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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Rivalry Week

Rivalry Week

The Egg Bowl – Mississippi State vs Ole Miss – There is something about getting
to the SEC Championship game that Ole Miss cannot seem to get done. Whenever
they have the opportunity, they blow it, and last week against Arkansas they
completely blew it. If they had won, and somehow LSU loses, then Mississippi
would have gone to Atlanta, but no, the Rebels blew any chance they might have.
Arkansas did anything they wanted against the Rebels and Ole Miss did very little
back. The worst thing Ole Miss did was giving up the midrange passes, don’t think
for a minute that Miss State HC Mike Leach didn’t notice that. Mississippi State
has hardly been able to implement their Air Raid offense like they want to, but
they can complete plenty of short to midrange passes. If Ole Miss has a chance it
will be with their running game, where the Rebs average over five yard per carry.
This is what will push State a bit. The Rebels are the better team, and if they can
limit the turnovers, they should be able to put this game away. However, the
battle of the Egg Bowl always has surprises and there is never a sure thing. Ole
Miss should win, should. (if they can refrain from imitating a dog in the end zone)

The Territorial Cup – Arizona State vs Arizona – FYI, this is called the Territorial
Cup because these schools started playing each other in 1899 and Arizona didn’t
become a state until 1912. Both these teams have had big upsets this year, ASU
upset Washington, 45-38, and Zona upset UCLA, 34-28 and then both were not
able to follow up these upsets with victories. The Wildcats’ upset was probably
the biggest of the two, but to be honest, neither of these teams has had stellar
seasons. Arizona has been the more competitive in the last five contests, and this
game is on their home turf, although they both play in the desert, so how it’s an
advantage, nobody knows. Wildcats win.

Carolina – State Game – NC State vs North Carolina – The Tar Heels have been
winning and few have noticed. If they would have beaten Notre Dame then
maybe the Baby Blues would be taken more seriously. After beating Wake Forest
and wrapping up a trip to the ACC championship, Carolina completely quit and
presented Georgia Tech a victory. NC State, who, at the beginning of the season,
was a CSF dark horse pick to win the ACC, has not lived up to expectations. The
Pack lost their last two games, to Boston College and Louisville, games they
should have won. Now NC State has been bitten by the injury bug and that is
given as the reason for their fall from grace, which is a loser’s excuse. IF UNC
takes this game seriously, they will win, and they need to take this game seriously
because going on to take Clemson in the ACC game on a two game losing streak is
a recipe for disaster.

The Sunshine Showdown- Florida vs Florida State – Poor Gators, they just
haven’t been able to get it all together. One week they are on fire, and then they
can’t strike a spark for the next two. They have somehow managed to become
bowl eligible, but it’s been a tortuous road. Florida State, on the other hand,
appears, APPEARS, to have turned a corner. Are they back to being a consistently
good team? Maybe. Getting to the level of being a powerhouse again? Maybe.
Let’s not be like Texas fans and declare ourselves back after winning a game, or
two. However, there has been a tremendous amount of improvement. Maybe
what HC Mike Norvell has been preaching is finally taking root. The Seminoles
have already beaten down their hated rival, Miami, who they just walloped, so
downing the Gators shouldn’t be that big of a chore. Heh-heh-heh. Beware the

Clean, Old-Fashion Hate – Georgia Tech vs Georgia – Georgia Tech has won two
of its last three games, and one of them was a shocker over North Carolina, 21-17,
but was it the Yellow Jackets that were so good or did the Tar Heels not take this
game seriously? Either way, Tech won and that helps. The Yellowjackets may not
like the Dawgs, they may be true to the name of the game and actually hate
them, but is any of that going to do them any good against this Georgia team?
Mostly likely not. The Bulldogs are playing at a completely different level than,
well, most of the teams in the nation, including Tech. But Tech will play for all its
worth and they’re going to try really hard to engineer a victory, but no matter
how close they manage to keep this game in the first half, by the second half it
will all but be over.

The Game – Michigan vs Ohio State – Last year the Buckeyes were #2 in the
Nation when they traveled to Ann Arbor and got embarrassed, 42-27, destroying
their trip to the BIG conference championship and their CFB playoff hopes. So the
Bucks might have revenge on their mind, maybe. Michigan is ranked right behind
the Buckeyes at #3, they’re both undefeated, but the Wolverines didn’t exactly
turn in a stellar performance last week against Illinois. This will be first time both
teams come into this game undefeated since 2006, it’ll be the 13th time they clash
when both are ranked in the top five. There is more on the line here than just
bragging rights. Since this game is in Columbus, OH, that gives the Buckeyes the
edge. (My editor picks Ohio State by 20+ points)

The Palmetto Bowl – South Carolina vs Clemson – The Gamecocks are coming off
a huge win last week upsetting Tennessee, way to go USC-South! But even with
that huge upset, there’s no telling how it will help them against Clemson. The
Tigers have beaten the Gamecocks seven years in a row, matching their longest
winning streak since the 1940s. Can South Carolina win this game? Yes, yes, they
can. Clemson is over-rated, they lost badly to Notre Dame, darn near gave it away
to NC State, and should have lost to Syracuse and Florida State. This is not the
dominant Clemson team of the past ACC years. USC-South can take this game if
they play like they did last week, meaning not being intimidated by the higher
ranked team. If they’re able to take it to the Tigers and keep the pressure on, the
Gamecocks can win. But if they play like they’re the little brother and expect to
lose, then they’ll lose.

The Iron Bowl – Auburn vs Alabama – In one of, if not the biggest, rivalry around,
the Crimson Tide takes on the Tigers of the Plains. Let’s all agree that this
Alabama team is not up to the standards of past Bama teams, Ok? Ok. Having said
that they still should not have any trouble taking down this Auburn team that is in
the middle of its own dumpster fire. The Tide should run all over the Plainsmen
and grind them into the ground, but they won’t. Alabama is a big favorite,
supposed to win this game by 22 points, but they won’t. Why? Because the Bama
offense is entirely too predictable, boring, and they don’t even execute their
ineptitude very well. Auburn would love to pull off the upset, it would be its only
crowning achievement out of the horrible mess they’ve gotten themselves into,
so the Tigers are going to give it everything that they have, it just won’t be
enough. Alabama wins, but not comfortably.

The Civil War- Oregon vs Oregon State– The leftist on the left coast don’t want us
to call this game, “The Civil War”, anymore, but that’s just too darn bad. It’s “The
Civil War”. Oregon, with its win over Utah, can still make it into the PAC-12
conference championship game, but they have to win this game. Oregon QB Bo
Nix is not 100% after suffering an ankle injury, but he gutted it out against Utah.
Oregon State is a much improved team, and they would love nothing more than
to be the reason the Ducks sit at home next week. The Beavers are hosting this
game and they darn near beat USC in this stadium earlier in the year. The last
time they hosted the Ducks in Corvallis the Beavs beat them, 41-38. Look for a
very close game where the lead goes back and forth. QB Bo Nix not being at full
strength limits the Oregon offense and will play into the hands of the Mighty
Beavers! Ho-Hum, pass the Chardonnay and kale, please.

Paul Bunyan’s Ax- Minnesota vs Wisconsin – Any game where the two teams are
vying for an ax has to be good. There’s not of a difference between Wisconsin and
Minnesota when it comes to how they play offense this year, they both run the
ball, run the ball, and then, maybe, if a receiver is all alone, by himself, and no
more than 15 yards down the field, will they actually throw a pass. So far this year
the Gophers have been able to run the ball better and appear to be the better
team. Wisconsin just made themselves bowl eligible by taking down Nebraska last
week, but then who hasn’t beaten the Cornhuskers? Minne-haa-haa, currently
holds the ax and there’s a more than an excellent chance they’ll hold on to it.

Sunflower Showdown – Kansas vs Kansas State – K-State needs this game to get
into the Big 12, that only has ten teams, Championship game. The Jayhawks can
improve their bowl position with their first win over the Wildcats in 15 years. KU
has improved, but they’ve lost five of their last six games, which doesn’t bode
well for them. K-State wants a chance to get some revenge against the Horn Frogs
in the Big 12, that only has ten teams, Championship game. The Wildcats are a
very good team, when they want to be. Against Texas, had no idea what they
were doing and they shouldn’t have lost that one. K-State is going to down the
Rock Chalk Jayhawks, and then KU will beat K-State during the basketball season.

The Apple Cup- Washington vs Washington State – Last year with a Washington
State victory, QB Jayden de Laura took the WSU flag and planted it on top of the
Washington logo in the middle of the field. Since that fateful day, this scene has
been played on video in the Husky weight room, when they walk into the football
facility, and when they enter their locker room. One might say they took that little
stunt personally. The Huskies are going to Pullman and they want revenge and
they’re going to get it. WSU has some good wins under its belt but they haven’t
beaten a team with a winning record all year, ok, Wisconsin NOW has a winning
record. Huskies are going to walk away with this one. What’ll they do to the
Cougar logo?

Short Smokes:
Cincinnati is going to have a tough time against Tulane, but they’ll still win

Baylor, if they have anything left in the tank, just might take down Texas

Boise State vs Utah State- not sure if this is a rivalry game but the Blue Broncos
shouldn’t have too much trouble

Arkansas showed they still have a lot of game in them by destroying Ole Miss,
let’s see if they can keep it up against Missouri

Nebraska vs Iowa- they keep trying to make this some sort of a rivalry, but
nobody is buying it. Hawkeyes win, because, well, it’s Nebraska

UCLA will take out their frustration to losing to USC on California

Oklahoma State is not going to go easy on West Virginia, this could get ugly, or
not. The Mountaineers are hard to figure out.

Army is going to roll all over UMass, I mean Texas A&M beat UMass, so how hard
can it be? Go Army! Beat navy!!!!

Liberty will win over New Mexico State by a comfortable amount

Coastal Carolina is going to have a hard time overcoming James Madison

It’s Kentucky’s own fault that they are not ranked and Louisville is, Wildcats
should get some, a little, a smidgen, of revenge. Vanderbilt, at home??

Illinois vs Northwestern is not really a rivalry since Northwestern hasn’t won a
game since September.

Purdue should steamroll Indiana

Duke and Wake Forest is going to be a hard-fought game, Deacons are going to
win. Used-to-be Methodists against used-to-be Baptists

TCU better not take Iowa State lightly, it could cost them

Michigan State should be better than they are, and Penn State is better than
most people realize. Lions win handily

Utah, will have few problems with Colorado, no else has

Texas A&M could do us all a big favor by beating LSU and keeping them out of the
playoffs, but its highly doubtful they will

USC’s season will be lost if they lose to Notre Dame, so that’s exactly what they
will do

No one thought it was possible for Vanderbilt to beat Kentucky, but they did. No
one thought the Commodores would beat Florida, but they did. Tennessee, are
you paying attention?

Oklahoma could easily lose to Texas Tech.

Syracuse needs to improve their bowl standing by beating Boston College

Pitt should be the latest to pile it on the “We’re Back” Miami

And for your late time viewing pleasure, BYU kicks Stanford around for a while.

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