnover ratio. USAF is +18 and recovers better than two of every three balls put on the ground by their opponents. BYU’s only two SU defeats this season came at Provo. We’re callin’ for the hat trick...Flyboys 19 BYU 17

#20 Oregon State over WASHINGTON STATE giving 30 ½: More of a vote against Wazzou than for the Beavers, who’ve covered 5 of last 6 games on the season (though four of those came while getting points). Looks like a lot to lay, but Cougars made even Notre Dame look good on a neutral field. Replay of last week’s BYU-New Mexico debauchery? Naaaaaaahhhhh. Beavers tally half-a-hundred...OSU 52 WSU 13

Duke over #21 MIAMI taking 19 1/2: These ain’t your father’s Blue Devils, who own a win-loss record equal-to or better than six other ACC teams. Pelicans have beaten only I-AA Florida A&M (who?) by this many. ‘Canes followed up loss to Virginia Tech with one-point win over Oklahoma and OT loss vs. Clemson with near-loss to Wake Forest. Can’t see Da’ U whacking the Dukies, who can also throw the ball fairly well with senior Thaddeus Lewis at QB, by almost three touchdowns...Miami 27 Duke 16

#22 USC: IDLE (next vs. UCLA)

San Diego State over #23 UTAH taking 19 ½: Last lost as bad as TCU laid on Utah last week was 27-0 in early 2007 to...GASP!...UNLV! The only team with a pulse that the Utes have beaten by this much was Utah State in the opener. Aztecs on 0-3 ATS slide, but showed signs of life, taking a 27-6 lead into the 4th Quarter before lucky win by Wyoming.. Provo Panthers on-deck for Utah. Uggghhhhh...Utes 17 SDSU 6

#24 HOUSTON over Memphis giving 23 1/2: Memphis, with a couple exceptions, has been limited to scoring in the teens and has just one cover in nine games with spreads. Where has Houston’s defense gone???!! Off upset by Central Florida and back in the friendly confines against a school looking ahead to the hoops season, Coogs offense breaks the half-century mark as well for the third time this year and Case Keenum adds to his #2 TD pass total (just one behind Boise’s Kellen Moore)...Houston 54 Memphis 24

#25 Rutgers over SYRACUSE giving 8: Orange off hard-fought 10-9 loss at Louisville (and we don’t know if that speaks more to improvement of Syracuse or just the Redbirds futility this season) and have lost to the Knights by 18, 24, 31 and 22 the past four years. Half of Rutgers’ six scores vs. South Florida were field goals, but the Garden State Galahads have quietly placed their defense at #11 in scoring D, #12 in rush D (98.2 ypg) and #16 in total D. NJ requires decals on cars driven by teens (21 or under) that indicate ”teen on board”. Rutgers players’ vehicles bear stickers noting ...”Scarlet Knight on board”...Jersey Boys 22 Syracuse 10

The NFL has put the kibosh on players putting their hands on their hips and raising a bent leg in a nod to a certain well-known spiced rum company after Eagles TE Brent Celek did so following a touchdown catch vs. the Cowboys two weekends ago. Apparently, the No Fermentation League won’t tolerate their athletes taking the field when they “have a little Captain in them”! (Stay tuned for next week’s lead story for more thoughts on this topic!)

This summer, UConn hoops coach Jim Calhoun went you-know-what over tea kettle 12 miles into a 50-mile Cancer Challenge bike-riding event. Coach got busted up rather badly, but got back in the saddle and finished the course. Not only is Calhoun the heir-apparent to Lance Armstrong, Vegas has posted an over/under on total games lost to injury by his players during the upcoming basketball season as zero at minus–800 and 1-or-more at +1200!!!!

This week’s lunch special at Vindy’s Bet & Breakfast is a nice Asian dish honoring the run-and-shoot...Chuck-and-Peking Duck!

As a tribute to the late Michael Jackson, NBA baller Ron Artest will wear No. 37 for each week Thriller topped the charts. (Phew!...for a minute there, we thought he was making fun of Vindy’s total losses the last few weeks!)

Wonder if somewhere out there is an abbreviated version of the bookies’ manual on dealing with unsavory gamblers called...“Off Da’ Cliff Notes!”

Couldn’t help but notice the following AP headline in Monday’s paper...WIE SHOWERED WITH RELIEF AFTER FIRST WIN. Uhhhh....did the golf star plan to forego the whole personal hygiene thing until she wrapped up her inaugural LPGA Tour title on Sunday or what????!!!!!!

Black Shirt: Gets cleaned and pressed for North Carolina CB Kendric Burney for snaring three interceptions, including one for a score, in the Tarheels’ predicted SU win over Miami!

“Locked in a Box?”: The Mormons were on a mission outta’ the country apparently during poor offensive showing against the Lobos and dropped Vindy’s 4th consecutive lock pick (4-7, .364).

Shoppe Talk: Hurricanes (2-7) get to blow out to sea for a week after losing SU to Carolina (as we predicted), but the Ohio State Suckeyes fall to 1-8 in last 9 (and 3-8 overall) with the LSU Bungles still in the cages at 1-7 in the last 8 (2-8 overall). And the Dread Raiders of Texas Tech did what they do best to go 0-4-1 on the season (2-14-1 since start of 2008).

Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 21-26 (.447)
TEMPLE -13 over Kent State, Connecticut +6 over NOTRE DAME, Weeziana Tech +10 over FRESNO STATE, Southern Methodist +4 over MARSHALL, Weeziana-Monroe -2 1/2 over WEEZIANA-LAFAYETTE

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 11-2009


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (MSNBC)....A week after being honored with his own 10-foot statue in Kosovo for military actions he took as Commander-in-Chief ten years ago, Bill Clinton was on-hand in the City of Brotherly Love to see yet-another larger-than-life bronze likeness of himself supplant the beloved Rocky statue atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for his role this past summer in the reinstatement of current Eagles player, Michael Vick. Back in July, after Commissioner Roger Goodell rejected the NFL Players Association’s first choice of envoy, Al Gore, Bill Clinton secured the release of the troubled athlete back into league play. Insiders say the former White House occupant, and Arkansas Razorbacks fan, thought he was actually making a diplomatic trip into the league’s headquarters in New York to broker a deal swapping wife Hillary for a pair of hostage cheerleaders! Eagles coach Andy Reid said Vick, who has contributed 27 total yards on two completions and a dozen carries to-date since being allowed to take the field under live-fire conditions, is “a vital part of this team and we’re indebted to the former president for this great coup!”

The dogs rallied, after two weeks of advantage by the chalk, to take 13 of the 22 tilts (14 of 23 if ya count Wake Forest, who covered vs. Joja’ Tech [we had the game “off” as we went to publication last week]) as Vindy managed to go 12-9-1 to break the century mark in wins (108-80-1, .574).

While Ron Mexico works out by running up the famed stairs, Vindy tries to console a visibly-distraught Sylvester Stallone by reading him....

(still giving off that new car smell)

RUTGERS over #23 South Florida (PK):
Again, we question the award of a ranking to South Florida. Yes, the Bulls beat a West Virginia team that, like USF, was hanging around on the rim of the Top 25, but that victory was the Bulls’ first win in their last three games (losing to Cincy by 13 and by 27 at Pitt). Knights have won six of their last seven (yes, there are a pair of I-AA victims too), including UConn on the road and a 7-point defeat to the Panthers. Both teams had last weekend off...Jersey Turnpike Paladins 24 USF 17

FRI. NOV. 13
#5 CINCINNATI over West Virginia giving 8 1/2:
‘Eers had a shot at returning to the rankings, but voters weren’t impressed with lackluster 14-9 win over Louisville. Bearkats were allowing less than 14 ppg until barely evading UConn in last week’s point-party. Mounties have won five of last six on the season, but are in 1-6 ATS free-fall. First ranked opponent for West Virginia in two years...UC 34 WVU 14

SAT. NOV. 14
#1 Florida over SOUTH CAROLINA giving 15 1/2:
Either Vandy kept Mr. Tebow well-contained or the Gators QB was simply protecting himself again, going for mere 27 yards on 16 carries (four sacks lowered the original total though). Gamehens are happy to be back in Columbia, where they’ve won all four games, after losing back-to-back road tilts. Poultry has dropped 3 of last 4 ATS. Crocs have just one spread win over their last 4. Somethin’ has to give...Gators 29 KFC 10

#2 Texas over BAYLOR giving 23 1/2: Bears musta’ taken some of that same magical elixir the New Mexico Lobos imbibed right before almost ambushing San Diego State given Baylor’s SU win over Missouri in perhaps one of the biggest upsets, points-wise, of Week Ten. We’re guessing Colt McCoy thought 470 passing yards was a sufficient Heisman outing since Texas elected not to score after the nine-minute mark and failed to cover vs. UCF. In June, Steers LB Sergio Kindle crashed into an apartment building (...oh...and he was actually in a vehicle!). BTW, the apartment actually lost three yards on the play and was forced to punt! Bears lost by 24 in Austin last season, but we don’t expect da’ Bears (or da’ Lobos for that matter) to win or cover this Saturday...Steaks 42 Yogis 9

MISSISSIPPI STATE over #3 Alabama taking 12: Tide’s been on the brink two weeks running now and bounced back only when LSU lost its starting backfield. Bulldogs have won 2 of 3 SU and are on 3-0 spread run. Not a bad line considering State lost to the Bengals by 4 in Starkville and ‘Bama defeated LSU by 9. Dogs have lost three games against ranked foes this year by 4, 11 and 10. This one turns out a lot closer than it oughta’. In fact, we’re havin’ visions of the Iowa-Northwestern match, but we’ll just call it...Alabama 20 MSU 16

#16 Utah over #4 TCU taking 20: This got a good look for lock. With Iowa minus Ricky Stanzi on top of its already-lost starting RB for the Ohio State game, this one takes “game of da’ week” honors. After collectively outscoring last week’s opponents by 100-26, these two will be lucky to combine for 30 total points on the board. Neither has a conference loss and the Toads, of course, can still garner a BCS-buster bid. Froggies spanked the Mormons in Provo earlier and could get some payback for last year’s 13-10 loss to Utah (following two missed 4th Quarter field goals by kicker Ross Evans) that removed them from BCS consideration. Utes haven’t lost to TCU since 2005. Toads on 4-0 SU/ATS run that’s seen them allow a total of 25 points-against. In last 4 games, Utah is 2-2 ATS and yielding 14 ppg...TCU 16 Utah 9

#6 BOISE STATE over Idaho giving 31 ½: No faith in this call as we flip-flopped like a freshly-caught tuna on a boat deck. It pains us to go against arguably one of the surprise teams of 2009, but the linesmakers and other teams themselves have caught up to the Vandals (2-2 SU/0-3-1 ATS of late). Boise had twice as many yards as Weeziana Tech, who rallied from a 20-point hole to make it close, but Idaho lost badly at Reno earlier. On the plus-side, Vandals have given up more than 42 just once (70 in that aforementioned defeat to the Wolfpack) and have scored no less than 21 in any game. Only UC-Davis surpassed single-digits on Boise’s homefield...Broncos 49 Idaho 17

DUKE over #7 Georgia Tech taking 12 1/2: Bees could be flat on heels of overtime win over Wake Forest. Blue Devils are a victory away from first post-season eligibility since 1994 and lost by 8 at Virginia Tech. Dukies were on the wrong end of a 27-0 whitewash last year...’Jackets 26 Duke 16

#8 PITT over Notre Dame giving 7: Navy just added one more open can of Sterno to Charlie Weis’ seat. Panthers have covered only three of last dozen tries vs. the Frightenin’ Irish, while the Leprechauns have lost the money five straight times following their annual tango with the Middies (we thank Marc Lawrence for those dirty details!). Panthers managed a 4OT victory last season...Pitt 31 ND 12

#9 LSU over Louisiana Tech giving 24 1/2: Bulldogs catch the Bengals at a bad time. LSU has lost its top runner for the duration of at least the regular season and will re-focus after letting ‘Bama get away. Tech is horrible as a non-conference dog (0-2 this year) and spent everything it had trying to stay with Boise last week. Bulldogs now 4-10 as a road dog under Coach Dooley...LSU 42 LT 10

#10 OHIO STATE over #15 Iowa giving 16: Assuming State doesn’t stumble in finale at Ann Arbor, a win here sends the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl. Hawkeyes finally ran outta’ miracles and despite being 3-0-1 ATS away and having covered four straight vs. the Top 25, Iowa will likely be without its entire starting backfield and will let a redshirt freshman start at QB for this one...OSU 31Iowa 12

#25 Stanford over #11 USC taking 10 1/2: Trees would still need some help to win the Packed-It-In Ten conference title, but have gone 7-2 against the number. Trojans managed just 12 first-downs and the only scores last week came via a 55-yard pick-six and a 75-yard pass play. Troy’s last home loss came about two years ago to.... Stanford! ... Cardinal 23 USC 20

NORTH CAROLINA over #12 Miami taking 3 1/2: Yeah, sure. Like Vindy’s got a snowball’s chance of hitting the right side of this one. Jacory Harris leads a nice passing attack for the ‘Canes, but has been in four games decided by 4 or less this year. Heels ain’t bad on defense despite sharing the Coastal Division cellar with Virginia. Carolina’s covered last six vs. ranked opponents (catching Joja’ Tech on the one week it wasn’t in the Top 25)...Carolina 20Miami 19

#13 Houston over CENTRAL FLORIDA giving 5: Cougars were +2 in turnover margin and still needed a lengthy field goal to beat Tulsa in game that featured a combined total over 1200 yards. Coogs D has abandoned them of late. Central Florida is stout against the run, allowing just 85 ypg, but Case Keenum will break the 4000-yard mark this week. First back-to-back ranked opponents for Central Florida since 2004 (when they went 0-2 SU/ATS vs. Wisky and West Virginia). We like UCF better for next week, hosting Tulane...Houston 38 Knights 27

#14 OREGON over Arizona State giving 17: Given the result of the Stanford game, Oregon coach Chip Kelly might consider re-mailing that same check he sent to a disappointed fan following the Boise State debacle. This should be a good match-up between State’s run defense (87.4 ypg) and Decoys’ rushing attack (233.6 ypg). Sun Devils riding 3-1 spread run and their only loss b y this many came vs. Stanford. Mallards have covered four of five on The Pond this season and own four wins by 24 or more. ASU hasn’t covered in this series since outright 28-13 win at Autzen Stadium in 2004...Quack Attack 38 ASU 17

Texas Tech over #17 OKLAHOMA STATE taking 3 ½: Cowboys RB Toston, who is not among the top rushers in the nation statistically, went for 206 yards and three touchdowns in romp at Iowa State. Okie State will need his services to limit opportunities for rested Red Raiders prolific passing offense. State’s no slouch, scoring about 34 ppg, but Tech is denting the board for 40 ppg, knocked off then-ranked Nebraska, lost by 1 to Houston and gave Texas all it could handle in Austin. It also lost by 22 to Texas A&M... OKSU 38 Texas Tech (GASP!) 35

#18 Arizona over CAL taking 1 ½: We considered this strongly for lock too, but we’re a little paranoid after last week’s lock choice in similar let-down situation. Bears hoping to collect themselves following upset by Oregon State (as predicted by your fab forecaster!). That game wasn’t even as close as the final margin indicates because Berkeley scored with a minute left. ‘Cats are just a half-game from Oregon for the conference lead and a Rose berth. AZ bested the Beavers in Corvallis and Stanford at home. Bares have handled UA easily the past three visits to Cal. Is there another upset hangover coming in the PAC-10? Even if Jahvid Best returns for Cal after his concussion last week, AZ holds the opposition to 96 ground yards per game...Arizona 27 Cal 17

Indiana over #19 PENN STATE taking 25 ½: Hoosiers are 3-2 ATS away this year and would be 4-1 if not for the zebra-induced insult at Iowa. Indiana has lost by this many just once as previously-noted (40-point defeat at Virginia). Lions failed in all three phases of the game vs. Ohio State and have covered just once in Happy Valley. Expect a better all-around effort from State, but Indiana gets the nod...PSU 35 Indy 13

MARYLAND over #20 Virginia Tech taking 17 ½: Pirates mistakes allowed Tech to cover last week in ho-hum 16-3 win. Terps were smoked in the opener at Cal and lost by 21 to Rutgers, but have been competitive in the other seven games. Hokies have not recorded consecutive spread wins on the year and need to run the table, then grab a bowl victory to extend their streak of 10-win seasons to six...VT 24 Box Turtles 9

#21 WISCONSIN over Michigan giving 8 ½: Only 4th dog role for the Wolverines, who covered two of the previous three, but Big Blew is in midst of 1-5 ATS skid and at 1-5 SU in the conference, has been relegated to spoiler. Frankly, after 25-point losses in back-to-back weeks facing Penn State and Illinois, Michigan may not care about anything except taking a shot Ohio State next week...Badgers 24 UM 7

#22 Brigham Young over NEW MEXICO giving 27: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. A three-year probation and off-the-field issues have really made a mess of the Lobos football season. Can’t imagine the Mormons’ offense not bustin’ out the big lumber here...BYU 42 New Mexico 3

#24 Clemson over NC STATE giving 8 ½: First visit to the Top 25 for the Tigers since early 2008. Remember early this year when we said watch NC State, at least ATS? Uhhhh....never mind. Wolfpack actually still has a shot to go bowlin’, but needs two victories in final three games. With Virginia Tech and UNC following this one, we don’t see it. NCSU has three losses by 6 or less, but also a pair by 21 (to Duke) and 32 (to Boston College). C.J. Spiller should make it happen for Clemson...CU 30 NC State 17

Seattle Seahawks wide-out TJ Houshmandzadeh, unhappy with his statistical rankings in the video game (NFC WR #6), is boycotting Madden NFL ‘10. Two weekends ago, the diva receiver unpleasantly gestured to his quarterback to get the throws up. Can’t wait to see that scenario in Madden NFL ‘11 (hey...if it’s in the game....!)

As we welcome the start of the college hoops season, we note that because the SAT test was taken by another student on behalf of a player on the Memphis Tigers ‘07-‘08Final Four squad, that team has to forfeit its 38 wins from that season. Ironically, the player-in-question would eventually take Florida State’s online music history test without assistance...and pass with flying colors!

This Tuesday, Sesame Street celebrated its 40th anniversary. We thank the popular children’s program for our own football IQ. Who can forget the lovable Ernie crooning, “Rubber’re the one...who makes our spread time... lotttttsa’ fun!” Or how ‘bout Count Von Count doing the halftime scores and highlights....”Today’s number is 7. One, two, three, four, five, six, SEVEN. Seven sacks.” And of course, “This week’s forecast is brought to you by....the letter ‘V’!” (No that’s not for the mice-eating reptilian aliens appearing on the upcoming remake of the television series of the same name or for the masked revolutionary/saboteur/protagonist in “V for Vendetta”).

New Mexico defender Elizabeth Lambert got suspended after her team’s MWC women’s soccer match vs. BYU last week for violent and reckless play , which included a hair-pulling takedown of an opponent. Well, at least we know who was wearing LB Brandon Spikes’ jersey on the field at linebacker during Florida’s game vs. Vandy!

Black Shirt: Houston kicker Matt Hogan dons the terrific tee for booting a 51-yarder to give the Coogs the win (and Vindy a forecast W for having Houston +1 at the time!)

“Wish I Had That One Back”: The Weber Kid knew he was making a bold move backing a depleted Syracuse +21 at Pitt!

“Locked in a Box?”: Uggghhhhh! Ducks ended up in the shooting gallery and drop Vindy’s third straight lock pick (and 4th in 5 weeks) as the record plummets to 4-6 (.400)

Shoppe Talk: It’s the usual suspects....AGAIN...Miami (1-7), Ohio State (1-7 in last 8) and LSU (1-6 in last 7)!

Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-4 Season: 18-25 (.419)
At 1-8 the last two weeks, we say “Go!...Run!.....Save yourselves!”...AIR FORCE -17 over Unlv, Nebraska -3 ½ over KANSAS, WASHINGTON STATE +17 1/2 over Ucla, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE -11 ½ over Weeziana-Lafayette

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 10 Part II: The Forecaster Strikes Back

#13 Houston over TULSA taking 1: This has shifted 4 points in favor of the home team. Okay...we appreciate the Golden Hurricane’s effort against Boise State and yes, this could have the makings of another UTEP-Houston game in which the Coogs lost badly, but UH QB Case Keenum is healthy and is the leading passer in the U.S. with nearly 3300 yards...about 850 more than his nearest competitor (oddly, that bridesmaid is Florida State’s Christian Ponder). Coogs have gone 4-0 SU and ATS since the aforementioned defeat by the Miners, while Tulsa (who got destroyed 70-30 last year as #25 at time) is fading quickly with three straight outright losses. Tulsa ain’t bad defensively, but Houston hung fitty on Southern Miss...Cougars 45 Tulsa 38

Syracuse over #14 PITT taking 21: ‘Cuse has dropped three games already this season by exactly 21 and we wouldn’t be crushed with a push here. With the South Florida game notwithstanding, Greg Paulus hasn’t doinked too many off the rim Suspensions and the loss of WR Williams’ 7 catches per game for 106 yards though will hurt. Panthers are 7-1 SU (5-2 ATS) and have four victories by more than 3 scores. Pitt trying to stay tied with Cincy for Big Greased lead. Best guess for “wish I had it back”, but...Pitt 28 Orange 14

Virginia over #16 MIAMI taking 13 ½: We don’t know which Cavs team will show up on Saturday. After three straight to open the year, Cavs then beat North Carolina, Indy and Maryland...and followed that string with losses to Joja’ Tech and Duke. ‘Canes had a three-turnover advantage vs. Wake Forest and still nearly lost. Had Deacons’ QB Riley Skinner not gone down with injury in the 4th Quarter, Miami could likely have another one in the loss column. Virginia ain’t bad stoppin’ the pass and has allowed only four aerial scores all year. Voting against Miami’s recent history laying points in Coral Gables...Miami 24 Virginia 18

New Mexico over #17 UTAH taking 27 1/2: We’re still leery about layin’ this many with the Utes, even though UNLV whacked the Lobos by 17. Utah’s stayin’ mum on the starting QB until game. Ummm...head games with a winless team? Are they afraid UNM coach Mike Locksley will hunt down the starter in the visiting locker room and punch him before the game or what???!!! Lobos are 2-6 ATS on the year, but 2-2 in the past four games, including near upset at San Diego State. Utah goes to TCU next week...Utah 27 New Mexico 3

#18 Oklahoma State over IOWA STATE giving 7: Cowpokes never got anything going in the wake of five turnovers that kept Texas on a short field. Cyclones have covered five of their games in 2009, including track meet loss at Kansas, but failed to cover either time they only got single-digits. ISU can run the ball (#18 nationally) and the Cowboys are still floundering without their stars, but...OKSU 31 Funnel Clouds 17

Navy over #19 NOTRE DAME taking 11: Middies look to rebound after upset in the home harbor by Temple. Navy can grind it out behind third-ranked rushing game and keep ND’s QB Clausen (#2 passer in the country) on the sidelines. Navy must also dog Irish WR Tate, who’s pulling down catches for about 116 yards per game. Ensigns have covered last 9 in South Bend and Leprechauns have beaten the number just 8 of last 24 giving points in front of the Touchdown Jesus (1-3 this year). Navy has its required six victories, but would love prove Ohio State game was no fluke...ND 24 Navy 21

#20 Oklahoma over NEBRASKA giving 5 1/2: The Corn Cobs would like nothing more to avenge last year’s humiliating 62-28 defeat in Norman over this year’s somewhat-depleted Sooners squad, but Big Dread is on 1-2 SU/0-3 ATS slide, including the 7-9 stinker vs. Iowa State. It looked like the Oklahoma rout was on last week, as Sooners were up 21-0 over K-State after 15 minutes, but OK had to hang on late. Huskers nose-guard Ndamukong Suh got flagged for negligent driving when he allegedly swerved to avoid a cat or dog and hit not one, not two, but THREE parked cars. Oklahoma QB Jones is gonna’ look mighty funny cradling a puppy or kitten in his non-throwing hand in the pocket, but hey...if it throws off Suh’s pass rush..... OK 27 Nebraska 19

Washington State over #21 ARIZONA taking 33 ½: A poor road dog the past few seasons, Wazzou has covered 2 of 3 away from Pullman (3 of 5 including the 2 neutral site games) this year. ‘Cats are second in the PAC-10 and have a balanced attack, led by Michigan State defector Mark Foles at QB. Cougars are losing to conference teams by an average score of 39-11 and AZ has held only Central Michigan to less than 13...Arizona 41 WSU 16

Oregon State over #23 CAL taking 7 1/2: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. The Berkeley team we expected in the preseason disappeared in major defeat by USC. Bears rallied late last week to edge Arizona State for its third straight win and cover, but the other two victories in question came vs. conference doormats UCLA and Washington State (collectively 0-10 SU in conference action). Beavers won 34-21 last season in Corvallis and 31-28 here in 2007. The Rodgers brothers get it done over former Heisman candidate RB Jahvid Best...OSU 27 Cal 20

INDIANA over #24 Wisconsin taking 10 1/2: We apologize to anybody who wagered on “best bet” Purdue plus-7 ½ over the Badgers last week as Wisky tossed the no-hitter and won 37-0. While poor tackling by the Hoosiers certainly contributed to yet-another significant lead being blown for a second-straight week (14 over Iowa and 25 over Northwestern the week prior), the aforementioned odorous officiating (even with instant replay in use) cost Indy a crucial first-down and two touchdowns, and cost Vindicator a forecast pick, a lock choice and an actual wager. Just the third road game for the Cheeseheads, who are 1-1 this year, but just 4-10 ATS away the past two-plus seasons. Original 5 1/2-point spread suggests the linesmakers think Hoosiers can get up again despite letting last two victories get away. We’re on Indy again too...Wisconsin 31 Indiana 26

#25 Brigham Young over WYOMING giving 13: Mormons got a much-needed rest last weekend and while weather could hamper Max Hall’s throwing, we’ll still take the Mountain Best’s top overall offense over Cowpokes middle-of-the-pack D. Cowboys have covered six of seven this season and the Coogs are in the midst of a 2-4ATS slide, but...BYU 29 Wyoming 13


Hats off to Temple coach (and former Joe Pa assistant) Al Golden, who’s taken the Owls from 1-11 in his first year to six straight wins, including last week’s upset over Navy, and bowl-eligibility (with 2-3 winnable tilts still to come!) this season, following an 0-2 SU start. Hooters are also 6-1 against the line thus far!

Gators LB Brandon Spikes will grab some pine for this week’s Vandy game after attempting to gouge the eyes of a Joja’ player. Spikes protested, noting Larry, Moe and Curly never got benched for that!

Shortly after Michael Jackson’s untimely demise, we learned he was at least partially responsible for the New Patriots success as Foxboro Stadium and the Pats eventually wound up in the hands of Robert Kraft in 1994 after Charles Sullivan went deep into the red trying to finance MJ’s “Victory” tour and had to sell the venue. We just wanna’ know which musical freakin’ genius gets “credit” for the Raiders and Lions! (Hadda’ be Billy-Ray Cyrus or William Hung!)

In August, former ref Tim Donaghy got hauled off the clink after being a no-show/no call at his place of employment at a Florida beverage bottling company. Geez, did we really want him in a position to fix the outcome of the manufacturer’s production line on any given day???!!! In June, Donaghy complained about sustaining a knee injury during an assault by another inmate with reported NY mob connections. We just think Tonya Harding, residing in an adjacent cell, flipped out when she saw the ex-NBA official lacing up the skates and contacted Jeff Gillooly!

Black Shirt: The coveted tee this week goes to Boise RB Doug Martin for scoring the covering 36-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left in the game vs. San Jose State!

“Locked in a Box?”: Now 4-5 (.444) after the zebras hosed the Hoosiers.

Shoppe Talk: Miami (1-6), Ohio State (1-6 in last 7) and LSU (1-5 in last 6) all get to hang out this week! Meanwhile, Florida, Boise and TCU have all reached post-season hardware eligibility with their 7th appearance in the forecast and all stand-in at 6-1.

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets: Last Week: 0-4 (Medic!) Season: 17-21 (.447)
SMU -18 over Rice, Texas-El Paso -7 over TULANE, IDAHO +7 over Fresno State, Utah State -2 over HAWAII, Weeziana-Monroe +1 over NORTH TEXAS

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vindy's Picks Week 10: The Prequel


LONDON, England (CNN)....
After losing 35-7 in London to the Patriots last weekend and being told by Commissioner Roger Goodell their poor showing only hurts efforts to expand the league’s play into Europe, several members of the Tampa Buccaneers hopped their pirate ship and defeated the British Royal Navy in a sea skirmish to take control of the English Channel! Tampa players boarded two British aircraft carriers, devoid of planes due to recent cuts in the defense budget, after peppering the surprised ships with cannonballs before boarding the enemy boats brandishing flintlock pistols and cutlasses. The NFL team’s “skulls & swords” then briefly replaced jolly old England’s “Union Jack”. Believing Jon Gruden to still be at the helm of the pro club, a couple of British fans said they still didn’t understand the rules of American football, but traveled more than 300 kilometers just to see, and hopefully get an autograph from, Chucky because they “loved him in the Child’s Play movie series!”

Our hero survived a 1-5 start that saw Vindy drop the Thursday nighter, Friday nighter and three of four early Saturday morning games, before a 10-4 rally salvaged an 11-9 (96-71, .575) finish in Week Nine’s 20-game marathon. Featuring more games than the upcoming Winter Olympics, it’s....

(Hermetically-sealed for your protection)

EAST CAROLINA over #22 Virginia Tech taking 13:
Hokies dropped a 20-17 decision last Thursday to North Carolina after a late fumble allowed the ‘Heels to score the second of two field goals in the final minutes to win it. Tech is conspicuously absent from its usual highly-ranked spots in national offensive and defensive categories. Collectively, these two squads are 7-19 ATS in non-conference matches. Pirates are on 3-1 spread run and have won four of their past five games outright. ECU also beat Tech 27-22 last year...VT 24 ECU 19

LOUISIANA TECH over #5 Boise State taking 21:
Bulldogs let Idaho wriggle off the hook in a tough loss last week. Broncos have covered four of last five in this series, may want to grab some style points for the BCS and have a significant edge in the passing game. Tech is on 0-3 ATS slide facing ranked teams including 38-3 loss on the blue carpet last year, but lost to Boise here by just 14 and 17 in ‘05 and ‘07...BSU 37 LT 20

Vanderbilt over #1 FLORIDA taking 35:
Gators just need to stay healthy between now and the SEC Championship game, having locked up the conference East division last week. Florida’s just 1-2 ATS this season at home and the best bet here is that the ‘Dores, who’ve covered both games as road dogs this year, won’t be doin’ any of the showboatin’ at the Swamp that got Georgia a beat-down...UF 34 Vandy 6

#2 TEXAS over Central Florida giving 35 1/2: Steers might ring it up more than usual here just to protect against any potential drop in the BCS rankings, slight though it might be, on the Golden Knights, who come in after a short week (rallying for two touchdowns in the final period to beat Marshall 21-20). UCF is just 2-6 ATS in last eight vs. ranked clubs. ‘Horns secondary could grab another pick-six or two against pass-heavy Knights...Texas 49 UCF 10

#9 Louisiana State over #3 ALABAMA taking 7 1/2: Bengals’ cover record vs. the SEC continues to suck (2-3 in ‘09, 0-1 on the conference blacktop, 10-26-3 the last four-plus campaigns) and State’s gone just 4-9-2 against the number facing ranked teams (with a pair the wins coming in bowls). Tigers also hit Vin with a bad beat, posting the covering tally with 1:12 left over scoreless Tulane last week. Tide won by 6 at Baton Rouge in ‘08. Bengals have no spread losses in last six visits to Birmingham. Obama’s choice for Surgeon General still goes to patients’ homes in Alabama to provide services...or what Crimson Tide faithful refer to as “Nobody pushes us around on OUR house-calls!”. Should be a defensive battle...’Bama 16 LSU 10

Connecticut over #4 CINCINNATI taking 14: Zach Collaros was efficient last week, missing just 6 of 28 throws, but the Bearkats’ defense gets the credit for UC’s third straight cover, keeping the ‘Cuse scoreless over the last three quarters. We love UConn in a dog role and Huskies haven’t lost by more than 4 all season en route to 6-1 ATS record. UConn’s four conference opponents to-date have averaged 26 ppg, while Cincy’s quad of Big East foes has managed only 12+. Huskies faced Pitt and West Virginia on the road...’Kats 27 Dogs 19

#6 Texas Christian over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 24 1/2: The Weber Kid wasn’t completely a victim of the late score by the fave to bring home the moola, getting the seven from the Froggies vs. UNLV with just over 90 seconds to play. Not sure what the Aztecs were thinking, allowing arguably the worst team in the nation, New Mexico, to take an early 10-0 edge before rallying in the 4th to pull out the victory. SDSU had been 5-1 ATS before that. Amphibians have yielded a total of 13 points over the last three games. We’ll stay on TCU until they prove they’re going to let off the pedal...TCU 38 Aztecs 9

#7 Oregon over STANFORD giving 6: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Hmmmm, this would be one helluva’ letdown by UO. Cardinal rested last week and is one win away from bowl-eligibility. Decoys building a head of steam, winning seven in a row outright and six straight against the line behind a strong offense. Six of Mallards’ seven wins were by a touchdown or more. Stanford’s covered just 2 of last 8 against the Top 25 and 2 of last 3, but the spreads in question were +24, +14 and +41...Quack Attack 34 Cardinal 17

Northwestern over #8 IOWA taking 16: Ricky Stanzi launched 5 interceptions, but the Hawkeyes can thank an incompetent officiating crew for their 8th outright victory and for the cover that had your still-fumin’ forecaster contemplating never watching college football ever again after turning the game off in disgust with just over a minute to play. The AP voters, however, weren’t havin’ any of that silliness and dropped Iowa a couple notches despite the victory. Wildcats (2-6 ATS) hung with the Nifty Lions for three quarters...Iowa 27 NW 17

Wake Forest @ #10 GEORGIA TECH: OFF

#11 PENN STATE over #15 Ohio State giving 4: The Buckeyes tagged Vindicator with another Week Nine bad beat, scoring the covering touchdown and PAT on a 53-yard run with 5 seconds left in a 45-0 romp over New Mexico State, while the Lions offense hung out in the locker room until the 4th Quarter at Northwestern. Buckeyes are on 7-1 spread run and allowing just over 12 ppg. Nifty Lions lead the nation in scoring defense at 9 ppg. Joe Pa and the boys have not covered in four tries at Beaver Stadium this season and the outright victory will likely come down to a turnover. Lions get their first crack at a Top 25 opponent. Buckeyes make their first visit to a ranked opponent’s field and we’ve seen what happens to Terrell Pryor in a big game. We’re hopin’ the PSU pass rush can create a fumble or force an untimely pick. Could be 10-7 either way, but...Lions 19 Buckeyes 13

ARIZONA STATE over #12 Southern Cal taking 10 1/2: Following bad loss in Eugene, Trojans could come out smokin’ and blow State off the field. More likely, however, is a more plodding effort, with the team’s success in the questionable hands of QB Barkley as ASU limits opponents to about 80 rushing yards per game. Troy has been on the wrong side of the line six times in the past seven games. Sun Devils beat UDUB by 7, but lost by 19 at Stanford. Trojans took a 28-0 victory last year in L.A. Devils were sloppy last week, turning the ball over three times and drawing 11 yellow hankies for 123 yards as Cal mustered a last minute FG for 23-21 win...USC 30 ASU 24

Stay tuned. We'll back tomorrow night with the rest of the selections, including our upset pick of da' week, and the usual assortment of "hash"!