Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Vindy's Picks 2019-Week 1

WYOMING, Montana (UPI)...A botched report regarding a man “petting a bison” at Yellowstone National Park drew a sarcastic-response from the National Park Service, which published a tongue-in-cheek “Wildlife Petting Chart”. Upon further review, the incident-in-question simply involved an appreciative fan patting the helmet of an unidentified North Dakota State football player, who strayed from his team’s summer practices at the site and went for a run to “commune with nature”. Officials for NDSU, who won six of the last seven FCS Championship crowns, could not be reached for comment. 
After spendin’ da’ off-season doin’ GOAT-Yogurt (sumthin like that) and wanderin’ aimlessly through the NCAA transfer-portal while rockin’ a defensive lineman-bun and helpin’ DEMs-candidates prep fer debates, Vindicator breaks da’ huddle with his 2019 Preseason Forecasting Strategy Team of...Shazam, former Papa John’s-CO John Schnatter, disgraced “Empire”-actor Jussie Smollett, Houston Rockets baller James Harden, Dumbo,Jeopardy-wunderkind James Holzhauer, Lori Laughlin-daughter Olivia Jade, 15-year-old Wimbledon-sensation Coco GauffThe Walking Deadoffspring Judith Grimes, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, El Chapo, The Squad,  Major League Beisbol unanimous Hall-of-Fame-entry Mariano Rivera, now-former-Puerto Rico-Governor Ricardo Rossello, rapper A$AP Rocky and da’ River Ridge (Weeziana) Little League World Series champions, then exits “”Stage-*right* (raise yer hand if ya know the reference) to host a gender-reveal party for... 
(Entertaining British pilots since 1776!) 
#1 CLEMSON (-36) over Georgia Tech: CU 54 ‘Jackets 10 
Texas State (+33 ½) over #12 TEXAS A&M: Aggies 37 TSU 13
BYU vs. #14 Utah (“under 48 ½”): Coogs tanked 20-point Intermission-edge in 2018 to end-up on wrong-end of 35-27 decision. Utah has gone 3-0 SU/1-2 ATS last three outings, winning by 1, 6 and 8, finishing well-under this total and starts year against FBS-opponent for just second-time in eight tries.  Cougars haven’t won SU in this series since 2009, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see it happen against perhaps over-rated PAC-12 contender. Jus’ sayin’...Utah 21 BYU 20 
Tulsa @ #18 MICHIGAN STATE (“under 47 ½): Spartans 24 Tulsa 11 
#19 Wisconsin @ SOUTH FLORIDA (+13 and “over 57 ½): Rare double-call...spread & total, but...Badgers 37 Bulls 27 
SAT. AUG. 31
#2 Alabama (-35) over Duke (@ Atlanta, GA): Azur Beelzebubs are breakin’-in a new-kid under-center after NY Giants’ curiously-high-selection of Daniel Jones in April’s draft. Tide, with just the Aggies of New Mexico State waiting, will want to erase the nasty after-taste of no-show loss to Clemson in last season’s National championship match. Duke shows productive 11-3 against da’ spread in non-ACC games, but 0-3 facing the Top 25 in the past three years...Sushi Roll Tide Roll 49 Duke 6
VANDERBILT (+21) over #3 Georgia‘Dawgs 24 Admirals 7
Florida Atlantic (+27 ½) over #5 OHIO STATE: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. New Buckeyes’ QB-transplant-from-Joja' Justin Fields has yet to taking a starting-snap. Lane Kiffin’s charges should improve-significantly on both-sides of da’ ball. State’s more-experienced on the D-side of the ball...OSU 31Owls 18
Georgia Southern (+27 ½) over #6 LSU: Bengals 35 Joja’ Sudden 1
#7 MICHIGAN (-34) over Middle Tennessee State: Phil Steele, in his 2019 College Pigskin Preview mag adamantly-declared da’ Wolverines will be part of this season’s Final Four. We’re not convinced and Meeshigan has been bet-against 2-6 ATS in non-conference action the last two campaigns, but we’ll back Big Blew in this one vs. Blue Raiders-squad expected to have a down-year...Michigan 48 MTSU 9
Louisiana Tech @ #10 TEXAS (“over 55): Horns 41 LT 30
#11 Oregon (+3 ½) over #16 Auburn (@ Arlington, TX): MINOR UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. True Frosh Bo Nix starts this one for Aubie (9thinitial QB in last 11 openers for da’ Tigers). Mallards have posted outright wins away from the Pond in just 4 of previous-20, but garnered Phil Steele’s preseason #5 Surprise Team designation! Coach Malzahn’s hot-seat is about to go from toasty to “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” tanning-booth! Non-horror-film fans can just Google that reference!...Ducks 28 Tigers 24
Eastern Washington @ #12 WASHINGTON: No line. Surprised this match-up doesn’t occur more-regularly. Eagles lost crazy 59-52 decision in last meeting in September 2014 (a season that saw UDUB go just 8-5 in Coach Petersen’s first-year in Seattle)! 
Idaho @ #15 PENN STATE: No line. (Former I-A Vandals come in at #32 FSC poll, grabbing 18 votes!)
Florida A&M @ #17 CENTRAL FLORIDA: No line.
#20 IOWA (-21 ½) over Miami-Ohio: We might regret not callin’ this one as *lock*. Redhawks return ten-starters. Poor-bastard that takes Birds’ first-offensive-possession has not thrown a live-fire pass. Hawkeyes no bargain outside Big Testicles Conference, however...Iowa 37 Mi-OH 3
Northern Iowa @ #21 IOWA STATE: No line. 
LIBERTY (+18) over #22 Syracuse: Second-choice fer “lock”. ‘Cuse was shown some preseason-kudos off first double-digit victory record sine 2001, but looks like heading for some regression, despite some nice Power-Five transfers at da’ *Skills*! First Top-25-foe fer da’ Flames, who were bowl-eligible 6-6 SU last season but didn’t get post-season invitation. Lost by three-scores in Charlottesville, so we’ll call...Orange 32 Liberty 24
New Mexico State @ #23 WASHINGTON STATE (“over 64 ½): Cougars grab QB Gage Gubrud from perennial-FCS challenger Eastern Washington. Aggies allowed 41-ppg-against last year. In light of 9 back on D, still no indication that’s gonna’ get *better* in 2019. State posted 11 SU-wins last season...WSU 61 NMSU 20
#24 NEBRASKA (-36) over South Alabama: Best guess fer “wish we had it back”....Corncobs 61 Jags 20
Northwestern (+6 ½) over #25 STANFORD: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK. Full-disclosure, yer humble-narrator gained admission to Palo Alto under the guise of a cox-swain courtesy of large payments to now-disgraced-consultant William Swinger. Considering we don’t swim and have a poor-relationship with the water to begin-with...Long-time fans of NCAA football know...there’s always an upset in Week One! We’re puttin’ our money onthis contest!...Wildcats 23 Trees 17
Houston @ #4 OKLAHOMA (“over 82 ½”): OK 54 Houston 34
LOUISVILLE (+20) over #9 Notre Dame: Second-choice fer “lock” here was “under fitty-eight". In January, Irish starting QB Wimbush bolted South Bend to compete for the similar-spot at Central Florida (and won it!). Birds have covered mere 3 of last 14 non-conference tilts and put just two games in the straight-up victory column last year (FCS Indy State and Western Kentucky, both in September). Da' Ville lost 30-3 vs. eventual-National Champion Clemson in 2018 and went backwards by 18 ppg on offense and 17-ppga on D last season. New coach, but nowhere to go but up...Our Lady 29 Aviary 17 
BTW, Vindy just saw a Facebook posting entitled “Let’s storm Yellowstone Park! They can’t stop all of us!” 
As we note this time each year, from 1993-2008, at least two teams unranked in the AP preseason poll finished in the final AP poll that same season. In 2009, only Cincinnati did so, and in 2010, only Stanford pulled that off. 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!) make da’ cut...title-game loser #2 Auburn, #3 Michigan State (which was #26 in the preseason poll), #5 Mizzou and #10 Central Florida. TCU ended the 2014-15 season at #3, while Joja’ Tech came in at #8. Da’ Coogs of Houston and da’ Iowa Hawkeyes, who grabbed no votes whatsoever in da’ 2015 initial poll, finished at #38 and #9, respectively. In 2016, the Wisky Badgers were unranked in the #28-hole (21 tallies), but closed at 39, while da’ Alma Mater warranted zero “Ayes”, yet went home to #7. In 2017, neither Central Florida nor TCU (opened at #26 with 98 votes) got any August-love, buclosed-out at #6 (second time in five years fer da’ Golden Knights!) and #9, respectively. last season, initially-sportin' da’ Romulan cloaking-device, Florida and Wazzou  stood-in at #7 (again !) and #10 Wazzou in the final AP rankings!
And upon further review...goin’ back to 2002, a minimum of one team in the AP Preseason Top Ten each season has finished outside da’ rankings in the final AP Poll fer that year. Two or more preseason darlings have done so XX times so done ...Then-#8 Miami AP Preseason Top 10 finished with nary-an-*aye* in 2019 Final AP Poll! Then-#9 Auburn finished at #32 garnering 15 tallies, while then-#4 Wisconsin got all of two ballots. Yermission...should ya’ choose to accept it, is to figure-out da’ posers are amongClemson, ‘Bama, Joja’, Oklahoma, Ohio State, LSU Michigan, Florida SEC-East teams have been "frequent-flyers in this category! (Jus' sayin'!), Notre Dame and Texas! 
Hooray Fer Da’ Little Guy: In 2016, ten FCS teams knocked-off upper-echelon FBS clubs. In 2017, seven I-AA squads did likewise, with eight more defeating I-A foes (all on the road). 2018 also saw seven Championship Subdivision-teams take-out Bowl Subdivision collectives, and seven additional ones finish within seven-points or fewer. Our picks fer teams ranked or garnering at least double-digit votes in the preseason FCS Coaches Poll that have the best chance of besting their FBS-opponent this week: (BTW, our selections last year went 3-1 (and 1 postponement!)…#22 Sam Houston State over NEW MEXICO and (with apologies to new Jayhawks-HC Les Miles, but...) #16 Indiana State over Kansas. 
On da’ small-screen...negotiations are underway between HBO and a quartet of NCAA gridiron-squads...’Bama, Arizona State, Wazzou and Vindy’sAlma Mater...regarding filming of a college-football series akin to “Hard Knocks”. No truth to the rumor that Home Box Office has agreed to a series with Wisconsin called “Hard Knockwursts”!!!!
The POTUS allegedly had a conversation about usin’ nuke of hurricanes. Team officials in Coral Gables are feverishly-trying to complete fall-out shelters beneath Hard Rock Stadium!
This season marks the 150th Anniversary of college pigskin. Meanwhile, we celebrating our 25th-year in the Picks in some form or another and 15th-anniversary as a blogsiteso we’re periodically-publishing a variety of our fave Lead Stories over da’ years in any given each week. Stay tuned!
Up next...more on (moron??!!) the offseason-silliness and we welcome...da’ NFL! 
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to lick ice cream from open-containers at Walmart