Saturday, December 30, 2017

Vindy's Picks 2017-18 Bowl Predictions Part III

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN)…Nearly two months ago, folks at MIT developed a fiction-scribing bot and crammed it full of 140,00 amateur-written horror-tales to see if it could create such stories on its own. Recently-hearing about said-technology, the Vegas Vindicator made the trek to the northeast corner of the country and stealthily-shoved a like-volume of Vindy's Picks into the bot to determine if it could replicate his weekly forecast. While the bot easily spewed game-analyses and predicted-scores, the auto-correct could not handle other sections of the Picks, stumbling with "Between the Hash Browns", "Flock of da ' Week" and "Best Belts"! After multiple efforts, the bot sparked and sputtered and eventually crashed altogether. 
Doin’ all da’ little things that won’t show-up in da’ litterbox-score... 
(Still less-complicated than what defines an "NFL-catch"! [And "surviving contact with da' ground"]!)
SAT. DEC. 30 
TAXSLAYER BOWL (@ Jacksonville, FL) 
#24 Mississippi State (+6 ½) over Louisville: LOCK OF DA ' WEEK. UPSET PICK OF DA' WEEK. 2016 Heisman Trophy-recipient Lamar Jackson simply didn't have enough seasoned-contributors on offense around him to repeat. Should he elect to forfeit the Draft, he'll gain skilled-players on his side of da' ball, but will lose many Seniors on D. Cards won and covered 4 of last 5 tilts on the year, including three-consecutive games as double-digit chalk (losing only at upstart Wake Forest). Bowls haven't been kind to Da' Ville recently, having won just in past three years and covering only said-victory. Bulldoggies have won two of last three years' bowls, covering both wins, but were chalk in all three. We're leanin' on State's win over LSU and mere one-TD-defeat at 'Bama ahead of Redbirds 35-28 neutral-site victory over Purdue to kick-off the campaign...Canines 31 Louisville 27 
Iowa State (+3 ½) over #19 Memphis: MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA' WEEK #1. Tigers roll in at prolific just-shy-of-48 ppg. The bad news...Memphis OC and RB-coach has left da' building fer greener-pastures (ie. Cha-Ching!). Tigers tallied 8 games in eleven "over", including whacko 62-55 loss at Central Florida to miss out on AAC-title, in fact MU's only outright defeats came against UCF, the second-of-which ended a lengthy-stay in the Top 25. Tough call here. Tigers bested Arizona 19-16 in Tucson and Da' Middies 24-14 at home. But Cyclones, who'd entered just 8 wins over previous three seasons, toppled now-#2 CFP Sooners in Norman and beat TCU at in Ames, before 1-point loss at KSU in Manhattan. State, who took 3 of 6 outright as a 'dog to-date, could match its total SU win record over the past three seasons with the triumph here. ' So far, underdogs that cover ATS have also left with scoreboard-victories...Dust Devils 41 Memphis 30  
#9 Penn State (-2 ½) over #12 Washington: Somebody's skid of not beating a power 5 team outside its own respective conference the past 4 seasons comes to an end here. Neither club's non-conference slate in 2017 inspires awe. Both defenses will have their hands full trying to stop UDUB RB Miles Gaskin (1282 yards, 19 scores, 5.2 ypc) and the Alma Mater's RB Saquon  Barkley (1134 yards, 16 scores, 5.y yards per tote, 4th in Power five with 1738 yards). Huskies sport nation's top-rush-yards D but numbers might be a bit receiving, given early large leads that forced teams tot how often. Stanford notwithstanding, PSU might be best-defense Washington's faced and while Happy Valley doesn't quite mirror Alabama, Sled dogs, as good as they were in 2016, failed to get anything going offensively in 24-7 loss to da' Tide in last season's CFP...Lions 24 Huskies 19 
#11 MIAMI (+5 ½) over #6 Wisconsin: The knock on Wisky all season was its pastry-chef schedule and it coulda made a statement in the Big Tentacle title-game vs. the Buckeyes, but didn't get it done. We note however, Badgers did defeat six (count 'em, six!) fellow-bowlers. There were no real marquee-wins, but UW-Madison took-out FAU, which, after some ugly non-conference losses, rode a buzz-saw thru CUSA and its bowl-opponent Akron.  Badgers went 3-0 SU/2-0-1 ATS last three years' post-season donnybrooks, but by 3, 2 and 8. 'Canes looked somewhat like their dynasty-days of decades-ago, but mysteriously-fell at Pitt before gifting-wrapping Clemson the ACC-crown. Miami has scored a total of 17 points in its last pair of bowls of '15 and '16. Cheeseheads have topped 15 of 17 non-conference foes outright (11-6 against the number), with the two demises coming to LSU and Crimson Tide, but why do we feel compelled to back the Pelicans. Homefield ad, perhaps, where  Da' U has gone 7-0 outright at Da' Hard Rock?!...Wisconsin 20 Miami 16
MON. JAN. 1 
South Carolina (+8) over Michigan: Just an observation...but Coach Harbaugh has seemingly-been more egotistical-braggart than anything else?! Michigan failed, by-and-large against the better-teams on its slate. SC coach Will Muschamp clearly has experience vs. SEC teams, besting Mizzou club that finished strong, upset NC State on neutral-site to open the year and covered 6 of 7 getting points. Carolina went 7-4 "under". Big Blue brought back just one defensive starter from 2016, yet finished with 5 tilts below 43 and has been exceptional minus 42 at Beaver Stadium and 31 to Ohio State. Won't call the upset but not surprised if it happens...Wolverines 19 Poultry 16 
#10 UCF (+10) over #7 Auburn: This call is about motivation. War Eagle coulda' made da' Fab Four, but could not put Joja' away fer the second-time this year. Gilded Knights, 6-0 SU away from home, are perfect on the season would like to keep it that way, but only Power Five opponent-game vs, Joja' Tech Bees was postponed by Mother Nature. Only other gauge shows losses in 2016 at Michigan and vs. Maryland Though UCF bested Maryland this season). Tigers no-bargain vs. Top-25 foes...Auburn 41 Central Florida 37
#16 Louisiana State (-3) over #14 Notre Dame: Rematch of 2014 31-28 Music Bowl-victory by the Leprechauns. Bengals knocked-off Top 25 opponents twice in three tries this season after covering just four times in 13 tries the previous three campaigns, losing only in Tuscaloosa. Tigers blew-out Red Raiders in 2015 and Lamar Jackson-led Louisville in last year's post-season and could reach double-digit victories for first time since 2013 with triumph here. State's on 7-0 ATS run, while Catholics dropped last four to the line while getting their masses handed to 'em at Miami and Stanford. Our Lady has been poor 4-12 ATS in one-possession games...LSU 20 Touchdown Jesus 7   
#2 Oklahoma (+2) over #3 Georgia: Joja' has played well outside of Athens on the season, including 1-point win at South Bend and avenged only SU loss to Auburn in the SEC Title game. Sooners lone L surprisingly came at Iowa State, but won convincingly over all four ranked foes, including payback against Ohio State for 2016 loss, and both roles as a 'dog, and crushed TCU to grab the conference crown. Oklahoma has covered just 3 of last 10 neutral-site efforts, but were double-digit chalk in all of 'em. 'Dawgs continue to send players to the Gray-Bar Hotel and Coach Stoops will likely use the publicly-denounced perception that the Big 12 is a "step-below" as bulletin-board material...OK 38 UGA 20 
#1 Clemson (+3) over #4 Alabama: MINOR UPSET PICK DA' WEEK #2. Tigers and Tide have their own hat-trick goin' here, meeting-up for the third consecutive time, with each having taken one of the first two (though 'Bama covered neither). Over/Under is 47 based on Clemson finishing 9-3 "under" and 7 of those below this number, but both prior-pairings were high-scoring affairs and "over" wouldn't be a bad choice now. Tigers defeated and covered against all ranked teams it faced in 2017, has gone 6-1 ATS in last 7 neutral-site outings and 11-6 in non-conference tilts. 'Bama's only loss came at Auburn, but it looked vulnerable in single-digit wins at A&M and Mississippi State...CU 30 Pachyderms 27 
Cue-up John Mellencamp and sing it with us..."Sometimes bowls don't feel like they should, so make it...Jalen Hurts sooo-gooood!" 
A few suggestions on future bowls...Gold Bond Powder Spray Bowl, Cottonelle “Go Commando” Bowl, Snopes.Com Hoax Bowl and the VIPoo Bowl! 
If a Notre Dame RB has great game, did he channel Marshawn Lynch and go "Priest Mode"???!!! 
U2 front man Bono opined this week that music has "gotten very girly". Oddly, he said likewise about Vindy's Picks, leading the prestigious prognosticator to seek out SNL's Hans and Franz in an effort to become more "flex-ible"! 
 Is it just Vindy or does anybody else out there wanna' see a drone providing footage of a football game get destroyed by high-hangin' punt???!!! 
If football meets a current Camila Cabello hit involving the Cuban capital, would da' lyrics be …"My hard-count's in Havana with a man"??!!! 
Bizarre random thought...does "Ypc" actually stand for "Yards per Carfax"???!!! 
Black Shirt: The coveted-cloth goes to (#21 AZ) for roughing the Purdue K punting from deep on its own side of the gridiron early in the Second Quarter, extending the drive, ultimately-leading to Choo-Choos' TD and eventual 3-point win over the Wildcats! Second-place to #9 AZ for offside-flag on initially-missed PAT that produced as successful point-after on the re-kick. Honorable-Mention to the officiating-crew that missed a late pass-interference infraction by #9 Purdue. 
"Lock of Da' Week": The Middies trounced turnover-prone Cavs 49-7, raising the "lock"-record to 10-3-1 (.769). 
Vindy's Bowl Predictions Part III Best Bets: Last Week: 0-0 Season: 25-26-1 (.490) 
Michigan-South Carolina "Under 43", Central Florida-Auburn "over 66", Weeziana State-Notre Dame "under 52" 
Tune-in one last time next week as we offer our traditional Bowl Recap, call on da' National Championship game and, of course, leftover "hash"!