Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vindy's 2012-13 Bowl Predictions (Part III)


With both versions of Miracle on 34th Street playing on multiple televisions throughout the resort between broadcasts of NBA games, NCAA hoops and college bowls, a sports-book ticket-writer at the MGM, like the classic Macy’s-over-Gimbels maneuver in the 1947 and 1999 editions of the film, “put the spirit of Christmas ahead of the almighty dollar”, redirecting gamblers to other casinos who had the games-in-question at better prices or friendlier spreads. Said one anonymous patron…”I never wagered on games here before, but from now on, I’m gonna’ be a regular-bettor at the MGM!”

We’ll spend the final evening of 2012 peekin’ through our fingers at the Tales from the Crypt New Year’s Shockin’ Eve marathon on Fear.Net, but getting a fresh start and a new perspective on things the next morning, with blood-shot eyes wide-open we’ll closely-follow the progress of…

(The ultimate re-gift!)

JAN. 1
TAXSLAYER.COM GATOR (@ Jacksonville, FL)
#21 Northwestern (+1 ½) over Mississippi State (53):
Wildcats won 10 total games this season and covered 10 of 11 vs. I-A teams, losing by 1 to Nebraska and at Ann Arbor in extra frames. Bulldogs were ranked much of the year, but feasted on a cupcake schedule early en route to 7-0 start, but quickly became transparent in significant losses to ‘Bama, A&M, LSU and rival Ole Miss in regular-season finale around a good win over disappointing Arkansas, missing the spread-win four times in those five tilts. N-DUB went 4-0 outright facing non-conference opponents in 2012 and 14-5 across the past four seasons. ‘Cats have been defeated in four consecutive post-season matches, but covered three of ‘em (though getting more than a touchdown in each). We expect the straight-up victory here… Purple Persians 27 MSU 20

Purdue (+17) over Oklahoma State (70):
Seventeen. Widest offered-margin of the bowl season. We’ll favor an “under” here, with at least one, probably both, side(s) prepping without the offensive coordinators that got ‘em to this point. Cowpokes scoring-guru bolted for Southern Miss, and Boilers’ OC will be sidelined while recovering from December surgery. State finished the year at 4th in points-scored (44.7 per game), mostly thru the air behind QB-tandem JW Walsh and Clint Chelf. RB Joseph Randle turned-in a Top 20 rushing effort at 112 ypg. Purdue hit the scoreboard for about 30 per contest with a better-balanced attack. Purdue covered both road-losses admirably, losing at Notre Dame by 3 and in Columbus by 7, and should be motivated to challenge OKSU team that spent time in the Top 25 after facing a pair of ho-hum MAC teams in previous two bowls. Quoting a Pepsi commercial featuring a member of One Direction at wide-receiver and a former Boilermaker quarterback…”Hit me, Drew!”… Cowboys 34 Choo-Choos 27

OUTBACK (@ Tampa, FL)
#11 South Carolina (-6) over #19 Michigan (48):
Wolverines will be minus starters at corner and punter due to violations of team rules and frankly, are lucky to have Denard Robinson for this one after the dual-threat QB was charged recently with operatin’ a vehicle on a suspended-license and failing to (call) signal(s). Big Bluto couldn’t take advantage of a year when rival Buckeyes and Vindy’s alma mater were both ineligible to play beyond November and lost the Rose Bowl bid to non-Top 25 Cheese-Heads. Both sides are without preferred rushing-options due to injury. Wolverines are minus-eight in turnover ratio. Chicken Nuggets are plus-seven in miscues, covered 8 of 11 and lost only at LSU and at Florida. Coach Spurrier will have no reason to launch the head-set…Tenders 24 Red Dawn 13

CAPITAL ONE (@ Orlando, FL)
#6 Georgia (-10) over #23 Nebraska (60 ½):
Which was more-inspirational to fare well here…’Dawgs four-point defeat to ‘Bama that kept ‘em from BCS title game or 39-point loss to Wisconsin that prevented a chance to play in the Rose Bowl? Neither side’s previous post-seasons ended well. Big Dread’s rush defense is one of the nation’s worst, and second-worst among 2012 bowlers. Joja’ plowed through its last five games before that tough one vs. Tide. UGA ground game should be enough to set up play-action by Aaron Murray and carry Georgia to cover of double-digit line…Joja’ 41 Children of da’ Corn 24

Wisconsin (+6 ½) over #8 Stanford (47):
Et tu, Brute?!” OUCH! Just like da’ MAC, all the Big Tenderfoot Conference bowlers were assigned the underdog role. Despite losing three of last five games (2-3 ATS and all three in overtime), Badgers spent November lookin’ a bit more like the squad we all expected to show up in September! This one should feature heavy doses of the run by Wisky’s Montee Ball and Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor against very good rush defenses. Three of Cardinals’ final four games were decided by 4 or less, and a missed 52-yard FG try by UCLA with under a minute to go in the PAC-12 championship bought SU the Rose berth. Getting almost a touchdown here is too good to pass up…Trees 21 Wisconsin 20

#13 Florida State (-13) over #16 Northern Illinois (58 ½):
12-1 Huskies have to be stoked to be in the Orange Bowl. It’s a nice destination as far as the ‘Noles are concerned too. Former NIU coach Dave Doeren has jumped-ship to NC State. Huskies ran the table after 1-point road loss at Iowa to kick-off the year and escaped with track-meet victory over then-ranked Kent State, in double-extras, to claim the MAC Championship. NIU’s only other recent game vs. a Top 25 foe resulted in 49-7 loss to #7 Wisconsin last season. ‘Noles have covered bowls in each of the past eight years, though none with a line quite this big. State allowed just 10 rushing scores all year. ‘Dogs ran into the end zone 44 times in 2012. If Dishonorable-Mention “award”-winning Seminoles (now 3-8 in 11 ‘Picks appearances) secure the pigskin…FSU 34 NIU 17

JAN. 2
ALLSTATE SUGAR (@ Nawlins, Louisiana)
#4 Florida (-14) over #22 Louisville (45 ½):
Cardinals defeated the only defense they saw that was even close to that of Florida, in the form of Rutgers, whom they beat by 3. Gators knocked off the two recognizable defenses they faced, LSU and Florida State, by 8 and 11, respectively. Seven of Louisville’s games saw a final margin of seven or less (and an 8th by 10), but the Sluggers suffered unbelievable back-to-back losses by 19 at Syracuse and by 3 in triple-extras to…UConn? UF has won and covered four consecutive post-season outings, though just one by this many. With Tim Tease-Me requesting a trade and Florida needing a boost on offense, Vindy’s spies heard a clandestine deal is in progress that would give the ex-Gator QB a year of NCAA eligibility in exchange for several first-round draft choices from the Gainesville “farm team” to the Jets!...Crocs 28 Louisville 12

JAN. 3
#7 Kansas State (+9) over #5 Oregon (76): UPSET ALERT.
As always, the Mallards put up gaudy numbers en route to beating and covering against four of five ranked opponents, but all in PAC-12 play. Ducks lone loss came on Da’ Pond by 3 to Stanford. State lost its only game to Baylor with Colin Klein at less than 100% healthy. If KSU can’t stop Ducks’ RB Kenjon Barner, it can at least run with him. Oregon’s passing game will have to contend with Ty Zimmerman and Nigel Malone, who have five interceptions each. Despite scoring early and often, Drakes committed 98 penalties. ‘Cats won’t hurt themselves, showing just 42 flags on the year. Nine of the Wildcats’ games ended below this total. Two more fell right on the number. Half of the Ducks’ matches also came in below the total. A victory gives UO a dozen wins for the third time in as many seasons. K-State has lost its last four bowls, covering none. We think that changes here…Kansas State 34 Oregon 30

JAN. 4
AT&T COTTON (@ Arlington, TX)
#12 Oklahoma (+4) over #10 Texas A&M (72): UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.
Stealing a line from White Christmas, we say, ”Lord, help the sister that comes between me and my Manziel”???!! Wonder if he’s familiarized himself with the Statue of Liberty play? If Dirty Harry visits the Aggies’ locker room prior to the game, will hear him say…A good Manziel always knows his limitations”??!! Alright, in all seriousness…two words…Heisman curse. Can’t challenge the fave status of a team that upset half the national game-pairing, but it’s been a lotta’ time to think for a redshirt-freshman playin’ way over his head. Johnny Football came under scrutiny for an untimely visit to a courtside seat at an NBA game this month. Manziel reportedly bought the extravagant ticket for purposes of pampering himself. In any case, we question the timing of his decision to do so. Boomer-Sooner has won three straight bowls, covering two as double-digit chalk and five of last six on neutral ground. As such, we give the experience edge to senior Landry Jones at quarterback and note Oklahoma’s pass defense has allowed nine aerial scores while grabbing a dozen interceptions. Aggies yield 22.5 ppg, Okie-Dokie gives up just a tad higher than 22…Oklahoma 40 A&M 28

JAN. 5
BBVA COMPASS (@ Birmingham, AL)
Mississippi (-3 ½) over Pittsburgh (53):
Rebels were surprisingly-competitive this year under first-year coach Hugh Freeze, turning last year’s 2-10 SU/3-8 ATS season into bowl-eligibility. SEC losses weren’t bad…by 1 to Vandy, by 3 to A&M and by 6 in Baton Rouge. Pitt recovered from ugly early woes, including loss to AA-Youngstown, and inexplicable defeat by UConn in November to blast Rutgers and South Florida to close the regular-season and get fifth straight bowl berth and a 7-3 ATS record in I-A play. Panthers QB Tino Sunseri has nice 19-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but suffered 34 sacks. Both like to throw and combined for an average of 57 points per game on offense. We look for a more-conservative contest though…Mississippi 27 Pitt 19

JAN. 6
#25 Kent State (+4) over Arkansas State (61): LOCK OF DA’ BOWLS.
First bowl since 1976 Tangerine Bowl for the underdog and Kent State coach Hazell, who helped his squad achieve nifty 9-2-1 spread record, has accepted a job elsewhere but will still draw up X’s and O’s in real-time for this one! Golden Flashes, who have a lotta’ senior leadership, took BCS-Buster Northern Illinois to double-overtime before falling for its only defeat since 9/8 loss at Kentucky. To-date, the MAC has gone 1-3 SU/ATS this post-season. The Stun Belt ain’t farin’ much better at 1-2 SU/ATS with Lafayette turning a late INT into a late cover vs. ECU, who had multiple turnovers. Redhawks ran the Fun Belt table after losing conference opener to Western Kentucky, have a high-powered offense and a respectable defense, but we lean toward an “over” given nine of Kent’s games finished over the total, as did six of ASU’s seven conference games. Flashes’ run-heavy attack should grind out the straight-up win over ASU, who got walloped in last season’s Gratuitous Danica Patrick Advertisements Bowl…Kent State 38 Arkie State 28

JAN. 7
#1 Notre Dame (+9 ½) over #2 Alabama (41 ½):
Between the outright upset by Texas A&M and Georgia’s sturdy effort in a close loss in the SEC title match, the Tide is obviously not invincible, and the Leprechauns should have a blue-print to unseating the defending champ. The Heisman win by an aforementioned Big 12 quarterback avoids the bugaboo of said-hardware for Manti Te’O vs. the perceived-prowess of the conference in which its opponent plays. Lindy’s Sports CFB preview mag noted 5 of last 10 national champs had defenses ranking in the top 3. Make it 6 of 11. Top total defense? The Leprechauns (allowing meager 10.3 ppg). Runner-up? Tide (giving up 10.7 on average). The rushing defenses come in at #3 and #2, respectively, behind BYU (though we thank the Coogs’ pass-D for a pair of INT-for-TD in the 4th Quarter of the Poindexter … uh…Laser-Pointer…um…Point-spread…Bowl, giving BYU the win and the cover for Vindy’s Picks!). “’Bama got run over by a reindeer”????!!! “Win one for the Gibberish!”...Catholics 17 Alabama 16


At mediocre 7-7 in the bowls through December 28, Vindy admits to being “just a nice man with a white beard…just like Mother said!”

During one of the many evolutions of “A Christmas Carol”, yer Nativity-narrator is pretty-sure he heard Scrooge quip…”Go and buy some more coal…before you dot another I-formation, Bob Cratchit!” (Or for Buckeyes fans…”before you dot another “i” in script-Ohio, Bob Cratchit!”)

The Mayans, or at least the folks who believed the ancient civilization forecasted the planet’s demise, were on the wrong side of the over-under for Mankind’s swan-song, and those who merely teased the date, getting almost an extra week to December 27, ended up trashing their tickets as well. Games were played. Teams won…and lost. Zombies didn’t take the field or the court or the gridiron…or even the ice at sub-NHL levels. But just fer grits-and- shins, your frenetic forecaster went to the local airport in tattered clothing and creepy make-up to unsettle passengers by yelling “Plaaaaaaaaaannnnnes.” The folks from TSA were not amused.

Damn-good thing the supposed-doomsday didn’t come to pass. We visited the Vegas Zombie Apocalypse store on the predicted eve-of-destruction. All they had left was a BBQ-fork, a Super-Soaker and a handful of water-balloons!

Capital One meets Braveheart…”What’s in your William Wallace???!!!

We spent Christmas Eve watchin’ a Jimmy Stewart Christmas classic re-made at the home-venue of the Miami Dolphins, called…”It’s a Wonderful Sun-Life Stadium”!

During its broadcast of the preseason Cincinnati-Atlanta game, FOX introduced “Goose-Cam” (ie. video of the game from the perspective of Tony Siragusa). If there had been a game on December 25th, would we have watched plays via the Christmas-Goose Cam?

The Rebels’ athletic director had a conversation with the Big Least about UNLV becoming a football-only member. So the annual rivalry would be what? Vegas-UConn? Sin City-South Florida???!!!

Speaking of local amenities and references, the NCAA set a $550 cap on per-player bowl SWAG. Does it strike anyone else odd that $550 represents a $500 value…plus the standard 10% vigorish common to sports-wagers in Las Vegas, off-shore and… um…elsewhere???!!!

Vindy spent some time watchin’ Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis doink a few holiday field-goal tries off the uprights and draw nuthin’ but iron from the charity-stripe in…”Christmas With Da’ Clanks”!!!”

Black Shirt: We fork-over the ebony tee to Western Kentucky interim coach Lance Guidry for unsuccessfully going for it on 4th-and-2 instead of a tying, chip-shot FG with a minute left, validating our upset pick by Central Michigan! Honorable mention to Cincy’s Nick Temple for his 55-yard pick-six that gave the Bearkats the cover vs. Duke, bringing home one of our “best bets” and to Bobcats’ Ian Wells for blocking a ULM FG, keeping the score “under” 60 (also one of our “best bets”).

Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets Part III: Parts I & II (thru Dec 28): 3-1 Season: 39-33-1 (.542)

Purdue +17 over Oklahoma State, Wisconsin +6 ½ over Stanford, South Carolina-Michigan “under” 48

Tune in one more time a few days after the National Championship for our bowl recap and leftover “hash”! Meanwhile, we’re off to locate some point-spreads on…the Hunger Games!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vindy's 2012-13 Bowl Predictions (Part II)


BRISTOL, Connecticut(CNN)…Beating the predicted Mayan apocalypse, ESPN still has some work to do to resolve what insiders are referring to as the “Bristol Cliff”. The World Leader is in negotiations with CBS, NBC and FOX Sports to avoid automatic budget cuts and increased spending that would lead to fewer affordable commentators and even the plummeting of the network headquarters, itself, into monetary ruin, in the wake of reduced capacity to provide the same level of sports coverage, should some sort of compromise not be reached by the time the ball drops on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve! In a symbolic move, ESPN negotiators have acquired parachutes and bunji-cords for visual impact!

Hillary Clinton suffered a concussion in early December when she fell and hit her head on…

(“Historically disproportionate!”)

DEC. 28
ADVOCARE V100 INDEPENDENCE (@ Shreveport, Louisiana)
Ohio (+7) over Weeziana-Monroe (60 ½): UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.
First-ever bowl for Monroe. Bobblecats usurped the bowl spot that woulda’ went to high-powered Weeziana Tech had it not failed to beat the Independence-venue clock while awaiting a better offer. Bobcats’ 7-0 start, including fortunate victory in Happy Valley, had some of us whispering “BCS-buster”, but it wasn’t to be as a three-game losing streak in da’ MAC ended the regular-season. Turnovers put Ohio in early 21-0 hole in finale at Kent State, and Bobcats went 2-2 SU but 0-4 ATS away from Athens. Some teammates will remember 48-21 beat-down by another Fun Belt team, Troy, in the 2010 post-season. Warhawks “shocked” Arkansas in Fayetteville then lost by 3 at Auburn to begin the year, but those results don’t look so impressive these days. We’ll credit ULM with 5-point shootout loss at home to Baylor (also in September, following the aforementioned games), but it was clobbered by a couple of the quality squads in conference-play and finished 3-4 ATS after nice 5-0 start…Ohio 24 ULM 21

Rutgers (+2 ½) over Virginia Tech (41 ½):
Nine of RU’s games finished under this total and we quote another article we saw previewing this game…“First one to six points wins”. Knights challenged most of the season for the Big Least championship and fell three points short in de facto conference title game to Louisville. Rutgers dropped three of last five, including that contest vs. the Redbirds, to end up here rather than the Sugar Bowl, in part due to Gary Nova’s 11 INT in that span. Hokies not full of momentum either, but took final pair vs. Boston College and Virginia to get eligible. Tech tipped the ATS scales at 3-8 on the year, getting pounded away from Blacksburg by Pitt, Clemson and Miami. Paladins beat four of five non-conference opponents in 2012, and 18 of last 22. Rutgers was a Big East doormat when VT bolted for the ACC. Hokies won’t like the early-look at the new-and-improved member of its conference… Round Table 19 Virginia Tech 16

Minnesota (+12) over Texas Tech (57):
Normally, we indicate “no faith in this pick”, but we’ll temper it a bit and merely say “not a lotta’ faith”. Minny needed three overtimes to beat three-win UNLV in Sin City. Red Raiders are crapshoot vs. non-conference and only 1-4 ATS in last five post-season games, winning SU by no more than 10 (and 3 of the four victories by 7 or less). First call is “over”, even though spread speaks to Gilded Gerbils scoring more than 17 just one time after mid-September and generally limiting opponents to less than 24 on average. Conversely, TTU scores 38 and gives up 31. Maybe that’s why a 6-1 SU start crumbled in Big 12 play, resulting in a lone win over Kansas…by 7…in Lubbock…over final five games. Tommy Tuberville has left the Red Raiders in somebody else’s hands. QB Seth Doege completes about 70% of his throws. Gophers boast #9 pass D nationally. Raiders’ tendency to be flagged and be on the wrong end of the turnover-ratio costs ‘em a cover here …”Guns Up” 35 Gerbils 31

DEC. 29
Air Force (-1 ½) over Rice (61):
The tendency for both to rush fairly-well (USAF #3 nationally) but defend the run not-so-well lends itself to a quick-paced game and points less than the proposed total. We think the bowl title supports motivation to the Academy to represent, as do outright losses in the only games that truly matter to USAF…Navy and Army. Owls surged in the second half of the year, winning and covering five of final six in C-USA. Points-against average for Rice (31 ppg) is a bit deceptive since only two of last seven opponents posted more than 24 (and four show final tallies in the teens). Return gifts to Wal-Mart or make reservations to watch the antenna-ball drop at Jack-in-da’ Box a few days later. Three yawns and a cloud of dust…Flyboys 24 Owls 20

KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER (@ San Francisco, CA)
Navy (+14 ½) over Arizona State (56):
Army’s would-be winning-drive over the Popeyes was stopped by a fumble at Middies’ 15-yard-line. Devils, who covered only-pair of double-digit spreads on the year (both around 22 points) bombed non-conference opponents early, but suffered a four-game SU losing streak prior to trampling hapless Wazzou at home and edging rival Arizona. ASU has a middlin’ rush D and Devils’ scout-team will have difficulty replicating the triple-option in practices leading up to this. Sailors can and will put it in the air too. The new faces on Navy’s offense have had a whole season to gel. Middies have a safety named Wave Ryder. The junior defensive back is from Hawaii and we can’t help but wonder if his teammates call him “Five-O” or at least…“Point-Break ”!!... Pitchforks 30 Yacht Club 24

West Virginia (-4) over Syracuse (73 ½):
Though the Orange are more defensive-minded, relatively-speaking, yielding about 26 ppg, our first thought is the “over”, because only Weeziana Tech gave up more passing yardage to opponents on average than West Virginia, and Mounties, whose mantra is also “Stop ‘em??!!! Hell no! Just outscore ‘em!!!”, were also near da’ bottom in points-against (38 per game). WVU scores an average of 41.6 ppg and features Geno Smith, one of four QBs in the country with more than 4000 passing yards, and shows a 40-6 passing TD-to-INT ratio. ‘Cuse quarterback Ryan Nassib ain’t too shabby at 3600+ yards and 24-9 tally. SU’s best win, acquired in season-ending 5-1 SU/ATS streak, was a 19-point home victory over then-ranked Louisville. As former conference members of the Big Least, there’s some history, including last season’s 49-23 win by the ‘Eers in New York. University officials told the Morgantown mascot to keep his game-day powder wet after baggin’ a real-life bear with the same weapon he brandishes on the gridiron. Heads-up, Orange fans…the Mounties mascot got himself a musket…and he knows how to use it!...West Virginia 44 Syracuse 37

VALERO ALAMO (@ San Antonio, TX)
#15 Oregon State (-2) over Texas (57):
Sophomore QB Sean Mannion has led the Beavers to a #15 ranking and a similar spot in national passing yardage. State did lose three of its final five, but two road losses at UDUB and Stanford by combined 7 points are acceptable. On the other sideline, there’s nothing about the quarterback situation/controversy, late-season ball-security issues and new offensive coordinator that inspires us to take very few points with eight-win ‘Horns, and Dam-Builders seniors would love to erase painful memory of 44-20 loss in most recent bowl (2009) to BYU. Wouldn’t be a bad “lock” choice...Oregon State 38 Steers 20

Texas Christian (-2) over Michigan State (41):
Spartans opening win over Boise State should’ve signaled the continuation of solid play from the 11-3 campaign in 2011. It didn’t. State’s defense was stout most of the season, but got no help from a new bunch on offense, which scored less than 20 on seven occasions and absorbed tough defeats by Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern. Six of TCU’s games finished with totals under 41, four in the low thirties, leading us to prefer the “under” here. Sixth consecutive bowl appearance for MSU, which lost four straight post-season outings until beating Joja’ 33-30 in triple-OT last year. Frogs have become a fixture in the bowls, but have lost four straight to the spread, while winning three outright…TCU 20 Sparty 16

DEC. 31
NC State (+7) over Vanderbilt (52):
‘Dores won last six regular-season games, with best win perhaps being 27-26 at rising Ole Miss. Vandy is solid on defense, allowing just 18 ppg. Admirals do have what’s basically home-field edge playing in Nashville and have more experience on both sides of the ball. Wolfpack’s third-straight bowl appearance sent coach Tom O’Brien to the unemployment line, but State boasts the #9 passer in yardage with senior Mike Glennon. Vanderbilt’s pass defense is 8th-best in the country. Almost looks too easy to lay the we won’t. Vandy hasn’t won a post-season match-up by this many since 1955 Gator Bowl…Vandy 24 NC State 20

Georgia Tech (+10) over Southern Cal (64):
At 6-7, Bees had to get a hall-pass from the governing body of college sports just to be here???!!! Coincidentally, the NCAA was last nationwide in defending da’ hall-pass! We know it’s all about conference tie-ins and stuff, but couldn’t we have pushed da’ envelope enough to get 9-3 Louisiana Tech instead???!!! ‘Jackets parlayed the “undeserving” tag into a spread-win and narrow outright loss to Florida State in the ACC title match. We can see them doing likewise here vs. Trojans, including QB Matt Barkley, who didn’t forgo the 2012 NFL Draft to play a December bowl in west-freakin’-Texas! A running game of military-academy proportions should let Tech stay in this one long enough. Gotta’ figure the disgraced, ex-USC grad assistant is now taking a few PSI off the sumo-unis we mentioned in Part I for some NFL squad to give the special-teams an edge!...Troy 34 GT 27

Tulsa (PK) over Iowa State (51 ½):
Sequel to season-opening 38-23 home-win over the Golden Hurricane by Iowa State. Tulsa lost only two more games after that, going 6-2 SU/ATS down the stretch, beating Central Florida twice in three weeks for the CUSA title and the Liberty berth. Dust Devils floundered late, beating only Kansas between losses to Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. Lead-rusher Shontrelle Johnson will sit for Iowa State, though he accounted for just two rushing scores. Hurricane has better offensive balance, but was second in rushing yardage in the conference. Starts too early to watch the Big Apple ring-in 2013 in Times Square, but maybe there’s some quality college hoops on other channels or zombie-themed marathon on Syfy…Tulsa 27 Cyclones 24

CHICK-FIL-A (@ Atlanta, GA)
#9 Louisiana State (-3 ½) over #14 Clemson (58 ½):
A fine match-up to close-out the calendar year. Unfortunately, neither squad expected to be playing the post-season on the wrong side of New Year’s Day! The good news? LSU’s presence here means we ain’t gonna’ watch two clubs from the same division of the same conference vie for national title honors in January. The bad news? Clemson’s appearance here means our futures bet on those Tigers is officially toast! CU has gone 0-fer-last two bowls and gave up (GASP!) 70 to West Virginia last year. Only two of Bengals’ victories came by less than 4 points and only one of their I-A contests finished above this total. What’s scary for 2013 season is State has only 10 seniors on this this season’s version, with only a couple actually starting. Both teams have just two SU losses. LSU’s came barely at the Swamp and at home vs. ‘Bama. Clemson was beaten by FSU and South Carolina, by 12 and 10, respectively. At Liberty University’s May 2012 commencement ceremony, Mitt Romney said his “campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A”. Ironically, SWAG at this season’s bowl of the title sponsor includes dogs fer strappin’ to car roofs and a pair of barber shears!…LSU 24 Clemson 14


BTW, we originally thought “Bristol Cliff” was some reference to men falling off Sarah Palin’s daughter! (The former vice-presidential candidate also said she could “see her dropping off my front porch”).

Weeziana Tech’s bowl options were apparently (mis-) handled by the same folks that caused the Minnesota Vikings to forfeit a first-round selection in the 2003 NFL Draft!

For all the derision we heaped upon the West Virginia defense above, we note the Mounties allowed a total of just 34 points over its final two regular-season games vs. Iowa State and Kansas. We’re guessin’ a couple of bored ‘Bama redshirt-freshmen went lookin’ fer some live-fire action and slipped into the ‘Eers locker room unnoticed in back-to-back weeks! (And BTW, we thought we recognized mascot Jonathan Kimble in a remake of “Full-Metal Jacket”, chanting “This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless…”. Come to think of it…anybody seen the Baylor mascot lately???!!!

Bears WR Brandon Marshall says Viagra is being used by NFL players for on-field purposes. (Readers know what’s comin’, right?!). That’s one way to get up fer a game! Statistical categories now include, pass D, run D and…ED?! That poke in the eye a player just got was not necessarily the result of a finger thru the facemask!? If also used by college athletes, would there be a Big Ten-inch Conference record???!! “In the event of deflections lasting longer than four hours…(You know how the rest of that goes!)” Gives a whole new meaning to “stiff-arm”!!! And if da’ “chain gang” suddenly needs to replace a broken yard-marker, well…

Thee UNLV hoops team recently hosted Division III La Verne. The Shirley thing has been done, so given that the Rebels won by about fitty, we’ll just ask…were Lenny and Squiggy in the backcourt for the Leopards?

For a while there, Vindy thought the arc marking the “restricted zone” for college hoops teams was actually the one-point line! Or maybe the crease for floor-hockey games!

Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets Part II: UL-Monroe-Ohio “under” 60, Navy +14 ½ over Arizona State, Air Force-Rice “under” 61, Oregon State -2 over Texas

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vindy's 2012-13 Bowl Picks Part I


Despite ongoing concerns about violent collisions causing severe injury to players, even after limitations on the allowable number of players in the “wedge” and movement of the kickoff an additional five yards to create more touchbacks, the NFL rejected a recent suggestion to do away with kickoffs altogether in lieu of having teams either punt 10 yards from its own red zone or make a 4th-and-very long, at the risk of gift-wrapping excellent field position for opponents, should the try fail. Instead, officials are planning to mandate special-teams players to wear inflatable sumo-wrestler outfits. Opponents say the change would add more actual time to the game and create an almost-slow-motion feel for each kick-return. They do, however, acknowledge the entertainment value of watching athletes waddle downfield and bounce off each other in the process. Provisions will be made to keep extra suits available on each sideline, given the likelihood of incidental and “accidental” puncturing by cleats!

Army coulda’ won it outright and didn’t, but we’ll gladly take the 1-0 tally and make it 120-123 (.494) to-date. BTW, your Grinch-like gridiron-guru believes in safety too and we’re fresh outta’ bubble-wrap and Styrofoam peanuts, so inside that holiday package, protected by Cool Whip, Noxema shaving cream, Quaker Oats and stale Apple Jacks, you’ll find…

(Causin’ more morning-sickness than Princess Kate’s pregnancy!)

DEC. 15
GILDAN NEW MEXICO (@ Albuquerque, NM) (over/under in parentheses)

Nevada-Reno (+9 ½) over Arizona (75): Potential for semi-high-scoring track-meet here. ‘Cats allowed about 34 ppg, Reno yielded 32.5. Two of the country’s top four rushers take the field and neither side is especially adept at stopping the run. Reno covered just 3 of 11 FBS games, while AZ went mere 5-6. Wolfpack staggered into this on 1-4 SU/ATS skid. ‘Zona won 7 games (4-2 outright down the stretch) and shows quality losses to Oregon State and Stanford, by 3 and 6, respectively and did win 5 of 7 by double-digits. Vindy’s spies say former Wildcats QB Nick Foles would rather forfeit his Thursday-night NFL start for the Beagles vs. Cincinnati to be under center here!... Arizona 34 Nevada 29

Toledo (+10) over #18 Utah State (58 ½):
Second straight ‘Tater Bowl for USU, who lost here, 24-23, to Ohio last year. Too many points to give in game matching clubs that are very close in most statistical categories. The exception is points-allowed. Two-loss Aggies (by 2 at Wisconsin, by 3 to BYU) are #8 in total defense, yielding about 16 points per game. Rockets gave up 27 per contest. Nonetheless, USU racked up its numbers (including 8 wins by double-digits) vs. the mighty WAC. Each of Toledo’s three losses came by a touchdown and bowl dogs that cover often win outright to-boot, but we’ll just call…State 34 USS Enterprise 28

DEC. 20
Brigham Young (-2 ½) over San Diego State (49):
Have to wonder if either team is more excited about this pairing of former Mountain Jest conference-mates than we are. Aztecs were the better bettor squad, covering 8 of 11 Division I-A games and finishing regular-season on 7-0 SU run following back-to-back defeats by San Josie and Fresno in late September. Only four teams gave up fewer points than BYU…and two of ‘em will play for the national championship. And BTW, Mormons lost 17-14 in South Bend…Cougars 23 SDSU 16

DEC. 21
Ball State (+7) over Central Florida (61 ½):
Best guess for this bowl forecast’s “wish I had it back” pick (and it’s all we can do to not reverse our initial call as we type this!). Though this isn’t a true road-game for Ball State, Cardinals are 21-7 ATS getting points away from Muncie the past six years (7-2 last two seasons, including 3-0 this year, with upset wins at Indiana and Toledo). Gilded Knights last played in OT loss at Tulsa for C-USA crown. Both offenses were runners-up in their respective conferences in scoring (both at approximately 35 ppg). UCF led C-USA in scoring-prevention at 22.5 ppg. Birds…um…well…allowed 31 ppg. Central Florida limited MAC’s top-scoring team, Marshall, to 17 points…at Marshall. Cards in first post-season game since 2008. Knights, who can’t get that up to travel across the bridge for this one, missed 2011 bowls after 10-6 snoozer over Joja’ in 2010 and are 1-10 ATS last two years when final margin is a touchdown or less…UCF 31 Ball State 26

DEC. 22
East Carolina (+5 ½) over Louisiana-Lafayette (64 ½):
Ugggggh! Stand in line at the Post Office, consume mass-quantities of eggnog and fruit-cake, go shoppin’ at Toys-R-Us without pepper-spray, anything…just find something else to do…or watch some cheery, seasonal fare, such as…Santa Claws or …Silent Night, Bloody Night…on Syfy. or Reindeer Games on AMC. Pirates came alive in the second-half of the season to get here. Ragin’ Cajuns put Florida on-notice with close-loss in the Swamp. Neither stops the pass and the Buckos get the advantage stopping the run and employing the run. “Over” looks like the choice, but regarding a side, the coin, best two outta’ three, likes…UL-Lafayette 38 ECU 34

Washington (+5) over #20 Boise State (46):
Broncos are sayin’ all the politically-correct things, but a third-straight trip to Las Vegas for the post-season? Okay, mayhap we’re a little bias since we live here. UDUB had a tough early schedule, facing five ranked teams in their first eight games, but reeled off four consecutive victories before falling at rival Wazzou in overtime. Sled Dogs went on nice 6-3 spread-run after 0-2 start and did beat Rose Bowl-bound Stanford. They’ve fared well in low-scoring games, improving on last-season’s points-against average by more than a dozen per game, and we expects points to come hard here too. Can’t wait for the first Huskies player to get flagged for “roach-clipping on the return”…Boise State 20 Washington 17

DEC. 24
Fresno State (-11) over Southern Methodist (59 ½):
Researching the match-up, we rediscovered a handwritten note we made in the margin of FSU’s page in Phil Steele’s College Football 2012 Preview mag that reads…”Gotta’ protect ball”. After at least 7 seasons finishing with a minus-turnover ratio and minus-double-digit ratio the last four years, the Bulldogs have done exactly that…showing a plus-17 entering this one. That tiny stat has contributed to the 12th-ranked passing offense and an average 40-22 victory in any given week. Ponies, unfortunately, are stout vs. the run. That could make Fresno one-dimensional. No shame in Bulldogs’ one-point loss at C-USA champ Tulsa nor in losses at Oregon and Boise, all adding-up to 10-1 spread-record. Ponies play closer to the vest, outscoring foes by average of about 2.5 points per game. SMU was 10th in pass D in its own conference…Fresno State 44 SMU 24

DEC. 26
Central Michigan (+5) over Western Kentucky (58 ½): UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1.
Interestingly, the Sun Belt’s getting’ a lot of early love from the lines-makers as the Hilltoppers, like the Ragin’ Cajuns above, get installed as chalk. Western Kentucky, playing in first-ever I-A post-season, was beaten in four of its last six (going 1-4-1 against the spread). It did win at Kentucky (Who didn’t?! Fine…we’ll give the Wildcats the credit for beating Kent State)in September and smacked a Southern Miss team on a down year a week later. Chippewas took care of business late, winning and covering four of final five and posted a September road- victory over Iowa and have gone 2-2 SU/2-1-1 ATS in its previous four bowls, but haven’t played in December since ‘09. Much respect to third-year coach Willie Taggart, who led the ‘Toppers to a decent year, blemished-badly only by 35-0 rout at the hands of national title contender ‘Bama, and is now off to greener pasture$. But breaking news has WKU inking Bobby Petrino. His new charges won’t be hard to spot. No unis, just Harley Davidson jackets and matchin’ leather pants! …CMU 38 Sons of Anarchy 31

DEC. 27
Bowling Green (+7) over #24 San Jose State (47): UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2.
We have to cry “foul!” here. All seven (count ‘em, seven!) teams from the Mid-American Conference are getting points in their respective bowl games, while multiple teams from the WHACK…er…um…WAC…and Stun Belt…are favored (as we lamented earlier). Bee Gees ended year with six wins (and covers) in seven tries, losing only to Kent State. All four defeats came against other 2012 bowlers. Love what now-ex-coach Mike MacIntyre has done the last two years for the Spartans, who went 6-2 ATS as chalk this year, leaning on a passing game that registers 327+ yards per contest, and make just second bowl since 1990. We wish him well in his new role as head man at Colorado. Falcons, however, come in at #7, #9 and #13 in total D, scoring D (15.8 ppg) and pass D (106 ypg), respectively. No small feat for a MAC squad! If they can limit SJSU’s fave connection of Fales-to-Grigsby, Birds can win outright…BGU 28 San Jose State 24

BELK (@ Charlotte, NC)
Cincinnati (-7) over Duke (58 ½):
UC allowed an average of 14 ppg over its last five, with Rutgers being the lone loss in that span. Duke qualified early, then dropped five of its last six, getting walloped in four of the five defeats (losing by just 7 to end the regular-season vs. Miami team that probably already knew it was gonna’ sit-out the bowls). Cincy will be under new management for this one as Tennessee settled on former Bearkats coach Butch Jones, Rocky Top’s reported third-choice to replace Derek Dooley. We think UT shoulda’ offered a couple of future coaching picks to move up in the draft and grab Jon Gruden! Maybe it did and just didn’t tell Jones…Cincinnati 41 Duke 17

#17 Ucla (PK) over Baylor (79 ½):
Despite some success running the ball (7 ypc) in the rematch vs. Stanford, Bruins should enjoy near-unfettered freedom on offense facing the Bears after being somewhat-thwarted by Cardinal’s defense in back-to-back weeks. The bowl-season in general, and the nature of the match-up itself, suggest the best play is on the “over” as the punt teams should get most of the day off. A ground-effort similar to the one shown vs. Stanford should set-up play-action nicely for UCLA, and we figure the lay-off will be more of a detriment to Baylor’s late-season flurry than to the Bruins, who will take the time to re-group following the two losses. Jim Mora won’t want to squander a very good first-year campaign as coach by ending it with three consecutive defeats. UCLA will have to be more disciplined though, with 123 flags on the season, making Florida look more like a military academy. Unless ‘yer related to- or datin’ a defensive coordinator, this should be a fun, free-wheelin’ one to watch…UCLA 51 Baylor 44


BTW, we think the solution to the injury-problem is to have the tallest wide-receiver or tight-end from each team meet at da’ fitty-yard line and have the referee toss the ball into the air, a la pro and college hoops. The team winning the tip-off gets the ball somewhere between mid-field and its own 40-yard line! No concussion, no major medical maladies. At worst, an elbow in da’ chops! Problem solved!

In related safety news, hunters, including folks like Ted Nugent, are now allowed to be armed only with a bow and a quiver full of…possession-arrows!

We missed the opportunity to note this in the Army-Navy write-up, so we’ll put it here…required reading at West Point?…”Fitty Shades of da’ Long Grey Line”!!!! Oh myne-field!

New WKU coach Petrino wasted little time adding a new pass-route to the Hilltoppers’ playbook…called the “crossing-pattern of misleading behavior”!

The GOP said last week that Obama won the election, especially in Washington and Colorado, because he’s providing all the gifts to players on the bowl teams!
(“Duuuuuude….maybe he’s got Twinkies???!!!”). Ironically, the read-option is being resurrected by NFL teams on offense. Meanwhile, Wazzou, UDUB, Colorado, CSU and Air Force are implementing the…weed-option!

We quote Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street…”Oh, Bowl Season’s not just a couple days, it’s a frame of mind.”

Bowl-less this season (don’t get us started!), the alma mater’s Sam Fickens plans to improve his field-goal success by hangin’ out with the Nifty Lions hoops team so he can practice by kickin’ the extra-point-guard on a regular basis!

Lookin’ to thrill that hard-to-buy-fer sports-gambler in your life this Christmas?...How ‘bout a beloved Sesame Street character and popular seasonal toy that dons the pads and a helmet, and implores consumers to…”Bet On Me Elmo!”

Vikes punter Chris Kluwe, in a not-so-sublime plug for a fellow kicker, slapped a Post-It note over the 50th-Anniversary Hall-of-Fame patch on his Minnesota uni Sunday, imploring readers to “Vote Ray Guy”. Not to be outdone, we donned a sticky-note of our own, proclaiming “Vote Cable Guy!”

On December 5th, Kobe Bryant scored his 30,000th point (Then he put down the Asteroids Game Boy…and broke an NBA record too!)

The club-formerly-known-as da’ Nawlins’ Hornets are changin’ the nickname to the New Orleans Pelicans! Staying with the coastal-fowl theme, we’re switchin’ da’ moniker to da’ Vegas Vin-tern-ator! (Vinty’s Picks???!!!)

Black Shirt: Goes to Army punter Chris Boldt , who, holding on a FG-try to end the first-half, salvaged a bad snap leading to the successful FG-try by Army that would give the Keydets the spread-dubya over Navy!

Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets Part I: Last Week: 0-0 Season: 36-32-1 (.529)
Cincinnati -8 over Duke, Central Michigan +6 over Western Kentucky, Boise State-Washington “under” 46

It’s da’ mossssssst wonderbowl tiiiiiime of…da’ yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! To all our loyal readers, we extend the annual holiday greeting…”Pass on Earth. Goodwill toward linemen.” And “have yerself a Vindy little Christmas …!”

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re gonna’ try to determine which of the gift-wrapped presents under our tree contain the highly-coveted Lord of the Rings Legos set: Smiegel vs. Rudy Edition, Skylanders Giants men’s skivvies, a gender-neutral Queasy-Bake Oven…and the ever-popular Black-Ops Barbie doll!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Vindy's Picks 2012 Army-Navy


SAN DIEGO, California (AP)…
Robot-technology is leading to the eventual replacement of the Navy’s mine-sniffing dolphins. But former-members of the USN’s marine-mammal national defense program are not obsolete. They’re just being assigned elsewhere. The dolphins, formerly-employed to pinpoint enemy divers and floating explosives, in places such as Bahrain and Iraq, will now patrol the perimeters of Sin City sportsbooks and casino resort pools, identifying and marking bogus wagers based on the Vindicator’s weekly picks, which, though detected by natural sonar abilities of the sea creatures, also emit an odor so foul, they can be noticed underwater just by the smell!

We put a nifty 7-3 Championship Week (119-123, .492) in da’ ledger, but even the Middies’ goat refuses to chow-down on…

(Being tattooed on Colin Kaepernick’s body as we speak!)

Army (+7) over Navy (56 ½) (@ Philadelphia, PA): The West-Pointers, at 2-9 SU (including a 23-3 home loss to FCS Stony Brook), have no post-season opportunity, but have more inspiration to play harder this year than last with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy on the line in this match-up (which hasn’t happened since 2005), with both clubs already having beaten Air Force earlier (Army at home by 20, Navy in Colorado Springs by 7). Navy’s locked into the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Arizona State, regardless of the outcome. History since 2003 obscenely-favors the Middies, both outright and against the spread, but a look at the last 2+ seasons shows Army going 1-4 SU vs. the other academies but covering 3 of ‘em,, while Navy has won and covered three of the five. Cadets lost to the Love Boat by 14 each in 2009 and 2010, but by just 6 in 2011’s covering loss. Neither has been good to betting-backers, each recording a 3-7 ATS tally to-date. First official appearance in the ‘Picks for Navy this year, though we’ve cashed three Best Bet tickets in four tries, betting vs. the Sailors in those three wins (Army yielded one Best Bet win in two attempts and a forecast loss a few weeks ago in cover at Rutgers). Army senior QB Trent Steelman leads the team in rushing, averaging over the century-mark in yards per game and contributes to his team’s overall #1 running attack. Conversely, the Argonauts feature freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who’s just 3rd in rushing for his squad. Army has four covers in last 30 tries with time off. Neither unit has played since November 17. The game-clock will get little rest, stopping only on change-of-possession and TV time-outs, with both sides preferring the run-first, second- and third- approach and collectively drawing less than 8 flags per contest. Both clubs score about 25 points per game. Middies give up under 24 points a game (not bad considering 50-10 season-opening blowout loss, which, little did we know at the time, portended much-bigger things for then-unranked Notre Dame). Game total, starting with ’09, has been 20, 48 and 48 the last three years. Army is minus-six in turnovers and allows about 37 points per game, including 62-32 defeat at Temple prior to the off-weeks. We look for more touchdowns than field goals as Middies average one three-point boot per game and Army’s freshman kicker connected on only 10 of 16 tries all season. If it comes down to a pressure kick, Ensigns will also put a freshman on the field, but he’s hit 9 of 13. We’ve seen more than our share of upsets in a season dominated by the underdogs, but the Middies have won SU the last 10 years and we’re content to just take da’ points…Armada 28 Infantry 23


Regarding the reluctance to actually the throw da’ ball, we could easily see Gandalf the Grey as offensive coordinator on either sideline, telling his charges….”Youuuuuu…shall not…paasssssssssss!”

The Queen Mum and James Bond-actor Daniel Craig (or at least their respective stunt-stand-ins) parachuted into Olympic Stadium to open the Summer Games in London. Vindy’ spies say the actual 86-year-old British matriarch and Sean Connery will jump out of a perfectly-good airplane to do likewise to deliver the metal currency to be used for the opening coin-toss of this one!

In related news, in the wake of his earlier visit to Vegas, Prince Harry will also be asked to emulate, kind of, her Majesty’s role at this year’s Summer Games, exiting an aircraft of similar-condition over the Olympic Stadium at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The difference? He’ll be au natural…and sans the parachute…and da’ stunt-double!!!!

The Pentagon plans to cut da’ number of combat brigades from 45, to as low as 32, to save money. In a like move, West Point will conserve funds by reducing scholarships and fielding only seven players on each side of the ball!

USN officials said their new radio system may be keeping some people in southeastern Connecticut from opening and closing their garage doors. UConn did not appear on Navy’s 2012 schedule, but the Middies are considering use of the relevant gadgetry to impact doors on the Army lockers to get inside the Cadets’ heads prior to the game…and at halftime!

The Navy has returned to using old ships for target practice after a two-year moratorium due to environmental and cost concerns. First-up…the HMS Vindicator!

We haven’t spent much time this season heaping praise upon the zebras…at any level…but we must give kudos to the officiating crew at the MAC Championship between Kent State and Northern Illinois (at least in regulation, ‘cuz we switched channels when said game went to extras) for being spot-on with their calls. Many were reviewed… and all found to be accurate. For us or against us, all we ask is…get it right.

The Denver Broncos’ opening drive this past Sunday vs. Tampa Bay resulted in a TD-pass to a nose-tackle-eligible???!!! We’d expect that to work against the Iggles, not the Buccaneers!

Black Shirt: We issue multiple ebony undergarments again this week…to Tulsa’s DE Cory Dorris and LB Trent Martin, though ultimately to Central Florida DB AJ Bouye, for a combination of blocked extra-points and an OT FG eventually leading to the Hurricane’s winning cover (as opposed to a 1-point SU win and spread-push in regulation or…GASP!...a 1-point SU loss), giving Vindy a 7th forecast dubya rather than stalling the ‘Picks at 6-3-1 or 6-4.

“Locked in a Box?”: Tulsa’s ATS win also raises the lock record to 4-10 (.286)
Shoppe Talk: One of our Championship Week detractors was, of course, Florida State (3-8, .272). Joja’ gets an engraved holiday invitation , biting us for the fifth straight time!

Vindy’s Army-Navy Best Bets: none Last Week: 1-2 Season: 36-32-1 (.529)

(Officer) On-deck…somewhere around December 13 or 14, the first 2012 installation of the Weber Kid’s infamous bowl picks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vindy's Picks 2012 Championship Week


LONDON, England (UPI)...While Congress tries to reach a compromise on the looming “fiscal cliff” and other domestic issues, the White House finds itself take-a-knee-deep in unexpected conundrums abroad. President Obama made an unscheduled stop at Buckingham Palace in an effort to convince Prime Minister David Cameron…and the royal matriarch, Queen Elizabeth…to allow the British Isle, contemplating a split from the European Union, to fill the void in the Big East left by the departure of Rutgers to the Big Ten. Elsewhere, Hillary Clinton made a hasty trip south-of-the-border after learning President Felipe Calderon wants to change his country’s moniker from Estados Unidos Mexicanos to just…Mexico. The Secretary of State is expected to recommend, and extol the international advantages of, a name with more pizazz, ie. “Ron Mexico”, and was quick to point-out that the national flag, itself, of our North American continental neighbor, includes…an eagle.

We’re hopin’ to carry the momentum of Week Thirteen’s 12-7 (112-120, .483) into the post-season. The election is long-over, but the Commander-in-Chief recently said Mitt Romney is still shovelin’…

(“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work”)

FRI. NOV. 30
PAC-12 Championship
#17 Ucla (+8 ½) over #8 STANFORD:
Yup, we saw this same contest less than a week ago! Bruins had no kinda’ running game in that 18-point loss (that wasn’t even really that close!). Conversely, Cardinal’s Stepfon Taylor should lock-up the school career rushing-yardage record before the 2nd Quarter (needing just 36 yards) begins! UCLA didn’t help itself discipline-wise either, taking a page from the Gators’ playbook with 12 hankies for 135 yards, and a minus-one turnover ratio. Stanford has won and covered four straight times now vs. UCLA, but is just 1-4 ATS in five tries as home chalk on the season. First DD-dog role for Bruins since getting blasted by Oregon in 2011 conference championship. Cubbies did win only road dog game this year, 45-43 at Arizona…Birds 23 UCLA 16

MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)
#19 Northern Illinois (-6) over #18 Kent State:
Sled Dogs snuck, virtually unnoticed, into the rankings. Both teams wasted little time putting away last week’s opponents, though Flashes did so with a pair of 1st Quarter defensive scores, and we suffered the consequences for changing our original decision in that one. Third consecutive MAC title game for the Huskies (1-1 SU/0-2 ATS). NIU now with 8 covers in 11 tries vs. FBS, but no signature wins (lest ya count 30-23 victory over 1-10 Kansas) and a one-point neutral site defeat to Iowa. As we noted previously, State lost badly at Kentucky, then later toppled Rutgers by almost two touchdowns in the Garden State. Northern Illinois won 40-10 last year in only meeting over previous 3 seasons. Canines have only one MAC spread-loss on the year and are 18-7-1 in the MAC over the past 2+ seasons, showing a 33-6 SU record overall in last 39 games. The victory would allow Kent to surpass its best season-ending run of 2004. Two of the top eleven rushing offenses will go head-to-head. Huskies are stingy on D, giving up just 17.5 points a game. We wanna’ cheer Kent here, but..NIU 37 Kent State 27


#1 Notre Dame: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)
#2 Alabama (-7) over #3 Georgia:
Last meeting was 41-30 ‘Bama victory in Athens in 2008, so only Coach Richt remains from that contest. Tide playing without a top receiver, Kenny Bell, due to injury, but always have the excellent running game in place with numerous options to tote the rock. The Iron Bowl turned into da’ Tin Bowl with Auburn crumpling up like so much aluminum in our predicted shutout (thang ya…thang ya very much!). ‘Dawgs weren’t distracted by this one in 42-10 rout of Joja’ Tech. UGA’s on nice 5-0 SU/4-0 ATS run, with four laughers following mistake-filled Cocktail Party win over Florida. Georgia’s past six tilts have finished “under” the total, as have three of Tide’s last four. Elephants have ruled last half-dozen on neutral ground and Aaron Murray ain’t Johnny Football…’Bama 27 Joja’ 13

#4 Ohio State: IDLE (next…2013 regular season)

#5 Florida: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#6 Oregon: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#7 KANSAS STATE (-11) over #23 Texas: David Ash reverted to form in outright loss to TCU, committing multiple turnovers, and will get afternoon wood on da’ bench, as Case McCoy gets the start at QB in this one. While da’ ‘Cats were resting after only SU loss (52-24 at Baylor….OUCH!) Oklahoma somehow, without leading in regulation, managed the OT win. The BCS berth for the TBA Big Twelve champs is still up for grabs. ‘Cats, 7-3 ATS vs. I-A clubs, are lookin’ for first 11-win season since 2003. State’s beaten the line last five times vs. Steers, (though were underdogs in all five) and is 4-1 ATS as home fave (missing only nearly-four score spread vs. North Texas). Texas has lost each of last two years (by 4 last season and by…25….here in 2010). Disappointing finish for ‘Horns team that acquired some of our preseason money on a futures bet to earn a national title. Two of Cattle’s three SU defeats are by 7 or less…KSU 31 Texas 14

#9 LSU: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#10 Texas A&M: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#11 South Carolina: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#12 Oklahoma (-6) over TCU: Lucky Sooners, who got an 81-yard punt return for a score in the 4th Quarter and a TD with 4 seconds to play in regulation and eventual Bedlam victory vs. Okie State, could win or at least share the conference crown with a win. A loss here sends K-State to the big money game. Toads jumped on early Longhorns miscues to pull the upset, but regardless of the outcome here, will finish below double-digit SU wins for the first time in six seasons. OK throws well and defends the pass well. Froggies excel at stopping the run, but beat Texas with a pair of INTs near their own end zone and limited Texas to field goals until late in the game. Sooners have won 4 of last 5 games on the year, but covered just one and are coin-toss worthy laying points on the road…OK 29 TCU 21

ACC Championship (@ Charlotte, NC)
#13 Florida State (-14) over Georgia Tech:
Bees backed into this one after Al Golden fell on his sword again for the future greater-good by imposing yet-another bowl-ban on his Miami squad. We’ve already noted Tech’s failure-to-appear last week. Anybody outside Atlanta wanna’ see a 7-6 conference “champion” go to a BCS bowl?! Wreck is mere 6-5 ATS, 6-6 outright and had been on 3-0 SU/ATS roll until meeting in-state rivals. The Buzz took most-recent pairing, 49-44, in Tallahassee (2009). Four of Insects’ defeats in 2012 have come by more than this many. Accounting for two scoring runs of 30+ yards, Florida still managed almost 4 ypc vs. State. GT still top-four in rushing-yardage, but that got it little vs. Georgia and now faces top-four rush defense, allowing south of 98 ypg and just 9 scoring runs all year, but maybe a little distraction on the State sideline with DC Mark Stoops moving on to coach…Kentucky? … FSU 37 Wasps 19

Big Ten Championship (@ Indianapolis, IN)
Wisconsin (+3) over #14 Nebraska:
Tell us the Huskers weren’t any more-motivated than mere 7-point win over incompetent Iowa team to get to the Big Tennyson Conference title contest. Really? Dare we utter the “f-bomb” ...”fix”????!!!!! Rose Bowl officials would rather send two-loss Huskers through to Pasadena than five-loss Badgers, but Cheese-Heads defense might just be enough to disappoint them. Badgers played valiantly in losses to the Buckeyes and at the alma mater, and get the championship-shot only because both those clubs are in figurative NCAA 9-by-12 jail-cells until next September. Not a lot of momentum for UW though, having lost three of previous four contests overall. Big Dread is clearly the hotter squad, showing only a single defeat…at Columbus. Children of da’ Corn edged Wisky 30-27 in Lincoln to close out September. Badgers should neutralize Rex Burkhead. Can NU stop Montee Ball? One of the don’t-belongs this week will be successful. Over Joja’ Tech, we’ll take…Wisconsin 21 Nebraska 20

#15 Clemson: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

Nicholls State @ #16 OREGON STATE: No line. (Rescheduled from weather-postponed 9/1 date)

#20 Utah State: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#21 Michigan: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#22 Northwestern: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#24 Oklahoma State (-4) over BAYLOR: Can you say…”over the total”???!!!! Both teams are bangin’ da’ boards for Arena League-like numbers. Last three totals (before considering OT scores) for Da’ Bears…76, 76 and 90. Last four totals for State…74, 89, 80 and 90!!! Cowboys’ only outright defeat in current 5-1 SU/ATS run was at Kansas State, a team whose season came to sudden-stop at the hands of Baylor two weeks ago. Bears have also covered 5 of last 6 contests, but won just three. OKSU has had their way with Baylor, even during the RGIII years, covering the last six seasons. Cowpokes were seriously-efficient vs. Oklahoma in narrow OT loss, scoring 48 points with less than 24 minutes TOP. Two-points per minute vs. Schooners team that, even accounting fer 49 to West Virginia, was permitting just 22.5 ppg until then.???!!! Oregon-light??!...State 51 Bears 44

NEVADA-RENO (+8 ½) over #25 Boise State: Wolfpack got blown-out here earlier this month by Fresno State, but Broncos are doing it more on defense, leading the Mountain Jest in all defensive categories and ranking 8th nationally in total D, with the third-best pass D. Only two Broncos opponents posted more than 17 points. “That school up north” has seven victories on the year, but covered only two games overall (at Cal and at Hawaii, both in September) and just 3 of last 15 (with a pair of pushes). Reno could have nine wins, but let South Florida and San Diego State off the hook late to suffer one-point losses to both. Despite UNR offense accumulating better than 500 yards per game behind 142 yards per game on the ground by RB Stefphon Jefferson, we think Broncos will dominate on D and lead State to a share of the MWC title. Nonetheless, we’ll back the ‘dog for ATS win…Boise State 21 UNR 17

C-USA Championship
TULSA (-1) over Central Florida: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK.
Rematch of recent 23-21 home-win by Tulsa. Both clubs are 7-1 SU in C-USA and 9-3 on the year. Gilded Gusty-Winds have scored a bit less and given-up a bit more than defense-minded UCF Knights, whose totals are 8-2 “over” since 15-point loss (and cover) at Ohio State. Despite middlin’ 6-6 record vs. the line, Central Florida’s only other outright losses came by 5 and 2. Tulsa’s no sure-thing with-or-without the handicap, going just 6-5 ATS to-date. Hurricane lost at ISU to start the year and lost by just 4 at Arkansas in early November. Tulsa will keep it on the ground for the most part, behind 12th-ranked rushing offense. Tulsa has lost just one of last eleven tilts on the home-field…Tulsa 24 UCF 20


BTW, officials in England this summer renamed the Clock Tower of Britain’s Parliament, AKA “Big Ben”, after the Queen Mum, acknowledging her 60-year reign. We’ve been watchin’ Pittsburgh games all season, just hopin’ to hear the first broadcaster refer to a certain Steelers’ quarterback as… “Elizabeth Tower”!!!! (And frankly, following the three-pick performance of back-up Charlie Batch (not all his fault) in Sunday’s 20-13 loss to…[GASP!] da’ Browns, Steel City fans would likely welcome somebody named Elizabeth Tower at quarterback next weekend!)

In related news…the Jacksonville Jaguars will play one “home” game in each of the next four seasons at London’s Wembley Stadium. Nothin’ says Royal Family and bangers & mash quite like Jacksonville football!!! Nonetheless, fans who’ve already done Madame Tussaud’s and Stonehenge can always take in the changing of the right and left guard, Windsprint Castle and the ever-popular Albert Haynesworth Hall!

The May 2012 ish of the PSU Alumni Insider said the alma mater was jockeying to win a Google-sponsored contest to be first to safely park a privately-owned spacecraft on the moon, take pics of the moon’s surface and “mooncast” ‘em back to da’ home planet. Anybody else out there contemplating a remake entitled “Star Trek III: Da’ Search for Paterno”, in which a renegade landing party on Genesis locates a rapidly-aging JoePa alive-and-well and quipping, “I have been…and always shall be…your coach.” ????!!!!

While we expect Lehigh’s college basketball season to be closer to “float like a buttermilk, sting like Aunt Bea”, when last year’s Patriot League rep was droppin’ Duke like a charge, did anybody else out there envision Howard Cossell on the Mountain Hawks sideline yelling, “Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!”???

Army of Darkness meets VCU hoops…”The name’s AshSporting Goods. Shaka Smart…Shaka S-Mart!”

If the NHL labor dispute isn’t settled soon, Eric Idle and company might have to produce another flick…called…Monty Python & the Goalie Grail!


Best Weekly Effort: Tie between Weeks 2 & 13, both at 12-7.

Worst Weakly “F”-fort: No contest…Week (Strych)Nine’s 4-15 (Uggghhhhh!!!)

WEBER-FRIENDLIES (Best percentage on the predicted side of the spread; minimum 7 at-bats in the forecast): This year’s Allstate “Yer in Good Hands” award goes to (drumroll, please)…the Spooners of Oklahoma at 8-2 (.800). Second-Place to Ohio State (8-4, .667) and Honorable Mention to Notre Dame, Clemson and LSU…all at 7-4 (.636)

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of the spread): On the basis of the tie-breaker for most appearances, USC takes the not-so-coveted Grill-Master Supreme award (3-9, .250). Suckin’ Place to runners-up…UCLA and West Virginia (both at 2-6, .250). And Dishonorable Mention to the Seminoles of Florida State (3-7, .300).

We remind readers, however, that dat’ Rod Hubble guy from the State-Farm Discount-Double-Check commercials says “trophies are fer people with self-esteem issues”! (“Raahhjjaaaahhhs!”)

Didn’t make da’ cut, but we’ll be watchin’: Cal (1-4, .200), Nebraska (3-6, .333) and Arizona (2-4, .333)

Thanks for playing: Stay in touch next season…Mississippi, Mizzou and Okie State…each at 4-1 (.800)

Black Shirt: We’re doling-out another pair of titanic tees to kickers Kyle Brindza of Notre Dame and Basil Drew of the Buckeyes for nine combined FGs, two from 50+ at the first-half gun, helping their respective teams meet the predicted chalk-covers.

“Locked in a Box?”: We knew we’d shouldn’t have gone back to the well with Rutgers, who got pummeled by Pitt, dropping the record to 3-10 (.230).

Shoppe Talk: Almost closed Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe fer the holidays, with all the usual suspects ending up on the foreseen side of the number, but we left the light on for the aforementioned Corn Meal of Nebraska (3-6, .333)!

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 6-1 Season: 35-30-1 (.538)

Slim-pickin’s, but…Pitt -6 over SOUTH FLORIDA, FLORIDA ATLANTIC +9 over UL-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee State +10 over ARKANSAS STATE

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vindy's Picks Week 13-2012


PULLMAN, Washington (AP)...With the passing of marijuana-legalization legislation this month in Washington and Colorado on Election Day, the jury is still out on the impact for gridiron teams in those states. While there has been an increase in weekend trips to the Apple State by players from Eugene, Oregon and athletes from Ft. Worth trekking as far away as the Rocky Mountains, opinions vary on use, depending on the clubs-in-question. Reigning philosophies by media and coaches suggest the local Wazzou Cougars, Buffaloes of Boulder, and the Colorado State Rams have nowhere to go but up, so no harm-no foul. However, the Huskies of UDUB are bowl…er…um…post-season…-bound and should probably pass (the dutchie?) on the “herb superb”. As for the other club affected, the Falcons of Air Force, one cadet at the Academy, on condition of anonymity, laughingly said, “Don’t try this at home. These men are trained-professionals!”

We “rebounded” from the Week Eleven travesty with a middlin’ 7-7 (100-113, 469) for Week 12, and while Mike Leach has adamantly pooh-poohed allegations of abusing his players, he did fess up that the Washington State coaching staff would be more than happy to “belittle, intimidate and humiliate”…

(Preferred picks of shirtless FBI agents everywhere)

Texas Christian (+7 ½) over #18 TEXAS:
First meeting since 2008. Toads are 5-1 ATS in last six road dog chances, though 2-7 against da’ line facing fellow Lone Star squads (only once getting points). Usually, stout in the inaugural seasons in their new conferences, Froggies have lost 3 of last 4 in the Big 12 (covering only in the 2OT win at West Virginia). The ‘Legs have taken 4 of their 5 road games straight-up on the year. Might...emphasis on “might”…be a look-ahead game for Steers, who visit K-State next. Cattle QB David Ash has responded nicely following a little time on da’ pine in wake of consecutive defeats by West Virginia and Oklahoma, and narrow triumphs over Baylor and Kansas, tossing five scoring passes and rackin’ up 628 yards during pair of dubyas prior to the bye week. If the State of Texas makes good on its threat to secede, teams like the Steers and Frogs could still play south-of-da’-border in that other NCAA…”Need Corona Asap, Amigo!”…Texas 28 TCU 24

FRI. NOV. 23
#8 Louisiana State (-12 ½) over ARKANSAS:
We considered this for “lock”. What a difference a year makes?! This time last season, the Pork Chops were 10-1. They did however get smoked 41-17 in Baton Rouge. Unless the Hogs’ seniors rise up, because at 4-7 SU/2-8 ATS there’s nothing else to play for, this contest may be over early. Bengals big 4th Quarter rally to beat Ole Miss, who might be worthy of watching in 2013, prompted Les Miles’ Lifetime-worthy post-game commentary. No SEC Championship game for State to look ahead to, so the focus will be here. Pigs were hammered 45-17 at Mississippi State last week in a game that put Arkansas’ first losing ATS season in conference play since 2006 in stone…LSU 29 Arkansas 10

#17 Nebraska (-14 ½) over IOWA: Big Dread 27 Hawkeyes 7

Ohio (+10) over #23 KENT STATE: Flashes 34 Bobblecats 29

#24 Northern Illinois (-19 ½) over EASTERN MICHIGAN: MAC West cellar-dwellin’ Eagles have been competitive the past two weeks, losing by three to the Chippies and upsetting Western Michigan at Kalamazoo as nearly two-touchdown dogs, but we’ll chalk that up to the rivalry among the directional schools. EMU has been pelted by the better teams on its schedule and has allowed at least 23 points to everybody, with four opponents climbing into the 40’s or 50’s. Huskies have dominated conference play for almost three complete seasons, going 23-2, with one of those defeats coming in 2010 MAC Title contest. Eagles did play NIU close in 18-12 loss last year, getting about an 18-point handicap. Northern Illinois showcases QB Jordan Lynch, a dual-threat guy rated top-ten in passing and rushing nationally. ‘Dogs had been on 6-0 spread-run until missing cover week in win over Toledo… NIU 41 Eaglets 17

SAT. NOV. 24
#1 Notre Dame (- 6 ½) over USC:
Irish 23 USC 13

#2 ALABAMA (-31 ½) over Auburn: Are you freakin’ kiddin’ us???!!! Just when it looked like the SEC-presence in the National Championship game had finally come to a merciful end, Alabama has only to defeat…by 1at home… rival Auburn team havin’ a down year, to ensure it…or at minimum (barring upset by the ‘Ramblin’ Wreck)…fellow-conference squad Joja’…plays for the whole kit-n-kaboodle. ‘Bama has just one cover in five home games on the year, but given his borrowed-time, Nick Saban won’t hesitate to pile-on to avoid another slip-up. We’ll call for Elephants’ fourth shutout of 2012…Alabama 41 Auburn 0

Georgia Tech (+13 ½) over #3 GEORGIA: Joja’ 42 ‘Jackets 37

#4 OHIO STATE (-3 ½) over #20 Michigan: Buckeyes have nothing on the line except that tiny, little thing called an undefeated season…after the folks on Capitol Hill rebuked a plea from Columbus to pardon the program. (Obviously, the Commander-in-Chief’s allegiance lies with Northwestern). Michigan can still play for the Big Tenement tiara, but has put its fate in the hands of a back-up QB, with Denard Robinson elsewhere on the field due to injury-constraints. In light of the pic sent in May via Twitter, by Wolverine-signee Logan Tuley-Tillman (who was wooed by Urban Meyer well-after he committed to Big Blue) setting fire to what appeared to be OSU recruiting-literature, team captains will forego the usual coin-toss and meet at midfield, take 10 paces, wheel and burn each other’s playbook. The first player to be left holding a pile of ashes will have the choice of receiving the ball or deferring to the second-half!…OSU 17 Michigan 11

#16 OREGON STATE (+9 ½) over #5 Oregon: Quack Attack 35 Beavers 31

#6 Florida (+8) over #10 FLORIDA STATE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. We’re not convinced having starter Jeff Driskel under center woulda’ made much difference in Florida’s 23-0 win over AA Jacksonville State. It should make a difference here. ‘Noles are hitting the board for almost 43 ppg, but two of the top four defenses go at it this week and we expect little scoring. Gators have very remote national title game shot. State’s already sewn-up the ACC conference crown bid. Both play for possible at-large BCS bowl berths. Florida’s won and covered three of four games vs. ranked opponents, including A&M and LSU, while ‘Noles have one SU victory and one spread-loss in that category (vs. Clemson). State has both wins the last two years, with UF mustering no more than 7 points in each loss, while committing 8 turnovers over that span. Crocs are, however, plus-13 in turnover margin this season …Gators 19 FSU 17

#7 Kansas State: IDLE (next 12/1 vs. Texas)

#9 TEXAS A&M (-21 ½) over Missouri: Aggies 44 Mizzou 20

#11 Stanford (-1 ½) over #15 UCLA: Cardinal maybe caught a break to beat the Ducks in the extra frame, but still have the ground attack and defense necessary to get by UCLA. Both sides feature sophomore quarterbacks accompanied by senior rushers in the backfield. Bruins allowed about 8 yards a clip to USC’s McNeal. Redbirds’ Stepfon Taylor went for 161 vs. the Mallards. UCLA has won 10 of last 12 at the Rose Bowl and win or lose, Bruins have a date on November 30 for the 12-PACK crown…Stanford 20 UCLA 17

#13 South Carolina (+4) over #12 CLEMSON: Tigers 24 Poultry 21

#22 Oklahoma State (+7) over #14 OKLAHOMA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Cowboys rush defense should make Sooners one-dimensional and force them to try to match State’s pace. Sooners’ overall body-of-work is better and State did win in 34-point blowout in Stillwater last year following 8 consecutive losses to its rival. We’ll take Landry Jones 554-yard aerial extravaganza vs. Mounties’ wafer-thin defense with a grain of salt. Line looks about right for public perception in light of Sooners’ 5-point home loss to K-State and Cowpokes’ 14-point road loss in Manhattan. A victory by OKSU would contribute to a 3- or 4-team tie for the Big 12 crown…State 38 Sooners 31

Connecticut (+11 ½) over #19 LOUISVILLE: Cardinal 17 Huskies 9

#21 Rutgers (+2) over PITT: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Rutgers defense put the clamps on Cincy’s otherwise-potent offense, limiting the ‘Kats to a virtually-meaningless FG with 11 seconds to play. Can’t see the Panthers faring much better. It was announced the Knights will bolt for the Big Ten following Maryland’s green light for the Terps to do likewise, bringing the conference to 14 squads. Is it any wonder America’s “utes” lag behind the rest of the world in math????!!!...Paladins 16 Pitt 7

#25 (tie) UTAH STATE (-39) over Idaho: USU 54 Tater-Heads 10

MISSISSIPPI -1 1/2 over #25 (tie) Mississippi State: Ole Miss 31 Bulldogs 27


BTW, citizens in Colorado Springs report a sudden shift in the armament of unmanned-drone sorties…from Hellfire missiles to Twinkies and bags of Doritos!

In related news, the “gone fishin’” sign for Hostess should signal an end to certain early-season (or in the case of the SEC, November) non-conference contests by several FBS powerhouse teams! In defense of the SEC’s late-season pastry-party, we note that five of seven (count ‘em, 7!) I-AA opponents last week were currently or had been ranked in the FCS Top 25 sometime during the year! (Only Tide-foe Western Carolina had received no votes on the year and Gator-bait Jacksonville State had been no higher than #26).

As a follow-up to our Pitt-Rutgers comments…rather than learning world geography via the old tried-and-true method of making a “globe” by applying paper-mache to inflated balloons (or for the USC grads out there…under-inflated balloons) then adding outlines of the seven continents, today’s kiddies would better off forming land-masses over templates of the new NCAA conference realignments instead!

On the telly a couple times this week…Gone With the Wind. Our favorite quote from the film?...”We don’t know nothin’ ‘bout berthin’ no bowls!”

During OT of the Cowboys-Browns game, referee Ed Hoculi noted an incompletion/possible catch-and-fumble by a Cleveland WR was “under review”. Hoculi subsequently emerged and said “the previous play was not reviewable …and I didn’t review it.” Really? What play was the well-known official reviewing??!! Guys & Dolls? Fiddler on the Roof? Cats???!!! Speaking of that last one…did anybody else out there immediately think of the Broadway hit upon getting a gander (dander???!!!) at the Steelers’ striped unis in their game vs. Baltimore on Sunday???!!! We kept waitin’ for the tails to pop outta’ the pants!

For those who watched Green Bay’s ugly win over Detroit…yes…Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby and the alma mater’s Sam Fickens were twins separated at birth!

RG III became the first NFL player to wear Roman numerals on his jersey after a rule-change this season allowed it (along with the” jr.” or “sr.” designation). How ‘bout Esq., MSW, MD, attorney-at-law, PhD? Nicknames? Best thing to happen to pro uniforms since “He Hate Me”. Name on the front ain’t as important as da’ one on da’ back!?

Vin caught a headline yesterday proclaiming Tim Tebow has a “secret admirer” after the controversial back-up to Mark Sanchez got a delivery of “Yer Special!” balloons from an unknown source. We got an Andrew Jackson that says it’s…soon-to-be-divorced Danica Patrick!!!!

The NHL lockout reminds us that in May, the Bikini Hockey League came into existence. Women in skimpy outfits on inline skates, wielding sticks! Is the goalie also called the fishnet-minder??!! No “minor” penalties because the girls are all over 18!?? Now there’s a hip-check we’d like see replayed again and again! (And if Nevada had a team outside Clark and Washoe County, there’d be no penalty for hooking!)

Black Shirt: We split the gratuitous garment this week between Badgers’ teammates Kyle French, for missing an early 4th quarter FG try of 40 yards, and RB Montee Ball for a fumble near the Buckeyes goal-line late in the game, allowing State to eventually win in OT.

“Locked in a Box?”: We thank the Scarlet Knights for providing a rare lock win (3-9, .250) and bringin’ home our “upset” pick of da’ week over Cincinnati!

Shoppe Talk: The Bruins have 7 appearances and are now in the running for Grill-Master Supreme at 1-6 (.142), with fellow-hoser…USC…at 2-9 (.181) close-behind. Florida State’s hangin’ around at 2-7 (.222) and we’re puttin’ Louisville on notice at 3-6 (.333) overall, but 1-6 in last 7!!!

Vindy’s Week 13 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-4 (3-7-1 last two weeks) Season: 29-29-1 (.500)

CINCINNATI -13 over South Florida, West Virginia +1 over IOWA STATE, Maryland +24 over NORTH CAROLINA, UTSA +1 ½ over Texas State, OLE MISS -1 ½ over Mississippi State, Tulane +12 ½ over HOUSTON, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE -2 ½ over Troy

May all the turkeys be the ones you bet against this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vindy's Picks Week 12-2012


LONDON, England (ITAR-TASS)…Occupation of the Oval Office seems to be correlated with the outcome of certain sporting events...sort of. According to the “Redskins Rule”, if D.C.’s NFL team is victorious in its final home contest prior to Election Day, the sitting party would carry on. Or….should the Redskins be defeated in the game-in-question, a new party will take over the White House. That premise held solid for 18 consecutive campaigns, but missed in 2012. Conversely, a World Series trend that saw the GOP in power following an American League title and Democratic rule after a National League World Series crown continues to be on the mark, given the San Francisco Giants 2012 sweep and Obama’s election triumph. However, a little known theorem, the Summer Games Axiom, should actually come into play. This law suggests that if multiple disgraced athletes are dismissed from the Olympiad ahead of the election, the Capitol building is occupied by an actor who played a president on TV or in the movies, such as Harrison Ford or Dennis Haysbert.

Last April, North Korea threatened to reduce the South Korean capital “to ashes” in minutes. The bookies did just that to our Week 11 picks, leaving the 6-14 (93-106, .467) rubble smoldering throughout the holiday weekend. And we ain’t usin’ it as an excuse, but a couple of sportsbook employees intentionally disrupted your host’s warm-up routine by walkin’ through our pre-forecast drills, talkin’ smack the whole time.

Meanwhile, Donald Pleasance takes over the West Wing (and all the adjoining rooms) this year after being rescued on post-apocalyptic Manhattan Island by Kurt Russell as Snake Plisskin in “Escape from…

(Da’ New Normal [or for readers in Colorado and Washington…da’ new NORML!)

SAT. NOV. 17
#14 Stanford (+21 ½) over #1 OREGON: We looked at season scores and history, and frankly, we’re backin’ Stanford here only on the premise that SU is the best D the Mallards have faced all year. The key will be Ducks’ Kenyon Barner, who leads the country’s best rushing offense vs. Cardinal’s top rush defense. There’s some value in that stat since Cardinal has blown-out only Duke and Colorado, so the other contestants were not forced to abandon the ground attack early. Stanford’s also allowing mere 17.2 ppg to opponents. SU hasn’t been good as a road dog, failing its last five tries. Only Arizona hit the board for more than 23 vs. the Birds, who will likely have to limit Drakes to all-season low in points-scored and pick-up their own offensive production to cover. Best guess for “wish we had it back” choice…Quack Attack 41 Redbirds 24

#2 Kansas State (-11) over BAYLOR: K-State 38 Bears 24

#3 NOTRE DAME (-24) over Wake Forest: We changed our initial pick here and we know what that means… Irish 31 Deacons 3

Western Carolina @ #4 ALABAMA: No line.

Georgia Southern @ #5 GEORGIA: No line.

#6 Ohio State (+3) over WISCONSIN: While State got the extra week to practice, resurgent Badgers were busy making upstart Indiana look like the porous Hoosiers of yore. Buckeyes have won this series four times in last five years, losing by 13 here in 2010. Wisky’s OT loss to Michigan State was its first since 3-point defeat at Nebraska in late September and just fifth home loss in almost eight seasons. RB Montee Ball will have difficulty running on the Big Ten’s second-best rush D. Neither side is quite as adept at defending the pass. Badgers have allowed 17 passing scores with just six INT. State shows a 13-13 ratio. Undefeated Buckeyes will be tested, but survive…OSU 20 Wisconsin 14

Jacksonville State @ #7 FLORIDA: No line.

Mississippi (+19) over #8 LSU: Bengals 27 Rebels 13

Sam Houston State @ #9 TEXAS A&M: No line.

#10 Florida State (-31 ½) over MARYLAND: Terps have been putting a linebacker under center of late with four injured quarterbacks unable to go. Clemson took a big lead then took mercy on Maryland, not scoring after the 11-minute mark of the second half. Having dodged an upset at Virginia Tech, look for ‘Noles to squander the first-quarter then take no prisoners and bash the Turtles…FSU 49 Maryland 10

#11 CLEMSON (-18) over NC State: Top CU-signee Robert Nkemdiche reneged on his commitment to the Tigers last week. No surprise. In July, he said he was pullin’ the plug on his agreement to play for the school unless it tendered a scholarship to prep-teammate Ryan Carter. Reminds us of a certain Godfather segment…”you come to me and say ‘Dabo Sweeney, give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Coach. Instead, you come into my office on the day my team is to be recruited and you ask me to commit NCAA violations. Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on your signing day.”...Clemson 41 NC State 20

Wofford @ #12 SOUTH CAROLINA: No line.

#13 Oklahoma (-11) over WEST VIRGINIA: Spooners 42 Mounties 27

California @ #15 OREGON STATE: OFF

Minnesota (+19) over #16 NEBRASKA: The Nitwit Lions did not play well enough to win in Lincoln, but did not deserve to lose at the hands of the zebras, who blew the late fumble call and levied a phantom penalty earlier that continued a Nebraska drive at State’s expense. Big Dread had its own issues with penalties and sporadic special teams play. Gophers became bowl-eligible by beating Illinois last week (and got first road cover in doing so), but have been belted by the better opponents it has seen. Gerbils have won two of last three games and might catch the Cornbread a little flat, especially if they stack the line of scrimmage vs. RB Abdullah and make Taylor Martinez beat them through the air…Nebraska 30 Minny 14

#21 Southern Cal (-4) over #17 UCLA: Oh great…a match-up of squads that have produced a combined 3-13 record in the Picks thus far. Last year, Bruins got trounced by USC then backed their way into the conference title game, getting whacked again, then made a bowl game with a losing record. In 2012, however, 8-win Uclans can legitimately represent the South vs. probable North-winner Oregon and play in the post-season with no guilt. Bruins are 7-3 as home dogs and have won both games outright in which they got points this season. Still, history shows USC manhandling the Bruins 106-21 the past three years and while UCLA may have been sand-bagging in the second-half last week to avoid injury for this one, mere 8-point victory over short-handed and distracted Wazzou team doesn’t inspire confidence…USC 34 UCLA 24

#18 Texas: IDLE (next vs. TCU)

#19 LOUISIANA TECH (+3) over Utah State: We’re big fans of the work done by the USU Aggies this season (and in recent seasons), having beaten Utah, lost by 3 at BYU and lost by a deuce at Wisconsin, but we just have a hard time laying points against one-loss (2-point defeat at Texas A&M) Weeziana Tech, even if it’s in midst of 1-4 spread skid. State is the one team that could that potentially keep up and ambush LT. Still this is a lotta’ faith in the road fave in game that will probably decide WAC title. If ya like scoring, watch this one… Bulldogs 48 USU 44

#20 Louisville: IDLE (next vs. UConn)

#22 Rutgers (+6 ½) over CINCINNATI: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. “UPSET” PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Big Fleece conference hosed us three times in three tries during Week 11 snafu. Then-#11 Louisville was exposed in 19-point loss at Syracuse, but we don’t think RU (8-3-1 road dog last 3+ years) will suffer the same fate. Knights, who scored three times in final nine minutes to pull away from stubborn Army, get the edge on defense while the quarterback battle between Gary Nova and Bearkats’ Munchie Legaux is pretty much a toss-up. Rutgers only defeat came vs. Kent State. UC lost at Toledo and at Louisville. Cincy had won five straight years in this series until NJ got a 20-3 decision in 2011. With Cardinals idle, ‘Kats could pull into a three-way tie atop the conference with a victory… Round Table 24 Cincinnati 20

OKLAHOMA STATE (-11) over #23 Texas Tech: Cowpokes 41 Red Raiders 21

Iowa @ #24 MICHIGAN: OFF

#25 Kent State (+3) over BOWLING GREEN: Much like the La Tech-Utah State analysis above, we look at the season and question why there’s a sudden shift in role for a team that been hot. Granted, Bee Gees are contending and hope to pull into a tie in the East Division with the visitors. Falcons, impressively for a MAC team, show a top six total yardage defense and occupy the 12-hole nationally in pass D. Unfortunately, Flashes do the grunt work on the ground well-enough to warrant 14th in the country. State, 9-1 SU (with bad September loss at Kentucky) has covered 7 of 9, including 5 of 6 road tilts already, including upset victory in Piscataway over damn-good Rutgers defense, scoring 35 along the way. Kent is now 15-2 outright in past 17 games. Streaking Falcons, who got crushed 37-0 at Virginia Tech early, are 6-0 SU/5-0 ATS and claim very-respectable 13-point loss in the Swamp to open the year, and got a bye off win over Ohio. BGU has burned bettors in 8 of last 9 tries after a break…Kent 24 Birds 23


BTW, the “Axiom” mentioned above, in the event no qualifying actor steps-up, does allow the White House to be had by someone who wasn’t actually a presidential candidate, “but did stay at a Holiday Inn Express” the night before the election!

The Sunshine State was too close to call on Election Night. In fact, officials are still tallying points from the Gators-Mizzou game!

Southern Cal canned a student manager for under-inflating pigkskins, reportedly giving his offense an advantage, by making the ball easier to catch and hold onto, in the first-half vs. Oregon. In related LA news, Lakers coach Mike Brown was sent packin’ following his team’s 1-4 start. Guess the Lakers’ balls weren’t blown up to regulation size either. (And given the double-digit win by the Ducks, we think the USC conspirator was standing on the wrong sideline!). Gotta’ wonder if under-inflated balls will become a feature in the EA Sports NCAA ’14 video game! (“If it’s in the game….!”)

A recent article by an AP writer suggested some NFL contests were being designated as “Homecoming” games, a la the high school and college traditions. In related news, a high-schooler in Iowa took a cardboard cut-out of Tim Tebow as her date to the May 2012 senior prom. Vindy spies say the two-dimensional likeness drove to-and-from the dance, was a perfect gentleman all night long and got the young lady home by the curfew-time requested by her parents! (She did, however, put a major crease in the figurative QB after attempting to make it conduct his signature-pose!). In related news, our fearless forecaster is planning to take let a little air outta’ his blow-up date to an upcoming holiday party just to test the theory mentioned above!

In the wake of some comments by Steve Spurrier, a local sports-writer recently posed a scenario in which college’s then- #1 team, Alabama, faced an NFL bottom-feeder, ie. Kansas City, and pondered who might win such a contest. There’s just one problem…da’ Chiefs ain’t good enough to finish as one of the top two in the BCS poll!

The San Diego Chargers were cleared last week of any wrong-doing when the league officially noted the “sticky towels” did not, in fact, contain any illegal adhesive substances, but rather were the results of players simply wiping the residue of mass-quantities of Halloween candy off their faces!

On the hardwood…2012 is 25th Anniversary of three-point shot. We feel funny tapping our whiskey glass on the bar a trio of times before drinking it or launching it toward the iron from beyond the arc, but okay…(Oh wait…!)

Black Shirt: The coveted tee goes to LSU safety Craig Loston for the 100-yard pick-six return with about a minute left, giving the Bengals the cover over Mississippi State and Vindy one of just six correct calls.

“Locked in a Box?”: The lock record falls to 2-9 (.181) after Weeziana Tech let itself get sucked into a track-meet with Texas State.

Shoppe Talk: The Trojans remain front-runners for Grill-Master Supreme at 2-8 (.200). The Florida State Seminoles draw our ire again at 2-6 (.250 and 1-5 in the past 6 tries). UCLA supported us last week, but still show 1-5 (.167). And if our “lock” picks were a team…boy, howdy!!!!!

Vindy’s Week 12 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3-1 Season: 27-25-1 (.519)
Purdue -6 ½ over ILLINOIS, Indiana +17 over PENN STATE, Northwestern +6 ½ over MICHIGAN STATE, Eastern Michigan +13 over WESTERN MICHIGAN, East Carolina -10 over TULANE, Middle Tennessee State -9 ½ over SOUTH ALABAMA

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Vindy's Picks Week 11-2012


INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (BBC)…Akin to the problems that could plague the presidential election, faulty voting machines and individual state laws that allow counting of provisional ballots well-after the intended decision-day could wreak havoc for the BCS Poll and suspend determination of which two NCAA teams can play for the national title. The resulting delays might also impact pairings for some of the lesser bowl games as well. Concerns continue over touch-screen technology that may incorrectly record votes for the wrong teams and regulations allowing poll voters to provide appropriate identification days after the poll is supposed to be published, and recounts by teams in tightly-contested polls would obstruct an already-lame duck college football championship system.

In related news, the bookies have already conceded Vindicator’s modest gain via an 11-8 (87-92, .486) record for Week Ten after bombing our fab forecaster in Week Nine. Coming from Vindy’s loins with more “Frankenfacts” than the entire presidential campaign, it’s…

(Bringin’ tears to the eyes of more toddlers than that “Bronco ‘Bama” guy!)

Ball State (+6) over #23 TOLEDO:
Crazy MACsters like to play games on Tuesday nights! Fine. We were gonna’ pass on Election Night coverage anyway. Rockets have a nice offense, but carry a traditionally MAC-weak defense (though it hasn’t been terrible of late). Toledo is 8-1 SU (with only loss coming by 7 at Arizona to open the year) and 6-2 ATS, but 1-2 against the line in past three weeks, having won all three games by exactly 5-points or 6 (including upset of Cincinnati). Former Mudhens OC Matt Campbell got the call as head coach this year and got just 9 total returning starters. Redbirds are 7-2 ATS, including a triumph over Army, validating one of “best bets” for Week 9. State did beat Big Tent-Peg upstart Indiana in early September and lost by just two at conference-contender Kent State. Third straight road game for the Cardinals, who’ve covered four of five away so far and have an excellent history as road doggies. “Over” might be the first choice of wagers. Finishing 12th nationally in sacks permitted in 2011 (we thank Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com for that tidbit) with 11, they’re on track to equal or better that mark (8 allowed to-date). Rockets have 18 sacks in 2012…Spacemen 34 Ball State 30 THIS ONE’S ALREADY IN THE BOOKS AS A FORECAST WIN COURTESY OF STATE’S 34-27 UPSET OF MAJOR TOM

#8 Florida State (+13 ½) over VIRGINIA TECH:
FSU 34 VT 10

SAT. NOV. 10
#1 ALABAMA (-13 ½) over #15 Texas A&M:
Even the mighty Tide needs a little luck sometimes and got it in win over LSU. A&M boasts 5th best offense behind potent running game, but ‘Bama allows just 66 rush yards per game. Perhaps more telling is the mere 95 passing yards per game allowed to Tide opponents, given the tendency for Elephants to blow-out their foes. Not many folks outside College Station, Texas would’ve expected Aggies to be in second-place in the SEC West at this juncture. Bengals were just the second club to score more than 14 vs. the Tide in as many seasons (Georgia Southern tallied 21 last year). Aggies have covered only 2 of last 45 road defeats and we know Nick Saban will have a plan for A&M’s magic freshman QB Manziel…Alabama 35 Aggies 16

CAL (+27 ½) over #2 Oregon: Drakes 48 Bears 24

#3 Kansas State @ TCU: OFF

#4 Notre Dame (-18 ½) over BOSTON COLLEGE: Turnovers almost cost the Irish last week despite out-first-downing (is that a word??!!) 34-13 in 3OT win. Eagles have yet to cover vs. an FBS opponent in eight tries (0-7-1 by our numbers). Notre Dame’s last visit to Chestnut Hill (in 2010) resulted in an 18-point win by the Leprechauns. Irish have won three straight in the series, though the bookend-tilts in South Bend were very close. After hitting the Jumbo-Tron for 30 or more in four of first five games in 2012, Beagles’ O went south, to the tune of just over 14 ppg over past four. The crystal ball doesn’t show BC exceeding that average vs. Guinness Stout D…ND 29 Boston College 7

#5 Ohio State: IDLE (next @ Wisconsin)

AUBURN (+15) over #6 Georgia: Joja’ 24 Tigers 13

Weeziana-Lafayette (+26) over #7 FLORIDA: Gators’ recent power-outage in last two games (23 total points scored) has us flashin’ back to the early-season incarnation of the team. The stop-squad is still the calling card as Mizzou, despite four turnovers, limited UF to eleven first-downs in Crocs narrow victory last week. Florida has pounded its last three Stun Belt foes and Cajuns come in off big upset of Weeziana-Monroe, getting almost double-digits. Senior-laden Lafayette hasn’t been good vs. the Top 25 and it’s Homecoming in Gainesville, but ULL is rockin’ road dog with a big offense…Gators 32 Cajuns 14

#9 LSU (-14) over #22 Mississippi State: We’ve lost confidence in the Bulldogs, but LSU was its own worst enemy in the first-half vs. Crimson Tide…on the field and on the sidelines, with multiple drops by the wide-outs, failed trick-plays and poor tackling on ‘Bama’s late first-half 92-yard touchdown-drive. LSU doesn’t have the explosive offense of A&M, but MSU turned it over just one time in 25-point loss to the Aggies and has been outscored 76-20 in recent pair of losses. Bengals are still a crapshoot layin’ points in Death Valley (2-2 on the season), but Bulldogs have been money-burners vs. ranked teams. Better execution gets Tigers the win and cover…LSU 31 MSU 14

Maryland (+31) over #10 CLEMSON: We considered this for “lock”. Box Turtles have dropped three consecutive games after promising 4-2 SU start, despite the transfer of yet-another QB to Wisconsin in the preseason. Terps were competitive in two of the three, losing the pair in question by combined five points. Maryland lost respectably by 10 at West Virginia earlier in the year, but also gave Boston College the second of two total victories (and only I-A dubya), pushing at +3. Tigers just laid 56 on Duke and carry one of the better passing games, but Terps’ biggest loss was by 20 last week to Joja’ Tech…Tigers 38 Maryland 16

#11 Louisville (-2 ½) over SYRACUSE: Louisville 31 ‘Cuse 21

Arkansas (+14) over #12 SOUTH CAROLINA: Poultry 28 Pork 20

#13 Oregon State (+5) over #16 STANFORD: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Both clubs are a game behind Oregon for the North Division lead. State lost at UDUB by 3. Birds lost in Seattle by 4. We correctly had Stanford throwing the shut-out over Colorado last week…we just didn’t see them scoring 48 to go with it! There’s a two-year history of November slides by the Beavers, but State will want to avenge the punishing 25-point loss in 2011 at Corvallis and blasting the hapless Bison doesn’t prove the QB problems in Palo Alto have been fixed. OSU has won and covered both earlier games vs. Top 25 opponents. We’ll call for the hat-trick…Beavers 23 Cards 20

Baylor (+20 ½) over #14 OKLAHOMA: Sooners 44 Baylor 30

WASHINGTON STATE (+15) over #17 Ucla: UCLA 28 Wazzou 24

Penn State (+7) over #18 NEBRASKA: UPSET ALERT. Big Dread ran for nearly 8 yards a pop in fortunate victory in East Lansing and might be without RB Rex Burkhead for this one. That would put a bit more pressure on inconsistent QB Taylor Martinez, who survived three picks for the win. Similar miscues against the alma mater would likely cost NU. We’re paraphrasing here, but during the Penn State-Ohio State game, ESPN’s Mark May, referring of course to the Lions, said “Find a kicker!” whether it’s from the soccer team or off the street or whatever. Vindy was thinkin’ maybe one of those 1970’s Super-Jock football toys (raise yer hand if ya had one and remember tapping the helmet to make the player kick the ball thru the uprights that came with it!). Corn Cobs are undefeated in four games at Lincoln thus far and 3-1 ATS. Hopin’ for the outright dubya, but conservatively call it… Nebraska 19 PSU 17

Iowa State (+9 ½) over #19 TEXAS: UPSET ALERT. Steers 21 ISU 19

#20 Louisiana Tech (-20) over TEXAS STATE: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Bulldogs get to feast on second FBS newbie in as many weeks after beating UTSA by 24 at home. QB Cameron went 30 of 39 passing in the spread-loss. TSU not impressive defensively, allowing almost 32 ppg and facing an offense second only behind Oregon nationally. Bobcats rank in the 90’s in both rushing and passing, and while 2-1 ATS at home in 2012 and showing outright triumphs over Houston and Idaho, we just don’t see TSU staying within three scores of prolific Tech…LT 52 Texas State 23

Arizona State (+9) over #21 USC: UPSET ALERT #2. Troy 31 Devils 29

Army (+17 ½) over #24 RUTGERS: Knights own the top rush D in the Big Least and are the only conference squad to allow less than four-digits of ground yards. They’re also 4th nationally, giving up just four rushing touchdowns to-date and a paltry 88.5 ypg. Cadets bring the country’s best rushing yardage team at 375 ypg. Rutgers is not unfamiliar with the option and got an extra week to prepare, as well as to contemplate what went wrong in the home-upset vs. Kent State. The Soldiers are just 2-7 SU, though come into this one having beaten Air Force (decisively). With a bowl bid outta’ da’ question, Hudson River Rats might simply wait for the chance vs. Navy to grab the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy or could be inspired on the weekend before Veterans’ Day. Army’s covered just 2 of last 11 away from West Point, but Rutgers has beaten only AA Howard and Temple by this many…Jersey Turnpike Paladins 24 Army 12

#25 TEXAS TECH (GASP!) (-25) over Kansas: Guns Up 42 Kansas 10


BTW, Crimson Tide fans have filed allegations that machines in Ohio flipped BCS votes for ‘Bama to… Akron!

Washington rookie QB RG III made the news this past week for handing out socks at his home on Halloween. Not to be outdone, former NFL star OJ Simpson gave gloves to a parade of fellow-cons going cell-to-cell at Lovelock Correctional Facility. In related news, Griffin sported socks bearing Superman’s famed “S” logo while accepting his Heisman Trophy last December. ESPN didn’t run the pic, but we predicted several teams would stock-up on Kryptonite for the ex-Baylor star’s intro-year in the pros. Given the Redskins current 3-6 tally, we’d say opponents cornered da’ market on the glowing-green substance in a timely fashion!

In yet-another move to show solidarity with a certain Sesame Street staple, NFL owners and coaches have decided to list their potential draftees outta’ college next April on their NFL Draft Big Bird!

As we welcome our the opening week of our second sports-love, we recall Murray State dropping its first game of the 2011 college hoops season to Tennessee State less than three weeks after selling T-shirts noting “Best start in school history, highest ranking, last of the unbeaten”. However, going into the Big Dance, the Racers hawked garments proclaiming “Little guys with a snowball’s chance in Hell!”

A few other Linsanity candidates that went unrecognized last season…Fred Lynnsanity! Lynn Swannity! Marlinsanity! Lynnsanity Redgrave! Loretta Lynnsanity! Vera Lynnsanity (for fans of Pink Floyd The Wall), President Abraham Linsanity! And yes…Lindsanity Lohan!

Last month, your humble narrator finished as runner-up in a national contest to become the first male model on “The Price is Right”. Vindy lost out after judges claimed the much-younger challenger from Boston had “better picks”. “Better freakin’ picks???!!! Who are they kiddin’???!!! Some baby-faced punk from Bean Town did a better job forecasting the Top 25???!!! We got half a mind to file a formal protest…and picket …and boycott da’ show and…wait…what’s that????....The panel said the kid won because he had better pecs????!!! Hanging our head and doing our best Rosanna Rosanna Danna impersonation, we stagger to humbly-utter…”Never mind!”

Black Shirt: It won’t fit into any of the Ducks oodles of outfit options, but the ebony tee goes to RB Kenyon Barner for 321 rushing yards and five touchdowns that gave Oregon the cover and Vindy a forecast win involving the Trojan horseradish!

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yep, we’d like to revisit our Colorado (+27 ½) over Stanford selection after noting “the Bison blow” and “we’re a glutton for punishment” (on the da’ bright side, we did predict the Buffaloes first offensive goose-egg at Boulder in 26 years!)

“Locked in a Box?”: We’d like to take a moment to express our disappointment in the aluminum magnolias of Mississippi State as well as Week 10 “lock” Mississippi for their “efforts”. Rebels continued our lock futility, now at 2-8 (.200), for which we have two words…epic fail!

Shoppe Talk: As mentioned above, the Men of Troy (2-7, .222) finally cut us another break, but the Mountaineers (1-6, .142) took us out behind the woodshed again and UCLA stays in the fray for post-season “hardware” at 0-5 (.000)

Vindy’s Week 11 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 26-22 (.542)
Pitt -3 ½ over UCONN, Miami +1 over VIRGINIA, Purdue +5 over IOWA, Marshall -3 over UAB, Tulane -1 ½ over MEMPHIS, South Alabama +9 ½ over NORTH TEXAS