Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2011


LOS ANGELES, California (UPI)…Extradited from Sin City to the City of Angels, the Vegas Vindicator withstood hours of interrogation from LAPD’s finest and…in a move being reviewed by the ACLU…the “Knights Who Sayyyyyyy…’Nee!’”…and gave them nothing (Nothing, we say!), categorically-denying any involvement in the recent airplane-graffiti crimes, in which someone has been chemically-etching symbols, originally-thought to be Arabic in nature, on the bottoms of Southwest Airlines passenger jets with a solution that reveals itself only after the craft’s body heats up during the normal course of flight or taxiing down the runway in preparation for take-off. Akin to the magic trick in which lemon-juice writing appears on a paper-surface when a match or other source of open-flame is waved behind the document, the warmed chemicals illuminated the words “Vindy’s Picks”, followed by one of the famed forecaster’s Week Four game-predictions. The odorous oracle publicly-thanked the perpetrator of the vessel-defiling for the shameless plug, but refuted he was actually responsible for the acts of vandalism or “tagging”. Presented with DNA evidence from remnants of his clothing found at the scene by CSI: Los Angeles, Vindy admitted he likes to lie on the ground at night near the gates of various LAX concourses, with lighted batons strapped to his arms and legs, and do “snow angels” to catch the attention of aircraft passing overhead, then slip into the cargo-holds of newly-arrived planes, to be transported with the rest of the luggage to the baggage-claim area on the conveyor-belt, and “ride the carousel”.

A six-ton, city bus-size satellite crashed to Earth last week. The location was initially everyone except fans at Sam Boyd Stadium, who watched that sucker plummet right smack into the Rebels’ playbook at halftime of the Southern Utah game. We apparently caught some of the shrapnel, finishing 7-10 (29-42-1, .414). For every loss this Thursday and Saturday, we vow to use glow-in-the-dark paint to inscribe profanities, in English, on the seedy underbelly of…

Studying hard to pass the Coors Light bar exam!)

#16 South Florida over PITT giving 2:
Money’s streaming in on USF after opening as 1-point fave in Big Least opener for both sides. Multiple spread-trends put Bulls in the driver’s seat here vs. Panthers, who went bowlin’ after 2010 season, but have just mustered wins over I-AA teams and lost to desperate and sloppy Irish squad, 15-12, last week. South Florida, pathetically, looks like the club to beat in the conference in 2011. Temple might be the squad with the best post-season prognosis in the Keystone State…USF 24 Pitt 13

#1 LSU over Kentucky giving 29 ½:
Bengals 42 KY 7

Ball State over #2 OKLAHOMA taking 37: Two words…”conference sandwich”. Cardinals catch Sooners between a pair of Big 12 games….Mizzou last week, and Red River rivalry game vs. Texas on-deck. Ball State was just 6-18 straight-up entering this season, but is 2-1 SU thus far, upsetting both Indiana and Army (around a spanking by South Florida), utilizing a reasonably-balanced offense, and shows a 14-6 road dog record over the past 4+ years. Okies have beaten the line in Norman in 20 of last 26, but…OK 42 Ball State 17

#3 Alabama over #12 FLORIDA giving 4: Florida is rockin’ 11-1-1 ATS getting points in SEC match-ups, but we watched ‘Bama demoralize Arkansas on defense and special teams despite a sluggish offense, including one very staunch goal-line stand by the Pigs. Hogs’ O had some success against Tide with underneath crossing routes, but ‘Bama defenders delivered some brutal “de-cleaters” vs. Razorbacks’ ball-carriers. Gators posted 405 rushing yards vs. Kentucky, but ‘Bama limited Arkansas to 17 yards on 19 carries and Nick Saban went all Les Miles with an early fake FG for a score. Gotta’ lay the small line here. Crocs walloped Bruce Banner last weekend. This week, they get The Hulk!...”Don’t Make Me Angry..You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry 27 Florida 17

Nevada-Reno over #4 BOISE STATE taking 27: No faith in this pick. Two concepts to consider. 1) Broncos QB Kellen Moore is illin’ and not playing at 100% (went less than three quarters in spread-loss vs. Tulsa) and 2) Reno handed Boise its only outright defeat of last season. In addition, we question Wolfpack’s mindframe after yielding two-touchdown, 3rd Quarter advantage to Texas Tech, on the road, to lose on Red Raiders scoring pass with just over half-a-minute to play. Broncos are coin-toss worthy ATS at home. Fourth consecutive away tilt for Reno, who scraped by San Josie 17-14. The NCAA has put the kibosh on Boise wearin’ the Smurfilicious unis at home on the blue turf, but we don’t see why UNR couldn’t turn the tables and bust out their own azure duds. Could be nice “over” play… Tater-Heads 44 Reno 24

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

#6 STANFORD over Ucla giving 20: Stanford 38 UCLA 10

#7 WISCONSIN over #8 Nebraska giving 9: Huskers have historically-solid SU and ATS record against Big Tenuous teams, but most-recently squared-off against said conference in 2005 post-season. Madison is a tough place to open a new club membership. Not sold on QB Taylor Martinez and Big Dread team that didn’t pull away from Wyoming until the second-half…Badgers 33 Nebraska 20

#9 Oregon: IDLE (next vs. Cal 10/6)

Auburn over #10 SOUTH CAROLINA taking 10: Fightin’ Squab 30 Tigers 24

#11 VIRGINIA TECH over #13 Clemson giving 7: Tigers got by furious late rally by Seminoles, who drew a dozen penalty flags to fall short. First meeting since Tech’s 41-23 win in 2007. Hokies, giving up 15 fewer points-per-game than Clemson and 13-4 ATS in ACC play, won’t be able to take a knee at the end of the 3rd Quarter this Saturday as they have done previously in wins over the non-conference buffet…VT 21 Tigers 13

#14 Texas A&M over #18 Arkansas giving 2 ½: As previously-noted, Arkansas deserved a better fate vs. Alabama. Aggies coughed it up four times in the final 30 minutes to waste a 17-point halftime lead and fall to Oklahoma State. A&M will have to guard vs. Hogs’ kick-return unit. The game is being hosted by Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. However, due to a snafu over temporary seating , many ticket-holders will actually be relocated and forced to watch the game from chairs elsewhere in Arlington!...A&M 34 Arkansas 29

#15 Baylor over KANSAS STATE giving 3 ½: Bears 37 Wildcats 27

#17 Texas over IOWA STATE giving 9 ½: Steers 28 Dust Devils 17

#19 MICHIGAN over Minnesota giving 20: What started as a promising season under new coach Jerry Kill, with a near-upset of then-ranked Southern Cal, came crashing down with a defeat to New Mexico State, an unconvincing 29-23 victory over Miami-Ohio and last week’s outright loss to I-AA North Dakota State…again! We would normally attribute the downfall to the distractions of Coach Kill’s health problems, which have seen him hospitalized with seizures, but the 0-fers have perennially been a welcome site for FCS teams in recent years. Gerbils lost to the Bison in their 2007 meeting, edged South Dakota State 16-13 in 2009 and were beaten by South Dakota last year (Are you listening, UNLV???). Wolverines need to seriously-improve on 4-20 spread tally vs. fellow Big Tender Foot teams, but are off to nice 4-0 SU/3-0 ATS jump on 2011 behind Denard Robinson. Gerbils are 6-1 taking double-digits against opponents over .500 and have covered 5 of last 6 facing Top 25, but only four BCS conference teams score fewer ppg than they do…Michigan 42 Minne-so-when-does-basketball-season-start? 17

Southern Methodist over #20 TCU taking 11 ½: TCU 34 SMU 31

#21 Georgia Tech over NC STATE giving 11 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Yellowjackets have covered 11 of last 15 vs. the Wolfpack, but got their stingers handed to ‘em in last season’s 45-28 loss. NC State is clearly floundering without QB Russell Wilson, who’s doing good things for the Badgers and can claim only a pair of SU wins over FCS opponents, having given up 34 at Wake Forest and 44 in bad loss at Cincinnati. State yielded better than 5 ypc to the Bearkats. Again, we note Tech’s nation-leading rushing game at 7 ypc, which effectively stifled North Carolina for three quarters last week….Wreck 44 NCSU 16

Bowling Green over #22 WEST VIRGINIA taking 20 ½: Mounties 35 Bee Gees 20

#23 Florida State: IDLE (next @ Wake Forest)

Northwestern over #24 ILLINOIS taking 8 ½: Illini 17 NW 12

Oregon State over #25 ARIZONA STATE taking 18: The presence of senior wide-out James Rodgers for the first time this year did not help the Beavers, who were “upset” (?) by UCLA last week, yet, we’re not ready to lay this many with the Pitchforks, who look for revenge over 2010’s 31-28 loss to State, but who have bounced in-and-out of the rankings and did so this week behind four turnovers by the Trojans…and must travel to Utah next….ASU 19 OSU 10

BTW, your nimble narrator once nearly got picked-up and carried-off by an intoxicated female traveller, who left the Weber Kid to his own devices after noting the luggage-tag, illicitly-acquired and prominently- sported by the Vindicator in an effort to blend-in with the rest of the suitcases, had the wrong address written on it!

On a Spring vacation back East, Vin was pulled for one of those “random”, expanded security searches and was disappointed when the TSA agent-in-question was caught fondling Vindy’s Picks! During that same trip, Vindy kept watch on the flight-status board for arrivals and departures. While Vin never did determine if his plane would come in or leave as scheduled, he was able to follow pick-by-pick NFL Draft selections!

And while we’re on the topic, referees have been stuffing penalty markers into each piece of luggage because at Southwest Airlines “flags fly free”!

FCS Strikes Again!: #28 Southern Utah 41 UNLV 16 (Guess which Mountain Jest squad just became a favored homecoming opponent for a boatload of AA teams???!!), #26 Sam Houston State 48 New Mexico 45 OT (Goodbye, Mike Locksley) and the aforementioned #12North Dakota State 37 Gilded Gerbils 24 (Go Bison!!!)

In August, a 22-year-old woman in Alaska, hoping to save her pooch from becoming take-out food, punched a black bear in da’ nose. This is a woman we would gladly have as part of the now-reduced wedge in front of our kick-returners!

As the Major League playoffs approach, the Yankees and Red Sox continue to get heat for playing games vs. each other at a snail’s pace. Maybe somebody should tell the respective stadium announcers that blasting the theme-song from “Chariots of Fire” over the PA system to start each inning has gotta’ go!

The top scoring-defense after four weeks of college gridiron contests? ‘Bama? Nope. Wisconsin? Uh-uh. LSU??!! Not even close! Allowing a paltry 7.8 ppg…..the Owls of Temple!!!!!!!!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yep, we knew we shoulda’ taken Baylor over Rice!

“Locked in a Box?”: The mighty Gators hammered Kentucky to move our lock tally to 3-1 (.750)

Shoppe Talk: We’ll be servin’ fricasseed Hokies in the Shoppe CafĂ© this week with Virginia Tech at 0-3 (.000). And joining our circus as well, the Elephants of the Crimson Tide (1-3, .250, with three straight forecast losses).

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 12-7 (.632)
Utah State +7 ½ over BYU, Rutgers +3 over SYRACUSE, OHIO -16 ½ over Kent State, Northern Illinois -9 over CENTRAL MICHIGAN, KANSAS +6 ½ over Texas Tech, EAST CAROLINA +6 ½ over North Carolina

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2011


GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (UPI)…About a week-and-a-half following the alien invasion, subsequent occupation of this beloved dwelling and release of the Packers cheerleading squad, brokered by Bill Clinton, who also arranged, in a solely “diplomatic” move, White House internships for a couple of “promising” female extraterrestrials, the Vegas Vindicator made an unselfish humanitarian gesture and offered himself to the ET force in exchange for the freedom of the local citizens of Green Bay, going where no prognosticator has gone before. Moved to the core of their very being (as only outlanders from space can be), the conquering army accepted the deal and returned independence to the city. In his final comments to the media before boarding the alien vessel, Vindy said the strangers’ yellowish-green, wedged-shaped heads with circular and semi-circular pock marks were “vaguely-familiar” and “reminded (him) of something”, but he “couldn’t remember what.”

Our pungent prophet posted a third straight losing week with 7-13 (22-32-1, .407), in part due to supporting the bigger chalk. Teams laying more than two touchdown went 1-7 ATS on Saturday and factoring in Boise’s cover of about 19 points, 2-7 on the weekend (Squads like Virginia Tech and Alabama went scoreless in the final 15 minutes or more????!!! We smell a rat!). “Bookie, bookie, bookie…why do ya treat me this wayyyyy, ya know I’m still your wager-boy, ya know I bet the same way…My honey, my bookie…don’t put my love on no shelf…She said, ‘I got my own liiiines, so keep yo’ picks to yo’sellllllf!’” Needing a boost(er rocket?), Vindy pays the Mother-ship organist to play “Here we go, Vinnnn-Deeee, here we go!” before transmitting…

(Ruining your children’s attention spans faster than SpongeBob)

Missouri over #1 OKLAHOMA taking 21 ½:
We were definitely in favor of the Sooners moving to the 12-PAC. Think of all the construction jobs that would open up as the result of trying to re-route the Pacific Coast Highway through Norman, Oklahoma! (Weighing-in on the issue, Sarah Palin said she also supported the conference change and could “see the ocean” from Oklahoma Memorial Stadium!). Maybe the covered-wagon could be out-fitted with sails???!!!…Boomer Schooner? 34 Tigers 19

#2 Louisiana State over #16 WEST VIRGINIA giving 5 ½: The shift by Dana Holgorsen to the spread offense shows in Mounties’ lack of a running game. A trio of WVU receivers all went for better than 100 yards each, but it was a defensive pick-six that would be the difference in the victory over Maryland. Bengals tried to support Vindy’s Mississippi State pick by drawing five flags in less than 10-minute timeframe last week. Yet-another challenge for young Tigers’ D. West Virginia lost two outta’ three games vs. Top 25 in 2010, but covered all 3, including 20-14 defeat to LSU. WVU denied the AP’s request this summer for e-mails between school officials and coaches prior to the departure of then-coach Bill Stewart, who allegedly asked a media person to find- and spill da’ beans on his successor-be. Not to worry. We think Wiki-Leaks will eventually release those communications… at the worst-possible moment of the season…Bengals 23 Mounties 13

#14 Arkansas over #3 ALABAMA taking 11 ½: Tide’s allowing average of 6 ppg, but two of first three opponents had basically zero offensive potential (including the alma mater, who sent theirs to the locker room after the opening drive!).’Bama hasn’t posted more than a single ATS defeat in September since 2007. Elephants have covered last six following scoring more than 35 vs. non-SEC foes. Hogs need to shore-up the rush D. Only yielded 84 ground yards to Troy, but on just 20 carries. Even accounting for two long scoring runs from each of Tide RBs Richardson and Lacy, they still managed averages of 4+ and 7+ yards per tote. Razorbacks lost tough 24-20 decision in one of those rare ‘Bama games decided by single-digits last year and carry 7-3 ATS record facing Top 25 , including 4-1 on the road in those games...Tide 34 Arkansas 25

#4 BOISE STATE over Tulsa giving 32 ½: Boise 56 Tulsa 20

#5 Stanford: IDLE (next vs. UCLA)

South Dakota @ #6 WISCONSIN: No line

#8 Texas A&M over #7 Oklahoma State giving 3 (@ Cowboys Stadium, Dallas): Will there be lasting effects from Cowpokes’ previous game that went until 3:30 AM????!!! Coaches at State carried on with usual weekly schedule of practice. OKSU allowed 33 to Tulsa. Aggies, who have a bye next, won 38-35 in 2010. State’s covered just 2 of last 7 vs. ranked opponents. Cadets on 8-4 home chalk run, but quit scoring with 6 minutes left in 3rd Quarter (and were -2 in turnover ratio vs. Idaho). Cowboys are 2-6 prior to facing the Jayhawks…Aggies 41 State 33

WYOMING over #9 Nebraska taking 22 ½: Huskers 27 Wyoming 9

#10 Oregon over ARIZONA giving 15 ½: Drakes 41 ‘Cats 20

#11 Florida State over #21 CLEMSON giving 1 ½: ‘Noles game vs. Oklahoma mighta’ ended differently had EJ Manuel not been injured. Then again, maybe not. Redshirt freshman Clint Trickett carried himself mighty well, all things considered, but like many reserves, coughed up a turnover at a critical time…but still half as many as the starter did. Tigers are 3-0 SU and 2-0 against the number. Nonetheless, the Wofford escape continues to haunt us. Injuns held 6 of 8 conference opponents to 16 or less last year (and 2 of 3 foes overall this season). Home team has taken the money in 7 of last 9 in the series. Clemson had to rally from early two-score hole vs. Auburn…Chop 17 Clemson 13

Vanderbilt over #12 SOUTH CAROLINA taking 16 ½: Gamehens 30 Commodores 16

#13 Virginia Tech over MARSHALL giving 20 ½: VT 41 Herd 17

#15 Florida over KENTUCKY giving 19 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. WR Chris Rainey has been Da’ Man for the Gators, contributing significantly to the rushing game, as well as on special teams (blocking a punt last week). Given a weak offense for the ‘Cats, who come off loss to rival Louisville (who was beaten by Stun Belt squad Florida International) and unimpressive victories over Western Kentucky and Central Michigan, combined with Florida offense also battling to find any early rhythm (scoring a TD and three FGs in first half vs. Tennessee [with some credit to the Vols]), “under” might be the real choice here. Crocs are, however, 3-0 ATS, while KY is on 2-6 skid. UF is a nice road fave and we don’t see the Wildcats closing the gap enough on last season’s 48-14 defeat in the Swamp…Florida 39 KY 13

Rice over #17 BAYLOR taking 20: Owls rested last weekend after pulling off the minor upset of Purdue (can’t believe we just said that), while Bears shutout I-AA Stephen F. Austin for three quarters before refs called that one due to weather. Rice brings back 18 starters and are just 3 points from 2-0 spread record. Bears bumble vs. revenge-minded opponents, going 0-fer-last seven in that role. Barnyard Birds are lousy vs. non-conference teams, especially the Big (currently)-12 and even worse away from the home farm. RG III has thrown 9 scoring passes without an INT. Owls have allowed 3 aerial touchdowns with no picks thus far and finished 118th in the nation in 2010 with 34-6 ratio. “Wish I Had it Back” written all over this, but…Baylor 31 Rice 17

#18 SOUTH FLORIDA over Texas-El Paso giving 29: USF 42 UTEP 10

#19 Texas: IDLE (next @ Iowa State)

Portland State @ #20 TCU: No line.

#22 MICHIGAN over San Diego State giving 10: Not a bad lock choice. Oh please. Sudzu whacked I-AA Cal Poly, then squeaked by Army. Big Blue enjoying fourth of five straight games at the Big House to open the ’11 campaign. UM is either 2-1 or 2-0-1 depending on whether ya had Week Three’s four-touchdown win over Eastern Michigan as a loss or a push. Current Wolverine coach was head man over the Aztecs in the previous two seasons and led State to a 9-4 record and its first post-season in a dozen years. Aztecs were 5-2 ATS as road dogs and 3-3 ATS vs. ranked under Brady Hoke, but all six of those Top 25 foes were fellow-Mountain Jest teams, none of whom had a dual-threat QB named Robinson…Despicable Meeeesigan 28 SDSU 14

ARIZONA STATE over #23 Southern Cal giving 2 ½: Have to figure officials at the LA school were overjoyed to hear about issues at OSU and Miami to divert some unwanted media attention coming into the season. Sun Devils are kicking themselves for late fumble that gave Illinois the win and their spot in the rankings. Trojans pounded visiting Syracuse, but we ain’t convinced after USC survived Minnesota and Utah, both at the Coliseum. ASU has covered 5 of last 7 conference openers, giving points in about half of those, but Troy has won 11 straight years, including 34-33 in 2010. Top running back Marc Tyler couldn’t dress for Trojans’ opener vs. the Golden Gophers for suggesting to TMZ that he receives money to play for the school, indicating, “USC, they breaking bread.” Maybe he misspoke and actually meant the Athletic Department was auditing a culinary class and making bread?! Or maybe USC just really stands for… “Undercover Spending-Cash”… Pitchforks 23 USC 19

Western Michigan over #24 ILLINOIS taking 13 ½: Had the Illini not been in da’ Top 25 this week, we’da’ had this as a “best bet”. Illini lost in all statistical categories in triumph over Arizona State and are fortunate to be here, getting the deciding tally on the aforementioned late turnover. MAC contender Broncos drew a spread-loss in weather-shortened tilt at Michigan and are now 3-11-1 getting points on the road, 0-fer-last-five getting double-digits outside Kalamazoo and 1-4 ATS facing Big Tentacles Conference enemies. Illini are 13-7 ATS in past 20 matches, but mere 3-3 giving Champaign points. WMU is poor 1-6-1 outside da’ MAC and we’d really we’d just prefer the “over” in a shootout… Illinois 38 Western Michigan 31

North Carolina over #25 GEORGIA TECH taking 6 ½: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Bees have broken into the 60’s twice already behind usual, big running game. Tech beat a suspension-strapped Carolina team in Raleigh, 30-24, last year and has taken 5 of last 6 outright in this series, though has gone only 2-5 ATS in last 7. Tarheels winning on defense this year and have gone “under” the total in both lined games (though barely in both). UNC has dropped 4 of last 6 SU when yielding more than 17 points. And one of two victories came this season after giving up 22 to Rutgers. We like Carolina’s rushing defense (giving a mere 2.3 ypc) and tougher schedule to-date. An NCAA probe revealed Tarheels football players racked up over $13K of parking tickets from 2007-2010…. and what Terrell Pryor was doing in Raleigh during each of those years is still anybody’s guess!...UNC 24 Joja’ Tech 23

Clearly, the aliens didn’t get a look at Vindy’s Week Three results or they’da’ jettisoned our hero out the photon-torpedo tube with the rest of the sub-orbital offal before the ship got off da’ ground!

The State (Republic?) of Texas has rebuked the taboo on incandescent lightbulbs. We love watchin’ the newly-named Longhorns mascot, Bevolt, trot onto the field and hearing the A&M cadets yell “Giga-watt ‘Em, Aggies!” BTW, “How many Red Raiders does it take… to change a light-bulb?!”

Discussing the preseason collision with a wide-receiver during practice that left him with shoulder- and pelvis injuries, and temporarily confined to him to a golf cart for mobility purposes, Joe Paterno said, “The good Lord has a way of doing things.” Apparently, until the day in question, it was a little known fact that God had taken over duties as offensive coordinator and was now calling pass routes! We’re just wondering what surface He was using to draw up the X’s and OMGs!!! We’ll take it as a good sign that somebody on high wants JoePa to keep coaching since it was 5-foot-7 Devon Smith that was sent crashing into the venerable NCAA icon rather than…ohhhh, let’s say….6-foot-6, 275-lbs. TE Garry Gilliam!!!BTW, we always thought it was the players, not the coaches that were posed atop the motorized platforms in the old Coleco Electric Football game!

On the telly as part of the new Fall line-up…a football adaptation of a popular game show in which contestants have whatever’s left on the clock following the final time-out to drive their team down the field into position to kick a FG that would secure the victory in…”About Two Minutes to Win It!”

Elsewhere on the boob tube, U.S. Women’s Soccer goalie, Hope Solo, opened nicely on “Dancing With Da’ Stars” this week….with big brother Han in the studio cheering her along! Meanwhile, NBA baller Ron Artest made a quick exit. What a shame. We’re told the man soon-to-be-known as Metal Whirled Pizza (somethin’ like that) still had a couple flagrant fouls-to-give!

In one of those draft-preview articles, ESPN Da’ Mag noted the average Wonderlic test score for quarterbacks was 24, 29 for computer programmers and 15 for janitors. Had Batman’s youthful sidekick scored well on the “IQ” test administered during the NFL Combine, would he have been known as...Robin, the Boy Wonderlic???! BTW, test officials wouldn’t reveal Vindy’s final tally, but suggested the end result puts the fab forecaster somewhere between waterboy and...goalpost!

Black Shirt: Goes to Boise State coach Chris Petersen for keeping petal-to-metal and allowing RB Drew Wright to score an 8-yard TD with 90 seconds left, already up 18 over Toledo to get the cover, and one of Vindy’s seven total correct picks this week.

“Locked in a Box?”: As we called, Navy nearly upset the Fightin’ Fowl, bringing the lock record to 2-1 (.667), including Stanford’s delayed-but-eventual spread win over Duke, which we somehow neglected to mention in Week Three.

Shoppe Talk: The Buckeyes go to 0-3 (and mercifully fall outta’ the rankings this week).

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 10-4 (.714)
TEXAS TECH -20 over Nevada-Reno, MEMPHIS +22 over Southern Methodist, BALL STATE +4 over Army, Fresno State -4 over IDAHO, MISSISSIPPI STATE -20 over Weeziana Tech

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vindy Picks Week 3-2011


GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (ITAR-Tass)…Enthralled by post-game coverage of the Packers’ exciting 42-34 Thursday night victory over the New Orleans Saints to kick-off the 2011 NFL season, citizens of Title Town, USA never saw it coming. Aliens attacked and annexed Lambeau Field, as well as the surrounding city without so much as a hint they were approaching. That’s because Barrack Obama refused to break into local coverage to announce the imminent threat, as he had done throughout the rest of the nation. Answering questions from the media about his inaction here, President Obama said the people of Green Bay had “declared their priorities loud-and-clear” when Milwaukee TV station WTMJ “bumped” the President’s speech on unemployment to another station in favor of the pre-game gala and that he “wasn’t about to trample on their civil rights” by interrupting the broadcast with breaking news of the invasion. Asked if, in retrospect, he regretted his decision, the Commander-in-Chief replied, “Hey, I’m a Bears fan. I’m crushed…NOT!”

Our shaky seer was a ½-point Friday night forecast-win from an early 0-7 hole, but late afternoon and evening games were kind enough to result in a 7-9-1 finish for Week Two (15-19-1, .441 season), despite a Big Tent-Peg conference that went rogue on one of its own faithful alum with an 0-4 “performance”.

Following back-to-back sub-par weeks, Vindicator has been informed he will be forced to “join ‘Peggy’ in ‘retraining program’” if he doesn’t do something good with…

THE WEBER KID’S 2011 WEEK 3 FORECAST(Now available on the Inter-Galactic Sports Network)

#25 MISSISSIPPI STATE over #3 Louisiana State taking 3 ½:
Bulldogs were out-gained, out-first-downed and out-done in time-of-possession in tough-but-entertaining loss at Auburn. Tigers got past the sloppy Ducks in a game that was closer than the final score suggested and went 4-4 ATS in the SEC in 2010, bringing the five-year total to 12-24-5. LSU won 29-7 last year and State’s last outright victory in this series was 1999. Bulldogs went 1-4 ATS against the Top 25 last year, getting its only SU win in those games at Florida. Tigers have won 6 of last 8 vs. ranked foes, but the young defense tackles another high-powered offense. Both teams have been well-over the totals.... Bengals 34 Bulldogs 31

#4 Boise State over TOLEDO giving 18 ½:
Rockets may have left it all on the gridiron after almost doing the unthinkable by nearly dropping Ohio State. But unlike the Buckeyes, Broncos will play with all their folks, probably including three from Amsterdam who sat out last week (and given that their respective prep schools were in the near-proximity of legal marijuana and red light districts, they mighta’ been more at home at UNLV…just sayin’.) and more-established offense. Boise has not covered last 4 games spotting their opponents less than three touchdowns on weekdays (we thank Marc Lawrence’s Playbook. Com for that convoluted trend) and did allow Joja’ scoring passes of 36- and 51-yards. Toledo did have a pair of receivers each over 100 receiving yards each in the OSU game. Boise has been nice 12-4 road fave the last three seasons and won 57-14 in 2010 match-up. Visiting the home of da’ Mudhens this week….Charlie Sheen and his “Violent Toledo of Truth” tour…BSU 44 Rockets 20

#1 Oklahoma over #5 FLORIDA STATE giving 3 ½:
Pressure’s on the Sooners to defend the #1 ranking and we saw what happened to the TCU Frogs at the hands of vengeful Baylor in Week One, but the Toads nearly pulled it out anyway. Sooners got the bye and the extra week to prepare, and while they still really haven’t played anybody, ‘Noles got to stay in tune by pounding Charlatan Southern. No confidence in this call and we’d prefer “under” whatever total gets posted…OK 24 FSU 17

#2 ALABAMA over North Texas giving 46: Tide 54 Lean Green 0

#6 Stanford over ARIZONA giving 10: Cardinal 31 AZ 17

NORTHERN ILLINOIS over #7 Wisconsin taking 16 ½: Wisky 29 Huskies 16

#8 Oklahoma State over TULSA giving 14: OKSU 38 Hurricane 20

#9 TEXAS A&M over Idaho giving 36 ½: Aggies are rested for this one, but historically A&M is dismal 1-5 SU/0-5-1 ATS off a bye. Nonetheless, Tater Town is 6-13 ATS in last 19 lined games, 2-8 ATS back to last season, rolled over completely as 6-point chalk in opening home-loss to Bowling Green (supporting one of our best bet selections!) and trailed FCS squad North Dakota 14-3 early and 14-10 at halftime. Lots of seniors for Idaho, but just four returning starters on offense. We’ll stick with reliable home fave and Vindy’s BCS Title game contestant choice A&M, led by Ryan Tannehill…Aggies 54 Garlic Mashed 10

Washington over #10 NEBRASKA taking 17 ½: Big Dread 28 Sled Dogs 13

Navy over #11 SOUTH CAROLINA taking 18 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Gamecocks struggled early with East Carolina and then rallied to scrape past Georgia. Quarterback issues are apparent on offense and nobody on the young Carolina D-line has seen the Middies’ version of the option. Navy excels sailing in hostile waters, enjoying current 16-5 run as road dogs. Sailors get a bye after this before hosting Air Force, so they can let it rip. If it wasn’t for the presence of KFC running back Marcus Lattimore, we’d be hanging “upset pick of da’ week” on this…Poultry 28 Navy 23

Missouri State @ #12 OREGON: No line.

#13 VIRGINIA TECH over Arkansas State giving 24: Hokies 44 ASU 13

#14 ARKANSAS over Troy giving 24 ½: Hogs 45 Trojans 17

#15 Michigan State over NOTRE DAME taking 5: Two late-game collapses have put the Irish in a bad way. The Golden Domers have been September bet-against material since the start of the 2006 season and continue to be with 0-2 spread tally already this season. Spartans won 34-31 in 2010. Four of the last six in this match-up were decided by 3, the other two were double-digit victories by State. Sparty has been a bad road dog, but Leprechauns have been horrible home chalk at 9-21-2. ND is another squad with uncertainties under center…MSU 24 ND 20

Tennessee over #16 FLORIDA taking 9: Gators have beaten UT six straight years, the last four by double-digits, going just 3-2-1 ATS in the process. Florida eventually smothered (and covered) the Blazers in 39-0 rout and in a humanitarian move, went scoreless after three quarters. Of concern however, might be the tiny detail that four of UF’s first five tallies were field goals or safeties. Rocky Top seemingly has a new attitude and looked good in opening victories over I-AA Montana and a feisty Cincinnati team. Florida won 31-17 last year, but is just 5-10-2 against the number in conference play. Vols sport a 7-3 spread record as away dogs and 24-14-3 ATS in the SEC. Apparently, that nagging voice Vindy heard imploring him in Week Two to take UAB and the generous handicap turned out to just be a defective See ‘N Say in his childhood toy chest (“The dragon says ‘moooooo’! [Hey…we told ya it was defective!]) …Crocs 29 Vols 24

#17 Ohio State over MIAMI taking 3: We were hopin’ this one woulda’ stayed off the board, but so be it! Buckeyes, last week, displayed the blundering offensive effort we expected to see vs. Akron, posting a goose-egg in 4th Quarter and hanging on at Toledo. Both sides are still without some peeps and ‘Canes paid the price, losing opener to Maryland. State won 36-24 last season and Miami wants payback, but the Pelicans are 6-14 layin’ points in Coral Gables, 1-5 in last six vs. ranked opponents, under new management (We still love ya, Al Golden!) and will play inconsistent QB Jacory Harris, who’s as apt to throw a pick as he is a touchdown pass. Luke Fickell, at least, has played a couple games, while Harris has been limited to practice only. Defensive edge goes to the Big Ten squad as well, and we think Buckeyes find a way to win it. Miami booster Nevin Shapiro enticed players with motorcycles and leather jackets. The athletes, many of whom watched re-runs of Happy Days as kids, apparently thought their benevolent-but-bogus benefactor said “Fonzie scheme” and figured it was all good. Reached for comment later, Henry Winkler flashed a thumbs-up and quipped, “Miami???? Heeeyyyyyy!!!!!”… Ohio State 20 Miami 16

MARYLAND over #18 West Virginia giving 2: Box Turtles 24 Mountaineers 19

Stephen F. Austin @ #19 BAYLOR: No line.

Florida A&M @ #20 SOUTH FLORIDA: No line.

#21 Auburn over CLEMSON taking 3 ½: Like the trees at Toomer’s Corner, Auburn is resilient, coming out on the right side of a couple of nail-biters. Like Auburn, Clemson is breaking-in a lot of new faces on defense. It is experienced on offense…except at quarterback. Auburn took this one 27-24 last year, one of four defeats for Clemson by 6 points or less. Clemson hasn’t been tested yet and was unimpressive in last week’s 35-29 win over I-AA Wofford. BTW, the War Eagle that did a major face-plant on the pane-glass of a luxury box at Jordan-Hare Stadium last week has been offered a rockin’ endorsement deal from Windex!...Auburn 31 Clemson 27

#22 Arizona State over ILLINOIS giving 1 ½: Is the ASU logo change reminiscent for anybody else out there, as it is for Vindicator, of Aquaman’s or Neptune’s trident???!!!”Fear the Fork (Respect da’ Tail?!!!)”!....ASU 23 Illini 14

#23 TEXAS CHRISTIAN over Louisiana-Monroe giving 27 ½: Toads 34 ULM 3

#24 Texas over UCLA giving 3 ½: Not a bad choice for lock. Maybe we spoke too soon about Garrett Gilbert’s improved competency at QB for the ‘Horns. He bought himself a trip to the pine this week with 2-fer-8 for 8 yards and two picks vs. BYU. Bruins lost shootout to Houston and we think they were maybe looking past San Josie with ugly 10-point decision in anticipation of this one…or were they? Steers in revenge mode after last year’s 34-12 Bruins win sent the Austin Angus into a major tailspin. UCLA was a good bet vs. non-conference coming into 2011, but has dropped both to the line in two tries to-date…Texas 24 UCLA 13

BTW, Obama also went on to praise the efforts of resistance forces across the country that successfully repelled the extraterrestrial hoards, including folks in his hometown of Chicago, who made their final stand at O’Hare International Airport and gave new meaning to the phrase “Monsters of the Midway”!

In related news, the Chicago Bears announced a last-minute cancellation of Family Night in late August after the grounds-crew forgot to water Soldier Field and heat forced postponement of that day’s practice. Great. Da’ Bears were 0-1 at home before the season even started!

Last week, we noted some surprising final scores from FBS-FCS tussles. This week’s entries in the “Whachu’ talkin’ ‘bout, Willis???!!!”category include: the aforementioned Clemson 35 (#9) Wofford 27, Weeziana Tech 48 (#20) Central Arkansas 42(OT), Pitt 35 (unranked) Maine 29, Syracuse 21 (unranked ) Rhode Island 14, Eastern Michigan 14 (unranked) Alabama State 7….and just a week after nearly toppling USC, the Gilded Gerbils of Minnesota fall outright, 28-21, to New Mexico State, who had a total of five SU wins over the previous two years!

East Baton Rouge PD seized 49 (count ‘em, 49!) pairs of shoes during a search of Jordan Jefferson’s pad. Leads us to conclude one of three things…1) JJ lives with a woman 2) the Bengals QB secretly wants to be a woman or 3) he actually wants to play for Oregon and has compiled the requisite amount of footwear to go with each of the Ducks’ possible uniform combinations!

Cam Newton coulda’ made millions being drafted by…and playing for…the Denver Broncos or Buffalo Bills this past April, but his father had already offered-up the former Auburn Tiger’s services to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for three separate payments totaling $180,000! (The elder Newton was subsequently offered the role of Dr. Evil in an upcoming remake of Austin Powers in Goldmember!

After five attempts, Doug Flutie’s daughter finally got herself a roster spot as a New England Patriots cheerleader. Judges were left with no choice but to grant her the job after she launched her pom-poms 65-yards downfield to a waiting Gerard Phelan in the end zone with no time left in her audition, giving her the upset over another girl, who was heavily-favored to win the position!

Vindy caught the following headline in a May edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “MLB Probes Treatment Given to Yankees’ Colon”. Huh??!! Did unsavory things happen during the Bronx Bombers’ team visit to the proctologist???!!

Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco didn’t make the contract-cut following a five-day March tryout with Kansas City of the MLS. Still, we can’t wait to see him bicycle-kick his first pass-reception through the uprights!

Steve Spurrier came out this week in support of research by a college athlete advocacy group showing your run-of-the-mill I-A gridiron player is worth about $121,000. Yet another Kelly Blue Book special-edition shows a Mercedes S-class or Bentley with very little mileage will fetch ya Charlie Batch…or Ryan Leaf and a nifty full-size skull tat on the butt-cheek of your choice!

Shoppe Talk: Joining the Buckeyes (0-2), Oklahoma State gets to ride the Shoppe range following back-to-back forecast losses to start the season. In addition, we invite the ECU Pirates and Bulls of South Florida, both 0-2.

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-0 Season: 8-1 (.889)
Nevada-Reno -5 ½ over SAN JOSE STATE, CINCINNATI -31 over Akron, Washington State +7 over SAN DIEGO STATE, Utah +6 ½ over BYU, BOWLING GREEN -8 ½ over Wyoming

And now back to our favorite stoner fantasy-flick-with-religious-overtones….”The Chronic of Narnia”! (Yeah, YEAH! Save the hate-mail for someone who cares!)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Vindy's Picks 2011 Week 2


PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (Reuters)....Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, who tied the knot in July, responding to queries from spectators, gave fans attending the final home practice prior to the team’s 2011 season-opener at Baltimore this week, a huge surprise. Huddling up with his wife of less-than-seven weeks, and in a break from the usual marriage-tradition, Big Ben re-enacted a key moment of his summer wedding, tossing the bouquet himself. Observers say Roethlisberger, with the pocket collapsing and the Matron-of-Honor draped all over him, calmly went through his progressions, then settled on a check-down, delivering a nifty touch-pass toward the sideline, which got hauled-in nicely by a bridesmaid, who laid-out to make the catch before she went outta’ bounds. Video-replay confirmed the receiver got both feet down, dragging her nine-inch stiletto heels along the turf to validate the reception!

A nifty 2-0 Thursday night (3-0 if ya count our Bowling Green best bet) got whacked by a poor Saturday night and left our hero on the wrong end of a 7-9 record and needing both of Sunday’s faves to break even on the weekend. The Aggies won big, but the premature, weather-shortened outing in Morgantown kept West Virginia from extending its lead and sent our noxious narrator to Week One’s disappointing 8-10 (.444) finish.

Hoping to exact a little payback on a well-known, climatological female entity, Vindy snatches Thor’s hammer and thrusts the mighty Mjolnir into the air (Correct-a-mundo, Sportsfans! Your fab forecaster has been deemed worthy of wielding the legendary weapon!), forcing the skies inside the sportsbook to darken just before raining down thunder, lightning and….

(You betcher’ Asgard!)

Arizona over #9 OKLAHOMA STATE taking 14:
‘Cats have dropped 8 straight to the spread after posting 35 or more points the previous week (41 vs. NAU), Stanford on-deck and zippo starters coming back from last season’s offensive line, but we just can’t put our hopes on a Heisman-candidate QB and still-weak Cowboys defense that combined to give up 34 points to a weak-sister of the Sun Belt. ‘Zona also has a revenge factor, losing to Okie State by 26 in 2010 Alamo Bowl. Defense continues to be a perennial issue for OKSU. Arizona’s last I-A victory came prior to last Halloween…Oklahoma State 31 Arizona 28

#21 Missouri over ARIZONA STATE taking 7 ½:
Presence of a new man under center replacing Blaine Gabbert for the Tigers showed in Missouri’s 17-6 victory over Miami-Ohio. Sun Devils are 9-2-1 ATS in Tempe the past 2 seasons, though just 7-6 SU. Rushing and total yards are up in each of the past two seasons for ASU, but it is now the hunted in this one after losing (but covering) all three games last year vs. ranked opponents…State 24 Mizzou 20

#1 Oklahoma:
IDLE (next @ Florida State)

Northwestern State @ #2 LSU: No line.

#23 PENN STATE over #3 Alabama taking 9 ½: The good news? Rob Bolden, who started under center of this one last year as a true frosh, is back to lead the Lions again. The bad news? So is the then-very-young ‘Bama defense he faced at the time. Now-departed Heisman winner Mark Ingram didn’t even play in the 2010 version. Turnovers killed State last year, with interceptions deep in Tide territory in the 1st- and 3rd Quarters, keeping PSU outta’ the end zone for the first time in three seasons. Lions have won 27 of last 32 non-conference games outright, but have covered only one of last seven facing Top 25 opponents. Tide’s last SU loss to a non-SEC squad was 2008 post-season bowl vs. Utah. Tide is just 4-4 ATS vs. ranked foes of late. Only six of ‘Bama’s last 29 saw a final margin in the single digits, though Tide lost 2 outta’ 3 of those SU last season (and failed to covered any of ‘em). ‘Bama 7-1 ATS in last 8 road games. Lions did not yield a sack in last year’s match…’Bama 19 Lions 13

#4 Boise State: IDLE (next @ Toledo 9/16)

Charleston Southern @ #5 FLORIDA STATE: No line.

#6 Stanford over DUKE giving 21: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Blue Devils are one of two FBS teams in this week’s picks which fell outright to a I-AA club to open the year (more on that topic in “hashmarks”). Heisman-probable Andrew Luck and company gave no quarter to San Jose State and we can’t believe the QB won’t pad a few stats vs. Dukies, who were blown out last year only by VirginiaTech and ‘Bama, but all except three opponents scored 27 on the Devils and all of ‘em scored 21 or more. Duke is a half-point from being 1-5 ATS in last six vs. the Top 25 and on 3-14 non-conference death-spiral…Cardinal 49 Duke 14

#7 Texas A&M: IDLE (next vs. Idaho)

Oregon State over #8 WISCONSIN taking 22: Beavers off shocking upset by FCS squad Sacramento State, who came in at #30 in the preseason FCS poll (one notch behind upcoming UNLV opponent, Southern Utah. Be afraid, Rebels fans…be very afraid!) Badgers showed some weaknesses against the run and on kick coverage in the opener. State took a major step backward last year in points-scored (down 8 ppg) while allowing 2 more points-against per match leading to current 1-5 SU/1-4 ATS skid. Still, Beavers are 7-3 against the line facing ranked foes the last two years …Varmints 37 State 19

Fresno State over #10 NEBRASKA taking 28: Big Dread 38 Fresno 17

#11 Virginia Tech over EAST CAROLINA giving 20: Hokies, who quickly erased its nightmarish start from last year by dismantling Appalachian State 66-13, also have some our hard-earned Euros riding on a BCS title bid. Pirates turned it over five times and gave up a huge punt-return for a Gamecocks’ score and still covered. Tech on 14-3 spread run going back to November 2009, but is just 5-14 in last 19 non-ACC bouts…Tech 51 ECU 20

#12 South Carolina over GEORGIA giving 3: All My Chicken 17 Joja’ 10

#13 OREGON over Nevada-Reno giving 27: Mighty Ducks paid the price for being sloppy in the second-half vs. LSU and will welcome their own partisan crowd to spur them on in Eugene against Wolfpack squad, not only playing its first game of the year, but also fielding a whole new backfield. UNR covered its past two vs. ranked opponents, but both were against Boise and saw now-NFLer Colin Kaepernick at quarterback. First of four straight road tilts for Reno, who’s beaten the line just once in last 8 tries getting double-digits outside da’ WAC. Mallards have opened with back-to-back ATS losses just once since 2001 (did so in 2009)…Quack Attack 56 UNR 24

#14 ARKANSAS over New Mexico giving 36 (@Little Rock, AR): Second choice for lock. Hogs coach Bobby Petrino recently took a playful shot at the Big Ten, noting the way to secure a National Title was to draw “one of those slow teams from the north”. We’re not sure if he was alluding to speed or IQ, but we’ll certainly be keepin’ an eye on which of the Big Ten-Point-Two-in-the-Forty or Big Can’t-Count-to-Ten clubs board the team bus and which hop on the team “short bus”! Lobos, in a spread-covering loss to Colorado State, helped us cash a parlay ticket last week and even scored their first touchdown in six season-openers, but they’re toast here. Razorbacks are solid bet at home…. Sooooeeeeey Pigs 48 New Mexico 7

#15 OHIO STATE over Toledo giving 19: Rockets were dismal road dogs until going 3-2 ATS last season. Line’s a bit smaller than we expected, but perhaps that’s a nod to Toledo’s scoring offense, which has been strong in recent years (though mustered nada in 41-2 home loss to Arizona in 2010) and hung 58 on FCS #10 squad New Hampshire last week. People magazine says a newly-seen “T” tat atop Bristol Palin’s right tootsie represents her son, male siblings and daddy…Tripp, Trig, Track and Todd. Horse hockey! Columbus insiders report the skin-art really honors Terrell Pryor and Jim Tressel!...OSU 42 Toledo 20

#16 Mississippi State over AUBURN giving 7: MSU 29 Auburn 17

Florida Atlantic over #17 MICHIGAN STATE taking 32 ½: Spartans 41 FAU 13

#18 FLORIDA over Alabama-Birmingham giving 23: Gators 38 UAB 14 (Vindy can’t bring himself to buck Crocs’ current 13-1 ATS record laying double-digits vs. non-conference teams and the knowledge that this is the first live-action game for the Blazers, but that little voice in our head is screamin’ take da’ Owls and da’ points. Could be our first “wish I had that one back” pick of 2011. Stay tuned.)

Norfolk State @ #19 WEST VIRGINIA: No line.

#20 Baylor: IDLE (next vs. Stephen F. Austin)

Ball State over #22 SOUTH FLORIDA taking 20: USF 23 Miami-O 13

#24 TEXAS over Brigham Young giving 7: Coogs are on borrowed time following late Ole Missed fumble that let BYU off the hook and eke out the win. We thank Texas for coming through (albeit barely) as one of our Week One best bets. Steers finished -12 in turnover ratio last year in a season that saw UT drop more SU games (7) than in the previous three years combined (5). QB Garrett Gilbert, after throwing 17 picks last season and at times, looking more like Gilbert Grape or Gilbert Gottfried directing the ‘Horns offense, was error-less vs. Rice. ‘Horns were 2-7 ATS vs. non- Big 12 squads and 3-8 as chalk in Austin the past two years. We expect them to hold serve here…TX 24 Mormons 14

#25 Texas Christian over AIR FORCE giving 2: We anticipated a slow start from the Frogs offense, but we think the Rebels had a layover in Waco on their way back from Madison and suited-up on defense for TCU. Toads can take heart in knowing USAF won’t put in the air anywhere near the times that Baylor did. In fact, the Pilots threw 9 passes vs. South Dakota, completing 4 of ‘em (6 of ‘em if you include the two that were caught by Coyotes defenders) while rushing 61 times. TCU won by 29 last year, but the past two meetings in Colorado Springs were each decided by a FG. Vin recently switched his home-owners’ insurance to State Farm. They bought him… a Falcon! (He’s a nice kid too. Lotsa’ potential as a fighter pilot!)…TCU 20 USAF 16

BTW, Roethlisberger and his wife actually busted-out a little trickeration during the original ceremony, with the blushing bride taking the handoff a few steps toward the line-of-marriage before wheeling-around and pitching the flowers back to Big Ben, in a nod to the classic flea-flicker!

First, Green Lantern, now Thor?…Vindicator sure gets around da’ superhero universe, doesn’t he???!!!

It’s a little-known fact Mother Nature was a ticket-writer and sportsbook director long before discovering her weather-control powers and gaining her current notoriety! (Insiders at The Weather Channel say the windy wench had wagers on Marshall and Western Michigan!)

We had a blast watchin’ that lucky sousaphone player dot the “I” in “Script Buick” as part of the Ohio State band’s performance at halftime of the Akron game. We think it’d be worth the penalty flag to taunt Da’ U next week by dotting the “I” in a “Script Shapiro”, don’t you???!!!

Folks besides Cameron Jordan who were apparently drunk-dialed by members of the Cleveland Browns organization in April and wrongly-informed they had been drafted by the club: American Idol alum Jordin Sparks, Cameron Diaz, Michael Jordan, Kirk Cameron, James Cameron and Jordan-Hare Stadium (BTW, the Auburn Tigers’ football venue later told media that it was “thrilled” with the selection by the Browns!).

And just FYI, anagrams of Nick Saban include “I Scan Bank” and “Cabin Snak” (which, depending on the pronunciation, could be “Cabin Snack” or “Cabin Snake”!). The ‘Bama coach is also one vowel away from “Sick Banana”!!!! (Why are you lookin’ at us like that???!!!)

Uh…did we say “we really like the ‘under’” on Week One’s TCU-Baylor game???!!! What we truly meant was “Bet da’ ranch on da’ ‘over’! This baby’s gonna’ close-in on the century mark!”

Eagle-eyed veterans among in the readership will have noticed a slight format change. We had a couple of extra weeks to contemplate spreads for Week One, but here-to-fore, we will continue to provide spread picks and score predictions, but will limit analysis and commentary to ten lined games each week instead of all of them (Yeah, we know there’s 12 this week! Put the damn abacus down!).

Nothing personal against the Maryland state flag, but those unis sported by the Terps on Monday night weren’t just ugly, they were fugly! (Yeah, yeah…we know….’Does Vindy place bets for his mother with that mouth????!!!’). BTW, the pattern and color-scheme leads us to propose a team name change to the…Maryland Harlequins! Frankly, we’d rather just see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle emblazoned on the helmet.

As we noted above, it appears the Division I-A teams better bring their I-A game to the field when playing FCS teams, especially when the “lower” division folks are ranked. No surprise to see Duke fall to Richmond (#19), but Oregon State’s demise certainly wasn’t expected. Here are the other “Whew! We just dodged a bullet!” matches from Week One (with FCS poll rankings noted in parentheses)…Washington 30 (#1) E. Washington 27, Iowa State 20 (#7) Northern Iowa 19, Kansas State 10 (#33) E. Kentucky 7 and UTEP 31 (#37) Stony Brook 24 (OT)!!!!!

Back in March, London’s giant clock tracking the official countdown to the city’s 2012 Olympic Games stopped briefly. The Brits, however, had used all their time-outs and were hit with a technical foul. But after reviewing video, referees did, in fact, reverse the call and put enough time back on the clock to allow a catch-and-shoot.

Cirque du Soleil acrobat Gabryel Nogueira da Silva threw out the first pitch of a June Padres home game. The aerial contortions involved made MaryLou Retton jealous, and while not getting de Silva an opportunity to regularly toe-the-rubber for the Friars, they did garner the Vegas performer a Rollerball contract worth several million dollars!

Rollerball???!!! Now there’s a sport worthy of Olympics consideration! (Okay, OKAY…picture thisLingerie Rollerball!!!!! Genius, right???!!!)

Meanwhile, in that other “football”…. Real Madrid signed 7-year-old Argentinian Leonel Angel Coira, who claims Spongebob Squarepants as his idol (Squidward Tentacles and Sandy Cheeks were on-hand to help recruit the youngster). Vegas is setting odds on which will occur first? “Leo” taking a corner…or being sent off by the referee to stand in one!

Black Shirt (awarded weekly to the person[s] whose effort or “effort” benefitted Vindy’s Picks in some way): The coveted ebony tee goes to Badgers kicker Kyle French for missing the point-after on Wisconsin’s second TD, allowing Vindy to open the year with a forecast dubya (BTW, UNLV coaches awarded a game-ball to the left upright that deflected what woulda’ been a third-straight FG miss for the Rebels through the goalposts for Vegas’ first score of the season!)

“Locked in a Box?”: Vin starts out 0-1 as the Okie State Cowpokes offense helped out a weak Lafayette team by throwing a pair of INT-for-TDs.

Shoppe Talk (candidates for stuffing at Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe as the result of repeated forecast losses):
The Buckeyes open the Shoppe after pitching the shutout against Akron (we’re shocked!).

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 4-1 (.800) Season: 4-1 (.800)
Rutgers +10 ½ over NORTH CAROLINA, Tulsa -13 ½ over TULANE, Temple -14 ½ over AKRON, Utah +9 ½ over USC