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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 12

Week 12

Wisconsin vs Northwestern –The Badgers are possibly a legitimate contender for the Great White North title, but, then again, they’ve been in this position before, only to let it slip through their fingers. Saturday they meet undefeated Northwestern. The Wildcats have played two more games than the Badgers, and their Defensive and Offensive lines have been nothing short of fantastic. The D-Line has held every team to fewer than 100 yards rushing. Nebraska got the most and that was only 77 yards. The offensive line is the reason that there is life, as in real LIFE, on offense again. In 2019 this unit was the biggest weakness of the Wildcat team, only now they’ve turned this narrative completely around. The offensive attack is balanced, and they live for 3rd down conversations. The Cats are methodical and enjoy marching the ball down the field at a nice slow, easy pace. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top, they just grind their way down the field. Kinda like a M1A1 tank. They don’t get spooked, nervous, or excited, they are just very, very steady.   Wisconsin has only played two games, but in both those games they were far superior to their competition, which has been Illinois and Michigan, so it’s not like they were playing against world beaters. But, still, fair is fair, Wisconsin played extremely well. The Badgers like to keep the ball in their offensive hands. They are the number one team in the nation in time of possession with 41:51 per game. This means the defense is fresh, which is why they’ve been so dominant. Both teams have similar mentalities when it comes to offense, run the ball down the other’s team throat, only throw the ball when it is absolutely necessary, and even then, that’s still a maybe. The last three years when these two teams met, Northwestern has given Wisconsin fits, but, why? Turnovers. In all three games the Wildcats produced turnovers whereas the Badgers did not. IF this trend continues, the Script “W’s” will let yet another shot at the Championship slip away.

Kansas State vs Iowa State – The Wildcats, after a rocky start, were looking like they were going to have a run at the Big 12 that has only ten teams title, they beat Oklahoma in Norman, then ran over Texas Tech, TCU, and, of course, Kansas, but then they stumbled against WVU and Oklahoma State. Honestly, they should have beaten the Cowboys, they had it in their grasp, it was there for the taking, but QB Will Howard just couldn’t hold on to the ball, and the game slipped away. K-State has always prided themselves on doing the little things right. In their last two games, this has not been the case. Turnovers have killed the Cats. That is something that they cannot afford against Iowa State. If they play sloppily, the Cyclones will take full advantage, BUT, if they tighten up, K-State is just the type of team that can wreck ISU’s train. Iowa State relies on the running game, as they have one of the best backs in the nation, that doesn’t wear an Alabama jersey. Breece Hall has rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season. This Saturday he better make sure his cleats are laced up nice and tight because he’s going to be relied upon more than usual. ISU needs to control the clock and control the game, which won’t be all that easy, because KSU defense is very good, and they have the know-how and the strength to stand up to the run. IF KSU can keep ISU in long third downs, the Cats can stall the offense and not allow the Cyclones the upper hand. Then, again, when the Cats are on offense, they’ve got to take care of the ball, no butterfingers, no slips, nothing. If K-State, and right now that seems to be a tough ‘if’, will just hold on to the ball and play their game, the Wildcats can win. This should be a good, enjoyable game. K-State should win too, but this is 2020 and what should happen doesn’t always seem to right now. For instance, Bama SHOULD beat Kentucky handily, but … .

Tennessee vs Auburn – The Plainsmen have four wins in the SEC, every single one of them tainted with the stench of the Officials’ interference. The Tigers have the distinct privilege of being the last win in the Will Muschamp era at South Carolina, way to go Auburn. Tennessee is, well….Tennessee. They can’t seem to get all the team going in the same direction at the same time, kind-of like a screen shot of the Keystone cops back in the day. The offensive line has not been playing poorly at all, but, then QB Jarrett Guarantano somehow only throws for 107 yards against Arkansas. The rushing attack should be far better than it is, but, then again, it’s as if the entire team is pass blocking when they hand the ball off and the running back is just as surprised as everyone else. All of this is very curious because at the start of the season the Vols beat South Carolina, and Missouri, and, yeah, they lost to Georgia but they didn’t play that poorly against the Dawgs. It appeared that UT had finally gotten over that rebuilding hump when they reverted back to their old ways. Against Auburn, they have the perfect opportunity to turn it around, and, honestly, this is a must win game for them. The Alabama Tigers, are actually ranked 23rd in the nation and that is a joke. The only win they should have would the one against LSU. The best thing they have going for them is that the UT team is in more disarray than they are. Bo Nix, the media’s projected savior of Auburn, has done very little to fulfill that destiny. Oh, sure, he can throw the ball and sometimes he threads the needle with passes. The issue has not been his talent, it’s his decision making. This year the expectation was that he’d make a great leap of improvement in this area, only to come up short. The defensive has not exactly helped, as they gave up 283 rushing yards to that ‘vaunted’ Ole Miss rushing attack. The best thing to say about Auburn’s defense is that they have been able to produce turnovers, which is always helpful. Even though Auburn is ranked and Tennessee is not, these two teams are evenly matched, but this game is being played in Jordan-Hare, and, without a doubt, there is going to be a blown call by the officials that will benefit Auburn. It’s happened in every other game, – except LSU. LSU was just bad, and Auburn had no need for questionably officiating.

Short Smokes

Clemson will have Trevor Lawrence back and that means the margin of victory over FSU will be bigger than it would have been without him.

Florida will pad the potential Heisman numbers for QB Trask as they humiliate Vanderbilt

Coastal Carolina will have a big test in their run for glory as they take on traditional 1AA powerhouse Appalachian State.

Memphis takes a break from playing tough games, and, instead, will host Stephen F. Austin.

Illinois and Nebraska will fight each other for that elusive second win.

Army needs to recover after losing to Tulane, that might be quite a chore as they encounter Georgia Southern

LSU and Arkansas will have their Battle for the Boot. The trophy is called that because when you look at just those two states it looks like a boot. It is highly possible that the Hogs win it.

University of North Alabama will play their last game of the season against undefeated BYU in Provo, UT. This is not the best scenario for the Lions to achieve their first win of the season. Still, gotta be loyal, Roar Lions!

Minnesota has been a disappointment but they’re going to turn it around against Purdue, right? Well…maybe

Cincinnati is looking forward to beating Central Florida, as in they SERIOUSLY want this game

Oregon should have little to no problems dispatching UCLA

Iowa will deny Penn State their first win of the season. What’s happening at PSU?

California vs Oregon State, not sure, but the coin flip says OSU

Alabama will roll over Kentucky, but they’d better not take the Wildcats for granted

VA Tech is on the upswing, Pitt is on the downswing, and it’s almost Thanksgiving so Hokies (Turkeys) need a win, big time.

Georgia’s Dawgs needs to whip Mississippi State’s Bulldogs.

Bedlam will be played in Norman so the Sooners have a chance, still picking the Pokes to win

South Carolina is doubtful to win against Missouri

Michigan is going to lose to Rutgers ..hee hee

Washington hosts Arizona in the rainy northwest and the Wildcats are not used to rain, or to Huskies.

Will USC need another miracle finish against Utah? Maybe

Washington State chops down Stanford

Boise State travels to Hawaii when I didn’t get to!!!! Yes, I’m a bit salty about it, still picking the Broncos


Not sure which school played their sick card between A&M and Ole Miss, but the Rebels have improved (It was A&M, again. Jimbo didn’t realize he had a sick card to pay until AFTER the Alabama game.)

Miami shouldn’t have chickened out against Georgia Tech

Kansas hadn’t played the sick card yet so they did against Texas

This is two in a row for Maryland as Michigan State didn’t want anything to do with the Terps

Wake Forest and Duke are giving each other a pass

Navy does not seem to have any problems playing sick, yet again, against South Florida

Arizona State and Colorado bailed. Too bad, this could have been a good game to watch. 

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