Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 9-2015

XINXIANG, China (BBC)…Local administrators allowed middle-schoolers to take a final exam at desks amidst nicely-arranged groups of trees near a local educational facility to provide a more-soothing environment. In a cruel prank however, concocted by folks at Palo Alto, California, it turns out the “trees”-in-question were merely Stanford students wearing traditional mascot garb, who eventually bolted away from the 7th and 8th graders, mumbling something from the Lord of the Rings trilogy about “Isengard” and “da’ last march of da’ Ents, noting it was “likely that we go to our doom.”!

We started slow, heading into Saturday’s tilts at just 1-2 (blowin’ yet-another Top 25 prediction based on a total), before catchin’ a second-wind, but ultimately could not fend-off a flurry of losses, finishing the fortnight at 8-9 (67-75-3, .472). With Halloween on the horizon, more-frightenin’ then Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees,   Leatherface and Dr. Frank-N-Furter all rolled into one, it’s…
(Seein’ more action than a Louisville basketball recruit!)

West Virginia (+14) over #5 TCU: Both come in having spent some extra time-off. Two of last three in this series have gone to at least one overtime period. Mounties 31-30 defeat last season kicked-off a three-game SU losing streak. ‘Eers on current 0-3 SU/ATS slide and face fourth straight ranked opponent. But the Froggies visit Stillwater next week and after yielding just 19 ppg last year, are granting almost 39 points per game in 2015, including 37 in home-win vs. Southern Methadone University…TCU 49 WVU 41
North Carolina (-3) over #23 PITTSBURGH: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We concur with the line, which suggests the Tarheels have been lying in wait for this one vs. Panthers squad that has won four consecutive matches by a touchdown or less and has seen six of eight overall decided by eight or fewer points…Carolina 23 Pitt 17

SAT. OCT. 31
#1 Ohio State: IDLE (next vs. Minnesota)

#2 Baylor:  IDLE (next 11/5 @ Kansas State)
#3 Clemson (-10 ½) over NC STATE: For the Game of Thrones fans, Vindy pushed Tigers coach Dabo Swinney out the Moon Door, ahead of Clemson’s 58-0 shutout of Miami, because he wantedto see the halftime-man ‘fly’!” While we certainly didn’t anticipate that kinda’ margin-of-victory, now-former Miami coach Al Golden was kicked to da’ curb as a result, like we predicted in Week 8. Wolfpack, 4-2 ATS, rebounded from a pair of tough losses vs. the Carnals…er…um…Cardinals…and the Hokies…by whackin’ Wake Forest last week. The D has been solid, allowing only two opponents more than 20 points and CU faces a CFP survival game next vs. the Seminoles, but… Tigers 27 NC State 14

#4 Louisiana State: IDLE (next 11/7 vs. Alabama)
#6 Michigan State: IDLE (next @ Nebraska)

#7 Alabama: IDLE (next vs. LSU)
WASHINGTON STATE (+11 ½) over #8 Stanford: Despite 45-42 track-meet at Arizona, can’t see bucking the momentum of the surging Cougars, who’ve won 5 of 6 after dropping opener to FCS Portland State. Trees look for sweep of Apple State teams following win over UDUB (Cardinal’s first spread-loss in six games)… Stanford 44 Wazzou 37

#21 TEMPLE (+10) over #9 Notre Dame: Leprechauns got a bye last week. Owls have three outright triumphs when getting points on the year and have covered 5 of 7 overall. Irish have been unreliable as road chalk. Temple grudgingly allows points-against and has cashed four tickets in as many opportunities against the Top 25. TU didn’t close out “upset” at ECU until final 3:30 to play, but how’s this for our UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK???!!! ... Barnyard Birds 27 Catholics 24
Maryland (+17) over #10 IOWA: With Nebraska falling by the wayside, Hawkeyes only remaining challenge to a perfect regular-season looks to be a road-trip to Indy next week. Terps have played some inspired ball since 28-zip defeat by the Wolverines and punted just twice in 1-point loss to Penn State last weekend...Iowa 31 Turtles 20

#11 Florida (-2 ½) over Georgia (@ Jacksonville, FL): We find no compelling reason to think Crocs won’t win and cover this. RB Nick Chubb had 7 rushing touchdowns before injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. Dawgs have recorded 0 rushing scores in the past two games and have lost three consecutive matches overall. Gators won big in last season’s edition following three Cocktail Party victories by Joja’. UGA QB Lambert shows nice 9-2 TD-to-pick ratio but Florida has limited opponents to just 8 aerial touchdowns while grabbing 7 interceptions and allowing 55.5% completion. If that’s not enough, Georgia won 9-6 vs. Missouri “between the hedges”. Gators won 21-3 in Columbia. Neither FG-unit inspires confidence, so it could get interesting if it’s close late in the game, but…Florida 24 Georgia 17
#12 Oklahoma State (-2 ½) over TEXAS TECH: Guns Up is 3-1 ATS in past tries as a home ‘dog, but none of those spreads were this close. Line might be respectful of shoulda’-been-victory vs. TCU, but ‘Pokes have the better D and can and will trade points on offense…State 34 Tech 28

#13 UTAH (-24) over Oregon State: Utes 38 Beavers 9
KANSAS (+39) over #14 Oklahoma: Sooners 44 KU 10

#15 Michigan (-14) over MINNESOTA: Second choice for lock of da’ week. Wolverines hit the field after two weeks to stew about crazy loss to Michigan State. Big Blue has three shutouts already and leads the country in scoring defense. Gophers laid a goose-egg at Northwestern and could be on the wrong end of one here too… Michigan 24 Minny 3
#16 MEMPHIS (-31) over Tulane: Tigers 49 Wave 13

Syracuse (+20) over #17 FLORIDA STATE: ‘Noles 28 ‘Cuse 13
Vanderbilt (+11) over #18 HOUSTON: The irresistible-force meets the immovable-object. Admirals lost by 9 at Mississippi…Coogs 31 ‘Dores 23

#19 Mississippi (-7) over AUBURN: Fer da’ Twilight Zone fans in the readership, Tigers wished-away WR D’haquille Williams into the cornfield earlier this month for punchin’ four (count ‘em, four!) guys in a dispute over sunglasses. If ya listen closely to da’ jukebox, ya can hear… “My future’s so bright, I gotta’ wear….shades!” Ole Miss has lost 5 of the last 6 years in this contest, including 35-31 last season, but need this to stay just behind idle LSU for contention in the SEC West. Expect the Tigers to start out flat after coming back to tie Arkansas late 4th Quarter only to drop the game in 4OT…Rebels 29 Auburn 17
#20 Toledo: IDLE (next 11/3 vs. Northern Illinois)

Miami @ #22 DUKE: OFF
Colorado (+21) over #24 UCLA: Bruins QB Josh Rosen was forced to wave “adios” to his in-room hot-tub this week. Seizing an opportunity to gain an edge, an anonymous Buffaloes graduate-assistant paid independent-contractors a few extra Jacksons to re-install the spa… in the visitors’ locker room!...UCLA 35 Colorado 19

#25 Mississippi State: IDLE (next 11/5 @ Missouri)

BTW, following a tumultuous offseason, the besieged No Ferns League, needing something positive, and thus taking a “kinder, gentler league” approach, agreed to establish similar conditions (overseen by the Department of the Interior) for draft-hopefuls taking the WonderlicTest at the 2016 Combine! To which we simply respond, “I am…Groot!”
With the NBA regular-season underway this week, K-State band-director Frank Tracz will attempt to honor a certain famous baller by having his charges reenact Starfleet Academy’s Kobe Bryant Maru training exercise! In related news, Volkswagen has been accused of creating software that defeats toxic emissions tests. Capt. James T. Kirk quickly came to the defense of the auto-maker, saying V-Dub didn’t cheat, it “simply changed the conditions of the test.”

With Boise State invading Sin City this weekend, we follow-up on our thoughts from Week 3 regarding upgrades being made to Sam Boyd Stadium…we think costumed mobsters in the end zones might provide more of the desired home-venue advantage!!! The stadium-operator will also engage sound-effects of coins droppin’ outta’ slot-machines each time the Rebels score and will show a digital-graphic of a pull on a slot-machine that may award UNLV extra possessions or bonus point-multipliers! (How’s that fer psychological warfare/getting’ into the heads of the opponents???!!!). And much like casino table-game pits do, the officiating crew will change referees periodically or when the visiting team starts to score too often!
Central Michigan offers a class comparing themes in modern-day flicks/TV series featuring post-apocalyptic scenarios, including zombies, etc., to those found in ancient Biblical content. Ironically, students found themselves reviewing Chippies game-film this week after their close-call at Ball State!

As promised, we propose a few more pigskin-related Beatles tunes in the wake of Week 8’s lead story…Julius Peppers’ Lonely Hearts-Club Band, Running Back Writer, Rocky Top Raccoon, She Came In Through the Locker Room Window and, of course,…Why Don’t We Don’t Do It In Da’ Road-Game!
GEICO insurance commercial meets Halloween meets football….”It’s da’ final Count Dracula-down-and-distance”!

If we tune-in to the horror movie Child’s Playbook, will we hear the evil doll say, “Hi! My name’s Chucky…and I’ll be your friend to the tight end!” Or maybe…”to the end zone?” How ‘bout…“I’m Chucky! Wanna’ plaaaaaaaaaay-off?”
Quoting Ash in one of our fave flicks, Bruce Campbell and the Army of Darkness…“Klaatuuuu…verata….(cough) Nitwit Lions…Nickle-back! (the position, not the band!)...Nicholls State!...Nickolodeon!...Nicole Kidman!” Fans of da’ movie know how that sequence turned-out!

Penn State has gone with the new NFL-type “FlyWire” collars on its uniforms this year. Reportedly, the collars “eliminate layers, reduce weight and provide lockdown fit”. The alma mater elected that option after initially testing “FlyPaper” collars, which simply attract and trap the insects-in-question around the neckline, giving players da’ heebie-jeebies!
Major League Baseball is considering lowering the boom on teams that spray fans with champagne in celebration of advancement in the playoffs, as doing so violates league policy against having alcohol outside the locker room. We’ll pretend we know nothing about the price-gauging 16-oz cups of Bud Light being purchased and consumed by folks in the stands throughout the ballpark. In response, celebrating-teams will shower fans with the old “snakes-in-a-can” trick instead!

“Wish We Had It Back”: We called the Florida State-4 ½ over JOJA’ TECH match our “best guess” for this category and yup…Bees took the game outright. Honorable mention to our Utah +3 ½ over USC selection. We woulda’ still stayed with that choice, but woulda’ gone with second-option Houston as “lock” instead!
“Locked in a Box?”:  Two weeks straight now, our second-choice has come thru while our designated teams have not! Utah got its asterisk handed to it by USC, continuing our death-spiral, currently at 1-7 (.125).      

Black Shirt: The prized-apparel is wingin’ its way to Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk for 379 combined rushing and passing yards that accounted for four scores, including game-winner in the 4th OT vs. favored-Virginia Tech!
Shoppe Talk: We’re hanging a few less Tigers on the wall as Clemson finally put one in the win-column for us (1-5, .167, 4-14 last 18, .222) but in their places, we string-up a bunch of coonskin caps as Tennessee checks-in at 0-4 (.000). Meanwhile, we’re revokin’ the earlier-awarded Black Shirt for FSU mascot-steed Renegade in light of current 1-4 slide by Florida State!

Vindy’s Week 9 Best Bets: Last Week: 3-2 Season: 19-19 (.500)
JOJA’ SUDDEN -21 over Texas State, Illinois +5 ½ over PENN STATE, NAVY -7 over South Florida, San Diego State -3 over COLORADO STATE, East Carolina -7 over UCONN, WAKE FOREST +11 ½ over Louisville, Oregon-ARIZONA STATE “over” 66

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 8-2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania (AP)…On the eve of last Saturday’s Nittany Lions-Buckeyes tilt in Columbus, Sir Paul McCartney entertained alma mater-faithful with an outdoor gig in Happy Valley. McCartney reportedly offered-up a few chants of “We Are!”, but truly-stirred the crowd-in-attendance by reprising such classics as “Marchin’ Band on Da’ Run”, “Da’ Long and Winding Road Game,“Ob-La-Dee-Fence, Ob-La-Daand “Listen to What Da’ Lineman Said”. The band wowed the fans during its encore, altering Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey lyrics to sing, “Hand-offs across the water, hand-offs across da’ sky…”. However, given the disastrous results of the Ohio State-Penn State game, administrators have forbidden the knighted-musician from appearing anywhere on the grounds in the future.

Farther west, like Eleanor Rigby…we picked up the Rice Owls at the church where our forecast had been…showing 10-7 for Week 7 (59-66-3, .472 season). Favorites covered 13 of 17, but the four ‘dogs that covered bit hard, winning three outright. Hopin’ to carry the momentum forward, we belt out a rousing version of “All Ya Need Is…
(After bein’ on da’ practice-field ”Eight Days A Week!”)

#20 California (+3 ½) over UCLA: MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. Rising Ursa Majors got a chance to relax and heal after 6-point loss to the Ducks. Host comes in on consecutive SU losses at Stanford and unranked Sun Devils. Berkeley has Jr. QB Jared Goff behind center, while UCLA still has a freshman behind the power-curve. UCLA has yet to beat the spread for a home-tilt to-date and is allowing video-game-worthy 41+ points-per-game. Snoop Dogg-offspring Cordell Broadus threw in the towel on his collegiate gridiron-tenure with da’ Bruins in lieu of a movie career! Great…can’t wait to see the formerly-promising wide-out reprise his daddy’s role as “Huggy Bear” in another remake of  “Starsky & Hutch”!!!...Da’ Bears 34 UCLA 24

#22 Temple (+3) over EAST CAROLINA: Temple, in the midst of an otherwise five-game losing-patch, managed to beat the Pirates 20-10 last year. The Buckos lost by a touchdown at Florida then were clobbered at Navy a week later. Owls have 19 starters back from 2014 and are one of three (count ‘em, three!) AAC teams in the rankings at the moment. Frankly, we like the Barnyard Birds’ 17-point win over the Alma Mater somewhat more than we like ECU’s 7-point victory vs. Virginia Tech…TU 31 Arrrgghhhh 27
FRI. OCT. 23

#18 Memphis @ TULSA (“Under 76 ½”):  Tigers 40 Golden Hurricane 20
SAT. OCT. 24

#1 Ohio State @ RUTGERS: OFF
Iowa State (+37) over #2 BAYLOR: Bears 63 ‘Clones 28

#3 Utah (+3 ½) over USC: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. MINOR “UPSET” PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. (Yeah, we know…we just cursed this one to epic-failure!) Troy’s favored? Really? When are da’ Utes gonna’ get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T???!!! Trojans may be drained after holding 7-point advantage through three quarters in South Bend, only to lose by double-digits to the Leprechauns. Utah will be on full-alert for trickeration after USC Coach Clay Helton went all “Les Miles” and busted out a WR-pass for a score against the Irish. The Evil Empire is on 1-3 spread-slide and we expect them to lose straight-up for the fourth time in five attempts. If nothing else, the hook is seriously-attractive in the event it turns out to be decided by a late FG. So much for more scholarships and release from league-restrictions …Utah 21 SoCal 16
#4 TCU: IDLE (next vs. West Virginia 10/24)

Western Kentucky (+17) over #5 LSU: Bengals 48 Hilltoppers 37
#6 Clemson (-6 ½) over MIAMI: We predict this will be the contest that sends ‘Canes’ coach Al Golden to the waiver-wire!....Tigers 28 Pelicans 19

Indiana (+16 ½) over #7 MICHIGAN STATE: Spartans won on much-replayed fumble- return fer TD on last play of da’ game, courtesy of a botched-punt by Michigan. And now back to our regularly-scheduled way-too-close programming … State 34 Indy 29
#8 ALABAMA (-15 ½) over Tennessee: Tide 38 Vols 13

#9 Florida State (-4 ½) over GEORGIA TECH: Best guess for “Wish We Had It Back”. Please excuse us while we wipe the egg off our face after calling “upset alert” for the Florida State-Louisville game (though in Vindy’s defense, Da’ Ville did take a 7-6 lead into the locker room after the first 30 minutes before losing by 20!). Bees are floundering in midst of 0-5 SU/ATS spiral. The option ain’t bad, producing about 25 ppg, but Tech is allowing about 35 ppg. Last two meetings were both in ACC Title matches, resulting in narrow victories by the ‘Noles, including last year’s 37-35 decision that sent State to the CFP. ‘Jackets have to win-out, starting here, to grab a post-season berth…FSU 24 GT 17
Washington @ #10 STANFORD: OFF

#11 Notre Dame: IDLE (next @ Temple)
#12 Iowa: IDLE (next vs. Maryland)

#13 Florida: IDLE (next vs. Georgia)
#14 OKLAHOMA STATE (-34) over Kansas: Changed our original selection here (consider yerselves duly-advised)…OKSU 48 Bluebirds 12

#15 tie Texas A&M (+5 ½) over #24 MISSISSIPPI: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK…A&M 33 Ole Miss 30
#15 tie Michigan: IDLE (next @ Minnesota)

Texas Tech (+14 ½) over #17 OKLAHOMA: The coin likes…Sooners 38 Red Raiders 31
#19 Toledo (-14 ½) over UMASS: Rockets 34 Minute Maid 17

#21 Houston (-22) over CENTRAL FLORIDA: Second-choice for “lock” pick. Golden Knights won 17-12 in last year’s edition and all the teams UCF squeaked by in 2014 are coming back to exact a pound of flesh in 2015.  Gilded Paladins, who were beaten earlier by FCS-squad Furman, did post their initial cover of the campaign last week, losing by 14 to Temple, who just mighta’ peeked ahead to aforementioned ECU tilt. Coogs won’t be concerned with upcoming visit by Vandy…UH 42 UCF 13
#23 Duke (+3) over VIRGINIA TECH: Given the state of the Ramblin’ Wreckage, Duke hasn’t toppled anyone of note and has been away from Raleigh only at Tulane and West Point. Devils have won just once in this series over the last five years, but did get a week off coming in. VT gets original starting QB Brewer back from season-opener injury…Dante’s Azur Inferno 17 Hokies 16

SYRACUSE (+6 ½) over #25 Pittsburgh: Orange went to three overtimes last week in loss to Virginia, while Panthers basically traded touchdowns with Joja’ Tech until getting the winning fitty-six-yard FG late in the game. It’s Homecoming for Da’ ‘Cuse, which lost by 10 at LSU and whose only poor game was 21-point defeat at South Florida. The O is back on track, averaging 32+ ppg after just 17 ppg in 2014. The last two games at the Dome have been decided by 1-point each. Orange hopes to take advantage of only home-game in a five-week stretch. Pitt, who has 4 games decided this year by 7 or less, hosts North Carolina next on a short five-day turnaround…Pitt 21 Syracuse 17

BTW, Vindicator was onsite for the concert-in-question and implored the band to do “Strawberry Field-Goals Forever” and “Lucy in Da’ Sky with Dive-Plays” before being forcibly-removed from The Green by campus security! In response to the cease-and-desist letter, McCartney et al published a statement, altering song lyrics again, to read…”We’re so sorry….Uncle JoePa. We’re so sorry if we caused you any pain….”. More thoughts on this topic next week!
In preparation for facing da’ Boise State Broncos off the upset, Wyoming has equipped all its tackling dummies with Takata air bags this week!

In the wake of revelations that Volkswagen tried to cheat emissions tests, V-Dub has just been named the official car of the New England Patriots! (And off the State College performance, McCartney and his teammates went to Foxborough to perform “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill Belichick”!)
In April, Belichick seemed to be checking-out Chrissy Teigen, for which he was called-out at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner by John Legend. The photo of Coach’s eyes and sly smile could be interpreted as focused on Teigen’s derriere, but could be…in his mind…he was simply reliving Russell Wilson’s goal-line guffaw in the Super Bowl or some other devious play he’ll bust out vs. some unsuspecting opponent in this year’s regular season. Coach He of Da’ Hoodie’s gaze could’ve easily been the “one-K stare” or maybe he has a beautiful mind a la the late John Nash and saw nothin’ but numbers, X’s and O’s!

At halftime of the Giants-IGGLES Monday Night Football game, the “Star Wars: Da’ Forecast Awakens” trailer debuted, during which we heard Yoda say, “Holding, you were. Play again the down, you will.”
This summer, we noticed a headline in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that simply read, “Star Catchers Recital”. Our first thought?….Baseball players wearin’ da’ “tools of ignorance” and excelling at that position…bustin’ a move! In reality….it was a bunch youngsters dancin’ to various types of music.

The NHL’s governing board gave the nod for OT contests this season to be potentially decided by three-on-three match-ups before eventually going to a shootout, if necessary. What wasn’t announced was that the visiting team’s trio of skaters will be selected at random from its fans attending the game! The league will also permit a coach’s challenge in some limited situations, including questionable goals. But unlike other sports, in which coaches whip-out a red flag, NHL coaches will have to toss an octopus on da’ ice to initiate the review!
“Wish We Had It Back”: We backed Boise State layin’ double-digits on the MWC road despite the little voice in our head yellin’ “USU is the only remaining team that can take down the Broncos for the conference title! Don’t do it! Don’t do it!”

“Locked in a Box?”:  Da’ Lions tanked… badly… at Da’ Shoe, dropping the “lock” tally to 1-6 (.143).     
Black Shirt: Goes to Wolverines punter Blake O’ Neill for mishandling a snap on a punt that sent Michigan State to the predicted upset-win! Honorable mention to Baylor reserve (and Freshman) QB Jarrett Stidham for the nine-yard scoring toss with about 90 seconds to play that would net da’ Bears a cover and cash Vin’s only winning wager on the week and BU receiving-TD school-record-setting Corey Coleman for three pass-catchin’ scores along the way!

Shoppe Talk: The Shoppe wall continues to be adorned with Clemson Tigers (0-5, .000; 3-14 last 17, .176). Baylor gets a pass (1-4, .200) and shoulda’ been our “lock”.  We’re stuffin’ Leprechauns this week as Irish show-up at 2-5 (.285) and da’ Buckeyes are on a short-leash at 2-4-1 (.333)!
Vindy’s Week 8 Best Bets:  Last Week:  1-4 (Bless you, Kent State!)   Season: 16-17 (.485) BOSTON COLLEGE-Louisville “under” 37, Missouri-VANDY “under” 35, Auburn +6 over ARKANSAS, SOUTHERN MISS -16 over Charlotte,  New Mexico +7 ½ over SAN JOSIE STATE


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 7-2015

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (UPI)…Commensurate with the onset of the baseball post-season, the self-promoting “Pete Rose Bar & Grill” opened recently on the Las Vegas Strip to much ballyhoo. “Specials” at the sportsbar-restaurant venue reflect the controversial player’s MLB history, including Cincinnati chili and the Philly Cheesesteak sammich. HR (Human Resources, not Home Run!) has decided potential employees must be filmed sliding head-first, a la Charlie Hustle, into customers’ tables. Second interviews require applicants to demonstrate the willingness to barrel into servers at rival restaurants…to dislodge food and drinks being brought to opposing-patrons!

An early 1-0 advantage going into Saturday’s slate, courtesy of the Huskies’ outright defeat…on the road…of USC, was short-lived, as we ended up 8-13 (49-59-3, .454).On the positive side, we benefitted from three of the four Top 25 upsets, including our own Cowboys SU-over-da’ Mountaineers call! Not to be confused with symptoms of   “yer choice-of-da’-meat-sweats”, it’s…
(Now serving breakfast-picks all-day long!)

#15 STANFORD (-6) over #18 Ucla: Cardinal basically owns this series, winning SU four times in the last three seasons by 21, 14, 18 (and 3 in the 12-PAC title game of 2012 a week after aforementioned 18-point victory). The clubs are diametrically-opposed in terms of performance after a week off. Cardinal sucks, Bruins excel.  Trees were defeated by every ranked team it faced last year, except…UCLA. Bruins have already dispatched a pair of then-Top 25 opponents to unranked or “others receiving votes” column. Nonetheless, we’ll back the senior QB for the home-team over the freshman QB that saw his squad lose by 2 touchdowns to unranked Arizona State before the bye, showing there’s still some room for improvement…SU 27 Bruins 16

FRI. OCT. 16
#21 Boise State (-10) over UTAH STATE: Broncos 31 USU 13

#24 Houston (-19) over TULANE: With 16 returning starters back, including a collective six combined linemen on either side of the ball, Green Wave was expected to be somewhat-improved from previous versions, but is 1-3 ATS in FBS play and has been smoked by Duke, Joja’ Tech and Temple. Coogs beat Louisville and potent Tulsa team, both away, resulting in current 13-1-1 spread record on the road. Tulane shocked Houston last season, winning 31-24 getting 17 points! Not this time. Wave hasn’t managed more than 10 points in any game outside UCF and FCS Maine contests. UH 41 Da’ Wave 14
SAT. OCT. 17

Penn State (+17) over #1 OHIO STATE: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Nifty Lions step into the batter’s box for their first official at-bat in da’ Picks this season (having supported our “best bets” segment to open the year by failing to cover…and unfortunately, losing outright…at Temple). The Alma Mater took the reigning National Champs to double-extras last year, losing 31-24 in Happy Valley, but haven’t beaten the Buckeyes SU since 2011. Following loss to the Owls, PSU has run-off five straight victories…at home…over nobody special. In first season under Coach Franklin, Lions lowered points-against by 8 ppg, but also dropped scoring-output by a like number. Seemingly, both trends have carried over to 2015. Lions also come in at 5-1 “under” the total. OSU ain’t exactly burnin’-up scoreboard bulbs either. The hometown-heroes have yet to beat da’ spread…Buckeyes 24 Lions 19
#2 BAYLOR (-21) over West Virginia: This got a good , hard look for “lock of da’ week”. Kudos to the Mounties for the OT loss to Oklahoma State that validated our “upset pick of da’ week” last Saturday. WVU’s only opportunity to even cover this is too keep moving the chains behind the running game.  ‘Eers accounted for Baylor’s only regular-season loss last year, winning 41-27 and ultimately denying da’ Bears a playoff berth. We expect BU to pile-on every chance it gets…Baylor 63 West Virginia 30

#3 Texas Christian (-20) over IOWA STATE: Kermits 48 ‘Clones 17
#4 UTAH (-7) over Arizona State: Utes 27 ASU 12

Boston College (+16) over #5 CLEMSON: Eagles went down 3-zip to Weak Forestat Chestnut Hill???!!! BC has been kept off the board twice in last four games, surpassed only Hawaii, who shows three scoreless games, posting just 24 points while giving up 40 points over same span. Tigers visit Coral Gables next and one would generally expect enough offensive-cohesion at this point of the season to produce at least a couple field goals or an actual touchdown, even with a mostly-new bunch of starters.  Vindy does his best impersonation of Peyton Manning crooning some version of the Nationwide jingle…”Clem-son Tiiii-gers, kiss our a$$$!” What’s the worst that can happen?…CU 20 BC 10
#8 Florida (+9) over #6 LSU: Bengals took major advantage of an unexpected home-opportunity last week, as flooding sent the game from Columbia to Baton Rouge, leadin’ the Ol’ Ball-Coach to wave bon voyage to his school. Crocs just lost starting QB Will Grier to a potential year-long suspension for PEDs. While Grier was just 7th in the conference in passing yardage, he did record a nice 10-3 touchdown-to-pick ratio. His replacement is former starter Treon Harris, who has garnered his game-minutes this year against New Mexico State and East Carolina. Heisman-candidate Fournette will run for enough yards to get the LSU victory vs. SEC’s #4 rush defense that’s toppled a good Ole Miss team and the two squads last in conference rushing yardage…Kentucky and Mizzou… Tigers 27 Gators 21

#7 Michigan State (+8) over #12 MICHIGAN: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. In light of the Wolverines completing a hat-trick worth of shutouts last week (over emotionally-drained BYU, a poor Maryland club…and…okay, we were obviously looking for a better performance from…Northwestern), the bettors have been all over Big Blue, which opened layin’ less than a touchdown. Easy money, right? Quotin’ Lee Corso, we say “Not so fast, my friend!” While Sparty is on worrisomely-unimpressive 0-6 skid ATS against a schedule that’s been a Who’s Who of……well…(even Oregon’s fading and last two weeks have featured close-wins against two teams from the Big Ten’s lower-tier), State has won 6 of last 7 in this series (the lone UM victory was here in 2012, ending 12-10) and has lost a grand total of three games over what’s now basically two-and-a-half seasons. MSU will be led by its own defense and senior QB Connor Cook. Paul Bunyan’s Asp (sumthin’ like that!) goes to…. Michigan State 23 Michigan 20
#10 Alabama (-4) over #9 TEXAS A&M: Tide 34 Aggies 27

Louisville (+7) over #11 FLORIDA STATE: UPSET ALERT. Seminoles 19 Cards 16
#13 Mississippi (-10 ½) over MEMPHIS: Ole Miss 38 Tigers 17

Southern Cal (+6 ½) over #14 NOTRE DAME: Best guess for “Wish We Had It Back.” We’re backing away from our initial thoughts on this one. Trojans are off the upset by UDUB on Friday. Irish got almost all of the replay-calls, some uncharacteristic 15-yard penalties vs. the Midshipmen and some special teams’ miscues by the Sailors (that lead to a 10-point swing) to grab the cover last week. In the wake of another alcohol-related incident, USC has asked Steve…to leave. Men of Troy will be desperate to grab a victory and Leprechauns have lost their post-Navy matches in each of last two years and barely beat Purdue in 2012. Addition by subtraction for SoCal, but…ND 28 USC 24
#16 Oklahoma State: IDLE (next vs. Kansas)

#17 Iowa (-2) over #20 NORTHWESTERN: Hawkeyes 24 NW 16
#19 Oklahoma (-4) over KANSAS STATE: Tough call, but we don’t think Wildcats can rebound enough after dropping killer two-point loss at Oklahoma State then blowing 18-point halftime advantage over da’ Horny Toads to lose by 7 last week. Sooners lost 31-30 in 2014 and will bring the A-game after defeat vs. panicky Texas squad. ‘Cats have covered last three home-dog opportunities, but Okie-Doke dispatched then-ranked Tennessee and then-ranked West Virginia. Texas ran for nearly 6 yards per tote in the upset, but K-State’s ground game comes in at 7th in the conference (though shows 15 TDs). We like the Sooners to pass their way to the cover… Oklahoma 34 K-State 24

Eastern Michigan (+28 ½) over #22 TOLEDO: Jupiter 2 34 EMU 7
#23 California: IDLE (next 10/22 @ UCLA)

#25 Duke: IDLE (next @ Virginia Tech)

BTW, athletes who discreetly-reveal that they’ve made wagers on teams within their own sports receive discounts and are availed access to the restaurant’s secret menu!
Back in April, Penn State gridiron coach James Franklin threw out the first pitch of the Tampa Bay @ Yankees contest on same night USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, who took the NCAA mound at Southern Cal, did likewise for the Giants at the Dodgers game (while blasted and blabbering that…”[all the other teams in the NL West Division] ‘suck’”. A month later, Urban Meyer made the initial toss at a Yankees game. We’re just wonderin’…at some point, will the NCAA reciprocate and allow a Major League hurler to call the ceremonial first play from scrimmage of some college football game?!

Remember last week’s pick of Kansas +44 over BAYLOR based on Marc Lawrence’s trend of backing a winless team off an SU/ATS loss facing an undefeated squad? Yeah, us too! Didn’t work out. This week, 5-0 Temple hosts 0-6 Central Florida, who was bashed 40-13 as 2 ½-point chalk…in Orlando…last week by downtrodden UConn. Screw the trend!
If yer scorin’ at home, a review of our selections on totals as opposed to sides has us at an epic-fail-worthy 2-9 in the Picks (though 3-2 in our “best bets”). Guess who ain’t gonna’ be makin’ over/under calls  in the regular selections anytime soon ???!!!!

BTW, for those who watched the Packers-Rams game and heard the CBS broadcasting banter, we too, “are glad the ankle is still part of the foot!” after the James Jones touchdown!
An article by REUTERS last week, indicated Taylor Swift had the most global-wide Instagram followers at damn-near fitty-million, ahead of Kim Kardashian’s 48.1 million. Coming in at the five-hole was Ariana Grande, a little shy of 45 million. Not-surprisingly, the Vegas Vindicator tied fer #6 at 44.5 million fans… with the donuts that Grande licked!

Back in March, USA Today reported Jack Eichel was the prize the worst NHL teams were tanking for. Was the unspoken motto then…Slack for Jack???!!!
“Wish We Had It Back”: We called our OHIO ST -33 ½ over Maryland our best guess for this category (and the seemingly-defenseless Buckeyes didn’t disappoint!)

“Locked in a Box?”:  Da’ Ensigns kicker missed a FG in the first-half that let the Irish deny us our second lock-win on the year, leaving the season record at 1-5 (.167…OUCH!)     
Black Shirt: The highly-coveted undergarment this week goes to Cowpokes QB JW Walsh for the two-yard keeper into the end zone in OT that validated our “upset pick of da’ week” at West Virginia! Honorable Mention to Arkansas wide-out Dominique Reed fer a fitty-fo’ yard TD catch with just more than 90 seconds left to give the Pork Tenderloins (and Vindicator) da’ cover vs. ‘Bama!

Shoppe Talk: ‘Bama (now 2-4, .333) gets to “roll” away (but not too far!). Clemson (0-4 season, 3-13 [.188] over last 16 appearances!) continues to be da’ bane of our forecast existence! We have nothing good to say about Baylor (0-4. .000) or Joja’ (1-4, .250; 0-4 skid)! If yer scorin’ at home and wonderin’ who’s actually supportin’ Vindy’s Picks…Ole Miss leads the way at 4-1 (.800)! Former problem-child Oklahoma shares a 3-0 run with USC. Da’ Seminoles get some Vindicator-love at 4-2 (.667)!
Vindy’s Week 7 Best Bets:  Last Week: 2-3     Season: 15-13 (.536)

Tulsa +10 ½ over EAST CAROLINA, Akron +11 over BOWLING GREEN, Kent State +7 over UMASS, OLD DOMINION -7 ½ over Charlotte,  NEW MEXICO -4 ½ over Hawaii

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Vindy's Picks Week 6-2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP)…The Rolling Stones kicked-off a tour this summer in Atlanta at Bobby Dodd Stadium, home of da’ Joja’ Tech Yellowjackets football team. The crowd went nuts when Mick and the boys broke into a live version of “Bees of Burden”! The Nittany Lions concert choir subsequently accompanied the famous rockers for a gig at Heinz Field, home of da’ Steelers, where media overheard…”I see a *red zone* and I want to paint *Pitt* *black*”?! Other venues on the slate include Raleigh, North Carolina and Kent, Ohio. Songs on the playlist include “Sympathy for da’ Blue Devils” and “Jumpin’ Jack Golden Flash”, respectively! Promoters are reportedly scheduling a local date at the Meadowlands, where Rutgers fans anxiously await singing along to such lyrics as “I will be your Scarlet shi-ning ar-morrr…coming to your E-motionallllRescuuue”.

Vindy mustered a disappointing 7-10 result for last week, failing to correctly pick a game featuring a team in the AP Top 8, but saw his preferred selections (lock of da’ week and best bets) combine to go 6-2 (.750), prompting your omniscient oracle to croon, “Ya’ can’t…al-ways git what ya waa-aaannnt! Ya’ can’t..always git what ya waaa-aannnt! Ya’ can’t…always git what ya waaa-aannnt! But if ya try sometimes…you’ll fiiiind…ya git what ya neeeed.” With the puck droppin’ on the NHL regular season tonight, from behind the photo of a goalie-masked Tim Thomas, kept inside his driver’s side visor (raise yer hand if ya remember that commercial!), Vindy reveals…
(Servin’ “Five fer Fightin’-Irish”!)

Washington (+17) over #17 USC: Trojans 31 Sled Dogs 17

SAT. OCT. 10
#1 OHIO STATE (-33 ½) over Maryland: Best guess for “Wish We Had It Back”. Will the Buckeyes, on 0-4 ATS slide, score 34 this week?! Once a quarterback instrumental in da’ Buckeyes national championship venture last season, Braxton Miller, at WR, has basically been a non-factor to-date. State managed of all of a pair of FGs in first-half vs. Indy squad not known for its defensive prowess. Following yet-another slow start, just before the 3rd Quarter, Coach Meyer called Uber and arranged rides to get his offense downfield in the final 30 minutes. Likewise, Terps have a lot of seniors on offense, but have produced just six total points over past two weeks. Da’ Alma Mater  visits Da’ ‘Shoe next week…OSU 41 Terps 3

KANSAS STATE (+9) over #2 Texas Christian: Frogger 34 KSU 31
KANSAS (+44) over #3 Baylor: Marc Lawrence’s Playbook. Com recommends wagering against any undefeated team facing a winless club off an SU/ATS loss starting in Week 5 forward. There were no match-ups meeting the criteria in Week 5, but the forth- coming Saturday offers one such opportunity in this one as da’ Bears have won all four of its game SU and the Jayhawks are winless and coming off a spread-loss at Iowa State.  (We’re countin’ on ya here, Marc!)…Baylor 57 Kansas 17

#4 Michigan State (-15) over RUTGERS: RU was on a bye while State squeaked past Purdue after taking a 21-zip to the locker room at halftime. Spartans have easily covered road games ahead of Michigan match in each of the past two seasons.  Collectively, these teams are 0-8 ATS on the year. At the behest of presidential-wanna’-be Chris Christie, Rutgers is piloting the governor’s proposal on immigration, enlisting Fed-Ex technology to monitor the ongoing-whereabouts of opposing players who’ve crossed state-lines into New Joisey for games in Piscataway vs. the Scarlet Knights. When the game-clock shows zeroes, the opponents will receive text-messages telling them it’s time to return to from whence they came! Data on home-foes Norfolk State, Washington State and Kansas has already been recorded and transmitted!...MSU 34 Garden State Parkway Paladins 17
#5 UTAH (-7) over #23 California: Utes 41 Bears 30

#6 CLEMSON vs. Georgia Tech (“Under 54 ½): Tigers 27 Bees 21
SOUTH CAROLINA (+13) over #7 Louisiana State: Eastern Michigan scored two touchdowns in a 38-second span of the 2nd Quarter and LSU let off the throttle following a pick-six early in the final stanza, just running out the clock for last 12 minutes of the game, up 22, to support our dog-plus-44 selection! Poultry’s on 1-3 ATS skid, losing by 14 to Mizzou last week. We don’t trust either side and let da’ coin make da’ call (you’ve been duly-advised!). Last week, Starbucks announced that from now on, it will only use eggs from cage-free chickens. In a like move, the Gamecocks football team will field only cage-free athletes on da’ gridiron!...Bengals 24 Nuggets 16

Arkansas (+16 ½) over #8 ALABAMA: Tide 31 Soooeey Pigs 20
#9 Texas A&M: IDLE (next vs. Alabama)

Texas (+16 ½) over #10 Oklahoma (@Dallas, TX): Steers have faced three Top 25 opponents and been smoked by two of ‘em, but Sooners have a more-dangerous game next week at Kansas State. Charlie Strong’s season is slipping away quickly with Texas at 1-4 SU and if his team has any pride left all, they’ll bring it here. We rely on the recent history of this series, which shows Texas splitting the last two SU and covering both (losing by just 5 in 2014). UT did a Game of Thrones-themed video ahead of its Spring Game. We’re thinkin’ they’ll do one here too, reprising the Red River Rivalry Wedding episode, to which we simply respond…”The North Dallas-Forty Remembers.”…OK 31 ‘Horns 19
#11 Florida (-4½) over MISSOURI: Tigers seem to excel when they’re getting very little love from the media and handicappers, but minus the aforementioned win over South Carolina, Mizzou is truly struggling, will be without suspended QB Maty Mauk (which actually might be a positive!) and is 1-3 ATS. Gators, going back to last season, have now covered 8 of last 10 matches. Chomp looks fer a little payback after getting’ bashed by Missouri in 2013 and 2014...Florida 20 Missouri 13

Miami (+9 ½) over #12 FLORIDA STATE (“under 51): Settin’ a new precedent, we’re selecting both a side and a total on da’ same game!...FSU 23 ‘Canes 16
#13 Northwestern (+8) over #18 MICHIGAN: Big Blue has thrown back-to-back shutouts and allowed just 14 total points in last four games. Purple Persians white-washed Minny 27-0 last week and have allowed an average of just 7 points per game over first five. Last March, Wolverines then-new head coach Jim Harbaugh satirically tempted DE Boss Tagaloa to join Big Blue with a sign that read, “UM would be sour without you, so let’s make it sweet Mich” after the De La Salle HS (California) player got invited to his prom by a similar sign. No idea if the player will ultimately select Ann Arbor, but Coach got himself several date-options for Michigan’s Homecoming Dance this week!...UM 16 N-DUB 14

#14 MISSISSIPPI (-42) over New Mexico State: Ole Miss 63 NMSU 14
Navy (+14 ½) over #15 NOTRE DAME: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Middies, 3-0 ATS in FBS competition, were busy trashin’ Air Force last week while Irish may have left it on the field, scoring 19 of final 22 4th Quarter points, only to come up short at Clemson. Our Lady has already seen some option this season, edging Joja’ Tech, but unlike da’ Jackets, da’ Ensigns believe in throwin’ the ball too. Only convincing-wins for the Leprechauns came vs. floundering Texas club and UMass. We wouldn’t be shocked to see an upset, but we’ll just say…Catholics 27 Boat People 20

#16 Stanford: IDLE (next 10/15 vs. UCLA)
#19 Georgia (-2 ½) over TENNESSEE: ‘Dawgs 28 Rocky Top 23

#20 UCLA: IDLE (next 10/15 @ Stanford)
#21Oklahoma State (+7) over WEST VIRGINIA: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. WVU and Oklahoma combined for (GASP!) 7 turnovers plus 23 flags for 245 penalty yards last week during Mounties 20-point home-loss (and an “over” that recorded our first “lock” win on the 2015 campaign!). State can swap sixes with the host team and plays a little D on the other side of the ball too…Cowpokes 35 West Virginia 29

#22 IOWA (-11) over Illinois: Iowa 24 Illinois 9
Kent State (+15) over #24 TOLEDO: Flashes, though 1-2-1 against the spread, have improved a bit from 2-9 SU campaign in 2014, being just 10 points from 4-1 SU this season rather than current 2-3. Trends support both sides, so gotta’ take the more-than-two touchdowns here. With the Rockets at 4-0 “under” the total, including a 2OT affair, we’d also consider “under” 44. Wisconsin Badgers coach Paul Chryst was quoted as saying, “I got a degree from Wisconsin. It’s not like you have to be a rocket scientist.” Apparently, that requirement is incumbent upon graduates of…Toledo 27 Kent State 14

#25 Boise State @ COLORADO STATE (“Over 59 ½”): Broncos have smoked three of the worst teams in the nation the past three games, hittin’ da’ fitties in each of ‘em while pitchin’ a pair of goose-eggs defensively. Rams are by no means one of the country’s lousiest teams and were embarrassed at Texas-San Antonio in Week 5. First-year CSU coach Mike Bobo inherited 15 returning starters, but none are his guys. Broncos need style-points to potentially keep pace with Toledo for that Group-of-Five spot in the New Year’s Six Bowls…Tater-Heads 44 Rams 24

BTW, we think NHL officials should be allowed to skate in shifts like the players…and be subject to penalties for…too many linesmen on the ice!
In a moment of nostalgia, Vindy has also decided that NHL games, still scoreless after the first OT period, should go to a shoot-out…using the 1976 Super Jock hockey player!

And as a matter-of-fact, your nimble narrator went 7-1 pickin’ games featuring squads among the AP #15 thru #24!
In light of da’ Alma Mater’s mere 20-14 win in Happy Valley vs. the Keydets of West Point, we note that the U.S. Army selected Penn State as a partner for its new educational fellowship. Twenty Sergeants-Major enrolled in the Fall semester in the online Masters of Education program in Adult Education, teaching enlisted soldiers in operation of all levels of leadership. They’re full-time students, stationed at the academy at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Vindy is familiar with Uncle Sam’s Air Defense Artillery School, having suffered thru Basic Training there in 1985 and suspects students are learning to bring down paper airplanes in the classroom with Vulcans and other “if it flies, it dies” weaponry!

Kudos to handicapper and Gaming Today contributor Richard Saber for going 17-3 over the past two weeks on his college football picks! (And we’ve probably just doomed his Week 6 selections!)
Ahead of their 27-14 victory this past Sunday in London, the NY Jets shipped 350 rolls of American toilet paper because the British brand (Quilted Northern Ireland?) didn’t quite measure-up density-wise. Fer the Seinfeld fans out there, we’re not sure how many “squares” were or weren’t “spared”, but a Native American spiritual healer attending the game rushed the field to help an injured player and got sandwiched between two other athletes simply trying to protect their fallen comrade, leading the scoreboard-operator to post a digital-message asking, “Please …don’t squeeze da’ shaman!”

Reachin’ back a bit fer this one, but…in July of 2013, Cowboys Stadium changed its moniker to AT&T Stadium. Jerry Jones was quoted as saying he wants “this building to be more familiar than the White House”. Only if multiple folks successfully jump the fences outside the structure-in-question or land their unauthorized gyrocopters on da’ fitty-yard line!
Acknowledging the beginning of this season’s MLB playoffs, we note that in order to demonstrate more respect for the game, Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig said he was gonna’ lower the number of bat-flips he did following successful hits. In a show of solidarity with the young Major Leaguer and givin’ a little love to the bookies, Vindy said he’d reduce the number of beer bottle flips after calling each winning pick!

 “Wish We Had It Back”: Texas +16 over TCU. We called it as such in our Week 5 forecast and the ‘Horns got ripped by the Toads 50-7!
“Locked in a Box?”:   We finally put a “lock” pick in the win-column (1-4, .200) behind the high-scoring affair between Oklahoma and West Virginia!    

Black Shirt: We split the onyx undergarment  between K-State back-up QB Joe Hubener for his 5-yard TD run that kept the Wildcats within the spread at Oklahoma State with about three minutes to play and Badgers QB Joel Stave fer the two picks and three fumbles that allowed Iowa to cash-in on our “upset alert” pick!
Shoppe Talk: Clemson hosed us again and now stands-in at 0-3 (.000) on the season and 3-12 (.200) in past 15 at-bats! Da’ Baylor Bears and Joja’ Dawgs each show-up this week at 0-3 (.000) and we’re pitchin’ a Big Top tent to accommodate da’ elephants of Alabama (1-4, .250)!

Vindy’s Week 6 Best Bets:  Last Week: 5-2   Season: 13-10 (.565) WESTERN MICHIGAN -7 ½ over Central Michigan, UConn-CENTRAL FLORIDA “under” 38 ½, Weeziana Tech -12 over UTSA, Duke-ARMY “under” 49, PITT-Virginia “under” 46 ½