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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 10

Tennessee vs GeorgiaI’m not entirely sure when we slipped into bizarro world, but here we are. Tennessee has been voted the Number One team in the nation. I’m not sure how Georgia feels about suddenly being #3 as they have beaten everything placed in their path, but it is reasonable to believe that they might be a bit peeved about it, and that’s not good news for UT. In the past week, UT fans have pulled their sweatshirts out of mothballs and donned them with pride once again. In the game against Kentucky, the Vols finally showed that they have a defense. They kept the Wildcats at bay and out of the endzone which was completely unexpected. The UT offense has appeared unstoppable and it just might be;- however, they are going to face the best defense in the nation this weekend. So, before anyone starts handing out trophies and badges with orange ribbons attached, it must be noted that the Vols haven’t won anything yet, the SEC East crown is still not claimed, the Volunteers do not have a spot in the playoffs, and they are not in the SEC Championship game yet. Should they want to get there, they must first go through the Dawgs of Georgia. UGA, in case anyone has forgotten, is the defending National Champions, they are undefeated, and they believe they should be the Number One team in the nation. In the years of being a college football fan, it seems that one of the rules that needs to be followed is, “don’t upset the team with the scary defense”. Georgia has a scary defense, as in, these guys are leading the nation is just about every category. They, too, have faced a high flying, acrobatic, offense – that would be Oregon – and it didn’t end well for the Ducks. Oh, but the Quackers don’t have Hooker as their QB! That is correct, but a strong defense, with a good secondary will usually be the favorite. UT was already in for a fight with this game, but taking the big meaty bone (Number 1 ranking) away from the Bulldogs, that the Bulldogs had earned and giving it to the Blue tick hound to chew on is bound to upset the Dawgs. UGA wins, and it might not be close. 

Alabama vs LSU –  Continuing our stay in bizarro world, the Alabama vs LSU game, which will be the 30th time in the history of this game where both teams are ranked, does not have the weight of the entire SEC on their shoulders. Brian Kelly, bless his heart, is finding out that coaching in the SEC, where it just means more, is far more difficult than anyplace else. So far he’s only had two losses, one to Florida State and the other to Tennessee. It’s the UT one that bothers everyone. In that game, in Death Valley, but in the afternoon (are you listening, Crimson Tide?) the Tigers were manhandled by an inferior defense. QB Jayden Daniels, who loves to run the ball instead of throwing it, did just that against the Vols and he paid the price. Then, unexpectedly, against Ole Miss, Daniels and everyone else on the LSU team, flipped the switch, turned the performance of their lives and beat the Rebels. So here it is bizarro weekend, can the Bayou Bengals pull off another huge upset? HC Brian Kelly doesn’t have a good record against Alabama, he is 0-2 and both times his Notre Dame team got spanked. After Alabama fell to Tennessee, it put the Tide’s backs to the wall to where they cannot allow anymore mistakes, no slip ups, no margin of error. The Crimson Tide secondary is weak, and has been exploited time and time again, and yet DC Golden is still employed. But LSU QB Daniels is not going to burn the Tide with his fantastic passing ability. The Bama D-Line needs to be the awesome, awe-inspiring defense they used to be known for, before DC Golden arrived. They need to put pressure on Daniels every time he drops back to pass, and by pressure, I mean, all 300lbs of the Defensive lineman landing on top of him as they take him to the ground. They need to pound him, bruise him, make him not want the ball no-more. The Bama offensive needs to get their butt in gear, when QB Bryce Young throws a pass and it hits the receiver’s hands, which happens a lot, CATCH THE DANG BALL!! It’s not that hard, ball, hits hands, catch ball. There’s no telling what Alabama is going to do, IF they show up and play disciplined ball like they can, there is no way LSU will win. If the Tide earns penalty after penalty and mucks around, they could very well be a national joke. Wake up, Bama! Parity in SEC West teams is coming, and now almost is, and everyone wants to beat Bama. LSU can easily win this game, then Lane Kiffen and Ole Miss are waiting next week in Oxford, and the Tide could stand at 7-3 before they even catch their breath. Pete Golding, Bill O’Brien – WAKE UP!!!!!

Baylor vs Oklahoma – the Sooners and the Bears thought they were going to be the big dogs in the Big 12 that only has ten teams, but instead they find themselves in the middle of the middling pack. Which team has the upper hand? Hard to say. Baylor should be the correct answer, but losing to BYU and West “By Golly” Virginia is hard to overlook. OU, on the other hand, had a horrible three game stretch where they didn’t just lose, they got stomped, which is highly uncharacteristic of an OU team. They nearly lost four in the row but managed to slip by Kansas. Now that OU has QB Dillon Gabriel in the lineup, they have been a different team. But most of the issues that led to those losses still remain, and it’s on the defensive side of the ball. Baylor, as my cousin, will point out, did not have QB Blake Shapen playing when they lost to WVU and BYU, and, ok, true enough, they didn’t, but that’s just not acceptable. Would Shapen have been the difference? I doubt it. The Bears defense has to show up, and, quite frankly, they didn’t. I can’t blame Golding for this one. Of the five wins that BU has, none of them pass the eye test. They’ve got to get a good eye-catching win. Not only that but they are entering the meat of their schedule, every team after this weekend is ranked. The Bears cannot afford to start off November with a loss. If they do, it might be Bowl season in Nashville, or Boca Raton, or Shreveport.

Short Smokes:

Oregon State has a chance to take a giant step up in the Kale & Champagne league by taking down Washington Friday night. Will they? No.

Army needs to shoot down Air Force, then torpedo navy. Go Army! Beat Navy & Air Force!

Ohio State has another scrimmage game with Northwestern. I think the SOS noted by the CFB Committee might have awaken the slumbering Buckeyes.

Texas Tech faces trouble against TCU. The Horn Frogs are on a tear, and they’re good, besides that.

North Carolina has a bad habit of falling behind and then coming back to win the game. They’ll do that again against Virginia, but I don’t know if the Heels will fall behind first. The Hoos are pretty bad.

Tulane is ranked 19th and they’re not going to lose that ranking against Tulsa – unless the Golden Hurricanes breach the Greenie levees.

Kentucky needs to recover from their state of shock, and Missouri would be a good team to recover against – butcept, the Tigers have been playing surprisingly well of late. I’m going out on a limb;- Mizzou wins.

Can Florida be the next team to beat A&M? Yes, they can, it could happen very easily, but, for The Daughter’s sake, let’s say A&M pulls out the win.

Minnesota will row the boat over Nebraska. Does anyone care?

How did Maryland get to 6-2? Not only that, but they just might take Wisconsin, which is honestly not that hard to do this year. Terps choke, Badgers roll.

Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech, Tech is going to win, guaranteed!

Oregon will run all over Colorado. Everyone else has. Harsin’s next home, mark my words.

Penn State better keep its guard up against Indiana

Michigan State is not going to fare well against Illinois

Oklahoma State is going to be beat Kansas, but it may not be the blowout the powers that be, whoever they are, think it will

Syracuse did not prove for real against notre last week, so they must avenge their loss by beating Pitt.

Washington State vs Stanford…ok, yeah, sure, whatever

Iowa State and West Virginia – the battle of the rebuilds, going with the Cyclones

If Arkansas is not careful they could lose to Liberty. The Hogs shouldn’t, but they could

Texas is going to lose to Kansas State, but it will be tight

Clemson shouldn’t have much trouble with Notre Dame, but that darn luck of the Irish has a nasty habit of showing up when it shouldn’t. Beware the Jabberwocky, Tigers – or, remember Syracuse’s performance last week.

Utah tramples Arizona

Auburn has Mississippi State’s ex-Athletic Director. Is this mundane? No.

Florida State vs Miami…remember when this was a huge game? Yeah…me too, good times.  Oh, yeah, FSU wins – if it doesn’t go wide right.

Wake Forest vs NC State this should be a heck of a game! Wake is going to win, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings none if the Wolfpack pulled it out

UCLA will quench the flaming fork of Arizona State

In the way late game, Hawai’i comes to the mainland to get beat by Fresno State

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