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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend


January 1st


January 1st the High Holy Day of College Football has arrived upon us! Yes!! We still have the National Championship games to go, but, this has always been the day of days. Most of the important Bowl games are associated with this day. Many folks are spending the 1st recovering from last night, and just so we’re all on the same page, everyone that is awake at mid-night, when the clock strikes 2400hrs, we all yell “Jumanji!” to break the curse that has been laid upon us in 2020. The rest of us will get a good night’s sleep so that we’re well rested for the games before us. That’s the scenario, now let’s get it on!

Climpson vs Ohio State – The Tigers and the Buckeyes will meet yet again. Last year, these two met in the Fiesta Bowl, and for those whose memory is a little sketchy, in that game OSU jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first half. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Climpson took the lead 29-23. Then, to close the game out, Justin Fields drove the Bucks down the field, finally throwing an interception in the end zone. CSF mentions this to point out that this game is not a given as the talking heads are making it out to be. Then, if that wasn’t enough motivation for OSU, Head Coach Dabo Swinney ranked Ohio State 11th in his coaches poll ballot and then had it released. This might not have been the wisest move, but Dabo isn’t a dunce. Beware the jabberwocky, he may yet have a reason for doing this. Then again, maybe Dabo was just being Dabo. Now there is the argument that the Buckeyes don’t deserve to be in this game, and the argument is correct, they didn’t meet the criteriae for, 1) vying for the Big 10 Championship, and, 2) meeting the standards for dealing with Covid19, also, and more correctly, known as the Wuhan virus. Wuhan, as in, Wuhan, China. To the credit of the Great White North Conference, they did adhere to their mantra of “Rules apply to everyone except if it’s a deterrent to Ohio State”.  in that case, they merely change the rule post ipso facto, and remove the impediment. That’s what they did for the Conference Championship Game and that’s what they’re doing for this game as well. All season the rule was that if a player was diagnosed with the Chinese Red Plague (Wuhan virus), they had to wait 21 days before they could play. No, no, no…not now, they changed that to 17 days so that all the players on OSU could play in this game. Nothing like adhering to the rule book. In the two big games that the Bucks played this year, Justin Fields play was terrible. He threw more picks then TD’s and his decision making was poor, at best. There is the chance that he’ll play better, but it’s advised not to bet any money on that. What they need to do is make sure their running game stays dominant. They use a three pronged attack with Running backs Trey Sermon, Master Teague and QB Fields. RB Sermon had a huge game against Northwestern, raking up 331 yards! RB Teague has chipped in 449 yards in their (exceptionably) shortened season, and Fields is always a threat to run. Climpson will have their hippie-wanna-be-QB Lawrence, and, as annoying as he is, he is very good, which makes him even more annoying. Without him, the team struggled against Boston College and got beat by Notre Dame. With him at the helm, Climpson destroyed the Irish on a neutral field. He’s only thrown four picks and 22 TD’s for a total of 2,753 yards, he is a difference maker, and he’ll more than likely have a good game. He is backed up with Travis Etienne at running back, and he’s piled up some impressive yards against lesser competition. When they’ve faced stiffer defensives, the run blocking hasn’t been up to par and Climpson struggled. Against Ohio State, they’re going to have a tough time because the Buck’s front four are pretty stout, as far as we know. They only played six games which is half of what everyone else has played. Ole Miss’ defense has looked good six times… well, kinda good, a couple of times. You get the point. maybe they’ll be good, maybe not. But even if Ohio State stops the run, it means the 60’s hippie QB Lawrence will be relied upon, and, honestly the secondary of the Bucks is not up to the task. Climpson’s defense is been very good the past couple of years. They’re good again this year, but they’re not up to standard, and it shows. They can’t allow OSU to open up a 16-0 lead, because it’s doubtful they’ll be able to stop them like they did last year. Climpson is the pick to win, but don’t expect a blowout.

Alabama vs Notre Dame – Alabama is an offensive juggernaut;- the defense…not so much. Offensively, there is very little this team can’t do. They have Najee Harris running the ball, oh, and he catches the ball out of the backfield, as well. He finished fifth in the Heisman watch, but this year there were only four finalists named. Then there is the “Player of the Year” in WR DeVonta Smith, who does what a black hole does, he catches everything that is thrown at him. it doesn’t even have to be a spot-on pass, as long as it’s in his event horizon, he catches it. Running the whole show is “The Joker”, QB Mac Jones, who has been on fire all season long. This offense has scored more than 35 points in 25 straight games, and, so far this season, no one has been able to slow them down. Anchoring all this fire power is a very big, very quick, and very nasty offensive line. This edition of the O-line ranks right up there with the best the Crimson Tide has produced. They shove people around at will, and they seem to enjoy it. Notre Dame has yet to face an O-line like this one…oh wait, Notre Dame has seen an O-line like this, that would have been in the National Championship game where they faced…Alabama, and the Irish got crushed. The Bama defense has improved over the course of the season, but, against Florida, they could barely stop that passing game. It has been pointed out that in the SEC Championship game, the Bama secondary had great coverage, and Florida QB Trasks threw perfect passes, which, according to Miami great QB Dan Marino, there is no defense against the perfect pass. And the secondary did have very good coverage on some of those passes. On others, the Florida receiver didn’t have a Bama player within three yards of them. Notre Dame is a team that has to prove they deserve to be there, because honestly, they don’t. Against Climpson in the ACC Championship game, they didn’t just lose, they were embarrassed. Now the talking heads still say that ND is one of the top four teams in the nation, they’re more like Democrat poll watchers, waving people by, saying, “There’s nothing to see here, move along.” The Irish have been terrible in big games since the early 90’s. When they played Oregon State, and Ohio State, in bowl games, Notre Dame was humiliated. Against Alabama a few years ago, in the BCS National Championship game, they were slaughtered. When they played Climpson in the the ACC Championship game this year, same thing. They lost, and it was ugly. Texas A&M should be the team in this game, but the press fixed it so that they still made it, kind-of like they did with the election. Committing fraud is something they have proven they’re good at. Coach Brian Kelly has not necessarily been a big cheerleader of this team, as he’s been answering all questions with, “This team has nothing to prove”, which, of course is a lie. They have everything to prove, and here’s their chance to do it. One pundit this week picked the Irish to win the whole playoff, said the players believed in themselves. Perhaps so. QB Ian Brook has been very quick to run the ball when his primary receiver is covered. The secondary of Bama is their weakness, but it’s highly doubtful he’ll be able to complete perfect passes every play. And yet, he must, because the Irish running game has been nothing to brag on.  Everything in this offense relies on Brook. If he’s on, Notre Dame might make a game of it. They don’t have the firepower to match Bama, like Florida did before 20 of the Gator players opted-out against Oklahoma, so does Notre Dame have a chance to win? Yes, yes they do. (That loud gasp that was just heard was The Daughter in shock that I’d say that) but they do. if Alabama comes into this game over confident, and phones it in, ND can win, If Bama treats this game seriously, they’ll crush the Irish. More than likely, Alabama Rolls all over the Irish….yet again.

Short Smokes

Georgia will ruin Cincinnati’s undefeated season

Auburn is going to be the let-down of the SEC as Northwestern beats them

January 2nd games

NC State vs Kentucky could end up being a very exciting game, going to stick with the SEC and Wildcats will win

Ole Miss and Indiana will be another high scoring game, the Rebels win, maybe, possibly…eh, Indiana wins

Iowa State came very close to winning the Big 12 that only has ten teams, Oregon only made it to the Pac-12 Championship game because Washington didn’t have enough players, but the Ducks did beat USC, so they can make a good game of it, but Cyclones take it.

If Texas A&M is mad and has it in its mind that they have something to prove, they’ll beat North Carolina. If they feel like they’ve been passed over and are not motived, UNC will ruin The Daughter’s Saturday. Ole Man Mac has a winning record against the Aggies. Here’s hoping the Aggies are mad.

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