Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2010


QUANTICO, Virginia (CNN)....Months after the major bust of a “deep-cover” spy ring in the northeastern U.S., intelligence analysts assessing the damage came upon a startling prognosticator Vegas Vindicator had inadvertently played a role in the communist mission. Thought to be centered around penetrating U.S. government policymaking circles, the real intent was to “infiltrate and disrupt, as much as possible with extreme prejudice, the method by which the “Capitalists” determine a national college football champion”...or what one detainee described as “how you say in English...da’ Bolchevik Chawmpeeyoncheep Seeereees”. The Weber Kid fell prey to Anna Chapman, who used her feminine wiles to gain access to Vindy’s Picks and called the duped soothsayer by the pet name “Lance”. Chapman convinced him it was a complementary comparison to bicyclist Lance Armstrong, but another Russian in the midst of interrogation revealed it was really just a derogatory reference to Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp of 1970's Saturday morning cartoon fame. Said an embarrassed Vindicator, “Hey..I bought it. She’s one hot babushka!”

Failing to reach .500 for the third straight week in light of Week Four’s 8-9-1 (29-40-2, .420) that saw Vindicator get the wrong end of the half-point twice, our protagonist doffs the Transformers Underoos (that become a fire engine when a hidden button is pushed) in exchange for a strategically-placed hammer & sickle and Stalin mustache, and poses for his spot as "Mr. Oktober" in the Heroes of the Motherland 2011 calendar. In the meantime, Homeland Security is advising citizens to “just say ‘nyet’” to..

(It’s a’s a’s both!)

#7 Florida over #1 ALABAMA taking 9: Tide looks vulnerable after having to rally vs. Arkansas squad still workin’ out the defensive bugs. The past two pairings (‘08 and ‘09) have been for conference supremacy and the accompanying BCS bowl bid. From Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com, Gators are 11-0-1 in last dozen getting points in the SEC. Timmy What’s-his-name couldn’t save the Crocs last year in ‘Bama’s 32-13 win and the Red Elephants have beaten the line in five of the last six years. Gators are Top 20 vs. the run and have some experience on offense, probably not enough though, so we’ll say...’Bama 27 Florida 23

#2 Ohio State over ILLINOIS giving 17 ½: Several trends support the Illini here (maybe explaining the line’s serious move in favor of UI). Spread looks like a bit of a compromise or average between State’s 10-point victory here in ‘08 and 30-0 whitewash at da’ Shoe last year. Illini covered in a 10-point neutral site loss vs. Missouri to start the season and chalked up a spread loss with 6-point home win over Northern Illinois last week. UI hasn’t lost by this many in Champaign since a 63-10 beat-down in October 2005 by your haggard host’s alma mater. Buckeyes are the only I-A team at 4-0 ATS, are also 10-2-1 ATS in the last 13 road matches and we just put our first OSU tilt in the forecast win-column last week, layin’ just huuuuuuuuge numbers. Dare we go against that?! Nyet! Unless Vegas needs to stifle some parlays...OSU 44 Illini 14

#3 Boise State over NEW MEXICO STATE giving 42 ½: Aggies have covered just two of last 10 getting points at home and only one of last ten taking three touchdowns or more. Boise won by 45 at Wyoming, whom we consider better than NMSU, who is switching from a pass-first offense to a running game under second-year coach Dewayne Walker. Aggies will likely have to abandon the ground plan quickly, but will have its best shot at an SU win next week while hosting rival Lobos...Boise 56 NMSU 10

#9 Stanford over #4 OREGON taking 7: Teams are basically equally-matched statistically, but the Mallards could not (or elected not/were instructed not to) cover last week despite 7 (count ‘em, seven!) giveaways by the Sun Devils. Could be a quick-moving game if both sides play conservatively and put the ball in the hands of their more-than-adequate running backs. Trees won 51-42 last year. Stanford has balanced its offense enough on the way to a 3-2 SU/4-1 ATS record in last five facing ranked teams. Autzen ain’t what it used to be (at least ATS). Gotta’ take the points and at no extra charge, the upset... Stanford 27 Oregon 24

#5 Texas Christian over COLORADO STATE giving 33 ½: Don’t know what kinda’ bad juju the Rams conjured up to beat Idaho outright last weekend, but TCU has taken the money four of the last five vs. CSU, including last season’s 44-6 win in Ft. Worth. In Rams’ favor are losses by 6 in ‘08 and 12 in ‘07, but Toadies ripped Baylor by 35 and SMU on the road by 17. Frogs dropped a notch in the AP Poll during their bye week. Can’t imagine a rested Andy Dalton doing anything other than opening a can of you-know-what in Colorado Springs to try to make up some ground... Horny Toads 48 CSU 10

#6 Nebraska: IDLE (next @ K-State 10/7)

#21 Texas over #8 Oklahoma taking 4 (@ Dallas, TX): Sooners’ bend-but-don’t-break second half strategy isn’t going to work here (in fact, we’re wonderin’ which Sun Belt squad suited-up as the Seminoles on 9/11). The neutral site spread woes continue for Oklahoma and if ‘Horns rush D neutralizes RB Murray, the pass D edge goes to Texas. Steers have won 4 of last 5 straight-up (4-0-1 ATS) in the Red River Shootout, but haven’t shown Vindy much love this year. We’ll forgive them if it turns out to be...Steers 20 Oklahoma 19

Louisiana-Monroe over #10 AUBURN taking 35: With Tigers having escaped, again, with a tough comeback victory vs. South Carolina and playing at home vs. a non-conference squad that just edged I-AA Southeast Weeziana 21-20 with a trip to Kentucky up next, this looks like a prime place to take a big lead early then insert the reserves long enough for the Warhawks to grab a backdoor cover or for Auburn to throw a lower-scoring shutout. ULM did cover at Arkansas earlier in a 34-7 loss...Tigers 30 ULM 0

#24 MICHIGAN STATE over #11 Wisconsin taking 1 ½: A clash of mid-tier titans, who spent last week smoking FCS opponents to the combined tune of 115-10. Wisconsin is a blocked kick away from being further down the chain, while Sparty is here on the strength of an overtime gadget play vs. Notre Dame. Collectively, these clubs are a collective 1-5 against the line. State, going back to last season, is on 1-7-2 ATS skid. Badgers are lousy road faves, but have found a way to win 10 of last 14 when the final margin was a FG or less. Wisky has walked off with victories in high-scoring affairs in two of the last three years. Should be a grind-it-out, run-first strategy on both sides...MSU 31 Cheeseheads 27

Tennessee over #12 LSU taking 16: We say this for some team at least once each season, but “Will the real Tigers please step forward???!!!” Geez! Bengals survived a sloppy game on the strength of special teams in narrow win vs. West-By Golly-Virginia. A tuba player from LSU’s marchin’ band just walked onto the hoops team. We’re wonderin’ if he’s got a friend in the wood-wind, percussion or harpsichord sections who stands in at about 6'5"-215 lbs. and wants to be a tight end or receiver???!!! Two final tallies in the teens in significant losses and a double-OT win that just cleared last year’s average scoring output vs. UAB isn’t comforting for Vols fans. State seems to be beating the conference spread curse, covering both SEC games to-date, but Florida looms...Tigers 26 Vols 12

#13 Utah: IDLE (next @ Iowa State)

#14 Arizona: IDLE (next vs. Oregon State)

#15 Arkansas: IDLE (next vs. Texas A&M @ Arlington, TX)

#16 Miami over CLEMSON giving 3 ½: Despite the predictable passes thrown by Jacory Harris to guys wearing blue & gold, ‘Canes still managed to beat mistake-prone Panthers. Miami no bargain in conference, going just 8-16 ATS in Coach Shannon’s previous three years, but should get revenge for 2009's 40-37 loss to the Tigers. Clemson has defeated only two ranked teams in last eight tries...Miami 27 Clemson 20

#17 IOWA over #22 Penn State giving 7: Another big road game for State’s freshman QB and he’ll face another stout defense. The Lions’ top scorer is kicker Colin Wagner, with 10 field goals and 8 points-after. That could be a problem vs. the Hawkeyes, who put up 27 in a loss at Arizona, which has allowed only 17 total points in its other three games thus far. Iowa’s gone 10-5-1 ATS in Big Tenderized play, but has been so-so 8-12-1 giving points at home. Birds edged Penn State by 1 here in 2008, won by 11 last year at Happy Valley and have rewarded bettors in 5 of last 6 in this series...Iowa 24 Penn State 13

Washington over #18 USC taking 10: Jake Locker has not been the answer for struggling Sled Dogs (1-2 SU/ATS) , whose only victory came at home over Syracuse, whose only I-A victory was over still-winless Akron. Huskies, however, did beat the Trojans 16-13 last season as a significant underdog. USC won and covered against mannequin-like Wazzou, but might find the going more difficult here...SoCal 24 UDUB 17

#19 South Carolina: IDLE (next vs. Alabama)

#20 Michigan over INDIANA giving 10: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Wolverines, even after Denard Robinson was hurt and left in the 2nd Quarter, made Vindy’s wager on Bowling Green +24 look pretty foolish. Hoosiers continue their usual early-season success at 3-0 SU for the third time in five years, but have gone 0-4 SU/1-3 ATS in Big Tentacle openers. It was close last year at the Big House as Indy lost just 36-33. Both teams are averaging just over 41 points per game and Big Blue is just 4-12 ATS in conference play, but can’t see why it can’t cover this one...Michigan 35 Indiana 16

#23 NC STATE over Virginia Tech taking 4: Tough pick. Which Hokies team shows up? State dominated Cincinnati and Joja’ Tech and is riding first four-game SU win streak since 2003. A strange, mid-season 0-4 SU collapse derailed what coulda’ been a good year for State. Perhaps, the Wolfpack is ready to go (#20 nationally in points-scored behind a strong air game showing an 11-1 TD-to-INT ratio)...just a year later than expected...NCSU 24 Virginia Tech 22

#25 Nevada-Reno over UNLV giving 21: Hope the Rebels enjoyed their 45-10 blow-out win over New Mexico ‘cause they’re gonna’ be on the wrong end of one this week. This year’s Wolfpack is more seasoned and more potent than the squad that won by 22 in Sin City in 2008 and by 35 up north in 2009 and it owns two of the top 18 scorers in the country. The only comforting thought for Vegas backers is that UNR beat Eastern Washington at home by only 24 to open 2010. Reno savors its first ranking in six decades and the Fremont Cannon remains blue ...UNR 49 UNLV 23

BTW, employing outdated Cold War methods, such as using lemon juice to write messages that required holding a lit match nearby to read text and swapping picks at train stations, the Russian spies got little, if anything, of value ( though one operative was proud of acquiring <<“da’ playbook for da’ Weeziana-Lafayette ‘Ragin’ Cage-Mens’>>”.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal made a point of noting QB Omar Clayton’s decision to cut off his dreadlocks prior to the Rebels’ victory over New Mexico as representing “a new beginning” for the club. Line-up fellas and meet this week’s team-barber...Sweeney Todd!

Just prior to the start of the new season, Lobos’ coach Mike Locksley was quoted as saying, “I see the tell-tale signs of a program that’s right on track.” We’ve seen that track. It’s the same one to which Snidley Whiplash used to tie Nell Fenwick with the big freakin’ locomotive bearing down during those old Dudley Do-Right cartoons!!

A 14th century BC fragment found in Jerusalem this year bears the oldest known writing. Researchers have determined that the partial text reads, “We ARE....!.”.

Last summer, Carrie Prejean married Oakland QB Kyle Boller. Did the bride wear silver & black??!! Do the honeymoon pics show the former Miss USA sporting spikes, leather and....a skull mask!

In June, Prince Harry threw out the first pitch of a Mets-Twins game after firing an M4 rifle during field exercises at West Point. His Royalness coulda’ combined the two and discharged the weapon into the NY catcher’s mitt or at least pelted the Cadets with baseballs as they negotiated a faux minefield.

Black Shirt: An autographed obsidian tee goes to Stanford kicker Nate Whitaker, who booted four chip-shots and a 41-yarder to help the Cardinals belt Notre Dame, evening up the Weber Kid’s lock record.

“Locked in a Box?”: Vindy goes to 2-2 (.500) behind Stanford’s pasting of the Irish.

Shoppe Talk: The Buckeyes (1-3) and Longhorns (1-3) get released on probation after posting forecast dubyas, but are asked not to leave the state. Meanwhile, joining the fray are the Nitwit Lions and the Mountaineers, both at 0-3. Crowding the doorstep (Easy, fellas...there’s plenty of formaldehyde for everybody) are the Gators, Bayou Bengals and Trojans, all at 1-3 (.250).

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-3 Season: 7-10 (.412)
Northwestern -4 ½ over MINNESOTA, East Carolina +13 over NORTH CAROLINA, Idaho -3 over WESTERN MICHIGAN, Texas Tech -7 over IOWA STATE, Florida Atlantic +22 over SOUTH FLORIDA

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2010


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MSNBC)....Paris Hilton dodged a major bullet...for now...when felony possession charges were dropped and probation was ordered instead last week by a judge here in Sin City. The hotel heiress wiggled off the hook after an initial arrest in August turned out to be bogus when the contents of a small, plastic baggie turned out to simply test positive for traces of Vindy’s Picks, not cocaine as originally-suspected. Hilton at the time of her arrest denied owning the Chanel bag and reached for Chapstick, but the container holding the minuscule pieces of the Weber Kid’s Week One forecast accidentally dropped out of the accessory bag and was confiscated by law enforcement then sent off for lab testing. Witnesses say they saw Hilton’s current squeeze cutting up some papers with a razor blade and scooping the remains into the bag. The incident would cost her beau his job and got the celebrity herself black-listed by sportsbooks at several prominent casino-resorts around town. Witnesses did, however, note they saw lots of tiny shards of paper around Paris’ nostrils.

On Sunday, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen pronounced BP’s Macondo well “effectively dead” (this was also certified by the Coroner of Munchkinland, who noted “it’s not meeeeerrrrrrrely dead, it’s really most sinceeeerrrrrrely dead!”). Following Saturday’s results of 7-13 (21-31-1, .404) for Vindy’s Picks, apparently so is...

(Sponsored by Old Spice...”Pick like a man, Man!”)

PITT over #19 Miami taking 3:
Panthers are hangin’ around the fringes of the Top 25.‘Canes have been a toss-up proposition layin’ points on the road. Miami’s allowed just two rushing touchdowns, both to Ohio State, and could keep tabs on Dion Lewis. But how many picks will Jacory Harris throw this week? Panthers had won 8 straight home games before losing 45-44 to Cincinnati in 2009 regular season finale and are now 9-1 SU at Heinz Field after dropping New Hampshire two weeks ago...Panthers 24 Miami 20

#4 Texas Christian over SMU giving 17 1/2:
Even if the Ponies hadn’t allowed a 68-yard pass play for TD late in the game, they still wouldn’t have covered big line vs. Wazzou. SMU has covered 3 of last 4 in this series, including an outright win in 2005...TCU’s only loss in its 11-1 season. Ponies are in third year under June Jones and are improving on both sides of the ball, but are young in the backfield. That said, SMU lost by 25 last year and by 41 in 2008. Ponies lost by 7 at Texas Tech to open the year, but Red Raiders don’t play D like the Froggies... TCU 41 SMU 17

#10 ARKANSAS over #1 Alabama taking 7:
Revisiting a stat we noted in Week Two, only six of Tide’s last 31 games now have finished with a single-digit margin. This match-up hasn’t been competitive the last 2 years, with Tide winning 35-7 in 2009 and 49-14 in 2008. Pigs gave up 10 total points in first two games vs. lower-tier clubs then 24 to Joja’ last week. ‘Bama can hurt Arkansas with not one, but two potential Heisman winners at RB. Razorbacks best shot is to goad Tide into a track meet. Tide has gone 12-6 ATS in conference, 12-3 on the road and 9 of last dozen facing the Top 25. A spread win here for Alabama would finish first season in over a decade without a September ATS loss, but Tide visits a major offense that’s not being guided by a true freshman...’Bama 35 Pigs 31

#2 OHIO STATE over Eastern Michigan giving 43: Fine. Whatever. State’s opponents continue to make enough mistakes to take themselves outta’ the spread wins. Eagles, who went victory-less last year and with their next cover will equal their ATS win total for all of last year, don’t reside in Ohio and State only has trip to Champaign, Illinois next week for conference opener, so we’ll just call it...Ohio State 49 EMU 3

#24 Oregon State over #3 BOISE STATE taking 16: Beavers hung tough and lost but covered in 9-point defeat vs. the “other” BCS-buster, TCU. Louisville managed to keep WR James Rodgers contained, limiting him to 37 total offensive yards, while brother Jacquizz went for 132 yards and accounted for three OSU scores. Beavers still haven’t coughed up a turnover. They’ll need that kinda’ ball security to have a chance here. Boise just 6-4-1 giving points at home the last two years, but closest thing to an actual SU defeat on the blue field over the past three seasons was 69-67 win vs. Reno in October 2007. Boise did yield 30 to the Hokies....Potato-Heads 31 Beavers 18

#5 Oregon over ARIZONA STATE giving 11: We looked at this for lock. Ducks are making good use of one of the few big school offenses that doesn’t look like a locomotive being pulled to a start from a standstill by some Swiss weight-lifter wearing a yoke in a “World’s Strongest Man” competition. Sun Devils could be flat after blocked XP that cost ‘em a late tie vs. the Badgers. Gang Green has allowed just 13 points sandwiched between two shutouts and have covered five in a row vs. ASU...Oregon 41 ASU 20

South Dakota State @ #6 NEBRASKA: No line.

Ucla over #7 TEXAS taking 17: Steers O is still somewhat stuck in first gear under new QB Garrett Gilbert, but two touchdowns in first 6 ½ vs. Tech is encouraging. UCLA is now on a 14-3 ATS run vs. ranked teams after posting 31 unanswered points while knocking out the first two strings of Houston’s quarterbacks. Bruins are just 3-7 as road dogs in their past 10 opportunities while ‘Horns are now 1-6 vs. non-cponference teams, blowing both tries in 2010. Red River Shootout looms for UT...Cattle-Call 27 Bruins 16

#8 Oklahoma over Cincinnati giving 17 (@ Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH): Sooners have had two close calls now after nearly tanking a 20-point 4th Quarter lead vs. Air Force and while OK has been no great shakes on neutral turf (3-8-1 ATS), UC’s once-potent offense doesn’t seem to have the pieces to stay this close, especially now losing TE Guidugli, who played QB not long ago. This one’s being played at the home venue of the Cincy Bengals. Maybe if Ochocinco and T.O. suit up for the Bearkats....Oklahoma 38 Cincinnati 13

Kentucky over #9 FLORIDA taking 14: As predicted, Gators didn’t get rolling until the second half last week vs. Tennessee, but we got bitten by the half-point. ‘Cats quietly putting together a solid season at 3-0 SU/ATS, albeit vs. lesser teams, but could catch Florida peeking ahead to ‘Bama...Florida 28 Kentucky 20

Austin Peay @ #11 WISCONSIN: No line.

#17 AUBURN over #12 South Carolina giving 1 ½: Tigers are on borrowed time, having rallied from 14-point hole vs. Clemson to win in OT despite being out-gained, out-first-downed, out-possessed, more penalized and minus-2 in turnovers. Gamecocks beat FCS Furman 38-19 last week, but QB Garcia did throw a pair of picks. Again, we’d prefer the “under” here, but think Auburn finds a way to hold serve at home...Auburn 21 KFC 19

#13 UTAH over San Jose State giving 32: The good news for the Spartans is that they’re scoring progressively more points each week (3, 14, 16), while opponent scoring has decreased likewise (48, 27, 11). The bad news is that those latest tallies came in 16-11 win over I-AA Southern Utah. Utes looking good under direction of their back-up QB, but did win by just 10 last year at San Jose...Utah 44 SJSU 9

#14 ARIZONA over California giving 7: Wildcats joined the Sooners in the almost-wasted-a-20-point-edge category, but held on to beat Iowa with some big plays. Three-touchdown loss to Nevada-Reno does not inspire confidence in da’ Berkeley Bears. AZ has been solid bet in PAC-10 play at 17-9-1 the last three years...Arizona 23 Cal 13

#15 LSU over #22 West Virginia giving 6 ½: Okay, Bengals’ win over MSU was a field goal fest, but it was a field goal fest played for four straight quarters. Tigers snared five interceptions last week. Those would be handy this week vs. the Mounties, who threw for four scores while blowing up Vindy’s upset-of-da’-week pick vs. Maryland...LSU 24 WVU 14

#16 Stanford over NOTRE DAME giving 3 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. The last three years, this series has been decided by exactly 7 points in either direction. Leprechauns have now failed to hold late 4th Quarter leads and paid the price for that. Shouldn’t be a problem here as we expect the Trees to lead throughout the game. Stanford racked up 535 yards of offense vs. Wake Forest last week and did so without a 100-yard rusher or receiver, spreading the ball around nicely. Catholics went on 4-game SU losing streak in 2009 by total of 17 points and now have back-to-back defeats by combined 7 points. Uh-oh...Stanford 31 ND 20

#18 IOWA over Ball State giving 28: Cards won just two games in 2009 and because they lost to Liberty earlier, they’re still looking for the victory that will tie last season’s total. BSU has covered 3 of last 4 vs. the Big Tendril conference, but those were all games against Indiana and Illinois. Hawkeyes rally didn’t quite get there at Arizona. Not a good thought for the Redbirds....Iowa 42 BSU 6

WASHINGTON STATE over #20 Southern Cal taking 24: Just two weeks after Trojans played...and almost lost to...MAXIM’s second-worst college football team of this season, they now face said-mag’s Numero Uno worst team. USC is 3-0 straight up, but 0-3 against the spread. Wazzou lost by 21 last year, getting about 45 points and lost respectably at SMU in Week Three. Troy doesn’t seem interested. Cougars just might be...SoCal 30 WSU 20

Bowling Green over #21 MICHIGAN taking 24: How good is Michigan really? UConn got belted by Temple last week, the Frightenin’ Irish are 1-2 and Big Blue led I-AA UMass by 4 at halftime in Ann Arbor en route to a 5-point victory. Can’t lay over three touchdowns vs. Bowling Green squad that’s flying below the radar at 3-0 ATS following close road defeats at Troy and Tulsa and solid win over Marshall last week...Wolverines 31 Falcons 16

#23 PENN STATE over Temple giving 16: Owls posted nice two-TD win over UConn last week, but struggled against I-AA Villanova and had to win in OT over Central Michigan and have been on the wrong side of the line 7 of the last 10 times facing the Lions. Temple did cover last year on the heels out SU loss to aforementioned ‘Nova team. TU is 6-3 as a road dog the past two seasons, but those spread wins came against other MAC teams and Navy. NYC Library records show George Washington borrowed in 1789, but never returned, two books...”Law of Nations” and....”Joe Pa: The Biography”!!!...Lions 29 Hooters 10

Northern Colorado @ #25 MICHIGAN STATE: No line.


Another week of forecast losses in the teens and we’ll be soliciting a certain Senator-wannabe from Delaware to do do...that voo-doo....she well...(Oh high school???!!! Hmmm...Sabrina, Da’ Teenage Witch??!! “So... if she weighs as much as a duck...” “Then...she’s..made of...wood...” “And thereforrrre...” “A witch!!!!) and conjure up Vindy’s Picks from a candle-lit pentagram! (BTW, anybody else out there think Christine O’Donnell looks like a cross between a younger Sally Field understudy and Rachael Ray’s evil twin???!!!!)

Vindicator turns in his PSU alumni membership card and switches conference allegiance to the Sun Belt after the Big Tendinitis went a collective 0-5 for Vindy’s Week Three picks!!!!!

Crash-test dummies, Vince and Larry, who promoted auto safety for 25 years are headed to Smithsonian’s Museum of American History. Meanwhile, lesser-known tackling dummies, Larry’s brother Darryl...and his other brother Darryl...continue to flounder in relative obscurity on the practice field!

Chad Ochocinco and T.O. now play together for the Bengals and were dubbed “Batman and Robin”. We’re thinking the Dynamic Duo turns out to be closer to Bonnie & Clyde (and Chad Ochocinco’s spiffy, new “Batman-like ride” ends up bullet-riddled! Give us the Black Beauty, the Mach V or the Gruesome Twosome’s Creepy Coupe from the Wacky Races anyday!)

If a base-runner’s pants hang half-way down his ass, is he “off with the plumber’s crack of the bat?!”

World (hic)Cup Part IV- Following end of World Cup competition, Vindy exchanged jerseys with a bookie (And man, was she hot!). Paul the German Octopus correctly picked World Cup winners, including Spain in final match. He finished 8-0 (and was subsequently “retired” by his bookie! (In fact, we’re told “Paul sleeps wit’ da’ fishes.”). South African vuvuzela horns trumpeted an unrelenting beehive hum and annoyingly drowned out crowd sounds. Next time the U.S. hosts the World Cup, we oughta’ blare the banjo music from “Deliverance” all game long over the PA system! (Vindy’s been hearing that same music every time he tunes into Sportscenter to get scores lately!). A July ish of ESPN: Da’ Mag reported Colombian police seized a replica World Cup trophy made of cocaine. (Hmmmm, if a faux Sears trophy was to be constructed likewise, BCS could stand for “Bowl Cocaine Series”!). Announcers made a point of relating that soccer players often go by a single name, including one known simply as “Kaka”. Funny, Vindy’s often heard his recent picks referred to by exactly that same name as well!

Black Shirt: The highly-coveted ebony undergarment goes to Massachusetts Minutemen QB Kyle Havens for three 4th Quarter touchdowns that supported Vindy’s Week Three guidance to Ann Arbor faithful to “hold your breath” as Michigan escaped UMass with the previously-noted 5-point triumph.

“Locked in a Box?”: Houston’s rushing game did not pick up the slack after Case Keenum was lost again to injury and the Cougars’ outright loss drops the lock record to 1-2 (.333).

Shoppe Talk: Guess who. Buckeyes now firmly-entrenched at 0-3. The Steers of Texas (0-3) also spend another week. And Texas Tech gets an invite after falling to the Longhorns just on historical principles!

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 4-9 (.308)
Nevada-Reno -3 over BYU, Virginia Tech +4 over BOSTON COLLEGE, NC State +9 over GA TECH, Idaho -7 ½ over COLORADO STATE, Southern Miss -5 ½ over LA TECH, Florida International +11 over MARYLAND

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vindy's Picks Week 3-2010


HOUSTON, Texas (UPI)....At the behest of the owners, players and fans, a local charitable organization known as Taping for the Blind will conduct a one-season experiment, with volunteers working literally side-by-side with visually-challenged officiating crews to verbally paint the picture on the football field for them. Currently, members of the company read various types of written materials including magazines, such as Playboy, providing thorough descriptions of pictures as well as text on tape then transmit those recordings over the radio to listeners who could not otherwise see the words and images themselves. Service providers would remain within arm’s length of officials on the field, rattling off pre- and post-snap descriptions of plays as they unfolded, even counting off seconds on the waning play-clock, allowing optically-impotent referees to make correct calls, especially on plays that are not reviewable. Success on the pro gridiron could lead to expansion of the program to the basketball court, hockey rink and the soccer pitch. Said one anonymous international player, “If we’d had this during the World Cup, we would’ve beaten England!”

After tallying Week Two’s 5-13 (14-18-1, .437 season), our own not-so-omniscient oracle stole a page outta’ JetBlue flight attendant Steve Slater’s book and cussed out a bookie then snared a couple of cocktail waitresses before escaping down the emergency chute into the poker room, taking out a row of slot machines along the way!

Vindy ain’t blind, but would be willing to don the dark glasses and fake it if it meant some winsome reader would come to Vegas, cozy-up to the pretentious prognosticator and softly whisper the words to...

(At least as pretty as Jonah Hex)

#1 Alabama over DUKE giving 24: Blue Devils’ shift from running game to air game under Coach Cutliffe (up 100 passing ypg last year) could help them vs. young ‘Bama secondary. Rush defense has also improved 30 ypg, but those who watched Trent Richardson last week saw him carry 3 to 4 Nitwit Lions as he reeled off yardage on every tote of the rock. Tide also gets last year’s Heisman candidate Mark Ingram back. Ouch. Duke has gone 4-1 ATS in its last 5 vs. teams outside the Already Comatose Conference but just 2-4 ATS the last 2 years as a home dog...Tide 38 Duke 9

Ohio over #2 OHIO STATE taking 30: Doesn’t really matter who we pick here, does it?! It’s gonna’ be wrong. Buckeyes have covered just 2 of last 7 facing intra-state clubs. Ex-Buckeye running back Maurice Clarett has returned to his former school to take classes. He’s also just landed a one-year contract with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks. We’re just wondering if the former jailbird of three-and-a-half years was marketing himself as a “lockdown corner”! OU has experience on defense. They’ll need it...OSU 35 Bobblecats 7

#3 Boise State over WYOMING giving 23 1/2: Having spent themselves emotionally last week in Austin, Cowpokes will provide little resistance for the rested Potato-Heads, who need to devastate the remaining teams on their schedule after Virginia Tech lost outright to FCS squad James Madison. Boise on 7-3-1 ATS run as road chalk. No question, Wyoming will be battle-hardened by the time MWC play starts...Boise 45 Wyoming 17

Baylor over #4 TCU taking 22: The return of QB Robert Griffin, who threw for two scores and ran for two others vs. Buffalo, from injuries that wiped out most of last season for him gives the Bears a shot to make this respectable. Baylor is 7-3 ATS as a road dog over last two years. Froggies are just 6-8 vs. non-conference teams after leeting Oregon State hang around...Toads 24 Baylor 10

Portland State @ #5 OREGON: No line.

TEXAS TECH over #6 Texas taking 3: This clash has been pretty entertaining in three of the four seasons, with the Steers winning by 10 last year and 4 in 2006, while losing by 6 in 2008. ‘Horns offense has been crawling early and UT is on 2-6 ATS skid going back to 2009. The fave in this series has not fared well and an outright win by Tech isn’t outta’ the question. Raiders allowed New Mexico to put its first 17points on the board, but beat them by 35...Steers 27 Tech 25

Air Force over #7 OKLAHOMA taking 17 1/2: DeMarco Murray could bust the century mark in any given game for Oklahoma, but despite allowing a 100-yard rusher and almost allowing a second, Pilots kept BYU off the scoreboard for the final three quarters in romp vs. BYU. USAF is a crapshoot getting points away from the Academy and 3-3 ATS facing ranked teams. Air Force has finished each of last three years plus-double-digits in sacks. OK threw for almost 400 yards while blowing out the ‘Noles...Sooners 31 Flight Platoon 20

#8 Nebraska over WASHINGTON giving 3 1/2: Sled Dogs duped Vindy into thinkin’ he had made some cash takin’ Syracuse with 13 points by spotting the Orange an early 10-point lead before Jake Locker threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns (three to Jevan Kearse. Huskers failed to cover after posting a 31-3 halftime edge on Idaho. Gotta’ wonder if Nebraska’s looking ahead this week to next Saturday’s game vs. South Dakota State!...Huskers 27 UDUB 20

#9 Iowa over #24 ARIZONA giving 2: During all games played in Arizona this year, coaches can challenge an opposing player’s citizenship once each half. If the call on the field is reversed, the player-in-question is immediately deported and the opposing team is not charged with a time-out. Any reviews during the last two minutes of each half can only be initiated by Border Patrol officials up in the booth. We prefer the “under” here, but will take...Iowa 17 AZ 13

#10 Florida over TENNESSEE giving 14 1/2: A promising start for Tennessee vs. Oregon quickly became Rocky Toppled in the second half. Deja vu here. UF commissioned a Tallahassee-based sculptor. They better be keeping an eye on said-artist’s progress or there’ll be three statues of ex-Gators sporting the bronze version of Seminole war paint on their faces!...Gators 29 Tennessee 12

#11 WISCONSIN over Arizona State giving 14: Badgers turned in the kinda’ molasses-fast effort vs. San Jose State that we were expecting in opener against UNLV. Devils have been lousy 2-7-1 ATS as road dogs, but have lowered opponents’ points and rushing yards under Dennis Erickson. ASU has faced only a pair of double-A teams this season, but won both those games convincingly...Wisky 27 ASU 10

#12 Arkansas over GEORGIA taking 2 1/2: Razorbacks have walked off with a victory in just one of their last nine away games and the offense, like several others, has been fighting inertia until the second half. Joja’ was without star receiver Green in last week’s loss (one of the very few games we called correctly!) And will be again. ‘Dawgs won wild 52-41 shootout in 2009...Hogs 34 Joja’ 31

Furman @ #13 SOUTH CAROLINA: No line.

#14 Utah over NEW MEXICO giving 22 1/2: Utah’s special teams were definitely special in last week’s 28-point win (and ATS win) vs. the Rebels, who had two shots to bring home the backdoor cover from inside Utes’ 5-yard line very late in the game. Lobos, who lost 35-14 last year and are being led by a freshman QB this season, don’t seem to have the wherewithal to do likewise (and drew 16 flags in blowout by Texas Tech). Utes are now 25-8 against the line in the MWC over the past four-plus seasons... Utah 41 Lostos 13

Mississippi State over #15 LSU taking 7 1/2: Another game we’d simply prefer to play “under” the total. First trip of a horrible road schedule for the Bulldogs, who also visit Houston, Florida, ‘Bama and Ole Missed. MSU would like to avenge 2009's 30-26 loss. We think not, but we’ll take ‘em with the points in what we expect to be low-scoring chess match...LSU 19 MSU 13

Clemson over #16 AUBURN taking 7: Clemson has won 15 of 23 games under Coach Swinney, but lose CJ Spiller to the NFL CU hasn’t been impressive against the Top 25, going just 2-5 SU and ATS in last 2 years. There’s experience on the offensive line, but youth around it. The best team in the ACC right now might just be...Maryland???!!...Auburn 17 Clemson 14

#17 Miami: IDLE (next @ Pitt 9/23)

#18 Southern Cal over MINNESOTA giving 12 1/2: In May, we caught an Internet headline reading, “Weber Named Minnesota Starting QB”...didn’t know whether we’re suiting up for the Golden Gophers or supplanting Brett Favre! (And with Brett pulling his usual preseason flip-flop, Vin decided to bounce back-and-forth between Mankato and Minneapolis to get in a few extra reps with the respective first-stringers just in case!)...USC 27 O-fers 10

Wake Forest over #19 STANFORD taking 16 1/2: Trees come off 35-0 whitewash of UCLA, a game in which they got the benefit of four miscues by the Bruins. Wake won this 24-17 last year and they’ll need to pressure QB Andrew Luck to have a shot to make two in a row. That won’t be easy. Stanford registered 21 sacks last season while yielding just 7. Deacons seem to bring their best efforts for ranked squads, covering 10 of last 14 in those opportunities. More often not, Deacons keep it close, with 15 of last 25 regular season tilts being decided by 7 or less and 18 of those 25 ending with a final margin of 10 or fewer...Stanford 31 Wake 21

Massachusetts @ #20 MICHIGAN: No line.

Maryland over #21 WEST VIRGINIA taking 10: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Box Turtles started 1-3 SU last year, with only victory coming over (GASP!) James Madison, but we watched the Terps stuff Navy’s ground game on 4th-and-goal at the one two weeks ago for the upset. Mounties had to score a TD and 2-point conversion with 12 seconds left to send match at Marshall to overtime. Noel Devine’s Heisman campaign takes another hit... Terps 24 ‘Eers 20

Kent State over #22 PENN STATE taking 21: We ain’t backin’ the alma mater until the true freshman and his offensive supporting cast prove they can bring a couple of first-half drives to fruition. Lions on 1-4 ATS slide vs. non-conference and just 1-6 skid laying points at Beaver Stadium. PSU opened with 4 straight spread losses in 2009 and has been a bet-against-in-September club for several (other than ‘08). Golden Flashes should be worthy play vs. the MAC later and we’ll take ‘em here too following cover at Boston College last week...PSU 26 Kent 7

#23 Houston over UCLA giving 3: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Bruins crumbled late to lose at Kansas State and stumbled their way to the wrong end of aforementioned shutout by Stanford, who actually scored through the air but did much of the work by land. Cougars have been horrible road chalk...failing to cover in 9 of last 10 in that role, but we don’t see UCLA trading enough sixes with Case Keenum and his bevy of X-Box receivers. Houston has its own potent rushing game as well if needed...Houston 38 UCLA 27

#25 OREGON STATE over Louisville giving 19: We looked at this for lock until spread shot up this high, but despite Cards’ senior-heavy offense, very few starting defenders return and Louisville beat I-AA Eastern Kentucky last by 10. Beavers are rested after hanging tough with TCU. The Birds will need turnovers to make a game of this. OSU had only 11 turnovers all of last year and have none so far this season. Rodgers brothers should both have good days...Beavers 48 Louisville 20


BTW, Vindicator spent part of the off-season designing a Braille coaches’ challenge flag!

Break up the Dakotas!! Hats off to the University of South Dakota Coyotes for toppling the Gilded Gerbils of Minnesota just one week after one of those FCS teams up north took out Kansas!

Elsewhere in the Land of “Huh???!!”: James Madison (#11 in Week Two’s FCS poll) 21-16over Virginia Tech, Liberty (#18) 27-23 over Ball State, unranked Gardner-Webb (who got three votes) 38-37 in OT over Akron and #23 Montana State losing late 23-22 to Washington State after holding a 22-7 edge after three quarters. (BTW, USD was not even on the poll radar!). Hold yer breath, Ann Arbor! The Wolverines host #20 UMass this Saturday!!!!!

The Who played halftime of last year’s Super Bowl. Songs that coulda’ been part of the set: “We’re Not Gonna’ Take the House”, “Mama’s Gotta’ Squeeze Eight in the Box”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (a duet with George W. Bush), “Behind the Line of Scrimmage Blue Eyes”, “I Can See for Les Miles”, “Eminence Front Four” (Seven), “I’m Free...Safety”, “Love Ain’t for Quarterback Keepin’”, “The Song is Overtime”

Super Bowl XLIVwas brought to you by Hyundai. The original sponsor was actually Toyota, but officials feared the coin toss would get stuck and just keep on flippin’!!!!

Earlier in the MLB season, Ken Griffey, Jr. was found asleep in the Seattle clubhouse while being sought as a pinch-hitter late in the game. Final box score for runs, no hits, No-Doze????!!!!!

World (hic)Cup Part III- Lingerie model Larissa Riquelme promised to wear nothing but body paint and run thru the streets if Paraguay won the tournament. Argentina coach Diego Maradona vowed to do likewise. Neither brought home da’ hardware, but Riquelme is still welcome to run au natural around Vindy’s house. Argentina was beaten by Germany, but in a show of global sportsmanship, Vindy offered Coach the opportunity to streak his neighbor’s home instead!.

Black Shirt: Goes to Gamecocks RB Marcus Lattimore for the 182 rushing yards and two scores vs. Georgia that got Vindy one of his five correct picks of Week Two.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Weber would like to reconsider his WVU over Marshall pick, wishing he’d stuck with his initial Herd assessment of Week One!

“Locked in a Box?”: As noted earlier, the Rebels fell short at Utah, dropping the lock tally to 1-1 (.500).

Shoppe Talk: Buckeyes hang around and get joined by the Utes and the Longhorns, all at 0-2 for the forecast.

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 3-6 (.333)
MIAMI-OHIO -7 ½ over Colorado State, North Texas +5 1/2 over ARMY, Troy -3 1/2 over ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM, LOUISIANA TECH +4 over Navy

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2010


CINCINNATI, Ohio (Reuters)...From the CEO down to the line-workers who toil to bottle shampoo, employees at Procter & Gamble were in a collective state of panic and scrambling to do damage-control today as investors pulled out in droves and stock values on the NYSE plummeted while coaches, teammates and fans were left aghast upon learning Troy Polamalu had shorn off his hair and donated it to the “Locks of Love” charity so it could be made into wigs for cancer-stricken patients. The generous-but-stunning move comes less than two weeks after Head & Shoulders insured Polamalu’s trademark mane for $1,000,000 with Lloyd’s of London. Opposing players also mourned the decision that now leaves them with few options for blocking or tackling the defensive superstar. Asked if the non-profit organization had solicited the gift, the Steelers’ safety noted he was not directly approached, but “they asked with their eyes.”

Given how hard the bookies rode our prophet’s butt to start the season, they could’ve at least pulled Vindy’s hair! Including the loss of his Northern Illinois “best bet” pick, Vindicator went 0-fer-Thursday! After an unanswered hat-trick by the bookies that put the Weber Kid in an 0-3 hole and left for dead, our hero rose up and hit 9 of 11 on Saturday en route to Week One’s 9-5-1 (.643).

Barack Obama recently said he “can’t spend all (his) time with (his) birth certificate plastered to (his) head.” The Commander-in-Chief, however, said he had “no problem using double-sided Scotch tape” to adorn the presidential cranium with a copy of..

(Now available in the “vortex” bottle with a “cold activation window”)

#21 Auburn over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 2 1/2:
We get burned every time we jump on the Auburn bandwagon and the Tigers have gone just 4-9 ATS away the last three years (getting points in 11 of those games) and 5-11 in conference play since ‘08. State’s been 6-2 in last 8 as a home dog and needs to take advantage of the homefield here if it’s going to make noise in the division because the road slate is definitely unfriendly. Line reflects something closer to Auburn’s 3-2 win here in 2008 than its 49-24 victory last season at Jordan-Hare...Warhawks 23 Miss State 19

#23 West Virginia over MARSHALL giving 13 ½:
Line suggests a bit more effort than we had in mind when we noted in Week One’s picks that we anticipated “more fervor” from Marshall while hosting the Mounties this week. ‘Eers do have a new quarterback and took a mediocre 10-0 halftime lead against I-AA Coastal Carolina to the locker room last week and the line is not without historical precedence. WVU started slowly last season, edging another I-AA squad, Liberty, by 13, East Carolina by 15 and Colorado by 11 (all at home). Herd is a thunder-less 1-2-1 ATS the last 4 years playing its in-state rival, but the gap has been closing (a la UNLV-Wisconsin) and MU lost by just 17 last season in Morgantown...West Virginia 30 Marshall 13

#18 Penn State taking #1 ALABAMA taking 11 1/2:
Tide has won 15 straight home games, but is just 8-6 (pending SJSU) covering them. Lions allowed the first start by a true freshman in an opening game in school history last week vs. Y-Town State. The absence of Tide’s top defender Marcell Dareus and 2009 Heisman winner RB Mark Ingram (who would take his first real-world hit this week after sitting out ‘Bama’s opener while recovering from knee surgery) gives this loyal-but-realistic alum the cliche-ridden “glimmer of hope”. Only six of Tide’s previous 29 games have seen a final margin of less than double-digits. The Weber Kid busts open a bottle of Miller Genuflect Draft, drops to his knees in front of his Joe Pa shrine, gives it the ol’ “Vindy’s not worthy” wave and predicts .... ’Bama 20 Penn State 10

#12 Miami over #2 OHIO STATE taking 9 1/2: ‘Canes aren’t likely to cough up the pigskin on the opening kick-off nor throw passes right into the teeth of the OSU defense like Marshall did (then again, Miami QB Jacory Harris has been known to so such a thing). If Buckeyes win here, they likely cruise into Madison with an unsullied SU record in mid-October. State has now gone 14-3-1 ATS in last 18 games back to November of 2008 and 9-3 in last dozen against other ranked teams (including 3-1 facing Top 25 non-conference squads)...OSU 23 Miami 17

#3 Boise State: IDLE (next @ Wyoming)

Tennessee Tech @ #4 TCU: No line.

#5 TEXAS over Wyoming giving 29 1/2: Cowboys, who now mourn this weekend’s death of freshman LB Ruben Narcisse, squeaked by the line for the ATS win last year in 41-10 loss to the ‘Horns en route to a nice 9-3 spread season. Schedule-makers did Wyoming no favors for 2010 and it’ll probably need to sweep its last four games to be bowl-eligible. UT had covered 4 straight spotting less than 31 to teams outside the Big 12 before Rice broke through in Week One. Cowboys allowed Southern Utah to close within 8 with about six minutes left. If Olivia Newton-John serenaded the Steers with a show-tune from Grease, would it be “Hopelessly Bevo-ted To You”???!!!...’Horns 38 Wyoming 7

#6 NEBRASKA over Idaho giving 28 1/2: Rising Vandals recorded more straight-up triumphs in 2009 (8) than in the prior three years combined (7) and more spread wins (8) than the previous two years combined (also 7). We saw what happened last week when another veteran WAC squad visited Norman. Nebraska is now 9 of 11 covering games when non-Big 12 opponents get double-digits...Huskers 44 Idaho 14

TENNESSEE over #7 Oregon taking 13: These two combined to blast their foes by combined 122-zippo last week. Vols were expected to run the ball more this season, even before losing their top pass-catcher last week. Tennessee is young in the middle of their offense line and the Ducks were plus-23 in sacks last year, so throwing should be an after-thought. Rocky Top did cover against all three Top 25 opponents in 2009, losing at Florida by 10, losing by 2 at ‘Bama and beating South Carolina straight-up...Mallards 34 Vols 27

#8 FLORIDA over South Florida giving 16 1/2: Skip Holtz’ first year at the helm for USF team, which is celebrating its 10th season in I-A ball. Bulls return 10 starters on offense and good depth from last year’s 8-5 team, but have gone just 2-4 ATS in last six vs. ranked teams. Gators are 7-1-1 against the number playing other Sunshine State clubs. UF is planning to honor its trio of Heisman winners, Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tiki-Bar with statues. Hmmm...Touchdown Tebow?! Wouldja’ believe...”Tebow De Milo”????!!!.... Crocs 38 Bulls 20

Iowa State over #9 IOWA taking 13 1/2: Even though the Cyclones clobbered our opening “best bet” selection, their convincing defeat of a Northern Illinois team that we expect to be competitive in the MAC gives us great hope for yet-another cover vs. the Hawkeyes, who broke a string of ATS losses (2-10 in last dozen) to their in-state rivals last season on the strength of six miscues by State. An Iowa bow-hunting couple got married this spring in a tree-stand while wearing camouflage. Hmmm...”You may now skin the bride”????!!!!.....Birds 20 Dust Devils 12

#17 Florida State over #10 OKLAHOMA taking 8: The good news here (for FSU betting-backers anyway) is that all of the wins in ‘Noles 4-8 spread record came away from Tallahassee. Jimbo Fisher takes over in earnest for retired/deposed coach Bobby Bowden. Of concern for the Sooners is that even with a pair of scores from DeMarco Murray and a plus-2 turnover margin, the now-31-game home winning streak was in jeopardy late. Including bowls, OU is just 7-9-1 ATS vs. other ranked teams. After the final score rolled in on Jacksonville State’s upset of Ole Miss, there hadda’ been a collective sigh of “Whew! Been there, almost done that.” from the Injuns. ACC has the opportunity to make a major statement this week with big non-conference victories and ‘Noles did ambush BYU last year in Provo... Oklahoma 24 FSU 23

#11 WISCONSIN over San Jose State giving 37 1/2: This got a lotta’ consideration for “lock”. After getting crushed by Alabama, Spartans are now on 1-10-1 death spiral against the line. Given Southern Utah’s respectable loss at Wyoming last week and a trek to Utah in two weeks, San Josie and the Pussycats State could end up 0-fer-September...Badgers 45 SJSU 3

James Madison @ #13 VIRGINIA TECH: No line.

#14 Arkansas over Louisiana-Monroe giving 34 (@ Little Rock, AR): Warhawks will play their first game under Todd Berry, who raised UNLV’s scoring by 6 points per game and got the Rebels within a game of bowl-eligibility the past two seasons in his three-year assignment as offensive coordinator. Hogs’ coach Bobby Petrino hasn’t forgotten 2008 comeback win over ULM, just 28-27, in his first year leading Arkansas. Monroe has covered 2 of 4 games vs. ranked teams and just 2 of last 7 out-of-conference. Best guess for “wish I had it back” pick because of Arkansas’ defense and we almost changed this one, but...Soooooeeeeyyy Pigs 45 Weeziana-Monroe 9

#15 Georgia Tech over KANSAS giving 12 1/2: The Jayhawks’ outright loss to FCS squad North Dakota State comes as no surprise to those of us who remember the Bison knocking off Minnesota 27-21 in 2007 and losing by just 3 to Wyoming last season. Kansas rushing defense has deteriorated fairly steadily each of the last five years. That doesn’t bode well facing one of 2009's top ground games. KU is 9-2 ATS in last 11 lined non-conference games, but just 1-4 against ranked teams....Bees 34 Birds 19

Virginia over #16 USC taking 20: Trojans went into the 4th Quarter at Hawaii holding a 19-point edge, but yielded big scoring passes of 30 and 65 yards. UVA got the dubious distinction of being called the second-worst team in college football for 2010 by MAXIM magazine. Cavs have made the money in 7 of 8 games as road dogs the last 3 years, but now have a new coach in part because opponents have been able to run increasingly more in each of the past two seasons and have posted 6 more ppg. Virginia did, at least, beat its FCS opponent Richmond this season after falling to I-AA William & Mary home by 12 to open 2009...USC 34 Virginia 16

VANDERBILT over #19 Louisiana State taking 10: Tigers fell asleep at the wheel after building a 20-point lead at the intermission and they almost paid the price, holding off two throws into the end zone in the waning seconds vs. UNC team that left a bunch of suspended players home and whose WR dropped a sure game-winning touchdown late. Bengals have been miserable ATS in conference play the past 4 seasons (8-20-5). Commodores lost close, see-saw battle vs. Northwestern last week...LSU 17 Admirals 9

Nevada-Las Vegas over #20 UTAH taking 22 1/2 : LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. It’s been six seasons since Utah beat the Rebels by more than 21-22 points. Utes were probably fortunate to walk away with OT victory over Pitt in light of shanked punt that put Pitt at midfield to pursue the tying FG and the INT thrown on the first play of extra frames by Panthers young QB, in a game that coulda’ been sponsored by Grauman’s Chinese Laundry given the 24 yellow hankies that hit the field. Rebels hitting paydirt three times against the Badgers is a good sign, if even if one of those scores came on defense. Coach Whittingham won’t need to ice the kicker with back-to-back timeouts, but...Utah 31 Rebels 13

#24 SOUTH CAROLINA over #22 Georgia giving 2 1/2: Gamecocks did not manage the two-minute drill well just before the half in game against SoMiss. It didn’t cost ‘em there, but could cost him here in what is usually a tight, low-scoring match (last year’s shootout notwithstanding). Dawgs have won 7 of last 8 years, with 6 of the 8 being decided by a TD or less. Carolina hasn’t been chalk in this series since 2001. Joja’s been dismal 4-12 ATS in the SEC the last two years. BTW, Steve Spurrier’s statue in Gainesville will come with a detachable and throwable visor! ... Poultry 20 Joja’ 16

#25 Stanford over UCLA giving 6 ½: Bruins ran for better than 5 yards per carry and closed to within 2 points of K-State before yielding another touchdown to Wildcats RB Thomas, who finished with 234 rushing yards of his own. Trees will probably rely more on QB Andrew Luck’s arm since former Heisman candidate Toby Gerhart has gone to the Sunday League. Stanford had lost six straight years to UCLA before breaking through with a victory last season. Uclans are on 13-3 ATS run vs. ranked teams, but went 0-2 last year...Stanford 28 UCLA 20


BTW, if there’s any aspiring film students or advertising moguls in the readership, we think there’s fame-and-fortune in a parody-of-a-parody of the original Mean Joe Green-Coke commercial....culminating in Troy ripping a wig off his head in the stadium tunnel and tossing it back to his young fan after rattling off the famous quip, “Hey, kid!...Catch!” (Get on that, folks. With some luck, it could be ready for debut during this season’s Super Bowl!)

The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee is requiring plant production workers to go thru a “fitness program” to become “industrial athletes”. Gotta’ love a car company whose employees have to run through tires before being allowed to mount them. Do workers get timed in the 40-car dash??!!! Are the tackling dummies equipped with front- and side-deploying airbags???!!! Do workers drive blocking sleds into brick walls at speeds of up to sixty mph during safety tests or do tackling dummies sit in the cars during those?!

Another upcoming rule change makes taunting on the way to the end zone a spot-foul and negates the touchdown. Likewise, taunting bookies from the casino floor will also cost bettors the payout of the winning ticket!

Luv for the Little Guys: Big ups to the FCS North Dakota State Bison for toppling Kansas 6-3 as previously-noted and to Jacksonville State for dropping Ole Miss in extra frames! Other notable end-of-1st Quarter scores from Saturday include...Miami-Ohio 3-0 over Florida, Rice 3-0 over Texas, Tennessee Tech 3-0 over Arkansas and Youngstown State 7-3 over those Nifty Lions!

Brett Favre reportedly sent text photos of”little Brett” then-Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger in 2008. Was he...a) just showing her his definition of “4th-and-long”, b) proving he could still stand tall in the pocket or c) demonstrating the proper technique for holding a yard-marker???!!

World (hic)Cup Part II- With no matches scheduled on July 4th, World Cup fans in South Africa whiled away the day by participating in Nathan’s Famous Vuvuzela-Eating Contest!. If Jimmy J.J. Walker rattled off the Dutch soccer team motto, would we hear... “We’re red...we’re white...we’re Danish DYN-O-MIIIIIIIIIITE!!!!!!”. Hotel staff at England’s base camp, known as the “Fortress of Boredom”, reportedly stole cash, a U.S. shirt an England player received in a post-match trade, a medal awarded by FIFA and...underwear. No word regarding whether the medal and skivvies were also acquired in a post-game swap!

Black Shirt: This year’s first ebony undergarment awarded weekly to the player(s) whose performance (or “performance”) benefitted Vindy’s Picks goes to.....UNLV corner Will Chandler for the INT for TD and 82-yard fumble return that preceded another Rebels score that allowed UNLV to squeak by the line and cap a 9-2 Saturday for the fab forecaster!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yep, we’d like a mulligan on the Marshall +29 pick after noting “we expect more fervor from Herd next week when West Virginia visits” in Week One’s forecast!

“Locked in a Box?”: Big Red made Vindy sweat a bit, but Nebraska eventually brought home the lock in the 4th Quarter vs. Western Kentucky to start the season at 1-0 (1.000).

Shoppe Talk: Shocker...the Buckeyes open Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe this year, picking up right where they left off...with a forecast “L” (0-1 this season, 3-11 back to last year). Joining them as a stuffed animal display are the Pitt Panthers, whose OT loss to Utah puts them at 0-1 on the year, but adds to current 0-6 slide back to 2009!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 2-3 (.400)
Eastern Michigan +16 over MIAMI-OHIO, Syracuse +12 ½ over WASHINGTON, Arkansas State +1 1/2 over LOUISIANA (Lafayette), ARMY -2 over Hawaii

Now if you’ll excuse him, Vindy’s off to mix himself up a nice, big pitcher of “purple drank” before settling in to watch this week’s fare with JaMarcus Russell! Yo, J...where’d ya leave that bag of Jolly Ranchers???!!!