Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 5-2013


LINCOLN, Nebraska (MSNBC)…An off-season directive by Commissioner Roger Goodell and a quick response to the revelation of a thought-to-be-private rant from two years ago by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, bashing the Husker-faithful as “fair-weather fans”, have prompted alterations to football venues at the pro and college levels. College sidelines will now include a portable, glass-enclosed shower with blaring stereo-speakers as a safe-haven for coaches to vent, like characters in the movies who know they’re being bugged utilize. In addition, locker rooms across the National Football League will be equipped with cameras as part of the plan for “enhancing the fan experience in our stadiums”. The live-feeds, a la Big Brother, of players brandishing guns, taking PEDS and snapping each other on the ass with a towel are expected to eventually generate on-air apologies from officials, akin to those offered in The Running Man by game-show host “Killian” (as portrayed by Richard Dawson), who implored the viewing-audience for a little indulgence, quipping “Please!...Ladies and gentlemen!...We’re experiencing video-difficulties beyond our control!

Despite Vindy’s Week Four tally of 8-6 and a season-record proclaiming 35-24-2 (.593), in a test-run of the new allegedly-voice-secure digs, Pelini could still be heard bad-mouthing…

(Better than queening dishes for AT&T!)

#21 Mississippi (+16) over #1 ALABAMA: As we feared, but ignored against our better-judgment, Tide offense was flat as a damn pancake in let-down vs. the Rams, showing only 66 rushing yards and 7 of 31 points coming via an early blocked-punt return. Rebels have three outright victories and 2-0 spread record, including nice win over Texas. Ole Miss has a truckload of returning starters and lotsa’ depth from team that had three of six SU defeats by 6 or less last season, including close losses to A&M and at LSU. Mississippi, profitable off a bye week, should be primed to stay within the number vs. not-quite-as-invincible-as-2012 Alabama after losing by 19 last year in Oxford …’Bama 24 Ole Miss 16

#2 OREGON (-36) over California: 12-PACK opener for both teams, who were both off last week. Ducks have been the wager in just 1 of last 6 layin’ this kinda’ lumber at home, but Bares show only outright win as 37-30 over FCS Portland State sandwiched between losses at home by 18 to the Buckeyes and 14 to Northwestern. Drakes are bangin’ the boards at an average of 61 ppg. Cal’s only hope here is that Chip Kelly’s current charges hop a plane from the City of Brotherly Love to Eugene…Mallards 51 Berkeley 12

Wake Forest (+28) over #3 CLEMSON: Tigers 34 Deacons 14

#23 Wisconsin (+7) over #4 OHIO STATE: We’re considering the number of points the Buckeyes have yielded to Cal…and Buffalo. State’s won the last two years in this series, both times in a ‘dog role. Neither was decided by more than a touchdown. Kenny Guiton, starting for OSU, tossed six TD passes in rout of AA Florida A&M, but Bucks (one of four FBS teams to score at least 70 last week) expect to have Braxton Miller under center for this one. We’ll lay off the upset call here since Buckeyes have won 24 of last 26 at Da’ Shoe, but we really can’t gauge true caliber yet, though they won’t likely allow themselves to be drawn into a track-meet. Wisky at least has faced (and probably coulda’ beaten) Arizona State. De facto Leaders Division title game…State 24 Wisky 21

Washington State (+10 ½) over #5 STANFORD: Trees 30 Wazzou 24

#6 Louisiana State (+3) over #9 GEORGIA: MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Tigers had some work to do after 14-point win over Auburn, needing to shore-up the run-defense that let War Eagle RB Tre Mason go for a buck-thirty-two, and some discipline after absorbing 10 penalty flags. Last meeting was 2011 SEC Title game, won 42-10 by the Bengals. Joja’ found itself in a 3rd Quarter tie-game on the heels of Mean Green’s 99-yard kickoff return for a score and blocked punt that also put seven on UNT’s side of the scoreboard before pushing away. LSU is nice 10-3 money-line wager over last three seasons on the road and while former Dawg QB Zach Mettenberger verbally points away from that association, you know he wants a little redemption. Expect Les Miles to pull some stunt to get his guys the win…LSU 31 Joja’ 24

#7 Louisville: IDLE (next @ Temple)

#8 Florida State (-22) over BOSTON COLLEGE: Seminoles 35 Eagles 10

#10 Texas A&M @ ARKANSAS: OFF

#11 Oklahoma State (-19 ½) over WEST VIRGINIA: Cowpokes, idle last week, let a competitive-but-relative newcomer UTSA club hit the scoreboard for 34, but ‘Eers have 2-2 SU record with only triumphs coming over AA William & Mary and FBS newbie Joja’ State. WVU held Oklahoma to just 16, but the offense looks completely lost without four-year-starter-now-NFL-QB Geno Smith. We raised a glass to the Morganbillies for their scoreless effort vs. Maryland last week that brought home one of our best bet selections…OKSU 38 WVU 14

CENTRAL FLORIDA (+7) over #12 South Carolina: We turned off the PSU-UCF game in disgust after watchin’ QB Blake Bortles and his Golden Knights carve up the alma mater’s defense en route to an 18-point lead and eventual 3-point road-win two weeks ago, so we’re not totally amazed by this fairly-short line vs. an SEC contender. Both sides were idle last week, so there’s been plenty of film-study. Knights are 3-0 SU/ATS, but the other pair of wins came vs. Akron and Florida International squad that’s challenging New Mexico State for worst I-A team. UCF hangin’ around just beyond the Top 25 boundary and Da’ Nuggets have won 7 of last 9 decided by a TD or less, but covered only 3…KFC 29 UCF 24

#13 UCLA: IDLE (next @ Utah 10/3)

#14 Oklahoma (-3 ½) over #22 NOTRE DAME: Leprechauns are on borrowed time and the spread reflects that. Sparty had multiple opportunities to beat Notre Dame last week, but were plagued by dropped balls on offense, a missed FG in the kicking game and four pass-interference penalties that revived Irish drives. Lucky Charms are now 0-fer-four ATS and Michigan State pressured Tommy Rees into throwin’ a lotta’ balls well-past the sidelines. Sooners show unfavorable spread-record in last six decided by 7 or less and even worse vs. ranked opponents, but…Sooners 23 ND 16


#16 WASHINGTON (-8) over Arizona: Contrary to our initial assessment, Sled Dogs look like they could be the real-deal this season…or are at least bowl-worthy after appropriately smashing FCS Idaho State 56-0, taking a 42-point halftime edge. Huskies defense looks decent, giving up just 30 points over first three games. Arizona comes in undefeated after three games, with victories over AA Northern Arizona, and UNLV, who held its own until the special teams developed a major case of the dumb-ass! We think ‘Cats won’t be “keepin’ up with the Sarkisians”… UDUB 31 Arizona 20

#17 Northwestern: IDLE (next vs. Ohio State)

#18 Michigan: IDLE (next vs. Minnesota)

#19 Baylor: IDLE (next vs. West Virginia)

#20 Florida (-13 ½) over KENTUCKY: UF QB Jeff Driskel’s out for the season with a broken leg, meaning Florida go all “’Bama” and turn it over to the rushing game and the D. Kentucky also will run frequently out of the spread offense…Gators 28 KY 13

#24 Texas Tech: IDLE (next @ Kansas)

#25 Fresno State @ HAWAII: OFF (but we’ll give ya our thoughts anyway)…Coach Tim Deruyter helped the Bulldogs improve points-scored by about 10 ppg, while lowering points-against by 11 ppg, leading to nifty 10 covers in 12 tries last season. State went 7-0 as double-digit chalk, but 6 were in conference and the other came vs. Colorado team that had a lone SU win (a one-point victory over Wazzou) and lost to AA Sacramento State. Bulldogs survived a couple of shoot-outs at Rutgers and vs. Boise, winning each by a single point, and could easily be 0-2, thus nowhere near the Top 25. The offense looks good. The D?…not so much, allowing two touchdowns more per game than in 2012. ‘Bows’ best chance for an outright victory comes in a couple weeks here in Sin City and in late November vs. Army. Margin of loss continues to increase for UH…going from 17 to 19 to 22 last week at Reno, but Islanders still took the money in two of those three.


BTW, the NSA has one of Husker coach’s e-mails referring to Vindy as a “!@!%#!! fair-weather forecaster!” A word of advice to the Big Dread coach…”Crank it to eleven!” An unidentified spokesperson for that agency also said they’ve had audio and videotape from NFL locker-rooms “for years!”

Effective with the 2014 season, the Big Tent-Peg Conference is reverting back to “East” and “West” divisions, waving buh-bye to the “Legends” and “Leaders” tags. Frankly, we always thought “Legerdemains” and “Bleeders” had a nice ring!

Speaking of issues in the Big Tantrum Conference….Jen Vrabel vs. Jen Bielema in Twitter-wars???!!! Playing soon on Bravo…“Real Not-in-My-House-Wives of the NCAA???!!!”

Following its broadcast by the home stadium-operator during the Cincinnati Bengals’ win over the Steelers, the team put da’ kibosh on any future playing of Katy Perry’s “Roar”. In fact, officials said they would sooner welcome karaoke tunes by Refrigerator Perry…or even…Admiral Perry! Given Bengals’ narrow-escape vs. the Packers, in which the hometown heroes rendered-useless a 14-0 start and saw a subsequent 16-point hole before managing the victory this weekend, perhaps “The One That Got Away” was nearly the appropriate choice by the pop-artist! Maybe “George of the Jungle” should be kept on the I-Pod just in case. Given lyrics about having “the eye of the tiger”, Vindicator immediately flashed back to a certain boxing-movie featuring Mr. T as Clubber Lang. Can anybody out there picture Mickey yellin’ …”I wanna’ hear ya roar, Rock!...I wanna’ hear ya roar!” (Yeah, we couldn’t either!). “Lions… without eyes of the tigeroh my!”

In related news, Vindicator made quiche fer a girl…and she liiiiiiked it!

The newly-proposed Oakland mascot “The Raider Rusher” reminds us of a ‘roid-rage version of Buckeyes mascot, Brutus, or for our fellow Marvel Comics geeks…MODOK!

Floyd Mayweather wants to replace Justin Bieber with Miley Cyrus as his escort to the ring in his next fight. In all honesty, Vindy prefers Amanda Bynes as his dysfunctional sportsbook-entrance arm-candy!

Black Shirt: The coveted undergarment goes to Texas State RB Robert Lowe for a 49-yard TD run early in the 3rd Quarter vs. Texas Tech for the Bobcats’ (+26 ½) only score, which allowed Vindy to enjoy the protection of the “hook” in 33-7 loss.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yep…we want our ‘Bama -40 pick over Colorado State back after we sallied-forth despite our letdown/sandwich spot concerns in the Week Four write-up.

“Locked in a Box?”: Michigan had to rally against lower-tier competition in back-to-back weeks and posts our first “lock” loss on the year (3-1, .750).

Shoppe Talk: The Uclans (-42) beat the line vs. dismal NMSU team to go 1-2 in the forecast and 4-9 (.308) over the past 13 appearances in da’ Picks!

Vindy’s Week 5 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 13-6 (.684)
BOWLING GREEN -16 over Akron, South Alabama +21 over TENNESSEE, Colorado +10 ½ over OREGON STATE, Troy-DUKE “under” 67 ½

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 4-2013


MOSCOW, Russia (Itar-TASS)…
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov brokered a deal on Saturday, staving off U.S. military action against Syria. The agreement, which allows the former Soviet Union to oversee the dismantling of Syrian chemical-weapons production, was set in stone when Lavrov finally caved and promised Vladimir Putin would return Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring. In June, New England officials rebuked the Russian president’s offer to make the Patriots owner a new “expensive one outta’ good metal and rock”. Putin also allegedly misappropriated one of Nick Saban’s national championship rings. The Tide coach, after seeing his team beat Texas A&M on the road this past weekend, shrugged-off the incident quickly, saying “No big deal. I’ll have another one soon enough.”

In related news, Silver State senator Harry Reid was caught just after the New Year tryin’ to lift a ceremonial pen at Obama’s inauguration and was ultimately given one from inside the Commander-in-Chief’s jacket. The Nevada politician was also recently seen trying to make-off with the quill Vindy (who went 8-5-2 [27-18-2, .600]), used to scribe…

(“Winning, D’uh!”)

#3 Clemson (-14) over NC STATE:
Clemson 34 Wolfpack 17

#1 ALABAMA (-40) over Colorado State:
Changed our initial choice here. Original concern was (is?) possible letdown spot in sandwich game for ‘Bama, between last week’s 2013 version of the Game of the Century and a visit from a pretty good (and currently-ranked) Ole Miss club. However, State’s part of Mountain Jest conference that really hasn’t represented to-date. CSU has been a traditionally poor September-ATS team and 26-point neutral site loss to Colorado, followed by 3-point defeat at Tulsa doesn’t inspire us. Nick Saban was clearly not happy with the defensive play in A&M game and we think Coach will challenge the stop-squad to keep Rams outta’ the end zone altogether. Can’t see AJ and company not putting up 48-49, even with a flat first-quarter. Best guess for “wish I had it back”, but…Alabama 48 Colorado State 6

#2 Oregon: IDLE (next vs. Cal)

Florida A&M @ #4 OHIO STATE: No line.

#5 STANFORD (-7) over #23 Arizona State: The only pairing of Top 25 clubs this week…and it shouldn’t have been. Possible conference title-game preview if Ducks and Bruins falter somewhere, but we’ll figure it’s a bronze-medal match for now. Army’s triple-option kept Cardinal off-balance long enough to post 20 in a cover last week, but Pitchforks will use the run only as an afterthought. Trees played nine games last season decided by 7 or less, winning 7, though covering only 4. Badgers RB Gordon ran for nearly 200 yards vs. ASU and Stanford claims own potent rushing game. Pitchforks are 1-4-2 getting points on the road last two years. Collectively, these two clubs have failed ATS in three games vs. FBS squads. Last meeting (2010) resulted in 17-13 victory by the Cardinal. If the NCAA football pantheon is fair and equitable, it’s…Stanford 34 ASU 24

Auburn (+18) over #6 LSU: We considered this as our first underdog pick on the season for “lock of da’ week”. We thank the Bengals for letting off the throttle vs. Kent State at about the 11-minute mark to give the spread-win to the Gilded Flushes, permitting our fab forecaster to hang one in the win-column. We are, however, surprised to see LSU QB Mettenberger played the entirety of the game given this one on the horizon and the decision well-in-hand after 45 minutes of play. Bengals show three straight “overs” and play in third consecutive home-game. Marc Lawrence notes 7 of State’s 8 SEC tilts were decided by 8 or less last season, including a 12-10 victory at Aubie. Les Miles teams are seriously-go-against in conference home-openers and War Eagle, 3-0 SU/1-2 ATS in 2013, sucks dirty pond-water vs. ranked squads, but welcomes back former OC Gus Malzahn after two-year hiatus…LSU 27 Auburn 19

Florida International (+41) over #7 LOUISVILLE: FIU managed only 9 first-downs and was outgained by 120 yards on offense in 34-13 loss to then-#23 FCS squad Bethune-Cookman. Another sluggish beginning by Teddy Bridgewater off rivalry win over Kentucky last week could possibly keep da’ Panthers, who lost by 33 at Maryland and 38 to Central Florida, in it for awhile. International beat the Redbirds 24-17 at Louisville in 2011 and lost close 28-21decision to Da’ Ville in Miami in 2012, but has few returning starters from those games and we’ll call it…UL 38 FIU 0

Bethune-Cookman @ #8 FLORIDA STATE: No line.

North Texas (+32) over #9 GEORGIA: Joja’ 35 Mean Green 13

#10 TEXAS A&M (-28 ½) over Southern Methodist: We looked at this for “lock of da’ week”. After 21-point final stanza that saw Aggies’ attempted-comeback from 3-TD-deficit come up empty against ‘Bama, we got one word fer this week…”catharsis”. Johnny Banana-Peel should see this as an egotistical-opportunity to still vie for some back-to-back Heisman hardware, even if he struggles early in the aftermath of defeat by Tide. A&M has a history of successful covers vs. Southern Methadone, who began the year losing by 18 at now-ranked Texas Tech and slipping past AA Montana State 31-30 last week. The problem for A&M, of course, is the scoring D, which shows about 30 ppg-against, even before ‘Bama’s 49. Manziel could carry Cadets into the 60’s, but we’ll just say…TAMU 58 SMU 24

#11 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next @West Virginia)

#12 South Carolina: IDLE (next @Central Florida)

New Mexico State (+42) over #13 UCLA: Bruins 48 NMSU 10

#14 Oklahoma: IDLE (next @ Notre Dame)

#15 Michigan (-17 ½) over UCONN: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Line is over-reaction to Wolverines’ late rally to beat lowly Akron in game that saw four UM turnovers, including early 4th Quarter pick-six that gave hope to the Zips. Huskies likely headed for tough season after dropping opener by 15 to AA Towson and an 11-point loss to Maryland (securing one of our Week 3 best bets). Brady Hoke called last week’s match “a glazed doughnut game”, providing said-pastry to the first 5000 fans arriving early for Michigan’s day-matches at home as a continual promotion honoring part of his childhood pre-game ritual. Given the aforementioned Wolverines rally to beat the Zips (+36), perhaps Coach oughta’ just repress that memory! Here’s hopin’ Big Blue doesn’t lose one in Ann Arbor as the result of a long FG bouncin’ off the maple cross-bar!...Michigan 42 Sled Dogs 13

Savannah State @ #16 MIAMI: No line.

Idaho State @ #17 WASHINGTON: No line.

Maine @ #18 NORTHWESTERN: No line.

#19 Florida @ TENNESSEE (+17): Line shot upward after it was announced Jeff Driskel will most likely start for the Gators, but we’re not convinced yet. We expected more from Vols, who drew first-blood vs. Oregon, then got left in the dust in 59-14 rout. Rocky Top is 4-12 ATS in SEC play the last two seasons, actually winning just a pair of those 16 contests. Tennessee lost by 17 in the Swamp in last year’s battle. Crocs are 0-2 ATS following upset loss (as we called!) at Miami. Too many to give until Florida shows more on offense… Gators 28 Tennessee 14

#20 BAYLOR (-29) over Weeziana-Monroe: Bears 51 ULM 20

#21 Mississippi: IDLE (next @ Alabama)

Michigan State (+6 ½) over #22 NOTRE DAME: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Neither side has been impressive in their victories and Irish are a couple plays away from 1-2 SU after scoring 21 points in about 3 ½ minutes to start the 4th Quarter of come-from-behind win over Purdue last week. Spartans got no love from the poll-voters last week after pounding FCS Y-Town State and remain just beyond the Top 25. Leprechauns are 0-3 ATS on the year, but 3-0 ATS last three years vs. State, including 20-3 win over then-#10 Michigan State squad. Sparty’s won 15 of 18 non-Big Tenuous contests the past three-plus seasons but is 1-4 ATS in last 5 tries vs. ranked opponents. Purdue was pass-heavy, Spartans will lean more to the turf…MSU 23 ND 20

Purdue (+25) over #24 WISCONSIN: Morale could be an issue for both sides given aforementioned rally by Notre Dame to beat Purdue and game that was stolen by the zebras from Wisconsin. Badgers have owned PU, winning and covering last three years, though just once by more than 25. Boilers used good air-game vs. the Irish and Wisky’s defensive backfield, that got lit-up for more than 350 passing yards, is suspect. No choice here but to take the generous points. In light of the Wisconsin upset of Arizona State that wasn’t, Badgers QB Joel Stave didn’t throw a single pass in practice this week, instead practicing only the proper taking of a knee!...Badgers 29 Purdue 20

Texas State (+26 ½) over #25 TEXAS TECH: FBS sophomore and Fun Belt newcomer Bobcats opened the year beating a dismal Southern Mist squad in Hattiesburg then knocked off Prairie View 28-3. Red Raiders weren’t kind in 58-10 victory last season, nor in 50-10 win the year before. Tech’s claim-to-fame thus far is 20-10 triumph over then-ranked TCU club missing its starting quarterback in mistake-filled snoozer, which saw five combined turnovers and 23 yellow hankies. Guns Up is 2-7 last three seasons as chalk in Lubbock…Red Raiders 39 TSU 20

BTW, overlooked in the whole U.S.-Russia accord was a fine-print statement that requires Time Tebow to accept the offered $1M to participate in a pair of pigskin games for Moscow’s Black Storm! Nobody told the former-Gator stand-out that his soon-to-be-comrades have already reached the playoffs and will face a prison team from the outer-Mongolian gulag…on the road!!

Back in Week One, we noted the Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com strategy of wagering on bowl teams from the previous season who drop their first two games SU, then win Game Three outright and host their Game Four opponent. While the first three weeks of 2013 have eliminated many of the possible qualifiers, Syracuse lost games to Vindy’s alma mater and Northwestern prior to blasting FCS squad Wagner 54-0 last week. ‘Cuse (-15) plays at home vs. Tulane this Saturday and will have a sophomore QB Terrel Hunt making his first start.

Other notable FBS-FCS scores…Fordham 30-29 over Temple and Buffalo 26-23 over Stony Brook…in 5OT!

Tim Tebow’s latest post-NFL job op came recently by way of the AFL’s LA KISS, owned by none other than Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Vindy’s spies say Tebow, in a private work-out for the team, struggled to move around the pocket or scramble while wearing the platform-cleats, but did a bang-up job crooning, “Beth, I know yer lonely…and I hope youuuu’ll be alriiiiiight…’cause me and the boyyys’ll be playin’…all niiiiiiiiiight…”

Lose one for the Chipper!?”…This August, Chip Kelly was quoted as basically dismissing the value of time-of-possession. Curiously, the bEagles called inexplicable time-outs during San Diego’s final possession in the waning seconds of a 30-30 game, allowing the Chargers to regroup and boot the winning FG!

Black Shirt: Goes to Sooners RB Keith Ford for a three-yard TD carry with 3:21 left vs. Tulsa that got Oklahoma the cover and Vindy a forecast dubya rather than a potential third forecast-push.

“Locked in a Box?”: Cardinals squeaked past the line vs. Kentucky to run our tally to 3-0 (1.000).

Shoppe Talk: UCLA and Oklahoma get weekend passes, but it’s Chicken Cacciatore every night this week on the Shoppe dinner-menu as the Gamehens of South Carolina go to 0-3 for the forecast (.000).

Vindy’s Week 4 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-1 Season: 10-4 (.714)
Western Michigan +17 over IOWA, FLORIDA ATLANTIC +4 over Middle Tennessee State, Marshall +10 over VA TECH, Maryland -5 ½ over West Virginia, Wyoming -2 ½ over AIR FORCE

And if yer scorin’ at home, you know our preferred selections…locks of da’ week and best bets…have gone a collective 13-4 (.764) to-date, meanin’ the local bookies wanna’ bust a Kaepernick in our……well…you know…!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2013


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (BBC)…Back in February, wrestling got the boot from the Olympic Games for low ratings, but along with baseball-softball and squash, was given a reprieve via second-chance voting in May, leading to this past Sunday’s final opportunity to make the cut. The IOC, with the sport’s supporters outside its venue toting signs bearing the image of Will Farrell’s late-movie character in “The Ladies’ Man”, gave the nod to wrestling over its competitors to be a medal-event in the 2020 Toyko Games. One of the five other sports getting the axe was the martial art of wushu. Officials learned too late that the initial-round ballots contained a typo…listing the sport as “the martial art of mu shu!”…and while the food imagery may have been appealing, the thought of watching athletes kung-fu fighting armed with pork chops and pancakes was not!

Meanwhile, in Sin City, Vindy finds himself perched atop the turnbuckle, ready to pounce, on the heels of Week Two’s 8-5 finish (19-13, .594 season) and hopin’ to put da’ bookies in da’ half-Nelson Riley with…

(As retrieved from the e-mails and phone records of Eric Holder)

#24 Texas Christian (-3) over TEXAS TECH:
Toads come in off semi-listless, three-TD win over SE Weeziana and Pachall won’t play in this one after being hurt in that game, but Boykin has established himself as a capable back-up. This one went to triple-OT last year in a 56-53 Tech win. Red Raiders are led by former TTU QB Kliff Kingsbury, in his first year at the helm and haven’t been tested in easy wins at SMU and vs. AA Stephen F. Austin. TCU coaches’ first clue that QB Casey Pachall had a marijuana problem last year was his insistence that coordinators abandon the Frogs’ trade-mark 4-2-5 defense in favor of the 4-2-0!...Frogs 27 Guns Up 20

#1Alabama (-7) over #6 TEXAS A&M:
Hats off to the Alabama wide-outs for the nifty footwork that led to narrowly-completed catches along the sidelines while the Hokies’ receivers dropped a number of balls that coulda’ changed the complexion of the game. ‘Bama’s down-playing the whole “revenge” thing, let’s face it, it’ll want a little payback for only defeat of 2012 season. If Aggies are to have a shot to win, Manziel needs to shut his pie-hole other than barking signals at the line-of-scrimmage and limit his hand-gestures to pointing out blitzing linebackers to his O-line. Tide’s covered 7 of 9 as road chalk and 7 of 10 vs. the Top 25, but just 4 of last 7 games with single-digit spreads. ‘Alabama got four sacks vs. A&M last year, but was minus-three in turnovers…Tide 29 A&M 17

Tennessee (+27 ½ ) over #2 OREGON: Ducks, with the aid of four (count ‘em, four!) miscues by the Cavs, pulled away in the second-half to win huge at Virginia, while Vols were busy whacking handicapper-darling Western Kentucky. Rocky Top has beaten 11 of last 13 non-SEC foes, but Oregon obviously ain’t yer standard-issue non-conference opponent. UT, playing first game in an ugly away-slate, does boast a senior-laden O-line and experience on the stop-side as well. Last meeting resulted in 38-13 Mallards victory in 2010…Drakes 41 UT 20

#3 Clemson: IDLE (next @ NC State 9/19)

#4 Ohio State @ CAL: OFF

#5 Stanford (-29) over ARMY: This got consideration for “lock of da’ week”. Trees let San Josie, who scored in each of the first three quarters, hang around long enough to get the cover, as predicted. Keydets got smoked at Ball State 40-19 and have lost 44 fumbles in 2+ years (including 2 last week). The run D needs to improve as well or, off a 2-10 SU season, Coach Ellerson might find himself HALO-jumping into the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula! Black Knights are just 6-15 ATS facing non-service academy clubs and the scoring-defense has regressed steadily since 2009…Stanford 41 Army 9

#7 Louisville (-13 ½) over KENTUCKY: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. UK has two covers in last three years vs. Da’ Ville, but we foresee Kentucky’s young secondary getting’ torched by Teddy Bridgewater…Redbirds 31 Mildcats 10

Kent State (+36) over #8 LSU: LSU 41 Flashes 13

#9 Georgia: IDLE (next vs. North Texas)

#10 FLORIDA STATE (-31) over Nevada: FSU 44 UNR 10

#11 MICHIGAN (-36) over Akron: Big Blue 49 Zips 6

Lamar @ #12 OKLAHOMA STATE: No line.

#13 SOUTH CAROLINA (-13 ½) over Vanderbilt: SC defensive coaches are hatin’ themselves after watchin’ game-film of the Georgia tilt. Gamehens failed vs. Joja’ because they had basically no perimeter defense. Almost every play UGA ran to the sidelines went for positive yardage. A bunch of high snaps from the new center didn’t help either. Poultry special teams also need a little work. (And we’ll credit ‘Dawgs D for keepin’ the Tenders outta’ the end zone over the final 13:55). Admirals hosted now-ranked Ole Miss to 4-point loss and dispatched AA Austin Peay last week by 35. Da’ White Meat won 17-13 in Nashville to open 2012 and is on 13-5 home fave streak… Carolina 29 Vandy 13

#14 OKLAHOMA (-24) over Tulsa: Sooners 37 Tulsa 10

#15 Miami: IDLE (next vs. Savannah State)

#16 Ucla (+5) over #23 NEBRASKA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. If Tide-Aggies tilt is a runaway, this could be the most intriguing match-up of the week. Huskers took advantage of a pair of pick-sixes in the opening quarter to hand SoMiss its 14th consecutive SU loss and will be donning all-black uniforms for this one…Bruins 27 Big Dread 24

Western Michigan (+31) over #17 NORTHWESTERN: Tough to go against powerhouse Wildcats, who jumped out to big lead early with a pair of Orange’s four turnovers leading to 10 of its first-half points, before swapping sixes with Syracuse in the final 30 minutes. Broncos lost respectably at Michigan State before becoming yet-another AA-victim, falling 27-23 to Nicholls State in Week Two. WMU has a big passing attack, but enough of a ground game to compliment it. Tallying covers in first two games this season, Wildcats now show 11-5-1 ATS vs. non-conference teams, but while Broncos are young on offense, they’re experienced at the skills and we think they stay close enough unless they cough it up like Syracuse did…NW 37 WMU 17

#18 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Tennessee)

Illinois (+10) over #19 Washington (@ Chicago): Huskies made depleted Boise State team look like mere 1996 or 1997 shadow of itself before getting a bye week. Illini had lost 10 of previous 11 games heading into 2013, but squeaked by FCS Salukis then belted Cincinnati 45-17. Sled Dogs are profitable with rest. UI has journeyman on offense and a young defense…UDUB 21 Illini 17

#20 Wisconsin (+4 ½) over ARIZONA STATE: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. These teams have collectively played three games this year, resulting in three shutout victories. Having noted our choice, we also think this is best guess for “wish I had back”. Our concern is Badgers’ road history the last two seasons (4-9 ATS), though four of Wisky’s five true road defeats were by 4 or less. UW also needs to figure out how to win the close ones….having sputtered to 1-6 SU/ATS record in games decided by 7 or fewer last season. Gary Andersen’s high-octane offense from the WAC is questionable vs. BCS competition, but we were skeptical of Chip Kelly’s ability to do likewise at the NFL level (see our Eagles comments below). Sun Devils get almost twice as many starters back as last year, remain just outside the Top 25 and have seen a more balanced plan on offense under Todd Graham… Badgers 27 ASU 24

PURDUE (+21) over #21 Notre Dame: We looked at this for “lock” too. Tommy Rees threw for over 300 yards, but Irish, who reportedly penciled-in the BCS Title contest on their schedule in August, were never really in it until late vs. Michigan, in game that wasn’t as close as it ultimately appeared and are now 0-2 against the line. Boilers were hammered at Cincinnati and beat FCS Indy State 20-14 last week. Purdue lost by three in South Bend in 2012 as Leprechauns won six games by single-digits. Touchdown Jesus is mere 5-11-3 under Coach Kelly…ND 27 Choo-Choos 12

#22 Baylor: IDLE (next vs. Weeziana-Monroe)

#25 Mississippi @ TEXAS: OFF


BTW, in an effort to help ensure a greater viewership for wrestling, the IOC will permit the use of metal folding chairs and pile-drivers!!!

With potential NCAA sanctions looming, the local Sin City football team, cellar-dweller for the Mountain Jest conference in fans-per-game attendance in 2012, has gotta’ average 15,000 butts in da’ stands per game. The school conjured up a motto of “Sam Jam 2013” for its home-opener vs. the Wildcats of Arizona. Given the 58-13 loss, perhaps “Scam-Jam”, “Slim-Jim” or “Scram-Jam” woulda’ been better. The Hawaii game will be hyped as “Spam-Jam” . And if they’re short going into home-finale and need to exceed capacity for that one…”Cram-Jam”. This summer, Coach Bobby Hauck said his desired result was to get Rebels to the post-season for first time in 13 years. Who knew he was talkin’ about an FCS playoff spot??!!!

Tom Brady referenced Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s comments while addressing Johnny Manziels’ foolery, advising the young Aggies QB against being a “turd”. Vindy’s spies say the Crimson Tide band has been practicing a rendition of the Rolling Stones “Turd on the Run”, and for the fans of the legendary musical group who are familiar with the lyrics, “Sweet Virginia”, which it will strike-up every time Johnny takes da’ field!

Possible NY Giants and NY Jets defensive schemes: blitz, zone, man-to-man and…”stop & frisk”?! (Yeah, YEAH…we know they both play home games at the Meadowlands in New Jersey!)

Given the Broncos’ romp over defending NFL champion Baltimore last week after fans, team personnel and a certain Hall-of-Fame QB got their panties in a bunch subsequent to the NFL marketing folks hanging banners of Ravens QB Joe Flacco in Denver to promote the start of the 2013 pro football season, Broncos officials will now put up similar banners of opposing star-players prior to each home game! Come to think of it, so will all the teams on ‘Bama’s road schedule!

In related news, the advertising folks at University of Nevada-Lost Vagrants managed to outsource an effort that ultimately resulted in a billboard for UNLV ticket sales featuring current pigskin coach Bobby Hauck and former-Rebels-but-now-basketball head coach-at-Oklahoma Lon Kruger! That’s basically tantamount to Florida doing likewise with images of hoops coach Billy Donovan and…Urban Meyer!

Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal included the AP summary of the Wyoming-Idaho game, calling the Vandals an “FCS squad”. Idaho is, in fact, an FBS independent! Sounds like somebody else out there needs one of those NCAA conference-realignment coloring-books we noted back in Week One!

After watchin’ the MNF Eagles-Redskins game, we’re thinkin’ Chip Kelly not only brought his playbook from Eugene to the City of Brotherly Love, he brought his whole team! Can’t wait to see Philly play Ohio State in this season’s Rose Bowl…or lose a close one to Auburn in the Super Bowl!!! The Eagles are gonna’ need more uniform-combinations!

In August, NBC Nightly News guy Brian Williams went off-air soon for a few weeks to have surgery to repair an old knee-injury incurred during a prep football game. Vindy’s spies say the patella problem was re-aggravated when the well-respected journalist was subjected to an illegal chop-block near the anchor desk by a jealous intern!

Black Shirt: Goes to Lobos senior RB Kasey Carrier (an apt name for a running back, dontcha’ think?!) who went nearly 300 ground yards and scored the winning touchdown in extras to help Vindy cash the third of three tickets and post a perfect best-bets tally this week. Honorable mention to LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. for returning a missed-FG attempt 100 yards for a touchdown that prevented what coulda’ been a 49-20 victory and a failed forecast pick for your humble narrator!

“Locked in a Box?”: We’re 2-0 (1.000) behind the Ducks’ second-half throttling of Virginia!

Shoppe Talk: We were on the right side of USC again and the UCLA-FSU tag-team was thankfully idle last week, but Vindy’s linin’ the walls of Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe with Mounted Eers after West Virginia (0-1 season and 2-8 [.200] in last 10 at-bats) struck again. We’re also serving notice to Oklahoma and the Nuggets of South Carolina, both at 0-2 to start the 2013 campaign!

Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 5-0 Season: 7-3 (.700)
Maryland -7 over UCONN, COLORADO +10 over Fresno State, Northern Illinois -28 over IDAHO, Florida Atlantic +13 over SOUTH FLORIDA, Texas-El Paso -6 over NEW MEXICO STATE

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2013


WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (Reuters)…”Holy penalty flag, Batman!” Ahead of its 2013 season debut, the No Fashion-Statement League has clamped down on players violating standardized uniform requirements, forbidding the so-called “Bane mask”, which given its modifications, strikes a resemblance to the Batman movie-villain of the same name. The league also invoiced RGIII to the tune of $10,000 for donning an unauthorized T-shirt bearing the words “Operation Patience”…or what SEC cheerleaders would know as “Operashun Patients”… referencing the Redskins’ strategy to keep the quarterback on the pine until the start of live-fire games, during warm-ups prior to the exhibition game vs. the Steelers. Critics say the moves are attempts to turn attention away from bigger issues such as substance abuse and ongoing legal difficulties regarding player concussions. Recommendations include allowing one position, perhaps the quarterback or the field-goal kicker, to wear some sort of uniform variance, a la the NHL’s goalie-masks or a soccer goalie’s jersey showing different colors than his teammates’ garb.

Vindicator, who finished 11-8 (.579) after hitting 10 of Saturday’s 15 games, had planned to return to campus this week, but was also quickly thwarted after school officials claimed he violated the zero-tolerance policy by nibbling his Pop-Tart into the shape of…

(Now with more twerking than a Miley Cyrus appearance!)


#1 Alabama:
IDLE (next @ Texas A&M) Coach Saban, and Saban alone apparently, wants a nine-game league schedule. Funny…his detractors would suggest he’s happy with a 6-6-6-game conference slate! Maybe the Tide faithful secretly conduct Sabanic rituals! Nick Saban made me do it! The Saban’s in the details? Nick Saban Wears Prada?

#2 Oregon (-22 ½) over VIRGINIA: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Cavs stole a victory after being out-played by BYU except in return yards and TOP because of late mistakes by the Cougars. Mallards, now led by Mark Helfrich, previously the OC of Drakes’ juggernaut, averaged three-points per minute of possession in 66-3 win over then FCS #8 Nicholls State. Wahoos have been dismal home-dogs and we think Uncle Si takes da’ field for Oregon in the second half…Duck Dynasty 51 Virginia 20

San Diego State (+27 ½) over #3 OHIO STATE: Aztecs, who progressed on both sides of the ball in Rocky Long’s second year as head coach, scored three times in the opening stanza, but contributed to last week’s Mountain Jest debauchery, falling to AA Eastern Illinois 40-19, as the conference collectively-dropped 9 of 12 games outright and went 2-8 ATS. QB Braxton Miller accounted for more than half of Buckeyes 460 yards of total offense vs. Buffalo. We prefer “under” 60, but we’ll call it…OSU 35 SDSU 13

SC State @ #4 CLEMSON: No line.

San Jose State (+26) over #5 STANFORD: Inaugural tilt for the Cardinal, while San Josie at least got to warm-up with live-fire 24-nada game vs. AA Sac(k) State, despite losing all statistical categories except TOP (plus-12 minutes) and points-scored. Led by now-third-year coach Shaw, Trees have posted 19-7-1 spread record and look to be long-shot national crown possibilities. Spartans play third consecutive year at Palo Alto (???!!!) and bring back a bunch of guys that nearly took out last season’s Rose Bowl winners, losing just 20-17 in 2012. State’s covered 11 of last 12 out-of-conference games and sports 18-6 ATS tally the past two seasons…Trees 31 SJSU 17

#6 South Carolina (+3 ½) over #11 GEORGIA: We underestimated the impact of few returning starters on both sides when we proposed our final score prediction for Week One’s Joja-Clemson battle in the Not-Two-Chicks-fil-A Kickoff Classic. Aaron Murray and his UGA support team face a second-straight Top Ten opponent, including all-whatever QB Connor Shaw. Gamehens’ rushing game hasn’t missed a beat after Marcus Lattimore’s departure, with RB Mike Davis posting a buck-fifteen vs. the Tarheels. Poultry gets advantage of a few extra days rest/practice off Thursday-nighter and goes fer 4th outright victory in a row in this series…Nuggets 34 ‘Dawg Pounded 27

Sam Houston State @ #7 TEXAS A&M: No line.

Eastern Kentucky @ #8 LOUISVILLE: No line.

#9 LSU (-34 ½) over Alabama-Birmingham: Bayou Bengals 45 UAB 9

#10 Florida State: IDLE (next vs. Nevada)

MIAMI (+3) over #12 Florida: Unlike last week, Gators anticipate the presence of starting RB Matt Jones. The Pelicans look great on paper with a boatload of returning starters, tons of lettermen and coming off self-imposed two-year bowl ban, and will be eager to show effort vs. the big guys. We are a tad disappointed with non-cover last week vs. Florida Atlantic. QB Jeff Driskel did see action for the Crocs, but it was a staunch running game and defensive play that led to low-scoring win over Toledo…Miami 24 Florida 20

#13 Oklahoma State (-24) over UT-SAN ANTONIO: OKSU 49 UTSA 20

#17 MICHIGAN (-4) over #14 Notre Dame: Irish racked up 500+ yards of offense vs. da’ Owls and scored just 28 points. Big Blue had won three straight in this series until 13-6 loss in South Bend last year. UM just 2-6 SU/1-5-2 ATS vs. Top 25 foes last two seasons. Wolverines ripped Central Michigan with Chippies starting backfield gone early. In the days leading up to what may be a “great and historic rivalry” in his mind…or not…Brian Kelly swiped a line from a semi-family-friendly version of Blurred Lines, calling the Wolverines’ head coach “the hottest Hoke in this place!”…Michigan 31 ND 23

BYU (+6 ½) over #15 Texas: We changed our initial choice here. Never a good sign. Coogs let one get away at Virginia, while Texas lit-up a still-hapless NMSU squad despite scoreless 1st Quarter. Mormons blew a 13-0 halftime edge in 17-16 loss to Texas in 2011. The BYU staff initially abandoned last names on the backs of jerseys in favor of “tradition”, “honor” and “spirit”, Great. Twelve guys on defense all named “honor”. Staff eventually relented and decided to leave the uniforms as is, but not before displeased fans and players came to their own consensus on the three words they’d like to see sewn on the unis…”Sex” “Lies” and “Videotape”, “Truth”, “Justice” and “The American Way”!. Also receiving votes…”Kukla”, “Fran” and “Ollie” and “Me”, “Myself” and “Irene”…Steers 24 BYU 20

#16 OKLAHOMA (-21) over West Virginia: Potent 2012 version of the Mounties squandered a 5-0 start last season to finish 7-6 and lose most of their offensive production. WVU was down 10 before rallying to beat AA William & Mary by a touchdown in the season debut. Sooners tossed first shut-out since early 2010 vs. Weeziana-Monroe despite a rush defense that had been deteriorating until last year. Scoring defense has been a problem last three years for each side. Could be another 50-49 shootout like last season or simply…Boomer Schooner 38 Mountaineers 14

#18 UCLA: IDLE (next @ Nebraska)

Syracuse @ #19 NORTHWESTERN: OFF

#20 Washington: IDLE (next vs. Illinois @ Chicago)

Tennessee Tech @ #21 WISCONSIN: No line.

#22 NEBRASKA (-28) over Southern Miss: With upset loss in punt-fest vs. Texas State, who also beat Houston in its first year of FBS competition, Southern Missed has now been defeated 13 straight times. Big Dread permitted two scores in a 4 1/2 minute span of the 4th Quarter to let Wyoming pull within 3, but hung on to win 37-34. Huskers have UCLA on-deck, but strong NU ground game should grind out the cover…Corn Cobs 41 USM 7

Buffalo (+26 ½) over #23 BAYLOR: Baylor 45 Buffalo 23

SE Louisiana @ #24 TCU: No line.

Washington State (+16) over #25 USC: Wazzou did not adjust well to Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense last year. As expected, rushing yards took a nose-dive, but there was no significant change in passing yards and points-scored fell about 10 per game. This year, however, Coogs gave Auburn a run, losing by just 7 on the road while suffering ongoing turnover problem, three interceptions, including one inside their own 20 and one at the Auburn 8 that killed a potential game-tying TD late in the final quarter. Troy scored just one offensive touchdown in each half and yielded a safety vs. ‘Bows team not known for defense…USC 31 WSU 21


BTW, Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has declared RGIII “ready for Tay cough!” We also think Major League catchers should get to paint different designs on their headgear, which closely resembles those of hockey net-minders!

In other education-related news…The Mexican government recently provided school kids with new textbooks containing at least 117 mistakes (punctuation, grammar, etc.), including a city located in the wrong state. In defense of our friends from south-of-the-border, it took us awhile to find places like DeKalb, Illinois; Durham, North Carolina and Waco, Texas on the map too! It’s also gonna’ be a few weeks until Vindy gets the stickers in the right places in our new NCAA conference-realignment coloring book!

The upsets perpetrated last week by Football Championship Series teams have been well-documented. BTW, all the FCS teams were ranked in the FCS poll last week, except McNeese (who got some votes, but not enough to make the Top 25). Here’s a few non-upset scores involving AA squads we thought note-worthy…Boston College 24-14 over Villanova, Kent State 17-10 over Liberty (Golden Flashes rallied with strong 4th Quarter to win), Eastern Michigan 34-24 over Howard and West Virginia 24-17 over William & Mary. Looking over this week’s inter-subdivision play, we place the following teams on “upset alert”: Colorado (hosting FCS #5 Central Arkansas, though Buffs’ pasting of rival Colorado State gives us pause for this one), Central Michigan (hosting FCS #8 New Hampshire) and Akron (hosting FCS #15 James Madison)!

Earlier this summer, former Texas star and NFL player Ricky Williams was announced as running backs coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, based in San Antonio. The Catholic school Cardinals got their…er… um…ashes …handed to ‘em in 58-7 loss in opener vs. Central Arkansas. Clearly, Ricky and his charges were rollin’ more than Tide! Perhaps an institution in Washington or Colorado woulda’ been more appropriate. In a nod to the 1998 Heisman-winner’s college venue, we say…”Hookah, ‘Horns!”

Back in January, we caught a headline that read, “Ryan Fired”. We quickly envisioned NY Jets Rex Ryan relegated to a street corner sporting a tattoo proclaiming “Will coach for foot…er…um…food!” Turns out, it was his brother Rob Ryan, who got canned as defensive coordinator by the Dallas Cowboys! Our bad!

After being recently dismissed by the Patriots, Tim Tebow has petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility and hopes to attend Harvard and spend his time in the role of personal pocket-protector for the Crimson’s punter!

Black Shirt: The first highly-coveted ebony tee of 2013 goes to Hawaii QB Taylor Graham, whose 60-yard TD pass vs. USC with 30 seconds left stole the cover and a forecast win for Vindicator on the season’s opening night!

“Locked in a Box?”: We’re off to a good start at 1-0 (1.000) as Oklahoma State covered nicely in win over Mississippi State.
Shoppe Talk: Last season’s “Grill-Master Supreme” award-winner USC did us a solid vs. Hawaii, but UCLA (now 0-1 on the season and 3-8 over last 11 appearances in the picks) and Florida State (0-1 on the season and 4-9 over last 13 at-bats) picked up where they left off!

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets: Last Week: 2-3 Season: 2-3 (.400) Arizona -11 over UNLV, Toledo +16 ½ over MISSOURI, Bowling Green -8 over KENT STATE, Minnesota -15 over New Mew Mexico State, New Mexico +6 ½ over UTEP