Monday, December 30, 2013

Vindy's 2013-14 Bowl Predictions Part III


(Gnarly or nice?! You decide!)

JAN. 1
TAXSLAYER.COM GATOR (@ Jacksonville, FL)

Nebraska (+9) vs. #23 Georgia (60): Rematch of last season’s 45-31 Joja’ victory ovr Big dread in the Capital One Bowl, but these are two different teams this year. Both are down to back-ups at QB. Hutson Mason played in 3 of UGA’s final 4, all victories. Ron Kellogg helped NU win 3 of its last 5, but the losses were in Lincoln by double-digits to Michigan State and Iowa. Both will likely defer for the most part to a pair of excellent running backs…Todd Gurley for the Bulldogs (averaging 100.3 ypg) and Ameer Abdullah for the Huskers (1500+ rushing yards). Gurley, who also has five scoring catches, will need a good day to help Georgia cover. Children of the Corn have been hampered by a minus-12 turnover ratio, but both defenses are young and points should be plentiful. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com noted all 10 college teams associated with Bo Pelini have posted nine or more victories in each of his seasons with them. Da’ Corn Pops enter this bowl with an 8-4 record…Joja’ 38 Nebraska 34

North Texas (-6 ½) over UNLV (55): First post-season reward for the Rebels since 2000 and first bowl beyond the borders of the Silver State in three decades. Rebels were picked by the media to finish fifth, ahead of only Hawaii, in MW West Division. Senior RB Tim Cornett, who has been a difference-maker, equated that ranking to a diss of the team. LB Tim Hasson said it provided motivation.  Sin City finally solved some of the road woes that traditionally plagued the team, winning 3 of 5 away from Sam Boyd, but those victories came vs. New Mexico, Air Force and Reno, who went collective 9-27 SU on the year. Mean Green upgraded from the Stun Belt to CUSA this year and led the conference in scoring D at 18.1 ppg (also good for 9th in the country). UNT is solid on offense as well…North Texas 41 UNLV 27

CAPITAL ONE (@ Orlando, FL)
#8 South Carolina (+1) over #19 Wisconsin (51): Gamehens  lost second-best WR Byrd to a knee-injury. Badgers had been a spread-covering machine and coulda’ finished with just one Big Tentacle conference loss, but shockingly yielded a road-victory to Vindy’s alma mater in the finale as 25-point chalk! Wisky has dropped three Rose Bowls in as many years. Gamehens had their “WTH?”-loss at Tennessee and only other defeat between da’ hedges in Athens. It’s a good thing Wisconsin is a bit ground-heavy because QB Joel Stave will throw into ball-hawking SC secondary. Badgers potent offense has been slowed somewhat by the better defensive teams on the slate. Poultry can pass (Connor Shaw has 21 TDs and 1 pick) and runs above-average with Mike Davis. “Under” looks good here too with Chicken Nuggets holding 5 of last 7 opponents to 17 or less and Badgers limited 8 foes to 17 or less…Scrappy Squab 24 Cheese-heads 20

OUTBACK (@ Tampa, FL)
#14 LSU (-8) over Iowa (48 ½): LSU QB Zach Mettenberger is out, forever, after requiring surgery for a knee-injury incurred during win over Arkansas. The next most-experienced QB on the depth chart piled up all of 99 pass yards this year. RB Jeremy Hill will test Iowa’s stout run-defense, that’s allowed just five ground scores, and maybe open up some play-action for whoever lines-up under center for the Bengals. Nice turnaround for the Hawkeyes, who won just 4 games in 2012. Birds covered 7 games in 11 tries so far, but we’ll watch this one just to see what kinda’ trickeration Les Miles pulls out. After no-show in 21-0 BCS Title game loss in 2011 and 25-24 loss to Clemson in last year’s Chick-fil-A, we’ll back…LSU 23 Iowa 13

#4 Michigan State (+4 ½) over #5 Stanford (43): UPSET PICK OF DA’ BOWLS #3. If ya didn’t watch the game, Spartans D recorded Ohio State’s first three-and-out on the Buckeyes’ opening-possession all season, but State will be without senior LB Max Bullough, who accounted for 76 tackles, including 9.5 behind the line of scrimmage, after he violated team rules (BYW, anybody else out there hate the “unspecified violation of team rules” coach-speak! Come on, guys! Air the dirty laundry! Inquiring-minds wanna’ know!). We mentioned MSU’s demise at the hands of ‘Bama previously, but Sparty took Georgia to triple-extras, winning 33-30 and beat TCU 17-16 last year, playing the ‘dog-role in all three. Cardinal dropped a 6-point decision at Utah and lost by 3 at resurgent USC for its only pair of defeats. SU also gets this berth again after holding ASU to about a third of its usual scoring output for the 12-PACK crown. From Rocky Horror Picture Show Floor Show- “Rose Bowl tint my world…to save me from the trouble and Peyton Manning!” Despite Max BUHL’-uh’s Day Off, we like…Michigan State 26 Stanford 20

#15 Central Florida (+17) over #6 Baylor (69):  Bears enjoying first (and last) BCS bowl berth.  Bryce Petty and company saw the Baylor QB record a 30-2 TD-to-pick ratio. UCF probably won’t get enough pressure upfront, so it’ll need to play good coverage downfield. Kudos to Knights coach O’Leary for superior season results with paltry number of returning starts and little depth to take the American Idol Athletic Conference and a BCS bowl. Central Florida fare equally as well in defensive outings as it does in track-meets (as verified by high-scoring wins vs. Louisville, Penn State and Temple). Even if tenacious UCF stop-squad lets Bears dictate the pace, we still see the total falling below the posted number. UCF’s only outright defeat came by 3 vs. currently-#8 South Carolina. Given that stat and our bowl-picks results to-date, we’re not inspired to back…da’ Bad Muse Bears 34 Golden Knights 23

JAN. 2
ALLSTATE SUGAR (@ New Orleans, LA)

#3 Alabama (-15 ½) over #11 Oklahoma (51): Looks like Old Scratch finally came to collect on a certain coach’s debt…in the form of the Auburn Tigers! Nonetheless, Nick has a good thing going in Tuscaloosa and will hang around, but we’re not sure what else he needs to prove in the SEC. Following its previous loss to Auburn in 2010, Tide crushed Michigan State 49-7 in the Capital One Bowl. Only A&M and surprisingly, Mississippi State finished this close to ‘Bama. Dishonorable-Mention-winning Sooners tacked on another forecast loss by beating Okie State. OU improved the rush defense nicely from last year, but allowed 255 each in bad losses to Texas and Baylor. During last year’s BCS Title game, Brent Musburger made a few too many comments/compliments of ‘Bama QB AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, who was in the stands. We think he was channeling Joe Namath, and as a result, Webb garnered a spot as a pre-Super Bowl correspondent for Inside Edition. What…Brent Musberger’s personal attaché position was already filled??!!!...Crimson Bridesmaid 37 Oklahoma 16
JAN. 3

#7 Ohio State (-3) over #12 Clemson (68): It’s not da’ BCS Championship…it’s not even da’ Rose Bowl, but let’s face it…the Orange contest ain’t a bad consolation-prize for an Ohio State squad that went undefeated for almost two straight seasons. Neither side comes in with much momentum…Buckeyes dropped Big Tenuous title to Michigan State, while Tigers absorbed a two-TD loss at rival South Carolina to close out the regular season. Collectively, the duet shows a 4-9 ATS tally in their last 13-combined games, though State was facing much bigger spreads. CU has gone 2-2 SU/ATS in the last four post-seasons under Dabo Sweeney, including 25-24 win over LSU last year, in which Clemson outgained the Bengals by 226 yards of offense. Buckeyes, making first bowl under Urban Meyer, went 11-2 ATS in past 13 vs. ranked opponents and the pressure to stay perfect is off.  An opportunistic shutterbug got a pic of Meyer drowning his post-conference-championship-loss sorrows eating a slice of pizza in a golf-cart below Lucas Oil Stadium after the game. Vindy’s spies say the CU coaching staff already requested entire pies and buckets of Titleist balls be delivered during the Buckeyes’ pre-game locker room speech! ...Ohio State 34 Tigers 24

AT&T COTTON (@ Arlington, TX)
#9 Missouri - #13 Oklahoma State (PK) “over” 62: Again, we’ll make an official call on the total instead of choosing a side. Tigers hit the board for 39 ppg and five of their six tilts outside Columbia ended up above this number. Cowpokes average almost 40 points per contest, while permitting give up just 20 ppg, but faced only one team with this kinda’ firepower (Baylor). A Cowboys’ cheerleader got heat for putting out a foot in a tripping-motion as a rival Sooners player enjoyed his victory-securing score in the end zone. Woody Hayes woulda’ been proud, but somebody please tell the kid that “OSU” in Stillwater stands for Oklahoma State, not Ohio State! The Lindy’s Sports 2012 college football preview mag noted Mizzou had won 19 of 28 (with one tie) vs. SEC squads (with sub-.500 records vs. only Kentucky and Joja’). Same periodical quoted a student at LSU as saying Missouri, then-entering its first year in the SEC, would be akin to the conference’s “new Vanderbilt”. Wonder how the Commodores-faithful feel about that. A preponderance of this year’s bowls have finished “under” as we go to press, but because “bigger” is bettor… Missouri 41 OKSU 33

JAN. 4
BBVA COMPASS (@ Birmingham, AL)

Vanderbilt (-2 ½) – Houston “under” 53: Admirals’ starting QB Austyn Carta-Samuels had surgery for a torn ACL and will be out for this one. That’s a loss of almost 2300 pass yards and puts the game in the hands of sub-QB Robinette, who has 488 on the year. That leaves RB Jerron Seymour to step-up a running game that has been an afterthought at best to move the ball, though had he two more touchdowns rushing than Carta-Samuels had throwing. A new quarterback also portends turnovers. Houston’s a gaudy plus-25 in that area! On the Owl sideline, QB John O’Korn completes about 60% of his tosses and has excellent 26 TD-to-8 INT ratio. Commodores won 5 of last 6 coming in. Coogs, who score about 34 ppg., dropped 3 of last 4, suffering the wrong end of tough low-scoring affairs at UCF, at Louisville and to Cincinnati before SMU laid a goose-egg in the finale. All four finished below this number. In addition, the FG game has been a misadventure for both sides …Houston 24 Vandy 21
JAN. 5

GoDADDY.COM (Mobile, AL)
Ball State (-8) over Arkansas State (64):  Another bowl that doesn’t heighten the crescendo leading up to the one that awards the one trophy to rule them all. Changed our initial pick here. Red Wolves hit the Shun Belt Conference championship trifecta this season, owning or sharing the conference title in each of the past three years. Third straight GoDaddy appearance for ASU, who also sees the third straight coach who got it here in the regular-season abandon it by kickoff. Red Wolves will take the field under former Tarheels OC Blake Anderson. UNC posted 32 ppg, in 2013, but gotta’ figure these ain’t ACC-caliber athletes and they’re playing under a new system. Third-year coach Pete Lembo has his Cardinals 8-3 ATS and 10-2 SU. If Da’ Birds ever figure out how to knock-off Northern Illinois (0-5 last five years), they could improve the venue of their post-season outings. Senior QB Keith Wenning leads a pass-heavy offense that saw 40 ppg and hopes to change BSU’s bowl results…0-5 since 1993. Red Wolves offense won’t be able to keep up despite more equality in play options…Redbirds 38 ASU 17

JAN. 6

#2 Auburn (+8 ½) over #1 Florida State (66 ½): UPSET PICK OF DA’ BOWLS #4. Seminoles comprise this season’s juggernaut, but a look at the schedule doesn’t really warrant this many points. FSU’s opponents ultimately went 71-74 (prior to any bowl games), while Auburn’s slate finished 88-57 (even factoring in Auburn’s lone defeat by 9-3 LSU, Tigers still beat a combined 77-54). Tigers won against three teams that will play on or after New Year’s Day (actually 4, but the other is GoDaddy.Com bowler Arkansas State). Only Clemson plays in January after being part of the ‘Noles line-up. True, Auburn’s on borrowed time, but they wore the rabbit’s foot en route to 2010 National Championship too and every time we write off Gus Malzahn and his War Eagle, we pay the price. Gus (also the nickname of our tank-crew’s “loader” during a stretch of our armor-battalion tenure in Germany some 30 years ago) was Auburn’s OC for that campaign. Tribe’s best victory came vs. Clemson, who took itself outta’ the game early with miscues. Both teams made money for bettors…Auburn at 10-2 ATS, State at 10-1-1 (by our numbers). Eleven teams have taken the previous fifteen BCS titles. Tribe’s won and covered bowls in each of the last seasons, only by less than double-digits. Make it 12 of 16? Not! Noles’ QB Jameis Winston will turn 20 years old the same day he takes the field here. Nice birthday gift if he can pull it off, but in the final “Booty-Call Series” championship game, it’s…Auburn 39 FSU 34

ESPN ranked the Rebels-Mean Green match-up as the worst among the 35 bowl games. In all honesty, we’d have a bit more interest in UNLV’s post-season contest if it featured one of our celeb-crushes and was called the Melissa Joan-Hart of Dallas Bowl.
BTW, UNLV, as the result of this year’s post-season expenses, actually expects to incur a financial loss of as much as $200K…or what Vindy considers “a couple of poorly-planned parlay bets!”

In mid-December, Crimson Tide officials sold their souls to the devil…er…um…Nick Saban…again, signing him to a multi-year contract. We think he was Max Von Sydow’s understudy in Stephen King’s “Needful Things”? The Devil Wears a Headset? Close Encounters of the Third Kind was of course filmed at Saban’s Tower in Wyoming. Saban with the Blue Dress On? Found in every SEC school library outside Tuscaloosa….”Nick Saban and Daniel Webster”?! On the stadium operator’s play-list….Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With Nick Saban”???!!  Anybody remember the Rolling Stone’ “Sympathy for Nick Saban”?!  Fer fans of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Army of Darkness”… ”Klaaatuu… verata…(cough) Nick Saban!” And yet-another reference from Rocky Horror Picture Show- “We’ll you got…caught with a *flat*…well…how ‘bout *that*?…Well, babies, don’t you panic! …By the light of the night, it’ll all seem alright…I’ll get you…a Sabanic-..mechanic.”
Jadeveon Clowney was stopped in December for the second time in three weeks for speeding. Reportedly, those who cop to exceeding the limit by 25 mph or more get six points. Maybe the Gamecocks defender thought he’d be credited with a touchdown???!!! Clowney was caught on dash-cam telling the officer “I’m late”. What the Carolina player was doing with a pregnancy-test is still a mystery!

Fed up last May with prez Gordon Gee’s ongoing history of controversial comments, OSU officials finally told the old man to keep his thoughts to himself…or simply-put… to “Shut the Buckeye up!” (Gee subsequently announced his retirement).
Not long after blowing multiple attempts to put threes on the scoreboard in Tide’s loss at Auburn, ‘Bama kicker Cade Foster received a letter of support from George Dubya Bush. The handwritten correspondence read the following…”There’s an old saying in Alabama…I know it’s in Texas…probably in AlabamaMiss da’ kick once, shame on you. Miss da’ kick twice, shame on…uh…you can’t get field-goaled again!”

Jesse Palmer performed the Heimlich Maneuver on Chris Fowler to dislodge a piece of chicken sandwich from Fowler’s throat during halftime of the Pinstripe Bowl. Occasionally, “coughing it up” can be a good thing!
Alright, movie-geeks…repeat after us…”Buhl-uh?... Buhl-uh?... Buhl-uh?!”

Stat That Makes Ya’ Go “Huh???!!!”: Florida State is #2 in passing yardage defense, behind only….Florida Atlantic???!!!
Trying to beat the extended deadline for acquiring mandatory health insurance, thousands of Americans logged-on to earlier this month. The bad news? The majority were unable to sign-up. The good news?…nearly all of ‘em were re-routed to…Vindy’s Picks!

Shortly after Christmas, Miley Cyrus helped open the current-run of “Beacher’s Madhouse” in Vegas, known for its use of little people in its shows, and was joined by a mini-Miley. Vindy’s spies say the former Hannah Montana’s companion “came in like a beer-pong ball!” (That’s our last “Wreckin’ Ball” reference for the season…we promise!)
Finally, a couple in Anadalusia, Alabammy named their newborn “Krimson Tyde” Steele, settin’ up said-daughter for an avalanche of teasing by her peers outside of Tuscaloosa. Mighta’ been worse though…she coulda’ got the moniker “Krypton Mannov” Steele!

Black Shirt: We embroidered the official Vindy’s Picks logo on this week’s ebony tee for Utah State safety Brian Suite who recovered a pair of Jordan Lynch turnovers to help USU knock-off Northern Illinois as predicted and staunch the bleeding after Vin opened the bowl year 0-fer-7!
Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets Part III:       

North Texas -6 ½ over Unlv, South Carolina +1 over Wisconsin, South Carolina-Wisconsin “under” 51, Ohio State -3 over Clemson
As we warn 2013 to not let the door hit it in the ass on its way out, we ask our loyal readership to tune in one more time a few days after completion of the National Championship for our bowl recap and leftover “hash”!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Vindy's 2013-14 Bowl Predictions Part II

(Squirtin’ more tears than Dez Bryant!)
DEC. 28


#25 Notre Dame (-14) over Rutgers (52): The spread-outcome basically comes down to Irish motivation. This venue is a far-cry from last season’s BCS Title game. ND lost two of three games coming in (at Pitt, at Stanford). Knights were clobbered by Louisville, Central Florida and UConn before hammering South Florida to get their qualifying victory and the invite. The Bronx ain’t far from the Jersey Turnpike, so Knights should have decent number of fans in the stands. The Leprechauns are young this year, but should be able to throw freely, as only three teams gave up more pass yards than RU (who allowed 31 passing TDs, while picking-off opposing QBs just 8 times). Knights have a 27-13 win over Iowa State and a 3-point loss to Virginia Tech in the past two post-seasons…Shamrocks 27 Rutgers 6
BELK (@ Charlotte, NC)

Cincinnati (+2 ½) over North Carolina (56 ½): Bearkats had a chance to share the AAC crown until conference-champ UCF beat SMU. A win would give UC its third-straight 10-3 season and provide Tommy Tuberville with a good debut in his first year as coach. QB Brandon Kay leads strong air-attack, including an O-line that has allowed just 12 sacks, and Cincy shows #16 scoring D in the country. Special teams are the weakness, converting just 40% of field-goal attempts and allowing 13 yards per punt–return. UNC has four punt-returns for touchdowns and isn’t horrible on either side of the ball, but its best win looks to like 34-27 victory at Pitt in mid-November. Despite swirling accusations last spring, there’s been no proof that IRS agents in Cincinnati were targeting tax-exempt status applications noting the words “kicking-tee party” for extra scrutiny!...Cincinnati 27 ‘Heels 19

#18 Louisville (-3 ½) over Miami (56 ½): ‘Hurri-cons opened at #26 in the AP preseason poll and rose to #7 before losing stud-RN Duke Johnson. Pelicans can still post first double-digit SU victory-season since 2003 with a win over what could be a potentially over-rated Louisville team, whose only defeat came by 3 at home vs. AAC-champ UCF. Junior QB Teddy Bridgewater didn’t quite meet BCS-bowl expectations for Da’ Ville (though 28 aerial score with just 4 picks works fer us!), but could improve his 2014 Heisman stock here. UM might be motivated to do well here after keeping themselves off the bowl-grid for two years. Eight of the Redbirds’ games finished “under” da’ total, with an ninth going “over” only because of extra innings. Queue-up AC ‘cause we’re…”under-struck”!… Cardinals 27 Da’ U 17

Kansas State (-4 ½) over Michigan (56 ½): Nothing about the overall play of either side excites us. Wildcats lost by 10 to most of the ranked teams it played. Big Blew whacked Notre Dame back in September and had the Buckeyes on the ropes late in the season-ender. State was surging in the second-half, winning five of last six, while UM dropped 4 of last 5 (though by 4 or less in all four defeats) in the Big Tin Man conference and will probably not have the services of starting QB Devon Gardner (turf toe). One of KSU’s outright losses came to North Dakota State, who will play again in the FCS Championship game. This week at the cinema… Channing Tatum stars as a back-up offensive lineman who appeared to be headed for graduation without ever having his chance to protect QB Jamie Foxx during his career, but while at concession stand with his daughter, Michigan Stadium comes under siege by a visiting defense, leaving Tatum as Ann Arbor’s only hope in…Big House Down!...Purple Persians 37 Michigan 27
DEC. 30

Middle Tennessee State (+6) over Navy (55 ½): The NCAA reversed an initial preseason decision to prohibit former-Marine Steven Rhodes from taking the field for the Blue Raiders because he played in what amounted to an intra-mural military league while serving his country. We smell movie, featuring Clint Eastwood reprising his (Shot)Gunnery-Sergeant Highway role in “Heartbreak Ridge”! No word as to whether Rhodes will be able to wear a “Full-Metal Flak Jacket” under his uniform. The Middies’ blowout of Army moved West Point to fire Coach Ellerson, who went O-fer in his five-year stay on the Hudson River vs. Navy, earlier this month and garnered yet-another Commander-in-Chief’s trophy for the Sailors. Navy is, of course, a top-five rushing team, but Raiders’ senior-heavy defense yields just 186 rushing ypg and are better-balanced on offense. As expected, Middies draw less than 3 flags/game, but State won’t beat itself either, incurring less than 5 hankies/match…Yacht Club 28 MTSU 24

Mississippi (-3) over Georgia Tech (57): Bees used their #6 running game to score 45 rushing touchdowns (though nearly a third of those came vs. FCS Elon and Alabama A&M). Tech’s defense has us leaning toward the “under” as well, defending both the run and pass with proficiency. Rebels fizzled again under the pressure of playing in I-A’s toughest division, losing at ‘Bama, at Auburn and to A&M by 3 in back-to-back-to-back weeks. Ole Miss went undefeated (and 3-0 ATS) in non-conference play this year, including romp over Texas, while ‘Jackets accounted for Duke’s only regular-season loss…Mississippi 24 GT 17

VALERO ALAMO (@ San Antonio, TX)
Texas (+13 ½) over #10 Oregon (67): Mack Brown will coach his last game for the Steers. Academic problems cost Texas one of its multi-purpose stars RB Jalen Overstreet and OT Kennedy Estelle, lost to injury, after starting the previous eight contests. Nonetheless, Longhorns, despite tumultuous season that saw the DC let go after poor defensive outing in loss to BYU and weekly speculation about Coach Mack’s future, lost two of their last three games, but held powerhouses Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor well-below their season scoring averages. Steers crawled into the previous two post-seasons as well, yet won both tilts, beating Cal 21-10 and Oregon State 31-27. Okay, Mallards ain’t da’ Bares or da’ Beavers, but defense-minded Stanford contained the Quack Attack. Jameis Winston got to keep quarterbacking the ‘Noles while facing allegations of sexual assault, but Drakes tight-end Pharoah Brown gets caught throwin’ snowballs at cars and has to watch this one from his dorm room?!...Oregon 32 Cattle 24

#16 Arizona State (-14) over Texas Tech (71): Sun Devils, who ripped most of their opposition, had a shot at the Rose Bowl, but fell in a rematch with Stanford in the 12-PAC championship. Red Raiders, long a thorn in Vindy’s side but who grabbed honorable-mention in the Weber-Friendlies category at 7-2, were in the Top 25 for seven weeks but were apparently overrated and got blasted during 0-5 SU/ATS spiral in the second-half of the schedule. Devils will ride the big arm of QB Taylor Kelly, but will keep TTU defense honest with senior RB Marion Grice, who should get the 4 yards he needs to hit the 1K mark for the year on his first carry…ASU 44 Texas Tech 23

DEC. 31
ADVOCARE V100 (@ Shreveport, LA)

Boston College (+7) over Arizona (57 ½): UPSET PICK OF DA’ BOWLS #2. Two of the top six rushers in the country take the field here…Andre Williams for BC and Ka’Deem Carey for the Wildcats, who dropped three of four coming in, but surprised Oregon at Tucson. Eagles had won four straight to finish third behind Florida State and Clemson in the ACC Atlantic, but unexpectedly lost to Syracuse in finale. Both give up very little on the ground to opponents, but Eagles allowed 24 passing scores while getting just 9 interceptions. If it comes down to a late FG, BC kickers are perfect in 18 attempts on the year…Boston College 34 Arizona 30

#17 UCLA (-7 ½) over Virginia Tech (48): Key match-up here will be Bruins’ pass offense against the Hokies’ #3-ranked pass defense. UCLA staggered into last year’s bowl off consecutive losses to Stanford and floundered vs. Baylor. Perpetual-bowler Tech doesn’t possess the scoring-power of the Bears and will need to make UCLA work for its points. VT O-line did not protect QB Logan Thomas well, allowing 29 sacks vs. the team and leading to a 16 passTD-to-13 INT ratio. Hokies gave up just 10 scoring throws and pulled in 19 picks. If Bruins can jump out early, Tech isn’t prepared to catch-up. Hokies post-season tilts went to OT in each of the last two seasons (losing by 3 to Michigan in the 2011 season Sugar Bowl and beating Rutgers by 3 last year). This one won’t…UCLA 34 Beamer Ball 24

Rice (+7) over Mississippi State (52): Charles Smith leads Rice’s potent rushing game, contributing an average of 114 yards/game to team average of 240. Rice pummeled Air Force in last year’s bowl and could see its first double-digit win tally since 2008. Owls converted 90% of their red zone opportunities into points (39 TDs, 7 FGs). Bulldogs did little in the SEC this year, but made its season by beating rival Mississippi for the third time in four seasons to be bowl-eligible. State won all four games in which it was favored in 2013, but covered just two. Owls went 8-5 against the line this year…MSU 27 Rice 24
CHICK-FIL-A (@ Atlanta, GA)

#20 Texas A&M (-12 ½) over #22 Duke (74 ½): Not sure we’d consider this season a “sophomore-jinx” for Johnny Manziel (33-13 ratio, 170+ QB rating and over 3700 passing yards), but the top three teams he beat last year exacted some revenge in 2013, leaving Aggies at 8-4 SU. As expected, 10-win Blue Devils flamed out vs. Florida State in ACC title game and will be without top rusher Jela Duncan, who got da’ boot for some kinda’ academic violation. Duke took home the prize for the 2013 men’s NCAA lacrosse tourney this past May. Already sporting pads and helmets with facemasks, given its success this year, maybe the Blue Devils gridiron squad just needed to be allowed to tote wooden sticks with small nets on ‘em onto the football field!!!...A&M 51 Duke 31

If a famous statue on the South Bend campus were holding a certain type of pillow, would it be “Goose-Down Jesus”??!!
A Notre Dame signee published videos of himself flushing ‘Bama recruiting letters down the john last summer, making him a pariah to all SEC schools except maybe Auburn, who would gladly have the young man change his mantra from “Play Like A Champion Today” to “War Eagle”. The appropriate response from Tuscaloosa, of course, would be a like-video showing one of the Tide’s newest members flushing a leprechaun or at least one of those Fightin’ Irish finger-puppets!

Regarding the above Armed Forces Bowl…are Navy-backers pleading…Fleets don’t fail me now! Go brig or go home!
Last January, Maria Sharapova was reportedly pullin’ in big bucks on a half-million dollar investment in Sugarpova candy. Great. Another future corporate bowl-sponsor.

Prior to last week’s Hawaii Bowl, Boise State sent QB Joe Southwick packin’ from the Islands for violating teams rules (Southwick later claimed to be innocent of urinating off a hotel balcony, but saw another player do so. His claim was backed up by a polygraph test). Alone on one of those outrigger-catamarans, Joe oughta’ be just-about  reachin’ the West Coast in time to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve!
In June, the Cowboys replaced OC Jason Garrett with Bill Callahan. Given the results, we wonder if it’s closer to Brad Garrett being replaced by Harry Callahan!!!

Anybody else out there wanna’ see Mike Myers reprise his British-spy role and go undercover as a pro-hockey net-minder between da’ pipes to thwart Dr. Evil’s plan to destroy the NHL in…”Austin Powers in Goaltender”.
Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets Part II:       

Louisville-Miami “under” 56 ½ , Mississippi-Georgia Tech “under” 57, Texas +13 ½ over Oregon, Texas A&M-Duke “over” 74 ½
We'll be back before the ball drops on New Year's Eve with Part III



Friday, December 20, 2013

Vindy's 2013 Bowl Predictions Part I


As employment of drones shifts from military to commercial purposes, Governor Brian Sandoval has the Silver State established as a research-site for use in the sports-arena. Nevada-Reno, UNLV and Vegas high-school powerhouse Bishop Gorman will all try out drones in an officiating capacity during their games next season. The plan allows referees, back-judges and other officials to view the field via the airborne vessels while also maintaining a safe distance from the playing field. NCAA and Nevada high school sports administrators are excited about the opportunity, but do admit difficulties in training officiating crews to operate and fly the unmanned vehicles, noting a few unfortunate incidents involving collisions with the uprights during field-goal attempts and extra-point tries, in addition to one unsuccessful effort by a side-judge to get his assigned drone to retrieve an order of nachos from the concession-stand during a TV time-out!

Navy never trailed vs. Army in snowy Philadelphia, but didn’t secure the cover until late 4th Quarter before tacking on one more TD in the closing minute, improving our season record to 127-113-4 (.529). In related news, the NSA and other worldwide agencies reportedly have the capability to bust any given cellphone encryption, but they’ll never break our Captain Marvel secret-decoder ring version of…

(Stockpiling “indisputable video surveillance evidence” as we speak!)

DEC. 21
GILDAN NEW MEXICO (@ Albuquerque, NM) (over/under in parentheses)
Washington State (-4 ½) vs. Colorado State (66): LOCK OF DA’ BOWLS.
Coogs covered 9 of 11 in FBS competition (though just three times as chalk) behind a huge passing game (nearly 4200 aerial yards for starting QB Connor Halliday alone and #4 nationally as a team). Rams are balanced on offense, but only 7 teams yielded more passing yards than CSU and only three of their wins suggest a big-enough lead was secured early enough for opponents to give-up on the run. Second-year coach Mike Leach’s Air-Raid offense has da’ Cougars bowlin’ for first time since 2003. Also-sophomore-coach Jim McElwain has taken CSU to their first post-season op since 2008, despite 7 tilts away from the friendly-confines, and toward their first 8-or-more victory campaign since Rams recorded 10-4 in 2002. We don’t normally make ourselves lock-vulnerable this early in the bowl-season, much-less right from da’ git-go, but…Cougars 44 Rams 27

#21 Fresno State (+6) over Southern Cal (62): UPSET PICK OF DA’ BOWLS #1.
We wonder if the Bulldogs have taken solace in knowing that Northern Illinois didn’t get a BCS bowl either. Troy can’t be too disappointed to be here after the tumultuous season that has them taking the field under their third coach in nine games (with Steve Sarkisian’s reign yet-to-come). USC won 9 of 13 outright, but was a coin-toss ATS. We salute the Trojans for being one of the few teams that did not face at least one AA-squad. They’ve lost 5 of previous 6 vs. the Top 25, surprising Stanford but faltering badly vs. rival Bruins. Fresno’s covered 3 of last 4 after horrible 1-6 ATS start and have just the one ugly defeat that kept them from a much bigger bowl. That said, we note FSU’s only BCS conference foe this season was Rutgers, whom it beat 52-51 in OT to begin the 2013 campaign. Senior QB Derek Carr would like to finish his NCAA career with a good showing, but State’s been schooled by SMU and NIU in its previous pair of post-season outings. Both teams will draw fans to Sin City from destinations not far-away, but think of the seats they’d fill if this venue was the… Royal “Purple Drank” Bowl Presented by Jolly Rancher! Best guess for “wish I had it back”, but covering-underdogs tend to win a bunch of bowls SU…Fresno 38 USC 34

Buffalo (-1) over San Diego State (53):
Buffaloed by turnovers the past four seasons, the Bulls, who put da’ kibosh on Northern Illinois’ shot at BCS-buster, have gotten the breaks they needed and enter this game at +16! Confirming that statistical-turnaround is a defense ranked #27 nationally and 2nd in da’ MAC Conference, yielding about 22 ppg (including 40 by the Buckeyes and…GASP!...70…by Baylor) and limiting opponents to less than 73% success in the red zone. Offensively, Bulls showcase RB Brandon Oliver, with over 1400 rushing yards and QB Joe Licata, with more than 2600 pass yards and a 21-7 pass TD-to-INT ratio. The lone standout for the Aztecs, who lost their season-opener to FCS Eastern Illinois 40-19 (Panthers did enter Championship Division playoffs as the #2 seed with 12-1 SU record, losing only at Northern Illinois by 4, but fell in the quarter-finals to #7 Towson) and could’ve de-railed UNLV’s bowl-journey to end the regular-season, but lost by 26, is RB Adam Muema, who eclipsed 1000 ground yards and accounted for 12 scores. The knock on Buffalo is the FG-unit, which produced only a dozen threes in 19 tries…Bulls 27 Sudzu 17

TULANE (-2) over Louisiana-Lafayette (49):
Green Wave will host this one on its homefield. Cajuns shared the Stun Belt title with Arkansas State, but stagger in here off back-to-back losses…to Weeziana- Monroe and South Alabama (in poor, turnover-prone outing leading to 30-8 defeat). UL-Laugh-at-us tore-up tickets regularly, going lousy 3-8 ATS in I-A competition and yielded 30 or more to 7 opponents. Nonetheless, conference commish Karl Benson proudly proclaimed the Sun Belt went 6-1 outright in 2013 vs. teams from C-USA, Mountain Jest and Big MAC conferences. Tulane put just two games in the dubya-column last year, but conversely has rewarded backers to tune of 8-2 (7-0 run) and will try to exact some revenge for 2012’s 41-13 drubbing. Wave lost by 4 at C-USA champion Rice in latest 1-3 SU skid and is cashing tickets with a stout-D (#19 nationally) because the offense ranks in the 90’s, ahead of just 4 bowlers in passing and just 6 bowlers in rushing yards. It’s been noted that the past eight Nawlins Bowls have finished above the total. Lafayette lit the lamp for an average of 39 ppg (ignoring 14 point tally in opener at Arkansas and 70 vs. AA Nicholls State the following week) prior to aforementioned game vs. USA Jaguars. Using Benson’s comments as bulletin-board material, we see the win and cover going to…Tulane 34 UL-That French Guy 24

DEC. 23
Ohio (+13 ½) over East Carolina (61 ½):
Bobblecats will need a big day from sack-leader freshman Tarell Basham (6.5 sacks) vs. QB Tyler Tettleton, who leads a pass-first offense for da’ Buccos. ECU averages 40+ points per game, and despite a November power-outage that saw just 16 points in a bad three-game loss-sequence at Buffalo, at Bowling Green and vs. Kent State, OU still hit the board for 28 per contest. Both feature experienced backfields and neither will beat itself via penalties or turnovers. Both sides limit opponent-scoring, but we lean toward a slight “over”. ECU was rolling until losing by 31 vs. conference-runner-up Marshall. ‘Cats beat the Herd at home 34-31. Keep calm and Carolina-on, but…Arrrrrgh 34 Bobblecats 30

DEC. 24
Boise State (+2 ½) over Oregon State (65):
We’d rather just watch this one than pick it, in fact you’ll see the “over” noted as one of our best bets. Broncos went “mere” 8-4 SU with just 9 total returning starters, including opening 38-6 loss at UDUB. Perhaps that game was a harbinger of Chris Petersen’s recent departure, following 7 straight years of double-digit win-seasons. Broncos have won four consecutive post-season outings, covering 3 and are in good hands with either Joe Southwick or capable back-up Grant Heddick. Beavers enter this one on the back of a tow-truck, having lost five straight games to close the year. QB Sean Mannion leads pass-heavy offense with over 4400 yards and own Biletnikoff Award-winning WR Brandin Cooks, but tossed 11 picks in the aforementioned demise. Beavers also allow almost 200 ground yards/game and BSU runs for almost 5 ypc and 32 scores. ORSU succeeded in the red zone only 78% of the time and BSU is one of the least penalized teams in the country…Boise State 41 Oregon State 34

DEC 26
Bowling Green (-5) over Pittsburgh (51):
Panthers were expected to accomplish little in inaugural year of their new conference…and did. Despite a few scattered losses, Falcons kept Northern Illinois from a big-money bowl and while young on offense/experienced on the stop-squad, BeeGees’ 19 returning starters continued to reward bettors, beating the line in nine of a dozen attempts in I-A competition (15-4 ATS the past two seasons). MO belongs to BGU, on 5-0/5-0 run since 3-point home loss to Toledo and they’ll revel in banging a floundering team from an AQ conference. “Under” is the first choice here as Bowlin’ Green comes in at #6 nationally in scoring D, giving up less than 15 ppg (an accomplishment of note given high-scoring MAC)…Birds 24 Pitt 7

Utah State (+1 ½) over #24 Northern Illinois (57 ½):
Huskies were seriously looking for fans to throw somethin’ other than pizza-crusts on the field following MAC Championship and expected better bowl SWAG than free extra-toppings on their post-bowl slices! Quoting Robin Thicke’s hit Blurred Lines …it always works for meeeeee…DeKalb down to Decatur”. USU has more to prove, though engaged sloppy Fresno State in a defensive battle. We could easily see USU luring NIU into a similar web unless dual-threat QB Jordan Lynch wants to improve his draft-status here, but he’ll have a couple of Blue-Grey/East-West bowls to impress NFL scouts. Sled Dogs, in sixth straight post-season appearance, have won just two of last five bowl chances...Utah State 27 Northern Illinois 24

DEC 27
Marshall (-2 ½) over Maryland (61 ½):
Second choice for “lock”. Terps, who were inconsistent all season, don’t have the physical running game that Rice used to upset Herd in the CUSA title match. Marshall fields a QB with over 3500 pass yards, who’s just a junior and played in all 13 games, as well as a RB with 1000- yards and a WR over 100 yards. Collectively, the two teams allow about 48 ppg total, so we’d lean a bit toward an “under”. Turtles QB CJ Brown threw for over 200 yards but shows middlin’ 11 TD-to-6 INT ratio and is also the team’s second-leading rusher. Maryland’s playing in an in-state venue, but we don’t anticipate much of a partisan-crowd advantage, given 7-5 SU record and 5th-place finish in its division. Herd gets redemption for conference- championship failure by belting an ACC also-ran…Herd 31 Terrapins 20

TEXAS (@ Houston, TX)
Minnesota (-4 ½) over Syracuse (47):
Gophers have seemingly drawn strength from ill-stricken coach Jerry Kill en route to solid 8-4 SU season (4-4 in the Big Tentacle Conference), including a healthy four-game mid-season win-streak. Gilded Gerbils have also been kind to betting-supporters, beating the number 9 times in 11 tries vs. the I-A schedule. On the downside, Minny scored a total 10 points over final pair of regular-season games in losses to Wisconsin and conference-champion Michigan State. They do however take on a Syracuse team that posted its best victory in 34-31 home win over Boston College to get eligible for the post-season, but struggled behind a new offense, scoring less than 16 ppg in ACC play. Minnesota went 4-0 ATS this year as the favorite…Gophers 24 Orange Peels 12

FIGHT HUNGER (@ San Francisco, CA)
Brigham Young-Washington (-3) “under” 60:
Sorry, Sportsfans! We just can't commit to a side, so we’ll rest our helmets on a total. After winning four consecutive games, Sled Dogs have gone 3-4 (1-5-1 ATS in that slide). Mormons have won and covered four straight post-season trips, twice as underdogs. Huskies boast senior QB Keith Price and junior RB Bishop Sankey in the backfield, showing excellent 24-7 pass-TD to-INT ratio and 243 rush yards per tilt. But UDUB hasn’t faced a really-good D. While putting up more than 31 ppg itself behind great rushing offense (almost 3300 total, average of 275 per game), defense is BYU’s calling card, allowing just 9 rushing scores to-date and 18 passing scores, while snaring 12 picks…Washington 24 BYU 21


BTW, officials will no longer blow whistles to stop play, but rather will launch Hellfire missiles onto the gridiron, leading coaches to instruct their athletes to “play to the sound of the explosion!” And with the press of a button, the drones will drop penalty flags from high above the stadium, creating yet-another hazard for players, coaches and fans below!

Somehow, we neglected to include these in our Army-Navy prediction, so…Army…“It’s all about the Private Benjamins!” and…

This past summer, former Iraq War vet-turned-Arizona Cardinals-cheerleader, Megan Walter, was accused of opening up a can of whoop-ass on her boyfriend. We’re told the ex-2nd Lieutenant “Cable Platoon Leader”/still-U.S. Army reservist called-in an artillery-strike on her ex-beau’s residence, right after cancelling his access to pay-channels like HBO and Showtime!

Larry, Moe and Curly take-on the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future in “The Three Scrooges”!

Miley Cyrus was a featured artist at the iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden on Friday, December 13. Did she come in “like a wreckin’ basketball”??!!! Robin Thicke also performed his hit “Blurred Lines”. Anybody else think this could be a prime music-video for hockey games…during mandatory reviews of all goals scored?… “I always wanted a good goallllllllll!”. “The way you touch me…must wanna’ get nasty…come on, get at me…(players fighting/dropping gloves)”. “Can’t let it get past me…” (Goalies making save…or not). “I feel so lucky…ya wanna’ puck me…what rhymes with puck me?!” “Baby, can ya Breeeeeathe (video of someone wearin’ a goalie-mask)?...I got this in Jamaica…It always works for meeeeee…Dearborne to Decatur…”

NCAA officiating crews who’ve had all they can stomach of the commercialization of the Christmas season will invoke a fictitious Seinfeld holiday and replace goal-posts and yard-markers with plain, undecorated aluminum Festivus poles!

Not really trying to be clever or humorous here…just us wondering aloud how Major League Baseball plans to reduce the chances of injuries due to home-plate collisions. We’d foresee either some line, etc., at which the base-runner would have to initiate a slide or be automatically called out (enforced by laser or time-machine portal?) or perhaps some NHL-like trapezoid, in which contact with the catcher is taboo and getting in the way of the runner beyond that perimeter instantly concedes a run-scored?

Black Shirt: We sent this week’s tee to the Quartermaster Corps to include some nice steam-pressed creases for Army DL Robert Kough for drawing one of three (count ‘em, three!) very-uncharacteristic personal-foul penalties for unnecessary-roughness, with Navy facing a 3rd-and-6, which extended the drive, resulting in a Middies touchdown, en route to the Ensigns’ eventual 34-7 win!

Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets Part I:
Last Week: 0-0 Season: 48-29-1 (.623)
Buffalo -1 over San Diego State, Oregon State-Boise State “over” 65 ½, Bowling Green-Pitt “under” 51, Marshall -2 ½ over Maryland

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 …!”

We’ll be back around December 27 with Part Deux of da’ bowl picks!

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re gonna’ try to determine which of the gift-wrapped presents under our tree contains the highly-coveted bearded Duck Dynasty Barbie and da’ Big Hugs Elmo Chia-Pet, before poorly-decorating one of our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action-figures in an effort to win the local “ugly Shredder contest”! (Oh wait…!)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Vindy's Picks Army-Navy


With as much as eight inches of snow on any noted part of Lincoln Financial Field in the 4th Quarter this past Sunday, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz called a time-out following a 98-yard kickoff return for six to give his players additional opportunity to kick-away the white stuff with their cleats and clear a stable area for David Akers’ point-after try. The kick was ultimately blocked, contributing to what had to have been a record number of attempted two-point conversions (or what the Oregon Ducks call “any given Saturday”). During the post-loss interview, Schwartz said if he’d thought it through, he “would have instructed players to do snow-angels or grab Akers by his ankles and use him as a snow-plow!”

Meanwhile, in chilly-but-flake-less (snowflakes…we’re talkin’ snowflakes!) Sin City, from the safety of our own couch and warmth of the artificial video-display fireplace, we compiled the second of our back-to-back 7-3 Championship Week forecasts (126-113-4,.527). This Saturday, we’ll don the camouflage, microwave the MREs and strap on the rucksack full of…

(Getting better grades than the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB!)

Navy (-10) over Army (55) (@ Philadelphia, PA):Middies are 7-4 SU, with two of the losses by 1 at Toledo and by 4 in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus in South Bend. Their best victories are perhaps the 41-35 win at Indiana to open the year and most recently in triple-extras by 58-52 at San Josie prior to the break. Navy has been kind to betting-backers, going 7-3 ATS vs. FBS competition. Including this season’s triumph over USAF, the Admirals have knocked-off other military schools 20 times in the last 22 tries, including 11 consecutive years over Army. On the downside, Midshipmen have gone just 1-3 against the number in the past four contests of this series (layin’ about a touchdown in each of the past three); winning by 14, 14, 6 and 4 last year. Nine of the Sailors’ wins in the eleven-year streak have been by 12 or more. Argonauts have been poor bets following time off, failing to cover 5 of last 6 with rest. Ensigns’ rush D has basically deteriorated, making no improvement or giving up an increasing number of ground-yards, in each of the past three years. Army’s chant in the 2012 pre-game huddle was “Re-Write It!”. The Soldiers had a chance to do just that last year, but were sloppy, and turned it over (again!) with a fumble at USN’s 15-yard-line late, on what coulda’ been the game-winning drive for the Keydets. That Platoon played some solid run-D and forced the Middies receivers into making some nifty catches, while being led on offense by four-year starter QB Trent Steelman, who’s now moved-on. Army posted just three outright victories this year and a two-TD loss at Air Force, the only I-A victory for the Falcons this season, and has now lost 19 of its last 21 facing the other military schools. Losses by 4 vs. Western Kentucky and by 7 at Hawaii notwithstanding, the Black Knights defeats came by 14 or more. Seven of the West Pointers’ games have finished below this total, while only four of the Armada’s contests ended up below this number. On the basis of a more-veteran (no pun intended) backfield, superior red-zone offense/defense and a better turnover-margin, unless the Infantry can pick-off a few errant throws, we figure Army will have to cover on defense, and we don’t think so…Da’ Fleet 31 Army 14


BTW, Vindy woulda’ also called the time-out in the situation above, but only for purposes of hastily building a player ice-sculpture as an extra blocker (which would’ve drawn a flag for “twelve snowmen on da’ field”!)

A naval cruiser ended up in dry-dock late last month after “accidentally” being hit by a drone, leading to just a few cosmetic injuries, near San Diego in mid-November. Air Force Academy officials couldn’t be reached for comment (nor could Amazon!), but Vindy’s spies say the Flight-Platoon hatched the scheme to de-rail the Middies’ quest for yet-another Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy!

Former Colorado Buffaloes SLASH Pittsburgh Steelers stand-out Kordell Stewart finalized his divorce this month. He got hosed, while she got da’ house SLASH da’ kids SLASH da’ car SLASH…well…you get the picture!

This Saturday night on NBC…an angel shows a famous Major League baseballer what life woulda’ been had he never existed in…”Ichiro’s a Wonderful Life”!

Oh the shame! With the kNucklehead Freakin’ Rodeo in Sin City this past week, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran an article about fantasy rodeo and how a $40K vehicle goes to the winner of said-endeavor! The 2014 Winter (is Coming) Olympics are on the horizon. If you’ll excuse us, we need to go review the mock-drafts for our fantasy curling and fantasy rhythmic-gymnastics teams!!!!!

Black Shirt: Has been Fed-Ex’d to Bearkats QB Brandon Kay for tossing three straight incompletions in OT from the Louisville 14-yard-line to secure the Cardinals’ 6-point win and cover, starting Vindy on his way to the 7-3 forecast! Honorable mention to da’ Rice Owls’ defense, who kept Marshall pretty-much under wraps until the 4th Quarter, validatin’ our “upset pick of da’ week”!

“Locked in a Box?”: Bane-of-our-existence Fresno State covered the line, as predicted, despite five (count ‘em, five!) turnovers vs. USU, evening the lock tally at 7-7-1 (.500) and giving us our 4th correct lock in the last 5 tries!

Shoppe Talk: Oklahoma (now 3-9, .250) took us out behind our own woodshed, upsetting Oklahoma State. We’re stuffin’ Huskies this week too after Northern Illinois (2-6, .250) fell to Bowling Green!

Vindy’s Army-Navy Best Bets: none Last Week: 0-3 (OUCH!) Season: 48-29-1 (.623)

Don’t touch that dial! We’ll be back circa December 20 with Part One of our infamous bowl predictions!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Vindy's Picks 2013 Championship Week


On the eve of the Buckeyes’ annual rivalry-match on the road against the Wolverines last week, Ohio governor John Kasich signed-off on legislation putting in place “Scarlet Letter Saturday” and implored the citizens of the state to boycott the letter “M”, as in “Michigan”. The well-meant effort actually produced unintended consequences, generating ripples across the country. Locally, the collegiate football squad found itself located in “Colubus”, Ohio…leading campus mythology professors to draw comparisons to Clash of the Titans-miscreant/deformed-creature “Calibos”, and the sidelining of the usual head coach in favor of some guy named Urban Eyer, who started the pre-game locker-room speech by noting there’s no “M” in “team” and promised to beat “that tea up north!” Officials did express concern for safety when the Buckeyes took the field wearing helmets with…face-asks!

We lit a whole box of wooden-stick matches, but last week’s 8-10 (119-110-4, .520) outing never did set-off the airplane-restroom’s smoke-alarm. In fact, that “mile-high club” membership we expected was supplanted by a visit from the covert air-marshal instead, so we’re just gonna’ support restoration of the entirety of the alphabet, or at least the Greek one, nation-wide with…

(Knockin’ precocious 5th-graders outta’ spelling-bees everywhere!)

#19 Louisville (-3) over CINCINNATI:
A probable battle of bridesmaids looking to be Matron-of-Honor behind UCF in the AAC. Winner here will root for SMU to pull off the upset over the Golden Knights on Saturday in order to share the championship with the Golden Knights. .. Cardinals 21 Bearkats 16

MAC Championship (@ Detroit, MI)
#16 Northern Illinois (-3) over Bowling Green:
We like what the Falcons have done this season, despite three outright losses that came at Indiana (by 32), at Mississippi State (by 1) and home vs. Toledo (by 3). Huskies get the BCS berth with a victory and first perfect regular season in five decades. Bee Gees in first conference title game, while NIU enters fourth straight (either 0-3 or 0-2-1 ATS, depending on whose numbers ya look at). ‘Dogs giving up more points to opponents than Falcons, but posted season-low of 14 last week vs. WMU. Northern Illinois belted MAC-contender Ball State. Good enough for us to call the cover for…NIU 27 Bowling Green 17

ACC Championship (@ Charlotte, NC)
#1 Florida State (-29) over #20 Duke:
It’s “win and in” da’ National Title game for the Tribe. We’ve previously questioned FSU’s motivation to keep scoring, but to no avail and have several forecast losses because of it. ‘Noles’ QB Jameis Winston perseveres in the wake of allegations from last December, but it’s “not his first rodeo” with law enforcement. The Heisman-candidate was apparently charged with stealin’ soda from a fast-food restaurant last summer. What folks don’t know is that the Burger King-in-question was in New York City and the Big Apple’s finest were more-concerned that the player was in possession of a cup of said-beverage that exceeded the ounce-limit than the fact he was actually pilfering it! Much respect for Duke, who got a 99-yard kickoff return for a score and the game-winning FG late in the 4th Quarter (validating one of our two “upset” picks of da’ week!) and its eighth consecutive victory (ten altogether), but magic-carpet ride ends here…FSU 48 Blue Beezelbubs 14

Big Ten Championship (@ Indianapolis, IN)
#10 Michigan State (+5) over #2 Ohio State:
Do ya think Urban Meyer hasn’t pointed-out Alabama’s foibles vs. Auburn all week to his charges???!!! Coach will allow both OSU players (one of whom is a starter) ejected from coulda’-been-loss to Michigan fer throwin’-down to take the field in this one. Officials of the Big Tannenbaum Conference also refused to issue fines/suspensions/detention/2000-word essays to the Buckeyes-in-question for this one too. We smell conspiracy and think the conference wants OSU to be armed with all its faculties, given the potential opportunity to take home the BCS Trophy. Two straight seasons of perfection could come to a crashing halt here for Ohio State. Braxton Miller drew POY honors again, but he’ll face a mighty-fine Michigan State defense that has no qualms about winning-fugly!...Ohio State 17 MSU 16

SEC Championship (@ Atlanta, GA)
#5 Missouri (+1 ½) over #3 Auburn:
Are ya kiddin’ us????!!! Auburn????!!! We ain’t seen the provision of that many divine-gifts to a single entity since…well…since the hero of the flick we referenced in our lead-story above! Tigers are mere seconds away from 9-3 instead of 11-1 and oughta’ be buying Powerball tickets right about now! Come to think of it, we noticed the pre-game, playing-field fly-by was made not by the traditional War Eagle, but rather by a golden, mechanical owl named Bubo! (Non-film-buffs/mythology-aficionados can Google that one!). Mizzou gets a look for the Big Show…Missouri 27 Auburn 20

#4 Alabama: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!) Tide floundered early, but scored a passing TD mid-second quarter following an Auburn turnover, to which we heard Mrs. Claus in the Year Without a Santa Claus respond, “Now thaaaat’s my ‘Bama!”

#6 OKLAHOMA STATE (-10) over #18 Oklahoma: The Big 12 Championship is the Cowboys’ to lose. We don’t consider Sooners’ minor upset of Kansas State prior to the bye enough to think they can hang with State. We’ve seen the rivalry games among the Top 25 go the dogs ATS, with one upset (Auburn over ‘Bama) and a pair of near-ones (Michigan and Oregon State each losing by one to the Buckeyes and Ducks, respectively). Sooners have taken two of last three, sandwiching wins around 34-point blowout loss here in 2011. OKSU, 9-1 ATS as home fave vs. the I-A schedule, buried sloppy Bears, as well as the other two ranked foes…Texas and Texas Tech. Oklahoma D will need a huge game. In the 2013 edition of Bedlam, it’s…Oklahoma State 35 Boomer-Spooner 17

PAC-12 Championship (@ Stanford, CA)
#7 STANFORD (+3 ½) over #11 Arizona State:
ASU 29 Trees 27

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

#9 BAYLOR (-14) over #23 Texas: Not unlike Thursday night’s Louisville-Cincinnati tilt, winner here gets the Big 12 championship in the event of an upset in the Oklahoma-OKSU game. Baylor narrowly-dodged a second straight defeat last week, at the hands of TCU, when the D picked off a Casey Pachall toss in the end zone with seconds to play that would’ve given the Toads the win despite four of their own turnovers and 15 hankies vs. the Bears. Steers do get the benefit of two extra days rest/practice off big Turkey Day victory over Texas Tech and two of last three years have been decided by single-digits, but Bears’ margin-of-victory over common-opponents has been substantially-better and RB Lache Seastrunk almost hit the century-mark in rushing yards his first game back from injury. Texas is in the lower-half of the conference in rushing defense. Bears top the Big 12 in ground yards and rushing touchdowns. ‘Horns have been a crapshoot as road-dogs the last three seasons and we expect a little more discipline from the Bears this week in Waco. Even if Bears take the field knowing the Cowboys own the conference crown…Baylor 41 Texas 20

#12 Oregon: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#13 Clemson: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#14 LSU: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#15 Central Florida @ SMU (OFF): Knights, despite turning it over five times vs. South Florida (following near-flawless-victory over Rutgers the previous week), already own a piece of the inaugural AAC crown and can put the hardware in their trophy case all to themselves with a victory, which also sends them to a BCS berth, a year after the OT loss in the C-USA conference championship to Tulsa.

#17 UCLA: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#21 Wisconsin: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

#22 Texas A&M: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

Mountain West Championship
#24 FRESNO STATE (-3) over Utah State: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK.
Bulldogs host this one by virtue of having the best overall record of the two clubs. FSU may start slow after taking the guesswork outta’ the BCS buster slot last week. In the second-half, it was all San Josie, who finished with three receivers at 140 receiving yards or better. Like the recent U.S. violation of newly-claimed Chinese airspace, SJSU’s ongoing intrusion was met with basically no response. USU is 7-4 ATS with close losses at Utah (by 4) and at USC (by 3), but also showing double-digit home defeats to BYU and Boise State…Fresno 41 Aggies 34

#25 Georgia: IDLE (next…da’ bowls!)

C-USA Championship
RICE (+5) over Marshall: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK.
Owls got the home-field ad via the BCS rankings, with both squads finishing 7-1 in conference play and 9-3 overall. From a betting-perspective, we’ve cashed and trashed tickets with each side. All three of Rice’s outright losses have come to teams hailing from the Lone Star State [A&M, Houston, North Texas] and all on hostile or neutral ground. Herd’s three in the “L”-column came at Ohio, at Virginia Tech and at Middle Tennessee. Marshall’s been flaunting the offense in its victories, though held six opponents to teens or less. Owls prefer defensive-battle, all limiting six foes to less than 20, but overall restricting other teams to more-reasonable number of points than Marshall. Herd dominates the pace, but last-laugh goes to…Rice 41 Marshall 37


BTW, some Ohio State locals took the initiative to substitute another letter for “M” in day-to-day tasks, leading a few people to wash their clothes at the nearby laundry-cat and shop at Wal-Cart! In addition, attorneys representing the James Bond movie-series, Sesame Street and The Wizard of Oz have filed formal protests/lawsuits vs. the Ohio politician for discrimination, as well as “pain-and-suffering”! Neither a certain well-known rapper nor the manufacturer of a popular chocolate-covered candy returned Vindy’s attempted-calls for comment!

And in a nod to last week’s lead story, we admit that Vindy’s Picks were featured in the catalog for… SkyMall!

We don’t remember the name of the player-beneficiary, but Auburn had someone on the sideline putting a name on a jersey with a sewing-machine. Given the ultimate outcome of the game, we expect an entire battalion of Singer machines down the whole Auburn sideline this week, right next to the Tigers Gatorade buckets!

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd got his wallet lightened by fitty-grand for basically-intentionally spillin’ a soft-drink on the court during the recent game vs. the Lakers. Wait’ll he gets the fine from Mayor Bloomberg’s office for also exceeding the ounce-limit. (BTW, no truth to da’ rumor that James Winston illegally-swiped Coach’s soda for him from the concession stand!)

We briefly mentioned the “’dogs howl week” in last week’s NIU-WMU analysis. Sure enuff…teams getting points covered 14 of the 18 Top 25 games! If yer scorin’ at home, you know we backed favorites in 10 of those 18!

Shortly after close-of-business on Monday, the independent accounting firm that tallies the votes (or at least some newbie intern at the Worldwide Leader) will know who won the Heisman Trophy. Several months from now, we may all know how many cartons of cigarettes ya can trade for said-hardware in a correctional facility!

Longtime Superman-proponent Cam Newton busted-out out a pair of cleats bearing Batman logos prior to Panthers’ 27-6 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Said head coach Ron Rivera after his team recorded an eighth-straight victory, “I don’t care if his pre-game waffle-irons pay tribute to Wonder Woman, Zatanna or Hawk-Girl, as long as we keep winnin’!” BTW, Vindy’s spies caught Cam viewing game-film of the Watchmen’s Silk Spectre this week!

Did anyone else out there watchin’ the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade see the irony of the NYC Police Department marching band performing a tune from “Rocky”, which was of course, filmed in Philadelphia rather than the Big Apple????!!! Appreciating the shameless plug, the City of Brotherly Love agreed to reciprocate and have one of the participating string-bands perform a rousing version of “New York, New York” during the annual Mummers’ Parade on New Year’s Day!


Best Weekly Effort: Week Two’s 8-5 (.613) wins percentage-wise over Week One’s 11-8 (.579)

Worst Weakly “F”-fort: Weak Eight’s 7-13 (.350…Uggggggggh!)

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)…Central Florida (7-0, 1.000), Second-Place to Notre Dame (7-1, .875) and Honorable Mention to Texas Tech (7-2, .778)

FLAME-THROWERS (Worst percentage on the predicted side of the spread): Vindy wants a new wallet fer Christmas ‘cuz ya can still see the scorch-marks courtesy of Grill-Master Supreme award-winner South Carolina (2-7, .222)! Suckin’ Place goes to runner-up…Michigan (2-6, .250), and Dishonorable Mention to the Spooners of Oklahoma (3-8, .278), who nearly went first-to-worst after grabbing the 2012 “Yer in Good Hands” award!

Didn’t make da’ cut, but we’ll be watchin’: Fresno State was one trip to da’ plate shy of Grill-Master Supreme at 0-6 (.000). Also on the radar… Northern Illinois (2-5, .286) and Clemson (3-7, .300)!

Thanks for playing: Stay in touch next season… Missouri (5-1, .833), Florida (6-2, .750) and Joja’ (5-2-1, .714)!

Black Shirt: Goes to Blue Devils kicker Ross Martin for previously-noted late 22-yard FG that gave Duke the win, the cover and the “upset pick of da’ week”. Vindicator dons his own honorary ebony-undergarment for calling the exact 27-20 final score for Stanford’s triumph over the Irish!

“Locked in a Box?”: Baylor’s 3-point win at TCU drops the tally to 6-7-1 (.461).

Shoppe Talk: Patrons are askin’ “How much are those stuffed-Bulldoggies in da’ window?” after Fresno State hosed us for the sixth time in as many tries! Big Blew Wolverines make the menu on 0-6 slide, and the Tigers of LSU and Clemson make an entrance on 0-5 skids, despite the protests of Siegfried & Roy!

Vindy’s Championship Week Best Bets: Last Week: 4-3 Season: 48-26-1 (.649)
Ohio State-Michigan State “under” 52, Utah State-FRESNO STATE “over” 60 ½, South Florida +6 over RUTGERS

On deck….Army-Navy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 14-2013


November holiday-travel is typically a boon for airline companies, but a mistake in a Southwest Airlines commercial has led to a significant financial hit for the major carrier. The investigation continues, but initial reports point toward the hacking of the broadcast of its signature-motto, resulting in the proclamation that…“’Backs Fly Free!” Taking advantage of the boo-boo, athletes at the various qualifying positions…quarterbacks, running backs,...yay, even…defensive backs…from the pro, collegiate and prep-school levels…lined up at Southwest ticket-counters to reap the benefits of the error. Acknowledging the mistake, but humbly adhering to the truth-in-advertising laws, the carrier agreed to honor the discount fares through the end of Thanksgiving weekend. The company, however, got the last-laugh, as players at the designated-spots were required to ride in the cargo-hold!

After last week’s tepid 9-7 (111-100-4, 4, .526), we hopin’ to stay warm enough to trip the smoke-alarm in the cockpit restroom and join da’ “Mile-High Club” by stockin’ the beverage-cart with…

(Always first outta’ da’ luggage-carousel upon arrival!)

#18 NORTHERN ILLINOIS (-35) over Western Michigan:
Number 18 here, but #14 in the BCS Poll, just enough to qualify for a big-money, post-season venue. We get the whole “TV-exposure for the conference”-thing, but will somebody please tell da’ MAC that college football should be played on Thursday, Friday or Saturday…not Tuesday! (Bowl-season notwithstanding!) Sled Dogs are allowing 24.5 ppg in the MAC, Western Michigan has averaged 17.5, but part of that has been in recent pair of contests vs. the other directional-Meeeshigans. NIU has the top ground game in the conference and WMU allows 4 rushing touchdowns per game. A MAC title means little to Northern Illinois if it can’t reach a BCS bowl. Again, Huskies’ main-competition for “buster” comes from Fresno State, who won’t have a cake-walk at San Jose State nor vs. Utah State in the Mountain Jest championship, but ‘Dogs won’t know the result of SJSU tilt until long-after this one’s complete, so expect NIU to pile-on in effort get style-points vs. hapless Broncos (1-6 SU in conference, 1-10 on the year) who have lost to the spread in 7 of last 8, including coughing-up Eastern Michigan’s only FBS victory of 2013 as 3-point chalk. Underdogs, while, hangin’ around and getting’ close to fitty-fitty ATS among Top 25 games recently, still haven’t posted that “’dogs howl”-week. NIU has hit da’fitties or better three times already and could break into the sixties for the second time, but…NIU 54 WMU 13 (This one’s already in the books as a forecast loss as NIU could muster just a 19-point victory)

FRI. NOV. 29
Oregon State (+22) over #12 OREGON:
Ducks 40 Beavers 20

#15 LSU (-25) over Arkansas: Bengals 44 Bacon 16

#16 Fresno State (-7 ½) over SAN JOSE STATE: Bulldogs playing on a short-week, but have been laying-waste to recent opponents. San Josie needs this one to see life in the post-season, but went to 3OT in shootout loss to Navy, bringing home one of our six [count ‘em, six!] “best bet” wins last week). Earlier victories by 5 and 7, at Hawaii and San Diego State, respectively, give us pause, but Fresno has some ground to make up to catch aforementioned NIU Huskies (#14 in BCS poll) for a “buster” berth. Smacking SJSU would aid the cause, especially with NIU’s listless win over 1-11 Western Michigan…’Dogs 38 SJSU 27

South Florida (+27) over #17 CENTRAL FLORIDA: There might not be 26 total points scored in this one. Knights’ only real faux-pas was allowing an early punt-block in their end zone for a score by Rutgers. Bulls started season slowly (0-4 SU, including 32-point home-loss to AA McNeese State/1-2 ATS), but have shown a little interest since then. If they have anything left, they’ll bring it here vs. intra-state rival. USF, surprisingly, shows pretty-good defensive numbers…#15 nationally in pass D and #24 vs. the run. Knights hangin’ on to slim one-game advantage over Louisville and Cincinnati in the Love-Boat Conference. A more-challenging road-game at SMU awaits. A lotta’ USF seniors played their final home-game in last week’s 16-6 loss to those same Ponies, but…Golden Knights 24 USF 7

SAT. NOV. 30
#1 Alabama (-10 ½) over #4 AUBURN:
While War Eagle took an extra week to watch game-film, Carmine Pachyderms dispatched Tennessee-Chat-Room-Nooga 49-0, or the same final-score of 2012’s Iron Bowl. We sooooooooooo wanna’ take da’ Tigers in a huuuuuuge upset here, just to stick-it da’ BCS. But holding to the premise of “*cheer* with yer heart and *bet* with yer *head*”, we see nothing in Auburn’s prior schedule that prompts us to support the home-dog. We’re not convinced a late defeat on the SEC road would preclude Alabama from a national-title game shot, but Tide’s already-dispensed with one “bad-game” that saw ‘Bama commit four turnovers in mere-13-point victory over Mississippi State. ‘Bama’s played five contests decided by 18 or less in the last 2+ seasons, winning all five, but going 1-4 ATS. Three of the last four in this series have yielded ‘Bama routs, with lone anomaly being Auburn’s 28-27 victory in 2010 (last time both were ranked in the Top Ten coming in). Tide might be without its starting center again, but Saban’s soldiers will simply play defense and special-teams, as always, while awaiting Auburn to self-destruct in the second-half with turnovers, untimely penalties and other miscues…Hound’s Tooth U. 29 Auburn 13

#2 Florida State (-27 ½) over FLORIDA: Seminoles 42 Crocs 10

#3 Ohio State (-14) over MICHIGAN: Buckeyes haven’t lost a game outright since 2011’s post-season defeat vs. Florida in the Gator Bowl. Big Blew has been a non-factor, SU and against the spread, for eight of the last nine years, winning only in Ann Arbor in 2011 (40-34). State’s already a fixture in the Big Tempura championship game vs. Sparty, which will mean more than a big triumph this week. Michigan’s young team has, however, won five of its six home games (losing by 4 to Nebraska). OSU was up 42-0 before relinquishing the cover to Indiana, who scored twice in the final six minutes…Buckeyes 42 Michigan 17

#5 MISSOURI (-4) over #19 Texas A&M: Tigers’ D is capable of harassing and containing Manziel much the same way LSU did and Mizzou has avenged each of last season’s conference-defeats by substantial margins. It was A&M in 2012 by final score of 59-29. Almost a year after garnering the Heismanziel Trophy, it appears Johnny and his friends are headed for first stint outside the rankings since last September…Missouri 37 Aggies 27

#6 Clemson (+4 ½) over #10 SOUTH CAROLINA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Won’t argue with Gamehens as faves here, given perfect 6-0 record at home on the season. We also note the Poultry has beaten CU by double-digits in each of the past four years. However, Clemson’s only loss was to Florida State and Tigers have pounded the opponents since then, averaging more than fitty points-per game in that span. Taj Boyd has Clemson pass-heavy at over 3200 passing yards, with favorite target Sammy Watkins at nearly 1200 receiving yards. But Boyd can run in the red zone too, scoring 8 ground touchdowns, while RB Roderick McDowell will probably eclipse 1000 rushing yards by the end of the bowl game and gives CU enough to make Carolina respect the run. Both sides warmed-up by throttling a pair of AA teams last week. Chickens hung 70 on Coastal Carolina a week after ho-hum 19-14 win over faded-Florida. SC narrowly-beat Mizzou, but also yielded Vols’ only win over a BCS-conference team…Tigers 30 Tenders 24

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

Notre Dame (+14) over #8 STANFORD: Irish, who unveiled 2013 Shamrock Series uniforms in August (seriously…and we like ‘em better than 2012 Knute Sham-Rockne versions!), gotta’ feel a bit a dissed after being jumped by UL-Lafayette, who made the Top 25, while ND continues to sit outside the bubble despite 23-13 win over BYU. That game saw Leprechauns QB Rees stroll triumphantly off da’ field with chants of “Tommy!”, “Tommy!”, Tommy!” And why the stadium-operator was showing the Who’s famous 1975 rock-opera flick on the Jumbo-Tron at the time is still a mystery! Both teams have been in several single-digit decisions this year and da’ Trees had won three straight in this series until losing 20-13 at South Bend last season during Our Lady’s run to the national title game…Cardinal 27 ND 20

#9 Baylor (-12 ½) over TCU: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK…Bears 35 Toads 13

Minnesota (+15) over #11 MICHIGAN STATE: Spartans 23 Gophers 13

Arizona (+13) over #13 ARIZONA STATE: With 38-33 road win against the Bruins, Pitchforks appear headed for rematch vs. Stanford for PAC-12 crown. ‘Cats didn’t squander their good fortune vs. mistake-prone Ducks last week. Last four years of the rivalry have come down to a touchdown or less and the visitor has left the building victorious. Sun Devils have better-balanced offense, so we don’t see the defeat-trend continuing for the home-squad, but if AZ can contain, even a little, State QB Taylor Kelly, like they did they did Drakes’ QB Marcus Mariota, they can make ASU work for it…Devils 29 ‘Cats 24

#14 WISCONSIN (-24) over Penn State: Badgers met, and didn’t cover against, a very-motivated Minnie Mouse team. With no December or January prospects however, Lions just need to put this season, 6-5 to-date, to bed. In January, Al Pacino accepted the role as Joe Paterno in the movie called “Happy Valley”. The obvious quotes include…“Keep your players close, your referees closer” and “You tell yer friends at the NCAA, I beat a conference-opponent for fun. But fer a BCS berth, I gonna’ carve them up real nice.” BTW, we think Ross Perot with a dye-job and a blue-and-white jacket would look more like JoePa than Al Pacino. Just sayin’. Better choice than Al Gore! Al Qaida! Weird Al Yankovic! Al Capone! Al Franken! Al Sharpton!??? Alameda, California???!! Al Roker!? Alpaca!!!! …Badgers 41 PSU 13

#20 Oklahoma: IDLE (next @ Oklahoma State)

Louisiana-Monroe (+14) over #21 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE: Hark! Is that a Stun-Belt team we find among the Top 25????!!!! Ragin’ Cajuns will play in their third-straight post-season, already at 8-2 SU on the year, and undefeated in five conference matches. Warhawks need the dubya here to make their second bowl. Monroe is 3-3 SU in the Sun Belt and shows a decent 21-19 road-win at Wake Forest. ‘Cajuns on 0-3 ATS slide, Birds are 0-2 SU/ATS the past two weeks after nice three-game win-streak in mid-season. Lafayette, who has won three straight years in this series….with one-point decisions in ’10 and ’11, by final margin of 40-24 last season, did allow 35 points to lousy NMSU club at home. ULM has no chance to grind one out, so it’ll be up to senior QB Kolton Browning to keep Monroe close with his arm…Weeziana-Laugh-At-Us 37 Weeziana-Cornrow 27

#22 Louisville: IDLE (next 12/5 @ Cincinnati)

#24 USC (-4) over #23 Ucla: Trojans 24 Bruins 17

#25 Duke (+6) over NORTH CAROLINA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2…Blue Devils 34 UNC 31


BTW, a flight-attendant, speaking on conditions of anonymity, revealed rescue-efforts are underway to free smaller players still lodged in the overhead compartments!

Pressing the advantage, ambitious fans tried to get free fares by wearing throw-back jerseys. But TSA wasn’t having any of it and quickly escorted offenders from “departures” to “ground transportation” or at the very-least to… ”Fumbles-Lost and Found!”!

And…Samuel L. Jackson has signed a contract to film “Picks on a Plane!”

In March, TSA loosened its ban on carry-on items, allowing small knives, souvenir-size bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment. In fact, in an effort to draw more passengers, many carriers will now equip the first-class sections of their bigger planes with…miniature-golf courses and batting cages.

Riddle us this, Batman!...Why does every game Vindy elects to actually watch generally go to crap for the side we’re backin’ in the first 15 to 30 minutes????!!!!

If ya went to the sportsbook counter with any of Vindy’s choice-selections (Lock of da’ week or Best Bets), other than WYOMING -7 over Hawaii (a pick that cost us a parlay wager), yer a happy camper, as they went a collective 7-1 against the line!

Victory Honda in Monroe, Michigan is letting customers buying cars on game-day of the Buckeyes-Wolverines contest hang onto the vehicles at no additional cost if Big Blue tosses a shut-out. The fine-print, however, requires those same customers to exchange their new cars for FORD Pintos if State covers the spread!

This week’s “must-leave TV”…Idaho (1-10 SU/3-7 ATS) @ NEW MEXICO STATE (0-11 SU/3-7 ATS; favored by 3 ½)

NY Jets coach Rex Ryan reportedly participated in not one, but two days of the annual Pamplona running-of-the-bulls in July. Coach escaped twice unscathed. Insiders say Mrs. Ryan doffed her heels and showed-off her bare tootsies, distracting the animals…and several runners…enough to allow her hubby to grab a comfortable lead before the animals were released!

“Because ‘and’ is better than ‘or’”: “Count it…or one?!” “The hoop…or the hack?!” “Texas ‘A’ or ‘M’” “First or third with two out?!” During Olympic weight-lifting…“clean or jerk??!!” And… in classic lit…“Romeo or Juliet???!!!”

And finally…If Vindy likes his current healthcare plan, can he quarterback-keep it???!!!

Black Shirt(s): We hadda’ get us one them highfalutin’ 3-D printers to make enough ebony tees to outfit the entire Minnesota Gophers’ defense for keeping Wisconsin (-15 ½) , up 13 halfway thru the Third Quarter, off the scoreboard over the final 21:55 of the game to grab the cover. And we’re givin’ thanks for Middies’ CB Parrish Gaines for picking-off a San Jose State pass in the end zone during the third extra-frame of Navy’s eventual victory, as noted above!

“Locked in a Box?”: Sparty’s 24-point win over N-Dub gave us our third straight correct preferred-pick among Top 25 games and evened our “lock” record at 6-6-1 (.500)!

Shoppe Talk: Stanford (2-6, .250) flew beneath the radar with a forecast win by belting Cal, but the Spooners of Oklahoma show-up on 1-6 forecast skid, as do the Pitchforks of ASU at 1-4…and we’re watching LSU and the Tea-Baggies of A&M, both at 0-4 recently!

Vindy’s Week 14 Best Bets: Last Week: 6-1 Season: 44-23-1 (.657; 13-4 the past three weeks!)
East Carolina +2 ½ over MARSHALL (Fri), Washington State +15 over WASHINGTON (Fri), UNLV +3 ½ over San Diego State, Northwestern -3 ½ over ILLINOIS, UAB -14 ½ over Southern Miss, Tulane +11 ½ over RICE, Arkansas State +6 over WESTERN KENTUCKY