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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 2 Preview

Preview of Week 2

Last weekend the prayers of college football fans were answered. No, it’s not that their team won, it’s that football season has returned! Life makes so much more sense when football is being played. We were treated to few good opening games against top notch teams, while most everyone else played a powderpuff to work out the kinks. Note- what does it take for the Big 12 that only has ten teams, to figure out, not to schedule North Dakota State on opening day? The Bisons have now beaten Iowa State, K-State, and Kansas. Either ask NDS to join the league, in which it’s obvious they are equipped to play, or stop scheduling them! loves it, and extends a high five to the Bisons. Now we enter week 2 of the season and looking through the schedule, it’s like wading through a field of cotton candy. Just about everyone has scheduled a lightweight team. Who was in charge of matchups for week two, Willy Wonka? But, not everyone has fallen into the candy factory.
Michigan State vs. Oregon– if this isn’t the type of football game we dream of, then the world can just stop spinning. The Great While North against the PAC-12, Power against Speed, Steel against Finesse, Nasty vs Pretty! They could televise this game at any hour of the day and it would be worth staying up for. Michigan State has a lot riding on its shoulders. The Great White North didn’t exactly help the Michigan Stateperception that they are a weak conference last week. Ohio State won its game against Navy, but they didn’t play well at all. Northwestern lost to Cal, Penn State had to kick a last second field goal to get past Central Florida, and Wisconsin, the flag bearer of the conference in primetime, fell to LSU of the SEC. Other teams played schools that were lesser talented, so not exactly headliner games. Now the Great White North fans are behind the Spartans, including Michigan’s. These are desperate times. Having faith in MSU is a pretty good place to be. Michigan State has learned, under Mark Dantonio, to be consistent and that led them to the Rose Bowl where they beat Stanford, who just happened to beat Oregon. Now they are playing in their first game where both teams are ranked in the top ten, MSU hasn’t done this since they played Notre Dame when the teams were ranked 1 and 2 respectively, in 1966. QB Conner Cook played well against Jacksonville State, he was only in the first half, but he led them on impressive drives, even after he got his leg banged up in the first quarter. The Defense of the Spartans has been the heart and soul of this team. All they have to do is stop the speediest offense in all of football, no problem. Actually, it’s possible, Stanford and Arizona both defeated the Quack Attack last year and how Ducksthey did it was simple. The Spartan defensive line has to penetrate the line of scrimmage and get in the Duck backfield. If Oregon cannot get into a rhythm their offense sputters. The other part of the equation is that MSU has to keep the ball for LONG periods of time when they’re on offense. Grind the ball, pound the Oregon defense every play. Three to Four yards a carry would be just fine. It may not be fancy, but it works. That is easier said than done because Oregon might have something to say on the matter. They watch films, too.
The Ducks are a favorite pick for the final four and why shouldn’t they be? They have Marcus Mariota, who has Heisman trophy aspirations, so much so that he bypassed entering the NFL because he wants to win a championship. He had a good game against South Dakota, as he led the Ducks to a 62-13 victory. The Ducks have been on a run longer than the Spartans. They are playing in Eugene, not a friendly place for visitors on game day. But Mariota and the Quackers do have some pressure on them. They have a reputation of being a high-scoring team that can’t play against physical teams. They get frustrated and lose focus. If they are serious about overcoming that knock, here is a golden opportunity. The Defense of OU is going to be tested more than they’ve been in a long while. They can’t stay on the field long. They need quick three and outs. Although the D-Line has spent the offseason in a concentrated effort to gain weight and be able to butt heads with bigger teams, they still cannot allow this game to become a slug fest. If it becomes a mudslogging, punch-trading game, the Spartans will prevail. The oddmakers in Vegas are giving the Ducks a lot of love. Speed is hard to stop for four quarters and if there is one thing Oregon is not short of, it’s speed. expects this to be closer than the pros think it’ll be. We’re pickin the Spartans!

The next big game will feature two more Pac-12 teams, USC vs Stanford. What a test this will be for the Trojans and their new coach SteveUSC Sarkisian. Last week the men of Troy had a great game against a Derek Carr-less Fresno State, routing them 52-13. Everything appeared to go just fine in the debut. QB Kessler and the passing corps racked up a bunch of yards and padded every category. Now comes the true test. Sarkisian and Shaw, don’t forget, have gone against each other before, and Shaw owns a 5-1 recorded against Sark. After the game last year, Sakisian had a few choice words for Shaw as he accused the Stanford players of faking injuries to slow down his Washington team. Shaw, of course, didn’t appreciate it. Now it’s all smiles and they say that is behind them. Horse-manure! There is nothing that StanfordSarkisian wants more than to come out with his new team and beat the tar out of Stanford. He’s incorporating his same up-tempo offense, only now the talent level is better. It’s going to come down to one simple question, can QB Kesseler and the offense adapt against the hardcore Cardinal defense? Let’s face it, the boys in Cardinal jerseys aren’t going to stand by and let the Trojans do what they want. The defense of Stanford has been key to their success. If they hit USC in the mouth and keep hitting them, they’ll stop the high octane offense in it’s tracks. They didn’t do this last year and lost to USC, 20-17. But, hey, remember, that’s in the past, it doesn’t matter, yeah right. Stanford wants payback. Offensively, Stanford has the advantage. CSF thinks they will be able to run the ball against Troy defense. The Cardinal must replace four of the five offensive linemen but they’ve replaced lineman before and they just keep getting bigger and stronger. If they stick to what works, which is to run the ball, until it’s necessary to throw a pass. When in doubt run.
CSF is picking the Cardinal with the funny tree mascot to win.

Michigan vs. Notre Dame, these two teams have fallen on hard times of late. Notre Dame did make it to the National Championship game a couple of years ago, but it was against Alabama and that ended all talk about the Irish regaining their old moxie. The significance of thumbnailthis game is that it will bring an end to a great rivalry. Now that ND has agreed to play in five ACC games they needed to do a few adjustments, and they decided they would keep the Stanford, USC and Navy games but all others had to go. Michigan says they don’t want the series to end and blame ND for letting it go. The coaches, of course, used this to ridicule the Irish. Kelly stated that he doesn’t see this “as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries.” This of belittled the Wolverines and Coach Hoke fired back, saying the Irish are Michigan“Chickening out”. When Michigan beat them last year in Ann Arbor they played the Chicken Dance song in the stadium. You gotta love college football. But that was last year. The Golden Domers have QB Everett Golson back after he spent a year on suspension. They beat Rice 48-17. The team played pretty well but now the competition is a bit tougher. How will they fare with all the controversy surrounding the team and having five players under investigation? For some reason CSF thinks its going to weigh them down. There’s just not that fussy feeling when it comes to Notre this year. They might have played well last week but they’re in trouble. Michigan had a great game against Appalachian State and they’d better have. What would have happened if the Mountaineers were able to pull off another stunning upset and win? I, for one, would be standing outside listening for Gabriel’s trumpet to sound. But, alas, that didn’t happen. Michigan is looking for a better year. They brought in Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier from Alabama to give them a shock in the absorbers. Michigan has the advantage, they beat the Irish last year, and they seem to be the ones that have a chip on their shoulders about this game. CSF is picking the Michigan Wolverines! Besides, Doug Nessmeier was the O-Coordinator when Bama walked all over ND.
Short Smokes:

Ohio State was the favorite against VATech, but after last week that margin has shrunk.

Army starts the season with their new coach against Buffalo, Go ARMY!!

Can BYU do it to Texas two years in a row? Yep. Cougars win.

South Carolina better be on alert for the Pirates of East Carolina.

Ole Miss rolls over Vanderbilt

Memphis travels to UCLA and if UCLA has a repeat Virginia performance, the Tigers can win.

Tennessee goes up against Arkansas State, a bit tougher than Utah State, the Vols could lose this one.

Alabama hosts Florida Atlantic. If Sims plays like he did last week, the Owls will embarrass him

Kansas State vs. Iowa State, they both lost to North Dakota State in successive years, but we’re picking the Wildcats.

Penn State takes on Akron, could be a better game than previously thought.

San Jose State vs. Auburn, if the Spartans had the same QB as last year, this would be a high scoring game, but they don’t.

Colorado State vs. Boise State, this is the late game on ESPN and it looks promising!

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