Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Vindy's Picks Week 1-2017


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (FOX News)…Shortly after settling-into his favorite seat at his fave football-viewing venue, local forecasting-legend Vindicator was forcibly dragged out of a local major sportsbook  to make space for casino employees. The incident was captured on cell-phone video, which immediately went viral. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a casino official said that after initially supporting the actions of the security team, the resort CEO had "reconsidered" and noted bettors in the book that day and other casino patrons will receive compensation in form of cash, casino chips, comps, drink coupons or free slot-play. Meanwhile, following an offseason spent bringing his picks to third-world countries across the globe as part of “Forecasters Without Borders” and penning the latest edition of Diary of A Vindy Kid, Vindicator breaks da’ huddle with his 2017 Preseason Forecasting Strategy Team of…Brent Musburger, former AG Sally Yates, dismissed Pricewaterhousecoopers accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, Mama June, United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz, April Da' Giraffe, Walking Dead duo Negan & "Lucille", Amazon Echo, Beverly Hills Dog Show winner "Ripcord", Christina El Moussa, Kathy Griffin, La Var Ball and OJ Simpson's parole-officer, stands-in at 1-1 after our Week 1 Early Edition, then calls the opening play from scrimmage for... 

(Getting dragged off of Wonder Woman's over-booked invisible-jet as we speak!

SAT. AUG. 26 
#14 Stanford (-30) over Rice (@ Sydney, Australia): This one's already in da' books as a forecast-dubya behind da' Trees' 62-7 victory last Saturday, AKA "Week Zero". 

#19 South Florida (-21) over SAN JOSE STATE: This one goes as a forecast-L as the Bulls missed the push by 1 and da' cover by 2, winning just 42-22, after spotting San Josie a 16-point advantage in the First Quarter
INDIANA (+20 ½) over #2 Ohio State: LOCK OF DA' WEEK. Buckeyes made da' playoffs last season with just a half-dozen returning starters and have insider-information via then-Hoosiers-head coach turned OSU-OC. Indy's former DC is now at the helm for Indiana and Hoosiers have covered each of the openers over the past three years, with margins of 21 or fewer, including 2015 7-point loss here after being spotted a three-TD handicap...OSU 28 Indy 24  

#8 Washington (-27 ½ ) over RUTGERS: Sled Dogs return a lion's-share of last season's playoff club, have covered last six weekday tilts, and improved scoring O and scoring D each of the past two years. Add the fact that Washington has gone 3-1 ATS in first four lined-contests each of the last two seasons. Rutgers fell 11 ppg scored last year while points-against continued to climb.  Knights fail miserably against the line facing ranked-foes and suffered four shut-outs in 2016, two of which occurred at Exit 9B off the Jersey Turnpike. Might be another one here. Huskies won by 35 in Seattle over RU to kick-off 2016. We see nothing to warrant a 4-point swing in favor of the Paladins...UDUB 44 Not Da' Knights' Watch 3 

#9 WISCONSIN (-27 ½) over Utah State: Badgers 38 Aggies 7 

#3 Florida State (+6 ½) over #1 Alabama (@ Atlanta, GA) : Not catastrophic for the loser, but winner gets a gold-star (for now) on the body-of-work for playoff purposes. Tide covered 10 of 14 last season but are just 1-9 in games decided by a TD or less. Tribe looks great on paper, returning 16 starters (10 on D) and have won ATS 3 times in as many tries vs. SEC squads (though two came vs. Rival-Gators). Elephants have won ATS 16 times in last 20 tries vs. the Top 25 prior to da' bowls and have had the entire offseason to stew about the crown that got away in the blink of an eye last January. Phil Steele notes Alabama as not captured a national title when granted the top-spot in the AP preseason poll. Uh-oh. Earlier this month, researchers at FSU created the strongest magnet on Earth. The device will be on the field in Atlanta this weekend as the 'Noles hope to use it to contain 'Bama's Jalen Hurts!... Pachyderms 24 State 23
Western Michigan (+27 ½) over #4 USC: Trojans 31 Broncos 21
Kent State @ #5 CLEMSON ("under 51): Tigers 35 Flushes 7 

Akron (+31) over #6 PENN STATE: This one got a good look for "lock". The Alma Mater is notoriously-slow outta' da' gate ATS-wise, covering just once in its past five season-openers, winning by no more than 20 in each of 'em and went a dismal 0-4-1 against the line to star 2016. The Zips on the other hand have taken the money in of 4 of their 6 road-dog chances the past two years, though just 3-6 in non-MAC tilts and 1-4 vs. Power Five clubs. They do however, have lotsa' seniors on the field, who will remember the last meeting was a 21-3 victory by the Lions in 2014. Nits have flourished on offense since Franklin took over, but Coach needs to find a solution to the continually-backpedaling scoring-D. With revenge-game vs. Pitt on-deck, we'll say...PSU 34 Akron 13 

Texas-El Paso (+44 ½) over #7 OKLAHOMA : Sooners 45 UTEP 6 

Tulsa @ #10 OKLAHOMA STATE ("under 69"): Cowpokes 38 Tulsa 24
#17 Florida (+4) over #11 Michigan (@ Arlington, TX): MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA' WEEK #1. A six-pack of Gators will ride da' pine fer this one over inappropriate expenditure of school-funds. Nonetheless, Florida was practicing while Jim Harbaugh and the boys were gallivanting around Italy this Spring. Da' wheels fell off da' blockin'-sled late last season for the Wolverines, who dropped 3 of last by 1, 3 and 1. Last meeting was a 41-7 romp by Big Blue in 215 Citrus Bowl. Just one starter back on D for Michigan while Crocs carry most returning starters on offense in 8 years. Florida garnered #1 Surprise Team label by Phil Steele and has covered 6 of last 8 neutral-ground tilts, winning five outright...UF 23 Michigan 20
#12 AUBURN (-34 ½) over Georgia Southern:  Tigers 51 Joja' Sudden 10
Brigham Young (+16) over #13 Louisiana State (@ Nawlins, Weeziana): Change of venue from Houston, Texas might provide a slight partisan-crowd edge for State. Marc Lawrence's Playbook. Com mag has Coogs on 7-0 ATS run prior to playing the Holy War vs. Utah. Mormons were either looking-ahead or playing-possum in mere 20-6 win over FCS Portland State week. In either case, we expect better effort here given a live-fire game under the belts. Bengals went 1-3 as double-digit chalk in 2016 and haven't won an opener by more than four the past three years. We'd consider an "under 48 ½" as well as Gaming Today notes BYU on a 10-3 "under" streak...LSU 19 BYU 16
#14 Stanford: IDLE (next @USC)
Appalachian State (+14) over #15 GEORGIA:  Joja' 27 'Eers 20
Purdue (+25) over #16 Louisville (@ Indianapolis, IN): Sluggers 41 Choo-Choos 24  
Bethune-Cookman @ #18 MIAMI: No line.
Stony Brook @ #19 SOUTH FLORIDA: No line. 
Central Arkansas @ #20 KANSAS STATE: No Line.

Maryland @ #23 TEXAS ("under 56"): Steers 24 Box Turtles 17 
Montana State @ #24 WASHINGTON STATE: No line.  
#22 West Virginia vs. #21 Virginia Tech (@ Landover, MD) ("under 51 ½"): Neither side has been fruitful in its respective-role here. 'Eers have improved steadily on D and get Florida-transfer Will Grier behind-center, but collectively, the pair has finished below this total 43 times in 54 opportunities (79.63%) the past two seasons. Mounties suck ATS vs. Top-25 and on neutral sites, but we'll just hope fer a low-scoring outing...Hokies 24 West Virginia 19   
Georgia Tech (+3) over #25 Tennessee (@Atlanta, GA) : MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA' WEEK #2. Dual-threat QB Joshua Dobbs is gone (though said-man-under-center led UT to no more than 7 SU victories in each of his seasons at the positions, including 3 straight bowl-victories) and field the lowest number of returning starters since 2014. Something has to give here as Rocky Top have covered last four on a neutral-site, while the Insects have won ATS in 3 of last 4 on said-ground. Tech's top-RB got the boot fer this one, but GT has three more in the stable. With an Elvis-impersonator doing his trademark arm-circle movement to indicate "start da' clock", frankly, we're just seekin' da' security of da' hook, but we'll boldly-state...Bees 27 Vols 24
BTW, there's no truth to rumor the casino-staffers-in-question were former employees of United Airlines 
A week ahead of FSU's contest against 'Bama, State prez John Thrasher made an ill-advised boast that the Seminoles would beat the Tide "pretty bad". We recommend officials in Tallahassee school Big John in "coach-speak". Meanwhile, we won't be stunned by an upset, but we're not ready to lay money on a special point-spread showing State winning by double-digits. If Da' Chop any margin...we foresee nightly-visits to the Thrasher household by the ghost of Bear Bryant a la any version of "Scrooge"! 
Fer da' Game of Thrones fans among the readership...Missandei of the Island of Naath: "You stand in the presence of Vindy of House Vindicator, Rightful heir to the Iron Throne, Rightful King of Da' Idaho Vandals and First Basemen, Protector of the Power-Seven Kingdoms. The Khaleesi of the Great Artificial-Grass Seattle. The UnBert and Ernie. The Breaker of Chain-Letters. The Brother of Flagons!" Sir Davros: "This is...Jon Snow...... King of da' North...Texas ..

Bizarre random thought...if the White House fielded a gridiron team that believed in leather-head-era strategies on offense, would players line-up in da' West Wing-Tee formation??!!
Ohio State QB JT Barrett will be under center again and is expected to pull-ahead of Art Schlichter in all-time passing. Let's hope he doesn't compulsively-gamble and surpass said troubled-man-under-center as all-time leading "punter"! 
As we note this time each year, from 1993-2008, at least two teams unranked in the AP preseason poll finished in the Top 10 of the final AP that season. In 2009, only Cincinnati did so and in 2010, only Stanford did so. 2011 saw no qualifiers. But 2012 saw a return-to-form with Notre Dame (#26 preseason) and Texas A&M (no votes in the preseason poll) finishing 4th and 6th, respectively, after opening the season without a hashtag by their names. 2013 had four (count ‘em four!) teams make da’ cut…title-game loser #2 Auburn, #3 Michigan State (which was #26 in the opening poll), #5 Mizzou and #10 Central Florida! Most recently, TCU finished the 2014-15 season at #3, while Joja’ Tech came in at #8! Last year, ’Da Coogs of Houston and da’ Iowa Hawkeyes, who saw no votes whatsoever in the 2015 Preseason poll finished at #8 and #9, respectively! Last season, the Wisconsin Badgers were unranked in the #28 spot (21 votes) but closed at #9, while the Alma Mater garnered nary an “aye” before the campaign, yet went home at #7. Your mission…should ya choose to accept it…is to figure out which squad(s) will surprise in a big way for 2017!

And upon further review, going back to 2002, at least one team in the AP Preseason Top Ten each season has finished outside the rankings in the final AP poll for that year. Two or more preseason darlings have done so nine times. Georgia and Florida, #5 and #10 respectively to begin 2013, ended up with nary a vote in the poll published following last year’s National Championship game. A closer look reveals that nine of those years saw a minimum of at least one SEC club get the dubious distinction (13 total from that conference over the current skid)…with at least one member of the SEC East falling in six of ‘em (eight total from the division), including 2014 preseason #9 South Carolina! The Big 12 gets honorable mention, showing five seasons with at least one qualifier, including 2014 preseason #4 Oklahoma (who had 7 votes in the final poll)! 2015 saw then-#6 Auburn, #8 USC and #9 Joja’ got zero, 10 and 109 votes respectively (‘Dawgs just missed, coming in at #26). 2016 saw the Frightenin’ Irish open at #10, but Our Lady would end the season vote-less. Again, we challenge the loyal readership to predict which team(s) from among 'Bama, Ohio State, Florida State, USC, Clemson, da' Alma Mater(GASP!), Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State will finish in relative-obscurity!  
Vindy meets a Fallout Boy tune meets a ride-sharing company meets a New York Yankees All-Star catcher so he can "dance like Uber Thurman Munson"! 
Fresh outta' cardboard boxes and paper-plates, yer humble narrator still took-in the August 21 solar eclipse after pokin' a pinhole in a parlay card and projectin' da' image on the forehead of a nearby bookie! 
Hooray for da’ “little guy”: Our picks for the FCS teams ranked or at least receiving double-digit votes in the FCS Coaches Poll that have the chance of knocking their FBS opponent this week: #1 James Madison over EAST CAROLINA, #20 Northern Iowa over IOWA STATE, #23 Cal Poly over SAN JOSIE STATE, Northern Arizona over ARIZONA, Tennessee State over JOJA' STATE and Will-I-Am & Mary over VIRGINIA. Ya' heard it here first, Sportsfans! 
“Locked in a Box?”:    Last Week: 0-0    Last Season: 9-8 (.529)   
Shoppe Talk: We'll employ the Romulan cloaking-device against Clemson, who burned us 10 times in 13 tries (.231),
West By-Gotham-City Virginia (2-6, .250) and 'Bama/Texas A&M (both at 3-7 prior to the bowls, .300). Joja' has been put on notice, having gone 3–8-1 (.273) over the past two seasons! 
For inquiring-minds that wanna' know...Weber-Friendlies included LSU (8 times on the predicted-side of the spread in 10 at-bats), Oklahoma State (6-2, .750 prior to the bowls) and Boise State (6-3, .667 prior to the bowls)
Vindy’s Week 1 Best Bets:  Last Week: 0-0 Last Season: 43-45-1 (.489, including 9-7-1 Championship Week forward) ARIZONA STATE vs. New Mexico State "over 71 ½", Wyoming @ IOWA "under 52 ½", Troy +12 over BOISE STATE, Cal +12 over NORTH CAROLINA 
Next week...more offseason silliness and some thoughts on...the NFL!