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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 3

Hello Week 3!

Mississippi State vs LSU – A couple of years ago nobody really paid much attention to this game as it was the opener, Mike Leach had just taken over the Bulldogs, and LSU was coming off winning the Natty. A complete beat down was expected, – only it was the Bulldogs that did the beating and LSU began their long slide from the top to the bottom of mediocrity. Now they meet again! But this time LSU has upgraded to new Coach Brian Kelly, which hasn’t really gotten off to a good start. Florida State whooped up on the Tigers opening day, and the only win LSU has right now is the one against Southern…very unimpressive resume. So what’s going on? Simple, two things: 1) Jayden Daniels at QB is a major concern. For some reason that has not been disclosed by Arizona State, he was not popular with his old team mates, so much so that when he announced he was going to transfer, his old chums posted a video of them packing up his locker to hurry his departure. Now at LSU he is far more interested in running the ball then he is in passing. If this doesn’t get under control it will lead to disaster. Second problem, the defense. It might come as a surprise to HC Kelly but it’s impossible to win in the SEC without a defense. Why? Because it just means more here! Mississippi State’s offense is going to move the ball, and if the Tigers play like they did against FSU they can sit back and watch the Bulldogs light up the score board like a video poker machine at Vegas. Nothing would please HC Leach more.  QB Will Rogers has gotten hold of this Air Raid offense and he likes it, he likes it a lot. He’s already thrown for 9 TDs, and 750 yards. How is LSU going to compare to that when their own QB finds it disgusting to throw the ball? The best thing they can do is utilize their running game and pound the ball, four yards and a cloud of dust, and, oh, by the way, QB Daniels is not built to pound the ball, he’ll get crushed. Mississippi State has a solid defense, top five in the SEC, where it just means more, so they’re not intimated by anything LSU is going to throw at them. Look for the Bulldogs to start off a little slow, they’ll score and then score again and if LSU is unable to respond, that’s when the wheels will come off and the Dogs of Mississippi run away with the game.  

Michigan State vs Washington – The Huskies of Washington picked up Indiana QB Penix in the transfer portal. It’s a mystery to me why he left Indy, but he did, and U-Dub considers this an upgrade. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not, but the biggest upgrade they got was hiring Kalen DeBoer from Fresno State. In his two years at FSU-West he had those Bulldogs believing they could beat near about anyone at any time. Just how long it will take before he installs that belief in these Huskies, time will tell.  HC Mel Tucker at Michigan State already has his team believing the Spartans are unstoppable, and last year they came close to actually proving that.  When the Spartans traveled down to Miami in 2021, everyone was talking about the Canes and how they were back and ignoring the Spartans. After the game it was a different story. Now the Spartans take another, out-of-conference trip, only this time it’s to the opposite coast. Can the Spartans repeat their success from last year? Right now the answer is yes, and the reason why is because Sparty has a running game that is already in tune. There is very little need for a dynamite passing attack when the rushing game is working. On top of that, the defense is not getting ripped to shreds, ok, it’s not like Western Michigan and/or Akron was going to accomplish that anyway, but the secondary does appear much improved. Washington, however, likes to pass the ball, they want to pass, they’re dying to pass, and in their tune-up games it’s worked great. Now it’s time to quit fooling around and put up or shut up. The rushing attack of the Spartans is just too much to overcome. Washington will put up a big fight and it’s going to be a close game, but as the fourth quarter lingers on, the Huskie’s defense will plumb run out of gas.

Penn State vs Auburn – The Great White North Conference squares off against the SEC. Unfortunately for the SEC, we have Auburn representing us. Great. In the off season the Auburn powers behind the scenes did everything they could think of to get rid of HC Bryan Harsin, yet he somehow survived. IF he wants to make a meaningful impact on his already embattle tenure, he will find a way to win this game. Last year when the Plainsmen went up to Happy Valley the defense was solid and held the PSU rushing attack to under 3 yards per carry. They’re going to have to do that again. The elephant in the room is, can the Tiger’s offense do anything? So far QB T.J Finley has 1 TD and 3 INT’s. To the outside observer that is not a good ratio to have, and it’s not! Auburn has whipped up on Mercer, and managed to beat San Jose State, and it took way too much before the Tigers put SJS away. Penn State, on the other hand, opened the season with a come from behind victory over Purdue and then tuned up against Ohio, no not Ohio State, the other one. In those games PSU appeared to have a balanced attack, but the run game is their strength, where RB Sean Clifford is coming off a 213 yard game. The defense appears to be much improved over last year since the secondary has not allowed any team to complete 50% of their passes. If they can keep this up the Nittany Lions might be playing for the Northern Crown at the end of the year. Right now there’s just too much turmoil going on in the Ugly Corner of Lower Alabama. The auburn alumni, boosters and money makers are not happy, and it’s HIGHLY doubtful this team is going to change their minds. Penn State is going in the opposite direction as their fruits of their labor appear to be paying off. Don’t expect Auburn to win, the defense will play it close for about a half, and then the wheels are going to come off, because the Tiger offense is not going to be able to give them much support.

Short Smokes

South Carolina will take their scappy attitude and give it their best against Georgia, but the Dawgs still win

Oklahoma vs Nebraska used to be one of the biggest games of the year. That was a long time ago. Oklahoma is going to have a field day with this Husker team

Army has come very close to winning and this Saturday they break into that win column against Villanova. Go Army! Beat navy!

Purdue– those surprising Boilermakers will take down Syracuse, who is a bit of a surprise itself.

Iowa State should have no problems with Ohio

California has the perfect opportunity to slap Notre Dame around, but that ain’t gonna happen.

K-State is a heavy favorite against Tulane

BYU vs Oregon will be a good game, it depends on whether the good Bo Nix plays QB or the bad Bo Nix shows up

Ole Miss takes its show on the road against Georgia Tech;- expect a Rebel victory

Minnesota keeps rowing their boat against Colorado. Look out, these Gophers are starting to believe

Normally Wisconsin would be the strong pick over New Mexico State, but the Badgers are hurting. They’ll still win this one

Appalachian State has a trap game against Troy, they can’t let up after their big win last week

UL Monroe actually beat Alabama once many moons ago, highly doubtful they do it again

Kansas is 2-0 and they beat West “By Golly” Virginia last week! Now they take on Houston and the Jayhawks are the favorite! Yes, this is a shocker.

Hopefully Boise State stomps UT Martin into the ground

Wake Forest has their hands full against Liberty

Colorado State might not have a memorable game against Washington State

Texas Tech vs North Carolina State should be the best under rated game of the day

Ohio State will beat Toledo and writers will praise the Buckeyes as world champions. It may turn out to be true.  

Tennessee will run all over Akron

Texas A&M better find some way, somehow, to recover because Miami is licking its chops ahead of this game

In the late game Utah takes on San Diego State

and in the late late game, USC should win against Fresno State, but it’ll be closer than you might think

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