Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vindy's 2011-12 Bowl Predictions Part II


DENVER, Colorado (Reuters)…Until now, the Broncos’ masterful miracles were often attributed to favor from On High, but a recent interview with the New York Post revealed Tim Tebow’s success in leading late comeback victories is more Gibson than God. The quarterback noted during the Q&A session that his flick-of-choice is “Braveheart” and subsequently busted out his best impersonation of Mel Gibson’s performance as outlaw William Wallace during Denver’s home game versus New England earlier this month. Meeting the referee and Patriots team captains at mid-field for the pre-game coin-toss on horseback, Tebow wore a kilt and Scotland’s national colors on his face while proposing “…Denver’s terms. Lower your flags. Tell your coach he has to cross the field, present himself before this team, put his head between his legs and kiss his own arse. Then, march straight back to New England, stopping at every Broncos fan’s home he passes by to beg their forgiveness for 100 seasons of oppression and tyranny.” Later in the 4th Quarter, decked out in the same 14th Century regalia and wielding a Claymore sword, Tebow was seen riding up and down the Broncos sideline, yelling, “They may take our linemen …but they’ll never take…our FREEDOMMMMMM!”

Spoiler-alert! Denver lost the New England game and Gibson gets beheaded at the end of said-movie for failing to quell his people’s uprising and not swearing allegiance to…

(Now with their own parade float)

DEC. 30
Brigham Young over Tulsa giving 1 ½ (55):
Cougars were locked into this bowl from the preseason (assuming eligibility) and the previous-MWC membership wouldn’t have gotten them anything more exciting, given the post-season destinations of Boise and TCU. An early-season change in quarterbacks lit a fire under a stagnant BYU offense that had posted all of 40 total points in the first three games (1-2 SU/ATS), going on to win seven of eight, losing only vs. TCU at Jerry World, and covering 6 of the last 7. Golden Hurricane ripped off six straight victories and five consecutive covers before falling badly to Houston. Tulsa’s won 4 of previous 5 bowls (4-1 ATS) by substantial margins. Coogs would snag double-digit SU win total again after missing in 2010 for first time in 6 seasons. Defensive advantage goes to BYU, who held 8 of 12 opponents to 20 or less. Unless USU transfer Riley Nelson goes all Charles Nelson Reilly (raise yer hand if ya watched Match Game and/or Lidsville in 1971) and leads the Mormons astray, we like…BYU 37 Tulsa 24

Iowa State over Rutgers taking 1 ½ (44 ½): LOCK OF DA’ BOWLS.
Bowl history and location favor the Paladins, with Rutgers winning its post-season matches in each of the past four years and likely garnering the favor of a preponderance of the fans at Yankee Stadium. Knights were also good on defense, giving up just 16.8 ppg until a weak UConn squad hit ‘em for 40 in the finale. Still, we’ll back the ‘Clones, who battled better opponents all year than Rutgers faced in Big Least league that barely crowned a conference champion. State ruined Oklahoma State’s national title hopes as a nearly-four-TD dog and Twisters’ coach Paul Rhoads just got himself nice 10-year contract extension. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie once applied for a job as a coordinator or assistant coach at Maryland because he heard he’d be working with “The Fridge!”. He also once sought out former Bears star William Perry for the same reason! “Under” is a pretty good guess and we’ll give the victory to…Iowa State 20 Rutgers 17

Mississippi State over Wake Forest giving 6 ½ (47 ½):
Deacs looked to be having a special season, winning five of first seven, with one of the losses in OT and a truckload of returning starters, but faded fast after that and had to beat a weak Maryland squad to close the regular season to get eligible. The Forest is younger at the skills than MSU and giving up almost 31 ppg on defense. Bulldogs dropped three of their last six…a pair vs. two of the best teams from the best division of the best conference in football. State, though outscoring opponents by an average of just 6 ppg, blasted Michigan in last year’s bowl and have a poor FG unit (just 11 of 18) that will likely mean going for it on 4th Down a few times, thus we like the “over” here as well…Mississippi State 37 Wake 20

INSIGHT (@ Tempe, AZ):
Iowa over #19 Oklahoma taking 14 (58):
Hawkeyes have won and covered bowls each of last three seasons, including two wins in the dog role, vs. South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Mizzou. No telling what Sooners frame of mind will be after losing to Baylor and Oklahoma State…badly (if ya don’t buy the conspiracy theory that Sooners threw that one). OK whacked opponents by 15 or more seven times. Hawkeyes lost by that many only to Michigan State. “Under” is feasible, with Oklahoma allowing 22.8 ppg and Iowa spotting opponents 23.3. Hawkeyes can be had through the air, giving up 20 scores with just 9 picks. Sooners passing game shows a 28-15 ratio. Second ho-hum post-season venue in last three years for OU, who’s used to playing in much better bowls…Okie-Doke 29 Iowa 17

DEC. 31
Northwestern over Texas A&M taking 10 (66 ½):
Wildcats have lost three straight bowls (two in extra frames) , but covered all of ‘em, losing by no more than 7. Dan Persa at QB always gives them a chance. Aggies have lost last five bowls SU and ATS and while they succeed in the red zone about 98% of the time, a minus-eight turnover ratio (-10 in losses) has hampered the chances for bigger things. Five of NW’s victories came over nobody in particular but sixth win came at ranked Nebraska and ‘Cats scored thru the air 25 times with just 9 interceptions. Could be a track-meet….Aggies 41 NW 37

HYUNDAI SUN (@ El Paso, TX):
Georgia Tech over Utah giving 3 (50 ½):
After early difficulty transitioning to its new conference, Utah seemed to be building momentum with late four-game SU win streak, but was shocked by Colorado at home as three-score chalk. Utes were lowest total-yardage team to make the post-season and face the #4 rushing yardage team in Joja’ Tech. Utah is however #7 in rush defense, allowing just six touchdowns on the ground and unlike many teams that could’ve been here, at least has experience defending the option, having played Air Force all those years in the Mountain Jest. GT has been lousy bowl bet, losing five straight years and covering just one. Wildlife officials in Utah use robotic deer to catch poachers. Maybe the Utes, 4-1 SU in their last five bowls (3-2 ATS), could strategically-place a few of the bogus-Bambis on the field to divert Tech’s attention…’Jackets 31 Utes 24

Vanderbilt over Cincinnati giving 1 ½ (48 ½):
First bowl for the Commodores since 2008 and just second since ’82. Senior-heavy Vandy went 4-0 SU/3-0 ATS vs. non-SEC teams, as the favorite in all of them. Money’s been coming in on Cincy after announcement that senior quarterback Zach Collaros is returning from ankle surgery he had over a month ago. All six of Vanderbilt’s defeats came at the hands of other bowl squads (scoring 21 or more in four of them). UC posted 9 SU wins and allowed only 20 ppg. ‘Cats lost to West Virginia by 3 at home and were pounded by Tennessee and Rutgers. While neither team’s stats scream “offensive juggernaut”, we think the total goes “over” and we prefer Vandy’s balanced offense…Admirals 29 Cincinnati 24

Illinois over Ucla giving 2 ½ (47):
This got “lock” consideration. Illini are young on offense and it showed badly in current six-game SU losing streak (UI didn’t top 17 in any of those six). That demise also sent The Zooker packin’. On the other sideline, we don’t see the departure of Rick Neuheisel, who will call plays in this one, from yet-another coaching stint on heels of 24-26 record, motivating 6-7 Bruins, who are only here because USC was prohibited from post-season activities, and who struggled to keep opponents outta’ the end zone (permitting 38 points or more to half their slate). Three of UI’s wins came by exactly 3. Four of the defeats, maybe even five, were excusable. We seriously-question the 20-point loss at Minnesota to end the regular season though. After being introduced this month as UCLA’s new head coach, Jim Mora, Jr., answering his first media question, quipped “Playoffs???!!! Ya kiddin’ me??!! Playoffs??!!!! I just hope we can win a game!!!”…Illinois 20 UCLA 10

CHICK-FIL-A (@ Atlanta, GA):
Virginia over Auburn taking 3 (49):
In what should be no surprise, last season’s National Title winner fell to a pre-January tilt in a rebuilding year. Auburn allowed the 3rd-most sacks (31) in the SEC and was next to last in the conference in scoring D at 29.3 ppg. Tigers were also last in stopping the pass, allowing 21 touchdowns, while snaring 10 interceptions. Cavs pass offense ain’t stellar at 15-15 ratio. Virginia got hot, taking five of last six on the year, with victories over then-Top 25 Georgia Tech and Florida State. Aubie barely dodged Utah State and lit the scoreboard only in the teens in five of last seven…Cavs 19 Worn Eagle 17

JAN. 2
TICKETCITY (@ Dallas, TX):
#20 Houston over #24 Penn State giving 6 ½ (56 ½):
Nearly hung the “lock” label on this one. It ain’t a BCS game, but unlike Boise’s demise, this wasn’t the result of a single missed kick and Case Keenum won’t wanna’ go out with back-to-back losses in his final two college games. It is a chance for the C-USA runner-up to dredge a BCS conference squad in the form of Nittany Lions club reeling from blow-out at Wisconsin, off-season issues that have scrubbed the usual stellar bowl-prep provided by Joe Paterno, one known locker room scuffle between players and that is hampered by a third-and-long pass D that has been a handicap throughout the year as it gets ready to take on the country’s top air game. State’s offense isn’t built to swap sixes here and we don’t think it’ll sustain enough long drives to hang within the short number. The alma mater was the lowest-scoring team to get a bowl bid. Cheer with yer heart. Bet with yer head!… Houston 34 PSU 24

OUTBACK (@ Tampa, FL):
#12 Michigan State over #18 Georgia taking 3 ½ (50):
Taking on SEC title game loser Joja’ should eliminate any letdown issues for Sparty after dropping 3-point decision in Big Ten championship game to Wisconsin. Bulldogs had won and covered 4 straight bowls prior to losing last season’s 10-6 stinker vs. Central Florida. State QB Kirk Cousins was just a freshman when Georgia won the 2008 bowl pairing 24-12. We like him over sophomore Aaron Murray for the ‘Dawgs. Both teams were excellent on defense….Michigan State 22 UGA 20

CAPITAL ONE (@ Orlando, FL):
#10 South Carolina over #21 Nebraska giving 2 ½ (46 ½):
Despite a tumultuous year that saw losses of Marcus Lattimore to injury and starting QB Stephen Garcia to suspension and eventual dismissal, Poultry could still finish with a 10-win season. Big Dread has gone 2-1 SU/ATS in bowls the past three years, losing outright in 2010 to Washington as disinterested two-touchdown fave. Chickens have been poor 0-3 SU/ATS in each of last three post-seasons. Carolina did finish strong with wins over Florida, Citadel and Clemson and held 7 opponents to 20 or fewer on the year. Huskers didn’t top 17 against any of the better defensive teams they faced and sophomore Taylor Martinez can be streaky. Nebraska has a shot if they can get the running game going…Gamehens 24 Corncobs 19

TAXSLAYER.COM GATOR (@ Jacksonville, FL):
Ohio State over Florida taking 2 (44):
First non-BCS bowl for State in 6 years and while OSU had much bigger plans entering 2011, the suspense has been gone for quite a while. Gators’ best outing may have been five-point triumph over rising Vandy in the Swamp, their only I-A victory after September [and only opponent against whom they scored more than 16). Buckeyes limp in on three-game losing skid, but at least have some offensive pop and made Michigan work for its victory. They better make the most of this one ‘cause the NCAA has just banned ‘em from next year’s post-season, including the 2012 Big Tenor Championship game for the whole memorabilia/tattoo/car thing. Jets coach Rex Ryan showed up at August training camp sporting a calf-length tribal tattoo. Ho-hum. We wanna’ see the ink on his spouse’s instep that declares props for “Columbus Chevrolet” or “’Da ‘Shoe Subaru”! Ya think anyone would notice if UF slipped Tim Tebow into a Crocs uni? (Or maybe a certain Lethal Weapon star is available!)….OSU 24 Florida 17

#9 Wisconsin over #6 Oregon taking 6 (72):
Nice match-up of running games between LaMichael James for the Mallards and the Montee Ball/Russell Wilson contingent for the Badgers, as well as a big defensive line for Wisconsin that allowed few points, would seem to portend an “under” here. Last three neutral site games for the Ducks have ended in defeats, including last season’s BCS Title match. Coach Bielema has taken the Badgers to the postseason in all six of his years at the helm, but shows just two wins and three covers. First dog role for UW since 2010 bowl, but 10th straight year its gotten points in the bowls…Drakes 34 Varmints 30

#3 Oklahoma State over #4 Stanford giving 3 ½ (74):
OKSU went 9-3 ATS behind its powerful offense. The D was still a hindrance, but showed flashes of brilliance. Cowpokes have gone 4-1 SU/ATS vs. 12-PAC foes the past four years, but the loss came vs. Oregon in 2008 bowl game. Cardinal also packs a big punch and sports a better scoring-defense, but only two their last eleven ranked opponents came out-of-conference. We think Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck both have good days vs. the respective defenses. The Fiesta committee could’ve ultimately been asked to take a powder from the BCS in the wake of misappropriated funds by then-president John Junker, including hoity-toity golf club memberships, car allowances and treks to a Phoenix gentlemen’s club. However, after the trial, the game kept its certification, but lost its sponsor and starting next year, must be held before New Year’s Day…and be forever known as the Discover Card “Peggy” Bowl!...State 44 Stanford 38

JAN. 3
ALLSTATE SUGAR (@New Orleans, LA):
#13 Michigan over #17 Virginia Tech giving 2 ½ (51):
Hokies were Euro-ripping 3-9 ATS, but suffered only two SU losses, both to inconsistent Clemson squad. Both teams hopin’ to erase memories of bad losses in 2010 post-season, run the ball well and limit opponents’ scoring opportunities (VT and Michigan ranked 8th and 9th respectively in points-against). Tech gets advantage in the passing aspect. Hokies have won only two of last five post-season outings and it’s been a good start to the Brady Hoke era in Ann Arbor, averaging almost 35 ppg and covering 9 of 12. We’ll take Denard Robinson and RB Shaw to drag out a few scoring drives and keep Frank Beamer’s defense on the field longer than it wants to be…Big Blue 27 VT 20

JAN. 4
#14 Clemson over #23 West Virginia giving 3 ½ (60 ½):
No confidence in a side or a total here (though we lean very slightly toward the “under”). Conference tie-ins pretty much doomed this bowl and though we’ve opposed the BCS-buster vs. BCS-buster match-ups of bowls-past, we’d rather have seen Boise State face Houston here than this snoozer-pairing of iffy “champions” from the ACC and Big East. Soap-box sermon over, now back to our regularly-scheduled analysis…Mounted Ears have dropped last two bowls by 12 and 16. WVU’s last four regular-season games were decided by 3 or less, with ‘Eers winning last three SU. We don’t know what to make of Clemson, but Tigers did win four of five SU/ATS vs. the ranked teams they played this year. Both squads come in currently 8-12 ATS vs. non-conference. West Virginia touts Gino Smith’s arm at quarterback and almost 460 passing yards per game. Clemson throws for almost 441 yards per tilt. Tigers, though scoring no more than 17 in losing 3 of last 5, looked good throughout most of the year. West Virginia never got much traction until November…Clemson 31 WVU 27

JAN. 6
AT&T COTTON (@ Arlington, TX):
#11 Kansas State over #7 Arkansas taking 7 ½ (62 ½): UPSET PICK OF DA’ BOWLS.
Wildcats are back in preferred role as sizable ‘dogs and the only two outright defeats came at the hands of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. With lotsa’ juniors on this squad, watch out for K-State next season! KSU can win the lowest-scoring, tight defensive battle or the shoot-out (with a bias toward the latter), playing to the level of its competition. ‘Cats covered 9 of 11 this season and while this is not a true “road” game, the Feral Felines have covered 14 of last 18 getting points outside Manhattan. Pigs score bunches, but not unlike Oklahoma State, feature a porous defense and have gone 1-3 ATS, with only SU bowl win coming vs. East Carolina in OT after 2009 campaign. Bacon managed a 4-point neutral site win over Texas A&M earlier this year…Kansas State 37 Arkansas 34

JAN. 7
BBVA COMPASS (@Birmingham, AL):
Pittsburgh over Southern Methodist giving 3 ½ (47):
Given Louisville’s 7-point bowl loss to NC State, 6-6 Panthers’ best “win” mighta’ been the 1-point loss at West Virginia during Thanksgiving. Pitt QB Tino Sunseri has a lot of fellow-seniors on the O-line to protect him vs. sawbuck-shredding Ponies, who went just 3-9 ATS, including current 0-6 demise and a loss to Army while laying a TD. SMU also lost 4 of last 6 SU, scoring no more than 17 in any of ‘em. We like what June Jones has done for the program and Mustangs boast a road win over TCU on the resume, but…Pitt 23 SMU 14

JAN. 8
GODADDY.COM (@ Mobile, AL):
Northern Illinois over Arkansas State taking 1 ½ (63):
A minor bowl taking place well-after most of the big ones are done, but it still matches conference champions…ASU out of the Fun Belt and Huskies from the MAC. First bowl for State since 2005. Middle of Red Wolves defensive line is young and that could be a problem vs. potent NIU rushing game. The remainder of the D is, however, experienced. Sun Belt winners are solid on both sides of the ball and ran the conference table following non-conference losses at Illinois and Virginia Tech. NIU scored total of 41 points over last games after exceeding that in nearly any single game prior to that. Both sides have been in shootouts. ASU went 9-2 ATS, NIU just 4-7, but…Huskies 44 ASU 37

JAN. 9
#2 Alabama over #1 Louisiana State taking 1 (40):
Long before kickoff, this one will have analyzed and probably criticized to death, but the only stats that matter here are the 9-6 OT win in Tuscaloosa by the Bengals and the two mssed Tide FGs that got ‘em that victory. Pressure’s on LSU to prove it deserved the win, but like last year’s national champ Auburn, a little luck is always part of the formula to win it all. Nothing since that game suggests this game won’t stay “under” the total and kicking troubles continued for ‘Bama after the first meeting. If we was Les Miles, we’d talk the ref into callin’ timeouts during pre-game practice kicks just to get inside the Tide kicker's head and would burn more everytime he lined up for so much as a kickoff or an XP. As we noted earlier this year, LSU’s only bowl defeat in six previous seasons under Miles came vs. Penn State. ‘Bama’s won three of their four, clobbering #2 Texas in the ’09 BCS Title game. Both teams are deserving of the crown and we’re just hopin’ for another great game…Reauxll Tide 17 Bengals 15

BTW, scientists recently suggested they think they’ve isolated the “God particle”. We weren’t aware they’d been studying Tebow’s DNA!

After throwin’ four picks in the loss to Buffalo, suddenly-Tinier Tim said, “…Hopefully, we can get in the tournament.” At this pace, we see the Broncos makin’ the Big Dance as a 14-seed and goin’ one-and-done!

We offer a few apologies to Bruno Mars and take a few liberties with the lyrics to “Grenade”, crooning…“What ya don’t understannnnd is…. I’d get Brett Favre in a traaaaaaaade fer ya…..ride the bench ‘til he plaaaaayed fer yaaaaa….We’d stop the Rose Bowl paraaaaaade fer ya….oooh-oooh-oooh-ooooooh…I would go through alllllll this paaaaaainnnnn… watch my parlay go downnn the draaaaaaaain…. Yes, I would die for ya, baaaaaaaby…but you won’t do the same…If my forecast was on fiiiiiire….oooooooh, you’d watch it burn down in flame…You said you’d bet, but you’re a liar ‘cause you never…ever..everrrrrrrrrdid, Baby!”

Hell…we’d even spray Vindy’s Picks with some *Glaaaaaaade* fer ya…

U.S. credit got lowered in August from AAA to AA. The football team, however, now faces FCS squads such UMass and Appalachian State and with a little luck, at this pace, could be a provisional I-A WAC team facing the likes of Colorado State in the San Diego Federal Credit Union Bowl in the 2013 post-season! The Little Sisters of the Poor have already made it clear they don’t play Boise State, but they might sign just put U.S. Credit on the schedule!

An April 2011 edition of the Penn State Alumni newswire included a blurb entitled “$10M gift endows dean’s chair, ethics director”. By golly, this proud alum is happy (Valley???!!!) that we have a well-endowed dean’s chair and similarly-enhanced individual overseeing the Ethics Department! The visual, however, really haunts your humble host! (Yeah, yeah! Save the hate-mail. This item came out well-before revelations of the current troubles in State College!).

Given the difficulties of Heisman Trophy winners at the next level, we predict the absence of the highly-coveted hardware from the display case of LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu means a long and prosperous NFL career for the Homey…Hominy Belcher…Honey…Hyundai Bender???!!!.

The Monday-night Steelers-Niners game in San Francisco earlier this month suffered a couple of lengthy blackouts. We think that’s taking “candlestick” a bit too far, don’t you? Big Ben tossed a pair of early picks in that game. That’s what happens when ya wrap the ankle and the ball with phosphorescent tape! There’s a proposal afoot to build a new venue for the home team in Santa Clara. The Broncos, who shut down their gridiron squad in 1993, might have somethin’ to say about that.

Last January, Jets strength & conditioning coach and part-time special teams…er…um…”contributor”…Sal Alosi, who tripped an opposing punt-returner, resigned. Historians have learned that ancestors of the deposed mentor stood near the track and used their knees to cause the wheels to come off opposing chariots during races in ancient Rome!

On the boob tube...bettors wager on the total number of days it’ll take a crack renovation crew to turn a dumpy apartment into a rad pad in “Extreme Make-Over/Under: Home Edition”!

Madonna will play this season’s Super Bowl halftime. In honor of the Material Girl, kick-returners wanting to signal a fair-catch, instead of raising their arms above their heads, must…vogue!

Texas Governor Rick Perry said he hopes he’s the “Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.” We’re not sure he could lead his camp to victory after being behind in the 4th Quarter, but we figure he’ll complete at least as many passes as the Broncos quarterback!

Much ado was made over North Korea’s ability to hide the death of Kim Jong Il from the world for two days. So what???!!! Some NFL teams don’t release injury information. The communist nation coulda’ broadcast footage of “Dear Leader” bein’ carted off the field and probably kept the whole Western world in the dark for another week! Can you say “Weekend at Kim Jong Il’s”???!!!!

Oh sure. Your fave team’s linemen can run-block and pass-block, but can they…writers’ block?! Yeah…we didn’t think so! Wussies!

Vindy’s Best Bowl Bets (Part II): Part I: 1-1 (with FSU-ND total TBA) Season: 35-34-1 (.507)
Illinois-UCLA “under” 47, Virginia-Auburn “under” 49, Houston -6 ½ over Penn State, Kansas State +7 ½ over Arkansas

C’mon back one more time a few days after completion of the BCS Title tilt as we offer our bowl recap and our “leftover hash”! Vin’s now off to try out the new video game he got for Christmas....Booty-Call of Duty!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vindy's 2011-12 Bowl Predictions Part I


DENVER, Colorado (UPI)…What started out as a simple-but-reluctant, inked-skin tribute to an athlete by Juan Contreras, who did so grudgingly after losing a bet, became a lucrative business proposition for the NFL fan and now-entrepreneur, who quickly discovered other fans, bettors and non-sports-types only hoping to establish a rapport with a higher power (Editor’s note: “The Passer, The Son and The Holy Bootleg”?) would pay good money to see him bare the arm displaying his body-art homage and hold photos along with candles or incense lit by those persons while they chanted or prayed, thus becoming a human shrine to Denver quarterback Tim Tebow. Contreras only half-jokingly said he was “available for bar mitzvahs, holiday parties and kids’ birthdays!”

In related news, second-grade teachers to Professor-Emeritus-level English language department heads at prestigious universities predict the addition of the word “Tebowed” to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary by year’s end. The term is defined as an adjective indicating ”the condition resulting from the loss of certain victory during the waning moments of a competitive event in the wake of apparent divine intervention as orchestrated by an athlete of the name ‘Tebow’”!

Meanwhile, in Chicago, weeks of speculation were put to rest with the recently-leaked photos of Lindsey Lohan’s Playboy cover, which show the beleaguered actress sporting only strategically-placed excerpts from…

(Only because Chuck Norris allows them to exist!)

DEC. 17
GILDAN NEW MEXICO (@ Albuquerque, NM): (over/under totals in parentheses)
Temple over Wyoming giving 6 ½ (49):
Much respect to the Cowboys for nice 8-4 SU season (including three outright wins as dogs) behind a balanced offense led by freshman Brett Smith, who boasts 18-8 passing TD-to-INT ratio. Owls, however, have nation’s third-best scoring defense, with only LSU and ‘Bama yielding fewer points-per-game. In fact, Temple let only three opponents get outta’ da’ teens and pitched a pair of shutouts. We’d love to back Wyoming, but all four losses were by double-digits and Owls (8-4 this season, with 3 defeats of 4 or less, including 14-10 loss to Vindy’s alma mater) have something to prove after being snubbed for a bowl last year despite 8-4 record…Temple 34 Wyoming 20

Ohio over Utah State taking 2 ½ (57 ½):
Aggies going to first post-season extravaganza in 14 years… Unfortunately, it turns out to be in Boise, Idaho! Bobblecats went 9-4 SU on the year, with three of those losses by combined 7 points, including a big stop-effort vs. potent Northern Illinois in the MAC title game. USU scored at least 21 in each contest and averaged 34 over last seven tilts that saw a five-game SU win-streak to close out the regular-season. Third straight bowl for Ohio and we’ll take the experience over Aggies squad under a first-year coach and which lost all three of its non-conference games…Ohio 24 USU 21

Louisiana-Lafayette over San Diego State taking 5 (58 ½):
Ragin’ Cajuns going to second-ever bowl, and first since the Apollo 13 launch and Tom Dempsey’s NFL-record boot of 63 yards, on the strength of 8-2 record through initial ten games of the year before losing last two. Lafayette will throw early and often. SDSU stops the pass fairly-well, yielding less than 200 yards per game. ULL cover 8 of its 11 games and averaged 32.3 ppg. Aztecs scored almost 30 per game while allowing less than 20 just three times, so we lean toward the “over”. Cajuns could win this if they can limit several State drives to FG attempts, where Aztecs have hit only 5 of 13 (with 3 makes coming inside 29 yards). Will the Aztecs spend too much time enticing the local N’awlins fauna into showing them their…uh…X’s and O’s????... Cajuns 34 SDSU 32

DEC. 20
Florida International over Marshall giving 4 (51):
Panthers, at 8-4 SU, in second bowl game (beating Toledo last season), while Herd had to beat East Carolina in OT in the regular-season finale to get eligible. Both teams won at Louisville early in the season (FIU by 7, Herd by 4) FIU went thru mid-season 6-game ATS skid before covering last three and suffered only two defeats in conference play…to Sun Belt champ Arkansas State and runner-up Western Kentucky. Marshall was spanked in 5 of its 6 losses (by 20 or more) and International’s good on defense.…FIU 29 Marshall 17

DEC. 21
Louisiana Tech over #16 Texas Christian taking 10 ½ (55 ½):
We expect a motivation problem for the Toads, who’ve landed here despite being Mountain Jest champions and having a lone loss by 2-points to now-ranked Baylor in the opener. TCU has dropped just one other game over the past three seasons. Frogs went just 5-6 against the line this year and though won 5 of last 6 bowls, did not cover the latest three. Only double-digit post-season victory was in ’06 over Northern Illinois. Bulldogs covered 10 of 11 this season and by 2 at CUSA champ Southern Miss, 1 to Houston and 6 at Mississippi State (and beat Ole Miss by 20!). Froggies are packing usual strong offense, scoring over 40 ppg, but the D is down a notch from previous editions, yielding over 21 per game…TCU 37 Weeziana Tech 34

DEC. 22
Arizona State over #8 Boise State taking 14 (65):
After the missed kick that dropped Boise (1 or fewer losses for the 4th consecutive season) from BCS bowl consideration and relegated them to this Vegas trip, Broncos (on current 0-6 ATS slide) could display the apathy we anticipate by the aforementioned TCU team. Devils, who were ranked early but finished just 6-6 overall in a weak PAC-12 conference after allowing 33 ppg to lose four of last six games, provide Boise with another BCS conference team to defeat and the opportunity to showcase Kellen Moore again, but…BSU 36 ASU 27

DEC. 24
#22 Southern Miss over Nevada-Reno giving 6 ½ (61):
“Over” looks good here as both teams sport big offenses …. both in the top 13 in yardage, with Reno scoring 37 or more in more than half its games while SoMiss averaged 41 ppg from Game Three forward this year, covering 8 of last 10. Eagles, who were only club to take down high-flyin’ Houston (holding the Coogs to 28 points) and won CUSA as a result, aren’t terribly impressive vs. non-conference (currently 3-9 ATS), will lose Coach Fedora to North Carolina after the game and might be more-wowed by paradise than Wolfpack club that plays in the Islands every other year. UNR is about fifty-fifty ATS overall, but has dropped 3 of last 4 bowls outright, covering none. ‘Pack will lean slightly toward the run, but if either of its two quarterbacks makes an errant throw, we note USM has returned 8 of 18 picks for touchdowns…SoMiss 41 Reno 33

DEC. 26
Missouri over North Carolina giving 4 ½ (53 ½):
No faith in either side and total is outta’ the question since Tarheels’ scoring has been all over the board. In consecutive weeks, UNC put up 49 on Wake Forest then followed up with a goose-egg vs. NC State. Tigers scoring defense took a step backward, going from 16 ppg in 2010 to 25.6 ppg allowed this year (23+ per tilt factoring in shutout vs. AA Western Illinois). Mizzou beat 3 of 5 ranked opponents. UNC faced three Top 25 teams (all ACC as well) and lost, on the road, to all of ‘em. Tigers are the hotter squad, winning 4 of their final 5 matches, with a 3-point loss at Baylor. UNC started well, grabbing five victories by mid-October, but fell in two of last four. Let’s confuse the issue just a bit more…Missouri has beaten the line just three of last eleven on neutral ground…Mizzou 27 UNC 20

DEC. 27
Western Michigan over Purdue taking 2 ½ (61):
No strong opinion here as Purdue started the year edging Middle Tennessee and losing to Rice, but we suspect it’s another game in which “over” the total makes sense. Western Michigan, even without starting QB Carder for regular-season-ending game vs. Akron, broke 60 in two of last three and only three Purdue foes scored less than 24. Boilers are 0-fer-last seven vs. non-conference teams, though this is a very short line. Boilers won two of last three to get here. Third Big Tenderloin squad WMU has faced on the season, getting blasted at Michigan and losing by 3 at then-ranked Illinois. Not sure why you’d actually watch this one unless you’re an alum of either institution and two days after presents have been opened, the kids have abandoned the Glock Me, Elmo to the dogs, who’ve shredded said-toy beyond all recognition, leaving the shavings of a filed-off serial number and some polyester stuffing as evidence, but if you do, look for Broncos to go for it on 4th Down, having converted 17 of 22 in that situation on the year …WMU 41 Purdue 31

BELK (@ Charlotte, NC):
Louisville over NC State taking 2 ½ (45 ½):
NCSU coach Tom O’Brien has prepared his teams well-enough to win 7 of their last eight bowl games (including six straight seasons at Boston College), by three or more in 6 of those victories, including a 23-7 win last year over West Virginia. That fact is probably driving the money coming in on the Wolfpack to increase the line. Neither team got off to a banner start. Da’ Ville struggled with a lot of new faces on offense and youth on both sides of the ball. State’s only wins in the first five games came vs. two FCS clubs. Cards rallied to win five of six. ‘Pack has been inconsistent all year. We prefer “under” the total, but we’ll say…Louisville 20 NC State 19

DEC. 28
Toledo over Air Force giving 3 (70):
The Flight Platoon does not share the propensity of the Middies to cover as dogs away from the respective academy and as previously-noted, USAF already has its desired hardware. Pilots pounded weaker opponents and improved on both sides of the ball over last five games, but that was against Army and lesser-MWC opponents. Rockets just lost HC Beckman to Illinois, but replaced him with the offensive coordinator. Potent Toledo has as many rushing TDs as passing scores (31) and boasts a 92% success rate in the red zone. Air Force will need to grind it out to have any shot here. Toledo is a nice plus-16 in turnovers. Flyboys broke even in that category …Spacemen 44 Air Force 34

California over Texas taking 3 (47):
Bears haven’t played a true home game this season, playing at AT&T Park when not on the road. Cal won four of last six following three straight excusable defeats to Washington, Oregon and USC and covered 5 of last 6 (only two as a dog). ‘Horns have been inconsistent all season, though we note all five losses came vs. teams who are or were ranked during the year. Steers struggle in the red zone, scoring on just 73.47% of their trips inside the 20, while allowing opponents to do so 86% of the time. Texas is contemplating creation of an “unmanned port of entry”. In our experience, that situation creates one of two things…1) a successful draw play or 2) a sack!...Berkeley 23 Texas 20

DEC. 29
#25 Florida State over Notre Dame giving 3 (61):
Both squads fell off the national radar quickly with early-season losses, but ‘Noles made a furious charge at the ACC Championship that came up a bit short, but saw them beat opponents by an average margin of 16 ppg. Irish got bashed by the better teams they faced and were sloppy with the ball, going -11 in turnover margin in their defeats. Injuns will have to stop ND running game that produced 25 touchdowns, but have more experience than the Catholics and have won 18 of 26 under Jimbo Fisher…Chop 26 Rudy 19

VALERO ALAMO (@ San Antonio, TX):
Washington over #15 Baylor taking 9 (78):
The “over” will likely be a popular wager, with Baylor games exceeding the total in 9 of 11, but Da’ Bears didn’t score nearly as much away from Waco (36+ per game) as they did on the homefield (48-and-change per game). RG# and his teammates on offense wield a big stick, but the stop-squad yields tons to opponents. Huskies have recorded first back-to-back winning SU years since ’01-’02, but went 1-3 ATS vs. ranked teams, losing by 13, 17, 17 and 44 (at Stanford). Bears gave up 24 to anemic Texas team. Heisman Trophy winner Griffin grabs Bears’ 10th outright victory then declares himself eligible as an underclassman for April’s pro draft, but neither team excites us ATS vs. non-conference, so we’ll go with…Baylor 37 UDUB 31


BTW, the Lohan pictures not only gave the world a premature view of the much-anticipated layout for the world-famous gentlemen’s mag, they also provided bettors an early look at Vindy’s post-season predictions and sent sportsbooks scurrying to adjust their lines before the onslaught.

The former child fashion model also explained she does nude pics because it gives her “confidence”. Needing a little self-esteem boost himself, Vindicator is wearin’ nuthin’ but Old Spice as we speak!

Hallmark now makes a recordable storybook. How ‘bout a nice recordable playbook for that special player in your life so they can hear Coach’s voice, “even when he’s gone back to Nevada!????”

For Christmas, Vindicator wants a pair of Freudian slippers, which call out someone else’s name every time you get into them!

Also hopefully finding its way under Weber’s tree…the latest version of a popular military shoot-‘em-up that takes place on campuses from Laramie, Wyoming to Las Vegas to Albuquerque, New Mexico…Call of Duty: MWC!

As the Las Vegas Bowl celebrates its 20th anniversary, we point out that the post-season extravaganza is officially-known as the “MAACO Bowl of Las Vegas”. Given that the entire sponsor-company name is actually MAACO Car Repair and Auto Painting, we understand the use of the shortened version since the extended acronym would be… MAACO CRAP!

The Mountain Jest Conference just sent a letter to the powers-that-be asking for a BCS bid. The letter started out…”Dear Santa...”

We salute the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, who after going 4-32 SU in first three years of live-fire I-A competition, posted a 7-5 record, including a 6-1 Shun Belt tally that put ‘em in second-place behind only Arkansas State and did not get a bowl bid, while FIU and Weeziana-Lafayette are in post-season tilts on the strength of 8-4 overall records, but finished behind WKU in conference play.

Vegas big-wig Steve Wynn has won his bid this week to build a casino resort in Foxboro, Massachusetts right next to Gillette Stadium. Vindy’s spies indicate gamblers win jackpots if their slot-machines line-up three Tom Brady interceptions!

In April, ex-University of San Diego players and an assistant coach were indicted in a point-shaving scheme and on charges of intent to distribute marijuana (2008 thru early 2010). Hmmm…were those events hyped as “Hoops for Hemp”? “Misses for MaryJane?” “Clanks for Cannabis???!!!” “Air-Balls for Blunts???!!!”

Days before the infamous airing of the “Fab Five” documentary in March, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose was arrested on DUI suspicion. Seems the former Dukie had a few too many Uncle Tom Collins before getting behind the wheel!

Vindy’s Best Part I Bowl Bets: Last Week: 1-0 Season: 34-33-1 (.507)
Louisiana Tech +10 ½ over Texas Christian, Southern Miss-UNR “over” 61, Florida State-Notre Dame “under” 61

We’ll return on or around December 29 with our thoughts on the remaining games, our “lock of da’ bowls” and more holiday “hash”!

We extend our annual holiday greeting to the readership…”Pass on Earth. Goodwill toward linemen.”

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Vindy's Picks Army-Navy 2011


PORTLAND, Oregon (AP)…Already sidelined for two games following his on-the-field misbehavior, Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh now faces civil and criminal charges by the National Forestry Service, the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency after crashing his 1970 Chevy Coupe into a tree last Saturday night in his hometown. Suh and his two passengers walked away unhurt, but the traffic cam on a nearby light pole captured the Lions’ defensive tackle stomping the fallen elm. Forensic scientists for the Portland PD confirmed the presence of puncture marks consistent with the cleats Suh was wearing at the time of the accident, not only on the tree, but also on a curb, the aforementioned lamp post and a water fountain, all of which were clipped by the car as it careened off the road. Reached for comment later, Mike Tyson said he was “appalled” at the player’s antics.

Championship Week left us at an unhappy 6-6 (106-138-2, .432). In related news, Las Vegas was named the 10th “saddest city” in the country and that was before the folks at Men’s Health Magazine got a look at the fallout from…

(Pulling KP duty at halftime!)

Navy over Army giving 7 (@ Landover, MD): The outcome here impacts…nothing but pride, as neither the Cadets (3-8 SU; beating Northwestern, Tulane and FCS-Fordham…all on the home obstacle course at West Point and two close losses…by 3 at San Diego State and 7 to Miami-Ohio) nor the Midshipmen (4-7 SU) qualify for the post-season, and the Commander-in-Chief Trophy already belongs to Air Force, who beat them both (Navy by 1 on the road, Army by 10 at home). In the other common-opponent game, Army lost by 15 on a neutral site to the Scarlet Knights. Navy lost at Rutgers by 1 in the true road game. Neither squad is particularly attractive against the spread either with Army at 4-6 ATS and Navy at dart-throw-worthy 5-5. Following up on a tidy tidbit by Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com , the Soldiers have marched away with an outright win in just one of last 17 facing other service schools since 2003. That same pub would now show the Ensigns winning 15 of their last 17 straight-up vs. military academies since that same year (covering 14 of ‘em!). Middies are bowl-less for first time since 2002. Navy brought back just 3 starters on the stop-side of the ball, but outside giving away the farm to Southern Miss and Notre Dame, the scoring-defense wasn’t terrible, yielding 27 ppg (up 4 ppg from last year’s overall tally) and the Sailors are respectable 4-2 ATS away from the home marina (though four of those six games ended up in SU defeats). Omitting 55 vs. AA-Fordham, Army’s offensive output has taken a nose-dive, going from average of 26 points per game through the end of October to roughly half of that, at just 13.3 ppg in its three November matches. Despite a plus-eight turnover margin, Middies will absorb their lowest SU-win total since registering just a pair of victories in 2002, but have 5 losses by total of 11 points on the year, including a three-point loss at ranked South Carolina that came prior to the Poultry’s loss of Marcus Lattimore to injury. Army missed playing anyone from the Top 25 for the fourth consecutive season. And minus the aforementioned games, have lost the remainder of this season’s tilts by at least two touchdowns. Army last knocked off a fellow service academy in 2005 (beating an Air Force team that went 4-7 that year) and has been on the wrong side of the turnover margin (currently -8) for the first time in three seasons. As always, both sides are run-heavy, as Army tops the country in rushing yardage and rushing yards per game, while Navy comes in at #5 nationally (and could move to 4th in yardage and 3rd in per game average with a solid outing) and draw less than a combined 7 flags per game between ‘em, so it should be a fairly-quickly moving affair. Navy does have a little more than a moment-of-prayer for the passing game, throwing for 10 scores while suffering 6 interceptions. Army has a 4-4 ratio. Gettin’ down (-periscope) to brass tack(le)s, we think the Middies will get enough turnovers and go on to cover the victory, which we’ll predict to be….Boat People 30 Ground-Pounders 19


From a recent military-academy Political Science multiple-guess exam…”Arab Spring” is a…
a) brand of soap
b) body of water
c) part of a Middle-Eastern mattress
d) season that precedes Indian Summer
e) play Coach reserves for the two-point conversion

Vindy can “Name That Platoon” in less than three notes!

If a team develops runny noses after facing the Middies, is it considered post-Naval drip???!!!!

If an opposing skater gets knocked off the puck by a Middie, is it “a ship-check and a beauty”????

If Saruman from Lord of the Rings coached either team this week, would his pre-game or halftime speech include, “You do not know pain. You do not know fear. You will!!!”

AFLAC has taken over sponsorship of the Heisman Trophy. Can’t wait to see the duck present the hardware to the winner, who will then extoll the virtues of having medical coverage and the cash to pay da’ bills following injury on the field!!!!.

BTW, responding to an open audition to be the new voice of the AFLAC duck following the dismissal of Gilbert Gottfried, the fab forecaster didn’t make the cut as the result of continually babbling, “Haaaaaalffback!”

As ABC Family runs its holiday-programming, including the Harry Potter series, we note there was really no need for the ‘books to worry about the lockouts of the NFL and NBA. There was always the hope of increased wagering on Quidditch!

Also on the small screen, a new holiday special… Dr. Seuss meets the NHL, as Mike Myers laces up the skates and scores three goals in…”A Cat in Da’ Hat-Trick”!!!!

Venus Williams made a hasty exit from the court during a “friendly” in Italy over the weekend as one of her own line of clothing nearly left more than her game exposed. Perhaps the self-described “eleVen” line should be known as “eleVent”!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: We switched our initials picks on not only Oklahoma State as noted, but also on New Mexico! Those decisions cost us a pair of forecast dubyas! OUCH!

“Locked in a Box?”: In rare Thursday night “lock” pick, the Mouseketeers of West Virginia made it interesting, but won as a pick ‘em and take the tally to .500 at 7-7.

Shoppe Talk: Michigan State (1-8, .111) and Wisconsin (4-8, .333) finally cut us a break, but Virginia Tech (1-11, .083), Clemson (3-8, .272) and Oklahoma State (3-9, .250) and took us out behind the woodshed… AGAIN!

Vindy’s Best Bets: Last Week: 2-1 Season: 33-33-1 (.500)
Army-Navy “under” 57 ½

Don’t touch that dial-up Internet….we’ll be back around December 17 with the first installment of our infamous bowl predictions!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vindy's 2011 Championship Week Picks


DETROIT, Michigan (ITAR-Tass)…A joint task force of officials from the various professional sports, as well as those from the amateur ranks, has sent out a cry to the country to submit suggestions for more-easily crooned pre-game songs after former American Idol contestant Lauren Alainas, at the Thanksgiving Day football game between the Packers and Lions, became the latest in a string of performers to muck-up the lyrics to the National Anthem. Reminiscent of Christina Aguilera’s muffed attempt before February’s Super Bowl, Sammy Haggar’s blown effort preceding the San Francisco Giants’ World Series ring ceremony in April and a multitude of similar blunders in years past by famed celebrities such as Michael Bolton, Steven Tyler and…Hillary Clinton, Alainas’ slip-up was the last straw for those wanting to restore the dignity of the nation’s theme song. Responses have poured in from around the globe, including such repetitive staples as Los Lobos’ “La Bamba”, the “Macarena”, “99 Bottles of Beer”, even “867-5309 Jenny” from Tommy Tutone and the Iron Butterfly classic…“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

In related news, Vindicator (7-8-1 last week, 100-132-2, .432 season) was in da’ Big Apple helpin’ Justin Bieber forget the words to “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” during his live Turkey Day performance on the “Today” show. After the program ended, Mother Nature came forward and accused the 20-year-old pop star of fathering not only her two sons, Snow-Mizer and Heat-Mizer, but also of siring…

(Still wiping off the pepper-spray from that Black Friday door-buster adventure at the sportsbook!)

#22 West Virginia over SOUTH FLORIDA (PK): LOCK OF DA’ WEEK.
Big Least teams have been knocking each other off much of the year and South Florida’s numbers ain’t exactly chopped liver, ranking in the 30’s nationally on offense and defense, but perhaps the 52nd in points-scored explains some of the 1-5 SU record in conference play. West Virginia thrives behind Geno Smith’s passing, tops in the conference. Bulls have a middlin’ pass D. Oddly, Mounties’ one SU/ATS Big Least road loss came at Syracuse, a team the Bulls smoked 37-17. USF has won and covered just one of three weekday games on the season, just 3 of 13 altogether recently…West Virginia 27 USF 20

PAC-12 Championship
#8 OREGON over Ucla giving 31 ½:
Ducks get the home Pond by virtue of having the best conference record. Bruins backed their way into the title game because Utah lost to Colorado and the Trojans are forced to sit in the corner of the locker room, facing the wall, until next season. Rick Neuheisel has been given his walking papers and UCLA did not dent the scoreboard in 50-0 loss to USC. The positive note is that the Bruins will face a monster rushing attack instead of the monster passing game they saw last week. Uclans have covered one of the six roadies this season and are 4-7 ATS overall. After September ended, Mallards beat just one team this badly. Until 2010’s 60-13 thumping by Oregon, the prior five games were decided by 16 or less…Quack Attack 48 UCLA 13

MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)
Ohio over Northern Illinois taking 4:
Third MAC championship game appearance for each team. Total conference titles between ‘em?…Zero! Offensively, these two put up gaudy yardage, surpassed in conference only by Toledo. Huskies are run-heavy and score about 8 ppg more than Bobblecats, who are well-balanced with a slight lean to the air game. Defensive edge goes to Ohio, with NIU holding only Kent State, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan in the teens. EMU may have provided the defensive blueprint, limiting Northern Illinois to 18 points last week. ‘Dogs have a lot of senior starters and have won 10 games. ‘Cats have good depth, leading to 9 victories. Both come in at unimpressive 5-6 ATS…Ohio 34 Northern Illinois 31

SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA):
#1 Louisiana State over #12 Georgia giving 13:
The only comparable game Joja’ played this year was 14-point neutral site loss to Boise to open the season. Tigers continue to win the turnover battle to pull away by double-digits. No reason to expect anything different here. Damn-good thing LSU won the West outright on Friday. Given the CBS poll that left no doubt the fans did not want a three-way tie-breaker being decided by the BCS rankings, the next step was to send the matter to Washington to be settled by…the Supercommittee! Bengals secure a National Title game berth for not only themselves, but also for the Crimson Tide…Tigers 27 Dawgs 12

#2 Alabama: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

#13 Oklahoma over #3 OKLAHOMA STATE taking 3 ½: De facto Big Twelve championship game. We changed our initial choice here. The teams are evenly-matched, but we’ll lean toward the Sooners, who’ve won eight straight years in the Bedlam series (covering last six, including 47-41 win as 2 ½-point dog last year) and have more wins over ranked clubs by greater disparities than the Cowpokes. “Over” the total would likely be the best wager … State 41 OU 39

#4 Stanford: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

ACC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)
#5 Virginia Tech over #21 Clemson giving 8:
Tigers are floundering badly and were held to 153 yards in loss to the Chicken Nuggets. We saw this demise by Clemson last year too, as it dropped four of its final six, including the bowl. Not a true road game, but CU has been outscored in last three games away from home by margin of 102-43. Hokies have four wins by 7 or less this season, but also have revenge factor for earlier 20-point loss to Clemson at Blacksburg. Tech made good Virginia team look more like New Mexico, winning 38-0 last week…VT 27 Clemson 13

#6 Arkansas: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

CUSA Championship
#7 HOUSTON over #24 Southern Miss giving 13:
Coogs, one of two remaining unbeatens, are another club hosting a championship match as the result of the better overall regular-season record. Houston opened its home season by edging UCLA by 4, but nobody else has come close to the Cougars at Robertson Stadium. Best scoring-offense SoMiss has faced was Navy, whom the Eagles beat significantly in Annapolis. USM also took out Virginia on the road and has covered 9 of last 11. Defense is a concern however, as the Birds give up 24 ppg. Houston has surprisingly held last four opponents to 17 or less, but even if there’s a return-to-form and SoMiss grabs…let’s say…34ish, UH could still hit high-40’s or early 50’s with current average output of obscene 52.7 ppg. Bet against Case Keenum and his ‘mates at yer own risk…Houston 45 USM 28

#9 (tie) BOISE STATE over New Mexico giving 49: This has backdoor-cover written all over it and the Taters haven’t beaten the spread since mid-October, but did previously defeat Fresno and Colorado State each by fitty in back-to-back road games. Lobos haven’t faced Boise, but lost by 49 at Arkansas, 46 to Texas Tech, 42 to both Reno and Air Force and 69 at TCU. UNM has nothing to play for. Neither does Coach Lockley, who won’t need to board the plane home to Albuquerque after the game having won three matches in as many years…BSU 54 Lobos 3
#9 (tie) USC: IDLE (next…um…er…2012 regular-season!)

Big Tennyson Championship (@ Indianapolis, IN)
#11 Michigan State over #15 Wisconsin taking 9 ½:
Michigan State is #14 in rushing defense, but a reasonable day here would put Wisky RB Montee Ball in a spot to tie or bust Barry Sanders’ season-TD record in the bowl game. Sparty won the regular-season match-up 37-31…and last year’s meeting as well, but both were in East Lansing. State’s gone just 2-2 ATS in previous dog roles in 2011. Badgers’ only win this close was 11-pointer at Illinois. MSU needs another big effort from QB Kirk Cousins, who launched the last-second heave that gave Spartans the upset back in late October and is second in the Big 10 in passing yardage and third in TD-to-INT ratio at 21-6. Local writer Ron Kantowski, like many others, made sport of the names of the Big Ten’s two divisions… ”Leaders” and “Legends”. Frankly, we’d go with “Floyd of Rosedale Division” and “Little Brown Jug Division”! ...Cheese-Heads 28 MSU 24

#14 South Carolina: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

Iowa State over #16 KANSAS STATE taking 10 ½: Not supporting a lot of dogs this week, but we definitely like ISU in this spot. Cyclones seem to get up for the big ones (four straight covers vs. the Top 25), beating Oklahoma State and enjoying a three-game SU win-streak before falling Saturday to the Sooners, while holding them to 26 points. After a lengthy term getting points, pressure’s now back on K-State to perform as a double-digit fave. ‘Cats did cover both DD chalk opportunities vs. Kent State and Kansas. We think the bye may break enough of KSU’s momentum…KSU 24 ISU 17

#17 Michigan: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

Nevada-Las Vegas over #18 TCU taking 39: UNLV has lightened (?) its non-conference line-up by adding Utah State, Weeziana Tech, Wazzou and…Minnesota. (We think this was a ploy by the Golden O-fers to actually make their own slate easier by adding the Rebels to eliminate those annual losses to one of the double-A Dakota schools!). Horny Toads are 1-3 ATS at home, gain zilch with a blow-out and scoring only in the 30’s the past four games. If the Rebels display any effort at all, they should cover this…Froggies 42 Rabbles 10

#19 BAYLOR over Texas giving 2 ½: BU QB Robert Griffin da’ Third returns from injury, but even if he can’t go the whole way, all his back-up, Nick Florence, did in the second half vs. Texas Tech was go 9-fer-12 for 151 yards and two touchdowns…oh and…run for another score! Baylor D will make Steers’ offense look better than it has been and ‘Horns managed to rally to beat rival A&M, but they won’t keep up here…Baylor 41 Texas 31

#20 Nebraska: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

#23 Penn State: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)

#25 Florida State: IDLE (next…da’ Bowls!)


BTW, Ms. Aguilera belted out, ”What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming,”. If ever there was good cause to lip-synch, we’d certainly recommend that tactic for celebrities who get tabbed to sing this particular tune in front of a global audience! “Mr. Vanilli…Mr. Milli Vanilli…to the white courtesy phone, please.”

Ironically, Bieber would simply end up repeating the line, “He’s makin’ a list and bettin’ it twice..”!

Goshen College removed the “Star-Spangled Banner” off the school band’s playlist due to lyrical references to war and defense of the nation via military power. We suppose Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and Green Day’s “American Idiot” are outta’ da’ question as well!

The chalk rebounded hard this week, covering 12 of 16, after the dogs owned the line in Week 12.

The secret to a winning season for UNLV might simply be to reduce the game from 60 minutes to 30 as the Rabbles wasted another solid first-half, that saw them up 14-0 on San Diego State, then watching the Aztecs reel off the next 31 unanswered points to blow the win and force Rebel-backers (both of ‘em) to rip up their tickets for the first time in four home games.

Dallas tight end Jason Witten tackled Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Kellerman as he rumbled outta’ bounds during the 4th Quarter of the game vs. the Dolphins. Witten mistakenly thought the winsome woman had grabbed yet-another interception by QB Tony Romo. (And replay officials up in the booth, after reviewing the play, ruled Kellerman got both pom-poms down inbounds and awarded her possession of the ball anyway!)

Next gig for Lions’ Ndamukong Suh? How ‘bout a starring role in the remake of…”Stomp the Yard”???!!!

If the band for a college hoops team is struggling during the halftime performance, would Dick Vitale recommend calling “a T.O., Bayy-beeeeeee!”??????!!! Or for a player on parole...”You better call your P.O., Baaay-beeeeee!!!!”

Congrats to the Runnin’ Rebels hoops team for toppling then-#1 North Carolina on the hardwood. Nice to know the sizable wins over Morgan State and Cal Poly-San Pepto-Bismol weren’t just teasers setting up locals for a major letdown!

Ballers Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul took part in a Chinese opera mask dance. Ho-hum. They’ll never compare to Shaq’s Jabbawockeez performance. But when Charles Barkley, Yao Ming or Dirk Nowitski slaps on the mime face-paint and performs the invisible box (and one?!) illusion, call us!

Herman Cain this week said, “9-9-9. We’re doing fine.” But we’re guessing that when the Republican nominee for president is chosen in the near-future, we’ll hear “9-9-9. Cain rides da’ pine.” and “6-6-6. It’s back to bread stix.”

Despite the poor year overall, we note that our preferred selections (“lock” picks and “best bets”) combined to go 14-9 (.608) the past four weeks, 11-6 (.647) over the last three! And the best thing about bein’ here at Vindy’s Picks is that no matter how dismal the regular-season record, we always go bowlin’!!!

Best Weekly Effort:
Week Four’s 10-8 (.555) barely edged Week Twelve’s 11-9 (.550).

Worst Weakly “Effort”: No contest here…Week Eight’s 5-13 (.277)!

WEBER-FRIENDLIES (Best percentage on the predicted side of the spread; minimum 7 at-bats in the forecast): Slim-pickins, but the 2011 Allstate “Yer in Good Hands” award goes to…the Florida Gators (6-1, 857). Second Place to the Cornbread of Nebraska (7-4, .636) and Honorable Mention to the Wolverines of Big Blue (5-3, 625).

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of the spread): There were waaaaaayy too many candidates vying this season, but this year’s “Grill-Master Supreme” trophy goes to…Michigan State (0-8, .000). “Suckin’ Place” lands squarely in the lap of VirginiaTech (1-10, .091) and Dishonorable Mention to a somewhat surprise-contender…the Mounted Ears of West Virginia (2-7, .222)!

Didn’t make the cut, but we’ll be watchin’: Ohio State and Joja’ Tech, both at 2-6 (.250), Oklahoma State and Wisconsin, both at 3-8 (.272) and Clemson (3-7, .300).

Thanks for playing: Houston fell just one win or loss short of going home with some hardware at 5-1 (.833) and the O-fers of Minnesota make our Christmas card list at 4-1 (.800).

“Locked in a Box?”: Wyoming hung in at Boise State and raises the record to 6-7 (.461)

Shoppe Talk: Michigan State 0-8, .000), VirginiaTech (1-10, .090), Badgers tie idle Oklahoma State at 3-8 (.272)

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 31-32-1 (.493)
Wyoming -5 ½ over COLORADO STATE, Weeziana-Monroe -7 ½ over FLORIDA ATLANTIC, BAYLOR -2 ½ over Texas

Everybody…sing! “Headddddd…shoulders, knees and toes! Headddddd…shoulders, knees and toes!”

Stay tuned. We'll be back next week with thoughts on Army-Navy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2011


MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (MSNBC)…Call it “Ball 2, Politicians 0” with yet-another Republican presidential candidate falling to an off-the-cuff question. Herman Cain was caught behind the basketball last week during an interview when he responded to a question about his thoughts on Obama’s handling of the NBA labor dispute. After clearly struggling to formulate an answer, Cain responded “He supported the lock-out, correct?...I have all this stuff twirling around in my head.” That statement prompted media to wonder if Cain was envisioning drum majorettes… or perhaps the Harlem Globetrotters spinning balls on their fingers…in his mind’s eye. The politician tried to explain the goof on having just “four hours sleep”, leading one reporter to query, “Just four hours? We thought you owned a pizza joint, not a donut shop! How late does that place of yours stay open anyway?!”

Vindy wasn’t getting a lot of shut-eye either when he penned Week Twelve’s picks, that went 11-9 (93-124-1, .429), but for a few Washingtons, you can get a French Cruller, a cold brew and a hot slice of pie that’s half-pepperoni and half…

(Cowering behind the candied yams!)

FRI. OCT. 25
#3 Arkansas over #1 LSU taking 12 ½:
The SEC West holds the top three spots in this week’s AP Poll...and the BCS. Hogs bring the third-best offense the Bengals have faced to Baton Rouge, where the Tigers are 2-2 ATS. Fourth true road game for the Razorbacks, who squeaked by both lightweight Mississippi and rising Vanderbilt. Pigs’ only SU defeat came at ‘Bama (by 24). LSU takes on seventh Top 25 opponent after holding four of the previous six to 11 points or less, while yielding 20’s to the other pair. Hogs face their fifth ranked foe, going 3-1 ATS in the prior four. At what point, if at all, will Les Miles go into “play not to lose” and/or “no injuries” mode? Neither team was challenged last week as they combined to belt the two Magnolia State schools by collective 96-20…Bengals 24 Pork Chops 20

#8 Houston over TULSA giving 3: No question Golden Hurricane has one of the few offenses that could hang with the Cougars, scoring about 34 points a game behind a nice rushing attack. Tulsa’s won six straight, going 5-1 ATS, taking all but one by margins of at least 17. ‘Cane is, however, just 2-3 ATS at home this season, 1-1 vs. ranked teams and won last year, 28-25. Both squads are unbeaten in the conference at 6-0 and winner goes on to the CUSA title match against probably Southern Miss. UH is 3-2 as road chalk, with only one spread in single-digits. Despite the major upsets of late, we just can’t go against Case Keenum with a line this short…Houston 34 Tulsa 27

#22 NEBRASKA over Iowa giving 9 ½: Big Red 27 Iowa 16

SAT. OCT. 26
#2 Alabama over AUBURN giving 21:
Both teams come in after uninspired wins over I-AA teams. Tide was up just 10 at the half vs. Joja’ Southern before pulling away with scores late in each of the third- and fourth quarters, while the Tigers got by Samford , 35-16. With the exception of 2008 ‘Bama win by 36-0, the Iron Bowl has been tightly-contested and Tide is just 1-5 ATS the past six years in this one, but ‘Bama had Auburn on the ropes last season and let them off, leading, of course, to the Tigers’ eventual national title. Tigers have been whacked hard by the better teams on their slate and scored only 10 vs. LSU. They may not hit double-digits here. Tide’s had two games to get over the one that got away…Alabama 34 War Eagle 9

#4 STANFORD over #23 Notre Dame giving 6 ½: Stanford 34 I-Wish 17

#5 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next vs. Oklahoma)

#24 VIRGINIA over #6 Virginia Tech taking 5: Cavs are hot and escaped FSU with the upset on the heels of yet-another blown high-pressure kick. UVA can steal a chance to play for ACC championship with the victory, but in any case, we like the home-dog getting’ almost a TD from Tech team whose defense is not up to traditional Beamer Ball standards, allowing North Carolina to nearly obliterate its 17-point 3rd Quarter lead two weeks ago. Tech did manage to stave off Joja’ Tech’s late rally to cover last week. With admittedly a little malice aforethought, we’ll call it…Virginia 20 Hokies 19

Wyoming over #7 BOISE STATE taking 32 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We’d be surprised to see Boise garner anything better than a post-season trip to Vegas at this point. Cowboys are having a nice year, already grabbing seven SU wins (four in the Mountain Jest), including upset victories over Bowling Green, San Diego State and Air Force, with a likely eighth at Colorado State following this game. Wyoming has been a strong road dog the last two-plus seasons, going 12-3, 3-1 this season) and should be able to stay within the generous number behind conference’s #3 rushing game. Broncos-backers have torn up their tickets four times in as many home tilts for Boise…Taters 41 Wyoming 27

Oregon State over #9 OREGON taking 28: Mallards 37 Beavers 13

Ucla over #10 USC taking 14 ½: Bruins are in “save Coach Neuheisel’s job” mode…again, and have won and covered three of their last four games (losing badly in only road game of that span…at Utah). Trojans have played their “bowl game”, upsetting Oregon, but could still win the 12-PACK South and the conference, both of which get ‘em…home for the holidays (but could send a message for next season). Troy has won this series in each of last four years by margins of 14, 21, 21 and 17 (2-2 ATS). UCLA is already bowl-eligible, but would certainly savor a victory here, which would send it to the conference championship game. Bruins are lousy as road dogs, mired in current 5-15 ATS skid in that role…USC 27 UCLA 16

NORTHWESTERN over #11 Michigan State taking 6 ½: MSU 31 NW 27

Iowa State over #12 OKLAHOMA taking 28: Sooners 37 ISU 17

#13 Georgia over #25 GEORGIA TECH giving 6: UGA 30 Bees 21

#18 Clemson over #14 SOUTH CAROLINA taking 4: Yeah, Clemson was clearly apathetic about NC State game with ACC title game berth in pocket, but geez…20-point loss??!!! There will be more fervor this week, facing rival South Carolina. QB Connor Shaw continues to be the offense for the Poultry, who has pounded the Tigers the past two years despite small lines like this one. Chicken Wings had a feisty Citadel on their hands last week, but won eventually by three scores. Tigers have dropped two of last three and are struggling to score points (0-3 ATS and allowing 36 ppg over last five)…Clemson 17 KFC 14

#20 Penn State over #15 WISCONSIN taking 14 ½: Pass D on down-and-distance continues to plague the Lions and it’s gonna’ be a long day if Russell Wilson starts converting those opportunities consistently to open up the run. When State has the ball, they’ll need their own ground game that went for 6 yards per carry vs. the Buckeyes to keep Wisky’s O on the sidelines and will need to avoid turnovers. Badgers aren’t invincible by any means, getting burned for big numbers in losses at Michigan State and Ohio State and could’ve lost outright to Illinois, rallying from double-digit holes. Badgers just 2-3 ATS over last 5 games. Lions are poor as road dogs at 2-5 the last three-plus seasons. The inaugural Big Tentacle title game vs. Sparty awaits the winner. Again, we think the “under” is the best wager, given State’s games have finished “under” the total in nine of their ten outings (We cashed an “under 39” ticket last week, sweating the final half-hour following the 34 points scored in the first half of the PSU-OSU game). The alma mater might pull this off with a flawless game and obviously, we hope they do, but we’ll just conservatively say… Wisconsin 23 PSU 14

#16 Kansas State: IDLE (next vs. Iowa State)

#17 MICHIGAN over Ohio State giving 7 ½: Big Blue’s complete domination of Big Dread probably has Huskers fans wondering why they bolted the Big 12, and we’re still wondering how Michigan lost to Iowa. Wolverines finally have an opportunity to regain some respect after losing seven straight years to the Buckeyes. Both come in with defenses ranked the mid-teens nationally, but UM can score points in bunches. Win or lose, State will record its lowest SU victory total in over a decade. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com had OSU with country’s best November SU tally since 2005 at 16-1, but Buckeyes are already 1-2 this month. Given the chance, Michigan will pile on…UM 31 OSU 13

#19 TCU: IDLE (next vs. UNLV)

Texas Tech (GASP!) over #21 Baylor taking 12 (@ Cowboy Stadium): Kudos to the Bears for signature-win over Oklahoma. We wonder though how many folks remember Tech also lowered the boom on the Sooners…in Norman. Red Raiders haven’t been the same since though, losing four straight (1-3 ATS, averaging 15 ppg). Last three in the series have gone to Tech, all by 7. Bears and Raiders boast #5 and #8 passing offenses, respectively and with both sides yielding big points to opponents, “shootout” is written all over this, so the only one likely to doink a punt off the low-hanging Jumbo-Tron at Jerry World is…Vindicator!...Bears 42 Texas Tech 37


We’d been waiting on the dogs to post their annual domination week and they did so, covering 15 of the 20 Top 25 games last week. Eight teams getting points won outright (and your humble host called 3 of the 8 upsets).

Rich Rodriguez seems to be making his way westward across the country. The former head man of the Mountaineers took his wares to Michigan, and will now call Tucson, Arizona his home. We predict RichRod will be doing the coaching thing at Aloha Stadium to start the 2014 season and could be leading the provisional-Sun Belt North Koreans onto the field 36 months later!

Lee Corso dropped the F-bomb on live TV over the weekend while giving his pick for the Houston-SMU tilt. Rumor has it U2 front-man Bono will take his place for next Saturday’s presentation of “College Game Day”!

Vindy’s attention was caught by a February AP news article hawking the headline, “Obama laments anew about ‘bubble’”. Your humble host was unaware that the White House was potentially fielding a team, at the time, in the NCAA Tournament! Apparently, the Capitol squad was eventually relegated to the NIT or CBI, but hey, with the expansion to 68 teams and the “First Four”, we encourage them to keep swingin’!

Last May, Oprah reserved the United Center in Chicago to host one of her final shows the same day as the potential initial contest of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and the Bulls. The good news? Everybody in the audience went home with an NBA title!!!!

A few months later, 11-year-old twins duped a Minnesota insurance company outta’ a $50K prize when the wrong brother took…and scored…a 90-footer during intermission of a charity hockey game. The kids’ daddy fessed up to the bait-and-switch. What next?...Arnold Schwartzenegger standing-in for Danny DeVito during a whiffle-ball version of Home-Run Derby???!!!

Rinks over links? Good call!...In this morning’s Las Vegas Review-Journal sports section was a nice piece on Judd Blackwater, a kid who’s leading the East Coast Hockey League in scoring, as a member of the Las Vegas Wranglers, after passing up a promising career in golf. Hmmm…let’s see...blasting Titleist golfballs from the blue line past opposing goalies or using a wedge to chip a puck uphill outta’ da’ sand-trap on the 16th Hole?! No-brainer!

Black Shirt: The obsidian undergarment goes to FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins for missing what woulda’ been the game-winning 42-yard FG in the waning seconds, making Vindy look like a genius for calling the outright victory for a Virginia squad getting 17 points!

“Locked in a Box?”: Arkansas brought home the bacon vs. Mississippi State, raising the lock record to 5-7 (.417)

Shoppe Talk: On Vindy’s Thanksgiving table this week…the Spartans (0-7, .000), the Hokies (1-9, .100), the Cowpokes of Okie State (3-8, .272) and some Badger Fricassee (3-7, .300)!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 28-30-1 (.483)
Boston College +14 ½ over MIAMI, Rutgers -3 over UCONN, Tulane +18 over HAWAII, Alabama-Birmingham -6 over FLA ATLANTIC, UTAH STATE -1 ½ over Nevada-Reno

Save some room after the bird and da’ trimmings for a nice big bowl of the latest fruit-flavored offering from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream …Berry Yer Bookie!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2011


SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (Reuters)…Days after botching his Republican debate appearance by recalling just a pair of the three federal agencies he said he would close if elected president, Texas governor Rick Perry, facing-off again here against the other presidential wanna-bes, finally remembered the third…the BCS, amid a flurry of “helpful suggestions”, such “USC” and “TCU”, from his competitors. Trying to deflect the impact the boo-boo, Perry reminded reporters that Barack Obama once noted during the 2008 campaign that he had “now been on thirteen Big Ten campuses…with one or two to go…Nebraska and Notre Dame.” The presidential-hopeful also later laughingly said he would “shutter anything at the federal level involving the state of Oklahoma!”, a reference to the Texas Longhorns’ back-to-back losses to the Sooners and the Cowboys earlier this season. Staffers from one of the opposing camps said they would pay future debate mediators to fire-up Meatloaf’s “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” every time Perry takes the podium!

We’d be more than happy to hit two outta’ of every three and would like to forget Week Eleven’s 8-10-1 and the season’s 82-115-1 (.416). However, coming in at #3 in this week’s Iowa Straw Poll was…

(Now an official consultant to Freddie Mac!)

#9 VIRGINIA TECH over North Carolina giving 10 ½:
VT 27 UNC 13

UAB over #22 Southern Miss taking 23: Something has to give here. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com has SoMiss covering just one of last seven prior to playing Memphis, while the Blazers, who got their second SU win by edging the Tigers last week, are only 1-5 following that match. UAB is 6-2 ATS on the season, but just 1-3 at home and were trounced by Houston. Still, it’s the biggest line of the year for the Eagles (who beat Rice, Navy and SMU by at least this many) and Blazers have won two straight years…30-17 in’09 and last season’s wild 50-49. Again, we’ll point out the presence of a lot of seniors for Birmingham, and we’ll play the let-down card as USM had seven scoring drives, five of them ending in FGs vs. one of nation’s best scoring-Ds in one-point win over Central Florida …USM 41 UAB 23

FRI. NOV. 18
#2 Oklahoma State over IOWA STATE giving 26 ½:
OKSU 48 Cyclones 20

SAT. NOV. 19
#1 Louisiana State over MISSISSIPPI giving 28:
Ol’ Mist starting backfield will ride the bench for this one…LSU 48 Mississippi 3

Georgia Southern @ #3 ALABAMA: No line. (FYI…the I-AA Eagles, #3 in last week’s FCS poll, got a vote in this week’s AP rankings!)

#4 OREGON over #18 Southern Cal giving 15: No let-down here as Ducks barely broke a sweat in second-half of huge win over Stanford and Matt Barkley’s no Andrew Luck. In January, Swiss banking giant UBS AG updated its 44-page obnoxious dress code that required, among other things, skin-colored undies and wrist-watches. Vin never was a big fan of tighty-whities, but okay, fine! The Oregon Ducks are a few fashion-designs short of matching the number of uni combos to the number of pages most Division I-A coaches have in their respective playbooks!) … Drakes 41 USC 20

#25 BAYLOR over #5 Oklahoma taking 14 ½: Sooners 37 Bears 31

#6 ARKANSAS over Mississippi State giving 13: Arkansas 31 MSU 7

#7 Clemson over NC STATE giving 7 ½: This wouldn’t be a bad “lock” selection. Tigers have recorded consecutive spread losses the past two games, but both opponents had scoring threats. Wolfpack tagged us with only “best bet” pick that went south in Week Eleven, losing straight-up at Boston College, 14-10, as a small fave. State’s just 3-4-1 ATS on the season (2-0-1 in Raleigh), has scored just 26 total points in last three games and at 5-5 SU, needs to take both of its final games to go bowlin’ since a pair of the outright wins came in September vs. FCS squads. At least ‘Pack can take solace in 13-0 win over rival Tarheels…Clemson 31 NCSU 14

#8 STANFORD over California giving 18 ½: Every first half from Stanford looks like a letdown, but it’s just part of the usual MO before romping through the final thirty minutes…Cardinal 45 Cal 17

#10 Boise State over SAN DIEGO STATE giving 17 ½: Reserves in the defensive backfield hurt the Broncos as much as the missed FG as TCU scored on pass-plays of 74, 75 and 69 yards. Aztecs, 2-6 ATS, haven’t taken advantage of homefield, losing to TCU and…Wyoming???!!…and have just one cover in four home games on the year. Several trends go against SDSU, but Boise is just 1-3 in conference, with only one Mountain Jest victory by the gaudy numbers we’re used to seeing. The defeat by TCU was Boise’s third SU loss in almost four full seasons and fifth in nearly five full years. Broncos did not cover the games immediately following any of the three regular-season losses…Tater-Heads 49 SDSU 24

#11 HOUSTON over Southern Methodist giving 19 ½: Houston 44 SMU 20

Indiana over #12 MICHIGAN STATE taking 28 ½: Spartans have beaten Florida Atlantic and Central Michigan by more than four touchdowns. Michigan is in hot pursuit, but is on the wrong end of the tie-breaker, so a win probably hands State a spot in the inaugural Big Ten title game. Hoosiers have two blowout losses, both on the road and have allowed an average of 48 ppg over last five, while scoring 20 or more in four of those…MSU 37 Indy 17

#13 GEORGIA over Kentucky giving 30: ‘Dawgs need this one to win the SEC East and secure their spot in conference championship so they won’t be lookin ahead to Joja’ Tech. Mildcats, who need to win both remaining games to get post-season eligible, has gotten outta’ the teens only three times and may not get into the teens here given 8-point showing and 30-point loss at Vandy last week. UGA is 6-1 against the line in last seven and should waste little time putting this away…Georgia 44 KY 10

Citadel @ #14 SOUTH CAROLINA: No line.

#15 Wisconsin over ILLINOIS giving 13 ½: Badgers 35 Illini 14

#16 Kansas State over TEXAS taking 9 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. My goodness! What is it gonna’ take for K-State before the linesmakers start feelin’ ‘em???!!! All they do is win! Gotta’ like State’s efficiency vs. A&M. TAMU’s RB Gray went for 218 yards and a lone score. KSU dual-threat QB Collin Klein ran for a buck-three, but hit paydirt five times. We will happily take da’ points here and call again for the outright victory, four overtimes last week or not, over Steers club that, like Auburn, is on the Top 25 yo-yo and lost 17-5 at Mizzou…Purple Persians 23 Longhorns 17

#20 MICHIGAN over #17 Nebraska giving 3 ½: Michigan 24 Nebraska 19

Colorado State over #19 TCU taking 32 ½: Toads 34 CSU 7

#21 Penn State over OHIO STATE taking 6 ½: The good news here might be that the game occurs away from the distractions of State College, PA. Not only do the Lions continue to show why they’re ranked 102nd in scoring offense, they own a kicker who’s season-best came from 40 yards (we heard Alabama and Boise State are lookin’ fer a few good men though!). Clearly, they’re also not good enough on offense to make-up for missed kicks and turnovers. Best call here is “under” the total . Buckeyes could win this, but not by a full touchdown. OSU looked to be building some momentum until OT set-back at Purdue…Alma Mater 16 OSU 13

Virginia over #23 FLORIDA STATE taking 17: UPSET ALERT. ‘Noles off tough 23-19 win over Miami and have five straight victories (4-1 ATS) since back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. Cavs also streaking, winning five of last six, including a 3-1 SU road record. A 2011 study, with data from 24 unidentified schools, was published that “suggests students aren’t asked to do much” and that 45% (of 2300 total students) showed no significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning or writing by the end of the sophomore year. Makes those scandalous online music history classes at FSU look almost doctoral-level in comparison, don’t it??!!...Virginia 23 FSU 20

Boston College over #24 NOTRE DAME taking 24 ½: Irish beat two of the military academies in South Bend by more than this, but we think ND is spotting too much here vs. Eagles on 3-1 spread run, and who should have confidence coming in after winning two of last three games outright after dismal 1-6 SU start. Local Sin City resident Nancy Ruettiger starred in a production of “Annie” just outside Las Vegas this summer. We don’t remember ShirleyTemple’s character having ties to the Fightin’ Irish, but when the actress busted out the Notre Dame letterman’s jacket, the crowd went wild, chanting…”Ruuuuty, Ruuuuty, Ruuuuty, Ruuuuty…..!” The acting troupe later carried off the stage on their shoulders!...Leprechauns 28 BC 14


Given the Rebels’ upset-loss at previously-winless New Mexico, we say, “What happens in Vegas…evidently happens on the road as well!” But…chin up! In May, Drake won its first football game…in Africa…vs. the Mexican All-Stars. Hark! Two more non-conference teams for UNLV’s schedule!

In related news, researchers on the Dark Continent discovered that human foot odor can lure malaria-carrying mosquitoes into traps to be killed. In a charitable gesture, several teams from the NCAA and the NFL will hold summer training camps in third-world countries, using make-shift locker rooms to collect the offensive-but-useful aroma!

Daytime TV waves goodbye this week to icon Regis Philbin. Maybe the loyal Notre Dame alum will head to the Midwest and team-up with the Frightenin’ Irish coach to bring us…”Regis & Brian Kelly”! How does “Touchdown Regis” grab ya???!!!

Forward Brandon Davies has returned to the BYU hoops team after his suspension for an honor code violation (premarital sex). Guess if he’s doesn’t lead the team in scoring, he’ll at least lead the team in “scoring”! Oh well, beats the crap outta’ being suspended for drinking coffee!

Pardon us while we flip through our favorite piece of classic lit…The Count It..and One…of Monte Cristo!

“Locked in a Box?”: Auburn got smoked, lowering the record to 4-7 (.363).

Shoppe Talk: We knew the Hokies (1-8, .111) couldn’t stay away. Challenging for top dishonors… Sparty (0-6, .000). Along for the ride…Joja’ Tech (1-6, .142) and Oklahoma State (3-7, .300).

Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 25-28-1 (.472)
Weeziana Tech +7 ½ over NEVADA-RENO, New Mexico State +22 ½ over BYU, Tulane +13 ½ over RICE, Louisville +1 over UCONN, Utah State -9 ½ over IDAHO

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 11-2011


NEW YORK, New York (UPI)….”Leave da’ gun. Take da’ cheerleaders?” That might become the running joke after Congressman Bobby Rush likened the NCAA to the mafia last week at a Washington, D.C. college sports forum. Rush, who hails from Illinois, levied charges of shady financial deals by the governing body of college athletics and lambasted the way the group also controls the lives of players. Acting on information provided by a former employee, now in the witness-protection program, congressional investigators turned up documents linking the association to a local olive oil import company. Attorneys for the organization said that NCAA members were simply “legitimate businessmen” and were prepared to offer the Illini “a bowl bid they can’t refuse.”

The ‘books took us “fer a ride” again, allowing just 8-9 for Week 10 (74-105-1, .413). In the third installment of the movie series, while having his son baptized, Michael Corleone renounced Satan, all his works and…

(Pulling you back in every time you think you’re out!)

#20 GEORGIA TECH over #10 Virginia Tech taking 1:
With both teams getting last week off, look for slow, low-scoring first-half. Hokies not a good bet off a bye and are 1-7 ATS on the season. Bees got back on track with nice victory over Clemson before the break and have beaten four of their last seven ranked opponents. Wreck lost 28-21 last season in Blacksburg and we like the two-score home win over the Tigers more than we like VT’s four-point road win over Duke…GT 19 VT 17

#11 Houston over TULANE giving 34: We looked hard at this one for “lock”. Green Wave has an average pass D, allowing 14 touchdown thru the air while nabbing 11 picks, but haven’t faced anyone close to the new all-time passing yardage leader, Case Keenum, and his Coogs team that shows 37 TDs with just 4 INT. Tulane has won the money in just 5 of its last 17 games overall and while it lost in Houston last season by just 19, Wave has allowed 31 or more to all but one opponent in 2011, including 45 to Army. Coogs much-maligned D contributed a pick-six to last week’s cover…Houston 69 Too Late 24

SAT. NOV. 12
#1 LSU over Western Kentucky giving 41 ½:
OK, OK…the “conference sandwich” has been declared unfit for bettor consumption by the health department and has been pulled off the menu. Ya need a little luck to win a championship and the Bengals are now on borrowed time. Tigers are 2-2 ATS off the ‘Bama game the last four seasons and demolished Weeziana-Monroe 51-0 in 2010 in that spot. We predict the Hilltoppers, who’ve been cannon-fodder since joining I-A ball officially in 2008, will beat North Texas and/or Troy and gain their first-ever bowl-eligibility following current five-game SU/ATS streak in the Stun Belt…and this one could end up 37-0 or 48-7, but call it…LSU 49 WKY 3

TEXAS TECH (GASP!) over #2 Oklahoma State taking 17: Cowpokes 44 Red Raiders 31

#3 STANFORD over #6 Oregon giving 3 ½: We were lookin’ for reasons to back the Mallards. A healthy LaMichael James, who went for 4.1 ypc vs. Wazzou and 6+ ypc vs. Washington faces Stanford’s maybe-deceiving 4th-best rushing-yardage defense. Of more importance might be Oregon’s #17 passing-yardage D. We also considered Ducks’ experience against current #1 LSU and the fact that USC took Stanford to triple-OT before falling. Cardinal does a have a nice running game, as well, to augment the air attack and Drakes handed then-#9 Stanford it’s only loss of last season. We think SU gives a few bottom-rung NFL squads, eyeing the Cardinal QB on Draft Day 2012, even more reason to contemplate “Suck-for-Luck”…Stanford 34 Oregon 27

#4 Alabama over MISSISSIPPI STATE giving 17: We thank Tide kicking specialists Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley, who looked more like Jodie Foster and Mary Shelley, for missing four of six FG attempts in ‘Bama’s extra-frame loss to LSU. Bulldogs were ranked to start the year, but faded after suffering a couple of tough defeats to Auburn and LSU and haven’t done squat since then. ‘Bama’s owned this one the last three years, winning (and covering) by 25, 28 and 20. Bengals contained Trent Richardson…enough. State won’t be as fortunate vs. Tide team still having an outside shot to play for a national title…Tide 38 MSU 17

#5 BOISE STATE over Texas Christian giving 15: Don’t be rattled by Boise’s “mere” 27-point win over the Rebels. Have to go back to first-half of the 2004 season to find the last time Broncos dropped three straight to the line. Toads are winning by a couple touchdowns, but were winning by a few more touchdowns last season and while we respect QB Paschall, the absence of Andy Dalton shows. The TCU defense ain’t quite as stalwart as past editions either and we don’t think the Froggies can keep up with the Broncos…Taters 41 Toads 24

#7 Oklahoma: IDLE (next @ Baylor)

#8 ARKANSAS over Tennessee giving 14: Hogs 45 Vols 22

Wake Forest over #9 CLEMSON taking 16 ½: Clemson 29 WF 20

#12 PENN STATE over #19 Nebraska taking 2: Lions have reeled off seven straight wins since loss to ‘Bama, but have made all of ‘em, except the blowout vs. Eastern Michigan, interesting. Huskers, recovering from loss to Northwestern…in Lincoln…despite a plus-one turnover ratio…are 9-2 ATS in last eleven facing the Top 25, but have actually left with the outright victory in just one of last seven. With a dark cloud hanging over not-real-Happy Valley, if State has been sequestering an offense in the locker room all year, now would be a mighty fine time to reveal it, but PSU excels at the “under” and Big Dread has been there in its last three…Alma Mater 16 Corndogs 14

IOWA over #13 Michigan State taking 2 ½: Iowa 16 MSU 13

#24 Auburn over #14 GEORGIA taking 13: UPSET ALERT. LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Tigers, who got the extra week to prepare, have been hammered on the road by Arkansas and LSU, but are 4-2 ATS in the SEC with SU wins over the also-rans. ‘Dawgs beat both Magnolia State schools by two touchdowns, but have much smaller margins-of-victory vs. the rest of the conference teams. UGA has major revenge factor for 2010’s 49-31 spanking, but Joja’ hasn’t beaten either ranked opponent it’s played this year and there’s a reason Auburn keeps popping into the Top 25…War Eagle 23 Bulldogs 21


#16 Wisconsin over MINNESOTA giving 27: Badgers 48 Minny 17

#17 KANSAS STATE over Texas A&M taking 4 ½: K-State 27 A&M 24

Washington over #18 USC taking 12: Troy 27 UDUB 20

MISSOURI over #21 Texas taking 1: ‘Horns clawed their way back into the rankings by thrashing Kansas and Texas Tech (GASP!), both in Austin, and did cover both true road games on the year (UCLA and Iowa State), but the spread supports our opinion that Mizzou is better than its 4-5 SU record, with three road defeats by total of 16 points, including OT loss at Arizona State. Tigers beat outright or lost respectably to three of the four Top 25 teams it played. It’s November, so we’ll give the home dogs a chance to have one bounce their way…Missouri 24 Texas 20

#22 Michigan over ILLINOIS giving 1: Michigan 17 Illinois 10

West Virginia over #23 CINCINNATI taking 3: Cincy 31 ‘Ears 29

#25 SOUTHERN MISS over Central Florida giving 9 ½: Despite 7 returning starters on offense and 4 on the stop-side, UCF has fared well defensively, but not-so-much in the scoring department (five games between 10 and 17 points). Knights have all of three outright wins this year after posting 11 last season, including bowl victory over Joja’…and 10 covers. Eagles tough to figure, with scoring and defending all over the board, but have averaged 34.8 ppg in C-USA play and have good experience on both sides of the ball. SoMiss beat then-#21 UCF in Orlando, by 10 last year. Knights had been nifty road dogs entering 2011, but are 0-2to-date. Eagles have six consecutive covers…and counting…USM 24 UCF 10


Applying for post-season certification effective the 2012-2013 campaign…the Genco Pura Olive Oil Bowl!

Can’t ya just picture some would-be government-witness coach at a congressional hearing, with his school’s star quarterback firmly seated between a pair of Michael Corleone and Tom Hagen look-alikes, suddenly recanting previous testimony against the family, quipping “I don’t know no ‘Bowlfather’” and “Oh yeah….I said…uh…’da’ NCAA did disssss’ and uh…’da BCS did daaaattt….. but dey was all lies.”

“Keep your teammates close, and your poll voters closer.”

Evidently, NCAA now stands for “Never Cross Antonio Andolini”.

Guess which congressman is about to find the severed head of the SMU mascot under his sheets??!!

LSU CB Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu had to ride the pine for one game earlier this year. Did his teammates call him “Honey Bencher”? If he boiled then quickly submerged asparagus in ice water, would he be the “Honey Blancher”?!

Vindy’s Picks welcomes this week’s start to the college hoops season! Because of the new alignment of the then-10-team MWC, each school will miss a conference foe in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, necessitating the filling of a game slot with a non-conference opponent. We’re told the New Jersey Nets or LA Clippers are available!

Last spring, Bruce Pearl was considered as a possible replacement for departed UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger. Too bad he wasn’t chosen. We were lookin’ forward to seein’ Bruce paint his chest red and talkin’ Lady Rebels coach Kathy Olivier into donning a cheerleader outfit!

Black Shirt: We have our trusty seamstress putting together a black shirt-built-fer-two as we honor the aforementioned pair of ‘Bama kickers with the coveted tee this week. BTW, we’re thinkin’ Agent Starling woulda’ hit one of the shorter attempts (“Kick pro quo, Clarice. Kick pro quo.”)

“Locked in a Box?”: The Sooeeeeeeeey Pigs get off the schnide with a nice cover vs. the Gamehens, giving the lock tally a badly-needed lift to 4-6 (.400).

Shoppe Talk: Geez, take a number, fellas! Michigan State 0-5 (.000), the WVU Mouseketeers 1-7 (.125), Texas A&M 1-7 in last 8 tries (.125), the Badgers 1-6 in last 7 tries (.142) and the Spooners 1-5 in last 6 tries (.167)

Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 22-27-1 (.449)
Navy +8 ½ over SMU, NC State -2 ½ over BOSTON COLLEGE, UTAH -7 over Ucla, Wyoming +15 ½ over AIR FORCE