rssBlog EntriesComments


Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 8

Welcome to Week 8, Georgia sits on top of the poll, with Cincinnati at second. If anyone had placed this bet at the start of the season they’d be a very rich man right now. If the rankings seem to bother you, or rub you the wrong way, just wait, they’re not going to stay that way. The polls change as fast as the weather right now and there doesn’t appear that anything is going to stop the trend.


Clemson vs Pitt – The Panthers are looking for more respect than what they are getting, and here at CSF, we agree. This is a far better team than most people realize, but they’re just not getting the love. They are ranked 23rd but they should be higher. Saturday they’ll have the chance they’ve been looking for as they host Clemson, who will be traveling to Pittsburgh. The Panther offense against VA Tech last week appeared to be leaps and bounds better than they were at the start of the season. They completely dominated the Hokies to where it wasn’t even close. Everything they wanted to do they did. QB Kenny Pickett has become the best version of himself then any thought possible. Clemson’s DC Brent Venables was asked to compare Pickett to any other QB they’ve played and his choice was LSU’s Joe Burrows. Who, in case anyone forgot, picked Clemson apart in the National Championship game, so that’s some good company. What makes the Pitt team so good though is not just that the offense is clicking on all cylinders at just the right time, it’s the defense. This defense is doing everything that football coaches love. Last week they shut down VA Tech, everyone on the D side of the ball is contributing and has become a threat. LB Dennis leads the team in tackles with 35 but 16 other defensive players have double digit stops so far this year. 11 players have multiple tackles for loss. The defense gets to the QB without blitzing, and when the do blitz it’s lights out.

Clemson– bless their hearts, is having a tough year. After losing to NC State they’ve won two straight, and even though they got the “W” against Syracuse last Friday night, they did not look like the Tigers everyone else like to see. Against the Orange, who is not necessarily a threat for the ACC title, the Tigers struggled mightily to move the ball. They only got 134 yards on 35 rushes. There were no long runs from the line of scrimmage which of course doesn’t help the passing game. Speaking of passing the ball, QB D.J. Uiagalelei’s averaged just five yards per pass attempt. On top of that, the O-line did very little in protecting their passer, not that it would have helped too much, Uiagalelei has not been accurate with his throws. The Defense which has carried the team so far this year, struggled against the Orange as well, and Syracuse did everything they could to help out the Clemson defense.

What will happen –  Pitt and Clemson have played four times in the past, the Panthers won the first two times, which was back in the 70’s and 80s and Clemson has dominated the last two. This year the Clemson defense is going to have to do something they’ve yet to do, which is get pressure on the QB. If they allow QB Pickett time to set up, he’ll find the open the receiver and pick the Tiger’s apart. The Pitt defense is also in the state of mind to get to the QB the only difference will be, they’ll actually do it. Clemson has problems on offense, they’ve rearranged their O-Line several times already and they’re in the process of doing it again. This doesn’t bode well, the run game is hurting and their passing attack is minimal at best. Pitt’s going to win, its just a question of how much.

Tennessee vs Alabama – It’s the third weekend in October which means the Vols and Tide will lock horns. They call this “Hate Tennessee Week” which never made much sense to me, since hating Tennessee is a year long venture, every year. Its not like its possible to hate them more this week. Anyway the Vols offense took their sweet time getting things going but then all the sudden…BAM they unleashed on Missouri where they ran for over 400 yard, then against USC-South they got 467 yards, but they weren’t done, they piled up yards again against Ole Miss, where they lost. Ok, ok, their might have been a questionable call by the refs at the end but there were plenty of other problems as well. The Vols offense is proving to be tough to stop, they have speed, quickness and they seem to have caught on to this new offense. Their defense, well, that’s a different story, as many yards as the offense gains the defense gives up. What they want to do is get to Bryce Young and try to hurry his throws.

Alabama – has problems of their own, and they’re biggest problem is Focus. When this team is focused Bryce Young is accurate with his passes, the running game grinds out yards and wears down opposing defenses. When they’re not focused, nothing goes right. So which team is going to show up? Hopefully the focused one. Everyone looks at QB Young as the focus of their offense, but the reality is, it all falls on RB Brian Robinson. When he’s able to grind out yards, it makes defenses play honest, they can’t blitz, they have to keep 8 men in the box, which of course opens up the passing game. Last year it was the other way around, but then again Mac Jones could complete down the field long passes, that made defense spread out which allowed the Bama running to break free. QB Young can’t complete long passes, he’s good and accurate in the short game but past 15 yards he might as well be throwing at a barn door. The Tide has another slight problem and that would be their defensive coordinator Pete Golding, he has the most talented players around, but he hasn’t made the right calls since the Ole Miss game. Too many Defensive players are out of position and they’re too confused even when they line up. This has got to improve.

What will happen –  Alabama has won 14 straight in this contest. The last time it was a close battle was 2006 in a 12-10 fight, when Lane Kiffin was the Head Coach at UT. When Alabama was focused they jumped out to 35-0 lead against Ole Miss, if they’re able to do something like that, the Vols will crumble like a paper bag, if they don’t Bama will allow UT to gain confidence which can not happen. Alabama has got to force turnovers, and they might since QB Hendon Hooker is hurt and if a very iffy to play. Back up QB Joe Milton is not all that accurate and he has proven to be inconsistent. Alabama is going to win, because if they don’t it’ll ruin my Saturday, so Bama Rolls and the bigger the point spread the better.

Short Smokes

Cincinnati  will show no mercy upon Navy

Oklahoma will not have to mount a comeback against Kansas, call it crazy but pretty sure that’s how it will happen.

Northwestern is going to give Michigan more than expected, but the Wildcats will still lose.

Illinois will not fair well against Penn State

Army might, MIGHT, have a little trouble with Wake Forest, GO ARMY!!

Kansas State is going to win against Texas Tech but they need to keep it from becoming a shoot out.

Syracuse is playing better than usual if only they had a good QB against VA Tech

Wisconsin should beat Purdue but they won’t

Oklahoma State is winning with Defense, read that again, with Defense! And that’s how they’re going to win against Iowa State

LSU is not built for a shoot out against Ole Miss

Maryland vs Minnesota the battle of two teams with lots of promise but don’t seem to be delivering

Colorado has double the wins than California but that’s not going to help them

BYU was flying high now they need to get back on track, Washington State, might be the perfect team to get on their winning ways.

Mississippi State is a heavy favorite over Vanderbilt, just like everyone else.

Ohio State has problems with Indiana and if the Hoosiers play up to their potential they could win.

USC is going to struggle with the cool weather against Notre Dame, but they’ll get the win.

It’s a big wonder what A&M team will show up the good one and they beat USC-South, bad one and the Gamecocks win.

NC State is going to embarrass Miami

Georgia Tech is getting better, but so is Virginia

 If  West Virginia  had  TCU at home, they’d win but this game is on the road so they won’t.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.