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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Rivalry Weekend Saturday Edition

Rivalry Weekend Saturday Edition

South Carolina vs. Clemson
It’s been five years since the Tigers, South Carolina variety, have beaten USC-South. If the situation was ever favorable for Clemson (8-3) to 265break that streak, it’s now. The Gamecocks are 6-5 and have not had the season they were projected to have. No playoffs, no SEC championship, no SEC East title, ….all they have left to play for is the title of SC State Champions. Clemson, in the past four seasons, has averaged 38 points per game, …except when they play USC-South. in the past two years they scored 13 points and 17 points. Why do they not score more points? Because they keep turning the ball over. For some inexplicable reason, they turn the ball over more in this game than they do in any other game. It just happens, like the Bermuda triangle, no one can explain it. The Gamecocks are on a down year, Clemson is the better team. Will the Tigers from Clemson end the streak? Nope, Coach Steve Spurrier is able to get under the skin of Coach Dabo Swinney and aggravate him to the point where it affects the game.


Georgia Tech vs. Georgia
244-2The game known as “Clean, Old-Fashion Hate” has a lot more significance than usual. Both teams are at 9-2, Georgia wants to make it to the SEC championship game. In addition to needing the win, they are pulling for Arkansas to upset Missouri. Georgia Tech has already made their reservations in Charlotte, NC, for the ACC championship contest. Neither squad wants a loss heading into their postseason. UGA is on a three game winning streak and coming off a total dismemberment of Auburn. However, in general, the Dawgs have not played well against rivals this year. They came up half a yard short against South Carolina and neglected to play tackle football against Florida. Will this lack of concentration continue against Tech? The Yellow Jackets are coming off a dominant performance, themselves. They ran all over Clemson, 28-6. Their only two losses were to Duke and UNC, and both of those were close. It’s ACC vs. SEC….Should the Bulldogs play like they did against Auburn, Georgia wins. If they play like they did against Florida, Tech triumphs.


Kentucky vs. Louisville
The Wildcats need one more win to make it to a bowl game. Fact is, they’ve needed that win since the beginning of November but have dropped four straight. Louisville has already punched their ticket for a bowl. The Cardinals are coming off a signature win against Notre Dame (How sorry do the Irish need to be before a win over them isn’t called a signature win?) and their ninth ranked defense in the nation also has the most interceptions with 23. Kentucky comes in with high hopes. Let’s see here, what is that saying my dad taught me? ……ah! “Hope is never a course of action.”


Michigan vs. Ohio State
This is more than likely the last game Brady Hoke will coach as head of the Michigan program. The Wolverines are at 5-6 with little talk of a 131bowl game, even if they should they reach that sixth win. Ohio State has already clinched the GWN-East title, and a spot in the Great White North Championship game. But, do they want to let the opportunity of making the playoffs slip right through their fingers, lose to another unranked team, at home? This is THE one thing that Michigan has to play for, to embarrass the Buckeyes and disrupt all their lofty plans. Everyone knows that for the Wolverines to pull it off, they need help from the Higher Power. This is a rival game and stranger things have happened. The Buckeyes have their eyes on the future and may enter this game a bit over confident. Michigan has nothing to lose, so why not go out there and take it? CSF is picking the Buckeyes to win, but anything can happen.


Notre Dame vs. USC
Both teams are coming off losses. The Trojans were mauled by UCLA and the Irish were pecked to death by the Louisville Cardinals. ND is actually on a three game losing streak, dropping games to ASU, Northwestern, and Louisville. The favorite has to be the Trojans, and not because Pat Hayden can, and might be, on the sidelines (has anyone ever asked why he’s still on the Selection Committee, being so overtly biased, besides CSF?). The real reason is because ND cannot keep a handle on the football, they keep turning it over. Most of the blame goes to Everett (?) Golson’s throwing interceptions. For the Irish to have a shot at winning this game, they’re going to have to throw the ball and it must be to players wearing Notre Dame uniforms. I have no faith in Gloson, USC wins.


519Mississippi State vs. Mississippi
A couple of weeks ago this game promised a lot more, but that was before Treadwell went down with a season-ending injury. I’m convinced this ended any chance the Rebels had at winning the SEC West. Mississippi State needs to win the Egg Bowl and then hope Auburn beats Alabama for them to claim the SEC-West title. Ole Miss is on a losing streak (we’re not counting the Presbyterian game). The Rebels have to right their ship and this is their last chance to do it. At the start of the season we said that Bo Wallace was the greatest asset they had, and he was also the greatest liability. MSU is a more balanced and polished team. I’m about upset a certain family member, but the Bulldogs win.


Florida vs Florida State
Florida is losing their coach, they’ve had a bad year and now they have to play Florida State to close out the season. Everyone outside of 212Tallahassee is pulling for the Gators. The criminal, official-shoving, whining, lollygagging, Seminoles are still undefeated, but, once again, like the Bermuda triangle, no one can explain why. Florida needs to win this game, not solely because they’ll become bowl eligible, they can’t save Muschamp’s job, but because nothing would taste better than to know they were the team that ruined Florida State’s entire season. Those type of bragging rights last a lifetime! Can they do it? Yes. They’ve got to find whatever it was they had for the Georgia game. Not sure if it was the cereal they ate, or the way they tied their shoes, but, whatever it was, do it again. Gator Nation, America is behind you (except Tallahassee).



Minnesota vs Wisconsin
Not real sure this game is a rivalry, but they do have an incredibly cool Paul Bunyan Axe they play for, so, yeah, cool trophy equals rivalry. Whichever team wins moves forward. Both teams run the ball, as in, they don’t do much else but run the ball. Both teams are effective at the rushing game. The Badgers have the upper hand in running backs, especially with the Gophers’ number one back out. But Minnesota has something that doesn’t show up on the stats. This team has heart. They don’t quit, they play hard, they don’t get discouraged, and they “Bear Down” (apologies to Arizona). They were picked to finish fifth in the GWN-West division, and here they are playing for the division title. Picking the Badgers is a good pick, they are more balanced, they have better talent and better numbers. But we’re not choosing Wisconsin, CSF is calling for an upset. Gophers get the axe, and the title. I guess you could add that Badgers get the ax! SKI-U-MAH!!



194Auburn vs. Alabama
Alabama wants revenge! Every single day for the last year they have had to hear about that stupid Kick Six. It has been burned into their brains. That is enough. Auburn has lost to Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Georgia. The loss to Georgia was a humdinger and it might have done some serious damage to the Plainsmen’s psyche. Bama comes in after beating LSU and Miss State. The Crimson Tide has always played well in T-town but St. Nick does not have the best record against Auburn, only 2-2. This is one of the best rivalry games in the nation. Army -Navy is the best, the Iron Bowl is a close second. There is the definition of “hate”. Bama needs to win to secure a spot in the SEC title game. The Tigers, Alabama variety, want to play spoiler. In the movie, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, Clint Eastwood joined the Rebels to go fight the Red Legs that had destroyed his farm and murdered his family. He went up to Kansas to “set things aright.” Alabama needs to set things aright. Now is the time to show the nation they are AL-A-BAMA!



Oregon vs. Oregon State
The Civil War! Considering that these schools are maybe 60 miles apart from each other, calling this the Civil War seems appropriate. OSU Beavers have a losing record and this will be their last game of the season. The Oregon Ducks are thinking of winning four more games and hoisting the nation championship trophy. Most teams have a difficult time playing in Corvallis, just ask Arizona State. But the Ducks don’t. The Beavers are going to have a tough time stopping the Quack Attack and, even though the Oregon defense is susceptible to a passing game, it’s going to be awfully tough for OSU to pull out a win. Should the Beavers prove triumphant, it would send shockwaves throughout the college football world. Turn off your seismographs, Oregon wins.



Washington vs Washington State
Look out for this game, Wazzu has not had the type of year they wanted nor what was predicted, but even when the Cougars hadn’t won a game all season, they upset the Huskies and won the Apple Cup. That was then, this is now. It’s UW Coach Peterson’s first game in this rivalry and it might be a bit of a shocker. Dubya is picked as only a 3.5 point favorite, which tells me even the so-called experts see the possibility of a Cougar upset. Me, too. I think the old pirate, Coach Mike Leach, will have his WSU crew ready and they’ll stun the Huskies.

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