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

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Vindy's Picks Week 10-2011


FOXBORO, Massachusetts(CNN)…The hometown NFL favorites are having a little fun with Sarah Palin’s January revisionist-history interpretation of a famous event of the American Revolution, which posed the idea that part of Paul Revere’s ride was to inform the Brits already onsite that they had no shot to win. On the eve of the New England-New York football game, the Patriots plan to have a Paul Revere impersonator ride his horse through the visitors’ hotel lobby to do likewise! The rider-in-question is rumored to be Chad Ochocinco, who will reportedly taunt the opponents with a gymnastic dismount of his steed while spiking the football on the bell desk…once if by land, twice if by sea!

We weren’t gonna’ defeat the British (or even the Swiss) with last week’s 9-9 (66-96-1, 407), but we did chalk-up our highest weekly win-total since recording 10 back in Week 5 a month ago! BTW, the only reason Washington braved the winter elements to cross the Delaware was to read…

(Instigating spontaneous “Tebowing” around the globe!)

#21 Southern Cal over COLORADO giving 21 ½:
Trojans 37 Buffaloes 13

#1 Louisiana State over #2 ALABAMA taking 5 ½:
“Game of da’ Century?!” Please. We get one of those every year. “Game of the season”??!! We hope so. None of the Tide opponents until now have had the D to neutralize mistakes by the offense or kick-coverage teams that frequently gave Alabama a short-field and we like “under” whatever total gets posted on this Totals have ranged from 39 to 48 in four of the last five years, with a 75-point anomaly in ‘07. The posted total we saw on this was 42, so the books don’t see this getting out-of-hand either. Penn State didn’t play badly on defense, they just had no offense to keep pace with Alabama. LSU won 24-21 in Baton Rouge last season, getting almost a touchdown, and is 1-3-2 ATS the last six in this series. We expect Les Miles to show no fear and break into the bag of trick-plays if he thinks ‘Bama is vulnerable. Key match-up will be Bengals’ run D vs. RB Richardson. The punters will actually earn their money this week and with 12 more kicks, we give the edge to LSU in playing for field position. We definitely like the points and at no extra cost, we call the minor upset…LSU 20 Bama 17

#17 Kansas State over #3 OKLAHOMA STATE taking 20 ½: Cowpokes 38 KSU 27

#4 Stanford over OREGON STATE giving 20 ½: The books seem to like the three-touchdown margin for the Cardinal when facing unranked clubs. Ducks are up next for Stanford, but even if Luck sits after three quarters, the running game still has plenty of pop and Redbirds are high enough in the BCS rankings that style-points might still be important. Bet State in the first half, but watch the Cardinal pile-on after the intermission. The commander-in-chief recently told an audience that the First Lady hails from “a ‘Leave It to the Beavers’ perfect family”. Until now, we’d forgotten all about the presidential connection to the folks in Corvallis…Stanford 49 OSU 20

#5 Boise State over UNLV giving 41 ½: Hats off to UNLV for pulling a win over CSU, despite efforts to let the Rams escape with the victory, but a rested Broncos team (which previously spanked the Rams by fitty) and a presumably-healthier Kellen Moore at QB ain’t exactly gonna’ keep the Mo’ goin’. In January, a local LVRJ contributor compared demotion of former UNLV starting QB Mike Clausen to defense, then eventual suspension to “going from the showroom at Caesar’s to the back lounge at Slots-A-Fun…”. We take exception! The local-fave dive-casino near Circus Circus on the Vegas Strip sells a rockin’ margarita for a bargain price!... Boise 61 Rabbles 13

WASHINGTON over #6 Oregon taking 15 ½: Oregon 41 UDUB 27

Texas A&M over #7 OKLAHOMA taking 13 ½: OK 41 A&M 30

#8 ARKANSAS over #10 South Carolina giving 4 ½: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Props to Poultry’s defense, but without Marcus Lattimore, scoring has been at a premium for SC (54 vs. Kentucky notwithstanding, total of 62 over the other 4 games). Despite near-loss to Vandy following the off-week, we think Pigs have more than enough firepower. Arkansas has won and covered four of the last five vs. the Spicy Nuggets… Razorbacks 27 Carolina 14

Northwestern over #9 NEBRASKA taking 17: Huskers 34 NW 20

#11 Clemson: IDLE (next vs. Wake Forest)

#12 Virginia Tech: IDLE (next @ Georgia Tech 11/10)

#13 Michigan over IOWA giving 4: Scary-small line ‘til we consider we felt the same way about Michigan being a 2 ½ –point dog at Michigan State and paid the price. Hawkeyes have won four of five home games in 2011 (and 21-5 SU in Ames the past three three-plus seasons), including 3-point victory over Pitt and 10-point win over Northwestern, but we thought we had caught the first-half results of a premature start to college hoops when we saw “Minnesota 22 Iowa 21” last week! Iowa defense yielding about 23 ppg, but that’s up again as it has been the last two years as well, and Hawks have scored 31 or more in 6 of 8 thus far. UM just 2-7-1 as road chalk and Iowa won outright in 2009 and 2010. Michigan RB Fitzgerald Toussaint went for 270 yards vs. Purdue. Iowa has a less-than-middlin’ rush D at 164 ypg and 3.9 ypc…Big Blew 34 Iowa 24

#14 Houston over UAB giving 27 ½: Cougars quickly becoming the Boise State of C-USA, but still need to tighten-up the defense. The blowouts won’t mean much this year, but could help land more future BCS-conference opponents in an effort to emulate the Broncos’ success. Houston benefits from a couple extra days to prepare off the Thursday night pasting of Rice behind Keenum’s nine (count ‘em, nine!) scoring throws, but host Tulane just five days after this one. We will disregard UAB’s 39-zippo loss at Florida, but Blazers had reeled-off five consecutive covers until 45-point defeat by Marshall…OUCH! Can’t ignore Tulane’s 39-point victory either…UH 54 Alabama-Birmingham 24

#15 MICHIGAN STATE over Minnesota giving 27 ½: Despite the upset of Iowa last week, we think O-fers, who’ve made a lot of teams healthy this season, revert to form and catch Sparty off a bad defeat at Nebraska, in which Big Dread defense smothered State’s efforts to move the ball. MSU is 4-0 ATS in East Lansing. Minny converted two 4th Downs in as many tries to capture the Floyd of Rosedale pewter porker. That’ll have to suffice until 2012…Michigan State 34 Gerbils 0

#16 Penn State: IDLE (next vs. Nebraska)

New Mexico State over #18 GEORGIA taking 34: The “conference sandwich” concept we offered for the Oklahoma-Ball State game earlier this year didn’t pan out, but hey, as you can tell by our safety helmet (plainly inscribed with “this side up”), we’re ridin’ the forecasters’ short-bus this season and we’ll try it again with Joja’ off hard-fought rally win over Florida…and Auburn on the horizon. Surprisingly-competitive Aggies have covered 6 of 7, though just 1-2 in non-conference games. Bulldogs show a current 3-6 ATS slide vs. non-SEC squads. NMSU’s scored at least 24 every game except September loss to UTEP (in which it managed 10)…Joja’ 31 Aggies 6

Purdue over #19 WISCONSIN taking 25 ½: After two crushing last minute defeats, Badgers will be focused on closing out this game on the right side of the scoreboard, especially after Wisky had just three flags for 9 yards and zero turnovers in loss to Ohio State, but this still might be too many points. Boilers lost by 22 to Michigan but were 15 seconds from losing by 29. Russell Wilson was no effective on the ground, but we don’t know that Purdue can limit his scrambling like the Buckeyes did. Choo-Choos are coin-toss worthy ATS in conference play the last five years, but 3-1 this season…Badgers 39 Purdue 17

#20 Arizona State over UCLA giving 9 ½: ASU 28 Ruins 10

#22 Georgia Tech: IDLE (next vs. Virginia Tech 11/10)

#23 Cincinnati over PITT giving 2 ½: Bearkats playing their first game since entering the rankings, having had last week off. Quarterback Nick Collaros and a bunch of other seniors returned for Cincinnati, who won just four games all of 2010 and are taking advantage of the experience. Panthers should be rested as well, beating UConn on Wednesday. Pitt’s RB Graham, averaging almost 120 yards per game, will need a good game vs. Cincy’s #2 rushing defense, while QB Tino Sunseri tries to match throws with his counterpart. Pitt’s won 17 of 24 Big Least games. Cincinnati’s scoring 41 points per game, getting an average of just two TD passes/game from Collaros. Bearkats veteran defense is playing well…Cincinnati 24 Pitt 19

#24 WEST VIRGINIA over Louisville giving 13 ½: Mouseketeers 31 Da’ Ville 13

#25 Auburn: IDLE (next @ Georgia)


“The Giants are comin’! The Giants are comin’!”

GOP candidate Herman Cain has been touting his “9-9-9” plan, which has something to do with taxes rather than an innovative defensive alignment, but it’s probably what opposing offenses feel like they’re facing when going against stop-squads from either of this week’s 1-2 match-up!

Donald Trump revealed in May that he washes his hair with Head & Shoulders. He later announced he would not, in fact, run for president in 2012. Bummer! We were seriously lookin’ forward to televised debates between Joe Biden and Vice Presidential candidate Troy Polamalu! With an exchange going something like….Polamalu: “You were admiring my running mate’s hair, weren’t you???!!!” Biden: “No.” Polamalu: “Weren’t you??” Biden: “yes.”

A soccer team tendered an offer to a seven-year-old earlier this year. In July, a woman in Longview, Texas gave birth to a 16-lbs.,1-oz baby boy. Said-infant has already received football scholarship offers from the Longhorns, Aggies, Bears, Horned Frogs and Red Raiders!

Congrats to Joe Paterno for notching his record-setting 409th victory over the Halloween weekend. BTW, Nevada joined the union on October 31, 1864…the same year JoePa got his first win as a head coach.

A couple weeks back, we foreshadowed an extended period of daily football and noted it was a total of 33 days. It was actually 23 days. Obviously, we got so excited at that prospect, we tripped over the abacus and landed squarely on our Texas Instrument!

“Locked in a Box?”: Bees burned us for second time on the season in a “lock” game, beating Clemson outright and dropping the tally again to 3-6 (.333).

Shoppe Talk: The Cowpokes, Buckeyes and Hokies all get a weekend pass (but nothing more) after being on the right side last week, but Arkansas falls to 1-6 (.142), along with the Mousey Ears of West Virginia (1-6, .142) and the Ramblin’ Wreckage of Joja’ Tech (1-5, .167). If you’re wondering at home if any squads are actually treating your host kindly amidst the carnage of the 2011 campaign, we offer…the Oregon Ducks (5-1, .833) and the Florida Gators (6-2, .750).

Vindy’s Week 10 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-4 Season: 20-24-1 (.454)
Duke +15 ½ over MIAMI, Washington State +9 ½ over CAL, Weeziana Tech +3 ½ over FRESNO STATE, Arkansas State -17 over FLORIDA ATLANTIC, TENNESSEE-Middle Tennessee State “over” 54 ½