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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 11

Week 11

Ole Miss vs Georgia – There is serious doubt that anyone is willing to stand up and say that Georgia has had anything that would resemble a tough schedule. Makes you wonder if the Dawgs are somehow in collusion with the Michigan of Jim Harbaugh. Which means UGA hasn’t really been challenged, taking on the likes of UT Martin, Ball State, South Carolina and UAB before they played a “semi-real” game against Auburn. Maybe South Carolina, before the game, could have been considered “semi-real”. It’s also interesting that on the road, against a somewhat-sort-of a rival, Auburn, Georgia struggled. They ended up escaping with a seven point win. They then slept walked through Kentucky, Vandy and Florida, and then struggled again against Missouri in Athens. If the Tigers hadn’t made a couple of egregious mistakes, UGA would possibly have lost.  Georgia is a good team, with plenty of talent, but the saying is, “Iron sharpens Iron”, and this team has not been sharpened. Now they take on Ole Miss, whose only loss has been to Alabama. They’ve gotten past their LSU nemesis, they were tested by a fired up A&M team last week, but still managed to prevail. There is a good premise that the Rebels are far more tested than the uber-talented Dawgs. Remember back when Ole Miss beat Alabama two years in a row? That was a couple of years ago, a different head coach, and different players, but it still lends credence to the belief that the odds can be overcome. Rebels’ HC Kiffin is a master at offense, both on the internet and on the gridiron, while HC Smart is a genius at defense. After all, they were the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators together under Saint Saban – remember that? It’s a classic clash of the titans. UGA has a weakness that has been exposed, but not exploited, and that would be their secondary. Auburn, of all teams, was able to score because of their passing game, Missouri came very close to winning because of their passing ability. Ole Miss has a fantastic passing game, and if WR Tre Harris has half the game of which he is capable, the Rebels could wreak havoc on the Bulldogs. Mississippi is deceptively better than people realize, and Georgia has had some of it’s fierce facade cracked.  If Ole Miss goes into Athens and they’re not intimidated, they can pull off the biggest upset of the year. Georgia will be the darling of everyone else, all the computer simulations, the odds makers and every Bob, Harry and Charles that walks the streets, and by every account, they should win. But there’s something about this game that just doesn’t feel right, there is a disturbance in the force that is unsettling. Ole Miss just might be the dark force rising. Hope springs eternal, especially since this is one of the pins that has to fall for the Tide to get into the CFB playoff.

Utah vs Washington – The Huskies are currently ranked just outside of the top four, and it’s got to lead them to be asking, “What does it take to get into playoff contention?” They have a legitimate gripe against the committee. U-Dub is coming off a very good and hard-fought victory against USC. The Trojans threw everything they could imagine to try and salvage their season and it didn’t work. Washington was victorious, pretty much sinking the USC season which began so brightly. Now they meet Utah, who, like the Trojans have fallen on hard times. If Utah wants to stay in consideration for a New Years Day bowl, the Utes have to win this game. Their backs are against the wall, it’s root hog or die time. Do left coast teams even know what this saying means? The problem is, that as good as “Pig Farmer” QB Bryson Barnes has been this year, he is no where close to the numbers that U-Dub QB Michael Penix Jr has put up. With all the press that has been printed up about QB Penix and all the Heisman talk that has been on the airwaves, it’s amazing that everyone is overlooking Washington’s running threat, and that’s RB Dillon Johnson, who is averaging 7.7 yards per carry. In last week’s game at USC he rushed for 256 yards, four TDs, and caught two balls out of the backfield. He’s not going to get all the Heisman hype because he started off slow but he has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. With a rushing attack that is “THAT” good, it makes it easier to be efficient in the passing game. Utah has been known from time to time to be a giant killer, they’ve taken down many in their history. Their defense is head and shoulders above USC’s, who, by the way, just fired their defensive coordinator for doing such a poor job. UW has faced one other defense that could be compared to the Utes and that would be Oregon’s, (Ok, ok, I know it’s funny to hear, but the Ducks do have a defense this year.) who they ended up beating by three, and its more like they escaped that game. If the “two U’s” school is going to pull another upset, they are going to rely on that defense to become a stonewall, to allow nothing. Utah’s offense is slow, steady, and good, but they’ve got to have their defense contribute a perfect game. This game could be close, but the Huskies should take it.

 Michigan vs Penn State – Currently the Wolverines are ranked 3rd (third) in the nation, and there is no way they should be. They haven’t played anyone with a winning record, no top ranked teams, their entire schedule has been a cake walk, much like Georgia’s, but the Wolverines felt they needed to steal signs to give them an advantage. Give me a break. Now they have their chance to prove themselves against a sometimes good team. Penn State, when they played Ohio State, was completely overwhelmed by the Buckeyes before the game even started. The Nittany Lions were scared to be playing in Columbus, they were fearful of the Ohio State’s defense, and they were confused by the Buckeye offense, and all of this was before the ball was even kicked off to start the game. Now, however, they have Michigan playing in Pennsylvania. I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure this will be a white out game, and the Nittany Lions have the best second chance in the world to prove themselves. If the Lions play up to their potential, they will run all over Michigan. There is no slot on the roster where PSU is lacking. They have the lines, they have the backs, the QB, and the receivers that are needed for them to win. All they have to do is get out of their own heads, they have been considered an outsider within the Big Ten conference since the day they joined, and they’ve never gotten over it. They themselves look in the mirror and see the little kid that was never accepted, when they match up great against anybody. They just need to be mentally tough. Michigan is in a state of flux, HC Loud-Mouth Harbaugh voluntarily spent the first four games of the season at home because of recruiting violations. Now his “employee”, Mister Navy intelligence Stalions, visiting other team’s games for the sole purpose of stealing their signals, has been exposed. Jim “The Mouth” Harbaugh, had no knowledge of the intelligence network at work within his organization. He said so, and, to paraphrase Marc Antony, Harbaugh is an honorable man. The entire program is in a state of flux, and the big losers are going to be the young athletes who wear the Maize and Blue, like what happened at Michigan State. Chances are the Big Ten and the NCAA are going to do as little as possible in the attempt not to hurt Michigan and their chances of making the playoffs, so expect nothing more than a slap on the wrist and, “Naughty, naughty, now don’t do that again,” type of punishment. On the broader spectrum, HC Loud-Mouth Harbaugh is more than likely through at UM and will the LA Raiders next head coach. How all this is affecting the team is anyone’s guess, but it’s gotta be affecting them somehow. Penn State has the perfect opportunity to knock the Wolverines off, and knock them off they will.

Short Smokes

Alabama smokes Kentucky, but it won’t be easy

Kansas continues its Cinderella story against Texas Tech. Should. Probably will, but, BEWARE THE JABBERWOCKY!  

Tulane is use to Hurricanes and will not suffer Tulsa for long

Army destroys Holy Cross like artillery eating up grid squares.

Illinois vs Indiana….gonna go with Indy because Illinois wears orange

Nebraska and Maryland are pretty evenly matched

South Carolina shouldn’t have too many problems with Vandy, but the Gamecocks need to keep their spurs sharpened.

Boston College takes out VA Tech

Clemson might, then again, they might not, beat Georgia Tech

Liberty will pound Old Dominion

Arizona gets a chance to show the nation they are good against Colorado, who isn’t

NC State – the Wolfpack bites the Deacons where they sit on their pews.

K-State ruins Baylor’s weekend

Florida State will not have to rely upon another “wide right” last-minute field goal attempt to win this one as they will pile on the points against Miami

Missouri has Tennessee at home, which should allow them to crush the orange

Oklahoma State has resurfaced, UCF arrives at a bad time

Minnesota desperately needs to beat Purdue, and they should

Wisconsin is in the same boat as Minnesota, but against Northwestern

Pitt vs Syracuse……go with Pitt, because, why not?

Arkansas will not lose to Auburn. You hear that, Hogs?!

Washington State is in need of luck, or guidance, or something, maybe they’ll find it against California

Oregon State cannot take Stanford lightly

West “By Golly” Virginia is going to go down in flames against Oklahoma

Remember when Michigan State beat Ohio State at Columbus…..yeah, that was a long time ago, and it won’t repeat this Saturday

Texas is looking to bury TCU down a bit further

LSU could very well mess up and lose to Florida, it’ll be closer than most think. That’s called losing to Alabama twice, Bayou Bengals

A&M cannot afford any more slip ups, trip ups, or anything of the like against Mississippi State

Duke vs North Carolina could be an interesting game

UCLA will regain their moxie against the flaming pitchforks of Arizona State

Oregon is going to run rings around USC’s defense and the Trojans drop another one

Fresno State is having an excellent season that no one hears about because they play so late, and they’re playing San Jose State in the late night game Saturday, if anyone wants to stay up

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