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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 12

Week 12

Kansas State vs Kansas – The 121st Sunflower Showdown will take place this Saturday as the Kansas schools play their rivalry game a week earlier than most everyone else. K-State is currently on a 14-game winning streak in this series, and this will only be the second time in the encounters that both teams are Nationally ranked. The previous time was in 1996. KU Jayhawks are coming off a tough home loss to Texas Tech, but their signature win this fall was when they upset Oklahoma in a shootout. The KU offense is fueled by a rushing attack that is averaging 199 yards per game and is ranked 17th in the country. The passing game, … it needs a bit of work,…but, boy oh boy, do they run the ball well! K-State has been consistent in just about every game. They dropped their game against Texas when they went for two in overtime, but, even though they lost that game, it was still a very important game for them. The Wildcats rely upon a balanced, methodical attack, nothing real fancy, but they’re solid and very good. In the Texas game, the Wildcats fell behind, big time, then they did the very thing that nobody thought they were capable of doing, CigarSmokinFootball included, they came back! They lost the game, fair enough, but they were behind 17 points and by the end of regulation, they had forced overtime and darn near won it. Back to KU, the Jaybirds’ defense leaves a lot to be desired. They rank 91st in the country and are prone to give up big plays. The Jayhawks have been winning by scoring more points than the other team, kinda like Southern Cal’s philosophy, and we have seen that such thinking is fraught with peril. KU has two very good running backs in Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw. They also rely on the quarterback to run as well, whoever it is they have playing in that position. Since their starter went down with an injury, they’ve been relying mostly on freshman QB Cole Ballard. Look for the K-State defense to rule the game, they are adept at stopping the run. The Cats won’t necessarily stop the Jayhawk attack, but they will slow it down enough to where KU will have freshman QB Ballard to try to pass the ball. This could be the beginning of dangers for the Jayhawkers. KU would love nothing better than to end this 14 year streak, but, unfortunately for the faithful, the Wildcats will be the ones taking home the trophy – again.

Utah vs Arizona – Since last year, CSF has been pointing out that something was brewing down in Tucson, AZ, and very few have paid attention. Now, however, knowledgeable people are acting amazed at the Wildcat turn around. All they had to do was read CSF and they would have known ahead of time. Arizona is ranked 19th in the nation at 7-3, and they have the 14th ranked rush defense. Utah is also at 7-3, and they have the sixth-ranked rushing defense. However, the Utes are on a downward trend as the Wildcats are trending up. In the last two meetings, Utah has won, BUT, they had an all star QB Rising, but he hasn’t recovered from his knee injury adequately. Without Rising, it’s an entirely different team. The Utes are still good, they score a lot of points, and they’ve been in every game this year, but they can’t seem to find that next gear when they need it. In their last game, UU hosted UDub, but lost by one score, 35-28. Zona is coming off a victory against Colorado where both teams traded scores all game long. Zona kicked the game winning field goal in the last seconds, winning, 34-31. UU and UA are passing each other as they are headed on two different trajectories. Expect this game to go back and forth, but in the end the Wildcats win it. However, some say both Head Coaches are auditioning for the vacant Texas A&M job, so it could turn into the weekend Slobberknocker.

USC vs UCLA – In another early rivalry game, the Trojans are a solid favorite against the Bruins. However, neither team has had the season they envisioned. USC had a dream that they would make the playoffs, but they were completely relying on the offense to get them there and didn’t do anything to reenforce their defense. UCLA’s dream was that they would at least be in contention for the PAC-12 crown and a New Years Day bowl, neither squad achieved their goal. The Uclans have a killer defense, but HC Kelly just can’t seem to conjure up the offensive magic he had when he was back in Oregon. USC has a lot of offensive firepower, but they have plenty of misfires, which has cost them. Their defense has been average, at best. The exact opposite has been UCLA, which could work in the Bruins favor. USC’s QB Williams had a dream of becoming the second player in college football history to win the Heisman back-to-back, but that dream died a while ago. He’s also not going to the playoffs, and there are bunch of talking heads out there saying he shouldn’t even play anymore, to help protect his draft potential. This is just the opinion of CSF, but any player that deserts their teammates at the end of the season because of their selfish survival instincts, shouldn’t be drafted by any NFL owner, ever. QB Williams will more than likely not have an inspired game, and if the UCLA defense can get to him and put him on the ground enough, he’s hedonistic enough to quit. USC should win, but in a rivalry game where UCLA has nothing to lose, they just might pull the upset.

North Carolina vs Clemson – Kind-of a rivalry game but not really. At the start of the year the Tar Heels appeared to be unstoppable in the ACC. They were playing lights out, their defense was stuffing everyone at the line and had become a terror for opposing QB’s. Then, Virginia happened, followed by Georgia Tech, and in both those games the Heels had double digit leads. So, what happened? Simple, UNC lost their focus, they were dropping passes, fumbling, and getting penalties that showed they weren’t mentally focused, like offsides, too many men on the field, and the like. They had a chance to refocus against Duke, and, even though they got the win, they darn near lost it, because they got ahead and lost focus again. Clemson, on the other hand has had mental focus errors, and playing errors. In all four of their losses, the Tigers were competitive in all of them. Two of those losses were in overtime, Florida State and Miami. The Clemson faithful may not be happy with this season, and there are plenty of them that are screaming for HC Dabo Swinney’s head, but the Tigers are still competitive. Entering this game, Clemson is the favorite. That’s a conundrum for you, but they are. The Tar Heels must win this game to salvage their season. Clemson wants to win the game to show they’re not losers, and for Dabo to have the chance to mouth off some more, which he lives for. UNC, if they’re focused, will win this game. BUT, if they let their foot off the gas at any time, they’ll give this game away. Side note- anyone else notice that HC Swinney is the only one out of all the A&M possible replacements that hasn’t flat out said, “No”? He just diverted the question.  

Short Smokes

Colorado’s Buffalo will fall again, to Washington State’s hungry Cougar this time

Michigan plays against their second team of the season with a winning record, Maryland, and the Wolverines will win (by fair means or foul)

Alabama tunes up for the Iron Bowl by inviting Chattanooga for a scrimmage

Louisville swoops in and beats Miami

Rutgers will handle Penn State for a while before the Nittany Lions win

Ole Miss passes all over UL Monroe

Oklahoma should not have any trouble beating BYU. Of course, the Sooners shouldn’t have had any trouble beating Kansas, and we saw how that turned out.

Tulane riptides Florida Atlantic

Army is a on a winning streak that’ll be tested against Coastal Carolina, Go Army!

Michigan State could very well beat Indiana

Southern Miss has a history of upsetting Mississippi State, who is vulnerable since they  fired their Head Coach, who got a raw deal, in my humble opinion

Purdue vs Northwestern in the battle of the Eggheads

Texas A&M doesn’t need a Head Coach against Abilene Christian, and that’s good, because the Aggies don’t have one right now

Navy will be scuttled by East Carolina

SMU and Memphis are both at 8-2, anybody else notice that? SMU wins

Liberty’s undefeated season will not be threatened by UMass

Appalachian State will do their best to ruin James Madison’s undefeated season, but they won’t

West “By Golly” Virginia should, SHOULD, beat Cincinnati but the Mountaineers have slipped up before.

UVA has found something that works for them late in the season, but will still fall short against Duke

Georgia is going to crush Tennessee so badly they might get arrested. This is my fervent prayer. BUT, that dadgum Jabberwocky, the game is in Knoxville, where Tennessee doesn’t lose very much, the Police probably won’t arrest any Volunteers, and that dadblasted Jabberwocky is rearing his head.

Iowa will not allow Illinois to score more than 10 points, but the Hawkeyes won’t score 20  

NC State will beat VA Tech

Baylor and TCU, two schools who should have done better, but didn’t. Horn Frogs win

Minnesota ain’t gonna beat Ohio State, ain’t gonna happen

Oregon makes a trip to the hot desert, and they’ll still win even though they don’t do well in hot weather

Oklahoma State slaps Houston around

New Mexico State is at a surprising 8-3 with HC Jerry Kill, and they could very well surprise Auburn! Never thought I’d see the day I was pulling for the Las Cruces Aggies

In what will be the greatest upset in the history of college football, my North Alabama Lions will topple Florida State in Tallahassee! (It’s a dream, it’s fragile, so don’t wake me)

Washington does not have it easy as they take on Oregon State in Corvallis, and the Huskies barely win. What’s that about horseshoes, hand grenades, and atomic bombs? Close don’t count in football

Missouri is having a great season, and it continues against Florida

Kentucky plays it close with South Carolina

Texas needs to be very careful against Iowa State, for the Cyclones are not a push over, and they’ve been known to pull a late season upset

The two late night games feature Fresno State kicking New Mexico and San Jose State beating San Diego State.

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